Audio peripherals are now getting smaller and more ergonomic, and not without reason. First they were chunky headphones that sought to give you a permanent neckache. Then came the issue of tangled wires that plagued our earphones. And so the industry decided to do away with fraying cables and the unnecessary weight, and the truly wireless earbuds were born.

We are also living in a time where technology is rapidly advancing and converging with sleek design, case in point being the demise of the headphone jack in the iPhones 7, 8, and X. And while wireless peripherals aren’t new, they usually just did away with the wired connection to your devices. Truly wireless earbuds, however, are just two small gizmos that plug into your ears and are the definition of “wireless”.

There is the concern that the little gadgets might be easily lost in deep pockets or bags that are pseudo black holes. But the case that come with the earbuds will help create a habit of always storing it back to charge and safe keep them. It also helps that the cases are almost always chic, so it doesn’t look like you are carrying something that belongs in the dumpster.

To prepare you for the incoming wave of wireless peripherals, here are the 5 best truly wireless earbuds for anyone in any situation.

Beoplay E8

It is no secret that Bang & Olufsen makes gorgeous products that deliver quality sound. Their latest gadget is the Beoplay E8, a truly wireless earphone that sits discreetly in your ears. It sports a cool four hours of playtime with a single charge, and the sleek case it comes with can give it two more full charges. There is also ‘Transparency Mode’, which you can turn on to decide how much of the real world you want to hear. With four levels of audio pass-through, it is a great way to listen to your tunes while staying connected to your surroundings. Coming in two colours – black and charcoal sand – the E8’s will retail at S$429 from mid-October.

Apple Airpods

While we were all initially skeptical about this alien-looking contraption, the Airpods can be credited for taking truly wireless earbuds mainstream. They are a must-have accessory if you own an Apple product, as the chic design complements anything from your iPhone to your MacBook. It comes with enough juice to last 5 hours, and you can get up to an additional 24 hours of playback by charging it inside the case – it fills up three hours of charge in just a swift 15 minutes. The Airpods are Siri-compatible as well, so you can easily skip a boring song or make phone calls without needing to take out your iPhone. At S$238, it is the most affordable on this list, and they can be paired with non-Apple devices too, but just with its basic features.

Samsung Gear IconX

You don’t even need a phone to listen to your favourite tracks with the refreshed Gear IconX. With 4GB of internal storage, you can take a jog along the promenade without bringing along your smartphone that can get cumbersome after time. Boasting an impressive seven hours of playback (five if you are streaming music through Bluetooth), the IconX has one of the best battery lives on the market. An in-ear voice guide called the Running Coach will also provide you with real time status updates on your fitness as you go about doing your daily cardio. Although there’s no word on the pricing yet, the Gear IconX will be available from Q4 of 2017 in black, grey, and pink.

Erato Apollo 7

Don’t go mistaking these earbuds for a tiny missile. For a startup, Erato has done an excellent job with the Apollo 7’s, giving audiophiles a great deal of quality sound with a stable connection. And despite the small size of the earbuds, they deliver a good bass output that can rival wired earphones. With four colours available – black, silver, gold, and rose gold, the Apollo 7 is great for those who want a bit more colour in their lives, other than the standard black and white we see far too often in stores. On the market for S$499, these are one of the most pricey wireless earbuds, but you know it will deliver the quality that the price tag begets.

Jabra Elite Sport

Fitness gurus and sports enthusiasts can take heed knowing that as they commence their high intensity workouts at the gym or out on a trekking route, the Elite Sport won’t be dropping out of their ears no matter how vigorous their movement. Added with the fact that it is IP67 water resistant, those who get caught in the rain or are prone to sweating profusely have nothing to worry about. You can even take it for a shallow dip in the pool, just try to stay away from saltwater. The Elite Sport retails for S$368, and ships with two types of tips – foam for better audio, silicone for better water resistance.

Josiah Neo
Josiah Neo is a tech writer who contributes occasionally to the fashion, travel, and culture beats. When he’s not busy keeping up with the keynotes, he’s probably stuffing his face with the best Melbournian donuts (at Shortstop, BTW) or watching his favourite esports team, the Los Angeles Valiant, pummel their opponents into oblivion.