There’s simply no question that Apple’s AirPods remain the best in-ear wireless headphones money can buy. As long as you own an iPhone these mini music machines produce an experience that’s hard to beat with them offering a simple connection between your Apple devices, a neat design and excellent sound quality.
The original AirPods took the market by storm but things recently got even worse for Apple’s rivals with the firm announcing the launch of the new AirPods Pro.
These more expensive headphones have taken things to a whole new level with them including superior sound and the ability to block out annoying background audio via noise-cancelling technology.
However, although Apple is leading the way it is soon going to face even more competition with a swathe of wireless earbuds announced at the CES technology in Las Vegas.
This yearly event has just opened its doors and Express.co.uk has been checking what’s new…here’s our pick of the upcoming AirPods rivals.
Panasonic unveiled its all-new headphones at CES and they look set to give Apple’s latest AirPods Pros some serious competition.
These new in-ear music makers, named the RZ-S500W, not only feature a fully wireless connection to your phone but also bring industry-leading Dual Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling to your ears.
This sound-blocking technology has been achieved through the combination of FeedForward Noise Cancelling, Feedback Noise Cancelling and an Analog/Digital Processing hybrid with Panasonic boasting that the results have never before been experienced in the true wireless category.
Other features on the RZ-S500W include a constant stable connection no matter which smartphone brand you are using and there’s also some technology tucked inside which offers improved voice calling.
Like most wireless headphones, this latest range comes with a clever charging case which gives them refill when they are not in your ears and they arrive with a splash-proof rating equivalent to IPX4.
Users will also be able to customise numerous settings via the Panasonic Audio Connect app with this smartphone application even able to track the earbuds down should you lose them.
Panasonic says that the RZ-S500W will be available to buy from June and will cost £169.
The Japanese firm is also releasing its cheaper RZ-S300W at the same time which cost £109 but don’t include noise cancellation.
LG TRUE TONE HBS-FL7
LG is about to unleash its new earbuds on the world and they arrive with one feature that you won’t find on Apple’s AirPods.
Tucked inside the puck-shaped charging case is a technology called UVnano which blitzes the headphones with UV rays every time they popped inside for a refill.
This system helps to clean the tips making them much more hygienic – something that is especially important if you happen to share them with someone else.
LG says the process takes around 10 minutes and although it won’t kill off all germs it certainly goes some way to getting rid of unwanted bacteria.
Along with that new UV upgrade, you’ll find all the usual features of wireless headphone with LG’s Tone Free HBS-FL7 getting powerful audio, comfortable fit and simple syncing to your phone or tablet.
Once in your ears, you’ll get a total of 21 hours of audio playback – via the charging case – and you’ll find a design that’s IPx4 splashproof which means they should survive life on the road.
Google Assistant has also been included meaning you can get a bunch of features beamed to the buds without ever having to touch your phone.
There’s currently no word on a UK release or price but in the US they cost $199 so expect a similar cost in the UK.
AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-ANC300TW
Audio-Technica already has some of the longest-lasting earbuds you can buy and now they are adding some impressive noise cancelling to the range.
The new ATH-ANC300TW is the firm’s most advanced set of truly wireless earbuds with them featuring the ability to block out all the sound around you.
Audio-Technica says its new headphones harbours the company’s innovative QUIETPOINT hybrid technology to eliminate ambient noise.
A high-precision digital processor then reduces unwanted sound, allowing the user to focus on the clear, crisp audio from music, podcasts, movies or calls, even in the noisiest of environments.
Using the Audio-Technica Connect mobile app and its three presets – Airplane, On-the-go and Office/Study – users can also tailor the noise-cancelling effect for their current environment.
Other features include easy controls on the side of the buds and there’s a 4.5-hour battery life which can be boosted once popped back in their charging case.
The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC300TW will be available from May priced at £209.
Technics are set to release their first-ever in-ear wireless headphones and they could be ones to watch out for.
The audio firm is renowned for its sound and the new EAH-AZ70W offer industry-leading noise-cancelling technology
This sound-blocking tech should mean users will only hear the music that is playing – and none of the troublesome background noise from the train, passing traffic, or worse of all, plane engines.
With this Dual Hybrid Noise Cancelling Technology activated it’s unlikely you’ll hear anything other than your favourite tunes but should you want to listen in to what’s going on around you there’s the option to easily switch off the sound blocking or enable an Ambient Sound Mode via a tap on the bud – this then allows some noise to leak through to your ears.
Other features packed inside the AZ70W include an improved connection to all smartphone models plus better sound when making phone calls due to their high-performance MEMS microphone which minimises wind and other background interference.
Users get a clever charging case which refills the earbuds when they aren’t being used with the AZ70W able to offer a total of 18 hours of playback without the case needing to be refilled.
Those owning a pair will also be able to customise numerous settings via the Technics Audio Connect app with this smartphone application even able to track the earbuds down should you lose them.
Technics say that the AZ70W will be available to buy from June and will cost £239.