The Christmas shopping campaign is here and there are not a few technology brands that have decided to present their latest bets on audio, focusing especially on 'in-ear' headphones, that is, those that go inside the ear.
The truth is that this market, which a few years ago seemed reserved for expert audio companies, is now a field in which smartphone manufacturers have decided to enter and they have done so with force. And it is that, according to Futuresource Consulting on the market for True Wireless (in-ear) headphones, revenue from this segment grew by 8.6% in the second quarter of 2022, generating more than 10,000 million dollars.
This juicy market has attracted mobile phone brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Samsung, Huawei or Apple, which have been competing with other audio brands such as Bose, Sony, JBL or Jabra for some time.
Apple launched its first noise-cancelling headphones in 2019 and at the end of this September it put on sale the second generation, the AirPods Pro 2. Its great attraction is the good active noise cancellation they offer, which means that it is the The user who chooses at all times if he wants the headphones to completely isolate external sounds to hear only what is being played, or to let the ambient sound pass. They also improve spatial audio, which allows listening to music in a more immersive way, battery life and touch control of the headphones compared to the previous generation. Its price is 299 euros.
Samsung has also recently launched its new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, a device with a very remarkable audio quality in which active noise cancellation improves thanks to the three microphones with a high signal ratio that it incorporates. Galaxy Buds 2 Pro track and remove more outside noise, even the softest sounds like wind. They cost 209 euros.
For its part, Huawei has been doing things very well in the audio section for some time and its FreeBuds Pro 2 are a good example of this. These headphones have triple adaptive equalizer, which means that they are able to adapt to the volume level in real time, the structure of the ear canal and how they are worn. In terms of cancellation, they prevent the environment from interfering with calls or music thanks to a bone conduction microphone, three additional microphones and Huawei's exclusive deep neural network (DNN) noise cancellation algorithm, which memorizes more than 600 million voice samples to cancel out distractions. Now they are on sale for 179 euros.
A new smartphone firm that has decided to bet on audio is Nothing. This British brand has recently launched its Ears (1) to gain a foothold in this complex market and has provided them with active noise cancellation. They boast of being very light and of a design that is out of the ordinary. They are sold for 99 euros.
As for the audio experts, Bose introduced the new QuietComfort Earbuds II a few days ago. The brand makes it clear that it wants quality cancellation and in its headphones it manages to almost completely seal the ear to improve audio against external sound. For this, it uses the typical pads but also stabilizing bands in various sizes to find the perfect fit for each ear. The result is more comfort as well as flawless cancellation. On sale for 299 euros.
Sony, for its part, decided to launch a cheaper version of its headphones capable of eliminating external noise, the LinkBuds S, but the quality of the top-of-the-range WF-1000XM4 is far from these new headphones. The first ones cost 200 euros and the XM4 are available for 280.
Finally, JBL presented this summer several True Wireless devices with noise cancellation at very good prices, starting at 50 euros. In this new family, the JBL Live Pro 2 boast an improved active noise cancellation system and six microphones to improve call quality. 149 euros.