Samsung Electronics today released its IconX fitness earbuds, along with a new variant for the Gear Fit 2. The fact that the company released completely wireless earphones show us that there is a future for this technology. Several companies are moving towards a wireless earbud future that allows you to store music, connect with your phone, accept calls, and ultimately track fitness data as well.
The craze of wireless earbuds was brought on by companies such as Dash, Earin and others that have been testing the technology. Things got even more interesting when rumors relating to the Apple Inc. iPhone 7 pointed towards the technology.
Reports have suggested that the iPhone-maker will remove the much outdated 3.5mm headphone jack from its handset, in favor of a lightning connected audio future. The news prompted a string of questions about how the company will replace the need for a headphone jack. Is Apple going to release a wired lightning earphone, or is it going to release its own version of wireless EarPods?
The iPhone 7 will be launched this September. While the device may not have a major redesign, the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack is something we’re quite excited about —so, without further ado, we list the best possible options to look at this September.
Icon Gear X
Samsung’s latest foray into the world of wireless earbuds starts with the Icon Gear X. The completely wire-free buds offer fitness tracking, along with music options. The little bids use a special protocol to connect to each other, which allows for a seamless experience for a completely synced process. The device comes with a 4GB internal storage, which allows for a 3.5 hour battery life. While, if you stream music from your phone then that number drops down to 1.5 hours.
The buds stay perfectly well in your ear, along with a capacitive touch screen that allows for volume control, track changes, and muting the audio. The earphones also allow for an “ambient-sound mode” something that allows you to listen to your surroundings, while you listen to your music or when you’re in the middle of an exercise.
iPhone users will be disappointed to hear that the fitness tracking features are not available for them. However, they will still function as Bluetooth earbuds, which is still something that is novel on its own. The company has made sure it caters to both the cults, however, Samsung users get the benefit of fitness tracking. So, if you do like Samsung products, then buy an iPhone and a decent pair of Bluetooth earphones then the Gear X. However, the only drawback will be the absence of fitness tracking, also these earbuds are for $199.
Dash headphones by Bragi could be called one of the first movers into the wireless earphones segment. The earphones are something out of a futuristic setting. Based in Germany, the pioneers of engineering, Dash has made its way onto different publications for review. While the company’s first version of the product was not as great, it showed off another prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016.
The device has been given a 5.0 rating from Digital Trends, which shows that while the product is decent in what it offers, it can do better. Retailing for $299, the futuristic, stylish and comfortable design is bound to appeal the next-generation of wireless earphone users. The product had some connectivity issues, which the company states will be fixed with over the air updates.
One of the biggest challenges with wireless earbuds is the ability to connect them seamlessly. For example, there’s a fluid filled brain in the middle for the earbuds, which does cause some disturbance in audio. The earphones connect to your phone through Bluetooth, while the earbuds themselves are connected with a different kind of technology.
The device is a marvel as it comes equipped with 23 sensors, ranging from accelerometers to heart rate monitors and a 4GB storage option. The earbuds come in a stylish case, which also serves as a charging dock, has 5 charges in it, and the device offers two to three hours of charge. The earphones are also waterproof, which means you can take them for a swim as well. The Dash earphones also allow users to take calls, while having a passive listening mode, which allows you to hear outside noise when you’re listening to music.
The launch of the iPhone 7 will allow Dash to further enhance its product, and make it seamless to work with this September.
The last contender in our list is Sweden-based Earin. While earphones like Icon Gear X and Dash have fitness tracking abilities, the Earin wireless earbuds just offer one thing — audio.
The earbuds come with a charging case that can juice the device two to three times. Moreover, the earphones itself give two-three hours of battery life, which seems like the standard in this category. The earphones are cylindrical, which raises the problem of them rolling away when you put them on the table.
The sound is fairly average, but it may not be enough to help you make the complete move to wireless audio. The Earins retail for $249, which is $50 less than the Dash by Bragi; but the latter offers a plethora of features that Earins don’t offer.
Apple Ear Pods + Beats Wireless
While there is no official word about Apple’s version of wireless earbuds, the company may release something this fall. Since the company is removing the 3.5mm headphone jack, it will have to offer an alternative. One of them, we believe is going to be wired earphones that connect with the lightning port to deliver audio.
However, there’s a possibility that the company may also offer wireless earphones. While we may not know if these earbuds have the ability to house different features, it could be something very small and simple.
But, Apple has a $3 billion company in its pocket by the name of Beats. The company will have the perfect opportunity to offer wireless earphones, similar to that of the competition above, and also offer some other features on the devices. Moreover, this will also allow for the company to put a premium price tag on it, which should entice users enough to take out their wallets.