Bluetooth Headphones / Features to Look For
A major drawback to Bluetooth headphones, and true wireless headphones in particular, has been bluetooth stability and range. According to Bluetooth SIG Bluetooth 5.0 has “4x range, 2x speed and 8x broadcasting message capacity.” This should provide vastly increased Bluetooth stability and range, and looks promising for overcoming the connection problems encountered in most true wireless Bluetooth headphones. The Zolo Liberty + features Bluetooth 5.0 and have really great reviews so far. Unfortunately you’re spinning your wheels a bit if you’re looking for other Bluetooth headphones at the moment; there just aren’t many. In terms of quick charging and Bluetooth range, it’s hard to beat the Apple W1 chip found in Apple and Beats headphones.
IPX 6 means that it is protected against powerful jets of water, but not rated for submersion. IPX7 means that they should tolerate submersion in water of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.
This is a pretty subjective category. Ultimately in the sports category an ear hook design (think Powerbeats) is going to be the most secure. However, the ear fin (flexible fin that fits into your external ear) is also quite popular. Jaybird is probably the most premium name in the ear fin category, though there are many generics in both categories. Transitioning to the ear fin design can be a bit scary because it’s critical that they are designed well; using foam tips also helps a great deal in this scenario.
Most ear hook headphones come with a cord management clip that is round, and where the cord slips into the sides. This works fine with gentle tension, but can easily cause the cord to pop out when placed under stress. Jaybird headphones feature cord management clips that weave the connecting cable through a series of channels. I highly recommend this type because it keeps the cord off of your neck and contained within the management system. The downside is that it’s harder to set up, and makes it harder to transition between a standard (hanging down) and sports (cord clip) mode.
Bluetooth SIG. (2017). Bluetooth 5: What’s it all about. Retrieved on 6/27/17 from https://www.bluetooth.com/specifications/bluetooth-core-specification/bluetooth5