TWS headphones have no wires and are charged from the case.
Completely wireless headphones are becoming more accessible: now even relatively inexpensive models are not so far behind the flagship Apple AirPods Pro. For example, they support active noise reduction and connect to two sound sources simultaneously.
The technical editors of Tinkoff Magazine have already released a selection of budget wireless headphones, but by 2023 the market has changed. Therefore, I studied the market for TWS models , tested the most interesting options and compiled a rating of the best inexpensive wireless headphones.
The best budget wireless headphones in our opinion
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are the best of the best.
JBL Flex – the best earbuds.
Honor Choice X – the best budget ones.
Xiaomi Buds 3 are the best microphones.
Best of the best – Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 came out in 2021, but managed to drop in price noticeably. So now this is the best choice in the economy class of TWS headphones .
First of all, the Galaxy Buds 2 sound good. Each headphone has two speakers: a tweeter and a woofer. The first is responsible for well-developed mids and high frequencies, and the second is responsible for rich bass. Headphones two or three times more expensive sound better, but for me the price difference makes up for the shortcomings.
I liked the maximum volume level: the reserve is so huge that listening to tracks at maximum becomes uncomfortable.
Active noise cancellation, or ANC, works great. To combat external sounds, it uses three microphones and machine learning technology, which helps the headphones “recognize” certain noises and cancel them more effectively using AI. In its segment, Galaxy Buds 2 has virtually no competitors in terms of noise reduction quality.
Buds 2 are also good for communication . Neural networks cut out unnecessary sounds during conversations and strengthen the voice. In windy weather, the interlocutor will still not be very comfortable, but in the office or at home the speech quality is excellent.
The headphones are compact and comfortable. They have no “legs”, hardly stick out from the ears and are easy to insert. The fit is snug so you can run or bike.
One charge is enough for about seven hours of music at medium volume with noise reduction turned off, and taking into account periodic recharging in the case – for all 29 hours. There is wireless charging, which is rare in the budget headphone segment.
Best earbuds – JBL Flex
The earbuds do not have a rubber tip that must be inserted deep into the ear. Minus: this way the headphones freely transmit external sounds. Plus: it’s comfortable to use all day long without having to take it off again.
They are convenient to use while jogging or cycling so as not to lose contact with your surroundings. But listening to music in the subway and other noisy places is not as comfortable as in vacuum plugs, because the rumble of the cars interrupts the tracks.
The JBL Flex can be equipped with silicone ear tips if necessary to drown out traffic noise. They don’t fit as tightly as regular vacuum headphones and don’t isolate the ear canal as well. But they do not need to be inserted deep into the ear – a good compromise for people for whom earplugs cause discomfort.
The problem of excess noise is partly solved by active noise reduction. It can’t completely eliminate all external sounds, but it turns them into an inaudible hum that distracts less from the music.
The sound is spacious, with JBL’s signature booming bass. The frequency balance is adjusted adequately: vocals are not pushed into the background, the highs and mids are in place. The volume reserve is large, so there will be no difficulties listening to tracks on a noisy bus even with ANC turned off. At maximum power, the sound does not become a mush, as is often the case in budget models.
Work in headset mode is decent: the microphones clearly pick up the user’s voice and cut out unnecessary sounds. JBL Flex are designed for 6-8 hours of continuous playback, and the charging case can fill the battery about twice.
Best budget ones – Honor Choice X
The Honor Choice developers saved on active noise reduction and high-quality microphones. You can only talk comfortably on the phone using a headset in a quiet room. But there is no better model at this price – for 2800 ₽ this is an excellent option.
The sound is neutral, without excessive bass or squealing highs like models twice the price. The bass is felt, and the vocals are also in order: they are not pushed into the background and sound quite natural. The volume level is high, there is no wheezing at maximum power.
Everything is good with ergonomics: the headphones fit comfortably and do not fall out when jogging. With prolonged use, the ears do not get tired, listening to music is comfortable. There are touch pads on the legs for control, but they do not work perfectly; you often have to repeat the presses for the Honor Choice to “wake up”.
The headset plays music at medium volume for about six hours. With the charging case, the total autonomy reaches 24 hours.