For audiophiles (like me) good music only sounds good enough when they’re beamed through a quality wireless earphone. Compared to standard earpieces and headphones, wireless earpieces bring convenience, premium sound quality, and style in a very portable form factor. Like every gadget out there, however, finding the perfect fit is a hard ask.
If you’re looking to buy a wireless earpiece in Nigeria, here’s a guide that itemizes the best wireless earpieces in the market along with and everything else you need to know about wireless earphones.
The wireless earphones feature list
Depending on the earpiece (and price) you’ll find that wireless earpieces ship with different features. The ones you need to look out for include:
Noise cancellation is there to reduce ambient or unwanted noise that might be coming from your surroundings. Noise-cancelling tech comes in two forms, active noise cancellation and passive noise cancellation (AKA soundproofing). The former option is usually exclusive to premium, highly-priced wireless earpieces.
Waterproofing and dust resistance
Like phones, some wireless earpieces can be IP-certified for water and dust resistance. Others might be built and tuned to resist water damage. Regardless of the case, this is a handy feature if you plan on using your wireless earpiece for working out, exercising or in adverse weather conditions.
High dynamic range
Most wireless earphone manufacturers don’t specify this in their product listings, but it’s still an important consideration to check where available. Dynamic range is the ratio between the quietest sounds you can hear and the loudest.
Wireless earphones with a high dynamic range provide a fuller listening experience. If you’re interested in testing the dynamic range of your current wireless earpiece set up check out this article from the guys at audiocheck.net
Battery life and charging technology
Most wireless earpieces charge with wired technology, especially those in the budget category. Others that fit the tag of premium come with wireless charging and carrying cases. The charging technology used is usually not a deal-breaker if the battery lasts long enough. Thankfully most notable wireless earphone manufacturers do a great job in the battery life department these days.
Wireless earpieces are made different
The name wireless earphones can mean so many things in today’s market. Getting the best deal possible requires that you understand the fine print.
Imagine your traditional earphone substituting the plug that connects to your 3.5mm jack with Bluetooth wireless technology. This is a wireless earphone. Using Bluetooth tech instead of a headphone jack to connect means we can call them wireless, but the two separate earphone pieces are still connected by a wire.
True wireless earphones or earbuds
True wireless earphones are wireless through and through. Each earbud connects wirelessly with the driver bud connecting to your phone and the other connecting to the driver bud. This eliminates the need for any connecting wires or band. True wireless earphones are expectedly pricier than their wireless counterparts.
Open back vs. closed-back earphones
Ever plugged in an earphone in a crowded place only to hear all the ambient noise muffle the sounds playing from the earphone? That has a lot to do with whether the earphone is open back or close back.
In open back earphones, the earphone architecture is not isolated or better put soundproofed from the external environment. So, when you plug in the earphone sound can still pass through the earphone to reach your ear.
Closed-back earphones are designed to keep noise out and music in. They are closed from the external environment and as such pretty good at shutting out ambient noise.
Most earphones on the market today spot the closed-back design and for a good reason too; they provide better passive noise cancellation and make for a more immersive listening experience.
Open-back earphones, on the other hand, provide more natural listening experiences. They’re ideal for quiet environments.
All things said, if you’re going to be using your earphones on the go or in crowded environments then you’re better off settling for a closed-back earphone.
Now for the part you’ve been waiting for:
The top wireless earbuds to buy in 2021
Wireless earphone tech has come a long way, and so have the prices. let’s take a look at some of the best earbuds with the best prices available on the market today
The Anker SoundBuds Slim – best wireless earphone in Nigeria
For less than 15,000 Naira, the Anker SoundBuds Slim packs premium sound quality, sportiness, and convenience into what is perhaps the most durable wireless earphone build at this price point. The Anker SoundBuds Slim is not IP-rated for water resistance, but Anker says its ‘hydrophobic’ earphones are designed to resist all the water and dust damage that may result from day-to-day usage in moist environments.
This means you can use these Bluetooth earphones for workouts and in light showers. And talking about workouts, the ergonomics on this wireless means you can run the full course of the Lagos marathon without ever pausing to adjust them.
Sound quality is excellent, again considering the price. The SoundBuds Slim is a closed-back earphone that fits tightly over your ears so passive noise cancellation is a given.
The major downside to the SoundBuds Slim is its weight. The entire wireless headphone is a bit bulky, but we won’t say that that’s a deal-breaker. I’ve also noticed that the recent gen SoundBuds Slim doesn’t do so well with call performance. Again, nothing too shabby but it can be better.
Best true wireless earphones – ranked
The Edifier X3
The Edifier X3 is the ultimate definition of bang for buck. For under $20, you get a long line up of premium grade features including, Bluetooth 5.0, support for AptX codec and an IPX5 rating for water and dust resistance. But there’s more:
In white, the pebble-shaped Edifier X3 looks refreshingly sleek. The design cue here is minimalism, and while you don’t get the ‘simple sophistication’ of the galaxy buds, you can see the well-rounded contours and flush margins that tell you this was built to impress.
Because these are intentionally lightweight, they are comfortable in your ears too. If you buy one, you’ll get three additional ear tips of varying sizes – surely one matches your ear perfectly.
The Edifier X3 ships with AptX codec support, and that means it can receive music from your output device in high definition. Outwards to your ears, it delivers thumping bass and searing trebles with all the instrumental detailing to create a rich 3D music listening experience.
It’s not a Sennheiser Momentum true wireless earphone, but you’re not going to mind anyway. The sound performance is in simple terms very good!
With a tap to the side of your Edifier X3, you can pause or resume music play. That’s thanks to its built-in soft-touch controls. It also supports double-tap for skipping songs and triple tap for jumping backwards. Unfortunately, you can’t control the volume from the Edifier X3; you’ll have to rely on your output devices’ volume control.
Bluetooth 5.0 is the standard for these earbuds. Each earbud will hold the connection to your output device for at least 10 meters without any drop in the sound quality.
Like most competitor true wireless earphones at this price point, the Edifier X3 lasts about five hours on a full charge. Additional battery is provided by the carry case which can provide three extra 0-100 charges.
Xiaomi Air 2 SE
If you’re looking for a cheap alternative to Apple’s highly-priced Airpods, the Xiaomi Air 2 SE is your best bet. It looks like it, feels like it (in a way), and definitely sounds a lot like it.
The Xiaomi Air 2 SE reimagines the Apple Airpods from the perspective of a Xiaomi engineer. You get the Xiaomi design touch – that means boxier form factor, compared to Apples rounded corners, and a bolder look compared to Apple’s overall sleek design.
It’s a hit for us, and if you’ve ever liked any of Xiaomi’s smartphone design, we reckon you’d like it too.
The Xiaomi Air SE, no matter how much it tries to be an Airpod killer, will not outclass the Airpods in a sound quality test. For what it’s worth, however, it’s a good sounding wireless earphone. You won’t get as much bass or sound detailing – this wireless earphone ships with support for the AAC codec – but it’s undoubtedly one of the purest sounding natural wireless earphones in the market at this price point.
Like most other wireless earphones in this list, the comes with support for touch control but with a twist. You can only pause/play music or activate your device’s voice assistant with the controls. No next song, previous song, or volume controls.
That said if you take any one earphone out of your ears, music playback will automatically pause, so some sort of compensation for the limited touch control options.
The Xiaomi Air SE connects to your phone via Bluetooth 5.0. Range is the usual ten meters.
If you get one, you’ll get a 410mAh accompanying carry case with support for USB-C. That’s higher than virtually every other wireless earphone on this list and true to the fact it will charge the Xiaomi Air to 100% four times between charges. The Bluetooth earphones themselves will last at least 5 hours.
Portability and a sound profile that’s reminiscent of a $100 true wireless earphone make this a top choice wireless earphone to have. You don’t get active noise cancelling and many of the other tech niceties we talked about earlier on, but at about $20, that’s understandable.
Portability is the primary design language with the SoundPEATS TrueDot. Each bean-shaped earbud fits into a handy case packed with an extra 310mAh battery. It’s not the most stylish true wireless earphone in the Nigerian market, but it still does a good job of looking good in your ears.
On a scale of 1 – 10, the SoundPEATS TrueDot is a solid 8. For a 9,500 true wireless earphone that’s pretty neat. This is to be expected, the SoundPEATS TrueDot ships with AAC codec capability. Just make sure to activate it on your android device.
Bluetooth 5.0 connects the SoundPEATS TrueDOT to your phone. When connected the range is 10 meters, so pretty much standard.
Each SoundPEAT TrueDot earbud has touch-sensitive controls mounted on its side. These will allow you to do everything from skipping a song to answering a call with ease.
The SoundPEAT TrueDot will last at least four hours on a full charge. Its additional carrying case houses a 310mAh battery that’s capable of providing three extra full charges to the TrueDot for a cumulative 16 hours.
Through this piece, we not listed any earphone with what is perhaps the most sophisticated add-on tech for wireless earphone – active noised cancellation. That’s because wireless headphones that correctly implement this feature come with hefty price tags to match.
If you’ve got the cash, however, here’s our top recommendation for a premium-grade, above-the-rest wireless earphone that does a great job at noise cancellation and everything else.
The Edifier TWS NB
Premium listening experience will definitely come at an added cost. At NGN 40,000 however, the Edifier TWS NB is a very fair bargain. For context, the Sennheiser Momentum will set back a whopping $250. Despite costing approx..$70 less than the Sennheiser, the Edifier TWS NB still debuts performance level that’s comparable to the former.
Design and aesthetics are not a strong point for the Edifier TWS NB. Despite spotting what will be considered a premium build, these true wireless earphones are large – large enough to be very noticeable as they sit in your ears.
There’s a silver lining though. It seems like Edifier went for practicality ahead of convenience with this design. The large form factor allows this Bluetooth earphone to pack a bigger battery and the added complement of active noise cancellation tech.
With support for both Bluetooth 5.0 and the AptX codec, the sound quality department is where the Edifier TWS NB begins to show its class. Power on these true wireless earphones and you get the full complement of natural-sounding, bass-infused, very-well detailed music.
It’s soft, warm and loaded with quality timbre – you get the feeling that everything you hear is just as the creator wanted you to hear it – no over-emphasized bass, no shouting instrumentals or harsh trebles.
Active noise cancellation is standard on these Bluetooth earphones. When this feature is turned on the Edifier TWS NB attempts to filter off all background noise for a cleaner music listening experience. This feature comes in handy if you’re trying to listen to music in crowded or noisy environments.
The Edifier TWS NB is equipped with a touch-sensitive button mounted on its side. A single touch plays or pauses the next sound on queue. Press and hold the button on the right Bluetooth earphone, and you skip to the next item on line. Perform this same action on the left bud and return to the previous item on queue. There are no volume controls, however.
The Edifier TWS NB ships with a robust battery. If you turn off the active noise cancellation feature on this true wireless earphone, you get full-on 9 hours on 100% charge. With ANC turned on, on-time drops to 5 hours. These are very stellar number by all standards.
The Edifier TWS NB case serves as an extra power reserve. Fully charged they can recharge the earbuds to 100% three times.
With the Edifier TWS NB, Bluetooth 5.0 is the connectivity standard allowing the earbuds to maintain a connection with the output source for at least 10 meters.
Most of these earphones are available online on stores like eBay or Amazon. If you want the better deal, however, you’re better off shopping on foreign sites like AliExpress