ICYMI: The best headphones announced during IFA 2019

Posted:
in General Discussion
The IFA show in Berlin, Germany is over, and every year, there are a ton of new gadgets and devices released at the event that Apple users may want to take a look at. Here are all of the best headphones announced before the expo and at the show over the last week.

Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW
Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW


This week was even more jam-packed thanks to IFA 2019 in Berlin. That said, we've broken up this week's releases in compartmentalized posts. Be sure to check out the best smart home products and the best accessories for Apple users that were also announced.

Audio-Technica

Audio-Technica is taking the wraps off not one, but two pairs of truly wireless earbuds. The ATH-CKS5TW and the ATH-CKS3TW have been announced which run $149 and $99 respectively.

The pricier of the two -- the CKS5TW -- has a slightly longer battery fetching 15 hours from a single charge and 30 more from the case. The other will provide six hours from the buds and 24 more from the case.

Audio-Technica also went with touch controls on the cheaper model, and physical controls on the other. They both support AptX, though only the ATH-CKS5TW supports AAC.

There are larger 10mm drivers in the ATH-CKS5TW compared to 5.8mm drivers in the ATH-CKS3TW.

iFrogz Airtime Pro

iFrogz Airtime Pro truly wireless earbuds
iFrogz Airtime Pro truly wireless earbuds


Accessory manufacturer iFrogz has a new version of its truly wireless earbuds, the Airtime Pro. The new Bluetooth earbuds have an improved 20 hours of playback time.

They also have capacitive touch controls, USB-C charging, IPX-4 sweat resistance, and automatic pairing.

The Airtime Pro truly wireless earbuds are available now for $69.99.

Jabra's Elite 75t

Jabra's Elite 75t truly wireless earphones
Jabra's Elite 75t truly wireless earphones


Jabra has excellent wireless earbuds, and the popular 65t are getting a substantial update this week. The new Elite 75t are upgraded with 50 percent longer battery life -- up to 7.5 hours -- have adopted USB-C, and are 20 percent smaller than before.

The earbuds are slightly tweaked and a bit more refined than the 65t. There is no wireless charging, though Jabra says a forthcoming 2020 model will include a Qi-enabled case.

Each earbud has a single button to control volume, playback, and to invoke Siri. There are dual microphones for taking phone calls, and the case is magnetic to prevent the buds from falling out.

They will be available mid-October for $199.

Sony WF-H800 H.ear in 3

Bucking the trend of black and grey earbuds, Sony is launching the WF-H800 H.ear in 3 truly wireless earbuds in several bright, vivid colors including red, orange, and blue.

Sony WF-H800 H.ear in 3 come in multiple colors
Sony WF-H800 H.ear in 3 come in multiple colors


Sony says they can manage 16 hours of battery life -- eight in the earbuds and an additional eight from the case. They have 6mm drivers, an ultra-secure fit, though they lack any form of sweat resistance or noise cancellation but should otherwise be a top performer in the ever-crowded space.

They are slated to start shipping in Australia in January for $349 with a US release to follow.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    I'm always grateful Apple didn't go with the "me too" plug-your-ear-canal style of ear bud. I've never found them to be more comfortable or better sounding.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    The Jabra Elite 75t...now that’s an awesome design.  If only they had the W1 chip.  I wish Apple would come out with a super sleek design like this with audio quality to match; the audio quality of the 65t is supposed to be markedly superior to Airpods, plus you can customize EQ settings as well as noise cancellation levels.  More convenient track management and volume control as well.  And, they’re not white.  C’mon, Apple, give us something comparable.
    Flytrapdesignrflyingdp
  • Reply 3 of 17
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,403member
    I'm always grateful Apple didn't go with the "me too" plug-your-ear-canal style of ear bud. I've never found them to be more comfortable or better sounding.
    1) They did go that route. Just look at Powerbeats Pro and before that they had wire in-ear phones with the Apple branding.

    2) I find them better on all accounts. I have never been able to wear any of the cartilage crunching EarPod-style phones.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    I love totally wireless buds, I have the bose, but I always struggle with what to do when I want one or both out of my ear. I was thinking an accessory to allow me to hang them around my neck would solve the problem. As an added bonus that accessory could also act as a power and audio transfer conduit between the two buds as well. 
  • Reply 5 of 17
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,403member
    sgordon said:
    I love totally wireless buds, I have the bose, but I always struggle with what to do when I want one or both out of my ear. I was thinking an accessory to allow me to hang them around my neck would solve the problem. As an added bonus that accessory could also act as a power and audio transfer conduit between the two buds as well. 
    Do you have Bose SportSport Free? I received a pair from Bose for free last month and I'm not sure what to do with them. They were free with my purchase of their aviation headphones, but I already have PowerBeats Pro for my daily drivers. They seem very nice all around, but the W1 chip for easily switching connections to all my Apple equipment has a benefit that no other vendor can touch.

    Carnage
  • Reply 6 of 17
    thttht Posts: 3,324member
    I settled on JayBird Vista’s as my exercise pair. Waiting on AirPods version too for casual listening while at the office and such.

    There really isn’t one pair to rule them all. They are wearables. Like shoes, there will be specific types of headphones that will work better for certain scenarios. Still waiting on this rumored around the ear pair from Apple too, for that full sounded bliss.


    StrangeDayschasm
  • Reply 7 of 17
    None of these are headphones. They are variations of ear buds. Weren't there any new headphones announced?
    baconstang
  • Reply 8 of 17
    Soli said:
    I'm always grateful Apple didn't go with the "me too" plug-your-ear-canal style of ear bud. I've never found them to be more comfortable or better sounding.
    1) They did go that route. Just look at Powerbeats Pro and before that they had wire in-ear phones with the Apple branding.
    Apple's branded plug-your-ear-canal buds weren't around very long and for good reason. I owned a pair and they weren't very good, just like the pair of $200+ Etymotic buds that I bought prior to that point. Etymotic used to be the "hot" brand on the internet years and years ago. Reviewers used to rave about the sound quality. They still make that style of ear bud, but are rarely mentioned anymore on tech review sites. Those two purchases ended my interest in that style of bud. Overrated. As soon as I saw the original EarPod design, I knew Apple was on a better track. 
    edited September 8
  • Reply 9 of 17
    Is 

    ATH-CK3TW

    the correct name?
  • Reply 10 of 17
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,403member
    Soli said:
    I'm always grateful Apple didn't go with the "me too" plug-your-ear-canal style of ear bud. I've never found them to be more comfortable or better sounding.
    1) They did go that route. Just look at Powerbeats Pro and before that they had wire in-ear phones with the Apple branding.
    Apple's branded plug-your-ear-canal buds weren't around very long and for good reason. I owned a pair and they weren't very good, just like the pair of $200+ Etymotic buds that I bought prior to that point. Etymotic used to be the "hot" brand on the internet years and years ago. Reviewers used to rave about the sound quality. They still make that style of ear bud, but are rarely mentioned anymore on tech review sites. Those two purchases ended my interest in that style of bud. Overrated. As soon as I saw the original EarPod design, I knew Apple was on a better track. 
    They predate Apple's EarPods by over 4 years and they only stopped selling them on their US online store when the AirPods launched in 2016. That's 8 years! I've own many pairs and yet have only ever bought one pair, which I still have as backups in case my Trekz or Powerbeats Pros aren't available. Apple still sells them on their Amazon storefront.

    The reason I've own multiple is because the silicon grommets would occasionally get lost or ripped and Apple has no option to buy a set of grommets so they'd just give you a new one if you had any typical Apple product (e.g.: iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac) under a current warranty, which I always did. For $79 and still going strong 11 years later they are a phenomenal purchase. By far the most comfortable in-ear phones I've ever ever owned.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    waverboy said:
    The Jabra Elite 75t...now that’s an awesome design.  If only they had the W1 chip.  I wish Apple would come out with a super sleek design like this with audio quality to match; the audio quality of the 65t is supposed to be markedly superior to Airpods, plus you can customize EQ settings as well as noise cancellation levels.  More convenient track management and volume control as well.  And, they’re not white.  C’mon, Apple, give us something comparable.
    I have the 65t. I have no personal basis for comparison to the AirPods. I based my decision on a wide variety of reviews. I've been very happy with them so far. The audio quality is great. I've had no real battery life issues.

    The 75t being 20% smaller would be one of the main improvements I'd look for.

    I also like that they're not white.

    Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the AirPod design. To each their own though.
    Carnagewaverboy
  • Reply 12 of 17
    designr said:
    waverboy said:
    The Jabra Elite 75t...now that’s an awesome design.  If only they had the W1 chip.  I wish Apple would come out with a super sleek design like this with audio quality to match; the audio quality of the 65t is supposed to be markedly superior to Airpods, plus you can customize EQ settings as well as noise cancellation levels.  More convenient track management and volume control as well.  And, they’re not white.  C’mon, Apple, give us something comparable.
    I have the 65t. I have no personal basis for comparison to the AirPods. I based my decision on a wide variety of reviews. I've been very happy with them so far. The audio quality is great. I've had no real battery life issues.

    The 75t being 20% smaller would be one of the main improvements I'd look for.

    I also like that they're not white.

    Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the AirPod design. To each their own though.
    1. I too have the 65t's.  Also like you, I'm excited about the 20% smaller size.  I do have a bit of trepidation though.  When the Samsung Buds came out, I loved their smaller size compared to my 65t's.  Buuuut, my 65t's definitely sounded better.  Not much, mind you, but definitely better.  I wondered then if the better sound of the Jabra's could be attributed to the size difference.  I'm now wondering if the 75t's might sound just a teensy bit less full than the 65t's because of the size difference.  Hopefully, they'll sound even better.

    2. Sony's horrible naming convention has to be intentional.  They purposely hamstring their products with terrible names.  Maybe they sound better in Japanese.
    edited September 8
  • Reply 13 of 17
    I'm always grateful Apple didn't go with the "me too" plug-your-ear-canal style of ear bud. I've never found them to be more comfortable or better sounding.
    With the correct ear tip size canal buds are head and shoulders better than Airpods in the sound department in my opinion. If you haven't found this style better sounding I suspect you didn't use them with the correct size ear tips to get a good seal. Without a proper fit they will sound thin and muddy.  I have 2 different size ear canals so I need a small size tip on the left and medium/large for the right.  I have never been able to achieve a good sound from any Apple headphone ( EarPod or AirPod ) because they will not fit my ears correctly.  AirPods stay in my ears quite well  they just don't fit correctly so the sounds suffers. From what I reviews I have read on Airpods they are more about the tech and making calls and are decent for music but nothing amazing.

    I wish that Apple would make a nice IEM with the same internals and functionality as the Airpods.. I would snatch them up immediately. I have a pair of Beats x and the connection ease and distance with the W1 chip is outstanding. 
  • Reply 14 of 17
    One more thing: In ear devices cannot be plugged into a 3.5mm jack on airplanes hence making them useless for that purpose.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    None of these are headphones. They are variations of ear buds. Weren't there any new headphones announced?
    Audio-Technica seems to diagree with you..

    ATH-CKS5TW

    Wireless Headphones

    • Battery life of 15hrs plus an additional 30hrs from charging case.
    • Buttons located on each earbud allow the control of music/calls/volume.
    • Features Bluetooth 5 technology and compatible with aptX and AAC codecs.
    • The eartips are designed for better isolation and a stable fit.
    • Convenient listening experience with Auto Power ON/OFF.
    • Take full control of your headphones with the Audio-Technica Connect app
    https://eu.audio-technica.com/ATH-CKS5TW ; B)

  • Reply 16 of 17
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,403member
    One more thing: In ear devices cannot be plugged into a 3.5mm jack on airplanes hence making them useless for that purpose.
    Having an attached cable has no bearing on whether they are earbuds, in-ear, over-the-ear, or bone conducting headphones.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    thttht Posts: 3,324member
    jcs2305 said:
    I'm always grateful Apple didn't go with the "me too" plug-your-ear-canal style of ear bud. I've never found them to be more comfortable or better sounding.
    With the correct ear tip size canal buds are head and shoulders better than Airpods in the sound department in my opinion. If you haven't found this style better sounding I suspect you didn't use them with the correct size ear tips to get a good seal. Without a proper fit they will sound thin and muddy.  I have 2 different size ear canals so I need a small size tip on the left and medium/large for the right.  I have never been able to achieve a good sound from any Apple headphone ( EarPod or AirPod ) because they will not fit my ears correctly.  AirPods stay in my ears quite well  they just don't fit correctly so the sounds suffers. From what I reviews I have read on Airpods they are more about the tech and making calls and are decent for music but nothing amazing.

    I wish that Apple would make a nice IEM with the same internals and functionality as the Airpods.. I would snatch them up immediately. I have a pair of Beats x and the connection ease and distance with the W1 chip is outstanding. 
    Wholeheartedly agree with you on Apple offering more headphone models. The JayBird Vistas I got are nice, but they aren’t Apple “nice”. Apple’s custom chips for connecting headphones to their devices is a great convenience and I wish the Vistas had it. Was tempted to get the Powerbeats Pro, but I couldn’t get over the hook, and compromised on the convenience with the Vistas and it’s wings. It’s Bluetooth range and connection quality is ok, but not W1/H1 great. The case for the Vistas is crappy. But they stay in my ears while running, so you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Like with slate devices and PCs, Apple should make a whole range: in-ear, ear-bud (AirPods), on-ear, and around-the-ear models. All wireless. And they should go all the way and essentially make them iPod/iOS devices with WiFi, GPS, iOS, CPU and storage. Eventually every piece of their hardware will be an Apple services client, independent of other devices. They should be able to stream music, provide directions, be a Siri device, be an audiobook client, all things that can be done with audio.

Sign In or Register to comment.