Features / Tech

Christmas Gift Guide 2020: True Wireless Earphones

If you’re unsure what ‘True Wireless’ means, let me explain quickly: These are Earphones, or Earbuds, that you charge in a separate ‘pod’ that comes with them. So there’s no wires hanging anywhere, and you’re free to run, walk, sit, bounce, do whatever you need and (ideally) the earphones should stay in your ears.

While wireless has, of course, been around for a while, I think it was the Apple Airpods that captured the mainstream but I suspect a lot of people (like me) thought but what happens if you lose one, or they fall out? Oddly and interestingly, these things shouldn’t happen with a well-made pair, none of these three I review from WeSC, Urbanista or Vivo had that problem, and I think you’d just have to be pretty unlucky.

[L-R] Earbuds: WeSC, Urbanista and Vivo

The things is, the True Wireless option is a huge step forward in the world of headphones and I now cannot do without my pair. If anything, I’m a complete convert. So much so, I thought it’d be best to offer up three choices from up and coming Tech companies that won’t cost you the Earth, and they all offer something slightly different, depending on the style you like!

Vivo: TWS Earphone Neo

If you’ve not heard of Vivo yet, I feel like you will soon if these earphones are anything to go by – also keep an eye out for our upcoming review of the sublime X51 5G phone that’s backing up the quality. Vivo are based in China and already putting out absolute state-of-the-art technology for all types of users, for many levels of affordability and beyond.

While the TWS (True Wireless Stereo) Earphone Neo work incredibly well with the aforementioned X51 phone, they also have perfect connectivity with any phone you might have, through Bluetooth, and we found this as simple as you’d want it to be. This pair offer a superb, high-quality audio experience for all genres and if you like to hear the bass, and I know I do, these give you a pounding, deep sound through to your ears.

Not only is the audio impressive, but they come in a very shiny, pebble-like case which gives you a real ‘wow’ factor from opening the packaging. Sometimes you get a tech product that looks so stunning, you don’t want to touch it but, of course, you must eventually! Don’t forget this case is also your charging unit, meaning you also get a handy USB cable that easily clicks into the unit, and any USB-based plug you’ve got, which should be standard these days.

As you see from the images, they just sit in the ear and while I wondered if they could do with the option of adding a padded earpiece, for those who need it, they still sat snuggly. I think this is one of those things you’d need to test because every ear is slightly different. That being said, we put them through their paces during a full, online workout and they didn’t slip out once, which was obviously an important marker.

As well as that sleek, stylish, and shiny appearance, they have an easy ‘touch’ system in place and if you’ve never used them, let me explain a little more. While you can manage tracks, volume and so forth via your phone, these earphones are little a touch-pad of controllability, whilst they’re literally still in your ear. The Vivo TWS Earphone Neo were extremely easy to manage via their touch-control, including turning the volume up and down, music auto-pausing if you take one (or both) out of your ear and call controls. This is one of things I didn’t know I needed but once you get used to it, feels like a vital feature.

This pair deliver a full-bodied sound, not losing any quality in tracks, immersing you in the music you want to hear and never distracting you from what they’re there for. This was a solid music experience, and a great standard to find from what feels like a new company to us here in the UK, especially if you’re unsure about newer brands.

Order this excellent pair from your chosen retailer below:

Box.co.uk

eBuyer.com

LaptopsDirect.co.uk

WeSC True Wireless Earphones

[RRP £49.95 Purchase Here]

If your budget is a little lower, then we’ve also tested out Swedish lifestyle brand WeSC, who are offering up their version of the True Wireless to keep things simple, and continuing our move away from breakable, old-school wired headphones. While they stepped out of the market for a while, they’re back with this pair that targets the more affordable, yet still stylish, user. WeSC have a positive rep in Europe, and have collaborated with the likes of Adidas, Skrillex, Absolut Vodka and Nokia, so know their stuff.

This new WeSC True Wireless Earphone may not be quite as slick as the other two here, but they give a solid performance. Once again coming with the earphones in their own charging chase, and a fine blue colour in this respect, they fit comfortably into the ear and are easy to wear. Once again, as they should be, it’s easy to connect via Bluetooth to your phone, music, and world beyond.

While the other two pairs have that ease of touch-control, these have a literal ‘button’ on them, so it requires a bit more of a push if using their features to control your music, instead of your phone. While I personally like the soft touch, that feature pushes up the price. The difference with any cheaper pair is also your sound quality, which isn’t quite as powerful and lacks a little in bass. Depending on the type of music you’re listening to, that might be a problem and you’d have to pause your music if you took them out of your ears for whatever reason, as there’s no auto-pause enabled when removed.

So, WeSC‘s pair may not be quite as suave, but do a decent job and also have the bonus of being IPX4 Water-Resistance, which means they’re basically splash or rain proof. Overall though, this choice depends on your cash and it’s no lie that another True Wireless product wins the day over your standard earphones/buds every time.

Urbanista London Active Noise Cancelling Earphones

[RRP £99.99 – Purchase Here]

I’ve been using the Urbanista London Earphones, with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC), quite extensively of late. For various work and leisure occasions, in and out of lockdown, and in the Office, out and about and at home. In truth, they’ve become a personal favourite because they offer different size earphone buds/covers, so you can swap and change depending on how they fit in your ear. For me, this was vital.

As the rest, they’re easy to connect to your phone via Bluetooth, they come with a fine charge case (with a stylish 4-light addition which means you know how much charge they have overall), fit in the ear easily and look stylish. They give an easy ‘touch’ control on the earphone and gave me something even better: the option to switch Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) on when you need it. This quietens down any outside noise disruption, vital when working at home and even on public transport. Especially if you really want to hear what you’re listening to. There’s also an Ambient Sound Mode option, if you need to hear outside of your bubble, should you want to!

While you can also turn the volume up and down on your earphone, by touching it, and change the ANC choices, the only thing is lacks is a ‘skip track’, which would be a huge added bonus but (in truth) isn’t a necessity and you could still do that on your phone, if you wanted to. The Urbanista London also has that glorious addition of the music auto-pausing if you take one of them out. I personally LOVE this feature, it’s something I’ve literally come to expect from every pair of True Wireless now because it’s so helpful.

The sound quality is perfect, the bass is powerful and in truth these are one of my favourite things from 2020. Urbanista London, despite the lack of a ‘skip track’, are so a fair price for the quality, incredibly stylish, and bring home what they promise – Furthermore, because I’ve been so impressive, head over here for an even more in-depth review of this pair!

Order the Vivo Neo https://amzn.to/2UVoNIC

WeSC Earphone: https://amzn.to/35Vc9iU

Urbansita London: https://amzn.to/3lWTvwQ

One thought on “Christmas Gift Guide 2020: True Wireless Earphones

  1. Pingback: Vivo X51 5G review: An Android smartphone with sublime photography options | critical popcorn

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