In Ear Bluetooth Headphone review - 08/2019

In-ear Bluetooth headphones put an end to cables that are too short or tangled! They connect easily to any Bluetooth enabled device, and despite their small size, they deliver amazing sound quality. We've tested 2 in-ear Bluetooth headphones for you, paying special attention to sound quality and comfort. The test winner is the Jabra Elite 65t: These high-quality headphones combine design with high-quality sound. They also silence everything around you with the noise cancelling function. Our favourite with the test mark 9.5/10!

last modified: 14.09.2019, 21:32
Winner
Best price winner
Our winner: Jabra Elite 65t Libratone TRACK+

Jabra

Elite 65t

Libratone

TRACK+
  • Beautiful design
  • Good workmanship
  • Very good Noise Cancelling
  • Micro-/ phone call function very good
  • Very good sound
  • Practical charging case
  • Secure hold
  • Very good telephone quality
  • Buttons very easy to operate
  • Heavy, small keys
  • Weak bass
  • No carrying bag available

Offers many good features, including noise-cancelling and micro/ phone call function.

A headphone with a firm fit and a decent sound. It can also be used for sports.

Sound quality
Wearing comfort
Handling
Battery life
Design
Scope of delivery In-ear headphones, charging case, rubber spare tips, USB power cord, user manual Headphones, charging cable (USB to micro-USB)
Quality impression High quality, very well processed Good
Battery life Up to 5 hours, 15 hours with charge case 8 hours
Bluetooth stability Good Very good
Noise Cancelling Very good
Microphone/ Phone call function Very good, sound perfectly understandable Very good
Firm fit in the ear Moderately firm fit
Weight 12 g (both headphones together) 31 g
Particularly suitable for sports
Wireless
Additional Warranty 2 years 1 year
Packaging High quality, appealing Textile, foam
Manual language GB, FR, GER, NL, IT, PT, ES, HU, RO, FI, RU, DK/SK, CZ, UA, PL, TR, GR, AR, FA -
Quality of instructions Very brief, only the most important information Not available
☆☆☆☆☆
★★★★★
436 reviews
☆☆☆☆☆
★★★★★
26 reviews
Test seal: Jabra Elite 65t, Rating 1.4
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Test seal: Libratone TRACK+, Rating 1.9
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*All prices include VAT (if applicable, extra charge for delivery. Check the particular online shop to find information about the availability. Changes of indicated prices since the last update remain reserved.

Jabra

Elite 65t

Test seal: Jabra Elite 65t, Rating excellent

The Jabra - Elite 65t scores with a high-quality design, good workmanship and top quality in terms of sound and micro/ phone call function. However, the buttons are a bit small and stiff.

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  • The sound of in-ears depends largely on the right fit. Choosing the right size of earmolds is incredibly important. A loose fit can rob the bass and destroy the sound. So try different sizes - one for each ear. A good stereo image is only possible if both sides fit perfectly, which is the prerequisite for top sound.
  • Normally, the earpieces of in-ear headphones are made of rubber and are slipped onto the driver unit. They are designed to direct sound into the ear and close the ear canal at the same time. The isolation allows the headphones to develop their intended sound and blocks ambient noise. Some models come with memory foam. In terms of formability, the material is reminiscent of corresponding Visco mattresses and pillows, which adapt to the shape of the body.
  • Burn-in new in-ear headphones. "Burn-in" means to play in, some in-ear headphones only develop their full potential when they have been played in for about 100 hours. For this, we use the Pink Noise.
  • How should in-ear headphones be used correctly? Often the mistake is that you don't put the in-ear headphones correctly in your ear and use the wrong size for the earplugs. If you have problems inserting the headphones, you can pull your ears back and up with one hand and then insert them. This will widen the ear canal and make them fall out less easily.
 

In the run-up to the test, we defined practical requirements and the following test criteria:

  • Sound quality
  • Wearing comfort
  • Design
  • Operation
  • Battery life


In order to evaluate these criteria, we have defined several tests for in-ear Bluetooth headphones. First we check the scope of delivery and download the app. In a first test run, the headphones are inserted and assessed for how tightly they fit in the ear. We also check whether the devices remain in the ear during jogging and other movements. It is also tested whether there is pain in the ear after prolonged wearing. As the test progresses, the headphones are played with different music genres to evaluate the sound quality. Particular attention is paid to the good reproduction of highs and lows. At the same time, the operation is also checked directly on the devices as well as via the app.

Furthermore, the microphone/telephone function is tested. Both participants evaluated the sound and speech quality during the telephone call. The associated operation of the headphones is also tested. The Bluetooth connection is tested by moving the tester as far away from the paired mobile phone as possible. In a further test also with walls, between mobile phone and headphones. This also includes testing when telephone calls and music break off. Finally, the battery performance and the time required for complete charging are tested.

In order to rule out mistakes and to ensure the stress of everyday use, each test takes place in several rounds.

The test criteria receive percentages depending on their importance. The final score is then objectively calculated from the test criteria using an algorithm.

Product selection
Our product selection is based on observation of the current market. In addition to popular branded products, we also include insider tips in our selection. Criteria such as price and range of functions are an important factor for us. The test field is also determined by analysis and evaluation of customer reviews and external tests (e.g. Stiftung Warentest).

The devices are purchased anonymously or lent to us by the manufacturer. Dealers and manufacturers have no influence on the tests and our evaluation.

As soon as new relevant products come onto the market, our test field is extended by these. The new products go through the same test as the already tested devices.

It's worth not relying on the next best in-ear headphones when buying. After all, you want to enjoy the product for a particularly long time. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind and follow these guidelines:

Branded products bring quality

Unlike food, which is usually made by a well-known manufacturer, headphone packaging only contains the brands that are actually displayed on it. Especially with headphones, you should trust established brands. After all, it takes a certain amount of experience and expertise to produce in-ear headphones with the best sound quality and workmanship.

Brands such as Sennheiser, Philips and Sony have been established in the headphone sector for years. These manufacturers can thus offer a sound that sounds good and also differs significantly from cheap copies. In addition, the workmanship guarantees that you will enjoy the product for a long time.

But just because it's a branded product doesn't mean you have to worry about astronomically high costs. Most well-known manufacturers try to cover every target group and often already offer cheap in-ear headphones that offer a certain standard. In addition, the independent comparison is easier with already known headphones.

Pay attention to the exchange right!

The exchange right is not to be confused with the warranty. However, this is especially important when buying in-ear headphones. After all, everyone has different sound preferences and the anatomy of the ears differs. In most cases, however, it is only possible to put the headphones through their paces within your own four walls.

However, if you forget to inquire about the exchange right before making a test purchase, you may end up sitting on expensive headphones that you may not even be able to use.

Many dealers in the offline world do not have the right to exchange in-ear headphones, as they fear an enormous amount of cleaning effort. This is annoying, but legally absolutely within the limits. Often, however, you can make use of the good will of the sellers, especially with electrical appliances.

The situation is different when buying via the Internet. Here it concerns so-called remote paragraph contracts, with which the legislator prescribed a fortnightly right of revocation. This applies from receipt of the delivery so that you have enough time for testing.

Many dealers even offer free returns. However, be careful not to damage or soil the device as you will have to fully compensate for the damage and possible loss of value!

Adjust the headphones to your listening habits

Finding the all-rounder among in-ear headphones is more than difficult. Of course, there are some models on the market that work great as all-round products. But in the end, they can't play out their special strengths, which is especially annoying if you've spent a lot of money on the little sound wonders. Therefore, you should first ask yourself which quality you value most when listening to music.

If you don't want to spend too much money on your earphones, you'll need to decide on a particular quality. Some in-ear headphones, for example, have strong bass, but they degrade in the mids and highs.

Other models can do just the opposite. Of course, you'll also find in-ear headphones that produce a good sound image in all facets but are not suitable for your purpose. They may not offer Bluetooth functionality, are not designed for sports, or are not waterproof.

So before you buy, it's best to think about what kind of music you want to enjoy the most with your headphones and in which phase of everyday life you want to use the small wonder weapons.

Pleasant wearing comfort is worth a mint

Many people are disturbed by the earpiece of On-ear headphones, which can cause severe pressure and pain after a while, especially with heavier devices. But even the small in-ear headphones can become uncomfortable after a while. After all, the ear is not naturally accustomed to a foreign body remaining in it for a long time.

The attachments of in-ear headphones are usually made of either foam or silicone. Silicone is considered to be more valuable but is by no means a guarantee that it also feels pleasant. In principle, more expensive attachments also offer better comfort than the cheap alternatives.

Ideally, the attachments are detachable from your in-ear headphones so you can swap them with models from well-known manufacturers. However, it is difficult to give a blanket answer as to which attachments are most comfortable, so you should always be guided by your own test results.

The weight of the in-ear headphones can also be crucial. Although they are of course much lighter than on-ear headphones, even a thin cable attached to the attachments can make a huge difference to the sensitive ears.

The wireless in-ear headphones, therefore, offer you the greatest possible security. However, it's not always guaranteed that the manufacturer, who is your absolute favourite in the field of headphones with cables, can also offer adequate counterparts without annoying cables.

And don't forget the optics. After all, headphones are considered a fashion accessory when worn for long periods of time. In summary, however, when buying in-ear headphones, a lot depends on gut feeling.

But definitely, don't buy too cheap and insist that you can test the headphones for a while and exchange them if necessary. Serious online shops always offer the opportunity to return the headphones within fourteen days.

As the name suggests, the main difference between in-ear headphones and on-ear headphones is the way the device is placed in or on the ear. The in-ear headphones come into close contact with the eardrum by being plugged into the ear, while the on-ear headphones rest only gently on the ear. Apart from that, both types have their own unique characteristics.

Placed directly in the ear canal, the sound is shielded from the outside world. No matter how peculiar the musical taste might be - since the sounds can only "radiate" in one direction, no one will notice anything of it. At the same time, the earplug effect means that less outside noise reaches the ear so that the enjoyment of music is equally undisturbed.

The situation is somewhat different with on-ear headphones. Since the shells of the headphones only rest on the ears, the environment is also supplied with music if the volume is too high. More background noise can also penetrate into the ear. This type of headphones, however, has some health benefits.

The further away the source of the noise is from the eardrum, the less strain is placed on it. But with both types of headphones, a low volume can work wonders and protect you from hearing problems later.

It makes a big difference whether you're standing right next to a speaker or fifty meters away. The difference between in-ear and on-ear headphones is similar. In concrete terms, this means that if the earplugs fit snugly against the eardrum, less sound and especially less bass is lost.

On-ear headphones, on the other hand, offer a much more spacious sound by constantly balancing the pressure. Overall, however, in-ear headphones can be perceived as much more intensely. Even at low volumes, you'll be able to hear the full range of sounds without the annoyance of background noise.

The in-ear headphones also offer many advantages during transport. All in all, they take up much less space and can be worn comfortably in your trouser pocket or loosely around your neck without disturbing you. Most manufacturers achieve this advantage with much thinner, almost brittle cables.

If, in addition to easy transport, you also attach great importance to the longevity of the small in-ear headphones, a transport box can help. Wireless in-ears are now also popular, but they also make a considerable difference in price.

You can work around these problems with On-ear headphones. However, these are much bulkier and have to be stored in your bag or backpack if you don't want to wear them as a fashion accessory.

Wearing On-ear headphones usually feels very comfortable and not very annoying with higher quality models. This category is probably the biggest shortcoming of in-ear headphones. Each ear has a different structure so that not every attachment fits perfectly into all ears.

In order to achieve a balanced mix of good wearing comfort and excellent sound, at least different attachments should be available. Nevertheless, you will feel the pressure in your ear after some time. Wearing them can become noticeably unpleasant, if not painful.

All in all, it remains a question of taste whether you prefer in-ear or on-ear headphones. Depending on the price category, both types can offer excellent sound. In addition to your gut feeling, you should also be guided by comfort and health aspects.

Of course, it's not a mistake to have both types of headphones in your repertoire. When strolling through the city, in-ear headphones can play out their advantages due to their small size, for example, while in rest periods on trains or buses, on-ear headphones can also be used.

Headphones come in many different shapes, sizes and colours from many manufacturers. Often these headphones come with many different functions. There is a rough distinction between In-ears, On-ears and Over-ears. Not every music fan likes every design. Finally, there are some aspects that distinguish the headphones regardless of their shape.

The smallest headphones on the market are undoubtedly the in-ear headphones. They consist of little more than an attachment that is "pressed" into the ear canal of the ear. This is usually made of foam and silicone and is, therefore, able to adapt to the ear to a certain extent.

Due to its proximity to the eardrum, the sound sounds as if it comes directly from the source. This means you can rely on strong bass and clear treble when the earphones are seated correctly. This keeps noise to a minimum while keeping the outside world to a minimum. Even low volumes make for good sound.

These models are considered particularly flexible because of their size and lightweight. However, you should pay attention to the perfect hold. This prevents the earphones from falling out.

And you won't feel uncomfortable even after hours of use. Sometimes, however, these headphones can pose health risks because the sound only has to travel a short distance to the eardrum.

Earbuds are the alternatives that are based on the same principle but offer a better hold. These are equipped with a clamp that is clamped either over or into the ear. This difference is particularly noticeable when jogging.

But even when listening to music to fall asleep, you prevent the On-ear headphones from slipping uncomfortably or even falling out. Both models come with either a cable or a Bluetooth function for wireless music enjoyment. However, you tend to spend more on good sound and flawless workmanship.

On-ear headphones, on the other hand, are the classic models available for a small price. With a bracket, these models get their support by putting them on their head. The headphones only sit on the outer ear, which is good for the health of the ear canal.

The sound of these models is usually more voluminous, but there is always some sound lost to the outside. Likewise, these models do not provide 100 percent protection against noise from the outside world. However, you'll also find numerous manufacturers who are committed to noise reduction.

As a rule, the bracket is adjustable in size in order to cover all head shapes flexibly. This is supported by the elastic construction. The loudspeakers themselves can also be rotated and swivelled.

On-ear headphones are less flexible due to their size and require more space when stowed away. Weight can also play a decisive role in comfort.

There are also headphones that enclose the entire ear. These massive devices are called over-ear headphones. Such models combine all the advantages of the On-ear headphones but isolate the sound much better inwards and outwards.

The price is, of course, a bit unhandy, which is why these devices are best suited for use on a PC or TV. If you're looking for the best sound, over-ear headphones are perfect for you. In some cases, these models can even be folded so you can unpack them on the go.

Many headphones also work as headsets thanks to the integrated microphone. Others can be used as fitness trackers. Among the special types of headphones are those with bone sound.

These do not rest on the ears but transmit the sound directly to the skull bone. This naturally protects the ears in a special way. However, you can still hear all ambient sounds.

In the end, which headphones you choose is always a question of your own preferences. How would you like to enjoy your music? Do you value good bass or clear treble? Are you ready to dig a little deeper into your pocket? If you consider these factors and test different models, you'll quickly find your absolute favourite.

Wireless in-ear headphones have not only been popular since the hype surrounding Apple's AirPods. After all, they are easy to store in any pocket, don't cause an unwanted tangle of cables when you listen to them and also look extremely stylish. Critics note, however, that due to the connection quality and the lack of cables, the sound quality would deteriorate significantly. But is that really true? Stiftung Warentest has taken a closer look at numerous wireless in-ear headphones and obtained astonishing results. Nine devices with and nine without cables were tested. The manufacturers of the wireless alternatives received top marks.

Of the nine devices without cables that were subjected to an endurance test, only two models scored "satisfactory", while the remaining seven were all "good". In the opinion of the institute, the Apple AirPods, which had been the subject of great hype, led the ranking along with the Bose Soundsport Free Wireless and the Jabra Active 65t.

On the other hand, the verdict on the wired headphones was more mixed. Only three models achieved the test mark "good", while five alternatives were only "satisfactory" and one even only received the certificate "sufficient".

Wireless headphones are usually supplied with the necessary data via Bluetooth. The condition is, therefore, that the player has this function. Fortunately, however, current mobile phones and MP3 players have been equipped with this function for years.

In fact, the sound is slightly better with wired headphones. But if you're looking for a good all-round device that's great to use on the go, you won't notice the difference. What's also important is which source the sound comes from.

For example, if you stream music from one of the many providers, you'll always have to get by at a lower bit rate. But some audio formats also compress the music so much that you often have to sacrifice sound. The popular MP3 file is one of the biggest culprits.

If you have the ability to use lossless file formats like FLAC, you can get the most out of wireless in-ear headphones.

In addition, the many benefits of wireless in-ear headphones make up for the sacrifices in sound quality. Without cables, you're more flexible. When you're cooking or jogging, you can really feel free without wires. But the biggest drawback with Bluetooth headphones is the price.

After all, the technical effort is higher, which is something that the manufacturers like to pay a lot for. But if you're a lover of good music and willing to output a little more than wired headphones of the same quality, Bluetooth headphones will give you a lot of pleasure. From a price of around 100 euros, you can expect good quality.

However, you are also welcome to use hybrid devices. Some headphones work with both cable and Bluetooth. So you can cleverly combine all the advantages. You get maximum flexibility and the best sound, depending on the situation. But it doesn't get any cheaper. Most hybrid models have the highest price.

How do we test at askgeorge.com?

Live and authentic: We get the devices into our Hamburg test laboratory. Here we take a close look at everything.

Each test is preceded by an extensive search:

  • Which suppliers are on the market?
  • What current products are there?
  • What are the comparison criteria?
  • What tests are we going to run?
  • What is the test procedure?

When everything's settled, we'll bring the devices to us. For each product the test procedure, the measured values and product properties are documented in detail. We create photos and videos. We evaluate the results for you, summarize everything in a test report and calculate the test grade.

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