Energy

Unplug and play: New iPhone pushes wireless headphones, but don’t let that compromise sound quality

BeatsX earphones

Cables are annoying, especially those attached to your headphones that have a particular knack for ending up in granny knots no matter how carefully you put them away. But perhaps a wireless utopia is within reach after Apple Inc. unveiled its iPhone 7 in September since it strongly encourages consumers to cut the cord whether they want to or not. Whether you picked up one of the iPhone 7 models or a competitor’s brand, there are some great options for wireless headphones that work with any modern tech gadget (phones, tablets and even computers).

Apple’s in-ear AirPods ($220) were also introduced in September. The company is using Bluetooth 4.0 technology, so it will work with most other phones, but part of what you’re paying for is the convenience of Apple integration. Apple devices will quickly recognize AirPods when you open their charging case and you are able to seamlessly hop around from device to device since it is synced to your iCloud account. Each earpiece has its own W1 processor, dual microphone and optical sensor to tell whether they are in your ear or not (when you take one out, audio is paused). You can double-tap to call up Siri, too. Strip away all the iOS integration though, and you’re left with just a merely decent pair of headphones that has pretty solid battery life for an in-ear set (about four to five hours, but the charging case gets around 20).

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