We have selected a few TWS headphones distinguished by high sound quality and a few that can even replace wired models for picky audiophiles.
10. BGVP Q3
Emitter – dynamic, reinforced | Active noise cancellation – no | Separate DAC – no | Codec support – aptX adaptive
Pros: low price, wired connection, very good sound
Cons – no noise cancellation
Verdict – interesting and inexpensive headphones for audiophiles
Each earphone, in addition to the traditional dynamic driver with a powerful magnet, has an armature driver that provides improved response in the high-frequency range. Another interesting feature of the model is support for a wired connection via the MMCX connector. This connector can also be used to power and charge headphones when connected to a smartphone via the USB-C port. In wireless mode, the headphones will last up to 7 hours on a single charge and up to 28 hours when using the charging case. The Qualcomm QCC3072 Bluetooth adapter supports LE Audio technology and the aptX Adaptive codec. In wired mode, the sensitivity of the headphones is 102 dB, the nominal impedance is 38 Ohms.
9. FiiO FW3
Emitter – dynamic | Active noise cancellation – no | Separate DAC – yes, AK4332 | Support for audiophile codecs – LHDC, aptX
Pros – separate DAC, low price, carbon diaphragm
Cons – design is not for everyone
Verdict – headphones that prioritize sound quality
The main feature of the model is a separate digital-to-analog converter AK4332 from the Velvet Sound series, guaranteeing a signal-to-noise ratio of 106 dB and a dynamic range of up to 102 dB. Wireless connectivity is provided by the Qualcomm QCC5141 module, which is Snapdragon Sound certified and supports LHDC, aptX, AAC and SBC codecs. The acoustic part is made of a 10 mm dynamic driver with a carbon diaphragm. One charge of the built-in battery lasts for 7 hours, the charging case adds another 14 hours of autonomy, and the headphone housings are protected from moisture according to IPX4 class.
8. soundcore Liberty 4 NC
Emitter – dynamic | Active noise cancellation – yes | Separate DAC – no | Codec support – LDAC
Pros – excellent sound, wide customization options, long operating time
Cons – almost nothing
Verdict – the case when the buyer gets more than he pays
The model is a cross between in-ear and open-ear headphones. The acoustic part is built on broadband dynamic radiators with a diaphragm with a diameter of 11 mm, loaded onto a closed acoustic volume. The model is protected from dust and moisture according to IPX4 class, so you can safely take it with you for a run. A full charge of the headphones lasts for 10 hours with the noise canceling system turned off (up to 8 hours with ANC), while using a fully charged case extends the total battery life to 50 hours (40 hours with ANC). The model uses an advanced adaptive noise reduction system, providing 5 levels for the user to choose from, and the possibilities for customizing the sound through the application are truly limitless.
7. Noble Audio Falcon Max
Emitter – dynamic, piezoelectric | Active noise cancellation – yes | Separate DAC – no | Codec support – aptX adaptive, LDAC
Verdict – representatives of the new generation of TWS headphones
These headphones use two types of emitters – the low-frequency range is reproduced by a 10-mm dynamic driver with a liquid crystal polymer diaphragm, but the high frequencies are sounded by the xMEMS Cowell solid-state emitter from xMEMS Labs. Wireless communication is provided by the Bluetooth adapter version 5.3 Qualcomm QCC5171, which is characterized by low power consumption and support for LDAC, aptX adaptive and AAC codecs. In addition, the headphones are certified according to the Snapdragon Sound standard. They have an active noise reduction system, and a proprietary mobile application provides the necessary equalizer settings. The battery life of the headphones on a single charge is 5.5 hours; when the noise reduction system is activated, it will be 4.5 hours.
6. Final ZE8000 MK2
Emitter – dynamic | Active noise cancellation – yes | Separate DAC – no | Codec support – aptX adaptive
Pros – excellent sound, original fit
Cons – only five hours of operation on a single charge
Verdict – an improved version of one of the leaders of 2022
The main difference between the second generation of the Japanese company’s flagship TWS headphones and the original version is a more comfortable fit in the ear and the ability to completely turn off the active noise reduction system in order to avoid its influence on the sound quality. The model comes with new Shield Fin ear pads that improve passive isolation by 32% – the kit includes tips in five different sizes. Headphones allow you to fine-tune your sound profile in the mobile app. The model supports the Snapdragon Sound platform, as well as aptX and aptX Adaptive codecs. Battery life has increased and is 5 hours on a single charge and 15 hours using the charging case, but this is still not enough.
5. Astell & Kern AK UW100 MKII
Emitter – reinforced | Active noise cancellation – no | Separate DAC – yes, AK4332ECB | Codec support – aptX Adaptive, aptX HD
Pros – high-quality sound with excellent resolution, separate digital-to-analog converter
The only downside is the design
Verdict – TWS headphones for picky audiophiles
The new generation of completely wireless headphones from the company is practically no different from the first model. The cases remain almost the same, and the touch areas on the outer panel are shaped like a five-pointed star. The model can work up to 9.5 hours on a single charge and up to 29 hours when paired with a case. Wireless communication is provided by the Qualcomm QCC5141 chip, digital-to-analog conversion, as befits in audiophile headphones, is entrusted to a separate AK4332ECB chip from Asahi Kasei. The acoustic part is built on a wideband reinforcement driver from Knowles.
4. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 4
Emitter – dynamic | Active noise cancellation – yes | Separate DAC – no | Codec support – aptX
The fourth generation of TWS headphones Momentum Wireless 4 features support for the Qualcomm S5 Sound Gen 2 platform and Snapdragon Sound technology along with the aptX codec. The Bluetooth 5.4 adapter is responsible for wireless communication, there is support for Auracast and an improved active noise reduction system. The operating time on a single charge is 7.5 hours; paired with the charging case, the headphones will work up to 30 hours. The acoustic part is still built on proprietary dynamic drivers with a diameter of 7 mm.
3. Sony WF-1000XM5
Emitter – dynamic | Active noise cancellation – yes | Separate DAC – yes, Sony | Codec support – LDAC
Pros – support for 360 Reality Audio, great sound
Cons – high price?
Verdict – the sound gets better with each new generation
The new generation of the proprietary Dynamic Driver X has a composite diaphragm made from several different materials, which allows for improved reproduction of the low-frequency range. The model has support for the proprietary 360 Reality Audio surround sound format, as well as automatic sound adjustment taking into account the position of the listener’s head. Branded Noise Isolation Earbud Tips can effectively reduce noise levels in the high-frequency range. The headphones can last up to 8 hours on a single charge and up to 60 hours when paired with the charging case.
2. Devialet Gemini II
Emitter – dynamic | Active noise cancellation – yes | Separate DAC – yes | Codec support – aptX
Pros: memorable design, impeccable sound
Cons – high price, short operating time on a single charge
Verdict – luxury headphones for luxurious sound
The second version of the French company’s TWS headphones has an adaptive noise reduction system that uses three microphones and a bone conduction sensor. The acoustic part is made of 10 mm dynamic drivers with a titanium diaphragm, and the Bluetooth adapter version 5.2 supports the aptX codec. The cases have become 22% smaller, and the shape of the charging case has changed. With the noise reduction system activated, Devialet Gemini II can work for 5 hours, the battery life taking into account the charging case is 22 hours. The headphones are protected from moisture and dust according to IPX4 class. The limited edition Devialet Gemini II Opéra de Paris is distinguished by the plating of individual elements with 22-karat gold.
1. Hifiman Svanar Wireless
Emitter – dynamic | Active noise cancellation – yes | Separate DAC – yes, R-2R | Codec support – LDAC
Pros – R-2R DAC, advanced diaphragm
Cons – short battery life
Verdict – these are perhaps the best TWS headphones in terms of sound quality
The cases of the original anatomical shape are made of carbon and composite material. The most interesting thing is in the acoustic part, in which a speaker is installed with a 10-mm carbon fiber diaphragm with a layer of nanoparticles applied to it, distributed over the surface according to a certain topology. The second feature of the model is the use of a DAC on R-2R Himalaya modules, in which conversion occurs using a resistive matrix. The operating time on a single charge is 7 hours, and when the noise reduction system is turned on, it drops to 4 hours.