I love a good pair of earbuds! In fact, I really can’t function without my personal earbuds. Once my earbuds are in, the rest of the world is out! I deep dive into the world of my favorite tunes, away from real-world problems, happy in my own little audio bubble! Hence, owning a pair of innovative and perfect earbuds is an absolute necessity for me, and I’m sure that’s the case for other music lovers out there as well! Quite a few of us are Team AirPods all the way. And, we’re hoping we get to see the AirPods 3 at the Apple event today. Fingers crossed! And in case we do not, let’s remember that great earbuds go beyond Apple as well. And this nifty list includes all of them! This collection of exciting designs has a pair of earbuds for everyone! From earbuds that magnetically hang like a necklace to the first TWS earbuds designed specifically for your work from home needs – these earbuds provide unique design solutions and are a must-have for audiophiles!
Named Koishi, after the Japanese word for Pebble, the TWS Earphones come with a soft, pebble-inspired form that’s beautiful to look at, comfortable to store in pockets, and can even be stacked one above another as Zen Stones. They come in three stone-inspired colors and even sport a slightly mottled stone texture. Running right through the case is a light strip that helps let you know when the earbuds are charging, or when they’re low on charge. However, it also visually guides you to instinctively know where the earphones are, so you can glance at the case and pull the earbuds out without fiddling to find them.
Meet the Logitech Zone Truly Wireless – earbuds designed and calibrated for work and business. The earbuds can be paired with your laptop as well as your smartphone so you can go about your day from either device, whether it’s watching training videos or listening to music while you work, answering calls, or even attending online meetings. They’re designed to work seamlessly with common calling applications across most platforms and operating systems and are certified by Microsoft for Teams and Skype for Business, by Google for Meet, and by Zoom.
What’s really ironic is that the Edifier NeoBuds Pro are the first TWS earphones to come Hi-Res certified, a standard developed by Sony itself – a brand that’s very much in the TWS earbud race! Edifier’s own TWS earphones really push the boundaries with the adoption of the LHDC codec (to rival Sony’s LDAC codec), offering higher-quality streaming over a Bluetooth connection, even compared to Apple’s own AAC. Simply put, the NeoBuds Pro makes a pretty remarkable claim, although the LHDC codec is currently adopted by a number of brands in Asia, but isn’t entirely widespread.
The fact that these earbuds are designed to look like a prop out of Ghost in the Shell or Fallout isn’t entirely accidental… GravaStar’s known to make some absurdly futuristic products – you should check out their Mars and Venus Bluetooth speakers! The Sirius Pro follows that brand ethos by being unconventionally sci-fi while serving as pretty great earbuds too. They come with enhanced bass response, boast Environmental Noise Canceling, and actually have an incredibly low latency of 65ms that’s perfect for gaming. When not in use, they sit inside a rather unconventionally designed case, with a cutout running right through the middle and a bare-basics cage-like lid that secures the earbuds in place without concealing them.
Nothing, former OnePlus founder Carl Pei’s latest venture, is lifting the veil on products with its brand of minimalist ‘nothingness’. The ear (1) marks Nothing’s debut in the product space and comes with a rather alluring transparent design. The earphones sport a transparent housing that lets you really appreciate the design and detail gone into the product’s inner assemblies, and a transparent case accentuates the brand’s ethos… of being a breath of fresh air in a saturated tech space that’s all about making black and white boxes. Partnering with Teenage Engineering over the design of the ear (1), Nothing highlights the fact that the design’s beauty lies in its inherent rawness. “Nothing like you’ve seen before, the raw beauty of ear (1)’s stripped-down aesthetic features transparency to expose the engineering, including microphones, magnets, and circuit board. Everything that is ear (1) is there with purpose”, the brand mentions in a press release.
Designed by Yibai Science & Technology from Shenzen, these are called the “Jade Culture Earphone Jue 20.” That’s a bit odd name but everything else about these conceptual wireless earbuds listed on iF Design Award 2020 is super cool. When not in use, the earbuds magnetically lock together to take the form of a necklace pendant that’s suspended by the tethering wire. Then again, when you want to listen to your favorite tunes, simply separate the pendant and get groovy. Picture this scenario – your buddy compliments, “This pendant looks so cool, bud”, and you’ll detach them and plug into your ears to their amazement, “It’s my pair of earbuds, mate!” Added bonus – you surely won’t lose one of the earbuds as there is no accidentally falling down- speaking to you AirPods!
Meet the Mode II, Marshall’s first TWS earbuds, designed with the promise to deliver a “thunderous audio experience” with “growling bass, natural-sounding mids, and crisp treble,” pumped out through its custom-tuned dynamic 6mm drivers. The drivers sit within the earphones’ tiny yet ergonomic enclosure. The Mode II comes with four earbud tips to choose from for that perfect fit, and the earphones themselves are designed to be IPX4 water-resistant, which means you can descend into an incredibly sweaty moshpit with them. Although compact, the Mode II earphones wonderfully reflect Marshall’s audio-forward DNA, from their black faux-leather texture (both on the earpieces as well as the case) designed to pay a hat-tip to their nearly 60-year legacy of building some of the best amplifiers and stage monitors, to the classic M logo emblazoned on each earphone, serving as the iconic branding detail.
Designed to work BOTH as TWS earphones for most consumers, as well as FDA-approved hearing aids for the impaired, the Olive Pro provides enhanced hearing for everything – nearby sounds, music, and conversations. Outwardly, they slightly resemble the AirPods Pro with the bulb and stem design, and with the silicone earpiece… and believe it or not, that’s not subtle plagiarism, it’s a design feature. You see, by bridging the gap between medical devices and consumer-tech, the Olive Pro makes it ‘cooler’ and less of a social stigma for the hearing impaired to wear these aids. Designed to help them blend into society, the Olive Pro’s consumer-centric aesthetic helps normalize an affliction. On the hardware front, the Olive Pro boasts powerful drivers and microphones that work to seamlessly distinguish between noises, voices, and music.
Sevy connects with you through its inherently warm aesthetics and easy user experience. “I was trying to create something which is fun to use and simple in nature. By making the design/product familiar to the user, the product wholly connects with their activity of living the events. Mimicking plays a major role in this part. So, this project is inspired by the natural form which is more simple and important,” says Pon. The earbuds can be controlled via various touch gestures on the surface as well as the Sevy app. Unlike AirPods, these earbuds are completely inside the ear – there is no physical component that protrudes outside so it is a lot more discreet and well-fitting. I also love how they come with a variety of silicone tip sizes because one size doesn’t fit all and was the main reason I switched from my AirPods to another brand.
Housed in a rather unusually designed case that makes optimal use of space, the G1 earbuds designed by Designest for Havit are a treat for the eyes and the ears. The IPX5 waterproof earphones come in a compact case that splits into two to reveal both earbuds stored in separate halves, connected by a vibrantly colored silicon piece that also transfers power between halves. The earphones boast a supremely ergonomic fit that the company claims was arrived at after scanning and measuring thousands of ears. The G1’s design features a twice-molded TPU body, to ensure the earbuds are absolutely water/sweat-resistant, anti-fall, anti-fingerprint, and wear-resistant. Havit’s G1 headphones come with a convenient 3.5 hours of battery, while the 720mAh case is capable of topping them off as much as six times. The case wirelessly charges too, for extra convenience, and a pretty nifty LED on the top glows to let you know your buds’ batteries are being replenished.