Last updated: August 6, 2021
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Bluetooth In Ear headphones are a practical and stylish alternative to wired On Ear headphones. They stand out for their handiness and practicality. With them, listening to music has never been more uncomplicated. Cable clutter is a thing of the past and nothing can stop you from enjoying your music on the go or at home.

In our Bluetooth In Ear Headphones review 2022, we looked at the different types of Bluetooth In Ear Headphones. All so you don't have to scour the internet for answers. In this article, we go over buying criteria, different types of in-ears and all sorts of questions so you end up fully informed.




Summary

  • Bluetooth In Ear headphones are the wireless evolution of regular wired On and In Ear versions. They connect to the end device via Bluetooth and sit in the ear cup.
  • A distinction is mainly made between Wireless Bluetooth In Ears and True Wireless Bluetooth In Ears, as well as Earbuds. The difference between them lies in their construction.
  • There are many different variants of Bluetooth In Ear headphones, both cheap and inexpensive. That's why it's important to do your research and find a good compromise between price and performance.

The Best Bluetooth In Ear Headphones: Our Picks

For those who want to get an idea of the most popular Bluetooth In Ear headphones, this section is particularly important. We have compared many offers and picked out our top favourites. The following items are all the best of their kind.

Buying and Evaluation Criteria for Bluetooth In Ear Headphones

The market for In Ear headphones is large and there are many offers. So how can you decide which are the right ones? In this part of the article, we have compiled the most important buying criteria so that you have a complete overview.

The most important criteria to consider when buying are as follows:

Sound quality / bass

The most important factor in all types of headphones is sound quality. Unfortunately, Bluetooth headphones have a disadvantage in this respect right from the start. A Bluetooth connection cannot perform as well as a cable connection.

High-quality products can compensate for this to a large extent. However, you should be aware that even the highest quality Ear headphones cannot compete with Over Ear headphones in terms of quality. However, the differences are hardly audible for laypersons.

Basically, it is important not to buy cheap headphones. It doesn't matter whether they are In Ear or Over Ear.

The design of In Ear headphones provides much richer bass, as the sound is transmitted to the bones and the ear is closed off. So if you value nice bass, In Ears are a good choice.

Battery life

Battery life is just as important as sound quality. After all, you don't want the music to run out in the middle of your morning jog. That's why you should find out beforehand what the individual batteries can do.

There are huge differences in battery life. Everything is represented, from 2 to well over 20 hours. So you can decide very individually how long you want your in-ear headphones to last.

However, it also depends on what kind of Bluetooth In Ear headphones you want. Regular In Ear headphones with a headband around the neck usually have more powerful batteries, simply because they have more space to store them.

True Wireless In Ear headphones don't have as powerful batteries, but they do come with a case that acts like a power bank for the headphones, further increasing their battery life.

Range

Another feature that should not be underestimated is the range. You always have your mobile phone with you when you're on the move, but what if you want to move around freely at home?

If you can't even go to the kitchen to get a glass of water, that can really diminish the listening experience. That's why it's important to pay attention to the range of the in-ear headphones.

As a rule, In Ears have a range of 5 to 15 metres. However, this value only takes into account free distances. If there is a wall or other interference between you and your mobile phone or laptop, the Bluetooth connection can still fail beforehand.

Compatibility

The majority of users of Bluetooth In Ear headphones use them with their smartphone or computer/laptop. However, there are also many who wonder whether the little helpers are also compatible with a TV, a games console or even their car.

The rule of thumb here is that if the end device is Bluetooth-enabled, then it is compatible with Bluetooth In Ears. However, it is possible that headphones of one brand can only develop their full potential with a terminal device of the same brand.

Since there are endless combinations of headphones and end devices, individual research must be done in each case. In the following table, we have listed a rough overview of end devices and their Bluetooth compatibility.

Type Compatibility
TVs TVs are rarely Bluetooth compatible, although there are a few Smart Tvs that support Bluetooth. However, it is also possible that the connection is only possible via dongle
Game consoles Just about all modern game consoles are Bluetooth compatible in some form. Here, too, it is possible that the connection is only possible via dongle
Navi / Car Many on-board computers nowadays already have a navigation system built in and this is usually also Bluetooth-capable. However, extreme caution is advised when pairing in-ear headphones with your car. You should never use both headphones and rather switch to a one-piece for hands-free systems. Especially because many in-ear headphones actively reduce outside noise, making them a major safety risk.

Some of the latest Bluetooth In Ear headphones are even capable of connecting to each other, or to a device at the same time. This feature allows you to share special moments and is made possible by Bluetooth 5.

If you don't have a Bluetooth 5 capable device, you will have to invest in a Bluetooth splitter if you want to play music over two Bluetooth headphones or speakers.

Weight and size

Weight and size are essential to the listening experience. After all, the best sound and the hardest bass are useless if the headphones constantly fall out of your ears or squeeze. The absolute nightmare of every True Wireless headphone owner is to lose one of their expensive headphones.

Every ear is different, especially children who are still growing.

That's why it's essential to check which headphones fit your ears perfectly before buying. It is also advisable to try on the headphones if possible.

Bluetooth In Ear headphones with a neckband are generally very comfortable. Since most of the weight is on the shoulders, they do not cause pain around the ears.

Because of their design, they also hold well in the ear and are held up by the neckband if they do fall. However, depending on the size of the headband, it can quickly get tangled in hair or backpacks, which is very impractical.

True wireless headphones and earbuds, on the other hand, have other problems in this area. Because all the technology is in the earbuds, the weight that affects the ears is usually greater.

In addition, the fit is even more important because there is nothing to stop them from falling. In return, they have no other appendages that could get in the way.

The average weight of true wireless headphones is 10 to 20 grams. Wireless headphones, on the other hand, can weigh up to 40 grams. The size of the ear tips is usually uniform and can only be changed by rubber attachments. In special cases, in-ear headphones with earpieces can help.

Active Noise Cancelling and Isolation

A huge advantage (or possibly disadvantage) of True Wireless In Ears over regular In Ears and Earbuds is that they are noise isolating due to their design. This can be very pleasant when you want to concentrate fully on your music.

However, noise isolation can be a huge hazard on the road and in traffic, so caution is advised. If you are on the road a lot, you might want to choose one of the other two types.

Beyond isolation, some Bluetooth In Ear headphones also have ANC or Active Noise Cancelling. With this technology, ambient noise is picked up by a microphone and an ANC chip analyses the noise and compensates for ambient noise so that only the desired sound reaches the listener.

Features

Once all the above points have been considered, it's time to think about additional features. As we have already mentioned in various sections, there are features that make the use of Bluetooth In Ear headphones even more comfortable.

A headband can be one of these features. Since True Wireless In Ears are susceptible to falls, a headband can help, especially during sports. On the other hand, earpieces can pinch for a long time and in the worst case lead to headaches.

For sports, IP protection against dust and water can also be essential. It is important to pay close attention to the IP code number, as there are differences in protection against sweat and splashing water and complete immersion in water.

The first digit of the IP number indicates the extent to which the headphones are protected against solid foreign bodies such as dust.

Type Description
0 No protection against foreign bodies
1 Protection against solid foreign bodies (from 50 mm)
2 Protection against solid foreign bodies (from 12.5 mm)
3 Protection against solid foreign bodies (from 2.5 mm)
4 Protection against solid foreign bodies (from 1.0 mm)
5 Dust-proof
6 Dust-proof

The second number in the IP code number determines how much the unit is protected against water.

Type Description
0 No protection against water
1 Protection against vertically falling dripping water
2 Protection against falling dripping water with enclosure inclination up to 15°
3 Protection against falling spray water up to 60° from the vertical
4 Protection against splashing water from all sides
5 Protection against water jets (nozzle) from any angle
6 Protection against strong water jets
7 Protection against temporary submersion (30 minutes at a water depth of 1 metre)
8 Protection against permanent submersion (water depth to be determined by the manufacturer)
9 Protection against water during high pressure/steam jet cleaning

If you do not want to use your headphones for listening, they must have a microphone. There are models with microphones, but the limited operation of the in-ears makes telephoning awkward.

Operation can also be limited by the design, in terms of track selection and volume control. In Ear headphones with a neckband usually have these features, but this is not always the case with true wireless models.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about Bluetooth headphones answered in detail

Whether you already have a few or don't know what Bluetooth In Ear headphones are at all, this FAG should clear up any lingering questions.

Who are Bluetooth In Ear headphones suitable for?

There are a variety of people who can benefit from the advantages of Bluetooth In Ear headphones. Whether you want to enjoy music, podcasts or videos comfortably in everyday life, want to find a chicer and more practical alternative to regular In Ears, or need motivating bass while exercising.

bluetooth-in-ear-kopfhörer-test

For many people, music is an indispensable part of everyday life, but Bluetooth In Ear headphones are not suitable for everyone. ( Image source: Simon Noh / Unsplash )

However, there are some people for whom Bluetooth in Ear headphones are not suitable or only suitable to a limited extent. Older people or people with hearing aids in general, for example, cannot benefit from this type of headphones.

For children, too, you have to consider whether In Ears are advisable. Because they can fall out of the ears and children are usually more active, it can quickly happen that the headphones get lost. In addition, Bluetooth In Ears are not exactly cheap.

Finally, it must be said in general that absolute caution is advised when wearing headphones in traffic. They are definitely not suitable for drivers, but pedestrians should also not be distracted by music and act responsibly.

How do Bluetooth In Ear headphones work?

As the name suggests, In Ear headphones work via Bluetooth. But what exactly is Bluetooth and how does it work? We would now like to clarify this question.

To put it briefly, Bluetooth works by allowing devices to establish a 2.4 GHz radio connection with each other and exchange data via this connection. When both devices have the Bluetooth function activated, a Wireless Personal Area Network (Piconet) is created, which consists of a point-to-point connection.

In this piconet, one device acts as the "master" and the other participant is the "slave". The "master" ,in this case the mobile phone / laptop / etc., is responsible for controlling the communication within the piconet. The slave, in this case the headphones, executes commands from the master.

What types of Bluetooth In Ear headphones are there?

You may have already noticed in the decision section that different types of Bluetooth headphones are discussed again and again. You can find out exactly what these types are and how they differ in the next section.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Wireless Bluetooth In Ear Headphones Almost completely wireless, practical, easy to use cable can still get tangled, sound quality affected by Bluetooth, not so stylish
True Wireless Bluetooth In Ear Headphones Completely wireless, Stylish, Come with a charging case Difficult to use, Not so long battery life, Easy to lose
Earbuds Completely wireless, Come with charging case, Fits many ear types Difficult to use, Not so long battery life, Easiest to lose

Would you like to read more about the individual Bluetooth In Ear headphones? Then follow this section with a detailed summary of each type.

Wireless Bluetooth In Ear Headphones

Wireless Bluetooth In Ear Headphones

Wireless Bluetooth headphones are the middle ground between On Ear headphones and True Wireless headphones. Their advantage over On Ears is that they have all the features but fit much more securely.

Wireless In Ears are ideal for sports because they are easy to use and fit securely. On the other hand, they are not so ideal for everyday use, as they are not as stylish in most cases and can still quickly get caught in hair and backpacks.

Advantages
  • More durable due to drop protection
  • More features such as operation, volume control and microphone
  • Almost completely wireless
Disadvantages
  • Not as stylish
  • Can still get tangled in everyday life
  • Come without charging case (correspondingly lower battery life overall)

So if you prefer safety and ease of use to style, wireless in-ear headphones are for you.

True Wireless Bluetooth In Ear Headphones

True Wireless Bluetooth In Ear Headphones

Unlike regular In Ear Bluetooth headphones, True Wireless headphones are completely wireless. That means you never have to worry about tangled cables again, and they look really futuristic and stylish too.

Due to their design, they are absolutely suitable for enjoying music and for everyday use. However, caution is advised, as they are sound-insulating and accidents can easily happen on the road.

Advantages
  • Futuristic
  • completely wireless
  • design makes them sound insulating
  • bass sounds better
  • comes with charging case
Disadvantages
  • No protection against falls
  • Sound-insulating
  • More difficult to operate

This type of Bluetooth In Ear headphones is perfect for those who want to enjoy the finer things in life. A super sound experience paired with sound isolation and a cool design appeals to all the senses.

Earbuds

Earbuds

Earbuds are also True Wireless Bluetooth in Ear headphones, but they are more like classic headphones in shape. This leads to a different wearing experience, as they are not sound-insulating.

They may not look as futuristic as the True Wireless headphones, but they are smaller, more comfortable, not as conspicuous and, on top of that, safer for traffic.

Advantages
  • Familiar design
  • Completely wireless
  • Come with charging case
  • Not soundproof
Disadvantages
  • Get stuck more easily due to appendages
  • More difficult to use
  • No protection against falls

If you prefer a familiar design for your headphones and are looking for a more everyday-friendly version of the True Wireless headphones, you have found your match with the Earbuds.

How much do Bluetooth In Ear headphones cost?

The price of Bluetooth In Ear headphones can vary greatly. The market is full of models in all price ranges, which is why In Ear headphones are available in price ranges between €50 and €500.

Type Price range
Wireless Bluetooth In Ear Headphones 20-300 €
True Wireless Bluetooth In Ear Headphones 30-400 €
Earbuds 50-350 €

What are the alternatives to Bluetooth In Ear headphones?

Bluetooth In Ear headphones are one product in a long line of innovations. Accordingly, there are many alternatives to Bluetooth In Ear headphones. In order to shorten the following overview somewhat, I have summarised the wired and wireless versions.

Type Description
Cable In Ear Headphones The classic headphones for on the go. They are small and light and do not need to be charged. On the other hand, they are prone to cable breaks and loose contacts because the cables quickly get knotted. You also often get stuck with them.
Bluetooth / Cable On Ear Headphones On Ear headphones are the middle ground between In Ears and Over Ears. They are smaller and lighter than Over Ears and sit on the ear. On the other hand, they have the same design as Over Ears. They are often foldable and easy to store.
Bluetooth / Cable Over Ear Headphones Over Ears are the heavyweights of headphones. With their large ear cups, they provide an exquisite listening experience. However, they are also heavy, difficult to store and transport, and in most cases not very attractive to look at.
Bluetooth / wired speakers Another option is speakers to play sound. The most obvious difference is that speakers are not suitable for listening to music on the go. Instead, they score points for making it incredibly easy to share sound. They come in several sizes and shapes. This allows you to decide individually whether you want something small for on the road or something big for at home.

Even though there are many alternatives to Bluetooth In Ear headphones, they are all unique and cannot replace each other. Now you just have to decide which type is right for you.

How do you pair Bluetooth In Ear headphones?

If you are now the proud owner of a new pair of Bluetooth In Ear headphones, then the question may arise as to how to pair said headphones properly. Fortunately, the process is easy to explain.

  1. Switch on the headphones. Most models go straight into pairing mode when you switch them on. If they don't, hold down the on button for 7 seconds when you turn them on.
  2. Now you need to go into the Bluetooth settings on your device and wait until your device appears in the list of possible pairings.
  3. Select your headphones and follow the further instructions of your device. Your device may ask you for a password. You will have to take this from your memory or from the instructions for use.
  4. They should now see their headphones as connected. If this is not the case, deactivate Bluetooth on both devices and start again from step 1. If it still does not work, contact the manufacturer's customer service.

If everything went well with the pairing, you don't need to pair the headphones again with this device unless:

  • You have connected the headphones to 8 other devices. Since the headphones can only store 8 connections, the last one will be deleted.
  • You perform a system update.
  • You reset your device
  • You actively delete the pairing

If your headphones are connected but you don't hear any sound, make sure that the sound is not being played through another output device.

How good are Bluetooth In Ear headphones for your health?

First of all, all types of headphones are a health hazard in traffic. Even as a pedestrian. The isolation from outside noise and the distraction of music are a dangerous combination.

In Ear headphones pose a minimally higher health risk than other headphones.

In addition, with all headphones, care should be taken not to listen to music too loudly or for too long, as this can damage the eardrum and cause tinnitus and hearing loss.

What makes in-ear headphones more dangerous than on-ear or over-ear headphones is that they hold earwax in the auditory canal, which can lead to infection and inflammation. However, responsible behaviour can minimise this danger.

bluetooth-in-ear-kopfhörer-test

Music improves every day, but we need to be responsible not to damage our hearing and health. (Image source: Andre Hunter / Unsplash)

In a normal ear, the earwax glands are located on the outer part of the ear canal. This means that the earwax is naturally transported out of the ear canal and no dirt gets inside.

In ears now ensure that the earwax cannot be transported away properly and even gets into the inner part of the ear canal. It can no longer be removed from there and can become inflamed.

This means that you should never push your In Ears too deep into the ear canal and not leave them in for too long. If you are still afraid, but don't want to give up wireless music enjoyment, you can recommend Earbuds. They do not lie too deep in the ear and are therefore even safer.

Where do connection problems with Bluetooth In Ear headphones come from and how do I fix them?

A big problem with Bluetooth connections is asynchronous sound. It is particularly annoying when you are watching series or films and the sound does not match the picture. This problem occurs when the Bluetooth versions of the two devices do not match.

Unfortunately, this can only be solved by an update from the manufacturer or by replacing one of the devices. It is worth researching how customers of the same headphone manufacturer have dealt with this type of problem.

If you hear a hissing noise when using your headphones, this can have several reasons.

It could also be that the Bluetooth signal is simply being disturbed by other influences. In this case, you can eliminate the problem by following these steps:

  • Make sure that both devices are close to each other so that neither walls nor too much distance can interfere with the signal.
  • Avoid places with lots of people or high Wi-Fi activity, microwave ovens and wireless speakers.
  • Alternatively, you can turn off the microwave or speakers.

If the problem still occurs, you can check whether you have installed the latest Bluetooth driver. Otherwise, contact the manufacturer's customer support or send the headphones directly for repair.

If the root of the problem is also different Bluetooth versions, you can also only use the above-mentioned solutions.

How do I repair Bluetooth In Ear headphones?

There are some minor "repairs" that you can easily perform on your headphones. However, if there is a serious fault, such as a broken cable or water damage, the repair should only be carried out by an expert.

If the sound is not as loud as it was at the beginning, you can gently clean the headphones with an ear stick. In some cases, this can already bring about an improvement.

If you have problems with the Bluetooth connection, it is easy to disconnect and delete the pairing settings on your mobile phone or laptop. In most cases, pairing again will solve the problems.

If you really want to repair cables with loose contacts, plugs or earbuds, you can find enough instructions on the internet to do so. But in any case, it is not recommended for non-professionals.

Conclusion

All in all, Bluetooth In Ear headphones are a valuable innovation over the older wired over and on ear versions. They are practical, versatile and look super cool to boot. They have become an integral part of our lives and the disadvantages they have are well dealt with.

If you use them responsibly and do a lot of research before buying, they can only improve your life. Hopefully the information in this article has helped to do that.

Image source: 123rf / 116102625_m

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