Created over 20 years ago, Bluetooth wireless transmission technology provides a direct connection between two devices, without the need for a local network as is the case with WiFi. Whether you’re at home, out for a walk or exercising, it is always possible to establish a wireless Bluetooth connection between a smartphone or DAP and a pair of Bluetooth in-ear monitors. All you need to do is pair the source with the Bluetooth IEMs by pressing and holding the dedicated button.
Wireless transmission has the significant advantage of freeing the listener from the ever-bothersome wire between the smartphone and the headphones. Benefiting from greater freedom of movement, the user can step away from his or her smartphone without interrupting audio playback.
True Wireless Bluetooth IEMs are completely separate from one another. Each earpiece is equipped with an amplifier and a battery. Because audio is only transferred to a single Bluetooth receiver, the sound received by the earpiece equipped with the receiver must be sent to the second earpiece by means of radio frequency transmission. Musically, these IEMs perform as well as their wired counterparts. True Wireless in-ear monitors have a battery life of approximately 3 to 5 hours, with some models like the Klipsch T5 True Wireless offering up to 8 hours on a full charge. The storage case itself is equipped with a battery for recharging the IEMs. The IEMs are charged when stored inside the case and several cycles are permitted.
Choosing True Wireless IEMs that suit your needs
To choose the right True Wireless in-ear monitors, it is essential to determine what they will be used for. You won’t need the same IEMs for your daily commute as you will for doing exercise. For daily use, Apple Airpods are among the most popular models. Designed to be used with an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch or Mac computer, Apple Airpods are compatible with the Siri voice assistant, which allows you to control playback and telephone calls vocally. Not as understated as the Apple model, the Bose SoundSport True Wireless IEMs are designed to accompany you during your workouts. The Sport StayHear+ ear tips and the IPX-4 certification ensure they fit perfectly inside the ear canal and are sweat resistant. The multifunction button on the right earpiece lets you manage the play/pause, answer/end call, previous/next track and volume control functions with a simple press. Their five hour autonomy on a single charge means they’ll last for the entirety of your workout. To learn more about these in-ear monitors, read our comprehensive Bose SoundSport Free Wireless review.
Voice assistants and noise cancellation
True Wireless in-ear monitors can be controlled using a dedicated app, like the Jabra Elite 65T, or via a touch interface like the Panasonic RZ-SC500WE. Some models are also compatible with voice assistants, allowing you to answer a call, play or pause playback or adjust the volume with voice commands.
We previously mentioned the Apple Airpods which, like the Apple Airpods Pro, are compatible with Apple’s voice assistant Siri. However, the Airpods Pro are also equipped with an active noise reduction system that allows you to enjoy a more immersive listening experience, especially in noisy places. A “transparent” feature is also available so that you can listen to a conversation, safely cross the street or listen to an announcement in a train station without having to remove the IEMs.
Android users can rest easy, as the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are also available. Sony’s WF-1000XM3 in-ear monitors are also compatible with Google Assistant, feature active noise cancellation and have a maximum battery life of 32 hours thanks to their charging case.
For more versatility, the Panasonic RZ-SC500WE and Jabra Elite 75t True Wireless IEMs are both compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. These in-ear monitors also incorporate an active noise cancellation system that allows you to listen to your music in noisy environments such as public transport or a gym, but also blocks out the sound of wind when walking or exercising outdoors.
True Wireless IEMs with an audiophile design
If you’re looking to enjoy the benefits of True Wireless in-ear monitors while preserving optimal sound performance, IEMs with an audiophile design are for you. Based on the German manufacturer’s popular Momentum series, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 IEMs are Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX compatible and have a frequency response ranging from 5 to 21,000Hz. With a harmonic distortion rate of less than 0.08%, these in-ear monitors combine comfort, convenience and high-quality sound reproduction.
The Technics EAH-AZ70WE True Wireless in-ear monitors pull out all the stops. Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant, they also feature controls on each earpiece and an active noise cancellation system. Each earpiece is equipped with a large 10mm dynamic driver placed inside an acoustic chamber specifically designed to optimize sound performance.