ANC

Sony makes its flagship over-ear headphones even better

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The new Sony flagship cans improve on their predecessors and cost about $50 more.
The new Sony flagship cans improve on their predecessors and cost about $50 more.
Photo: Sony

Few would dispute that Sony’s flagship wireless WH-1000XM4 active noise-canceling (ANC) headphones have been among the best on the market since they came out in August 2020. But Sony has improved upon them, offering its fifth-generation WH-1000XM5 headphones on Thursday.

The redesigned cans flaunt several impressive improvements over the previous model, making the XM5s an even worthier competitor to AirPods Max and other premium headphones.

Updated Sennheiser flagship earbuds boast improved features and lower price

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The Sennheiser Momentum 3 wireless buds have a sleeker design, better ANC and a wireless charging case.
The Sennheiser Momentum 3 wireless earbuds have a sleeker design, better ANC and a wireless charging case.
Photo: Sennheiser

Sennheiser first put out its top-tier Momentum True Wireless earbuds in 2018 to rave reviews about sound quality. Next came a 2020 update and now, with a new release, we see a substantial redesign with the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds.

They offer substantial upgrades at a lower-than-expected price, compared to the starting price of their predecessors.

The German maker released the new flagship buds along with its new Sport True Wireless earbuds for athletic types who want to filter out the sound of their own huffing and puffing.

Leak of Sony’s next flagship headphones shows sleek design, longer battery life

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Sony's next top headphones may have a sleek new design.
Sony's next top headphones may have a sleek new design.
Photo: Nils Ahrensmeier/TechnikNews

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 over-ear noise-cancelling wireless headphones are considered one of the best sets of cans in the business. Now a new leak shows what may be in store for the audio giant’s next version, the WH-1000XM5, in terms of a sleek new design and key specs.

Bang & Olufsen’s pricey new ANC earbuds borrow AirPods Pro design

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Nice stems on those. But $400 nice?
Nice stems on those. But $400 nice?
Photo: Bang & Olufsen

Danish audio legend Bang & Olufsen has struck out in a new yet familiar direction with its latest true wireless earbuds, the Beoplay EX. It’s the company’s first set of earbuds with stems, which makes them look a lot like AirPods Pro.

As a premium offering, Beoplay EX boasts all of the expected features, like active noise cancellation (ANC). The buds also claim top-notch sound and demand a high price for it — $399, considerably more than AirPods Pro and other major contenders.

Leak of flagship Sennheiser ANC earbuds reveals upgrades and price

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Sennheiser's new Momentum 3 True Wireless Earbuds popped up on a shopping site early.
Sennheiser's new Momentum 3 True Wireless earbuds popped up on a shopping site early.
Photo: Sennheiser/Lufthansa WorldShop

A while back, German audio powerhouse Sennheiser began teasing the April release of its new, top-tier Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds. But then retailer Lufthansa WorldShop went ahead and (briefly) posted a detailed listing for the new buds ahead of Sennheiser’s official, and yet to come, release.

So now we know a bunch of the new buds’ specs as well as pricing details.

Enjoy big bass and 20 hours of playback with Audio-Technica’s new earbuds

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Twenty hours of playback between charges? Not bad.
Twenty hours of playback between charges? Not bad.
Photo: Audio-Technica

One of the impressive features of the growing number of moderately priced, high-quality earbuds on the market is just how long playback lasts between charges. That’s in part because the case where you store them also charges them. But Audio-Technica just rolled out a new set of earbuds that really moves the needle on battery life.

The company’s new ATH-CKS50TW Solid Bass Truly Wireless Earbuds claim up to 20 hours of continuous playback on a single charge, or 50 hours counting the case’s charge. All that, plus the new buds feature low latency and active noise-cancellation (ANC).

Nothing Ear 1 true wireless earbuds get Siri voice support

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With Siri voice support added, these buds just became a little more competitive with AirPods and AirPods Pro.
With Siri voice support added, these buds just became a little more competitive with AirPods and AirPods Pro.
Photo: Nothing

Nothing, the audio brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, just updated its Ear 1 true wireless earbuds to include Siri voice support. That makes the inexpensive earbuds a little more competitive with competitors like AirPods and AirPods Pro. After all, the Ear 1 buds already have a lot of premium features.

Belkin seriously challenges AirPods Pro with its new ANC earbuds

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Belkin's new ANC earbuds look like they match up pretty well with AirPods Pro.
Belkin's new ANC earbuds look like they match up pretty well with AirPods Pro.
Photo: Belkin

Building on other versions of ANC earbuds released in 2021, Belkin rolled out its new SoundForm Immerse Noise Cancelling Earbuds in Las Vegas this week — and they promptly became a CES Innovation Award 2022 Honoree.

The new buds challenge aging champ AirPods Pro, due for a revamp, not only with hybrid active noise cancellation (ANC) with Hear-Thru mode, but they work with Apple’s vast Find My network. And they flaunt a number of premium features.

Belkin introduced other products at CES, too, of course.

Yobybo X-Boat Pro ANC earbuds: If the buds fit, (maybe) wear them [Review]

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The Yobybo X-Boat Pro earbuds come with a USB cable and a sleek
The Yobybo X-Boat Pro earbuds come with a USB cable and a sleek "open" charging case.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

I think it was a Kickstarter campaign that first drew my attention to the Yobybo X-Boat Pro noise-cancelling earbuds, “the first open-casing true wireless stereo headphones with LDAC,” the company said, referring to Sony’s hi-res codec. Well, while the sleek “open” case is super-cool and the buds’ sound is vibrant, some earbuds just aren’t for everyone.

Nothing’s new black transparent earbuds look totally badass

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Nothing's new
Nothing's new "Black Edition" Ear 1 buds retain the cool transparent design.
Photo: Nothing

Nothing released its first Ear 1 earbuds in late summer 2021 with a partially transparent design, a cool transparent case, good sound quality, active noise cancellation (ANC) and wireless charging. Now the company’s rolling out the new Ear 1 “Black Edition,” which retains the interesting design and tech elements in a cool new look.

And Nothing, created by OnePlus founder Carl Pei, added the product is now carbon neutral and you can buy the product — still $99 — with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. So there’s that.

Get a load of Beats Studio Buds’ first limited-edition design

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Beats Studio Buds get a bold design for Union's 30th anniversary.
Beats Studio Buds get a bold design for Union's 30th anniversary.
Photo: Beats

Beats released a new version of its Beats Studio Buds on Tuesday in a joint effort with the trendy mens fashion store Union. The limited-edition wireless earbuds commemorate Union’s 30th anniversary. You can snap them up at the store’s Los Angeles and Tokyo locations and, as of Wednesday, online.

These earbuds check all the boxes for less than $100 [Review]

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EarFun's Free Pro 2 wireless ANC earbuds offer a comfortable fit and good sound at an affordable price point.
EarFun's Free Pro 2 wireless ANC earbuds offer a comfortable fit and good sound at an affordable price point.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

In my recent review of Earfun’s Air Pro 2 wireless active noise cancellation (ANC) earbuds, I said they packed good enough features — sound quality, active noise cancellation, comfortable fit —  to be worth their affordable price tag. With the new EarFun Free Pro 2 wireless ANC earbuds, that’s even more the case. Especially because the same high quality comes in an even smaller package.

Jabra Elite 7 Pro ANC earbuds are worth top dollar but cost less [Review]

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At $199, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro ANC earbuds offer great sound, customization and comfort.
At $199, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro ANC earbuds offer great sound, customization and comfort.
Photo: David Snow / Culf of Mac

With the new Jabra Elite 7 Pro earbuds, I seem to have found near-ideal audio with active noise cancellation (ANC) for both music and phone calls. The compact earbuds offer surprisingly expansive sound and are incredibly comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Anker refreshes flagship Liberty Pro earbuds with compact design, sound upgrades

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Soundcore by Anker's new Liberty 3 Pro earbuds have a compact, stemless design and a more powerful driver than their predecessor.
Soundcore by Anker's new Liberty 3 Pro earbuds have a compact, stemless design and a more powerful driver than their predecessor.
Photo: Anker

Soundcore by Anker rolled out the new version of its top earbuds, the Liberty 2 Pro set. The new Liberty 3 Pro Earbuds are 30% smaller and, like their predecessors, have no stem. But they feature a more powerful driver, personalized active noise cancellation (ANC) and a more comfortable fit, the company said.

Ex-Sennheiser engineer Axel Grell rolls out affordable audiophile earbuds

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A stylized image of some stylish Grell Audio earbuds.
A stylized image of some stylish Grell Audio earbuds.
Photo: Grell Audio

Audio engineer Axel Grell designed Sennheiser’s much-admired HD580 and HD800 headphones. Then he left the company in 2019 to start Grell Audio. And now he offers a pair of premium, true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC) called Grell TWS-1 for the not-too-lofty price of $199.99.

OnePlus guns for AirPods Pro with new $149 ANC earbuds

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OnePlus Buds Pro will feature active noise cancellation and support for Dolby Atmos.
OnePlus Buds Pro will feature active noise cancellation and support for Dolby Atmos.
Photo: OnePlus

OnePlus is rolling out another Apple-esque product at a lower price point — a new set of Buds Pro that improve on its original Buds with active noise cancellation (ANC) and some upgraded audio features. They look a lot like Airpods Pro, actually, except with silver stems rather than white ones.

Edifier launches low-cost, hi-res wireless earbuds to rival AirPods Pro

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Edifier Neobud Pro high-res, wireless, noise-cancelling earbuds are coming soon.
Edifier Neobud Pro high-res, wireless, noise-cancelling earbuds are coming soon.
Photo: Edifier

Beijing-based Edifier built a reputation for producing high-quality speakers and headphones. Now, with the upcoming release of its Neobuds Pro hi-res, wireless, noise-canceling earbuds, it looks hungry to capture market share from top contenders like Apple’s AirPods Pro and Sony’s new WF-100XM4.