NEW EARBUDS IN STORE
Typical of Bang & Olufsen, the H5 headset brings fashion to the forefront, with minimalist earbuds accented in aluminium, and an attractive woven cord. Magnets also feature in a highly practical fashion: they hold the earbuds together for carrying, and they keep the earbuds attached to their unorthodox charger. Sound quality is also fitting of the audio veteran, and the earbuds physically block much outside noise, even though they omit noise cancellation. Audio can also be tweaked in a dedicated app, though the woven cord can produce audio interference when you move.
$378 / HARVEYNORMAN.COM.AU
These earbuds stand out because they’re so hard to notice. Ideal for gym junkies or runners, they are remarkable for being so small while producing quality sound, with audio profiles you can fine-tune to suit your tastes. You should invest time in finding a wearing style to suit you, including the option of wrapping them over your ears, and they have optional fins in case you bounce around a lot. They’re sweat-proof and a clever feature is the tiny charger that can clip on as an extra battery pack to extend play time to eight hours. Available in gold, black, red and blue.
$250 / JAYBIRDSPORT.COM
DIGITAL LIGHTNING BUDS 3SIXT
Now Apple has ditched the 3.5mm jack, these headphones are among the first wave of Lightning-reading audio accessories. Their sound quality is notably better than that of many earbuds, with credit to their digital processor and 9mm audio drivers. Their ribbon-style cable is tangle-resistant and the in-line controller does what you’d expect. But, as many Apple fans are discovering, the downside to connecting headphones through the Lightning port is you have to unplug them whenever you want to power up your phone. Great sound but not very convenient.
$120 / 3SIXTGEAR.COM
Love them or hate them, Apple’s wireless headphones are certainly a talking point. Powered by the W1 chip that will feature in a new range of Beats headphones, these have an impressive five hours of battery life and the charging case can hold up to 24 hours. There is no inline remote but you double tap them to activate Siri to control play and calls. Rather than pairing through the Bluetooth menu, you simply open the box and hit “connect” on your iPhone. The sound quality is surprisingly good but they are so small the challenge will be in not losing them.
$229 / APPLE.COM/AU