BUD­DING STARS

NEW EAR­BUDS IN STORE

Herald Sun - Switched On - - FRONT PAGE -

H5 BEOPLAY

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

FREE­DOM JAYBIRD

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

AIRPODS AP­PLE

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

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