Many people used their headphones and earbuds more than ever this year, spending more time at home, exercising and watching TV. In 2020, wireless headphones allowed people to attend a meeting on the zoom during dinner (so long as they were silent and the camera was off, of course). Noise canceling headphones like the newly launched Apple AirPods Max – loudly looking at family members and curious pets when you need a moment to yourself. Some even took advantage of staying home by upgrading their entertainment system, preparing to host a party with friends when life returned to normal and otherwise elevating their streaming devices. We are looking at some of the most purchased headphones and earbuds this year, along with speakers and soundbars.
1. Apple AirPods Pro
Apple AirPods are the most purchased earbuds we’ve ever covered, and they were the best wireless earbuds for Apple users. The latest model, Apple AirPods Pro, was recently trending on sale during Black Friday. They claim an active noise cancellation feature and a transparency mode to keep some of the noise going – and they come with a wireless charging case that provides more than 24 hours of battery life. The Apple AirPods Pro are sweat- and water-resistant, leaving many people’s headphones to wear them while exercising.
2. Acer Soundcore Liberty Neo True Wireless Earbuds, Upgraded 2019
While many wireless earbuds can cost you upwards of $ 100, these anchor earbuds come in under $ 50. They are water resistant and offer three-and-a-half hours of wireless playtime on a single charge – but the charging case provides an additional battery life of nine hours. Readers also showed special interest this year in the Taotronics Soundliberty 53 Wireless Earbuds and Jaybird Vista True Wireless Earbuds.
3. Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Canceling Headphones
The active noise cancellation of headphones makes you feel like you are suddenly in a quiet room, instead of just making sounds outside. Sony’s WH1000XM3 noise-canceling headphones prevent more noise than many of its competitors, but if you want to hear it, they make some sound through their microphones. The headphones have a stale sound, and are equipped with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The headphones are also available in an upgraded version. Readers particularly liked the Mpow H19 IPO noise-canceling headphones this year as well.
4. Apple AirPods (Second Gen)
Although they are one step below Apple AirPods Pro, you move around and stay in your ear, eliminating the pesky (often tricky) headphone cord. AirPods have voice-activated Siri access and come with a wireless charging case. They are powered by the Apple H1 headphone chip, so they provide a faster and more stable wireless connection to your devices.
5. Editor R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
Looking for bookshelf speakers, experts recommend you go with those that have a larger bandwidth and a flatter frequency. The Edifier’s powered Bluetooth bookshelf speakers have built-in volume and tone controls, as well as wireless Bluetooth compatibility. They are self-powered so no amp is required, and they pair with a smartphone or iPad as well as a Blu-ray player or self-powered turntable. Polk Audio’s T15 100 watt home theater bookshelf speakers are also a popular choice.
6. Roku Streambar
In holiday time, Roku launched the Roku Streambar, a compact soundbar and younger siblings for the Roku Smart Soundbar this year. It packs four speakers into its body – two on the front and two sideways sideways – and can stream 4K HDR content. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The Roku Ultra 2020 streaming media player was also recently released and has been liked by shopping readers.
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