New headphones

After living years with wires, I realized that I needed to switch to wireless mode. Having wired headphones makes me less moving in the office – either less going to the bathroom or less going for water to drink. I want to change this. Next, there are too many wires on my desk. Years ago I switched to a wireless mouse, this fall I switched to a wireless keyboard, this post is about switching headphones, the only remaining thing is a dev phone — wireless ADB is on the way.

So what are my requirements?

  1. Wireless — I need fewer wires on my desk and I want to leave my desk without taking the headphones down.
  2. In-ear — I’ve already bought overpriced over-ear headphones and I’ve realized my ears don’t fit in it. Moreover, I don’t want to sit with my ears covered for the whole day. Until now I’ve been using in-ears and I don’t need to switch. I like in-ears a lot.
  3. Neckband — Truly wireless headphones do not offer a comfortable 1-day listening battery, so a neckband is a must. Also, I see neckbands as a plus when I need to take them down to listen to somebody, I won’t fear losing the earphones or I won’t have to think where to put them.
  4. Multi connection — I work all day on my PC and I want to listen to music on it. But when somebody calls my phone number, I’d love to leave my PC with the same headphones on my ears and do not care about reconnecting it to my phone. It is true, that I could accept the call through my PC (because of the YourPhone), but then I would have to be in a Bluetooth range to that PC. (To be honest, I’m not sure it is possible to transmit the sound from the phone to the PC and then to my headphones simultaneously.)
  5. 10+ hours battery — I need the headphones to make it through the day, after work-shift I will charge them for the next day.
  6. Reasonable MIC — as you may have noticed, calling over PC got popular recently, good mic is a plus.
  7. Up-to-date specs — not sure if this is needed, but going through the products and seeing the progress that is made in ANC, for example, I don’t want to buy old products. Bluetooth 5 is one of the parameters, USB-C is another.

I was also trying to find headphones with supporting the best/latest “Bluetooth codecs”. The situation is rather terrible.

  • SBC — the oldest, supported everywhere, and the only Windows 10 codec;
  • aptX (HD) — the advanced codec, likely on every phone, but Sony (having competing standards) does not include it in its headphones.
  • AAC — Apple codec, I don’t care.
  • LDAC — Sony’s code and most superior codec, supported on phones, no desktop, and just a few headphones.

It is possible to obtain a USB sound card offering Bluetooth & aptX. LDAC is not available anywhere, so fuck LDAC. Ideally, I’d love to have aptX headphones matching all my aforementioned points, but I did not find any!

In the end, I gave up on the codecs and bought an SBC headset only. Jabra Elite 65e Wireless.

My new headphones – Jabra Elite 65e

After a month of usage

  • The Neckband & in-ear is a really good setup for me.
  • Battery is one day — sufficient setup for me.
  • The Bluetooth range is bigger than I expected. (~40 meters)
  • This specific in-ear is much worse than my previous (relatively cheap) wired in-ear Sennheiser; Jabra’s don’t go much deep, and the shape is not perfectly round. But I got used to;
  • The supportive ear holders — I’m getting used to them.
  • Codes don’t bother me at all. (Surprise surprise, it is probably marketing and need of fraction (gamers).)
  • Multi-connection – it works somehow, but not sure exactly how. Sometimes when I pick up a call, things get messy.
  • Micro-USB — in the end, who cares…
  • MIC – I will have to try, don’t know yet how I sound.
  • 70% — I would expect more comfortable in-ear tips.