Wireless Earphones and Headphones – Connectivity, Battery Life and IPX rating explained.
Listening to music on headphones or earphones is great. But we’ve all pulled out what appears at first to be a ball of yarn from our bag which turns out to your earphone cables. Untangling these cables can sometimes feel like one of the tasks from the Crystal Maze…except you’re not on crystal maze…it’s eight o’clock in the morning and you’re on the train to work.
If you’re not one of those rarest of creatures that seem to be able to always neatly pack away their earphones everytime, then wireless might be the way to go. Here's how wireless earphones work, why you might want a pair, and how some are different to others.
How do they work?
The foundation of modern wireless headphone tech is Bluetooth. It's a wireless audio standard that uses a common codec to compress a digital audio signal on your phone, laptop, or whatever device you want to listen from, and transmits it over the air to a pair of headphones nearby. Bluetooth has a 'pairing' handshake that makes sure that your phone and headphones are synced up only to each other; nobody else can listen in on whatever you're listening to.
When you're using on wireless earphones, they will be powered by a battery — just like the phone or laptop you're probably listening to your headphones through. As with any mobile device you use frequently you want the battery life to be the best possible. It means less charging and better chance of being to listen to your music whenever you want. This is an important factor when buying wireless earphones but what’s the benchmark? The average continuous playback time can be between 20-25 hours but you will find the products like the Soundmagic E11BT that provide up to 60 hours!
Water/sweat proof – IPX rating
Ever come across the term ‘IPX’ while looking for a pair of headphones and wondered what it meant? It sounds really fancy and I bet you scrolled on without taking the effort to question it. Well, now that you are here already, let us help you find out what it stands for.
The IPX Code standardized scale published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). It classifies and rates the degree of protection provided by the device against water, dust and physical intrusion. This enables you to understand the resistance power of a device more specifically as opposed to the vague term ‘water-resistant’. Generally, higher the rating, better the protection. Shocking, right? Here’s what each rating means to you when choosing.
There's plenty of choice when it comes to wireless earphones, but taking into account all of the above and then adding in sound quality the choice for us was fairly easy.
If you’re after a workout-friendly pair of wireless in-ears under £100, there aren’t many similarly-priced Bluetooth earphones available that can do a better all-round job than the SoundMagic E11BT.
Battery Life -
Up to 60 hours
Water Resistant Level -