I witnessed the true wireless headphones developments since the day of Bragi Dash back to 2014.
In the next couple of years with 5G and IoT we are expected to see more interesting things with TWS.
For now my predictions for 2019
Battery tech is steady moving forward – it is smaller and holds charge longer.
True wireless earbuds (TWS) get benefit from it.
The current longest battery life for true wireless earbuds is 6.5 hours.
Quick charging is a great feature – 5 minutes of charging gives a lot more than you expected 2 or 3 hours of listening music.
It is not just the battery, the ultra-Low power consumption chip will consume less battery, making earbuds last even longer.
Qualcomm QCC5100 chip for example can manage the power more efficiently and saving 65% power for earbuds’ battery compared to their current chips made for small Bluetooth audio devices.
Balanced Armature drivers also requires less power to operate than dynamic drivers (aka moving coil unit).
BA drivers are also smaller, leaving more room for other hardwards or battery.
Bluetooth 5.0 seems to be the fit for IoT. It’s uncertain it will improve the sound quality but the Bluetooth connectivity is easier to set up. If your phone supports Bluetooth 5.0 – it can simultaneously connect to 2 separate earbuds, no more the need for syncing between 2 earbuds.
The latency means the delay users encounter when watching movies. The audio lags behind the video. Similarly you play game or wear VR headsets – it’s quite irritating.
New technology with ultra-low latency will erase the gap by increasing either transmission bandwidth or Bluetooth transmission efficiency.
Active Noise Cancellation
Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) isn’t necessary, though this term is often highlighted in marketing campaign.
If it works consistantly like Bose QC series – it could be a good thing but most of them don’t.
Just in some situations such that noisy subway – other than that it won’t matter. And if you switch ANC on it will consume a lot of battery.
If you think Apple Airpods sound great – Nope it’s not a standard for sound. You can easily find a pair that offers a better sound – because it provides better noise-isolation therefore better bass and richer sound.
Longer lasting battery and better sound aren’t trade off – earbuds will look bigger and may cause discomfort. And they also need a larger charging that may not fit into your pan pocket.
Other than plastic, wood or carbon fiber will be used as housings for earbuds.
Earbuds will couple with smart wristband. When not in use earbuds can be stored and charged in wristband, you no longer have to take a carrying case with you on the go. Wearbuds have already run their campaign on Kickstarter. Aipower becomes the first wristband that host true wireless earbuds. Browsing on Aliexpress you can find several wristbands.
How much do you pay for a good pair of TWS?
From $80 to $100 you get a quality TWS such as 1More Stylish True Wireless with solid connection, great build quality, 6.5 hours of battery and wise sound.