The Latest in Wireless Headphones

By street, on public transport, in the gym, on the beach... It doesn't matter where you are and where you're looking: you'll always see someone listening to music with wireless headphones. And while the most 'famous' are Apple's Airpods, they're not the only option, much less. In fact, many manufacturers are doing very well to stand up to them. Sony is an example. The WF-1000XM3 has just been on sale, which, in addition to a very careful design and sound quality at the height of what is expected of a high-end product (they cost 250 euros), have a feature that is almost not seen in models of this size : an active noise cancellation system.

At different levels

in this way, they manage to substantially reduce unwanted sounds when we are listening to music and making calls in hands-free format. Its intraaural design helps. But the prominence is of a technology that works in the same way as in the 'larger' models: a pair of microphones located in each of the headphones record the noise of the environment (traffic, conversations...), analyze it and create a sound wave reversed that makes up for it, causing it to be virtually eliminated,

This capability can also be adjusted depending on the situation: for example, because it is not advisable to activate it while walking on the street, it would be enough to tap on the touch surface of the left earbud to deactivate it.

It's not the only option to control it. Here comes the place an application installed on the mobile that, in addition to adding equalization options or showing the load level of each of the headphones (but not of its carrying case...), contemplates the possibility of adjusting the intensity of the cancellation of the noise between 20 different levels. Our choice has been to activate the automatic detection option, which regulates it without having to touch anything,

The Sony WF-1000XM3 has a couple more features that are worth stopping at. The first is that both headsets connect via Bluetooth to the mobile device. We highlight this feature because it is usual that only the right earbud does so and that it, in turn, is the one that sends the signal to the left. With this system, the connection is more stable, also reduces latency and even improves autonomy.

Precisely this is the other aspect to be highlighted. Specifically, they offer up to six hours of playback with active noise cancellation and eight without it, depending on the signature; figures that are very close to reality, thus achieving one of the best autonomys in the market. This data increases up to 24 hours when the carrying case is used, with capacity for two full additional loads. One more detail: they feature fast charging, so 10 minutes plugged into 90 playback. Lacking, however, the possibility of doing it wirelessly; the other feature we miss is water and sweat resistance,

Proposal of the firm AfterShokz with its Aeropex.

Through the bone

AfterShokz's proposal with its Aeropex (EUR 169.99), on the other hand, is based on the use of a different system to transmit sound: bone conduction technology. Thus, they are placed on the cheekbones rather than in the ears and generate small vibrations that spread through the skull without passing through the eardrums,

When you first use them, the feeling is strange: it's similar to listening to music with speakers, except that no one around you hears anything. In addition, this system leaves the ears free, allowing the environment to be perceived very well and that it is not necessary to remove them to have a conversation. The audio quality is not bad: bass and mids sound reasonably deep, although the overall richness is not comparable to that obtained with traditional headphones.

Its design, wireless and with a band that is placed on the back of the neck, is very comfortable. This is aided by a sticky finish, a light body and that does not have to be placed in the ears. That also makes them a pretty interesting alternative for all those people who feel uncomfortable when they use classic models for a long time and, of course, in sports practice. And they are IP67 certified, which guarantees their resistance to water and sweat.