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Tim Cook has spoken, and wired headphones are officially over. Sure, we knew it was coming after the iPhone 7 debuted without one, but now with the iPhone 8 on the scene it’s time to face reality. The audio jack is dead.
Once you’re done mourning, it’s finally time to invest in a good pair of wireless headphones. Here are some of our favorites.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock since 2008, you’ve heard about Beats by Dre. (If that’s the case, welcome back — the guy from The Apprentice is president now.) They were designed by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine for superior sound quality, and continue to be the gold standard for consumer headphones. Plus, because Beats is owned by Apple, there are some cool integrations that simplify setup and pairing.
When you’re hitting the gym or going for a run, good earbuds are essential. You need a non-bulky pair that won’t get all tangled up or fall out right when you hit the Beyoncé portion of your workout playlist. These Armor-X headphones were made for movement and longterm wear, with a sweat-proof silicone surface that hooks behind your ears. They also happen to be 50 percent off. Win-win.
For the gamers out there, these over-ear Bluetooth headphones are specifically designed to reduce latency, so you can play games (or watch movies, or talk on FaceTime) without annoying audio lag. They also have a cool feature where you can tap your phone to the headphones to sync automatically. It’s great for transitioning from device to device. You can go from trash-talking your opponents in League of Legends to taking a call from your mom with just a tap — just don’t get them mixed up.
These completely wireless, noise-cancelling, fitness-tracking earbuds have a ton of cool features that I’ll get into in a minute but just take a second to digest this — you can wear them while swimming. That means you can blast The Little Mermaid soundtrack while doing laps, which as far as I’m concerned is a total game changer. These little pods are waterproof up to 1 meter, noise-canceling (if you want them to be — it can be turned off with a swipe) and track your workouts via a free app. Plus, you can store up to 4GB of music directly to the earbuds, meaning you can never use “forgetting your phone” as an excuse to skip your workout again.
The magnetic fastening on these FRESHeBUDS earbuds is super convenient in more ways than one. On a purely physical level, it prevents tangling and allows you to keep the earbuds around your neck when you’re not using them. Under the surface, however, it’s even more useful. The magnet is paired to the Bluetooth technology, so the headphones automatically pair to your phone when the magnet is pulled apart. It also turns off music automatically when they’re together. Now that’s what I call an attractive offer (yes, that’s a magnet joke.)
For a durable pair that doesn’t sacrifice sound quality or aesthetic, these Skullcandy headphones provide good bang for your buck. The band on these headphones is metal, so it’s not going to snap or warp like some of the plastic that many headphones at this price point use. They’re easily paired via Bluetooth and feature volume and play/pause buttons directly on the ear cup. At $64.99, they’re easily a steal.
If you’re a fan of the AirPods, you’re in luck for the time being. Looks like they’re here to stay. Those things are tiny, though, and you’re inevitably going to lose them. When that happens, these sleek, in-ear headphones look just like them, but at a much more reasonable price point.