Not all wireless earbuds are created equal. While there are plenty of options to choose from, most wireless earbuds serve a particular user.
For instance, there’s the everyday listener that requires the basic (or sometimes the best) wireless earbuds experience. Some are audiophiles who are specific about sound quality.
Also, there are fashionistas who care more about how a device looks and how it will fit their ensemble. Then, there are athletes and fitness enthusiasts, whose needs are a little bit different than the average consumer.
If you’re a casual or serious athlete, a sports and fitness enthusiast, or just someone who’s serious about a fitness journey, here are some of the features to look for before buying a pair of wireless earbuds.
IP rating, or ingress protection rating, determines the level of protection that any electrical device has against elements, like dust and water. It’s often overlooked by most consumers, working out with whatever wireless earbuds they have claiming it can handle their sweat.
I did this before with my Galaxy Buds, with an IPX2 rating, and it can only handle a little sweat. It started to malfunction a few months after use on heavy workouts, and I regret not taking care of it.
As a fitness enthusiast, I’m usually insanely drenched, heavily sweating over the course of an hour’s workout. If you’re in for intense, heavy workouts, look for wireless earbuds that have IPX7 ratings.
Wireless earbuds with this protection aren’t just water-resistant anymore — they’re waterproof. You can submerge them up to a meter for up to 30 minutes, or get drenched in sweat when you’re working out.
Some examples would be the Galaxy Buds Pro, Jabra’s Elite Active 75t, Jaybird Vista, and my trusty companion — the JBL Under Armour True Wireless Flash X, which I’ll be using as a point of comparison for the rest of the list.
Style, size, and fit
Physical activities require a lot of movements, so some of the things to consider are your wireless earbuds’ style, size, and fit. The style and size will depend on your preferences and how you feel about it.
Meanwhile, the fit needs to be secure and comfortable. Finding the right tip can help to ensure the earbuds won’t fall off your ears. That is if you like working out with in-ear earbuds like me.
My JBL UA True Wireless Flash X is quite bulky for an in-ear, but I enjoy having it plugged in so I don’t have to worry about touching it on some of my workouts. It also has a wingtip to keep it in place! On another note, my friend uses PowerBeats Pro for his workouts, since he feels safe when an earbud is hooked in his ear.
Gesture controls and navigation
What I love about wireless earbuds — whether they’re for everyday use or for my workouts — is the vibe it gives whenever I use its gesture controls. I feel like a secret agent from a sci-fi movie.
Anyhoo, accessibility is important when you’re working out to keep you focused and of course, to make your life easy. It’s an inconvenience if you have to pick up your phone every now and then just for music playback, right?
For every brand, the gesture controls are different. My everyday pair of wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds Live, is sensitive enough that even a light tap can pause the music, except I can’t touch it when I’m drenched in sweat.
Meanwhile, my JBL UA True Wireless Flash X requires pressing the button on the right earbud to play and pause my music. On the left earbud, it adjusts the isolation of background noise, which I’ll be talking about later.
Nonetheless, when looking for your pair of wireless earbuds, make sure you check its gesture controls and navigation, and how easy it is for you to adapt. Your lifestyle and behavior will also be a factor here!
Battery life and charging case
Another thing to consider is the wireless earbuds’ battery life and their charging cases. Can it last for a day? How many times can you charge your wireless earbuds in the charging case? And does it charge fast? These are the questions you need to ask when you’re out for a pair of wireless earbuds to accompany you in your workouts.
The JBL UA True Wireless Flash X lasts for nine hours — enough to last you one day at work if you use it for that purpose. But if you’re using it specifically for workouts. If you work out one hour every day, this can last for a week. Which happened in my case, since I have a different pair of wireless earbuds for my calls and listening sessions.
The case, on the other hand, lets you charge the earbuds up to four times. It doesn’t support fast charging though, so it will take at least two hours to fully charge the aluminum case.
Active noise cancellation
A pair of wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC), or at least the ability to isolate background noise like the JBL UA True Wireless Flash X, is extremely helpful during workouts.
It helps you keep your focus on what you’re doing. Sometimes, it feels like I’m lost in my own world — lifting weights while listening to Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries” or “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”.
Some may argue that you don’t really need ANC, but I beg to differ. Some people can easily get distracted and lose their focus, and the amount of mental bandwidth needed to perform a workout requires intense concentration. ANC can help you focus on reaching your fitness goals.
Other things to consider, depending on your needs
Sound quality and connectivity aren’t the top-of-mind features people look for when buying a pair of wireless earbuds for their workouts. After all, most wireless earbuds nowadays focus on that — but don’t have the necessary features I mentioned above that are essential for physical activities.
If you’re a bit of an audiophile or you’re someone who’s connected 24/7, you might want to check several alternatives like the Jabra Elite 75t, Jaybird Vista, and the Powerbeats Pro.
The JBL Under Armour True Wireless Flash X retails for PhP 9,999. In the Philippines, it’s available for purchase at Onward PH.
5 reasons why you should consider the OPPO Enco W11
Transition easily to the wireless lifestyle!
Anyone can hesitate to step on a wireless journey if everything you see is all godd*mn expensive. Unbeknownst to many, there are pairs of wireless earbuds that are affordable and perform exceptionally at the same time.
One example is the OPPO Enco W11. If you’re considering switching to the wireless side, here are five reasons why the Enco W11 would make the perfect fit. In your ears and life, probably.
20-hour battery life
The Enco W11 lets you enjoy up to five hours of playback time on a single charge. Use the charging case and you can extend that to 20 hours.
Moreover, the charging case can recharge your pair of wireless earbuds for only 15 minutes, and you immediately get one hour of playback time.
Depending on the form factor, some wireless earbuds can be a tad uncomfortable. Thankfully, the Enco W11 comes with an exquisite design that goes along with the shape of the ear. Plus, there are three sizes of soft silicone ear tips to choose from.
It also weighs 4.4g so you won’t feel the weight in your ears, allowing you to listen comfortably while you’re on the go.
Dust and water resistance
Get that extra peace of mind knowing that your pair of wireless earbuds have an IP55 dust and water resistance. It means that you can bring it to the gym, sweat it out, or even run through the rain — and you don’t have to worry about your device. It can stand splashes of water and dirt if you accidentally drop them.
Stable connection, lower latency
Most people are hesitant to switch to wireless earbuds because of the latency issues. With the right technology, the connection can be stable. Such is the case for the Enco W11 which receives signals on both sides to reduce latency. Unlike ordinary true wireless earbuds that receive signals on one side before sending them to the other.
The Enco W11 also uses a built-in Bluetooth 5.0 chip to help you enjoy uninterrupted audio. It’s perfect for those virtual meetings or just tuning out to your favorite playlists or podcasts.
Lastly, the Enco W11 doesn’t require a lot of brainpower to use. It pairs easily and resumes connection instantaneously within 10 meters.
Further, it comes with touch controls that are easy to navigate. You can play or pause your music with a single tap, or move to the next song by double-tapping.
The voice assistant can be activated by triple-tapping, and you can adjust the volume when you touch and hold the wireless earbuds.
Should you buy the OPPO Enco W11?
The OPPO Enco W11 makes it easy for users to transition to the wireless lifestyle, albeit at a cost that won’t hurt their pockets. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and intelligent enough to make navigating the controls smoothly. It has an SRP of PhP 1,690.
On January 27, 2022, Shopee is offering an exclusive deal — a bundle of the OPPO A55 smartphone and the Enco W11 wireless earbuds for only PhP 10,988.
For more exclusive deals, check out Shopee’s Brands Spotlight Festival.
SEE ALSO: OPPO A55 review: Just the basics
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7 reasons why the ASUS Vivobook Pro 14 OLED is perfect for creators
It’s the ASUS Vivobook Pro 14 OLED
In my review of the ASUS Vivobook Pro 14 OLED, you can tell that I really liked my experience. But having the device with me for a while longer, there are still quite a few more things I’ve come to realize about it.
You see, content creators and creative professionals have very specific requirements when choosing a laptop. Settle for less and you’re sure to get nightmares. That’s either with not being able to deliver the task at hand on time or doubtful of your creative output.
That’s why ASUS came up with the Vivobook Pro 14 OLED. It’s designed for creators with everything one would need to unleash creativity.
And I think it might just be the perfect option for every creator out there.
Suitable design for creators with quality that matches it
It’s evident that laptop designs have become pretty unoriginal in recent years with brands merely copying whichever is in the mainstream spotlight.
ASUS goes against this by truly designing their own from the ground up. With their approach on the Vivobook Pro 14 OLED, they seem to be going for a more serious and less playful design. I think it’s a welcome decision for professionals.
I believe in the saying that “first impressions lasts.” For people who do creative work professionally, the last thing you want is for your client to think you’re not taking your job seriously.
With this one, you can flex your stylish laptop in meeting rooms or briefings without feeling awkward. The design isn’t flashy but it isn’t generic either with subtle hints of the device being tailor-made for creators.
Having said that, the Vivobook Pro is not only serious with its looks but also it build quality. Despite being the more affordable line from ASUS, the Vivobook Pro’s build quality says otherwise. It’s so similar to the higher end ZenBook line that I honestly couldn’t tell the difference.
So portable you won’t even realize it’s in your luggage
If you’ve seen a photographer arrive on set, chances are you’ve also seen how much gear they lug around. So, just imagine the convenience the Vivobook Pro 14 OLED brings with its ultraportable size and weight. At only 1.45kg, it greatly reduces the whole package one needs to carry for on-site editing.
It’s so light that I personally wouldn’t mind carrying this with me in my bag wherever I go. And with the thickness being only 17.9mm at its thickest point, this would probably fit most bags you already have laying around.
It may not sound as exciting as the next item in this list, but if we consider the hardware that is packed in this device, it’s just mind-blowing how everything fits in it.
Specs that can handle anything
In most creative softwares like the Adobe Creative Cloud apps, the CPU mostly carries the bulk of the task for running these software unhampered. With the Vivobook Pro 14 OLED, you won’t have to worry about the capability of this device to handle the most demanding software. Powering this laptop is a top-tier CPU — the Ryzen 9 5900HX. This is a seriously powerful processor that is already even considered as an enthusiast level of a CPU that you’ll only mostly see running on other top-of-the-line gaming laptops.
But if that isn’t impressive enough, this CPU is even paired with another commendable performer — the very capable Nvidia RTX 3050 GPU.
So, you bet this laptop can take on anything you throw at it. Especially the ones that are designed to take advantage of hardware encoding like Adobe Premiere Pro.
To further validate my claim, I was able to export a five-minute 4K timeline in Premiere Pro in under seven minutes. It’s not the fastest I’ve used but that is exceptional performance especially coming from a laptop this small.
And of course, this machine is very much capable of handling games as well for the casual work break that you very much deserve.
Performance that gets more things done at the same time
Complementing the eight cores and 16 threads that are running inside this CPU are 16GB of DDR4 RAM.
Sure, 16GB of RAM may not sound like a lot nowadays but that doesn’t mean it’s not enough either. To give you an idea how capable and sufficient this mix of hardware is, I was editing on Lightroom, Premiere Pro and Photoshop all at the same time. I was even browsing multiple tabs on Google Chrome and I barely felt them running in the background.
Even running the heaviest apps, I never had the urge to close any of it just to make room for another. As a result, it got me finishing everything I had to do ahead of time.
Very cool, yet very silent operations
With a lot of distractions around us, it’s easy to lose focus of what we’re doing. Even the simplest things can get in the way. And if you’ve used a gaming laptop, you probably know that fan noise can get pretty loud when doing demanding tasks.
However, despite having similarly powerful specs as you would on gaming laptops, the Vivobook Pro 14 OLED still runs very quietly. You can hardly hear it running which is quite impressive since I’ve had significantly lower specced laptops that are far noisier than this.
Thankfully, the quiet performance also doesn’t trade off its cooling as I barely see the temps go higher than 80 degrees celsius.
You don’t even need that much power all the time. So, we can adjust the hardware performance to make it run even cooler and quieter than it already is. This is done through the preloaded ASUS ProArt Creator Hub. This is ASUS’ control hub for their content creator products, allowing you to monitor the performance and tune the settings of your creator laptop.
Surprisingly good sound quality
I’ve used quite a number of laptops already and to be honest, I barely use the built-in speakers. I would always have a headset or an external speaker connected. Poor sound quality really ruins the experience for me.
To my surprise, this isn’t the case with the Vivobook Pro 14 OLED. It’s loud, crisp and clear and it actually sounds pretty good. I guess this is thanks to the collaboration with Harman Kardon that’s going on here.
It managed to fill up our tiny condo and I was even holding back from maxing out the volume. It didn’t sound distorted or annoying to listen to.
One of the best displays you could get — OLED Display
Saving the best for last, I think one of the main highlights of this device is this stunning display panel. It’s a 14-inch, OLED display with a 2.8K max resolution, a 16:10 aspect ratio and a 90Hz refresh rate.
In case you’re not familiar with different display technologies, OLED displays are among the best in terms of image quality. It doesn’t really get much better than this, and on the Vivobook Pro 14, it looks amazing.
The 2.8K resolution paired with the 16:10 aspect ratio didn’t make me feel that the 14-inch size was actually smaller than what I personally use.
It’s so good that using this display made me wonder how I was editing with my old laptop. I feel like my eyes have just gotten used to trying to compensate for inaccurate colors and poor dynamic range.
It kind of makes me feel like going back to an IPS display is like going back to an old CRT TV. LOL Okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the ASUS Vivobook Pro 14 OLED is definitely an outstanding device. It has a lot of aspects that would make any creator including myself drool over it with admiration.
I think ASUS may have, once again, set a higher standard for other players in the market. Packing so much power in the quietest and one of the most portable bodies we could find with the breathtaking and quite possibly best looking display I’ve experienced.
And being offered at a relatively attainable price point is truly icing on the cake.
The Vivobook Pro 14 OLED comes in three available variations — the one we reviewed being the highest varian. It has the R9 5900HX, RTX 3050, 16GB with 512GB SSD priced at PhP 74,995. The R5 5600H, RTX 3050, 8GB RAM with 512GB SSD is priced at PhP 59,995. And the R5 5600H, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD with the AMD integrated graphics variant is priced at PhP 47,995.
Sure, it’s not perfect for everyone. But for creators who are starting in content creation or a well experienced creative professional, the Vivobook Pro 14 OLED definitely comes close.
This feature is collaboration between GadgetMatch and ASUS Philippines.
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