These models push AirPods from #1


Anyone who loves to listen to music or podcasts while training, walking, or in everyday life will not be able to avoid headphones. Wireless in-ear headphones in particular have turned out to be a favourite. The reason: it is small, inconspicuous and compact. In previous tests, Apple in particular played in the first league with AirPods. In the current examination by Stiftung Warentest, however, other models have reached the top positions. Who outperformed Apple in performance?

The earphones in the test: small but powerful

The waterproof earbuds are the perfect companion for sports enthusiasts. The big advantage: It’s small and lightweight, and thanks to its design, it’s usually good in the ear. They are usually inserted into or in front of the ear canal. and the bestThey are easy to store away as they can quickly disappear into a case with the charging case. Despite the small design, the sound does not suffer at all. On the contrary: it has a good reputation for its good sound quality.

Stiftung Warentest tested 22 earpieces again in March 2022. The result surprises. Apple runs the third place only with its AirPods. We present the test winners.

1st place goes to JBL: ‘Good’ test result for Reflect Flow Pro

JBL in-ears standing * guaranteed by the Stiftung Warentest test. The headphones are waterproof and shiny with a good grip thanks to the rubber inserts. Eye-catching is the futuristic design of the EarPods. The noise canceling feature allows you to adjust how much of the environment you want to perceive or not. Stiftung Warentest finds the sound beautiful, luxurious and full, and the noise canceling function “good”.

On the other hand, the binaural battery life is great. JBL even gets a “very good” score here. In hands-on testing by, they lasted for about twelve hours, and around 34 hours of runtime when using the charging case is astounding. Excellent test result!

  • Noise canceling: yes
  • Battery life (tested): 11:33 hours
  • Special Features: IP68 Water Resistant, Built-in Microphone, Noise Canceling with Smart Ambient, Telephony, Fingertip Control
  • price: 155.99 euros (instead of 179)

To make sure the headphones fit perfectly into the earbud, three different ear pieces are included with the JBL earbuds.

Sennheiser in-ears follows suit – and reaches second place

Close to JBL, Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless* took the silver. Overall rating from Stiftung Warentest: 2.0. The first thing that catches the eye is the angular design of the headphones and the charging case. Colleagues from did not rate it as particularly valuable in their test. Despite this, it is considered solid and not very annoying.

The rectangular design seems to serve the comfort of wearing the ears. This is exactly where Sennheiser gets a lot of praise: the model won the “Comfort” category at the Stiftung Warentest. Sennheiser will surely be satisfied with the second place overall. also emphasizes the beautiful sound and top touch control of the buds. The criticism is only worth the rather thin sound and lack of multiple Bluetooth connectivity.

  • Noise canceling: yes
  • Battery life (tested): 7:31 hours
  • Special Features: Touch operation, bass boost, IPX4 splash-proof, call function
  • price: 125 euros (instead of 159.90 euros)

Apple AirPods ranked third

The third place came unexpectedly for the third generation AirPods. In fact, Apple’s in-ear headphones are always rated as particularly great. Apple fans in particular may have considered winning as a surefire. So why do experts see it differently? Sound was the best in the test after the JBL headphones, while handling and wearing comfort were rated as “satisfactory.”

Basically, the 3rd generation AirPods* look like a fusion between the 2nd generation and the Pro variant., for example, praises the features that will come with it, such as adaptive EQ, which adapts sound to the shape of the ear, and 3D audio. With nearly six hours, the battery lasts solidly. Too bad: The volume cannot be controlled via the AirPods themselves. Also, the features remain better compatible with the Apple device. In-Ears is still tricky for Android users because many features have to be left out.

  • Noise canceling: yes
  • Battery life (tested): 6 hours
  • Special Features: 3D audio, Adaptive EQ, Dolby Atmos, IPX4 splash-proof
  • price: 167.95 (instead of 199 euros)

In-ear test: are the results surprising?

The result may come as a surprise to some. In fact, one has to say that in testing by Stiftung Warentest, several headphones really ran into a tight race and overall ratings were close to each other. So it’s no surprise that Apple moved into third place due to some small shortcomings. AirPods also share this with Samsung and LG.

Are test winners worth it in 2022?

In general, the new earbuds are very convincing in the test. So if you are looking for top models, you can look forward to the new headphones with great sound and noise cancellation features and you will surely find what you are looking for among the test winners from JBL to Apple. Only the minute details that make the difference count here.

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