New earbuds to switch to, from high-end and polychromatic to eco-friendly

A fresh look at what’s new on the earbuds market, including earbuds by Sony, Bowers & Wilkins, Bang & Olufsen and more

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 new earbuds
(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

There’s often just a hairsbreadth of difference between the capabilities and qualities of the leading earbud brands, meaning that only the tricky issue of fit stands between you and your enjoyment of the product. Given that try-before-you-buy is obviously discouraged in the in-ear market, most people tend to find a brand they like and stick with its earbuds for ever more. If you want to broaden your horizon – or occasionally try to colour co-ordinate – here are six models that are new to market.

Six new earbuds to switch to

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 blue earbuds

(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

B&W’s new S2 version of the Pi7 is a premium pair of ‘true wireless’ earbuds, thanks to the true 24-bit connection between each ear for hi-res audio and sophisticated noise cancelling. Available in satin black, canvas white and midnight blue, the Pi7 S2s are a finely detailed piece of industrial design, in line with the company’s larger audio products, including the instantly familiar Zeppelin

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 In-ear True Wireless earbuds, £349,

Sony LinkBuds S

Sony LinkBuds S black earbuds in case

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony’s latest variant on its popular LinkBuds series is available in four colours and comes with advanced noise cancelling and an Adaptive Sound Control system, which allows you to dial in the level of ambient noise you want to hear. Full-on noise cancelling is a completely cossetting experience (the earbuds have even been designed to cope with high winds), and the adaptive functionality allows the earbuds to ‘learn’ your preferences in various locations. 

Sony LinkBuds S, £139,

Xiaomi Buds 4 Pro

Xiaomi Buds 4 Pro earbuds in golden and chrome case

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi is pitching for the upper end of the market with its new Buds 4 Pro earbuds, which bring the familiar modern mix of noise cancelling, a special voice mode for conversing without taking out your earbuds (something of a faux pas in some circles), as well support for high res audio. There’s also something called ‘Dimensional audio’, the Chinese brand’s take on 3D sound. Another big selling point is design, and the snappy, pebble-like case showcases the matte gold and chrome finish of the earbuds – which are said to deliver an impressive nine hours of listening time. 

Xiaomi Buds 4 Pro, £239.99,

OnePlus Buds Pro 2

OnePlus Buds Pro 2 black earbuds in and out of case

(Image credit: OnePlus)

Developed in collaboration with Danish brand Dynaudio, OnePlus’ Buds Pro 2 are relatively pared back and low key – even the optional Arbor Green finish goes against the grain. They get their 3D chops from Google’s Spatial Audio system and promise to give ten hours of listening time after just ten minutes of charging in the case. 

OnePlus Buds Pro 2, £179,

Majority Tru Bio Earbuds

Majority Tru Bio pink earbuds in pink case

(Image credit: Majority)

Majority’s Tru Bio Biodegradable TWS Wireless Earbuds are taking a different tack. Aiming for low cost and low weight, the British company has also used eco-biodegradable plastic components in both the earbuds and the charging case. Intended to address the issue of rampant over-consumption of electronics head-on, the Tru Bio hopefully last longer than their price point suggests. However, the idea of 100 trees being planted as a result of this publication is reason enough to include them here. 

Majority Tru Bio Earbuds, £34.95, and

Bang & Olufsen EX Atelier Editions

Bang & Olufsen EX Atelier Editions lime green and black earbuds with lime green case

(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

You’ve probably missed the boat if you want to buy the Lime Green version of B&O’s excellent EX earbuds. The renowned Danish audiophile is putting out a number of ‘Atelier Editions’ of the EX throughout the year, with different colours coming later in the year. Bringing B&O design and heft to this often ephemeral sector, the EX earbuds are best for diehard quality fanatics. 

Bang & Olufsen EX Atelier Editions, £699,

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.