GADGETS :: September 23, 2020

by Gregg Ellman (@greggellman)

Last week someone asked if I only like true wireless earbuds since I write about them often. I am a fan of true wireless and when you look around, obviously I’m not alone. But there are other great choices, even a style that is a personal favorite.

My preferred style is neckbands, which were popular a few years ago but have kind of disappeared. The earbuds are attached to a short wire on each side of a lightweight bendable band, which sits with an ergonomic comfort on the back of your neck. I always found this style to be convenient; when the earbuds are taken out they safely hang on the wires around on the neckband.

Knowing that, Creative’s Aurvana Trio wireless neckband triple driver earphones with noise isolation had some time around my neck for the past week with great success.

The neckband is great for any listening environment. But what makes these rock is the sound. Inside the triple driver speakers are 11 mm dynamic Bio-cellulose driver and dual balanced armature drivers. This produced great sound for every type of music with deep bass, lows, and highs all sounding right on. Creative echoed my thoughts by calling it audio nirvana for all music genres on their website.

The Bluetooth 5.0, headphones pump out great sound, which features high-quality aptX HD, Qualcomm aptX low latency (reduces audio-visual delay), and AAC audio codecs.

Handsfree calls were loud and clear on both ends, thanks to the built-in microphone with Qualcomm cVc 8.0 noise cancellation technology. Controlling the calls, volume, play selections, activating voice assistants and charging are all on the end of the neckband with physical rubber buttons.

With Bluetooth 5.0, Aurvana has Multipoint Connectivity, allowing seamless connections to multiple devices. Without having to re-establish connections, the headphones will connect to an iPad and a laptop and switch seamlessly between the two, depending on which is needed.

The outside of each earbud is magnetic allowing them to clasp together when you have them out of your ears. This is a great help when you still have the neckband on but the earbuds out. Six sets of silicone and foam ear-tips and a pouch are included. The battery will last up to 20 hours of playtime before a USB charge is needed.

For a personalized audio experience, Creative’s Super X-Fi will set the audio for your ears. Using algorithms with a head and ear-mapping process incorporated after you send images of your ears and head. $99.99

House of Marley’s Smile Jamaica wireless 2 earbuds, part of the Smile Jamaica collection, are a typical typical Marley product, with nice sound and an eye-catching Eco-conscious design, which starts with the packaging.

It is great to see a budget-friendly choice ($29.99) with crisp sound, an appealing design, and waterproof features.

Each Bluetooth 5.0 earbud has a wood finish and recyclable aluminum with a 9.2 mm driver inside and is attached to a braided tangle-free cable. A three-button control is on the cable with a USB-C port for charging.

Other features include an IPX4 rating for weather and water resistance, quick charge technology, and with a two-hour charge you can expect about nine hours of playtime.

House of Marley has always been an environmentally friendly company and announced that the Smile Jamaica headphones have 100-percent recyclable packaging. This means the entire package contents can be put into the single mixed-paper recycle bin.

With the Smile Jamaica earbuds, Marley is equally proud of their construction with a cable design using fibers made of 99-percent post-consumer plastic waste from recycled water bottles, FSC certified wood, and recyclable aluminum housings. $29.99, available in color configurations of black, rasta, cooper, denim, and smile Jamaica green

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