Windows 10 April 2018 Update kills off a number of features

Microsoft has just officially launched the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, and it’s also revealed which features it’s removed from Windows 10.

As Microsoft notes in a news post on its Windows IT Pro Center website, while it adds plenty of new features and tools with major updates like the Windows 10 April 2018 update, also known as Windows 10 version 1803, it occasionally removes features and functionality as well.

This is usually because the features have been replaced with something more useful, or the feature or functionality just isn’t widely used any more. As with the Fall Creators Update, several features have been removed from Windows 10, and Microsoft has listed them, along with suggesting alternatives.

Here are the features that you will find missing when you install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

Getting out of the Groove

After killing off its Groove music streaming service last year, the Groove Music Pass has now been removed from Windows 10.

You can still use the Groove app to play music you have stored on your PC, or streamed from OneDrive, but if you want to stream music you don’t own then Microsoft suggests using Spotify or other music services. That must have been a bitter pill to swallow.

The HomeGroup feature, which allowed simple sharing of files and printers over a home network, has also been removed, and instead you’ll need to use the built-in tools that come with Windows 10.

While some people may be dismayed at the death of Groove and the lack of HomeGroups, there is one feature that most people will be happy to see the back of: Microsoft has announced that it has now completely removed the option to ‘Connect to suggested open hotspots’ in Windows 10’s Wi-Fi settings.

This was a controversial feature that worried many people when it was first introduced, as it would connect to open Wi-Fi hotspots (networks without a password) automatically by default, which led to some security concerns.

The option was so controversial that Microsoft disabled it, and it’s now removing it altogether. Instead, you’ll need to connect to open networks manually, which is a much more sensible idea.

The People app is also losing a number of features. It will no longer include unsaved contacts for non-Microsoft accounts, the ‘Conversations’ part of the app will no longer work when you’re offline, and you’ll need an Office 365 account.

Another tool that’s been cut from Windows 10, which very few people will mourn, is the XPS Viewer. This is no longer included by default, but if you’re one of the few people who use it, you can install it from the ‘Apps and Features’ section of the Settings app.

Marked for death

As well as announcing the features it’s killed off with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, Microsoft has also listed the features that are no longer being actively developed. In software terms, this can often be a lot like being placed on death row, and it means that these features are likely to disappear in a future update to Windows 10.

The Windows Help Viewer app is being depreciated, with all Windows help information now available online. Of course, this isn’t going to benefit anyone who has an offline device.

The Contacts feature in File Explorer also looks set to be killed off soon, with Microsoft pointing users to the People app in Windows 10 for similar functionality.

The Phone Companion app is no longer being developed either, with Microsoft encouraging people to use the ‘Phone’ section of the Settings app, which will include all the Phone Companion features.

While it’s sometimes worrying when a company starts taking features away from a piece of software you rely on, for the most part these cuts make sense, with newer – and better – alternatives in place. Check out Microsoft’s full list of cut features for more information.

  • Don’t mind losing these features? Then here’s how to download and install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update right now

Via Thurrott.com

The best cheap laptop deals in May 2018: prices start under £140

A great cheap laptop deal can be hard to find with so many options on the net. That’s where we come in. Our team of dedicated deal hunters are on the lookout every day to find the best laptop deals from the most reliable retailers on the net. So, for the best value cheap laptops, with genuine discounts over the trumped up fake ‘deals’ take a look below.

This week we’ve found a cheap laptop offer for under £140 for a 10-inch laptop and a Google-friendly Chromebook for under £200. Or how about a bundle with a laptop, security package and bag for under £300? Looking for something more powerful? We have lots to show you here too with a fine selection of models with SSDs, plenty of RAM and powerful processors for well under £500 from some of the best laptop brands in the business. We’ve even found a pair of powerful gaming laptops for under £650.

We’re looking for great laptop prices all year round so you don’t necessarily have to wait for the sales. We’re always on the lookout for the best up-to-date laptop voucher codes too.

If you’re after a cheap laptop for web browsing and other simple tasks, or you need a new laptop for school or work, or you simply need a really powerful laptop for as little money as possible, we have options for you.

At the top of the page you’ll find our selection of the very latest and best cheap laptop deals of the week followed by a selection of popular quality laptops that retailers like to discount on a regular basis. Underneath those laptop deals you’ll find our pick of the latest best laptops and the best available prices.

If you’re from the States or Down Under, be sure to check out our selection of the top laptop deals in the US or in Australia in our always-updated guides.

Cheap laptop deal of the week

More great cheap laptop deals

We’ll continue adding the best laptop deals in the latest sales as we find them. Up next, you’ll find the latest prices on some of the most popular laptops around, followed by the best deals on TechRadar’s favourite laptops.

laptop deals

Where to find the best laptop deals:

  • Amazon laptop deals
  • John Lewis laptop deals
  • Currys laptop deals
  • Very laptop deals
  • Tesco laptop deals
  • Argos laptop deals
  • Laptops Direct deals
  • Dell laptop deals

laptop deals

Popular cheap laptop deals

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cheap laptops at john lewis

There have been some generous offers lately for this popular Lenovo laptop series. Any choice between the 4GB and 12GB RAM options should run multiple applications at once. Hard drive sizes vary from 256GB SSD to 1TB in regular form. Some options also include dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 940MX graphics.

Flex 10

At around £200, the HP Stream 14 is decent value if you’re after something to cover the basics like web browsing or document editing. It’s competitively priced again the cheaper Chromebooks out there despite the 14-inch screen and Windows 10 operating system.

cheap laptop deals

There’s some hefty grunt under the shell of these HP 250 G4 and G5 models  and there are some great prices this week. The Intel Pentium processor and 4GB/8GB of RAM mean this laptop will whip through pretty much any day-to-day activity you can throw at it without the juddering performance of cheaper laptops. Hell, it’ll even have a decent crack at playing a few of the less demanding games out there.

Satellite Click Mini

A sturdy choice for a study laptop for school/college/uni. The HP Pavilion 15 has more power that the average pupil needs while keeping the costs sensible. If you’re not needing extra power of an expensive laptop for video/photo editing, this is more than enough for web browsing, playing some tunes on Spotify and editing coursework.

Asus3

From afar, this laptop might be mistaken for a MacBook Pro which tells you a lot about its level of quality. Don’t expect a full metal chassis at this price, but this is probably one of the best looking plastic bodies in its category. There are plenty of ports (old and new), 4GB of RAM and a massive 1TB hard drive. The cheapest models have a respectable i3 processor, but you can get the more powerful i5 versions for not much more if you need that extra kick. Asus saw it fit to include a DVD writer as well as a 15.6-inch full HD screen. Despite this large display and the presence of a numeric keypad, it’s just a tad thicker and heavier than an Ultrabook.

Why not upgrade your storage with a cheap hard drive or SSD? See the best hard drive and SSD deals. 

cheap laptops on ebay

This is the newer version of the Asus Transformer Mini series. This upgrade includes a fingerprint sensor and double the RAM at 4GB for speedier performance. For your money, this is one of the most impressive two-in-one transformer models out there.

This is one of the larger Chromebook experience out there for someone looking for a full-sized laptop with an excellent screen at a super low cost. The 4GB of RAM running the Chrome OS is super fast and will allow you to really pile up tabs and apps without slowing down. The battery will easily last the best part of a day for most users too.

The best deals on our favourite laptops

We’ve reviewed loads of laptops over the years: we’ve seen the good ones, the great ones and the ones to avoid. Sometimes the best laptops pop up online at some truly deal-tastic prices. So in this section, we list the very best laptops out there and the best deals on each one.

Best laptops

The Dell XPS 13 is, bar none, the best laptop you can buy today. It features a revolutionary design that’s astonishingly thin and light. Fitting a 13.3-inch screen into such a small frame means Dell has created a nearly borderless Infinity display. It’s a powerful and long lasting machine even by today’s Ultrabook standards. The XPS 13 comes outfitted with Intel’s latest Skylake processors plus lighting, quick storage and memory, all while coming in at a very affordable starting price. For these reasons, it easily takes the top slot as the best Ultrabook, the best Windows laptop and the best overall laptop.

Looking for a quality gaming laptop but want to keep things under that unappealing £1000 mark? Then Dell has you covered with the Inspiron 15 Gaming range.

Best Chromebook

The Asus Chromebook Flip isn’t perfect, but it’s an impressive little piece of kit. Plus, it’s so affordable that you might want to pick one up just to have a Chromebook on hand – even if you already own a MacBook or Windows laptop. Aside from the budget price tag, the Flip is one of the best-built Chromebooks to blaze the trail onward for more convertibles. Touchscreen functionality feels more logical, with a screen that actually rotates. The Flip meets all the core tenants of an ideal Chrome OS device.

cheap laptop deals

This 10-inch hybrid comes packing a surprising amount of goods considering its small size. It’s outfitted with an HD screen and more than enough power to get you through a simple day of web browsing and even image editing. When you’re ready kick back with some media streaming, you can pop off the 10-inch tablet.

Best gaming laptops

The Asus Strix GL502 is undoubtedly one of the best gaming laptops around for gaming in 1080p. It’ll run with the settings cranked with games like Overwatch not dipping below 60fps. The battery life isn’t the best, but the display, performance and built-in sound system more than make up for it.

Lenovo has crafted a brilliant, forward-thinking device that could very well create a subcategory in computing all of its own. The modest specs hold it back from taking on the big boys in terms of raw power, but the innovative digital touchpad keyboard and drawing surface look like trendsetters to us. The Android version is currently about £100 cheaper than the Windows one.

cheap surface pro deals

Can a tablet really replace your laptop or home PC? That’s still up for debate, but the best tablet trying to make that happen is the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – and it does a fine job with the full blown version of Windows 10, an integrated kickstand and optional keyboard attachment. Great for for creative professionals, students and everyday folks alike – it’s only the premium price that push it down the list, but if you’re willing to pay for it, you’re getting a lot of power. A LOT.

  • Best Laptop 2017: our pick of the 15 best laptops this year

Windows Mixed Reality gets performance boost and more with exit from SteamVR ‘early access’

As you may have noticed, the Windows 10 April 2018 Update has been officially released by Microsoft, and with it comes a raft of Windows Mixed Reality improvements – and the news that Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR has left ‘early access’.

In other words, this is effectively saying that a full range of functionality is now in place. As Valve notes, SteamVR has been available to those with Windows Mixed Reality headsets since last November, and testing has been ongoing on the aforementioned new features, with 24 updates having been released to beta testers.

The improvements that come with the April Update include boosts to performance – so users should find less video RAM being consumed now – and overall stability, along with haptic feedback for motion controllers, and a new Skyloft environment (to go with the existing Cliff House).

Custom capers

Furthermore, it’s easier to customize those virtual environments, and once you’ve personalized them, taking photos to show off the results is also a much simpler matter (you just hold down the Windows button and tap your trigger).

Valve also observed that there are now 422 games in the Steam Store which support Windows Mixed Reality, giving gamers a much broader choice outside of the offerings in the Microsoft Store.

This doesn’t mean that Valve is done with further honing SteamVR for Windows Mixed Reality headsets, and indeed the firm promises that further new features are going to be delivered via regular updates.

All of which is good news for those who have taken the plunge with Microsoft’s headsets that include the likes of the Lenovo Explorer and Samsung’s HMD Odyssey – and that’s a growing number of folks by all accounts.

  • Some of our best laptops have the power to run Mixed Reality

 Via MS Power User

The best noise-cancelling headphones 2018

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar’s round-up of the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy in 2018.

Traveling, by all accounts, is one of life’s great rewards. To travel, to see the world, whether for work or for pleasure, is not only an admirable venture but one of its best pursuits, too. Augustine of Hippo, a theologian from around the year 400 A.D. put it best, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” 

While we whole-heartedly agree with Augustine, one thing has changed since then, and that’s the way in which we travel. We’ve gone from horse and chariot to jet-engine and Boeing 737, and the world has never been the same.

To that end, just as the nature of travel has changed, so too has the technology that we use to make the journey more comfortable. Take, for example, wireless noise-cancelling headphones. Put them on, and all the outside noise fades away. 

So what makes a pair of truly excellent noise-cancelling headphones? Hi-Res Audio is a good start, batteries that offer several days of use, comfort and the best, most advanced noise cancelling algorithms to keep outside noise far away.

To help you pick out a pair of headphones that deliver all of the above in spades, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 noise-cancelling headphones, listed below and ranked by their price-to-performance ratio.

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are an excellent revision of an already great pair of headphones: They sound great, deftly wield noise cancellation technology and cost just as much as a pair of Bose QC35s. They might have a slightly shorter battery life than Bose’s flagship over-ear headphones, but Sony’s WH-1000XM2 outclass the QC35 in terms of performance and feature-set.  

You’d want to pick these Sony headphones over the Bose because not only do they provide the same level of awesome noise-cancellation, but they have three neat tricks that Bose just doesn’t have on its headphones: One is an ambient noise mode that only lets in mid-to-high frequency tones (announcements over a loudspeaker, for instance) and another being Quick Attention mode that allows you to let in all outside noise without taking off the headphones. (The latter is perfect when giving a drink order on a plane or speaking to a coworker for a brief moment before diving back into your work.) The last trick Sony has up its sleeve is the LDAC codec. Alongside the widely adopted aptX HD standard, LDAC enables Hi-Res Audio playback using the 1000XM2.

Great-sounding, feature-packed and just as affordable as the competition? The Sony WH-1000XM2 are our all-around pick for best noise-cancelling cans.

Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM2

Philips Fidelio NC1

Philips presents a more elegant noise-cancelling solution with its NC1. These on-ear headphones aren’t wireless like our top pick, but that’s hardly a reason to knock them. Coming in at $299/£195, the NC1 are a compact set that’s high on comfort and battery life.

You get a lot for the money here. In the box comes the headphones, a hard case for storage and the headphones rock a rechargeable battery that provides noise cancellation for close to 30 hours. But best of all, the sound performance is extremely well balanced and warm.

(A quite note for our Australian readers: Philips sadly no longer sells the NC1’s down under, so you’ll need to import a pair if you’re keen.)

Read the full review: Philips Fidelio NC1

Coming in at the number three spot is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II – a nearly identical product to the already-excellent Bose QuietComfort 35 but updated for 2018 with Google Assistant. This means you still get the class-leading noise cancellation Bose is known for, good sound quality and incredible comfort, plus a convenient assistant to answer any inquiries you might have while traveling.  

Taken as a whole, the Bose QC35 II NC is an excellent headphone for travelers and commuters. Bose has found a good balance of features that will satisfy most mainstream listeners. While we don’t love them as much as the better-sounding Sony WH-1000XM2, they’re still top of the class for noise cancellation.

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose QuietComfort 25

A few years ago, the Bose QuietComfort 25 are the best noise-cancelling headphones we’ve ever used. The lows, mids and highs came through clear as day, never stepping over each other. Music of all sorts sounded predictably incredible. With the noise-cancellation turned on, we never felt further immersed and concentrated than when we let the QC25 engulf our ears.

But that was a few years ago and time has moved on since. Bose has released not just one sequel to these headphones, but two: the QC35 and QC35 II with Google Assistant built in, both of which we’d recommend above the QC25.

But, it’s not all bad. If you don’t mind using the older, wired headphones, the QC25s are a finely-tuned set of cans that provide over 35 hours of very good noise-cancelling performance with one AAA battery. 

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 25

Bowers and Wilkins are a little late to the noise-cancellation game, but their first foray impresses. 

The PX Wireless aren’t just a great sounding pair of headphones, they’ve also got a number of other interesting tricks up their sleeve. They’ll turn on and off automatically depending on whether you’re wearing them or not, and they also feature the future-proof USB-C charging standard. 

In our opinion their only downside is the sound quality, which we felt lacks the depth of the flagship headphones from Bose and Sony. 

That said, if you’ve been a fan of the look of B&W’s headphones in the past then the PX Wireless are certainly worth a listen. 

Read the full review: Bowers and Wilkins PX Wireless

If you prefer on-ear noise-cancellation, then the AKG N60NC Wireless are a great pair of headphones. 

At their mid-range price point the headphones offer fantastic value for money, with great sound quality and a level of noise-cancellation performance that’s on a level with the much more premium entries on this list. 

These are a fantastically compact pair of headphones, and offer a very complete package for the price. 

Read the full review: AKG N60NC Wireless

With noise-cancelling tech just as effective as that in headphones from rival Bose, and with a more musical sonic ability, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are a definite contender for the noise-cancelling crown. More affordable and easy to travel with, these lightweight headphones are a great value all-rounder, whether for flights, commuter trains or busy offices. 

Design-wise, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNCs seem a more slimmed-down, lighter and more focused effort than the bulky and expensive alternatives from Bose and Sony; and crucially, the HD 4.50 BTNCs are just as good with audio, and almost as good on noise-canceling. Whether you’re after noise canceling for long-haul ravel, for the commute, or just to stay more productive in a noisy office, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNCs are worth considering. 

Read the full review: Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

With the second generation Plantronics BackBeat Pro, Plantronics went back to the drawing board to fix many of the issues owners complained about the original. The BackBeat Pro 2, therefore, manage to keep all the great things about the original and improved upon its shortcomings, like its bulk and weight. 

In terms of value, the BackBeat Pro 2 are basically a steal. With the BackBeat Pro 2, you’re getting a travel headphone with incredible battery life, supreme comfort, the ability to pair two device as once and, most importantly, good sound quality for the cost. If you don’t want to drop $350 (£290, AU$500) on the Bose QuietComfort 35 or $400 (£330 or AU$700) on Sony’s flagship MDR-1000X, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 should be on the top of your shopping list. 

Read the full review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

The PXC 550’s greatest strength is their sound. Other wireless noise-cancelling headphones might offer a better user interface or better noise-cancellation technology, but ultimately none of the above match up to the sound quality of these Sennheisers. 

However, that said, there are a couple of irritations that prevent us from being able to fully and unreservedly recommend them, such as unresponsive touch controls  These annoyances aren’t quite deal-breakers, but there are definitely other noise-cancelling headphones out there that don’t suffer from the same issues.

Read the full review: Sennheiser PXC 550

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones

The Samsung Level On Pro Wireless are one of the few headphones we’ve tested that feel like they’re meant as a package deal for another device. Yes they’ll work with every Bluetooth and 3.5mm jack-equipped handset on the market, but you’re better off sticking to a Samsung device in order to squeeze every ounce of aural goodness from the Ultra High Quality (UHQ) audio codec.

It’s one of the comfiest pair of cans on the market, and they’re also much cheaper than a lot of the competition. If it had a better sound quality for the vast majority of cell phone users it would be an easy recommendation but, as it stands, really makes the most sense at checkout when purchased alongside Samsung’s Next Big Thing.

Read the full review: Samsung Level On Pro Wireless Headphones

Can’t decide which headphones to buy? Check out our guide video below.

  • We have exhaustive guides to the best headphones on the market buy today including the best on-ear headphones, the best in-ear headphones and the best over-ear headphones.
  • Want to go wire-free? Check out our guide to the best wireless headphones.
  • Looking for some headphones you can take in the pool or on a run? Check out our guide to the best swimming headphones and best running headphones.

We’re constantly reviewing new noise-cancelling headphones, but let us know on Twitter if there is a set that you’d like us to take a look at.

Best wireless headphones 2018: our pick of the best ways to cut the cord

Best Wireless (Bluetooth) Headphones: Welcome to TechRadar’s guide to the best wireless and Bluetooth headphones you can buy in 2018.

Technology innovates upon itself nearly every single day. A technology that you grew up with two, three, four or more decades ago probably either doesn’t exist anymore or has been improved upon drastically. 

Take headphones for example. 

Years ago, the only option was traditional wired on- or over-ear cans. But as technology improved, earbuds hit the market and soon the biggest names in audio weaved wireless Bluetooth tech into their most popular products.

These days Bluetooth wireless technology has improved to allow audio to be transmitted in Hi-Res, and batteries have improved to allow you to get several days of use out of a pair of headphones without needing to charge them.

We’ve entered the golden era of wireless technology. 

Love them or hate them, wireless headphones are here to stay, and the removal of the headphone jack from high-profile handsets like the iPhone X and Pixel 2 pes and sizes – from sleek, workout-ready in-ear headphones to cushion-y noise-cancelling over-ear headphones – and each offer more features and better connectivity options than your old wired headphones ever could. 

Can’t decide which headphones to buy? Check out our guide video below!

Headphones, no strings attached

So what makes wireless headphones so special anyways? And how do you determine the best wireless headphones from a whole bunch of wannabes? 

Easy. You try dozens of wireless headphones and stack them against one another, mono-a-mono. (Well, stereo-a-stereo in this case.)

We’ve done this countless times over the years and have since built up a bit of an ear for picking out certain tonal characteristics. With these particular set of skills and a keen eye for value we set about trying to pick out the best headphones money could buy.

So, looking to finally ditch the cord? Here are the top 10 wireless headphones, ordered by their price-to-performance ratio.

NuForce knocked it out of the park with the BE Sport3 headphones. They’re an incredible value for a pair of wireless headphones that sound good, last all day, have a bulletproof build and incredible noise isolation. While they’re not the most dynamic or resolving headphones, NuForce shows us that the future of wireless headphones is a bright one.

Read the full review: Optoma NuForce BE Sport3

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are an excellent revision of an already great pair of wireless headphones: They sound great, deftly wield noise cancellation technology and cost just as much as a pair of Bose QC35s. They might have a slightly shorter battery life than some other headphones on our list, but Sony’s WH-1000XM2 outclass them all in terms of performance and feature-set.  

Not only do they provide awesome noise-cancellation, but they have three neat tricks that few other wireless headphones have: One is an ambient noise mode that only lets in mid-to-high frequency tones (announcements over a loudspeaker, for instance) and another being Quick Attention mode that allows you to let in all outside noise without taking off the headphones. (The latter is perfect when giving a drink order on a plane or speaking to a coworker for a brief moment before diving back into your work.) The last trick Sony has up its sleeve is the LDAC codec. Alongside the widely adopted aptX HD standard, LDAC enables Hi-Res Audio playback using the 1000XM2.

Great-sounding and feature-packed, the Sony WH-1000XM2 are great travel companions and all-around excellent wireless headphones.

Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM2

If you want a pair of wireless headphones without breaking the bank, and you don’t fancy the in ear Optoma’s above, your next best bet is the Jabra Move Wireless. 

These headphones may look like a budget buy, but don’t let that fool you: this set of on ear Bluetooth headphones is nothing but an all-around stellar product. From the fun and edgy design to excellent performance, these cans come recommended for anyone interested in wireless on the cheap.

Read the full review: Jabra Move Wireless

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

Although they’re a much better looking, and sounding, pair of headphones, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (not to be confused with the smaller, cheaper, Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear Wireless) are kept off the top spot of the list by their premium price point, which puts them out of reach of all but the most committed of music lovers. 

But for those that can afford them, these are a no-holds-barred wireless headphones are oozing with positive qualities. They’re comfortable, hard-working set of headphones that will likely last for years.

Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

Bose took the already-excellent QC35 and updated with Google Assistant. The headphone is identical in every way save for the new Google Assistant button. This means you still get the class-leading noise cancellation Bose is known for, good sound quality, and incredible comfort. Said simply, they sound great and their battery life is long enough for all but the longest of flights.

If you’re looking to save some money, however, consider the original Bose QuietComfort 35. They can also be found for far cheaper these days, and if you’re not fussed about having Google Assistant built into your headphones then you can save yourself some money while you save up for QC35 II. 

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35 II

If you’re a frequent traveler you’re probably all too familiar with headphones that can’t hold a charge and can’t block out sound, let alone sound very good. Let us introduce you to the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2, one of the few headphones on the market that can do all of the above and cost less than half as much as one of the bigger names like Beats, Bose and Sony. 

They also include a neat little feature that allows them to automatically turn off when you’re not wearing them, meaning you’re able to easily maximise their battery life without much effort. 

If we had to boil it down to its core, the BackBeat Pro 2 offers an excellent travel headphone with incredible battery life, supreme comfort, the ability to pair two device as once and, most importantly, good sound quality for the cost.

Read the full review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

When Jaybird released the Jaybird X2 wireless headphones, they quickly became a favorite for athletes and casual listeners alike. Their reputation grew thanks to rugged construction, impressive sound quality and, above all else a respectable price that just kept dropping.

The appropriately named X3s carry the Jaybird torch onwards, improving on almost every feature of their predecessor and managing to hit the market at a lower cost while doing so. That said,  we would comfortably recommend these to gym junkies, audio purists and average Joe’s alike (don’t worry, you’re special in your own way), and while waiting for Bluetooth connections to improve their reliability is an option, at this price it isn’t worth missing out. 

Read the full review: Jaybird X3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones

AKG N60NC Wireless

The AKG N60NC Wireless sound like a pair of headphones that should be much more expensive than they are. 

At their mid-range price point the headphones offer fantastic value for money, with great sound quality and a level of noise-cancellation performance that’s on a level with the much more premium entries on this list. 

Our biggest issue with these headphones is the fact that they’re on-ear rather than over-ear, meaning that we found that they got uncomfortable over longer periods. 

Regardless, the benefit of this is that this is a fantastically compact pair of headphones, and if you’re willing to make the trade-off then these are great for the price. 

Read the full review: AKG N60NC Wireless

You might have expected to see the Apple AirPods on the list. While Apple’s true wireless earbuds are fine for certain folks – cough, iPhone users exclusively – they’re not the best for everyone. If you’re looking for an egalitarian pair of true wireless earbuds, you can do no better than the Jabra Elite Sport. 

Not only are these competent Bluetooth buds for use around town, with a long-enough battery life and good sound quality, but they are easily some of the best fitness wireless earbuds on the market, offering training for spinning, running, cross-training and even hiking. If you’re in the market for the ‘ultimate’ set of fitness headphones and don’t mind paying for them, then they are a strong choice.    

Read the full review: Jabra Elite Sport

The Beats X is a bold new product for what has quickly become a traditional headphone maker. Instead of sticking to bass-heavy workout earbuds or wildly expensive over-ears, the company has crafted a new pair of musically inclined in-ears for anyone already sick of losing their brand-new Apple AirPods.

It has a few problems of its own – including poor noise isolation and a lack of fidelity – but if you’re looking for a no-fuss pair of earbuds that charge in 5 minutes and don’t mind dropping some cash on them, the Beats X are for you.

The W1 chip also makes pairing and connecting these headphones a breeze. 

Read the full review: Beats X

Additional resources:

  • Check out TechRadar’s exhaustive guides to the best headphones to buy today including the best on-ear headphones, the best in-ear headphones and the best over-ear headphones.
  • For some more specialist pairs, take a look at our guides to the best noise-cancelling headphones.
  • Looking for some headphones you can take in the pool or on a run? Check out our guide to the best swimming headphones and best running headphones.