CES Editors' Choice Awards: The best and coolest tech to expect in 2020
What you'll actually want to buy this year.
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CES is the birthplace of thousands of new tech products every year, and the scope of innovation is getting larger. No longer limited to TVs and laptops, technology has made inroads into parenting, health products, fitness, beauty, and nearly everything you own. But that doesn't mean you should buy everything that debuts here.
That's why we created the Reviewed CES Editors' Choice awards: to single out the very best products that we think you'll actually want to buy in 2020. Each winner excelled in some way, standing out from its peers in innovation, technology, design, or value. If you're looking to upgrade this year, consider this your shortlist.
TVs & Audio
Samsung The Sero
For the last few years, Samsung has been introducing new, innovative TV designs meant to capture a certain vibe or lifestyle. The new “Sero” (Korean for “vertical”) is a TV that pivots between traditional 16:9 widescreen and a vertical mode, making it all the more suitable for smartphone-oriented content. Once your phone is linked to it, shifting from landscape to portrait orientation on your phone will prompt the screen to rotate, making it an easy way to share images, videos, and social media in a world where almost 50% of videos are shot in a vertical orientation. The TV also sits on a large base with an embedded speaker, giving it an audio advantage. Samsung is definitely aiming for GenZ and millennial buyers with The Sero, but this one’s as innovative as it is quirky.
LG CX OLED
LG’s “C” series of OLED TVs have been our #1 ranked TV for the last three years, so the CX (pronounced C10) has big shoes to fill—but we feel confident it will fill ‘em. While LG produces a full suite of OLED TVs every year, the “C” line is always the one we recommend for most buyers: You get all of the fancy tech and amazing picture quality of the more expensive OLEDs, but don’t end up paying for some of the fancier design elements. Perhaps best of all, the CX series has expanded the screen size options to include a new 48-inch model, the first sub-50-inch OLED that’s ever been produced. Not only does this give TV lovers without as much space the chance to enjoy an LG OLED TV, but it will likely be considerably more affordable compared to the last couple of years.
Samsung Q950TS 8K
The first legitimate 8K resolution TVs hit the market last year, so naturally, this year TV companies are upping the ante. Samsung has released three different 8K QLED TVs, and the Q950TS is the biggest and fanciest option in the new series. Featuring an insanely thin screen border (the TV is almost 99% screen, Samsung claims), the Q950TS is stuffed with futuristic tech like machine learning to optimize the picture and sound quality in real time, an 8K “quantum” processor, and artificial intelligence that helps to scale back the amount of bandwidth required to stream content. While pricing hasn’t been announced, the Q950TS might be one of the most technically proficient TVs ever produced, so it certainly won’t come cheap. Regardless of whether you can afford it, however, there’s no denying that the Q950TS is an absolute beast of a TV.
OLED TVs are nothing new: they’ve been some of the best-looking TVs in the world for the last 5 years. In fact, we love them—our only complaint is that they’re so dang expensive. That’s what’s so exciting about Vizio finally joining the OLED market. While the company makes excellent TVs, it also manages to make those TVs markedly more affordable than much of the competition. While Vizio wasn’t able to give us a price point yet, they did confirm that their intention was to maintain that penchant for value here. Case in point, the new Vizio OLED might be an OLED TV everyone can actually afford. It won’t be the best-looking option on the market, but it does use the same panel as LGs OLED TVs, so if you’ve been craving an OLED TV but didn’t want to pay big bucks for it, you should keep the Vizio OLED on your radar in 2020.
Sony ZH8 8K
Sony is playing ball where ultra-premium 8K TVs are concerned, and the new Z8H delivers a smorgasbord of fancy features and cool tech. These huge 75- and 85-inch TVs are big, boxy, and beautiful to behold, despite their very durable industrial designs. The sturdy squared bezels also hide one of the most interesting TV audio innovations in a while: embedded tweeter speakers, which interact with the TV’s traditional midrange audio offerings to create a soundscape that’s worthy of the huge, 8K screens. The Z8H has also been upgraded with embedded far-field microphones for hands-free control. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s safe to say these jaw-dropping TVs won’t come cheap.
Vizio M-Series Quantum (2020)
Last year’s M-Series Quantum was a smash hit for TV lovers looking for an affordable option that still looked great, and the 2020 M-Series Quantum promises to deliver a similar experience for shoppers this year. For the money, you’re getting one of the most affordable TVs around that still delivers “quantum dots,” a newer TV tech that amps up a TV’s color production into vivid beauty. The M-Series Quantum is a 4K/HDR smart TV as well, but across its wide range of screen sizes it’s much more affordable than a lot of the competition, delivering great picture quality alongside a minimalist approach to design and features. Where pure value is concerned, the M-Series Quantum is at the top of the heap for CES 2020 TVs, and looks to be one of the most promising options for most people this year.
JBL Bar 9.1
This is JBL’s first Dolby Atmos-capable soundbar and the hefty, modular offering hopes to deliver consumers the “ultimate cinematic experience.” While this is definitely within the high-end range (it’ll be available this spring for $999), it justifies its price. This 9.1 channel system features two detachable surround speakers, a wireless powered subwoofer, and ample flexibility via built-in Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2 functionality. Overall, you’re getting a massive 820 watts of audio power—about 800 more than the average TV delivers. While your neighbors might hate you for buying it, your ears may just thank you.
Vizio’s made a name in the soundbar market, and the Elevate is not just the company’s fanciest soundbar in 2020—it’s positively ingenious. What makes the Elevate so cool is that it works as both a 5.1 and a 5.1.4 soundbar, using two end-cap speakers that rotate forward or up depending on whether or not it’s using upward-firing audio via Dolby Atmos or DTS:X formats, which use object-oriented sound to provide a three-dimensional listening experience. During a demo, the Elevate sounded excellent in both modes, and is pretty easy on the eyes, too. It also interfaces with Vizio’s new OLED in a really cool way: the TV can dock into it, turning it into a dual-purpose stand and soundbar. And in typical Vizio fashion, we’re betting the price tag will be reasonable, too.
Laptops & Mobile
Asus Chromebook Flip C4346
Asus has long made some of our favorite Chromebooks, with its Flip C434 line offering the best-in-class balance of price, performance, and premium design. The upgraded C436 takes it one step further, with a slimmer, lighter design that actually feels more premium than its predecessor. Chrome OS has come a long way from its earliest days, and with significantly improved support for running Android apps this Asus should be able to handle nearly anything a regular user would need it to. If you’re looking for an affordable laptop for everyday use this year, the C436 seems like an early bet to be our favorite Chromebook for the money.
Dell XPS 13 9300 (2020)
For nearly a decade, Dell’s XPS 13 has been the dominant choice when it comes to lightweight, high-end Windows laptops. The latest iteration features upgraded Intel 10th-gen chips inside and a new screen with nearly no bottom bezel. It feels great to use, with the excellent keyboard and trackpad we’ve come to expect, and a supposed 19-hour battery life with some configurations. The upgraded screen ditches most of the bottom bezel, pushing the display to a slightly taller 16:10 ratio that is excellent for browsing the web and editing spreadsheets and presentations. Fast, beautiful, and with a very reasonable starting price of just $999.99, it just might be the perfect 13-inch laptop.
Acer Spin 5
While other laptop manufacturers are rushing to follow Dell and Apple’s lead by offering thin, lightweight laptops with just USB-C ports, Acer is catering to the crowd that hates dongles. The Spin 5 offers Intel’s latest 10th-gen chips with Intel’s upgraded Iris Plus integrated graphics, a rotating 2-in-1 display, and a full array of ports including USB-C, HDMI, and standard USB-A. The design uses a magnesium aluminum alloy that is sturdy and yet feels elegant. It’s an $829 laptop that will easily compete with models that cost nearly well over $1,000, and will already be one of the best values when it debuts later this year.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook
If you still think Chromebooks can only be budget-oriented laptops, Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook will change your mind. It features an incredibly high-end design that is lightweight, thin, and packed with amazing tech such as a QLED display and an included S Pen stylus. It will cost roughly $1,000 at launch, on par with Google’s own Pixelbook. For that, you get Intel 10th-gen chips, a 13.3-inch 4K touchscreen with a 2-in-1 hinge, up to 16GB RAM, up to a 1TB SSD, two USB-C ports, and WiFi 6 support.
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold
Though Samsung has already brought folding devices to market with its Galaxy Fold phone, folding screens are quickly coming to tablets and laptops as well. Lenovo’s Thinkpad X1 Fold is the first laptop with a folding screen, and it works way better than you’d expect. The X1 Fold is essentially a large 13-inch OLED tablet that runs Windows 10 Pro and can fold in half like a thick leather portfolio. It comes with a small Bluetooth keyboard that neatly fits between the screen when shut and can be used alongside it or on top of one half of the screen, depending on how much room you need to work. It definitely feels like the future, but with enough little design touches that Lenovo has clearly thought about how this will actually work into your everyday life. The future is here, and it’s awesome.
HP Spectre x360 15
HP’s Spectre x360 laptops are arguably the best-looking machines on the market, with 2-in-1 displays and beautiful designs. But last year’s 15-inch Spectre x360 had one serious problem: giant bezels around the screen. It made the whole laptop much larger (since the bottom deck needs to be the same size as the screen when closed), and heavier as a result. The 2020 15-inch x360 remedies that, with a nearly bezel-free display that shaves several inches off the sides. The result is a laptop that is significantly lighter and more portable, giving users another premium-grade choice besides The Dell XPS 15 and Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ are wonderful phones, but they will still set you back roughly $1,000 or more. The Note 10 Lite swaps out most of the main components for cheaper alternatives, but keeps the included S Pen stylus. It has a flat 6.7-inch screen, the aforementioned stylus, a triple rear camera array, massive 4,5000 mAh battery, and even a headphone jack. The price and timing of US availability are not clear, but a more modest mid-range version of the Note series is something we can very much get behind and is easily the best phone we saw at CES this year.
Eufy Video Doorbell (battery powered)
Eufy’s Security WiFi Video Doorbell is our favorite smart video doorbell for the money because it offers free, encrypted local data storage, custom activity zones, clear audio, and a reliable connection. So naturally, Eufy’s latest announcement of the Eufy Video Doorbell (battery powered), caught our attention because it offers all the same bells and whistles—and then some.
The new Eufy Video Doorbell is wire-free, touting a battery life of up to 180 hours per charge. It offers Smart Human Detection and it plays nice with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s expected to be released early this year for $199.
BodyGuardz Portable Over-Door Camera
The Portable Over-Door Camera from BodyGuardz is like a smart doorbell you can travel with. It connects via WiFi and slides on the top of most standard doors using an adjustable metal bracket. With two 1080p HD cameras offering a 135-degree view and a clear video display screen, the wire-free camera is a secure way for apartment dwellers and travelers to see what’s happening outside.
The device boasts a battery life of up to two months, detects motion, sends alerts, and lets you use two-way audio to chat with front door visitors via the BodyGuardz app (coming soon). The camera is expected to be released later this year and cost $279.
Hatch Restore is an all-in-one nightlight and sleep aid that claims to help people sleep better and was designed by sleep experts. Restore, which can be controlled with the device's companion app, is small enough to fit on your nightstand so you can wake up with a light that mimics the sun rising and create customized sleep routines. It also functions as a white noise machine, reading light, and it displays certain colors for periods of time to help you with controlled breathing exercises.
Restore should be available upon launch in early 2020 on the Hatch website and other popular retailers where Hatch is currently sold. It's expected to cost under $150.
Wayzn Smart Sliding Glass Door Opener
Wayzn is a universal smart sliding door opener—and it was designed to replace traditional doggie doors. The app-controlled device, which integrates with smart cameras like Nest, sends a notification to your phone when motion is detected at the door, prompting you to open or close the door for your pooch remotely. But it’s not just for pets—you can control the door from the app on your phone if you ever get locked out, too.
It takes just minutes to install and no tools or drilling are required. The smart slider fits most standard sliding glass door tracks. It’s expected to be available for purchase later this year for $399. However, you can reserve one now from Wayzn.
Swann WiFi Security Tracker Camera
Swann is known for DIY home security solutions, and this year they’re introducing several new smart products that integrate not only with Swann’s security systems, but also with Google Assistant. The WiFi Security Tracker Camera has a 180-degree view and facial tracking to help you keep tabs on who comes and goes from the house. The Security Tracker Camera can notify you on your phone when it spots a person at the door, and you can teach it to recognize those who live with you or visit often. The camera will be available for $79, and there are no subscription fees associated, which is becoming more and more rare in the world of smart security cameras.
Sengled Edison Filament Bulb
Smart bulbs have been, since their inception, all about how they can change the look of the room. They can make it brighter, they can make it purple or green, they can make it look like someone is home when you’re on vacation. But the bulbs themselves have been pretty boring in appearance at best. Sengled’s new Edison Filament Bulb is a shining deviation from that norm. It looks just like a gorgeous vintage bulb, and it would fit in seamlessly with many decor styles. In our testing, Sengled has performed well and we loved the energy-monitoring feature in the Sengled app. The Edison Filament Bulb from Sengled will be available for $29.99 per two-pack.
Appliances & Cleaning
LG ThinQ Washer with AI
Imagine if you never had to pre-sort your laundry again. LG took one step closer to that dream with its ThinkQ Washer with AI. That’s right, artificial intelligence has finally come for your dirty socks. The new washer uses internal sensors to determine the fabric type, weight, and volume of a load to determine the perfect wash cycle, and an auto-dispenser releases just the right amount of detergent. LG already makes some of the best washers on the market, so expect this to be one of the premier models when it hits stores later this year.
Eufy RoboVac G30 Edge
We have long-praised the Eufy 11S as the best value in robot vacuums, but the new RoboVac G30 Edge might finally “edge” it out. With impressive suction power for its size, a 100-minute run time, and optical flow sensors, Eufy once again pushes the boundaries of how much performance they can stuff into something so affordable.
LG CordZeroThinQ A9 with Power Drive Mop
Last year’s LG CordZero A9 gave Dyson a run for its money. The suction power was impressive, but the real killer feature was the pair of swappable batteries that doubled your cleaning time. This year’s model adds a new Power Drive Mop head for even better cleaning of hard surfaces. And if you bought the previous model, don’t worry! The Power Drive Mop will also be sold as a separate upgrade kit.
Trifo is a newcomer to the robot vacuum market, but the Lucy is aiming to advance what's possible in object recognition. It features two cameras—one for HD color imaging and one for depth recognition—that are able to discern objects as small as one inch in height. The color camera also live-streams to your phone if you want to peek into your house while you're gone. Additionally, the Lucy can automatically divide rooms without the need for magnetic strips. With a two-hour battery and 3000 PA of suction power, we expect great things from Lucy when it hits stores in late Q1 / early Q2. The estimated price is $799.
LG ProActive Customer Care
Internet-connected appliances have been trickling in for years now, but the benefits are often narrow and hard to explain. LG is attempting to finally make good on the promise of truly smart appliances with Proactive Customer Care. Leveraging sensors and Wi-Fi within the machine, the service will alert owners before a major problem occurs and offer a corrective course of action. Reduced airflow in dryer vents, oversudsing in the laundry, and unusual oven pre-heat readings are all signs that something could be wrong with your appliance. LG doesn’t want to send out a service truck to you any more than you want to wait around for one, so LG Proactive Customer Care will try to help before it gets too costly.
Kitchen & Cooking
Last year, Impossible Foods became the first brand to ever showcase an actual food product at CES with their now-ubiquitous Impossible Burger. Their latest product goes global—Impossible Pork, an entirely plant-based substitute for the most popular meat worldwide, is even more versatile than the company’s original burger. Vegan, kosher, halal, and made of the same soy proteins and “bleeding” heme found in the Impossible Burger, Impossible Pork tastes remarkably like the real thing—and it demonstrates a real achievement toward preserving biodiversity and reducing the environmental footprint of animal agriculture. In addition to its ground pork form, you’ll find it available in a sausage croissant breakfast sandwich debuting at Burger King later this year.
Anova Precision Oven
Anova has been a leader in the home sous vide market for years, but they’ve expanded into the increasingly popular smart countertop oven category with the Anova Precision Oven. What sets it apart from the million other smart ovens available? Steam. Yes, Anova has recognized the power of steam for precise temperature control, faster cooking speeds, and traditional baking techniques, and has worked it into an attractive countertop appliance for the home chef without a degree from Le Cordon Bleu. Following Tovala, Anova is the second major brand to introduce a steam oven to the American market. While we don’t have a price just yet, we think it’s going to be competitive with Tovala’s $300 oven.
Whirlpool x Yummly Smart Thermometer
Digital meat thermometers don’t have to cost a fortune, but there are some extra-special features on the Yummly Smart Thermometer that justify its $129 price tag. Unlike most thermometers, Yummly’s new device uses dual temperature sensors to monitor food and oven temperatures simultaneously. It’s also completely wireless, can be remotely tracked via Bluetooth, and will even be able to automatically adjust the temperature settings on compatible Whirlpool ovens by the end of 2020 to help you achieve the perfect roast. Even if you don’t opt to pair the thermometer with a Whirlpool range, it can provide you with remote temperature monitoring you’d only get from investing in a smart oven—and that’s something to celebrate.
GE Kitchen Hub
The GE Kitchen Hub caught our eye at CES 2019 with its boldness—the over-the-range hood with a 27-inch tablet attached to it is anything but subtle. However, it’s obviousness disguised some pretty convenient technology, including a downward-facing camera that gives you a better look at what you’re cooking, a forward-facing camera for video chatting, and smart connectivity for streaming music, TV, and cooking videos. This year’s updates to the Kitchen Hub include an entire microwave disguised behind the screen, and compatibility with a third camera built into certain GE oven models for food sensing and monitoring. The newest model still includes our favorite feature: a low-powered vent that prevents oily smoke from touching the pristine screen.
Health, Beauty, & Fitness
Do you often forget to take your makeup off at night or apply sunscreen in the morning? The Neutrogena Skin360 app is here to hold you accountable to a skincare routine and track your skin's progress in five key areas: wrinkles, fine lines, dark under-eye circles, dark spots and smoothness. The free app prompts you to take three photos of your face in order to analyze your skin (a previous version required a dongle on your phone, but this one makes use of your phone's camera). Neutrogena's artificial intelligence assistant, NAIA, asks questions about your routine habits and your desired results to personalize your skincare routine of suggested Neutrogena products, though you may add your own. You may then take follow-up photos to rate your results and make modifications, as needed. It's like having your own personal skincare consultant on speed dial—for free.
Serious runners will be racing for Nurvv Run’s GPS-tracking smart insoles, which slip under the insoles in their favorite kicks and collect data on their running efficiency—principally their cadence (or steps per minute) and stride length—via 16 sensors per foot. The Nurvv companion app provides actionable, interactive coaching advice to guide the runner to make changes to help them get faster and prevent injury. Nurvv Run is available for preorder now for $299.95, and will ship in February.
From the makers of a GPS tracking device for dogs comes the Whistle Fit, a fitness and health tracker for your precious pooch. This accelerometer-filled, collar clip-on device tracks the dog’s active minutes, while its companion app provides guidance for owners on nudging a lazy pup to move more and feeding advice of the brand of food (from an extensive database) you already serve. What’s more, the tracker can discern if the dog is scratching or licking excessively—both are common behaviors that can indicate health problems that may require a vet visit. Whistle Fit retails for $79.95, with a $2.95 monthly subscription fee for cloud data storage.
Sleep Number Climate360 Smart Bed
We are so excited about the Sleep Number Climate360 Smart Bed, we included it on this list despite its expected launch not coming until 2021. In addition to the comfort-oriented adjustability Sleep Number is known for, the Climate360 will allow bedfellows to customize three temperature zones from head to toe on their own sides of the bed. Not only can each select whether they want the zones heated or cool, but they can create an hour-by-hour program to adjust temps throughout the night.
Colgate Plaqless Pro
Whether you brush for the full dentist-recommended two minutes or not, you may leave behind plaque, a bacteria-containing film around your teeth. To help you brush smarter, Colgate’s new Plaqless Pro uses optic sensor technology that detects plaque buildup. While you’re brushing, a ring around the barrel of the electric toothbrush flashes blue to indicate that there’s a biofilm buildup on those teeth. After a thorough cleaning, the ring flashes white, so you know to move on to a new area of the mouth. Say goodbye to blindly brushing and nerve-wracking dentist appointments—this device teaches you better brushing habits for squeaky-clean teeth.
Parenting & Kids' Tech
Comper Forehead Thermometer
Every parent I’ve ever met has the same complaint: it’s difficult to find a thermometer for kids that’s fast, easy to use, and gives an accurate temperature reading. The Comper Forehead Thermometer appears to be the thermometer that parents have been waiting for. This is one of the products that impressed us the most over the course of CES, primarily due to its functionality and the beauty of the design. Unlike traditional forehead thermometers that have to be slowly moved across a child’s forehead, the Comper works simply by placing the probe in the middle of the forehead and pressing a button to generate a temperature reading in 0.5 seconds. The Comper Forehead Thermometer works so quickly that it’s ridiculously easy to take a child’s temperature—no matter how wiggly they might be.
Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced WiFi
We’re already fans of the OG Formula Pro, but the newest version takes formula-feeding to a whole new (awesome) level. The WiFi-enabled device pairs with a smartphone app so that you can instantly make warm formula bottles with just the tap of a finger. Got a baby who consistently wakes up to be fed at 4:17am? You can program the Formula Pro to have that bottle ready and waiting before your babe lets out their first cry. Track your baby’s feeding, easily control the bottle size and temperature of the water, and even auto-order formula all through the app. The Formula Pro Advanced is launching June 1, 2020, but you can pre-order today on the babybrezza website.
myFirst Camera 3
The myFirst Camera 3 is a Polaroid for the modern generation of kids: The camera instantly prints out black and white prints of whatever photos your child snaps. The photos print in just 10 seconds, and the newest iteration of the myFirst Camera features two lenses in case your kid is all about that #selfie life. While it’s certain to appeal to kids just based on the design and colors alone, perhaps the most amazing feature of the myFirst Camera 3 is that it saves the snapshots to a memory card so that parents can print out high-quality, color versions of the photos on their home photo printer. There are no pixelated photos here: the truly great shots that your budding shutterbug takes print beautifully in larger sizes.
Turn your child’s drawing into a simple video game with the Doodlematic kit and app. Whether your child is a budding Picasso or can barely draw a stick figure, the Doodlematic will work for them, and kids will love seeing their creations come to life. Scan your child’s artwork into the Doodlematic app, which pairs their drawings with candy features to create simple games that kids will be proud to call their own.
Pali Bedtime Buddy
While there are a number of clocks on the market that claim to train kids to stay in their beds until a certain time, we’ve yet to find one that actually works. The Pali Bedtime Buddy sleep training clock combines all the components of existing “sleep trainer” clocks with new features like a digital countdown timer and a reward drawer where parents can tuck treats or tokens. The Pali Bedtime Buddy pairs with an app via Bluetooth, through which parents can set and control sleep and wake-up times, and even remotely lock the reward drawer so that kids can’t access treats on days they get up too early.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
The Canon EOS-1D X line remains the gold standard for professional sports photographers, and for good reason. It has rock-solid durability and performance, effortlessly getting the job done for photographers covering everything from the Olympics to natural disasters. Though it’s beyond the scope of what everyday people might need, the new 1D X is likely to be the source of many of the best images you see in the news for years to come. It’s expensive, of course, but it’s good to see Canon continue to push the boundaries of DSLR design in 2020 and beyond.
Nikon D780 DSLR
The camera industry isn’t what it once was, but for professionals and hobbyists there’s still nothing like a dedicated camera. Nikon’s D780 follows up on the superb D750, taking many of the company’s best-in-class professional features from its pro-grade D5 and putting them in a camera body that any serious enthusiast can afford. It’s a great option, especially for people who prefer the look, feel, and reliable performance of a traditional DSLR to newer mirrorless options.
Jabra Elite 45h
CES is full of some of the most amazing headphones you’ll ever hear, but many of them cost a ton of money. Jabra’s Elite 45h on-ear headphones cost just $99 but offer incredible value. They sound great, are super comfortable, offer up to 40 hours of battery life, and they have a welcoming, simple-to-use design. They work via Bluetooth 5.0 and were able to hold a connection well, despite CES being jam-packed with wireless networks at all times. They aren’t the flashiest headphones we saw at CES, but with wireless headphones quickly becoming the standard over wired models, the budget-friendly Jabra Elite 45h have an important role to fill.
Drop + THX Panda Wireless Headphones
Wireless headphones are fantastic—and with headphone jacks disappearing from nearly every phone, a necessity. But they rarely provide the kind of awe-inspiring audio performance you get from premium over-ear headphones. Drop (formerly Massdrop) seeks to change that with a truly high-end design that includes Oppo-inspired ribbon planar magnetic drivers, THX AAA amplifier technology, and a nearly distortion-free sound that will provide what Drop is calling audiophile-level quality in a comfortable, stylish pair of wireless headphones. They sound stunning, especially for the incredibly reasonable $399 price point.
Puro Pro Volume-Limited Headphones
Puro makes our favorite volume-limited headphones, but they are marketed largely toward younger kids and gamers who can suffer life-long damage from noise-induced hearing loss. The Puro Pro does the same but in a comfortable, stylish package that is perfectly suited to older kids, teens, and even adults that want to limit their exposure to extreme volumes. They sound great, offer very good active noise cancellation, and—most importantly—they offer effective volume-limiting tech from a company we know and trust, unlike many of the models we have tested in our labs.
Jabra Elite Active 75t
The Jabra Elite Active 65t were already some of our favorite true wireless earbuds for working out, but the new Elite Active 75t improves on them in nearly every way. They’re roughly 22% smaller and still offer better battery life (7.5 hours per charge, up from 5). They also have an improved water-resistance rating of IP57, meaning they’re rated for actual submersion and not just splashes, sweat, and rain. Like most true wireless earbuds they can take some getting used to, but they sound great and were able to effectively block out noise even in a crowded trade show hall. For working out at the gym or running, they’re a fantastic wire-free companion starting at $199.99.
HyperX Cloud Flight S
The HyperX Cloud Flight gaming headphones were already among our favorites for wireless gaming headsets, and the new Flight S makes them even better. They are lightweight, offer excellent 7.1 surround sound and 50mm drivers, a claimed 30+ hours of battery life, and Qi-based wireless charging so you can easily leave them on your desk on a charging pad and never have to worry about running out of juice. They’ll hit retail for $159.99 soon, with support for PS4 and PC-based systems right out of the box.