Audiovisual

Shure’s new wireless earbuds ditch the earhooks for a more stylish design

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US audiomaker Shure has released its latest pair of true wireless earbuds, the Aonic Free – and they’re the most traditional-looking in-ears we’ve seen from the company yet.

That’s because the new earbuds are the first from Shure to ditch the hook-like anchors used to hold its other wireless products, like the Aonic 215, in place, permitting the Aonic Free a more refined, stylish and contemporary design.

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Looks aside, though, Shure’s latest earbuds also pack many of the impressive audio features you’d expect from high-end competitors like the AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM – though they arrive at a similar price, too. 

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For starters, the Aonic Free boast the brand’s trademark Sound Isolating technology, which Shure says is capable of blocking out up to 37dB of noise. 

Then there’s an Environmental Mode, which – not unlike the AirPods Pro’s Transparency Mode – uses the earbuds’ exterior microphones to let in ambient sound for a more natural listening experience.

As you’d expect from most of today’s wireless earbuds, users can alter volume, playback and call control via simple touch controls on the Aonic Free earbuds themselves, though the brand’s ShurePlus Play App, available for both iOS and Android, also offers access to these functions. 

The app, which supports standard and hi-res music files, can be used as a music player, too, for those after more customization from their music library. Users will also be able to manipulate tone and voice prompts from the ShurePlus app, if the buds’ standard notification options – for power, connection and battery – aren’t to their liking. 

Shure Aonic Free

(Image credit: Shure )

Speaking of battery, Shure claims the Aonic Free will sport seven hours of life from a single charge, with their AirPods-sized carry case offering capacity for two charges. That’s 21 hours of playback in total, though the buds also come with a fast-charge feature which provides a single hour of playback from just 15 minutes in the case. 

As for the price of the Aonic Free, the news is less exciting. They’re now available for $199 / £179 (around AU$329), which isn’t expensive compared to the most premium models listed in our pick of the best true wireless earbuds, but we’re hard-pressed to highlight anything the Aonic Free do objectively better than their competitors.

Still, it’s refreshing to see this long-established audio brand mix up its design formula with a pair of wireless earbuds that offer plenty of neat features in a smart, stylish package.


Should you wait until Black Friday to buy wireless earbuds?

Naturally, having just been released, we’re not expecting the Aonic Free to drop too much in price in the run-up to Black Friday – but that doesn’t mean their expensive rivals won’t appear in any sales.

In fact, we’ve rounded up the best Black Friday wireless earbuds deals you can snag right now, while also sharing our tips and tricks for grabbing the best bargains when the day itself rolls around on November 26.

As for whether you should wait until Black Friday to pick up a new pair of wireless earbuds, then, we’d say yes – unless you’ve already spotted a great deal on a particular product worth picking up right now. 

For newer audio products like the Aonic Free, though, we don’t anticipate much in the way of savings, so while it’s always worth waiting to see whether any deals do crop up, if you’re in the market for a pair of brand new wireless earbuds from 2021 right this second, we’d say buy them now.

  • Check out our roundup of all the best Black Friday headphones deals

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