Some good news in these crazy days - noise-cancelling earbuds are about to get better and cheaper.
That's because of new Qualcomm Bluetooth chips that mean true wireless technology and active noise-cancellation (ANC) can come to earphones at a much lower cost. True wireless earphones have dropped in cost over the last year or so, with some non-ANC models around the $99/£99 mark.
The new Qualcomm chips boast Active Noise Cancellation (Hybrid ANC) and voice assistant support (usually Google Assistant) - until now features like these have only been found in more expensive earbuds.
The new chips support Qualcomm's TrueWireless Mirroring technology which basically means that one of the buds does the hard work in terms of maintaining the connection with your phone or other Bluetooth devices while the other bud simply mirrors that sound.
If you take the connected earbud out of your ear, the connection swaps over. That will remove the issue with some buds showing up as two Bluetooth devices.
Qualcomm adds that enabling ANC with the new chips will have a minimal impact on battery life, meaning that battery life is extended over the length of most international flights (not that we're taking many flights at the moment!) or a full day in the office. Based on a 65mAh battery, the new chips should give you around 13 hours playtime.