IFA 2015: Onkyo launches world's first truly wireless in-ear headphones

Onkyo has announced a number of new on-ear and in-ear headphones at IFA 2015 in Berlin, with a big emphasis on wireless Bluetooth functionality.

Most intriguing of all is the W800BT, an in-ear design Onkyo claims is the world's first truly wireless earbud. Certainly there are no wires at all associated with the W800BTs - the left and right earbuds communicate with each other, and with your smartphone/portable music player/what-have-you, entirely wirelessly.

Battery charging takes place in the supplied carry-case, and Onkyo suggests 12 hours of wireless music playback is realistic from a single charge.

The W800BTs go on sale in November this year and will cost around €300. See them in action in our video below.

The rest of the new in-ear range consists of the E700BT (€150, shown below), E300BT (€130) and E200BT (€80).

These aren’t, strictly speaking, wireless as they each have a single cable containing the battery and in-line remote with mic, but they all feature wireless Bluetooth functionality and are available in black or white. The two more expensive models also include NFC one-touch pairing.

The Onkyo E700BT in-ears have Bluetooth connectivity

The Onkyo E700BT in-ears have Bluetooth connectivity

There are two new on-ear models, the H500M (€180) and H500BT (€230). Fundamentally the H500BT (shown top) is a Bluetooth-enabled, wireless version of the H500M, so they are both closed-back designs housing 40mm drivers.

Both are certified ‘High Resolution’ by both the US Consumer Electronics Association and the Japan Audio Society thanks to their 7Hz – 40kHz frequency response. But (and it’s a reasonably big ‘but’) the H500BT only reach this standard when hard-wired using the supplied 1.2m cable, rather than when operating wirelessly.

MORE: Onkyo reveals X9 speaker and new headphones

Simon Lucas is a freelance technology journalist and consultant, with particular emphasis on the audio/video aspects of home entertainment. Before embracing the carefree life of the freelancer, he was editor of What Hi-Fi? – since then, he's written for titles such as GQ, Metro, The Guardian and Stuff, among many others.