For Valentines Day, 5 Headphone Upgrades Your Partner Will Love

This Valentine's Day, the best way to hear the sweet sound of a familiar and loving voice is through a new pair of headphones or earbuds. The holiday is as good of an excuse as any to give a loved one new headphones.

This is especially true in 2021 when many couples and crushes find themselves apart in ways they weren't expecting. COVID-19's on-going fallout has kept friends and lovers attached to their phones to keep in touch. And in that spirit of keeping the connection going strong, new wireless earbuds could be just what your video calls need.

Itty bitty earbuds: Samsung Galaxy Buds Live—$169.99

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Samsung

Samsung's line of Galaxy earbuds forgo the stem that has become standard on a lot of wireless earbuds. Without the extra plastic, the Galaxy Buds can mostly disappear in the wearer's ears. The Buds Live take this to an extreme and don't even protrude from the ear. They might look like beans in your hand, but in your ears, they become nearly invisible. If you're looking for some earbuds that won't be distracting or that can be hidden behind some dangling hair, then this might be a great option.

The Galaxy Buds Live offers active noise cancelling and a long 29 hours of battery life when recharged with the included battery case. The Buds Live has multiple mics to deliver clear audio calls and touch controls to pause, play, and control your sounds. The Buds Live retail for $169.99 but are frequently on sale for much less. Samsung even has a promotion going to provide a further discount if you trade in another pair of earbuds to get them as low as $119.99.

Buy at Samsung, Amazon and Best Buy.

Low cost, large possibilities: Beats Flex—$49.99

Beats Flex wireless earbuds Beats

Beats remains a premium audio brand, but its new audio devices have become much more affordable in recent years. It is a compelling option for overall great audio quality. The Beats Flex is a recent addition to its collection and can be had for just $49.99.

The Flex earbuds' initial appeal might be its low price, but it has plenty of features beyond that cost. The earbuds feature a W-1 chip inside, so all iPhone users will be able to pair them without fiddling in the Bluetooth settings. Turning them on for the first time will result in a pop up to connect, and then they're set. Additionally, the earbuds feature magnets to connect around your neck so they won't fall off when not in use. These could be great for audio and video calls but will also work great during exercise sessions.

Buy at Best Buy and Amazon.

Like AirPods: Soundcore Liberty Air—$64.99

Soundcore Liberty Air earbuds Soundcore

If AirPods look tempting, but you can't or don't want to spend the money, give the Soundcore Liberty Air a look. At a fraction of the cost, the Liberty Air has received plenty of praise for its sound and functionality. Best of the earbuds retail for $65 and are frequently on sale for much less.

The design is very similar to AirPods with a stem that makes for easy handling. Unlike AirPods, however, the Liberty Air comes in multiple colors, so you aren't limited to white. With an external noise cancelling microphone, these should provide clear audio on calls. Touch controls are present for easily changing songs. The earbuds can produce five hours of battery life with 20 hours using the included battery case.

Buy at Amazon and Walmart.

The most premium option: AirPods Max—$549

Listening on AirPods Max. Apple

AirPods Max cost $549 and are a great way to show someone you have a lot of cash. The over-the-ear headphones provide a premium sound and luxurious materials but don't come cheap. The value these provide may never quite match the asking price, but these Apple headphones are quite spectacular.

The transparency mode on the AirPods Max is nearly unmatched. The mode to hear things around you almost produces a super-human level of hearing. On the flip side, Noise cancellation mode puts you in total isolation — as good as Sony or Bose. AirPods Max will likely be a welcomed gift and provide tremendous quality audio for music, movies, calls, or even just noise isolation.

Buy at Apple, Best Buy and Amazon.

Comfy and isolating: Sony WH-1000XM4—$349.99

Video call with Sony's WH-1000XM4. Sony

For those that prefer headphones sitting over-ears instead of earbuds going inside, Sony's WH-1000XM4 are best in class. These headphones include nearly every feature imaginable, such as connecting to multiple devices at once and ear detection that pauses audio when you take them off.

Sony's WH-1000XM4 provides nearly everything the AirPods Max do, but they're lighter and less expensive. The trade-off is that they aren't made from premium aluminum, but for a lot of people, that will be OK. The sound quality is well rounded and dynamic. Plus, and maybe most importantly, the headphones are graced with plush ear cups and headband. That means being able to wear them longer without any discomfort on your head or ears.

Buy at Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.

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