MobileSyrup Touque Test: How the best wireless earbuds work under warm winter hats

If you can't wear your earbuds under a touque, what good are they in Canada?

Earbuds on a touque

Winter is coming, as they say, and that means Canadians are digging out their favourite touques to keep their heads warm.

However, this year saw an influx of new, truly wireless earbuds. Tech companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, OnePlus and more offer all kinds of awesome earbuds and several different price points.

While many judge earbuds by metrics like sound quality, noise cancellation or battery life, one metric — perhaps more than any other — matters to Canadians: touque compatibility. ‘Touque-ability,’ if you will, measures how well earbuds work when you wear them with a touque.

The MobileSyrup team tested several earbuds to bring together this all-important guide to which true wireless earbuds work best with touques. Below you’ll find a short blurb describing the experience of wearing a specific pair of earbuds with a touque along with a ‘touque-ability’ score out of five points.

Surface Earbuds

When MobileSyrup reviewed Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds earlier this year, one of our favourite features was how comfortable the buds were.

Unfortunately, that praise does not extend to the touque-ability of these buds. Due to the Surface Earbuds’ design, they sit rather loose in the ear and stick out a fair bit. When I try wearing a touque, the Surface Earbuds’ edges catch on the material and they shift around in my ears. This isn’t a significant issue with a loose-fitting touque, but your mileage may vary.

2/5

Available for $259.99 on Amazon Canada.

Jabra Elite 75t

Thanks to the smooth exterior, the Jabra Elite 75t earbuds didn’t snag on the touque. Despite that upside, they still weren’t comfortable with a winter had on, mostly because it pushed the buds deeper into my ears than was comfortable.

A looser-fitting touque was less problematic, but the extra pressure of the touque on the earbuds wasn’t bearable.

1/5

Available for $159.99 on Amazon Canada (save 33%).

AirPods

AirPods (2019) on ledge

The AirPods are entirely plastic and therefore easily fall out of my ears. On the plus side, since they’re not in-ear earbuds, they still feel comfortable with a touque on.

Still, the fact that they feel like they’re constantly falling out of my ears in sub-zero temperatures doesn’t bode well for Apple’s lowest-end earbuds.

1/5

Starting at $219 in Canada.

Galaxy Buds Live

Galaxy Buds Live in ear

Echoing Apple’s AirPods in some sense, we found that the Galaxy Buds Live also constantly fall out of our ears while wearing a touque. This happens because if you have a touque over your ears, it often bends them slightly.

This curves the part of your ear where the Buds Live typically sit, unfortunately. In fact, we’d say that the Galaxy Buds Live are some of the worst earbuds available to wear with a toque on.

1/5

Available for $149.99 on Amazon Canada (save 23%).

AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro angled in-ear

The AirPods Pro are one of the only pairs of earbuds we’ve encountered that actually manage to stay lodged in your ear canal while wearing a touque. This is almost entirely due to their surprisingly comfortable in-ear design and flexible rubber tip.

Regardless of how tight your winter hat is, or even if you’re running, Apple’s AirPods Pro are great for braving Canada’s cold winters.

5/5

Available for $329 in Canada.

Pixel Buds (2020)

Pixel Buds 2020 and case

While Google’s Pixel Buds (2020) are nearly as good as Apple’s AirPods Pro when it comes to their ability to stay firmly planted in your ears in the cold and while wearing a touque, the black rubber fin that locks them in place can, unfortunately, bend under the pressure of a winter hat.

This means that, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live, depending on how tight your touque is, you could encounter several accidental drops.

4/5

Available for $239 in Canada.

OnePlus Buds

 

Sitting under the biggest touque the OnePlus Buds are locked in. The earbuds’ design, which is like the AirPods, but larger, means the touque can push them in snugly.

While this snug fit was worrying when removing the hat, the Buds stayed put. Even after putting on and taking off the touque like a mad person, the earbuds never fell out.

5/5

Available for $109 in Canada.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+

Galaxy Buds+

Much like the awesome Pixel Buds, the Galaxy Buds+ do a good job of staying firm in your ear, regardless of your touque situation. That said, under MobileSyrup’s tough touque testing™, these decent earbuds from Samsung refused to fall.

Even if your touque gets caught on your ear, you shouldn’t have to worry about the Galaxy Buds+ falling out.

5/5

Available in Canada for $199.99.

With files from Jon Lamont, Patrick O’Rourke and Brad Bennett.

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