A new pair of cheap wireless earbuds have just been announced that should be especially of interest to Nintendo Switch OLED (or the regular Switch) buyers – or anyone who plays games on their phone. The EKSA GT1 Cobra enable you to switch between a 'Music' mode with richer audio quality, or a 'Game' mode that cuts their latency to just 38ms, and adds virtual 7.1 surround sound. And they cost just $49.99/£38.
The best wireless earbuds totally dominate overall sales of headphones these days, but they have a big downside for gaming: they suffer from heavy latency, which is the gap between the moment a device wants to make a sound and the moment the headphones actually play the sound. It's caused by the time it takes to transmit the audio, and then process it within the headphones.
Latency doesn't really matter for music, or even for video, because devices compensate by adjusting the video and audio so they'll sync even with the latency. But for gaming, it's terrible, as audio cues and visual does don't link up. It's common for headphones to feature lag of anywhere from 150 to 300 milliseconds.
The wireless options in our list of the best gaming headsets tend to use custom wireless tech rather than Bluetooth, for this reason, but that generally means plugging a dongle into your PC, PS5 or Xbox – not ideal for the Switch or phones.
These aren't the first wireless earbuds on the market to promise lower latency, but with Razer's Hammerhead offering 60ms and Enacfire promising 70ms, the EKSA GT1 Cobra is still a step ahead of them for speed. 38ms is only 2-3 frames of lag at 60Hz – it's impressive!
With all models of the Nintendo Switch having recently added Bluetooth headphones support, these are a great addition if you'll be travelling with your Switch over Christmas.
For the price, we're not expecting the GT1 Cobra to deliver any miracles in the sound department from either mode, but fairly large 10mm drivers and 20Hz-20kHz frequency range mean they certainly could sound pleasing. Cheap Bluetooth buds have come a very long way in the last couple of years.
The styling is extremely 'gamer', so you'll have to decide if you're good with that. The stated battery life of 6 hours from the buds and 30 more hours from the charging case is pretty damn good, in any case.
They're available today from eksa.com, and will land on Amazon internationally in mid-November, if you can hold on until then.