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JBL Free earbuds promise 24 hours of truly wireless music playback

Truly wireless earphones – the kind where the buds themselves hold all the power, rather than a neckband – are popping up all over IFA 2017. The JBL Free are looking like ones to watch, especially in terms of battery life.

Slipping into your ears without a wire in sight, they offer 24 hours of playback. However, it's worth explaining how that 24 hours breaks down – while the earbuds are good for 4 hours of continuous playback, it's the accompanying charging case that provides that extra 20 hours for the combined total.

It remains a slick package however, as the earbuds only need to sit in the charging case for 15 minutes before they're recharged enough to get another hour's worth of playback.

Hands-free calling

Connecting to your audio device over Bluetooth 4.1, the earbuds can be used for hands-free calling (even as a mono single bud) as well as stereo music playback thanks to a built in microphone and touch controls.

Three comfort-fit ear tip sizes are also provided, as well as two more secure silicone sleeves. Available in black and white color variants, they're looking like a tidy alternative to Apple's goofy AirPods.

Available from October, they'll be priced at £119.99 (around $155 / AU $195), making them, in the UK at least, considerably cheaper than Apple's offering, too.

  • IFA 2017 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new phones, watches and other tech as they're announced.