The HolyHigh Wireless Earbuds are light, comfortable and impressively waterproof – this, plus long battery times and a solid Bluetooth connection, makes them ideal for cyclists. Their in-ear design inevitably blocks ambient sound, which won't suit everyone, though they do support mono should you choose to just run one.
At first glance the HolyHigh earbuds seem like a premium set, and I'm genuinely surprised at the features given the price. They come fitted with black earhooks, plus a pair of fluorescent yellow spares. You also get three sizes of rubber grommet to match to the holes in your head, and the buds live inside a clever charging case.
The earbuds' waterproof rating of IPX7 means they can survive being submerged in a metre of water for 30 min, which is impressive. They easily stand up to sweaty turbo sessions and even hot showers afterwards.
Open the charging case and the HolyHighs switch on automatically, then pair with the last known device – it's incredibly quick and easy. The case itself has the latest USB-C connection, a magnetic lid, and a row of small white LEDs to indicate battery level.
The case is capable of replenishing the earbuds five or six times on a single charge, so as well as acting as convenient storage, it means they're always topped up and ready.
The distance they stay connected is impressive. It's a good twenty metres – I can even leave the phone in the house and stay connected in the garage on the turbo with no dropout.
Curiously, the black ear hooks are slightly more flexible than the florescent ones, and I prefer them as they feel a bit more snug around the ear. Like the case, the earbuds have LEDs to show charge – blue when good, red when low.
To be clear, I don't normally ride with headphones as they block out external sounds, and these are no different – I find myself constantly checking over my shoulder for cars. You can ride with just one as they work in mono mode, too.
Each earbud has a multifunction button to control features such as on/off, volume, call answering, next track, or Siri and Google Search. Unfortunately, it's rubberised and rather stiff, and leads to you just jamming the bud into your ear... I ended up using my phone controls instead, or taking a bud out to press it.
Both buds feature mics for calls, too – again you lose nothing by running just one, which is a neat bit of design.
Sound quality is perfectly acceptable for both music and calls, and the more snug the fit, the bassier they get. I used these during sweaty Zwift races to communicate with team members, and found them excellent... although I'm not sure the others appreciated my heavy breathing.
Despite this niggle, the performance, features and quality are impressive, especially for the price. There's not much out there that's really competing.
Dave tested the Kitsound District True Wireless Earbuds last year, which have a similar charging case, but had to 'hack' the eartips with Sugru and the Bluetooth connectivity wasn't great. And they're £70.
The Aftershokz Aeropex would be a good alternative if you are looking to do more riding with music, as they're bone conducting and don't block external sounds – however, they're £150. Aftershokz' new OpenMove model (review to come) is cheaper at £70, but showerproof rather than properly waterproof.
The HolyHigh Wireless Earbuds are comfortable for hours, last ages on a charge, connect extremely well and offer an impressive, waterproof build. The price is extremely competitive too – really only the stiff button lets them down, and even that can be worked around.
Assuming you're okay with riding without ambient sound, or just wanting something for the turbo trainer and online chat, they're easy to recommend and a very strong option.
Good sound, impressive waterproofing and generally great design – only the button disappoints
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road.cc test report
Make and model: HolyHigh Wireless Earbuds
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
HolyHigh says these are an: "Optimized design for sport."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rated at waterproof rating IPX7, able to be submerged up to 1m in water for 30 min.
Auto Paring & Auto Connection - Open the charging case, then left and right wireless headphones will turn on and pair with each other automatically. They auto connect with the last known connected device.
6 hours earbud + 30 hours extended playtime via the case - A single in-ear earphone can work up to 6 hours on a single charge. The portable charging case can charge the earphones 5-6 times to extend total playtime to 30 hours.
Bluetooth Connection & Wide Compatibility - Adopting the latest Bluetooth 5.0 chip - enabling a more stable connection with clearer and smoother calls.
Button activated function. Each of the earbuds has a multi function button to control features such as volume up/down, on/off, answer calls, next track, or to enable Siri or Google Search.
Stereo or mono-connectivity - you can wear just one earbud in mono-mode. Each earbud has a separate microphone.
The case has the latest USB-C connection, a magnetic lid, and includes small white LEDs across the front to indicate battery level of the case.
Well made from good materials.
The Bluetooth connects within a second, coverage is a good and they're waterproof enough to swim in.
Very good, except when using the stiff button.
Really great value for money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Everything but the stiff button.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pushing the button shoves the bud into your ear.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There is not much competition at this money. Dave tested the Kitsound District True Wireless Earbuds last year, which have a similar charging case, but had to 'hack' the eartips with Sugru and the Bluetooth connectivity wasn't great. And they're £70.
The Aftershokz Aeropex would be a good alternative if you are looking to do more riding with music, as they're bone conducting and don't block external sounds – however, they're £150. The new Aftershokz OpenMove (review to come) is cheaper at £70, but showerproof rather than properly waterproof.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
These are impressively well made and well specced for the price, and do a great job. If using the button didn't shove the earbud into your ear, they could be a nine, but as is they're still a strong eight.
About the tester
I usually ride: GT Grade My best bike is: Boardman ASR 8.9
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,