The best wireless earbuds combine extreme portability, on-the-go recharging and surprisingly rich sound quality all in one tiny package. And with so many modern smartphones lacking a 3.5mm jack, why not free yourself from cables right now?
There are lots of reasons why you might want to grab a pair of the best wireless earbuds. This design is perfect for all kinds of scenarios: the gym, commuting, or relaxing outside on a sunny day.
As the category continues to grow in popularity, so does the demand for wireless earbuds, especially with modern smartphones slowly doing away with the headphone jack. Le sigh. Nonetheless, this hasn’t stopped tech staples like Sony, Samsung, and even Apple from releasing stellar cordless buds.
This guide will cover two different kinds of wireless earbuds on the market today; true wireless earbuds and neckbud-style Bluetooth earphones. The former have no cables whatsoever, while wireless neckbuds retain a single cable that connects each earbud – this is usually worn around the neck.
How we picked the best wireless earbuds
To find the best wireless earbuds for daily use, we first took into account every Bluetooth earbud model from more than 100 reputable manufacturers that put their focus on audio quality and mic quality. But that was simply too many to test, even for our dedicated panelists. So we narrowed down the list using some key criteria:
- Great sound quality and a secure, comfortable fit are of utmost importance for wireless headphones you’ll use throughout the day. We noted which earbuds got the worst reviews from the pros and passed on those that had consistently poor reviews.
- Voice-call quality is also key for daily-use earbuds, since you’ll likely be taking a lot of calls on them. In this regard, they should ideally match or beat the corded earbuds that came with your phone.
- Good battery life is another must-have feature in a set of Bluetooth earbuds that you’ll use every day. That means at least seven hours for traditional earbuds and four to five hours for true wireless designs with a charging case—the more, the better.
- The earbuds should also be splash and sweat resistant. Although these headphones aren’t designed for working out, you never know when you’ll get caught in a heat wave or a downpour on your commute.
We also checked out professional wireless earbud reviews from outlets such as CNET and PCMag as well as customer and fan reviews on websites like Amazon, Best Buy, and Head-Fi to further fine-tune our list.
Over the past five years, we’ve spent 100-plus hours testing more than 120 pairs of wireless earbuds.
Wireless vs. Wire-Free Earbuds
If you think the term “true wireless” sounds like sales jargon, we’re with you. Regardless of whether you call them “true wireless,” “cable-free,” or “wire-free,” the important distinction between these and typical earphones is the complete lack of a cable connecting the earpieces.
You should to know before buying
Will the headset interface on the phone be cancelled one day? Perhaps not so fast, but in the era of Bluetooth technology development so fast, wireless technology is increasingly recognized by consumers.
Therefore, wireless headphones are getting more and more people’s favorite, maybe you also have your own wireless headphones, but how much do you know about wireless headphones?
Types of wireless earbuds
- Bluetooth earbuds: This is the most common Bluetooth headset. Bluetooth headsets transmit farther and have better sound quality. Therefore, wireless headsets on the market are basically Bluetooth technology.
- Infrared headphones: Some of the early wireless headphones used infrared technology, but due to their limited transmission distance, they have now been eliminated.
- FM headphones: These wireless headphones are mainly used to receive wireless audio broadcasts, and their signals are highly diffractive and cover a wide range.
- Low, mid, high: During the lower, midrange and higher tones in songs, we listened to how each pair addressed each range.
- Bass: We listened to how well buds could reproduce the depth and kick of bass in a variety of songs.
- Soundstage: Musical soundstage is the three-dimensional feeling provided by high-quality stereo sound. Strong soundstage shows off the instrument and vocal positions in 3D space.
Design and comfort
- Build quality: Testing a number of physical properties of each pair of buds, we determined how heavy they felt in our ears as well as whether they used an ear hook to hold them in place. We also tested whether they bent, and to what degree, as well as the sturdiness of the build, and rated how soft or firm each pair was, a factor that affects comfort and ear size flexibility.
- Fit in ear: On multiple days, we wore each of them from three to eight hours at a time to determine how these fit in the ear, namely in the form of comfort or if pressure was added. We tried them out at various times during the day to account for varying ear canal tension. We also monitored fit with different genres at different volumes. If any additional ear tip sizes were included, we tried them to find the best fit.
- Stays in the ear: With buds inserted, we took a walk, went on a run, did a 45-minute Peloton workout and wore them around the house to test their ability to stay put. We also tried lying down and tilting each ear toward the floor.
- IP rating: An IP rating is an international standard scoring electrical devices on how well they resist elements like dust and moisture. We tested each device to the fullest extent of its rating, spraying them with water and wearing them in the rain and during intensive workouts. With dust, we tried to get a bit dirty running outside in a number of environments and tested removing the dust.
We tested three connectivity functions: VoIP calls (specifically FaceTime, Google Hangouts and Skype), latency and fast pairing. For VoIP testing, we simply rang people up and recorded real-time feedback on quality. To test latency, we looked into how quickly on-device controls registered with each device — for example, how long it took to pause music when we used the pause function on a pair of buds. Finally, we checked whether buds could fast pair, such as Apple-made pairs quickly being recognized by and pairing with Apple devices.
Noise cancellation is measured by how well a device cancels environmental sounds. Some devices feature active noise cancellation (ANC), which uses microphones to listen to and cancel the frequencies of these sounds. To test NC, we put on buds with and without music under a variety of environmental conditions. This includes outdoor running and Peloton workouts, taking a walk on a windy day, listening to a dog barking, commuting on public transportation and flying in an exit row and at the front of a plane.
The Battery life
- Battery life: We matched how long each pair’s battery lasted against how long they are purported to last.
- Battery life + case: We performed the same test comparing each pair’s battery life, plus the additional battery life provided by its case. This included testing with and without the additional battery life provided by charging cases.
- Charging time: We recorded how long it took to charge the buds from dead to full, how long they gained percentage after being dead and quick-charge functions.
Our Top Picks:
|Jabra Elite 65t||4.9 x 7.3 x 2.2 in||0.69 lb|
|Bose SoundSport Free||1.2 x 1 x 1.25 in||0.64 ounce|
|Apple AirPods||0.9 x 0.9 x 1.2 in||1.6 ounces|
|Jaybird Run||5 x 1.9 x 7.2 in||0.71 ounce|
|Samsung Gear IconX||5.1 x 5.2 x 6 in||0.64 ounce|
|Sony WF-1000X||5.6 x 4.7 x 2.5 in||3.53 ounces|
|B&O Beoplay E8||0.9 x 0.8 x 1 in||1.6 ounces|
|Jam Ultra||3.4 x 1.7 x 6.2 in||0.32 ounces|
|Jaybird X4||5 x 1.9 x 7.2 in||0.71 ounce|
|Bose QuietControl 30||0.8 x 6.5 x 6 in||2.24 ounces|
Jabra Elite 65t has a sophisticated design, outstanding sound quality, long battery life, and almost all voice support (including Amazon’s Alexa).
The Elite 65t does not have a built-in heart rate monitor. This design reduces the structure of the earbud, simplifies the operating experience, and extends battery life to 5 hours.
Earmuffs in three different sizes, although they do not have an auxiliary support for the fins, they can still stay in the ear securely. In terms of noise reduction, the Elite 65t is still very good. If you like sports, it is very suitable for you.
Voice is very powerful, you can switch between Siri and Alexa, Android system can choose Alexa or Google Assistant.
Overall, the Elite 65t is recognized by most people, but it’s perfect if it’s better done in terms of waterproofing.
In the true wireless headphone field, Bose enters with a winner. Bose SoundSport Free is the best true wireless bluetooth earbuds we’ve tested, it’s easy to use, comfortable to wear.
Available in three different color combinations, the earphones on both sides have removable earmuffs and ear flaps that are soft and lightweight.
Despite the anti-sweat and rain-proof design, the IPX4 rating means it is not completely waterproof, so don’t wear it while swimming.
The operation is quite simple, the right earphone is equipped with a multi-function button for controlling music playback, call management and song switching, and the side is a dedicated volume adjustment button.
Among the true wireless headsets we’ve tested, SoundSport Free is the easiest to use, the easiest to pair, and the most minimalist.
If you are the owner of an Apple product, Apple AirPods will be perfect for you. AirPods provide decent low frequency and crisp high frequency response, but it does not have a sealed ear canal environment like most in-ear headphones.
The headphone case is made of white smooth plastic with a short stem end that is missing from other competitors. Lightweight and reliable, you won’t even feel it when you wear it in your ear.
Waterproof ability is more general, but as long as it is not swimming with it, there will be no problem.
If you don’t mind talking to Siri, Apple AirPods will be very handy to use, and you can do a lot of things besides answering calls or pausing music.
4. Jaybird Run
Jaybird Run is Jaybird’s first true wireless earbud with a relatively long battery life, a sweat-proof design for sports, and a clear, clean sound.
It is available in two colors: black and white, but the color selection is limited to the flat top cover on the back of the earbuds. Both versions of the earbuds are black.
The silvery Jaybird logo is printed on the lid, the inlaid border is like a silver ring, and the wireless antenna is mounted inside the ring. Fitted with silicone earbuds and ear flaps for comfort, different sizes of ear flaps and earmuffs to accommodate different ear sizes.
This is a headset specially made for sports. It has anti-sweat function. The safety and comfort features also help fitness, but it does not have advanced fitness functions like heart rate monitoring.
The battery life is about 4 hours, the storage box can fully charge the headset 2 times, so the total playing time will be up to 12 hours.
In the field of true wireless headsets, Samsung is also one of the many leaders. Compared to the old Gear IconX, the 2018 version has significantly improved battery life, automatic motion detection and intelligent training.
The colors are black, gray and pink. Each earbud has the same protruding ear fins. The triangular shell can feel the touch sensitively. You can control the music playback by swiping, or swipe up to adjust the volume.
No longer have heart rate monitoring. Samsung said the decision was made to extend battery life.
Your own app will record your exercise data. After the workout, you can check the calories burned, distance traveled, duration and speed in Samsung Health.
When wearing the Gear IconX, you must make sure that it feels very stable and comfortable. The tighter the seal, the better the bass response you get.
Sony’s WF-1000X is one of the most expensive wireless earbuds, in part because it includes powerful noise cancellation.
The F-1000X’s audio performance is very strong, the bass response is excellent, and the resolution is high, but the noise cancellation is not perfect, at least compared to the WF-1000XM2.
Available in black and gold, the earbud comes with seven different sizes and materials for the earbuds and two pairs of earfoil accessories.
The battery life is 3 hours, and the charging box can fully fill it 3 times.
Compared with the old models, the APP has been greatly improved. The current interface is clean and refreshing, and the nearby Bluetooth headset is automatically detected when pairing.
If you look at it from the outside, the E8 is the best choice. To date, the E8’s charging case is one of the most classic designs we’ve seen. The black case is covered in leather and has a fabric lanyard loop.
Its audio quality is quite good, the app allows you to adjust the audio to suit your own unique taste, but it is still very expensive compared to other products in the same category.
Available in black and grey (carbon sand), it offers four pairs of earbuds in different sizes and a pair of sponge ear tips.
In terms of battery life, it can last for 4 hours after being fully charged. The charging box can fully charge the headset 2 times. B&O Play Beoplay E8 has a variety of sound features, but overall it will satisfy many listeners.
8. Jam Ultra
In the field of true wireless earbuds, Jam Ultra is one of the newest additions. It is cheaper than most competitors, and the included charging box can fully charge the headset 10 times.
The Jam Ultra is available in a black version with rounded ears on the earbuds for added stability.
In addition to the charging storage box, the product package comes with three different sizes of earbuds and a short micro charging cable.
In bass content tracks, Jam Ultra provides a thunderous bass response. At the highest volume, the bass has no distortion, and the bass is still quite strong when adjusted to a more comfortable volume level.
Although it provides a very strong bass depth, the clarity of the treble is not ideal.
9. Jaybird X4
Jaybird is Logitech’s US native running headset brand, designed to bring a free and enjoyable music experience to runners, and its product line covers almost all types of runners.
The X4 Wireless Bluetooth Sports earbuds feature IPX7 waterproof and sweat-proof features, multi-size earbuds and ear flaps that are soft and comfortable.
Excellent performance for 8 hours of full power, micro-USB line fast charging technology, fast charge for 10 minutes for one hour.
For accessories, the Jaybird X4 comes with a pair of Comply ULtra earmuffs M/L in addition to headphones.
Oval silicone earmuffs S / L two groups, firmly fit the ear flap 1/2 / 3 three groups, fast adjustment clip * 1, USB 2.0 charging cable *1, shirt clip * 1, portable bag * 1, satisfied with the big The needs of some sports enthusiasts.
The most familiar BOSE noise canceling headphones are undoubtedly the QuietComfort 15 (QC15), and the first-class users of suits and leathers prefer the QC15.
BOSE QuietControl 30 puts all the buttons on the inside of the sleeve and makes a full waterproof package. It only provides one power button and one Bluetooth identification light and power recognition light. Users only need to press and hold for three seconds to start Bluetooth pairing.
Switching between different devices, the voice prompt system will also inform the currently connected device name through the earbuds, and it is very easy to get started.
The remote control is set on the right earphone cord. The volume control has a volume up and down button, and the side is the noise canceling level adjustment button and the NFC near field quick pairing module.
Tap the middle depression to start playing music. Tap twice to switch to the next song. In the blind operation, it also conforms to the operation logic of the general Bluetooth remote control earbuds.
QC30 provides stepless noise reduction adjustment, and the user can intuitively adjust the noise canceling environment through the app or the noise canceling button on the line control.
We recommended 10 best wireless earbuds, each of which we entered after repeated testing and comparison.I believe you can choose the one that suits you after reading the article. If you have any questions, please contact us or leave a message below.