As technology around wireless earbuds has improved over the last few years, there are now (arguably) too many good options on the market. Iterative upgrades make it so that the baseline for wireless earbuds is “good” instead of “bad.” But with so many choices, how do you even begin to figure out where to start? Well, that’s where we come in, as we’ve taken stock and determined what are the best wireless earbuds for you.
Previously, we ranked the top earbuds of 2021, and after testing dozens of wireless earbuds, we’re ready to break down the top options for 2022. In addition, we recently tested and reviewed the best hook earbuds and the most comfortable earbuds, so be sure to check out those guides as well. There’s some overlap between these categories, but for this review, we’re including only the most elite products from brands like Apple, Sony and Jabra.
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SPY editors and product reviewers have tested dozens of wireless earbuds so far this year, and we’ve selected the top 10 for you below.
How We Test the Best Wireless Earbuds
Everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to wireless earbuds, but here are a few general features that we ensured each of our picks had when you consider your options on which to choose.
Sound Quality: When selecting the best wireless earbuds, the sound quality was the most important factor we considered. Noise cancelation and fit do impact the overall sound quality, but the internal software and hardware is also crucial.
True Wireless: Each one of these selections is powered by a truly wireless connection, which means you won’t get tangled up in a mess of cords and can move freely around while wearing them.
Noise Cancelation: Blocking out the extra sounds around the world is key when it comes to listening to your audio of choice. Each of our picks either has strong active or passive noise cancelation to help cut down on the noise you don’t want to hear so you can focus on what you do want to hear.
Comfort: Whether for work, travel, watching your favorite show, or a workout, you’ll want your earbuds to feel light in your ear and overall easy to wear for long periods of time. To determine overall comfort, we note how long it takes for ear fatigue to set in with each pair of earbuds. In addition, we consider how securely the earbuds stay attached to your ear, although this is more of a concern with wireless earbuds advertised as athlete-friendly.
Battery Life: There are few worse things than having your earbuds die when you need them the most. The majority of these picks offer anywhere from seven to nine hours of listening on a single charge and recharge quickly in their cases.
Water/Sweat Resistance: Do the earbuds have a water and/or sweat resistance rating? If so, did we find these earbuds performed well under such conditions?
With these factors in mind, we’ve rounded up the best wireless earbuds on the market to ensure you can listen to your favorite audio of choice. Here are our top 10 picks.
1. Sony WF-1000XM4 Wireless Earbuds
It’s hard to find a truly perfect product in the world of consumer electronics, but Sony’s WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds are about as close as you can get. We reviewed the earbuds last year and were hard-pressed to find something worthy of challenging their supremely impressive noise-cancellation, superior sound, strong battery life and much more. While their price trends towards the higher end of the spectrum, they’re well-worthy every penny. If you ask us, that’s about as close to perfect as it gets.
Full Review: Sony’s XM4 Earbuds Are the True Gold Standard
2. Jabra Elite 3 Wireless Earbuds
Jabra’s full suite of wireless earbuds impress, but you can get a lot for a little with the Elite 3. While not as showy as the Elite 85t (which we also love), the Elite 3 manage to pack a lot of features (strong sound quality, great comfort, IP55 water and dust resistance rating, and more) into a set of earbuds that are well under $100 and frequently go on sale. While you’ll miss out on some features found in higher-end versions, there’s plenty here to get excited about — including the money you’ll save by purchasing them.
Full Guide: The Best Cheap Wireless Earbuds for 2022
3. Apple AirPods Pro Wireless Earbuds
BEST FOR APPLE USERS
We just recently re-reviewed Apple’s AirPods Pro, and while we’re pretty sure there will be a refreshed version hitting shelves this year, this edition is still the best to get if you’re in the Apple family. The noise-cancellation on the AirPods Pro is really strong, they sound great and they’re incredibly easy to pair with any existing Apple device you may already have. It’s a slam dunk purchase if you’ve got an iPhone.
Full Review: Are the AirPods Pro Still Worth the Dough?
4. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Wireless Earbuds
BEST FOR SAMSUNG USERS
While Apple users have their go-to wireless earbuds, so do Samsung fans with the Galaxy Buds 2. Available in four different colors to best suit your individual personality, the Galaxy Buds 2 stand out thanks to their glossy, bulb-like design that’s both light and comfortable enough to sit in your ears for extended periods of time. Equipped with active noise cancelation, they’ll block out plenty of outside noise so you can focus on what really matters. Oh, and at slightly over $100, they’re not bad on your wallet either.
5. Razer Hammerhead Wireless Earbuds
BEST FOR GAMING
Razer’s gaming wireless earbuds, the Hammerheads, have plenty of features audiophiles will like including strong sound quality and active noise cancelation. However, the features Razer built for gamers will really stand out; the low latency mode cuts the response time down which is critical for those who want to hear every sound possible in order to ensure they can get an extra kill. But, the best part? Fully customizable Chroma RGB lighting that can be changed to your liking in order to get that true gamer experience.
6. Ultimate Ears Fits Wireless Earbuds
We claimed the Ultimate Ears Fits as the most comfortable earbuds we’ve ever tried, and we still stand by that statement. See, the UE Fits actually mold to the interior of your ear canal in order to provide, well, an ultimate fit (heh) for individual needs. This customized fit provides excellent passive noise cancelation, which along with their great sound, was just one of the many things that impressed us about the UE Fits. If comfort is king for you, look no further.
Full Review: Ultimate Ears Has Mastered the Perfect Fit
7. Master & Dynamic MW08 Wireless Earbuds
If you’re unfamiliar with Master & Dynamic, just know that the two-part name means one thing in audio: excellence. The brand has long positioned itself as the consumer electronics brand for audiophiles and their MW08 wireless earbuds don’t disappoint. While on the pricier side, you’ll get fantastic ANC, strong battery life, and easily the best sound-set of earbuds on this list. If you refuse to compromise when it comes to the sound of your music, these are the best wireless earbuds for you.
Full Review: Are These the Best Earbuds Released in 2021
8. Jabra Elite Active 75t Wireless Earbuds
BEST FOR WORKOUTS
Workout earbuds have a difficult job in the sense that have to do three things really well: sound great, fit comfortably and withstand the intensity of a workout. The Elite Active 75t from Jabra accomplishes all these criteria with flying colors, providing what is easily the best wireless earbuds for a workout, no matter what it is you’re doing to keep in shape. Oh, and as a bonus, they even have ANC for moments when you really need to pedal to the metal and to break your PR.
We named these the best wireless earbuds of the year in The 2020 Man, our end-of-year product awards. Two years later, they’re still worth the investment.
Read More: Why We Love Jabra Elite Active 75t Earbuds
9. Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds
Listen, sometimes you just want a little extra security with your wireless earbuds. After all, they can fall out if you’re not careful. That is unless you have a set like the Beats Powerbeats Pro wireless earbuds. The over-ear hooks make it easy to ensure they’re carefully looped into your ears, so they don’t fall out. Combine that with sweat resistance, nine hours of listening time and easy pairing across Apple devices, and you’ve got a great option to consider.
Read More: The Best Waterproof Earbuds
10. OnePlus Bud Pro Wireless Earbuds
There’s a lot to love about the OnePlus Bud Pro wireless earbuds, even without having a OnePlus device needed to access their full potential. The third version of the brand’s signature wireless earbuds, they look, function and sound a lot like AirPods, but at a price that’s a lot easier on your wallet than Apple’s signature earbuds.
Full Review: The OnePlus Bud Pro Are Impressive New Buds
About the Author: William Goodman
William Goodman is one of the most experienced product reviewers at SPY.com, and he’s been reviewing audio products, the latest menswear releases, and gaming gear for many years. Goodman is a Washington, D.C.-based e-commerce writer and reviewer. Previously for SPY.com, he’s reviewed the impressive Sony WF-1000XM4 Wireless Earbuds featured here, as well as new bespoke suits and video doorbells. His work can also be found at Robb Report, Complex, and GQ. He’s yet to meet a jacket or cardigan he didn’t love, and in his free time, he’s probably on Twitter (@goodmanw) or at the movies.
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