We Tested Wireless Earbuds for Hundreds of Hours — These are the Best

Stefan Vazharov
·9 min read
Photo credit: Created by Bridget Clegg using images from Samsung, Master & Dynamic, Jabra, Beats, Bose
Photo credit: Created by Bridget Clegg using images from Samsung, Master & Dynamic, Jabra, Beats, Bose


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Shopping for wireless earbuds today can be an overwhelming experience because of the sheer amount of options you can choose from. Whether you're looking for an affordable option, a great workout companion, or earphones that'll help you tune out your surroundings, there's a pair out there today that can do everything you need.

All the products on our list are completely wireless. Once part of an expensive and imperfect sub-category of products, today’s best wireless earbuds have evolved to deliver great sound, a reliable device connection, and enough battery life to meet the demands of most users — all without wires.

Noise cancellation is another convenient feature that's now ubiquitous in high-quality wireless earbuds. Leading products from Apple, Bose, Soundcore, and Samsung, to name a few brands, will not only entertain you, but also effortlessly tune out ambient noise.

Best Wireless Earbuds

How We Tested

For the past five years, I've been testing out earbuds what feels like on a daily basis. To put together this guide, I spent more than 300 hours researching roughly 20 potential entries from today's top brands. After poring over reviews from consumers and reading the thoughts of other industry experts, I set out on extensive personal testing.

I spent at least a week with every pick on this list, using the earbuds daily on my commute, at work, and even while exercising. I evaluated the earbuds on the following criteria:

  • Ergonomics and how they feel in the ear

  • Audio performance and overall sound quality

  • Fit during various activities

  • Battery life

We all know that sound is one of the most important factors when shopping for wireless earbuds. To test the earbuds' sound capabilities, I listened to my favorite playlists — along with a few podcasts — and paid close attention to their audible frequency range. The term relates to the headset's ability to deliver the treble (highs), the midrange, and the bass in your favorite tracks.

The treble and the midrange performance sets the best wireless earbuds apart from their rivals. It will help you enjoy the vocals, as well as the finer details in a song's instrumental accompaniment, to the fullest. Bass is typically the easiest audio bit to reproduce. But, especially in affordably priced headsets, it might come at the expense of the mids and the highs.

I also made and took calls using each headset in order to evaluate the quality of its audio, as well as the performance of its built-in microphone(s).

Now that you know what to look for in a pair of buds, check out our reviews of the best wireless earbuds on the market today, and get ready to begin a new sound journey without wires.

Best Overall

The all-new Jabra Elite 75t earbuds are our top pick in the constantly ballooning wireless earbud field. They're elegant, comfy, durable and entertaining sound-wise. I also tip my hat to Jabra for adding robust noise cancellation to the product's feature via a firmware update.

The Elite 75t deliver a powerful bass, which you can adjust via Jabra’s mobile app. Thanks to four built-in microphones, phone calls sound amazing, too. Finally, the buds last up to 7.5 hours between charges; their battery case holds a few additional charges.

All in all, these buds have everything you'd want in wireless earbuds.

Runner-Up

Anker’s Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro wireless earbuds are a solid alternative to our top pick from Jabra, thanks to a lower price tag and customizable features.

The buds have an impressive sound, which can be tailor-made to your exact hearing. Their noise cancellation is just as solid, and so is their performance during calls. The product’s companion app offers a best-in-class set of audio customization tools.

You'll get up to 7 hours of battery life from the buds, and their case holds more than three additional charges. The accessory is compatible with wireless charging.

Best Budget

The Soundcore Life P2 completely wireless earbuds by Anker overdeliver for their price tag. The buds have a refined design, a comfy fit, and an entertaining sound with just the right amount of enhanced bass.

The matte-black finish with copper accents is particularly noteworthy, since it gives them more of a luxury look. Their fully waterproof build with an IPX7 rating is also a great feature at this price point.

The buds’ battery endurance is also impressive. The same goes for their carrying case with fast charging capabilities.

Best Beats

After weeks of testing, I can confidently say that the Powerbeats Pro may just take the crown in the completely wireless earbuds realm. They offer iconic, instantly recognizable design, impeccable comfort, excellent audio quality, and up to 9 hours of battery between charges.

With Apple's H1 chip on board, the Powerbeats Pro earbuds will effortlessly connect to an iPhone, an iPad, or a Mac, as well as allow you to summon Siri with voice commands. Their performance during calls is also excellent.

If you are shopping for Beats on a tighter budget, consider the Powerbeats instead. They have the same audio performance and features, as well as longer battery life in a neckband form factor with significantly lower price tag.

Best Noise Cancellation

The Bose QuietComfort earbuds have noise-canceling capabilities that are truly in a league of their own. They tune out sound just as well as the range-topping Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. You can adjust the noise cancellation by choosing from 10 distinct levels in the Bose Music app.

Like all Bose products, the QuietComfort earbuds deliver a high-quality, well-balanced sound. Their performance during phone calls is also exceptional.

The buds have a comfy fit, a water-resistant build, and touch-sensitive controls. Up to 6 hours of battery life and a wireless charging case round up their noteworthy highlights.

Most Luxurious

If you care about style and craftsmanship above all else, these buds will be your newest obsession.

The Master & Dynamic MW08 wireless earbuds are luxurious, feature-packed, and totally worth their hefty price tag. Designed in New York City, they have gorgeous ceramic housings, which are available in several colors. The buds are also comfy and water-resistant.

Like all M&D products, the MW08 buds sound exceptional, thanks to finely tuned audio drivers, and their noise-canceling tech is adjustable via a mobile app. They have epic battery life, too, and a beautiful charging case with a stainless steel housing.

Best for Bass

Sony’s WF-XB700 Extra BASS wireless earbuds, as their name suggests, are a dream come true for those who like to enjoy tunes with a powerful low range. In addition to a wow-inducing sound, the buds have a pleasantly understated design, intuitive controls, and best of all, a price tag that’s impossible to resist.

Thanks to a comfy fit with secure tri-hold setup and an IPX4 rating for water resistance, the WF-XB70 earbuds are also perfect for exercising. You can order them in black or blue.

The earbuds can last up to a rather amazing 9 hours between battery charges. Equipped with a futureproof USB-C connector, their carrying case holds one additional full charge.

Tailor-Made for Apple

As their name suggests, the AirPods Pro pack even more features than the iconic and ubiquitous regular variant, headlined by superb noise-canceling tech, vastly improved ergonomics (there’s a test to ensure that they fit perfectly!), as well as an IPX4 rating for water resistance. The latter is truly groundbreaking, because it makes the earbuds ideal for exercising.

The sound of the AirPods Pro is impressive as always. Regardless of your content preferences, the buds will deliver a sonic experience that’s balanced and entertaining in equal measure.

The AirPods Pro are, unsurprisingly, incredibly easy to pair with Apple devices. They are hands-down the best option for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users.

Tailor-Made for Samsung

The noise-canceling Galaxy Buds Pro are Samsung’s equivalent to the Apple AirPods Pro. They pair seamlessly with Galaxy smartphones, just like the AirPods do with an iPhone. You can even charge them wirelessly (their case is compatible) off the back of top-shelf Samsung Galaxy phones.

With a duo of audio drivers per earphone, the Galaxy Buds Pro deliver top-tier sound with support for multidimensional audio. Their call quality is also excellent.

The earbuds’ noise cancellation is reliable and smart. We like their ability to activate ambient mode by detecting the user’s voice. Their 5-hour battery life with noise cancellation on is similar to that of the AirPods Pro.

Good for You and the Planet

The House of Marley Redemption ANC are the most Earth-friendly wireless earbuds available today.

Like all of the brand’s products, the noise-canceling earbuds and their charging case are crafted using sustainably sourced materials, including recycled plastic and silicone, plus reclaimed wood, among others. They make the Redemption ANC not only eco-friendly accessories, but also characterful ones with conversation-worthy design.

The sound of the Redemption ANC earbuds is headlined by a powerful and entertaining bass, just as you’d expect from a House of Marley product. Their noise-canceling performance is not on par with the product category’s best offerings from Sony and Apple.

Built-In Tile Tracker

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel truly wireless earbuds stand out in the crowded sub-$100 field with a built-in Tile tracker in each bud and a 2-year warranty. They also have a durable design, a comfortable fit, and a battery case that’s compatible with wireless charging.

Equipped with 6-millimeter audio drivers, the earbuds deliver a bass-heavy sound in music mode. Thankfully, there are two additional EQ presets (for movies and podcasts) in case you find the lows too powerful.

Skullcandy offers the Indy Fuel in black or gray. In case you don’t care for wireless charing, consider the cheaper Indy Evo earbuds. They offer the same sound and features sans wireless charging.

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