The 15 Best Wireless Earbuds, According to a Tech Expert

collection of wireless earbuds in charging cases
The Best Wireless Earbuds According to TestingBridget Clegg


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Editor’s Note: We reviewed our current picks, and these are the best wireless earbuds on the market as of May 2024. If you’re ready to add to your shopping cart now, we recommend the Beats Studio Buds + as the best compact earphones, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) for pairing with Apple gadgets, the Bose QuietComfort Ultra for the best noise cancellation, and the 1More PistonBuds Pro Q30 as the best for buyers on a tight budget.

A stellar set of wireless earbuds is virtually a must-have for anyone with a smartphone. Phone manufacturers began shifting away from the standard audio jack years ago, with the iPhone 7 being the first big-name product to do away with the functionality. Today, save for a few niche offerings, most smartphones don’t have an audio jack.

Thankfully, the current market for wireless earbuds is brimming with options, ranging from cheap sets that cover the basics to feature-rich offerings for discerning audiophiles. But the transparent number of wireless earbud options makes finding the right one a daunting task, which is why we’re here to help with the process. Whether you’re in the market for an affordable set or are ready to spend big on the best of the best, we found a pair out there that should tick the boxes for your needs.

The Best Wireless Earbuds

What to Consider

Generally speaking, wireless earbuds should be sleek, comfy, water-resistant, and capable of delivering entertaining sound, regardless of what you’ll be using them for. When you’re shopping for a new pair, look for a durable design, reliable fit, dependable battery life, and solid audio performance (for music, podcasts, and calls).

Sound Quality

The acoustic capabilities of a pair of wireless earbuds — their bass, treble, and mid-range quality — are directly linked to their hardware and audio-processing tech. The treble and the midrange output set the finest wireless earbuds apart from their rivals, allowing you to fully enjoy the vocals and the finer details in a song’s instrumentals. Bass is typically the easiest audio feature to reproduce, but — especially in affordably priced headsets — it might come at the expense of the mids and the highs.

Most earbuds’ sound quality directly correlates to their price tag — spending more on a top-shelf product will inevitably get you better sound. That said, our budget-friendly picks will also keep you focused and entertained if you manage your expectations.


Noise Cancellation

The above rule of thumb about sound quality also applies to noise cancellation, and that shouldn’t be a surprise. The quintessential feature requires sophisticated hardware, headlined by microphones and chips. An algorithm to process the noise the microphones built into each bud capture is just as essential, and developing the tech inevitably adds to the cost.

Broadly speaking, considering the levels of noise cancellation a set of earbuds can produce is like picking a gaming laptop. Upping your budget is all but certain to get you more silence.


Durability

A good pair of wireless earbuds should have an official IP rating. IP stands for ingress protection, and two numbers follow it on spec sheets: the first refers to how well the product resists dust and other particles getting in, while the second indicates the same for liquids. (If you see an X in place of either, it means the earbuds haven’t been tested for resisting solids or liquids.) The higher the number, the better shielded the earbuds are.

An IPX4 rating is the minimum to make a product worth considering. This will ensure your sound companion can withstand splashes of water (e.g. rain) and exposure to sweat during workouts. If you like exercising outside, consider earphones with an IP designation high enough that the earbuds will survive immersion in water and dust should you drop them.


Battery Performance and Charging Methods

Battery life in true wireless earbuds has improved a great deal — even a budget-friendly pair will keep you rocking out for at least six hours (or more) between charges.

When it comes to charging, save for the AirPods and their Lightning case, a USB-C connector is the standard, regardless of the buds’ price point. The hardware bit is standard for smartphones too, save the iPhone, and just about any tablet and laptop.

Having a USB-C input will ensure you never have to worry about misplacing the charging cable of your wireless earbuds. On the other hand, when shopping for high-end earbuds, you can also expect a wireless charging-compatible case. The convenient feature will allow you to power them up by placing them on the same charging pad as your compatible phone.


How We Tested

To finalize my picks for this guide, I spent many hours researching dozens of wireless earbuds. After zeroing in on the most promising in various price tiers, 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 while exercising. I evaluated the earbuds on the following criteria:

  • Audio performance and call quality

  • Ergonomics during various activities

  • Battery life

Sound Quality

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 ability to deliver the treble (highs), the midrange, and the bass in your favorite tracks.

I put the buds’ noise cancellation through its paces during outdoor walks, subway trips in Manhattan, and while working from home and at the office. I also made outgoing and incoming calls with each headset to evaluate the quality of its audio and the performance of its built-in microphone(s).

Ergonomics

Regarding ergonomics, I paid close attention to whether the earbuds I tested got uncomfortable after extended use and stayed in place while exercising. I only selected products that treated me to hours of comfortable wear. In addition, I gauged the quality and reliability of the earbuds’ controls.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, I kept an eye on whether the products I tested performed in line with their manufacturers’ claims. While testing, I used them at volume levels that hovered around 50 percent.

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

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BZK2Z2TC?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Studio Buds + Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$169.95</p><span class="copyright">Stefan Vazharov</span>

The Beats Studio Buds+ wireless earbuds — the legendary brand’s latest — are our new top pick for most consumers. A sequel to a product we’ve been recommending for the past two years, the new iteration brings next-level sound and noise cancellation, a comfier fit, and longer battery life while retaining the same timelessly cool design and agreeable price category. The Studio Buds+ are available in black, ivory, and an all-new transparent finish, which I like quite a lot.

While testing the earbuds, I once again liked not having to use an app to achieve optimal sound and noise cancellation — both were well-balanced and excellent out of the box. I also tip my hat to Apple for making the new Beats earbuds effortless to integrate with Android and Chrome OS devices as with its own. I only wish the new earphones had a case with wireless charging capabilities.

If you can up your budget by $30, consider the true wireless Beats Fit Pro instead. I go more in-depth below, but the range-topping Beats by Dre earphones have a more secure fit with additional wingtips and, thanks to the Apple H1 chip, support for fancier spatial audio with dynamic head tracking. The last bit delivers a live performance-like listening experience with compatible Apple Music content.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CMGW1XN9?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>PistonBuds Pro Q30 Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$54.99</p><span class="copyright">Stefan Vazharov</span>

The 1More PistonBuds Pro Q30 true wireless earbuds are hands down the best for upgraders on a tight budget. With a starting price that’s a penny below $50 before additional deals and discounts, the buds bring desirable features like customizable sound with enhanced spatial audio capabilities, reliable noise cancellation, sleek design, and comfy fit. Offering access to the last-mentioned bit at this price point is a major shift for this category, and sets a new standard for cheap wireless earbuds.

Wired and wireless earbuds by 1More have always delivered great audio quality for the money, and the PistonBuds Pro Q30 are no exception. I was equally impressed by the balanced sound and wide array of tools for customizing it. The noise cancellation with adjustable modes I experienced is also commendable for a set of earbuds with an impulse-buy price.

With their lightweight build and an IPX5 rating for water resistance, the 1More PistonBuds Pro Q30 are a dependable pair of wireless earbuds for exercises of all intensities. Having said that, I found the buds’ touch-sensitive controls a bit tricky to get used to — but dealing with their learning curve at this price category is a fair tradeoff.

You can order the 1More PistonBuds Pro Q30 in black or white with contrasting gold accents. Each color option comes with a matching charging case. The 1More PistonBuds Pro earbuds are another great budget-friendly option with a stemless design but no spatial audio.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09JL41N9C?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Fit Pro Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$159.95</p><span class="copyright">Stefan Vazharov</span>

The Beats Fit Pro earphones are the brand’s best true wireless offering and, hands down, a great option for Apple users. Thanks to the tech giant’s H1 chip, they deliver spatial audio sound with dynamic head tracking. The experience is incredibly lifelike with enhanced content, though you should know it’s only available on Apple hardware.

Powered by a custom audio driver, the Beats Fit Pro earphones deliver a balanced sonic experience. Apple’s H1 chip mentioned above also allows the buds to respond to hands-free Siri voice commands and to seamlessly switch between all devices that use the same iCloud account.

Compared to the cheaper Studio Buds from the same maker, the Beats Fit Pro has a more secure fit with integrated wingtips. The setup makes the earbuds a great option for exercising. You can order the product in a multitude of colors.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CCN8JLT3?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Free Pro 3 Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$79.99</p><span class="copyright">Stefan Vazharov</span>

Priced well below $100 and frequently on sale, the EarFun Free Pro 3 wireless earbuds are the most feature-rich option for the money. By providing a mixture of high-quality sound, reliable noise cancellation, top-notch comfort, and solid battery life for their form factor, the tiny earbuds exceeded my expectations across the board. If you are looking for the best performance and most features for the least money, the Free Pro 3 should be on your shortlist.

Equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound tech, the Pro 3 produced detail-rich sound during my testing, especially when linked to an Android phone. The buds’ noise cancellation is far from the levels of pricier Apple, Bose, and Sony rivals, but it is solid for a product with an impulse-buy price tag. The EarFun companion app has a stellar selection of tools for customizing the experience.

I like that the Free Pro 3's storage case is compatible with wireless charging despite its miniature size. EarFun offers the earphones in black, white, and blue. If you prefer a stem design, consider the similarly priced Air Pro 3 earbuds from the same maker.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CHWRXH8B?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) with USB-C Case</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$189.99</p><span class="copyright">Stefan Vazharov</span>

Fresh off an upgrade including a case with an iPhone 15-matching USB-C connector and a higher rating for water resistance, Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro earphones are hands-down the best for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch users. Thanks to the H2 wireless chip, the earbuds deliver better sound, including immersive spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, superior noise cancellation, and longer battery life than the iconic first-generation. Of course, they will also link to all Apple devices that use the same iCloud account.

The audio quality of the AirPods Pro is balanced, enjoyable, and among the best in the price range. Thanks to a handy new feature dubbed Adaptive Audio, the earphones can automatically switch between noise cancellation and transparency mode and even adjust the volume depending on your surroundings. If you’re looking for Apple earbuds sans noise cancellation, consider the third-generation AirPods.

Remarkably, the charging case of the latest AirPods Pro got a ton of upgrades. The accessory packs the Apple U1 chip, so you can track it like an AirTag. To top things off, the essential gadget has an onboard speaker and an official IP54 rating for water and dust resistance, like the earphones.

As usual, you can customize and protect your AirPods by browsing a vast selection of protective cases. I enjoyed this because it allowed me to add a personal touch.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C345M3T7?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>WF-1000XM5 Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$298.00</p><span class="copyright">STEFAN VAZHAROV</span>

A follow-up to a bona fide legend, Sony’s WF-1000XM5 true wireless earbuds are today’s best in terms of transparent acoustic capabilities. Thanks to cutting-edge audio hardware and support for lossless audio codecs, the buds deliver sound with higher audio fidelity than any rival. Their noise cancellation is also excellent, though I’d give the Bose earbuds a slight edge for offering multiple modes and customization options of the essential feature.

Regarding sound and noise cancellation, the WF-1000XM5 earbuds are a significant upgrade over the previous generation, thanks to larger audio drivers and upgraded processing tech. Plus, the buds are sleeker, smaller, and comfier without cutting corners in durability and battery life. Their battery endurance and storage case with wireless charging set them apart from their Bose rival.

These are the true wireless earbuds to get if sound quality is your utmost priority and their admittedly hefty sticker fits your budget. I’m constantly testing earbuds, but the WF-1000XM5 will be my go-to if I have to pick just one set.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CD2F4B1G?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p> QuietComfort Ultra Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$299.00</p><span class="copyright">Stefan Vazharov</span>

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds can tune out ambient distractions more proficiently than any rival. What’s more, the top-shelf earbuds are also capable of delivering immersive spatial audio experience with or without dynamic head tracking. Labeled Bose Immersive Audio, the functionality utilizes sophisticated onboard tech, allowing the buds to treat you or the gift recipient to multi-dimensional listening with any content, not just Dolby Atmos-enhanced recordings.

The earbuds’ noise cancellation intensity is fully customizable via the Bose companion app. Impressively, the noise cancellation intensity and sound delivery will adjust based on the user’s unique ear properties. The product’s aware mode for keeping tabs on your surroundings is as incredible as its noise cancellation, and totally worth splurging on.

Spatial Audio aside, the QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds deliver well-balanced sound that’s customizable via their companion app. Their performance during calls is also exceptional, making them a great option for remote work. I frequently reached for this set before making calls and stepping into online work sessions.

Compared to the second-generation Bose QuietComfort earbuds, the Ultra offers a sleeker design and a more entertaining spatial audio experience. The buds’ battery life has remained unchanged, but oddly, their case still lacks wireless charging. The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II cost a bit less, while delivering similar sound and noise cancellation. However, I recommend spending a bit more on the Ultra for the spatial audio capabilities.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CB92Z7V2?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Elite 8 Active Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$199.99</p><span class="copyright">Stefan Vazharov</span>

Jabra’s Elite 8 Active wireless earbuds are the audio maker’s most feature-rich offering to rock an “Active” moniker. Announced alongside the range-topping Elite 10, the latest Active iteration brings a number of consequential improvements over the Jabra Elite 7 Active that precedes it while keeping an under-$200 starting price. The true wireless earbuds are the best for exercising, whether you are a casual gym visitor or a seasoned ultramarathon participant who’s constantly training outdoors.

Sound-wise, the Elite Active 8 performed admirably across the board in a manner befitting their price tag. The out-of-the-box sound is nicely balanced, presenting an audible harmony between good bass, vibrant treble, and harmonious mid-range. The noise cancellation of the Elite 8 Active earbuds is stellar, too. The earbuds swiftly did away with the clanking noises of weights at the gym, helping me enjoy the music and focus on my reps. During my Midtown Manhattan walks to work during rush hour, the earbuds reduced the traffic noise to a barely audible thrum.

The Elite 8 Active earbuds are among the comfiest I have tested. Their lightweight build (each earbud weighs only 5 grams), ergonomic shape with soft silicone tips, and integrated vents for reducing in-ear pressure buildups allowed me to spend hours without removing them. My favorite bit about the ergonomics of the Elite 8 Active is that, unlike many rivals that have additional ear fins to keep them in place, the Jabra earbuds don’t require them. I used the buds to run on a treadmill and to perform thousands of jumping jacks and didn’t worry about them falling off.

The invisible clicky button controls of the earbuds are excellent and vastly better than the touch-sensitive layouts of many competitors. Their tactile responses make controlling the playback, adjusting the cancellation, and taking calls easy, even with sweaty hands or during a rainy outdoor run.

Thankfully, the elegant design, excellent call quality, and amazing battery life make the earbuds an ideal choice for daily use. If you want a do-everything set of true wireless earbuds that will excel during your exercise and work routines, the Jabra Elite 8 Active is your best option.

The Jabra Elite 4 Active earbuds are a cheaper Elite 8 Active alternative with no spatial audio capabilities but a lower price tag. Workout warriors on a higher budget should consider this offering.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B2SH4CN6?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Galaxy Buds2 Pro Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$152.98</p><span class="copyright">Stefan Vazharov</span>

The Galaxy Buds2 Pro earbuds are Samsung’s answer to the Apple AirPods Pro, offering outstanding comfort and seamless integration with the tech giant’s Android smartphones. When paired with a Galaxy phone, the earbuds can stream Hi-Fi sound, which is a contender for best-in-class. Plus, you can charge them wirelessly off the back of many top-shelf Samsung Galaxy phones.

Thanks to a duo of audio drivers per earphone, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro deliver phenomenal sound, stellar noise cancellation, and excellent call quality. The buds can activate ambient mode by detecting your voice, like the previous generation. This bit reminded me of the much pricier Sony WF-1000XM4 above while testing Samsung’s earbuds.

If you’re shopping for Samsung-ready earbuds on a tighter budget, consider the Galaxy Buds2. The cheaper earbuds’ sound, noise cancellation, and call quality are top-notch, but their IPX2 rating for water resistance is not as robust as the Pro’s IPX7.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B1N7SGMZ?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Pixel Buds Pro Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$139.99</p><span class="copyright">Stefan Vazharov</span>

The Pixel Buds Pro — Google’s best wireless earbuds yet — are excellent for Android users. In addition to a comfy fit, incredible battery life, and super easy Android smartphone pairing, the colorful earbuds offer seamless Google Assistant integration. You can manage audio playback, take calls, send messages, control connected appliances, and open apps, among many other things, with voice commands.

Google equipped the Pixel Buds Pro with custom audio drivers whose audio quality is worthy of the price range. The same goes for the earbuds’ noise cancellation and call quality.

The Pixel Buds A-Series earbuds are another excellent option by Google, especially if you don’t want to drop $200 on new earbuds and noise cancellation isn’t a must. For less than $100, the earphones offer top-tier comfort and hands-free Google Assistant access but shorter battery life.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CPFV77W4?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Ultra Open Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$299.00</p><span class="copyright">Stefan Vazharov</span>

As their name suggests, the all-new Bose Ultra Open wireless earbuds have an open-ear design without silicone ear tips. Their unique form factor allows you or a loved one you're shopping for to be constantly aware of your surroundings, unlike other noise-canceling options.

The unique ear fit and lack of silicone tips also make the Ultra Open more comfortable than their standard counterparts. The clip-on buds also look like fashion accessories, not a run-of-the-mill set of earphones.

The Ultra Open earbuds produce Bose's signature high-quality sound that’s easily customizable via the Bose Music app. Despite their open-ear design, the buds pump out impressive bass that’s noticeably stronger than the low-range output of their rivals.

Best of all, the Ultra earphones are capable of delivering the same immersive spatial audio experience as the Bose QuietComfort Ultra earbuds. The feature includes the option to activate dynamic head tracking. It utilizes sophisticated onboard processing, so you don’t need Dolby Atmos content to enjoy it.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CRT6HQ82?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Sport X20 Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$79.99</p>

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Sport X20 Wireless Earbuds

amazon.com

$79.99

Anker’s all-new Soundcore Sport X20 wireless earbuds are the best for workout warriors on a tight budget by a mile. The earbuds deliver a mixture of elegant design, uncompromising durability, top-notch ergonomics, stellar audio performance, and excellent battery life. Combined, these features make the Sport X20 not only the best under $100 but also a formidable rival to costlier Jabra, JBL, and other big-name offerings.

Unlike similarly priced rivals that are only splash- and sweat-resistant, the IP68-rated Soundcore Sport X20 can survive complete submersion in water and exposure to dust. Such toughness ensures that the earbuds can survive even the world's toughest races, like a strenuous ultramarathon. Their secure fit with comfy around-ear hooks and clicky button controls will also appeal to outdoor workout aficionados.

The audio performance and noise cancellation quality of the Sport X20 are great for an under-$100 set. The default earbuds sound setting has enhanced bass, and when it comes to sound customization in the Soundcore app, I was particularly impressed by the rich selection of tools for customizing both core features.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BB5VBFRF?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>LinkBuds S Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$198.00</p><span class="copyright">Stefan Vazharov</span>

The LinkBuds S true wireless earbuds by Sony deliver supreme comfort and unrivaled ambient sound capabilities. The latter allows you to remain aware of your surroundings anytime, anywhere, without the need to remove the lightweight buds. While testing, I wore them for hours during at-home work sessions and outdoor walks without missing an important delivery or losing track of the NYC traffic around me.

Best of all, unlike the first-ever Sony LinkBuds that required donut-shaped audio drivers to achieve that level of comfort, the S iteration also offers more immersive sound and onboard noise cancellation. Sony accomplished this feat by treating the buds to a traditional design with silicone tips but larger air vents to let in more ambient noise. Thanks to well-tuned audio drivers and a sophisticated audio processor, the LinkBuds S earbuds produce excellent and easily customizable sound.

Our only drawback is that, given their price tag, the LinkBuds S could use a wireless charging-compatible case.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B9M43425?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Liberty 4 Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$116.99</p><span class="copyright">Stefan Vazharov</span>

The Soundcore Liberty 4 wireless earbuds are today’s best alternative to the third-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro, offering longer battery life for less money without skimping on great sound and reliable noise cancellation. The stem-toting wireless earbuds are available in black, white, blue, and red.

The audio quality and noise cancellation are among the best in their price range, and you can customize them via a best-in-class companion app. Impressively, the Liberty 4 can stream Hi-Res audio. The audiophile-grade feature is available on most of the latest Android phones.

Their quality is solid, too, and you can simultaneously connect the buds to a pair of devices. However, Apple’s earphones will also easily connect to all devices that use the same iCloud account.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C3NV42GJ?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.28480389%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Tour Pro 2 Wireless Earbuds</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$249.95</p><span class="copyright">STEFAN VAZHAROV</span>

JBL’s Tour Pro 2 wireless earbuds have the most feature-rich charging case in the business. The high-tech accessory rocks a touchscreen that allows you to control the audio playback, take or reject calls, adjust the noise cancellation, and even customize the sound without reaching for your phone to open the earbuds’ companion app.

While testing the Pro 2, I found the above feature incredibly convenient while using the buds on my MacBook and iPad on my office desk and at home, respectively. I didn’t need to reach for the charging case on the go. I usually keep such wireless earbuds’ accessories in my backpack, while my phone is always in my jeans pocket.

Sound-wise, the JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds deliver an experience worthy of their price range. Their sound quality and noise cancellation are top-notch. Combined with the long battery life and futuristic charging case, the product’s audio performance makes it an interesting alternative to similarly priced Apple, Bose, and Sony rivals.


More Wireless Earbuds We’ve Tested

Below is an additional selection of wireless earbuds I tested at various prices. The products offered a good overall experience but didn’t meet our exact criteria for performance, durability, and available features for the money. That said, each entry left me with good impressions.

  • Sony WF-C500: These wireless earbuds offer well-balanced sound and outstanding battery life at an incredible sub-$100 price point. However, rivals offer noise cancellation and wireless charging for even less.

  • Sony LinkBuds: These very interesting and very niche wireless earbuds by Sony have holes in the middle. These let ambient sound in so you can always be aware of your surroundings. That said, the high-tech buds’ battery life and overall durability leave a bit to be desired.

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