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What are the features that make the best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds? These audio devices offer comprehensive passive and active noise cancelation technology, giving you the best audio listening experience possible. Plus, with long battery life and an extra-comfortable fit, these are the best headphones for listening to music over long periods.
If you’re in the market for headphones that you can use while traveling or working without interruptions, you can’t go wrong with noise-canceling true wireless earbuds. With amazing sound quality and additional features such as built-in microphones, charging cases, and voice assistant compatibility, these headphones offer tons of convenience without sacrificing overall functionality.
Continue reading below to learn all about true wireless earbuds, their pros and cons, and how you can find the best pair for your music listening needs.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: They deliver impressive sound quality and come with a travel case for easy storage and quick charging. They have a battery life of up to 8 hours and are available in four different color choices.
The Beats Studio Buds are a pair of true wireless earbuds that look great, feel comfortable when worn, and deliver impressive sound quality. The earbuds feature active noise cancellation, and weighing only 5.1 grams, they are also pretty lightweight. The earbuds come with a physical universal control button on each bud that can be used to switch between two listening modes; active noise canceling or transparency mode. When tapped, it will switch between playing or pausing tracks, and when double tapped, it can fast forward tracks. Unfortunately, there aren’t any volume controls on the buds.
Unlike the Beats Studio3 wireless noise-canceling headphones, the earbuds are also IPX4 splashproof, meaning they can withstand any sweat or gentle water splashes. This is great news, especially for users who tend to stay super active. They also come with a case for easy storage and a one-touch quick pair feature that works for iOS and Android users. As far as battery life is concerned, users can expect up to five hours of playtime with moderate volume with both noise-canceling and transparency mode on and up to eight hours with it off. It’ll take about two hours to get charged to full capacity, and since each earbud comes with three microphones, voice quality during calls is also pretty good.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has two listening modes to choose from and offers up to 18 hours of playtime. It is also both sweat and weather-resistant and has a built-in microphone for taking calls.
These Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling earbuds are a popular pick, especially for buyers who would want to be able to shut out any outside noise when listening to their music. Weighing 8.4 grams each, the buds are impressively light, and thanks to Bose’s StayHear Max ear tips, they feel pretty good when slotted into the ears. They also have an IPX4 rating for resistance against water and sweat, and they also deliver a clean and clear sound. Its battery life extends to a solid six hours of playback from the buds alone, and the charging case that it also comes with offers two more charges for a total of up to 18 hours of playtime. Still, some may not be impressed with the large size of the travel case.
The earbuds are built with Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity, allowing them to connect to devices up to 30 ft away. Its microphone also delivers crystal clear voice quality when taking calls. The earbuds also have very easy-to-use controls. The right earbud can be double-tapped to pause or play content and answer or end calls, while the left earbud can be double-tapped to switch between its two listening modes: Quiet Mode and Aware Mode.
Award: BEST FOR EXTENDED PLAYTIME
WHY WE LIKE IT: They offer a playtime of up to 40 hours, and thanks to its Optical Sensor Technology, the earbuds can sense when they’ve been placed inside the ears or not for automatic play and pause functionality.
The Tozo NC2 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling earbuds are an impressive set of earphones that come with unique features such as in-ear detection and a noise reduction rate of up to 35 decibels. The earbuds deliver up to 10 hours of continuous battery life, and they’re shipped together with a carrying case that holds three additional charges for a total of up to 40 hours. The earbuds have an IPX6 rating for water resistance and include up to six different tip sizes so that wearers can find their best fit. Unfortunately, its Active Noise Cancelling function can only be turned off after placing the buds back into their charging case.
These NC2 earbuds are shipped with a matte-black case with four LED lights on its front that indicate its battery level and a USB-C port on the bottom that can be used for charging. One unique feature that is not as common with other earbuds is that the case can be charged wirelessly, and its sound performance is also decent since both vocals and instrumentals sound quite present and forthright. There’s also a built-in mic with excellent sound clarity for taking voice calls and optical sensors technology that’ll sense when they’ve been placed inside the ears and pause playback when taken out.
Award: BEST FOR NOISE CANCELLATION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Its noise cancellation feature is intelligent since it can detect voice and switch back to ambient mode. Its IPX7 water-resistance rating is also pretty good, and its companion app allows users to adjust its EQ for personalized sound quality.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds are sleek-looking earbuds that boast an impressive IPX7 water resistance rating and deliver high-quality sound courtesy of its 11-mm woofer and 6.5-mm tweeter. The earbuds also feature intelligent Active Noise Cancellation. They can pick up on any voice when the wearer speaks and automatically switch back to Ambient Sound Mode to have the surrounding noise captured. Speaking of which, the earbuds feature four Ambient Sound levels, so users will be able to decide how much of the world they want to hear while still listening to their music. However, functionality is slightly limited for iPhone users.
These Galaxy Buds also feature a built-in microphone for taking calls with really clear audio quality and support Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. Android users will also have the chance to download the Galaxy Wearable app, through which they’ll be able to do things such as set or turn off touch controls and choose a different EQ profile. The earbuds will last up to 5 hours on a single charge, but its case can extend this time frame by around 13 hours with intermittent charging.
Award: BEST FOR BASS
WHY WE LIKE IT: Its low bass response is pretty good, delivering a solid thump that any bass enthusiast would appreciate. It also has a microphone built-in for voice calls and an IPX4 water resistance rating to handle sweat and gentle splashes.
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless earbuds are a pair of Bluetooth in-ear headphones with an impressive Active Noise Cancelling feature and include a case that boasts of three additional charges. The headphones are pretty well built and have an IPX4 rating, which means they can resist sweat or some raindrops. They also have impressive sound quality since low frequencies were well handled, and with the inclusion of a microphone, it can also be used for making voice calls without reaching for the phone. The buds are also compatible with both Android and iOS phones, but some previous buyers were not very happy with how comfortable the buds felt when they were placed in ear.
The buds are shipped with four pairs of silicone tips that are of different sizes, and its charging case also has an LED indicator on its front that lights up in red, green, or yellow depending on the amount of battery power left. Speaking of which, the earbuds can have music play for up to 8 hours on a single charge, but when combined with the juice from its carrying case, its playtime extends to an impressive 29 hours. For buyers who would want even more advanced functionality, there is the option to download the Smart Control app, through which they would be able to customize the touch controls, adjust the sound EQ and monitor the remaining battery life.
Award: BEST FOR GENERAL USE
WHY WE LIKE IT: They are a decent pair of buds that are comfortable to wear and have a built-in microphone for answering calls. Users will also be able to choose from three EQ modes, and they also have a decent IP55 rating that makes them resistant to water splashes or sweat.
These JLab earbuds are a pair of true wireless Bluetooth earbuds that boast a combined 40 hours of playtime and have a decent IP55 resistance rating which means that they can withstand both sweat and slight water splashes. The earbuds also feature Active Noise Cancellation to limit how much of the surrounding noise is heard and also have two built-in microphones for clear conversations and good voice quality when taking calls. The earbuds offer three EQ modes to choose from, and its packaging also comes with three sets of tips for different ear sizes and varying levels of comfort. Still, some users have complained of a lag experienced when watching movies.
Either earbud can also be used independently and can also be used to access the preferred virtual assistant. Its Bluetooth technology allows for a connection range of up to 10 meters, and they also have status LEDs located on the outer panel of the earpieces that flash various colors depending on whatever’s happening.
Noise-canceling true wireless earbuds are audio devices with a low-profile and lightweight design. Rather than rest over your ears, these headphones sit directly inside your ear, providing a snug fit and an extra-portable listening experience. Plus, with powerful noise-canceling technology, the best earbuds for wireless listening can help you block out the ambient sounds around you without sacrificing sound quality or comfort.
If you compare earbud headphones with traditional over-ear headphones, you can immediately notice the biggest difference between the two, which is their form factor. Wireless earbud headphones utilize a much more compact and lightweight design than other types. This allows them to fit snugly in your ear without causing too much ear fatigue or sacrificing sound quality.
This smaller size has a couple of implications for earbuds, especially when compared to larger alternatives. The internal components need to be smaller to fit in such a small package, meaning you won’t get powerful sound quality or volume with earbuds. You may also experience a shorter overall battery life compared to larger options, but this is mitigated by the inclusion of a charging case.
In general, great wireless earbuds are also much more expensive than other types of headphones. With a $150 price range and above, a pair of noise-canceling earbuds may be out of reach for you if you’re on a strict budget.
When it comes to audio functionality, earbud headphones don’t differ much from traditional alternatives. They utilize speaker components, such as drivers, voice coils, and magnets. However, all of these components are included in a much smaller size.
Your wireless earbuds connect to an audio source, such as a smartphone or laptop, via Bluetooth functionality. Once connected, the audio source will send an electric audio signal to your headphones, converting the signal to sound waves using the internal components listed above. Your ears detect these sound waves, and your brain interprets them as music or spoken word.
When it comes to noise cancelation functionality, earbuds typically utilize both active noise cancelation and passive noise isolation. Active noise cancelation, or ANC, uses both speakers and microphones to create inverse sound waves that cancel out the environmental noise around you. Passive noise isolation utilizes design features such as silicon tips to create a seal in your ear that eliminates background noise.
Whether you’re constantly on the go or you simply find over-ear headphones too uncomfortable to wear over long periods, you definitely need to consider the best true wireless earbud options available today. These compact and lightweight headphones stay comfortable for longer while playing music and podcasts with excellent audio quality. Plus, with an included charging case, you won’t need to worry too much about running out of battery.
Like other types of headphones, noise-canceling true wireless earbuds typically offer a standard lifespan of anywhere between five and ten years. However, for some reason, most earbuds tend to be on the lower end of that scale. This is likely due to them being used more on the go or stored in places like bags and pockets, where they’re more likely to be bumped and dropped.
In this sense, it’s extra important that you take care of your wireless earbuds. It’s easy to drop them or forget them somewhere if you’re in a rush. When not in use, we recommend storing them in their charging case for added protection. Some manufacturers offer tracking features for their earbuds, like the Apple AirPods Pro, which you should definitely use if you’re worried about losing your pair of earbuds.
You’ll also need to consider the rechargeable battery inside both your earbuds and charging case. On average, lithium-ion batteries can only be recharged around 300 to 500 times before they lose efficiency and need to be replaced.
Another important factor to consider when it comes to your earbuds’ batteries is how easy they are to replace. With larger electronics, you can often just replace the battery when it goes bad. However, most earbud batteries are not replaceable, meaning you’ll need to purchase a brand new pair of earbuds when the battery goes bad.
There are a ton of popular and trendy wireless earbuds available on the market today, but just because all your friends own something like the Apple AirPods Pro, Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, or Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds, it doesn’t mean they will work for your specific needs. Before you make a purchase, you’ll want to consider how you plan on using your earbuds, how well they fit, and what kind of sound quality they offer.
Before anything else, consider how exactly you plan on using your true wireless earbuds. The context in which they are used most often can have a large impact on the specific features that matter. Let’s take a look at some of the most common applications and how you should think about features in each scenario:
While all wireless earbuds offer some kind of passive noise cancelation design features, they don’t all offer active noise cancelation. However, is ANC really all that important for you, and do you really need it? Ultimately, this depends on your environment and individual preferences.
If you’re constantly using your earbuds in a place with a lot of ambient noise, you can’t go wrong with ANC technology. This helps you stay more focused during your music or podcast listening sessions without external interruptions.
However, the addition of active noise cancelation usually increases the price of your earbuds significantly. So, if you’re on a tight budget, you may need to stick with a pair of noise-canceling earbuds that only offer passive noise cancelation.
A common complaint that people have with wireless earbuds is that they don’t fit well. However, poor fit isn’t a universal experience, and you should be able to mitigate this problem by searching for a few key features in the earbuds you purchase. For starters, you’ll want to consider an option with different sizes of ear tips. This way, you can create a custom fit for your specific ear shape.
You may also want to consider an option with an ear hook feature, which keeps the earbuds more securely in place. This is especially helpful if you’re planning on using your earbuds during exercise or other active tasks.
Sound quality is a difficult thing to measure without actually wearing the earbuds and listening to your favorite music through them. However, you can utilize user reviews to determine if the audio quality of a pair of buds is good or not.
Another easy way to determine audio quality is by following the “You Get What You Pay For” rule. Essentially, more expensive earbuds will typically offer more solid sound quality. This is why more expensive options like the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds, Apple AirPods Pro, and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds are highly rated.
Battery life and hours of playback should always be a consideration when purchasing wireless headphones. For true wireless earbuds, you’ll need to consider both the hours per charge you get on the buds themselves and the battery life of the charging case.
In general, you should aim to get at least 5-10 hours of playback on a single charge from your earbuds before you need to recharge them in the charging case, which should give you 20-30 additional hours of playback. Keep in mind that you’ll get fewer playback hours with noise canceling turned on.
Not all wireless earbuds include the same feature sets. In fact, some include exclusive features that you can’t find anywhere else. However, not everyone needs access to this wide variety of extra features.
Take a look at some of the most popular additional features, so you can determine which might work for your needs: