Table Of Contents_
When it comes to comfort, even the best headphones in the market can’t match what the best true wireless earbud offers. With their comfortable design, secure fit, and quality materials, the best true wireless earbuds offer a convenient listening experience that lets you enjoy hours of playback with pristine sound quality.
Once you try the best two earbuds, you may never want to return to a regular pair of headphones. Their tiny sizes and compact charging cases make them supremely portable, so you could carry them around easily in your pocket or plug them in your ears and forget they’re there. And despite their small size, they’ll last you several hours on a single charge, ensuring you can watch your favorite programs without interruptions. You’ll also not miss out on any audio intricacies because these wireless earbuds offer lag-free, high-quality audio performance.
Wondering how to select the perfect pair of earbuds for yourself? Below, we’ve covered everything you need to know, including what true wireless earbuds are, why they’re useful, and factors you should consider when purchasing. Let’s take a look.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: An advanced sound reduction system reduces traffic sounds and office chatter, making this device a good option for use in busy areas. It has open-style ear tips, enabling users to maintain spatial awareness when walking or jogging on the street.
Equipped with an advanced noise-canceling system, the Bose QuietComfort headphones are well suited to noisy areas. These earbuds have an Aware mode that lets users maintain spatial awareness. This headset is suited for walking or jogging on the streets. Three sizes of StayHear Max ear tips are included along with this device to help users find the perfect fit. This headset connects seamlessly to Spotify with a single tap-and-hold motion. However, this unit doesn’t come with a wireless charger.
A volume-optimized EQ delivers balanced sounds at all volume levels, preventing the audio quality from deteriorating at high volume settings. With a built-in rechargeable battery, this headset offers up to 6 hours of runtime on a single charge, and the included charging case provides an additional 12 hours of music listening time. The headset has a USB-C charging cable and can also charge via a Qi-certified mat. Featuring IPX4-certified construction, this device is sweatproof and it’s suitable for use outdoors.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Waterproof construction and a compact design make this device a good choice for sports and travel. It has a built-in battery and charging case which offers extended music listening time.
With true wireless construction, these Raycon The Everyday headphones deliver powerful music without irritating cords. Thanks to high-quality sound drivers, this device produces high-fidelity sounds. It has three custom sound profiles that include a Bass Boosted mode, allowing users to cater to their preferences. With compact, cordless construction, these buds provide a discrete design suitable for use on the go. They easily fit in the pocket for hassle-free transportation. However, this device lacks noise cancellation tech.
This headset comes with a small case that provides secure storage. And they can be attached to a lanyard for safety. Clear Voice Capture (CVC) technology refines the human voice for crystal-clear communication. This device is waterproof and sweat-resistant, boasting an IPX6 rating, so it can be used for jogging. This unit comes with a built-in battery and charging case, providing up to 32 hours of runtime before requiring recharging. It comes with a USB-C charging cable and a spare set of gel ear tips.
Award: BEST FOR SWIMMING
WHY WE LIKE IT: Waterproof construction and excellent build quality make these buds a good choice for exercise and swimming. With a total battery life of about 30 hours, this device is suitable for use during long flights or train journeys.
These Tozo T6 headphones boast smart touch controls, offering intuitive operation. A multifunction button allows users to navigate through music, answer calls, and adjust the volume. The headset boasts a sleek design that will make a lasting impression. Equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 tech, this device offers excellent connection speed and reliable wireless performance. It has a one-touch pairing system that provides convenient installation and an 18 to 20,000Hz frequency range for tonal accuracy. However, the touch controls are sometimes unreliable.
An IPX8-rated waterproof build stands up to extreme weather conditions, and this device can be used underwater up to a depth of 3.3 feet for 30 minutes. This headset has a built-in battery that lasts for up to 6 hours, and the included charging case extends the battery life to about 30 hours. This device charges fast, and the case fully charges in about 55 minutes with the cable. Soft silicone ear tips offer a snug fit without irritating the ear.
Award: BEST FOR BACKGROUND SOUND REDUCTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Equipped with excellent background sound reduction tech, this device is ideal for use on the streets and in public transit. It has an integrated V1 processor that supports the LDAC codec for exceptional sound.
The Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones use a V1 processor to deliver outstanding sounds. It supports LDAC, delivering high-resolution audio over a wireless connection. This device has a matte black finish that will add a touch of sophistication to any travel gear. This device comes with a built-in battery that runs for up to 8 hours on a single charge. The included charging case provides an extra 16 hours of runtime, although this runtime is relatively low when compared to similar devices.
Bone conduction technology enhances the auditory experience. With four built-in beamforming microphones, this device picks up sound clearly and it supports voice control. This headset has an excellent frequency response range from 20Hz through 20,000Hz, delivering accurate sounds across the tonal range. It comes with 6mm drivers with dynamic sound and heavy bass. An IPX4-rated body is ideal for exercise, while a Qi-certified system allows hassle-free wireless charging. The headset has Bluetooth 5.2, offering the latest in energy efficiency and security.
Award: BEST ON-EAR HEADPHONES
WHY WE LIKE IT: With soft ear hooks, this headset firmly attaches to the ear, preventing accidentally falling off. It has an impressive runtime of up to 70 hours and features active noise cancellation.
Equipped with ear-hooks, the JLab Epic Air Sport headphones will never fall off the ears. This headset has an incredible battery life, streaming audio for up to 15 hours on a single charge over Bluetooth. The included charging case increases the battery life to about 70 hours. This device has active noise cancellation (ANC) tech, reducing background noise. The headset has dual charging options, charging via a USB-A port or wireless charging pad (not included). However, these buds are relatively bulky.
This headset has an ANC on/off switch to help users balance noise cancellation with battery life. A Be Aware mode lets outside noise filter through the earplugs, helping users to stay engaged with the surroundings on busy streets. Users can also fine-tune the level of ANC and control other parameters via the JLab Air ANC app. This device has a number of audio profiles, including JLab Signature, Balance, and Bass Boost modes. A Move mode reduces the audio lag when watching movies.
Award: BEST APPEARANCE
WHY WE LIKE IT: With sleek aesthetics, this headset will appeal to a variety of people. It has powerful 12mm speakers optimized to deliver thumping bass and comes with Bixby voice assistant.
These Samsung Galaxy Buds Live headphones have powerful 12mm speakers tuned by AKG. They have a sleek finish that offers aesthetic appeal. The headset comes with a case to protect and charge the buds. Both the charging case and the built-in rechargeable battery provide a total of up to 29 hours of runtime. Active noise cancellation helps block out extraneous noises, enhancing the calling experience, although this model’s ANC is not very effective.
Users can choose from several attractive colors, including Mystic Black, Mystic Bronze, Mystic Red, and Mystic White. This headset has an open design that enables users to listen to sounds in the environment while streaming music or making a call. Each bud can be used independently to help save the battery. These buds boast a high-frequency range, delivering thumping bass and crisp high tones. This unit is equipped with three microphones for optimum sound capture. An IPX2-rated water-resistant design provides durability.
True wireless earbuds are leading wireless headphones that rely on Bluetooth to transmit audio signals to the earbuds rather than a physical connection. They don’t have any wires connecting the two earpieces, and they work best when they’re in the ears without any additional support.
With no cables connecting the earbuds to your phone or device, you can move around freely and enjoy your music or media without being tethered to your phone. The best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds have built-in batteries and a Bluetooth chip for wireless connectivity. These earbuds generally come with portable charging cases.
An essential difference between wireless earbuds and other headphones is that the former doesn’t have any wires attached. They can also communicate wirelessly with smartphones, laptops, tablets, and smart TVs.
Conversely, wired headphones and earphones rely on cables to connect to devices, which is often a hassle because users have to manage the additional wires. It also makes them more difficult to use with multiple devices because you have to be sure both the headphones and the device have the same audio connector.
You wear wireless earbuds in the ear, and they release sound directly into the ear canal. They have a compact design that fits securely and comfortably, making it easy to forget you’re wearing them. In contrast, wired models are either over ear headphones or on ear headphones, both of which can cause discomfort when wearing.
The audio quality improves significantly with wired headphones as you move up the price ladder. This isn’t true with wireless headphones or earbuds because wired models have minimal loss of sound quality compared to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Another major difference between these products is the number of hours of battery life. True wireless earbuds won’t give you as many hours of use as larger headphones due to their tiny batteries. On a single charge, you’ll get between 4.5 to 8 hours of solid battery life with wireless buds. But with Bluetooth headphones, you’ll have around 25 hours per charge or more.
The battery life directly equates to the overall lifespan of the product. Wireless headphones will stay functional for more than four years, while wired headphones can last for a decade or more. Even if you take excellent care of your true wireless earbuds, they are not likely to last beyond three to four years because the batteries will eventually lose the ability to hold a charge.
You also won’t find any wireless earbuds for underwater use because Bluetooth lacks range underwater. You’ll want to check out the best swimming headphones with a high IP rating for swimming use.
Wireless earbuds use radio signals, infrared signals, or Bluetooth technology to transmit audio, with most earbuds in the market relying on Bluetooth technology for wireless audio connectivity. In terms of sound, wireless earbuds work like regular earphones and headphones. They receive encoded radio waves from a source device (smartphone, computer, tablet, etc.) and rely on internal magnets to vibrate the air. These vibrations create sounds that are then transformed by the audio drivers and released through the built-in speakers into the ears.
Wireless earbuds generally lack control buttons; instead, they feature touch-based controls. For example, on the Apple AirPods, double-tapping the earbuds pauses and plays the audio. Many earbuds now have customizable controls, so you can change how the earbud responds to an action.
Wireless earbuds are a good alternative if you’re tired of dealing with an excess of cords and don’t like the fit of over- or on-ear headphones. The best-sounding wireless earbuds will offer maximum ease of use. You won’t need to worry about getting tangled up in wires — just pop a pair in your ears, and you’re ready to go. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of these devices.
How long a pair of earbuds will last depends on how much it’s used, its quality, and how well it’s maintained. The lifespan of headphones changes drastically depending on their connectivity (wired or wireless).
Due to their tiny batteries, wireless earbuds will not last more than 1.5 to 4 years even if you take the best care of them. They have short battery cycles, so the more you use them, the sooner they’ll give out.
Choosing the best true wireless headphones is about finding the right balance of features that work for your lifestyle. When selecting wireless earbuds, there are various factors to consider, such as battery life, noise cancellation, durability, and budget. Let’s look at these in detail below.
The wireless range refers to how far away you can be from the source device and still enjoy the good audio performance and sound quality. Today, most wireless earbuds offer around a 10-meter (30-foot) range, which is sufficient for most uses. So you could have your smartphone in one corner of the kitchen while you cook and listen to music on your earbuds.
Compared to the previous models, the wireless range on earbuds that support Bluetooth 5.0 is more, so you’ll want to check out whether the audio device supports it or not. But keep in mind that the maximum wireless range can vary considerably depending on objects between the source device and the wireless earbuds (door, wall, metal, etc.).
Battery life on most wireless earbuds is between 4.5 to 8 hours on a single charge. These earbuds come with charging cases, as you’ll see on the Apple AirPods, that can fully recharge the earbuds for 24 hours of use or more.
Select earbuds that offer many hours per charge if you are constantly on the go. You’ll also need to consider the battery life of the charging case. If the charging case can recharge the earbuds 3 to 5 times before needing a charge, then depending on your usage, you could go for 2-3 days without charging the case.
Wireless earbuds offer two kinds of noise cancellation: passive and active. Passive noise cancellation is when the tightly sealed earbuds keep the ambient sound out. But active noise cancellation (ANC) uses in-built microphones and speakers to nullify background noise by sending out inverse sound waves. ANC is an advanced feature, so earbuds offering this are expensive.
Noise cancellation is helpful if you’re in a noisy space and need to focus on the sounds coming from your earbuds. But what if you need to listen to announcements while traveling somewhere? That’s where the transparency mode comes in.
Even with noise cancellation turned off, the earbud seal could prevent you from hearing external sounds clearly. But the transparency mode allows external sounds to be heard naturally by sending outside sounds into the ear canal using the microphones on the earbuds. This feature is super useful if you commute regularly or need to shuffle between listening modes often.
Most earbuds and headphones offer stereo, surround, or 3D sound (spatial audio). The stereo sound makes it seem like you have one speaker on each side of you, and surround sound makes it feel like there are multiple speakers around each side of you.
But with spatial audio, you’ll feel like you’re hearing sounds from around you and above and below you. This creates a superbly realistic audio experience and is useful when playing FPS games that rely on directional sound cues. But spatial audio isn’t limited to just games; you’ll find plenty of songs that use 3D sound on Apple Music.
If you spend a lot of time communicating with people over calls, you’ll want to invest in the best true wireless earbuds for calls. These earbuds will feature a powerful microphone that ensures excellent call quality. Earbuds are tiny, though, so not all will feature great microphones like those you find on some headphones.
Also, keep in mind that using the microphone on your earbuds during calls will drain the battery faster.
Make sure you check what kind of controls your selection has to make sure it will fit your needs. While some earbuds have limited controls, others have an entire control app dedicated to managing them. All earbuds will feature playback controls (like pause and play), but not all will have volume controls. If hands-free volume adjustment is a priority for you, look for earbuds that offer this feature.
The best wireless earbuds will be expensive. But industry-leading models fall into the $200 to $300 range. These models have excellent designs, extended battery life, impressive sound quality, intuitive touch controls, and useful extra features.
You’ll find budget options starting at $30, but don’t expect them to offer incredible sound quality, microphone quality, and durability. They may also not look as premium as the more expensive earbuds and lack features like active noise cancelation.
Some of the best true wireless earbuds are the Apple AirPods, Apple AirPods Pro, Samsung Galaxy Buds, Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, Sony LinkBuds, and Sony WF-1000XM4, the last two being some of the top Sony headphones.
If you’re like most people today, you enjoy listening to hours of music or watching videos while you’re working out, cooking, or performing other activities. But when you have earphones with wires, they get in the way. With wireless earbuds, you’ll enjoy brilliant sound quality without any cables restricting your physical movement and activities.
Jabra Elite 3, Jabra Elite 65t, JLab Go Air Pop, and Anker Liberty Air 2 are some great budget wireless earbud options.
It’s better to keep your earbuds in the case rather than leave them outside. In their case, they’ll be protected from dust and other elements while being charged.
Wireless earbuds have short lifespans, somewhere between 1.5 to 4 years. This is because of their tiny batteries. You may notice a decline in sound quality after a few years of heavy use.