- 1 Top 6 Best Wireless Earbuds Compared
- 2 Wireless Earbuds Buying Guide
We’ve researched and gathered the specs and real-world experiences to bring you the best wireless earbuds on the market today. Whether you’re looking for wireless earbuds for working out or running, or just upgraded and want wireless earbuds for your iPhone, we’ve found the best earbuds with long battery life and fit for any budget. They are more comfortable than the best bluetooth headsets.
Our top pick and the best wireless earbuds are the Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones, providing six hours per charge and are sweat proof for use while running or working out. Plus they have a unique and sophisticated holding mechanism so they stay in place without being jammed irritatingly into your ear.
Top 6 Best Wireless Earbuds Compared
#1 Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: These sweat resistant wireless earbuds have Bose’s super comfortable “Stay Hear” to keep them comfortably in place, while providing great sound courtesy of Bose intelligent EQ and offering up to 6 hours of battery life. They’re great for runners, gym rats and anyone looking for the best, most comfortable wireless earbuds.
They may not be the fanciest or smallest wireless earbuds on the market, but these SoundSport headphones from Bose have a few features that make them ideal workout music companions. They use a unique fitment that Bose calls “Stay Hear” (get it?) and which lets them stay very securely in place without having to be jammed up against the skin of the ear canal. This means less chance of irritation and infection, plus better sound quality. The SoundSport ear buds also benefit from Bose’s intelligent EQ feature, giving you the right levels for every kind of music.
The SoundSport wireless earbuds are great for workouts at the gym, since they also promise sweat resistant performance. With a claimed six hour battery life, they should be able to keep the music going for even the most marathon workouts.
#2 SENSO Bluetooth Headphones
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: These budget wireless earbuds are among the lowest priced waterproof sports earphones on the market, yet have comfortable, flexible ear hooks and even come with a carrying case. They’re great for those looking for an affordable set of wireless headphones for the gym, for running or bike riding, thanks to all weather functionality.
These SENSO Bluetooth headphones excel and really are a bargain considering their IPX7 waterproofing, which even the more expensive TREBLAB J1 (our #4 pick) earphones lack. The SENSO wireless headphones promise up to 9 hours of playback per charge, and in real mixed use scenarios typically offer at least five hours, making them comparable if not a little bit ahead of the Bose SoundSport (our top pick.)
They also win high marks for durability and comfort, making them a good choice for wireless earbuds for workouts, bike rides and running. They use Bluetooth 4.1 and are compatible with hands free calling, though as with the Bose SoundSport headphones, background noise cancellation is less than ideal when used for phone calls. Another pair of earphones that have great sound quality is the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, which also has an IPX4 rating, meaning that they’re splash-proof but not completely waterproof. Check out the best waterproof earbud.
#3 Apple AirPods with Charging Case
Award: Best for iPhone Users
WHY WE LIKE IT: Designed to work with iPhones, these truly wireless earbuds provide good sound quality for music and hands-free calling, along with the convenience of a portable “charging case,” with a battery good for over 24 hours of earbud recharging.
The Apple AirPods are among the most sophisticated and high tech wireless headphones available, especially for iPhone and Apple Watch users. With an integrated H1 or H2 chipset, beam-forming microphones and much improved bass drive and mids compared to the previous ear buds from Apple, they represent a real advance in audio quality among wireless headphones for Apple iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch users. Adding to the AirPods’ functionality is their neat auto-on function and the ability to control music, dictate hands-free text messages and make calls using Siri voice commands.
While Apple aficionados will likely find these AirPods a worthwhile innovation, the price point may be a bit steep for those just looking for some good bluetooth headphones for working out. Or for playing cool soundtracks while flying the best drones in the air. Yes I do that. A few days ago actually. Also, if you’re eyeing AirPods right now, check out the Apple AirPods Pro for the latest and most powerful version of these popular wireless earphones that are capable of wireless charging as well.
#4 TREBLAB J1 Running Earphones
Award: Best for Runners and Cyclists
WHY WE LIKE IT: Sweatproof and water resistant wireless earbuds designed for an active lifestyle, they have a long battery life and offer good sound quality. They’re great for joggers, runners and cyclists looking for wireless earbuds for working out.
These IPX6 waterproof wireless earbuds are designed for workouts, running, bicycling and day to day activities as well as outdoor adventures. Unlike most small wireless earphones for working out, they offer a noise isolating feature that helps greatly with hands free calling. The J1 earphones themselves have an 8 mm speaker for immersive, CD-quality sound, and a magnetic housing that makes it easier to keep them securely attached to the around-ear loops. While your mileage may vary as far as fit and comfort are concerned, most find that these J1 running earphones stay sung and comfortable while running or working out at the gym.
They’re not quite as easy to use as the Apple AirPods, and of course lack some of the voice command capability, but they’re worth a listen for anyone looking for a solid pair of sweat proof workout ear buds or to make hands-free calls in crowded places. The Beats Powerbeats Pro is another product with a good battery life of up to nine hours. You may also want to check out the best kid headphones.
#5 Jabra Elite 65
Award: Best AirPod Alternative
WHY WE LIKE IT: True wireless earbuds for iPhone, Android devices and more, these benefit from the convenience of the Jabra app, compatible with both Apple and Android, letting you customize the features like voice to text and hands-free calls, plus giving you personalized sound preferences. They’re great for Android and Google smartphone users looking for an AirPods alternative.
Among “true” wireless earbuds, that is, those not connected to one another with a wire, these Jabra Elite 65 Bluetooth earphones are a compelling choice, especially for Android and other smartphone users looking for earbuds somewhat like the Apple AirPods. Less costly than AirPods but nearly matching their sound quality, the Jabra Elite 65 comes with the Jabra Sound app, which lets you customize the equalizer functions and personalize the sound of your earbuds for hands free calling or music listening while working out or running. The Jabra earbuds are wind protected too, so you get clearer calls.
Battery life is rated at 5 hours, compared to the 8 hours you get with the Treblab J1, our #4 pick. However, the Jabra earbuds do come with a portable charging case, much like the AirPods, though it doesn’t quite match the Apple wireless headphones’ claimed 24-hour listening time. When fully charged, it delivers enough for 15 hours of listening. On the plus side, the Jabra headphones are IP55 rated for dust and water resistance, so they’re good wireless earbuds for running or biking. Speaking of Jabra, check out their other great Bluetooth earbuds like the Jabra Elite 75T that features great music and call quality and the similar Jabra Elite Active 75T, which is its alternative for workouts. Another example of one of the best true wireless earbuds is the Google Pixel Buds In-Ear Headphones. Also, read about the best headphones for running.
#6 Plantonics Backbeat Go 410
Award: Best Active Noise Canceling
WHY WE LIKE IT: These active noise cancelling wireless earbuds offer long battery life and a clever magnetic auto shut off sensor plus the ability to function as wired headphones as well. They’re great for travelers, train commuters and those who frequently listen to music or podcasts or make calls in noisy environments.
These clever dual mode wireless ear buds have the ability to work as “wired” headphones or as wireless bluetooth 5.0 headphones. A smart magnetic sensor automatically shuts them off when the earbuds are clicked together, saving battery and making them easier to store. The battery life is a claimed 10 hours, though the active noise cancelling feature, when in use, may cut this down as much as 50%.
While the sound quality may not be quite as rich or pleasing as with the Bose SoundSport (our top pick) or the Treblab J1, these Plantronics wireless earbuds do excel when it comes to phone calls, thanks to their HD voice feature. The active noise cancellation is also helpful, a boon for commuters and podcast listeners. Check out the Sony WF-1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Earphones as well so that you can focus better on what you’ll listen to during your next commute. Speaking of noise cancellation, read our best noise cancelling headphones. You can also look at the our headphones section.
How we Decided
In order to narrow down the best wireless earbuds on the market we looked at sound performance, connectivity, battery life and fit, with bonus points for waterproof wireless earbuds. For sound quality they had to have a frequency response range of at least 50Hz to 18kHz, with clear reproduction of voice tones being especially important, since many people use wireless earbuds for hands free calling. While active noise cancellation is rare in earbuds, and only the Plantonics Backbeat (our #7 pick) offers it, all the wireless earbuds on our list offer passive noise isolation. These are different than over ear headphones.
For connectivity we required at least Bluetooth 4.1, plus the ability to hold a connection with your mobile device even in areas with dense broadband coverage. The Apple AirPods (our #3 pick) and Bose SoundSport (our top pick) have stand out performance in this regard.
Finally, we selected wireless earbuds that promised at least a 4 hour battery life, so if you’re looking for wireless earphones for an endurance workout or bike ride, they won’t run out of juice before you do.
Wireless Earbuds Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Connection Type
Most wireless earbuds use Bluetooth to connect with your device; depending on the age and type of device you use most often, this will likely mean version 4.1 or 5.0. Both represent improvements in signal quality and security over Bluetooth 4.0. They easily connect to the best mp3 player and other devices.
- Noise Isolation
Whether selecting wireless earbuds for hands-free calling or listening to podcasts on the train, the ability to screen background noise does make a difference in sound clarity. The Treblab J1 (our #4 pick) has excellent passive noise isolation, while the Plantonics (our #7 pick) offers active noise cancelling.
Especially important when looking for wireless earbuds for working out, some level of waterproofing helps extend the life of your earphones.
Wireless Earbuds FAQs
Do these fall out easily?
While it’s understandable that staying in place is more of a concern with wireless earbuds than with wired headphones, the best wireless earphones are ergonomically designed to stay secure while remaining comfortable during activities like bike riding, jogging or working out at the gym.
What’s the range of wireless earbuds?
It varies by model, but in general the best Bluetooth wireless headphones, such as our top pick, the Bose SoundSport, or the Apple Air Pods for iPhone users, have a connectivity range of around 30 feet from your device.
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