- Wireless earbuds are more comfortable and lighter than on-ear and over-ear headphones
- When buying wireless earbuds, consider sound quality, battery life, call quality, companion app, and sweat resistance
- Apple Airpods Pro is our overall best wireless earbuds thanks to their seamless iOS integration, active noise cancellation, sweat resistance, super sound quality and touch control
Wired headphones have had their time and as tech advances, fewer users are opting for annoying corded headphones for work or play. In recent years, earbuds have taken the market by storm, allowing people to listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks on the go without being physically wired to a phone, laptop, or other portable device.
Popular brands like Apple, Samsung, Sennheiser, Bose, Jabra, and Sony continue to release superior earbuds every year with exciting new features. In this guide, we have compiled a review of the best wireless earbuds that you can buy this year based on factors such as performance, sound quality, design, and style.
1. Apple Airpods Pro
Cost: $249 USD
Apple’s Airpods Pro continue to get better every release. The improved active noise cancellation feature improves the sound quality by cutting out the noise from outside before you can hear it. It’s also equipped with spatial audio, which creates a 3D-like soundscape to improve the audio quality. The auto-switching functionality allows users to quickly switch between different devices within an iCloud account.
These earbuds include three sizes of tapered silicon tips. You can choose between the large, medium, and small sizes for a comfortable fit. The transparency mode allows you to engage in conversations without having to remove the earbuds. Just press and hold the force sensor to activate the transparency mode.
A unique feature of Apple Airpods Pro is Siri, a voice assistant like Amazon’s Alexa, that lets you listen to your messages when your connected device receives them.
- Comfortable fit
- Great sound quality
- Improved noise cancellation
- Sweat and water-resistant
- Limited battery life
2. Samsung Galaxy Buds2
Cost: $149 USD
After releasing the Galaxy Buds Pro, Samsung kicked it up a notch with the Galaxy Buds2. These new earbuds are compact and deliver superb audio quality, wireless charging, and adjustable sound. The new model is smaller and lighter than the Galaxy Buds Pro, making it the preferred option.
Samsung has improved the earbuds interconnectivity with Samsung Galaxy smartphones and added several features, including the Wireless PowerShare and Easy Pairing Mode. They’re also equipped with active noise cancellation to minimize external distractions. With a full charge, Galaxy Buds 2 can last up to five hours.
- Improved audio performance
- Tiny and comfortable
- Great value for the price
- No iOS integration
- Subpar microphone
3. Sony WF-1000XM4
Cost: $279.99 USD
Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earbuds have improved the imperfections of their earlier models and now has a host of new features and an improved design. The 360 Reality Audio, customizable ambient listening mode and EQ customization have enhanced the sound profile for better audio balance. The V1 chip improves the performance of the active noise cancellation feature without bringing white noise into the mix.
The Sony WF-1000XM4 has a longer battery life and can handle up to 8 hours of ANC playback or up to 35 hours with a charging case and ANC switched off. These earbuds are splash-proof with IPX4 water resistance.
- Improved battery life
- Stylish design
- Balanced sound
- Splash resistant
- Not a good fit for smaller ears
4. Jabra Elite 85t
Cost: From $229 USD
The Jabra Elite 85t earbuds have some of the best noise cancellation capabilities on the market, blocking out 90 percent of outside noise for clear audio quality. It’s an upgrade of Jabra’s Elite 75t, with better features and performance such as balanced audio, enhanced listening modes, and improved noise cancellation.
You can extend the functionality of Jabra Elite 85t earbuds with the Sound+ app by exploring additional features such as the MyControls and MySound to tweak the audio. You can use the EQ feature to create sound profiles or tweak the available presets. Jabra 85t has a standard battery life of 5.5 hours when the ANC is active or up to 7.5 hours when the ANC is switched off. It also allows wireless charging.
- Adjustable active noise cancellation
- Additional features and controls on the Sound+ app
- 12mm speakers
- Quick charging
- Loose fit
- Shorter battery life
5. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
Cost: $279 USD
After years of perfecting the QuietComfort technology, Bose released a pair of truly wireless buds with impeccable noise cancellation capabilities. The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are ahead of the pack in noise neutralization, with 11 levels of noise cancellation in the companion app. The transparency mode lets you block out the world, allow external sound, or maintain a balance of both.
Bose QuietComfort is also known for its superior sound quality with its exclusive acoustic architecture. The earbuds have simple touch controls on the side, which you can swipe and tap to control the volume, play music, or adjust the noise cancellation settings. Plus, they have a battery life of up to 6 hours on a single charge.
- Comfortable fit with three sizes of StayHear Max ear tips
- Effective noise-cancellation
- Available in a variety of colors
- Weather and sweat resistante
- Charging case is large
6. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
Cost: $299.95 USD
The recent generation of Sennheiser’s Momentum earbuds sees an improvement from the original Sennheiser Momentus. They’re now smaller, more comfortable, have an improved battery life, and include an active noise canceling feature that rivals top brands. The sound quality is unrivalled and delivers a balanced, rich sound.
The touchpad technology built into the earbuds make it easy to control the audio or manage calls. When you remove the earbuds, Smart Pause technology automatically stops the audio being played, only resuming it when you put the earbuds back on. The battery life can last up to 7 hours, but this can be increased up to 28 hours with the charging case.
- Luxurious design
- Longer battery life
- IPX4 rated – perfect for the gym
- No wireless charging
7. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Cost: $199 USD
The Galaxy Buds Pros include an enhanced design for a comfortable fit, stronger active noise cancellation, and a transparency mode. They come with smart controls that allow tap and hold gestures. For example, you can double-tap the earbuds’ edges to lower or raise the volume.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is equipped with Voice Detect. This feature automatically switches from ANC to the ambient sound mode when you begin talking.
- Voice detection feature
- Intelligent ANC
- Sleek design
- Really short battery life (4.5 hours)
8. Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro
Cost: $128.99 USD
Anker Liberty Air 2 Pro is an upgrade of the Liberty Air 2, and is the first of Soundcore’s earbuds to feature active noise cancellation. The Air 2 Pros feature a triple mode noise cancellation and has optimized profiles for different levels of noise such as indoor, outdoor, and transport. It employs PureNote Driver technology to boost your bass and deliver a clear audio profile.
They’re equipped with HearID personalized EQ that maps your hearing profile and creates a custom sound profile that’s perfect for an individual user’s ears. It comes with nine pairs of ear tips for a comfortable fit and delivers up to 7 hours of playback from a single charge, or up to 26 hours with a charging case.
- Four ANC modes
- Decent battery life
- Superior sound quality
- Sensitive touch controls
9. Sennheiser CX 400BT
Cost: $199.95 USD
The CX 400BT earbuds are a cheaper alternative to the Momentum True Wireless 2s from, but retain the same minimalist design. They have an outstanding sound quality that is supported by a wide range of audio codec support such as SBC, AAC, and aptx.
The CX 400BT earbuds also add an extra microphone to each earbud to improve voice calls. However, they use passive noise cancellation, which only reduces noise during voice calls. It has a decent playback of up to nine hours and up to 13 hours with a charging case.
- Minimalist design
- Costs less than older models
- Decent battery life (up to 9 hours)
- Large (sticks out of the ears)
- No ANC
10. Jabra Elite Active 75t
Cost: $179.99 USD
The Jabra Elite 75t is an upgrade of the 65t model and sees improvements in almost every aspect including audio quality, battery life, ANC, and comfort. You can use the Sound+ app to test your hearing and create a custom hearing profile. It also offers smaller buds for a better fit, even in smaller ears, in addition to optional wireless charging.
Jabra Elite 75t added active noise canceling in the 2020 firmware update. You must activate the ANC using the Sound+ app the first time you use the earbuds. It also includes four microphones and beam form technology to boost voice call quality.
- Longer battery life (approx. 7.5 hours)
- Comfortable fit
- Balanced sound quality
- Supports Alexa/Siri/Google Assistant
- Average call quality
How to Choose the Best Wireless Earbuds
There is an overwhelming number of wireless earbuds to choose from. Here are some features that you should consider:
When buying earbuds, you should consider how long the battery lasts on a single charge. Most earbuds have a battery life of 4 to 7 hours, which can be extended if it has a charging case. Check if the earbuds come with a charging case or whether one has to be purchased separately.
Sound and Audio Quality
Explore options with customization settings that allow users to create sound profiles depending on their hearing profile and music genre preferences. There is more to sound than just how loud it is, so look for an earbud with balanced audio and clear voice calls.
Most users prefer comfortable earbuds with a small fit that will not fall out. Some earbuds come with multiple silicon tips of different sizes, allowing the wearer to pick a tip with a good fit. You should also check if the earbud is water or sweat resistant, especially if you’re planning on wearing them while working out.
If you are looking for more advanced earbuds with noise cancellation and adaptive EQ, you should expect to pay more. These features help block external distractions so that you can focus on the podcast, music, or call.
If you like listening to music during workout sessions or while on the go, then you understand how useful wireless earbuds are. Before buying a specific brand of earbuds, compare several brands based on the features – including price point – that are important to you. If you’ve got your heart set on a pair that’s slightly above your budget, keep an eye out for sales in your local store or online.