Picture this: you’re sitting on the bus, and you decide to listen to your favorite podcast while on your commute. You don’t have the best wireless earbuds, so you reach into your pocket, pull out your wired earbuds — and they’re hopelessly tangled. The rest of the trip is spent untangling them like a special agent in a spy movie trying to cut the right wire to prevent an explosion. In your focus and fury, you miss your stop, are late to work and you get fired.
Instead, imagine having one of the best wireless earbuds. You slip the case out of your pocket, pop them in your ears, and you are focused yet relaxed for the rest of the ride. You notice an elderly woman alighting the bus, and you vacate your seat for her. The other riders give you a nod of approval. Okay, this is admittedly a fanciful scenario, but the best wireless earbuds do provide unparalleled convenience, whether you’re commuting to work, going for a run or just listening to music at home.
Of course, not all earbuds are created equal, and this is especially true of the wireless variety. What’s the battery life? How’s the range? Is the charging case convenient? Are they comfortable? There are a lot of key considerations when looking at the best wireless earbuds.
Just like the iPod dominated the early days of the portable MP3 player market and the iPhone defined the smartphone, Apple has been an early and key player in wireless earbuds with the ever-popular Airpods, but Apple is far from the only brand in this space. From tech companies like Samsung and Anker to heritage audio labels like Sennheiser and JBL, a wide variety of brands are bringing their particular expertise to the wireless earbud market. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite wireless earbuds that you can buy online.
1. Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
Wireless earbuds can be great for working out, where wires would only get in the way. The reality isn’t always so simple once you factor in sweat and slippage, which is why Jabra built the Elite Active around working out. The IP55 rating is designed to resist sweat, and they’re designed to fit snugly inside your ears so they won’t slip out. Four microphones make for clearer calls. Even if you’re not super gym-focused, these are great everyday wireless headphones.
Pros: Sweat-resistant to prevent slippage. Charging case allows for 24 hours of playback. Available in a variety of colors.
Cons: IP55 rating means they’re not totally waterproof.
2. Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
Right out the gate, the first thing to notice about the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live is their odd bean-shaped design — it’s not for everyone aesthetically, but it does help provide a more snug in-ear fit. Active noise cancellation helps reduce distractions, but you can tune in and out with just a tap, allowing you to hear or block background noise. The convenient voice assistant makes it easy to perform hands-free tasks.
Pros: Customizable noise-canceling design allows you to hear what you want to hear. Convenient voice assistant.
Cons: Odd shape may not be for everyone.
3. JBL Tune 125TWS True Wireless In-Ear Headphones
JBL is one of the most storied American audio brands, and they’ve made some of the best Bluetooth speakers and headphones. The 125TWS is a crowd-pleasing option that ticks off several key boxes. The earbuds have a solid 32-hour battery life with the case, and you can listen to each earbud independently. They’re a great option for Android users — Fast Pair allows them to quickly connect to your device with a single tap.
Pros: Economical option. Fast pairing for Android devices. Solid 32 hour battery life with the case.
Cons: No active noise canceling.
4. Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds
Sony’s experience in both tech and audio equipment makes the WF-1000XM3 a standout, packed with features to please the techie as well as the audiophile. Digital noise canceling means you can cut out distractions and just enjoy music or hear podcasts without turning the volume all the way up, and the 24-bit audio signal processing enhances sound quality. The convenient charging case allows you to get up to 90 minutes on a quick 10-minute charge, or a total of 24 hours of playback time from the case. Multiple earbud tips are included for a more comfortable fit.
Pros: Solid active noise-canceling for distraction-free listening. Audio processing enhances sound quality. Compatible with smart assistants.
Cons: Somewhat bulky and protrudes from the ear.
5. SENNHEISER Momentum True Wireless 2
Legendary German audio brand Sennheiser has brought its high-fidelity expertise to the world of wireless earbuds with the stylishly designed Momentum True Wireless 2. The high-end audio is complemented by smart features like tap controls and a wireless charging case that provides up to 28 hours of playback time. Customizable EQ allows you to fine-tune your listening experience.
Pros: Customizable EQ. Noise cancelation with transparent hearing allows you to hear what’s important. Stylish case and earbud design. Premium audio quality.
Cons: Some options may be more economical.
6. Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones
Maybe you don’t want to even entertain the risk of your expensive wireless earbuds falling out of your ears. We get it, and so does Beats. These wireless earbuds have loops that fit around your ear, ensuring a secure fit. That makes them a great sport option for running, biking or the gym. True to Beats’ other products, the wireless earbuds are available in a wide variety of colors. They’re powered by Apple’s H1 chip for easy pairing, and they also work well with Android devices.
Pros: Sport ear clip design makes them great for working out. Comes in a wide variety of colors. Apple H1 chip makes it convenient for iPhone users.
Cons: No active noise canceling.
7. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
Bose is an industry leader when it comes to noise cancelation, and they’ve brought their know-how to these compact earbuds. There are 11 different levels of noise-canceling so you can find the right setting depending on what you’re listening to and where you are. Three ear tip sizes are included to find the one that’s most comfortable for you. The charging case is Qi-compatible, so you can charge it wirelessly.
Pros: Qi-compatible charging case. 11 different levels of noise canceling. Transparency mode allows you to hear conversations.
Cons: Not as long battery life as some other options.
8. Soundcore by Anker Life A1 True Wireless Earbuds
Through their Soundcore line, Anker produces a wide variety of wireless audio gear, all of which boast long battery lives and attainable pricing. These wireless earbuds are built for how we listen today — there are three different listening modes, including a bass boost mode and a mode specifically designed for podcasts. The IPX7 waterproof rating and replaceable ear tips make them great for workout earbuds. The included charging case allows for up to 35 hours of listening.
Pros: Economical option. Replacement ear tips for custom comfort. IPX7 waterproof rating.
Cons: Not as premium audio quality as some options.