Wireless earbuds are possibly the greatest and most important development in recent history. There’s nothing better than popping two truly wireless earbuds into your ears and having nothing to tangle you up. And given the way Apple and all the Android phone makers are dropping the headphone jack like a bad habit, wireless headphones and earbuds seem to be our inevitable future.Good news is audio manufacturers have been hard at work perfecting their wireless earbuds, topping each other with better technology, longer battery lives, and lower prices. The bad news is not everything on the market is all that great. That’s exactly why we’ve whittled down all the wireless earbuds out there for this list of the truly best. (Note: We’re only looking at truly wireless earbuds here, if you want something with a cable running behind your neck or a neckband, check out our list of the Best Bluetooth Earbuds)TL;DR These are the Best Wireless Earbuds:
1. Creative Outlier Air
Best Wireless Earbuds
Frequency Response: 100-10,000Hz Drivers: 5.6 mm graphene driver Interface: Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Codec: aptX, AAC, SBC Earbud Battery life: 10 hours Case battery life: 20 hours IP rating: IPX5 Weight (earbuds): 10g Size (case): 2.99 x 1.73 x 1.10 inches
If you have an aversion to wires, youre in luck. The Creative Outlier Air is the best pair of truly wireless earbuds and they’ll only cost you $70.For that price you can play music, podcasts, and more for hours and hours10 hours to be specificthe longest battery life seen on wireless earbuds to date. And that’s not even counting the additional 30 hours of charge stored on the case.
It sounds good too with deep, powerful bass that almost threatens to bury mids, but then the Creative Outlier Air does a good job of keeping everything under control. What’s most impressive about these earbuds is their incredible sense of stereo separation.
Unfortunately, the Creative Outlier Air has a few downsides including side buttons that are incredibly stiff to press. Also instead of using a range of ear tips, these earbuds only come with two pairs of extra shallow silicone tips. They’re designed to fit all ears, and they do, but they don’t create the same level of noise isolation for everyone, so you may have to invest in a separate set of foam tips.
2. JLab Audio JBuds Air
Best Budget Wireless Earbuds
Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz Drivers: 8mm Dynamic, Neodymium Magnet Interface: Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Codec: SBC Earbud Battery life: 3-4 hours Case battery life: 10 hours IP rating: IP55 Weight (earbuds): 5g Size (case): n/a
Truly wireless earbuds don’t have to cost a fortune and the JLab Audio JBuds Air proves this point with its $50 price tag. For its budget price, this is a pretty impressive set of wireless earbuds that connects over a Bluetooth 5.0 channel to deliver well-balanced audio. JLab Audio hasn’t skimped on the battery life as the JBuds Air will last you three to four hours and the case adds another 10 extra hours of charge.You also get touch controls on these budget wireless earbuds, which you can use to set the volume or change the track your listening to. Lastly, they’re rated with an IP55 rating, so they won’t konk out on you if you go running and your sweat drips onto them.
3. Sony WF-1000XM3
Best Noise-Cancelling Wireless Earbuds
Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz Drivers: 6mm neodymium dome type (CCAW Voice coil) Interface: Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Codec: AAC, SBC Earbud Battery life: 6-8 hours Case battery life: 18 hours IP rating: n/a Weight (earbuds): 8.5g Size (case): n/a
Most of the wireless earbuds on this list offer a good deal of noise isolation, simply because they form a tight seal on the inside of your earbut if you absolutely want to drown out the world around you the Sony WF-1000XM3 is the best pair of noise-canceling wireless earbuds. If you’re familiar with the company’s legendary Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones, these little earpieces offer the same amazing noise-cancellation technology, but in a much smaller package.In terms of sound quality, you get clear mids and highs along with punchy bass, all of which you’ll be able to hear much more clearly thanks to the noise-canceling technology. With the Sony WF-1000XM3’s signature feature turned on, these earbuds should last you six hourseight with noise cancellation turned offand you’ve got another 18 hours of battery life in the accompanying case.
The only thing that holds back the Sony WF-1000XM3 from being our top pick is it’s just so dang big. These earbuds are easily two to three times larger and the case is absolutely not pocketable.
4. Jaybird Vista
Best Wireless Earbuds for Sports
Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz Drivers: 6mm Interface: Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Codec: SBC Earbud Battery life: 6 hours Case battery life: 10 hours IP rating: IPX7 Weight (earbuds): 6g Size (case): n/a
The Jaybird Vista is the best pair of wireless earbuds for sports thanks to its higher than average IPX7 waterproof rating, which means they’ll survive a dive into three feet of water for an hour. One of the main reasons these wireless earbuds can do this is because they’re almost fully wrapped with a silicon jacket that extends from the ear tip and wings. Aside from being better able to survive the elements, users can pull the casing off and wash it to keep things hygienic.Although the Jaybird Vista only use a tiny wing that clings onto one of the folds of your ear, it stays well in place during both running and swimming. Even when you have them in, you’ll hardly notice that you’re wearing anything since the Jaybird Vista earbuds are so light.
Sound quality isn’t super noteworthy, but you won’t hear any harsh tones or dulled notes either. Likewise, battery life is a bit average with six hours on each bud and another 10 hours in the case. But on the plus side, popping the earbuds into the case for just five minutes will buy you an hour of playtime and it has one of the most compact cases we’ve seen aside from Airpods.
5. Jabra Elite 75t
Best Pocketable Wireless Earbuds
Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz Drivers: 6mm driver Interface: Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Codec: AAC, SBC Earbud Battery life: 7.5 hours Case battery life: 21.5 hours IP rating: IP55 Weight (earbuds): 5.5g (right), 5.5g (left) Size (case): 2.46 x 1.44 x 1.06 inches
The Jabra Elite 65t was our favorite pair of wireless earbuds for the longest time and just recently there were replaced by the Jabra Elite 75t. This set of wireless earbuds is a fantastic follow up that increases battery life by 50% to 7.5 hours while dramatically shrinking down its size by 20%. Like seriously these things might even be too small for their own good.We wouldn’t exactly call the Jabra Elite 75t affordable at $179 but we think it’s worth the premium if you’re looking for something pocketable as a pair of AirPods. This set of wireless earbuds comes with one of the smallest cases around measuring 2.46 x 1.44 x 1.06 inches, but you still get a total of 28 hours of listening time with these small buds.
6. Apple AirPods Pro
Best Wireless Earbuds for iPhones
Frequency Response: n/a Drivers: n/a Interface: Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Codec: AAC Earbud Battery life: 4.5 hours with ANC, 5 hours without ANC Case battery life: 19.5 hours IP rating: IPX4 Weight (earbuds): 5.4g Size (case): 2.39 x 1.78 x 0.85 inches
The AirPods Pro might be best known for the first pair of Apple earbuds that actually go into your ears rather than just dangle off of them, but there’s a lot more to these fancy wireless earbuds. For one thing, these higher-end AirPods have built in active noise cancellation that adapts to any external noise around you while an inward facing microphone helps silence any noise coming from your inner ear.There plenty of other tech going on with these wireless earbuds including an Adaptive Equalizer that automatically tunes your music, an H1 chip designed to control listening levels and Siri. Plus there’s a force sensor on the sides of the Airpods Pro that you can tap up to three times for three programmable functions. The AirPods also offer good battery life with up to 5 hours on the buds themselves4.5 hours with ANC onand another 19.5 hours in the case, which is Qi charging compatible too.
7. Samsung Galaxy Buds
Best Wireless Earbuds for Android Phones
Frequency Response: n/a Drivers: 5.8pi Dynamic Driver Interface: Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Codec: Scalable, AAC, SBC Earbud Battery life: 6 hours Case battery life: 7 hours IP rating: IPX2 Weight (earbuds): 5.67g Size (case): 1.53 x 2.76 x 1.04 inches
The Samsung Galaxy Buds are basically the closest thing to Airpods for Android phones that sound better and fit better. It’s one of the smallest sets of wireless earbuds but they pack a considerable amount of smarts with touch controls, Ambient Awarea fancy name for a hear-through mode that lets environmental noise throughand AKG’s Dynamic EQ technology.That last one is its most notable feature as it can tune your equalizer for more balanced highs, mids, and lows depending on what you’re listening to at any given moment.
The Galaxy Buds will last you for six hours like most other pairs of wireless earbuds, but then the case only provides you with another seven hours. Samsung also provides the least amount of water resistance with an IPX2 rating, which means they’re sweat- and splash-resistant, but you can’t submerge them fully into water.
8. 1More Stylish True Wireless
Best Audiophile-Grade Wireless Earbuds
Frequency Response: 20-10,000Hz Drivers: 7mm titanium composite dynamic driver Interface: Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Codec: aptX, AAC, SBC Earbud Battery life: 6.5 hours Case battery life: 17 hours IP rating: n/a Weight (earbuds): 6.2g Size (case): 2.78 x 1.57 x 1.5 inches
If you’re looking for something a little more focused on sound-quality, the 1More Stylish True Wireless pair of wireless earbuds for just $100. Out of the box, this set comes with a balanced sound profile audiophiles will appreciate. Just a few of the tones we noticed were a naturally present mids, crisp highs, a sparkly treble, and a powerful bass response.Battery life on the Stylish True Wireless is also slightly higher than average at 6.5 hours on the earbuds themselves and an extra 17 hours available in the charging case.
9. Anker Soundcore Liberty Air
Like Airpods But Better
Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz Drivers: 6mm drivers Interface: Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Codec: SBC Earbud Battery life: 5 hours Case battery life: 15 hours IP rating: IPX5 Weight (earbuds): 5.5g Size (case): n/a
The Anker Soundcore Liberty Air might look like a simple copy of Apple’s Airpods, but they offer a much better fit, more bass-heavy sound, and are far more affordable at just $70.You’ll get pretty good sound with a lot more bass out of these wireless earbudsjust don’t push the volume too hard or you’ll start hearing some heavy distortion. Also, they’re rated for IPX5 water resistance. The only thing that’s a little worse here is the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air offers just five hours of battery life with another 15 hours stored in the case.
10. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
Longest-Lasting Wireless Earbuds
UK readers: See it at Amazon (UK)Frequency Response: 100-8,000Hz Drivers: 5.8mm Graphene-enhanced Diaphragm Interface: Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Codec: aptX, AAC, SBC Earbud Battery life: 9 hours Case battery life: 36 hours IP rating: IPX5 Weight (earbuds): 4.6g Size (case): 2.32 x 1.97 x 0.87 inches
Battery life is the most limiting thing about wireless earbuds, but the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 comes closes to making this a non-issue. You’ll be able to wear these wireless earbuds for nine hours straight and the gives you an additional 36 hours of chargea whopping total of 45 hours of wireless listening.
The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 is also one of the most well-rounded sets of wireless earbuds that connects over Bluetooth 5.0 with high-quality AAC, and aptX codec support. Lastly, the sound quality on these earbuds nets you stunningly deep bass and clear treble out of its graphene drivers.
11. Master & Dynamic MW07
Best High-End Wireless Earbuds
Frequency Response: n/a Drivers: 10mm Beryllium driver Interface: Bluetooth 4.2 Audio Codec: aptX, SBC Earbud Battery life: 3.5 hours Case battery life: 7 hours IP rating: IPX4 Weight (earbuds): 9g Size (case): 2.54 x 1.06 x 1.78 inches
If you’re ready to blow a ton of cash on the absolute best wireless earbuds, the Master & Dynamic MW07 fit the bill best. These wireless earbuds absolutely ooze style with a variety of marbled finishes that look like real stone to the chromed-out stainless steel charging case.The Master & Dynamic MW07 also employs some of the largest and most unique 10mm Beryllium dynamic drivers. The resulting sound serenades you with clear separation between the lows and midsand you’ll even be able to distinguish the lower mids.
Unfortunately, battery life is an absolute travesty at just 3.5 hours and the accompanying case will only give you three additional charges at most. But, if you only listen to music in bursts and want the best possible wireless experience, the Master & Dynamic MW07 is for you.
12. Apple AirPods
Best Basic Wireless Earbuds for iPhones
Frequency Response: n/a Drivers: n/a Interface: Bluetooth 4.2 Audio Codec: aptX, AAC, SBC Earbud Battery life: 10 hours Case battery life: 20 hours IP rating: n/a Weight (earbuds): 4g Size (case): 2.11 x 1.74 x 0.84 inches
Like it or not, Apple’s AirPods are essentially what launched the truly wireless craze and though little has changed about them since they hit the scene in December 2016aside from a new Siri Chip and the wireless charging casethey’re still on top.They’re by far the easiest to use wireless earbud solution for iPhone usersthey’ll work with Android too. There’s basically no other set that comes in a smaller, pocketable case either. That said, the sound quality you get out of the Airpods is serviceable at best and you get no isolation whatsoever due to their loose fit.
Although Apple’s Airpods hang loose, they manage to say in your ears surprisingly well enough to go running with them. You can get a decent five-hour run without having to redeposit them into the charging case, which holds another 24 hours of juice and it’s one of the few to be compatible with wireless charging pads. If you don’t need such a fancy wireless charging case, you can save yourself $40 and get the regular Airpods too.
What to Look for In Wireless Earbuds
When shopping for a pair of wireless earbuds, there are a few things you should consider.The first is in regards to Bluetooth. It has improved dramatically with every iteration, however, Bluetooth still can’t carry a strong signal through objects such as walls, people, or your own pants, which in turn leads to interference and the signal being dropped. The Bluetooth signal can also be scrambled by intense areas wireless signals you might encounter in the city. If the music, podcast, or video you’re listening to starts cutting in and out, simply move your source (likely a smartphone or tablet) closer to your earbuds, and that should clear things up in most cases.
The second thing you should look for in wireless earbuds is decent battery life, which in this case means six hours and above. Currently, eight hours or more is the high benchmark for the best battery life on wireless earbuds and 10 hours is the absolute best we’ve seen thus far. It might seem short, but unless you’re flying on a cross-country or international flight, you probably won’t be wearing your wireless earbuds for extremely long stretches.
Working out with your wireless earbuds? Be sure to find something with at least some level of water-resistance. You’ll typically an IP rating attached to the specifications of any wireless earbuds you’re looking at. Breaking down IP ratings, like IPX5 or IP55, is simple. The first number denotes how dust-resistant an object is while the later digit refers to how water-resistant a product is.
Most wireless earbuds aren’t rated for dust-resistance, so they’ll have an IPX rating where you only have to focus on the last number. For exercising, you’ll want to find something with at least an IPX4 that certifies protection from water splashes for at least 5 minutes. IPX6 gives you even better protection from splashing and rain. Once you reach IPX7, it means your wireless earbuds are safe to submerge if you decide to go swimming with them, just know they’ll only survive in up to three feet of water for 30 minutes. Also, if you’re taking them under underwater, be sure that the charging port is fully sealed shut.
Feel like we missed anything? Throw down your own suggestions for the best wireless earbuds in the comments below. We’ll check them out and consider nominating them in our list.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam