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A profile shot of tester Ryan Waniata wearing the Apple AirPods Pro (second gen) in public. Credit: Reviewed / Ryan Waniata

The Best Wireless Earbuds of 2022

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A profile shot of tester Ryan Waniata wearing the Apple AirPods Pro (second gen) in public. Credit: Reviewed / Ryan Waniata

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Editor's Choice Product image of Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)
Best Overall

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)

Apple’s updated AirPods Pro may look the same but features like Adaptive Transparency and next-gen noise canceling make them the best buds around. Read More

Pros

  • Next-gen noise canceling
  • Adaptive Transparency
  • Sound and battery boost

Cons

  • No EQ or ANC adjustment
  • No separate app for Android
2
Editor's Choice Product image of Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
Best Noise Canceling

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

The Bose QuietComfort II Earbuds have the best active noise canceling we've ever heard, but aren't the best for making calls. Read More

Pros

  • Incredible noise canceling
  • Clear sound
  • Secure and light fit

Cons

  • Lackluster call performance
  • Missing some standard features
3
Editor's Choice Product image of Jabra Elite 7 Active
Best for Running

Jabra Elite 7 Active

Jabra's Elite 7 Active provide a stable fit, sporty performance, and great features, from solid ANC and multipoint pairing to rugged waterproofing. Read More

Pros

  • Snug and stable fit
  • Great battery and waterproofing
  • Loaded with features

Cons

  • So-so default sound
4
Editor's Choice Product image of Anker Soundcore Space A40
Best Value

Anker Soundcore Space A40

The Soundcore Space A40 set a new mark for earbuds under $100 thanks to their excellent ANC that's better than more expensive earbuds and great sound. Read More

Pros

  • Amazing ANC for the price
  • Customizable sound profiles
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Little sizzly out of the box
  • Lows can cover vocals
5
Editor's Choice Product image of Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony's flagship wireless earbuds aren't cheap, but they offer gorgeous sound, incredible battery life, and top-tier noise canceling. Read More

Pros

  • Fantastic noise canceling
  • Superb sound
  • Next-gen battery life

Cons

  • No good solution for volume control
  • Missing some features

If you're looking for the best wireless earbuds you can buy right now, our top pick is Apple’s AirPods Pro (2nd gen) (available at Amazon for $239.98). These buds offer some of the best noise canceling we’ve ever heard, great audio performance, and game-changing transparency mode for any situation. Apple has also added swipe volume controls and improved battery life over the previous AirPods Pro.

While the AirPods Pro can be used with non-Apple devices, that certainly isn’t their primary purpose, so we have a collection of other excellent options from Sony, Jabra, Bose, Samsung, Sennheiser, and other brands we evaluated using both real-world and lab tests. Each pair has something to offer, so rest assured you'll find the perfect wireless earbuds below, no matter what you're into.

These are the best wireless earbuds we've tested:

  • Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
  • Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
  • Jabra Elite 7 Active
  • Anker Soundcore Space A40
  • Sony WF-1000XM4
  • Jabra Elite 85t
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
  • Jabra Elite 4 Active
  • Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
  • Beats Fit Pro
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
An image of the Apple AirPods Pro in a case on grass.
Credit: Reviewed / Ryan Waniata

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) deliver significant upgrades to noise canceling, transparency mode, and sound.

Best Overall
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)
  • Ambient sound modes: Noise canceling, Adaptive Transparency mode
  • Dust and water resistance: IPX4
  • Battery life: 6 hours with ANC (up to 7 without), up to 31 hours with the case

Not every sequel’s a winner, even in the constantly evolving world of true wireless earbuds. But the AirPods Pro (2nd generation)—Apple’s refresh of its shockingly popular AirPods Pro—knock it out of the park. While the exterior remains mostly the same, the updated AirPods Pro offer significant upgrades to noise canceling, sound, and battery life inside their familiar, comfy housings.

The noise canceling isn’t just better, either. In our testing, there’s only one pair on the market that beats the new AirPods Pro at time of publication, Bose’s own upgraded QuietComfort Earbuds II. That puts those two pairs atop a very stalwart crowd, standing tall even against over-ear options like Sony’s WH-1000XM5.

Just as impressive is Apple’s Adaptive Transparency mode, which is not only clearer and more natural sounding than before, but can also help block out unwanted environmental blasts by limiting incoming sounds to 85dB in real time. Add that to the better bass response, clearer and more fine-tuned sound, fantastic call quality, and the same, barely their 5.4-gram weight, and it’s a recipe for the best buds around.

While the earbud design is mostly the same, the new case does add a speaker system so you can find it in your house, including precision tracking in the Find My app. Frankly, it’s hard to find a significant flaw here, but there are some things on the wish list. The battery life is solid, but could be better, and we also wish there was more control over audio such as an EQ and ANC control. There’s also no separate app for Android, meaning they're not the best choice outside iOS.

Otherwise, Apple’s updated AirPods Pro have once again made an easy argument as the best earbuds you can buy. If you own an iPhone, and you can invest the money, it’s upgrade time.

Pros

  • Next-gen noise canceling

  • Adaptive Transparency

  • Sound and battery boost

Cons

  • No EQ or ANC adjustment

  • No separate app for Android

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II sit on a cinder block in front of their charging case with a black gate in the background.
Credit: Reviewed / John Higgins

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II offer the best noise canceling we’ve ever heard.

Best Noise Canceling
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
  • Ambient sound modes: Noise canceling, Adaptive Transparency mode
  • Dust and water resistance: IPX4
  • Battery life: 6 hours with ANC, up to 24 hours with the case

2022 saw some dramatic improvements in active noise cancellation across the price spectrum, from the best under $100 to the best money can buy. Out of everything on the market, though, nothing beats the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II when it comes to pure ANC performance. They virtually eliminate any sort of low drones, such as airplane noise or HVAC, leaving barely a whisper of hiss. But the most impressive performance is with crowd chatter, where the troublesome midrange is targeted to allow ambient conversation to disappear behind the most modest level of music. The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) come close to the performance of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, but their overall noise floor isn’t quite as low.

Bose has improved the QCE II’s sound performance as well by finally adding a 3-band EQ in the Bose Music app. It isn’t as detailed as what you get from Sony, but it allows you to tame some frequencies and take the edge off. The app allows customization of touch controls for track navigation, activation of your device voice assistant, ANC mode, and volume. All usable in conjunction with one another.

The Bose do have some flaws, though (which is why the Apple AirPods Pro are our Best Overall choice). Chief among them is their call quality, which suffers mightily outdoors. Traffic and wind—even a slight breeze—causes distracting whooshes for your call partner that can cover your voice. The app is also missing some customizability options that are found with competitors, and their active transparency mode doesn’t function as cleanly as the AirPods Pro.

Still, if you’re after the absolute best noise canceling you can find, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are at the very top of that list.

Pros

  • Incredible noise canceling

  • Clear sound

  • Secure and light fit

Cons

  • Lackluster call performance

  • Missing some standard features

A pair of blue earbuds sits on a wooden plank with their case open.
Credit: Reviewed/Ryan Waniata

The Jabra Elite 7 Active are great for working out, and so much more.

Best for Running
Jabra Elite 7 Active
  • Ambient sound modes: Noise canceling, transparency mode
  • Dust and water resistance: IP57
  • Battery life: Up to 8 hours with ANC, 35 hours with the case

The Jabra Elite 7 Active, which step in to replace the stalwart Elite Active 75t, are great wireless earphones for just about anyone. But their nimble design and stable fit make them particularly great for folks who spend a lot of time running or working out. Their hearty, IP57-rated dust and water resistance even lets you safely rinse them off after a workout.

(Tip: If you're looking for more like these, we have plenty to recommend in our Best Workout Headphones guide.)

The Elite 7 Active will net you nearly every bell and whistle you might need. A finder function makes sure you won't lose track of them. Transparency mode lets you hear the world around you, and mid-level noise canceling lets you block it out. Unlike most buds at their price, they even add multipoint pairing, which makes them much more versatile than most sport-ready buds.

The Elite 7 Active offer solid audio performance, though their brighter sound signature may need some EQ to smooth things out. Still, their sound will satisfy most casual listeners and power users alike, especially once you take Jabra's personalization sound test. Jabra's signature playback controls are intuitive and customizable (thanks to the loaded Jabra Sound+ app) to make for one of the best user experiences in the true wireless game.

Offering superb overall performance, durability, and a well-rounded user experience, the Jabra Elite 7 Active are a great pick for your workout and more. And if you need slightly improved call quality the Elite 7 Pro are nearly identical to their cousins, but trade additional calling software for a less grippy exterior.

Either way, you'll be getting a great pair of durable earbuds, armed for virtually any scenario you can throw at them.

Pros

  • Snug and stable fit

  • Great battery and waterproofing

  • Loaded with features

Cons

  • So-so default sound

A man wearing the Anker Soundcore Space A40 earbuds while standing outside in front of a tree.`
Credit: Reviewed / John Higgins

The Anker Soundcore Space A40 earbuds deliver the best ANC performance you can get for under $100.

Best Value
Anker Soundcore Space A40
  • Battery life: 10 hours, up to 50 with the case
  • Ambient sound modes: Adaptive ANC, Transparency mode
  • Dust/water resistance: IPX4 rating

Anker has been leading the charge with high-performing inexpensive noise-canceling headphones for the past few years, and the Soundcore Space A40 is their best offering yet. The Space A40’s ANC is at least as good as earbuds for $150, like the Jabra Elite 5. The adaptive active noise canceling ably handles low drones, such as airplane cabin noise or HVAC units. It even takes the edge off of midrange conversation that you’ll find at the local coffee shop. It doesn’t completely remove it, but if you’re listening to music at a low level it’s enough to keep you focused in your own world. Within the Soundcore app you can choose between two Transparency modes, one full range and one that puts the focus on letting voices through if you need to have a quick conversation.

Out of the box, the A40 have a nice sound profile, although their highs (especially cymbals) can be a tad piercing and mids are a little covered by the low end. Thankfully, the app includes an 8-band EQ to address these issues. There’s also HearID Sound, which profiles your hearing perception in each ear and creates an EQ curve customized to your ears. It works pretty well and delivers a nice improvement over the default profile. Hi-res audio and LDAC are both supported.

Touch controls—single tap, double tap, and hold for two seconds—can be turned on and off per control, and they’re also fully customizable, assignable to volume, track controls, and for the two-second hold the added options of Ambient Sound Mode select, Voice Assistant activation, and Game Mode toggle.

Throw wireless case charging on top of the features pile and the Anker Space A40 set a new standard for earbuds performance under $100.

Pros

  • Amazing ANC for the price

  • Customizable sound profiles

  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Little sizzly out of the box

  • Lows can cover vocals

Other Top Wireless Earbuds We Tested

Product image of Sony WF-1000XM4
Sony WF-1000XM4
  • Ambient sound modes: Noise canceling, transparency mode
  • Dust and water resistance: IPX4
  • Battery life: 8 hours with ANC (12 without), up to 36 hours with the case

Sony's WF-1000XM4 (not to be confused with the WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones) are one of the top performing noise-canceling earbuds available. Their incredible sound quality, innovative design, and top-notch competitive noise canceling make them serious players in the space—albeit at a serious price point.

Their luscious sound is among the best you’ll find in the genre. It’s sweet, accessible, and yet rich with detail. The stark canvas provided by the powerful noise canceling makes it even easier to enjoy. You’ll find tranquility with these earbuds on a level that’s hard to find with any headphones, let alone tiny earbuds.

The earbuds also offer plenty of ways to tinker through Sony’s Headphones Connect app. You can adjust multiple settings, tune them with a 5-band EQ, and even set the earbuds to switch between noise canceling and ambient audio based on your routines and locations. You can also customize the touch controls, though you unfortunately can't use volume control without swapping out another feature.

In addition, they miss a few extras like Find My Earbuds and multipoint pairing, both features we’d like to see in this price range. Still, the WF-1000XM4 are some of the best earbuds you can buy, period. If you’re after a more affordable Sony’s WF-1000XM3 are also still worth consideration.

Pros

  • Fantastic noise canceling

  • Superb sound

  • Next-gen battery life

Cons

  • No good solution for volume control

  • Missing some features

Product image of Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless
Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless
  • Ambient sound modes: Noise canceling, transparency mode
  • Dust and water resistance: IPX4
  • Battery life: 5.5 hours with ANC (7 without), up to 25 hours with the case

Jabra’s Elite 85t have been around our list for some time now, and while the competition's gotten stiffer, their price keeps getting lower. These buds are brilliantly balanced, offering great sound, impressive active noise canceling (ANC), easy tap controls, and a barrel full of other top-flight features. Unlike so many options these days, they're also equally good for Android or iPhone.

While wireless earbuds can get uncomfortable quickly, the 85t are extremely comfortable even for long periods. Their more bulbous design means the fit isn’t quite as secure as sportier pairs, but once you find the right size, their oval ear tips provide a proper seal that's more secure than the original AirPods Pro, without plugging up your ears.

Jabra’s excellent Sound+ app lets you customize multiple options, including both noise canceling and transparency mode, the latter of which is incredibly natural sounding. The controls are also fully customizable and utilize tactile buttons that are easy to use even when you're wearing gloves.

Other popular features include auto-pause, a wireless charging case, and multipoint connection so you can easily switch between fun and work modes.

With up to 7 hours of battery, the 85t are still competitive, but some newer rivals like Google's Pixel Buds Pro outlast them. In addition, you can only use the right bud on its own (the left only works in stereo). Those are relatively minor complaints for such a complete package, though. Even after a couple years, the 85t still sound great, have excellent noise canceling, and usability that's among the very best on the market.

Pros

  • Outstanding features and design

  • Rich, balanced sound

  • Impressive noise canceling

Cons

  • Not as sport-friendly as other Jabra buds

Product image of Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
  • Ambient sound modes: Active noise canceling, Transparency mode
  • Water resistance: IPX7
  • Battery life: Up to 5 hours with ANC (8 without), up to 30 hours with charging case

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are the go-to choice for Android phone users, especially those with a Samsung Galaxy phone. Their six audio presets sound great (Normal, in particular has excellent midrange response and vocal clarity), and ANC has been improved over earlier Galaxy Buds with better low-end cancellation of airplane drone and a modest midrange improvement to handle clicky keyboards or coffee shop conversation.

The design is smaller than the Galaxy Buds Pro by 15 percent, giving them a slimmer profile when worn. Their fit is solid, and with IPX7 water resistance they’re a good workout solution. Samsung has also changed to a matte finish over the gloss over previous iterations, which is a look we prefer.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are loaded with features such as Easy Pair and Auto Switch, Bixby voice control, 360 Audio, and 24-bit high-res audio. All of those features are Android-specific as there isn’t an iOS app, and the 24-bit audio support relies on certain Samsung Galaxy phones. Their 5-hour battery life is on the low end (and in our testing it came in a little under that number), but a quick five-minute charge in the case will get another hour of listening.

For anyone entrenched in the Samsung (or Android) ecosystem, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro deliver a package that’s hard to beat.

Pros

  • Small, lightweight, comfortable

  • Excellent audio performance

  • Solid ANC

Cons

  • No multipoint pairing

  • Samsung-only features

Product image of Jabra Elite 4 Active
Jabra Elite 4 Active
  • Ambient sound modes: Noise canceling, transparency mode
  • Water resistance: IP57
  • Battery life: 6-7 hours with ANC, 28 hours with the case

The Jabra Elite 4 earbuds offer a very well-rounded package at their price point, with good sound, good features, and a sport-ready design that makes them an incredible value. In fact, they launched with one of the lowest price points we’ve ever seen for a pair of earbuds this loaded, and the price has only dropped.

Whether you need a snug pair of earbuds with transparency mode for walking and running, a water-resistant pair you can rinse off in the sink (or dunk for short periods), or just decent noise canceling to keep out distractions while working from home or gardening, the Elite 4 have got you covered. Their clear sound and solid noise canceling won't beat out flagship pairs, but their performance meets or beats everything in their price class.

At this price, you'll have to give up a few convenience features, like auto-pause when you pull the earbuds out and a wireless charging case. But Jabra attempts to make up for those omissions for Android users with extras like Google Fast Pair and one-tap access to Spotify. You’ll also get extras like a 5-band EQ, an earbuds finder, and customizable controls, among others.

Frankly, you’ll have a hard time beating these buds for the money in the vast majority of categories. Whatever you’re into, Jabra’s versatile Elite 4 Active bring you a huge slice of the best that true wireless earbuds have to offer at a price you can swallow.

Pros

  • Snug, weatherproof design

  • Active noise canceling

  • Great features and battery

Cons

  • No auto-pause

  • Sluggish app connection

Product image of Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
  • Ambient sound modes: Noise canceling, transparency mode
  • Water resistance: IPX4
  • Battery life: ~5.5 hours with ANC (7 without), up to 28 hours with the case

Sennheiser’s latest true wireless earbuds offer everything we like about the previous iteration and improve on the biggest downside: active noise canceling. While ANC was passable in the Momentum TW 2, the TW 3 go back to the drawing board for responsive and powerful noise cancellation that stands tall with the best in the business.

Of course, the earbuds also keep our favorite aspect about the previous pair, namely their fantastic sound quality. The new pair offers a more stylized soundstage that’s a bit brighter than before, but also a smidge clearer with more definition. If you don’t love the default sound, the three band EQ makes it easier than ever to adjust. Battery life is solid at up to 7 hours per charge and 28 total with the charging case (less with ANC).

Other handy features include adjustable controls (including volume controls on by default), a new wireless charging case (finally), and standards like auto-pause and the ability to use one earbud at a time. They also offer advanced audio codecs like aptX Adaptive and AAC for improved sound for Android or iPhone respectively.

Their new design makes them sportier and comfier thanks to multiple ear tips and fins to keep them tight in your ear. They may not be your go-to running buds, but they’ll work in a pinch for most any activity. Perhaps the best news is that all the improvements come with a lower MSRP than Sennheiser’s previous pair.

We don’t find these buds quite as comfortable as semi-open pairs like the Jabra Elite 85t and Apple AirPods Pro, and their charging case is a tad bulky. Like Sony’s WF-1000XM4, there’s also no earbuds finder available and the buds don’t have multipoint connection. That said, these Sennheiser buds cook up a winning combination of good features, top-notch sound, and impressive noise cancellation, making them among the best buds you can buy.

Pros

  • Fantastic sound quality

  • Much improved ANC

  • Smaller footprint

Cons

  • Bulky, heavy case

  • No multipoint pairing

Product image of Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
  • Ambient sound modes: Noise canceling, transparency mode
  • Water resistance: IPX7
  • Battery life: 5 hours with ANC (8 without), up to 28 hours with the case

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro are an obvious attempt to create earbuds just as impressive for Samsung phones as Apple’s AirPods Pro are for iPhones. The gambit worked pretty dang well. Samsung’s made a feature-packed pair of earbuds bespoke for their platform that offer a lot of great features.

The big headliner for these earbuds is solid active noise cancellation. It’s not the best on the market by any means, but it does the trick, and on the other side the earbuds feature enhanced hearing via transparency mode.

They also offer a truckload of other features typical of flagship earbuds, like the ability to use one bud at a time, a wireless charging case, and a Find My Earbuds function. One particularly interesting feature is Voice Detect. It’s designed to pause ANC and engage ambient mode when you speak, so you can keep in touch with those around you hands-free. However, we found it can be overzealous at times.

Most of the Galaxy Buds Pro’s top features will work for any Android phone with Samsung’s well-equipped app (not for iPhones, unfortunately). But they also saved extras for the Samsung faithful, including auto-pairing and Bixby wakeup. There’s even a 3D audio feature for the Galaxy S21 and up. In other words, it pays to be heavily invested in Samsung’s ecosystem here.

Still, these earbuds feature design traits everyone can enjoy, like IPX7 water resistance (making them dunkable) and impressive, well-balanced sound that’s as good at bumping beats as it is carving out ultra-clear detail or serving up phone calls.

There are some downsides. The fit can wear on the ears over time (and can jostle during some activities). The battery life is just ok at less than 5 hours per charge with ANC. In addition, we’ve found the case doesn’t charge the earbuds as quickly as advertised, so you’ll have to wait longer once you lose juice.

That said, Samsung has created a winner here thanks to a well-rounded feature list, impressive audio performance, and a great price that make its Galaxy Buds Pro hot contenders—especially if you’re toting around a Samsung phone.

Pros

  • Powerful, nuanced sound

  • Plenty of features

  • Stylish, micro-sized design

Cons

  • Battery life just OK

  • Sluggish charging

  • Touchy controls

Product image of Beats Fit Pro
Beats Fit Pro
  • Ambient sound modes: Noise canceling, transparency mode
  • Water resistance: IPX4
  • Battery life: 6 hours with ANC (7 without), up to 27 hours with the case

It’s been a long time since the Apple AirPods Pro first hit the scene, yet they’ve long maintained their status as the most popular true wireless earbuds for pairing with iPhones. But the Beats Fit Pro offer enough improvement over Apple's original AirPods Pro to make them another solid choice for most iOS users.

Starting at $200, the Fit Pro are not only more affordable than the AirPods Pro at full price, they have a more secure fit thanks to their rubbery fins. They’re also a much better choice for Android users, thanks to the dedicated Beats app.

The Fit Pro also offer iOS features you'll get with Apple's homegrown buds. There’s iCloud/Music Sharing, Hands-Free Siri, Spatial Audio with Dynamic Head Tracking, and "Find My" tracking so you won’t lose them. Right down to Apple’s H1 chip, the Fit Pro are essentially the original AirPods Pro in a better-fitting, more colorful (including three neutral tones designed by Kim Kardashian), and longer-lasting package.

That’s not to say the Fit Pro are perfect. During testing, they weren’t quite as clear as the AirPods Pro when it came to voice calling in a windy environment. You also can’t wirelessly charge their case (odd at this price), and they can occasionally be finicky on Android phones.

But that's mostly nitpicking. If you don’t want to spend the cash on the AirPods Pro, the Beats Fit Pro are an excellent wireless earbuds option for iPhone. Even if you’re missing out on those iconic white stems, you’re making a more cost-effective purchase at the end of the day.

Pros

  • Clear, balanced sound

  • Good noise canceling

  • Ample feature set

Cons

  • Can be finicky on Android

  • No EQ modes

  • Case lacks wireless charging

Product image of Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
  • Ambient sound modes: Noise canceling, transparency mode
  • Water resistance: IPX2
  • Battery life: 5 hours with ANC (7.5 without), up to 30 hours with the case

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 are a rare breed of earbuds. They not only look better than their price point suggests, but perform better than expected as well. They provide a brilliant balance: tons of features, value, and reliable performance in a design that looks good and fits comfortably. That's a serious win for value shoppers in the Android ecosystem.

They’re not as cheap or sporty as the value-packed Jabra Elite 4, and they're also primarily meant for Android users due to their app. But, Samsung's buds do look cooler, and offer similar features and performance elsewhere. That includes relatively stout active noise cancellation, adjustable transparency mode options to bring in the world around you, adjustable EQ presets and controls, and much more. The earbuds can also auto-connect to other Galaxy devices.

You won’t get the same audio performance or the full package of extras that comes with their pricier siblings, the Galaxy Buds Pro or Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. But you do get ANC that holds up pretty well to the flagship buds, and a lighter, comfier design to boot.

The only real holdup on these earbuds is their middling battery life and water resistance. You get just 5 hours with ANC, or 7.5 hours without it, and water resistance is only IPX2 certified (the Buds Pro and Buds 2 Pro are IPX7). They're also not the best buds for major workouts due to their relaxed fit. Still, these are value-packed buds, and when the price inevitably falls, they’ll be hard to turn down even in this cutthroat market.

Pros

  • Light and stylish design

  • Respectable ANC

  • Great features and performance

Cons

  • Minimal water resistance

  • Controls could be better

How We Test Wireless Earbuds

True wireless earbuds all come with two individual buds—no wires between them—and a charging case.
Credit: Reviewed.com / TJ Donegan

True wireless earbuds all come with two individual buds—no wires between them—and a charging case.

When testing earbuds, we focus on several key pain points consumers typically run into including (but not limited to) battery life, ease of use, controls, wireless range, sound quality, sound isolation, and comfort.

For sound quality tests, we use a mix of real-world and lab testing, including data collection and A/B testing on factors like max volume, passive and active noise attenuation (including active noise cancellation), and how well each earbud blocked outside and background noise. We use all the earbuds extensively, playing a wide variety of test tracks ranging from classical to hip-hop, rock, jazz, and more.

Most features are tested in real-life situations, including sweat proofing, short- and long-term comfort, battery life, microphone quality, and connectivity over distances and through obstacles like doors and walls.

Perhaps the biggest missing link in all headphone reviews is durability. It's simply impossible for us to test a single pair and come to a meaningful conclusion about how well they'll hold up over time and with regular use (and abuse). To account for this, we note any major issues that popped up in user reviews (where available), though this doesn’t impact final scores.

We also use these earbuds over a prolonged period and update their firmware when available to test out the latest features. We update relevant articles and reviews with our findings.

The truth is that wireless earbuds across the board have struggled with durability, so this is a major cause of concern for us. Since some of these models are quite new, we reserve the right to revisit our conclusions as we become aware of any major issues or pain points as time goes on.

What You Should Know About Wireless Earbuds

How to Choose the Best Wireless Earbuds

There are plenty of high-quality wireless earbuds available on the market today, but how can you decide which pair is right for you? We’ve compiled a list of a few key factors to consider before purchasing a new set of wireless earbuds.

Battery Life: In our testing, the average battery life (without enabling the noise canceling feature) seemed to be around 7 hours. However, some earbuds, like the AirPods Pro, only last up to 5 hours. If you use your headphones for extended periods of time, then battery life will be important to note when shopping for your wireless earbuds.

Dust and Water Resistance: All of the headphones featured in this round-up are water resistant or waterproof earbuds to varying degrees. You’ll know which offers the highest protection by checking out the “IP” rating.

When it comes to water resistance, the highest number you'll likely see for headphones is "IPX7,” indicating that the product is certified to withstand being fully submerged in one meter of freshwater for 30 minutes. Anything from IPX4 (meaning the headphones can withstand splashes from any direction) and above should do the tric for most scenarios. The first “X” stands for dust/ingress protection. As with water resistance, the higher the number, the better the protection. Earbuds with an IP57 or IP67 rating are among the most robust you’ll find.

Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode: Active noise canceling headphones have become a mainstay for travelers, public transit commuters, gym-goers, and those working in distracting environments in the office or at home. Most of our favorite wireless earbuds include ANC as the feature has become more popular. You can also check out our guide of the best noise-canceling headphones we've tested.

Transparency mode could be just as important, especially if you’re looking for a great pair of workout headphones, as it’s designed to help keep you aware of your surroundings. It’s essentially the inverse of noise canceling, and uses the same microphones used to block sound out to pipe it into your buds. The two features together make modern earbuds very versatile.

Price: Budget is always a major consideration when shopping for a new set of earbuds. In this Best Wireless Earbuds roundup, the price for each pair typically ranges between $150 to $250. If you’re looking for a set of quality wireless earbuds on a budget, we recommend checking out our guide to the Best True Wireless Earbuds Under $100.

What’s the Difference Between Wireless vs. True Wireless Earbuds?

Originally, wireless headphones utilized Bluetooth technology to allow you to unplug from your source device, but a wire would connect one earbud to another. Now, "true wireless" earbuds are even more minimalist, offering totally wire-free listening with no cable between the earbuds.

If you're looking for an experience that won't tether you to your phone, tablet, or laptop, Bluetooth headphones (A.K.A. wireless earbuds) are what you need. True Wireless earbuds have become the standard, and fortunately, they're ubiquitous enough these days that you can find a well-made pair in virtually every style and price range.


Meet the testers

Lee Neikirk

Lee Neikirk

Editor, Home Theater

@Koanshark

Lee has been Reviewed's point person for most television and home theater products since 2012. Lee received Level II certification in TV calibration from the Imaging Science Foundation in 2013. As Editor of the Home Theater vertical, Lee oversees reviews of TVs, monitors, soundbars, and Bluetooth speakers. He also reviews headphones, and has a background in music performance.

See all of Lee Neikirk's reviews
John Higgins

John Higgins

Editor, Electronics & Audio/Video

@johntmhiggins

John is the A/V Editor for Reviewed. He is an ISF Level III-certified calibrator with bylines at ProjectorCentral, Wirecutter, IGN, Home Theater Review, T3, Sound & Vision, and Home Theater Magazine. When away from the Reviewed office, he is a sound editor for film and musician, and loves to play games with his son.

See all of John Higgins's reviews
Ryan Waniata

Ryan Waniata

Managing Editor - Electronics

@ryanwaniata

Hailing originally from Montana, Ryan parlayed his time working as a musician and audio engineer into a career in digital media in 2012. Since then he's had extensive experience as a writer and editor, including everything from op-eds and features to reviews on TVs, audio gear, smart home devices, and more.

See all of Ryan Waniata's reviews
Nick Woodard

Nick Woodard

Contributor

@@nwoodard25

Nick Woodard is a tech journalist specializing in all things related to home theater and A/V. His background includes a solid foundation as a sports writer for multiple daily newspapers, and he enjoys hiking and mountain biking in his spare time.

See all of Nick Woodard's reviews

Checking our work.

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