Buy Wireless Earbuds UPD
Wireless earbuds are one of those ideas that sounded like a dream at first: Pop a little headphone into each ear and listen to music or take calls untethered from everything. The first wireless buds were gigantic, died after a few hours, and had a bunch of other problems. Times have changed. There are tons of new models that sound fabulous and work perfectly. After testing dozens over the past four years, these are our favorite wireless earbuds, in a wide range of styles and prices.
buy wireless earbuds
Ridding yourself of all cords can feel liberating, but these do come with issues, such as limited battery life (don't buy any with less than five hours), confusing controls, and reliance on a charging case. They're also easier to lose than traditional earbuds, and replacing one bud can be expensive.
Comfortable fit, solid sound, good looks, and a sub-$100 price make the Pixel Buds A-Series (8/10, WIRED Recommends) our favorite wireless earbuds for most people. In addition to an AirPods-matching five hours of listening time and an IPX4 sweat-resistance rating for workouts, these headphones pair instantly with Android devices, and Google Assistant integration is excellent. (They still pair very quickly with iPhones, but not as fast as buds made by Apple. You won't be able to use Google Assistant on iPhones.) The egg-shaped case adds an extra 19 hours of listening time.
These sub-$100 earbuds from Anker (8/10, WIRED Recommends) boast noise canceling, wireless charging, and 10 hours of battery life when they're in your ears. That's a lot of features for such cheap earbuds. Pair that with decent overall sound quality, a comfortable and lightweight design and they nearly give Apple's AirPods Pro a run for their money. If you're in need of a pair of noise-canceling earbuds but you don't want to spend three figures, these are the best option we've tried. Too bad they're not as stylish as Google's Pixel Buds A-Series.
The folks at Jabra scanned thousands of ears to come up with sleek, comfy designs, and it shows in the Elite 7 Active. WIRED associate reviews editor Adrienne So and I have very different-size ears, and we both found these earbuds to be super comfortable and stable on our outdoor adventures. The sound quality, noise-canceling tech, and mic quality are excellent, and they come with a special grip on the outside of the buds to keep them in your ears. The best part? You get eight hours (!) of battery life and a two-year warranty. Jabra often continues to sell old models for years, which means you'll have no problem replacing ear tips, the case, or even a bud as needed.
The case has a built-in speaker, so it can scream at you when you use the Find My app to locate it in your couch cushions or gym bag (it makes a chime when you place it on a wireless charger, too). Both the case and headphones have an IPX4 rating, which means you won't have to worry about either sweat or rain storms.
The Beats Fit Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends) have the same H1 chip that's inside Apple's AirPods and AirPods Pro, but with a much more comfortable and ergonomic design. Add to that the six hours of battery life with active noise canceling turned on and some of the best sound we've heard south of the $200 mark, and you've found yourself some of the best earbuds for the iPhone.
Beam-forming microphones and noise-canceling tech make these great on calls and in airports, and eight hours of battery life with noise canceling on means you'll make it to your destination before needing to pop the buds back in the included wireless charging case. Another cool feature is multi-device pairing, which allows you to be connected to your phone and laptop at the same time.
Frustratingly, the companion app only works for Android, so iPhone users won't be able to access the EQ controls, ping for the location of a lost earbud, run Samsung's fit test, or use Samsung's Bixby voice assistant (no loss). It's also worth noting that some people have had issues with these earbuds causing irritation in their ears. I did not experience this, but if you do, be sure to return the buds immediately.
It can be dangerous working out in public or riding your bike with earbuds on. That's why I like the Sony LinkBuds (8/10, WIRED Recommends), which have physical holes in the middle of each driver to allow sound in from the outside world. You'll hear announcements at the supermarket alongside your tunes, or an oncoming car before you cross the road. They also come with a super small charging case, which makes them good to leave in a jacket pocket.
If you want a more audiophile-like wireless listening experience, check out this no-frills pair from Grado Labs. The Brooklyn brand is known for its excellent headphones and turntable cartridges, and it has branched out to truly wireless earbuds. The GT220 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) are comfortable and ergonomic, and they deliver a quality version of the company's transparent sound. In fact, WIRED senior associate editor Adrienne So says they fit so well you don't need noise canceling.
Worth considering: The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 S2 ($399) are another excellent-sounding pair for higher-end listeners. They are a bit larger than the UW100, but they sound as good to my ears, and they feature noise canceling and an industry audio retransmission feature, which allows you to connect the case to in-flight entertainment via a cable, but still listen to your content wirelessly. Pretty nifty for travelers who hate bringing over-ears.
Every month seems to bring new sets of earbuds with longer battery life and more compact designs. As such, we can't list everything we like. But if you're still hunting, here are some other recommendations.
As a general rule, you should avoid earbuds that don't support the Bluetooth 5.0 standard or don't offer at least five hours of battery life. Batteries in wireless headphones degrade over time, so the better your battery life is at first, the more tolerable it will be in two to three years.
There are so many models available now that it's tough to mention all the earbuds we're not huge fans of. But we do want to note that while Apple's standard AirPods (first, second, or third-gen) do some things well, we just don't like them all that much. (Read our review.) They get OK battery life, come in a compact case, and work well for calls, but they don't fit all ears well, and since they don't have ear tips or wings, you're out of luck if they're loose. Want clear, high-fidelity music? Get another pair on this list or the AirPods Pro (see above), which cost a bit more but are legitimately great headphones.
Yes, the top true-wireless earbuds can be pricey, but you can get surprisingly good ones for less than $100 -- or even less. We regularly update this list as new top true-wireless earbuds hit the market.
Earfun has put out a series of wireless earbuds over the last couple of years with one important commonality: They're very good values, made more so by frequent discounts. The company's new-for-2023 Earfun Air Pro 3 earbuds feature the latest Qualcomm QCC3071 system-on-a-chip with aptX Adaptive for Android and other devices that support the new LE Audio standard and LC3 audio codec, which is superior to the SBC codec (they also support AAC for Apple devices).
In short, the Earfun Air 3 deliver strong performance for their modest price, with robust bass, good clarity and a relatively wide soundstage. They also pack in a lot of features, including a wireless charging case and "multidevice" connectivity. (I could pair them to two devices simultaneously but had to pause the music on one device and hit play on the other for the audio to switch.) They're IPX5 splash-proof and also work well (though not exceptionally well) as a headset for making calls.
Hot on the heels of the third-generation AirPods, Apple has another new set of earbuds, this time from its subsidiary audio company, Beats. Technically, the new Beats Fit Pro ($200) aren't AirPods, but they're built on the same tech platform as the AirPods Pro. Unlike Beats' earlier and less expensive Studio Buds, the Beats Fit Pro include Apple's H1 chip and have most of the AirPods Pro's features, including active noise canceling, spatial audio and Adaptive EQ. I'd venture to call them the sports AirPods you've always wanted. And for some people, they might just be better than the AirPods Pro.
In the past, we've recommended Earfun's AirPro SV and Air Pro 2 as excellent budget noise-canceling earbuds choices (they're still good values). But the new-for-2022 Earfun Air S may be the best of the trio, with multipoint Bluetooth pairing, the latest Qualcomm QCC3046 SoC (system on a chip) with the AptX audio codec for Android and other devices that support it. It has the same 10mm wool drivers as the AirPro SV and features surprisingly impressive sound for its modest price point. They also work well as a headset for making calls with decent background noise reduction.
The buds have an IPX5 water-resistance rating, which means they're splashproof and can withstand a sustained spray of water. Note that the earbuds cost as low as $49 when you activate the instant coupon and apply the CNET-exclusive discount code EFAIRS07 at checkout at Amazon.
Bowers & Wilkins has upgraded its fantastic-sounding PI7 noise-canceling earbuds. The new S2 model has better battery life and Bluetooth range, now up to 25 meters (double the previous range). Additionally, the buds now integrate into the new Bowers & Wilkins Music app for iOS and Android and have a much improved setup experience.
While not a major upgrade from the originals, the PI7 S2s, which feature a dual-driver design, are easily among the very best-sounding true-wireless earbuds. The step-down PI5 S2s, which have a single driver design, don't sound quite as good but are more affordable.
No earbuds are perfect, of course, and not everybody will love the fit of the Sony WF-1000XM4 buds or be able to afford their high price. But if you're looking for great-sounding earbuds with active noise cancellation, solid voice-calling capabilities and good battery life, these buds check all the boxes. 041b061a72