We’ve had a chance to listen to virtually all of the major models as well as tons of lesser-known brands.And while there’s no such thing as the best true wireless earbuds for everyone, we think the Jabra Elite 7 Pro are the best all-around, with an accessible price and a downright astonishing array of features.
But the Jabras are just the tip of the true wireless earbuds iceberg.We’ve identified models that excel at specific activities like running as well as some that are made for critical music listening.
Want a set of true wireless earbuds that are guaranteed to not break the bank? Check out the best cheap true wireless earbuds with plenty of models all under $100.
Contents Jabra Elite 7 Pro Sony WF-1000XM4 Soundcore Life P3 Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Master & Dynamic MW08 Nuheara IQbuds2 Max Apple AirPods Pro Technics EAH-AZ60 Jabra Elite 7 Active Apple AirPods (3rd gen) Amazon Echo Buds 2 Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Sennheiser CX True Wireless JVC HA-XC90T UE Fits Research and buying tips Jabra Elite 7 Pro The best overall value Jump to details More Sony WF-1000XM4 Outstanding sound and ANC Jump to details More Soundcore Life P3 The best budget earbuds Jump to details Bose QuietComfort Earbuds The best noise cancellation, period Jump to details More Master & Dynamic MW08 The best sound for audiophiles Jump to details More Nuheara IQbuds2 Max The best for hearing enhancement Jump to details Apple AirPods Pro The best for Apple fans Jump to details More Technics EAH-AZ60 The best sound and ANC for under $250 Jump to details More Jabra Elite 7 Active The best for sports and athletes Jump to details More Apple AirPods (3rd gen) The best semi-open fit earbuds Jump to details More Amazon Echo Buds 2 The best for Amazon Alexa fans Jump to details More Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 The best for Android fans Jump to details More Sennheiser CX True Wireless The best sound on a budget Jump to details More JVC HA-XC90T The biggest bass and battery life Jump to details More UE Fits A custom-molding process guarantees a good fit Jump to details Show 12 more items Simon Cohen / Digital Trends Jabra Elite 7 Pro The best overall value Pros Super comfortable Great sound quality Excellent call quality Very good ANC and transparency Good battery life Wireless charging Tons of customization options Excellent water/dust protection Cons None While there’s no denying that Sony’s WF-1000XM4 are fantastic, Jabra has pulled off a minor miracle with the Elite 7 Pro by creating a set of earbuds that do everything really well and cost considerably less than the XM4.They’re so good that we gave them a very rare 10/10 score .
Why are we so bullish on the Elite 7 Pro? Let’s start with comfort and fit.They’re the smallest buds Jabra has ever made, and that translates into the most comfortable buds it has ever made.We’d argue that they’re some of the most comfortable earbuds, period.The UE Fits (below) are slightly more comfortable, but they lack active noise cancellation (ANC) and many other features.
Speaking of ANC, the Elite 7 Pro are fantastic at dealing with unwanted noise.So good, in fact, that the WF-1000XM4 and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds (see below) are only a hair better.
Transparency is also very good, and you can switch between these modes almost instantly with a press of a button.
Despite not being aimed at the sporty crowd per se, the Elite 7 Pro are actually hardier than most earbuds, with an IP57 rating that makes them completely waterproof.Jabra even offers a free upgrade on its water and dust warranty, giving you two years of coverage.
Sound quality, while not as nuanced as the Master & Dynamic MW08 or the WF-1000XM4, is nonetheless superb.Bass is pronounced without being overpowering, and there’s lots of clarity and precision throughout the rest of the frequencies, so vocals are never drowned out by the beat.Lots of EQ adjustments within the Jabra Sound+ app are available if you need them.
Battery life is a very impressive 7.5 to 8 hours on a charge, even with ANC on, and the case (which can charge wirelessly) brings your total playtime to 30 hours.A fast charge of five minutes will buy you an extra hour of use if you need a quick boost.
If you spend a lot of time on Zoom or voice calls, the Elite 7 Pro could be your new best friends.Call quality is excellent, even in very noisy conditions, thanks to Jabra’s use of voice-sensing bone conduction microphones that are able to separate your voice from other sounds.
There are tons of extras too, like device location, auto-pause for music, microphone muting while on calls, and a fit test to ensure you’ve chosen the right size of silicone ear tips.
When the Elite 7 Pro launched in 2021, the lacked Bluetooth Multipoint, but with a January 2022 firmware update, even this minor drawback has been addressed.
Jabra Elite 7 Pro The best overall value More Simon Cohen / Digital Trends Sony WF-1000XM4 Outstanding sound and ANC Pros Great sound quality Good battery life Great noise cancellation LDAC Bluetooth codec Wireless charging IPX4 water resistance Cons May not fit small ears Slightly lacking in high-end detail No Bluetooth multipoint It’s hard to beat Sony’s flagship WF-1000XM4 earbuds for an overall superb listening experience.Sony has thrown the kitchen sink at these buds, making them even better than their predecessors, the WF-1000XM3 .
Now with proper water resistance for workouts, wireless charging, and Sony’s own LDAC Bluetooth codec for wireless hi-res audio performance, they’re the whole package.
Sound quality has always been a Sony strength, and the XM4 continue this tradition with even richer bass.There’s a warmth and resonance to the low end on these buds that benefits a variety of music genres, especially with string instrument and drum-centric styles like jazz, classical, and even EDM.Sony made the decision to equip the XM4 with foam eartips as opposed to the usual silicone style.This increases comfort and provides an excellent and secure seal, but it also has a slight tendency to rob the high frequencies of precision.
Unless you did a direct comparison with the XM3, you probably wouldn’t even notice it.
The Sony Headphones app gives you deep control over all settings, like EQ, ANC, transparency, and touch controls, and includes an option to customize both the earbuds and your music apps (like Tidal, Deezer, and Amazon Music) for use with Sony’s 360 Reality Audio (360RA) immersive music format.
Active noise cancellation is superb, as is transparency mode, but Sony throws in a cool new feature: Voice sensing.
Simply start talking and the XM4 will automatically shift into transparency while dropping the volume of your tunes.Speaking of, well, speaking, the WF-1000XM4 are some of the few true wireless earbuds that give you hands-free voice access to your choice of Google Assistant (Android only) or Amazon Alexa (iOS and Android).
Battery life, at eight hours of playtime with ANC turned on and 12 hours when it’s off, is excellent, although total playtime — at 24 hours — is pretty standard.A fast charge will get you an additional hour for just five minutes of charging.
Our only critiques of the WF-1000XM4 are small: Their size and shape might simply be too big to fit some ears, and we wish Sony had included simultaneous wireless connections via Bluetooth Multipoint.If this feature matters to you, check out the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, Elite 7 Active, and both Technics EAH-AZ60 and AZ40 models, below.
Sony WF-1000XM4 Outstanding sound and ANC More Simon Cohen / Digital Trends Soundcore Life P3 The best budget earbuds Pros Customizable EQ Customizable controls Wireless charging IPX5 water resistance Cons No wear sensors Can’t activate transparency during calls Anker’s Soundcore brand continues to wow us with its wireless earbuds.They always deliver exceptional value for the price and the Life P3 are no exception.
For well less than $100, they pack virtually every feature you could ask for: Wireless charging, ANC, transparency mode, adjustable EQ and controls, and excellent IPX5 protection from sweat and water.
And yes, we think they sound great.There’s plenty of bass for those who love to feel every beat, yet the midranges and high frequencies remain balanced and clear.You won’t find the same precision and detail as you would on pricier earbuds, but that’s to be expected.
These are not the earbuds you buy for critical listening – they’re the ones you buy for a go-anywhere enjoyable sound that works with just about any genre you care to stream.
Even battery life earns our respect: You get a claimed seven hours of life per charge with ANC and transparency turned off, and a total of 35 hours when you include the charging case.Those numbers drop to six hours/30 hours respectively when you engage ANC or transparency — but that’s still more than you’ll get from Apple’s AirPods Pro, which cost more than double what you’ll pay for the Life P3.
The only downsides to the Life P3 are their lack of wear sensors (which you can get in the step-up Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro ) and call quality that is only so-so, and best kept to indoor calls.
But these are small critiques of what are otherwise superb and affordable wireless buds.
Soundcore Life P3 The best budget earbuds Riley Young/Digital Trends Bose QuietComfort Earbuds The best noise cancellation, period Pros Best noise-canceling buds Excellent call quality Exciting audio quality Solid battery life Secure fit Cons No multi-point connection A bit bulky If you know anything about Bose, you know that noise cancellation is kind of the company’s calling card.Bose was the first to debut the technology in a set of headphones, and we’ve been waiting patiently for what we knew would one day come: A set of Bose Bluetooth earbuds that could perform the same magic.
It took a few years, but make no mistake: The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are exactly what we were hoping for.Their ANC is the new best in class for a set of true wireless earbuds, beating out even the venerable AirPods Pro because of their uncanny ability to mute both low- and high-frequency sounds — something that most ANC products struggle to do.
They’re also no slouches in the sound quality department.For this price, you should expect excellent audio, and the QuietComfort Earbuds deliver.Our reviewer gushed over their ability to produce “a generous helping of detail, lightning-fast transient response, and punchy bass that can start and stop on a dime.” Call quality, as you might predict, is enterprise-grade.These are the buds you want if phone calls are an important part of your day.
Battery life is on the lower end of the true wireless spectrum: Six hours per charge, with an additional 12 hours in the wireless charging case.
You can quick-charge the earbuds, which earns an extra two hours after 15 minutes.
The shape of the QuietComfort Earbuds may be their most controversial quality.They’re big — especially when compared to the Elite 7 Pro or AirPods Pro — as is their charging case.And, they use a silicone ear tip with an integrated earfin for greater stability.Not everyone is going to like how that feels, and there’s no way to remove it.
You do, however, get used to them with time.
Like the WF-1000XM4, there is no Bluetooth multipoint pairing.On a less expensive set of earbuds, or perhaps a set that isn’t as clearly targeted to travelers as the QuietComfort Earbuds, we might look the other way on this oversight, but we think it’s a missed opportunity.
These caveats aside, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are easily some of the best true wireless buds you can buy, and a must-have for those who crave quiet.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds The best noise cancellation, period More Simon Cohen / Digital Trends Master & Dynamic MW08 The best sound for audiophiles Pros Gorgeous design and materials Very comfortable Excellent sound quality Really long battery life Effective transparency mode Good call quality Easy and intuitive controls Cons Expensive Limited customization No wireless charging No EQ adjustments Weak ANC performance Master & Dynamic (M&D) has been making awesome true wireless earbuds for several years, and its latest model, the MW08 , are seriously great buds for sound quality.
We were huge fans of their predecessors, the MW07 Plus , and the MW08 are even better.
Battery life is now around 12 hours on a single charge if you disable active noise cancellation (ANC), and their slick, stainless steel charging case packs an additional 30 hours — that’s near the very top for true wireless earbuds.
The buds themselves are compact and comfortable, and M&D has used ceramic and aluminum parts to give the MW08 a luxurious, high-end look and feel.
We weren’t especially impressed with their noise-canceling chops — you’ll get superior ANC from the Jabra Elite 85t , Bose QuietComfort Earbuds , and Sony WF-1000XM4 — but when it comes to sound quality, we think the MW08 are the current cream of the crop.
With a superbly tight bass response, incredibly detailed midranges, and crystal-clear highs, these are the earbuds for those who want a true wireless way to sit back and explore their favorite tracks with stunning fidelity.
Because of their vented design, which lets a little air circulate through the sound tubes, they possess an open airiness that produces a much wider soundstage than earbuds that use a fully closed architecture.
The physical controls are highly intuitive and give you access to every feature you could want, from volume adjustments and triggering your phone’s voice assistant to managing phone calls.
Speaking of calls, the MW08 are some of the best earbuds we’ve found for call quality.They avoid the compression of your voice normally associated with earbud calls and do an admirable job of canceling out background sounds.
$299 is certainly a high price to pay, but if you want a set of true wireless earbuds that don’t compromise on sound quality, style, or battery life, you can’t go wrong with the Master & Dynamic MW08 .
Master & Dynamic MW08 The best sound for audiophiles More Simon Cohen / Digital Trends Nuheara IQbuds2 Max The best for hearing enhancement Pros Excellent sound quality Excellent noise cancellation Effective and customizable hearing enhancement Good call quality Good selection of ear tips Cons Expensive No wireless charging No music EQ settings Big and bulky Hearing aids are notoriously expensive and they’re only now being fitted with extra features like being able to listen to music.
That’s what makes the Nuheara IQbuds2 Max so interesting.They’re essentially high-end true wireless earbuds, like many of the others on this list, but they pack hearing aid-inspired technology too.
This unique combination makes them the ideal companions for folks who need a little help hearing in situations like crowded restaurants or busy offices, but whose hearing loss isn’t severe enough to warrant actual hearing aids.Yes, they’re the most expensive earbuds on this list, but they’re still hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, less than hearing aids.
This hearing-enhancement tech is fully customizable inside the IQbuds app, giving you options like Focus, which targets just the sounds coming from in front of you, or World EQ, which lets you pick the specific frequencies that you need help with.
These features arguably make the IQbuds2 Max the best transparency mode earbuds on the planet.But their active noise cancellation is also amazing — as good or better than anything made by Sony or Apple.
Only Bose gives the IQbuds 2 Max real competition in this area.
They’re also fantastic for phone calls.
We found the sound quality on the IQbuds2 Max to be equally impressive, but the lack of an adjustable EQ means that there’s no way to tweak the sound if it’s not to your liking.
You’ll also have to forego some newer features like wireless charging, quick-charging, USB-C compatibility, and the ability to use just one earbud at a time, but if you value the hearing enhancements, we doubt these will be deal-breakers.
You should also be OK with only getting five hours of use on a single charge.
Nuheara IQbuds2 Max The best for hearing enhancement Apple AirPods Pro The best for Apple fans Pros Clear, engaging sound Excellent noise canceling Comfortable Superior call quality Wireless charging case Cons Questionable long-term battery life The first and second-gen AirPods quickly became the poster children for the true wireless earbuds revolution thanks to their iconic design, ease of use, and tight integration with the iPhone and other iOS devices.But they’re far from perfect.Middling sound quality and no sweat- or water-resistance have been among the top criticisms.
That’s why the AirPods Pro are so welcome: They address both of these concerns, and up the ante even further by adding active noise cancellation, an in-ear design that’s more snug and secure, and an intelligent EQ system that automatically adjusts to each user’s ears.We were frankly blown away by both the improvement in sound quality and the effectiveness of Apple’s noise-canceling tech.
Meanwhile, all of the features that Apple fans have come to rely on, like Siri connectivity, intuitive touch controls, and sensors that recognize when the buds are in or out of your ears to pause and play sound automatically, are all preserved.Battery life is unchanged at five hours of music streaming per charge — a number that is less impressive now than it once was — but you get a wireless charging case that would normally cost you $50 more than the price of a regular set of AirPods.
Another plus for iPhone and Apple TV 4K owners: The latest versions of iOS and tvOS have enabled head-tracking spatial audio on the AirPods Pro , making movies with surround sound soundtracks an even more immersive experience.
If you’re an Apple fan, there’s a lot here to love except perhaps the price.Apple debuted the AirPods Pro at $249, putting them in the upper end of the true wireless earbud market.
Really like the Apple AirPods Pro but would prefer to spend a little less? Here are the best AirPods Pro alternatives .
Apple AirPods Pro The best for Apple fans More Simon Cohen / Digital Trends Technics EAH-AZ60 The best sound and ANC for under $250 Pros Excellent sound quality Excellent noise cancellation Hi-res audio support Hands-free Alexa Bluetooth multipoint Cons No wireless charging No in-ear sensors For the price, we are hard-pressed to think of a set of earbuds that offer a better combination of sound quality and ANC performance than the Technics EAH-AZ60 — they are superb.
But the best part is that these qualities are really just the starting point for a set of buds that might fly under a lot of people’s radars.
They’re very small and ergonomically shaped — a big improvement over the older AZ70 — and we’d argue they’re almost as comfortable as the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, which is saying something.The AZ60s lack some of Jabra’s features, like full waterproofing (the AZ60s are sweat- and splash-proof), wireless charging, and wear sensors, but they justify their higher price through their amazing sound, and absolutely killer noise cancellation and transparency modes.
Like the WF-1000XM4, they support Sony’s LDAC Bluetooth codec, which will give you as close to lossless, hi-res audio as you can get right now in a set of wireless buds (as long as your Android phone supports it).Android users also get the option of hands-free access to Amazon Alexa, which is a helpful feature.
Battery life is very good at seven hours per charge and they’ll last for a total of 24 to 25 hours when you include their charging case.But my favorite feature is Technics’ inclusion of Bluetooth multipoint on the EAH-AZ60 — which lets you stay connected to two devices at once — perfect for those of us who need to juggle Zoom calls on our computers and voice calls on our phones.
Technics EAH-AZ60 The best sound and ANC for under $250 More Jabra Jabra Elite 7 Active The best for sports and athletes Pros Comfortable and secure fit Great sound quality Good noise cancellation and transparency Wear sensors IP57 dust and water protection Customizable controls and EQ Wireless charging Bluetooth Multipoint Very good battery life Jabra keeps knocking it out of the park when it comes to fully-featured true wireless earbuds that are priced well below the competition.The Elite 7 Active are an ideal choice for fitness buffs who don’t want to compromise on any aspect of the true wireless experience.As such, these buds possess nearly every feature from the Elite 7 Pro, plus a special rubberized outer coating that keeps the earbuds locked into place, without the use of ear hooks or ear wings/fins.
Sound quality is very good, with plenty of low-end bass for powering your workouts.Equally good are Jabra’s ANC and transparency modes which you can toggle between very quickly with a press of a button.
Speaking of buttons, the Elite 7 Active’s physical controls are among the best you can get: Easy to use, precise, and totally customizable within the Jabra Sound+ app.You can even press them while wearing gloves — something that touch controls rarely offer.
Battery life is an excellent eight hours per charge and you’ll get up to 30 hours of time with the included charging’s case’s capacity.A five-minute quick charge adds another hour of life if you need it.Within the Sound+ app you’ll find loads of customizations.A full equalizer with presets lets you adjust the sound profile, there’s a fit-test to make sure you’ve selected the right size of ear-tips, and you can adjust the ANC calibration to suit your specific hearing and preferences.
The only thing the Elite 7 Active were missing was Bluetooth multipoint, but as of a January 2022 firmware update , that too has been added.
Jabra Elite 7 Active The best for sports and athletes More Simon Cohen / Digital Trends Apple AirPods (3rd gen) The best semi-open fit earbuds Pros Very good sound quality Wireless MagSafe charging Head-tracking spatial audio IPX4 water resistance Cons Not great in noisy environments If you love the comfortable fit and easy simplicity of Apple’s original AirPods, you owe it to yourself to consider getting the 3rd-gen AirPods, which you’ll sometimes see listed as AirPods 3.The new design takes some of the best features of the AirPods Pro, like a more secure fit, better sound quality, and physical pinch controls on the stems, while keeping the semi-open shape that AirPods fans have enjoyed for years.
The AirPods 3 come with wireless charging as a standard feature (it used to be a $50 upgrade on the second-gen units) and the case is compatible with both Qi-standard chargers as well as Apple’s MagSafe chargers.Battery life has also been improved, with six hours per charge and 30 hours of total play time with the case — giving these AirPods the best stamina of any of Apple’s iconic white buds.
Like the other AirPods models, the 3rd gen have wear sensors that can auto-pause your tunes when you remove a bud, plus Apple has added head-tracking spatial audio , a feature that was previously reserved for the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.
The feature only works with Dolby Atmos Music and multichannel movies from select streaming apps like Apple Music and Apple TV+, but it’s a fun and very immersive way to enjoy movies and music.
But the big upgrade for AirPods fans is the third-gen’s sound quality.It’s a big leap from the first and second-gen products, and when you’re in a quiet room, they can sound every bit as good as the more expensive AirPods Pro.
The new buds also get an IPX4 rating for water resistance, something that previous AirPods lacked.When combined with the AirPods 3 ‘s more secure fit, they’re now a gym-ready companion.
Apple AirPods (3rd gen) The best semi-open fit earbuds More Simon Cohen / Digital Trends Amazon Echo Buds 2 The best for Amazon Alexa fans Pros Hands-free Alexa Good sound quality Top-notch call quality Excellent transparency Cons Poor battery life Mediocre ANC Amazon’s original Echo Buds really impressed us with their low price, decent sound, Bose noise reduction, and the ability to talk to Alexa without reaching for our phone or even a button on the earbuds.But they were on the bulky side — especially with their huge charging case — used Micro USB, and didn’t offer wireless charging.
The second-generation Echo Buds — which we refer to as the Echo Buds 2 for simplicity — are better in almost every way and Amazon has maintained a low price: $120 for the regular Echo Buds and $140 for the version with a wirelessly-charging case.
The new buds are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable, and with a generous array of silicone eartips and wingtips, you can anchor them in your ears as securely as you need for your activities.
They sound really good, especially when it comes to the bass response which can vary between restrained and full-on club mode depending on how you adjust the three-band equalizer in the Alexa app.
Amazon has used its own active noise cancellation (ANC) in the Echo Buds 2, which replaces the Bose technology, and while it definitely works in killing unwanted external sounds, it’s not of the caliber you’ll find on the Jabra Elite 7 Pro or Apple AirPods Pro.Transparency and call quality, however, are excellent — unbeatable in fact, at this price.Our only big disappointment is battery life.
While five hours per charge for the earbuds is not great, it’s no worse than the Apple AirPods Pro, but even with the charging case, you’re limited to 15 hours of total play time, when ANC and hands-free Alexa are enabled.That’s well below what most true wireless earbuds offer these days.
When you include valuable extras like Find My Earbuds, workout tracking, and an ear-fit test, the Echo Buds 2 are a very compelling set of true wireless earbuds.
Amazon Echo Buds 2 The best for Amazon Alexa fans More Caleb Denison/Digital Trends Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 The best for Android fans Pros Compact Comfortable Effective ANC Good sound Solid Battery Cons Annoying touch controls Many Android-only features Taking over from the now-discontinued Galaxy Buds+, the Galaxy Buds 2 represent a near-perfect balance of features and price.Coming in well under the $200 mark, they nonetheless deliver a compelling feature set with wireless charging, active noise cancellation and transparency, good battery life, and very satisfying sound.
Unlike previous Galaxy Buds, which tended to be on the large side, the Galaxy Buds 2 are now small enough to provide almost everyone with a comfortable and secure fit.Our reviewer went so far as to say that they are “among the most comfortable wireless earbuds I’ve worn.” High praise indeed.
Battery life is a very respectable five hours per charge with ANC on and 7.5 hours if turn it off.That’s in line with Jabra’s Elite 75t, which cost roughly the same, and it handily beats the AirPods Pro which top out at five hours without ANC.Add in the Buds 2 charging case’s capacity and your total listening time will be 20 hours (ANC on) or 29 hours (ANC off).
Speaking of ANC, it works very nicely.
It’s not quite up to the level offered by Sony’s WF-1000XM4, or the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, but considering how pricey those buds are, we’re willing to cut Samsung some slack here.Transparency mode is similar: More than adequate for the occasional conversation or increasing your awareness of your surroundings, but you won’t exactly forget you’re wearing earbuds.
Sound quality might be a subjective area, but we think the Galaxy Buds 2 will satisfy all but the fussiest listeners.Its punchy sound signature can be tweaked with five EQ presets within the Galaxy Wearables app, which you can also use to perform a fit test, find your missing buds, or customize the touch controls.Unfortunately, the Wearables app is Android-only, which is why we simply can’t recommend the Galaxy Buds 2 for iPhone users.
But this brings us to the only real drawback to the Buds 2: The touch controls.
Our reviewer found it was nearly impossible to avoid unwanted taps or commands when inserting or adjusting the buds in his ears, which resulted in considerable frustration.You may not be bothered by this, but if you are, you can always disable the touch controls in the app.This one caveat notwithstanding, the Galaxy Buds 2 are a great set of earbuds for the Android crowd.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 The best for Android fans More Simon Cohen / Digital Trends Sennheiser CX True Wireless The best sound on a budget Pros Excellent sound quality Customizable EQ Precise and customizable controls Side-tone for phone calls Good battery life IPX4 water resistance Cons No in-ear sensors No transparency mode No wireless charging Might be hard to get a secure fit Sennheiser’s reputation for high-quality sound is the key to its CX True Wireless earbuds.
Unlike a lot of picks on this list, these earbuds don’t have ANC, wireless charging, transparency, or wear sensors.But what they do have is superb sound — in fact, it’s the best sound quality you can get at this price — which makes the CX True Wireless a solid pick despite missing features.You may not even miss ANC.Passive sound isolation is excellent, and we rarely found that it couldn’t block out most external noise.It’s so good in fact, we were far more aware of the absence of a transparency mode, which would be really helpful for having conversations or even just staying aware of our surroundings.
Battery life is another highlight.Without ANC or transparency, Sennheiser is able to squeeze nine hours per full charge and a total of 27 hours when you include the charging case — more than enough for the longest day of work or the longest flight.A quick charge of 15 minutes will get you an extra hour of play time.It’s also worth noting that the Sennheiser app contains many handy customizations for controls and EQ, and the company backs the CX True Wireless with a two-year warranty — double the industry standard.
Sennheiser CX True Wireless The best sound on a budget More Simon Cohen / Digital Trends JVC HA-XC90T The biggest bass and battery life Pros Secure fit Huge bass response Class-leading battery life Transparency mode IP55 dust and water resistance Shockproof Cons No ANC No wear sensors No wireless charging No EQ or control customization No Bluetooth multipoint If you’re looking for a set of wireless earbuds that can keep pace with your longest, most intense workouts, JVC’s HA-XC90T will prove more than a match.
With incredibly powerful bass, these earbuds are like wearing two miniature subwoofers.It’s the kind of low-end you will feel through your whole body — perfect for the kind of rhythm-inspired motivation many of us look for while running or working out.
Amazingly, all of that bass doesn’t overpower the other frequencies.Listening to genres that are a little less beat-driven, like, jazz, classical, or opera, can be just as enjoyable, with very clear highs and midranges.
Plus, the HA-XC90T have the stamina to match their enormous bass: You get 15 hours per charge — an absolutely class-leading number.When you throw in the capacity of the all-metal, slider-designed charging case, total play time jumps to a whopping 45 hours.
With that kind of longevity, you could take the world’s longest non-stop flight and then fly back again and still have battery to spare.
Though not fully waterproof like the Jabra Elite 7 Active and 7 Pro, the HA-XC90T is both water and dust resistant, and JVC even claims they’re shock-proof thanks to the integrated rubber fittings.
While $200 may seem like a lot to spend on wireless earbuds that don’t have ANC, wireless charging, or customizable settings, if you value what the JVC HA-XC90T possess, they’re in a class by themselves.
JVC HA-XC90T The biggest bass and battery life More Simon Cohen / Digital Trends UE Fits A custom-molding process guarantees a good fit Pros Ultra comfortable and secure fit Very good passive sound isolation Sweat resistant Customizable EQ and controls Cons Expensive No ANC or transparency modes No wireless charging Some folks have a really hard time finding a set of wireless earbuds that fit their ears.
Regardless of the number of included ear tips, comfort and security prove elusive.But the UE Fits might just be the answer if this has been your experience.
Ultimate Ears (UE) has dipped into its extensive experience of providing custom-fit wired earbuds for audio professionals in order to create a product that does the same thing — at a fraction of the price — for the rest of us.No trips to the audiologist and no waiting for molds to be created.
Instead, the UE Fits use a combination of UV light and heat to turn a blank set of silicone ear tips into moldable inserts that fully conform to the shape of your outer ear in just a few minutes.The result is a set of earbuds that fit like a glove and stay securely in place no matter what you do.
Unfortunately, most of the price of the UE Fits has gone into the customization process.They are otherwise fairly basic.You won’t find ANC, wireless charging, transparency mode, or any other extras.But sound quality and call quality are both good, and battery life, at six hours per charge is perfectly serviceable.
We don’t necessarily recommend the UE Fits for everyone, but for those who simply can’t find a comfortable fit with off-the-shelf products, these could be the perfect solution.
UE Fits A custom-molding process guarantees a good fit Research and buying tips Can wireless earbuds connect to a PC? Can wireless earbuds be used on airplanes? Can wireless earbuds connect to game consoles? Can wireless earbuds connect to a TV? Are wireless earbuds better than wired? Do wireless earbuds always have a charging case? Are wireless earbuds good for working out? Can wireless earbuds connect to a PC? Yes, as long as the PC has Bluetooth.
Some have Bluetooth by default, but if yours doesn’t, you can add it with an affordable USB adapter .
Can wireless earbuds be used on airplanes? Yes.You can enable most devices’ Bluetooth radio while in airplane mode.
Can wireless earbuds connect to game consoles? Yes, but the details are a bit different for each console:
Connect wireless earbuds to Xbox One .Connect wireless earbuds to Xbox X and S Series .Connect wireless earbuds to PlayStation 4.Connect wireless earbuds to PlayStation 5 .Connect wireless earbuds to Nintendo Switch.Can wireless earbuds connect to a TV? Only if your TV has Bluetooth transmission, or via an external device like this .
Are wireless earbuds better than wired? Not usually for sound quality, but they are for convenience, especially now that many phone makers have stopped including a headphone jack.
Do wireless earbuds always have a charging case? Not always, but the vast majority do come with a charging case.If they don’t come with a case, we strongly recommend you don’t buy them.
Are wireless earbuds good for working out? Yes, they are awesome for workouts, as long as they have waterproofing or an IP rating and fit snugly in your ears.
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