Apple’s new iPhone 12 fashions do not embody earbuds or any form of headphones. The previous few iPhone iterations haven’t had a 3.5mm headphone jack, and now that the wired EarPods are now not included, shifting to wireless headphones looks like an much more apparent possibility.

Apple presents AirPods, AirPods Pro and the Beats Powerbeats Pro — we have included these fashions right here, however deal with loads of different iPhone 12 headphone choices, together with some good finances fashions which are extremely reasonably priced. Since these are Bluetooth headphones, they do work with different Bluetooth-enabled units as properly, together with Android smartphones.

For AirPods alternate options that are not too costly, try our picks for greatest true wireless earbuds that price lower than $50 and greatest true wireless earbuds below $100.

We replace this listing periodically.

David Carnoy/CNET

Sony’s earlier WH-1000XM3 mannequin was nice. But if it had a weak spot, that was its voice-calling capabilities, notably in noisier environments. The new WH-1000XM4 improves in that space and additionally provides multipoint Bluetooth pairing so you’ll be able to join to 2 units — resembling your cellphone and PC — on the identical time. This implies that if a name is available in whilst you’re utilizing the headphones along with your pc, the audio will swap to your cellphone while you reply the decision.

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 most likely nonetheless have the sting for voice calls, however the 1000XM4 headphones are arguably a tad extra comfy. They even have another enhancements to noise cancellation and sound, making this mannequin a terrific all-around selection.

Read our Sony WH-1000XM4 assessment.

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Water-resistantNo (no IPX score)

I did not assume I’d ever see a model 2.0 of Beats’ once-popular BeatsX neckband-style wireless earphones, nevertheless it’s arrived with a brand new identify — the Beats Flex — and a much-cheaper $50 (£50, AU$80) price ticket, which is half of what its predecessor had been promoting for. 

The Flex immediately turns into an reasonably priced, Apple-friendly wireless different to the AirPods, which begin round $130 for the usual model with a wired charging case (however can be promoting for as little as $99 this vacation season). The excellent news is that they sound higher than each the unique BeatsX and normal AirPods. They additionally work properly for making calls and have higher battery life than the unique. The dangerous information? The design is passe in a world now dominated by true wireless earbuds.

They’re out there in black or yellow at launch, with grey and gentle blue arriving in early 2021.

Read our Beats Flex assessment.

David Carnoy/CNET

Water-resistantYes (IPX7 score — totally waterproof).

The Mpow X3 wireless earbuds sound shockingly good for their low value of $60, with good readability and highly effective bass, and they even have energetic noise cancellation that is pretty efficient.

Mpow appears to be frequently tweaking its earphones, and the X3 earbuds had been briefly taken off Amazon, earlier than returning with an replace. “The new version upgraded the volume control and optimized its active noise-canceling function and call effect,” the corporate advised me. “It also added the supersoft ear caps, which [are] more comfortable to wear for a long time.”

They did match me comfortably and securely and I received a good seal from one of many units of XL ear ideas. They’re totally waterproof (IPX7) and stand up to 7 hours of battery life at reasonable quantity ranges with USB-C charging. (The charging case appears like a fats model of the usual AirPods case.) Call high quality is sweet — they’ve a sidetone function that allows you to hear your voice within the earbuds — however I’ve used different earbuds with higher noise discount throughout calls. I seen a contact of audio lag once I streamed a YouTube video however no issues when streaming iTunes motion pictures.

The contact controls take some getting used to — they’re a bit wonky — and it did not assist that the directions within the field gave the impression to be for the previous X3 mannequin. I discovered the present directions on-line, which helped me determine issues out. Aside from just a few minor downsides, Mpow’s X3 earbuds are a terrific worth. 

Read extra.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 score — splashproof).

Even if it would not sound as magical as you’d hope a $249 mannequin would, the Apple AirPods Pro continues to be a terrific pair of true wireless earphones with noise cancelation. That’s largely as a result of earbuds’ successful design and match, improved bass efficiency and efficient noise cancellation (Apple additionally just lately added a brand new spatial audio digital encompass sound function for film and TV watching on latest iPhones and iPads). These are a wonderful selection while you wish to make a name or hearken to music throughout your exercise. And the brand new spatial audio function, when listening from appropriate Apple units, is genuinely spectacular.

While they listing for $249, in latest weeks we have seen them come all the way down to as little as $200. That’s a much better deal, however simply remember the fact that, as with all of those headphones, the rechargeable batteries degrade over time and aren’t replaceable, so you may most likely have to exchange these in a few years. 

Read our Apple AirPods Pro assessment.

David Carnoy/CNET

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 score — splashproof)

It took Bose some time to get them into shops, however the brand new $279 (£250, AU$400) noise-canceling QuietComfort Earbuds are lastly right here. In some ways, they’re glorious true wireless earbuds, notably in the case of their sound and noise canceling, which is arguably one of the best on the market proper now in a set of earbuds. Performance-wise, they clearly have a leg up on Apple’s best-selling AirPods Pro true wireless noise-canceling buds. However, the AirPods Pro’s smaller design, considerably extra comfy match and superior voice-calling capabilities make it arduous to declare the Bose the straight-up champ. Ultimately, it is determined by what your priorities are.

Read our Bose QuietComfort Earbuds assessment.

Angela Lang/CNET

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 score — splash-proof).

You would not count on a set of Samsung earbuds to be on a listing for iPhones, however the Buds Plus works simply fantastic with iPhones (there’s an iPhone app) and is among the higher values in true wireless earphones, with glorious sound, voice calling efficiency and battery life (as much as 11 hours).

Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus assessment.

David Carnoy/CNET

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 score — splashproof).

The second-gen Momentum True Wireless 2 aren’t low-cost at $300, however they’re higher throughout than the originals, with a barely smaller, extra comfy design, energetic noise canceling that rivals that of the AirPod Pro, improved battery life (as much as 7 hours versus the unique’s 4) and higher noise discount throughout calls. And, when you do not like them in black, a white model is slated to observe later this yr. Most importantly, although, the Momentum True Wireless 2 have the identical stellar sound — for true wireless earbuds, anyway — providing clearly superior sound high quality to the AirPods Pro. That makes them arguably the greatest true wireless earbuds available on the market as we speak and earns them a CNET Editors’ Choice Award.

These use Bluetooth 5.1 with help for the AAC and AptX codecs (for units which have AptX, resembling Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones).

Read our Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 assessment.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Water-resistantNo (lacks IPX certification).

The second-gen Apple AirPods add a few small however key enhancements to the unique, together with always-on voice recognition and a wireless charging case possibility. They’re additionally nice for making calls, indoors and out. 

The base mannequin (with out the wireless charging case, which is overkill for this product) has dipped to as little as $115 and can be on sale for $99 for Black Friday this yr.

Read our Apple AirPods 2019 assessment.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, the long-awaited successor to its Quiet Comfort 35 II, might not be a quantum leap ahead however these wireless headphones provide higher sound high quality, name and noise-canceling operate. They’re sturdy all-around performers with as much as 20 hours of battery life for listening to podcasts, music and extra. I choose the Sony WH-1000XM4’s design and match (and lower cost tag), and whilst you can argue about which pair of headphones sounds higher, one factor is for certain: This mannequin does work higher as a headset for making calls. 

Read our Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 assessment.

Water-resistantYes (IP55 score — can face up to heavy sprays of water).

The Jabra Elite 75t earned an Editors’ Choice award from CNET and though it has been out for some time, it is improved over time thanks to a couple firmware upgrades, the newest of which provides energetic noise cancellation. The Jabra Elite Active 75t provides improved water resistance for $20 extra and the brand new Elite 85t has stronger noise-canceling operate in a semi-open design with extra bass.

Read our Jabra Elite 75t assessment.

David Carnoy/CNET

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 score — splash-proof).

Part of the attraction of Beats’ Powerbeats Pro true wireless earbuds is that not like Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Pro, they’re out there in additional than a single coloration possibility. They provide most of the identical options as the usual AirPods however provide extra dynamic sound (with extra bass) in a water resistant sporty design. They listing for $250 however look for them to dip to lower than $200 (and ideally $175) earlier than shopping for.

Read our Beats Powerbeats Pro assessment.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Water-resistantYes (IPX7 — totally waterproof and sweat-proof).

These sweat-proof earbuds will attraction to folks trying for a extra discreet set of completely wireless sports activities earbuds that function full waterproofing. They actually do lock into your ears. Note that they’ve been available on the market for some time, so they might be due for an improve. But they’re at the moment promoting for $150, or $30 off their listing value.

Read our Jaybird Vista assessment.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Solo Pro is the primary Beats on-ear headphone to function energetic noise cancellation and the primary full-size Beats headphone to cost through Lightning. It makes use of the corporate’s Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling, “derived from the over-ear Studio3 Wireless, with updated tuning to accommodate the on-ear form factor,” Beats says. With a faucet of a button, you’ll be able to flip off that noise cancellation to save lots of battery life or hit the button a second time to enter an audio transparency mode that permits you to hear the surface world and ambient sound, not simply the music you are listening to.

Available in a number of colours, these headphones are outfitted with six microphones, two of that are beamforming mics designed to hone in in your voice while you’re making calls or speaking to your voice assistant (Apple’s H1 chip is on board for always-on Siri). The sound high quality is easy and well-balanced, with punchy bass that does not make music sound boomy. It’s comparatively comfy for an on-ear mannequin and it is extra compact design travels higher than some full-size fashions on this listing. I simply want it price rather less and got here with a cable to plug in to in-flight leisure programs. Alas, the Lightning-to-3.5mm is an non-compulsory accent that prices $35.

Read our Beats Solo Pro assessment.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I’m not a fan of low-cost noise-canceling headphones. I’ve truly been struggling to place collectively a listing of fashions for a greatest noise-canceling headphones roundup as a result of there are so few that I’d suggest shopping for. But Anker’s Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are an exception. They’re fairly respectable for their common listing value of $60 and they’re steadily on sale for $10 much less.

No, the Life Q20 would not sound pretty much as good as premium fashions such because the Sony WH-1000XM3, nevertheless it sounds respectable, which is all you’ll be able to ask for at this value. It’s pretty properly balanced with an affordable quantity of readability and plump bass that is not bloated or muddy. There’s additionally a bass enhance or BassUp mode in order for you an additional serving to. It’s additionally comfy to put on, the noise-canceling is acceptably efficient, it is strong as a headset for making calls and battery life is sweet at 40 hours. A easy carrying pouch is included.

Apple's new iPhone 12 fashions do not embody earbuds or any form of headphones. The previous few iPhone iterations haven't had a 3.5mm headphone jack, and now that the wired EarPods are now not included, shifting to wireless headphones looks like an much more apparent possibility.


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