The search for the perfect true wireless earbuds will get more difficult with each passing month. The class used to start and finish with Apple’s iconic AirPods, the best-seller within the class. These days, nonetheless, a number of rivals now provide superior audio high quality, efficiency and battery life — to not point out compatibility with expertise outdoors Apple’s system ecosystem. And with much more contenders on the way in which, the market for true wireless earbuds is getting significantly aggressive.

This checklist focuses on the general greatest wireless earbuds. (We even have lists for wireless headphones, the best-sounding true wireless earbuds and the greatest low-cost true wireless earbuds.) For optimum efficiency, the perfect wireless earbuds have to really feel snug, have an ergonomic design, and match proper with a decent seal. If you may’t get a comfortable earbud match with in-ear headphones, you may be sadly upset and really feel ripped off, which is why I recommend shopping for your pair of wireless earbuds from a vendor with an honest return coverage, corresponding to Amazon. This additionally helps if the earbuds do not meet different expectations, from ambient sound cancellation to the touch management to how lengthy they final on a single cost. We’ll replace this checklist often as we evaluate new wireless earbuds.

Read extra: Best noise-canceling headphones of 2021

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It took Bose fairly 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 relation to their sound and noise canceling, which is arguably the perfect 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 snug match and superior voice-calling capabilities make it arduous to declare the Bose the straight-up champ. Ultimately, it will depend on what your priorities are.

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 ranking — splashproof).

Read our Bose QuietComfort Earbuds evaluate.

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Known for its glorious sounding, retro-designed, open-back wired headphones, Grado has lengthy been a favourite amongst audiophiles, incomes additional factors for constructing lots of its headphones by hand in Brooklyn, New York, for over 60 years. But with the world shifting to wireless audio, the corporate has slowly shifted into the Bluetooth headphone area, first with its GW100 on-ear mannequin (in 2018) and now with its first true wireless earbuds, the GT220 ($259, £250, AU$365). Grado says it has been working for two years to suit them with its “signature” mini-drivers and tune them accordingly. The excellent news is that they sound improbable — for true-wireless earbuds anyway — and carry out nicely as a headset for making calls.

Their extra penetrating match (the buds must be jammed into your ears), which gives excellent passive noise-muffling, might not work for everyone. But should you’re OK with it, these are simply among the many best-sounding true-wireless earbuds on the market — and perhaps even the best-sounding.

Audiophile headphones are sometimes related to extra of a flat or impartial sound profile that delivers “accurate” sound. These are well-balanced however they’ve a extra thrilling sound profile, with bass that is a contact extra ahead and good sparkle within the treble. They are extra revealing and articulate than Sennheiser’s True Wireless Momentum II earbuds, which come throughout as hotter and a bit extra open with barely greater sound.

These use Bluetooth 5.0 with assist for the AAC and aptX codecs (for gadgets which have aptX, like Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones). Read CNET evaluate.

Water-resistantNo (lacks IPX certification).

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The second-generation Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 aren’t low-cost. However, this true wireless earphone possibility is best throughout than the unique, with a barely smaller, extra snug earbud design, nice audio high quality, energetic noise canceling that rivals that of the AirPod Pro, improved battery life (as much as seven hours versus the unique’s 4) and higher noise discount throughout calls. If you do not like these energetic noise cancellation earbuds in black, a white model of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless earbuds is slated to comply with later this yr. Most importantly, although, the Momentum True Wireless 2 have the identical nice 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 at this time and earns them a CNET Editors’ Choice Award.

These Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless earbuds use Bluetooth 5.1 with assist for the AAC and AptX codecs (for gadgets which have AptX like Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones). 

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 ranking — splashproof).

Read our Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 evaluate.

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Even if they do not sound fairly as magical as you’d hope a $249 mannequin would, the Apple AirPods Pro nonetheless handle to be an important pair of true wireless earphones with noise cancellation. That’s largely on account of their profitable design and match, improved bass efficiency and efficient noise canceling — and now these true wireless headphones have been up to date with spatial audio, a brand new virtual-sound mode for watching films and TV exhibits (solely works with iPhones and iPads working iOS 14).

They’re a wonderful selection if you wish to make a name or take heed to music throughout your exercise. Yeah, they’re costly at $250, however the excellent news is they have a tendency to promote within the $200 to $220 vary.

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

Read our Apple AirPods Pro evaluate.

Say what you’ll concerning the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live’s bean-shaped design, however they may simply be probably the most modern new true wireless earbuds of the yr. Like the usual AirPods, they’ve an open design — you do not jam an ear tip into your ear — they usually’re fairly snug to put on and match my ears extra securely than the AirPods. That mentioned, they will not match everyone’s ears equally nicely. These wireless buds are discreet and principally sit flush along with your ear with out a little white pipe extending out from them.

They ship good sound and work nicely as a headset for making calls, with good background noise discount so callers can hear you clearly even if you’re in noisier environments. While they function energetic noise canceling, it is gentle in comparison with the noise canceling in earbuds which have a noise-isolating design. In different phrases, purchase them for their design and sound, not their noise-canceling options.

Water-resistantYes (IPX2 ranking — sweat-resistant and protects in opposition to gentle splashes).

Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds Live evaluate.

While the Elite 75t has been out some time, it is nonetheless the most effective true wireless earbuds on the market and just lately added noise canceling by way of a firmware improve. Earlier firmware updates improved voice-calling efficiency. 

The Elite 75t aren’t fairly as snug to put on because the AirPods Pro, however they do sound higher, with clearer total sound and higher bass audio high quality definition, as long as you get a decent seal.

The barely extra rugged Elite Active 75t can be accessible for about $20 extra, however with the brand new Elite 85t’s arrival we’re seeing some gross sales on the Elite 75t. 

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

Read our Jabra Elite 75t evaluate.

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Google’s Pixel Buds 2 are worthy contenders within the premium true wireless earbuds area, notably for Android telephones. These Bluetooth earbuds function hands-free Google Assistant (for Android), these actually wireless earbuds provide a cushty, safe match and excellent sound high quality for true wireless. Additionally, they’re good for making calls, and their contact controls work fairly nicely. 

At 5 hours, their battery life is not nearly as good as some new fashions which are hitting the market, nevertheless it’s on par with the AirPods Pro’s battery life and the well-designed wireless charging case provides you a further 19 hours (there’s a quick-charge function). The Pixel Buds 2 will finally be accessible in 4 coloration choices — white, black, mint and orange — however at launch you may solely get them in white.

This true wireless earbud possibility makes use of Bluetooth 5.0 with assist for the AAC codec however not aptX. 

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 ranking — splashproof).

Read our Google Pixel Buds 2 (2020) evaluate.

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The Mpow X3 wireless earbuds sound shockingly good for their low value of $50 (a $10 prompt low cost coupon from Amazon is at the moment accessible), with good readability and highly effective bass, they usually even have energetic noise cancellation that is pretty efficient.

Mpow appears to be often tweaking its earphones, and the X3 earbuds have 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 informed 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 decent seal from one of many units of XL ear suggestions. They’re totally waterproof (IPX7) and stand up to seven hours of battery life at reasonable quantity ranges with USB-C charging. (The charging case seems 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 observed a contact of audio lag after I streamed a YouTube video however no issues when streaming iTunes films.

The contact controls take some getting used to — they’re a little 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 a couple of minor downsides, Mpow’s X3 earbuds are an important worth. 

Water-resistantYes (IPX7 ranking — totally waterproof).

Read our Mpow X3 first take.

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Samsung’s Buds Plus look primarily the identical as the unique Galaxy Buds, however their battery life is rated at 11 hours for music playback (up from six) they usually pack twin drivers for higher sound and a further microphone in every bud to assist with exterior noise discount whereas making calls.

I used to be impressed with the sound. It’s detailed and clean, with deep, well-defined bass. The sound is richer and extra spacious than that of the unique Galaxy Buds. Well-respected Austrian audio firm AKG, which Samsung acquired when it purchased Harman, is behind the audio. While the unique Buds have been additionally “tuned” by AKG, these are a pleasant improve over the originals — and proper there with what you get with the Jabra Elite 75t, if not even a contact higher. They use Bluetooth 5.0 and assist for AAC (there’s now an app for iOS customers) and Samsung’s scalable codec, which has similarities to aptX however is proprietary to Samsung Galaxy telephones.  

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

Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus evaluate.

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Sony’s WF-1000XM3 earbuds have been out for some time and are most likely due for an improve within the not-so-distant future. In latest months, we have seen them discounted by $50 off their checklist value, they usually stay a stable decide at that value. As far as sound high quality goes, they’re among the many best-sounding wireless earbuds and likewise function glorious noise-cancellation expertise to scale back ambient noise.

The solely disadvantage is the WF-1000XM3 Bluetooth earbuds aren’t rated as sweat-proof or waterproof headphones. That mentioned, I’ve used them for gentle exercises with a little bit of a sweat on the fitness center with out a downside. They use Bluetooth 5.0 with assist for AAC however not aptX.

Water-resistant: No (lacks IPX certification).

Read our Sony WF-1000XM3 evaluate.

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Urbanista could also be primarily based in Sweden, nevertheless it does not have an issue naming its earbuds after different European cities. Its London true-wireless earbuds look loads like Apple’s AirPods Pro and have noise canceling with a transparency mode, in addition to a sensor that detects if you take the earbuds out of your ears and pauses your music. They sound higher than the AirPods Pro, with clear, well-balanced sound and punchy, well-defined bass and good element. On prime of that, they’re good for making calls, with good noise discount so folks hear you nicely, even when there’s noise within the background.

Their solely draw back is that their contact controls are considerably restricted and never fairly as simple to make use of as these of the AirPods Pro. They additionally sound distinctly completely different when you’ve gotten them in ambient (transparency) mode and noise-canceling mode. Battery life is rated at 5 hours — the identical because the AirPods Pro — however that is not so good as among the newest true wireless earbuds with noise cancellation. The compact charging case, which expenses by way of USB-C, provides you a further 4 expenses. 

Unlike the AirPods Pro, the Urbanista London earbuds can be found in not only one coloration however 4.

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 ranking — sweat-resistant and splash-proof).

Read extra.

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Jaybird received off to a bumpy begin on this planet of true wireless — that is “AirPods-style headphones” — when it launched its Jaybird Run wireless exercise headphones again in October 2017. That mannequin, up to date to the wireless in-ear Jaybird Run XT in early 2019, was well-designed however had some small sound efficiency points that held the wireless earbuds again from being nice. But its wireless earphones successor, the Jaybird Vista (cue the Windows Vista jokes), contains design, battery life and audio high quality efficiency enhancements that make it the product I’d hoped the Jaybird Run can be. This wireless earbud set will attraction to these wanting for a extra discreet set of completely wireless working headphones which are totally waterproof. The Vista’s just lately been on sale for as little as $100 and is due for an improve, so look to get it at a reduction.

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

Read the Jaybird Vista evaluate.

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I believed the Tranya Rimor was a superb deal at $30, however now that the T10 is on the market, I’m recommending it. It seems similar to that Rimor, however has some enhancements that make it a wonderful deal at lower than $40. It not solely has higher battery life (it is rated for eight hours) however higher water resistance (IPX7 as an alternative of IPX5), upgraded 12mm graphene drivers and the earbuds assist AAC and AptX codecs. The case expenses wirelessly and by way of USB-C.

Like most true-wireless earbuds from Chinese manufacturers that promote by Amazon, these have a fairly generic appear and feel, particularly the case, they usually might not match all ears equally nicely — they do stick out a little bit. But should you get a decent seal they sound fairly good, with potent, well-defined bass and good element (for true wireless). They additionally work nicely as a headset for making calls, because of respectable noise discount that helps tamp down background noise so folks can hear your voice higher.

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

Read extra.

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Yes, the Beats Powerbeats Pro’s jumbo charging case with its built-in battery is a notable disadvantage. But incorporating all of the options that make Apple’s AirPods nice whereas delivering richer sound and higher battery life in a design that options ear hooks and will not fall out of your ear is a profitable proposition. Just be sure to purchase these Beats Powerbeats earphones someplace that has a superb return coverage, in case you are within the small minority who’ve ears that are not fairly a match for these Bluetooth headphones.

They use Bluetooth 5.0 with assist for AAC however not aptX.

Water-resistant: Yes (IPX4 ranking — splash-proof).

Read our Beats Powerbeats Pro evaluate.

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Anker is best recognized for its worth headphones, nevertheless it’s attempting to step into extra premium territory with its Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro earbuds, which carry an inventory value of $150. From a design standpoint, these Bluetooth earbuds share some similarities with Sony’s WF-1000XM3, although this Anker Soundcore mannequin does not have energetic noise cancellation. Anker says these actually wireless earbuds have massive 11mm drivers mixed with Knowles Balanced Armature, with as much as 8 hours of battery life on a single cost (32 complete hours of playtime with the case) and noise-cancellation microphones to assist cut back ambient sound so callers can hear you higher. They cost by way of USB-C and likewise assist wireless charging.

I’m unsure they sound fairly nearly as good because the Sony WF-1000XM3, however they actually sound like premium true wireless earphones, with wealthy sound that features highly effective bass efficiency and many element. Some folks might have some quibbles over the wireless earphone match — I needed to provide my very own XL tricks to get a decent seal and located the Anker’s Soundcore Liberty Air 2 a little bit extra snug — however the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro are a superb worth. They additionally work very nicely for making calls (they do a superb job decreasing background sound).  

They use Bluetooth 5.0 with assist for AAC and aptX.

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

Read extra.

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The second-generation 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 a high quality system for making calls, indoors and out. 

The retail value for the bottom Apple AirPod mannequin is $159 whereas the model with the wireless charging case lists for $199, however you could find each fashions for significantly much less on-line.

Water-resistant: No (lacks IPX certification).

Read our Apple AirPods 2019 evaluate.

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The Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus are the second era of the corporate’s MW07. This pair of earbuds options enormously elevated battery life (10 versus 3.5 hours), Bluetooth 5.0 and energetic noise cancellation with two microphones on every bud. They might not match everybody’s ear equally nicely, however they actually have a definite look, in addition to excellent sound and an important listening expertise if you will get a decent seal. These in-ear headphones are recognized for extra of an audiophile sound profile, with clean, well-balanced sound and well-defined bass. 

These wireless earbuds embrace a swanky chrome charging case that comes with a secondary pouch for safekeeping (sure, the case can get scratched up should you go away it in a bag). The case, with its built-in chargeable battery, provides you a further three expenses (it expenses by way of USB-C). These have assist for aptX (however not AAC) and have an prolonged vary of greater than 20 meters, in accordance with Master & Dynamic.

Water-resistantYes (IPX5 ranking — withstands sustained spray).

Read extra.

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