Wireless earbuds (and earphones) are becoming increasingly common.
Mobile manufacturers’ insistence on stripping away headphone jacks has played a significant role in the rise of their popularity, but there’s no denying that they’re here to stay.
So if you’re in the market for some new wireless earbuds (and you definitely don’t want one of the other styles), which ones should you choose? Keep reading to find out.
1. Best Wireless Earbuds for Noise Cancelling
Bose QuietControl 30
Bose has been one of the leading names in the headphone sector for years, so it’ll be no surprise to learn that the company offers one of the best noise-canceling models available.
Because they offer noise-canceling capabilities, the Bose QuietControl 30 earbuds come with a neckband. It’s where all the clever technology lives.
The buds also come with a mobile app. This allows you to tweak the level of noise-cancellation to suit your environment. The feature is useful if you’re wearing them in public and need to keep one ear on traffic and other dangers.
Expect the battery to last for around ten hours. The most significant drawback is the microphone quality. The audio is not as clear as rival brands’ models, meaning people who want to use their earbuds for lots of phone conversations should look elsewhere.
- Top of the line active noise-cancellation (ANC)
- Long battery life
- Comfortable neckband
- Poor microphone quality
- $50 more expensive than the Bose QuietControl 20 model
- Bluetooth only; no wired connection available
2. Best Value for Money Wireless Earbuds
Jabra Elite Sport
We previously recommended the Jabra Elite Sport earbuds, and upon re-investigation, it’s clear that they’re still a top choice because they offer one of the best compromises between price and quality that you’ll find on the market.
Unlike the Bose QuietControl 30, the Jabra Elite Sport buds are completely wireless. There’s no neck strap connecting the two buds together.
These are also one of the best wireless earbuds for sporty types. They come with a step counter and heart rate monitor, they look good in your ear, and—as Ryan reliably informs us—they never fall out while you’re jogging.
- Truly wireless
- Cheaper than a lot of other models with similar features
- Fitness tracking capabilities
- The battery only lasts for five hours
- No microphone
3. Best Wireless Earbuds for Making Phone Calls
Not everyone wants earbuds for listening to music. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, you might prefer to buy a pair of earphones instead.
If you’re looking for the best earphones for making phone calls, you need to make sure to purchase a pair with a high-quality microphone. In truth, there’s only one model worth considering: Sennheiser HD1.
They don’t come cheap; you can expect to pay north of $200. But they do come equipped with an incredible microphone and an earpiece that can deliver 15Hz-22KHz and powerful bass.
The design features an in-line remote below the left earpiece. You can use it to adjust the volume, skip songs, and answer phone calls. This model’s battery lasts for about six hours.
- Best-in-class microphone
- Handy in-line remote
- The neckband is not rubberized, leaving loose cable behind your head
- No wired option
4. Best Entry-Level Wireless Earbuds
The SmartOmi Q5 earbuds are one of the cheapest wireless earbud models you’ll find. You should be able to pick them up for less than $40.
But don’t let the low price fool you. For the money, you won’t be able to find a better-sounding pair of buds.
The sound is clear and crisp, though the bass could be better. Nonetheless, if you enjoy less bass-intensive music like folk and rock, these will be ideal.
Unlike most other wireless headphones, Smartomi doesn’t offer a battery charging case. As a result, you’ll struggle to get more than a couple of hours of battery life out of them.
- Above-average sound quality
- The in-ear fit could be better
- Liability to fall out makes them unsuitable for use during sports
- No microphone
5. Best Wireless Earbuds for Sports People
Bose SoundSport Free
We’ve already touched on one pair of sports wireless earbuds in the Jabra Elite Sport headphones. However, if you’re looking to spend top money on a premium model, the Bose SoundSport Free buds is the pair you need to consider.
They are truly wireless, meaning there’s no neck strap. They also offer one of the most comfortable and secure in-ear fits out of all the buds we’ve looked at in this list. The snug fit is down to the wingtips; the tips hook into your outer ear to help hold the bud in place.
And even if your bud does become dislodged and fall out while you’re exercising, you should find it quickly thanks to Bose’s Find My Headphones feature.
From a sporting standpoint, you will find an activity monitor, heart rate monitor, and an IPX4 waterproof rating (meaning the earbuds are resistant to splashes but not submersion).
Finally, sound-wise, you can expect to hear lots of well-defined treble and mid-range tones, but the bass is a little light.
- Water resistant
- Very secure in-ear fit
- Accompanying app
- Headphone finder
- A lack of powerful bass
- More expensive than Jabra Elite Sport
- Poor noise isolation
6. Best Wireless Earbuds for Under $100
The Linner NC50 wireless earbuds are a step up from the entry-level Smartomi Q5 that we looked at earlier. Depending on where you buy them from, expect to pay $80-$90.
These earbuds are almost every bit as good as some of the more well-known models. Sure, the quality of the noise-cancellation isn’t quite as high as products from Bose, but they’ll be more than adequate in all but the noisiest environments.
Battery life is also more impressive than some of the other buds we’ve looked at. You can expect to get around nine hours out of a charge.
Due to the ANC, the Linner NC50 buds use a behind-the-neck design, which the ANC processor located in a small box below each ear. Because of the ANC, they aren’t truly wireless.
Lastly, the earbuds offer some of the best bass out of the six models we have discussed. On the other end of the scale, you might find that the treble sounds a touch tinny.
- IPX4 water resistant
- High-quality bass
- Excellent noise-cancellation for the price
- Solid battery life
- Treble sounds need improvement
- Not truly wireless
And the Winner of Best Wireless Earbuds Is…
It’s impossible to say. It all depends on the situations in which you plan to use your earbuds and how much money you’re willing to spend.
If these earbuds don’t fulfill your needs, you might find what you’re looking for in some of our other headphone buying guides. We’ve covered the best wired headphones and the best noise-canceling headphones for students.