We tested more than 30 top-tier options, taking them on walks and subway trips and using them for calls.

A stellar set of wireless earbuds is virtually a must-have for anyone with a smartphone. Phone manufacturers began shifting away from the standard audio jack years ago, with the iPhone 7 being the first big-name product to do away with the functionality. Today, save for a few niche offerings, most smartphones don’t have an audio jack.

Thankfully, the current market for wireless earbuds is brimming with options, ranging from cheap sets that cover the basics to feature-rich offerings for discerning audiophiles. But the sheer number of wireless earbud options makes finding the right one a daunting task, which is why we’re here to help with the process. Whether you’re in the market for an affordable set or are ready to spend big on the best of the best, we found a pair out there that should tick the boxes for your needs.

The Best Wireless Earbuds

  • Best Overall: Beats Studio Buds + Wireless Earbuds
  • Best Budget: 1More PistonBuds Pro Q30 Wireless Earbuds
  • Most Versatile: Beats Fit Pro Wireless Earbuds
  • Best AirPods: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Wireless Earbuds
  • Best Noise Cancellation: Bose QuietComfort Ultra Wireless Earbuds

What to Consider

Generally speaking, wireless earbuds should be sleek, comfy, water-resistant, and capable of delivering entertaining sound, regardless of what you’ll be using them for. When you’re shopping for a new pair, look for a durable design, reliable fit, dependable battery life, and solid audio performance (for music, podcasts, and calls).

  • Sound Quality
  • Noise Cancellation
  • Durability
  • Battery Performance and Charging Methods

How We Tested

To finalize my picks for this guide, I spent many hours researching dozens of wireless earbuds. After zeroing in on the most promising in various price tiers, I set out on extensive personal testing.

I spent at least a week with every pick on this list, using the earbuds daily on my commute, at work, and while exercising. I evaluated the earbuds on the following criteria:

  • Audio performance and call quality
  • Ergonomics during various activities
  • Battery life


To test the earbuds’ sound capabilities, I listened to my favorite playlists — along with a few podcasts — and paid close attention to their audible frequency range. The term relates to the ability to deliver the treble (highs), the midrange, and the bass in your favorite tracks.

I put the buds’ noise cancellation through its paces during outdoor walks, subway trips in Manhattan, and while working from home and at the office. I also made outgoing and incoming calls with each headset to evaluate the quality of its audio and the performance of its built-in microphone(s).


Regarding ergonomics, I paid close attention to whether the earbuds I tested got uncomfortable after extended use and stayed in place while exercising. I only selected products that treated me to hours of comfortable wear. In addition, I gauged the quality and reliability of the earbuds’ controls.


When it comes to battery life, I kept an eye on whether the products I tested performed in line with their manufacturers’ claims. While testing, I used them at volume levels that hovered around 50 percent.

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