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Best wireless earbuds: the best Bluetooth earbuds and earphones in 2021

best wireless earbuds
(Image credit: Optoma)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best wireless earbuds of 2021 deliver a combination of reliable Bluetooth connectivity, unbeatable audio performances, and comfortable, compact designs.

Wireless earbuds news

bowers & wilkins pi7

(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

The latest earbuds that we've tried out are the Bowers & Wilkins PI7, which blew us away with their incredible audio performance.

In other true wireless earbuds news, we're hearing the first reports of the Sony WF-1000XM4, the follow up to the best wireless earbuds of 2021. Meanwhile, Apple AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 rumors continue to circulate.

They're so good, in fact, that many on this list can give some of the best wired earbuds a run for their money. 

Whether you’re looking for wireless earbuds you can wear during exercise or a noise-cancelling pair that can block out the world around you, we’ve got you covered with our round up of the very best models you can buy today.

What’s more, the best Bluetooth earbuds are often cheaper than over-ear headphones, so they’re a great option for anyone on a strict budget – though over-ear headphones are still usually superior when it comes to pure audio fidelity.

This guide covers the two main categories of wireless earbuds that you'll find on the market today; true wireless earbuds and neckbud-style Bluetooth earphones. The former have no cables whatsoever, while wireless neckbuds retain a single cable connecting each earbud together.

One of the most popular pairs of true wireless earbuds are the Apple AirPods, which were launched back in 2016 and received an upgrade in 2019. However, there are far better options out there, including the AirPods Pro and our top pick, the Sony WF-1000XM3

Neckbud-style wireless earbuds are still worth considering in 2021, too. After all, the cable that’s usually worn around the back of your neck gives you a little extra security if you’re worried about losing a bud down the drain (yeah, it happens).

With so many different models and styles to choose from, it can be difficult to find the best wireless earbuds for you. That's why this guide includes the best wireless earbuds for every budget, every situation, and in every form factor. First up – the best true wireless earbuds you can buy today. If you’re only interested in neckbuds, just scroll down the page for our top picks, including the excellent NuraLoop headphones.

True wireless earbuds

best wireless earbuds Sony WF-1000XM3

(Image credit: Sony)

1. Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds

Noise-cancelling true wireless headphones that made our dreams come true

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 70g
Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
Drivers: 6mm
Driver type: Dome Type
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): 6 hours
Battery life (charging case): 18 hours
Wireless range: 30ft
NFC: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Efficient noise-cancellation+Inconspicuous looks+Great fun to listen too
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for sports

Considering it's still rare to get noise-cancellation in earbuds at all, the fact that Sony has managed to pack it into a pair that are not only wireless, but true wireless is very impressive indeed. 

The Sony WF-1000X manage to offer a level of noise-cancellation that's very good for a pair of earbuds – it won't offer the same isolation as a pair of over-ear cans, but if you're after a sleek form factor then the compromise is well worth it. 

There may be a few minor problems with these wireless earbuds, but we think Sony has knocked the ball out of the park with the WF-1000XM3; not only are these hands down the best-looking true wireless earbuds out there, but they combine serious noise cancelling tech with fist-pumping musicality. 

Read more: Sony WF-1000XM3 review

[Update: There could be a new pair of Sony earbuds on the horizon – the Sony WF-1000XM4 are the rumored follow-up to the best wireless earbuds you can buy today.]

Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 bluetooth earbuds

(Image credit: Cambridge Audio)

2. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

Mind-blowing sound without the wires

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 9.2g
Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
Drivers: 5.8mm
Driver type: Dome Type
Sensitivity: 9.8dB
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): 9 hours
Battery life (charging case): 36 hours
Wireless range: N/A
NFC: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Outstanding audio quality+Good value for money+Comfortable design
Reasons to avoid
-Control buttons can be annoying to use

Cambridge Audio is known for its high-end audio equipment, but until now, hasn’t ventured into the world of true wireless earbuds. Enter the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s: with an outstanding 45 hours of battery life, they combine the brand’s award-winning engineering with the convenience of truly wireless listening. 

For a pair of wireless earbuds, the sound quality offered by the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s is sensational. In fact, they rival some of the best over-ear headphones, which is all but unheard of for buds of this size. 

They may not have the noise cancellation technology offered by the Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds, but they are $100 (around £80) cheaper – and have a superior battery life. 

They certainly outperform the popular Apple AirPods, in all respects apart from the lack of wireless charging case. This is a small price to pay for that exceptional audio quality, though, and we think they represent much better value for money, too.

Read more: Cambridge Audio Melomania  1 review

[Update: Check out our Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch review. We found that, while the earbuds sound fantastic, they're let down by dodgy connectivity and sensitive touch controls.]

lypertek tevi

(Image credit: Lypertek)

3. Lypertek PurePlay Z3 (Tevi)

Incredible, affordable buds

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: N/A
Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
Drivers: 6mm
Driver type: Graphene
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): 10 hours
Battery life (charging case): 70 hours
Wireless range: N/A
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Incredible value+Neutral audiophile-like sound+Great battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Design is a bit plain

Formerly known as the Lypertek Tevi, the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 are among the best true wireless earbuds we’ve tried, especially given their low price tag ($130 / £99 / AU$185).

With USB-C charging, a well-balanced sound, lengthy battery life, and waterproofing, they tick every box you could ask for, from what are basically a pair of budget buds. 

The Lypertek PurePlay Z3, surprisingly, might just blow you away, punching well above their weight and rivaling buds from some of the biggest audio brands on the planet. 

Consider us pleasantly surprised.

Read more: Lypertek Tevi true wireless earbuds review

[Update: Looking for something even cheaper? Check out the Lypertek SoundFree S20, which boast a great sound and excellent connectivity for a low price.]

grado gt220

(Image credit: Grado)

4. Grado GT220

Few true wireless earbuds sound this good

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: N/A
Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
Drivers: 8mm
Driver type: Polyethylene terephthalate full-range
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: 32 ohms
Battery life (on-board): 6 hours
Battery life (charging case): 36 hours
Wireless range: N/A
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Hugely impressive sound in every respect+Responsive touch- and voice-control+Light and fairly comfortable
Reasons to avoid
-No active noise-cancelling

On paper, the GT220 seem to have their work cut out. $259 / £250 / AU$365 for small, humdrum-looking true wireless in-ears with no active noise-cancelling and no control app.

But, by performing with absolute confidence and assurance, they stand head and shoulders above the majority of true wireless earbuds on the market today. They extract every shred of information from digital files of your favorite music and deliver it with such authority, and in such a complete and coherent manner, that it sounds fresh even if you’ve heard it a thousand times before.

Read more: Grado GT220 review

best true wireless earbuds sennheiser momentum true wireless 2

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

5. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

Great-sounding and noise-cancelling

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 6g
Frequency response: 5 - 21,000Hz
Drivers: 7mm
Driver type: Dynamic
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): 7 hours
Battery life (charging case): 28 hours
Wireless range: 30ft
NFC: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Incredible sound+Sleek design+Support for Hi-Res Audio
Reasons to avoid
-More expensive than rivals

The sound quality, battery life, and design of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are truly brilliant – and they're a really good alternative to the Sony WF-1000XM3, particularly if you prefer a more flashy design when it comes to the best true wireless earbuds for you.

We did find that those with smaller ears sometimes find them a little uncomfortable, however, and their high price just stops them from taking the top spot of this round up. 

Otherwise? Sennheiser has pretty much knocked it out of the park with these earbuds, offering great noise cancellation alongside smart looks and stunning sound. 

Read more: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review

bowers & wilkins pi7

(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

6. Bowers & Wilkins PI7

Thoroughly engaging and convincing sound

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 8g
Frequency response: 10 - 20,000Hz
Drivers: 9.2mm
Driver type: Dynamic with balanced armature
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): 4 hours
Battery life (charging case): 16 hours
Wireless range: N/A
NFC: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Incredible sound+Clever charging case
Reasons to avoid
-More expensive than rivals-Battery life could be better

The fact that the Bowers & Wilkins PI7, with their sky-high price-tag, a control app that’s more style than substance, an incomplete suite of touch controls, and humdrum active noise-cancelling and battery life, must sound incredible to come this close to a five-star review. 

That’s because they offer a truly enjoyable listening experience, and with a charging case that doubles as an audio retransmitter, they’re a genuinely unique pair of wireless earbuds.

Read more: Bowers & Wilkins PI7 review

true wireless

(Image credit: Bose)

7. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Noise cancellation in the true wireless market just got serious

Specifications
Acoustic Design: Closed
Weight: 0.3 oz each
Frequency Response: N/A
Drivers: N/A
Driver Type: N/A
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery on-board: 2 hours
Battery case: 3 hours
Wireless range: 30ft
NFC: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Best-in-class ANC+Rich, clear sound+Secure, comfortable fit+Wireless charging
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks on-board volume control-Bulky charging case-Case could offer more charge

It’s Bose’s second attempt at a set of true wireless headphones, and the QuietComfort Earbuds are leaps and bounds better than the older SoundSport Free. Not only is the design a lot better, but the noise cancellation is also exemplary. Sound quality is also really very good – albeit a touch less bassy as compared to Sony – with superb clarity. They’re incredibly comfortable and well balanced too, despite their bulky form factor.

Read more: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds review

Klipsch T5 True Wireless

(Image credit: Klipsch)

8. Klipsch T5 True Wireless

Audiophiles will love the Klipsch T5’s sound and build quality

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: N/A
Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
Drivers: N/A
Driver type: N/A
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): 8 hours
Battery life (charging case): 24 hours
Wireless range: N/A
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Incredible build quality+Warm, detailed sound+Excellent battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Deep fit may be uncomfortable

With their stellar sound and build quality, long-lasting battery life and what may be one of the coolest cases we've ever seen, we'd argue that the Klipsch T5s are easily among the best Bluetooth earbuds on the market right now..

Of course, you're buying a Klipsch product because it features the signature Klipsch sound, which is warm, detailed, and never harsh. Acoustic music is lush and detailed, and the detail extends to the highs as well, allowing the headphones to sing in the higher registers without ever being sibilant. 

Battery life is rated at eight hours per charge with the case giving an additional 24 hours – that means these true wireless in-ear headphones will last you for a long haul flight, no problem. 

Read more: Klipsch T5 True Wireless review 

[Update: The Klipsch T5 II True Wireless offer the same excellent build quality as their predecessors, alongside a great bass response that’s ideal for electronic and pop music. However, sibilance in the trebles and the lack of noise cancellation means they can’t beat the likes of the Apple AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM3, and haven't quite made it onto this list.]

AirPods Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

9. Apple AirPods Pro

The perfect earbuds... for Apple fans

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 5.4g
Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
Drivers: N/A
Driver type: Dynamic
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): Up to 5 hours
Battery life (charging case): 24 hours
Wireless range: N/A
NFC: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Good noise cancellation+Better fit than AirPods (2019)+Good for tracking hearing health
Reasons to avoid
-More expensive than better rivals

Apple's most recent true wireless earbuds bring active noise cancellation, a (finally) much better fit, and an improved design, in a bid to lure more iPhone users into the true wireless fold.

However, at $249 / £249 / AU$399, they’re pretty pricey too, and as such can’t be called the very best wireless earbuds out there.

That said, if you’re an iPhone user looking for some well-fitting earbuds with strong sound quality, you could do a lot worse than the new AirPods - the redesign means they’re far less likely to fall out, and the additional microphones provide strong noise-canceling (particularly when commuting), as well as a useful Transparency mode, which really does let the outside world in.

The sound quality of the AirPods Pro has certainly improved since the previous iteration – there’s a notable emphasis on vocals and bass, meaning these earbuds are better for pop fans than those that enjoy a more natural presentation that lends itself to classical music or more orchestral sounds.

The Apple AirPods Pro have also been given a hefty firmware upgrade, which allows for Dolby Atmos spatial audio, bringing immersive 3D sound to your true wireless earbuds.

There's also a new auto-switching feature means that the AirPods can now "magically switch over between devices", detecting automatically which device you are using.

Read more: Apple AirPods Pro review

status between pro

(Image credit: Status)

10. Status Between Pro

Supreme comfort and a warm, inviting sound

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: N/A
Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
Drivers: 10mm
Driver type: Dynamic and Balanced Armature
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): 12 hours
Battery life (charging case): 36 hours
Wireless range: N/A
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Excellent comfort and design+Strong battery life+Warm and detailed sound
Reasons to avoid
-Almost too quick to connect-No noise cancelling

The oblong design may throw you at first, but the Status Between Pro prove to be among the most comfortable true wireless earbuds we’ve ever used. And while the lack of noise cancellation is a shame, the overall audio quality is wonderful to listen to.

An unusual shape also has other unexpected benefits – the larger size allows for a more capacious battery, squeezing 12 hours into the the ear buds themselves and a further 36 hours in the charging case for a total of 48 hours playback. It also allows for an easy-to-squeeze physical playback control button on the top of each bud.

A lack of active noise cancellation is a shame, and the charging case can be a bit fiddly to slot the earbuds back into, but given the reasonable pricing, they’re small foibles in what are otherwise among the best wireless earbuds you can buy.

Read more: Status Between Pro review

jabra elite 85t

(Image credit: Jabra)

11. Jabra Elite 85t

A worthy successor to the Elite 65t

Specifications
Acoustic design: Semi-open
Weight: 7g
Frequency response: N/A
Drivers: 12mm
Driver type: Dynamic
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): 7 hours
Battery life (charging case): 31 hours
Wireless range: 33ft
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable active noise cancellation+Elegant design
Reasons to avoid
-Much bulkier than the 75t-Fit isn’t perfect

While they don’t quite cut it like their predecessors the Jabra Elite Active 75t buds do owing to a slightly bulkier design, the Elite 85t deliver impressive performance thanks to some great audio quality, effective noise cancellation and decent battery life. 

Audio has been vastly improved thanks to a new pair of 12mm in-built speakers, which are twice the size of those on the 75t buds and offer a wider and more well-balanced soundstage. This, alongside even deeper bass, adds more depth to your favorite tunes. 

Read more: Jabra Elite 85t review

[Update: The Jabra Elite 75t now come with active noise cancellation thanks to a firmware update – which could make them a potential rival for the AirPods Pro, and a cheaper noise-cancelling alternative to the Elite 85t.]

Beats PowerBeats Pro

(Image credit: Beats)

12. Beats PowerBeats Pro

Impressive-fitting workout ‘buds from Beats

Specifications
Acoustic design: closed
Weight: N/A
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Drivers: N/A
Driver type: N/A
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life: 25 hours (with case)
wireless range: N/A
NFC: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Easy pairing with iOS +Immaculate fit +Enjoyable sound 
Reasons to avoid
-Case is fairly bulky 

The PowerBeats Pro true wireless Beats headphones are something special – they’re supremely comfortable, sound decent and seem to never, ever fall out. 

That said, they are – in our opinion – Apple’s best true wireless earbuds to date thanks to small additions like the pressure-reducing micro-laser barometric venting hole, their longer battery life and their superior sound quality. If we had to choose between wearing these and the AirPods around the house or office, these are what we’d wear.   

Read more: Beats PowerBeats Pro review

microsoft surface earbuds

(Image credit: Microsoft)

13. Microsoft Surface Earbuds

Anything Apple can do, Microsoft can do slightly differently

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 7.2g
Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
Drivers: 13.6mm
Driver type: N/A
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): 8 hours
Battery life (charging case): 16 hours
Wireless range: 10m / 33ft
NFC: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Eloquent, detailed sound+Comfortable, secure fit
Reasons to avoid
-Design is... distinctive-Battery life isn't class-leading

In terms of features, the Surface Earbuds cover off most - but not all - of what we’ve come to expect from a premium pair of true wireless in-ears: they have app-based adjustable EQs, aptX Bluetooth connectivity, and responsive touch controls. Plus they play impeccably nicely with virtually the entirety of Microsoft’s hardware and software ranges. They don’t have active noise-cancellation, though, and the way they fit means they let ambient sound leak in.

Sound is served up by relatively large full-range drivers. Of course, ‘relatively large’ could, in another life, be the Surface Earbuds’ official model name: a 25mm diameter is big by in-ear standards, 7.2g is heavy by in-ear standards and their charging case isn't exactly slim, either.   

Despite these big numbers, though, the Surface Earbuds prove comfortable and secure in situ, for hours on end. The ‘twist-to-fit’ arrangement keeps them nicely steady, even during mild exercise.

Overall, the Surface Earbuds are a very welcome addition to the ever-increasing list of worthwhile true wireless in-ears, and while their distinctive looks won’t be for everyone, they deliver in the only two areas that count: functionality and sound quality.

Read more: Microsoft Surface Earbuds review

Earfun air pro

(Image credit: Earfun)

14. Earfun Air Pro

A mostly brilliant and sonically balanced set of budget buds

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 5.3g
Frequency response: N/A
Drivers: 10mm
Driver type: Composite dynamic
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): 9 hours
Battery life (charging case): 23 hours
Wireless range: 10m / 33ft
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Pleasing audio balance+Effective noise cancellation
Reasons to avoid
-No app for EQ adjustments-Case is a little bulky

On their own merits, the Earfun Air Pro buds are accomplished, but against the competition at this price point they shine. Amid a sea of similarly priced efforts on Amazon, they stand out thanks to their superior design and excellent audio chops, and show a high level of competence in almost all other areas. If it weren’t for slightly fiddly gesture controls and – in our experience at least – a slightly uncomfortable fit, these would immediately earn our wholehearted recommendation.

As it stands, these wireless earbuds are an excellent choice for most, offering a blend of useful features and strong performance that should make them popular with commuters in particular.

Read more: Earfun Air Pro review

earbuds

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

15. Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless

‘Affordable’ Sennheisers have Apple AirPods firmly in their sights

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 5.6g
Frequency response: 5-21,000Hz
Drivers: 7mm
Driver type: Dynamic
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): 8 hours
Battery life (charging case): 16 hours
Wireless range: 10m / 33ft
NFC: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Detailed sound+Comfortable to wear +Great app and good touch-control
Reasons to avoid
-Can be excitable with treble sounds-Ordinary battery life

Having established its credentials as a high-end true wireless earbud front-runner with two generations of its Momentum True Wireless, Sennheiser’s now turned its attention to the less rarefied area where Apple, Microsoft, Sony and all the rest duke it out. At £169 / $199 / AU$299, the CX400BT are pitched right into the thick of the action.

Happily, the CX400BT are specified to compete. They have aptX Bluetooth connectivity, with SBC and AAC codecs catered for too; they have app-based EQ adjustment; they have responsive touch-controls (which can be customised in the app); and they can be operated using Google Assistant or Siri.

Read more: Sennheiser CX 400BT review

true wireless earbuds

(Image credit: Jaybird)

16. Jaybird Vista

Near-perfect fitness earbuds

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 6g
Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
Drivers: 6mm
Driver type: N/A
Sensitivity: 103dB
Impedance: 23 Ohm
Battery life (on-board): 6 hours
Battery life (charging case): 10 hours
Wireless range: N/A
NFC: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Instant connection+Premium sound+IPX7 water resistance
Reasons to avoid
-Limited battery life

The Jaybird Vista earbuds are some of the best true wireless headphones out there – and it's not hard to see why. With a sleek, compact design, and features squarely aimed at real and budding athletes – with the ability to appeal to the less committed fitness nuts among us too.

Coming off the back of the Jaybird Run True – and waterproof Run XTs – the Jaybird Vista earbuds are highly compact fitness earbuds with the water and sweat resistance to deal with all levels of indoor and outdoor workouts. As true wireless earbuds, too, you won't find any cables getting in your way.

bang & olufsen Beoplay E8 Wireless Earphones

(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

17. B&O Beoplay E8 2.0 Wireless Earphones

Pricey wireless earbuds that sound absolutely wonderful

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 13g (combined)
Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
Drivers: 5.7mm
Driver type: Electro-dynamic
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life (on-board): 4 hours
Battery life (charging case): 8 hours
Wireless range: 100ft
NFC: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Good audio quality +Exceptional design +Easy to setup 
Reasons to avoid
-Can feel a bit snug 

Let’s get one thing out of the way – the B&O Beoplay E8 are some of the best-looking and most expensive wireless earphones you can buy at $350 / £300 (around AU$570).

Audio quality is undeniably excellent, and you can tweak the sound to your liking using the accompanying Beoplay app on Android and iOS.

Even without tinkering around with ToneTouch, the E8 2.0s sounds crisp and clear, with punchy bass frequencies. So, the Bang & Olufsen E8 2.0 truly wireless earphones look great and sound great, although the touch-sensitive buttons are a little too sensitive at times, and there's no active noise cancellation. 

However, it's hard to not find these earphones appealing, and if you want your true wireless earbuds to look as good as they sound, they could be the perfect model for you.

If the top reason you're looking for a new pair of headphones is that you want to use them when you work out or run, you might want to consider the sport-friendly alternatives to the E8 2.0s, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport. This pair of stylish buds delivers bright sound and they're specially designed to get sweaty with.

Read more: B&O Beoplay E8 2.0 Wireless Earphones review

wireless earbuds

(Image credit: Audio-Technica)

18. Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW

Big on bass, big on battery life

Specifications
Acoustic design: closed
Weight: 8g
Frequency response: 5Hz - 40kHz
Drivers: 10mm
Driver type: Dynamic
Sensitivity: 110 dB
Impedance: 16 ohms
Battery life: 45 hours (with case)
wireless range: N/A
NFC: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Sound great+Long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Weighty-Fiddly case

With a promising battery life and well-managed bass enhancement over Audio-Technica’s usual neutral sound, the Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW true wireless earbuds have a lot going for them. 

They've one of the most complete and well-rounded sound profiles we've seen from true-wireless earbuds, and that's despite the claimed bass enhancement. It's a very enjoyable sound that they make.

However, they are let down a bit by their fit – mileage will vary of course depending on your preferred bud style and the size of your ears, but all will find the fiddly case fit will annoy over time. Still, the quality audio here may be a worthy trade-off.

Read more: Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW review

sony wf-sp800n

(Image credit: Sony)

19. Sony WF-SP800N

Spatial audio and noise-cancelling smarts

Specifications
Acoustic design: closed
Weight: 9.3g
Frequency response: N/A
Drivers: N/A
Driver type: Dynamic
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life: 18 hours (with case)
wireless range: N/A
NFC: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Basic noise cancellation+Water-resistant and sweatproof+Support for 360 Reality Audio
Reasons to avoid
-Tight in the ear

Sony's latest true wireless earbuds, the Sony WF-SP800N, are a triple-threat. They’re IP55-rated to be sweatproof and dustproof with a high degree of water resistance, but they’re also pretty good for commuters because they have active noise cancellation built in – which is rare for a workout pair of earbuds – and work well for demanding music lovers thanks to their support for Sony’s new spatial audio format, 360 Reality Audio.

They can be a little uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time, however, and the bass is bit muddy for our liking – still, these Bluetooth earbuds are well worth a look.

Read more: Sony WF-SP800N review

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

20. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung’s best yet... but not the peak of perfection

Specifications
Acoustic Design: Closed
Weight: 6.3g
Frequency Response: 20 - 20,000 Hz
Drivers: Dynamic 2-way drivers
Driver Type: Dynamic 2-way drivers
Sensitivity: 105 dB
Impedance: 36 Ohms
Battery Life: 18 hours (with case)
Wireless Range: 35ft
NFC: Yes
Reasons to buy
+IPX7 waterproof+Basic noise cancellation+Simple touch controls
Reasons to avoid
-Flat, cramped sound-No Google Assistant / Siri support-Bulge out of the ear

The latest true wireless buds from Samsung are a big step up from the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. These new Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro offer better sound and microphone quality with multipoint pairing and spatial audio support. 

It's worth nothing that they don’t offer the same level of noise cancellation as over-ear headphones or the sound quality of some of the other high-end earbuds on this list, but for their price they offer just enough of both to be competitive and deserving of a place on our best wireless earbuds list.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review

Wireless earbuds

Nuraloops

(Image credit: NuraLoop)

1. NuraLoop headphones

Improving on aural perfection

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 25g
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20 kHz
Drivers: 8.6mm
Driver type: Dynamic
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life: 16 hours
wireless range: N/A
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Rich, adaptive audio+ANC and social mode+Rugged, sweatproof desig
Reasons to avoid
-Stiff neckband can get in the way

NuraLoop boils down the essence of the company's first product, the Nuraphone, into a much more compact, rugged, and affordable package, and doesn't lose much in the process.

The star of the show is its adaptive audio technology, which automatically determines a listening profile for the user and feeds them well-balanced, lush sound as a result.

On top of this, features like active noise-cancelling, social mode, an IPX3 rating, Immersion mode, a great battery life, and the ability to attach an analog cable for 3.5mm headphone jacks makes this pair of Bluetooth earbuds truly shine.

Read more: NuraLoop headphones review

Optoma NuForce BE Sport4

(Image credit: Optoma)

2. Optoma NuForce BE Sport4

Practically flawless wireless earbuds

Specifications
Acoustic design: closed
Weight: 15 gram
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Drivers: 6 mm
Driver type: dynamic
Sensitivity: 92 dB +/-3 dB at 1 kHz
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Battery life: 10 hours
wireless range: 10 m (33ft)
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Impressive audio +Customized eartips  +Practical design 
Reasons to avoid
-Not suited to one-ear listening 

The NuForce BE Sport4 wireless earbuds are that rare find: wireless earbuds that are good for basically all situations, whether you're looking to take them out on a run or just wear them around town. 

They're ideal for exercise, although any urbanite will also find their lightweight functionality and impressive sound isolation highly appealing. If you want proof that Bluetooth earbuds can now compete with the best of them, look no further.

Read more: Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 review

Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Headphones

(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

3. Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Headphones

Neckbuds with phenomenal sound

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 31g
Frequency response: 10Hz - 30kHz
Drivers: 9.2mm
Driver type: N/A
Sensitivity: 96 dB
Impedance: N/A
Battery life: 8 hours
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable design+Excellent sound quality
Reasons to avoid
-No waterproofing-Average battery life

The Bowers & Wilkins PI3 are the first neckband wireless earbuds for the company, and they're a great start. Well-designed, comfy, and simple to use, they sound really good, too.

Thanks to dual drivers, these buds sound fantastic, with crisp highs, lively mids, and plenty of powerful bass. Look past the fairly unremarkable battery life and limited features, and you'll be mostly very impressed by what these offer.

Read more: Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Headphones review

Sennheiser CX Sport wireless earphones

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

4. Sennheiser CX Sport wireless earphones

No fuss buds with fantastic audio

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 15g
Frequency response: 17Hz - 21kHz
Drivers: N/A
Driver type: Dynamic
Sensitivity: 112 dB
Impedance: 28 Ohm
Battery life: 6 hours
wireless range: 50 m (150ft)
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic audio quality+Sports-friendly design
Reasons to avoid
-Not the cheapest option-Mids could be richer

If the most important aspect of wireless earphones for you is the audio quality, these wireless earbuds from Sennheiser could be a fantastic choice. 

With a lively, bass-heavy presentation, and a comfortable fit, the Sennheiser CX Sport Bluetooth earbuds can really bolster your workout through sound quality alone. 

They have a battery life of six hours, which means they'll last you all day, whether you're wearing them on your commute or taking them out for a jog.

Read more: Sennheiser CX Sport Wireless earphones review

oneplus bullets wireless 2

(Image credit: OnePlus)

5. OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2

Amazing wireless earphones for the price

Specifications
Acoustic design: closed
Weight: 13 gram
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Drivers: 6 mm
Driver type: dynamic
Sensitivity: 96 dB +/-3 dB at 1 kHz
Impedance: 16 Ohms
Battery life: 8 hours
wireless range: N/A
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Magnetic on/off switch  +Lively sound+Strong wireless connection 
Reasons to avoid
-Terrible carrying case 

OnePlus is most known for its “flagship killer” phones like the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro,, but the company also makes headphones – the best example of which are the company’s excellent Bullets Wireless 2, which offer an incredible value in the neck-bud headphone category. 

In terms of audio quality, they boast a lively sonic presentation and an accurate-feeling soundstage, although bass-heads may want to look elsewhere for headphones that pack a bassier punch. 

They're comfortable to wear too, but it's just a shame that they don't have a waterproof rating and the inline remote is so fiddly, because otherwise they could make a decent pair of running headphones

They may be $30 more expensive than their predecessors, but the improved battery life and sound quality makes up for that; it also makes it worth upgrading if you have the originals and are due a new pair of wireless earbuds. 

Read more: OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 review

soundmagic e11bt

(Image credit: SoundMagic)

6. SoundMAGIC E11BT

Magic bullets that sound deceptively good

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 24.7g
Cable length: N/A
Frequency response: 20 - 20,000Hz
Drivers: 10mm
Driver type: Dynamic, Neodymium
Sensitivity: 100dB
Impedance: 42 ohms
Battery life: 20 hours
Wireless range: 13m
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic price+Elegant design+Comfortable
Reasons to avoid
-Treble tones can sound harsh

The SoundMagic E11BTs are an extremely capable pair of wireless in-ear earphones, and given their low price, it really is difficult to fault them – the audio quality is fantastic and they look very elegant. 

They're comfortable to wear thanks to ergonomically designed eartips and a flat neckband that won’t irritate you while running or working out – and with an IPX4 rating, they should withstand sweaty sessions. 

Read more: SoundMAGIC E11BT 

Jaybird Tarah Pro

(Image credit: Jaybird)

7. Jaybird Tarah Pro

Well-crafted wireless earbuds for endurance athletes

Specifications
Acoustic design: closed
Weight: 18 grams
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Drivers: 6 mm
Driver type: dynamic
Sensitivity: 95 dB +/-3 dB at 1 kHz
Impedance: 16 Ohms
Battery life: 8 hours
wireless range: N/A
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+ Excellent adaptable sound   +Durable and compact design 
Reasons to avoid
-Proprietary charging dock  -Fiddly eartips 

The Jaybird Tarah Pro headphones are wireless sport headphones for the endurance runners, athletes and fitness nuts out there. With a neck cable to keep the earbuds together, they aren’t quite ‘true wireless’, but will be practical for those concerned about dropping and losing a costly earbud in the heat of a race or training session.

As the first in Jaybird’s new ‘Pro’ range of Bluetooth earbuds and aimed at offering higher quality audio and materials, the Tarah Pro will suit anyone not willing to sacrifice audio quality in harsher outdoor conditions or indoor workouts and who don't mind spending a bit more to get a premium product.  

Read more: Jaybird Tarah Pro review

Jaybird X4 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

(Image credit: Jaybird)

8. Jaybird X4 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Compact comfort, good quality, competitive price

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 14.7g
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Drivers: 6 mm
Driver type: N/A
Sensitivity: 99 dB +/-3 dB at 1 kHz
Impedance: 16 Ohms
Battery life: 8 hours
Wireless range: 10m / 33ft
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Excellent adaptable sound+Durable and compact design
Reasons to avoid
-Proprietary charging dock-Button lag

Now committed to a yearly refresh of the popular mid-range model, the Jaybird X4 manage to outdo both the previous Jaybird X2 and Jaybird X3 wireless Bluetooth earphones, with an upgraded IPX7 water-resistance rating. Whether you're sweating buckets or running doggedly through the rain, the X4 will be able to cope with it.

The Jaybird X4s also manage to keep the series' surprisingly good sound. These earphones are certainly fitness first, but that doesn't mean the other things people look for in a pair of earphones – you know, like music – have fallen by the wayside.

Jaybird's excellent app also provides easy EQ customization as well as the ability to make your own sound profile, with various ear tip sizes to boot. A great all round choice for runner who don't want to skimp on sound – or be wary of the weather.

Alternatively if you're after an even more premium experience, the Jaybird Tarah Pro earbuds offer higher-quality audio and materials for a somewhat higher $159 £139 / AU$229 price tag.

Although we're still big fans of the Jaybird X4 headphones, take a look at the Jaybird Vista true headphones further down the list – they're our top pick if you're in the market for a pair of true wireless earbuds. 

Read more: Jaybird X4 review

Beats X

(Image credit: Beats)

9. Beats X

Good-sounding wireless earbuds that can charge in five minutes

Specifications
Acoustic design: closed
Weight: N/A
Frequency response: N/A
Drivers: N/A
Driver type: N/A
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life: 8 hours
wireless range: N/A
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+ Balanced sound signature  +Quick Charge feature 
Reasons to avoid
- Relatively expensive  -Lacking in clarity 

Beats haven't always gotten the best rap when it comes to audio performance, but the Beats X is trying to set the record straight. The Beats X hence make up for their slightly bassy, confined sound with a rock solid connection and a pairing process that, on iOS devices at least, is as painless as it's possible to be. 

If you’re shopping for a no-fuss pair of Bluetooth earbuds that charge in 5 minutes, work well with iOS and don’t mind spending a little extra money on them, the Beats X are for you.

Read more: Beats X review

Beats PowerBeats 3

(Image credit: Beats)

10. Beats PowerBeats

Revamped fitness-focussed Powerbeats

Specifications
Acoustic design: Closed
Weight: 26.3g
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Drivers: N/A
Driver type: N/A
Sensitivity: N/A
Impedance: N/A
Battery life: 15 hours
Wireless range: 10m (33ft)
NFC: No
Reasons to buy
+Great battery life+Good wireless range
Reasons to avoid
-Fit could be better-High price

The latest Powerbeats are a thoughtful evolution of Beats' wireless workout earbuds. They're missing a few niceties like active noise-reduction and may potentially feel less comfortable than some competitors, but by and large they're a decent cheap alternative to Apple’s higher-end in-ear headphones.

After spending some time with them, it's clear that the new Beats Powerbeats is a significant upgrade on the company's wireless workout earbuds, offering a sound quality lifted directly from the Beats Powerbeats Pro, an IPX4 rating and Apple’s H1 Wireless Chip that can summon Siri with the sound of your voice.

What we don't like about them is that the fit can be tough to get right and even slightly uncomfortable when you wear them for an extended period.

Read more: Beats Powerbeats review

Wireless vs true wireless

Wireless vs true wireless: what's the difference?

Wireless earbuds have existed for a while now, basically since Bluetooth was invented. Though battery-powered and not physically connected to your phone, they have a cord connecting both buds – and sometimes a band around the neck too.

True wireless earbuds have no cord whatsoever. While wireless allows us to wear headphones a few feet away from our music players, True Wireless cuts the cord between the earbuds, giving us true freedom. If you're looking to go full wireless, we also have a round-up of the best true wireless headphones, but you'll find our top picks here, too.

Wireless headphones are traditional over-ear or on-ear headphones without the wire – the two earcups are connected by a headband. Check out the best wireless headphones for more.

Best wireless earbuds, at a glance:

True wireless earbuds

  1. Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds
  2. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
  3. Lypertek Tevi 
  4. Grado GT220
  5. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
  6. Bowers & Wilkins PI7
  7. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
  8. Klipsch T5 True Wireless
  9. Apple AirPods Pro
  10. Status Between Pro
  11. Jabra Elite 85t
  12. Beats Powerbeats Pro
  13. Microsoft Surface Earbuds
  14. Earfun Air Pro
  15. Sennheiser CX 400BT
  16. Jaybird Vista
  17. B&O Beoplay E8 2.0 Wireless Earphones
  18. Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW
  19. Sony WF-SP800N
  20. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Wireless earbuds

  1. NuraLoop headphones
  2. Optoma NuForce BE Sport4
  3. Bowers & Wilkins Pi3
  4. Sennheiser CX Sport
  5. OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2
  6. SoundMAGIC E11 BT
  7. Jaybird Tarah Pro
  8. Jaybird X4 
  9. Beats X
  10. Beats Powerbeats 

Wireless earbud deals