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Best Bluetooth earbuds in Australia: the top wireless earphones for 2020

Jaybird Tarah Pro
Image credit: Jaybird

While they started out as somewhat of a gimmick, Bluetooth earbuds have become all-but ubiquitous for everyday use. To begin with, the audio quality was almost always poor, but thanks to increasing development in Bluetooth standards as well as codecs like aptX, wireless earphones are now some of the best available.

Regardless of whether you're interested in the increased range of motion you can achieve by cutting the cable or are turning to Bluetooth audio because your phone has ditched its 3.5mm audio jack, you're in luck! All the best consumer brands – Jaybird, Plantronics, Apple, Jabra and more – are lending their weight to the cause so we can keep listening to top-notch audio, cable-free.

While the neckband-style wireless earphones have had their popularity cemented, the likes of the Apple AirPods and other truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds have changed the game once more. Don't worry, we'll explain the differences shortly.

It can be tricky to choose a pair with so much variety out there, but thankfully TechRadar has been painstakingly reviewing these earbuds over the years and have a solid idea of what's worth the dosh. On this page, we'll take you through the best wireless, Bluetooth earphones on the market right now so you can find exactly what you want.

Best true wireless earbuds in Australia 2020 at a glance

  1. Sony WF-1000XM3
  2. Beats PowerBeats Pro
  3. Jabra Elite 75t
  4. Apple AirPods (2019)
  5. Jabra Elite 65t

Best Bluetooth earbuds in Australia 2020 at a glance

  1. Jaybird Tarah Pro
  2. Sony WI-1000X
  3. Jaybird Tarah
  4. Beats X
  5. Bose Quietcontrol 30

Wireless earbuds vs true wireless earbuds

Before we dive too deep down the rabbit hole, we should cover the whole true wireless vs wireless discussion happening in the audio world right now. 

Wireless headphones have existed for some time now, basically since Bluetooth as a standard was invented. 

For years they went largely unrecognised by the audio community because Bluetooth, despite being ultra-convenient, didn't do the best job transmitting music at a high enough resolution. That changed with the advent of aptX - a codec that allowed for higher bitstreams at lower latency. 

While aptX was changing the game for the whole of the audio community, audio manufacturers were working on an entirely new form factor: True Wireless.

True Wireless Headphones 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. 

This round-up primarily focuses on the former, but, if you're looking to go full wireless, we also have a round-up of the best true wireless headphones to help you live that cord-free lifestyle.

The best true wireless earbuds

Sony WF-1000XM3

Sony WF-1000XM3 (Image credit: Steve May)

1. Sony WF-1000XM3

Ace noise-cancelling, stunning audio and compact style

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 8.5g (each) | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 20 - 20,000Hz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 6-8 hours (ANC enabled/disabled) | Battery life (charging case): 18-24 hours(ANC enabled/disabled) | Wireless range: 10m | NFC: Yes (case)

Industry-leading noise-cancelling
Clear, warm audio
Reliable connectivity
Not suitable for sports
No water-resistance

Sony's fabulous WH-1000XM3 noise-cancelling headphones have gotten a true wireless counterpart, and they're every bit as solid as their over-ear siblings.

With state-of-the-art noise-cancelling, a crystal clear yet warm audio signal, and an impressive 24-hour battery life (when using the ANC and recharging with the case), these earbuds are worth every dollar spent on them. They also avoid the foibles of many other non-Apple true wireless buds by establishing a connection between each bud and your device individually, thus dodging the sometimes flaky signals that result from a single primary bud having to connect to both your device and a secondary bud.

Read the full review: Sony WF-1000XM3

(Image credit: Future)

2. Beats PowerBeats Pro

Impressive-fitting workout buds from Beats

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 10.1g (each) | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 9 hours | Battery life (charging case): 15 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

Simple pairing with iOS
Great, secure fit
Solid Beats sound
Bulky case
No noise-cancelling
Only IPX4 rated

For those rocking an iPhone, the simplicity of pairing with the AirPods was a joy, but now you can have that same ease-of-use but with true wireless earbuds made to be pumped at the gym.

With one of the most secure fits to date, the PowerBeats Pro are sure to stay in your ear when you're sweating it up, and the IPX4 resistance makes sure that sweat won't break your buds. The sound is typically punchy, as is the style of Beats, and very suitable for modern electronic, hip hop and similar genres. In most ways, these are in improvement on the AirPods, and even feature the same smart H1 chip that helps with pairing and allows for on-board Siri communication.

Read the full review: Beats PowerBeats Pro

jabra elite 75t

(Image credit: Jabra)

3. Jabra Elite 75t

A worthy successor to the Elite 65t

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 5.5g | Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 7.5 hours | Battery life (charging case): 20 hours | Wireless range: 33ft | NFC: No

7 hours on a single charge
Compact earbuds and case
App lets you customize EQ
Overwhelming, muddy bass

The Jabra Elite 75t improve upon their predecessors, the Jabra Elite 65t, in just about every way – except for tonal balance. 

The headphones and charging case are much smaller, battery life makes an immense jump, catching up to the competition, and the customization features we enjoyed in the 65t remain. 

While they don't have the best sound quality and they lack active noise cancellation, neither stops the Jabra Elite 75t from being a solid pair of true wireless headphones to use, especially if you make frequent calls with your headphones on.

Read the full review: Jabra Elite 75t review

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar

4. Apple AirPods (2019)

The ones to beat

Acoustic design: Open-back | Weight: 4g (38g with case) | Driver type: Dynamic **Battery life (on-board):** 5 hours | Battery life (charging case): 20 hours | Wireless range: 10m | NFC: No

Faster pairing
Wireless charging
Hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ functionality
Wireless charging case costs extra
Audio hasn't improved
Identical design to the originals

The second generation Apple AirPods, the AirPods (2019), aren't quite the AirPods 2 we were hoping for, but they still boast some cool features. 

They still sport the iconic design of the original AirPods (a good or bad thing depending on your point of view), and sound quality hasn't changed at all. The bulk of the upgrade comes from the new H1 headphone chip, which improves connectivity and battery life, and allows for a new ‘Hey Siri’ voice activation feature.

The AirPods (2019) also come with an optional wireless charging case, which means you can use a Qi-compatible charging mat to power the case, rather than sticking a cable into the Lightning charging port in the bottom of the case. 

Like their predecessors, they are super easy to pair, but they are very much optimised for using with iPhones and are somewhat pricey. 

Read our full review: Apple Airpods (2019)

Jabra Elite 65t

Jabra Elite 65t (Image credit: Future)

5. Jabra Elite 65t

One of the best true wireless headphones you can buy

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 5 hours | Battery life (charging case): 10 hours | Wireless range: 8m (24ft.) | NFC: N/A

Excellent battery life 
Balanced sound quality 
Limited eartip selection 
Limited water resistance 

Although these have been surpassed by the Elite 75t above, the Jabra Elite 65t still offer a great true wireless solution and are more affordable now to boot. 

After spending over a month with them, we came away impressed with the well-rounded package that Jabra managed to create: The earbuds offer a subtle, mature look and a reliable wireless connection, which isn’t always the case with truly wireless earbuds. Plus, they sound great compared to much of the competition. 

Read the full review: Jabra Elite 65t

The best wireless earbuds

Jaybird Tarah Pro

Jaybird Tarah Pro

1. Jaybird Tarah Pro

Well-crafted wireless earbuds for endurance athletes

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 20 grams | Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 103dB +/-2dB | Impedance: 16 Ohms | Battery life: 14 hours | Wireless range: 10m | NFC: No

Tactile rope cabling
Excellent battery-life
Jaybird app easy and effective
A little expensive

While Jaybird has consistently offered some of the best bang-for-your-buck Bluetooth 'buds, the sport-centric company's first foray into 'Pro' territory proves that they're not just for the conscious. 

Improving on almost everything that made its predecessors great, the Jaybird Tarah Pro offers excellent sound (tweakable via the simple Jaybird app), great comfort and fitting options, and all the conveniences you'd come to expect in the ultimate pair of wireless in-ears, such as a 14-hour battery life, magnetic driver housings, and a rugged design.

Read our full review: Jaybird Tarah Pro

Sony WI-1000X

Sony WI-1000X

2. Sony WI-1000X

Audiophile wireless earbuds for commuters

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 18 grams | Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz | Drivers: 10mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 95dB +/-3dB | Impedance: 20 Ohms | Battery life: 8 hours | Wireless range: 98 feet | NFC: No

Audiophile wireless sound
Good noise cancellation
Average battery life
Adaptive Sound Control is slow

Sony’s excellent WH-1000XM3 are the gold standard when it comes to active noise cancelling headphones but the WI-1000X is Sony's compact, in-ear alternative to the prize cans. 

These wireless noise-cancelling earbuds offer some of the best sounding wireless audio we’ve heard in a robust form factor that can survive the abuse of a daily commute or visits to the gym. The headline feature of the WI-1000X headphones is its excellent sound quality thanks to aptX HD support and, despite some average battery life, these in-ears do so much right that it more than makes up for it.

Read the full review: Sony WI-1000X

Jaybird Tarah

Jaybird Tarah

3. Jaybird Tarah

Jaybird's budget offering delivers the goods

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 14 grams | Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 99dB +/-3dB | Impedance: 16 Ohms | Battery life: 6 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: No

Affordable without too much sacrifice
Durable and compact design
Weaker battery life

While we've put the Pro version in at first place, the budget alternative offers an equally compelling package for a different reason. 

Weighing it at around half the price of the Tarah Pro, these trimmed-down buds offer much the same core experience (excellent and customisable sound with a rugged, sports-centric design) as their more expensive brethren. You will be losing a considerable amount of battery life (down to 6 hours) and some of the niftier features, but if you're conscious then the discount will more than make up for it.

Read the full review: Jaybird Tarah

Beats X

Beats X

4. Beats X

Good-sounding wireless earbuds that can charge in five minutes

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: 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

Balanced sound signature
Quick Charge feature
Relatively expensive
Lacking in clarity

There will always be those who are ready to complain about the sound performance of Beats headphones, but the inclusion of Apple's proprietary W1 chip has been a boon for the strength of their wireless connectivity. 

Functionally that makes these wireless earbuds a joy to use (with Apple products, at least), just don't expect the most detailed or broad soundstage. If you’re shopping for a no-fuss pair of earbuds that charge in 5 minutes and don’t mind spending a little extra money on them, the Beats X are for you.

Read the full review: Beats X

Bose QuietControl 30

Bose QuietControl 30

5. Bose QuietControl 30

In-ear noise-cancelling as good as any from over-ear cans

Acoustic design: N/A | Weight: 28 grams | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: 10m (33ft.) | NFC: Yes

Stellar noise cancellation
Long-lasting battery
Sound isn’t great for its price
Neckband will be divisive

Life is full of compromises, and it's no different with the Bose QuietControl 30s. On the positive side you get a level of noise cancellation that comes close to what's offered by the brand's over-ear headphones, but the concession here is on sound fidelity, which just isn’t on the same level as that of other in-ear or over-ear headphones we’ve tested. 

There's also that neckband which adds an unfortunate level of bulk to what should otherwise be a slimline pair of headphones. 

Read the full review: Bose QuietControl 30