Best Earbud Headphones: Our top pick of earphones and in-ear headphones for any budget of your choice.

Best Earbud Headphones

The best earbuds in 2020: We have list down our top pick of earphones and in-ear headphones for any budget of your choice.

Some wireless earbuds are true wireless styles too. These don’t have even wire or neckband linking the buds collectively, significance they look exactly like earplugs. Some other extras consist of noise-cancelling tech, contact controls, carry instances that may double as transportable chargers, plus some models boast an integral heart-rate monitor (the hearing is a good spot to gauge your pulse).

And today we’re models offering hands-free access to individual assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. Simply speak your demand, and they’ll perform your bidding. Picking the best earbuds for your needs can be a challenge. There’s so much choice out there, with old-school wired models, neckband-style wireless earphones, and true cellular earbuds to choose from.

The best earbuds of 2020 span all of these different form factors – the style you should go for is completely down to your needs. If you hate wires and have a decent budget, we recommend cable-free true wireless earbuds like the Sony WF-1000XM3 and the AirPods Pro. With all this tech on offer, it’s no wonder so many companies are releasing wireless earbuds. More choice is always good for consumers, but it can make finding the best wireless earbuds for you a bit of a minefield.

Thankfully help is at hand. We’ve rounded up the best wireless earbuds on the market, drawing on our extensive back catalogue of in-depth reviews of Bluetooth in-ears. So whether you want the comfiest pair on the planet, one with brilliant battery life or just want to know what are the best-sounding wireless earbuds in the marketplace, we’re sure to have a pair of buds for you.

1. 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone

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Specification

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 20 – 40,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 99 dB at 1KHz | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

If you like your headphones to come with a wire, the 1More Triple Driver in-ear headphones are the best earbuds you can buy in 2020. After spending a few weeks with both the 1MORE Triple Driver in-ear headphones and the 1Even more Quad Driver in-ear earphones we were blown away at just how much value each one gave in their prospective price ranges.

For $74, it’s hard to think of a better sounding and built headphone than the 1MORE Triple Driver. That said, if you want just that little extra refinement and luxury materials, the 1MORE Quad Drivers are still a bargain at twice the price.

Verdict 

After spending a few weeks with both the 1MORE Triple Driver in-ear headphones and the 1Even more Quad Driver in-ear headphones we were blown away at just how much value each one gave in their prospective price ranges.

For $100 (£100, about AU$168), it’s hard to think of a better sounding and built headphone than the 1MORE Triple Driver. That said, if you want just that little extra refinement and luxury materials, the 1MORE Quad Drivers are still a bargain at twice the price.

There’s very little we can fault the Triple Drivers for. Its rubber cable is annoying and its remote control feels cheap but these are just nitpicking. For the money, it’s hard to do better than 1MORE’s Triple Driver in-ear headphones.

2. Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds – Best Earbuds in 2020 Under $250

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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

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 your idea of the best earbuds are a little more flashy.

We did find that those with smaller ears sometimes find them a little uncomfortable, however, and their high price just stops them from beating Sony’s to the second place of this roundup.

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

Verdict 

The sound quality, battery life, and design of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are nothing short of excellent, and we would wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone looking for an alternative to the Sony WF-1000XM3. Those with smaller ears may find them a little uncomfortable, however, and their high price stops them from taking the top spot of the best true wireless earbuds of 2020.

4. Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 – Best Sports In-Ear Earbuds Under $70

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Specifications

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 15.5g | Cable length: 58 ± 2cm | Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000kHz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 92dB ± 3dB | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

The BE Sport4 earbuds have claimed 10-hour battery life, which we found to be pretty close to the mark in our time with them, and from empty you can get two hours of use from just a 15-minute charge – ideal for those needing a quick top-up while they put on their trainers and pack a gym kit.

Consider this a warning shot fellow audio manufacturers: build and audio quality do not need to be sacrificed to keep earbuds affordable.

Verdict

It’s impossible not to compare the BE Sport4 earbuds to their predecessors, the BE Sports activity3s, which we also awarded five stars in 2017. With a concerted effort to boost the audio quality, albeit with a corresponding jump in cost – from £64 to £90 – Optoma has managed to outdo itself.

The sound quality of both pairs is easily impressive enough to warrant everyday use outside of the gym, and sends a warning shot to manufacturers of headphones in this price range: build and audio quality does not need to be sacrificed to keep earbuds affordable. The NuForce BE Sport4 earbuds are sleek, high-performance buds that improve on their already five-star predecessors. They’re ideal for exercise, although any urbanite will also find their lightweight functionality highly appealing.

5.  Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

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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

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 comes with an outstanding 45 hours of battery life, and combine the brand’s award-winning engineering with the convenience of truly wireless listening. For a pair of truly wireless earbuds, the sound quality offered by the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s is sensational, winning it a place among the best earbuds of 2020. They may not have the noise cancellation technology provided by the Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds, but they are $100 (around £80) cheaper – and have superior battery life.

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 wireless earbuds simply blew us away, with a sound performance to rival even the best over-ear headphones. Cheaper than the Apple AirPods, they’re a fantastic option for anyone who wants audiophile sound quality without the wires.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a pair of audiophile true wireless earbuds, you can’t go wrong with the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s. They look great, feel comfortable, and the sound quality on offer is fantastic.
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 superior battery life.
They certainly outperform the 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.

6. RHA T20i (Gen2) – Best In-Ear Monitor Headphones Under 250$

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Specifications:

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 41 grams | Cable length: 1.35m | Frequency response: 16-40,000Hz | Drivers: DualCoil Dynamic Driver | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 90 dB/mW | Impedance: 16 ohms | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

The RHA T20i are an excellent sounding pair of in-ear headphones with a neat party trick: customizable filters. These filters thread into the headphone housings and let you choose from Bass, Treble, and Reference. Each filter makes an audible impact and is easy to swap out on the go. They produce an ambient sound which is most likely to be liked by an audiophile.
As a package, the build quality, sound, and customizable filter systems make the RHA T20i some of the best earbuds for audiophiles on the go. They sound so good, they made us want to give up our wireless headphones.

Verdict

They are phenomenal sounding in-ear headphones that you could tailor to your liking. The incorporated and easy-to-use filter systems make delicate, but perceptible variations in the headphone’s stability. These headphones audio so good, they’ll cause you to desire to ditch your cellular headphones.

The RHA T20i impresses with excellent sound, build quality, design and accessories. For $200 the RHA T20i is a good value and you’ll have to spend quite a bit more to do better in terms of sound.

7. Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Headphones

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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

The Bowers & Wilkins PI3 is the first neckband headphones for the company, and they’re a great start. Well-designed, comfy, and simple to use, their great sound makes them some of the best earbuds you can buy today. Thanks to dual drivers, these buds audio fantastic, with crisp highs, lively mids, and plenty of powerful basses. Look past the fairly unremarkable battery life and limited features, and you’ll be mostly very impressed by what these offers.

Verdict

So, Bowers & Wilkins PI3 isn’t perfect. Lack of waterproofing is annoying and we’d have liked a better battery life.

However, the sound quality is so exceptional, it makes up for some of the features we’re missing.

Comfy to wear when out and about, they’re just right for daily wear. Just be wary of heavy rain and don’t be surprised if they need recharging every couple of days. You won’t care so much though when you’re busy rediscovering your favourite music all over again.

8.  Sennheiser CX Sport wireless earphones – Best Running Headphone

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Specifications:

Weight: 15g | Battery life: 6 hours | Heart rate monitor?: No | On-ear controls?: No (in-line remote)

With a lively, bass-heavy presentation, and a comfortable fit, the Sennheiser CX Sport wireless earphones make an excellent pair of running headphones as well as some of the best earbuds of 2020. They don’t come with a heart rate monitor, but the inclusion of ear fins and sporty neon colour scheme makes them ideal for casual workouts. With a battery life of six hours, they’re great for your average operating session or even your daily commute – but marathon runners will want to look elsewhere.

While Sennheiser is certainly following the trend with its Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless earbuds, it’s reassuring to see new wireless buds that don’t entirely ditch the cable for those who want it – like the CX Sports wifi running headphones, which combine Bluetooth connectivity with the security of having a wire between the two buds.

Verdict

Sennheiser’s CX Sport Wireless earbuds are all about that bass – which is ideal if you’re looking for a pair of headphones that will bolster your running performance.

That’s not to say they aren’t well balanced; the CX Sports provide impressive audio quality across the board, and we were equally impressed by the clarity they provide to treble frequencies, even if we occasionally craved some more richness in the mid frequencies.

The sports-oriented touches that Sennheiser has given to the CX Sports activities could well make them the ideal workout headphones, with an attractive and rugged design and a comfortable fit. Of course, that lime green design won’t appeal to everyone, but we liked it.

9. OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 – Best Earbuds in 2020 for Cycling Under 150$

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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

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 incredible value in the neckband earphones 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 maybe $30 more expensive than their predecessors, however, the improved battery life and sound quality make up for that; it also makes it worth upgrading if you have the originals and are due to a new couple of wireless earbuds.

 Verdict

Overall, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 earphones are a very capable pair of headphones, with good connectivity, and attractive design – and at just $136 for black variant and $146 for green variant, they’re good value for money, too.

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 couple of running headphones.

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

10. Lypertek Tevi – Product Award Winner by Tech Radar in 2019

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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

If you’re looking for budget-friendly true wireless earbuds, then the Lypertek Tevi are a great choice – they’re among the best earbuds we’ve tried, especially given their low price tag ($89). With USB-C charging, a well-balanced sound, lengthy battery life, and waterproofing, they tick every box you could ask for, from what are a pair of budget buds.

The Lypertek Tevi, surprisingly, might just blow you away, punching well above their weight and rivalling the best earbuds from some of the biggest audio brands on the planet. They don’t break the mould when it comes to function and design of a pair of truly wireless earbuds. Left and right buds are placed in a pill-shaped charging case, slotting into place magnetically. The situation itself has a battery in it, and placing the buds inside will recharge them, provided the case itself has been topped up with power.

Pairing the Lypertek Tevi is slightly different from some other truly wireless buds we’ve used. Making use of Qualcomm’s TrueWireless Plus tech, you first pair the right earpiece (over Bluetooth 5.0), before being prompted to pair the left earpiece separately.

Verdict

Huge battery life, great sound, USB-C charging, and IPX7 waterproofing at a bargain basement price? The Lypertek Tevi true wireless earbuds are almost too good to be correct.

11. Apple AirPods Pro

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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

Apple’s noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds, the AirPods Pro, delivers a much better fit and an improved design compared to the original AirPods.

However, at $249, they’re pretty pricey too, and as such can’t be called the very best real wireless earbuds in terms of value for money – but they may be the best true wireless earbuds for Apple fans.

These snug-fitting earbuds offer a great sound, and the additional microphones provide strong noise-cancelling (particularly when commuting), as well as a useful Transparency mode, which does let the outside world in. And once iOS 14 is released this September / October, they’ll be sporting Dolby Atmos immersive good, too.

There’s a new AirPods model set to join the original buds and the newer Pros. The AirPods Professional Lite is rumoured to be a new, cheaper variant of the company’s popular truly wireless earbuds, and they could be released this year.

Verdict

If you’re an iPhone user and have been toying with the idea of going true wireless with your earbuds, then the Apple AirPods Pro is a great choice. The new noise-cancelling feature is neat and useful, and the overall improvements to sound and design couldn’t be more welcome – though, they are quite pricey.

12. SoundMAGIC E11BT

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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

The SoundMagic E11BTs are an extremely capable pair of wireless in-ear earphones and given their low price, it is difficult to fault them – the audio quality is fantastic and they look very elegant. They’re comfortable to wear thanks to ergonomically designed ear tips and a flat neckband that won’t irritate you while running or working out – and with an IPX4 rating, they should withstand sweaty sessions.

SoundMagic has cut the cord on its popular E11 series of in-ear headphones to bring us the new E11BT. With a similar shape and feel to its predecessors, the Electronic11BT connect to your device via Bluetooth and are connected by a durable neckband. They are available to purchase for  ($60) however, right now it looks like they are only open to buy in Europe, with no word on when you will be able to buy them in other territories.

Verdict

The SoundMagic E11BTs are an extremely capable pair of wireless in-ear earphones and given their low price, it is difficult to fault them – the audio quality is fantastic and design-wise, they look very elegant. They generally feel secure, although the option to add wingtips would be a great feature for those who want a little more stability when listening on the go. Battery life is pretty good at 20 hours, and they take just two hrs to charge fully via the micro-USB cable included in the box. If you’re looking for a fantastic couple of value neckband earphones, the SoundMagic E11BTs is a great option – here’s hoping they reach territories outside of Europe soon.

13. Jaybird Tarah Pro

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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

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.

Verdict

Jaybird is onto a winner with the first of its premium ‘Pro’ range of wireless sport headphones. The Jaybird Tarah Pro earbuds aren’t cheap but go all-out on the kind of durability and quality materials needed for truly intensive exercise or harsh weather conditions. The Jaybird Tarah Pro earbuds are well-crafted earbuds that truly cater to the needs of endurance athletes and fitness enthusiasts, and will suit anyone not willing to sacrifice audio quality in harsher outdoor conditions or indoor workouts, where you normally need earphones that are a bit harder and more durable.

There are small niggles over the limited voice AI, and some sudden jumps or drops in volume when switching from playback on your phone to the Tarah Pro’s remote. But the overall ease of use and the Jaybird app, and impressive clarity of the audio, makes these a fantastic choice of earphones, even for the high $159 (£139/AU$229) price. For something a bit cheaper, though, or that won’t be exposed to overly harsh conditions, you may be swayed by the Optoma BE Sport4 instead.

14. Bose SoundSport Wireless

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Specifications: 

Connector: N/A | Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: Yes | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 6 hours

Comfortable, great-sounding, splashproof and weather-resistant for sweaty outdoor workouts… these wireless earbuds have it all. They’re more versatile than most thanks to their wing tips to keep them in your ears, meaning you can head for a run and not worry about them falling out.

Sound is superb, full of punchy, powerful bass that should get you running that bit faster. They’re reliable too, with no issues with the wireless signal and easy-to-use controls. The neckband cable incorporates a remote housing part-way down, but the power pack appears to live in the earpieces, which may explain the modest six hours battery life.

On the upside, they’re IPX4 rated, meaning they can’t be submerged in water but will handle sweat and splashes better than normal earphones. The addition of NFC tech means they’re particularly easy to pair with Android devices. If the rather average battery life isn’t a deal-breaker, you’ll like these buds – they’re comfortable, sound great and enjoyable to use.

Verdict 

The Bose SoundSport Wirelesses are the more conventional siblings of the SoundSport Pulse. They lose heart-rate tracking but keep everything else. They are comfortable, sound great, are easy to use and don’t cost more than their high-quality rivals.

15. Bose SoundSport Free

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Specifications

Connector: N/A | Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: N/A | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 5 hours (15 hours with charging case)

They might not sound quite as peachy as the true wireless earbuds at the top of the list, but these Bose’s still come with plenty to recommend. They don’t burrow into your ears, so are comfortable to wear for extended periods.

Designed with sporty types in mind, the SoundSport Free in-ears are both sweat- and water-resistant, and have a suitably rugged feel to them. The earbud-mounted controls are very useful and save you taking your phone out when pounding the pavement. Talking of which, the earpieces are neatly held in place by Bose’s StayHear tips which feature little wings that rest against the inside of your ear for extra stability.

Five hours of battery life should be enough for a workout, but the solid plastic charging carry case serves up an extra ten hours of power. Not bad, but not a patch on the battery life of the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s (above),

Despite all the sporty touches, the SoundSport Frees have more than enough sonic appeal to satisfy commuters. Sound is bold and balanced, with rich, weighty bass and crisp highs. These sporty, feature-packed buds sound great and tick all of the boxes.

Verdict

The true wireless in-ear headphone market is booming at the moment, and the Bose SoundSport Free is good enough to give the very best a run for their money. They sound great and their array of features puts some rivals to shame.

16. JBL Reflect Flow – Best JBL Earbuds Under $150

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Specifications

Connector: N/A | Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: N/A | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 10 hours (30 hours with charging case)

JBL is a heavy hitter when it comes to wireless sports earbuds – and with the Under Armour Flash as its predecessor, the JBL Reflect Flow is a value-packed entrant to the flourishing true wireless earbuds market. The Reflect Flows are very good indeed, especially if you desire a bass-heavy sound for the gym – without resorting to on-ear or over-ear headphones. You get 10 hours of battery in the buds plus an extra 20 hrs from the case, and JBL promises a quick 10-minute charge will provide an hour’s playback.

With the right tip and fin combination, they produce a stable fit that holds them securely in place when tackling all manner athletic pursuits, while that extra helping of deep but accurate bass should see you over the finish line.

One notable feature is the ambient mode: press the left bud and the volume decreases, allowing you to hold a conversation without removing the buds. It’s worth comparing these to the sporty five-star Jaybird Vistas (below), but for fit and sound, we think the JBL Reflect Flows have the edge.

Verdict

We’re still waiting for a pair of ‘sport’ in-ears to truly wow us compared to their ‘regular’ true wireless brethren for sound. For an athlete-worthy fit alongside good sound, however, the JBL Reflect Flows are equal to the five-star Jaybird Vistas, and less expensive, too.

If you’re not after a pair of sports activity in-ears, there is more detail to be dug up by class leaders outside of this rather niche category. For true wireless sports in-ears though, the JBL Reflect Flow headphones are very good, especially if you want bass-heavy audio for the gym without resorting to cans – and the battery will outlast a seriously long run.

17. Jaybird Vista

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Specification

Connector: N/A | Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: N/A | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 6 hours (16 hours with charging case)

Whether you consider yourself a serious athlete or just enjoy a weekend jog in the park, the Jaybird Vista wireless earbuds should be on your shortlist. They’re true wireless, so it’s an earbud for each ear and the fit is extremely secure (aided by tips with integrated fins). IPX7 water- and sweat-proofing means they’ll withstand intense training sessions and the odd downpour, too.

Power up the clever Jaybird app and besides pairing you can also customise their sound for your ears and also customise the controls on each earbud. There’s USB-C charging – a five-minute ‘super-charge’ will give you one hour, while a full charge gives you six hours plus an additional 10 thanks to their charging case.

All this is topped off with exciting, entertaining audio and a big dollop of bass. What they lack in detail, they make up for in sheer enthusiasm. They might not sound as refined as the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s, but if you’re tired of feeling your earphones slowly falling out of your ears when out running, the Vistas are a superb choice.

Verdict

Whether you consider yourself a serious athlete or just enjoy a weekend jog in the park, the Jaybird Vista wireless earbuds should be on your shortlist. They’re true wireless, so it’s an earbud for each ear and the fit is extremely secure (aided by tips with integrated fins). IPX7 water- and sweat-proofing means they’ll withstand intense training sessions and the odd downpour, too.

Power up the clever Jaybird app and besides pairing you can also customise their sound for your ears and also customise the controls on each earbud. USB-C is charging – a five-minute ‘super-charge’ will give you one hour, while a full charge gives you six hours plus an additional 10 thanks to their charging case.

All this is topped off with exciting, entertaining audio and a big dollop of bass. What they lack in detail, they make up for in sheer enthusiasm. They might not sound as refined as the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s, but if you’re tired of feeling your earphones slowly falling out of your ears when out running, the Vistas are a superb choice.

18. RHA TrueConnect

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Specification

Connector: N/A | Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: N/A | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 5 hours (+20 with case)

RHA has got in on the true wireless act with the talented £150 TrueConnects, which sound good and cost roughly the same as a pair of AirPods. Unfortunately, unlike Apple, RHA has not quite managed to nail the connectivity. As a result, we experienced the odd Bluetooth blip.

Everything else about the TrueConnects is well-considered though. The battery lasts around five hours between charges and the supplied charging case can recharge the buds up to four times, prolonging the battery life for an extra 20 hours. Comfort is excellent, with surprisingly effective passive isolation when used with the provided Comply foam tips (you also get several sets of standard silicone suggestions in the box).

That every other part of the hardware seems well-considered only makes this more disappointing. The case has a handy little triple LED indicator to show the battery level, it fast charges the earphones and the earpieces themselves are IPX5 water-resistant, which means they are ‘sweat-proof’.

The controls on the back of each earpiece are also simple to use for the basics but offer comprehensive control too. There’s a single button on each – long-pressing either switch turns the pair on and off, while a short press acts as play/pause. Double and triple gestures alter volume, change tracks and connect to your phone’s digital assistant, though you may need to dig the manual out to learn the appropriate moves.

Verdict

The RHA TrueConnects are a sure sign that true wireless earphones are coming of age in terms of their sonic performance. Their connection performance falls behind the best, though. Inter-ear blips are common, demonstrating Bluetooth 5.0 alone isn’t enough to fix the occasional signal issues.

19. Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2 Wireless

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Specification

Connector: N/A | Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: Yes | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 7 hours

At just $25, these are some of the most affordable wireless earbuds on the market, and the best value for those on a budget. Sound is full and fun, and while it won’t trouble a high-end pair, it’s very impressive given the price.

As you might expect, features are thin on the ground. The cable can be removed from the flexible neckband and the battery life is a decent 6-7 hours. You get a basic three button remote just below the left earpiece and a little plastic fastener that lets you loop the cable together when you’re wearing – but not using – them.

There are no frills here, so aptX, fast charging and NFC are all absent from the spec list. But if you’re looking for affordable wireless headphones, these offer dynamic and fun sound for the money, with a relatively wide and well-separated soundstage.

They lack just a little audio finesse – but they cost a fraction of the price of a premium pair. And for that reason, they come highly recommended.

Verdict

The Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2 Wirelesses aren’t the last word in audio quality and they aren’t packed with tech features. They are, however, among the most affordable wireless earphones we can recommend. Solid, enjoyable sound, good comfort and a very attractive price make them a good budget buy.

20. Samsung Gear IconX

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Specification

Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: N/A | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 7 hours

With improved battery life, Samsung’s upgraded Gear IconX is a solid pair of wire-free fitness earphones. The buds fit perfectly (in my experience), sound great and now can last for a few days’ worths of workouts on a charge. The deep Galaxy smartphone integration is a bonus for Galaxy owners.

However, the IconX’s fitness-tracking features leave a lot to be desired, so if you’re looking for a pair of heart-rate-monitoring headphones with advanced workout advice, LifeBeam’s Vi headphones are a better bet, though they’re not completely wireless. But if you are a Galaxy user who wants a couple of AirPod-like earbuds that can survive a run (and the rest of your day, too), the Gear IconX is a winner.

You can usually rely on Samsung when it comes to things like build quality, innovation and performance. So it’s no surprise that these true wireless buds boast a healthy battery life, a lengthy spec list and superb touch-sensitive controls.

Their elegant design and claimed seven hours battery life were enough to catch our attention. But on closer inspection, the Gear IconXs is crammed with features. Unlike most rivals, these buds boast a 3.4GB internal memory – so you can store up to 1000 tracks in case your phone runs out, or you want to leave it at home while jogging. You also get a built-in Running Coach feature, which logs your time, distance and burned calories in conjunction with Samsung’s S Health app.

While there is a touch of coarseness through the midrange and treble, the sound is musical, with a finely-balanced frequency range and a generous helping of bass. We heartily recommend you audition these talented buds.

Verdict

The Gear Icon Xs throw Samsung’s previous headphone form out of the window – not only do they boast a lengthy feature list, but they’re talented performers too.

21. Philips SHB4385 True Wireless Bass+

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Specifications 

Connector: N/A | Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: N/A | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 6 hours (12 hours with charging case)

When we first clapped eyes on these true wireless earbuds from Philips, we were impressed but not bowled over. Sure, they pack plenty of basses, and while the detail is a little lacking, the sound boasts a lot of energy. But at £100, they were a three-star product. Fast forward a couple of years, and the price has dropped to around half that. Which makes them a different proposition altogether. We are referring specifically to the SHB4385 – a pair of true wireless in-ears shoehorning an impressive 8.2mm driver into each earpiece in their quest for that much-coveted low-end heft.

They’re aimed at commuters rather than gym-goers, but they fit snugly and remain secure – even when we shake our head. Pairing them with a device such as a smartphone is easy, and battery life is decent enough. You get six hours playback, plus another six hrs via the supplied charging case.

Philips has managed to shoehorn an extraordinary 8.2mm driver into every earpiece, so these are perfect for those who crave fat, juicy bass. The focus on the low-end comes at the expense of refinement, but you get a decent amount of detail for your money. A good option for those seeking budget true cellular buds with plenty of grunts.

Verdicts

Still, there is enough overall detail to make the SHB4385s listenable, if not overly insightful, and the design does keep out a fair bit of outside noise as we meander around the office or across the road to buy some lunch.

Mostly, though, these are the answer for anyone seeking true wireless in-ears at a reasonable price, and whose main concern is big fat low end. Philips has certainly not created an all-rounder, but show us a person who says they don’t love sometimes like a bit of bass and we’ll show you a fibber.

22. Technics EAH-AZ70W Review

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Bluetooth version: 5.1 | aptX HD: No | Noise-cancelling: Yes | Battery life: 6 hours (+12 hours from charging case)

They include Technics’ noise-cancelling tech which uses three mics in each earbud to help reduce background chatter. You can alter the strength of the noise-cancelling in the Technics Audio Connect companion app, where you can also select from a range of different sound modes and even track down the whereabouts of your earbuds. The connection is solid and stable, with the comfy earbuds favouring a lively, entertaining sound with plenty of punch. Bass goes particularly deep and sounds defined with it. These aren’t the cheapest pair of wireless earbuds in this list by any stretch, but they are a pleasant and talented proposition worth considering.

Battery life is around 18 hours from a single charge (six from the buds, 12 from the USB-C charging case), which is perfectly adequate in practical terms, though less than the 24 and 28 hrs playback time of the Sony WF-1000XM3 and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds respectively. Naturally, you should be able to squeeze more hours out of them with noise-cancellation turned off. And, if you are after a quick fix, a 15-minute fast charge provides 70 minutes of playback.

The Technics EAH-AZ70Ws was first unveiled during CES 2020 in January this year, where the company detailed its three-pronged approach for its first truly wireless earbuds – combining excellent noise-cancellation, stable connectivity and class-leading sound quality.

Technics created its noise-cancelling technology, called Dual Hybrid Noise-Cancelling Technology, which essentially adds digital processing to the traditional analogue feedback method. It is handled by three microphones in each earbud, blocking unwanted noise both inside and outside of the headphones. It significantly reduces background chatter and road noise but doesn’t completely silence them.

The Technics Audio Connect companion app offers the means to adjust noise-cancellation – helpful if you’re after a diluted effect – and is also where you can activate Ambient Mode, a common feature of truly wireless buds that amplifies external noise so the user can hear traffic noise or train announcements. The app also lets you select sound modes, view battery status, and help find your misplaced or stolen buds by revealing their last known location.

To improve the connection stability, Technics has chosen to keep the left and right earbuds independent. Each receives a signal from the music source, rather than one bud passing the signal to the other channel in the more common master and slave configuration.

Verdict

While the Technics may not be the best-value noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds out there, they are still a good proposition. They’re entertaining to listen to, comfortable to wear and pleasant to use. And for that reason, their inclusion on your shortlist is worthwhile.

23. Libratone Track Air+

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Connector: N/A | Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: N/A | OS support: iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: Yes | Battery life: 6 hours (+18 with case)

The Track Air+ headphones are one of two true wireless earbuds launched by Libratone, alongside the Monitor Air. This iteration has an inferior battery life to its non-plussed sibling, at a still decent six hours from the buds, plus a total of three extra charges or 24 hours total from the case. The Track Air+ headphones, however, also boast noise-cancelling tech.

Noise-cancelling is a tricky technology to implement in a pair of wireless earbuds, but these Libratones pull it off remarkably well. The Danish company has achieved a stylish design, too. The buds are nice and light, and their pill-shaped charging case is one of the smallest we’ve seen. What’s more, you can charge the case wirelessly – by sitting it on Libratone’s Coil charger, which resembles a drinks coaster.

Battery life is a decent six hours from the buds, plus a total of three extra charges or 24 hours total from the situation. Pairing the earphones with Libratone’s app can be a lengthy process, but once completed, the app provides three noise-cancelling options (manual, smart and ambient). It’s some of the most versatile and convincing noise-cancelling we’ve heard. They might not deliver the most refined or thrilling sound for the money, but it’s still clear and detailed with a welcome lack of outside noise. They’re a comfortable fit too. Overall, these small, light buds are very good – but the user experience isn’t the best.

Verdict

For true wireless in-ears to offer noise cancellation this variable, intelligent and effective is commendable. The buds are also small, light and portable, which is always positive. But, when listening to music, the overstated upper midrange means that for dynamics, timing and enthusiasm, we’d classify the Libratones as good but not great.

24. Creative Outlier Gold Review

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The Creative Outlier Gold is a truly special pair of wire-free earbuds when you consider the immense amount of battery life you get for the price. They offer an Airpod-slaughtering 14 hours of power when out of the charging case, which offers about 24 hours of extra juice. They’ve also got an IPX5 sweat-proof rating, and AptX and AAC support for high-quality wireless audio. Why aren’t they at the top of this list? The fit, which-though very comfortable-is not quite as cosy during longer listening sessions as the 1More Stylish.

The sound quality of the Creative Outlier Gold is warm and punchy. The tonal curve is slight “U” shaped, which means bass and highs are elevated with the mids being somewhat recessed. Bass quality is good, with beats hitting hard without sounding distorted or bloated. However, the bass was overwhelming for some tracks, burying the mids. Highs feature good resolution and extension, and never sound harsh.

The headphones support Super X-Fi audio, which is software that gives the music a simulated soundstage. This means music sounds like it’s coming from all around you instead of between your head.

We tried Super X-Fi on our iPhone Xs and while the songs did sound dramatically wider and three-dimensional, it also sounded quite artificial. Plus, Super X-Fi only assistance music that’s locally stored on a device, making it incompatible with streaming services. While a nice addition to the overall package, Super X-Fi doesn’t need to be enabled to enjoy solid audio high quality from the Outlier Gold.

Verdict

The Creative Outlier Gold features everything we liked about the Outlier Air – and more. The finish is better, the battery life has been extended and the sound is better balanced. Wireless connectivity has been improved, too. While the Super XFI implementation is a bit of a bust, and the competition tough, these remain a likeable pair of wireless earbuds.

25. Shure SE-112GR – Best Corded Earphones Under $50

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The Shure SE112 Sound Isolating Earphones provide good sound quality and secure ear inserts for an affordable price, but they’re a hassle to put on.

When I have my earbuds in, I expect to hear nothing but my music. The Shure SE112 Audio Isolating Earphones make that happen by blocking out ambient noise from the outside world. At $49, they’re an inexpensive pair of buds that offer solid sound quality that would make them seem pricier. However, the inconvenient over-ear wire design prevents them from being stellar.

They look like the same ugly earbuds that came with your first portable audio player, but what the Shure SE-112GR lacks in looks, it makes up for in sound quality. We’ve recommended various iterations of the SE-112 to friends and family since the iPod era.

They’re small, comfy, and have surprisingly robust bass for headphones this little and cheap. They even come with foam ear tips that can block out up to 37 decibels of outside noise, making them great for coffee shop workers who want to tune out the multilevel marketing pitch going on at the table next door.

Verdict

The Shure SE112 is remarkable for being unremarkable. Its design is understated, it’s sound laidback and it has no creature comforts like a mic or remote. But that didn’t stop me from really enjoying my time with them.

It’s challenging for companies to build a quality product within a tight budget and I think Shure did a great job with the SE112. You can tell most of the money was spent on the build and audio quality, things I look for first in an earphone.

If you’re looking for a durable set of earphones for your commute, you’ll be very happy with the Shure SE112. Its unrivalled sound isolation and balanced audio signature mean you can enjoy all types of music on the go. Plus the SE112 is built for abuse and they’re backed by a generous two-year warranty in case anything goes wrong.