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The 7 Best True Wireless Earbuds - Spring 2019
Reviews

Best True Wireless Earbuds
345 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

Truly wireless earbuds offer a bit more freedom than regular headphones. They have no cables to hinder your movements when working out, and they're typically compact enough to conveniently carry around in your pockets without much hassle. They offer a lot of options for all situations, whether you want to use them at the gym, at the office, or during your commutes.

We've tested 285 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best true wireless earbuds in 2019. They are pricier than common earbuds, so check out our recommendations for the best cheap earbuds if you're looking for something more budget-friendly, and also the best in-ears and earbuds and the best wireless earbuds for more options.

  1. Best Truly Wireless Earbuds: Samsung Gear IconX Truly Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.1
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    7.2
    Critical Listening
    What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
    Score components:
    7.4
    Commute/Travel
    What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    8.2
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    7.3
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    5.5
    TV
    Score components:
    4.9
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best true wireless earbuds that we’ve tested so far are the Samsung Gear IconX. They are more feature-packed than most of the other truly wireless options on this list, and they have a compact, decently comfortable in-ear fit. They’re sufficiently stable for sports and they block enough noise passively to be suitable for most commutes.

    The IconX have a decent sound quality that you can further EQ with the pre-set provided by their companion app. The app also gives you access to a wealth of sports-oriented features like a step counter and a virtual coach to keep track of your workout progress. They even have 4GB of onboard storage, so you don’t need to have your phone on you to listen to music while exercising or running outdoors.

    Unfortunately, the IconX don’t have the best sweat-resistance. They also have a relatively short battery life compared to some of the other truly wireless options we’ve tested, like the Apple AirPods. On the upside, they perform well overall and they’re versatile enough to be a good choice for most use cases.

    See our review

  2. Better-Sounding Alternative: Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless

    Type : Earbuds
    Enclosure : Semi-Open
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If sound quality is the most important thing for you, the best sounding truly wireless earbuds we’ve tested so far are the Bose SoundSport Free. They’re not as portable as the Samsung Gear IconX because of their bulky charging case, but they have the most neutral-sounding sound signature. They have a very comfortable earbud-like fit and don’t enter your ear canal as deeply typical in-ears. They are well-built headphones that should survive a few drops, and they shouldn’t pop out of your ears during physical activities.

    Unfortunately, they are fairly bulky for truly wireless buds, just like their case, and their semi-open design also means they barely isolate any noise, which doesn’t make them a great choice for commuting. That said, runners might like being more aware of their surroundings. They also don’t have an app to customize their sound profile, but if you’re looking for a great neutral sound, you won’t need one. On the upside, they have about 5 hours of battery life, but the case gives you two more charges for a total of about 15 hours.

    See our review

  3. Alternative For iOS: Apple AirPods 1 Truly Wireless 2017

    Type : Earbuds
    Enclosure : Open-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you have an iOS device and want the best battery life for any truly wireless headset we’ve reviewed, go for the Apple AirPods. They don’t sound as good as the Bose SoundSport Free, but they have a reliable and stable wireless connection with fairly low latency, especially on iOS devices. This makes them a decent option for watching videos and gaming wirelessly on your iPhone or iPad.

    They don’t have an in-ear fit like the Samsung Gear IconX, so they don’t isolate as well in noisy conditions. However, their open fit makes them an okay option for running outdoors as long as they maintain a stable fit in your ears, since they do not come with any stability fins or tip options. Overall, if wireless reliability, latency, and comfort are your main priorities, the Apple AirPods fit the bill.

    See our review

  4. Best Truly Wireless Earbuds For Sports: Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    7.0
    Critical Listening
    What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
    Score components:
    7.5
    Commute/Travel
    What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    8.0
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    7.2
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    5.5
    TV
    Score components:
    5.0
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you’re looking for truly wireless earbuds for primarily running or working out but versatile enough for most uses, then go with the Jabra Elite Active 65t instead. They won’t have as many features as the Samsung Gear IconX, but their build quality is better and more resistant to sweat. They also have physical buttons, so their control scheme is easier to use and more accurate.

    They have about 5 hours of battery life for one charge, and the carrying case gives you two additional charges. They are also quite versatile since you can have access to a good 5-band EQ in the Jabra Sound+ mobile app. The Elite Active 65t have a premium feeling and a high-end look.

    Unfortunately, they’re slightly less stable and not as comfortable as the IconX because their design is a bit bulkier, and it’s harder to find a great fit for some. On the upside, they passively block a lot of noise, which also makes them a good choice for commuting. Overall, the Elite Active 65t are very versatile true wireless earbuds.

    See our review

  5. Option With A More High-End Feel: B&O PLAY Beoplay E8 Truly Wireless 2018

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want a more premium-looking truly wireless headset, then get the Beoplay E8. They’re one of the pricier truly wireless headphones we’ve tested and may not provide the best value for all listeners, but they’re more comfortable than the Jabra Elite Active 65t. Their in-ear fit blocks a lot of noise passively and doesn’t leak much at high volumes, which makes them a good option for commuters. They have a good build quality that feels sweat resistant and should be sufficiently durable for most uses. They also perform slightly better than the Samsung Gear IconX and the Jabra Elite Active 65t for watching videos, thanks to their lower latency. Furthermore, their charging case is better designed than most; it looks and feels more high-end and will easily fit into all your pockets.

    Unfortunately, they have slightly confusing controls and a somewhat sharp sound that doesn’t get as loud as the Jabra Elite Active 65t. That said, if a premium design is what you’re looking for and budget is not much of an issue, then the Beoplay are a well-designed option that is versatile enough for most daily routines.

    See our review

  6. Best Mid-Range Truly Wireless Earbuds: Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.1
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    7.3
    Critical Listening
    What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
    Score components:
    7.5
    Commute/Travel
    What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    8.1
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    7.4
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    5.6
    TV
    Score components:
    4.6
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want cheaper versatile truly wireless in-ears with decent sound, the best true wireless earbuds in the mid-range category are the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air. They don’t have the features of the Samsung Gear IconX, the premium feel of the B&O Play E8, nor the durability of the Jabra Elite Active 65t, but they’re still well-rounded in-ears that are fairly inexpensive considering the value they provide.

    The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air are well-designed and look similar to the Apple AirPods but with a glossy finish. They’re fairly comfortable and since they fit quite deeply in the ear canal, they have great passive isolation. They sound decent and balanced enough to be well-suited for a wide variety of music genres.

    Unfortunately, their touch-sensitive control scheme doesn’t offer the same level feedback as models with voice prompts or even physical buttons but they’re still a decent choice for those looking for versatile truly wireless in-ears.

    See our review

  7. Best Budget Truly Wireless Earbuds: SoundPeats TrueFree/True Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.8
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    6.7
    Critical Listening
    What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
    Score components:
    7.3
    Commute/Travel
    What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    8.1
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    5.4
    TV
    Score components:
    4.4
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you’re on a tight budget and are looking for the best bang for your buck, get the SoundPeats TrueFree; they're the best truly wireless earbuds in the budget category. These earbuds don’t sound as good as the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air and aren’t as feature-packed as the Samsung Gear IconX, but they’re surprisingly well-built for their price. They’re very well-designed, considering how much they cost, and have a nice, stable fit that is great for sports.

    The SoundPeats TrueFree have an excellent wireless range, and if you have a good Bluetooth source you should be able to leave your smartphone or PC in one room and enjoy uninterrupted audio in nearby rooms without a problem. They have a bass-heavy sound that will be appreciated by fans of bass-intensive music like hip-hop or EDM, but they’re not very well-suited for more vocal-centric music like pop, jazz, or even classical. They have good isolation performance, though, and hardly leak any sound at all.

    Unfortunately, the TrueFree’s battery life is quite sub-standard, even for truly wireless earbuds. They last just over 3 hours on a charge, which isn’t very long. Thankfully, their charging case stores an additional 4 or 5 extra charges, so they can last for up to around 5 hours if you take breaks to charge them throughout the day.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • JBL Free Truly Wireless: A budget and good sounding truly wireless in-ear. Unreliable wireless connection and no volume controls.  See our review
  • Jaybird Run Truly Wireless: A cheaper sports alternative to the Jabra Elite Active 65t. Awkward control scheme, bulky case, and slightly cheap looking design.  See our review
  • Jabra Elite Sport Truly Wireless: A better built and more rugged alternative to the Elite Active 65t. Less comfortable overall and not as good a value as the 65t.  See our review
  • Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless: A noise cancelling truly wireless in-ear. Good build quality and design. Poor controls and mediocre at best noise isolation for an ANC enabled headphone.  See our review
  • Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless: A cheaper and less sports-oriented variant of the Elite Active 65t. Less sweatproof and worse charging case.  See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best true wireless earbuds and in-ear headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for truly wireless earbuds and in-ear headphones. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.

 

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