Truly wireless earbuds offer a bit more freedom than regular headphones. 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. Since they have no cables to restrict your movements when working out, you can give it your all without worrying about your headphones getting yanked out of your ears. The best truly wireless earbuds are compact enough to carry around in your pockets and have a durable case that provides some extra charges.
We've tested nearly 100 wireless earbuds and in-ear headphones and below are our recommendations for the best true wireless earbuds. They tend to cost more than ordinary earbuds, so check out our recommendations for the best cheap earbuds if you're looking for something more budget-friendly. You can also take a look at the best in-ears and earbuds, the best earbuds for iPhone, and the best wireless earbuds for more options.
The best true wireless earbuds for running and working out we’ve tested so far are the Jaybird Vista. For runners, having stable headphones that don't feel like they'll fall out at any time is important, which is exactly what these earbuds aim to do. They come with three sizes of stability fins to help you get a secure fit, and the 5.5-hour battery life should be enough to get you through most workouts. They're also rated IPX7 for water and sweat resistance, though that's not something we test for.
These earbuds sound fairly decent out of the box, but vocals and leads can sound boomy and cluttered. If the default sound profile doesn't suit your taste, you can always customize it through Jaybird's excellent mobile companion app, which has a large number of presets, a parametric EQ, and custom profiles created by other users. This app also lets you remap the touch controls on the earbuds if you don't like the default settings, and set an auto-off timer to help extend battery life.
The noise isolation of these headphones is mediocre; however, this comes down to personal preference, as some runners prefer to have full awareness of their surroundings, while others prefer to be completely shut off from the world. In any case, if you're in need of a pair of earbuds to take on your next run, these are highly recommended.
If you like true wireless earbuds but you want better noise isolation, check out the Amazon Echo Buds. They're not as comfortable as the Jaybird Vista Truly Wireless, as they have a rounder and bulkier design, but they do come with stability fins for a stable fit and seal. These headphones don't solely rely on passive isolation, though; their active noise cancelling is among the best that we've tested so far for wireless earbuds. They can block out noise across the entire frequency range. Of course, the ANC can be adjusted through the mobile companion app, which is also the same one used for Alexa and all of Amazon's smart devices. The pass-through feature lets you hear your surroundings without having to pause your music, and there's also a graphic EQ to customize the sound to your taste. Battery life averages around 5.3 hours, which is passable, and the charging case holds an additional five charges.
Overall, go with the Jaybird if you want a more comfortable fit, but for better noise isolation, the Amazon are worth a try.
The best truly wireless earbuds for iPhone we’ve tested so far are the Apple AirPods Pro. These truly wireless headphones stirred away from the typical design from the previous Apple AirPods, making them with a more typical in-ear design, with a great noise cancelling feature. Thanks to the in-ear silicone tips, these headphones are very comfortable, very well-built, and feel premium.
They have a fairly neutral sound profile, which is suitable for a wide variety of music genres. They have more bass than the original AirPods since they're closed-back headphones. These headphones also take advantage of Apple's H1 chip, which provides amazingly quick pairing with compatible iOS devices, and provide low-latency on top of a reliable wireless connection. Their ANC feature also does a good job of blocking out ambient noise, like reducing the rumbling of a bus engine or drowning out surrounding coworkers' conversations.
Unfortunately, these headphones don't have a dedicated app per se. They have a nice interface with iOS devices, but you don't have any way of customizing their sound profile. You can only remap some controls in the iOS interface, which you lose if you have an Android device. If you love the Apple ecosystem and the simplicity of their products, these are an amazing choice if you use an iPhone.
If you're looking for more sports-oriented truly wireless headphones, then check out the Beats Powerbeats Pro instead. Unfortunately, they might not be noise cancelling like the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless, but their design is very stable thanks to the ear-hook design, and their fit allows you to stay fairly aware of your surroundings if you're running outside. They also take advantage of the H1 chip and pair seamlessly on compatible iOS devices. They're rated IPX4 for water resistance, which is good, but slightly disappointing considering that some cheaper sports headphones have a higher rating. On the upside, they have about 11 hours of continuous playback on a single charge, for only 45 minutes of charging, which is excellent.
If you're looking for the best option available to complete your ecosystem, get the noise cancelling Apple headphones, but if you're looking for something for your workouts or runs, then the Beats are the better option.
If you're an Android user and are looking for the best true wireless earbuds, the Samsung Galaxy Buds are the best that we’ve tested so far. The all-black lightweight design provides a secure fit that's good enough for sports, and they don't need to be inserted deep into the ear canals, which may cause discomfort for some people. Even though the battery life is already excellent at around 7.5 hours of playtime, the included charging case provides an additional 6 to 7 hours.
The overall sound profile is well-balanced but a tad light on the bass. Although Samsung has a companion app for customization, it's limited to presets. The app also allows you to remap the touch controls on the earbuds, including voice commands and ambient noise mode, which lets you hear your surroundings without having to pause your music. Unfortunately, this app is only available on Android, so while the earbuds do work with iPhone, you can't customize them unless you pair them back to an Android phone.
If you need to take a call, the microphone is okay. Voices will generally sound thin and muffled, and it doesn't do so well when there's a lot of background noise. Overall, these are the best wireless earbuds for Android.
If you want the portability of truly wireless earbuds without having to sacrifice on sound quality, then get the Bose SoundSport Free; they’re the best sounding wireless earbuds we’ve tested so far. They also have a comfortable earbud design that fits securely without causing too much soreness, even after longer periods of use. Their earbuds are a bit on the heavy side, but they do feel very dense and durable.
These truly wireless earphones have a remarkably balanced sound profile and reproduce audio with impressive accuracy. They have deep bass that’s punchy without being muddy and their treble is clear and present, but not too bright. They bring a touch of extra presence to vocals and lead instruments, which makes them sound slightly forward, but they otherwise reproduce audio very faithfully.
Unfortunately, they have a rather bulky design that protrudes out of the ear quite a bit and are rather difficult to use. The controls aren’t the easiest to access and their buttons are very rigid, which makes them hard to press down. That said, they do feel like solid and well-built earbuds. If you don’t mind their stiff controls, then the Bose are a good choice for those who want well-built sports earbuds that still deliver good sound quality.
Good sounding earbuds like the Bose SoundSport Truly Wireless Earbuds are great, if you can hear them over the noisy urban life that we live in; for those looking for something more customizable, consider the Sony WF-1000XM3. They're on the bulky side and protrude from the ear, but their passive isolation coupled with active noise cancellation are fairly effective at blocking out ambient noise. The roughly 7-hour battery life is decent and the charging case holds three additional charges, should you run low or forget to charge them ahead of time. While Sony does provide a good selection of tips, they're all quite large and achieving a good fit is a challenge. The default sound is very good but there's a bit of sharpness in the treble, which can be adjusted with the excellent Sony Headphones Connect app, one of the best on the market.
If you want the best sounding truly wireless earbuds, the Bose are better, but if you want to be immersed in your favorite songs and tune out our ever-increasing noise pollution, get the Sony.
If you're shopping for true wireless earbuds on a limited budget, definitely check out the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2. They're an incremental improvement over their predecessors, with better build quality, an increased battery life, and some welcome additions such as their new mobile companion app. The touch controls have received a round of refinements as well, making them responsive and easy to use. If you don't like the way it's set up, though, the controls can be remapped within the mobile app, which also includes a few sound profile presets to suit your taste in music. That said, their default sound signature is fairly decent. The bass is well-extended without being overpowering, but the mids are recessed, causing vocals and leads to sound farther away. On the upside, they have great imaging and outstanding consistency, which means that they should sound the same every time, provided you have a good seal.
Even though these earbuds don't have active noise cancelling, they still perform admirably when it comes to noise isolation. Their performance in the bass range is sub-par, but they perform well above average in the mid and treble range, which is good for blocking out ambient chatter and high-pitched noises, such as those produced by AC units. Leakage performance is also exceptional, so you should be able to turn up the volume without bothering those around you.
All in all, if you're looking for quality earbuds without spending a fortune, get these.
The best cheap true wireless earbuds we've reviewed so far are the SoundPeats TrueFree. They offer good overall performance at a very reasonable price, especially for a true wireless design; they’re among the best cheap wireless earbuds we’ve tested. They're fairly comfortable and stable as their small design fits well into your ears without entering the ear canal too deeply. They're well-built, too, although their case doesn't come with a lid, which is disappointing.
Their sound profile is rather bass-heavy, which will suits itself well to genres like hip-hop, EDM, or dubstep. They do lack a bit of detail in the mid range, which affects the clarity of vocals. On the upside, they're rated IPX4 for water resistance, although we don't test this internally. Their in-ear fit also passively isolate a good amount of ambient noise, which can be useful if you want to block out the noise from a crowdy gym or during your daily commute.
Unfortunately, these headphones have a very short battery life, which is around 3 hours of continuous playback. While this might be enough for a couple of workouts or so, you'll probably have to charge them daily. Their case hold about four or five extra charges. Also, some people might be disappointed by their lack of volume control, which means you'll have to take out your device every time. Nevertheless, they offer a great performance-to-price ratio, but if a case with a lid and volume control are a must for you, check out the JLab Audio JBuds Air Truly Wireless.
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 (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones 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.
01/20/2020: Apple AirPods Pro are now the 'Best True Wireless Headphones for iPhone', the Beats Powerbeats Pro are now a 'Sports Alternative'. Minor text and structure changes.
12/19/2019: Replaced Jabra Elite Active 65T with Amazon Echo Buds, replaced Anker SoundCore Liberty Air with Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2, minor text and structure changes.
11/22/2019: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.