While earbuds and in-ears can be excellent day-to-day headphones thanks to their portable and convenient design, they generally don't have the best microphone quality, especially if they rely on a Bluetooth connection. While dedicated Bluetooth headsets designed for phone calls may have better microphones, they often only have one earbud, making them less than ideal for listening to music at work or during your daily commute.
We’ve tested over 230 pairs of earbuds and in-ear headphones with microphones, and below are our recommendations for the best earbuds with a mic to buy. If you’re looking for our top picks for other earbuds and in-ear headphones, check our recommendations for the best earbuds and in-ears, the best truly wireless earbuds, and the best Bluetooth headsets for phone calls.
The best earphones with a mic that we've tested are the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless. These wireless in-ears have a flexible neckband, a decently comfortable fit, and good controls with call and music functions. Their in-line mic makes your voice sound clear and understandable over the phone, and it's okay at separating it from background noise.
They have a good build quality and a somewhat warm sound profile, with a very well-balanced mid-range that makes them well-suited for vocal-centric content like podcasts or phone calls. Their ANC feature does a very good job of isolating you from a range of background noise, from the low rumble of bus and plane engines to ambient conversations. They support NFC for easier pairing and can connect simultaneously with two devices.
However, their neckband can also get snagged on longer hair. Some people may find their in-ear fit fatiguing, especially when wearing them for long periods. They come with several different sizes of ear tips, including foam and silicone options, which can help with finding a more comfortable fit. Overall, if you like the neckband design, they're a satisfactory choice for making phone calls.
If you're looking for truly wireless earphones to use for phone calls, you may prefer the EarFun Air Pro True Wireless. These earbuds don't support multi-device pairing or have a companion app, unlike the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless, but their Bluetooth-only design makes them much smaller. They have onboard controls for answering and ending calls and have an integrated mic with satisfactory overall performance, so you should be easy to understand over the phone, even if you're calling from a moderately noisy place. The ANC feature also does a great job of isolating you from ambient sound. Their battery provides just over nine hours of continuous use from a single charge, and the case also holds a few extra charges. Their slightly v-shaped sound profile is suitable for many types of content and genres, but they don't come with any sound customization features like an EQ or presets.
If multi-device pairing or a customizable sound profile are important to you, try the Sony, but consider the EarFun instead if you want truly wireless earbuds or better battery performance.
The Bose QuietComfort 20/QC20 are the best earbuds with microphone that we've tested. These headphones have a unique in-line battery, which powers their active noise cancelling (ANC) system. It does an outstanding job of blocking out background noise so you can hear your call more clearly.
They have an in-line mic, which does a good job recording your voice, so you sound detailed and understandable. While the mic struggles to separate speech from moderate background noise, you shouldn't have too much of a problem if you're talking in quiet environments. These headphones also have a comfortable and lightweight fit, which is good if you're on long calls.
Unfortunately, they have a boomy and dark sound profile, which some users may find muddy. They also lack sound customization features like an EQ or presets to help adjust their sound to your preferences. That said, if you're looking for wired earbuds with a mic, their comfortable fit and powerful ANC and mic's good recording quality make them a suitable choice.
If you're looking for wired earbuds for phone calls and want to spend less, consider the 1More Triple Driver. They lack an ANC feature and isolate you from much less noise than the Bose QuietComfort 20/QC20, but their mic has a similarly good overall performance, and they're available at a much lower price point. They come with several differently-sized ear tips so you can find the best fit and have a slightly bass-heavy sound profile that should please fans of EDM and hip-hop. If you use them to take phone calls, your voice should sound clear and natural. The mic also has a decent noise handling performance. However, the earbuds don't isolate you from very much ambient sound, so if you use them to take a call in a loud place like a subway station, you may have trouble hearing it.
If you want headphones with ANC to help you focus on your phone calls, you may prefer the Bose. However, if you want to spend less and don't mind an option with fewer features, the 1More are also worth considering.
The best earbuds with a mic for gaming we've tested are the Turtle Beach Battle Buds. These unusually designed wired earphones combine the portable form factor of in-ears with a detachable compact boom microphone that does a decent job of making your voice sound full-bodied, natural, and reasonably free of ambient noise.
They have a stable fit in your ear and are very breathable, so they're not a bad choice for taking calls while you're out running. They do a passable job of blocking out background noise from the mid and treble range, so you shouldn't have too much trouble hearing your teammates or people on the other end of a call, though they don't filter out much in the way of low-end ambient noise like the rumble of a bus engine. They have a very bass-heavy sound profile that should emphasize the thump and punch of in-game sound effects and EDM and hip-hop tracks but is likely to overwhelm vocals and lead instruments in other genres.
Unfortunately, these in-ears aren't especially premium-feeling, with low-grade plastic and rubber construction as well as hard ear tips that can cause some discomfort during longer listening sessions. Otherwise, if you're looking for a pair of wired earphones that offer decent overall mic performance, these are a good option.
The best earphones with a mic that we've tested in the budget category are the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless. These Bluetooth earbuds are well-built and decently comfortable. Their integrated mic has an okay recording quality, so while your voice sounds thin over the phone, it should be clear and easy to understand.
They don't have an ANC feature but do a good job of passively isolating you from ambient sound, which can help you hear your phone call. They have a bass-heavy sound profile that adds some extra thump, rumble, and boom to mixes, which fans of genres like EDM and hip-hop may like. They're also stable enough to stay in place during workouts and have an IPX8 rating for dust and water resistance.
Unfortunately, while the mic has an okay noise handling performance, your voice may be drowned out if you're talking on the phone in a loud place, like a subway station. Their continuous battery life of roughly five hours is also short. That said, these earbuds are versatile, and they're a suitable choice if you're looking for budget-friendly earphones for calls.
Oct 08, 2021: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations in their categories and that the products are available.
Aug 12, 2021: Replaced the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 Truly Wireless with the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless as the 'Best Budget Earphones With A Mic' because the TaoTronics are currently unavailable.
Jun 14, 2021: Replaced the Beats urBeats3 Earphones with the Bose QuietComfort 20/QC20 as the Beats are getting harder to find in stock. Also replaced the 1More Piston Classic with the 1More Triple Driver as the Triple Driver offer a better mic performance.
Apr 16, 2021: Replaced Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless with Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless as 'Best Earphones With A Mic' due to superior overall mic performance. Replaced 'Neckband Alternative' category with 'Truly Wireless Alternative' category; replaced the corresponding Jabra Elite 65e Wireless pick with EarFun Air Pro True Wireless due to current availability. Replaced TaoTronics SoundLiberty 94 Truly Wireless with TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 Truly Wireless as 'Best Budget Earphones With A Mic' due to current pricing. Added Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless to Notable Mentions.
Feb 16, 2021: Replaced Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 with TaoTronics SoundLiberty 94 due to current availability. Added Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019 to Notable Mentions. Verified that the rest of the picks are still available and are the best fit for buyers.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best earphones with a microphone to buy for most people. 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 our all earphones we've tested with a mic. 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.