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. In comparison, Bluetooth headsets designed for phone calls may have better microphones, but they often only have one earbud, making them less than ideal for listening to music at work or during your daily commute. Luckily, there are more and more earbuds on the market that balance call quality and casual versatility, which is great if you work from home or take calls on the go.
We’ve tested over 245 pairs of earbuds and in-ear headphones with microphones, and below are our recommendations for the best earphones with mic capability 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 earbuds with microphone capability that we've tested are the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless. These wireless in-ears have an in-line mic that sits closer to your mouth than that of integrated microphones found in truly wireless earbuds. The mic makes your voice sound clear and understandable over the phone, and it's okay at separating it from background noise.
They have a flexible neckband, a decently comfortable fit, and good controls with call and music functions. Their somewhat warm sound profile has a very well-balanced mid-range, making them well-suited for vocal-centric content like podcasts or phone calls. Their ANC feature also 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 also support NFC for easier pairing and can connect simultaneously with two devices.
However, their neckband can also snag long 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.
The best truly wireless earbuds with a mic that we've tested are the Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless. These headphones have an integrated mic, and although it sits away from your mouth by design, it still delivers a fair recording quality. The mic can also separate your voice from moderate ambient noise, ensuring you're heard clearly, even if you're taking a call from a busy street.
Thanks to their multi-device pairing, you can stay connected to your smartphone and laptop at the same time. They also have a fairly comfortable fit and feel well-built. Their well-balanced sound profile is well-suited for different audio genres, although you can tweak their sound to suit your tastes using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets.
Unfortunately, they struggle to passively isolate you from the low rumble of bus engines. Their over five hours of continuous playback time may not be enough to get you through long days at the office without a recharge, either. On the upside, their carrying case holds roughly two additional charges, which is handy in a pinch.
The 1More Triple Driver are the best wired earbuds with a mic that we've tested. Like the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless, these buds have an in-line mic that sits closer to your mouth. As a result, their mic has a good recording quality, ensuring that your voice sounds clear and easy to understand. The mic can also separate your voice from moderately noisy environments like a busy street, but it has a harder time with louder sounds like a train pulling into the station.
These buds have a fairly balanced mid-range, so speech sounds detailed, although a bit muddy. If you want to use them to listen to music, their overall bass-heavy sound profile is well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop. Although their in-line controls are fairly basic, the buttons are easy to use, so you can quickly answer and end calls and adjust your audio's volume. The buds also have a decently comfortable fit and come with nine different pairs of ear tips to help you get the best fit.
Unfortunately, some users have reported receiving electrical shocks from their units. While we didn't experience this with our unit, it's still important to keep this in mind as it can indicate the manufacturer's quality control. If you prefer wired earbuds to ensure your audio is virtually latency-free, they offer a decent overall mic performance.
The best earbuds with a mic for gaming that we've tested are the SteelSeries TUSQ. Unlike other earbuds on this list, these buds have a detachable boom mic, which places the mic very close to your mouth and ensures that your voice sounds very clear and accurate. They have an in-line mic if you want to use the buds more casually. It has a somewhat similar recording quality to the boom mic, but your voice sounds a little less clear.
These buds have a decently comfortable fit with a malleable ear hook design. Their sound profile is very excited and delivers intense thump, rumble, and boom while dialogue and lead instruments remain bright, making them suitable for genres like rock and pop. If you're gaming, their sound profile can help bring out sound effects like footsteps. However, you may find their sound boomy as it can muddy voices in your mix. While their in-line controls are very simple, they have a dedicated mic mute button, which is great if you're always chatting with others while gaming.
Unfortunately, both the boom and in-line mic struggle to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise. This performance may not matter to you much if you plan to game in a quiet place like your room. Overall, these buds are designed with gaming in mind, but their detachable boom allows you to use them more casually when you're on the go.
The best earbuds with mic capability that we've tested in the budget category are the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless. These truly wireless earbuds have an in-line mic that makes your voice sound reasonably clear and natural. It has alright noise handling, meaning your voice isn't drowned out by moderate noise like people chatting.
While they don't have an ANC feature, they're very good at passively isolating you from office-type noises like background conversations and humming A/C units. They have a bass-heavy sound profile that fans of genres like EDM and hip-hop may appreciate and a very neutral mid-range response that means voices sound clear and accurate. They're also quite comfortable, well-built, and rated IPX8 for resistance against being submerged in water.
Unfortunately, they don't do a good job of blocking out bass-range noise like rumbling engines, so you may not be able to hear your call if you're in a loud environment like a subway station. They only have about five hours of continuous battery life, so they can't last through a 9-5 workday without recharging. Their case holds roughly four extra charges, so you can always top them up during your lunch break.
Apr 07, 2022: We've removed the Bose QuietComfort 20/QC20 as they've been discontinued by the manufacturer, and we've replaced them with the 1More Triple Driver.
Feb 07, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.
Dec 07, 2021: Replaced the Turtle Beach Battle Buds with the SteelSeries TUSQ as the SteelSeries' mic offers better overall performance. Also replaced the EarFun Air Pro True Wireless with the Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless as the Jabra are more versatile.
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.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best earphones with microphone capability 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.