In this day and age, there's an expectation that you can answer calls quickly and easily. Whether you're working from home and joining a meeting, or if you're getting a call from family on the go, you'll want earbuds with a solid mic performance. If you're taking calls from a noisy office or a busy street, blocking out background noise can make it easier to understand your conversation. This article mostly covers truly wireless earbuds. They don't offer the best performance regarding calls, especially when compared to dedicated earbuds & Bluetooth headsets for phone calls, but they maximize versatility and portability.
We've tested over 275 pairs of earbuds and in-ear headphones with microphones, and below are our recommendations for the best earbuds for calls to buy. If you want more recommendations, check out our picks for the best earbuds with a mic. If you don't mind an over-ear fit, you'll also want to check out the best office headphones.
The Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless are the best earbuds for phone calls we've tested. Like most Bluetooth earbuds, they have an integrated mic, and while it doesn't make your voice sound natural or full, you'll be easy to understand. It has decent noise handling, so your voice won't be drowned out by loud background noise like a truck going by or a train pulling into the station. They support multi-device pairing, so you can easily jump from meetings on your computer to a call on your phone. With head gesture controls, you can even answer or end a call by moving your head.
These are some of the best earbuds we've tested overall, partly thanks to their outstanding noise isolation performance. If you use the included foam ear tips and activate 'Adaptive Sound Control' in the app, they block out a wide range of noise, so you can hear calls you take on the bus or in a busy office. Their well-balanced sound profile makes voices clear and detailed, and they last for nearly nine hours of continuous use.
They're comfortable for most people, but you may find that the ear tips put pressure on your ear canals after a while. If you want a more comfortable option for long days, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are worth considering. Their mic has sub-par noise handling, so they aren't as good for phone calls from noisy places, but it also makes your voice sound a bit more natural and full-bodied. They offer similar noise isolation and a more comfortable fit for most people.
If you're looking for a cheaper option, check out the Razer Hammerhead Pro HyperSpeed True Wireless. These less expensive earbuds don't offer the same level of noise isolation as the Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless, especially with low-pitched noise, like rumbling engines, so they aren't as suitable for calls from noisy places like subway stations. However, they still do a good job of reducing ambient sound so you can hear your call. Their wireless USB-C dongle works with phones and computers (as well as PlayStation consoles), and if you're connected that way, they offer a much better mic recording quality and a stronger noise handling performance, so your voice sounds clear and understandable, even in noisy environments.
They have a well-balanced sound profile that makes it easy to understand whoever you're speaking with, and they have onboard controls for answering and ending calls. However, they have a short continuous battery life of roughly five hours. They support Bluetooth when you'd rather not connect with the dongle, but switching between connection types can be a pain. They also don't support multi-device pairing, so you'll have to re-pair if you need to switch between your phone and computer.
The best Bluetooth earbuds for phone calls in the mid-range we've tested are the Nothing Ear (2) Truly Wireless. Although their ANC doesn't perform quite as well as the Razer Hammerhead Pro HyperSpeed True Wireless', they offer a very good mic performance. The integrated mic offers a fairly good recording quality, making your voice understandable over the phone. It almost matches Razer's noise-handling performance, so background noise at the office won't drown out your voice.
With the ANC on, they last over five and a half hours, which may not get you through long days without a recharge. Luckily, their carrying case holds four extra charges if needed. Their sound is versatile enough for most kinds of audio content as well. You can answer and end calls with the earbuds' onboard controls. If you're looking for buds with more call-centric features, consider the Jabra Elite 7 Pro True Wireless instead. Their app offers sidetone, which allows you to monitor your voice during a call, and EQ presets that affect how the other person's voice sounds. However, the mic's noise handling is significantly worse.
Shopping on a budget? Then you'll want to check out the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless, the best wireless earbuds for phone calls at this price point. These earbuds have been in and out of stock at some retailers lately, but you can get them directly from the manufacturer's website if they aren't available. These buds aren't as comfortable as the Nothing Ear (2) Truly Wireless, but they have a good enough mic recording quality for calls.
However, they have sub-par mic noise handling, so you'll need to make calls from quieter places to ensure your voice is easily understandable. Their ANC feature blocks out more noise than the Nothing Ear's, which is impressive for budget-friendly buds. They also last over eight hours continuously, which is good for long days at work. Their ANC system makes these buds stand out from other budget-friendly picks. If you want to focus on your call, they can easily reduce noise, like traffic from an open window of office chatter.
On the other hand, if you're more concerned about staying aware of your surroundings, you might prefer a mono headset like the Jabra Talk 45 Bluetooth Headset. This headset consists of one earbud with a tiny boom mic, so you can keep one ear free when you're on the phone. It makes your voice sound clear and does a passable job of separating it from background noise. As expected, its sound profile isn't good for music, but voices reproduce accurately. It supports multi-device pairing, and you can set it up to read out your text messages when you can't look at your phone.
Wired earbuds are worth checking out if call quality is your top priority. While they're more unwieldy than their truly wireless counterparts and usually lack useful features like customizability or noise cancelling, they have in-line mics rather than integrated ones. This design puts the mic closer to your mouth, making it easier for the mic to separate speech from background noise. Enter the Apple EarPods. Even though they're a lot older and less refined than other buds on this list, they have a great recording quality. They can also separate speech from ambient noise so that you're heard clearly.
These budget-friendly buds may not be as well-built as the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless since their cable is pretty flimsy, but some people may find their one-size-fits-all design more comfortable than an in-ear fit. They also have a well-balanced sound that ensures voices sound clear and natural. They lack low-bass, so they may not be ideal if you want to listen to genres like EDM or hip-hop in your downtime. They also don't block out background noise, so it can be harder to hear your conversation well if you're calling from a noisy office.
Sep 11, 2023: Replaced the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless with the Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless as the 'Best Earbuds For Phone Calls'. Also replaced the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 with the Razer Hammerhead Pro HyperSpeed True Wireless as the upper mid-range pick.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best earbuds for calls 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 all earbuds, sorted by phone call usage. 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.