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The 7 Best Earbuds For Phone Calls - Winter 2023 Reviews

Updated

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 performances when it comes to calls, especially when compared to dedicated earbuds & Bluetooth headsets for phone calls, but they maximize versatility and portability.

We've tested over 255 pairs of earbuds and in-ear headphones with microphones, and below are our recommendations for the best earbuds for calls to buy. If you're looking for 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.


  1. Best Earbuds For Phone Calls

    The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are the best earbuds for phone calls we've tested. Their mic performance may not be the best, but they have a premium design and solid extra features for casual use. Their noise cancelling (ANC) system can cut down an outstanding amount of background noise around you, helping you focus on your call. With the ANC on, their battery lasts well over six hours continuously. Their carrying case also offers three extra charges if you need it.

    Although the mic sits far away from your mouth, it can still capture your voice fairly clearly. However, this distance impacts noise handling, or the ability of the mic to separate speech from background noise. As a result, your voice can be drowned out by background noise, so if you're taking important calls, it's best to do so from quiet places. The buds also have a more bass-heavy sound profile out of the box than what we measured. This is due to the shape of our test rig's ear canals, so subjectively, you'll hear more thump, rumble, and boom than what our graph shows. This extra bass muddies vocals and instruments, but you can customize their sound via their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. Unfortunately, they don't support multi-device pairing, so you can't stay connected to your PC and smartphone simultaneously.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Earbuds For Phone Calls

    If you're looking for something more affordable without sacrificing features, you'll want to consider the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3. Their integrated mic offers an okay overall performance. Although your voice lacks depth and body, you'll have no problems being understood clearly. That said, if you need to take calls in a noisy environment, like from a busy office, your voice can be drowned out. On the upside, the buds have a powerful noise cancelling system. While they don't outperform the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless in this regard, the ANC can still help reduce distracting sounds around you and make it easier to focus on your call.

    These buds have a decently comfortable fit. Their bass-heavy sound profile is great if you want to listen to thumpy, rumbly music in between calls, but their fairly flat mid-range ensures that speech sounds clear and present. You can fine-tune their sound to suit your needs using their companion app's EQ and presets. They last over eight hours continuously too, and their carrying case supplies an extra three charges, which is handy in a pinch. If you're an iOS user, you'll want to consider the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless. They're more comfortable and have features like an H1 chip for seamless pairing with your iOS devices. However, their mic's recording quality is worse, and your voice sounds thin and muffled.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Earbuds For Phone Calls

    The best Bluetooth earbuds for phone calls in the mid-range that we've tested are the Jabra Elite 7 Pro True Wireless. You can often find them for about half of their regular price. This manufacturer is well-known for their call-centric headphones, and their companion app even offers features like sidetone control and a basic call EQ. Their mic also has a very good recording quality, so your voice is easy to understand. Some users have reported that their voice sounds a bit low and muffled. The mic's noise handling performance is sub-par too, but if you want to ensure that your voice is clear throughout your call, you'll want to ensure that your environment is quiet. That said, unlike the higher-end Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3, they support multi-device pairing, allowing you to stay connected to your PC and smartphone at the same time.

    Out of the box, they have a very neutral default sound profile, making them versatile enough for phone calls or casual use. You can customize their sound via their companion app. If you want to keep the outside world at bay, they do a decent job of reducing ambient sound around you. They last over eight hours continuously, and their carrying case has an extra three charges. Unfortunately, even though they have ANC, it doesn't significantly improve their noise isolation ability.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Earbuds For Phone Calls

    Shopping on a budget? Then you'll want to check out the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless, which are the best wireless earbuds for phone calls at this price point. At the low end of the cost scale, you can expect to make performance-based sacrifices in exchange for affordability. These buds aren't as comfortable as the Jabra Elite 7 Pro True Wireless, and their mic's overall performance isn't quite as good. However, their recording quality is still decent enough for calls. Like other truly wireless picks, you'll also need to make calls from less noisy places to ensure your voice is easily understandable.

    What makes these buds a bit unique amongst other budget-friendly picks is their ANC system. If you want to focus on your call, they can easily reduce noise, like traffic from an open window of office chatter. With their ANC on, they also last over eight hours continuously, which is good for long days at work. Their carrying case even supplies an extra two charges if you need it. Their excited sound is good for listening to genres like rock and pop while not in a call, but voices sound a bit harsh and piercing. Unfortunately, they lack sound customization features.

    See our review

  5. Best Wired Earbuds For Phone Calls

    Wired earbuds are worth checking out if call quality is your top priority. While they're a bit 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 mics. This design puts the mic closer to your mouth and can make 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 that 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.

    See our review

  6. Best Neckband Earbuds For Phone Calls

    Although they're a bit outdated, neckband headphones are still a worthwhile choice for calls. The mics sit close to your mouth, and you can leave the buds around your neck when not in use. The Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless have a sturdy neckband design with silicone cables. They're just as premium and high-end as the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless, but their mic offers better performance. Although your voice is thin, it's still clear and understandable. They're noise cancelling headphones too, and while they fall short of Bose's isolation performance, they can still cut down rumbly car engines as well as ambient chatter very well.

    These buds have a warm sound profile that emphasizes boom in mixes. Voices still sound fairly clear, although lacking in detail, but their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets so you can finetune them to your liking. They also support multi-device pairing, meaning you can stay connected to two devices simultaneously. Their continuous playback time of well over eight hours falls flat compared to other picks on this list, but it'll be more than enough for a shift at the office.

    See our review

  7. Best Mono Earbud For Phone Calls

    If you're looking for a dedicated call headset, look at the Jabra Talk 45 Bluetooth Headset. Unlike other picks on this list, a mono headset only fits in one ear. It also has a boom mic instead of an integrated mic to help improve its overall performance. Its recording quality is pretty alright, ensuring your voice sounds clear and understandable. The mic has a passable noise-handling performance, but your voice can still get drowned out by loud sounds. The headset's overall design means you'll hear everything going on around you. However, depending on the laws where you live, this style of earbuds may be permissible for use while driving.

    This headset is compatible with the Jabra Assist app, which offers features catered towards professionals, like reading out your phone's text messages or emails. It also has a very balanced and neutral mid-range, so the person you're talking to sounds clear and present. The battery lasts just over seven hours continuously and has a standby mode to help conserve battery life when not in use. You can even pair the headset to two devices at the same time. Unfortunately, it's made of plastic and silicone, which can put pressure on the ear and become uncomfortable over time.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless: The JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless are mid-range buds with a decent noise isolation performance and a better noise handling performance than the Jabra Elite 7 Pro True Wireless. Unfortunately, they don't support multi-device pairing and lack volume controls. See our review
  • TOZO T6 Truly Wireless: The TOZO T6 Truly Wireless are the cheaper sibling of the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless. They're similarly comfortable and well-built, and their mic has better noise handling. Unfortunately, they lack noise cancelling, and their overall battery performance is worse. See our review
  • SteelSeries TUSQ: The SteelSeries TUSQ are wired gaming earbuds with a detachable boom mic. While their mic offers a better overall recording quality, they're not as comfortable or neutral-sounding as the Apple EarPods. See our review
  • Turtle Beach Battle Buds: The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are another pair of wired gaming earbuds with a boom mic. They're a lot less comfortable than the Apple EarPods, but their mic offers slightly better noise-handling performance, and they can passively block more ambient noise. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best earbuds for calls 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 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.

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