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 225 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 microphone that we've tested are the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless. These wireless neckband in-ears have an in-line mic that makes your voice sound clear and well-articulated and does an okay job of isolating it from background noise. They also have an ANC feature that helps filter out the low rumble of bus or plane engines, so you can hear what's being said on a call if you're commuting.
These in-ears feel well-built, with a flexible silicone headband that sits well on your neck and flat, sturdy-feeling audio cables. They're decently comfortable and have a neutral out-of-the-box sound profile that should suit a wide variety of audio content, though their companion app does have a graphic EQ to adjust that if that isn't to your liking. They support both NFC and multi-device pairing, too, so you can stream music from your phone while remaining connected to your computer. They also have a standby mode to help conserve the charge when not in use.
Unfortunately, while they can supply more than eight and a half hours of runtime on a single charge, that isn't as impressive as the 10-hour plus battery life of their predecessor, the older Sony WI-1000X Wireless. Still, if you're looking for well-built neckband earphones with decent overall mic performance and very good noise isolation capability, these are a good option.
If you prefer the unrestricted freedom of movement that comes with a pair of truly wireless headphones and still want satisfactory mic performance, consider the EarFun Air Pro. Unlike the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless, these in-ears lack any multi-device pairing capability, but they're even easier to carry around. Their integrated mic does a decent job of transmitting your voice clearly and isolates it from ambient chatter reasonably well. Their nine-hour-plus continuous battery life is longer than that of the Sony, and their charging case supplies roughly two-and-a-half extra charges. They also have an ANC system that helps them block out ambient noise to an impressive degree. Unfortunately, they don't have any sound customization features, like a companion app with an EQ or even built-in EQ presets.
Get the Sony if you want a wider range of sound customization features and multi-device pairing capability, but consider the EarFun if you prioritize portability and want superior overall battery performance.
The Bose QuietComfort 20/QC20 are the best earbuds with microphone that we've tested. These headphones come with 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 of 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 cheaper wired earbuds with a mic, try the 1More Triple Driver. While they're more simple in design than the Bose QuietComfort 20/QC20 and lack an ANC system, the 1More are more affordable without sacrificing mic performance. Although their mic also has some trouble separating your voice from background noise, it still has a good recording quality, ensuring that your voice is heard clearly. These headphones have a basic control scheme that allows you to accept and end calls on the go. They're decently well-built and comfortable too, and they come with a wide array of differently sized ear tips to help you achieve the best fit. Their slightly bass-heavy sound profile adds extra boom to your mixes, which should please fans of EDM and hip-hop. That said, they do a mediocre job of blocking out background noise around you, which can make it harder to hear your phone call.
Check out the Bose if you're looking for more premium wired earbuds with features like ANC to help you focus on your call. However, if you prefer a no-frills design at a more wallet-friendly price point, consider the 1More instead.
The best earphones with a mic for gaming that 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 budget earphones with a mic that we've tested are the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79. These budget-friendly in-ears have an integrated mic that makes your voice sound natural and clear, if a little thin, though it can struggle to isolate speech from background noise. They feel well-built, as the buds are made of dense plastic and are rated IPX7 for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.
They have a bass-heavy but not overly boomy sound profile, which should add extra thump and rumble to EDM and hip-hop tracks without totally overwhelming more delicate vocals or instrumentals. They do an okay job of filtering out background chatter and high-pitched ambient noise like the hum of an AC unit, though they can struggle somewhat when it comes to blocking out the low-end rumble of bus and plane engines. Thankfully, they leak very little audio, so you can listen to your music at high volumes without worrying about annoying people nearby.
Unfortunately, they don't have any power-saving features like an auto-off timer or a standby mode, and their sub-six-hour continuous battery life is short, so you might need to put them back in their case frequently. They also lack any sound customization features, like an in-app graphic EQ or onboard EQ presets. Still, if you're on a budget but still want reasonably versatile truly wireless in-ears, these are a good option.
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.
Dec 08, 2020: Replaced Jabra Elite 65e Wireless with Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless. Replaced Jabra Evolve 65t Truly Wireless with Jabra Elite 65e Wireless.
Oct 09, 2020: Removed Samsung U Flex Wireless from recommendations due to current availability and pricing. Moved Anker Soundbuds Curve Upgraded 2019 from 'Notable Mentions' to pick for 'Best Budget Earphones With A Mic' category. Added Nura NuraLoop Wireless to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best earbuds with a mic 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.