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 110 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 earbuds with a microphone we've tested so far are the Jabra Elite 65e. These Bluetooth earbuds have a neckband design and are comfortable as they don't go as deep into the ear canal as many in-ear options. They feel very premium and well-made, are stable enough for some light workouts, and last 8.5 hours off a single charge. Their controls are great, and you can easily mute your microphone or enable talk-through.
Their out-of-the-box sound profile is somewhat excited, and they can easily be EQ'd to match your preferences within their companion app, making them well suited to a wide range of genres. Their microphone is surprisingly decent for Bluetooth headphones, and while your voice will lack a bit of detail, it'll sound full-bodied and natural. It also does a decent job of separating your voice from background noises, as the microphone is in the neckband.
Unfortunately, their neckband design makes them quite bulkier and less portable than many earbud headphones. On the upside, it means your headphones are always at arms' reach, and since the neckband houses the microphone, you can easily lift it closer to your mouth in noisy environments.
If you prefer the extreme portability of truly wireless headphones, go with the Jabra Evolve 65t. They aren't nearly as comfortable as the Jabra Elite 65e Wireless, and their microphone doesn't block as much background noise. However, they can easily be tossed into any pocket, and they come with a USB adapter for your computer to improve their microphone performance, though we haven't tested this. They come in either a UC-certified or Skype for Business variant, making them great for using in the office if you primarily use specific software. Other than that, they're almost identical to the very popular Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless, making them great for day-to-day use.
If you want something more comfortable that has a better microphone when used over Bluetooth, go with the Elite 65e. However, if you want a pair of truly wireless headphones, or plan on using them primarily with your PC, get the Evolve 65t.
The best wired earbuds with a mic that we've tested so far are the Beats urBeats3 Earphones. These wired in-ears feel decently well-made, and thanks to their wired design, they don't require a battery, so they're always ready to use. Since Bluetooth compresses audio, the microphone quality of these headphones is much better than the wireless options that have been mentioned so far. Your voice will sound very natural and clear and will be fairly full-bodied.
They feature an in-line remote that gives you full support for call/music management on iOS devices. Unfortunately, on Android, you lose volume control, and the voice assistant control seems to be inconsistent across Android devices. The microphone is also housed in the in-line remote, so unless you move it closer to your mouth, it'll be hard to hear you in moderately noisy environments.
These headphones have a fairly well-balanced sound profile that has a bit of extra kick and thump that won't be overpowering. If you have a newer Apple device that doesn't have a headphone jack, you can also get them in a Lightning variant, which is helpful. Overall, if you don't want to deal with a wireless connection or batteries and would rather something wired, the Beats are a decent option with a great microphone.
If you want something cheaper that works well with Android as well as iOS, go with the 1More Piston Classic. Their sound profile isn't as well-balanced as the Beats urBeats3 Earphones, and their microphone doesn't sound quite as good, but they're cheaper, and their controls work fully on both Android and iOS devices. Their sound profile is slightly muddy and may be better suited for genres like EDM or hip-hop, but they're decently comfortable, and their in-line remote gives you access to all essential functionality. Their microphone's recording quality is decent, and your voice will sound clear and natural.
If you want a pair of wired headphones with a better microphone and a better-balanced sound profile, get the Beats. However, if you don't want to spend quite as much and want something that works better with Android, go for the 1More.
The best earphones with a mic for gaming that we've tested so far are the Turtle Beach Battle Buds. These fairly unique wired in-ears feature a boom microphone that can easily be removed when you want to use the headphones for day-to-day use. Thanks to their wired connection that doesn't rely on Bluetooth, the recording quality of the microphone is very decent, and your voice sounds full, natural, and easy to understand. It also effectively separates your voice from background noise, as the boom mic sits close to your mouth.
When using these headphones to listen to music, they have a very bass-heavy and muddy sound profile that's much better suited to non-vocal-centric genres, like EDM or dubstep. Unfortunately, fans of an instrument or vocal-driven music will likely find they sound fairly muddy and cluttered. On the upside, their stability fins help them feel decently stable in the ear during most jogs or runs.
As is to be expected from their low price-point, these headphones don't look and feel the most durable, and they're made primarily of cheap-feeling plastic and rubber. They also aren't the most comfortable, as the silicon tips feel quite hard and cheap. Overall, if you're looking for a pair of earbuds for gaming on your phone, or plugged into your console's controller, the Battle Buds' unique design and good microphone performance make them a decent option.
The best budget earphones with a mic that we've tested so far are the Samsung U Flex. These neckband headphones are decently comfortable and have a great control scheme that's easy to use and gives you access to all main music and call-related controls. They last 11.5 hours off a single charge, which is good, and you can pair them to two devices at a time, so you don't have to repair them constantly.
Their microphone performance is decent overall, and your voice will be clear and detailed, though slightly muffled. The mic doesn't handle background noise too well, but since the microphone is located in the neckband, you can easily move it closer to your mouth when in a loud environment.
Their out-of-the-box sound profile is somewhat well-balanced but may sound a bit too sharp on some tracks. While you can EQ their sound on Samsung devices, unfortunately, there's no app for iOS, and the app available for all non-Samsung Android devices loses almost all functionality, including EQ settings.
06/12/2020: Removed the Jaybird X4 and added the Turtle Beach Battle Buds as 'Best Gaming Earphones With A Mic'.
04/15/2020: Removed 1More Triple Driver.
02/14/2020: Verified for accuracy, minor changes to the text for clarity.
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 wins 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 our reviews of earbuds and in-ears 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.