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 150 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 that we've tested to date are the Jabra Elite 65e. These very comfortable, easy-to-use earbuds are connected by a flexible headband that sits around your neck. Thanks to their ANC feature, they have a great noise isolation performance, so you shouldn't be distracted by background noise while listening to your favorite music.
These earbuds have an adequately neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and you can use the 5-band graphic EQ on their dedicated companion app to adjust the sound to your liking. Also, their in-line microphone has a satisfactory overall performance. Your voice should sound clear to the person on the other end of the line, even if you're calling from a noisy, crowded environment.
Unfortunately, these Bluetooth-only headphones aren't ideal for gaming, as they have quite a bit of latency. That being said, overall, these durable, versatile earbuds should have a suitable performance for a variety of uses.
If the Jabra Elite 65e Wireless' neckband design doesn't appeal to you, consider a truly wireless pair of headphones like the Jabra Evolve 65t instead. Their microphone doesn't perform as well in noisy environments, but it still does a decent job making your voice sound clear and accurate. Their out-of-the-box sound profile is decently neutral, and you can even customize the sound using the 5-band EQ in the companion app. These in-ears don't have an active noise cancelling feature, but thanks to their truly wireless design, they're even more portable than the other Jabra. On the downside, while their in-ear design is reasonably comfortable, it won't be for everyone and some listeners may feel fatigued faster than others.
If you plan to make a lot of phone calls while on the go or from a noisy office environment, choose the Elite 65e, but if you want a decent microphone performance from truly wireless earphones, get the Evolve 65t instead.
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, these 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 them 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 them 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 silicone 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, their unique design and good microphone performance make them a decent option.
The best budget earphones with a mic that we've tested to date are the Samsung U Flex. Like the Jabra Elite 65e Wireless, these wireless in-ears have an around-the-neck headband design that makes them very stable in your ear. They also have a battery life of over 11 hours, which is good.
Overall, their sound profile is decently neutral, though it may sound a bit bright to some listeners. The integrated microphone will make your voice sound decently clear and accurate to the person on the other end of the line. They won't have the best performance in very noisy environments, like subway or train stations, but this may not matter for some users.
Unfortunately, unless you have a Samsung device, you won't be able to access the fully-featured companion app with customization features like a graphic EQ with presets. This may be disappointing if you plan to connect your earphones to an Android or iOS device. That being said, these earphones offer a good price-to-performance ratio that should please many listeners.
08/11/2020: Verified for accuracy, minor changes to the text for clarity.
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.
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 headphones reviews. 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.