As more people move away from MP3 players and listen to music on their smartphones, more headphones also contain integrated or in-line microphones. Typically, earbuds and in-ear headphones have a rather mediocre mic performance, especially over Bluetooth. However, this is not always the case and it’s possible to find a pair of earbuds or in-ears with a decent microphone to suit your needs.
We’ve tested 84 earbuds and in-ears with microphones and below are our recommendations for the best earbuds with a mic to buy in 2019. If you’re looking for our top picks for other earbuds and in-ear headphones, check out our recommendations for the best earbuds and in-ears, the best truly wireless earbuds, and the best sounding wireless earbuds.
The best earphones with a mic that we’ve tested so far are the Jabra Elite 65e. They’re wireless noise cancelling earbuds with a well-built neckband design. They have a comprehensive control scheme that includes a mic mute button, which is quite rare for wireless earbuds, and an in-line microphone that performs significantly better than most Bluetooth headphones.
These headphones have the best overall mic performance that we’ve tested on earbuds so far. The microphone’s recording quality may not be as high as that of some of the wired mics on this list; however, it has the best noise-handling. This means that it can handle taking calls in moderately loud environments, like a busy office or a street. They have a decent battery life of 8.5 hours, too, so they should last you most of your workday.
They sound alright, but not as well-balanced as the similarly designed Bose QuietControl 30. The QC 30 have disappointing mic performance, though, so the Jabra are a better choice for those who care about microphone quality. They’re also compatible with the Jabra Sound+ app, so you can EQ their sound to better suit your tastes. They are comfortable earbuds that are an acceptable choice for most cases, especially if you make a lot of phone calls on-the-go.
If you prefer the convenience and portability of truly wireless earbuds, get the Jabra Evolve 65t. They don’t have active noise cancelling like the Jabra Elite 65e, but they have more customization options for the microphone. They’re a variant of the Elite and come with a dongle for PC that helps enhance the microphone performance. They sound okay, isolate a fair amount of noise, and have a decent integrated mic.
Unfortunately, they are rather expensive, and the proprietary dongle doesn’t significantly improve the microphone performance over that of the Elite. If you have the budget, they’re worth considering, but they may not be worth the investment for everyone.
If you’re looking for wired earbuds with a decent mic at a reasonable, mid-range price, get the Bose SoundSport In-Ear. They’re very comfortable for earbud-type headphones, feel fairly well-made, and offer a latency-free listening experience.
They have an in-line microphone that has good recording quality. Speech recorded or transmitted with them in quiet environments will sound a bit thin, but also clear, detailed, and easy-to-understand. The mic does a passable job at separating speech from ambient noise, but struggles in moderately loud environments and isn’t the best option for use in a busy street, for example.
There are two models of these earbuds: one for Apple, which supports call and volume controls on iOS, and one for Samsung, supporting call and volume controls on Android. If you regularly use both iOS and Android, you might be out of luck, since the two models aren’t interchangeable. In addition, they don’t have much bass and sound pretty unremarkable overall. They have a great treble range, though, so if you don’t mind the lack of bass and appreciate their microphone recording quality, they’re worth taking a look at.
If you want wired in-ears that sound decent and also have good mic recording quality, get the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear. Their microphone recording quality may not be as good as that of the Bose SoundSport In-Ear, but they sound much better. They’re well-designed, ultra-portable earbuds that have a premium look and feel. They have very good audio reproduction and a microphone that performs fairly well.
They are less comfortable than the Bose, but they’re more comfortable than most in-ears. They’re also not as well-built as the TIN Audio T2, but these headphones don’t have a mic. Overall, if you want in-ear headphones with decent sound and microphone quality, these are a solid choice.
If you prefer a wireless option, get the Jaybird X4. Since they’re Bluetooth headphones, their microphone doesn’t perform as well as that of the Bose SoundSport In-Ear, but they’re more versatile headphones overall. They’re well-built wireless in-ears with a stable fit for sports. They sound alright and have a decent microphone that should be satisfactory for most.
Unfortunately, they have a disappointing battery. They have a battery life of about 7 hours, but they don’t have any power-saving features, so you’ll have to make sure they’re off when they’re not in use or their battery will continue draining. On the upside, they’re compatible with the Jaybird MySound app for you to customize their sound your way with a great parametric EQ, and their durable design makes them a great choice for the gym.
If you’re a fan of a straightforward wired design and like the passive isolation an in-ear fit can provide, then get the Beats urBeats3. They have the best wired microphone quality we’ve tested on earbud or in-ear headphones so far and provide an otherwise well-rounded experience at a reasonable price.
They have an in-line microphone that sounds impressive. Like most earbuds and in-ears, it doesn’t perform as well in noisier environments, but in quiet situations like an empty meeting room, speech transmitted with their microphone sounds relatively full and detailed. They have great audio reproduction too, so they’re well-suited to a variety of music genres.
On the downside, their in-line remote doesn’t entirely work on Android, only on iOS. The volume controls don’t function at all on Android and the voice assistant command wouldn’t always trigger. If you have an iOS device this won’t be an issue, but this can be problematic for those on Android.
If you own a Samsung device and prefer wireless in-ears, consider the Samsung U Flex. Their microphone’s recording quality isn’t quite as good as that of the Beats urBeats3, but it’s still decent, especially for Bluetooth earbuds. They’re compatible with the Samsung Level app which provides a lot of customizable features, like a graphic EQ with presets, room effects, volume monitors, and a music playback timer. They also have a good 11.5-hour battery life and can even be used while charging.
Unfortunately, the Samsung Level app only provides full functionality on Samsung devices. It’s rather limited on Android and non-existent on iOS. On the upside, their controls work with all Bluetooth-compatible platforms.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best earbuds with a microphone 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.