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 190 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 a mic that we've tested are the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. These truly wireless in-ears have an integrated mic that does an excellent job of isolating your voice from ambient noise, so people on the other end of the line should have little trouble understanding you, even if you're calling from somewhere like a busy subway station. It also makes recorded speech sound bright and clear, though a little unnatural.
They're equipped with a highly effective ANC system that blocks out an impressive amount of background chatter, so you should be able to stay focused on what's being said in a conversation, even if you're in a crowded environment. They also have a well-balanced sound profile that's suited for a wide mix of audio content as well as sturdy, high-grade plastic construction. Their seven-hour-plus battery life should get you through most of a day at work, and their case supplies roughly two additional full charges.
Unfortunately, they're quite bulky for truly wireless in-ears, and they protrude quite far out from your ears. Their companion app is also a little limited in terms of overall features, with no sound customization options like an EQ or audio presets. That said, if you're looking for portable earphones that are well-suited for taking calls, these are a good option.
If you prefer the fit of a neckband design, you may want to consider the Jabra Elite 65e. These wireless earphones aren't as portable as the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless and have a mic that's less effective when it comes to filtering out background noise, but they do have better microphone recording quality. They also support multi-device pairing, allowing you to remain connected to your work computer while streaming music off of your phone. Their ANC system also features a graphic EQ and microphone level control, which is rare for non-gaming-oriented headphones. Unfortunately, while their eight-hour-plus continuous battery life is longer than that of the Bose, they don't have any sort of charging case or battery pack, and they don't offer any sort of passive playback option on a wired connection.
Get the Bose if you value portability and want a mic that filters out more background noise, but consider the Jabra if you want more sound customization features.
The best wired earbuds with a mic that we've tested are the Beats urBeats3 Earphones. These wired in-ears have an in-line microphone with great recording quality, which makes your voice sound clear, present, natural, and full-bodied. They also feature a somewhat sturdy rubberized design that can be easily stored in a bag or a pocket. If you have a newer Apple device with no traditional AUX port, they come in a variant with a Lightning port connector, which is handy.
They provide a well-balanced sound profile with a touch of extra bass, which should add a bit of extra thump and kick to your favorite EDM and hip-hop tracks without overwhelming lead instruments or vocals in other genres. They do a good job of staying in your ears during workout sessions, even more so when you fit a set of stability fins to the buds themselves. Their noise isolation performance is very good, so you should have little trouble focusing on phone conversations or your music, even when you're on a bus or walking down a busy street.
While their control scheme offers full call management and playback control on iOS devices, you can't use volume controls on Android devices, and activating your phone's voice assistant yields inconsistent, frustrating results. They also enter your ear canal quite deeply, which may not suit all listeners. That said, they're a solid choice if you have an Apple device and want a pair of wired in-ears with decent microphone performance.
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 are the Turtle Beach Battle Buds. These unusually-designed wired earphones occupy a fairly unique position within the market, as they 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 fairly stable fit in your ear and are very breathable, so they're not a bad choice for taking calls while you're out on a run. 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 as well as 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 94. These truly wireless in-ears have an integrated mic that provides decent recording quality, as it makes your voice sound natural and mostly free of distortion, though people on the other end of the line may have trouble hearing you if you call from an especially noisy environment. Thankfully, thanks to their effective ANC system, they do an excellent job of filtering out background noise, so you can stay focused on what's being said on a call.
These in-ears are quite well-built, with a dense plastic construction and an IPX5 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Their Bluetooth latency on mobile Android and iOS devices is quite low, which is good if you plan on watching movies or videos on your phone while wearing them. They also do a good job of staying in your ears, and they shouldn't fall out while you're on the go. While their nearly four-hour continuous runtime isn't especially impressive, they do have an auto-off timer feature that helps conserve battery when not in use, and their charging case supplies about three additional charges, which should be enough to last you a day or two.
Unfortunately, they lack any sound customization features, which could be an annoyance if you aren't a fan of their bass-heavy sound profile. Their deep in-ear fit also may not suit all listeners. Still, if you're looking for a pair of portable in-ears with decent mic recording quality and an effective noise cancelling feature, these are a fairly good choice.
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.
Jun 12, 2020: Removed the Jaybird X4 and added the Turtle Beach Battle Buds as 'Best Gaming Earphones With A Mic'.
Apr 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 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.