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 107 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 earbuds 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 Bose 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 uses, especially if you make a lot of phone calls on-the-go.
If you prefer a more sports-oriented design than the Jabra Elite 65e, get the Jaybird X4. They’re well-built wireless in-ears with a great stable fit that ensures they won’t pop out while running or working out. They’re rated IPX7 for waterproofing and feel like durable earphones. They have a decent microphone that should be satisfactory for most and nice in-line remote that’s easy-to-use.
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.
The best truly wireless earbuds with a mic are 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 designed to be used with your computer and are available in a UC-certified or Skype for Business version.
These earbuds are a variant of the Jabra Elite 65t and come with a PC adapter that helps enhance the microphone performance. They sound okay, isolate a fair amount of noise, and have a decent battery. However, there’s a noticeable difference in microphone recording quality between the two. The Evolve 65t’s microphone sounds more detailed and less muffled, which is great for conference calls.
Unfortunately, they have a bulky in-ear design that some people find uncomfortable, especially those with smaller ears. In addition, they are rather expensive. If you have the budget, they’re worth considering, but they may not be worth the investment for everyone.
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 want wired in-ears that are compatible with both Android and iOS, get the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear. Their microphone recording quality may not be quite as good as that of the Beats urBeats3, but their in-line remote is universally compatible. They’re well-designed, ultra-portable earbuds that have a premium look and feel. Their microphone performs fairly well, and they have very good audio reproduction too.
These headphones are less comfortable than the Bose SoundSport In-Ear, but they’re more comfortable than most in-ears. Overall, if you want universally compatible in-ear headphones with decent sound and microphone quality, the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear are a solid choice.
If you own a Samsung device and prefer wireless in-ears, consider the Samsung U Flex. Being wireless, their microphone doesn’t perform as well as that of the Beats urBeats3, but it’s still decent, especially for Bluetooth earbuds. These earphones have a flexible, easy-to-use neckband design that ensures your music is always at arm’s reach, and they are fairly comfortable.
These wireless earphones are compatible with the Samsung Level app, which provides a lot of customizable features. With a Samsung phone or tablet, you get access to a graphic EQ with presets, room effects, volume monitors, and a music playback timer, on top of other features like notification management. The earphones themselves have a good 11.5-hour battery life and can even be used while charging, which is quite rare for wireless earbuds.
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. If you’re a Samsung fan and are looking for a versatile budget headset with a decent, then the Samsung U Flex are a solid choice.
If you're looking for really inexpensive wired earbuds with a decent mic, then get the 1More Piston Classic. They don’t provide any customization options like the Samsung U Flex, but they’re even cheaper and their in-line mic sounds a bit better too. It doesn’t perform as well in noisy environments, but in a quiet room, it sounds more natural and detailed.
Unfortunately, these earbuds sound rather boomy and muddy. In addition, the left and right drivers of our unit showed a significant mismatch, which worsened their sound quality. That said, fans of EDM and hip-hop might not mind their more bass-heavy sound, if they get a properly matched unit. If you prefer less bass-heavy budget wired earbuds, then consider the Apple EarPods, but their controls are only worth with iOS.
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.