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.
The Jabra Elite 65e 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 the Jabra Elite 65e 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.
The Jabra Elite 65e 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 Elite 65e 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. The Elite 65e 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 Jabra Elite 65t 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, the Jabra Evolve 65t are rather expensive, and the proprietary dongle doesn’t significantly improve the microphone performance over that of the Elite 65t. 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.
The Bose SoundSport In-Ear have an in-line microphone that has good recording quality. Speech recorded or transmitted with the SoundSport In-Ear 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 the Bose SoundSport In-Ear: 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, the SoundSport In-Ear 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.
The 1More Triple Driver are less comfortable than the Bose SoundSport In-Ear, 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, the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear 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, the Jaybird X4 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 have a Samsung device and want an acceptable microphone while keeping your headphone expenses low, get the Samsung U Flex. They have a flexible neckband design and are fairly well-built for budget in-ears. They’re pretty versatile and are likely to please those who want in-ear headphones with a decent mic without spending too much money.
The Samsung U Flex are Bluetooth headphones, so their mic performance isn’t as good as that of wired headphones. However, they still perform fairly well, and their microphone does alright at capturing speech that’s easy-to-understand, even in moderately loud environments, like a busy street. The U Flex sound okay out-of-the-box but are compatible with the Samsung Level app, which provides a high level of customizability for Samsung users and lets you fine-tune their sound your way.
On the downside, the Samsung U Flex’s microphone tends to sound a bit sharp on sibilants, like S and T sounds. This could be fatiguing to listen to for the person at the other line of a call. They may not be the best headphones for long phone conversations, but their microphone still performs considerably better than that of most Bluetooth headphones.
If you don’t use a Samsung device and the Samsung U Flex are out of your price range anyway, get the Sony MDR-XB50AP. They’re simple, no-fuss in-ears that are inexpensive and easy to carry around. They don’t sound too bad and their in-line microphone is okay too.
Unfortunately, the Sony MDR-XB50AP aren’t the most comfortable headphones we’ve tried. They also don’t have the best microphone performance, especially when compared to other budget headphones like the 1More Piston Fit. However, the Piston Fit have poor sound. For the best sound-quality-to-mic-performance-ratio at a budget price, the Sony MDR-XB50AP are your best bet.
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.