Many people prefer using earphones over other types of headphones for many reasons: they tend be more lightweight, portable, and convenient for use on-the-go. Unfortunately, they generally don't have the best mic quality, especially ones that connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. That said, it's possible to find compact earbuds
We’ve tested over 100 earbuds and in-ears with microphones and below are our recommendations for the best earbuds with a mic to buy in 2020. 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 we've tested so far are the Jabra Elite 65e. They're impressively well-built, comfortable, wireless noise cancelling earbuds that have a surprisingly decent in-line microphone. Their controls are easy-to-use and let you not only take or end calls, but also mute their mic or activate hear-though mode quickly on-the-go.
Bluetooth microphones generally sound pretty mediocre, but this one actually performs reasonably well. Your voice won't sound as natural and full-bodied as it would with a wired headset, but you should still sound clear and easy-to-understand, even in noisier environments. This makes these earbuds a solid choice if you have to take a lot of calls while commuting and don't want to have to deal with the hassle of a wired mic.
While their 8-hour battery life is decent, it's starting to lag behind what some more recent wireless models can do. It should still be enough for a full work day, though, especially since they have a standby mode to save power. Their neckband design won't be for everyone, especially because it's a bit on the heavier side. That said, if you like being able to have your earphones always at arms' reach, then they're the best choice if you care about mic quality.
If you like chatting on your phone while jogging but are having a hard time finding durable earbuds with a mic that still sound decent, you'll want to check out the Jaybird X4. Its mic performs similarly to the Jabra Elite 65e Wireless' in quiet environments, but doesn't handle noise as well, so you might be harder to hear if you have a busy route. That said, if you start your run in the morning before things get too noisy, they can be a solid option.
If you're looking for something to use during your commute or at work, then get the Jabra, but if you want something alright for taking calls on a run then go with the Jaybird.
The best truly wireless earbuds with a mic are the Jabra Evolve 65t. They’re designed for conference calls over a computer and are available in either a UC-certified or Skype for Business version, depending on what type of software you're using at work. They're also compatible with a dedicated desktop program that provides a number of customization options for the microphone
These earbuds are a variant of the Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless and come with a USB 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’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. They're also rather expensive. If you have the budget, they’re worth considering, but they may not be worth the investment for everyone.
If you like a simple wired design and like the fit of in-ear headphones, then get the Beats urBeats3. They're the best earbuds with a microphone of any wired in-ear or earbud headphones we've tested so far and provide satisfactory sound performance.
Their in-line microphone has very good recording quality but unfortunately, like most earbuds and in-ears, it doesn’t perform as well in noisy environments, meaning they may not be great for phone calls on-the-go. However, in quiet situations, speech will sound relatively full and natural. Their sound is fairly versatile but will be better-suited for bass-heavy genres like EDM or hip-hop.
On the downside, their in-line controls don't work entirely on Android, only on iOS. On Android, the volume can't be controlled at all from the remote and the voice assistant button doesn't always work. This isn't an issue for iOS devices but can be a problem for Android users.
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 Earphones, 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.
Get the Beats if you want a decent pair of wired headphones that do a great job at blocking outside noise, but if you have an Android device and want a universally compatible in-line remote, go with the 1More.
If you own a Samsung device, the best earphones with a mic in the budget category are the Samsung U Flex. Being wireless, their microphone doesn’t perform as well as that of the Beats urBeats3 Earphones, 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, then these headphones are a solid choice.
If you want a very inexpensive pair of adequate wired headphones with a decent microphone, go with the 1More Piston Classic. They aren't wireless like the Samsung U Flex Wireless, but are even cheaper and are more compact and portable. Their microphone performance is a bit better than the Samsung, but they don't work as well in a noisy environment, making them better suited for use in a quiet room. Unfortunately, they sound quite boomy and muddy, which may not bother fans of EDM or hip-hop, but is less suited to more vocal-centric genres like pop or rock.
Get the Samsung if you want a decent pair of headphones which allows you to customize their EQ, but if you're prone to breaking or losing your headphones and want the cheapest pair you can get with a passable microphone, go with the 1More.
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.
02/14/2020: Verified for accuracy, minor changes to the text for clarity.