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 150 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 earbuds with a microphone that we've tested are the Jabra Elite 65e. These very comfortable, easy-to-use earbuds are connected by a flexible headband that sits around your neck. Thanks to their ANC feature, they have a great noise isolation performance, so you shouldn't be distracted by background noise while listening to your favorite music.
These earbuds have an adequately neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and you can use the 5-band graphic EQ on their dedicated companion app to adjust the sound to your liking. Also, their in-line microphone has a satisfactory overall performance. Your voice should sound clear to the person on the other end of the line, even if you're calling from a noisy, crowded environment.
Unfortunately, these Bluetooth-only headphones aren't ideal for gaming, as they have quite a bit of latency. That said, overall, these durable, versatile earbuds should have a suitable performance for a variety of uses.
If the Jabra Elite 65e Wireless' neckband design doesn't appeal to you, consider a truly wireless pair of headphones like the Jabra Evolve 65t instead. Their microphone doesn't perform as well in noisy environments, but it still does a decent job making your voice sound clear and accurate. Their out-of-the-box sound profile is decently neutral, and you can even customize the sound using the 5-band EQ in the companion app. These in-ears don't have an active noise cancelling feature, but thanks to their truly wireless design, they're even more portable than the other Jabra. Unfortunately, while their in-ear design is reasonably comfortable, it won't be for everyone and some listeners may feel fatigued faster than others.
If you plan to make a lot of phone calls while on the go or from a noisy office environment, choose the Elite 65e, but if you want a decent microphone performance from truly wireless earphones, get the Evolve 65t instead.
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 too, 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 won't be able to 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 fairly unique wired in-ears feature a boom microphone that can easily be removed when you want to use them for day-to-day use. Thanks to their wired connection that doesn't rely on Bluetooth, the recording quality of the microphone is very decent, and your voice sounds full, natural, and easy to understand. It also effectively separates your voice from background noise, as the boom mic sits close to your mouth.
When using them to listen to music, they have a very bass-heavy and muddy sound profile that's much better suited to non-vocal-centric genres, like EDM or dubstep. Unfortunately, fans of an instrument or vocal-driven music will likely find they sound fairly muddy and cluttered. On the upside, their stability fins help them feel decently stable in the ear during most jogs or runs.
As is to be expected from their low price point, these headphones don't look and feel the most durable, and they're made primarily of cheap-feeling plastic and rubber. They also aren't the most comfortable, as the silicone tips feel quite hard and cheap. Overall, if you're looking for a pair of earbuds for gaming on your phone, or plugged into your console's controller, their unique design and good microphone performance make them a decent option.
The best budget earphones with a mic that we've tested are the Anker Soundbuds Curve Upgraded 2019. These wireless in-ears have a comfortable, stable fit courtesy of their ear-hook design, which prevent the buds from falling out of your ears when you're on the go. They're mostly made of dense plastic and can easily be stored in your pocket or a bag.
Their in-line microphone does a decent job of making your voice sound bright and airy if a little thin. They block out a fair bit of incoming ambient sound, so you should be able to focus on what's being said in a call in a moderately crowded environment. Their battery provides more than 18 hours of continuous runtime, so you should be able to take calls throughout the work day without worrying about running out of charge.
Unfortunately, their mic only does a mediocre job of filtering out background noise, so people on the other end of the line may have trouble understanding you if you call from a loud setting, like a subway station. They also don't have a companion app to allow you to customize your listening experience. Small issues aside, if you're looking for a budget-friendly pair of wireless earphones for making phone calls, they're an alright choice.
10/09/2020: 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'.
08/11/2020: Verified for accuracy, minor changes to the text for clarity.
06/12/2020: Removed the Jaybird X4 and added the Turtle Beach Battle Buds as 'Best Gaming Earphones With A Mic'.
04/15/2020: 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 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 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.