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The 6 Best Sounding Wireless Earbuds - Spring 2019
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Best Sounding Wireless Earbuds
345 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
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  • No ads; unbiased reviews
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In-ears and earbuds are a lot more portable than bulky over-ear and on-ears. However, for most, you might be sacrificing a bit of sound quality and soundstage for a more compact and a portable design. On the upside, there are quite a few wireless in-ear and earbuds that still deliver in the sound department.

So for those who refuse to compromise, below are our top recommendations for the best sounding wireless earbuds and in-ears to purchase in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best earbuds and in-ears, the best earbuds for bass, and for the best truly wireless earbuds.

  1. Best Sounding Wireless Earbuds: Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.7
    Critical Listening
    What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
    Score components:
    Type : Earbuds
    Enclosure : Semi-Open
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best sounding wireless earbuds we've tested so far are the Bose SoundSport Free. They sound the most balanced out of all the truly wireless headphones we've tested and should cater well to all music genres and tastes.

    The Bose SoundSport Free have a very even, neutral sound. They have great bass, an excellent mid-range, and clear and present treble that doesn’t sound too sharp or piercing on higher frequencies. They also have a comfortable earbud design that most find a bit more comfortable than typical in-ears. The SoundSport Free provide close to 5 hours of continuous playback, but you can get a total of up to 15 hours of battery life by storing them in their charging case throughout the day.

    Unfortunately, they do not have the most compact design, especially since their charging case is rather bulky compared to those of other truly wireless earbuds. They also do not come with an EQ, so you can't customize their sound profile. If prefer truly wireless earbuds with sound that you can EQ, take a look at the Jabra Elite Active 65t, but if you want more comfortable earbuds that sound good out-of-the-box, go with the Bose.

    See our review

  2. More Customizable Alternative: Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want even more sound customization options than what the Jabra Elite Active 65t provide, then get the Jaybird Tarah Pro. They’re not truly wireless like the Elite Active 65t or the Bose SoundSport Free, but they’re compatible with a great companion app that features a parametric EQ for a highly customizable experience. They’re also more comfortable than the Elite Active 65t.

    Unfortunately, they have a restrictive proprietary charging cradle, so you can’t charge them with a regular micro-USB cable like you can with the Bose. If you don’t mind the charging cradle, though, they have a very good battery for wireless earbuds and are a decent choice for critical listeners.

    See our review

  3. Best Sounding Mid-Range Wireless Earbuds: Bose SoundSport Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.5
    Critical Listening
    What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
    Score components:
    Type : Earbuds
    Enclosure : Semi-Open
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you like the earbud design of the Bose SoundSport Free and want something that sounds equally as good but cheaper, go for the Bose SoundSport Wireless. They don’t have truly wireless design like the SoundSport Free and aren’t as customizable as the Jaybird Tarah Pro, but they have a balanced sound that's very similar to that of the SoundSport Free.

    Like the SoundSport Free, they’re one of the best sounding wireless earbuds we've tested, thanks to their near neutral mid-range and extended bass and tapered highs. They reproduce most tracks accurately, they have a decent battery life, and they're comfortable.

    Unfortunately, they won't be ideal for noisy environments and commuting due to their somewhat open earbud design, but overall, they're a decent choice for most uses.

    See our review

  4. Better Isolating Alternative: Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you prefer more isolation, get the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air. They don’t sound quite as good as the Bose SoundSport Wireless, but they still have very good audio reproduction, especially for closed-back truly wireless earbuds. They also isolate significantly better than the Bose which makes them a good choice for commuters who want to tune out the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

    Unfortunately, these headphones have limited controls that provide mediocre feedback. If you’d prefer a more traditional wireless design with better controls, consider the JBL Reflect Mini 2, but the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air sound better overall.

    See our review

  5. Best Sounding Budget Wireless Earbuds: JBL Endurance Sprint Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.1
    Critical Listening
    What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you’re on a budget but still don’t want to skimp on sound quality, get the JBL Endurance Sprint. They lack the more spacious, open sound of the Bose SoundSport Wireless, but they isolate better and still have impressive audio reproduction for wireless earbuds.

    These headphones have awesome, punchy bass that is deep and thumpy without sounding boomy, a very well-balanced mid-range, and a remarkable even treble-range. They’re also fairly well-made and have a cool, rubberized design that is rated IPX7 for waterproofing, which makes them good for sports.

    Unfortunately, the JBL Endurance Sprint take a lot of adjusting to find the right fit and can be a bit uncomfortable after a while. They isolate very well, though, and if you don’t mind the way they fit, they can be a decent choice for commuters.

    See our review

  6. More Comfortable Alternative: Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you find the JBL Endurance Sprint uncomfortable and prefer a more bass-heavy sound, get the Anker SoundBuds Curve. They’re quite a bit more bass-heavy than the JBL Endurance Sprint and won’t be great for those who prefer a more neutral sound profile, but they still do a good job at reproducing instruments and vocals and sound decent overall.

    They’re not as sweat-resistant as the JBL Endurance Sprint, but they have an easier-to-use control scheme and are much more comfortable. All-in-all, they offer an affordable wireless design with a 12-hour battery life and a decently balanced sound that is sure to please bass lovers.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Bose QuietControl 30/QC30 Wireless: A noise-canceling around the neck variant of the Bose earbud design. Good sound and a more travel-friendly alternative to the SoundSport Free but do not sound as balanced.  See our review
  • Jabra Elite 65e Wireless: A cheaper alternative to the Bose QC30 but slightly worse performance overall.  See our review
  • Jaybird X3 Wireless: Great overall performance with added customization options. Stable sports headphones but don't quite surpass the X2.  See our review
  • Apple AirPods 1 Truly Wireless 2017: Versatile and well-rounded wireless earbuds. Limited on Android.  See our review
  • Mpow Jaws 4.1 Wireless: A decent budget alternative.  See our review
  • Jaybird Run Truly Wireless: Decent overall performance, great for sports.  See our review
  • Samsung Level U Pro Wireless: A customizable wireless in-ear with a decent sound. A good budget alternative.  See our review
  • Beats BeatsX Wireless: Good alternative to the X4. They isolate more noise but aren’t as comfortable and well-built. See our review
  • Jaybird Freedom F5 Wireless 2016:  A good versatile option with customization sound at a budget price. Restrictive charging cradle and average battery life, but a good alternative to the JBL E25BT. See our review
  • JBL E25BT Wireless: Decent wireless earbuds with a simple, compact design. Sound okay but aren’t as comfortable as the Anker SoundBuds Curve. See our review
  • Jaybird X4 Wireless: Decent wireless earbuds with a nice stable fit for sports and good audio reproduction, but the Jaybird Tarah Pro perform better overall. See our review
  • Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless: Solid and durable-feeling truly wireless earbuds with decent sound. Not as customizable as the Jaybird Tarah Pro but a good choice if you prefer closed-back earbuds. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best sounding wireless earbuds and in-ear headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one 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 for wireless earbuds/in-ear headphones. 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.

 

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