If you don’t like the cumbersome design of over-ear headphones and prefer headphones with a smaller footprint, earbuds and in-ears can be a good choice. But if you don’t like having a wire going to your phone and prefer the freedom of wireless technology (or maybe your phone doesn’t even have an audio jack), wireless earbuds and in-ears are even better.
We've tested nearly 90 pairs of wireless earbuds and in-ear headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best Bluetooth earphones to buy in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best sounding wireless earbuds, the best Bluetooth headphones, the best wireless earbuds for iPhone, and the best earbuds and in-ears.
The best Bluetooth earbuds we’ve tested so far are the Jaybird Tarah Pro. They’re highly customizable in-ear headphones with lots of neat features. You can EQ the way they sound with their companion app and their 13-hour battery life with auto-off timer keeps them running all day. Their very stable fit makes them a great option for fitness enthusiasts, and they isolate well enough to be a good choice for commuters, too.
Unfortunately, these earbuds come with a proprietary charging cradle that’s a bit restrictive, since it means you can’t just borrow a friend’s micro-USB cable if you leave yours at home. They also can’t connect to two devices simultaneously like the regular Jaybird Tarah Wireless can. That said, they’re still a solid upgrade on the regular model, especially in terms of battery life. They’re well-rounded wireless in-ears that are not only the best wireless earbuds for running that we’ve reviewed so far, but they're also versatile enough for more casual use.
The best true wireless earbuds that we’ve tested so far are the Samsung Galaxy Buds. They’re more comfortable than most truly wireless headphones thanks to their low-profile design that fits securely without putting too much pressure on your ears. They come with a great hard charging case that easily fits in even the smallest pockets, and they feel well-built overall. They’re currently our best wireless earbuds for Android thanks to their compatibility with the Samsung Wearable app, great audio reproduction, and surprising 7.5-hour battery life.
On the downside, their default sound lacks a little bass. Since their companion app is only available on Android, iOS users who are fans of bass may be a bit disappointed. They also don’t have onboard storage like the Samsung Gear IconX Truly Wireless, which are harder to find, and are only rated IPX2 for minimal water resistance. That said, the Galaxy Buds feel better-built and have far superior battery life. If they suit your needs, they’re fairly versatile truly wireless headphones that are worth considering.
If you want truly wireless earbuds that are more suited to running or sports, get the Jaybird Vista Truly Wireless. They don't isolate background noise nearly as well as the Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless, but they have a better-built sportier design that's rated IPX7 for waterproofing. Their sound profile out-of-the-box is decent, but they're compatible with Jaybird's great MySound app for both iOS and Android which gives you access to an excellent parametric equalizer. Unfortunately, their microphone performance is poor and it'll be hard for the person on the other end of the line to hear you if you're in a busy environment due to its poor noise handling. Go for the Samsung if you prefer a more casual design for everyday use, but if you want a more versatile pair of headphones that are better for sports or working out, get the Jaybird Vista.
If you spend a lot of time commuting each day and want headphones to block out background noise, get the Jabra Elite Active 65t. They aren't as comfortable as the Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless, but they have much better passive sound isolation and better controls. They have a good amount of bass that isn't too overbearing, and their sound can be customized in Jabra's Sound+ app to better suit your tastes. The app also allows you to toggle Jabra's HearThrough feature, which mixes ambient sound into your music so you can hear what's going on around you, which is helpful when you're running outside and want to stay aware of your surroundings. Unfortunately, the earbuds are a little bulkier than other truly wireless headphones, which means those with smaller ear canals may find them uncomfortable and have a tough time finding a good fit, even with the different sized included tips. Get the Samsung if you want something more comfortable and don't care about isolation, but if you need something to block out bus engines or chatty co-workers, get the Jabra.
The best wireless earbuds for iPhone that we’ve tested so far are the Beats Powerbeats Pro. They’re truly wireless in-ears that have a very comfortable yet still impressively stable fit thanks to their malleable ear-hook design. They feature Apple’s H1 chip for seamless pairing with your iPhone and have a physical control scheme that’s very easy-to-use. They have a very well-balanced sound that lends itself well to music of virtually all genres and provide over 11 hours of continuous playback, which is rather impressive for truly wireless earbuds.
On the downside, they only have an IPX4 rating, which suggests they aren’t as water-resistant as other sports headphones we’ve tested. They also don’t have a companion app – when you pair them with an iOS device, there’s a built-in interface that you can access but it doesn’t give you an EQ or any other customizable features. If you don’t need a truly wireless design, you may want to consider the Beats Powerbeats3 since they’re less expensive, but if you’re looking for the latest and greatest wireless earbuds for your iPhone, then the Powerbeats Pro are the way to go.
If you're an Apple user who wants truly wireless earbuds but doesn't want a more sports-oriented look, go with the Apple AirPods 2. They don't sound nearly as balanced and don't fit as securely as the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless, but they have a much more compact and casual design. They have a premium feel and their case is very compact, even though it provides up to 24 hours of battery life. It's also available with Qi wireless charging, which makes it much more convenient to charge up. Unfortunately, their sound reproduction is only mediocre with disappointing bass response, making them better for bass-light music like 70s rock or classical. On the upside, they're very lightweight and should be comfortable for most people as they don't enter deep into your ear canal. If you listen to more bass-heavy music or want headphones for taking to the gym, get the Powerbeats Pro, but if you want a casual pair of truly wireless headphones that'll still easily pair up to your Apple devices, go with the AirPods 2.
The best wireless earbuds under $100 that we’ve tested so far are the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air. They’re versatile truly wireless in-ears that have excellent audio reproduction and a very portable design. Their charging case provides up to 3 extra charges to help them last all day and their portability, sound quality, and great isolation make them a decent choice overall.
Unfortunately, those who don’t like the way in-ears fit will likely find them rather uncomfortable. Their earbud tips protrude quite deeply into the ear canal, which isolates quite a bit of noise but can be uncomfortable after a while. They’re also not customizable, and they only provide 4 hours of continuous playback, but they’re still versatile truly wireless in-ears that are worth considering and are a good option for commuters who don’t mind their fit. Overall, they're the best Bluetooth earphones under $100 we've reviewed.
The best cheap wireless earbuds that we’ve tested so far are the Anker SoundBuds Curve. They’re more comfortable than most in-ears we’ve tested, since their earbud tips don’t enter too deeply in the ear canal and they have an ear-hook design that ensures a stable fit. Their 13-hour battery life outperforms that of more expensive models, and they even come with a nice hard carrying case, which is a welcome addition at this price point. They’re also the best earbuds for bass that we’ve reviewed to date thanks to their exciting bass-rich sound.
On the downside, like most budget headphones, they don’t have any power-saving features, so you’ll need to remember to turn them off when not in use or else their battery will continue to drain. They also don’t have a companion app, so your EQ options are more limited. Though their ear-hook design ensures a stable fit, they don’t have the most sweat-proof design, so athletes may want to consider the similar yet more sweat-resistant Anker SoundCore Spirit X Wireless. Overall, they're the best Bluetooth earbuds we've tested in the budget category.
The best sounding wireless earbuds that we’ve tested so far are the Bose SoundSport Free. These sports-oriented truly wireless headphones feel very well-built and have a comfortable earbud fit. They have outstanding audio reproduction and sound slightly more spacious than most wireless earbuds thanks to their semi-open design. They provide nearly 5 hours of continuous playback, which is pretty good for truly wireless headphones, and they have a convenient auto-off timer to help save power when not in use.
Although their control scheme provides all the essential functions, the buttons are very stiff, which makes them difficult to use. They’re also rather bulky: the earbuds themselves protrude quite a bit of out the ears and their charging case doesn't fit in your pockets as nicely as that Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless. That said, they're the best Bluetooth earbuds for sound and are a very good choice for those who want something durable without compromising on sound quality.
If you want cheaper wireless earbuds with a focus on sound quality, go with the JBL Endurance Sprint. They don't have the same open sound and aren't as comfortable as the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless, but they do a much better job at isolating background noise and are significantly cheaper. Their sound profile is versatile with excellent bass and great mid-range and treble, making them suitable for a variety of genres, from EDM to audiobooks. They're also a great choice if you want to use your headphones for working out, as their ear-hook design is quite stable. They're rated IPX7 for waterproofing, though we don't test this. Unfortunately, their bulky design can take some adjusting to find a comfortable fit and probably isn't ideal for long listening sessions. They also have a finicky touch-sensitive control scheme that can be a bit difficult to use properly. Get the Bose if sound is your number one priority and money is no object, but if you want something cheaper to help bring you peace during your daily commute, go with the JBL.
The best wireless noise cancelling earbuds that we’ve tested so far are the Bose QuietControl 30. If you’re looking for more comfortable earbuds with great isolation, they're a great choice. They have great active noise cancelling, reproduce audio fairly well, and have a comfortable earbud fit. Like most in-ears, they have little sound leakage, which makes them a decent choice for use at the office. Their neckband design ensures your music is always at arm's reach.
Unfortunately, there have been reports that the neckband build quality isn’t the best, as the rubber casing starts peeling off after a few months of usage. The Bose Connect app also doesn’t offer many customization options and doesn’t provide an EQ, unlike the highly customizable Sony WI-1000X Wireless. Nevertheless, these are versatile, comfortable earbuds that are likely to please, especially for commute and travel.
If you need the benefits of ANC but want the extra portability of truly wireless headphones, go with the Sony WF-1000XM3. They aren't quite as comfortable as the Bose QuietControl 30/QC30 Wireless and their noise cancellation doesn't work as well, but they are much more customizable thanks to the great Sony | Headphones Connect app. Their audio reproduction is impressive and can be customized to fit your tastes, making them suitable for most genres of music. While their ANC doesn't block out engine rumble as well as the Bose, they're a good option for office use as they should do a better job at blocking out background chatter. Unfortunately, the earbuds are quite bulky to house the ANC, and even their smallest tip option is large, meaning they may be uncomfortable to some. If you want more comfortable headphones with better ANC, get the Bose, but if you want the freedom of truly wireless earbuds, get the Sony.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Bluetooth earbuds and in-ear headphones for most people to need according to their needs. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win 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 in the US).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for wireless Bluetooth in-ear headphones and earbuds. 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.
10/29/2019: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.