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 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 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, 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’re looking for truly wireless earbuds for running with a more sports-friendly design, then get the Jaybird Vista. Their design is less casual than that of the Samsung Galaxy Buds and their microphone performs a lot worse, but their sporty design feels more durable and also have an IPX7 rating for waterproofing. They pack a bit more bass and are also customizable on both Android and iOS thanks to their compatibility with the great Jaybird MySound app. Their battery doesn't last as long as that of the Galaxy Buds, though, and they also take longer to charge. You'll want to go for the Samsung earbuds if you prefer a more casual design that's better for everyday use, but if you're after a more sports-oriented design, then get the Jaybirds.
If you want truly wireless earbuds with better noise isolation for your daily commute, then get the Jabra Elite Active 65t. Their bulky earbud design makes them less comfortable than the Samsung Galaxy Buds, but they isolate a lot more noise. They even have a talk-through feature so you can hear what's going on around you without needing to take them out. They feel durable, with an IP56 rating for advanced dust and water resistance and have a decent battery performance as well. If you have smaller ears, you might not find them very comfortable, but if their fit works for you, they make for good travel earbuds. Get the Galaxy Buds if you want something with a more comfortable, low-profile design, but if you're after truly wireless earbuds with great isolation, then go for the Elite Active 65t.
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 really 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 like a truly wireless design but want something for more casual use, then get the Apple AirPods 2. They don't fit as securely as the Beats Powerbeats Pro, but they have a more laid-back design for your regular everyday needs. They come with an excellent compact charging case than can help extend their 4-hour battery life to up to 24 total hours of power, so they’ll last you for days, as long as you put them back in their case when they’re not in use. Their open-back design lets in a lot of ambient noise, however, so you'll want to keep this in mind if you plan on wearing them on the bus or at work.
Get the Powerbeats Pro if you want something with a more sports-oriented design to use while running or working out, but if you're looking for more casual truly wireless earbuds to use with your iPhone and are a fan of their iconic design, then the Apple are hard to beat.
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. 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're looking for sporty earphones with great audio reproduction, but want something that isn't too expensive, then consider the JBL Endurance Sprint. They don't have the same open sound of the Bose SoundSport Free, but their battery lasts much longer and they’re significantly cheaper. They’re rated IPX7, which is great if you’re concerned about water damage, and they provide very good value overall. Unfortunately, their in-ear fit can be a bit uncomfortable at times and they have a rather finicky touch-sensitive control scheme that's not always very easy-to-use, but they’re still among the best-sounding wireless earbuds we’ve reviewed.
Get the SoundSport Free if they fall within your budget and you're concerned about comfort, but if you're after decent sounding wireless in-ears that won't break the bank, you'll want to get the Endurance Sprint.
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. Nevertheless, these are versatile, comfortable earbuds that are likely to please, especially for commute and travel.
If you like the freedom that truly wireless earbuds bring but still want to benefit from the added noise isolation that an ANC feature provides, then get the Sony WF-10000XM3. They're less comfortable than the Bose QuietControl 30, and their noise cancelling isn't quite as good, but they're much more customizable thanks to the Sony | Headphones Connect app, and they still do a decent job at cancelling out noises in the bass range. Unfortunately, it can be quite challenging to find a good fit, especially if you have smaller ears since the tip sizes provided are quite large. However, if their fit works for you, they're a neat truly wireless option with ANC.
You'll want to get the Bose if you're concerned about comfort and prefer something with tried-and-true ANC performance, but if you sold on a truly wireless design and want more customizable earbuds with ANC, then go for 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.