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The 5 Best Wireless Earbuds for iPhone - Fall 2018
Reviews

Best Wireless Earbuds for iPhone
288 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

It's hard to deny that Apple has a pretty nice ecosystem for all their devices. If you have an iPhone, an iPad or a Mac then you've most likely been tempted by what Apple has to offer in the headphone department. Unfortunately, although Apple has released a few headsets, some under the Beats brand, they do not have as many wireless in-ears and earbuds to choose from. This means that not all the recommendations on this list will benefit from the W1 chip that gives earbuds like the Apple AirPods a slight performance boost and better ease of use on iOS devices. However, all the recommendations will work with your iPhone and iPad wirelessly, some with app support on iOS for better customization features.

We've tested more than 44 wireless in-ears and earbuds and below are our top recommendation for the best wireless earbuds for iOS to purchase in 2018. See also our recommendations for the best sounding wireless earbuds and the best truly wireless earbuds.

  1. Best Wireless Earbuds For iPhone: Beats BeatsX

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    7.0
    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:
    7.3
    Commute/Travel
    What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    7.8
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    7.2
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    5.6
    TV
    Score components:
    5.3
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best wireless earbuds/in-ears for iPhones that we've tested so far are the Beats Beats X. Apple acquired the Beats Brand a few years ago and since then has released a couple of headsets with the W1 chip. Headphones with this chip like the BeatsX have a slight performance boost when paired with your iPhone compared to an Android device. They are already fairly versatile and balanced sounding headphones with a super flexible around-the-neck design that you can easily fold and shove into your pockets.  

    They have an in-ear fit that's stable enough for sports and block enough noise passively to make them a suitable option for commuting and traveling. They also have a well-balanced sound that's a lot more neutral sounding than a lot of the in-ears and earbuds we've tested, including most of the other recommendations on this list. Furthermore, with the W1 Chip, the BeatsX boast an incredible wireless range, and relatively low latency, especially on iOS devices, were the latency also undergoes some compensation so your videos remain in sync.

    Unfortunately, their build quality does not feel as durable as some of the other wireless designs we've tested and they do not have the longest lasting battery life. On the upside, they charge completely in under an hour and their quick charge feature gives you a lot of playtime from a 5-minute charge before leaving your home, which is super convenient.

    See our review

  2. Best Truly Wireless Earbuds For iPhone: Apple AirPods

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.3
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    6.7
    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:
    6.2
    Commute/Travel
    What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    7.5
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    6.3
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    5.5
    TV
    Score components:
    5.3
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : Earbuds
    Enclosure : Open-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want a truly wireless design for your iPhone, then you've probably already considered the Apple AirPods. The AirPods are not the best truly wireless design we've reviewed, mostly due to their open earbud fit that does not isolate enough in noisy conditions. Their sound quality also lacks a deep and powerful bass which may be a bit disappointing for some. On the upside, they are one of the most comfortable earbuds we've tested so far and they have a sleek wireless design that is almost unmatched by the competition. Like the BeatsX they also benefit from the W1 chip so they will easily pair with your iPhone and you can seamlessly switch between all your iOS devices.

    They also have an excellent battery life for a truly wireless design, easily lasting up to 5 hours on a single charge with an additional 5 extra charges stored in the small compact case, for a total of more than 24hrs of playback. The case is also one of the more compact for any truly wireless design we've tested and will easily fit into any pockets, which is impressive considering the battery life they provide.

    Unfortunately, since they do not have the most balanced sound quality most tracks will sound a bit thin and bright, which will not be ideal for everyone especially since they do not have a built-in EQ. But on the upside, they are easily one of the more reliable truly wireless in-ear/earbuds we've tested and if you're already part of the Apple ecosystem, then they're an even better choice.

    See our review

  3. Universal Truly Wireless Earbuds: Jabra Elite Active 65t

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    7.0
    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:
    7.5
    Commute/Travel
    What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    8.0
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    7.2
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    5.5
    TV
    Score components:
    5.0
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you like the truly wireless design of the Apple AirPods but whished it delivered a bit more bass and isolation for your daily commutes, then get the Jabra Elite Active 65t. They are not as comfortable as the AirPods and do not last as long overall since their case only provides 2 additional charges unlike the AirPods'. They're also not strictly optimized for iOS as they work equally well on Android and do not benefit from the W1 chip improvements like some of the Beats headphones.

    On the upside, the Jabra Elite Active 65t are a good option for Android and iOS users alike thanks to the wealth of customization options offered by the Jabra Sound + app which is available on both mobile operating systems. They have an in-ear fit that blocks a lot more noise than the AirPods and also leaks a little less, making them better suited for commuting and noisy environments. The in-ear fit also helps with generating a deep bass that's not as powerful as some of the other in-ears we've tested but still delivers a better overall sound than the AirPods.

    Overall, the Elite Active 65t are a good, mixed usage in-ear on par with the Samsung Gear IconX, which we often recommend. But unlike the IconX, the Active 65t are not restricted to Android and will work equally well for iOS users.

    See our review

  4. Best Wireless Earbuds For Sports: Jaybird X4

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    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:
    7.3
    Commute/Travel
    What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    8.0
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    7.2
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    5.4
    TV
    Score components:
    5.1
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want a similar headset to the BeatsX that's a bit better suited for sports and has a customizable sound, then consider the Jaybird X4. Like the Jabra Elite Active 65t, the Jaybird X4 are not strictly optimized for iOS devices and work equally well on Android. They also do not have the balanced sound of the BeatX or the compact truly wireless design of the AirPods. On the other hand, the Jaybird X4 have a customizable sound that you can EQ via the Jaybird Mysound app that's available for iOS or Android. They also have a good durable design with an iPX7 rating that makes them decently sweatproof (although we weren't able to test their water resistance with our current testbench).

    They're easy to use, decently, comfortable and have a good wireless range. Unfortunately, they do not have the best battery life. At 7 hours, you will have to charge them almost every night and they also come with a cumbersome charging cradle that can be quite limiting. If you lose or misplace it then you won't be able to charge the headphones but on the upside, for their price, they deliver a good overall experience for both iOS and Android users especially if you mostly use your headphones for working out.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Wireless Earbuds For iPhone: Anker SoundBuds Curve

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.8
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    6.9
    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:
    7.0
    Commute/Travel
    What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    7.9
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    6.9
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    5.5
    TV
    Score components:
    5.3
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you just want a cheaper option and don't particularly care about unique features on iOS as long as the headphones deliver on sound and performance, then get the Anker SoundBuds Curve; they're the best wireless earbuds for iPhone in the budget category. Unlike the Jaybird X4 or the Jabra Elite Active 65t, the Anker Curve do not have an app for iOS. They're also not strictly optimized for Apple or Android devices; they're just good budget wireless in-ears. They have a comfortable earbud like fit that doesn't go in as deeply into the ear canal, so wear them for longer.

    They also have sturdy ear-hooks that make them a stable option for running and working out. They have a good sound quality for their budget price and a decently long 12-hour battery life that should be enough for a typical workday, although you may still have to charge them every night. Their build quality is not the best and they do not isolate as well as some of the other in-ears we've tested so they may not be the best option for noisy commutes.

    The Anker Curve do not benefit from the W1 chip like the BeatsX or the Apple AirPods so they have a bit of latency when watching videos and their range is not that great. On the upside, for their price, they deliver a solid experience for all listeners, which also makes them a good choice for iOS users.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Bose QuietControl 30. A noise-canceling around the neck variant of the Bose earbud design. Good sound and a better noise canceling but slightly pricey, and no special features on Android or iOS. See our review
  • JBL E25BT. A very budget wireless in-ear with a decent sound and overall performance. Mediocre at best build quality. See our review
  • Bose SoundSport Wireless. Comfortable earbuds with a good wireless range. One of the best sounding wireless earbuds but inconsistent durability and slightly bulky design. See our review
  • BeoPlay E8. A premium truly wireless design that works great on Android and iOS. Slightly expensive and not as good a value for most, as the Gear IconX or the Jabra Elite Active 65t. See our review
  • Jaybird Tarah.  Good overall performance and a slightly better choice than the Jaybird Freedom, especially for battery life but also a bit more expensive. See our review
  • JBL Endurance Sprint. A decent mixed usage wireless sports in-ear with a water-resistant design. Slightly uncomfortable, mediocre control scheme and pricier than the Anker Curve. See our review
  • Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset.  A unique noise canceling in-ear with a lightning port made for iOS devices. Not wireless and slightly expensive. See our review
  • Apple Earpods. The wired variant of the Apple AirPods. Not as practical overall but a lot cheaper. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best wireless earbuds for iPhone 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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