The Best Wireless Earbuds for Any Activity or Occasion

Here’s a fun thought experiment: take a few minutes to contemplate all the hours of your life wasted on untangling headphones. If you’re anything like us, this figure likely extends into days. So convenience alone should be reason enough to buy a pair of wireless earbuds. But today’s earbuds also offer extraordinary sound and comfortable wearability wrapped up in a wee portable package, coupled with powerful, high-tech microphones that make keeping in touch with your friends and family a breeze. Wireless earbuds absolutely deserve pride of place in your bag, whether you’re headed around the block or hitting the road.  

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What to Consider When Buying Earbuds

When shopping for a pair of earbuds, start by considering use. Someone who wants to wear her earbuds on the train or treadmill will prefer a sweat-resistant, noise-cancelling pair, while someone who wants to bliss out for the entire plane ride might be more interested in battery life. If you love to explore while listening to your favorite podcast, you should look for earbuds that let you adjust how much outside noise you’ll hear (an excellent feature when crossing busy streets).  

These days most earbuds come with a charging case, which is pretty cool. Even as that functionality has become standard, it still costs extra to get a case that charges wirelessly. Anytime you travel, you’re already keeping track of a ton of stuff, so it could be worth shelling out a few extra bucks to minimize the number of cords you’ll need to pack.     

Fit is another key factor. Like snowflakes, no two ears are shaped exactly the same. So figuring out what works might require some fiddling. If you struggle to find a good fit, earbuds with silicon gel tips could be the answer.

The Best Earbuds of 2020


Best Wireless Earbuds Overall

Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus True Wireless Earphones.

Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus True Wireless Earphones

Master & Dynamic’s earbuds tick every box: battery life? Exceptional. Sound quality? Phenomenal. Style? Elegant. (We’re partial to the nonchalant black marble, but the handcrafted exterior also comes in jade green and tortoise shell, among other options.) Fit? Pretty much custom, thanks to multiple sizes of patented ear wings and gel tips. You can easily switch from tuning the whole world out (AKA “noise-cancelling” mode) to letting in just enough of the world that you don’t miss out on an important announcement (AKA “ambient listening” mode).

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Best Wireless Earbuds for Running and Working Out

Jaybird Vista True Wireless Bluetooth Sport Waterproof Earbud.

Jaybird Vista True Wireless Sport Waterproof Earbuds

When it comes to earbuds and workouts, you want to find a pair that won’t fall out, no matter how fast or far you go—or how sweaty you get. That’s why we fell hard for Jaybird’s earbuds: they’re incredibly light and comfy, so you can stayed focused on your form, and not have to stop every few feet to readjust. Not only are these waterproof, but they also resist dirt, dust, and sand. In other words, they’re the perfect workout sidekick, whether you’re biking in Moab, downward-dogging in Bali, or lunging in Laurel Canyon.

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Best Budget Wireless Earbuds: Best Wireless Earbuds Under 100

 1MORE Stylish True Wireless in-Ear Headphones.

1MORE Stylish True Wireless Earbuds

1MORE’s wireless earbuds are small enough to be discreet. Yet they’re so cute—coming in a selection of black, pink, gold, or green—that you’ll probably want to show them off. Whichever color you pick, these earbuds offer fabulous sound, which you can play or pause with one press of the button. Silicon ear tips keep the music in and everything else out. (They also keep the earbuds where they’re supposed to be, even when you’re rocking out.)  

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Best Budget Wireless Earbuds: Best Wireless Earbuds Under 50

XClear Wireless Earbuds with Immersive Sounds True 5.0.

XClear Wireless Earbuds with Immersive Sounds True

Yup, it’s true: you really can find worthwhile wireless earbuds for less than dinner for two. Promise! XClear Wireless Earbuds boast one-touch controls (so you can forget about having to remember whether the button on the right bud or the left controls the volume), as well as superior acoustics. And get this: You can switch over to single ear mode, stashing the other earbud in the case—ideal for those times when you need to keep an ear to the ground, but can’t quite bear to quit your music just yet.

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Best Wireless Earbuds for iPhone

Apple AirPods Pro.

Apple AirPods Pro

In 2011, few things were as cool as a pair of white Apple headphones plugged into an iPod and popped into your ears. Much has changed since then, but the coolness factor remains. Apple’s AirPods are the must-have accessory for anyone with an iPhone. Looks aside, the Pro boast excellent sound plus noise cancellation, courtesy of microscopic microphones that detect noise around you and adjust an astonishing 200 times per second. These babies connect as soon as they’re out of the case, so you’ll get instant access to Siri as well as your media and games. They’re water- and sweat-resistant too.  

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Best Wireless Earbuds for Android

Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro True Wireless Earbuds.

Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro True Wireless Earbuds

Shaped like a lozenge, Anker’s Liberty 2 Pro plays like a dream. It’s easy-peasy to download the Soundcore app from Google Play (note that most of the earbuds on this list also require an app). Then, using Anker’s HearID tech, you’ll be asked to evaluate various sound levels in each earbud. At the end, you’ll be given a unique “sound profile,” so you’ll always hear your music in the way that sounds best to you.

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Wireless Earbuds with the Best Microphone

Samsung Galaxy Buds , Bluetooth True Wireless Earbuds.

Samsung Galaxy Buds

We can’t get over Samsung Galaxy Buds’ microphone. Somehow, located deep inside an earbud that’s about the size of a popcorn kernel is technology so advanced that it detects the level of pandemonium around you and switches between an internal and external microphone. Say, for example, Mom calls while you’re hustling through Grand Central Station at rush hour—not the best time to chat, unless you’ve got the Galaxy Buds in. With them, you’ll still hear Mom, and she’ll hear you.   

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Wireless Earbuds With Best Battery Life


JLab Epic Air Sport True Wireless Earbuds

Earbuds that sound fab but lose their juice after a few hours won’t do you much good. JLap Epic Air Sport True Wireless Earbuds boast a tremendous 10 hours of battery life, plus another 60 hours of charge via the carrying case. Epic, indeed! Essentially, you can go days without having to plug them into a charger. We also appreciate how customizable these earbuds are: not only do they hook over your ears, but they come with eight different sets of tips, so you can select the one that works best for you whatever you’re doing.   

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