Beats Studio Buds Wireless Earbuds
Tiny noise-canceling buds
- Tactile buttons
- No in-ear detection
The Studio Buds are insanely small. Each bud has a flat profile that you can grab, kinda like the tip of a Phillips head screwdriver, said deputy test editor Jeff Dengate. This makes them slightly difficult to handle if your hands are greasy with sunscreen or drenched with sweat. Fortunately, moisture wont affect sound quality, function, or fit. No slipping during a sweaty 5-miler on an 85-degree day, Dengate added. The tactile buttons require a one light press to play/pause, two presses to skip, three to go back, and a long press to activate ANC/transparency mode or Siri. Youll save a $100 opting for these instead of the brands Powerbeats Pro. But, the latter Pro models sound is punchier and richer and all-around better for running, according to Dengate.
The Best Wireless Earbuds In 2021
The best wireless earbuds are the greatest examples of what remains a relatively new form factor for headphones. In a way, that makes them even more impressive: the Apple AirPods may have codified true wireless earbuds, but the models on this list have gone their own way, and are just as deserving of your money. If not more so.
This is a broad church too, so in addition to top-of-the-line earbuds with active noise cancellation and spatial audio features, weve also included our favorite mid-range and cheap earbuds. All based on our usual testing, naturally. Keep reading through our picks of the best wireless earbuds and youre sure to find a pair that fits you.
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Editor’s Note: The Tom’s Guide Awards 2021 for audio have been announced, and the Jabra Elite 85t has won the Best wireless earbuds award! Head to the audio awards page to see all the winners and recommended runners-up.
Jlab Epic Air Sport Anc Earbuds
Superb fit and comfort, but subpar noise-canceling
- Good fit, sound quality, and durability for under $100
- Fits comfortably with sunglasses
- Poor noise-canceling mode
The rubbery sport hooks give the most secure fit Ive had of any wireless buds, without any uncomfortable suction causing that annoying high-pressure thump with each footstrike, said test editor Morgan Petruny. Plus, when my ears need a breather after a run, Ill use those support wings to let the buds dangle off the top of my ear while my sweat dries, until Im ready to switch to noise-cancelling mode for writing back at my desk. The battery life holds more than enough juice for marathon distanceeven if you were to walk it. We were also impressed with the sound quality the bass comes in full and robustnot weak or tinnyand you can tune it to your specific preferences in JLabs companion mobile app. Just switch off the hear-through mode while running, since it does amplify wind noise.
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Jabra Elite Active 65t Review: Verdict
You can now find Jabra’s Elite Active 65t for $100, which makes it a great value compared to Apple’s $249 AirPods Pro and $200 Powerbeats Pro. The Elite Active 65t also has a sleeker, less obvious design than both those splurge-worthy sport earbuds.
You can find less expensive totally wireless Bluetooth earphones, but the alternatives either aren’t sweat-resistant for workouts or don’t fit as well.
And, while the newer Jabra Elite Active 75t is the technically superior pair of headphones, the Elite Active 65t still has enough going for it to make it a worthy purchase at a lower price.
Jbl Under Armour True Wireless Flash
Ergonomically secure ear tips
- Sport Flex Fit ear tips
- No ANC mode
This collab with Under Armour has a comfy, secure fit thanks to Sport Flex Fit tips that curve into your ear. The tips stay put, but still do a stellar job at letting you hear your surroundings. On a single charge, the buds last for five hours. However, our tester found she didnt have to plug in the charger for two weeks at a time, despite running for over an hour per day, six days a week. Plus, you can leave your phone at home if you have a smartwatch with music storage. Our tester didnt miss a beat running with the Flash and her Garmin Forerunner 245 Music GPS watch.
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Motorola Moto Surround Wireless Earbuds
Their construction can be likened to that of most of the Bluetooth earbuds on the market that are meant for athletes. However, these have other features that make them stand out. The major design is the plastic band that covers the back of the neck and rests on the chest. Its edge is made of glossy plastic, rubber, and matte finishes, which give it a spiffy look.
Motorola put the controls around the band to enable easy no-look access, but you might have to do some more studying to learn the control layout. There are more physical features on the right side. There is also a volume rocket at the top that also works as a song selector. On the other side, there is a micro USB port and a power button
The 20 Best Wireless Earbuds For Runners
We tested the newest models against established contenders on our daily runs. Heres what we found.
Wireless earbuds are now smaller and more affordable than ever, yet its tough to know what kind of sound you can expect from these tiny devices before you buy.
For the sake of making useful comparisons, we segmented our test pool into three categories: Truly wireless, truly wireless with ear hooks, and neckband earbuds. Neckband means that while theres no wire to plug the earbuds into your cellphone, there is a wire or band that joins the two earbuds to each other.
Check out the top five performers below, and keep scrolling for our full list of best picks. Youll also find additional info on each type of earbud, tips from our gear experts, and the scoop on how we tested.
Skullcandy Push Ultra Wireless Earbuds
Flexible hooks and terrific ambient sound
- Tile feature helps locate buds
- Large case
Skullcandy can even make hook earbuds look trendy. The hooks are a little big and can interfere with sunglasses if you wear shades on your run, but theyre flexible and moldable around the ear to ensure a snug fit during a workout. It helps that the buds have an IP67 rating, too. There are a few small compromises that are run-of-mill with hook earbuds. For example, one drawback is the Push Ultras massive case, which was a pain for ultrarunners on the trail for over six hours who needed to pocket the charging case for extra juice. Another is that the hook-style doesnt seal out external sound. You can actually hear birds chirp, said Dengate. But the sound quality is fine for running. Even podcasts are fully audible.
Jbl Reflect Mini 2 Sport Headphones
Clear sound and a secure fit for less than competitors buds
- 10-hour battery life
- Very little ambient sound
The JBL Reflect Mini 2 isnt the newest pair of headphones, but a price drop to $40 makes them an attractive value proposition. The buds form a tight seal in your ears and dont move after youve started to trot. The downside for outdoor runners is the lack of ambient sound, which also isolates your tunes from the outside world. Video production manager Jimmy Cavalieri also used them while mowing his lawn. Although I could still hear my lawnmower, the earbuds blocked out enough engine noise that the quality of the audio still sounded clear without having to max out the volume, he said. When I concentrated on my music, I could still identify each instrument. The connecting wire between the buds is lightweight and hardly noticeable midrun, and the Reflect Mini 2 quickly paired with Bluetooth and stayed connected up to 100 feet away. The earbuds also sport reflective cables for nighttime visibility, an IPX5 water-resistant rating, and an impressive 10 hours of battery life.
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Hinycom Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds $2199
Enter the most affordable pair of buds in this article. HinyComs Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds have a sportier look, up to 150 hours of playtime and has a hi-fi stereo sound quality for just $22. Not to mention, the sling-back design makes it extra comfy on the ears.
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From listening to the best audible books to playing the weekly podcasts you follow , a solid pair of wireless earbuds allow for unmatched, hands-free listening that wont disturb fellow coffee shop guests or anyone in your space, too.
And while Apple AirPods deals come in waves, for some, spending more than $100 on wireless earbuds may not be feasible or even preferred.
Plus, if you can opt for a quality set with stellar reviews that do the job, the only question we have is why not?
Whether youre en route to your office as a commuter or simply want a go-to pair of budget buds for running or strolling through your neighborhood, we have you covered.
Ahead, find the 10 best wireless earbuds under $100 that deliver great sound quality and are our most recommended. We did the research for you including some of the best from , Best Buy and more so all you have to do is buy .
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The Best Cheap True Wireless Earbuds For Those On A Strict Budget: Skullcandy Dime
Why you should buy them: These are some of the cheapest earbuds on the market even so theyre a good pair.
Who theyre for: Those who need to spend the least cash possible buying for groups, or kids prone to losing their earbuds
Why we picked the Skullcandy Dime:
We all know someone who is constantly misplacing or straight-up losing their earbuds. If thats you, you might strategically want to stay away from the top end of the price range when it comes to truly wireless earbuds. The Skullcandy Dime could be your new best friend.
The Dimes are decently built earbuds molded from solid plastic and rated IPX4 for water resistance. Youll be fine with sweat getting on them, but youll need to be careful with them around rain and splashing water, as they are not waterproof.
The audio performance on the Dime is pretty solid for the price, and the microphone makes for clear calling. Theres no active noise canceling, though theyll passively block most external sounds if you fit the earbuds properly. The buttons used for on-earbud control are a little finicky hidden behind a rubber membrane, they require precise presses that might not be possible when using gloves. But for the price practice will make perfect.
The Skullcandy Dime will provide 3.5 hours of listening time and 12 hours total with the case. Definitely less than some of the other earbuds weve mentioned, but again, youre looking at an option that will cost you the same as a big lunch out.
Best Overall: Creative Outlier Air V3
It’s hard to beat the Outlier Air V3 on battery life. Even compared to the best wireless earbuds, they outperform most of them with up to 10 hours of audio playback per charge at default volume. Add another three charges in the case, and you’ve got about 40 hours of total listening time. Creative also finally added wireless charging, making charging easier when you don’t want to plug in.
Creative largely based the design on the previous Outlier Air V2, which are a little bigger, though used the same ear tips for improved fit and comfort. It also gives you a better seal to trap in more bass and preserve as much soundstage as possible. The codec support includes aptX and AAC for excellent compatibility on top of that another plus for a pair of earbuds that sound so much better than their price implies. And you finally get an Ambient Sound mode to hear your surroundings, as well as an active noise reduction setting that does muffle some of that background noise.
While Creative did throw in its excellent Super X-Fi technology again, it still doesn’t work with most content that would benefit from it. For example, you can only apply it to its music and video files stored on your device rather than something you would stream. It also replaced physical buttons on the earbuds with touch controls that are just okay.
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What Makes Bluetooth Earbuds Different
What makes Bluetooth earbuds stand apart from WiFi and wired headphone alternatives? Ease of use is the primary reason for Bluetooths popularity. While WiFi can transmit higher-end audio, its more complicated to connect to and uses more power. Bluetooth devices pair almost seamlessly and use much less power, an important factor for any portable device.
Bluetooth technology was developed specifically for short-range wireless communication. Earbuds are a near-perfect match for Bluetooth because they are used within a few feet of the device that is transmitting audio or other data.
Best Wireless Earbuds : Budget And Premium
Best wireless earbuds Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?’s round-up of the best wireless earbuds you can buy in 2021.
Wireless earbuds are everywhere, right? Walk down the street and you’re virtually guaranteed to bump into a pair. The market has grown so rapidly and exponentially that it’s now flooded with earbud options at various price points.
The good news is you can now find a pair to fit every budget. Whether you want a cheap pair of wireless earbuds or a premium pair of noise-cancelling earbuds, the market has something for everyone.
And it’s easy to see the appeal. With no wires running between headphones and smartphone, they don’t restrict your movement one bit. This newfound freedom is handy for general day-to-day life and great if you’re into exercise.
Some wireless earbuds have a cable or neckband connecting the buds together, but many of the options you’ll see on the list below don’t you get the buds without the wires. Other extras to look out for include noise-cancelling tech, customisable touch controls and hands-free access to personal assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.
If you’re currently drowning in a sea of wireless earbuds and just want to be pointed in the direction of the best pairs, help is at hand. We’ve rounded up the best wireless earbuds to have passed through the What Hi-Fi? test rooms.
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Reasons to avoid
Read the full review: Panasonic RZ-S500W
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What’s The Best True Wireless Earbuds
The best true wireless earbuds provide a complete freedom on the move to a user. For example, there are no wires, even a neckband between buds. They should pair via the latest Bluetooth version that also provides quick pairing and seamless connection. The ultimately best true wireless headphones should have a solid battery life, water-resistant, and provide a tight seal in the ears. As for the sound, it is individual. Usually, when working out, athletes do not pay attention to differences between audio codecs and frequencies. However, when commuting, sound quality is important as it is for running. Thus, its important for a potential buyer to learn about sound characteristics beforehand in a review and understand if the headphones will produce the sound exactly the way they want.
Do Cheap Earbuds Sound As Good As The Airpods 3rd Gen And Airpods Pro
Apple improved the sound quality of the third-gen AirPods so it raised the sound bar. That said, many buds that cost less than $100 or even less than $50 offer surprisingly good sound for the money and measure up pretty well against the AirPods and AirPods Pro, which sound good but not as quite good as they should for their high price.
Bose Quietcontrol 30 Wireless Headphones
For the first time ever, Bose now offers you the ability to manage the amount of noise-cancellation you need. The earbuds might not be exactly the best looking in the market, but the batteries have an amazing lifespan. The company guarantees users of 10 hours of uninterrupted listening per charge.
The earbuds also feature an excellent securing property Boses StayHear +tips, which holds them in your ears nicely. It includes three sizes. Unlike its competitors, the company chose to label them small, medium, and large.
There is a button located on the neckband and an in-line remote that is located between the cable and the right earbud. You might find the in-line control a bit complicated than your typical control because of the extra buttons that are used to control the amount of noise cancellation. There are a total of five buttons. You might find it difficult to know which button does what without seeing the remote, but their distinctive shapes will help you find your way around.
How Do I Clean My Wireless Earbuds
We have an article on how to clean your AirPods that also applies to other earbuds. But if you don’t want to read that, the condensed version is this:
Wipe down both the buds themselves and ear tips with a slightly dampened soft, dry, lint-free cloth and avoid using any soap or harsh cleaning liquids. A 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or a Clorox disinfecting wipe is OK but avoid getting too much moisture in any ports or inside the buds themself. You can also use a toothpick for any little crevices or a Q-tip with a bit of alcohol on it. Avoid saturating the Q-tip with alcohol. Finally, wait a few minutes until any moisture evaporates before using the buds.
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