Best Wireless Earbuds Overall
Jabra Elite 7 Pro – True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
Jabra’s Elite 7 Pro are the best wireless earbuds for sound quality, durability, battery life, comfort, and portability.
- Lower battery life than before
- Finicky touch controls
- Needs custom EQ
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro take the best features from the previous Galaxy Buds+ and Galaxy Buds Live wireless earbuds and make a stand for being one of the best available. It’s a distinction the company has wanted from the start, but it took several attempts to get to this level of respectability.
The design borrows heavily from the past, yet puts a different twist on these earbuds to accommodate all the extra tech inside. They’re small and nimble, but they have more girth to pack in the active noise cancelation and other sensors that bring in the new features. They also have larger drivers to pump out clearer and crisper sound by default, with the option to choose among six equalizer presets in the Galaxy Wearable app. It’s just too bad there’s no custom EQ to add your presets to the list.
With 360 Audio inside using Dolby Head Tracking technology, the Galaxy Buds Pro are also great for watching content coded in 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound. It’s a virtual spatial audio effect that enhances the reverb of a movie or show, though it’s a shame you can’t listen to music from streaming services with the same effect.
The Best Bluetooth Earbud Alternatives To Apple Airpods
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Whether you missed out on getting a pair of AirPods this gifting season, are skeptical about becoming an early adopter or just don’t like the design of Apple’s new wireless Bluetooth headphones, there are a number of other options that work just as well.
Early users have a few quibbles with AirPods, including a short battery life rated at five hours, lack of high-quality sound and the fact that they aren’t sweat or waterproof. Others have noted an imperfect fit that might cause the costly devices to slip out during exercise, but your mileage may vary.
If these qualities seem bothersome, there are numerous other options that have wireless and Bluetooth benefits, but with longer battery life, high-quality sound and water or sweat-proof designs. AppleInsider gathered a few of the best.
Best Earbuds For Apple Fans
For those invested in Apples ecosystem, the AirPods Pro offer an appealing mix of powerful noise cancellation, good-enough sound quality, and an array of features that make them the ideal companion to the companys other devices. Theyre also the only AirPods that come with different sizes of ear tips for a customizable fit.
The AirPods Pro have a compact case that supports wireless charging. Setting them up is as simple as holding the open case near your iPhone. The earbuds are lightweight and fit snugly in most ears. Their force sensor pinch controls are easy to get down, and they rank among the very best wireless earbuds when it comes to voice call quality. Their ANC cant match Bose or Sony but is enough to quiet your surroundings a fair amount, and the transparency mode almost makes it feel like youre not wearing earbuds at all.
Where the AirPods stand out is with their Apple-only features like head tracking for spatial audio, automatic pairing with all of your Apple iCloud devices, auto device switching, extensive Find My support, and so on. They also support audio sharing, and if youve got an Apple TV and need to keep things quiet in the living room or bedroom, you can use the AirPods for private listening. The AirPods Pro are pretty standard in other areas like sound quality and battery life, but their deep intertwining with Apples world is reason enough to give them serious consideration.
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Soundpeats Truefree+ Wireless Earbuds
A durable, yet elegant, pair of earbuds meant to provide a comfortable fit for its extended playtime, the SoundPEATS TrueFree+ Earbuds delivers up to 3.5 hours in one go. When not in use, place them in their case to recharge youll get a whopping 9-10 full charges from the charging case, giving you 35 hours of use.
Reviewers say the SoundPEATS delivers some of the best sound quality in its class, with deep, immersive bass and rich, warm tones you typically only find in larger headphones. Customize your buds using the included ear tip pieces, that let you to seal in a tight, secure fit for optimal noise reduction. A simple tap of the multi-function buttons lets you play and pause your music, and take a call on the go.
Air Bud Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
Bringing you the convenience of Apples AirPods minus the sucker punch to your checking account, the Air Buds make wireless listening accessible for everyone.
- Stay reliably connected with Bluetooth 4.2 technology.
- Tune out distractions with CVC 6.0 noise cancellation.
- Listen for up to 2.5 hours at a time.
- Carry anywhere with the included charging case.
- Recharge up to 10 times with the charging case.
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Android Users Should Get The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
The Galaxy Buds Pro features better noise cancelling compared to the AirPods Pro, and has a host of EQ presets for you to choose from. If you have an Android phone, or even more specifically a Samsung Galaxy phone, the Galaxy Buds Pro is a steal. These buds boast an impressive IPX7 rating, very good sound and microphone quality, and a great collection of software features.
Best True Wireless Earbuds In Order
The best true wireless earbuds overall
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
When it comes to the overall true wireless headphones package, the Sony WF-1000XM4 is the choice for us. This latest version of its high-end buds have slimmed down in size and weight considerably, but improved on battery life, boosted audio quality, and polished their noise cancellation even further. That’s quite the upgrade.
The price is premium, but so is the sound. Our full Sony WF-1000XM4 review calls them “a poised, balanced and entirely believable listen” and praised the very fine balance. Bass is impactful but controlled the mid-range is full but defined the high-end is crisp but not hard. It’s an energetic and warm presentation, which is what Sony tends to generally go for.
The noise cancellation is right up there with the best of in-ear buds, and though it isn’t quite the best on the market, when you factor in everything else these do well, they’re the best mix of audio quality and cancellation together.
Other commendations include excellent call quality compared to most earbuds, and useful fast pairing on Android, as well as lots of customisable options in the app. The battery life is solid overall, though is bested by other new models, such as the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+.
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Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: The Best Features
If you own a Samsung Galaxy S20 smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are among the best AirPods alternatives for Android. These noise-cancelling earbuds are the first to support Samsung 360 Audio, which works with Dolby Atmos-encoded content. Other Samsung-exclusive benefits include direct voice access to Bixby and high-quality, adaptive streaming over the Samsung Scalable Codec .
The earbuds seal to the ear which creates a more comfortable, secure fit for long-term use. You can exercise to your hearts content with Samsungs noise-cancelling earphones because they boast an IPX7 rating. If you have a Samsung Galaxy S10 device or later, you may wirelessly charge the earbuds from anywhere.
Check out our to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.
Best Earbuds For Working Out
The long-reigning champ of fitness earbuds, the Powerbeats Pro, have finally been defeated. And fittingly, theyve been outdone by Beats latest earbuds. The Beats Fit Pro trade the ear hooks of the Powerbeats for a new wing tip design that keeps them securely locked in your ears during even the most vigorous workouts. As a result, these earbuds have a much smaller form factor and their carrying case is mercifully far more manageable. The way these earbuds magnetically latch into the case also means you dont have to worry about one or both buds failing to charge in the case, which was a common annoyance with the Powerbeats Pro.
Unlike the Powerbeats Pro, the Fit Pros include active noise cancellation. And theyre on par with the AirPods Pro in that department, so youll be able to exercise without distraction. When you do want to stay alert to your surroundings, the transparency mode is also as natural-sounding and clear as on the AirPod Pros.
The earbuds are rated IPX4 for water resistance. While thats not as robust as some other fitness-focused buds, it should be sufficient to survive sweat and outdoor runs in various conditions. The Fit Pros have easy-to-use physical button controls, and although they lack the dedicated volume rocker of the Powerbeats Pro, youve got the option to remap a long-press of each earbud to adjust volume instead of toggling noise cancellation.
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How To Choose Headphones
With so many types of headphones, how do you know which pair is right for you? On the Consumer 101 TV show, Consumer Reports expert Elias Arias explains everything you need to know.
I want to live in a world where consumers take advantage of technology, not the other way around. Access to reliable information is the way to make that happen, and that’s why I spend my time chasing it down. When I’m off the clock, you can find me working my way through an ever-growing list of podcasts. Got a tip? Drop me an email or follow me on Twitter for my contact info on Signal.
What’s Are The Biggest Differences Between Cheaper Buds And More Premium Buds
Often, the biggest difference is build quality. Premium buds tend to feel sturdier and tend to be built with more premium materials. They also have a more premium look and feel to both the buds themselves and their charging case. In theory, premium buds should hold up better over time. Additionally, they tend to have more features such as ear-detection sensors and they pair with a companion app so you can upgrade the firmware . Finally, while some cheaper buds have active noise canceling, the performance of the noise-canceling and transparency modes tends to be better with more premium buds.
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How To Connect Airpods To Ps4 Ps4 Pro Or Ps5
Want to use AirPods for gaming? Heres a one-stop guide through some foolproof steps on how to connect your AirPods to your PS4, PS4 Pro, or PS5.
Having your very own Playstation console is one of the best rewards every gamer can give to themselves. But these dont exactly come cheap, especially the new PlayStation 5 . Thats why no one can blame you if you currently dont want to shell out more cash for some gaming headsets and opt to use your trusty AirPods instead.
Theres just one problem though: the PlayStation 5 still doesnt support Bluetooth audio like its predecessors. And, it doesnt look like theyll add this feature any time soon.
This may prompt you to spend more of your hard-earned money on some PS4/PS5 compatible headsets or settle for cheap wired headphones, instead. But dont lose hope just yet!
Unsupported or not, our handy guide will help you through some smart hacks on how to wirelessly connect your AirPods to your PlayStation console. Well even provide ways on how to troubleshoot any audio issues you may encounter.
Read on and find out how.
True Wireless Battery Life
Battery life is the Achilles’ heel of the true wireless category. The typical estimated battery life tops out around six hours. It kills a battery fast when you need to power two earpieces separately.
The necessary solution that all of these designs share in common is a charging case. Each case protects the earpieces when not in use, and charges them simultaneously. Most of the cases carry two extra full charges, so you can recharge your earphones on the go. It’s not unlikely that this weak aspect of the true wireless realm will improve to the point that it will no longer be an issue.
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Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2
- Bluetooth 5.0 aptX, AAC, SBC
- IPX5 rating
While the AirPods is the default for most iPhone users, the fact of the matter is that the true wireless market has matured to a point where you have your pick of the litter. There is a vast market of viable AirPods alternatives to match your needs. If youre intrigued by Apples true wireless solution but want better sound quality, weve compiled this list of the best AirPods alternatives.
Editors note: this list of the best AirPods alternatives was updated on December 10, 2021, to include the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro to the Notable mentions section.
Related: The best AirPods Pro alternatives
Why You Should Trust Soundguys
Every product that comes our way is subjected to rigorous objective testing methods.
Weve been testing true wireless earbuds since the categorys inception and take pride in our ability to show our work and reasoning behind championing one product over another. We strive to make performance measurements accessible to our readers and have the know-how, dedication, and ethics to do so. SoundGuys only makes money when you find something you like enough to keep it, and we take integrity seriously.
We . Everything we recommend is because our objective measurements and subjective experiences have lead us to feel strongly about a product. At the end of the day, we want you to be happy with your purchase or, at the very least, to close out of this tab knowing a bit more about the inner workings of audio.
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How We Pick And Test
- Great sound
Our audio experts compared hundreds of earbuds, listening for clear, true-to-life sound with a solid Bluetooth connection.
- Secure, comfy fit
A good design should fit most ear shapes, so we have people with various ear sizes try on our top contenders.
- Call quality
Your callers should understand you no matter where you are, so we test mics in a quiet room, with background noise, and in wind.
- Battery life
The battery must last at least five hours for true wireless earbuds, and we test to confirm that they meet manufacturers claims.
May be out of stock
Jabra recently released a successor to the 75t called the Elite 7 Pro. Although the 7 Pro earbuds get a lot right, we experienced connectivity problems and other issues that need to be resolved before we can consider recommending them. You can read more of our thoughts in the Competition section. Jabra declined to say whether the 75t will be discontinued, but as long as that pair is available, it offers better overall performance for far less money and so remains our top pick.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $40.
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.
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How We Chose The Best Airpods Alternatives
We strive to provide our readers with practical and reliable picks for our best lists and understand that audio is both an objective and subjective experience. The former is why we champion our in-house testing which we subject as many products to as possible, and the latter explains why were cover as much as possible about a particular product for its respective review.
The Jabra Elite 7 Pro builds on the Jabra Elite 85t.
We work relentlessly to better understand the world of audio. Individually, each of us has multiple years tracking the audio industry, affording us as a team diversified skill set that we use to make the research side of consumer audio less intimidating for our readers.
Regardless of what you end up purchasing, if you end up purchasing anything at all, none of our writers may benefit from picking one product over another. In fact, none of the writers will ever know if a link was clicked. If youre curious, our ethics policy is publicly available, but at the end of the day, our goal is for you to be happy and walk away more informed.
How To Choose The Best Airpods Max Alternatives
Picking from the best AirPods Max alternatives isnt that different from picking from the best headphones in general: youll want the best combination of sound quality, comfort and battery life that you can get on your specific budget.
That said, if you want an AirPods Max alternative specifically, it probably means you admire a certain something about Apples headphones. If its features, then look out for active noise-cancelling headphones in particular. Currently there arent any non-Apple headphones that support spatial audio for video, though any model should work with spatial audio in Apple Music. The AirPods Pro also has this feature, if you dont mind wireless earbuds.
You may also be looking for an alternative with the AirPods Maxs eye for design and styling. This is one area in which the AirPods Max is fairly unique, and there arent any good-quality headphones that explicitly copy that distinctive design, though there are many that match it on comfort. Sony and Bose in particular make over-ear headphones you can wear for hours.
There are also lots of opportunities to surpass the AirPods Pro, rather than simply matching it. With 20 hours of battery life, most of the headphones on this list will easily last longer, and of course they can all save you money with significantly lower prices than what the AirPods Max will cost you.
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