The 11 Best Wireless Earbuds to Buy in 2019

Never deal with tangled wires again

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Jaybird X4

4

Versatile, rugged, and an all-around workhorse, the new Jaybird X4 earbuds bring high-quality audio and comfort to everyone, from casual music lovers to not-so-casual triathlon participants. With an IPX7 rating, the device is fully waterproof and able to handle the same weather conditions that you can. Eight hours of battery life allow you to take it on the road, trail, or slopes without worrying about it running out of energy. The buds can get an hour of charge in just 15 minutes so they won't totally slow you down if you run out of juice.

The earbuds prioritize customization: bass and treble can be adjusted using the Jaybird app, while a comfortable, secure fit is available thanks to interchangeable ear fins, Comply Ultra Foam tips, and an adjustable Speed Cinch. With these earbuds, you can do everything from skip tracks, mute the mic, and control the volume, along with answering and ending calls so you never miss a beat.

Best for iPhones: Apple AirPods

5

When Apple introduced its iPhone 7, the world fawned over how thin it was. That’s in part because Apple removed the headphone jack altogether. In place of the once iconic white Apple earbuds, the company rolled out wireless AirPods.

The AirPods are driven by a custom-designed Apple W1 chip and have brilliant software integration. Right when you take them out of the box for the first time, a pop-up appears on your phone asking if you want to sync them. On top of that, Siri plays ​a main role in managing your controls. They produce solid sound and have a superb dual mic set-up with powerful noise cancellation technology. The battery lasts for about 5 hours and they charge up quickly when in their case; just 15 minutes of charging gives you 3 hours of listening time. In fact, the case can charge the AirPods for a total of 24 hours (that's in addition to the 5 hours the AirPods hold themselves). For solid Apple integration, AirPods are the way to go.

Best for Sports: Bose SoundSport

4.6

For many athletes, music helps power you through a difficult set or go that extra mile. Good sound is important, but perhaps even more crucial is the fit because no one wants to be fiddling with their earbuds in the middle of a workout. The sweat-proof Bose SoundSport wireless headphones, which come in three sizes, have StayHear+ eartips with soft silicon fins for a loose yet secure fit. Note that the looser fit will allow ambient sound to sneak in, but that’s OK for runners and bikers who need to be aware of their surroundings.

As for the sound, you’ll get solid performance with decent bass and pretty decent mid-range. Battery life is rated around six hours, which should get you about a week of workouts between charges. Plus with easy Bluetooth and NFC pairing guided by voice prompts, you can leave the hard work to your workout.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best exercise headphones.​

Best Value: SENSO Bluetooth Headphones

3.4

When buying budget headphones, you’ll undoubtedly have to make some sacrifices, but when it comes to the best value headphones, everything you want should be packaged up for the best price possible. That’s exactly what you get with SENSO’s earbuds. The headphones are solidly built and simply designed, but still comfortable to wear. And they certainly don’t skimp on sound quality. With a frequency response of 20-22 kHz, the earbuds deliver true Hi-Fi sound complete with clear treble and booming bass. You’ll get a solid eight hours of battery life to last you a full day of listening, whether you’re commuting, exercising or rocking out.

Best Budget: Anker SoundBuds Slim+

4.2

If you’re not familiar with Anker products, you should be. While the company isn’t yet known for being the best of the best, its products are certainly consistent. Its SoundBuds have a hooked design that sits above your ear, guaranteeing a more secure and comfortable fit. They come with a variety of sizes and shapes for almost every ear. The rubber material also means they are water resistant (IPX5) and weighing just 5.6 ounces, they are light enough to forget you’re wearing. Inside are 6mm drivers that deliver solid bass.

As with any budget item, there are downsides. For the SoundBuds, it’s the fact that the battery only lasts about seven hours. For commuters and athletes that might not be a problem, but if you’re a marathon music listener, you might want to think twice. Still wary about buying a budget product? Anker offers a 18-month warranty plus easy-to-reach customer support.

Best Design: Beats BeatsX

While these neckband-style headphones are built by Beats, they are designed with help from Apple’s design and engineering teams. The neckband, or “Flex-Form cable” as Beats calls it, encases two wires made of nickel titanium alloy, which makes it malleable, durable and lightweight. The earbuds house 8mm drivers and are magnetized, so you can stick them together when not in use and wear them like a necklace. And like the Apple AirPods, the BeatsX feature a low-power W1 chip, which enables automatic pairing with iOS devices. You’ll get eight hours of battery life, and if you’re in need of a quick charge (via a Lightning cable), you can get two hours of playback in just five minutes, thanks to what Beats calls Fast Fuel (it's a branded way to say fast charging).

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best Beats headphones

Best Noise-Canceling: Bose QuietControl 30

Bose is known for its high-quality noise-cancelation headphones and its QuietControl 30 model only furthers its reputation. The neckband-style headphones rest like a horseshoe around your neck and the earbuds sit in your ear comfortably. The headphones are sweatproof, making them suitable for sports, though the design might bother some athletes.

True to its name, the QuietControl 30 let you adjust the noise-canceling feature. You can raise or lower it by clicking a button on the inline remote or using the Bose Connect app. You’ll likely want to keep it at the highest possible level, but if you’re running or biking, you might want to lower it to hear traffic and other surrounding sounds. Battery life is rated at an impressive 10 hours, but keep in mind that because it doesn’t have a wired option, it won’t work with in-flight entertainment and thus is not an ideal set for travelers.

Take a peek at some of the other best noise-canceling headphones you can buy.

Best for Phone Calls: Sennheiser HD1 Free Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Whether you’re making a high-stakes sales call or are just dropping a quick line to your mom, the Sennheiser HD1 Free Bluetooth Wireless Headphones deliver crisp audio quality while still managing to look luxurious. Although the neckband style is admittedly not for everyone, the band of this pair is stitched up with a bold red string. A remote sits on the left side of the neckband, which lets you adjust volume, scan tracks and answer or reject phone calls. The discreet microphone offers high intelligibility, so every word you speak is clear. Dynamic drivers deliver a frequency range of 15Hz-22kHz and booming bass, and battery life tops out around six hours – not too shabby!

Best True Wireless: Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones

Bose® - SoundSport® Free wireless headphones - Black
Courtesy of BestBuy.com

There are wireless headphones, and then there are the Bose SoundSport Free. With an exceptional Bluetooth connection that rarely drops, these truly wire-free earphones deliver unparalleled depth and clarity. And while they lack noise-cancelation since they don’t create a seal in your ear canal to block out surrounding sounds, that can be a good thing for athletes who need to be aware of their surroundings. Still, the SoundSport Free comfortably rest on the outer part of your ear canal, just like Apple’s AirPods, and they come with three sizes of StayHear+ sports tips to fit all ear sizes.

You’ll get roughly five hours of playtime on one charge, and its carrying case provides two additional charges. They’re pricey for sure, but if you’re of the camp that cringes at the AirPod design, the Bose SoundSport Free will provide flexibility tempered with subtly.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best true wireless earbuds can help you find what you're looking for.

Best for Hearing Protection: ISOtunes PRO Earplug Headphones

Unlike a typical pair of headphones, these ISOtunes were designed as earplugs first and foremost. Whether you're a contractor, woodworker, builder, etc. — if you work in a loud environment, then hearing protection should be a high priority. The ISOtunes PRO Earplug Headphones feature 27 dB noise cancelation which significantly reduces the effect of persistent, loud sound. You can even answer phone calls and rely on the noise cancelation to mute disruptions such as low-flying planes, lawn mowers, fans and vacuums.

The buds themselves are made from a custom-fit material that molds to the shape of your ear and the internal speakers feature ISOtunes's patented SafeMax Technology which allows users to play music at the maximum volume without damaging their hearing. For those who have physically demanding work environments, the ISOtunes Pro headphones have an IPX4 sweat- and water-resistant certification. The headphones are also compatible with Bluetooth-enabled devices and deliver 10 hours of playback or 240 hours on standby.

Best Battery Life: Jaybird Tarah Pros

Jaybird Tarah Pro

Best Buy

As a company, Jaybird has stayed focused on what it does best — making great fitness headphones. The latest Jaybird Tarah Pros really stand out for their battery life, delivering an incredible 14 hours of play time per charge. That’s almost double the battery life of the Jaybird X4s, and much longer than almost all other competing wireless headphones. The Tarah Pros only take two hours to charge completely, and in a pinch, you can add two hours of play time with only a five-minute charge.

At an IPX7 waterproof rating, these earbuds are reliable in all kinds of weather and can withstand even your toughest (sweatiest) workouts. The buds themselves pivot on the strong, braided cable so you can wear them over or under your ear. They come with three different sets of premium silicon tips, to make sure you find the most comfortable fit. Pair them with the Jaybird app to control the headphones’ EQ and optimize the sound for whatever kind of music you’re listening to.

Tested by

How We Tested

We bought and tested five top-rated pairs of wireless earbuds. Our reviewers spent 235 hours using them in all types of scenarios: walking on the street, working out, hanging out at home, and more. We asked them to consider the most important features when using these earbuds, from their design to their sound quality. We've outlined the key points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in Wireless Earbuds

Design - The designs of wireless earbuds vary greatly. The most common type is the neckband-style earphones, which run the wire behind the nape of your neck. But “true” wireless headphones, which have no wires whatsoever, have also hit the market recently. However, all earbuds sit in your ear canal, making them more convenient for exercising — not to mention safer by letting in some ambient noise.

Sound quality - If sound quality is your top priority, you’ll want to pay attention to the internal drivers. The driver’s diameter is measured in millimeters and it’s generally thought that the larger the driver, the louder the sound it’s capable of producing. Earphone drivers measure between 8mm and 15mm.

Battery life - While wireless earbuds have many advantages over their wired counterparts, the downside is that they have a limited battery life. A solid pair will last you around five to eight hours on a single charge. Plus, they generally charge pretty quickly, and sometimes the case even doubles as a battery pack.

Test Results: Jaybird X4 (Best Overall)

4

What We Like

  • Attractive design

  • Great-quality build

  • Accompanying app

What We Don't Like

  • Uncomfortably tight fit

  • Doesn’t charge via USB

  • Subpar sound quality

Jaybird X4
Jaybird X4 earbuds
Jaybird earbuds
X4 earbuds
Jaybird X4 wireless earbuds

“These headphones look amazing,” raved one of our testers. “The cool color options, the understated earbud design, and the substantial rubber casing are all great for athletes and runners.” One reviewer also loved their high-quality build and accompanying app: “Jaybird has outdone themselves with this app,” he said. “It has really intuitive EQ controls and presets, ‘find my earbuds’ functionality, and even how-to guides.” These earbuds’ fit, however, wasn’t a highlight: “These earbuds fit so snugly that it's uncomfortable and affects the sound quality,” reported one tester. “It makes them too bassy and muffled for the price point.” Our reviewers also wished that these earbuds could be charged via USB.

Test Results: Apple AirPods (Best for iPhones)

5

What We Like

  • Excellent sound quality

  • Quick to charge

  • Very portable

What We Don't Like

  • One earbud doesn’t connect occasionally

Apple AirPods
AirPods
Apple AirPods wireless earbuds
Apple wireless earbuds
Apple AirPods earbuds

The sound quality of these earbuds impressed one of our testers immediately. “Music sounds rich — not at all tinny, like many other earbuds,” she reported, “and phone calls are crystal clear.” Other highlights were their portability and how quickly they charged in their case: “You can get a full charge in approximately 15 minutes,” noted one tester. Our reviewers didn’t have many negative things to say about these earbuds, but one noted a small connectivity issue: “On a few occasions when I'd put them in and they'd link up to my phone or laptop, one earbud wouldn't connect. To fix it, I would just take them out and put them back in, but this was a mild annoyance.”

Test Results: Bose SoundSport (Best for Sports)

4.6

What We Like

  • High-quality bass

  • Solid battery life

  • Comfortable fit

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive

  • Small power button can be hard to find

Superior sound quality was the hallmark of these headphones, according to our testers. “Bose has a great reputation for sound quality,” one reviewer said, “and these earbuds live up to the reputation.” An added bonus? Our testers found that this pair had better-quality bass sound, specifically, than other earbuds. In terms of drawbacks, one reviewer thought that the power button on the earbuds was small and tough to find.

Test Results: SENSO Bluetooth Headphones (Best Value)

3.4

What We Like

  • Customizable fit

  • Great construction

  • Good-quality bass sound

What We Don't Like

  • Muddy sound

  • Connectivity not always seamless

  • Muffled microphone sound

SENSO Bluetooth Headphones
SENSO Headphones
SENSO Bluetooth
SENSO
SENSO Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

One of our testers loved these earbuds because of their solid build and customizable fit: “The over-ear wings can be adjusted and hold firm to any ear shape,” he noted. Another plus, according to one reviewer, was the bass quality: “You get a surprising amount of bass for such small drivers,” he explained, “which is ideal for EDM and pop music fans.” The negatives? One of our testers thought that the connectivity wasn’t always seamless and that the overall sound was “muddy” and “lacked detail.” One reviewer also felt that the microphone sound could have been better, noting that “the sound is muffled due to the microphone’s placement on the earbud itself.”

Test Results: Anker SoundBuds Slim+ (Best Budget)

4.2

What We Like

  • Easy to use

  • Quick charging

  • Completely hands-free

What We Don't Like

  • Distant sound quality

  • Difficulty connecting at first

Although one of our reviewers felt that the sound quality of these headphones could have been better, she was “super impressed” with them, overall, as her first pair of Bluetooth earbuds. A quick charge time was also a definite plus: One of our testers reported it took just 20 minutes to get to a full battery. Our testers also loved the carrying case that came included: “It made it super easy to transport and keep the headphones in when I wasn't using them,” one said.