The 10 Best Wireless Earbuds to Buy in 2018

Never deal with tangled wires again

Bose QuietControl 30
Photo from Amazon

The struggle is real: Trying to untangle your knotted headphone cables causes unimaginable frustration. So skip the mess and instead opt for wireless earbuds that redefine easy listening. Over the years, options in the wireless category have significantly improved, offering more comfortable fits, longer battery life and better sound quality, among other things. So what are the best wireless earphones out there? Depends on what you want. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites below, and trust us, there's something for everyone.

The Jaybird X3 are a significant improvement over the previous X2 model – so much so that they earn the top spot on our Best Wireless Earbuds list. While they are technically considered sports headphones (they have a hydrophobic nano-coating to wick away moisture), they are comfortable enough to use for everyday listening. The design features silicone ear fins that attach to your ear to keep them secure. The battery life is also praiseworthy: You’ll get around eight hours of music playtime.

The X3 are powered by 6mm drivers, which produce great sound and a bold bass. Better yet, you can download Jaybird's MySound App for Android or iOS to fine-tune sound to your personal preferences. The remote on the cord is easy to navigate with just three buttons, and you can pair two X3s to the same device. All in all, the X3 provide the perfect combination of quality and comfort.

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.

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. And while fit can be extremely personal, reviewers on Amazon widely agree that comfortability is what makes the Bose SoundSport so great. 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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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!

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. More »

PHIATON BT 100 NC In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones
Courtesy of Walmart.com

Wireless headphones give you freedom from being tethered to a smartphone, but they don’t always deliver when it comes to battery life. The Phiaton BT 100, on the other hand, promises around 10 to 12 hours of playtime on a single charge (though that can drop to six to eight hours when using the noise-canceling feature). And thanks to its Everplay-X technology, you can keep listening to your music, even if the battery runs out or your audio device is not Bluetooth-compatible. While the collar design is not for everyone, it holds music and call controls and a handy vibration feature alerts you if you have an incoming call or you step out of communication range. More »

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