True wireless earbuds are becoming popular for good reason. They offer great, cable free listening that makes them ideal for commutes or gym workouts.
If you had told us a few years ago that people would be genuinely interested in buying a pair of true wireless earbuds, We would’ve been puzzled.
At the time, true wireless earbuds were easy to lose, didn’t have great sound quality or special features, and dropped audio far too often. While they’re still easy to lose, the tech inside has improved greatly: more companies are manufacturing noise cancelling models, too.
Thankfully help is at hand. We’ve rounded up the best wireless earbuds on the market, drawing on our extensive back catalogue of in-depth reviews of Bluetooth in-ears. So whether you want the comfiest pair on the planet, one with brilliant battery life or just want to know what are the best-sounding wireless earbuds on the market, we’re sure to have a pair of buds for you.
Wireless vs. True Wireless earbuds
Wireless headphones don’t need to be plugged in to anything but still require a headband that sits over your head. Some wireless earbuds, meantime, are attached to each other with a cord, or come with a neckband that wraps around your neck, to help keep them in place.
True wireless earbuds, however, refer to two earbuds that don’t need to be connected to one another. Instead, they fit snuggly inside your ear, either with adjustable cushioned tips or with a wrap-around hook that slides over your ear.
By cutting the cord, you’re less restricted in your movement, letting you easily take your wireless earbuds on a run or hike, without getting tangled up in an annoying cable.
How we test true wireless earbuds
We use every set of true wireless earbuds for at least a week before scoring. While testing we use them in a variety of different environments as well as quiet lab conditions to ensure we check how they work in the real world, not just a lab environment. They’re also tested using a variety of music genres.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.
10 best true wireless earbuds 2021:
Sony’s second ever pair of true wireless earbuds, the WF-1000XM3s offer solid and stable Bluetooth connectivity and stellar noise-cancelling, which is a clear cut above the competition.
The fit is excellent, as is battery life and the all-important sound quality. They come with more tip sizes than most rivals, feature intuitive touch controls for playback and volume control and sound wonderfully musical.
Despite their tiny proportions, there’s a good sense of scale. Instruments sound natural and authentic, with plenty of detail and composure to the performance.
You get six hours of playback as standard, while the case has enough power for an extra three charges, giving a total of 24 hours when using Bluetooth and noise-cancelling. Plus there’s a fast-charge function: 10 minutes of charging breathes 90 minutes of life into these buds.
- Great musical sound quality
- Super noise cancellation
- Snug, comfortable fit
- Rock solid wireless connectivity
- Adaptive Sound Control can be intrusive
- No aptX
At the top of the list is Jabra’s latest release, the Elite Active 75t. This sportier alternative to the critically acclaimed Elite 75t beats the AirPods Pro in nearly every category: battery life, durability, sound, and special features just to name a few.
The design is conveniently comfortable and reinforced with IP57 certification, making the buds waterproof and resistant to dust and sweat.
Music sounds clear, balanced and vibrant, plus you have the option of personalizing your audio experience by manually tweaking the built-in EQ or selecting one of several presets in the Jabra Sound+ app.
Passive noise cancellation might not match that of the AirPods Pro ANC performance, but is still effective at minimizing ambient noise. Lastly, you have up to 28 hours of portable juice at your disposal.
All of that, plus the Jabra Elite Active 75t’s moderate price, make them the best wireless earbuds in the market. You’ll also be able to purchase the earbuds in two new colors this June: Mint and Sienna.
- Crisp and well-balanced audio
- Sleek, waterproof design
- Strong battery life
- Companion app with lots of sound personalization settings
- Functionality has been scaled back on newer features
Some earbuds try to do it all and often they end up with something that’s not good at, well, anything. Fortunately, that’s not the case with the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro.
One of the strong points for the Liberty 2 Pro is battery life. The buds get up to eight hours of battery before needing to be recharged. The included charging case nets you an additional 24 hours of battery life, which is quite impressive.
The case utilizes USB-C for wired charging and even supports wireless charging via the Qi standard. Needless to say, your earbuds will last quite a bit of time and if they die, it’ll be relatively easy to find a charger to juice them back up.
In terms of sound quality, the Liberty 2 Pro boast elevated bass and treble, which makes for an enjoyable listening experience for most modern music genres.
The bass is still relatively balanced so you won’t lose any detail in the bass but they are boosted over everything else. This is in stark contrast to the treble, which is slightly boosted.
You likely won’t hear the treble boost much, if at all. The overall sound is very bassy, so bass lovers will fall in love with the earbuds. Noise isolation with the Liberty 2 Pro is one of their weak points. It’s good, but there’s no active noise cancelation, which could be a dealbreaker for some. You’ll need to increase the volume in order to block out environmental noise.
Finally, the Liberty 2 Pro are very comfortable, making them easy to wear for longer periods of time.
- Long battery life
- Great sound quality
- USB-C and Qi wireless charging
- Very comfortable
- Noise isolation could be better
Beats is back with a pair of premium true wireless earbuds that deliver the best fit among the options on our list. That’s thanks to an innovative earhook that tucks securely and comfortably behind your ears to stay in place no matter what you’re doing or how fast you’re moving.
The earbooks are adjustable so you can find the most secure fit. Multiple ear tip options, meantime, let you customize how the buds sit in your ear canal.
Users say the audio is loud and powerful, with big bass and deep, full sound. Use the earbuds individually, or pair them together for a full, immersive listening experience. There are control settings on each earbud for versatility. These wireless earbuds are also great for taking calls, with multiple microphones that hone in on your voice and filter out outside noise.
This set comes with the Powerbeats Pro totally wireless earphones, portable charging case, eartips with four size options, lightning to USB-A charging cable, user manual and warranty card.
- Snug, Secure fit that won’t come loose
- Decent battery life
- Robust wireless connection
- Ears will be a little sensitive at first if you’re not used to the wrap-around earhooks
The Amazon Echo Buds, our previous winners in this category, had a good run. They were able to dampen outside noise to a degree, they sounded good, and they cost just $130. But when you’re on the top, someone’s always trying to knock you off, and Edifier finally did it with the TWS NB.
The TWS NB bring actual active noise cancellation to the table, as opposed to Amazon’s active noise reduction, at a price ($120) that’s cheaper than the Echo Buds.
With ANC on, the TWS NB match the Echo Buds in battery life at five hours. But turn ANC off, and the TWS NB can last 11 hours without needing to return to their charging case.
The TWS NB don’t have voice-activated Amazon Alexa integration like the Echo Buds do, and many may prefer Amazon’s buds for more intense activities like running.
But with audio quality proving to be just as good as the Echo Buds, plus noise cancellation and battery life that are both objectively better, Edifier found a winner with its new true wireless earbuds.
- Good audio quality
- Exceptional design
- Easy to setup
- Can feel a bit snug
This mini model from FOCUSPOWER is another great discreet true wireless option. It is low priced and has a tiny USB dock to clip to and charge from any USB connection, thanks to their magnetic induction charging.
It provides 6 hours of seamless streaming over a stable, easy to pair connection for uninterrupted listening.
The driver is ample and delivers full-range audio. It is shelled with a smooth plastic, which helps keep the price tag reasonable. The mic is great quality and the hands-free has zero interference.
- Singular earbud option
- One of the smallest on the market
- Low price
- Slightly inhibited dynamics
The AirPods Pro improve on Apple’s iconic wireless buds with a water-resistant design and a wide range of handy touch controls. Battery life could be longer but the noise cancellation features are top-notch.
Turn on ANC and the AirPods Pro do a great job blocking out everyday noise, but you can switch to the useful Transparency Mode when you want to be aware of your surroundings.
Apple’s high-end buds also include three pairs of swappable silicone ear tips, making it easy to find a great fit. The stems themselves are also shorter than the ones found on the original AirPods.
And of course, if you’re an iPhone user, the AirPods Pro work seamlessly with iOS. Blend all of these premium features with clean, powerful audio that suits all genres of music, and you have the company’s best audio product to date.
- Great active noise cancelling
- Easy to use controls
- Comfortable fit
- Great sound
- Battery life could be longer
They might not sound quite as peachy as the true wireless earbuds at the top of the list, but these Bose’s still come with plenty to recommend. They don’t burrow into your ears, so are comfortable to wear for extended periods.
Designed with sporty types in mind, the SoundSport Free in-ears are both sweat- and water-resistant, and have a suitably rugged feel to them. The earbud-mounted controls are very useful and save you taking your phone out when pounding the pavement.
Talking of which, the earpieces are neatly held in place by Bose’s StayHear tips which feature little wings that rest against the inside of your ear for extra stability.
Five hours of battery life should be enough for a workout, but the solid plastic charging carry case serves up an extra ten hours of power. Not bad, but not a patch on the battery life of the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s (above).
Despite all the sporty touches, the SoundSport Frees have more than enough sonic appeal to satisfy commuters. Sound is bold and balanced, with rich, weighty bass and crisp highs. These sporty, feature-packed buds sound great and tick all the boxes.
- Weighty, full-bodied sound
- Deep, powerful bass
- Even tonal balance
- Nothing of note
Despite being somewhat limited on Android (no auto-play/pause, Google Assistant, or customizability), the AirPods Pro join the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 and Sony WF-1000XM3 at the top of the ANC true wireless earbuds pyramid.
The AirPods Pro’s ANC performance is fantastic for their class. No, they won’t beat out the top end over-ear headphones such as the Sony WH-1000XM3, but they get close to almost everything else on the market.
Sound quality is solid with the AirPods Pro. They are pretty bass and midrange heavy. This creates the sensation that the sound is closer to you.
This is mostly because most instruments (including guitars, horns, and female vocals) typically sit in the midrange frequencies. Their treble performance is decent but lacks detail overall.
- Long battery life
- Good sound
- Wireless charging case
- Superb ANC performance
- No customizability on Android
- Lightning for charging
The Klipsch T5 hold their own against the very best true wireless earbuds – in fact, we’d argue that they’re among the best models on the market right now. That’s because they offer stellar sound, high build quality, long-lasting battery life, and one of the coolest cases we’ve ever seen.
Featuring the signature Klipsch sound, these buds sound warm, clear, and never harsh. Acoustic music is lush and detailed, with that clarity extending to the highs as well, allowing the headphones to sing in the higher registers without ever being sibilant.
Battery life is rated at eight hours per charge with the case providing an additional 24 hours – not bad at all.
- Incredible build quality
- Warm, detailed sound
- Excellent battery life
- Deep fit may be uncomfortable
True wireless earbuds are a special kind of headphones as they allow users to engage in all sorts of activities without worrying about cables, battery lifetime, or fit. These devices are designed to accompany the user at the gym, during outdoor sports activities, on the bus or train, or in the office.
And that’s what makes them so amazing! True wireless earbuds are a modern accessory for the busy person and have amazing features that truly improve a wide array of activities.