For many of us, a set of earbuds are a must-carry item whenever we leave the house. In recent years, true wireless audio technology has improved by leaps and bounds, allowing for high-fidelity sound and nearly latency-free audio playback from your source device. And with prices plateauing or even dropping, now may be a good time to jump on board the wireless earbud era if you're still tethered by wires. If you have been on board and are looking to upgrade, there have been some great releases in recent months, with further improved active noise cancelation (ANC) and transparency mode, as well as other smart features.
Whether you're buying your very first pair of wireless buds or upgrading to a new pair, this guide will help you find the best wireless earbuds for your needs!
Our favorite wireless earbuds of 2023
Bose QuietComfort EarBuds 2
The best ANC, anywhere
The Bose QuietComfort EarBuds 2 have the best ANC we've ever tested in any earbuds and excellent audio quality as well. But the original retail price was higher than other earbuds. It is, however, on sale right now.
- Best active noise cancelation in any earbud
- More secure fit than most other earbuds
- Easy touch controls
- Relatively expensive
- Missing some of the smart features of competitors
Sony's awkwardly named WF-1000XM4 had topped this list previously for its best overall blend of audio quality and ANC, but Bose's QuietComfort EarBuds 2, launched on the same day as the AirPods Pro 2 and iPhone 14 series, has taken over the crown as best overall wireless earbuds. The earbuds offer pretty much all the features you could ask for, in addition to top-notch audio output, great active noise cancelation, and impressive battery life.
The QuietComfort EarBuds 2 can last six hours on a single charge, works well with either iOS or Android phones (along with other devices like Windows laptops or smart television, of course), and pump out great sound. In terms of pure audio fidelity, it can be debatable if these buds are the absolute best — though they're certainly in the running.
But where the QuietComfort EarBuds 2 reign supreme, completely untouched, is in ANC. Using a quality silicon tip that seals off the ear canal, four microphones per bud, and smart software algorithms, these earbuds can block out more sound than any other true wireless earbuds on the market we have tried. If you are around loud environments often and would really like a break from the noise without something bulky like over-the-ear headphones, then these are the ones to get. Bose also has a strong transparency mode, which the company calls "Aware" mode, and a robust mobile app that offers granular control over the audio.
The only downside of these buds is they are relatively pricey at $299. However, you can get them for as low as $250 on sale. While that's still pretty pricey, the QuietComfort Earbuds 2 are hard to beat if you want the best overall package.
Stylish looks without stems
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are one of the latest pairs of TWS to hit the shelves. Compared to the older Buds Pro, these high-end earbuds come with a slightly different, smaller design. They also support noise-canceling, 3D audio, and more.
- No stems for a clean look
- Great looking colors
- Smart features that play nice with Samsung phones
- No stems also mean touch controls are harder to pull off
- May not fit all ear types securely
There are many other earbuds that can easily take this slot, but I'm giving it to the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro for its sleek design, discreet looks (no stems protruding from your ears!), and fun colors with a matte coating. Of course, all the praises I just bestowed on Samsung's buds are subjective. What's objective is that these sound great, with an 11mm driver fine-tuned by AKG, and it has arguably the most intelligent and practical software features around. In addition, these earbuds can intelligently switch from ANC to transparency mode if they detect your voice.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro also is rated IPX7, which is more than the usual IPX4 you'll see in most of these buds. This means Samsung's buds can be immersed underwater for short periods of time. Battery life is where it falls a bit short of rivals, lasting only five hours on a single charge with ANC on, with the case adding another three charges. But that shouldn't be a cause for concern, as the earbuds offer fast charging support, and you can get up to an hour of playtime with just a five-minute charge.
If you use a Samsung device, there are some special features too, such as intelligent switching between a Samsung phone to a tablet and vice versa, and the option to stream 24-bit audio if you're using a Samsung device running OneUI 4.1 or later and streaming from a source that supports it. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro also offers Spatial Audio support when paired with a compatible Samsung phone, allowing you to experience immersive audio when watching content or listening to music on supported apps.
Apple AirPods Pro 2
The best earbuds for those immersed in Apple's ecosystem
The AirPods Pro 2 pack in plenty of features, including active noise cancelation (ANC), Dolby Atmos content, and wireless charging, despite their compact build.
- Second best ANC of any earbuds behind the Bose QC EarBuds 2
- Works well with Apple products
- The most natural transparency mode
- Relatively expensive
- Loses some features if used with Android or Windows machines
The official name of the second-generation AirPods is just AirPods Pro. But for clarity, we will refer to the earbuds as AirPods Pro 2 here so as not to confuse them with the original pair released in 2019.
While the new AirPods Pro 2 look similar to the first generation, there are noticeable improvements. The audio drivers have been redesigned, which along with Apple's H2 chip, pump out noticeably fuller and more immersive audio. The ANC has also improved, though still not at Bose's level, and Apple's transparency mode is one of the most natural-sounding ones we've tested. But perhaps most importantly, these earbuds are designed to work with Apple products, particularly the iPhone, and they offer a seamless experience that you won't get with most other wireless earbuds on this list.
To be clear, you can use other brands' earbuds with iPhones, and they'll play audio perfectly fine. But the AirPods Pro 2 bring extra features such as Spatial Audio with head tracking and the ability to respond to text messages directly via the earbuds without touching them or the phone. You can also access Siri easily via voice gestures or a long press of the stem. The AirPods Pro will also seamlessly switch between MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones, depending on which device you're using.
They're also pretty good as regular Bluetooth earbuds for other brands. You lose out on most of the aforementioned features for iPhone users, but the AirPods Pro 2 will still pump out excellent audio, and ANC/transparency mode works well. Battery life is fine, at five hours on a single charge, but shorter than some other buds listed here. The case adds roughly another 19 hours of playtime. If you're an iPhone user, the AirPods Pro 2 should be leading the pack in consideration.
Apple AirPods 3
If you find the Pros too expensive...
The AirPods 3 have a similar design to the AirPods Pro but do not have silicone tips. If you do not like the in-ear design of the AirPods Pro, you can get the AirPods 3.
- Comfortable open-ear design
- Very affordable for an Apple product
- Plays nice with Apple products
- Open ear design means it doesn't block out sound at all
- Long stems that stick out from ears
If you're not a fan of in-ear style silicon tips and want something that just rests a bit more gently inside your ear — or if you want something with a lower price tag — then the affordable AirPods 3 are for you. The earbuds come with an open-ear style design, meaning the buds aren't meant to completely close off your ear canal like the AirPods Pro (or most other earbuds on this list).
Of course, you also get the goodness of seamless connectivity with Apple devices thanks to the H1 chip. In addition, there's multi-device support if you're using an iPhone, Mac, iPad, or Apple Watch with seamless switching. Apple has improved the sound quality of the AirPods 3 considerably compared to the last-gen AirPods.
There's support for Spatial Audio this time, so you can enjoy the surround sound effect from the AirPods Pro even on these. The major difference between the AirPods Pro and the third-generation AirPods is the absence of ANC. The AirPods Pro has Active Noise Cancelation, which a lot of people will appreciate, especially while commuting or flying, but you won't get that experience with the cheaper earbuds.
The AirPods 3 come in a new case that has support for MagSafe charging, but you'll have to pay $10 extra for the MagSafe-compatible case. If you're not big on wireless charging, you can save that money and get the regular case that features a Lightning connector for charging. The usual features like Siri integration and force sensors for play/pause and skipping tracks are present. If you feel that in-ear earbuds aren't comfortable, skip the AirPods Pro and get the AirPods 3.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2
Premium features at an affordable price
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are a great pair of premium wireless earbuds that bring impressive sound quality thanks to the MelodyBoost Dual Drivers, spatial audio, improved ANC, and more at a relatively affordable price point.
- Lightweight case and earbuds
- Supports multi-point and Fast Pair
- Good audio output and great features
- Below average ANC
- No volume controls
Like its smartphones, OnePlus' flagship earbuds offer most of the premium features you get with top-of-the-line wireless earbuds at a more reasonable price. Its latest model, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, has a stylish design, and it's comfortable for long-term use. It packs an 11mm driver and a 6mm tweeter in each earbud, offering great audio output rivaling more premium earbuds like the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and the Apple AirPods Pro. However, given that the earbuds are significantly cheaper, you won't get the same level of performance or features as the other flagship earbuds.
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are pretty feature-rich for the price and support active noise cancellation with a transparency mode, spatial audio support with OnePlus phones, Google Fast Pair, multi-device pairing, customizable gestures, and an adjustable equalizer. Sadly, the ANC performance is not up to par with some of the more premium earbuds on this list, like the Bose QC Earbuds 2, and the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 don't have a gesture for volume controls. While most users will get by just fine with the ANC performance, the lack of volume controls might be a deal breaker. As far as battery life is concerned, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 last up to six hours with ANC enabled and up to nine hours without ANC.
If you're fine with making the aforementioned compromises, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are great for the asking price. The earbuds are especially great for those who own OnePlus smartphones, as they pair seamlessly with devices from the company and offer a couple of additional features. While OnePlus' HeyMelody app is available for download on devices from other OEMs, it loses out on a couple of features like Spatial Audio.
Google Pixel Buds Pro
Google's attempted answer to the AirPods Pro
The Google Pixel Buds Pro are a solid pair of true wireless earbuds. They pump out balanced audio and block out a fair bit of background noise. They also have beamforming microphones for crystal clear calls, Google Assistant support, and up to 31 hours of total battery life.
- Great design and looks
- Good ANC
- Plays nicely with Google Pixel phones
- Out of box audio tuning a bit underwhelming
- Missing some features seen in Samsung's earbuds
Let it be known that, in a vacuum, the Google Pixel Buds Pro are better than the OnePlus Buds Pro 2; the hardware is better, and these buds allow you to access Google Assistant easily if you're paired with most Android phones. But it has to rank below the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 because it's a bit more expensive, and in our review, we found the out-of-the-box audio tuning to be sub-par. Don't worry, the audio can be fixed with some fine-tuning. After doing so, the Pixel Buds Pro pump out balanced audio with clean high ends, crisp mids, and low ends that aren't overbearing.
The Pixel Buds Pro offers great battery life, at seven hours of playtime on a single charge with ANC on and 11 hours without. The case bumps the total to 31 hours. The case supports wireless charging, and the buds are rated IPX4, like most other offerings here. But ultimately, these are earbuds you get because you use an Android phone and want to access Google Assistant easily. Being able just to say "Hey, Google" and then follow up with a question is better than needing to fiddle with the earbuds. This feature alone makes the Pixel Buds Pro the best option for those who own a Pixel phone.
The Pixel Buds Pro aren't bad by any means if you use a phone from another OEM, but there are better options out there. The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is a great alternative, and it'll even save you a few bucks. But if money isn't of concern, the Bose QC Earbuds 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are significantly better alternatives.
Beats Fit Pro
Great for the gym and outdoor activities
The Beats Fit Pro pair effortlessly with the iPhone, offer excellent ANC, and have long-lasting battery life. With a stem-free design and added wingtips, the Fit Pro stay in place and never get in the way.
- Stem-free design with wing tips for a great fit
- Feature-rich and seamless pairing with Apple devices
- IPX4 rating
- Bulky case
- Not the best ANC performance
- Android users miss out on certain features
Having a good pair of earbuds is essential if you're the kind of person that gets pumped up by a nice playlist on Spotify while working out, and the Beats Fit Pro is a pair of earbuds that are specifically engineered for this use case. They feature a stem-free design and added wingtips, ensuring a comfortable fit that's great for running and hitting the gym. They come with active noise cancelation, so you never miss a beat, and they're protected from sweat, water, and dust, coming with an IPX4 rating, so they'll keep up with you no matter how harsh the environment is.
Thanks to Apple's H1 chip integration, the Beats Fit Pro offer AirPods-like seamless connectivity with Apple devices, but they're also compatible with Android phones. However, with the latter, you will miss out on a couple of features, like Spatial Audio and hands-free assistant support. If that isn't a deal breaker for you, the Beats Fit Pro won't disappoint. The earbuds offer top-notch audio output, up to six hours of battery life with ANC and an additional 18 hours with the charging case, and intuitive gesture controls.
Note that the unique design with the extended wingtips might not be comfortable for some users, so we recommend you try the Beats Fit Pro at a retail store near you before making a purchase. The charging case is also a bit on the bulky side, which may not be ideal for carrying around in your pocket at the gym or on a run.
Jabra Elite 7 Active
No wingtips and a better deal for Android users
Jabra's Elite 7 Active are comfortable, lightweight, and IP57 rated, making them a great pair of earbuds for working out. They offer a host of premium features, including active noise canceling and a transparency mode, along with great audio output at a reasonable price.
- Comfortable and lightweight with an IP57 rating
- Impressive sound quality
- Great price
- ANC could be better
- No aptX support
If you're an Android user or find the Beats Fit Pro's wingtips uncomfortable, the Jabra Elite 7 Active is a great alternative. The earbuds don't offer any additional features for iOS users, so you get the same experience no matter which platform you're on, and it's pretty great for the price. The Elite 7 Active sound just as great, if not better, than the Beats Fit Pro, offer ANC support and a transparency mode, and even come with wireless charging support.
The Jabra Elite 7 Active feature an IP57 rating, which means they offer a decent level of dust resistance, unlike the Beats Fit Pro. Thanks to this, they're a better pick for those who chalk up while lifting weights at the gym. The earbuds also offer a higher degree of ingress protection, so you can rest assured they won't malfunction due to water damage.
Using the Jabra Sound+ companion app, you can adjust a variety of settings on the Elite 7 Active, including ANC levels, an equalizer, a voice assistant, and a personalized audio mode tailored to your hearing. As far as the battery life is concerned, you get up to 7 hours of playback with ANC and almost three full charges with the charging case. The earbuds also offer fast charging and wireless charging support, so you don't have to worry about running out of juice during a workout.
The Jabra Elite 7 Active are a great pair of workout earbuds, and, for some, they might even be better than the Beats Fit Pro. Given that they're also a bit cheaper than the Beats earbuds, you might want to go with these if you're not an iPhone user.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
For those who want to listen to music from a variety of sources
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds are a great pick for audiophiles as they support a wide range of codecs, including AAC, SBC, aptX, and aptX Adaptive.
- Supports all the codecs
- Excellent audio
- Good ANC
- A bit bland looking
- Transparency mode just okay
Sennheiser has a long history of releasing superb audio products, and the Momentum True Wireless 3 lives up to the brand's reputation. Released in mid-2022, this third-generation model is a relatively iterative update over the already excellent second-generation model, with improvements coming mostly in the ANC and support for more codecs, including AAC, SBC, aptX, and aptX Adaptive. Chances are, many readers won't know what all those acronyms and alphabets mean, and it's okay. They're just various audio encoding/decoding programs, and only audiophiles really care about them. Sennheiser, as mentioned, has always catered to audiophiles.
This means you can expect high-fidelity audio from these buds regardless of the audio source, and the improved ANC sees the earbuds actively listening to the ambient noise around the wearer and adjusting accordingly. The 7mm drivers are fine-tuned to pump out dynamic yet balanced audio without overbearing bass. You can tweak the sound yourself with Sennheiser's "Sound Personalization" feature available in the companion app.
Battery life is also a plus, with seven hours of listening and a total of 28 hours with the charging case. There's also an app available on both Android and iOS that allows you to use the earbuds' built-in equalizer and tweak some of their other settings. The Momentum True Wireless 3 are definitely worth a look if you're looking for the best-sounding true wireless earbuds, especially if you can get the earbuds at a discount. At full price, you might be better off with one of the other premium earbuds, like the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro or the Apple AirPods Pro.
Anker Soundcore Life P3
For those who want the longest lasting earbuds
The Anker Soundcore Life P3 are affordable wireless earbuds with premium features like ANC support and impressive battery life. Get these if you want up to 10 hours of playtime on a single charge.
- Up to 10 hours of playback on a single charge
- Great price
- Fast charging and ANC support
- Might be too bass heavy for some
- Average call quality
- Not the best gesture controls
If endurance is all you care about, you can't go wrong with the Anker Soundcore Life P3. The affordable earbuds offer impressive battery life, lasting up to 10 hours of playback on a single charge with an additional 40 hours of backup in the charging case. The earbuds feature a pretty simple design with long stems that don't look particularly great, but they're decent for the price and comfortable for long-term use.
The audio quality is decent for most users, and those who prefer thumping bass might appreciate it more than the other premium earbuds on this list. But if you consider yourself an audiophile, these earbuds aren't for you. Despite the affordable price tag, the Soundcore Life P3 also feature a couple of premium extras like active noise cancelation. However, the ANC performance won't impress if you've tried more expensive earbuds.
Anker's companion app for the Soundcore Life P3 is quite feature-rich, offering a wide range of EQ presets and sound modes for personalization. In addition, it gives you access to a Soundscapes mode that plays white noise to help you concentrate or go to sleep at night.
While you will find earbuds in the sub-$100 price range that will perform better than the Soundcore Life P3 in the audio output, call quality, ANC, or other departments, it's the best one you can get if you want a long-lasting pair of earbuds. They're even better than the much more expensive AirPods Pro on that front, and you should get them if that's one of your top priorities.
Nothing Ear Stick
If you don't like earbuds cramming into your ear canals
The Nothing Ear Stick is the slightly more affordable version of the Nothing Ear (1) earbuds. You don't get all the bells and whistles with these particular earbuds, but they look unique and deliver good audio quality.
- Very comfortable fit
- Stylish transparent design
- Relatively strong bass for an open ear design
- The fit could be a bit loose for some people
- Open ear design means the earbuds cannot block out ambient noise
The human ear comes in all shapes and sizes, and not every ear canal can stand the in-ear silicon tip type earbuds, which are most of the buds on this list. For those who prefer something less intrusive, consider the Nothing Ear Stick. These are so-called "half in-ear," or "outer ear" buds, meaning they sit outside the ear canal with nothing actually being stuck in. This fit is almost certainly more comfortable, but the downside is they do not block out any sound at all.
If you're in a quiet environment, however, these buds pump out great sound thanks to Nothing's custom-built drivers. It also helps that the buds are housed in this unique and stylish semi-transparent charging case that zigs where all other buds zag. The Nothing Ear Stick can play audio for seven hours on a single charge, and it is rated IP54 for sweat resistance. The stems offer volume and music controls and access to digital voice assistants. At $89, it is also one of the more affordable buds on this list.
You should pick up the Nothing Ear Stick if you don't like in-ear earbuds or are looking for great audio output for less than $100. But these aren't the best wireless earbuds under $100 overall, and you'd be better off buying an older model from Jabra, like the Jabra Elite 3, if you want a more well-rounded experience. The Jabra Elite 4 are also a great alternative if you don't mind spending a few dollars extra, or you can be patient enough to pick it up on a discount.
OnePlus Nord Buds 2
Experience ANC at an extremely low price
The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 are affordable earbuds that offer solid audio quality and surprisingly functional ANC. They're some of the best budget earbuds you can buy right now.
- Good performance considering its $59 price
- ANC actually works
- Design looks generic
- Earbuds priced next tier up are only $30-40 more but bring more features
The OnePlus Nord Buds 2, at $59, are a bit pricier than the first pair's $40 asking price, but we think most people would be fine with the price bump because these earbuds are major improvements, with 12.4mm drivers that pump out respectable audio quality and active noise cancelation (ANC) that actually works.
Don't expect the ANC here to completely drown out outside noise the way Apple's AirPods Pro or Bose's QC Earbuds 2 can, but at this $59 price range, the ANC does enough to be impressive: you can hear it eliminate low-frequency hums of air conditioners and occasional chatter and keyboard clicks.
The earbuds have a minimalist design but otherwise fit in the ear very comfortably, and with two more sizes of silicon tips, you should be able to find the right fit for your ear canal. There are two microphones on each bud that can handle phone calls decently. The five hours of playtime per charge is on the low side, but considering how small and light these earbuds are, we think it's okay.
Sure, there are earbuds that cost even less on the market, but the quality drops off significantly if you buy something in the $30 or $40 range. We think these $59 earbuds are the best option for those on a budget. If you don't mind spending a little more, the Soundcore Life P3 have better ANC performance, while the Nothing Ear Stick will sound much better and offer a more comfortable fit.
Best wireless earbuds 2023: Final Thoughts
If money is no issue, the Bose QC Earbuds 2 are the best overall earbuds. Even though I find the look a bit dull, the earbuds offer the most secure fit thanks to an additional silicon "wing" tip, and it has the best in class ANC. I work out of coffee shops often, which can get noisy during peak hours, and the Bose QC Earbuds 2 have become indispensable. It's the only earbuds that can completely tune out outside noise and give me silence to work. That the earbuds play nice with both iOS and Android, making them the no-brainer, best overall earbuds if you can stomach the high price.
Bose QuietComfort EarBuds 2
The Bose QuietComfort EarBuds 2 have the best ANC we've ever tested in any earbuds, and excellent audio quality as well. But the original retail price was higher than other earbuds. It is, however, on sale right now.
If you're a dedicated Apple user with an iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, you may be better off buying the AirPods Pro or AirPods. And if you're trying to save a bit of money, then the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 and Jabra Elite 7 Active are less expensive options that still do a very good job.