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The Best Wireless Earbuds of 2020 – Which Is Right for You?

There are more wireless earbuds than ever before. In the market for some?

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Chandler Bondurant

This definitive guide to the best wireless earbuds of 2020 explores everything you need to know before buying your next pair of wireless earbuds, including what to look out for and which options are best.

Prefer to skip directly to the picks? Click here.

Editor’s Picks

Best Overall: Apple AirPods Pro

Battery: 4.5 hours per earbud; charging case holds an extra 15 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance: IPX4
Charge: Lightning
Key features: new noise-canceling and transparency modes, water- and sweat-resistance, wireless charging case
Release date: October 2019

What are they? The AirPods Pro are Apple’s first wireless earbuds with active noise-cancellation. They have upgraded drivers, so they sound better than AirPods. They have a new design with silicone eartips, so they should stay in your ears better, too. Plus they’re water-resistant, which AirPods are not. If you have an iPhone, the AirPods Pro are simply the best wireless earbuds you can buy.

Who should buy? Anybody who wants the best wireless earbuds that Apple has to offer, and are willing to pay extra for it.

Read our full review of the AirPods Pro, here.

Buy Now: $249 Read the Review

Best for Running: Jaybird Vista

Battery: 6 hours per earbud; charging case holds an extra 10 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance: IPX7
Charge: USB-C
Key features: adjustable EQ, extreme water- and sweat-resistance, quick charge technology
Release date: summer 2019

What are they? The Vista wireless earbuds were specifically designed for endurance athletes. They’re fully waterproof and sweatproof, and they’re some of the smallest and lightest earbuds that we’ve tested. The neat thing about the charging case is, other than being super compact, is that it conveniently charges via USB-C and can quickly charge the earbuds. In our opinion, the Vista are better wireless earbuds for running than the Beats Powerbeats Pro because they’re more reliable (no connectivity issues), cheaper, lighter, and more rugged.

Who should buy? The Vista are great for anybody who listens to music while working out. More specifically, they’re designed for long-distance runners, trail runners, mountain bikers and other extreme athletes.

Read our full review of the Jaybird Vista, here.

Read the Review

Best Sound Quality: Sennheiser Momentum TW 2

Battery: 7 hours per earbud; charging case holds up to 24 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance: IPX4
Charge: USB-C
Key features: noise-cancellation, Smart Control app, fabric-wrapped charging case
Release date: early 2020

What are they? Sennheiser’s first-generation wireless earbuds, the original Momentum TWs, have been one of our favorite wireless earbuds for the last couple years. With the Momentum TW 2, Sennheiser basically made them better in just the right ways. They also doubled the battery life and added active noise-cancellation, without compromising audio quality — these are the creme de la cream. The only downside? They’re very expensive.

Who should buy? People looking for the best-sound wireless earbuds and aren’t scared to pay for it.

Read our full review of the Sennheiser Momentum TW, here.

Buy Now (Amazon): $300 Read the Review

Best Noise-Canceling: Sony WF-1000XM3

Battery: 6 hours per earbud; up to 24 hours of battery life total with ANC turned on (with case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance: N/A
Charge: USB-C
Key features: noise-canceling, adaptive sound control, Quick Attention, works with Google Assistant
Release date: July 2019

What are they The Sony WF-1000XM3 are the true wireless versions of the company’s hugely-popular WH-1000XM3 noise-canceling headphones. The two share an app, have similar features and they both sound really good, too. They’re also really the only truly stellar noise-canceling wireless earbuds that you can buy right now.

Who should buy? Anybody looking for the best noise-canceling wireless earbuds on the market. While the AirPods Pro come close, they can’t beat the noise-cancellation and exceptional sound quality of the WF-1000XM3.

Read our full review of the Sony WF-1000XM3, here.

Buy Now: $228 (B&H) Read the Review

What You Need to Know About True Wireless Headphones

The first true wireless earbuds date back to 2014, but it was the release of Apple’s AirPods in 2016 that really fired them into the mainstream. True wireless means that there isn’t any kind of cord tethering the two earbuds together, as opposed to just wireless earphones like the Powerbeats3 Wireless or Google’s original Pixel Buds, and they are the next natural progression of wireless earbuds. Fewer and fewer people want wires of any type, and it’s as simple as that.

Not all true wireless earbuds are the same. In fact, now that there are so many on the market, a lot of true wireless earbuds are very different. So which ones are right for you? The answer: it depends. It depends on what you’re going to using them for. It depends on the type of smartphone you have. And it depends on how much you’re willing to pay. But the biggest factor, and you really don’t have this problem when dealing with over-ear or on-ear headphones, is that your true wireless earbuds have to fit in your ears. And fit well. You’re never going to love them if you’re constantly worried about them falling out.

Apple’s AirPods have set the benchmark for wireless earbuds up to this point. They’re fantastic wireless earbuds — and now in their second generation — and that’s why every pair that’s since been released has been labeled some sort of “AirPod rival.” But if you have an Android smartphone, or if you plan on running or working out with your wireless earbuds, AirPods might not be the best option for you. Depending on what you’re looking for, we’ve broken down all our favorite wireless earbuds and what they’re each good for.

Other Options

Powerbeats Pro

Battery: 9 hours listening time (24 hours with case), 3 hours talk time (18 hours with case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Sweat resistant: IPX4
Charge: Lightning
Key features: Apple’s H1 chip, hands-free “Hey Siri”
Release date: May 2019

What are they? The Powerbeats Pro combine the design, sweat-resistance and sound of Beats’s wireless sport earbuds, the Powerbeats3 Wireless ($200), with the true wirelessness and functionality of Apple’s second-generation AirPods.

Who should buy? If you own an iPhone and AirPods don’t fit in your ears, or you just want sweatproof alternatives to AirPods, these are exactly what you want.

Read our full review of the Powerbeats Pro, here.

Buy Now: $250 (Apple) Read the Review

Google Pixel Buds

Battery: 5 hours listening time (up to 24 hours with case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance: IP4
Charge: USB-C and wirless
Key features: quick pairing with Pixel and Android smartphones, built-in Google Assistant and Google Translate
Release date: April 2020

What are they? Google’s second-generation Pixel Buds are exactly what Pixel owners have deserved for years: wireless earbuds that work well and easily pair with all Pixel and Android devices (no opening Bluetooth settings required). They have intuitive touch controls and premium features that only Google could deliver, like a conversation mode integrated with Google Translate. Additionally, they have an earwing design and IPX4 water-resistance rating, so they make a great workout partner.

Who should buy? People with a Pixel or Android device and want a good all-around pair of wireless earbuds. Note: these don’t have active noise cancellation.

Read our full review of the Google Pixel Buds, here.

Buy Now: $179 (Google)

Sony WF-SP800N

Battery: 9 hours listening time (9 extra hours with case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance: IP55
Charge: USB-C
Key features: active noise cancellation, transparency mode, adjustable EQ
Release date: May 2020

What are they? The WF-SP800N are Sony’s mid-range wireless earbuds that are pretty unique. They’re noise-canceling wireless earbuds, similar to the Sony WF-1000XM3 (they even use the same companion app), but they’re also designed as workout earbuds thanks to their earwing design and IP55 water-resistance rating. They lack the same QN1e processor as the flagship WF-1000XM3, so the Sony WF-SP800N earbuds don’t sound as good or have the same noise-canceling abilities — but they’re $30 cheaper.

Who should buy? Anybody who wants feature-packed noise-canceling wireless earbuds that they can exercise with.

Read our full review of the Sony WF-SP800N, here.

Buy Now: $200 (Best Buy)

Sony XB700

Battery: 9 hours listening time (9 extra hours with case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance: IPX4
Charge: USB-C
Key features: N/A
Release date: April 2020

What are they? The Sony XB700 is the company’s most affordable and most entry-level pair of wireless earbuds. They share a similar sound to Sony WF-SP800N, but lack any of the features (such as noise-cancellation and transparency modes). They also don’t work with Sony’s companion app so there’s no way of adjusting the EQ.

Who should buy? Anybody who wants wireless earbuds with Sony’s sound and hardware, but don’t want to break the bank. Think of these as a great budget alternative to Apple’s AirPods.

Read our full review of the Sony XB700, here.

Buy Now: $129 (B&H) Buy Now: $130 (Best Buy)

Master & Dynamic MW07 (Plus and Go)

Battery: 3.5-hour per earbud, 10 hours from the charging case
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Sweat Resistant: IPX4 (MW07 and MW07 Plus); IPX6 (MW07 Go)
Charge: USB-C
Key features: made of acetate and stainless steal, tactile buttons on each earbud
When were they released? late 2019 (The original MW07 were released in October 2018)

What are they? Master & Dynamic’s first true wireless earbuds, the original MW07, were unlike anything else. They were uncompromisingly luxurious, made of acetate (which you can buy in seven different colors) and they came in a neat stainless steel charging case. Master & Dynamic has since antiquated those original wireless earbuds and released two new versions. First, the MW07 Plus look essentially identical to the original MW07, but they have active noise-cancellation and three times the battery life. Secondly, the MW07 Go are sport wireless earbuds that are made of an ultra-durable TR90 composite — not acetate. This allows them to be 15-percent smaller and lighter than the original MW07, but more importantly more water- and sweat-resistant.

Who should buy? $300 is definitely expensive for truly wireless earbuds, but you’re paying for more style, personality and high-end materials. If you want wireless earbuds that sound excellent and, more importantly, are unlike anything else, the MW07 Plus are great.

Read our full review of the Master & Dynamic MW07, here, as well as the updates on the MW07 Plus and Go, here.

Buy Now: $299 (Plus) Buy Now: $199 (Go) Read the Review

Jabra Elite 65t

Battery: five hours per earbud; 10 hours from the charging case
Sweat resistant: IP55
Charge: micro-USB
Key features: Sound+ app lets you customize EQ; four-mic array; works with voice assistants
Release date: January 2018 (Jabra has since released the Elite 75t and the Elite Active 75t)

What are they? The Elite 65t are the predecessor to Jabra’s newer Elite 75t wireless earbuds. They’re still excellent, with powerful drivers and a great four-mic array (two in each earbud) for superior call quality, but they’re larger and charge via the now-antiquated micro-USB charging cable.

Who should buy? If you don’t want AirPods or they just don’t fit in your ears, these are a good option. The Elite 65t work excellently and fit completely different than AirPods. The other big thing is that, with their a four-mic array, they are very good for taking calls. The downsides are that they really tight fit, so wearing them for long periods of time may cause ear fatigue; plus they are now antiquated.

Read our full review of the Jabra Elite 65t, here.

Buy Now: $150 $100 (Best Buy)

Read the Review

Apple AirPods (2019)

Battery: five hours per earbud; charging case holds 24 hours of total charge
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance: no
Charge: Lightning, Qi-wireless
Key features: H1 chip allows quick pairing to iPhone or iPad; optical sensors detect play/pause when you place or remove from your ears; hands-free Siri
Release date: March 2019

What are they? The second-generation AirPods look identically to the ones that were released in 2016, and they work almost exactly the same way — but they up the ante in quite a few ways. With the new H1 chip, they pair faster, have better battery life and better mics. And they support “Hey Siri” voice commands, so you don’t need to push any button to activate the voice assistant. Apple now offers the option of a wireless charging case, as long as you’re willing to pay a little extra. (These are Apple’s most affordable wireless earbuds, as they’ve since released the AirPods Pro, which are wireless earbuds with active noise-cancellation.)

Who should buy? Even with the second-generation wireless earbuds, AirPods still have two downsides. You need an iOS device to get the most out of them and they’re not water-resistant, so you probably shouldn’t work out with them. That said, if you have an iPhone these are by-far-and-away the best true wireless earbuds you can buy.

Read our full review of the Apple AirPods (2nd-Generation), here.

Buy Now: $159

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Buy Now: $199 (Wireless Charging) Read the Review

Jabra Elite 75t

Battery: 7.5 hours per earbud; charging case holds an extra 13 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance: IP-55
Charge: USB-C
Key features: adjustable EQ, long battery life, 4-microphone array
Release date: November 2019

What are they? The Jabra Elite 75t wireless earbuds are the next generation of the highly-acclaimed Elite 65t, which many reviewers claimed were the best AirPods alternatives. They are 20% smaller than their predecessors, so they’re a little more comfortable to wear, and they have almost double the battery life. They also finally support USB-C charging.

Who should buy? Anybody looking for some of the best wireless earbuds you can buy. They’re great for basically anything and boast excellent call quality. Jabra’s Elite Active 75t are more sweat- and water-resistant, and more designed for working out.

Read our full review of the Jabra Elite 75t, here.

Buy Now: $180 (Jabra) Read the Review

1More True Wireless ANC

Battery: 5 hours per earbud; charging case holds an extra 18 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance: N/A
Charge: USB-C
Key features: active noise-cancellation, dual drivers in each earbud, pass through hearing mode, wireless charging case
Release date: February 2020

What are they? 1More is an audio company that specializes in hi-fi headphones at affordable prices. The True Wireless ANC are its first pair of wireless earbuds with active noise-cancellation. The interesting thing about them, other than price, is that each earbud has two drivers, a dynamic driver and a balanced armature driver, that helps them sound really good.

Who should buy? People looking for noise-canceling wireless earbuds, that are more affordable than the AirPods Pro, Sony WF-1000XM3 and Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus.

Read our full review of the 1More True Wireless ANC, here.

Buy Now: $200 (1More) Read the Review

Amazon Echo Buds

Battery: 5 hours per earbud; charging case holds an extra 10 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance: IPX4
Charge: micro-USB
Key features: noise-canceling and transparency modes, water resistance, quick charging
Release date: October 2019

What are they? Amazon’s first wireless earbuds have a neat feature: they are built with Bose’s “active noise-reduction” technology. They’re also significantly more affordable than other noise-canceling wireless earbuds on the market.

Who should buy? The Echo Buds are a great option for anybody who doesn’t care about a product feeling premium, because they’re all. But their sound and noise-canceling skills are definitely impressive, especially given the affordable price.

Read our full review of the Echo Buds, here.

Buy Now: $130 (Amazon) Read the Review

Bose SoundSport Free

Battery: five hours per earbud; charging case holds an extra 10 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1
Water Resistance: IPX4
Charge: micro-USB
Key features: quick charge of 15 minutes gives you 45 minutes of playtime; Bose Connect app has “Find My Buds” feature
Release date: September 2017

What are they? The Bose SoundSport Free is the company’s first wireless earbuds and they utilize Bose’s StayHear+ Sport earwings, which are the same as all other Bose earbuds, so you can expect them to fit securely in your ears. On the flip side, the earbuds stick out of your ears and can look a bit awkward. The deliver signature sound quality and signature punchy bass.

Who should buy? There’s no denying that these are excellent wireless earbuds, but they’ve been around for a while and Bose already announced that it’ll release two next-generation wireless earbuds, the Bose Earbuds 500 and Earbuds 700, sometime in 2020. If you can get a deal on them for well under $200, then they are absolutely worth it. Or if you just want earbuds with good bass.

Read our full review of the Bose SoundSport Free, here.

Buy Now: $200 150(Bose)

Read the Review

Video: Are Sony’s New Noise-Cancelling Wireless Earbuds AirPod Killers?

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