True wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC) were a new development in the audio scene just a few years ago, with the Sony WF-SP700N being the first pair to make a considerable splash when they landed in late 2018.
Fast forward to present day the landscape for ANC true wireless earbuds has changed entirely. There are more options than ever before and all the heavy hitters — including Apple, Sony and Bose — have released their pair of wireless earbuds with active noise-canceling abilities.
Best Noise-CancellationBose QuietComfort Earbuds II Read More
Best for iPhoneApple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Read More
Best All-AroundSony WF-1000XM4 Read More
Best for Hi-Fi SoundBowers & Wilkins PI7 Read More
Sennheiser Momentum TW3 Read More
What to Look for
Fit: The most important thing when it comes to wireless earbuds is fit. Period. Because if the earbuds don't fit in your ears it's not going to matter how the sound or how good their other features are — you're not going to like them. These days, wireless earbuds come in a wide range of styles, from stem-like AirPods to the more conventional "bulb" like the Amazon Echo Buds, so we recommend knowing which fits your ears best before hitting that purchase button.
Sound quality: No wireless earbuds can play to true lossless-quality audio because Bluetooth technology can't support it — the bandwidth for high-resolution tracks is too big. That said, there are some wireless earbuds that can play higher-resolution tracks thanks to support for various formats, like Sony's LDAC or Apple Music's spatial audio, but these wireless earbuds tend to be more expensive and yet still aren't able to play as high-quality tracks as a good pair of wired earphones or headphones.
Other features: The more "premium" wireless earbuds are also likely to come with more advanced features, such as transparency modes, adjustable EQ, a wireless charging case and smart features (like support for various voice assistants).
Price: You can buy a pair of wireless earbuds with active noise-cancellation for less than $100 or for over $300, but the important thing to know is that not all active noise-cancellation is the same. The higher-end wireless earbuds are going to have more built-in microphones and more sophisticated technology to do a significantly better job at blocking out ambient sounds.
New and Upcoming Releases
Our recommendations are based on real-world testing. Here's a snapshot of new and unreleased noise-canceling wireless earbuds our testers are considering for future updates to this guide.
Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2: Released in January 2023, the Pi7 S2 are the company's newest flagship noise-canceling wireless earbuds and the successor to its 2021-released Pi7. The new models are virtually the same as their predecessors but have improved battery life and improved connectivity. The also are available in a few new finishes. Available for $399.
Bowers & Wilkins Pi5 S2: The Pi5 S2 are the successor to Bowers & Wilkins's 2021-released Pi5. Like the Pi7 S2 (mentioned above), these new earbuds boast improved connectivity and Bluetooth range. Compared to the Pi7 S2, the Pi5 S2 lack the same level of noise-cancellation and sound quality, but cost $100 less. Available for $299.
Poly Voyager Free 60+: Announced at CES 2023, the Poly Voyager Free 60+ is a unique pair of high-end wireless earbuds. They are one of the first to have charging case has a built-in touchscreen, which allows you to adjust volume and noise-cancellation. Additionally, you can connect the case to an older device that doesn't support Bluetooth, such as an in-flight entertainment system, via its included 3.5mm to USB-C cable. Coming March 2023.
JBL Tour Pro 2: Announced at CES 2023, the JBL Tour Pro 2 is another unique pair of wireless earbuds because they have an integrated touchscreen in its charging case. The earbuds themselves are designed to be high-end; they boast active noise-cancellation and support for spatial audio. They'll cost $250 and will be available in spring 2023.
More Guides to Wireless Earbuds and Headphones
- Best Wireless Earbuds
- Best Wireless Earbuds for Running and Working Out
- Best Wireless Earbuds Under $100
- Best Noise-Canceling Headphones
How We Tested
We test a lot of different wireless earbuds — because there are a lot of them out there. When testing noise-canceling wireless earbuds, we test them in a lot of different situations, such as noisy environments (like coffee shops and commuting trains) and quiet situations (when sound quality is more important than active noise-cancelation), as well as in other situations, like exercising and taking calls. As is the case with any wireless earbuds, the most important thing is fit; so even if we like a certain pair of wireless earbuds, it's important for you to know what kinds of earbuds fit you best because everybody's ears are a little different.