Do you know what “true wireless” stands for? True wireless means that the earbuds are not connected in any way at all. This applies both to the connection between the two earphones and the connection to the device you use to listen to music. In simpler terms, true wireless means no cords at all.
A good example of true wireless earphones is, of course, the ultra-popular Apple Airpods. Ever since their first appearance on the market, they have truly shaken things up, and many similar models have been made since then. Airpods, and similar earbuds, consist of little else than the earphone itself, but they can still pack a lot of punch.
True wireless earbuds often come with a set of special features, such as the ability to make calls, touch buttons on the earphone, and even access to a voice assistant. They’re somewhat futuristic, highly comfortable, and, most of all, super portable.
If you tend to be on the move more often than not, you may consider true wireless the way to go. But how do you pick when there are hundreds of possibilities? Don’t fall for marketing schemes and rely on your own wits to find the best option for YOU. We’re here to help you with that.
Below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide on true wireless earbuds. Starting with the things you need to be on the lookout for and ending with some of our tried-and-tested recommendations, this article will take you through the entire process and help you make your decision. Read on to learn all about true wireless earbuds!
Things to Keep in Mind
As said above, only doing a little bit of research will guarantee that the earphones you pick will be good for you in particular. We’ve tried our best to do all of the legwork for you, so all you need to do now is familiarize yourself with the different aspects of these earphones.
Check out our buying guide below to make the whole decision-making process easier! We’ve covered all the things you need to be mindful of.
- Battery life: Arguably, one of the most important things in a pair of true wireless buds. Battery life varies from model to model, but in general, it will not be as good as over-the-ear wireless headphones — and no surprise, these earbuds are tiny! Luckily, most wireless earbuds also come with a charging case. This case essentially acts as a power bank. You can put them in for a charge to prolong their battery life.
- Sound quality: Things such as sound frequency, impedance, noise cancelation, and more, all play into how good the music will sound through your new earbuds. Some audiophiles prefer over-ear headphones for the “true experience” of music, but the honest truth is that modern earbuds are really catching up in terms of audio.
- Calls: The ability to make and receive calls is often a built-in feature in true wireless earphones. Whether you need this or not is down to preference and how you plan to use them.
- Water/sweat proofing: Are you a gym lover? Do you like to go running? Or perhaps you live in a very humid area? Whichever it is, if you’re planning to use your earphones for all kinds of sports, you should consider picking up a waterproof pair. You’re bound to break a sweat, and not all earphones handle moisture all that well.
- Noise cancelation/isolation: We touched on this above, but it’s worth repeating. If you tend to take your earbuds outside, you may want to think about just how much noise you want to cancel out. Some situational awareness is often necessary, and trust us; a good pair WILL block out all noise — even the important bits.
- Compatibility: As an example, the Airpods we mentioned will not work with Android devices. Similarly, some earbuds will not work with iOS. Before you make your purchase, check to make sure that the model you picked will fit your device.
Best True Wireless Earbuds — Recommendations
Now that you’re equipped with all the knowledge you’re going to need, it’s time for us to show you some of our favorite true wireless earphone options. These have undergone hours of research and testing, so we recommend them with full confidence.
Our Best Overall Pick
Finding the balance between higher and lower end options, these elegant earbuds have a number of features that make them stand out from the crowd.
Type: true wireless
Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
Special features: IPX7 waterproof, graphene driver, noise reduction
Do you often find yourself working from home? Many of us do these days, and for that, staying in touch is important. As we all know that laptop microphones are far from ideal, many people opt to use headphones. What if we told you that this pair of earphones has a better microphone quality than many over-the-ear headphones?
The quality of the mic in Soundcore’s true wireless earbuds relies on the fact that it comes with a total of 4 microphones, two in each earbud. Thanks to the beamforming noise cancelation and cVc 8.0 technology, the audio is enhanced both on the input and the output side of things.
You’re going to find the audio quality here to be a pleasant surprise. Running on graphene drivers, these earbuds deliver a very wide range of sound. The music sounds clear and on point, with all the right notes being hit each and every time. Soundcore’s signature BassUp technology also works to enhance the bass by up to 43%.
These earphones have a super-long battery life. The earbuds by themselves will last up to 7 hours, while the charging case can extend that to up to 40 hours. This is almost unheard of in the world of wireless earbuds, so it’s a major selling point for this model.
Lastly, if you like to work out while listening to music, you’ll be pleased to find that these are 100% waterproof (IPX7).
These earphones tick almost all the boxes for us. If we had to change one thing, we’d prefer the control buttons on each earbud to be a bit easier to use. However, for the price of these earphones, you get basically everything you could ask for, from a great mic to fantastic audio. For that reason, we chose Anker Soundcore as our best overall pick.
- Enhanced graphene audio drivers
- Just the right amount of noise isolation
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Long battery life
- Water and sweat-proof
- Enhanced bass
- Total of four microphones
- Not the cheapest option
- Control panel requires a bit of getting used to
Our Best High-End Pick
These stylish, sporty earbuds have a fantastic battery life, a handy touch interface, and, most of all, a powerful sound. They’re the best high-end pick on our list.
Type: true wireless
Connection: Bluetooth 4.2
Special features: customizable and detachable ear fins, long battery life
If you’re looking to indulge in something premium, Bang & Olufsen might impress you with the breathtaking sound quality in these earbuds. They feature an innovative Near Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) technology that improves audio streaming and reduces latency and/or disconnects between the two earbuds. This makes them ideal for working out but also simply for the daily commute.
Still on the matter of sound quality: we found the sound reproduction in these earbuds to be truly worthy of the price. Their advanced Bluetooth 4.2 technology allows you a lot of space in terms of equalization, sound tuning, and gain. They also come with a dedicated app that lets you enhance every aspect of your music.
Bang & Olufsen has also perfected the matter of comfort and security in these buds. If you like to take your music with you when you go to the gym, you certainly have to be mindful of not losing an earbud during a vigorous workout. Fortunately, that is not a common problem here.
The ear tips have a very ergonomic shape and are made out of heat-activated memory foam. This allows you to adapt the fit to your needs, meaning your ears won’t hurt, but also, the headphones will stay firmly in place. This model also includes a set of detachable ear fins that add an extra layer of security. Obviously, this doesn’t damage the comfort side of things at all.
Charging is made easy here. It can be done wirelessly if you have the (sold separately) charging pad. Even if you don’t, your headphones plus the charging case will grant you about 16 hours of playtime at four hours per charge.
For those that don’t concern themselves with the budget too much and just want something vastly better than their current option, check out the above headphones.
- Comfortable and customizable fit
- Beautiful design
- Charging case included
- Control panel on each earbud
- Powerful audio reproduction
- Secure fit
- Durable and made out of top-notch materials
- They’re quite expensive
- Similar models are already running on Bluetooth 5.0
Our Best Budget Pick
At the other end of the price range, you’ll find these budget true wireless earbuds. Boasting a great cost to performance ratio, they just might surprise you with how good a headphone can be found in something so small.
Type: true wireless
Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
Special features: smart AI noise reduction technology, stereo sound, long battery life
First of all, if you like to use your earbuds to take calls, you’re going to be pleased with this pair. They have a specialty noise reduction technology that keeps your voice as clear as can be, all the while removing all outside noise. Even if you’re on a busy street, your conversation partner should have no problems hearing you.
TaoTronics offers a surprisingly decent audio quality for the price, too. The 6mm PEEK+PU speaker driver accurately reproduces all kinds of sound, from bass to trebles. It’s hard to expect an audiophile-worthy sound experience from a pair of budget earbuds, but these still outperformed our expectations. The sound is a hi-fi stereo and doesn’t fall flat like some other models tend to do.
These Bluetooth 5.0 earphones have a really good battery life. They can run for up to 8 hours on a single charge, and then you can get up to 22 extra hours from the included charging case, which acts as a power bank of sorts. Simply place your earbuds in it and let them fill right up.
Each earbud is independently connected to your device. This means that you can if you want to, connect to multiple devices. The earbuds are also rather comfortable and should fit snugly for most people.
If you’re on a tight budget, you might prefer these over many other options. They deliver solid quality for a good price.
- High-quality stereo sound
- Up to 30 hours of battery life
- Charging case included
- Strong Bluetooth 5.0 connection
- The case can be charged through USB-C
- Good noise reduction in the microphone
- These earbuds are adapted to music and not voice calls, so the quality of voice may be lower
- Some people consider the noise cancellation to be a bit too strong
That’s a wrap! We’ve come to the end of our buying guide for true wireless earbuds. However, just in case you aren’t quite sure yet about which pair to pick out, here’s a quick compilation of each of the headphones we discussed above.
- Anker Soundcore Life P2 True Wireless Earbuds: These earbuds have an impressive battery life of up to 40 hours, are waterproof, and have a great level of sound reproduction. They’re our favorites on this list.
- Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 2.0: For the most demanding audiophile, we recommend Bang & Olufsen. These earbuds have been made with great care for sound quality. They also offer a premium build that’s made to last.
- True Wireless Earbuds TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79: This is our budget pick, but that doesn’t make these earbuds bad. Made with music in mind, they will keep you listening on the go for up to 30 hours on a single charge.
If you’re not quite convinced just yet, make sure to check out our shortlisted favorites. They almost made the cut to be featured in this article.
- SoundPEATS True Wireless Earbuds 5.0 Bluetooth Headphones
- Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Earbuds
- Jabra Elite 65t Earbuds
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to drop us a comment below. Most of all, enjoy your new earphones without any pesky cords getting in the way!