In this article, I will tell you about Wireless Earbuds. As Tom’s Guide’s audio editor, I test a variety of headphones before recommending the top wireless earbuds(opens in new tab). And I want to use my knowledge to guide you in choosing the ideal set for your requirements and price range.
I frequently keep a few sets of earbuds hidden in my gym and work bags for both personal and reference listening. Although fit has typically improved to the point where I feel confident that they won’t fall out of my ears onto the pavement or during my workouts, I still have some qualms about how comfortable some in-ear designs are.
Top 5 Picks Test Wireless Earbuds For a Living
Donner DoBuds One Best Under $50
The Donner DoBuds One is among the most competitive noise-canceling earbud models on the market and among the most reasonably priced active noise-canceling (ANC) types I’ve seen. They are among our top fake AirPods overall and are only $49, with a great drop-stem style. Although comfort wanes after an hour or so, they are sturdy enough to throw into my sports bag as a backup pair of earphones for my exercises. Additionally, which can be a little bothersome, there is no wear detection for auto-pause/play when taking the earbuds out of your ears or putting them in.
These noise-canceling earbuds last up to 6.5 hours of play with ANC on and 8 hours with ANC off, despite the small functional annoyances. They compete with other mid-range models by providing excellent sound and surprisingly effective ANC in a cost-effective design. Although several aspects, including app connectivity, comfort, and EQ, fall short of expectations, they still rank highly as one of the best inexpensive wireless earbuds overall due to their excellent pricing.
Sony WF-C500 Best Under $100
One of my favorite wireless earbuds under $100 is the Sony WF-C500 model. Few headphone manufacturers have such a wide product range, however, I must agree that Sony is maybe better renowned for its flagship WF-1000XM4 ANC model (see below) when it comes to earbuds. However, this Sony entry-level model gives a solid brand experience for a fraction of the price if the $279 flagship pricing feels a little too costly.
Some people might properly think that the WF-C500 makes too many compromises given its low price. But they are mistaken. These inexpensive earbuds are everything but entry-level, and the only indication of the WF-C500’s low cost is its somewhat subpar charging case. The Sony Headphones Connect app is supported, along with Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) Extreme and 360 Reality Audio, Sony’s immersive music sound format.
However, not all of Sony’s opulent features are included. Noise cancellation, LDAC codec support, and intelligent controls are all absent. Users may receive up to two extra full charges from the charging case, which isn’t the strongest but shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Battery life is reasonable and runs to 10 hours for the earphones.
In my tests, the earbuds sounded punchy right out of the box, and I frequently use them as a benchmark model to compare the performance of other models with comparable prices. Compared to many other models I’ve heard at a comparable budget, they are better equipped to handle intricate bass-heavy tunes. Although the sound profile may not be as rich in depth as the WH-1000XM4, you can still count on strong lows, clear highs, and slightly underemphasized mids that give the music a sense of warmth.
Sennheiser CX Plus Best Under $200
The best wireless earbuds frequently run between $200 and $300, which is a significant investment for today’s money-conscious tech enthusiasts. The Sennheiser CX Plus earphones are a desirable mid-budget alternative despite having a full asking price of $180. This is especially true now that Amazon(opens in new tab) has them marked down to $117.
The flagship Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds from Sennheiser have more features than the CX Plus, but at $249, they are out of reach for most people. It is therefore very alluring to buy the Sennheiser CX Plus earphones with flagship sound and several cutting-edge technologies for roughly half the price (or less).
These presently top our list of the finest wireless earbuds for the money because to their excellent noise cancellation, crystal-clear music, and well-balanced frequency range. They are among my go-to models, which I frequently take out of my work bag on regular commutes.
The Sennheiser CX Plus is a little too big for my ears to use when working out, and they don’t seem nearly as secure for daily usage by people who lead active lives, but the clear controls are commendable. Overall, I consider these to be among the best-sounding mid-priced wireless earbuds available right now, and I strongly advise anyone who is thinking about buying them to take advantage of the sale pricing.
Apple AirPods Pro 2 Best For iPhone
I’ve surprised myself by how often I return to the AirPods Pro 2, whether it’s for benchmark reviewing purposes, personal listening at my workstation, or my preferred choice of earphones to accompany me on my workouts.
The noise-canceling AirPods Pro 2 are the pinnacle of Apple’s earbud technology, and they pretty much embody everything I loved about the first-generation earphones while still costing the same $249. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I claim that the AirPods Pro 2 has amazing audio quality, even while using the bitrate-constrained AAC codec for Bluetooth transmission.
The AirPods Pro 2 has the best features of any earbuds I’ve ever used. Users can adjust the audio for balance, range, and brightness as well as increase or decrease the presence of faint sounds with the help of comprehensive audio options, such as Headphone Accommodations in the iOS settings menu. The fact that Headphone Audio Customization scans your ears and builds a sound profile based on your hearing preferences is also something I love, and the fit feels secure enough for exercise such as running.
In addition to producing a clear and consistent sound with a “warm” balance without being unduly rich or bass-heavy, adaptive EQ also contributes to a good sound balance. The soundstage has a spacious feel around singers and percussion instruments, even in the absence of spatial audio content. In contrast to some earbuds’ soundstage presentation, I never feel like the sounds from my music are contained to my head. These have been tested against several competitors, yet they remain the best.
Sony WF-1000XM4 Best AirPods Alternative
The Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones have a higher price tag of $279 and are probably less stylish than the AirPods Pro 2 (above), but they have an amazing, full-bodied sound quality and a frequency balance that I adore. They are yet another pair of portable headphones, similar to the AirPods Pro 2, and are typically located in my work bag.
When the XM4 was released, they unveiled a revised design with an improved ANC, all of which came at a greater cost. But even after a few years, the WF-1000XM4 still has some of the best battery life of any pair of more recently introduced earbuds, with a maximum playback length of 35 hours when the ANC is turned off and 8 hours with it enabled. Their sound is still competitive with any recent opponent.
These wireless earphones are very feature-rich and the Sony Headphone Connect app is a remarkably powerful tool. There is comprehensive EQ adjustment, support for all three of the major digital assistants, support for LDAC for higher-quality music, and a fully configurable ambient listening mode. They are ultimately a top option to Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 and only their poor call quality, slightly clunky style, and greater price set them apart from more contemporary competitors, but they are frequently found on sale for less.