Have you ever dreamed that people around you were walking to the beat of your chosen music? That your typing and stepping and cleaning and moving was all happening against the backdrop of an exquisite audio landscape?
With the latest in listening tech, you can seamlessly merge your life with your music. More than that: speak aloud, and an almost invisible assistant will call you a car or send off a text. All of these near-magical abilities—and more—can be found in tiny earbuds smaller than coins.
With true wireless earbuds, you can tune in to your life in a way that heretofore always required messes of cords. (Cords that had a preternatural affinity for being painfully yanked out at the least opportune moments!)
Now, the best in-ear headphones allow you to shed the bulk and move about your day supported by music but unencumbered by large machinery. Run, jump, go through your life—taking calls, tapping your ears to advance tracks, and more with these tiny true wireless earbuds.
You know what they say: The best things often come in small packages.
In this ranking, we’ve put together the finest true wireless earbuds on the market today, from one that comes approved by Louis Vuitton to the best practical wireless earbuds for taking and making calls. In our buyer’s guide, we also go through the cutting-edge features that these earbuds often display, and discuss which options might be best for you.
The 10 best true wireless earbuds of 2020
|1||Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus||Overall best|
|2||Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2||Best high-end|
|3||Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 2.0||Best value|
|4||Apple AirPods Pro||Best for iPhone|
|5||Samsung Galaxy Buds+||Best for Android|
|6||Powerbeats Pro||Best for the gym|
|7||Jaybird Vista||Best for running|
|8||Amazon Alexa Buds||Best assistant|
|9||Skullcandy Indy||Best budget|
|10||Sony WF-1000XM3||Best noise-cancelling|
Check our special wireless earbuds buyers’ guide after the list to see exactly what you should pay attention to before purchasing a new pair of earphones. We also share our methodology for finding and reviewing the best earbuds on the market today.
And if you’re interested in over-ear headphones instead, check our ranking of the best headphones on the market.
Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus: Overall best earbuds
Interested in owning the true wireless earbuds Louis Vuitton picked for their $1,090 earbuds? Handcrafted from acetate and stainless steel, Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus earbuds exude timeless sophistication as an accessory. As earbuds, they also have the hardware to function well. Their beryllium drivers deliver warm, rich sound. With the 40-hour battery life of the MW07 Plus, you don’t have to worry about running out of listening time at all soon!
If you’re looking for a pair of in-ear headphones that feel custom-moulded to your ears, these Master & Dynamic’s wireless earbuds are an excellent selection. The wings of the earbuds are made from premium silicone, and they come in three sizes.
Black pearl, steel blue, tortoise-shell or jade green: There’s a shade of Master & Dynamics MW07 Plus earbuds meant to beautifully match your lifestyle. With Bluetooth 5.0 as well as active noise cancellation, these earbuds are built to function well and look good at all times.
Best for: Those seeking the best noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds who also don’t mind if they come in a lovely, Vuitton-approved package.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2: Best high-end earbuds
If you fancy your music or podcasts your luxurious respite from the humdrum noise of everyday life, these Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds will take your listening to the next level. As they’re engineered to block out what you don’t want to hear and emphasize what you do, the Sennheiser Momentum earbuds allow you to tune your life to your specifications.
Sennheiser managed to pack an incredible level of bass and deep sound in a small and lightweight package that’s comfortable to wear for several hours. It’s very impressive.
These earbuds are ergonomically sculpted to fit the inside of your ear, allowing comfortable wear even through hours of movie marathons. Featuring seven hours of playback time, an included charging case, simulated stereo sound, and touchpad technology built-in to each earbud’s exterior, these earbuds do precisely what is asked of them.
For those interested in at-home personal DJ-ing, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds come with a smartphone app that lets you play with built-in equalisers to customise your sound.
Best for: Earbuds that support elevated rest and relaxation in your day-to-day life.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 2.0: Best value earbuds
Deep bass. Clear treble. No background conversation, traffic, or pins dropping to distract you from the audio experience of your choice. Between active noise cancellation and drivers engineered to optimise your experience of multiple genres of sound, these Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 2.0 earbuds bring a good balance of value to investment.
Their soft foam and silicone construction allow them to sit comfortably in your ear, causing no pain. This allows you to appreciate them for their 16-hour playtime without aches or cramps included. An electro-dynamic driver and Bluetooth 4.2 ensures quick connection and sound delivered the way the original artists might have intended.
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 2.0 earbuds are compatible with all Apple products, and they come with a chic leather carrying case. They come with four different sets of tips so you can make these feel custom to you.
Best for: Earbuds which can follow you from the gym to an at-home movie marathon through phone calls with ease—at an accessible price point.
Apple AirPods Pro: Best earbuds for iPhone
You’ve likely seen or heard of these ubiquitous white earbuds before! Apple’s innovative AirPods made true wireless earbuds the accessory du jour. With their newer Pro model, Apple debuted active noise cancellation, water resistance, adaptive EQ and an interior pressure valve to make wearing them more comfortable.
The AirPods Pro also have a slightly larger range of frequencies and a larger sound chamber. This allows for even more clarity for delicate treble notes—and even more precision with the way they deliver loud, soft, high, low, and even different genres of music.
As an accessory they are modern, sleek-looking, and have the upscale feel of a well-designed Apple product. Including the ability to tap on your ear and control your music, these earbuds feel like something from the future happening now.
Best for: Those who always like to have the latest and greatest when it comes to Apple, as well as those looking for a modular, high-performance true wireless earbud.
The original Apple AirPods present a good-working budget alternative with passive noise cancellation but otherwise similar features.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+: Best earbuds for Android
For the Android users out there, we aren’t going to leave you without an excellent option! As the #1 new Amazon release for Android-compatible true wireless earbuds, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Plus have good features for their accessible price. Passive and active noise cancellation allows you to tune in to your chosen soundscape quite easily. For calls, these Samsung buds have included internal and external microphones so your voice is picked up clearly, no matter where you are.
Even though they’re marketed as Android earbuds, these earbuds are able to connect to both iOS and Android devices with dedicated smartphone apps. If you have a wide array of tech devices, these might be a good choice: truly ‘one earbud to rule them all’.
With the included carrying and charging case, you can expect 11 hours of playback and 22 hours of charging capability. The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ earbuds also feature tap-to-control, meaning you can spend less time on your phone DJ-ing and more time living your life with the soundtrack of your choice.
Best for: A good listening, talking, and sound-cancelling earbud for use across iOS and Android platforms.
Powerbeats Pro: Best earbuds for the gym and working out
Looking for the suave matte feel and high-intensity focus so often evoked by the Beats headphones? Now, with the Powerbeats Pro, you can have that power packed into a tiny, hard-working earbud.
Equipped with flexible silicone ear hooks to keep the pressure off your ear canal while anchoring these earbuds sturdily in place, the Powerbeats Pro are a great choice for music during motion. As an added pro, these earbuds come in four subtly chic colours: moss, ivory, black, and navy. These true wireless earbuds in true neutrals are a functional accessory for working out, whether at the gym or outside.
However, their hardware allows them to look good and work well, too. Class 1 Bluetooth allows these buds to experience fewer drops in connectivity as well as a longer range—great for when you need hands-free mobility for your activities.
Their materials are specifically made to be water- and sweat-resistant—leaving you one fewer thing to worry about as you work in your reps. The Powerbeats Pro earbuds allow you to concentrate on the beat of your music, letting your workout simply turn into an active dance.
Best for: A stable, sweat-resistant option for those in need of gym-ready music.
As an alternative with a total of 28 hours of energy, we’d like to present the Jabra Elite 75t.
Jaybird Vista: Best earbuds for running
If you’re in need of a pair of earbuds that perform well and are so protected that you don’t have to worry about them at all, consider the Jaybird Vista. Fully crush-proof, sweat-proof, water-proof, these earbuds are apparently drop-proof as well. The ear-hooks they employ fit snugly over one’s ear, making sudden stops to find dropped earbuds during your run a thing of the past.
Jaybird has an iOS and Android app with EQ control, so you can customise your bass and treble levels to your precise preference. When combined with the included charging case, you can count on 16 hours of playback time—long enough for even the longest of marathons!
The Jaybird Vista earbuds are among the smallest and lightest on the market, which means that after a while, you’ll forget that you have them on. The music you’re listening to will seem to be true background music fuelling your runs.
If you do find that you’ve misplaced or dropped your earbud on a run, don’t worry—the Jaybird App includes a thoughtful ‘find my earbud’ locator system!
Best for: Those who are looking for a lightweight earbud to deliver high-quality sounds during runs or other fast-paced, motion-heavy workouts.
Amazon Alexa Buds: Best earbuds assistant
If Amazon’s Alexa AI assistant helps you manage your day, you may have been waiting for earbuds which integrate with that platform specifically, instead of Apple or Android. With these Amazon Alexa Buds, you will experience easy connectivity and instant assistance from Alexa at all times. (You’re also able to connect to Siri and Google Assistant if you so choose.)
However, these earbuds are able to do more than just connect you to your AI assistant! They’re true wireless earbuds that deliver a rich soundscape with passive noise cancellation. With a 15-minute charge, you can get two full hours of listening time, and 20 hours with a full charge and charging case.
With the multitude of smart commands that Alexa is able to perform, these buds can help you navigate your life with ease. From calling a car to performing a guided workout, the Amazon Alexa Buds are there to make your life more efficient and comfortable with simple phrases and tap-to-control guidance.
Best for: Those who have always wanted a full-time assistant to make their lives easier—but are also looking for high-quality sound for music, shows, and more.
Skullcandy Indy: Best budget earbuds
If you’re looking for a cheap pair of earphones but with good overall performance, check out the Skullcandy Indy earbud set. With removable wings for stability and a custom feel, these earbuds are able to connect you to your devices easily, quickly, and at a budget-friendly price-point. Their tiny shape allows you to feel connected without being weighed down or tethered to any fixed point. This makes workouts a breeze and moving around your home without getting your earbuds yanked out of your ear a breeze.
The Skullcandy Indy earbuds are sweat-resistant, dust-resistant, and (when combined with the charging case) give you 16 hours of cord-free listening. Between the lower price point and the included protective features, these are earbuds that you truly won’t have to worry about at all. High-quality sound, easy-maintenance earbuds; that’s the dream, right?
Best for: A reliable lower-cost set of earbuds that are resistant to sweat and dust.
As an alternative, we’ve found that the best earbuds under $50 are the TOZO T10. They’re particularly strong with bass support, and they come in five chic colourways.
T10 In-Ear Headphones
Sony WF-1000XM3: Best noise-cancelling earbuds
Ah, sweet silence: If you’re used to a busy commute, distracting office conversations, or even just more white noise at home than you need, noise cancelling technology might just be your best friend. With an HD Noise Cancelling processor, these Sony earbuds are industry-leading noise cancellers. With them, you’ll be able to hear precisely what you want to hear—and nothing else.
Tap control, smart sensors that take in the external environment and adjust your sound accordingly, hands-free calling: These earbuds take care of your business and entertainment with ease.
With a matte-finished charging case and subtle touch controls, the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds can be considered fashion accessories as much as tech gadgets. A quick charging time and built-in Amazon Alexa connectivity mean that you can use this for ongoing AI support as well.
Best for: Noise canceling earbuds that feel luxurious and subtly beautiful and allow you complete control over your audio experience.
Buyer’s guide: How to choose the best wireless earbuds for you
When you’re looking for a good pair of wireless earbuds, you need to start by figuring out what’s best for you. Do you live a lifestyle which is constantly on-the-go? Do you typically find yourself in situations where there’s a lot of background noise interfering with your ability to enjoy the soundtrack of your life?
As it turns out, there are wireless earbuds which might be able to help with both of those situations. First things first, though: What do we mean when we talk about ‘true wireless’ earbuds?
Wireless earbuds refer to Bluetooth-enabled earphones which don’t require a physical connection to the device playing your music. However, there are two main types of wireless earbuds: True wireless, and connected.
- Connected wireless earbuds have a cable that string the two separate earpieces together. It’s nice to have a cohesive unit, sometimes, and it can help if you’re prone to losing small pieces.
- True wireless earbuds, on the other hand, aren’t connected to anything—even each other. Each set of wireless earbuds comes with two pieces, one for each ear.
Features that you might want to keep an eye out for when selecting earbuds might include active or passive noise cancellation, long battery life, the type of AI assistant system a pair of earbuds might be primed to work with, or Bluetooth range. If you’ll be using your earbuds for exercise or in areas where environmental factors may be a concern, select a pair that are dust, water, or sweat-resistant.
Keep an eye out for the quality of the drivers in your earbuds, as well. Drivers are the way earbuds get the sound physically to you by driving the sound waves toward your ear canal. Their quality will have a huge effect on your listening experience. From electrostatic drivers to more innovative planar magnetic ones, each earbud needs a high-quality piece to produce good sound. Taking a look at the machinery (however minute) that makes up your earbuds is a great idea before you click ‘add to cart’.
Finally, you may be interested to know that not all earbuds come in utilitarian black or silver colours! Several of our favourite earbuds come in subtle, attractive colourways that make them as much a fashion accessory as an audio listening device.
Methodology: How we select, test, and rank the best wireless earbuds on the market
When we started to look for the best earphones and earbuds, we started by selecting the latest and greatest from well-known electronics manufacturers. While surveying these models to learn more about the here and now of electronic audio accessories, we thought about what we would really want in a great set of wireless earbuds: amazing sound, customised comfortability, long-lasting battery and craftsmanship.
We went back to our list of earbuds and chose only those which we’d want to personally use. An in-depth survey into reviews for each product and the listed specifications helped us compare them and select a particular set of earbuds for each category we wanted to feature. We then narrowed down our list to ten finalists, which we’re pleased to present to you in this ranking.
True wireless earbuds and earphones frequently asked questions
The best earbuds to buy are the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus. Handcrafted from acetate and stainless steel, Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus earbuds exude timeless sophistication. Their beryllium drivers deliver warm, rich sound. With the 40-hour battery life, you don’t have to worry about running out of listening time at all soon!
Earbuds are worth it if you would like a personal listening experience that feels weightless and is extremely versatile for a variety of different applications—from running to working and more!
The best wireless earbuds with built-in microphones are the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2. Sennheiser managed to pack an incredible level of bass and deep sound in a small and lightweight package that’s comfortable to wear for several hours. It’s very impressive.
The best wireless earbuds for Android phones are the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Plus. The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Plus have good features for their accessible price. Passive and active noise cancellation allows you to tune in to your chosen soundscape quite easily. For calls, they include internal and external microphones so your voice is picked up clearly, no matter where you are.
The best affordable wireless earbuds are the Skullcandy Indy earbuds. With removable wings for stability and a custom feel, these earbuds are able to connect you to your devices easily, quickly, and at a budget-friendly price-point.