Apple AirPods and iPhone on wood table
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Update, 09/23/2022: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and are confident these are still the best wireless earbuds you can buy.

What to Look For in Wireless Earbuds in 2022

The best wireless earbuds allow for complete untethered use of your smartphone, tablet, or computer, allowing you to enjoy high-quality audio and stay connected via Bluetooth.

In determining what to look for with wireless earbuds, you need to consider four main criteria: comfort, audio quality, battery life, and ease of use.

Today, many wireless earbuds come with active noise cancellation that automatically or manually adjusts based on the level of ambient sound. Good earbuds also have settings that can be toggled to eliminate all or some background noise. Other options come with dedicated smartphone apps that allow you to change EQ presets, configuring the audio exactly as you want to hear it.

In addition, the best wireless earbuds come with a long battery life. We recommend wireless earbuds with six or more hours of juice per charge, long enough to not cause annoyance with constant recharges. Kudos for any wireless earbuds that include a charging carrying case, which can hold up to 20 more hours of power.

In terms of comfort, many wireless earbuds come with silicone ring-tips that adjust to your ear’s shape for a snug, comfortable fit. Don’t forget waterproof protection for water and sweat resistance.

With that said, keep reading to learn more about our picks for the best wireless earbuds in 2021.

Best Wireless Earbuds Overall: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

person wearing bose quietcomfort earbuds
Bose

Pros

  • Excellent noise cancellation
  • Rich bass
  • Intuitive touch controls

Cons

  • Expensive

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds make our top pick for the best overall wireless earbuds thanks to their excellent noise cancellation and superb audio quality.

The biggest draw to the QuietComfort earbuds is definitely the active noise cancellation, complete with three customizable settings. A quick tap of the left earbud activates transparency mode, which allows listeners to hear background noise.

Audio quality with the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds is simply stellar, reproducing rich bass and powerful detail. Noise isolation with calls is also very pronounced, with both callers’ voices heard clearly despite the amount of background noise.

Lastly, Bose’s earbuds have very intuitive touch controls. A series of taps, holds, and swipes to either left or right earbud can do everything from pausing a song to checking battery levels of rejecting incoming calls. Learning all of the controls will feel like playing a game of Simon Says, but once you get the hang of it you can keep your phone in your pocket.

Best Wireless Earbuds Overall

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

A premium set of wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation, excellent noise isolation for calls, and intuitive touch controls.

Best Wireless Earbuds Under $100: Soundcore by Anker Life P3

People using Anker Soundcore earbuds
Anker

Pros

  • Compatible with Qi wireless charging
  • Comfortable silicone ear tips
  • Low latency gaming mode

Cons

  • So-so battery life

The Soundcore by Anker Life P3 is one of our favorite cheaper options. For starters, the Soundcore by Anker Life P3 offers two adjustable settings configurable through its Soundcore app, including a low latency gaming mode and an Ambient mode with different settings based on different surround noise frequencies. For example, Outdoor Mode cuts out lots of background noise, and an Indoor mode optimizes voice output.

This unit’s battery life is decent, with about 7 hours with active noise cancellation on, 6 hours without, and up to 35 hours with the carrying case. Thankfully, the clamshell charging case has three LEDs to let you know of your power levels at any time.

Just as importantly, the Soundcore earbuds are comfortable. It comes with the choice of five pairs of silicone ear tips in different sizes for everyone. Comfort is just as important as audio quality when it comes to a good pair of earbuds, so this budget option excels in that regard.

Best Wireless Earbuds Under $100

Soundcore by Anker Life P3

These wireless earbuds come with an easy-to-use smartphone app to adjust settings, active noise cancellation, and a clamshell charging case.

Review Geek's Review Score: 9/10

Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50: Soundpeats T3

Person wearing soundpeats earbuds
Soundpeats

Pros

  • Excellent bass
  • Intuitive touch panels on both earbuds
  • Includes three ear tips

Cons

  • So-so battery life
  • No low-latency mode for gaming
  • Plastic feels a bit cheap

The Soundpeats T3 is a great pair of cheap wireless earbuds, boasting many of the same features as higher-priced models for a fraction of the price.

Like most, the entry-level Soundpeats T3 offers active noise cancellation, touch controls on both earbuds, and decent sound, especially indoors. However, the bass and lower mid-tones are a lot sharper than higher treble tones, so the audio isn’t quite perfect. It also comes with three ear tips to accommodate different ear sizes, equally comfortable for children and adults to wear.

One knock on the Soundpeats T3, however, is its limited battery life, good for up to 5.5 hours of playtime with ANC on or off. Its charging case is also good enough for two charges, which is less than the usual three or four top-offs from competitors.

For heavy-duty users, longer battery life headphones like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds may be a better option.

Best Wireless Earbuds Under $50

Soundpeats T3

The Soundpeats T3 earbuds offer active noise cancellation, three ear tips, and excellent all-around value.

Best Wireless Earbuds for iPhone: AirPods Pro

airpods pro on grey background
Apple

Pros

  • Intuitive touch controls
  • IPX4 rating for water resistance
  • +24 hours of battery life using carrying case

Cons

  • ANC and EQ not adjustable

Apple’s AirPods Pro offer excellent all-around performance, and it makes sense to pair them with your iPhone. It offers active noise cancellation and an easy toggle between transparency mode (allowing in surrounding sounds) and active noise canceling.

In terms of battery life, the AirPods Pro offers up to 4.5 hours of listening per charge with an included wireless charging case for an additional 24 hours of juice.

Another benefit of the AirPods Pro is the earbuds’ stems. Pressure-sensitive controls allow for a quick press and hold to toggle between different modes, whereas a quick squeeze will play or pause your song.

Along with an IPX4 rating for water resistance, this pair of wireless earbuds is equally useful for everyone, from 9-to-5 champs sitting at the desk taking calls all day to avid marathoners.

Best Wireless Earbuds for iPhone

AirPods Pro

Expect well-rounded performance with these earbuds, featuring active noise canceling, multiple listening modes, and intuitive pressure-sensitive controls.

Review Geek's Review Score: 9/10

RELATED:The Best Wireless Earbuds for iPhone and iPad of 2022

Best Wireless Earbuds for Android: Nothing Ear 1

Nothing earbuds on white background
Nothing

Pros

  • In-ear detection
  • Lightweight and futuristic-looking design
  • Easy to use smartphone app

Cons

  • Only two noise cancellation modes and four EQ presets

The Nothing Ear 1 is a straight-up workhorse, offering high-end features at a decent price for Android users.

One of our favorite features with the Nothing Ear 1 is its near weightlessness and its short, flat stems, and transparent plastic design. It is a welcome change from the matte plastic earbuds we see very often.

With charge times, the Nothing Ear 1 is alright, lasting up to 4.5 hours with active noise cancellation 6 hours without it. It more than makes up for it with an included charging case that is good for 34 additional hours of playback, better than the AirPods Pro.

Another winner with these earbuds is its dedicated smartphone app, ear (1). Its simple interface mimics the earbud’s own style, good for four EQ presets and two noise cancellation modes (light or max). It even offers the option to turn on in-ear detection, which allows audio to stop when the earbuds are removed and for audio to play automatically when earbuds go in your ear.

Best Wireless Earbuds for Android

Nothing Ear 1

These earbuds have a unique transparent design that doesn’t skimp on features, complete with active noise cancellation and smartphone app for setting controls.

Best Wireless Earbuds for Workouts: JBL Reflect Flow Pro

JBL Reflect Flow on pink background
JBL

Pros

  • Active noise canceling and ambient mode
  • Great battery life
  • Rated IP68 water and dustproof

Cons

  • Not as small and light as they could be

Listening to music while working out might not make it easier, but it can help make it more enjoyable. If you want high-quality earbuds that stay in your ears while you run, lift or cycle, the JBL Reflect Flow Pros are hard to beat.

The Reflect Flow Pros have everything you expect from modern, high-quality sports earbuds. Active noise canceling helps to block out external noise, with Smart Ambient mode available if you need more awareness of your surroundings. The IP68 waterproof rating means you don’t need to worry about running in the rain or getting sweaty.

The earbuds are reasonably small and light at 14 grams, though they are not the lightest. While few earbuds are heavy, lighter buds tend to stay in your ears better when using them during sports or exercising. But to help keep them in place, these JBL earbuds come with 4 different-sized Powerfins, silicone stabilizers that fit the shape of your ear.

The clever JBL Headphone app for iOS and Android allows you to create an even better experience by testing for sound leakage and suggesting ways to reduce it. You can also use the app to customize touch actions as a pair or on each earbud.

When fully charged, the earbuds have up to 10 hours of battery life, depending on whether you are using ANC. The small and light case can fully charge the earbuds twice, giving you up to 30 hours of playtime before you need to plug in. More than enough for even the longest run, workout, or gym session.

Best Wireless Earbuds for Workouts

JBL Reflect Flow Pro

High-quality waterproof ANC earbuds, that are perfect for listening to music during a run, gym session, or any vigorous activity.

Best Noise Cancelling Wireless Earbuds: Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony XM4s on green background
Sony

Pros

  • Excellent battery life (~ 8 hours per charge)
  • Intuitive, tap-based touch controls
  • Charges wirelessly using Qi-compatible pads

Cons

  • Not the smoothest pairing process

The Sony WF-1000XM4 is a noise-canceling dynamo. It offers multiple sound modes to control the amount of outside sound to let in based on where you are. Holding slight pressure on the left earbud even lets you change the noise-cancellation settings, so you can let some of your background noise in as needed.

Plus, polyurethane tips mold to your ear canal, providing a perfect seal for even better noise isolation.

To help with noise cancellation even further, the Sony WF-1000XM4’s dedicated smartphone app (Headphones Connect) offers an air-tightness test that provides feedback on fit using a test tone

Best Noise Cancelling Wireless Earbuds

Sony WF-1000XM4

Enjoy multiple sound modes and comfortable polyurethane tips that mold to your ear canal for even better sealing.

Review Geek's Review Score: 9.5/10

The Best Wireless Earbuds for iPhone and iPad of 2022

Best Earbuds Overall
Apple Airpods Pro
Best Budget Earbuds
Skullcandy Sesh Evo
Best Earbuds for Travel
Jabra Elite 75t
Best Workout Earbuds
Beats Fit Pro
Best Noise-Canceling Earbuds
Sony WF-1000XM4
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