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The best wireless earbuds for cutting out tangled cords

The best wireless earbuds for cutting out tangled cords

With fewer devices having headphone jacks, Bluetooth headphones and earbuds have become the norm. A wireless pair of earbuds means you don’t have to worry about cords getting tangled in your pocket or bag. You just pop them out of their case and into your ears and you’re good to go.

Wired earbuds vs. wireless earbuds

Wireless earbuds connect to your devices via Bluetooth, and usually after you’ve paired them once, they connect automatically when you put them in your ears. Most devices have Bluetooth capabilities, but not every electronic has an aux port, so wireless earbuds are honestly the safer choice, unless you want to carry around an adapter everywhere you go.

Bluetooth connection is reliable and you shouldn’t experience too many audio drops or connectivity issues with wireless earbuds.

Wired headphones can provide better connection and sound quality, but they tether you to your phone or computer, so you’re not able to walk around freely while still listening to your audio. On the plus side, you don’t have to worry about battery life with wired earbuds since they’re not battery-powered. They’re also cheaper than wireless earbuds if you have any financial restraints.

Overall, we prefer to go wireless, and we’re guessing you do too since you’re here reading this.

Earbuds vs. headphones

Headphones go over or around your ears while earbuds go inside and have a much smaller profile. Choosing between the two comes down to style, comfort, and sound quality. Headphones can squeeze your head and give you a headache if you wear them too long, and while earbuds won’t do the same, they can make your ears feel sore after extended wear. It’s all about personal preference on which fit you like better.

Earbuds are easier to transport, and because they’re smaller, you don’t have many restrictions when it comes to wearing them. You can wear wireless earbuds while also wearing a helmet or hat, which is not so easy or comfortable with headphones.

Headphones do provide a better seal and have larger speakers, causing them to be the winners in the sound quality department. There’s some give and take when choosing between wireless earbuds and wireless headphones.

What to look for when buying wireless earbuds

Battery life is one of the most important features to look at in a pair of wireless earbuds. You don’t want to have to take a break from your music or podcast in the middle of listening because your earbuds’ battery died. You want a pair of buds that have a long playback time as well as a decent extended battery life from the charging case. If the playback battery life is less than five hours, you’re going to have to pop the earbuds back in their case more frequently than you might want. On the bright side, though, charging cases usually work pretty quickly and a fast 15-minute charge will provide you with an hour or more of listening time.

You’ll also want to pay attention to how the earbuds actually fit. Do you want rubber tips? Ear hooks? If fitted silicone tips don’t sit right in your ears, the original AirPods might be more comfortable for you. PowerBeats Pros are also good if standard earbuds don’t stay in your ears, because they feature over-the-ear hooks to ensure those puppies stay put.

Sound quality and noise reduction or cancellation are also important to consider when buying wireless earbuds. Like we said, headphones are probably going to give you better audio quality, but you can still get some crisp, full sound from earbuds. Brands like Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser are known for their great sound quality, so you can expect their reputations to shine through their wireless earbuds.

Active noise cancellation in wireless earbuds

When wireless earbuds first hit the market, we didn’t see many with noise cancellation abilities, but now it seems that noise-canceling earbuds are the standard. This means newer models of wireless earbuds cost a bit more than their predecessors, but in our opinion, the extra cost is worth it.

Active noise cancellation isn’t the same in earbuds as it is in headphones. Over-ear headphones can create a sound-blocking seal that you just physically cannot get with earbuds. But earbuds with silicone tips still do a pretty good job creating a seal that allows for ANC. It’s definitely enough for blocking out noisy coworkers or a loud, bustling street.

Most earbuds with active noise cancellation also have some form of transparent or ambient mode that you can turn on to hear what’s going on around you.

Are true wireless earbuds worth it?

Let us put it simply: yes. Truly wireless earbuds give you totally free mobility (within range of your device, which is usually about 30 feet). You’re able to walk around the house or office, go for a run, and so much more without being tethered to your phone. You won’t experience the awful yank that happens when you drop your phone while wearing wired earbuds.

Wireless earbuds that have a connecting cord still run the risk of getting caught on something and getting tugged out of your ears. Truly wireless earbuds are the only way to avoid this.

Are cheap wireless earbuds good?

Wireless earbuds are an item to splurge on. A low price tag may sound appealing, but you’re going to be losing out on sound quality, features, and durability. Dropping $200 for a pair of earbuds might not seem ideal, but you know for that price they’re going to last. Opting for a cheap pair of wireless earbuds could mean that you’ll have to replace them not long after buying. And in the end, that’ll cost you more than if you just bought the nice, expensive pair from the start.

However, there are a few decent wireless earbuds under $100 — you just won’t get as many features. Which is totally fine if you’re more budget-focused. Just know that if you dip into the $20 to $30 range, you shouldn’t expect much in terms of quality and longevity.

How AirPods compare to other wireless earbuds

Apple is almost always going to be one of our top picks. The company just knows what it’s doing. And we’re hoping to see some good discounts on AirPods and AirPods Pro this Prime Day. That said, there are some other wireless earbuds that give Apple’s buds a run for their money.

Bose, Jabra, and Sony have stellar sound quality that meets or surpasses Apple. And the brands feature different designs for their buds if you don’t like the way AirPods look. It seems like most wireless earbuds now have silicone ear tips, so the original AirPods stand out by having an earpiece we’re familiar with from Apple’s wired earbuds.

Choosing the right pair of wireless earbuds for you comes down to your personal preferences, but here’s a guide to help you directly compare the top earbuds on the market based on specs like battery life, style, noise-canceling features, music controls, and more.


Support Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant • Three sets of EarGels (adjustable tips) included • Long battery life • Three free months of Amazon Music Unlimited included when ordered through Amazon • Active noise cancellation

Some Redditors have issues pairing their buds to the Jabra Sound+ app • Have to pair with the app to activate noise cancellation the first time

These are the most well-rounded true wireless earbuds money can buy.

Jabra Elite Active 75t

Jabra’s good-sounding, long-lasting earbuds are solid for working out or everyday use.

  • Battery life:
    7.5 hours (28 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes

Designed to keep up with an active lifestyle, the Jabra Elite Active 75t true wireless earbuds are water, sweat, and dust resistant. They feature active noise cancellation and the charging case makes the battery last up to 24 hours with ANC turned on. Pair the wireless earbuds to the Jabra Sound+ app to customize a music profile, monitor your buds’ charging status, and connect them to your preferred voice assistant.


Sweat and water resistant • Great sound quality • Excellent noise cancelation for their size • Apple’s H1 chip makes for easy pairing and a stable connection • Three sets of silicone tips included • Hands-free control with Siri

Expensive • Playtime takes a hit when Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes are turned on

The hype is well deserved.

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple’s popular in-ear buds have gotten even better with the addition of active noise cancelation technology.

  • Battery life:
    4.5 hours (more than 24 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes

AirPods Pro are popular for a reason — they fit snugly in your ears with a low-profile design, feature active noise cancellation, have transparency mode, and pair seamlessly with devices. They’re a step up from the original AirPods with a new design, noise cancellation, and improved controls. P.s. While they’re pretty pricey, you can usually find AirPods Pro on sale


Come in multiple colors • Ambient aware mode • Active noise cancellation • Clear microphone

Design is not ideal for small ears • iPhone users might experience connectivity issues

These earbuds are ready to tackle every part of your day.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Powerful woofers and intuitive controls make the Galaxy Buds Pro stand out.

  • Battery life:
    8 hours (28 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro include active noise cancellation and feature powerful woofers in each earbud. Their design is different from AirPods in that they’re more bulbous and don’t have stems that go past your ears. The earbuds are water resistant and fit your needs whether you’re working out, working at a desk, or just going about your daily routine.

Matte charging case less prone to scratches • Noise canceling • Ambient sound mode • Quick attention mode • Alexa enabled

Bulky design • No wireless charging

Though the design is bulky, these earbuds deliver great quality with industry-leading noise cancellation.

Sony WF-1000XM3

Active noise cancellation, ambient mode, and quick attention mode let you control how much background noise you hear.

  • Battery life:
    6 hours (24 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes

Noise cancellation isn’t always the absolute best in wireless earbuds, but the Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds have industry-leading noise cancellation technology that is seriously impressive. The Bluetooth earphones utilize smart listening that automatically switches to ambient sound mode based on your activity. The design is a little bulkier than some other wireless earbuds — they almost resemble Bluetooth earpieces from the early 2000s, but they come with silicone ear tips to fit snugly in your ear.


Volume control on the earbuds • Water resistant • Stellar overall sound quality • Three sets of silicone tips included

Mediocre battery life • No noise cancellation

If you care about the sound quality of your music above all else, these should be your go-tos.

Bose Sport Earbuds

These Bose earbuds offer some serious oomph even without noise cancellation.

  • Battery life:
    5 hours (15 total hours with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes

With both silicone tips and ear hooks, the Bose Sport earbuds will stay securely in your ears no matter what you’re doing. Unlike some other wireless earbuds, there’s no squeezing or button pushing — you swipe up and down for volume control, tap to control music, and more that you can configure in the Bose Music App. And if for any reason you don’t want both earbuds in at the same time, music will still play and the mic will still work if you only have one earbud in.


Fast pairing thanks to Apple’s H1 chip • Great sound quality • Secure fit • Long battery life • Volume control on earbuds

Charging case is huge and requires a Lightning cable (no wireless charging) • No noise cancellation

An excellent AirPods alternative if you hate the way AirPods look.

Beats Powerbeats Pro

The Beats Powerbeats Pro are a sporty AirPods alternative comfy enough for all-day wear with an all-day battery life to match.

  • Battery life:
    9 hours (more than 24 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless with earhooks
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes

With the same internal tech as AirPods (including Apple’s H1 chip), Beats PowerBeats Pro truly wireless earphones are a good alternative if you aren’t a fan of AirPods’ fit. These earbuds have hooks that go over your ears to keep them in place all day long, while a silicone tip ensure a snug fit inside. Each earbud has volume and track control as well as auto play/pause functions.


Very lightweight • Four sets of EarTips and EarWings included • Sweatproof and water resistant • Extremely affordable

Short battery life • Don’t fit securely enough for running or rigorous workouts • Some reviewers report connectivity issues

They won’t blow you away, but they’re excellent for the money.

Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo

Offering decent sound for the money, Anker’s buds are a worthy upgrade from the junky earbuds you impulse-bought at the airport.

  • Battery life:
    3.5 hours (12.5 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes

For under $50, you’re not going to get the same stellar quality and features as more expensive options, but the Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo are a pretty good pair of true wireless earbuds. If you’re a casual headphones user, these pair to devices easily and deliver balanced, natural sound with above-average bass. Though some reviewers reported connection issues, random audio drops, and an awkward fit.


Active noise cancellation • The best sound quality money can buy • Transparency mode • Durable build quality with modern design • Reliable connection • Splash resistant

Expensive AF • Some reviewers reported audio delay with video games and YouTube videos

Very high quality at a very high cost.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

If you can justify their price tag, you’ll be the proud owner of the best-sounding buds on your block.

  • Battery life:
    7 hours (28 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes
Even pricier than AirPods Pro, Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wirless 2s live up to the brand’s reputation. The mid-tones are clear, bright, well-balanced; the bass is super bold (but doesn’t rattle your skull); and high notes don’t sound tinny. These are the wireless earbuds for true audiophiles. Plus, you’re able to customize the touch controls on the earbuds.

Sleek look • Fast charge time • Long playback time • Good sound quality • Comfortable fit

Hard to clean • No noise cancellation

Though they don’t have noise cancellation like AirPods Pro, Apple’s standard design provides excellent sound quality and battery life.

Apple AirPods

Though they aren’t the newest from Apple, we still love the classic AirPods.

  • Battery life:
    5 hours (more than 24 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes

Even though AirPods Pro are the newer, more advanced Apple earbuds, we still have love in our hearts for the OG AirPods. They don’t have noise cancellation, but they do have good sound quality, reliable connection, and customizable controls. These are a more budget-friendly option for Apple loyalists.


Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant integration • Sweat resistant • Noise reducing • Control volume with Alexa

Bulky charging case • Sound quality is good but nothing exceptional

While they don’t quite compete with AirPods, Echo Buds are decent for their price point.

Echo Buds

With Alexa skills and Bose Active Noise Reduction, Echo Buds are a decent option.

  • Battery life:
    5 hours (20 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes

If you have any other Amazon Alexa products, you already have the app needed to control the Echo Buds. The earbuds work with Alexa to stream music, play Audible books, make calls, and get directions. They also feature Bose Active Noise Reduction technology — they’re not noise canceling, but they do block out a good amount of environmental sounds.

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