Walk into just about any quiet office these days and you’ll likely find many employees sitting at their desks happily working away with earbuds in their ears. Modern technology now allows us to listen to music or our favorite podcasts while canceling out background noise. We can take calls on earbuds with excellent sound quality and then return with ease back to the playlist. The top audio companies are now prioritizing earbuds with every new line of products, and StudyFinds sought to find the consensus best earbuds on the market.
Having high-quality earbuds can benefit us in many ways too. One recent study reports that listening to classical music at work can improve productivity by 15%. “Music has a very powerful impact on the brain. It affects mood, mental performance and physical performance,” says Dr. Becky Spelman, a British psychologist. “Many people find that listening to certain types of instrumental music can help them with their productivity levels. The music can function as a sort of ‘white noise’, cancelling out potentially distracting ambient noise.”
Another survey shows that two-thirds of employees listen to music while working, with 89 percent of them agreeing that it makes them more productive. That report also finds that students who play music were likelier to have a GPA above 3.2 than those studying in silence. Interestingly, one study reports that listening to “groovy” music boosts brain performance the most.
And of course, earbuds are a must for most gym-goers these days trying to grind through a tough workout. One study reports that listening to high-energy, upbeat music helps people last longer during a standard cardiac stress test.
All that said, if you’re in search of new earbuds, we’ve put together a list of the top recommended earbuds by expert reviewers. For our research, we visited nine “expert” reviews to see which earbuds were best. We came away with these six-most frequently endorsed products across these reviews. If it’s headphones you’re in search of, then be sure to check out our list of Best Of The Best Headphones.
The List: Best Earbuds, According To Experts
1. Apple AirPods Pro 2
The Apple AirPods Pro 2 rank first on this list as they appeared most frequently across all reviewers’ posts. These are truly premium hi-fi earbuds that offer a seamless music experience. The stronger sound quality compared to its predecessor earns it high reviews from experts, and the noise cancellation works like a charm.
“Teens, athletes, and tech experts love AirPods and for good reason: They’re portable, they sound good, and the setup process is more seamless than that of any other earbud in the Apple ecosystem — just open up the AirPod case and your iPhone starts connecting,” says NY Magazine’s The Strategist. “The fact that Apple made the setup process so easy is something anyone can appreciate, but it will be especially welcome for people who aren’t overly tech savvy.”
These earbuds are compatible with a wide range of devices, and the sleek charging case includes a pretty unique feature. “The case has a built-in speaker, so it can scream at you when you use the Find My app to locate it in your couch cushions or gym bag,” explains Wired.
You get up to six hours of music playback per charge, and the charging case provides a total of 30 hours of battery life.
“Apple’s in-ear AirPods have always been decent wireless earbuds, but unremarkable. They’ve picked up quite a number of four-star reviews over the years. But with the AirPods Pro 2, Apple has made a pair of wireless buds that delivers the goods. How? Noise-cancelling is better, battery life is longer, and you get new features and, more importantly, much improved sound quality. They also cost the same as the original AirPods Pro, which helps,” writes WhatHiFi.
The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are IPX4 water resistant earbuds that come with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
2. Beats Fit Pro
The Beats Fit Pro are high-quality wireless earbuds that could be the best pair on the market for gym rats. They are lightweight and come with a secure fit, making them suitable for people of all ages, body types, and sweat levels. These earbuds have a rich sound quality with deep bass, and they are compatible with a wide range of devices. There’s even a three-button remote which can be super helpful if you’re on the treadmill or out for a walk.
In fact, CNN ranked these their top choice entirely. “The Beats Fit Pro not only do everything the AirPods Pro do, but they do it with more style, fit more securely, and are more comfortable. Add to that a more universally compatible USB-C charging case and support for Android via the Beats app, and they’re not just great for Apple users, but make a great workout headphone and are now our favorite true-wireless earbuds overall,” their review says.
The Beats Fit Pro come with a built-in mic for hands-free calling, and the in-ear headphones have a rich sound quality with deep bass. You can play music for up to seven hours on a single charge, and the charging case provides an additional 30 hours of battery life.
“Technically, the new Beats Fit Pro aren’t AirPods, but they’re built on the same tech platform as the AirPods Pro. Unlike Beats’ earlier and less expensive Studio Buds, the Beats Fit Pro include Apple’s H1 chip and have most of the AirPods Pro’s features, including active noise canceling, spatial audio and Adaptive EQ. I’d venture to call them the sports AirPods you’ve always wanted,” writes CNET.
Like its peers, the earbuds come with a built-in noise cancellation feature, and the in-ear fit ensures a secure and comfortable listening experience. They’re also IPX4 water resistant, which means that they can withstand moderate moisture that might occur in your sweat-soaked gym bag.
You’ll get a two-year manufacturer’s warranty with your pair, which are available in two attractive colors.
3. Sony WF-1000XM4
The Sony WF-1000XM4 are considered by some reviewers the best noise-cancelling earbuds, and they are worthy contenders for the best earbuds of 2023 title. These are truly premium earbuds with a sleek design, and they offer a seamless music experience.
“Sony is largely responsible for the health of the active noise-cancelling, true wireless earbuds market. With the WF-1000XM4, the company has combined performance, ergonomics, and build quality more effectively than ever before,” says TechRadar.
The sound quality is as crisp as it gets, and the noise cancellation is among the best in the business. These earbuds are compatible with a wide range of devices, and the charging case is a nice touch. You can even customize the sound using Sony’s app.
“In terms of overall excellence, the best wireless earbuds you can get are Sony’s WF-1000XM4. They’ve got an unbeatable combo of top-notch active noise cancellation, wonderfully detailed audio, and long-lasting battery life,” adds The Verge, which ranked the earbuds tops overall.
With the Sony WF-1000XM4, you get up to eight hours of music playback per charge, and the charging case provides an additional 16 hours of battery life.
The earbuds are IPX4 water resistant earbuds and come with a one-year warranty.
4. Bose QuietComfort 2
The Bose QuietComfort 2 are also touted as one of the best noise-canceling earbuds on the market. These are truly premium earbuds with a sleek design and excellent sound quality.
“Bose’s second-generation QuietComfort Earbuds 2 are not only about 30% smaller than their predecessors, but their case is about 40% smaller and truly pocketable,” writes CNET. “They feature best-in-class noise canceling and improved sound, thanks to Bose’s new CustomTune sound calibration system that customizes the sound for your ears.”
Adds Engadget: “When it comes to blocking out the world, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are the best at the task. Bose introduced a redesigned set earlier this year and the smaller buds deliver a more comfy fit. The company also managed to improve ambient sound and maintain its track record of solid audio quality. However, the real star here is the ANC performance which is hands-down the best you can get right now.
They are compatible with a wide range of devices, IPX4 water resistant, and you can even customize the sound using Bose’s app. You get up to seven hours of music playback per charge, and the charging case provides an additional 30 hours of battery life.
5. Google Pixel Buds Pro
The Google Pixel Buds Pro have a comfortable fit, and they are suitable for use in day to day use or high-intensity workouts. The earbuds have a sleek and modern design, and they’re available in black and white colors. Their lightweight design makes them comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
The earbuds come with a touch-sensitive control panel, and you can use it to adjust the volume and skip between songs. They also have a built-in translator feature that allows you to instantly translate conversations, and they have a noise cancellation feature that filters out ambient noise, making them suitable for use in noisy environments. They can also be used to take hands-free calls.
“The real strength of the Pixel Buds Pro is that they’re able to pair with multiple devices simultaneously, so you can watch a video on your MacBook, then pause and start playing your favorite playlist from your Android device, and the Pixel Buds will automatically switch,” notes The Strategist.
Google Pixel Buds Pro earbuds have a long battery life, and their charging case can provide up to 24 hours of playback time per charge. They also have an auto-off feature that turns the earbuds off after two hours of inactivity to save battery life. The earbuds have a built-in microphone, and the person on the other end can hear you clearly during calls. They also have an auto pause feature that automatically pauses your music when you take off the earbuds.
The earbuds have a good sound quality, and they’re perfect for listening to different types of music. They also have a strong Bluetooth connection, and they’re less prone to dropouts. These earbuds don’t come with a DAC, so they’re not the best choice if you’re an audiophile.
“Beam-forming microphones and noise-canceling tech make these great on calls and in airports, and eight hours of battery life with noise canceling on means you’ll make it to your destination before needing to pop the buds back in the included wireless charging case,” says Wired.
5. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
Overall, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds are well-designed earbuds with fantastic sound quality at a competitive cost.
“Building on an already winning recipe with an improved feature set, decent step up in performance and sensible price tag, the Momentum True Wireless 3 are as competitive as ever. A brilliant pair of earbuds,” says WhatHiFi.com.
“The third generation of Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless earbuds deliver tremendous, detailed sound quality that stands above nearly all competitors. They’re a joy to listen to, and even better, they’re now smaller and more comfortable than previous models — with a case that finally supports wireless charging,” boasts The Verge. “The active noise cancellation can’t compete with the likes of Apple, Sony, and Bose, but if you care more about lush, intricate sound, the MTW3s won’t disappoint in the slightest.”
“A new Adaptive Noise Cancellation setup continuously monitors ambient sounds to suppress them in real time. Inside, the company’s True Response transducer is paired with 7mm dynamic drivers for top-notch audio,” adds Engadget.
They have a seven-hour battery life, and they’re less prone to dropouts compared to other true wireless earbuds.
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.