In a world where you sometimes need to escape the stresses of everyday life, there’s no easier way to do it than to take out your favorite set of wireless earbuds and jam out. 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.
These inconspicuous devices allow you to listen anywhere, whether that be at work or on the go. If you do happen to turn on some tunes at work, a recent 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.
Seeking the ultimate earbud to be your companion through life? StudyFinds has created this list of the best earbuds, according to experts, so that you know exactly how to choose. did we miss your favorite pair? Leave a comment to let us know!
The List: Best Earbuds, According to Tech Experts
Number one on the list of best earbuds is Apple AirPods Pro. “The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) modestly improve upon the first-generation AirPods Pro and feature the same iconic look. Apple’s upgraded H2 chip begets better noise canceling and battery life, while the case’s U1 chip and integrated speaker let you precisely locate the case. If you own an iPhone, the AirPods Pro 2 are an obvious choice,” shares Sound Guys.
Dive into the earbud universe, where your playlist takes center stage. “Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro are a huge improvement over the previous models. These buds have improved sound quality and active noise cancellation, while maintaining all of the conveniences that make AirPods the best earbud option for iPhone, iOS and Mac. When we reviewed them, we found the most impressive feature to be transparency mode, which is more natural sounding than any other earbuds by a mile. You can leave these in during a conversation and it’s like you’re not even wearing them. Of course, fast pairing, hands-free Siri, spatial audio, good battery life, and now, a USB-C charging case that can also power up wirelessly will also come in handy,” says Engadget.
Ready to explore earbuds that not only cancel noise but transport you to a new audio dimension? “For those invested in Apple’s ecosystem, the second-generation AirPods Pro combine an appealing mix of top-notch noise cancellation and refined sound compared to the original pair. As always, they also include numerous features (spatial audio, audio sharing, automatic syncing across iCloud devices, etc.) that make them an ideal companion to the company’s other devices. They’re also the only AirPods that come with different sizes of ear tips for a customizable fit — now including an extra small option. The AirPods Pro have a compact case that supports wireless charging. Setting them up is as simple as holding the open case near your iPhone. The earbuds are lightweight and fit snugly in most ears,” writes The Verge.
Number two on the list of the best earbuds is Sony WF-1000XM5. “Just like their predecessors, Sony’s new WF-1000XM5 earbuds have again topped our recommendations for the overall best noise-canceling earbuds. Thanks to their larger drivers, the audio quality is more detailed and dynamic than before while still retaining the warmth and clarity that made the 1000XM4s so enjoyable. Sony has also further improved its ANC and is nearing the same territory as Bose’s QC Earbuds II. These earbuds do a terrific job of eliminating background noise. Battery life can stretch to eight hours of continuous listening with noise cancellation turned on,” writes The Verge.
Tangle-free and trendsetting – discover the wireless wonders that cut the cord but never compromise on sound. “When Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earbuds came out in 2021, we awarded them a CNET Editors’ Choice. And while they’re excellent, we had some quibbles — they’re on the large side and aren’t a good match for certain ears. Clearly, Sony took those gripes to heart when it set out to design its next-generation WF-1000XM5 flagship noise-canceling earbuds. Not only are the XM5s smaller, but they also offer improved performance pretty much across the board, with better noise canceling, sound and voice calling,” shares CNET.
Ever wished your earbuds could adapt to your surroundings, whether with city buzz or countryside calm? “During testing, we found the XM5 to be comfortable and nice to use, while their noise-cancelling and call quality are up there with the competition. Looking for the clearest and most detailed sonic performance from a pair of wireless earbuds on the market right now? The WF-1000XM5 produce it – and by quite some distance. They’re not quite as rich or full in the bass as we’ve come to expect from flagship earbuds from Sony but we found there’s so much detail and texture to every track you play through them, it makes them a great choice for fans of any musical genre,” says What Hifi.
Number three on the list of the best earbuds is Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro. “The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro earbuds work well with any brand Android device, as well as a Windows or Mac computer and iOS devices, too. But Samsung Galaxy smartphone or tablet users gain features like automatic pairing and 360-degree audio. These earbuds come with a compact, wireless charging case that’s smaller and more pocketable than most. Upon removing them from their case to place within my ears, I immediately noticed each earbud lacks a stem, a design choice which makes them smaller and less obvious while worn in-ear. When I paired the Buds2 Pro earbuds with an Android smartphone, I immediately noticed they produced high-quality audio, but couldn’t hear the 360-degree audio without using a compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphone. The noise cancellation feature works well, especially when listening to music at 50% volume or higher. While I listened to music, the audio was clear and robust—with just the right level of bass,” says Forbes.
Unleash your inner audiophile with earbuds that transform your daily soundtrack into a symphony of delight. “The Galaxy Buds2 Pro earbuds are Samsung’s answer to the Apple AirPods Pro, offering outstanding comfort and seamless integration with the tech giant’s Android smartphones. When paired with a Galaxy phone, the earbuds can stream hi-fi sound that’s a contender for best-in-class. Plus, you can charge them wirelessly off the back of the top-shelf Samsung Galaxy phones,” adds Best Products.
Ever considered if your current earbuds are robbing you of enjoying real life? “The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro offer improved noise canceling along with very good sound and voice-calling performance, plus support for high-resolution wireless audio streaming if you’re a Galaxy device owner with the right setup. That said, their biggest upgrade may be their new design and smaller size, which make them a better fit for more ears. Aside from their somewhat high price tag, their only drawback is that some of their key features only work with Samsung Galaxy devices,” shares CNET.
Experts also love the JBL Tour Pro 2 Wireless Earbuds. “JBL’s Tour Pro 2 wireless earbuds have the most feature-rich charging case in the business. The high-tech accessory rocks a touchscreen that allows you to control the audio playback, take or reject calls, adjust the noise cancellation, and even customize the sound without reaching for your phone to open the earbuds’ companion app. While testing the Pro 2, I found the above feature incredibly convenient while using the buds on my MacBook and iPad on my office desk and at home, respectively. I didn’t need to reach for the charging case on the go. I usually keep such wireless earbuds’ accessories in my backpack, while my phone is always in my jeans pocket. Sound-wise, the JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds deliver an experience worthy of their price range. Their sound quality and noise cancellation are top-notch. Combined with the long battery life and futuristic charging case, the product’s audio performance makes it an interesting alternative to similarly priced Apple, Bose, and Sony rivals,” writes Best Products.
Elevate your audio escapade with earbuds that turn ordinary moments into extraordinary memories without breaking the bank. “It’s no secret that JBL offers high quality headphones at a reasonable price,” says Forbes.
It’s time to ditch earbuds that don’t stay put during intense workouts. “If you’d rather not have to whip out your phone to deal with your headphones, JBL’s Tour Pro 2 wireless earbuds have a screen right on their case that allows you to control things like playback, volume, and sound mode (transparency or noise canceling). You can even set timers, enable a flashlight, and play a loud sound from stray earbuds to more easily find them,” shares NY Mag.
Number five on the list of the best earbuds is Google Pixel Buds Pro. “The Pixel Buds Pro are Google’s first earbuds to feature active noise canceling. While it’s nice that they finally have a feature that a lot of true-wireless earbuds have had for a while, what ultimately sets the Pixel Buds Pro apart and makes them worth considering — particularly for Android users — is their distinct design and winning fit. That helps enhance their performance on both the sound quality and noise-canceling fronts. While not quite elite for voice-calling, they did perform well as a headset for making calls. A couple of features were missing at launch — spatial audio and a five-band equalizer — but both have now been added with firmware updates,” shares CNET.
Feel the rhythm, not the wires – these earbuds redefine freedom and style in one harmonious package. “Google has hit its stride when it comes to true wireless earbuds. Every new model the company introduces is an improvement after its first attempt failed to impress. With the Pixel Buds Pro, Google offers deep, punchy bass, solid ANC performance, reliable touch controls and wireless charging, all in an IPX4-rated package. Plus, there are added convenience features for Android and Pixel devices including Google Translate Conversation Mode,” says Engadget.
Tired of untangling wires? “The Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless are the best Bluetooth earbuds in the mid-range. These earbuds don’t have the same premium feel as the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, but they’re packed with plenty of features you might not expect, considering their lower price. Their ANC has a similarly excellent performance, so it can help reduce noise like rumbling engines or background conversations when you’re on the go. They have a continuous battery life of about eight hours and come with a portable charging case that stores extra charges. They even support multi-device pairing, meaning you can simultaneously stay connected with your phone and computer,” writes Rtings.
Number six on the list of best earbuds is Anker Soundcore Space A40.“The Anker Soundcore Space A40 offer the kind of features you’d expect from wireless earbuds that cost twice as much: ANC, multi-device pairing, wireless charging, IPX4 water resistance, a transparency mode, eight to ten hours of battery life and LDAC support. When we tested them, we found their warm sound to be pleasing right out of the box, but Anker’s companion app makes it easy to customize the EQ curve if needed. And while their ANC isn’t quite as strong as our top picks, it’s still effective for a noisy office or long flight,” says Engadget.
Break up with background noise as you embrace earbuds designed to cancel chaos and amplify clarity. “They nearly give Apple’s AirPods Pro a run for their money. If you’re in need of a pair of noise-canceling earbuds but you don’t want to spend three figures, these are the best option we’ve tried. Too bad they’re not as stylish as Google’s Pixel Buds A-Series,” shares Wired.
Ever wondered if there’s an earbud that can turn your commute into a private concert? “The Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless are the best Bluetooth in-ear headphones in the lower mid-range. They’re a relatively affordable option with plenty of features like ANC and app support. Their noise isolation performance rivals the Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless’, so they can help reduce noise during your commute or at the office. You can also choose different modes to suit different situations, including an adaptive setting to adjust automatically to the amount of noise in your environment,” writes Rtings.
Finally, the number seven on the list for the best earbuds is Jabra Elite 8 Active. “The folks at Jabra scanned thousands of ears to come up with sleek, comfy designs, and that continues with the Elite 8 Active. WIRED associate reviews editor Adrienne So says these remain some of the best-fitting earbuds and they also stay secure. They have an IP68 water resistance rating, and the sound quality, noise-canceling tech, and mic quality are excellent. The best part? Physical buttons to control your music! Your sweaty hair will no longer interrupt your tunes. Jabra often continues to sell old models for years, which means you’ll have no problem replacing ear tips, the case, or even a bud as needed. That also means you should keep an eye out for a nice discount for the still-great Elite 7 Active,” shares Wired.
Your ears deserve a vacation. “Equipped with six microphones instead of four, slightly improved adaptive noise canceling and wind-reduction technology along with a higher durability rating, the Elite 8 Active look, feel and perform like a modestly upgraded version of the Elite 7 Pro and Elite 7 Active. Jabra is billing them as the ‘world’s toughest earbuds,’ and based on our tests (they survived several drops without a scratch), that may very well be true,” says CNET.
Are you itching to upgrade your audio game? “We look closely at IP (ingress protection) ratings when researching earphones, and the credentials here are some of the very highest we’ve ever seen. These noise-cancelling buds are sweatproof, drop-proof, and come with an IP68 rating, meaning they have the highest level possible for dust and dirt protection, along with waterproofing to keep them going after continuous submersion in water beyond a metre for longer than 30 minutes. That’s not all, they also passed military-grade testing for shocks, pressure and temperature fluctuations. In addition to all that, we found they fit comfortably, won’t fall out (they’re covered in an anti-shake coating), sound fantastic and cancel noise capably,” writes Good House Keeping.
You might also be interested in:
- Sounds Guys
- The Verge
- What Hifi
- Best Products
- NY Mag
- Good House Keeping
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.