The best wireless earbuds of 2020 combine compact builds with stellar audio performance and Bluetooth connectivity. They’re so good in fact, that many give some of the best wired earbuds a run for their money.
There are lots of reasons you might want to grab a pair of wireless earbuds. They’re great for the gym, commuting, or relaxing outside on a sunny day. The best Bluetooth earbuds are designed to stay put in your ears and to bring you good quality sound – and they’re usually cheaper than wireless headphones.
Wireless earbuds news
(Image credit: Samsung)
The latest wireless earphones we’ve tested are the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. With their unusual looks and decent battery life, they’re worth checking out if you need a new pair of in-ear headphones.
In other wireless earbuds news, we’re still waiting on the elusive Apple AirPods 3. Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro are getting a nifty upgrade that’s bringing spatial audio to the true wireless earbuds, as well as auto-switch pairing – a feature that’s also coming to the regular AirPods.
This guide will take a look at the two different kinds of wireless earbuds on the market today; true wireless earbuds and neckbud-style Bluetooth earphones. The former have no cables whatsoever, while wireless neckbuds retain a single cable that connects each earbud – usually worn around the neck.
With such a huge amount of choice, it can be difficult to find the best wireless earbuds for you. That’s why this guide includes the best wireless earbuds for every budget, every situation, and in every form factor. First up – the best true wireless earbuds you can buy today.
One of the first mainstream, and therefore super popular, pairs of true wireless earbuds were the Apple AirPods – but now there are far better options out there, including the AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM3. So, before you buy a pair of old-school ‘Pods, check out our selection of the best true wireless earbuds and AirPods-alternatives you can buy in 2020.
True wireless earbuds
Considering it’s still rare to get noise-cancellation in earbuds at all, the fact that Sony has managed to pack it into a pair that are not only wireless, but true wireless is very impressive indeed.
The Sony WF-1000X manage to offer a level of noise-cancellation that’s very good for a pair of earbuds – it won’t offer the same isolation as a pair of over-ear cans, but if you’re after a sleek form factor then the compromise is well worth it.
There may be a few minor problems with these wireless earbuds, but we think Sony has knocked the ball out of the park with the WF-1000XM3; not only are these hands down the best-looking true wireless earbuds out there, but they combine serious noise cancelling tech with fist-pumping musicality.
Read the full review: Sony WF-1000XM3 review
Sennheiser has pretty much knocked it out of the park with these wireless earbuds, offering great noise cancellation alongside smart looks and stunning sound.
The sound quality, battery life, and design of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are truly brilliant – and they’re a really good alternative to the Sony WF-1000XM3, particularly if you prefer a more flashy design to adorn your ears.
We did find that those with smaller ears sometimes find them a little uncomfortable, however, and their high price just stops them from beating the Sony WF-1000XM3.
Read more: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review
Cambridge Audio is known for its high-end audio equipment, but until now, hasn’t ventured into the world of true wireless earbuds. Enter the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s: with an outstanding 45 hours of battery life, they combine the brand’s award-winning engineering with the convenience of truly wireless listening.
For a pair of wireless earbuds, the sound quality offered by the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s is sensational. In fact, they rival some of the best over-ear headphones, which is all but unheard of for buds of this size.
They may not have the noise cancelation technology offered by the Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds, but they are $100 (around £80) cheaper – and have a superior battery life.
They certainly outperform the popular Apple AirPods, in all respects apart from the lack of wireless charging case. This is a small price to pay for that exceptional audio quality, though, and we think they represent much better value for money, too.
Read the full review: Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 review
You may not have heard of up-and-coming audio brand Lypertek yet, but expect to hear a lot from it soon – its Lypertek Tevi true wireless earbuds are among the best we’ve tried, especially given the low price tag.
With USB-C charging, a well-balanced sound, lengthy battery life, and waterproofing, it ticks every box you could ask for, from what are basically a pair of budget wireless earbuds. The Lypertek Tevi, surprisingly, might just blow you away, punching well above their weight and rivaling the best wireless earbuds from some of the biggest audio brands on the planet.
Consider us pleasantly surprised.
Read the full review: Lypertek Tevi true wireless earbuds review
With their stellar sound and build quality, long-lasting battery life and what may be one of the coolest cases we’ve ever seen, we’d argue that the Klipsch T5s are easily among the best Bluetooth earbuds on the market right now..
Of course, you’re buying a Klipsch product because it features the signature Klipsch sound, which is warm, detailed, and never harsh. Acoustic music is lush and detailed, and the detail extends to the highs as well, allowing the headphones to sing in the higher registers without ever being sibilant.
Battery life is rated at 8 hours per charge with the case giving an additional 24 hours – that means these true wireless in-ear headphones will last you for a long haul flight, no problem.
Read the full review: Klipsch T5 True Wireless review
Apple’s most recent true wireless earbuds bring active noise cancellation, a (finally) much better fit, and an improved design, in a bid to lure more iPhone users into the true wireless fold.
However, at $249 / £249 / AU$399, they’re pretty pricey too, and as such can’t be called the very best wireless earbuds out there.
That said, if you’re an iPhone user looking for some well-fitting earbuds with strong sound quality, you could do a lot worse than the new AirPods – the redesign means they’re far less likely to fall out, and the additional microphones provide strong noise-canceling (particularly when commuting), as well as a useful Transparency mode, which really does let the outside world in.
The sound quality of the AirPods Pro has certainly improved since the previous iteration – there’s a notable emphasis on vocals and bass, meaning these earbuds are better for pop fans than those that enjoy a more natural presentation that lends itself to classical music or more orchestral sounds.
[Update: The Apple AirPods Pro are getting a hefty firmware upgrade, which will allow for Dolby Atmos spatial audio, bringing immersive 3D sound to your true wireless earbuds.
There’s also a new auto-switching feature means that the AirPods can now “magically switch over between devices”, detecting automatically which device you are using.]
Read the full review: Apple AirPods Pro review
The Jabra Elite 75t improve upon their predecessors, the Jabra Elite 65t, in just about every way – except for tonal balance.
The headphones and charging case are much smaller, battery life makes an immense jump, catching up to the competition, and the customization features we enjoyed in the 65t remain.
While they don’t have the best sound quality and they lacks active noise cancellation, neither stops the Jabre Elite 75t from being a solid pair of wireless earbuds to use, especially if you make frequent calls with your your headphones on.
Read the full review: Jabra Elite 75t review
The PowerBeats Pro true wireless Beats headphones are something special – they’re supremely comfortable, sound decent and seem to never, ever fall out.
That said, they are – in our opinion – Apple’s best true wireless earbuds to date thanks to small additions like the pressure-reducing micro-laser barometric venting hole, their longer battery life and their superior sound quality. If we had to choose between wearing these and the AirPods around the house or office, these are what we’d wear.
[Update: The Powerbeats Pro 2 could be on the way soon, perhaps launching in October this year.]
Read the full review: Beats PowerBeats Pro review
With the TWS50, SoundMAGIC has hit the price/performance sweet-spot, thanks to these true wireless earbuds’ fantastic price, comfortable design, great sound, and support for Bluetooth 5.0.
They offer a wide, spacious soundstage, with a good, well balanced presentation, alongside a decent battery life and comfy fit – in short, if you’re looking for some cheap AirPod-alternatives, the SoundMAGIC TWS50 are well worth a look.
In terms of features, the Surface Earbuds cover off most – but not all – of what we’ve come to expect from a premium pair of true wireless in-ears: they have app-based adjustable EQs, aptX Bluetooth connectivity, and responsive touch controls. Plus they play impeccably nicely with virtually the entirety of Microsoft’s hardware and software ranges. They don’t have active noise-cancellation, though, and the way they fit means they let ambient sound leak in.
Sound is served up by relatively large full-range drivers. Of course, ‘relatively large’ could, in another life, be the Surface Earbuds’ official model name: a 25mm diameter is big by in-ear standards, 7.2g is heavy by in-ear standards and their charging case isn’t exactly slim, either.
Despite these big numbers, though, the Surface Earbuds prove comfortable and secure in situ, for hours on end. The ‘twist-to-fit’ arrangement keeps them nicely steady, even during mild exercise.
Overall, the Surface Earbuds are a very welcome addition to the ever-increasing list of worthwhile true wireless in-ears, and while their distinctive looks won’t be for everyone, they deliver in the only two areas that count: functionality and sound quality.
Read more: Microsoft Surface Earbuds review
Let’s get one thing out of the way – the B&O Beoplay E8 are some of the best-looking and most expensive wireless earphones you can buy at $350 / £300 (around AU$570).
Audio quality is undeniably excellent, and you can tweak the sound to your liking using the accompanying Beoplay app on Android and iOS.
Even without tinkering around with ToneTouch, the E8 2.0s sounds crisp and clear, with punchy bass frequencies. So, the Bang & Olufsen E8 2.0 truly wireless earphones look great and sound great, although the touch-sensitive buttons are a little too sensitive at times, and there’s no active noise cancellation.
However, it’s hard to not find these earphones appealing, and if you want your true wireless earbuds to look as good as they sound, they could be the perfect model for you.
[Update: Bang & Olufsen has launched a new sport-focused pair of true wireless earbuds, the Beoplay E8 Sport.]
Read more: B&O Beoplay E8 2.0 Wireless Earphones review
With a promising battery life and well-managed bass enhancement over Audio-Technica’s usual neutral sound, the Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW true wireless earbuds have a lot going for them.
They’ve one of the most complete and well-rounded sound profiles we’ve seen from true-wireless earbuds, and that’s despite the claimed bass enhancement. It’s a very enjoyable sound that they make.
However, they are let down a bit by their fit – mileage will vary of course depending on your preferred bud style and the size of your ears, but all will find the fiddly case fit will annoy over time. Still, the quality audio here may be a worthy trade-off.
Read more: Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW review
Sony’s latest true wireless earbuds, the Sony WF-SP800N, are a triple-threat. They’re IP55-rated to be sweatproof and dustproof with a high degree of water resistance, but they’re also pretty good for commuters because they have active noise cancellation built in – which is rare for a workout pair of earbuds – and work well for demanding music lovers thanks to their support for Sony’s new spatial audio format, 360 Reality Audio.
They can be a little uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time, however, and the bass is bit muddy for our liking – still, these Bluetooth earbuds are well worth a look.
Read more: Sony WF-SP800N review
The NuForce BE Sport4 wireless earbuds are that rare find: wireless earbuds that are good for basically all situations, whether you’re looking to take them out on a run or just wear them around town.
They’re ideal for exercise, although any urbanite will also find their lightweight functionality and impressive sound isolation highly appealing. If you want proof that Bluetooth earbuds can now compete with the best of them, look no further.
Read the full review: Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 review
The Bowers & Wilkins PI3 are the first neckband wireless earbuds for the company, and they’re a great start. Well-designed, comfy, and simple to use, they sound really good, too.
Thanks to dual drivers, these buds sound fantastic, with crisp highs, lively mids, and plenty of powerful bass. Look past the fairly unremarkable battery life and limited features, and you’ll be mostly very impressed by what these offer.
Read the full review: Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Headphones review
If the most important aspect of wireless earphones for you is the audio quality, these wireless earbuds from Sennheiser could be a fantastic choice.
With a lively, bass-heavy presentation, and a comfortable fit, the Sennheiser CX Sport Bluetooth earbuds can really bolster your workout through sound quality alone.
They have a battery life of six hours, which means they’ll last you all day, whether you’re wearing them on your commute or taking them out for a jog.
Read the full review: Sennheiser CX Sport Wireless earphones review
OnePlus is most known for its “flagship killer” phones like the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro,, but the company also makes headphones – the best example of which are the company’s excellent Bullets Wireless 2, which offer an incredible value in the neck-bud headphone category.
In terms of audio quality, they boast a lively sonic presentation and an accurate-feeling soundstage, although bass-heads may want to look elsewhere for headphones that pack a bassier punch.
They’re comfortable to wear too, but it’s just a shame that they don’t have a waterproof rating and the inline remote is so fiddly, because otherwise they could make a decent pair of running headphones.
They may be $30 more expensive than their predecessors, but the improved battery life and sound quality makes up for that; it also makes it worth upgrading if you have the originals and are due a new pair of wireless earbuds.
Read the full review: OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 review
The SoundMagic E11BTs are an extremely capable pair of wireless in-ear earphones, and given their low price, it really is difficult to fault them – the audio quality is fantastic and they look very elegant.
They’re comfortable to wear thanks to ergonomically designed eartips and a flat neckband that won’t irritate you while running or working out – and with an IPX4 rating, they should withstand sweaty sessions.
Read the full review: SoundMAGIC E11BT
The Jaybird Tarah Pro headphones are wireless sport headphones for the endurance runners, athletes and fitness nuts out there. With a neck cable to keep the earbuds together, they aren’t quite ‘true wireless’, but will be practical for those concerned about dropping and losing a costly earbud in the heat of a race or training session.
As the first in Jaybird’s new ‘Pro’ range of Bluetooth earbuds and aimed at offering higher quality audio and materials, the Tarah Pro will suit anyone not willing to sacrifice audio quality in harsher outdoor conditions or indoor workouts and who don’t mind spending a bit more to get a premium product.
Read the full review: Jaybird Tarah Pro review
Now committed to a yearly refresh of the popular mid-range model, the Jaybird X4 manage to outdo both the previous Jaybird X2 and Jaybird X3 wireless Bluetooth earphones, with an upgraded IPX7 water-resistance rating. Whether you’re sweating buckets or running doggedly through the rain, the X4 will be able to cope with it.
The Jaybird X4s also manage to keep the series’ surprisingly good sound. These earphones are certainly fitness first, but that doesn’t mean the other things people look for in a pair of earphones – you know, like music – have fallen by the wayside.
Jaybird’s excellent app also provides easy EQ customization as well as the ability to make your own sound profile, with various ear tip sizes to boot. A great all round choice for runner who don’t want to skimp on sound – or be wary of the weather.
Alternatively if you’re after an even more premium experience, the Jaybird Tarah Pro earbuds offer higher-quality audio and materials for a somewhat higher $159 £139 / AU$229 price tag.
Although we’re still big fans of the Jaybird X4 headphones, take a look at the Jaybird Vista true headphones further down the list – they’re our top pick if you’re in the market for a pair of true wireless earbuds.
Read the full review: Jaybird X4 review
Beats haven’t always gotten the best rap when it comes to audio performance, but the Beats X is trying to set the record straight. The Beats X hence make up for their slightly bassy, confined sound with a rock solid connection and a pairing process that, on iOS devices at least, is as painless as it’s possible to be.
If you’re shopping for a no-fuss pair of Bluetooth earbuds that charge in 5 minutes, work well with iOS and don’t mind spending a little extra money on them, the Beats X are for you.
Read the full review: Beats X review
Life is full of compromises, and it’s no different with the Bose QuietControl 30. On the positive side you get a level of noise cancellation that comes close to what’s offered by the brand’s over-ear headphones, but the concession here is on sound fidelity, which just isn’t on the same level as that of other wireless earbuds we’ve tested.
There’s also that neckband which adds an unfortunate level of bulk to what should otherwise be a slimline pair of headphones.
Read the full review: Bose QuietControl 30 review
The new Powerbeats are a thoughtful evolution of Beats’ wireless workout earbuds. They’re missing a few niceties like active noise-reduction and may potentially feel less comfortable than some competitors, but by and large they’re a decent cheap alternative to Apple’s higher-end in-ear headphones.
After spending some time with them, it’s clear that the new Beats Powerbeats is a significant upgrade on the company’s wireless workout earbuds, offering a sound quality lifted directly from the Beats Powerbeats Pro, an IPX4 rating and Apple’s H1 Wireless Chip that can summon Siri with the sound of your voice.
What we don’t like about them is that the fit can be tough to get right and even slightly uncomfortable when you wear them for an extended period.
Read the full review: Beats Powerbeats review
Wireless vs true wireless
Wireless vs true wireless: what’s the difference?
Which headphones style is best for you?
Wireless earbuds have existed for a while now, basically since Bluetooth was invented. Though battery-powered and not physically connected to your phone, they have a cord connecting both buds – and sometimes a band around the neck too.
True wireless earbuds have no cord whatsoever. While wireless allows us to wear headphones a few feet away from our music players, True Wireless cuts the cord between the earbuds, giving us true freedom. If you’re looking to go full wireless, we also have a round-up of the best true wireless headphones, but you’ll find our top picks here, too.
Wireless headphones are traditional over-ear or on-ear headphones without the wire – the two earcups are connected by a headband. Check out the best wireless headphones for more.
Best wireless earbuds, at a glance:
True wireless earbuds
- Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds
- Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
- Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
- Lypertek Tevi
- Klipsch T5 True Wireless
- Apple AirPods Pro
- Jabra Elite 65t
- Beats Powerbeats Pro
- SoundMAGIC TWS50
- Microsoft Surface Earbuds
- B&O Beoplay E8 Wireless Earphones
- Audio-Technica CKS5TW
- Sony WF-SP800N
- Optoma NuForce BE Sport4
- Bowers & Wilkins Pi3
- Sennheiser CX Sport
- OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2
- SoundMAGIC E11 BT
- Jaybird Tarah Pro
- Jaybird X4
- Beats X
- Bose QuietControl 30
- Beats Powerbeats