The wireless earbuds market is moving faster than ever with dozens of new quality earbuds released every month, all claiming to be the latest and greatest. Hence, it could be hard to find good-quality earbuds.
Here we break down the top five true wireless earbuds on the market in 2022 based on performance and situations they’ll be used in. We will take a look at products in every budget range. So, whether you’ve got a few bucks to spare and want the best value or you’re looking for the best of the best, we’ll have an option for you.
First up, is the Sony WF-1000XM4, which is our pick for the best overall true wireless earbuds. The WF-1000XM4 earbuds combine performance, ergonomics, and build quality into a package that’s hard to beat.
These earbuds come in a compact charging case and are rounded to fit entirely inside your ear. The noise-canceling of the XM4 is second to none thanks to the excellent signal processing and foam ear tips that mold to your ears for a perfect fit. With the ANC enabled, the entire world disappears. It’s that effective. Lower frequency sounds like the low rumble of air conditioning and jet engines still bleed through but those sounds are significantly reduced in volume and are transformed to a whisper when music or podcast is playing. You can use the EQ section of the Companion app to fine-tune the overall sound to get the most out of whatever genre of music you’re listening to.
The XM4 has solid battery life, giving you a maximum of 9 hours for music with noise canceling on and 12 hours if it’s switched off. You could do 5.5 hours for calls with noise canceling on and 6 with it off. The charging case provides two or more charges before you have to juice up the whole set via USB-C or wireless charging. And getting a full charge through a wired adapter takes about three hours. You could turn off both noise-canceling and ambient mode to conserve the battery but the richness and fullness of the audio are affected when you switch off that active processing.
The XM4s are on the pricier side and a lot of people would be better off saving some money and going with one of the cheaper options.
If you’re looking for a set of earbuds that offer good sound and call quality but really excel when it comes to noise cancellation, Sony’s WF-1000X earbuds are a very good choice for you.
Jabra Elite Active 75T
Next up, is the Jabra Elite Active 75T, the best value-per-dollar true wireless earbuds. The Jabra Elite Active 75T earbuds offer a secure fit and water resistance and solid sound quality at a reasonable price. They are an ideal pair of earbuds offering comparable performance to the more expensive ones at almost half the price. These earbuds are equipped with ANC, so you can shut everything out and turn up the focus on your workout.
The controls are on each earbud and their functions can be modified through the Companion app. Each earbud produces good sound quality with an emphasis on the low end to motivate you during your workouts. Mids and highs have no trouble cutting through, giving you a well-balanced sound that isn’t overpowering. You can adjust the EQ with the app using either pre-defined presets or you can customize your own settings manually to taste. The app also lets you adjust the ANC and manage general settings like the amount of idle time before going into sleep mode.
Battery life is better than you’d expect at the sub-$100 price range, giving you around 7.5 hours on a full charge and the accompanying charging case holds an additional 28 hours of charge. In-case charging takes about 2 hours but just 15 minutes of charge time will give you about 45 minutes of use. The earbuds and charging case can also be charged using a wireless charging pad that supplies 5 watts of power or more.
If you want a good-sounding set of workout headphones with ANC, water resistance, a secure fit, and customization through its Companion app, the Jabra Elite Active 75T is a great choice.
Voonex Sound Element Duo
Next up is the Voonex Sound Element Duo, the best true wireless earbuds under $50. The Vortex Sound Element Duo delivers the high-fidelity sound and solid powerful bass and a surprisingly comfortable fit.
A natural level of passive noise reduction is achieved through the snug fit and a layer of CVC noise cancellation filters out microphone background noise during calls so your voice always remains clear to the person on the other end. And your connection between your phone and the earbuds remains constant with Bluetooth 5.0.
The sound quality has a good balance between bass, mids, and highs, and the earbuds deliver a well-rounded sound that’s effective across most musical genres without being too boomy or too over the top.
If you’re using the Element Duo for working out, running, or other outdoor activities, their IPX7 rating will keep them safe from damage that could be caused by perspiration or rain.
The Element Duo has a 5-hour battery life of its own but they come with a charging case that doubles up a power bank, holding enough power for 20 additional charges, giving you a total of 100 hours to draw from whenever you need to. You can also see how much power you have in reserve using the LED display on the charging case.
Overall, the Vortex Sound Element Duo lacks the active noise cancellation of the other products on the list but offers comparable sound quality to high-end earbuds like the Jabra Elite 75T or Bose QuietComfort buds at a significantly cheaper price point. They also offer a decent fit and good battery life. They’re not perfect earbuds as no pair of earbuds under $50 are going but if you want great sound and a good overall user experience, you should consider saving your dollars with the Element Duos.
The Bose QuietComfort buds is our next pick for excellent noise-canceling true wireless earbuds. QuietComfort buds are great for any musical genre but their bass-centric sound signature is ideal for EDM and hip-hop tracks with great comfort and noise cancellation. The top-notch noise cancellation lets you take calls or listen to music in isolation, perfect for someone on a commute or who just wants to disconnect from the world for a while. You can toggle through three customizable noise-canceling settings including a transparency mode that lets some sound in if you need to be aware of your surroundings. Also, when taking calls, the ANC helps make callers sound their best and ensures that you sound just as good to the person on the other end.
You’ll get up to six hours of battery life when fully charged. The charging case holds enough power for two extra charges and has wireless charging capabilities in addition to USB-C charging. There’s also a quick charge feature that stores two hours of battery life with a quick 15-minute charge.
The QuietComfort buds have a splash resistance rating of IPX4 and are sweat and weather-resistant too, so they’re ready for your next workout. These earbuds use Bose’s new StayHear Max Tips that have an integrated wing and are pretty comfortable to wear while still providing a secure fit. The sound quality is very good and detailed with a rich sound stage and powerful well-defined bass while mid-range sounds like vocals come across with a little more energy overall.
If you like the good sound quality and music playback layered with adjustable noise cancellation, the Bose QuietComfort buds are a great pair for you. These earbuds are ideal for listening to music and keeping ambient noise out when commuting, traveling or when you just want to relax and lose yourself in total isolation.
Apple AirPods Pro
Finally, we have the Apple AirPods Pro. If you’re an iPhone user and have been considering the idea of going true wireless with your earbuds, then the Apple AirPods Pro are the best options available for you. The combination of ease of use, sound quality, comfort, battery life, price, and overall user experience, is the best you can find right now.
The wireless earbuds feature adjustable and bendable ear hooks to keep them securely in place during your workouts while being comfortable at the same time. A serious workout involves concentration, and drive, and Apple’s AirPods Pro can help you get in the zone and shut out all distractions so you can focus on your goals.
The AirPods Pro delivers IPX4 water and sweat resistance rating and active noise cancellation. The stems are a bit shorter and the controls on the bottom of the stem have been reconfigured. The touch sensor has been replaced by a force sensor that you squeeze to activate. A single squeeze lets you play and pause, a double squeeze skips to the next track, and a long squeeze enables the ANC.
The ANC can be set to one of three modes. With ANC turned off, the AirPods Pro acts as a regular set of in-ear headphones but if you switch to transparency modem, you’ll get a good degree of ANC with some of the ambient sound mixed in so you can hear important things like sirens and horns while you’re walking around the city.
The AirPods Pro has a charging case that’s charged using a lightning cable or a Qi-certified charging mat and can hold an additional four charges. The earbuds give you about 4.5 hours of uptime with ANC enabled or 5 hours with it disabled. You’ll get around 22.5 hours of battery life combined with the charging case.
If you’re looking for a great-sounding set of earbuds with active noise cancellation that pairs perfectly with your iPhone, the Apple AirPods Pro is a great choice for you.