These are the Best True Wireless Earbuds to buy in 2021
If you consume a lot of media on the go or listen to your favorite tracks while commuting, having a good pair of TWS or True Wireless Earbuds can be just as important as having an awesome smartphone. There’s a fine line between having cheap earbuds that just allow you to listen to your music, and having good ones that allow you to actually be able to enjoy your music to the fullest. But earbuds don’t necessarily have to be expensive for them to be good, and there are a lot of examples of this. So if you want some good earbuds that actually give you the most out of your music, then you’ll want to give our list of the very best true wireless earbuds a good close look.
Navigate this guide:
- Best overall: Sony WF-1000XM4
- Best for iOS: Apple AirPods Pro
- Best for Most People: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
- Best for Working Out: Jabra Elite Active 75t
- Best Premium: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
- Best Budget: OnePlus Buds Z
- Also Great: Google Pixel Buds (2nd gen)
Best Overall: Sony WF-1000XM4
The WF-1000XM4 is Sony’s flagship pair of TWS earphones and is a successor to the WF-1000XM3 which arguably was one of the best pairs of TWS earphones in terms of sound quality as well as ANC. The WF-1000XM4 (please fix your nomenclature, Sony) improves on some very relevant aspects of the XM3 like the size of the earbuds themselves and the carrying case that has been considerably shrunken down. Sony also claims to have improved the audio quality and the level of Active Noise Cancellation as well on these earbuds.
The battery life is solid and the support for LDAC means you can enjoy better quality music via these earphones compared to most other premium TWS earphones. Sony has also fixed the biggest gripe that users had on the last-gen model and that’s water resistance. The WF-1000XM4 is IPX4 water-resistant so you can wear them to the gym. Sony has gone the extra mile and even added features like wireless charging and speak to chat. The Sony WF-1000XM4 is expensive at upwards of $250 but the experience they provide is also equally premium.
|Battery life||8 hours with ANC on (24 hours w/ charging case)|
Also Great: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is Samsung’s latest earbuds, and while the fact that they don’t look like beans anymore makes them way better than their predecessors, there’s way more than meets the eye here. They feature active noise cancellation, AKG-tuned sound for a better listening experience, IPX7 water resistance so you can take them with you to the gym, and if you own a Samsung phone, then you’re also in for a bunch of additional cool features, some of which resemble the ones we’ve seen on the AirPods Pro.
With majority consensus amongst our team, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is one of the best truly wireless earbuds available in the market right now, accessible to the widest net of users. They pack in a great combination of specifications, features, comfort, style, and pricing. While they aren’t cheap, you do get a premium experience.
|Specification||Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro|
|Battery life||5 hours with ANC on (18 hours w/ charging case)|
|Colors||Phantom Violet, Phantom Black, Phantom Silver|
Best for iOS: Apple AirPods Pro
If you’re on iOS, it’s not that you can’t use other third-party options. You definitely can, as the iPhone has Bluetooth like literally any other smartphone. But let’s be real here — Apple’s in-house options are made to work with your iPhone like a charm, and have features and tweaks that are actually exclusive to iOS. So unless you’re actually looking for something specific on your earbuds, the AirPods Pro is going to be the best of the bunch for most people. They have active noise cancellation and while they’re pretty pricey when you pit it against the competition, you just can’t beat the features if you’re on iOS — completely effortless pairing and switching between devices, Siri integration, and more.
They’re also pretty good as regular Bluetooth earbuds and yes, you can use them on Android. But if you’re on iOS, they’re really a no-brainer just for the system integration that comes with them. They’re definitely one of the best true wireless earbuds currently available.
|Specification||Apple AirPods Pro|
|Battery life||5 hours with ANC on (24 hours w/ charging case)|
Also Great: AirPods (Third Generation)
If you’re not a fan of in-ear style ear tips and want something that just rests inside your ear, the AirPods 3 are for you. They come with an open-ear style design similar to previous generations of AirPods. Of course, you also get the goodness of seamless connectivity with Apple devices thanks to the H1 chip. You get multi-device support if you’re using an iPhone, Mac, iPad, and Apple Watch with seamless switching. Apple has improved the sound quality on the AirPods 3 considerably compared to the last-gen AirPods.
There’s support for Spatial Audio too this time so you can enjoy the surround sound effect from the AirPods Pro even on these. The major difference between the AirPods Pro and the third-generation AirPods is the absence of ANC. The AirPods Pro have Active Noise Cancellation which a lot of people will appreciate, especially while commuting or flying. The AirPods 3 come in a new case that has support for MagSafe charging. The usual features like Siri integration and force sensors for play/pause, skip tracks, etc. are present. If you feel that in-ear earbuds aren’t comfortable, skip the AirPods Pro and get the AirPods 3.
|Specification||Apple AirPods 3|
|Battery life||6 hours (30 hours w/ charging case)|
Best for Most People: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
The Galaxy Buds 2 replace the Galaxy Buds+ which were easily one of the best pairs of TWS earphones on a budget. There are some much-needed improvements on these earbuds like ANC which make them all the more enticing, compared to the last-gen Buds+. The sound quality is very close to what you get from the Galaxy Buds Pro which are among the best pairs of wireless earbuds you can get.
The Galaxy Buds 2 have an IPX2 rating and come with three microphones to allow for clear audio even while taking calls. Samsung has also put in place some machine learning algorithms to help cut down on ambient noise by up to 98%. The only downside to these earbuds is that you don’t get in-ear detection, so if you remove the earbuds from your ears while you’re playing music, the track won’t pause by itself. If you’re okay with that, then the Galaxy Buds 2 are a great option.
|Specification||Samsung Galaxy Buds 2|
|Battery life||5 hours (20 hours w/ charging case)|
|Colors||White, Olive, Graphite, Lavender|
Also Great: Oppo Enco X
While Oppo doesn’t sell its products in all markets around the world, if you live in the EU or in Asia, the Oppo Enco X offers tremendous value for its asking price. The Enco X is Oppo’s flagship pair of TWS earbuds and offers all the high-end features that you would expect from earbuds that are priced much higher than the Enco X. For starters, you get Active Noise Cancellation that works better than most other earbuds in this price range. Then, there’s support for the LHDC codec which is the closest you can get in terms of high-quality audio on wireless earbuds.
The Oppo Enco X doesn’t just sound good, but they also offer a good amount of features and customization when linked to an Android smartphone. The battery life is great too with about 24 hours of playback time including the case, and they’re also IP54 rated so you can wear them to the gym or outside for a run. It even has wireless charging.
|Specification||Oppo Enco X|
|Battery life||5.5 hours (25 hours w/ charging case)|
Best for Working Out: Jabra Elite Active 75t
Having a good pair of earbuds is essential if you’re the kind of person that gets pumped up by a nice playlist on Spotify while working out, and the Jabra Elite Active 75t is a pair of earbuds that are specifically engineered for this use case. The Jabra Elite Active 75t belongs to the “Active” lineup of Jabra earbuds, and this means that they’re as good as they get for running and hitting the gym. They come with active noise cancellation so you never miss a beat, and they’re protected from sweat, water, and dust, coming with an IP57 rating, so they’ll keep up with you no matter how harsh the environment is.
At their price point, they’re not the most expensive earbuds out there, but also not the cheapest, trading bouts with a lot of options on our list. They also enjoy decent user reviews on Amazon, and Jabra is a company that has made a name for itself in the audio space over the years. They’re one of the best true wireless earbuds out there if you’re someone who works out a lot.
|Specification||Jabra Elite Active 75t|
|Battery life||5.5 hours with ANC on (24 hours w/ charging case)|
|Colors||Mint, Copper Black, Navy, Sienna, Gold Beige, Titanium Black|
Best Premium: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
These Sennheiser earbuds also come at a pretty penny as well, but Sennheiser is a name that’s known for greatness in the audio space, and the Momentum True Wireless 2 will definitely not let you down in this regard. The 7 mm dynamic drivers on these bad boys can, according to Sennheiser, deliver “deep bass, natural mids, and clear, detailed treble”. The reviews on these all seem to agree that the listening experience on these earbuds is godly. Battery life is also a plus, with seven hours of listening as well as a total of 28 hours with the charging case. There’s also an app available on both Android and iOS that allows you to use the earbuds’ built-in equalizer and tweak some of their other settings.
They’re definitely worth a look if you’re looking for the best true wireless earbuds and you have $250 burning in your pocket.
|Specification||Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2|
|Battery life||4 hours with ANC on (20 hours w/ charging case)|
Best Budget: OnePlus Buds Z
OnePlus isn’t a brand that’s known for making quality earbuds. They’re known for making phones, and while their phones are good, they don’t have much of a name for themselves when it comes to earbuds. The OnePlus Buds Z, though? They’re not bad for their price tag. Now, you won’t find active noise cancellation or anything like that here. But fancy features are not the point of them. The point of them is delivering a listening experience that doesn’t suck for a pretty affordable price, and once you take that mission into account, they start to look better. Have you looked at that battery life? Five hours of continuous listening and 20 hours of total battery life is not too shabby for $50 earbuds.
If you want to keep your budget low, this is among the best picks for the best true wireless earbuds you can get for your money.
|Specification||OnePlus Buds Z|
|Battery life||5 hours (20 hours w/ charging case)|
|Colors||White, Grey, Steven Harrington Edition|
Also Great: Google Pixel Buds (2nd gen)
The Google Pixel Buds didn’t really fit as a top pick in any of these categories, but it gets a shout-out nonetheless because they managed to actually improve on a lot of stuff since the first generation. I was actually one of those crazy people that owned the first-gen Pixel Buds and actually liked them a lot despite all of the (probably well deserved) criticism about them, so any improvement on them is a big plus in my book. The second-gen Pixel Buds gets rid of the wire between the two buds while also improving on a lot of things that were criticized about the originals, like the gestures, the audio quality, and more. There’s no active noise cancellation on these, but hey, they actually have a rubber seal this time!
They won’t disappoint one bit, and they’re one of the best true wireless earbuds on this list.
|Specification||Google Pixel Buds|
|Battery life||5 hours (24 hours w/ charging case)|
|Colors||Clearly White, Oh So Orange, Quite Mint, Almost Black|
These are our top picks for the best true wireless earbuds currently on the market. The best of the best right now, if you ask me, would be the Sony WF-1000XM4 as it’s got the best ANC, stellar battery life, and a set of premium features which definitely makes it worth its asking price. Of course, it’s all going to come down to your personal preferences and which aspect you value the most — value, price, or overall experience. Some options out there will keep your wallet mostly intact like the OnePlus Buds Z which offers great value for money, while others will make a dent on it, but also give you an amazing sound experience.
Which do you like the most?