Remove cables with these great wireless headphones

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In 2019, when smartphones are slowly but surely getting rid of the 3.5mm audio jack from smartphones and tablets, users are turning to wireless as the next viable option. Ironically, as the company that still retains the headphone jack in their flagship smartphones, Samsung currently builds the best truly wireless earbuds for Android devices. Our best overall pick is the Samsung Galaxy Buds for their superb battery life, wireless charging case, and excellent sound quality.

Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Buds




Samsung is relatively new to the truly wireless earbud game. The company has been known to retain the 3.5mm audio jack throughout multiple generations, even when its competition continues to ax it. With the Galaxy Buds, Samsung is now stiff competition in this space.

Samsung's Galaxy Buds integrate best with Samsung's latest smartphones but work with all other smartphones, including Pixel devices and iPhones. You'll miss features such as quick pairing and quick access to the buds' battery status, which is only available on Samsung devices. It features a wireless charging case that uses the Qi standard, in addition to USB-C wired charging for faster charging. The charging case gives the Galaxy Buds up to two full charges for the earbuds and the buds themselves last up to six hours on a single charge.

Overall, they're the best bang for your buck in terms of truly wireless earbuds. They offer superb sound quality for its form factor, exceptional battery life, wireless charging, and noise isolation. There's not much more you can ask for. The only real downside is the microphone on the Galaxy Buds. They are unequivocally terrible in every sense of the word. It sounds like you're completely underwater to the person on the other end.

Pros:

  • Long battery life
  • Great sound
  • Integration with Samsung devices
  • Wireless charging case (and USB-C wired!)
  • Universal app on Android
Cons:

  • No iOS app
  • Underwhelming bass
  • Horrible microphone
Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy Buds





Balanced, portable audio

Samsung's Galaxy Buds are the new kid on the block. Despite this, they check all the boxes people want with their genuinely wireless earbuds: excellent battery life and sound, convenient features, and a wireless charging case.

Best Sound Quality: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless




You can't go wrong with Sennheiser when it comes to any audio gear, and the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless are no exception. These earbuds make the list for those who enjoy dance, hip-hop, or any other bass-heavy genre of music.

The Momentum True Wireless has a super harsh boost in the bass. It gives it an overall darker sound signature, with a clear and even midrange and a rather underwhelming treble response overall. The excellent news is Sennheiser's mobile app (available on both iOS and Android) allows you to customize the sound signature to a certain extent.

They offer six hours of usage, with up to 12 hours of use using the included charging case. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Buds, the case is missing wireless charging of any kind, but it still offers USB-C for charging.

They are also one of the biggest genuinely wireless earbuds out there. But that's not a huge deal since they're still much more portable than any on-ear or in-ear headphones. At the very least, they're still pocketable even with the rather large charging case.

Overall, if you have the money to spend on Sennheiser earbuds and want that great bass, this is the choice for you.

Pros:

  • Super sound quality
  • 6-hour battery life
  • Charging case with USB-C
  • App for iOS and Android
Cons:

  • Case and buds bulky
  • Bass boosted
Best Sound Quality

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless





High definition audio

You can never go wrong with Sennheiser. It offers some of the best audio gear on the market, and the Momentum True Wireless are no exception.

Best Value: Anker Soundcore Liberty Air




When it comes to best value, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air are the best bang for your buck. If you set your expectations accordingly, these are an excellent value.

The charging case allows up to 20 hours of listening time while the earbuds themselves net you around 5 hours of listening on a single charge.

The sound is excellent for earbuds at this price. They're rather neutral across the board with a slight boost in the treble. They also feature an IPX5 water resistance rating, which equates to being able to use them in the rain or while doing intense workouts.

Pros:

  • 20 hours of battery life with case
  • Great sound
  • IPX5 water resistance
  • Battery life
Cons:

  • No customization (app or on earbuds)
  • Micro-USB for charging
Best Value

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air





Solid inexpensive tunes

They are excellent for the price. Up to 20 hours of listening time with the charging case, the sound is excellent, and you get IPX5 water resistance.

Best Active Noise Canceling: Sony WF-1000XM3




There aren't many active noise-canceling (ANC) truly wireless earbuds out there so this is an easy pick if you need no distractions when listening. The design isn't the prettiest, and they're rather bulky, but they get the job done.

Battery life is excellent with up to six hours alone and up to 19 hours with the charging case. For a pair of truly wireless ANC earbuds, the WF-1000XM3 perform surprisingly excellent in this department. Of course, as with most ANC headphones, the WF-1000XM3 offer an ambient sound mode that reverses the ANC microphones to allow the outside world in, therefore preserving battery.

Sound quality came out of left field with the WF-1000XM3s. Rather than having a bass-boosted sound and recessed treble which is typical with Sony headphones, the WF-1000XM3s have a tame bass that's only slightly boosted, with mids and treble being excellent and neutral.

In terms of water and dust resistance, the WF-SP700N get a basic IPX4 rating. This means that they are "splash-proof" which covers sweat, but it's not recommended in rain or similar situations.

Pros

  • Great sound
  • Active Noise Cancelation (ANC)
  • Ambient sound mode
  • IPX4 water and dust resistance
  • USB-C charging
Cons

  • Not as water-resistant as other options
  • Bulky design
Best Active Noise Canceling

Sony WF-1000XM3




$230 at Best Buy

Silent workouts

The Sony WF-1000XM3 are great if you need ANC. You'll also get an ambient sound mode that allows you to have a conversation without removing your earbuds.

Best Value Sound Quality: Jabra Elite 65t




Sound quality is a strange thing and is very much subjective. However, the Jabra Elite 65t undoubtedly has superb sound quality for its size and form factor.

Just like pretty much every other option on this list, how excellent the sound quality is depends on how well the earbuds seal in your ears. With a proper seal, the bass can sound rich and present with a slight emphasis to provide a warm sound signature. However, the mid-range is a bit uneven, making them slightly muddy, especially when it comes to vocals. As for the treble, they're present and slightly overemphasized to the point where S's and T's may sound a bit sharp in certain recordings and tracks.

In terms of comfort, these are above average. They're angled to fit in your ears and will flat out not work for some people's ears due to its unique design. If you have smaller ears, I'd avoid these altogether. The Jabra Elite 65t have a slightly larger than usual design which would make them unfeasible for those who have smaller ears.

They offer a 5-hour battery life with the charging case giving users up to 15 hours of usage on a single charge. The Jabra Elite 65t are rated for IPX55 water and dust resistance, which is better than most earbuds.

Pros:

  • Great sound
  • Battery life
  • Water and dust resistance
Cons

  • MicroUSB for charging
  • Comfort
  • Not great for small ears
Best Value Sound Quality

Jabra Elite 65t





Inexpensive wireless sound

Truly wireless earbuds are still relatively expensive due to their nature. However, the Jabra Elite 65t's are by far the best value when it comes to sound quality, battery life, and portability.

Best For Workouts: Jaybird Vista




When it comes to working out, the newly announced Jaybird Vista is by far the best solution. They offer great battery life while also giving superb passive isolation. The design allows them to fit most people's ears and with better isolation means a more consistent sound signature. They feature the latest Bluetooth 5.0 protocol for better overall efficiency between the buds and your phone assuming you have a Bluetooth 5.0-enabled phone.

In terms of Bluetooth audio codecs, you only have SBC here which is fine in terms of quality for most people. But latency will be pretty high here so you'll see a noticeable lag when watching videos or playing games. Battery life is better than most with up to 6 hours with the buds alone and up to 10 additional hours with the included charging case. The charging case charges via USB-C and takes roughly 2 hours to charge from dead. No wireless charging here on the case.

Sound quality is decent here. The Vista has a solid V-shaped sound signature with boosted bass, neutral mids, and boosted treble. The sound isn't overly boomy or heavy in the bass and the treble isn't boosted to the point where they sound piercing or sharp.

The Jaybird Vista offer IPX7 water resistance so it should be able to withstand practically any sort of water you throw at it. Just don't try to go swimming with these.

Pros:

  • Solid, fun sound
  • Battery life
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB-C for charging
  • IPX7 water resistance
Cons:

  • No wireless charging for case
Best For Workouts

Jaybird Vista





Fitness junkies

The Jaybird Vista offer a fun sound signature for working out. They feature Bluetooth 5.0, great battery life, and IPX7 water resistance.

Best Value Workout: JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash




The JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash are built like a tank with an IPX7 water resistance rating. For working out, these are an absolute gem and will be able to handle any sweat, rain, or snow that comes your way. With IPX7, these are rated to be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes.

In terms of battery life, these rival the top dogs in the true wireless space. They offer up to five hours on the earbuds, with up to 25 hours with the charging case.

For sound, the JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash is decent. They use the same signature JBL sound, which translates to a boosted yet controlled bass, a neutral mid-range, and a treble that is present with a rapid roll-off to prevent treble fatigue. For working out, this type of sound signature is preferred as it gets the adrenaline pumping and elevates your music.

The only real downsides to these buds are that they still use MicroUSB for charging and that they use an "active" blue LED indicator when the earbuds are paired to a device, which I found to be distracting.

Pros

  • Battery life
  • Exceptional sound
  • Comfort and size
  • Class-leading water and dust resistance
Cons

  • MicroUSB for charging
  • Odd shaped case
  • Annoying blue LED status indicator light
Best Value Workout

JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash




$170 at JBL

Classic JBL sound

If you're familiar with the JBL sound, the True Wireless Flash is right up your alley. With these earbuds, you'll get strong battery life, class-leading water and dust resistance, and great sound.

Best for iPhone: Apple AirPods (2nd generation)




It's no secret that Apple's AirPods have become the most popular truly wireless earbuds on the market. Since their debut in December of 2016, the company has struggled to keep up with demand.

In early 2019, the company refreshed the popular earbuds with new features such as an always-listening "Hey Siri" (Apple device required), a Qi-compatible wireless charging case, and slightly better battery life when taking on phone calls.

Sure, they lack any sort of isolation, and the sound quality is debatable. However, they are super convenient and offer features such as quick pairing between devices and up to 24 hours of battery life with the charging case.

Pros:

  • Battery life
  • Portability and convenience
  • Wireless charging case
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Cons:

  • No gesture support or customization on Android
  • 5-hour battery life
  • Sound isolation
Best for iPhone

Apple AirPods (2nd generation)





It just works

Apple's AirPods (first or second generation) are by far the most popular wireless earbuds on the market, let alone truly wireless earbuds, and they're popular for a reason. They offer the best bang for your buck in terms of the feature set if you use an iPhone.

Bottom line


Truly wireless earbuds have gained popularity over the past several years, and are now some of the most popular headphones you can buy. Choosing a pair is difficult right now because many tech companies are rushing to get their own versions out. As the technology matures, great earbuds will come down in price, and sound quality will continue to evolve.

However, Samsung's Galaxy Buds remains one of the best you can buy right now. It's also the best bang for your buck in terms of performance and features. Unless, of course, you're planning to use them to work out purely. In that case, check out the Jaybird Vista or JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide




Peter Cao has been an audio enthusiast for a number of years. He's tested over a dozen headphones and is excited to continue on his audio journey.



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