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For many of us, a set of earbuds are a must-carry item whenever we leave the house. In recent years, true wireless audio technology has improved by leaps and bounds, allowing for high-fidelity sound and nearly latency-free audio playback from your source device. And with prices plateauing or even dropping, now may be a good time to jump on board the wireless earbud era if you're still tethered by wires. If you have been on board and are looking to upgrade, there have been some great releases in recent months, with further improved active noise cancelation (ANC) and transparency mode, as well as other smart features.

Whether you're buying your very first pair of wireless buds or upgrading to a new pair, let this guide help you!

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 on transparent background.
Bose QuietComfort EarBuds 2
Best Overall

The best ANC, anywhere

The Bose QuietComfort EarBuds 2 have the best ANC we've ever tested in any earbuds, and excellent audio quality as well. But the original retail price was higher than other earbuds. It is, however, on sale right now. 

  • Best active noise cancelation in any earbud
  • More secure fit than most other earbuds
  • Easy touch controls
  • Relatively expensive
  • Missing some of the smart features of competitors

Sony's awkwardly named WF-1000XM4 had topped this list previously for its best overall blend of audio quality and ANC, but Bose's QuietComfort EarBuds 2, launched on the same day as the AirPods Pro 2 and iPhone 14 series, has taken over the crown as best overall wireless earbuds.

The QuietComfort EarBuds 2 can last six hours on a single charge, works well with either iOS or Android phones (along with other devices like Windows laptops or smart television, of course), and pump out great sound. In terms of pure audio fidelity, it can be debatable if these buds are the absolute best — though they're certainly in the running.

But where the QuietComfort EarBuds 2 reign supreme, completely untouched, is in ANC. Using a quality silicon tip that seals off the ear canal, four microphones per bud, and smart software algorithms, these earbuds can block out more sound than any other true wireless earbuds on the market we have tried. If you are around loud environments often and would really like a break from the noise without something bulky like over-the-ear headphones, then these are the ones to get. Bose also has a strong transparency mode, which the company calls "Aware" mode, and a robust mobile app that offers granular control over the audio.

The only downside of these buds is they are relatively pricey and the most expensive buds on this list, at $299. Still, it's hard to beat these earbuds if you want the best overall package.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Best Overall runner-up

Stylish looks without stems

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are one of the latest pairs of TWS to hit the shelves. Compared to the older Buds Pro, these high-end earbuds come with a slightly different, smaller design. They also support noise-canceling, 3D audio, and more.

  • No stems for a clean look
  • Great looking colors
  • Smart features that play nice with Samsung phones
  • No stems also mean touch controls are harder to pull off
  • May not fit all ear types securely

There are many other earbuds that can easily take this slot, but I'm giving it to the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro for its sleek design, discreet looks (no stems protruding from your ears!), and fun colors with a matte coating. Of course, all the praises I just bestowed on Samsung's buds are subjective. What's objective is that these sound great, with a 11mm driver fine-tuned by AKG, and it has arguably the most intelligent and practical software features around: these earbuds can intelligently switch from ANC to transparency mode if they detect your voice.

The idea is that, let's say you're wearing the earbuds at a coffee shop with ANC on, and a friend spots you and comes over. Instead of needing to fiddle with your earbuds, you can simply speak, and the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro will switch over to transparency mode, so you can carry on a conversation. After a set amount of time without detecting your voice, the earbuds switch back to ANC mode.

galaxy buds 2 pro

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro also is rated IPX7, which is more than the usual IPX4 you'll see in most of these buds, this means Samsung's buds can be immersed underwater for short periods of time. Battery life is where it falls a bit short of rivals, lasting only five hours on a single charge with ANC on, with the case adding another three charges.

At $249, these are a bit cheaper than the Bose earbuds above, and while Samsung's audio quality is arguably as good as Bose's, the ANC is not quite as strong in blocking out outside sound.

If you use a Samsung device, there are some special features too, such as intelligent switching between a Samsung phone to a tablet and vice versa, and the option to stream 24-bit audio if you're using a Samsung device running OneUI 4.1 or later and streaming from a source that supports it.

New Project-2-6
Apple AirPods Pro 2
Best for iOS

The best earbuds for those immersed in Apple's ecosystem

$200 $250 Save $50

The AirPods Pro 2 pack in plenty of features, including active noise cancelation (ANC), Dolby Atmos content, and wireless charging, despite their compact build.

  • Second best ANC of any earbuds behind only the Bose QC EarBuds 2
  • Works well with Apple products
  • The most natural transparency mode
  • Relatively expensive
  • Loses some features if used with Android or Windows machines

The official name of the second-generation AirPods is just AirPods Pro. But for clarity, we will refer to the earbuds as AirPods Pro 2 here so as not to confuse them with the original pair released in 2019.

While the new AirPods Pro 2 look similar to the first generation, there are noticeable improvements. The audio drivers have been redesigned, which along with Apple's H2 chip, pump out noticeably fuller and more immersive audio. The ANC has also improved, though still not at Bose's level, and Apple's transparency mode is one of the most natural-sounding ones we've tested. But perhaps most importantly, these earbuds are designed to work with Apple products, particularly the iPhone.

To be clear, you can use other brands' earbuds with iPhones, and they'll play audio perfectly fine. But the AirPods Pro 2 bring extra features such as Spatial Audio with head tracking, and the ability to respond to text messages directly via the earbuds without touching them or the phone. You can also access Siri easily via voice gestures or a long press of the stem. The AirPods Pro will also seamlessly switch between MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones, depending on which device you're using. So unless you're actively looking for another brand or another feature that is missing in the AirPods Pro, these are simply the best options for iPhone users.

airpods pro 2

They're also pretty good as regular Bluetooth earbuds for other brands. You lose out on most of the aforementioned features for iPhone users, but the AirPods Pro 2 will still pump out excellent audio, and ANC/transparency mode works well.

Battery life is fine, at five hours on a single charge, but shorter than some other buds listed here. The case adds roughly another 19 hours of playtime. If you're an iPhone user, the AirPods Pro 2 should be leading the pack in consideration.

New Project-2-4
Apple AirPods 3
Best for iOS on a budget

If you find the Pros too expensive...

$150 $170 Save $20

The AirPods 3 have a similar design to the AirPods Pro but do not have silicone tips. If you do not like the in-ear design of the AirPods Pro, you can get the AirPods 3.

  • Comfortable open-ear design
  • Very affordable for an Apple product
  • Plays nice with Apple products
  • Open ear design means it doesn't block out sound at all
  • Long stems that stick out from ears

If you're not a fan of in-ear style silicon tips and want something that just rests a bit more gently inside your ear — or if you want something with a lower price tag — then the $179 AirPods 3 are for you. They come with an open-ear style design, meaning the buds aren't meant to completely close off your ear canal like the AirPods Pro (or most other earbuds on this list). 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, or Apple Watch with seamless switching. Apple has improved the sound quality of the AirPods 3 considerably compared to the last-gen AirPods.

There's support for Spatial Audio 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 has Active Noise Cancelation 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 and skipping tracks are present. If you feel that in-ear earbuds aren't comfortable, skip the AirPods Pro and get the AirPods 3.

A render of the Nothing Ear 1 earbuds in white color.
Nothing Ear 1
Best under $100

Great price, great looks

The Nothing Ear 1 wireless earbuds stand out from the sea of other truly wireless earbuds with their semi-transparent design. These earbuds sound good for the price, and they also offer features including effective ANC, long battery life, and more.

  • Very good price-to-performance ratio
  • Arguably most stylish looking earbuds on this list
  • ANC is average
  • The case is slightly bulky

The Nothing Ear 1 is our suggestion for most people because, at $99, they can be considered more affordable to most people than the $200-and-up prices of most earbuds on this list. Of course, the more expensive earbuds have more dynamic audio and better ANC, but are they twice as good as the Nothing Ear 1? We don't think so. In fact, to less demanding listeners, the 11.6mm drivers pump out more than satisfactory acoustics.

Nothing ear 1 black

We are also a fan of the Nothing buds' stylish transparent design. While the square-ish case is a bit bulkier than others, the whole set has more attitude and style than the typical wireless earbuds. The Nothing Ear 1 can last four and a half hours on a single charge with ANC and six hours without ANC. The larger case comes into handy, adding another six charges for well over 30 hours of listening time.

ANC, as mentioned, is just good but not great. If you're in a noisy city, it's not going to eliminate the noise the way AirPods or Bose's earbuds do, but it will get rid of the constant air conditioning whirring sound or typical coffee shop chatter from nearby tables. With three mics on each bud, they are fine for phone calls too.

A render of the Google Pixel Buds Pro in white color.
Google Pixel Buds Pro
Best for Pixel phones

Google's attempted answer to the AirPods Pro

The Google Buds Pro are another solid pair of true wireless earbuds. They pump out balanced audio and block out a fair bit of background noise. They also have beamforming microphones for crystal clear calls, Google Assistant support, and up to 31 hours of total battery life.

  • Great design and looks
  • Good ANC
  • Plays nicely with Google Pixel phones
  • Out of box audio tuning a bit underwhelming
  • Missing some features seen in Samsung's earbuds

Let it be known that, in a vacuum, the Google Pixel Buds Pro are better than the Nothing Ear 1; the hardware is better, and these buds allow you to access Google Assistant easily if you're paired with most Android phones. But it has to rank below the Nothing Ear 1 in this category because it's double the price of Nothing's buds, and in our review, we found the out-of-the-box audio tuning to be sub-par. Don't worry, the audio can be fixed with some fine-tuning. After doing so, the Pixel Buds Pro pump out balanced audio with clean high ends, crisp mids, and low ends that aren't overbearing.

Google Pixel Buds Pro case

The Pixel Buds Pro offers great battery life, at seven hours of playtime on a single charge with ANC on and 11 hours without. The case bumps the total to 31 hours. The case supports wireless charging, and the buds are rated IPX4 like most other offerings here.

But ultimately, these are earbuds you get because you use an Android phone and want to access Google Assistant easily. Being able to just say "Hey Google" and then follow up with a question is better than needing to fiddle with the earbuds.

Jabra Elite 75t
Best for Working Out

For those who stay active

Do you want some great noise-canceling earbuds without spending an arm and a leg? Grab the Elite 75t earbuds for $100 at Best Buy, and enjoy all the perks of high-quality headphones without the price tag.

  • Comfortable, secure fit
  • IP57 water and dust resistance rating
  • Audio quality very good, but not amazing like some others on this list
  • Relatively high price

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 cancelation 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 work out a lot.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
Best for Audiophiles

For those who want to listen to music from a variety of sources

The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds supports more codecs including AAC, SBC, aptX, and aptX Adaptive.

  • Supports all the codecs
  • Excellent audio
  • Good ANC
  • A bit bland looking
  • Transparency mode just okay

Sennheiser has a long history of releasing superb audio products, and the Momentum True Wireless 3 lives up to the brand's reputation. Released in mid-2022, this third-generation model is a relatively iterative update over the already excellent second-generation model, with improvements coming mostly in the ANC, and support for more codecs including AAC, SBC, aptX, and aptX Adaptive. Chances are many readers won't know what all those acronyms and alphabets mean, and it's okay. They're just various audio encoding/decoding programs, and only audiophiles really care about them. Sennheiser, as mentioned, has always catered to audiophiles.

This means you can expect high-fidelity audio from these buds regardless of the audio source, and the improved ANC sees the earbuds actively listening to the ambient noise around the wearer and adjusting accordingly. The 7mm drivers are fine-tuned to pump out dynamic, yet balanced audio, without overbearing bass. You can tweak the sound yourself with Sennheiser's "Sound Personalization" feature available in the companion app.

Battery life is also a plus, with seven hours of listening and 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.

A render of the Nothing Ear Stick earbuds.
Nothing Ear Stick
Best Open-Ear Buds

If you don't like earbuds cramming into your ear canals

The Nothing Ear Stick is the slightly more affordable version of the Nothing Ear (1) earbuds. You don't get all the bells and whistles with these particular earbuds, but they look unique and deliver good audio quality. 

  • Very comfortable fit
  • Stylish transparent design
  • Relatively strong bass for an open ear design
  • The fit could be a bit loose for some people
  • Open ear design means the earbuds cannot block out ambient noise

The human ear comes in all shapes and sizes, and not every ear canal can stand the in-ear silicon tip type earbuds, which are most of the buds on this list. For those who prefer something less intrusive, consider the Nothing Ear Stick. These are so-called "half in-ear," or "outer ear" buds, meaning they sit outside the ear canal with nothing actually being stuck in. This fit is almost certainly more comfortable, but the downside is they do not block out any sound at all.

If you're in a quiet environment, however, these buds pump out great sound thanks to Nothing's custom-built drivers. It also helps that the buds are housed in this unique and stylish semi-transparent charging case that zigs where all other buds zag.


The Nothing Ear Stick can play audio for seven hours on a single charge, and it is rated IP54 for sweat resistance. The stems offer volume and music controls and access to digital voice assistants. At $99, it is also one of the more affordable buds on this list.

A render of the OnePlus Nords Buds earbuds.
OnePlus Nord Buds
Best Budget earbuds

If you want to save some money

The OnePlus Nord Buds punch way above their weight, offering a stylish design, superb sound, exceptional battery life and an IP55 rating for just $40. 

  • Very affordable pricing
  • Solid audio performance
  • No ANC

OnePlus' Nord series of phones are known for their value, so it only makes sense the Nord earbuds are, too. Priced at just $40, the Nord Buds pack 12.4mm titanium drivers that pump out Dolby Atmos sound. With four microphones, you can make phone calls with the buds without issues.

OnePlus Nord Buds held in hand with the case open

You do lose out on some features found in pricier buds like active noise cancelation. But with silicon tips that can provide a seal around your ear canal, you should still be able to block out some outside noise.

A single charge can power these buds for seven hours, and with the case, you can get 30 hours of total charge time. With IP55 water and dust resistance and EQ settings via the companion app, there's not much more you can ask for out of a $40 set of wireless earbuds.

These are our top picks for the best true wireless earbuds currently on the market. We think the Bose QuietComfort EarBuds 2 are the best overall buds, but as we said at the beginning, it's a very close call and frankly, entirely debatable. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have its share of fans within the XDA team for its stem-less look. If you're on a budget, the OnePlus Nord Buds may be worth a look.