Not many phones have headphone jacks any more and the popularity of Apple's AirPods means that true wireless earbuds are everywhere. We've reviewed and ranked the best earphones you can get including the AirPods 2 and alternatives.
We're focusing on what are known as 'true wireless' earbuds here – ie not ones that are attached to each other with a cable that hangs on your neck like the Google Pixel Buds or B&O Beoplay H5 - aka neckbuds.
If you're looking for general wireless headphones then we have a dedicated chart for that which includes on- and over-ear headphones.
In terms of wireless earbuds, you're going to have to spend a fair amount to get a decent pair. This is because there's a lot of technology packed into tiny headphones. Since the category is very new, prices won't come down for a while – the average price for a well-known brand is £200/$200.
Make sure you check out our best headphone deals article for the top bargains right now.
Generally speaking, the earbuds from different manufacturers are very similar. The headphones connect to your phone (or other devices) and each other over Bluetooth and tend to have playback controls on at least one earbud.
You'll get a few hours of battery life (there's not much space for the battery) and the carry case will handily charge them up, normally a few times over.
If your budget is tight, take a look at our recommendations for the best cheap true wireless earbuds.
Best true wireless earbuds 2019
- Reviewed on: 22 August 2019
At they're affordable price compared to the big name rivals out there, the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 wireless earbuds should be lacking in a few areas but they're really not.
They might not have the most striking design but they're lightweight and comfortable. The buttons can handle a whole range of functions once you learn the system, too.
More importantly, there's excellent battery life on offer here combined with top sound quality so what more could you want? Perhaps noise cancelling but not at this price.
Read our Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 review.
- Reviewed on: 23 July 2019
Simply put, the RHA TrueConnect are one of the best pairs of wireless earbuds we've tested.
Although they don't have active noise cancelling like the Sony WF-1000X, the comfortable and efficient seal provides excellent noise isolation instead. This means they're cheaper and don't suffer from dropouts either.
Add in a whopping 25 hours battery life via the charging case, IPX5 splash resistance and top-notch audio quality and this is the pair to beat.
Read our RHA TrueConnect review.
- Reviewed on: 19 August 2019
Improving upon the original WF-1000X earbuuds, the new model has been redesigned and improved. The charging case is a little bulky, but the total run-time of 24 hours is very impressive.
With great noise cancelling and the ability to tweak everything, including the touch key functions, in the companion app and use Siri or Google Assistant hands-free, they're a great buy.
Read our Sony WF-1000XM3 review.
- Reviewed on: 22 August 2019
They have arrived a bit later than the competition but Libratone has managed to create a very tempting pair of true wireless earbuds thanks to a nice balance of price, features and sound quality.
Importantly, the Track Air+ offer noise-cancelling which is very rare for this type of headphone, and at a lower price than Sony. Build and audio performance are good but look to RHA and Cambridge Audio if noise-cancelling isn't a must.
The app could do with a couple of improvements but overall we're pretty impressed.
Read our Libratone Track Air+ review.
- Reviewed on: 13 June 2019
You can easily spend more than double the price of the Outlier Air on true wireless earbuds. But for most people, there’s little point: Creative’s headphones sound good and have great battery life.
They’re not the most compact, and the carry case is probably larger than most, but overall, the Outlier Air is an excellent buy.
Read our Creative Outlier Air review.
- Reviewed on: 26 July 2019
1More has done an exceptional job with the Stylish True Wireless earbuds, offering unrivaled audio quality with AAC and aptX support and a sub-£100/$100 price tag, but they aren't perfect.
Despite offering incredible audio quality and a great fit (thanks to the inclusion of a variety of eartips and O-hooks), the smart features of the earbuds fail to work most of the time - even when it comes to fairly basic tasks, like turning on automatically when being taken out of the case.
But despite the dumb smarts, the design, audio quality and cheap price-tag make these a highly-desireable pair of wireless earbuds.
Read our 1More Stylish True Wireless review.
- Reviewed on: 15 July 2019
The Jabra Elite 65t are some of the best wireless headphones you could hope to buy, at a price that undercuts comparative products.
Sound quality is outstanding, as is the fit, battery life and connectivity. They are about as compact as in-ear wireless headphones can be without sacrificing bass response, too.
They lack the active noise cancellation of the Sony WF-1000X and the buttons are badly placed so you have to be careful not to push them too far into your ears, but other than that they are an excellent choice.
Read our Jabra Elite 65t review.
- Reviewed on: 30 October 2019
If you dislike noise-isolating earbuds and want to hear your surroundings, the Freebuds 3 are a decent choice. Huawei doesn’t hide the fact they’re designed to work best with its own smartphones, which is fair enough considering that’s the situation with AirPods.
Just bear in mind that the noise cancelling isn’t the most effective you can get.
Read our Huawei Freebuds 3 review.
- Reviewed on: 13 August 2019
The second-gen AirPods are more of an iterative upgrade than a reimagining of the product. Alongside the suite of smart features unique to Apple’s offering, improved connection speed, talk time and Hey Siri support are welcome improvements on a product that was already industry-leading in many aspects.
But while AirPods easily provide the best all-around experience of any wireless earbuds on the market, there’s no improvement in the audio department, and there are other earbuds on the market in 2019 that provide better audio quality.
It all boils down to what you’re after; if you want a smart, simple listening experience, the AirPods are the ones to go for, but if you’re looking for the best audio quality possible, you may want to consider one of the other options in our chart.
Read our Apple AirPods review.
- Reviewed on: 13 March 2019
The Galaxy Buds are in the middle of the wireless earbud pack. They're better and cheaper than the older IconX headphones but still aren't perfect.
We like the comfortable and lightweight design which is suitable for general listening or running. There are also some handy features including an Ambient Sound mode, sensors and touch controls.
However, the sound quality isn't as good as rivals and if you have an iPhone you're best off steering clear with no Galaxy Wearable app to access those aforementioned features.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds review.