Best-Sounding Wireless Earbuds in 2024: Get Top Sound Quality | Trending Viral hub

Updated Jan. 21, 2024 2:36 p.m. PT

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David Carnoy

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David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET’s Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He’s also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.

Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials

  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer

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$399 at Best Buy

Best-sounding wireless earbuds with small updates

Bowers & Wilkins PI7 S2


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$271 at Amazon

Best Technics wireless earbuds

Technics EAH-AZ80


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$299 at Bose

Best for noise-canceling

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds


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$80 at Amazon

Best-sounding budget noise-canceling earbuds

Earfun Air Pro 3


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$189 at Amazon

Best Apple noise-canceling wireless earbuds

Apple AirPods Pro 2 (USB-C)


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$130 at Amazon

Top midrange earbuds

Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2


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$268 at Amazon

Sony’s former flasgship earbuds

Sony WF-1000XM4


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$178 at Amazon

Best wireless earbuds with triple drivers

Status Between 3ANC


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$149 at Amazon

Best-sounding midrange wireless earbuds

Beyerdynamic Free Byrd


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$230 at Samsung

Best Samsung wireless earbuds

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro


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$199 at Amazon

Best wireless earbuds for sports

Beats Fit Pro


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$169 at Amazon

Best Sennheiser true-wireless earbuds

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3


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$385 at Amazon

Best B&O wireless earbuds with stems

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX


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$280 at Amazon

Best true-wireless earbuds from Audio-Technica

Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9


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$140 at Walmart

Best compact wireless earbuds from Sony

Sony LinkBuds S


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$150 at Walmart

Best AirPods Pro alternative for less

JBL Live Pro 2


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$120 at Amazon

Best wireless earbuds from 1More

1More Evo


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Which are the best-sounding wireless earbuds?

At CNET, our experts have tested thousands of headphones and earbuds. I’ve personally tested hundreds over nearly 20 years, so it would be safe to say that I know when I’ve encountered a great-sounding set. That said, sound is subjective, and everyone’s ears are different, so it’s hard to declare one set of earbuds the best-sounding over all the rest. But there are some standouts, including the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 S2, the Sony WF-1000XM5 and even Apple’s AirPods Pro 2, which deliver impressive sound considering how lightweight and small they are. 

Size and fit also play into sound quality, which suffers if you can’t get a good fit. Not all, but many of the best-sounding earbuds tend to be on the bigger side and may not fit some ears. To get optimal sound quality — and bass performance, in particular — it’s crucial to get a tight seal, so finding a set of buds that really fit your ears well is an important part of the sound quality equation. 

I’ve fully tested all the earbuds on this list and fully reviewed many them of them. I’ll update these picks as new great-sounding earbuds hit the market.  

Best-sounding wireless earbuds of 2024

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Bowers & Wilkins has upgraded its fantastic-sounding PI7 noise-canceling earbuds. The new S2 model has better battery life and Bluetooth range, now up to 25 meters (double the previous range). Additionally, the buds now integrate into the new Bowers & Wilkins Music app for iOS and Android and have a much improved setup experience.

While not a major upgrade from the originals, the PI7 S2s, which feature a dual-driver design, are easily among the very best-sounding true-wireless earbuds. The step-down PI5 S2s, which have a single driver design, don’t sound quite as good but are more affordable.

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When Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earbuds came out in 2021, we awarded them a CNET Editors’ Choice. And while they’re excellent, we had some quibbles — they’re on the large side and aren’t a good match for certain ears. Clearly, Sony took those gripes to heart when it set out to design its next-generation WF-1000XM5 flagship noise-canceling earbuds. Not only are the XM5s smaller, but they also offer improved performance pretty much across the board, with better noise canceling, sound and voice calling. Are the XM5s perfect? Not quite. And at $300 — $20 more than their predecessor — they’re costly, too. But overall they’re really impressive — easily among the very top earbuds on the market.

Pros:

  • New smaller design
  • Improved sound, noise canceling and voice calling
  • Upgraded processors and drivers

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • No Find My feature integrated into app

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You should expect a lot from earbuds that cost $300 — and yes, that’s still a lot to pay for headphones, even if plenty of people seem to be willing to pay upwards of $450 for the likes of Apple’s AirPods Max headphones. Overall, Panasonic has done a nice job of creating an all-around top-performing set of buds that offer an improved fit with terrific sound, very good noise canceling and a robust feature set.

Voice-calling capabilities are decent but don’t quite live up to their billing (yet). Hopefully we’ll see some firmware upgrades that improve the voice-calling experience in noisier environments. Despite that caveat, as long as they fit your ears well, the Technics EAH-AZ80 are right up there with the best wireless earbuds on the market right now.

Pros:

  • Stellar sound and good noise canceling with improved fit
  • Good battery life
  • LDAC audio codec support for Android devices

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Voice-calling performance is decent but could be slightly better

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While the QC Ultra Earbuds aren’t a major upgrade over Bose’s excellent QC Earbuds 2 that were released in 2022, they’re definitely a little better. They should fit most ears very well, and they feature superb noise canceling, arguably the best out there. And a natural-sounding transparency mode with a new ActiveSense feature kicks in some ANC should the sound get too loud around you (it’s sort of similar to the AirPods Pro’s Adaptive Audio feature). They also sound slightly better overall, with a touch more clarity, and their new Immersive Audio feature opens up the sound a bit.

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Earfun has put out a series of wireless earbuds over the last couple of years with one important commonality: They’re very good values, made more so by frequent discounts. The company’s Earfun Air Pro 3 earbuds feature the latest Qualcomm QCC3071 system-on-a-chip with AptX Adaptive for Android and other devices that support the new LE Audio standard and LC3 audio codec, which is superior to the SBC codec (they also support AAC for Apple devices).

Lightweight and comfortable to wear — I got a good seal with the largest ear tip size — these aren’t a huge upgrade over the Earfun Air S, but they are better. They have slightly larger wool-composite drivers (11mm versus 10mm), slightly improved noise canceling and better battery life (up to seven hours with noise canceling on, according to Earfun).

In short, the Earfun Air 3 deliver strong performance for their modest price, with robust bass, good clarity and a relatively wide soundstage. They also pack in a lot of features, including a wireless charging case and “multidevice” connectivity. (I could pair them to two devices simultaneously but had to pause the music on one device and hit play on the other for the audio to switch.) They’re IPX5 splash-proof and also work well (though not exceptionally well) as a headset for making calls. 

Use the code EAP3CNET at checkout at Amazon to drop the price to just less than $50.

Pros:

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Good sound and overall performance for their price
  • Wireless charging and support for new Bluetooth LE Audio standard

Cons:

  • Voice calling performance is only OK

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The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are powered by Apple’s new H2 chip, which delivers more processing power while being more energy efficient, according to Apple. The new chip, combined with new low-distortion drivers, allows for improved sound that offers better clarity and depth. The noise canceling is also improved — Apple says the new AirPods have “double” the noise canceling of the original AirPods Pro. Additionally, the new AirPods add an extra hour of battery life, up from five to six hours with noise canceling on. Plus, a speaker in the case that emits a sound that helps locate your buds via Find My should they decide to hide from you.

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Yes, the Elite 10s have some potential drawbacks: Their noise canceling is lighter compared with competitors, they’re pricey at $249 and they’ll probably have to come down a bit to better compete with the AirPods Pro 2 — at least for Apple users. Still, they’re really good earbuds that are not only comfortable to wear for long periods but also sound excellent. In fact, if their voice-calling performance is leveled up a bit with a firmware update, the Elite 10 buds may just be in Editors’ Choice territory.

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If you can’t quite afford the AirPods Pro 2, the Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2 may be a good alternative. They aren’t a huge upgrade over the original NeoBuds Pro, but their list price is around $50 less and they have a lightweight premium design, good sound for their price, effective noise cancellation and come with seven sets of ear tips to help you get a good fit. They also have ear-detection sensors and spatial audio with head tracking.

With support for the LDAC, LHDC, and AAC audio codecs, they’re good for both iPhone and Android users (many Android devices support LDAC audio streaming). Equipped with four microphones in each bud, I also thought they worked well for voice calls, though not quite as well as the AirPods Pro 2, which are little better overall. While I was slightly disappointed with the limited touch control and thought the spatial audio and battery life could be a little better (they’re rated for around 4 hours with noise canceling on and 5.5 hours with it off), the NeoBuds Pro 2 offer a good combination of mostly impressive performance in a nice design. You can tweak their sound in their companion app for iOS and Android.

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Astell & Kern’s original AK UW100MK buds offered excellent sound but were light on features for $300 earbuds. And while the second-gen AK UW100MKII are still light on features (there’s no active noise canceling but they do have ear-detection sensors, multipoint Bluetooth pairing and an ambient awareness mode), they do sound impressive, with an upgraded acoustic architecture and premium 32-bit DAC technology.

The company says that the position of the Knowles balanced armature driver “has been moved toward the inside of the ear to better deliver audio details more directly, and the acoustic chamber structure and mesh size have been redesigned in accordance with the new BA position to deliver optimal sound output. This new design took numerous attempts to minimize sound diffusion to provide a more delicate and dynamic performance and richer high-frequency expression.”

I thought they sounded clean and clear, and while they don’t deliver massive bass (as you’d expect from earbuds tuned for audiophiles who want a more neutral sound profile), the bass does go deep and is tight. The voice-calling performance is supposed to be improved, but it’s still not great (callers had a hard time hearing me on the noisy streets of New York). Also, the buds, while comfortable to wear, are on the larger side. I did think they did a good job of passively sealing out a good amount of ambient sound, so the lack of active noise canceling was less of a factor than I thought it would be.

Battery life is strong — the buds are rated for up to 9.5 hours at moderate volume levels — and the case does offer wireless charging. Powered by a higher-end Qualcomm 5141 chip, the buds support SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive audio codecs. They do not appear to have a water-resistance.

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We awarded the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds an Editors’ Choice award back in 2021. While the WF-1000XM5 buds offer some real upgrades and are superior, the XM4s are still very good earbuds with excellent sound quality. They remain worthy of your consideration but only if they’re significantly discounted. 

Pros:

  • Excellent sound and noise canceling
  • Loaded with features
  • LDAC audio codec support for Android devices

Cons:

  • A bit large (may not fit some ears well)
  • Voice-calling performance is decent but could be slightly better
  • Newer WF-1000XM5 buds offer improvements

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Status Audio’s earbuds aren’t exactly the sleekest or most attractive earbuds you can buy, but if you don’t mind their utilitarian look and giant stems, you are getting an excellent sounding set of earbuds. The Between 3ANC, the company’s first noise-canceling earbuds, also do a good job muffling ambient sound, though they aren’t up to the level of the Bose QuietComfort 2 earbuds for noise-canceling prowess. They did perform very well in my voice-calling test, reducing much of the background noise around me in the streets of New York while picking up my voice clearly, or so callers told me.

While they have multipoint Bluetooth pairing — you can pair them to two devices simultaneously — they are missing a few features, including ear-detection sensors, and they only support the AAC audio codec (they’re equipped with Bluetooth 5.2), not LDAC or aptX. Some people with Android devices that support those codecs may not be thrilled with that, but, as I said, they sound quite good using AAC, offering clean sound with punchy bass and good clarity. That’s in part due to their driver design, and why the buds are on the larger side — they feature two balanced armature drivers, plus one 10mm dynamic driver in each earbud. 

Despite being heavier than earbuds like Apple’s AirPods Pro 2, they fit my ears comfortably and securely. Their case charges wirelessly and battery life is very good at up to 8.5 hours with ANC on. There’s also a transparency mode that sounds only OK, not great (a physical button on the earbuds activates it) and they have an IPX5 water-resistance rating, which means they can withstand a sustained spray of water. The companion app for iOS is fairly basic, but you can upgrade the firmware and tweak the sound profile with a customizable EQ option.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound and a comfortable, secure fit
  • Good noise canceling and call quality
  • Multipoint Bluetooth pairing 
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • They’re big
  • No ear-detection sensors
  • Transparency mode sounds only OK

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Beyerdynamic may be late to the game, but last year it finally introduced its first true-wireless earbuds, which feature active noise canceling, up to 11 hours of battery life (with noise canceling off) and impressive sound quality.

Beyerdynamic is known for its over-ear wired studio headphones, including the newish DT 700 Pro X ($259). The Free Byrd earbuds, which support the AAC and aptX Adaptive audio codecs, exhibit many of that model’s sonic traits, including clean, accurate sound and an airy open quality (aka a wide soundstage).

If you can get the proper fit and a tight seal, these are excellent-sounding earbuds that are right at the top of their price class in terms of sound quality. The Free Byrd are closer to the middle of the road in other areas, particularly their noise-canceling performance. But Beyerdynamic has said it made sound quality its highest priority and that definitely shows.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Good noise canceling and call quality
  • Lots of ear tips included 
  • Great battery life

Cons:

  • Noise canceling isn’t top-notch
  • Design may be a challenge for some ears

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The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro offer improved noise canceling along with very good sound and voice-calling performance, plus support for high-resolution wireless audio streaming if you’re a Galaxy device owner with the right setup. That said, their biggest upgrade may their new design and smaller size, which make them a better fit for more ears. Aside from their somewhat high price tag, their only drawback is that some of their key features only work with Samsung Galaxy devices.

Pros:

  • Very good sound and a more comfortable fit
  • Good noise-canceling and voice-calling capabilities
  • Assortment of extra features for Galaxy device owners

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey
  • Some key features only work with Samsung devices
  • No true multipoint Bluetooth pairing

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While the Beats Fit Pro technically aren’t AirPods, they’re built on the same tech platform as the AirPods Pro (yes, Apple owns Beats). Unlike Beats’ earlier and less expensive Studio Buds and Studio Buds Plus, the Beats Fit Pro include Apple’s H1 chip and have most of the AirPods Pro’s features, including active noise canceling, spatial audio and Adaptive EQ. I’d venture to call them the sports AirPods you’ve always wanted.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design with integrated wingtip that fits securely
  • Very good sound and noise canceling
  • Powered by Apple’s H1 chip

Cons:

  • No wireless charging
  • No enhanced My Find with proximity view (only standard Find My)

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Featuring excellent sound, improved noise canceling and voice-calling performance as well a smaller, more refined design that includes stabilizing fins (so the earbuds stay in your ears more securely), the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 were among the best new true-wireless earbuds of 2022. They remain one of the best true-wireless earbuds overall, although the newer AirPods Pro 2 and Sony WF-1000XM5 buds are arguably superior, so only look to buy the Momentum True Wireless 3 when they are significantly discounted.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound
  • Improved noise canceling and voice call performance
  • Small, rubberized fins help create a secure fit

Cons:

  • May not fit those with very small ears
  • Competitors like Apple, Bose and Sony offer superior noise canceling

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Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay EX buds are the company’s best true-wireless earbuds yet. They feature a comfortable, secure fit (except perhaps for those with really smaller ears), top-notch build quality, great sound, good noise canceling and improved voice-calling performance over B&O’s EQ buds, with three microphones in each earbud they help with reducing background noise while picking up your voice. While they’re out of most people’s price range, they’re arguably the best earbuds out there with stems and offer superior sound to the AirPods Pro (1st gen) with better clarity, deeper more powerful bass and richer, more accurate sound. 

Battery life is rated at 6 hours at moderate volume levels with noise canceling on and there’s an extra 14 hours of juice in the brushed aluminum charging case (wireless charging is supported). The buds have an IP57 water-resistance rating, which makes them waterproof and dust-resistant. They feature Bluetooth 5.2 and multipoint Bluetooth pairing so you can connect to two devices at the same time, such as a computer and smartphone. You can use a single bud independently and the earbuds have ear-detection sensors so your music pauses when you remove them from your ears. 

The buds support AptX Adaptive for devices like Android smartphones that support Bluetooth streaming with the AptX HD audio codec. (AAC is also supported.) They’re available in the gold tone pictured as well as a graphite color.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound and strong overall performance
  • Premium design elements and fully waterproof 
  • Support AptX Adaptive audio codec for Android devices

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Competitors like Apple, Bose and Sony offer superior noise canceling

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Audio-Technica has put out several true-wireless earbuds over the last few years, but none of them have been terribly good. That changes with the ATH-TWX9, which sports a premium design plus premium sound and a pretty robust feature set, including strong active noise canceling, Multipoint Bluetooth pairing and a case equipped with wireless charging and UV LED sterilization. In the box you’ll also find a plethora of ear tip options and I was able to tight seal and comfortable fit. These buds are IPX4 splash-proof and are rated for 6 hours of battery life at moderate volume levels.

Audio-Technica says the ATH-TWX9 have high-resolution 5.8mm drivers and the buds support Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive audio codec and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio. I tested them with an iPhone 14 Pro and a few different Android phones that support aptX streaming. In terms of sound, these buds do sound better — and reach their full sonic potential — with an Android phone that supports aptX Adaptive and is paired with a higher-resolution audio streaming service like Qobuz, Tidal or Amazon Music HD. While you can tweak the sound profile in the companion app, the buds have a more balanced default sound signature (I did bump the bass a bit) and offer good treble detail, tight bass and natural sounding mids. 

I thought the noise-canceling performance was good (you can calibrate it for your surroundings) though not at the same level as what flagship earbuds from Bose, Sony and Apple offer. There’s also a transparency mode and voice-calling performance was good with decent noise reduction. I don’t know if the ATH-TWX9 necessarily beats out other earbuds in this price range, but Audio-Technica has finally produced a set of high-quality wireless earbuds that can compete with other premium true-wireless earbuds.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound and strong overall performance
  • Robust feature set 
  • Support AptX Adaptive audio codec for Android devices
  • Case features wireless charging and UV LED sterilization

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Competitors like Apple, Bose and Sony offer superior noise canceling

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Unlike the “open” LinkBuds, the LinkBuds S are traditional noise-isolating earbuds with tips you jam in your ears. They’re more compact and lighter than Sony’s former flagship WF-1000XM4 and also feature Sony’s V1 processor (Sony has since released the more compact WF-1000XM5). While their sound and noise canceling don’t quite measure up to either XM4’s or XM5’s, they’re still quite good. They’re the Sony buds for people who can’t afford Sony’s flagship earbuds but want 80% of those buds’ features and performance for significantly less.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, compact design with comfortable fit
  • Very good sound and good noise canceling
  • Support Sony’s LDAC audio codec and Speak-to-Chat feature

Cons:

  • No wireless charging
  • Not great for making calls from noisy areas

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Japan-based Final Audio, which makes some high-end audiophile headphones, including the $4,299 D8000 Pro, has released its ZE8000 true-wireless earbuds that feature a unique stick design and excellent sound. The largest tips fit my ears comfortably and securely, though they do stick out a bit. 

Their noise canceling is lighter than many of the top noise-canceling earbuds and the noise reduction for voice calling isn’t great — you’ll want to avoid making calls in noisy environments. Also, these don’t have ear-detection sensors that pause your music when you take a bud out of your ear. But I really did like their sound. (They have “13mm equivalent ultra-low distortion dynamic drivers,” Final says.)

Like some of the other earbuds on this list, these use a Qualcomm chipset, support the company’s aptX Adaptive audio codec and are optimized for Android smartphones with Snapdragon Sound (they also support the AAC audio codec). I used them with an iPhone 14 Pro and they sounded quite good but they arguably reach their full sonic potential with an Android smartphone with support for aptX Adaptive. They have a bold sound signature with nice detail and deep, powerful bass and a wide soundstage. You can tweak the sound profile in the companion app for iOS and Android. Battery life is rated at five hours at moderate volume levels and they’re IPX4 splash-proof.

Pros:

  • Unique design with comfortable fit
  • Excellent sound
  • aptX audio codec support for Android devices

Cons:

  • No ear-detection sensors
  • Not great for making calls from noisy areas
  • Noise canceling isn’t that strong

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Over the years, JBL has put out some decent true-wireless earbuds, but nothing that really got me too excited. That’s finally changed with the arrival of the Samsung-owned brand’s new Live Pro 2 and Live Free 2 buds. Both sets of buds — the Live Pro 2 have stems while the Live Free 2 have a pill-shaped design — offer a comfortable fit along with strong noise canceling, very good sound quality and voice-calling performance, plus a robust set of features, including multipoint Bluetooth pairing, an IPX5 splash-proof rating and wireless charging.

The Live Pro 2 and Live Free 2 are equipped with the same 11mm drivers, six microphones, oval tubes and oval silicon tips. Aside from the design, the biggest difference between the two buds is battery life; the stemless Live Free 2 is rated for up to 7 hours, while the Live Pro 2 is rated for 10 hours. The Live Pro 2 is available in four color options.

Pros:

  • Very good sound and a comfortable fit
  • Good noise canceling and call quality
  • Multipoint Bluetooth pairing 

Cons:

  • Included ear tips might not get you a tight seal
  • Chrome accent on stem is a bit gaudy

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Known for delivering good bang for the buck, 1More has released a more premium set of buds that are equipped with a 10mm dynamic driver paired with a balanced armature. They have support for Sony’s LDAC codec for high-resolution wireless streaming over Bluetooth with music services like Qobuz or Tidal that offer high-resolution music files.

The Evo buds sound better than the company’s other earbuds, offering better clarity and bass definition as well as a relatively wide soundstage. They also feature solid noise canceling, multipoint Bluetooth pairing, wireless charging, a transparency mode and an IPX4 splashproof rating. Battery life is rated at 5.5 hours with ANC on and 8 hours without it off. A 15-minute quick charge gives you 4 hours of juice.

While the earbuds have three microphones in each and tout excellent voice-calling performance, I’d rate it as decent but not great. The noise reduction isn’t quite as good as what you get with some buds but that may improve with firmware upgrades (the 1More companion app is serviceable but could also be improved).

These are worth trying if you don’t want to spend over $200 for some of the more expensive models on this list but still get excellent sound. 

Pros:

  • Dynamic driver paired with a balanced armature
  • Very good sound for their price
  • Support for Sony’s LDAC codec for Android devices

Cons:

  • Voice-calling performance is decent but not great
  • Companion app for iOS and Android could be better

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Master & Dynamic MW08: These buds may not fit everyone’s ear equally well, but they certainly have a distinct look, as well as excellent sound and a great listening experience if you can get a tight seal (I was able to get a secure fit with the largest tip). They deliver more of an audiophile sound profile, with smooth, well-balanced sound and well-defined bass.

Budget

Before anything else, you’ll want to figure out how much you’re willing to spend on new earbuds. Value priced earbuds continue to improve, so you can find good “cheap” buds for not too much money (less than $60). But if you’re looking for premium buds from Sony, Apple and Bose, be prepared to spend a lot more. 

Fit 

It’s key that the earbuds you buy fit your ears well. They should offer a comfortable, secure fit. If you don’t get a tight seal with noise-isolating earbuds, sound quality and noise canceling can be dramatically impacted for the worse. Open earbuds don’t have that issue, but they should be comfortable to wear and sit securely in your ears.

Return policy

Because the fit of your earbuds is so important, it’s critical to buy your buds at a retailer that has a good return policy, in case the buds aren’t a good match for your ears.

We test true-wireless earbuds based on five key criteria, comparing similarly styled and priced models. These criteria are designsound qualityfeaturesvoice-calling performance and value.

  • Design: We assess not only how comfortable the earbuds fit (ergonomics) but their build quality and how well the controls are implemented. We also look at water- and dust-resistance ratings.
  • Sound quality: We evaluate sound quality by listening to a set playlist of music tracks and comparing the earbuds to top competing products in their price range. Sonic traits such as bass definition, clarity, dynamic range and how natural the headphones sound are key factors in our assessment.
  • Features: Some great-sounding earbuds aren’t loaded with features, but we do take into account what extra features are on board. These include everything from noise-canceling and transparency modes (ambient sound mode) to special sound modes to ear-detection sensors that automatically pause your music when you take the headphones off your ears.
  • Voice-calling performance: When we test voice-calling performance, we make calls in the noisy streets of New York and evaluate how well the earbuds reduce background noise and how clearly callers can hear your voice.
  • Value: We determine value after evaluating the strength of the earbuds against all these criteria and what the buds are able to deliver compared to other models in their price class.

What makes for great-sounding wireless earbuds?

The best-sounding wireless earbuds offer, clean open sound with strong, well-defined bass. The best of the best sounding earbuds allow you to hear each instrument separately in complicated and offer a level of detail, depth and refinement not found in lesser buds.

Do the best sounding earbuds all cost a lot?

Many do but you can find earbuds with good sound for a little more than $100 and sometimes less. However, the top-sounding earbuds do tend to cost over $200.

Are the best-sounding earbuds larger than most earbuds?

Many but not all. The best-sounding earbuds tend to have larger drivers or dual drivers so they’re a larger as a result.



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