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The 6 best wireless earbuds for 2024

The 6 best wireless earbuds for 2024
Bowers & Wilkins

When it comes to streaming music or listening to any other type of audio on the go, nothing can beat the lightweight and discreet look of wireless earbuds.

Some are waterproof and ideal for working out. Some offer enhanced spatial audio and Dolby Atmos support and are designed to drown out ambient noise with active noise cancellation. Some even work with the latest smart TVs, in addition to computers and mobile devices. If you're shopping for a high-quality and great-sounding pair of wireless earbuds, you've come to the right place.


What are the best wireless earbuds in 2024?

Our in-house team of consumer electronics experts have been testing many of the latest and most popular wireless earbuds -- from a variety of well-known brands-- and have curated this round-up of your best options.

The very best wireless earbuds are waterproof (or at least water resistant), easy to pair, offer spatial audio, provide noise cancellation, have a long battery life, come with a wireless charging case, and are comfortable to wear. They also offer multiple microphones to enhance noise cancellation and make hands-free calls sound great. 

If you're looking to buy one of the best noise canceling headphones currently available, we recommend checking out our coverage of the five best noise cancelling headphones for 2024.


Best wireless earbuds overall: Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds
Bose

Battery Life: Up to 6 hours (18 hours using the charging case) | Weight: 2.72 ounces per earbud | Driver Size: Not disclosed by Bose | Microphones: Not disclosed by Bose | Case: USB | Quick Charge: 20-minute charge = 2 hours playtime | Waterproof Rating: IPX4 | Spatial Audio: Yes | Dolby Atmos: No | Active Noise Cancellation: Yes | Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3

The most feature-packed and highest-end wireless earbuds offered by Bose right now are the QuietComfort Ultras. They offer the superior active noise cancellation that the company is known for. However, this version of the earbuds also introduce spatial audio support, which is something older models don't feature. 

Customize your listening experience using the onboard controls or Bose Music app. Instead of just turning active noice cancellation on or off, you can adjust the level of ANC, as well as choose a specialized audio pre-set based on what you're listening to. We love the sound quality from the QuietComfort earbuds. What's missing, however, is wireless charging via the included case.

While providing luxurious comfort, these earbuds do a remarkable job generating high-quality and clear audio while making full use of ANC and supporting spatial audio. They work particularly well in loud places. 

$299 at Amazon

Best wireless earbuds for Apple users: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
Apple

Battery Life: Up to 6 hours (30 hours using the charging case) | Weight: 0.19 ounces per earbud | Driver Size: 11mm | Microphones: 1 per earbud | Case: Wireless | Quick Charge: 5-minute charge = 1 hour playtime | Waterproof Rating: IP54 | Spatial Audio: Yes, with dynamic head tracking | Dolby Atmos: Yes | Active Noise Cancellation: Yes | Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are the top-of-the-line wireless earbuds in Apple's lineup. You get A-level features like adaptive audio, active noise cancellation, a transparency mode, a conversation awareness feature and onboard touch controls. 

The most impressive feature offered by AirPods is the active noise cancellation. It does a really good job fighting ambient noise, even when you're not listening to audio. Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking helps deliver lossless sound with ultra-low latency, so the audio is far more robust and lifelike than other AirPod models or many competitors. 

Use a special mode to have a conversation with someone nearby; the noise cancellation still reduces loud noises. These earbuds also adapt to your preferences, so you'll enjoy customized audio without having to tinker with the controls too much.

Another feature we really like: Touch controls that let you tap or slide your finger along the stem of an earbud. Let Siri read incoming text messages or emails to you, or alert you of urgent notifications. At the time of purchase, you can choose between a wireless charging case with a USB Type-C or Lightning port.

The suggested retail price is $249, but we've seen them regularly on sale for as little as $169. If you're wondering what the difference is between AirPod models, we've got you covered with a comprehensive buyer's guide that explains the pros and cons of each type.

$169 at Walmart

Best wireless earbuds for Android: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro
Samsung

Battery Life: Up to 5 hours (18 hours using the charging case) | Weight: 0.19 ounces per earbud | Driver Size: 10mm | Microphones: 3 per earbud | Case: Wireless | Quick Charge: 15-minute charge = 1.7 hours playtime | Waterproof Rating: IPX7 | Spatial Audio: Yes | Dolby Atmos: No | Active Noise Cancellation: Yes | Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3

If you use any Android mobile device, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro wireless earbuds are ideal audio companions. In addition to active noise cancellation, these earbuds support enhanced 360 Audio with Dolby Atmos and head tracking to generate 24-bit sound that's wonderfully immersive. These features work particularly well with movie audio.

If you use these with any Android device, the earbuds will automatically pair. You can also enjoy private listening from any Samsung TV. And if the buds get lost, simply use the SmartThings Find app to locate them.

The Buds 2 Pro are 15% smaller than the original Buds Pro earbuds, and they're lighter too. Yet they offer even better sound and a more robust collection of features. The earbuds (and their case) come in a variety of colors. The regular price of these earbuds is $230, but we've regularly seen them on sale for as little as $144. And if you purchase them from Samsung's website, you can get up to $50 in credit when you trade in your old earbuds or audio device. 

$145 at Amazon
$144 at Samsung

Best wireless earbuds for everyday use: Sony WF-1000XM5

Sony WF-1000XM5
Sony

Battery Life: Up to 6 hours (24 hours using the charging case) | Weight: 0.21 ounces per earbud | Driver Size: 8.4mm | Microphones: 3 per earbud | Case: Wireless | Quick Charge: 3-minute charge = 1 hour playtime | Waterproof Rating: IPX4 | Spatial Audio: 360 Reality Audio | High-Resolution Audio: Yes | Dolby Atmos: No | Adaptive Noise Cancellation: Yes | Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3

The WF-1000XM5s are Sony's highest-end Bluetooth earbuds and they offer tremendous versatility. Use them for crystal-clear, hands-free calls or just to drown out noise so you can better concentrate. They even adapt based on your real-time head movements. 

Thanks to Sony's proprietary QN2e chip, the WF-1000XM5s offer some of the best noise-cancelling technology you'll find in any wireless earbuds. Combined with Sony's V2 integrated processor, you get 24-bit audio processing with hi-res audio wireless, DSEE Extreme and LDAC support. This means that the earbuds produce audio that's clearer, richer and more authentic versus competitors. 

The WF-1000XM5s can enhance audio that would otherwise get lost in compression. Multipoint Bluetooth connectivity, with Google Fast Pair compatibility and on-board tap controls, make these earbuds a pleasure to use. And with the Sony Headphones Connect app, you get plenty of control over your listening. 

$298 at Amazon

Best wireless earbuds for working out: Jabra Elite 8 Active

Jabra Elite 8 Active
Jabra

Battery Life: Up to 8 hours (24 hours using the charging case) | Weight: 0.2 ounces per earbud | Driver Size: 6mm | Microphones: 3 per earbud | Case: USB | Quick Charge: 5 min charge = 1 hour playtime | Waterproof Rating: IP68 | Spatial Audio: Yes | Dolby Atmos: No, just Dolby Audio | Active Noise Cancellation: Yes | Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3

For anyone who leads an active lifestyle, we highly recommend the Jabra Elite 8 Active. What sets these earbuds apart is their durability and waterproof rating. 

These earbuds are waterproof and sweat proof (IP68 rated). They take advantage of what the company calls a "SnakeGrip" coating (a proprietary liquid silicone rubber) to hold the earbuds firmly in your ears in a way that also makes them very comfortable. After a few minutes, you'll likely forget you're wearing them. 

In addition to making audio sound clear and rich, these earbuds do a nice job handling hands-free calls. Using the Jabra Sound+ app, you gain a lot of control over your listening experience. The buds support Fast Pair with Android devices. With Siri and Google Assistant support, you can use voice commands to control audio or calls. What we like most about these earbuds is their sleek, durable and comfortable design -- but the audio quality is also on the higher-end. 

$200 at Amazon
$140 with the code JABRAELITE at Jabra

Best premium wireless earbuds: Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 In-Ear True Wireless Earphones
Bowers & Wilkins

Battery Life: Up to 5 hours (16 hours using the charging case) | Weight: 0.25 ounces per earbud | Driver Size: 9.2mm | Microphones: 3 per earbud | Case: Wireless | Quick Charge: 15 min charge = 2 hours of additional playtime | Waterproof Rating: IP54 | Spatial Audio: No | Dolby Atmos: No, but supports 24-bit aptX Adaptive, aptX HD, aptX Classic, AAC and SBC | Active Noise Cancellation: Yes (Adaptive) | Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0

Between offering true 24-bit audio and aptX support to experience high-resolution sound, the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 earbuds are designed for audiophiles. The earbuds themselves use high-end components that look, feel and sound better than many of their competitors. And you can choose from three color options -- white, midnight blue or satin black. Each has silver metal accents that offer enhanced functionality along with a more sophisticated appearance.

Two-way drive units and three microphones deliver high-performance, rich and immersive sound. And the adaptive noise cancellation eliminates ambient noise whenever you want. The ANC adapts to your surroundings to maintain a constant volume without you having to tinker with any controls.

Via the Bowers & Wilkins Music mobile app, the earbuds support the Deezer, Last.FM, Qobuz, Tidal HiFi Plus and Pandora streaming music services, but work with all of the others, too. Battery life is up to five hours of playtime (with ANC turned on) per charge.

$330 at Amazon
$399 at Bowers & Wilkins

How to pick the best wireless earbuds

Higher-end earbuds have wireless charging cases and a longer battery life; generate better audio; offer more extensive controls; take advantage of a mobile app; are waterproof (or at least water resistant) -- and, of course, they're comfy.

As you're shopping for best wireless earbuds to meet your needs, here are some useful features and functions to seek out:

Battery life: Each wireless earbud has its own internal battery, which will last anywhere from four to eight hours. Use a wireless charging case to juice them back up a couple of times without requiring an external power source. Many earbuds also offer a quick-charge option.

Case and charging: All wireless earbuds come with a charging case. Consider is the size and weight of the case (since you'll likely be carrying it in your pocket), and how many times it can recharge the earbuds before needing an external power source, and whether the case offers Qi wireless charging.

Microphones: The number of microphones in each earbud, which can range from between one and three, impacts the quality of noice cancellation, as well as clarity of your voice in phone calls. Some of the better wireless earbuds even have microphones with integrated wind reduction.

Multipoint pairing: This is a convenient feature that allows one pair of wireless earbuds to be paired with multiple devices at the same time. So, as you switch between using your smartphone, smartwatch, tablet and computer, the earbuds will automatically pair with the equipment you're using. Some earbuds can also establish a connection to a smart TV to offer a private listening experience.

Noise cancellation: This reduces or flat-out eliminates ambient sounds, so you can focus on your listening. We really like the noise cancellation offered by Bose, Sony and Apple -- each of which uses different technology to achieve the same objective. 

Price: You should be able to get your hands on a high-quality pair of noise cancelling, Bluetooth earbuds from a well-known brand for around $200.

Spatial audio: This makes audio sound three-dimensional -- like it's originating from all around you. Spatial audio (or Dolby Atmos support) adds a sense of immersion.

Waterproof rating: Not all Bluetooth earbuds are waterproof or even water-resistant. And even those that are waterproof are not designed to be used when swimming or underwater fun. Waterproof earbuds, like the Jabra Elite 8 Active, can be fully submerged in water.


For even more advice on choosing the best tabletAndroid-based tabletApple iPadtablet for kidsdesktop computerlaptop computerbudget-friendly laptop computerChromebookAndroid smartphone or cell phone, be sure to check out our extensive and continuously updated tech coverage.

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