If you had told us a couple of years ago that the market for true wireless earbuds would be where it is today, we would have walked off laughing. Easy to lose, constant connection issues, short battery lives, and shoddy at best sound quality was what this category of earbuds was known for.
The chances of losing them haven’t got any better (especially for the more forgetful among us – i.e., me) but, with the trend of cell phone manufacturers giving the old 3.5mm audio jack the flick, manufacturers obviously realized that there were profits to be made.
Nowadays, the technology has come so far that truly wireless earbuds are now actually up there with some of the best audio options! So if on the hunt for a pair with ANC (active noise cancellation), a set for working out in, or just the best all-round pair on the market today you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve done all the hard work for you in our best true wireless earbuds review below. So, let’s get started!
Top 6 Best True Wireless Earbuds Of 2021 Reviews
1 Sony WF-1000XM3
Looking for a set of truly wireless earbuds that can give you the same level of active noise cancellation that you expect from a set of over-ear headphones?
And say hello to the WF-1000XM3, the flagship ANC model by industry leader Sony. These are, no lie, the best ANC true wireless earbuds available right now. Combining comfort, style, build quality, leading-edge tech, and long battery life is no easy feat, but Sony has managed to tick all the boxes here.
Available in a choice of matte black or silver, the minimalist design gives a sci-fi-ish feel that we love. The oval-shaped earpieces sit super comfortably in the ear, and the overall shape does a great job of distributing the weight, making for long-lasting comfort.
In the box are seven different sizes of earbud tips, four standard silicon buds, and three ‘triple-comfort’ buds (these are slightly thicker than the normal tips). It’s a good selection and more generous than most of the competitors.
Even without the ANC turned on, these do a great job of passively blocking ambient noise. But flick that switch (which engages the QN1e HD noise-canceling processor), and all of a sudden, we felt transported to a whole new place. The complete absence of the lower ambient frequencies is pretty impressive, but when combined with the awesome sound quality that the Sony WF-1000XM3 projects, the outcome is very impressive indeed!
The soundstage has mass-market appeal, with the bass slightly boosted but by no means overpowering the mids and highs. Download Sony’s Headphones Connect App to get full control over the sound, with EQ available plus other relevant info.
Sony reckons that you are able to squeeze eight hours out of the batteries, although with ANC engaged, we found they averaged a time of five hours 45 mins. This increased to seven hours, 37 minutes, when we switched it off. But with a quick charge time of 10 minutes for 90 minutes playback, and two full charges stored in the included carry case, we never felt short on juice.
The touch controls feel intuitive with nice additions like “Quick Attention Mode”. Placing your hand over the left earpiece will automatically lower the volume and turn off ANC. Pairing is quick and simple, with any of the current voice assistants (Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant) available at the touch of the right earpiece.
Playback is also paused whenever you remove an earpiece (one of our favorite additions to any set of true wireless earbuds). This seems to be slowly becoming standard for true wireless earbuds, with Sony starting the trend a few years ago.
If you are looking for true wireless earbuds with great sound, long-lasting battery life, and built-in ANC, then these could be the ones for you!
- Class-leading ANC.
- Fantastic sound.
- Long-life battery.
- Snug fit.
- Beautiful design.
- Large carry case.
- No aptX HD support.
2 Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones
Beats, for the longest time, they were associated with good looks and heavy bass, but very little else. So, let’s check out what they have for us in this best true wireless earbuds review.
Since Apple took the Beats helm in 2014, the company has slowly been turning around the consumer attitude that Beats are all style and no substance. In our opinion, the last two years have really seen some huge improvements.
And, let us tell you, the Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless earbuds are no exception to this rule. Oh no, this set of workout focused true wireless earbuds are about as good as it gets!
The combination of water and sweat resistance, a low-profile modern design, a well-balanced soundstage, easy iPhone pairing with the Apple H1 chip (but a great choice for Andriod users also), and heaps of comfort make these our pick as the best true wireless earbuds for working out!
Available in four colors (black, white, navy, and moss), these compact design features are over-ear hook, which provides great stability on the move. The silicone ear tips that come pre-attached to the earbuds do a great job of passive noise cancellation for us, and there are three extra sets in the box if these aren’t the right size for you.
The battery has a playback time of nine hours, and once you include the extra juice stored in the charging case, you have over 24 hours runtime at your fingertips, giving the Powerbeats best in class battery life!
The sound that the Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless earbuds possess is nothing short of amazing. Yes, there is still some bass boosting going on here, but the step up in noise quality from the Powerbeats 3 is plain to see (or hear). Apple has been quoted as saying that there is less than “60% of the total harmonic distortion” when directly comparing the two.
These are never going to match the sound quality of audiophile monitors, but they were never designed to. What the Powerbeats Pro are able to do is deliver on the promise of a great set of workout headphones that will last the distance, be sturdy enough to take a battering, and produce great sound.
Find out even more in our comprehensive Beats Powerbeats Pro review.
- Long battery life.
- Water and sweat resistant.
- Bulky charging case.
3 Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
With the original Momentum True Wireless, released in 2018, Sennheiser delivered maybe the best set of earbuds of that year. With the first version providing amazing overall sound, battery life, and in-built features, it is safe to say we were pretty excited about getting our hands onto the all-new, updated Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2!
When comparing the two models, we can see that Sennheiser has made a solid effort to trim down the size. Our only real complaint about the first version was that, for us, they felt slightly too big in the ear. The Momentum True Wireless 2 still have that sturdy and rugged feel to them, while losing some of the bulk.
This has resulted in a much more comfortable seating, making the new Momentums a much better pair for long listening sessions. In the box are four extra sets of silicone ear tips, but we found the set that we already attached fit really well and created a great seal, which in turn produced wonderful passive noise cancellation.
With the new model comes new toys, and the best of them is the addition of active noise canceling technology! Easily switched on or off with the (almost instinctive feeling) touch controls, the difference is definitely noticeable, with a heap of the background chatter disappearing when engaged.
Sony still takes the cake for the best true wireless ANC, but that is not to say that the Momentum True Wireless 2 aren’t far behind at all.
Also on the list of pluses:
- Bluetooth 5.1 with multiple codecs supported.
- 9-hour battery life, which increases to 28 hours with the charging case.
- Easy to use touch controls.
The sound is truly magnificent. What Sennheiser have been able to produce through a pair of 7mm dynamic drivers is nothing short of amazing. Although other pairs on the market produce high-quality audio, the Momentum True Wireless 2 easily beat the competition here.
Balanced, open, almost studio-quality sound is on display here – a soundstage we never get sick of listening to. Through all genres of music, and when using for video streaming, audiobooks or podcasts, the quality never drops.
Or alternatively, you could check out our Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 review.
- Best in class sound.
- Bluetooth 5.1.
- Super comfortable.
- Long battery life.
- Bold aesthetics.
- No wireless charging.
4 Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
Just like our previous entry, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus are a second-generation pair of true wire-free headphones. And they have also had a makeover, albeit a less noticeable one. But even though these look almost identical to their predecessor (to the point that they actually fit and charge in the original charging case), that is where the comparisons end.
Samsung have done a well needed and complete overhaul of the sound. Our biggest complaint about the first generation Samsung Galaxy Buds was the flat, overly bassy, dull soundstage. Here we see a much brighter and cleaner sound, with all frequencies pretty well balanced.
The bass can still overpower some genres of music, but with the addition of the Galaxy Wear app, you have EQ controls at your fingertips. As mentioned earlier, the build quality is very similar to the last version, but Samsung have managed to make these slightly lighter. This only adds to the already high comfort levels of this set, and high comfort is needed.
Because the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus have the best battery life on the market right now. These bad boys will last a crazy 11 hours on a single charge! And the charging case adds another full charge, bringing the total to 22 hours. Yes, other pairs do have a higher total battery life, but none come close to 11 hours from one charge.
Other pairs also have fast charge capabilities, but the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus one-up the rest of the pack with three minutes charge giving a whole hour of playback time. Unbelievable stuff! We also think that this pair holds the best microphone set up at the moment. Call quality is superb, even in the loudest of ambient environments.
Want to find out more, well, take a look at our review of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus.
- Best battery and microphone in class.
- Improved sound.
- Light, sturdy, and comfortable.
- Water and sweat-resistant.
- Bluetooth 5.0
- No ANC.
- Lacks aptX codec support.
5 Apple AirPods Pro
Continuing the trend of second-generation technology, we have the Apple AirPods Pro. And just like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, this pair of true wireless earbuds are so much better than their first-gen counterpart!
There were a few things we (and many others) really didn’t like about the original AirPods, and thankfully Apple seemed to have listened to the criticism. Gone are the chunky ear tips, replaced with a great new design.
Finally, we are able to get a proper seal, and with the addition of ANC, and a boost in the sound quality in general, the sound is light years better than the first AirPods. For sure, the active noise cancellation is not as good as the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, but still an admirable effort.
- These are an absolute dream when used with the iOS operating system. Thanks to the Apple H1 chip, and multi-codec support, pairing and staying connected will never be an issue.
- The sound quality has a notable jump in quality – they can now compete with other top brands’ true wireless earbuds (unlike the predecessors).
- The waterproof rating has come up to IPX4 – now you can walk in the rain and be safe in the knowledge that these will not break.
- The microphone has been redesigned – now it features a wind guard which we found made a huge difference. The call quality was up there with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus.
- The battery life is still just 4.5 hours for one charge, but the total charge time is more than 24 hours when you take into account the charging case.
The Apple AirPods may not be the best sounding, have the best battery, or provide the best waterproofing. But they have always been able to be the trendsetters in the field, and have always been hugely popular. This is not a coincidence – people just want Apple products. So if you think this is the pair for you, check out our Apple Airpods Pro review for more details.
- Great iOS support.
- IPX4 waterproof rated.
- Active noise cancellation.
- Beautiful design.
- Short battery life.
6 Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro
Looking for the best bang for your buck pair of true wireless headphones? A pair that has most of the trimmings, but isn’t going to get you in trouble with your accountant? (or your better half for that matter…)
Say hello to the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro. This great set of wireless earbuds have taken the world by storm since their release, and it is easy to see why so many people swear by this pair.
Well, let’s just say that these are easy on the hip-pocket while still having many great features. Features such as:
- Eight hour playback time – with three more full recharges stored in the charging case. And with fast charging capabilities, plug in for only 10 minutes and get up to 2 hours of listening. We never felt like we would run out of battery.
- A whole new design, featuring what Anker calls “Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture” – this cutting edge design combines the forces of an 11mm dynamic driver and a customized Knowles balanced armature. Astria helps remove interference while producing harmonized treble and bass for next-level sound.
- A quad microphone setup and cVc 8. 0 noise reduction. This greatly helps with voice isolation, and while still not beating out the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, they are not far behind at all.
- HearID Custom Sound – This intelligently analyses your unique hearing profile and makes a custom sound set up that Anker claims helps perfect the listening. We found the sound to be really well balanced.
- The Soundcore app also adds to the listening experience – with 22 EQ presets to choose from, plus a fully custom EQ board.
- A huge range of tips and wingtips come in the box, which makes finding a comfortable fit a breeze.
Well, not quite. There is still no active noise-canceling technology, but with the silicone ear tips giving a really tight seal, they did a great job of passively blocking noise. But other than that, this really is a fantastic set of headphones at an even better price.
- Long-life battery.
- Great microphone.
- Useful companion app.
- Competitive price.
- No ANC.
Best True Wireless Earbuds Buying Guide
True wireless earbuds. Wire-free earbuds. Truly wireless, wire-free earbuds. The list of names for these things seems never-ending! Whatever you call them (we call them true wireless earbuds here), what we are referring to exactly is Bluetooth enabled earbuds that have no cord connecting the two units.
Hitting the market in 2015, these small wonders didn’t really catch hold until a few years later as the original tech was, well, to be honest, absolute crap.
Now we are seeing the wave of second-generation units from many of the top manufacturers, and with the amount of competition out there right now, the wire-free earbud market has 100% come along leaps and bounds.
Now we are seeing pairs that can rival some of the top over-ear units in terms of sound quality and active noise cancellation. And with the minute size and long battery lives, they are a much more versatile choice.
We decided that because this category is suddenly so stacked with contenders, we would split up the top prize and recommend our best picks across the board. So whether you are looking for a set to work out in, a set that will sound amazing across genres, or maybe a cheaper pair that still sounds fantastic, you have come to the right place.
- Best active noise cancellation – Sony WF-1000XM3.
- Best for working out – Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones.
- Best sound quality – Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.
- Best for iOS – Apple AirPods Pro.
- Best value for money – Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro.
- Best battery – Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
But before you choose, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
Which Wireless Earbuds Have The Best Sound Quality?
There is more than one unit on the market that has top-class sound quality. In fact, all the picks on this list should satisfy even the audiophiles among us. But, our pick for the best-sounding true wireless headphones goes to, drumroll please, the… Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
Are True Wireless Earbuds Worth It?
Ask us that question a few short years ago, and our answer would have been a resounding NO! But technology has come a long way in recent years, proving this category of headphones are now a great choice.
Should I Get Wireless or True Wireless Earbuds?
Again, with recent advancements in technology, true wireless earbuds can now compete against wireless or even wired earbuds!
Should I Buy Headphones or Earbuds?
Well, this one is a little trickier to answer. What it comes down to these days is a personal preference. Don’t get us wrong; if you are looking for a studio-quality pair of headphones, then we would still suggest a pair of over-ear headphones. But, if you are in need of a more versatile pair to use in all situations, then we suggest taking a peek at what is on offer these days for true wireless headphones!
Are Earbuds Bad For Your Brain?
The jury is still out on this one. Most scientists agree that these pose no health threats, with the magnetic field and radio frequencies produced being such low power. But, googling this question will present a myriad of views, so at this time we cannot give a definitive answer. We recommend you do your own research and make the decision for yourself.
So Many Choices?
Are you still curious about all your listening options are out there? If so, check out our reviews of the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Best Wireless Earbuds For Small Ears, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, the Best Earbuds Under 100 Dollars, the Best Airpods Alternative, and also the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones currently on the market.
So, What Is The Best True Wireless Earbuds?
Well, here we are! At the end of our best True Wireless Earbuds review and you’ve seen all the options currently available, and now its time to make a decision…
In a category so stacked with great choices, it was pretty hard for us to find a clear winner. But, without further ado, our top pick is the… The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.
With a clear advantage in sound quality over the rest of the market, plus a fantastic battery life, and Bluetooth 5.1. It was impossible to pass this one up.