A Gun Owner Ranks The Best Bluetooth Earbuds
Looking for wireless noise-canceling earbuds to connect to your favorite music, movies and podcasts. I've tested dozens of pairs and rounded up the 10 best options.
FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.
1. Jabra Elite 85t — True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
Top-rated: 17,448 ratings | 869 answered questions
Highlight: Get up to 5.5 hours on a single charge with ANC on, with a total charge of up to 25 hours.
Helpful review: "I don't write many reviews unless I feel something really deserves it, so here we go! First off I moved from the Jabra Active 65t's and most of the issues/gripes I had with the 65t's look to be resolved with the 75t's. I'll cover the gripes/improvements, then some pros and cons.
Gripe Number 1: The charging case
The charging case on the 65t's was this weird type of case where you had to squeeze the side or the center to open them, not a pain, just different. The 75t's have that fixed, it's an easy open magnetic case, love the fact it's magnetic and a strong one at that.
Gripe Number 2: Earbuds in the case
The 65t's just kind of sat in the case, there was no positive engagement and you had to rely on a light to tell you if they were connected, sometimes if I was in a hurry and I didn't confirm the buds were properly inserted they wouldn't charge, same goes if I needed to open them in a hurry the buds would sometimes pop out and fall on the ground. The 75t's are magnetically connected, this is friggin fantastic! Such an improvement, can't say how much I love this as they stay in there, in fact the magnet is so strong that you have to be intentional to get them out.
Gripe Number 3: The on earbud buttons
I found the 65t's button on the earbuds themselves to be a bit stiff/hard to press and having additional pressure on my ear was a tad uncomfortable. The 75t's have much more sensitive buttons, and I love that they are single buttons, yes there are different combinations to remember but I feel having softer buttons is a huge plus.
On to the PRO's!
I think the sound on these is definitely a tad better that the 65t's, there is a lot more bass, and I do mean A LOT. In fact I need to turn down the bass a little through the Jabra app, I guess you could say too much bass is a negative, but I enjoy hearing the lower end on all my songs.
I am getting an average 7.25 hours using middle volume, if I keep the volume high, the run time is a little lower, roughly 6.75 hours. One thing I haven't tested is run time without using the EQ in the app, I'm sure if I left the EQ as default or flat I could squeeze a tad more out? Also the case packs a lot more backup charge than the 65t's, overall a huge jump from the 65t's.
One of my favorite features is hear through...I can't rave enough about it as I use these primarily in an office setting and not having to take them out to hear co-workers or have conversations is a huge plus for me.
Fantastic improvements on the case, love that it's magnetic, magnetic earbuds and strong ones at that, no more lost earbuds.
USB-C! Being that the industry is making a change to USB-C it's nice to have one less cable to support.
To the CON's!
One could say the bass is a tad to strong? However I rather enjoy it, I'm a big over the head, can wearing guy so getting a little more bass out of my on the go headphones is a rather nice plus, but some could be turned away.
Ear bud magnets:
The magnets holding these little guys in are strong, and with the ear buds being tiny they can be difficult to get them out. The other side of this is they won't be easily lost, so again choose your battles.
I love the fact you get so much better battery life (and case battery too), strong bass, and great sound in such a tiny profile. Not to smash on the Air-pods, but these 75t's stay in my ears, I don't have a fear of them falling out during workouts, and they fit just as snugly (heck if not better) as the 65t's. I'm excited to use these in the warmer months on my longer bike rides. I think just the extra battery life these things pack to last me the work day and not need to do a mid day charge is a huge win and a reason to purchase and or upgrade." — Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon now: $149.99 & FREE Returns
2. Apple AirPods — 2nd Generation
Top-rated: 469,246 ratings | 1000+ answered questions
Highlight: Quick access to Siri by simply saying: 'Hey Siri'.
Helpful review: "Everyone is posting that there isn’t a difference between these and the 1st gen. This is misleading and inaccurate. Is the improvement drastic, no, but it is still an improvement. The improvement is that Apple has upgraded the on-board chip to the H1, which leads to faster and more stable pairing. This isn’t anecdotal. It’s been tested and proven to be faster. Also, if you opt for wireless charging, buy the case with the gen 2 AirPods and you’ll save a few dollars. If you already have the 1st gen, then it’s probably not worth the upgrade. If you are looking to buy your first pair of AirPods, then go for these." — Cam S.
"These AirPods are amazing they automatically play audio as soon as you put them in your ears and pause when you take them out. A simple double-tap during music listening will skip forward. To adjust the volume, change the song, make a call, or even get directions, just say "Hey Siri" to activate your favorite personal assistant. Plus, when you're on a call or talking to Siri, an additional accelerometer works with dual beamforming microphones to filter out background noise and ensure that your voice is transmitted with clarity and consistency.
Additionally, they deliver five hours of listening time on a single charge, and they're made to keep up with you thanks to a charging case that holds multiple additional charges for more than 24 hours of listening time. Just 15 minutes in the case gives you three hours of listening to time or up to two hours of talk time. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to buy." — Kevin Scot
"I have tried several “cheaper” imitations of AirPods and they were just ok. I have been waiting to get these and let me tell you, I’m sold. THESE ARE GREAT! As soon as I got them, I had to try them out. First of all, they paired with my iPhone XR, almost instantly. All I had to do was have my phone open and near the AirPods, while they were still in the charging case, open the lid and within seconds they paired! It displays the charge of both the AirPods and the case on your phone, too! Super cool! I selected one of my favorite Classic Rock bands and started jamming. The sound quality was awesome! These have a excellent Bass response, too. These were a outstanding purchase for me. I’m so glad that I patiently waited for the AirPod 2s! I had been reading a lot of expert reviews about them. The original AirPods are good I have heard, but for several improvements these are even better. I definitely recommend them. I’m another satisfied listener and a very happy customer." — Todd B.
Get it from Amazon now: $99.99 & FREE Returns
Top-rated: 47,255 ratings | 677 answered questions
Highlight: Long-lasting battery life with a case that doubles as a wireless charger; up to 8 hours of non-stop listening.
Helpful review: "Let me tell you, I was ready to get on here and give these a 1 star rating, but then I said, "I'm being too hasty, maybe I should try pushing them deeper in my ears" and surely enough, that worked. Initial impressions:
Clarity: excellent for music, and when testing a call to a friend he said I "sound crystal clear; clearer than I normally sound".
Comfort: I like the feel of these more than the original buds. The rest comfortably in my ears and I don't get that odd feeling that you normally get from traditional ear buds with suction cups. I tested to see if they would fly out by shaking my head back and forth violently and they didn't budge.
Battery: they are already rated to have a shorter life than the original buds and buds plus, and with minimal use, they have already dropped to 82% from 100% in less than an hour, but at least the case provides additional charge, plus you can get an hours worth of playtime with a 5 minute charge.
Build quality: the quality is excellent. I thought with them being shaped strangely, they would be large and uncomfortable, but I was wrong. They are smaller than the regular buds and so is the case, albeit the case is shaped differently (small square verses pill shaped). The case for these seems a bit more premium than the original case, as well.
Noise Cancelation: I can say if it's good or bad, honestly. I usually have audio at full blast and can't hear anyway, and that was still the case with these just like with the regular buds. Of course if nothing is playing, I can hear well, in fact better than with the regular buds due to the lack of suction cups.
Pairing: instant! What more do you need to know? I have a Note10 Plus at the time of writing this and upon opening the case, they immediately try to connect to my galaxy device, and from that point onward, they work just like the original buds, pairing immediately when placed in your ear(s). Also, remember that you can use one at a time if you want.
I'm sure some other reviewers will elaborate on things that I haven't, but that was my take. If you have the money and want to try them, you'll enjoy them, but if you are hesitant about the $170 price tag, the regular buds or even a cheaper product will do just fine. Refurbished regular buds can be found for as low as $60 and work as good as new. Overall I give them a 5 out of 5!" — R. Mills
Get it from Amazon now: $99.99 & FREE Returns
4. JBL Tune 125 — True Wireless In-Ear Headphones
Top-rated: 16,245 ratings | 294 answered questions
Highlight: The power of Dual Connect gives you the choice to seamlessly enjoy music or make calls with either one or both buds.
Helpful review: "Just to start off, I bought these to be my work horse earbuds so I don't wear out my Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch buds. The brand, price point, sound quality and battery life are what drew me to them and they definitely do not disappoint.
They sound good out of the box but do benefit from tuning them with a devices sound settings. They have great lows and mids but the highs need a little adjustment. Music and video content are terrific. I especially had a lot of fun watching Marvel movies while using these as the lows and mids really shine.
Call quality is great and the mic is funtional. People on the other end of a call had no trouble hearing me, just don't expect them to be perfect. They work and that is fine with me.
The battery life for these are amazing when connected to a phone/tablet but suffer a little when connecting to other bluetooth transmitters, such as a dongle attached to a ps4. Couldn't get the full 8 hours when used that way but a phone/tablet is spot on at 8 or more. This may be an issue with my equipment, not the earbuds.
They fit great in my ears and this is the first set of earbuds that fit perfectly out of the box without having to change out the ear tips. I can also wear these all day without ear fatigue which is a huge win in my book.
The physical buttons work well enough and are a nice change from the touch type. I suggest gripping them slightly with two fingers and using a third to press the buttons, as just pushing on them causes the ear tips to move deeper into the ear canal.
The earbuds connect very easy and quickly and switch between devices very seamlessly which is a great change from my very finicky Cambridge Audios.
The charge case is really great but my only gripe is that the spring in the hinge is a little on the weak side so the case closes just a tad too easy. Though, the case magnet is amazing for both the flap and the earbuds and everything stays in place very well, even when accidentally dropped.
Now to the major issue I have is with JBL, not the buds themselves. JBL has made it a habit of not supporting a lot of their audio products and this model unfortunately isn't supported for their audio app. I have 3 different pairs of earbuds; Reflect, Live and Tune models and none of them are supported so there are no extra features or customizations available. The silver lining is that these earbuds just work right out of the box and won't require any software updates that could potentially ruin them in the future.
In conclusion, these are not your high end, high spec, feature rich earbuds that run over $200+ and are not really designed to be. They are solid, well made and incredibly functional. I picked them up for $60 on sale but feel that they would be worth the full $99 to anyone looking for a set of buds that will last and do the job.
Features missing for anyone interested:
-No noise canceling, only noise isolating due to the design of the ear tips going into the ear canal.
-No app support. Why JBL?
-Since no app support, no firmware updates which can be viewed as a good thing
-No ear wings to keep them in place, though I have not had them just fall out while talking, eating, smiling etc. Did not test them while working out/running.
-No transparency mode. If you want to hear things around you or have a conversation without hearing yourself inside your head, take one or both of them out.
-No noise cancellation for phone calls (the feature some buds have that clean up/isolate your voice and filter out background noise).
Again, the lack of these features to me did not come into play when purchasing and can be done without at this price point. Just wanted to make sure others knew before buying as there are other less expensive earbuds out there that are more feature rich but suffer from simple things like sound quality, ear fit and connectivity. Thank you for reading!" — DaftPunkie
Get it from Amazon now: $99.95 & FREE Returns
Top-rated: 23,299 ratings | 387 answered questions
Highlight: Control your sound with two distinct listening modes: Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and Transparency mode.
Helpful review: "I started off giving these earbuds 4 stars, and then realized that I was unfairly comparing them to Air Pod Pro's that are over $100 more expensive. For the relative value, these earbuds fit the bill.
Feel: These earbuds are a bit slippery, and with the squat design it makes them a bit hard to grab. However, they fit snug into my ear so I don't have to over handle them much anyway. It takes getting used to putting them back into the case correctly.
Looks: I like the variable colors. I bought these because I misplaced my tiny white Air Pods Pro case (whose last location deleted after 24 hours because Apple is a money monger). This red case is bigger but not cumbersome.
Interaction: I don't like the button on the outsides of the buds. I wish the button was on the bottom with more of a squeeze function. To click the button, I have to essentially jam the bud further into my ear to get it to press. I also like to lay down with my buds in, but if I turn my ears against the pillow, the button is constantly pressing. A button positioned on the button (or top) would be way easier to pinch when on purpose without accidental clicks. At least clicking it doesn't pull the buds out of my ear; an issue I had with the lever arm of the APPs.
Sound quality and connection: Good enough for me. Calls connected and sounded just fine. I don't need my phone calls to have live orchestra quality. The music seems good too. Not overly bass forward but crisp.
ANC/Occlusion: The occlusion effect seems slightly worse than the Air Pod Pro's but no where near as bad as the Jabra's and other brands. I can sometimes hear my stomping on pavement but I don't hear my blood flow or anything. The ANC/transparency is also relatively equitable to the APPs, of course slightly not as significant in quality because these buds are much cheaper. It does seem to smartly block out certain sounds; i.e. my HVAC, while letting through someone calling my name.
Haven't really tested the battery life but supposedly they're better than APP. Again, these are solid buds for the price. You get what you pay for, and these buds seems to prioritize what I actually care about so you don't have to pay $250 every time your APPs or Bose go missing." — Christine A.
Get it from Amazon now: $149.95 & FREE Returns
Top-rated: 10,233 ratings | 315 answered questions
Highlight: Up to 24 hours of battery time (ANC on).
Helpful review: "I have actually used the 65T, 75T, 75T Active (75T-A)and 85T during the last year so my review is based on actual experience. I purchased the 65T in Oct, 2019 only to find that the 75T was round the corner. I ended up purchasing the 75T and after using it for a week along with the 65T, I returned the 65T because the 75T was superior in almost every way. Fast forward to June, 2020 and I ended up losing the 75T. I waited for a few months and then purchased the 75T Active only to find, yet again, that the 85T is round the corner :). I purchased it from Best Buy who have it in stock ahead of Amazon and I have been using both for the last several days. My conclusion: I will be returning the 85T and holding on to the 75T-A. Why? Read on...
1. Size and fit: The 85T is larger and somehow it never seems to fit snugly in my ear. No such problem with the 75T-A. I never get the confidence that the 85T will stay securely lodged in my ear. Jabra has changed the ear piece from round to oval and it might work better for some, but not for me. the 85T feels just as comfortable as the 75T-A but I don't want to have to worry that it might fall off, particularly when I'm running or riding my bike. Winner: 75T-A
2. Case: The 85T case is visibly larger and smooth. I however, like the grippy feel of the 75T-A case. I find it easier to remove the earbud from the 75T-A case and the magnets in the case also seem stronger. This, combined with the grippy feel of the case and earbuds, reduces the probability of dropping the ear bud while removing it from the case. Ditto for when I have put the buds back into the case. The 75T-A buds seem to 'snap' into place more reassuringly then the 85T buds. The 85T earbuds sit deeper in the case, so need to be gripped firmly while removing them from the case. A non-slip coating would've definitely helped. Note: I have purchased the wireless charging version of the 75T-A case. Winner: 75T-A
3. Sound: This is naturally subjective, but for me the winner is 75T-A hands down. There is greater clarity and more bass, but not overwhelmingly so. All the 4 headsets sound different and I like the 75T-A the most. I was disappointed with the 85T. Music sounded rather 'subdued' no matter how I much I adjusted the settings in the app. Winner: 75T-A
4. ANC: This is supposed to be the highlight of the 85T and it works quite nicely. However with the recent update along with the tight seal in the ear, the 75T-A more than holds its own and I am unable to find a lot of difference. It is not possible to adjust the ANC level in the 75T-A (unlike the 85T) but I don't think that this is a big enough drawback to spend the extra $$ for the 85T. Winner: Draw
5. Wireless connection: The 85T connects connects more quickly with my iPhone 6S compared to the 75T-A. It is connected and ready for use by the time I have it secured in my ear, while the 75T-A is still connecting by the time the earbud is in ready in my ear. Winner: 85T
6. Active use: I use the earbud in one ear while riding my bike. I ride long distances and sweat quite a bit, so the 75T-A definitely has the edge here. Winner: 75T-A
7. Phone calls: I found no discernible difference in performance. Both perform satisfactorily. I recommend checking YouTube for more detailed analysis of the same. Winner: Draw
Based on all of the above, and the discounts available for the 75T-A, I am unable to justify the nearly $80 difference between the 75T-A and the 85T. If the 85T had sounded better, I might have been tempted but that's not the case. I think Jabra will improve it via firmware updates but I am surprised that they decided to mess with the outstanding sound delivered by the 75T-A." — Shantanu Sharma
Get it from Amazon now: $179.99 & FREE Returns
Top-rated: 30,769 ratings | 467 answered questions
Highlight: Three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for a customizable fit.
Helpful review: "I've been too cheap to pay $250 for what look like just fancy earbuds. But, a combination of an Amazon sale for $189, and the most recent update that includes a Conversation Boost feature that allows AirPods Pros to function as hearing aid-type devices, convinced me to spring for AirPods Pros. I've only had them for a day, and I am so impressed! The silicone ear-tips are so much more comfortable than the hard plastic that is typical of non-pro AirPods and some other earbuds. They also come in 3 sizes so you can figure out which size is the most comfortable and provides the best seal in your ear. If you get the right size, the noise-canceling is effective! This has solved one of our marital problems, where I want to have a phone conversation while my spouse watches TV. The sound-canceling is so good, I can have a serious conversation with someone who doesn't even realize that there's a TV on in the same room.
At the same time, with a flick of a software button, you can switch to 'transparency', which allows you to hear what is going on around you. Even better, you can select the Conversation Boost option which turns the AirPods into respectable hearing aids. Even better than my actual hearing aids, the microphones in the AirPods are set up to mostly amplify the sound coming from whoever is in front of you. This works so well in not including peripheral conversations, which is a problem for those of us who no longer have great hearing. All I have to do is turn my head, and the person I'm now facing is having their voice amplified.
The sound quality is also very good; better than any other earbud-style earphones I've ever tried, and rivaling over-ear headphones that cost twice as much.
There are also so many options to customize the sound, amplification, source selection, and all sorts of other items that I haven't even explored yet. Another thing that kept me from buying these earlier was the fear that I would lose these expensive earbuds. But, there is also a nice, 'find my AirPods' feature that looks like it will really work. Hopefully, I'll never avail myself of this feature.
Finally, these earbuds are so popular, there are countless accessories available. I bought an inexpensive silicone case cover that fits really well and looks great. I also just bought some memory foam eartips that I think might be even more comfortable than the Apple silicone versions.
I see some gripes from other reviewers, particular regarding the lack of a charger included with these earbuds. Really, how many USB-Lightning chargers does the typical Apple product user need? I'm pretty sure that my wife and I have at least a dozen from our old/current phones, iPods(!) and iPads." — Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon now: $249.00 & FREE Returns
Top-rated: 4,573 ratings | 115 answered questions
Highlight: The earbuds’ 3 microphones and noise reduction technology ensures voices are transmitted crisply and clearly, whether you're chatting with a friend or leading a high stakes conference call.
Helpful review: "I've owned the Galaxy Buds + for a couple of years now and this set is an improvement on those. I use it to go to the gym and go for walks listening to music and audio books. And I needed something with noise cancellation since I'm around a lot of roads. It's incredible how much it drops the nearby noise. The app works with my Pixel 4 which is great because it tests the fit. In fact I needed to change the size up by one size which made a big difference. I am enjoying them and just getting used to holding them because they are slippery so they are a little tricky to fit well into your ear because you end up pressing all the touch buttons. For me it's a great purchase and good to have a backup pair. I can also turn down the volume because I don't have to drown out the outside noise. I set mine up to have the left touch&hold activate google assistant. The right touch&hold activates ambient noise. And the rest of the time it's in noise cancellation. Then double tap left is volume down and double tap right is volume up. Pretty much a carbon copy of the galaxy buds + but you'll need the app to set your settings. And I also needed it to do a firmware update." — Mohammad Ashori
"My quest to find a good pair of wireless earbuds that were not the normal airpods was a very lengthy journey. After a few different cheap ones I ended up getting the Google Pixel Buds 2, which felt great, sounded great, but had massive hardware failures that forced me to return them. I could barely walk around my yard cutting the grass without them cutting out nonstop. The firmware update fixed nothing for me. Smh. Then I discovered these! They also fit great, sound great, and I have had zero issues with them so far. The only thing is that they sometimes slide out of my ears a little bit. Definitely would recommend these." — Kevin M.
"Complex sounds, great volume, decent but not the best noise canceling. Good fit inside the ear. Very light and small, definitely the smallest and lightest earbuds I've tried so far. The case feels decently sturdy, it will open and spill the earbuds if dropped, so be careful of that. The case is small, and comfortable to carry in the pocket, the wireless charging is also very convenient. You can remove one earbud, and listen to just one while the other is in the case. Touch controls are responsive as well. Just be careful as an adjustment to the earbuds while listening to music or watching a show may skip to the next song, or show, which can be a really inconvenience if you are watching Netflix, as a triple tap will not skip back the the episode you were watching.
Downsides: Noise canceling and passive listening will only work while using both earbuds. Sometimes the tap controls stop working and have to be turned off, and turned back on again in the Samsung app. Samsung's Equalizer doesn't work well.
Overall I would recommend these headphones." — Nathan Bremer
Get it from Amazon now: $149.99
9. TOZO T10 Wireless Earbuds With Wireless Charging
Top-rated: 276,966 ratings | 1000+ answered questions
Highlight: Instant pairing and stable transmission without interruptions.
Helpful review: "I was thoroughly impressed with the Tozo T10. The packaging was incredible, the build quality is top notch, and an amazing set of features for the price even if the price was twice as high. Wireless charging, IPX8 waterproofing, high quality 8mm sound driver, and bluetooth v5.0 are just a few of the high end features the T10's have to offer.
Pairing them with my phone was too easy. All you have to do is take them out of the charging case and they are ready for pairing( just a quick note make sure you choose TOZO-T10-R, the right earbud is the primary). The bluetooth v5.0 mean they have a stronger connection and longer distance. I can leave them in my backpack and I am still connected up to 30 feet away. The clarity of the highs and the richness of the bass are of the quality level of the highest end earbuds. I have personally taken these into the shower, I wasn't actually showering at the time, both of the earbuds and the case itself are extremely water resistance. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could use my T10s for a little over four hours and the charging case is good for four full recharges of the earbuds. Finally, I have to say the Qi wireless chargeable case is very handy. I can set my phone and earbud case on my Qi charging pad and I'm good to go. If you have never used wireless charging, you need to. All in all for the price I could not find a better earbud on the market." — J. Davis KY
Get it from Amazon now: $39.99 & FREE Returns
10. iLuv TB100 Wireless Earbuds
Top-rated: 50,780 ratings | 638 answered questions
Highlight: These true wireless in-ear earbuds and charging case are sealed with IPX6 rated protection to endure a minimum of three minutes of powerful jets spraying at least 100 liters of water per minute without water penetrating the hardware.
Helpful review: "I’ve been using Apple’s Airpods for the past 2 years until they recently broke and ever since then, I’ve been on the search for a less expensive wireless earbud alternative. I decided to give these earbuds a try since the price was on point and there was a sale going on. I’m glad I stumbled upon these earbuds and I’ve outlined my thoughts below:
These earbuds are very comfortable and extremely secure. They come with an additional 2 set of soft, earbud tips which ensure a secure fit for everyone, however for me; they fit perfectly right out of the box. The earbuds created a nice seal which helped with the noise isolation so no outside noise interrupted my music. I also cycled and jogged with these earbuds and had no problems with them staying in.
The earbuds are supposedly waterproof, IPX6 rated, but I haven’t had the courage to pour water on my earbuds. I do believe that they are waterproof since I sweat profusely when exercising and I haven’t had any issues yet (been a month).
The earbuds are small and compact. They are the size of a quarter (as seen in the posted image), pretty much the standard true wireless earbud size.
Just wow! Honestly I can’t tell the difference between these and my old Airpods. The sound is sharp, crispy and clear. The bass hits really deep and the highs are right on point.