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Best Wireless Earbuds 2024: Amazing true wireless sound

There are so many wireless earbuds to choose from, how do you sort the ‘very good’ from the ‘very best’?

We’re here to help with this this list of the best wireless earbuds we’ve tested. With so many true wireless models available, we get the chance to test a lot number of them each year, ranging from affordable choices to premium pairs, so we’ve got the knowledge to assess which are ‘very good’ and which are the ‘very best’.

We put true wireless earphones through their paces by performing battery drains to ensure they last as long as they’re meant to. We test the noise cancellation and wireless performance in a number of environments to gauge how good/effective it is, and of course we’ve got keen ears to listen to how they sound.

Taking all that into account, the list you see before you is what we consider to be the best models at various price points.

So whether you’re after a premium pair for an audiophile listening experience, or a more affordable option that doesn’t crush your wallet, we’ve got the picks to help to find a new pair.

If a true wireless earphone is not what you’re after, we have other lists to help in your search. They include our list of the best wireless headphonesbest noise cancelling earbuds and best headphones.

Best wireless earbuds at a glance

How we test

How we test headphones

Not just anybody can review a pair of headphones. You don’t need superhuman hearing to tell what’s good, but you do need to know what to listen out for.

Our headphone tests are done by some of the best and most prolific reviewers in the industry, with years of experience listening to everything from the plasticky freebie earbuds that come with your smartphone, to five-figure beasts of glass and marble. We love music and we want your tunes to sound good, too.

So we listen every pair of headphones we can get on or in our ears. We use a variety of sources, from basic MP3s playing on a laptop to high-quality tracks on dedicated hi-res audio players.

Our test tracks are wide-ranging to give headphones a thorough challenge. They’re also familiar, so we know every track backwards, and we know which bits might trouble the lesser performers.

We listen again and again, and we do that for weeks in case the sound changes – because it usually does. Then we’ll listen to similarly priced rivals and come up with a verdict that reflects the performance and features for the money.

Sony WF-1000XM5

Best sounding true wireless
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Pros

  • Smaller, lighter design
  • Powerful noise-cancellation
  • More detailed, balanced audio performance
  • Plenty of smart, convenient features

Cons

  • Bose a smidge better for ANC
  • Slightly odd call performance

If it’s the absolute best audio quality you’re after, then it is no longer the Sony WF-1000XM4 that are the best sounding wireless earbuds but the WF-1000XM5.

While we though the audio performance of the WF-1000XM4 was fantastic, with its rich midrange and powerful bass, the WF-1000XM5 are altogether more balanced in terms of tone. Featuring the Dynamic Driver X set-up, the bass performance isn’t as powerful or as fun as the WF-1000XM5 but it’s more detailed and clearer. The midrange a better sense of finer detail, especially with voices, and the high frequencies are sharper, clearer and more detailed.

The noise-cancelling performance is an improvement on the WF-1000XM4, able to suppress voices and general noise better than its predecessor for a much more quiet performance. The transparency mode is clear and detailed, although we find the WF-1000XM4 is slightly clearer to our ears. And we would also say that the QuietComfort Earbuds II offers a slightly better noise-cancelling performance, though in the Sony’s favour is that it cancels noises with a more natural tone.

Battery life is the same as the WF-1000XM4, with 8 hours per earbuds and 24 in total with the charging case. The design is smaller and lighter, making for a more favourable and comfortable fit, and with the introduction of an extra small ear-tip size, there’s more room to fit a wider range of ears. Wireless performance is good in both AAC and LDAC playback modes, and the WF-1000XM5 is bundled with an array features that make these earphones one of the most, if not the most, smartest pair of wireless earbuds on the market.

Call quality is decent but can be a little odd, leaking in background noise whenever we spoke but silent when we weren’t. It’s not as good as the AirPods Pro 2 for call performance.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Sony WF-1000XM5

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

Best noise-cancelling true wireless
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Pros

  • Top-tier noise cancelling and ambient modes
  • Improved sound over the original
  • Slimline design
  • AptX support on the way
  • Improved battery capacity

Cons

  • More expensive than before
  • Average call quality
  • Still susceptible to wind noise

It’s always been a tight tussle between Bose and Sony for the top noise-cancelling true wireless, but on the evidence of the QuietComfort Earbuds II‘s performance, Bose is currently the top dog.

The design has been changed from the original QuietComfort Earbuds, ditching the bulbous shape and Stay Hear tips for a shape that fits into the ear better. A slight disappointment is that we can still hear some minor wind noise, which we had hoped had been fully eradicated with the new design.

Nevertheless, the noise-cancellation performance is the best we’ve tested. The QuietComfort Earbuds II make mincemeat of most sounds that dare come in their direction. While not every sound was removed, they earbuds weren’t far off from leaving us in total total silence. They’re better at suppressing people’s voices, and the new design does help reduce the impact of ambient noise. This is a resoundingly good performance.

The Aware mode pumps in a clear, detailed, and natural sound that’s like you’re not even wearing a pair of earphones. Bose’s ActiveSense technology works similarly to the AirPods Pro 2‘s transparency mode in automatically reducing background noises to stop the wearer from being startled by sudden sounds. Using this feature on the London Underground, we found it worked very well when trying to have a conversation with another person.

Bose have found gains with the audio performance too, with the top end of the frequency range brighter and bass is bigger and punchier than before. Vocals carry more weight too, and there’s a better sense of depth and width than we can recall with the original.

Bose has never been one to stuff the headphones full of features, and QuietComfort Earbuds II follow the same path. There is a three-band EQ to change the sound profile of the buds within the app, and the wireless performance is excellent, with barely a hint of a dropout noted.

Battery has been improved to be match the Sony WF-1000XM4 with 24 hours available. They’re also due to get support for aptX Adaptive and aptX Lossless, which should improve the wireless performance and allow for higher quality audio playback.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

Audeze Euclid

Best hybrid true wireless
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Pros

  • Balanced, natural, confident sound
  • All-business specification
  • Comfortable despite hefty dimensions

Cons

  • Expensive and then some
  • Not the punchiest listen
  • Wireless connectivity is rather inelegant

The Audeze Euclid is our pick for the best hybrid true wireless earbuds, which is to say that you can use them in both wired and wireless form – though this comes at a literal cost.

Of course, the high-end price tag isn’t just due to the hybrid functionality on offer (that’d be ridiculous), in fact it’s the rest of the innards – including 18mm planar magnetic transducers – that bring the price tag right up. 

In terms of design, each earbud connects to a braided cable using click-on/click-off MMCX connectors, allowing you to switch between a standard 3.5mm or 4.4mm connection, along with a much shorter cable with a Bluetooth receiver that sits behind your head. It’s not the most elegant wireless solution, and the wired connection will obviously deliver better audio quality, but it’s nice to have the option to go somewhat wireless – complete with a 24-bit resolution DAC – when you need to.

The earbuds are a little on the chunky side, and that’s down to the amount of audio tech found within them. That includes 18mm planar magnetic transducers that require a bit of space to operate, along with the combination of ultra-thin Uniforce transducers and Aueze’s patented Fazor wave guides to negate phasing and distortion, as well as Fluxor magnets to reduce distortion even further.

With that all being said, it should come as no surprise that the reviewer was very impressed by the audio experience on offer, delivering naturalistic and precise tones all the way down to 10Hz. The buds deliver deep, rapid and extensively detailed low frequencies, with a similarly controlled top-end boasting crisp treble sounds with just enough bite to make the high frequencies shine. 

The mid-range also delivers. It’s spacious enough to pick up the most fleeting or minor details while being robust enough to give true substance to voices and instruments. Combined, the entire frequency range is well balanced with plenty of dynamic headroom to make the most of crescendos and other big changes in attack.

What you don’t get, however, is very much in the smarts department, with nothing in the way of ANC or transparency modes or even built-in microphones to take calls. The Bluetooth battery life is also rather limited at just eight hours of use, so they’re not the perfect all-rounders despite that high-end price tag.

Reviewer: Simon Lucas
Full Review: Audeze Euclid

Edifier NeoBuds Pro

Best ANC true wireless under £100
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Pros

  • Engaging and vibrant sound
  • Very powerful sub-bass
  • Great active noise cancellation

Cons

  • The battery will run down in standby if you’re not careful
  • One mode spoils the sound

The Edifier NeoBuds Pro are a fantastic choice if you’re after the powers of ANC at a more affordable price.

Our reviewer found the sound here to be fantastic, one of the most fun and dynamic-sounding earbuds we’ve tested for a less than £100. The dynamic driver delivers real bassy power, with some textured and refined bass which isn’t something you’d usually find in sub-£100 earbuds. The soundstage is described with width and that comes with some excellent vibrancy and engaging stereo imaging.

The ANC is also great, as demonstrated during testing where low-frequency noise was almost completely nullified, while a decent proportion of mid-range noise disappeared, with the seal of the silicone tips helping to remove high frequency sounds too. The performance isn’t as good as what you’d find on the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, but it surprised us how close the managed to get to the premium options. There are two ANC modes here – Low and High – and we’d recommend the Low setting as High can increase bass to the point where it is overbearing.

The apps for the NeoBuds Pro is decent enough with access to features such as a Game Mode, customisation of the touch controls and, intriguingly, the ability to increase the signal quality from your phone with 400-, 560- and 900kbps channels to choose from. The higher values offer better quality at the expense of a reliable signal.

The NeoBuds Pro also feature good battery life with 24 hours matching more expensive options such as WF-1000XM4. The small caveat is that in standby mode the battery drains, so if you leave them unattended you’ll have less battery than you might expect. A battery saver mode or auto turn off after a certain amount of time had elapsed wouldn’t have gone amiss here.

Overall, the construction is pretty good, with the NeoBuds Pro comprised of pretty sturdy plastic. The advantage of plastic is that even those these buds are quite large, they don’t feel weighty, which our reviewer felt help to make them particularly comfortable and meant they weren’t at risk of falling out when taken took on runs. The Edifier buds also feature an IP54 rating, so even the sweatiest of workouts shouldn’t be an issue.

Reviewer: Andrew Williams
Full Review: Edifier NeoBuds Pro

Back Bay Tempo 30

Best affordable workout true wireless
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Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Energetic, rich sound
  • Good fit and seal
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Appear to be restricted to SBC playback
  • Bass can overwhelm

Back Bay is a Boston-based audio company that’s not well known in the UK, but they’ve been pumping several good headphones and Tempo 30 are one of its best yet.

For a cheap true wireless, we found the finish to be attractive with its marble-like look that looks great in (or out) of the ear) marble-like finish that certainly looks fantastic. The fit is very snug, which made them ideal for use on our runs and workouts, their IPX7 rating makes them both waterproof and sweatproof). With six different types of ear-tips, there are plenty of choices to find the best fit to block out external noises. The nature of the ear-tips can also affect the sound of the Tempo 30 as well.

For instance the default ear-tips offer crisp, detailed tones with less bass, while swapping them out for another brings a fuller sound with more weight, which is what we preferred. The audio here is energetic and vibrant with some good detail and good sense of scale that isn’t always present for earbuds at this price. The bass extension and power of those lower-end frequencies are where the Tempo 30 shine, making for a fun listen that we think runners and those on the move a lot will enjoy .

The battery life here is also excellent, with 8 hours for each earbud, and 32 hours in total – more than double the length of the Bose Sports Earbuds, which are much more expensive. At this low price, sacrifices have to be made with no wireless or fast-charging support, and only SBC Bluetooth quality.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Back Bay Tempo 30

Grell Audio TWS/1

Best mid-range true wireless
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Pros

  • Poised, muscular and detailed sound
  • Impressive spec, with battery life a highlight
  • Built and finished to a high standard

Cons

  • App could be more comprehensive
  • ANC is ‘good’ rather than ‘great’
  • Level of competition is feral

Axel Grell is one of the most respected names in the headphone space, best known for his work at Sennheiser and with the TWS/1 he has embarked on his creating his own premium wireless earbuds

During testing we found the TWS/1 to proffer an expansive and well-defined soundstage, with excellent balance across the frequency range. The lows have impressive depth, while the mids feature plenty of detail and character, and the top end of the TWS/1 sounds crisp and substantial. They boast an energetic performance with a good level of dynamism.

While the audio here impresses, the ANC is not quite as good and certainly not Bose QuietComfort Earbuds level of suppression. They can reduce ambient noise a fair whack, although when compared with the industry leaders from Sony or Bose, they leave us wanting more. It’s less a case that these cancel out noise, but simply reduce it down to a more tolerable level.

On the front of design though, the TWS/1 look decent, with a premium feel to both the earbuds and their aluminium charging case. We also found them to be rather comfortable to wear, the vast range of foam and silicone ear-tips provided should mean most can find their comfort level.

The battery is pretty good, the TWS 1/ able to last for 34 hours with ANC on, which is better than the AirPods Pro 2 and WF-1000XM4. Charging is a choice of USB-C and via any Qi-enabled wireless charging pad, and with the IPX4 resistance against moisture, you can consider these as an option for runs and workouts, too.

Reviewer: Simon Lucas
Full Review: Grell TWS/1

Apple AirPods Pro 2

Best Apple true wireless
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Pros

  • Excellent ANC
  • Rich, warm sound
  • Charging case gets some neat features

Cons

  • Many of the best features are iPhone and Mac only

For Apple users, the AirPods have become the go-to choice for wireless earbuds and for the best iOS experience, we’d recommend the Apple AirPods Pro 2.

They’ve replaced the original AirPods Pro and arrive on the scene with a bevy of improvements. However, the design is still pretty much the same but a couple of new additions. One is that the stem sensor could be used to change the volume (to mixed results in our opinion) and that there’s a new XS ear-tip size to help the AirPods Pro 2 fit a wider range of ears, which is a welcome addition.

The buds are still rated to IPX4 water resistance to ensure there’s protection from a light drizzle or sweat, and the charging case comes with a lanyard connector to keep them on your person (though an actual lanyard is not provided). They only come in white, so they are still rather susceptible to picking up dirt and grime. We would have hoped Apple had taken cues from the AirPods Max and brought out a variety of colours.

As always the integration with Apple devices is seamless, with instant recognition across iOS and MacOS devices, and they buds can now be connected to multiple Apple devices at the same time. The noise cancelling performance is a step up from the original, which we enjoyed at the time, but the AirPods Pro 2 clear out almost all the noise when used on a tube. It just edges out the performance of the Sony WF-1000XM4, making these one of the best ANC earbuds on the market.

Battery is better at six hours per charge but that’s still behind even some cheaper true wireless earbuds such as the JBL Live Pro 2 and the same as the Sony LinkBuds S. In total they’re capable of 30 hours with the charging case, which is fine. Charging here is taken care of by a Lightning cable and not USB-C, or you can use the slower Qi wireless charging for cable-free charging.

They also sound better than the original AirPods Pro with their new H2 chip. Bass is still rich in tone, but voices are clearer than before, detail is more audible and instruments are defined with more clarity, avoiding the muddled sounding performance that can afflict Google’s Pixel Buds Pro rival.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full Review: Apple AirPods Pro 2

Urbanears Boo Tip

Best eco friendly true wireless
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Pros

  • Well balanced, natural sound quality
  • Comfortable fit
  • Solid battery life
  • Good Bluetooth connectivity
  • Admirable sustainability goals

Cons

  • Loose fit results in average noise isolation
  • Thin on the ground for features

The Urbanears Boo Tip are a topical pair of earbuds for those of us looking to be environmentally-conscious with their headphone picks.

They’re comprised from recycled plastic materials, in a similar vein to the more expensive Sony LinkBuds. The composition here is 91% recycled plastic, but they’re lightweight and feel comfortable enough to wear according to our reviewer, although they are fit a little on the loose side, which meant that their noise isolation wasn’t always the best during testing.

That said, the fit was secure enough that the buds never felt they were going to fall out, with an IPX4 resistance that deals with splashes of water and sweat, so these could be used for exercise if you wanted to. The case itself is nicely compact and can be slipped into our pockets with ease, which helps with portable use. 

With regards to sound quality, we found the Boo Tips to offer crisp vocals and a decent sense of brightness and clarity in the higher frequencies alongside a natural portrayal of instruments in the mid-range and a fair amount of punch. The looser fit here did impact the extension and depth of the bass, although there’s a nice sense of width to the soundstage here with a good amount of separation between voices and instruments.

Battery life is total of 30 hours with the case, with 4.5 hours per bud, and because of that long overall stamina we didn’t need to charge the case as often as we thought we would. You don’t get fast charging or any form of wireless option that you can get with similarly priced EarFun Free Pro 2 or Creative Outlier Air V3 but to emphasise their eco-outlook the charge can be limited to 80% to help prolong use.

When it comes to connectivity, the Urbanears utilise Bluetooth 5.2 for a strong tether between the buds and our smartphone, with minimal drop outs in overly crowded areas. The dual mic set-up for calls offered decent clarity but apart from that, there is not much in the way of features. These Urbanears keep things simple.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Urbanears Boo Tip

JLab Go Air Pop

Best cheap true wireless under £30
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Pros

  • Bright, surprisingly versatile sound
  • Built-in charging cable
  • Useful onboard EQ modes

Cons

  • Harsh-sounding at top volume
  • Controls can be fiddly
  • Not particularly stylish

The JLab Go Air Pop are the cheapest wireless earbuds on this list, but even with their immensely low price in mind, they still offer some great quality.

The design is not the most stylish not, but the Go Air Pop are functional and offer a comfortable fit. During 1-2 hour stints of testing them, we found the fit to be great with no discomfort at any point. There is the choice of small, medium or large ear-tips in the box to fit a range of ears, too, and changing these proved to be nice and easy.

The fit of these buds also meant we could use them for HIIT workouts without fear of them falling out. Touch controls did prove to be fiddly, but generally speaking they’re never going to be as precise or reliable as physical buttons.

You won’t find ANC here, but that’s not expected at this price. What you do get is great battery life that punches above their weight, as during testing we found JLab’s claims of 32 hours total playtime to largely ring true. They should be good for a week’s use before you need to plug them in, an easy feat with the built-in charging cable.

Of course, the audio from a $24.99 / £19.99 pair of earbuds is not going to set the world alight, but as wallet-friendly pairs go these sound great. Their ‘Signature’ sound mode delivered a warm bass and smooth mids without any noticeable harshness until you crank the volume up.

Doing so made the top end a little harsh, although not enough that it made the Air Pops unlistenable. There’s also a Bass Boost sound mode designed for working out, and a Balanced mode for classical music and spoken word audio that we found worked well with good detail and separation.

Reviewer: Mike Sawh
Full Review: JLab Go Air Pop

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FAQs

What are the best wireless earbuds for iPhone?

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are the best earbuds for the iPhone. They have features that allow them to work seamlessly with an iPhone that covers connectivity and features such as Spatial Audio.

What are the best wireless earbuds for Android?

Sony’s latest WF-1000XM5 true wireless feature fast-pairing with Android devices and also supports the ‘Find My’ feature in case they go missing. LDAC support also means they support higher quality music playback on Android devices.

Comparison specs

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Wireless charging
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Weight
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Noise Cancellation?
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