The Best Wireless Earbuds for Audio Quality
While we’ve been well on our way to a truly wireless existence (I’m looking at you, umbilical cord) in almost every facet of our life, the “truly wireless” headphone segment has been dominated by Apple’s AirPods, and for good reason. They’re the headphones to beat when it comes to ease of use, and seemingly every manufacturer is trying to best Apple with their own AirPod alternative.
The good news? The AirPods are a good pair of headphones, but they aren’t the best in every area. They will be consistently considered “good enough,” but sound quality and extra features like noise canceling, waterproofing, etc. are noticeably missing, leaving the competition to fill in the gaps until Apple introduces the next generation of its wireless headphones. Until that happens, here are some of the best wireless headphones you can grab today that aren’t made by Apple.
Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones
Bose knows a thing or two about sound, and its QuietComfort line of over the ear noise-canceling headphones are some of the best in the industry, so it’s not surprising that its wireless counterparts are strong contenders in their own segment of the market.
Boasting five-hour battery life per bud and 10 hours of additional battery life within the charging case, the SoundSports are fairly standard. However, throw in IPX4 water resistance, the ability to find lost buds via a companion app, and the quality sound you’d expect from Bose, and you have some headphones that are really something to behold.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless Earbuds
Easily the priciest of the lot you’ll find here, the Sennheiser Momentum headphones offer some of the most impressive sound to ever come out of wireless earbuds. Clearly positioned as premium headphones, these buds still offer nifty features that are always welcomed but usually found on more sports-focused headphones, like IPX4 water resistance, adding to their versatility.
When it comes to battery life, the four hours the Momentum headphones will give you on a single charge should be more than sufficient, but it’s a bit lacking given the standard magic number to expect is five hours. Then again, few other offerings can provide the sound quality these ear bangers do, so it’s something you’ll likely learn to live with.
Jabra Elite 65t (Active) Wireless Earbuds
The Jabra Elite 65t headphones and their “Active” counterparts consistently get high marks across the board. Each of the standard and Active versions come with a five-hour battery life and a charging case that will add an additional 10 hours of listening time.
While the Elite Active headphones manage to nab a couple of extra features like a higher IP rating for water and dust (IP56 vs. IP55) and rapid charging capabilities that will give you 1.5 hours of music playback with just 15 minutes of charging, both headphones will retain the same quality sound, as well as a built-in voice assistant support via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri.
Sony WF-SP700N Wireless Earbuds
The WF-SP700N are about as inelegant as Sony’s headphone-naming scheme. Then again, the sports-focused headphones aren’t trying to win any beauty contests, although it’s clear Sony tried to make these headphones less hideous than they could have been. Battery life is pretty poor, with an estimated three hours of listening time and an additional two charges within the charging case.
However, despite the below average battery life, Sony’s headphones boast something that you simply do not see on truly wireless headphones: digital noise canceling. That’s right, these puppies do more than isolate your ear canal from the outside world, but it’s still a far cry from what truly active noise canceling can do. Still, it’s a bit irksome to read reviews of people dinging Sony for providing less than perfect digital noise canceling when about 95 percent of wireless headphones completely lack it.
If you can live with the less than stellar battery life, these headphones are even more appealing when you see their price point considering they ship with noise canceling and water resistance.