The 4 best wireless earbuds for iPhones

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by Masha Vapnitchnaia
Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones and TOZO T10 Wireless Earbuds

Whether you're listening to music and podcasts or making calls, wireless earbuds will keep you free from cords. The best wireless earbuds for iPhones use Bluetooth technology supported by Apple, offer at least four hours of playtime per charge, and are comfortable to wear. Depending on how much you want to spend, some earbuds have extras including active noise cancellation while others are budget-friendly with basic features.

To connect seamlessly with your iPhone without creating audio lag, most of the wireless earbuds below support Apple’s default AAC Bluetooth codec. However, some budget earbuds often use the SBC codec. Though it’s also supported by iPhones, SBC might offer lower sound quality and you may experience audio lag. Still, these earbuds should work just fine for casual listening and phone calls.

If you opt for pricier earbuds, some have an active noise cancellation mode that’s perfect for tuning out background noise — or you can use transparency mode to hear what’s going on around you. Some are even voice command-enabled with Siri.

For comfort, earbuds at any price range usually come with multiple ear tip sizes so you can choose the best fit. And for an even more secure fit which you might enjoy during workouts or other active movement, you might like a pair with comfortable hooks that loop over your ears.

As for battery life, most wireless earbuds offer between four and nine hours of playtime per charge, depending on whether you’re talking or listening. Just keep in mind that using active noise cancellation and transparency mode tends to drain the battery faster. Additionally, earbuds can be charged in their case between uses, extending battery life to up to 30 hours before recharging the case.

Finally, an IPX water-resistance rating indicates how well your earbuds will hold up against rain and sweat. An IPX4 rating means they can handle the occasional splash while IPX8-rated earbuds can be submerged in water for a brief period of time without damage.

Take a look at the best wireless earbuds for iPhones below, all of which have tens of thousands of positive reviews.

1. The Apple earbuds with a near-perfect rating

Along with earning a near-perfect 4.8-star overall rating after more than 49,000 reviews, these AirPods Pro have earned high praise from Inverse editor Cristina Sanza, who says, “The AirPods Pro connect to my phone so quickly, and I find the silicone ear tips much more comfortable than the previous generation of AirPods. One feature I love: When I’m listening to something with my earbuds in, Siri will gently chime in when I get a text message or phone call.”

The earbuds have active noise cancellation and a transparency mode that allows you to hear background noise, and you can easily switch between the two by pressing each earbud. They also support the AAC codec. The earbuds come with three sizes of silicone ear tips and have an IPX4 water resistance rating, per the brand, so they’ll be resistant to sweat and light rain. You’ll get about 4.5 hours of continuous listening time when active noise cancellation and transparency modes are turned on, and with the included MagSafe charging case to power up between uses, you’ll get more than 24 hours of total listening time. Plus, the earbuds are voice command-enabled with Siri.

A Lightning to USB-C charging cable is included, and the case is also compatible with a wireless charger (sold separately). For a more affordable option that does not include active noise cancellation, check out these second-generation Apple AirPods.

One positive review: “The audio quality is great. The carrying case not only helps fast-charge, but it also keeps the buds cleaner than if they were floating around in a pocket or bag. They sense when they’re in your ear, so there’s not even a need to pair them or even turn them on. They seamlessly connect to your iPhone and pairing with other non-Apple devices is straightforward (using a button on the case).”

2. The ones with ear hooks for a secure fit

The adjustable, over-the-ear hooks of these Beats wireless earbuds will give you a secure fit even during intense activity, and they come with silicone ear tips in four sizes so you can choose the most comfortable and snug option. They’re also sweat- and water-resistant and have an IPX4 rating. The earbuds offer up to nine hours of continuous listening time per charge, and up to 24 hours of battery life with the included charging case. Plus, if your battery is running low, you can get an additional 90 minutes of playtime with just a five-minute charge in the case.

Each earbud has built-in audio controls so you can adjust the volume and play tracks without needing your phone in hand. The earbuds use the AAC codec, pair quickly with your iPhone, and are compatible with Siri for voice commands, but they do not have an active noise cancellation feature. They’re available in six colors, come with a Lightning to USB-A charging cable, and have earned more than 55,000 five-star reviews.

One positive review: “I use these headphones exclusively for exercise and have them paired with an iPhone 12. For my use, they're close to perfect. I sweat a lot when doing cardio, and these have stayed securely in place and haven't had any issues with the moisture.”

3. The best budget earbuds

Though these wireless earbuds won’t offer the exceptional sound quality of other picks on the list, they’re a great basic option at an affordable price. They’re also highly rated with an impressive 189,000 five-star reviews. The earbuds support the SBC Bluetooth codec, so you might experience a slight lag when streaming from your iPhone, but reviewers note the earbuds pair quickly with their iPhones every time and provide decent sound quality.

The earbuds offer about six hours of listening time per charge, and the case provides an additional 30 hours of playtime. They also have an IPX8 water resistance rating — the highest on the list — and can be submerged in water up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes. They also feature touch control for audio adjustments.

While these earbuds don’t have active noise cancellation or voice command capability, they include silicone ear tips in multiple sizes and come with a USB-C charging cable. You can also use a wireless charging mat (sold separately). Choose from five colors.

One positive review: “The sound quality is very good for the price range. You can hear all the highs, mids, and feel the beat of the bass in your ear. Voices sound clear and undistorted. From out of the box and paired to my iPhone XS it took less than a minute.”

4. The earbuds with the best active noise cancellation

These Bose earbuds are designed for active noise cancellation and are highly rated by reviewers for that feature, with one fan writing, “If you want best in class noise cancellation on an earbud, these are the set to get. Period.” The earbuds also have a transparency mode that lets in the sounds around you, and you can swap between the two modes with a touch on each earbud. Plus, they support the AAC Bluetooth codec for low-latency audio when streaming from your iPhone and are compatible with Siri for voice commands. You’ll get up to six hours of listening time per charge and an additional 12 hours of playtime with the charging case. Three sizes of silicone ear tips are included, and the earbuds are water- and sweat-resistant with an IPX4 rating.

They’re available in three colors, come with a USB-C charging cable, and have garnered more than 15,000 thousand five-star ratings. The case is also compatible with a wireless charging mat (sold separately).

One positive review: “Bose does not disappoint with these earbuds. Sound quality is amazing. Noise cancellation is top notch. Battery life is long lasting. And they actually stay in your ear.”

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