In the event you’ve ordered one in all Apple’s new iPhone 12 fashions, you’ll have heard that Apple is not together with earbuds — or any kind of headphones — within the field. The three.5mm headphone jack has been lacking from the previous couple of iPhone iterations, and now that the wired EarPods are not included, shifting to wi-fi headphones appears like much more apparent possibility.


Apple will probably be glad to promote you its AirPods, AirPods Professional, or the Powerbeats Professional from its Beats subsidiary. And certain, these  these fashions are on this listing, however the concept right here is to provide loads of various iPhone 12 headphone choices, together with some good funds fashions which are extremely reasonably priced.  Since these are Bluetooth headphones, they do work with different Bluetooth-enabled units as nicely, together with Android smartphones.


In the event you’re on the lookout for AirPods options however do not wish to spend a lot cash, we do have an inventory of finest true wi-fi earbuds that price lower than $50 in addition to an inventory of finest true wi-fi earbuds below $100.


We replace this listing periodically.

David Carnoy/CNET

Sony’s earlier WH-1000XM3 mannequin was nice. But when it had a weak spot, that was its voice-calling capabilities, notably in noisier environments. The brand new WH-1000XM4 improves in that space and in addition provides multipoint Bluetooth pairing so you’ll be able to join to 2 units — akin to your telephone and PC — on the similar time. Because of this if a name is available in whilst you’re utilizing the headphones along with your laptop, the audio will swap to your telephone if you reply the decision.

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 in all probability nonetheless have the sting for voice calls, however the 1000XM4 headphones are arguably a tad extra snug. Additionally they have another enhancements to noise cancellation and sound, making this mannequin an important all-around alternative.

Learn our Sony WH-1000XM4 evaluate.

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Water resistantNo (no IPX ranking)

I did not suppose I would ever see a model 2.zero of Beats’ once-popular BeatsX neckband-style wi-fi earphones, but it surely’s arrived with a brand new identify — the Beats Flex — and a much-cheaper $50 (£50, AU$80) price ticket, which is half of what its predecessor had been promoting for. 

The Flex immediately turns into an reasonably priced, Apple-friendly wi-fi various to the AirPods, which begin round $130 for the usual model with a wired charging case (however will probably be promoting for as little as $99 this vacation season). The excellent news is that they sound higher than each the unique BeatsX and normal AirPods. Additionally they work nicely for making calls and have higher battery life than the unique. The unhealthy information? The design is passe in a world now dominated by true wi-fi earbuds.

They’re obtainable in black or yellow at launch, with grey and lightweight blue arriving in early 2021.

Learn our Beats Flex evaluate.

David Carnoy/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX7 ranking — totally waterproof).

The Mpow X3 wi-fi earbuds sound shockingly good for his or her low value of $60, with good readability and highly effective bass, they usually even have energetic noise cancellation that is pretty efficient.

Mpow appears to be often tweaking its earphones, and the X3 earbuds had been briefly taken off Amazon, earlier than returning with an replace. “The brand new model upgraded the quantity management and optimized its energetic noise-canceling perform and name impact,” the corporate instructed me. “It additionally added the supersoft ear caps, which [are] extra snug to put on for a very long time.”

They did match me comfortably and securely and I acquired a good seal from one of many units of XL ear ideas. They’re totally waterproof (IPX7) and stand up to 7 hours of battery life at average quantity ranges with USB-C charging. (The charging case appears like a fats model of the usual AirPods case.) Name high quality is nice — they’ve a sidetone characteristic that permits you to hear your voice within the earbuds — however I’ve used different earbuds with higher noise discount throughout calls. I observed a contact of audio lag after I streamed a YouTube video however no issues when streaming iTunes motion pictures.

The contact controls take some getting used to — they’re a bit of wonky — and it did not assist that the directions within the field gave the impression to be for the previous X3 mannequin. I discovered the present directions on-line, which helped me determine issues out. Apart from a couple of minor downsides, Mpow’s X3 earbuds are an important worth. 

Learn extra.

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Water resistantSure (IPX4 ranking — splashproof).

Even when it does not sound as magical as you’d hope a $249 mannequin would, the Apple AirPods Professional remains to be an important pair of true wi-fi earphones with noise cancelation. That is largely as a result of earbuds’ profitable design and match, improved bass efficiency and efficient noise cancellation (Apple additionally not too long ago added a brand new spatial audio digital encompass sound characteristic for film and TV watching on current iPhones and iPads). These are a superb alternative if you wish to make a name or hearken to music throughout your exercise. And the brand new spatial audio characteristic, when listening from appropriate Apple units, is genuinely spectacular.

Whereas they listing for $249, in current weeks we have seen them come right down to as little as $200. That is a much better deal, however simply take into account that, as with all of those headphones, the rechargeable batteries degrade over time and are not replaceable, so you may in all probability have to interchange these in a few years. 

Learn our Apple AirPods Professional evaluate.

David Carnoy/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX4 ranking — splashproof)

It took Bose some time to get them into shops, however the brand new $279 (£250, AU$400) noise-canceling QuietComfort Earbuds are lastly right here. In some ways, they’re glorious true wi-fi earbuds, notably in the case of their sound and noise canceling, which is arguably the most effective on the market proper now in a set of earbuds. Efficiency-wise, they clearly have a leg up on Apple’s best-selling AirPods Professional true wi-fi noise-canceling buds. Nevertheless, the AirPods Professional’s smaller design, considerably extra snug match and superior voice-calling capabilities make it onerous to declare the Bose the straight-up champ. Finally, it relies on what your priorities are.

Learn our Bose QuietComfort Earbuds evaluate.

Angela Lang/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX4 ranking — splash-proof).

You would not count on a set of Samsung earbuds to be on an inventory for iPhones, however the Buds Plus works simply advantageous with iPhones (there’s an iPhone app) and is among the higher values in true wi-fi earphones, with glorious sound, voice calling efficiency and battery life (as much as 11 hours).

Learn our Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus evaluate.

David Carnoy/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX4 ranking — splashproof).

The second-gen Momentum True Wi-fi 2 aren’t low-cost at $300, however they’re higher throughout than the originals, with a barely smaller, extra snug design, energetic noise canceling that rivals that of the AirPod Professional, improved battery life (as much as 7 hours versus the unique’s 4) and higher noise discount throughout calls. And, if you happen to don’t love them in black, a white model is slated to observe later this 12 months. Most significantly, although, the Momentum True Wi-fi 2 have the identical stellar sound — for true wi-fi earbuds, anyway — providing clearly superior sound high quality to the AirPods Professional. That makes them arguably the finest true wi-fi earbuds in the marketplace in the present day and earns them a CNET Editors’ Alternative Award.

These use Bluetooth 5.1 with assist for the AAC and AptX codecs (for units which have AptX, akin to Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones).

Learn our Sennheiser Momentum True Wi-fi 2 evaluate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Water resistantNo (lacks IPX certification).

The second-gen Apple AirPods add a few small however key enhancements to the unique, together with always-on voice recognition and a wi-fi charging case possibility. They’re additionally nice for making calls, indoors and out. 

The bottom mannequin (with out the wi-fi charging case, which is overkill for this product) has dipped to as little as $115 and will probably be on sale for $99 for Black Friday this 12 months.

Learn our Apple AirPods 2019 evaluate.

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Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, the long-awaited successor to its Quiet Consolation 35 II, might not be a quantum leap ahead however these wi-fi headphones provide higher sound high quality, name and noise-canceling perform. They’re sturdy all-around performers with as much as 20 hours of battery life for listening to podcasts, music and extra. I choose the Sony WH-1000XM4’s design and match (and cheaper price tag), and whilst you can argue about which pair of headphones sounds higher, one factor is for certain: This mannequin does work higher as a headset for making calls. 

Learn our Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 evaluate.

Water resistantSure (IP55 ranking — can stand up to heavy sprays of water).

The Jabra Elite 75t earned an Editors’ Alternative award from CNET and though it has been out for some time, it is improved over time thanks to some firmware upgrades, the newest of which provides energetic noise cancellation. The Jabra Elite Lively 75t provides improved water resistance for $20 extra and the brand new Elite 85t has stronger noise-canceling perform in a semi-open design with extra bass.

Learn our Jabra Elite 75t evaluate.

David Carnoy/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX4 ranking — splash-proof).

A part of the attraction of Beats’ Powerbeats Professional true wi-fi earbuds is that in contrast to Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Professional, they’re obtainable in additional than a single shade possibility. They provide lots of the similar options as the usual AirPods however provide extra dynamic sound (with extra bass) in a water resistant sporty design. They listing for $250 however search for them to dip to lower than $200 (and ideally $175) earlier than shopping for.

Learn our Beats Powerbeats Professional evaluate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Water resistantSure (IPX7 — totally waterproof and sweat-proof).

These sweat-proof earbuds will attraction to folks on the lookout for a extra discreet set of completely wi-fi sports activities earbuds that characteristic full waterproofing. They actually do lock into your ears. Observe that they’ve been in the marketplace for some time, so they could be due for an improve. However they’re at present promoting for $150, or $30 off their listing value.

Learn our Jaybird Vista evaluate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Solo Professional is the primary Beats on-ear headphone to characteristic energetic noise cancellation and the primary full-size Beats headphone to cost by way of Lightning. It makes use of the corporate’s Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling, “derived from the over-ear Studio3 Wi-fi, with up to date tuning to accommodate the on-ear type issue,” Beats says. With a faucet of a button, you’ll be able to flip off that noise cancellation to save lots of battery life or hit the button a second time to enter an audio transparency mode that lets you hear the surface world and ambient sound, not simply the music you are listening to.

Out there in a number of colours, these headphones are outfitted with six microphones, two of that are beamforming mics designed to hone in in your voice if you’re making calls or speaking to your voice assistant (Apple’s H1 chip is on board for always-on Siri). The sound high quality is clean and well-balanced, with punchy bass that does not make music sound boomy. It is comparatively snug for an on-ear mannequin and it is extra compact design travels higher than some full-size fashions on this listing. I simply want it price rather less and got here with a cable to plug in to in-flight leisure methods. Alas, the Lightning-to-3.5mm is an non-obligatory accent that prices $35.

Learn our Beats Solo Professional evaluate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I am not a fan of low-cost noise-canceling headphones. I’ve really been struggling to place collectively an inventory of fashions for a finest noise-canceling headphones roundup as a result of there are so few that I would suggest shopping for. However Anker’s Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Lively Noise Cancelling Headphones are an exception. They’re fairly first rate for his or her common listing value of $60 they usually’re regularly on sale for $10 much less.

No, the Life Q20 does not sound nearly as good as premium fashions such because the Sony WH-1000XM3, but it surely sounds first rate, which is all you’ll be able to ask for at this value. It is pretty nicely balanced with an inexpensive quantity of readability and plump bass that is not bloated or muddy. There’s additionally a bass enhance or BassUp mode if you would like an additional serving to. It is also snug to put on, the noise-canceling is acceptably efficient, it is strong as a headset for making calls and battery life is nice at 40 hours. A easy carrying pouch is included.


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