Cut the Cord

Want True Wireless Earbuds? These Make the Best Gifts


December 15, 2018 Buying Guides By Photo by Chandler Bondurant

AirPods might be the most well-known true wireless earbuds, but if they don’t fit in your ears — a common problem — then, fear not, there are plenty of other options. If you’re shopping for somebody who wants true wireless earbuds, on the other hand, you should first make sure you know what kind of smartphone they have and how they intend to use them. For example, AirPods are really only great for those who own an iPhone or another iOS device, and they aren’t water-resistant so I don’t recommend running with them. Also, even if you already have true wireless earbuds, there are definitely accessories you can get to protect them and make yours stand apart from the rest.

Apple AirPods

For anybody with an iPhone (or any other iOS or MacOS device), Apple’s AirPods are unquestionably the best true wireless earbuds you can gift them. They sound great, easily sync with other Apple devices and, compared to other true wireless earbuds, their carrying case is actually the most pocketable and travel-friendly. The only downside — if it’s a downside — is that Apple might release 2nd-gen AirPods before the holidays, which are supposed to be sweat resistant, and this might drive the price down on the 1st-gen models. But again, nobody really knows when these new AirPods are going to be released, and it could be a while.

Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite

These are great true wireless earbuds for anybody on a really tight budget. They’re essentially cheaper versions of Anker’s Zolo Liberty earbuds. They’re sweatproof, sound good, and have decent battery life — and they come in at almost $90 less than AirPods.

Master & Dynamic MW07

The MW07s are different than other truly wireless earbuds. They’re made of acetate, the same stuff as high-end sunglasses, and stainless steel, and they’re most definitely the most beautiful earbuds I’ve ever seen. Plus, with the combination of silicone earwings and eartips, you can customize the fit to make sure they fit in anybody’s ears.

Twelve South AirFly

The problem with the in-flight entertainment systems is that they’re behind on the times. They don’t have built-in Bluetooth so you can’t use your wireless earbuds or headphones with them — unless you have a Bluetooth receiver like this one. The AirFly was designed to work with your AirPods, and comes with specific instructions to help you get set up (it’s easy). With this thing, you can plug it into the headphone jack and use you AirPods. No need to buy those cheap earbuds from the flight attendant.

Jabra Elite 65t

The Elite 65t might be the best true wireless earbuds for anybody working in an office setting. They fit snug and sound good, but more importantly they are built with more microphones than most other earbuds and are fantastic for taking calls.

Bose SoundSport Free

A lot of people like Bose headphones and for good reason: they make excellent speakers and headphones, and they’ve been doing so for year. And any of those people will surely like the company’s true wireless earbuds. They carry the same solid sound signature as the company’s other audio products, and are really comfortable. They’re also water- and sweat-resistant, so they’re safe to take on runs or to the gym.

Nomad Rugged Case for AirPods

One the issues with AirPods is that Apple only sells white models and the only way to get non-white models is to customize through a third-party company, which is expensive. This sleeve for your AirPods charging case is relatively inexpensive and adds a bit of scratch and drop protection, too.

iFrogz Second Hub Sync

If you have a pair of wired headphones that you love — they’re comfortable and sound great — you can plug them into a wireless receiver and then stream music to them. It’s a fairly simple and liberating way to not be tethered to your smartphone or tablet. This wireless receiver also comes with a pair of earbuds.

Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Don’t know what to get the people on your list? We’ve got you covered with our holiday gift guide.

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