More Than Just AirPods

10 Best True Wireless Earphones of 2019 – Which Is Right For You?


March 26, 2019 Tech By Photo by Hunter D. Kelley

This definitive guide to the best true wireless earphones of 2019 explores everything you need to know before buying your next pair of true wireless earphones, including what to look out for and which options are best.

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Table of Contents
The Short List

Introduction
Buying Guide

The Short List

Best Overall: Apple AirPods (2019)

AirPods have been the most popular true wireless earbuds since late 2016, and for good reason: they pair effortlessly with any iPhone. Now Apple has improved upon them with its second generation. The new AirPods pair faster, have better battery life and they have better mics so calls sound better. You can also buy a wirelessly charging case.

Best Sound Quality: Sennheiser Momentum TW

Sennheiser’s first true wireless earbuds demand a hefty fee, but once you actually listen to them, you see why. The sound quality of the Momentum TW is second to none. Throw in an elegant case, an above average battery life and the ability to charge via USB-C and you have the best true wireless earbuds for users who place a premium on sound quality.

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Best for Working Out: Jaybird Run XT

The Jaybird Run XT are the best true wireless earbuds for working out. Released in early 2019, they’re an updated model of the the company’s original true wireless sports earphones called Run, bringing waterproof and sweatproof perks. They also have improved Bluetooth connectivity and you can tweak the EQ settings and customize the sound signature via the Jaybird companion app. If you’re a runner, biker or hiker, these sounds great and are made to last.

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Introduction

The first true wireless earphones (or earbuds) date back to 2014, but it was the release of Apple’s AirPods in 2016 that really fired them into the mainstream. True wireless means that there isn’t any kind of cord tethering the two earbuds together, as opposed to just wireless earphones like the Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless or Google Pixelbuds, and they are the next natural progression of wireless earbuds. Fewer and fewer people want wires of any type, and it’s as simple as that.

Not all true wireless earbuds are the same. In fact, now that there are so many on the market, a lot of true wireless earphones are very different. So which ones are right for you? The answer: it depends. It depends on what you’re going to using them for. It depends on the type of smartphone you have. And it depends on how much you’re willing to pay. But the biggest factor, and you really don’t have this problem when dealing with over-ear or on-ear headphones, is that your true wireless earbuds have to fit in your ears. And fit well. You’re never going to love them if you’re constantly worried about them falling out.

Apple’s AirPods have set the benchmark for true wireless earbuds up to this point. They’re fantastic true wireless earphones — and now in their second generation — and that’s why every pair that’s since been released has been labeled some sort of “AirPod rival.” But if you have an Android smartphone, or if you plan on running or working out with your true wireless earbuds, AirPods might not be the best option for you. Depending on what you’re looking for, we’ve broken down all our favorite true wireless earbuds and what they’re each good for.

Buying Guide

Best Sound Quality: Sennheiser Momentum TW

Verdict: Released at the tail-end of 2018, the Sennheiser Momentum TW are the company’s first-ever true wireless earbuds. Yes, they’re very expensive, but if you’re looking for the best-sounding wireless earbuds — these are them. They boast the best sound quality of any true wireless earbuds we’ve tested, and they look pretty different from any other options out there. The Momentum TW have ambient modes and allow users to adjust the EQ settings via a companion app. The last kicker is USB-C charging; you can use the same charing setup as your MacBook to also power these earbuds.

Read our full review of the Sennheiser Momentum TW, here.

Battery: four hours per earbud; charging case holds an extra 12 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Sweat resistant: IPX4
Charge: USB-C
Key features: companion app lets you adjust EQ

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Best Bass: Bose SoundSport Free

Verdict: The Bose SoundSport Frees excel in sound quality and bass. They work with the Bose Connect app, which you need to download in order to initially pair the headphones, but the software is really easy to use. As for the earbuds themselves, the fit is secure; they utilize Bose’s StayHear+ Sport earwings — the same as all other Bose earbuds. The downsides are the earbuds stick out of your ears and can look a bit awkward. The charging case isn’t as pocketable as other wireless headphones’ cases, either. But if you want a solid of pair of wireless earphones and you’re willing to spend a little more for Bose’s signature sound, get these.

Read our full review of the Bose SoundSport Free, here.

Battery: five hours per earbud; charging case holds an extra 10 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1
Water Resistance: IPX4
Charge: micro-USB
Key features: quick charge of 15 minutes gives you 45 minutes of playtime; Bose Connect app has “Find My Buds” feature

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Most Beautiful: Master & Dynamic MW07

Verdict: Master & Dynamic’s first true wireless earbuds are unlike anything else, mainly because they’re uncompromsingly luxorious. You can buy them in four different colors. Sure, $300 is definitely expensive, especially when you consider that the sound quality isn’t that much different than AirPods. However, you’re paying for more style, personality and high-end materials.

Read our full review of the Master & Dynamic MW07, here.

Battery: 3.5-hour per earbud, 10 hours from the charging case
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2
Sweat Resistant: IPX4
Charge: USB-C
Key features: made of acetate and stainless steal, tactile buttons on each earbud

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Best for Office Settings: Jabra Elite 65t

Verdict: Jabra’s Elite 65t sound terrific, with powerful drivers that deliver a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz. They work with a companion app that allows you to tweak the EQ or turn on hear-through to hear ambient sounds. They also fit snugly in your ears and offer exceptional noise isolation. Thanks to a four-mic array (two in each earbud), calls are clear and the buttons on the earbuds are easy to use without disrupting the seal. The only downside: with such a tight fit, wearing them for long periods of time may cause ear fatigue.

Read our full review of the Jabra Elite 65t, here.

Battery: five hours per earbud; 10 hours from the charging case
Sweat resistant: IP55
Charge: micro-USB
Key features: Sound+ app lets you customize EQ; four-mic array; works with voice assistants

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Best for the Active Professional: Jabra Elite Active 65t

Verdict: The Jabra Elite Active 65t are more sweatproof versions of the Jabra Elite 65t. They sound identical and work well for taking calls and exercising. Essentially, these are ideal for active professionals. If you like the style and the fit of the Jabra Elite 65t, and you’re cool paying the extra $20, which is essentially just an insurance policy against sweat, then this is a great option. Otherwise, just buy the non-active alternatives.

Read our full review of the Jabra Elite Active 65t, here.

Battery: five hours per earbud; charging case holds an extra 10 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Sweat resistant: IP56
Charge: micro-USB
Key features: Sound+ app lets you customize EQ; four-mic array; works with voice assistants

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Best Overall: Apple AirPods (2019)

Verdict: AirPods might be the best first-generation product that Apple has ever released — and that’s saying something. The earbuds pair effortlessly with any iOS device. Their battery life is excellent. And the charging case is by far the most compact and polished of any other true wireless earphones. And now Apple’s second-generation AirPods up the ante. They pair faster, have better battery life and better mics, so calls sound better. You can also buy a wireless charging case. if you’re willing to pay a little extra. And they support “Hey Siri” voice commands — no need to push any button. AirPods still have two downsides, however. You need an iOS device to get the most out of them; and two, they’re not water-resistant, so if you’re running or working out while listening to them, you’re putting them at risk. However, the bottom line is that these are the best true wireless earphones available.

Read our full review of the Apple AirPods, here.

Battery: five hours per earbud; charging case holds 24 hours of total charge
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Water Resistance: no
Charge: Lightning, Qi-wireless
Key features: H1 chip allows quick pairing to iPhone or iPad; optical sensors detect play/pause when you place or remove from your ears; hands-free Siri

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Best Sweatproof: Jaybird Run

Verdict: The Jaybird Runs are a solid option if you want a pair of true wireless earbuds for running or working out. They work seamlessly with both iOS and Android devices. They sound great (five percent TDH, frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz), plus you can tweak the sound signature through the companion app. And they’ll fit anybody’s ears. If you’re willing to spend around $180 or a little less, which is still fairly expensive, then these a stellar sweat-resistant alternative to AirPods.

Read our full review of the Jaybird Run, here.

Battery: 4 hours per earbud, 8+ hours with charging case
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1
Water Resistance: Yes
Charge: micro-USB
Key features: work with Jaybird MySound app

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Best Budget Option: Anker Zolo Liberty

Verdict: The Zolo Liberty wireless earbuds are significantly cheaper than options, yet performance stacks up quiet well — especially because they have features that others lack, including 5.5mm graphene dynamic drivers that sound superb. There’s no app to deal with, meaning they’re simple to set up. And they’re compatible with your phone’s voice assistant, such as Siri and Google Assistant. They aren’t the best looking earbuds and the charge case is huge, but you won’t find a better budget pair of wireless earbuds.

Read our full review of the Anker Zolo Liberty, here.

Battery: 3.5 hours per earbud, charging case holds 24 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2
Sweat resistant: IPX5
Charge: micro-USB
Key features: compatible with Siri, Google Asistant and Alexa (soon)

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Honorable Mention: Samsung Galaxy Buds

Verdict: It’s taken three cracks of the whip, but Samsung’s third-generation true wireless earbuds are bona fide AirPods alternatives. In fact, they offer a lot that AirPods lack, such as sweat-resistance and swipe volume controls. They work with a companion app so you can adjust the sound signature or switch to an ambient listening mode. They also have a swappable eartip design so you can adjust the fit. The charge case is slim you can charge it wirelessly. There are some tradeoffs, too, of course. Like most Samsung products, these earbuds will work best if you have a Samsung smartphone and the slim case doesn’t have a large battery capacity. That said, they are relatively inexpensive.

Read our full review of the Samsung IconX, here.

Battery: 6 hours per earbud
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Sweat Resistant: PX2
Charge: USB-C, Qi-wireless
Key features: ambient sound mode, adjustable EQ, sweat resistant, touch controls

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Honorable Mention: Sony WF-SP700N

Verdict: The Sony WF-SP700N are one of the only true wireless earbuds with noise cancellation – but noise-cancellation isn’t very good. That said, they still work well and sound good. They have a sports focus, but since they lack a coaching feature or exercise-centric app, the WF-SP700Ns are solid true wireless earphones for anybody.

Read our full review of the Sony WF-SP700N, here.

Battery: 3 hours (max)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1
Sweat Resistant: IPX4
Charge: micro-USB
Key features: noise-cancellation, ambient mode

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Honorable Mention: B&O Beoplay E8 2.0

Verdict: The Beoplay E8 2.0 are second-generation wireless earbuds. They’re basically the same as B&O’s first-generation product, but the “2.0” models can wireless charge. (The new models also support USB-C charging and Bluetooth 5.0.) As far as sound quality, the E8s are definitely one of the best sounding options on this list, thanks to their advanced electro-dynamic drivers that can produce a wide frequency range (20–20,000Hz). You can adjust the EQ and sound signature via a companion app, too. The earbuds have optical sensors built into them, just like AirPods, so they automatically turn on when they detect that they’re in your ears. The main downsides with the Beoplay E8s have to do with the price (expensive) and the app, which can be frustrating.

Read our full review of the B&O Beoplay E8, here.

Battery: four hours per earbud; charging case holds an extra 8 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Sweat resistant: yes
Charge: USB-C
Key features: companion app lets you adjust EQ

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