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10 Best Wireless Headphones of 2023: A Buyer's Guide

There's a competitive market out there for headphones and earbuds. This guide will help you make the best decision for your audio needs.

There's a competitive market out there for headphones and earbuds. This guide will help you make the best decision for your audio needs.

A Buyer's Guide to Wireless Earbuds

Wireless earbuds have become incredibly popular in recent years, with many people opting for this style of headphone over traditional wired options. But with so many different options on the market, it can be difficult to know which pair to choose. That's where we come in.

We've taken a look at the best true wireless earbuds from a range of brands, including the likes of Apple, Sony, Bose, and Samsung. But we've also included options from lesser-known brands like Cambridge Audio, so you can be sure you're getting the best possible choice.

It's important to note that we're focusing on true wireless earbuds, which means they aren't attached to each other with a cable that hangs around your neck. These are also known as TWS, which stands for true wireless stereo. If you're looking for general headphones, we have a separate chart that includes on- and over-ear options as well.

In this review, we'll be looking at everything from sound quality and battery life to design and connectivity, to help you find the perfect pair of earbuds for your needs. So, let's get started

The Sony WF-1000XM4

The Sony WF-1000XM4

1. Sony WF-1000XM4: Best Overall

Pros

  • Best ANC features
  • Amazing sound
  • Strong battery life
  • Smart features

Cons

  • A little bulky

The Sony WF-1000XM4 truly stands out as the best overall truly wireless earbuds on the market. With top-of-the-line active noise cancellation (ANC) features, you'll be able to block out even the most distracting sounds. The audio quality is outstanding, with deep bass and crisp highs. The battery life is also impressive, lasting up to eight hours on a single charge with the case providing an additional 24 hours. The smart features, such as touch controls and the ability to use your voice assistant, make these earbuds even more convenient to use.

The only downside is that they may be a bit bulky for some users.

Overall, if you're in the market for truly wireless earbuds with exceptional sound, ANC, and smart features, the Sony WF-1000XM4 is the way to go.

The Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds II

The Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds II

2. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II: Best ANC Performance

Pros

  • Superb sound quality
  • Astonishing noise cancelling
  • Clever ‘Aware’ mode
  • Secure fit

Cons

  • No Hi-Res audio support
  • No Bluetooth Multipoint
  • No wireless charging

The Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds II are a significant improvement over their predecessor. The new design is more compact and modern, while still including wingtips for extra security. The touch controls have also been improved and the case design is more user-friendly.

The noise cancellation on the earbuds is top-notch and the "aware mode" is a clever feature that allows you to hear your surroundings without removing the earbuds. The sound quality on the earbuds is also excellent.

While they are a great product, they do have some competition from Sony. Sony earbuds have a longer battery life, a wider range of smart features, and support for Hi-Res Audio. However, if noise cancellation and sound quality are your primary concerns, the Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds II are an excellent choice.

The Cambridge Melomania Touch earbuds

The Cambridge Melomania Touch earbuds

3. Cambridge Melomania Touch: Best Battery Life

Pros

  • Epic battery life
  • Great sound
  • User-friendly app
  • Comfortable fit

Cons

  • No ANC
  • Slow switching modes
  • Slightly awkward case

The Cambridge Melomania Touch earbuds are an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality wireless audio experience. The standout feature of these earbuds is their incredible battery life, which can last for up to 50 hours in low power mode. Even on high performance, they can still last for 44 hours. The sound quality is also excellent, with a graphic EQ in the app that allows you to fine-tune the audio to your preferences. The earbuds are also comfortable and easy to use, thanks to a user-friendly app.

However, one downside is that there is no active noise cancelling (ANC), so it might not be the best option for people looking for noise-cancelling earbuds. Additionally, switching modes can be a bit slow and the case is slightly awkward.

Overall, if you're looking for a great pair of wireless earbuds at an affordable price, the Cambridge Melomania Touch is definitely worth considering.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

4. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Best for Samsung Users

Pros

  • Samsung’s best-sounding buds yet
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • IPX7 water-resistance

Cons

  • Fiddly touch controls
  • 24-bit audio requires a Samsung phone
  • Middling battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are a solid choice for Samsung users looking for high-quality wireless earbuds. They have improved sound quality compared to their predecessor, and are also comfortable and lightweight. The IPX7 water-resistance rating is a nice added bonus for those who want to use the buds during activities such as working out.

However, there are a few drawbacks to consider. The touch controls can be fiddly, and the 24-bit audio support requires a Samsung phone. Additionally, the battery life is only middling.

Overall, if you are a Samsung user and are looking for a high-end set of earbuds, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are definitely worth considering. But if you don't need the high-end features and looking for a better value purchase, then the Galaxy Buds 2 would be a good option.

The Apple AirPods Pro 2

The Apple AirPods Pro 2

5. Apple AirPods Pro 2: Best for iPhone

Pros

  • Comfortable & compact
  • Industry-leading transparency mode
  • Impressive ANC performance
  • Enhanced Find My functionality

Cons

  • Many smart features are exclusive to Apple devices
  • No lossless audio support
  • Only IPX4

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are the latest true wireless earbuds from the tech giant and they are a significant upgrade from the previous version. Designed for iPhone users, these earbuds are packed with features that make them one of the best options in the market.

One of the most notable features of the AirPods Pro 2 is the industry-leading transparency mode. This feature allows users to hear their surroundings while still listening to music or taking calls. This is particularly useful for people who need to stay aware of their surroundings, such as runners and cyclists. The active noise cancellation (ANC) performance is also impressive, providing a much more immersive listening experience.

The AirPods Pro 2 also come with enhanced Find My functionality, which allows users to track their earbuds if they get lost. This is a handy feature for people who are prone to losing their earbuds.

However, there are a few drawbacks to the AirPods Pro 2. Many of the smart features are exclusive to Apple devices, which means that Android users will miss out on some of the functionality. Additionally, there is no lossless audio support, which may be a deal-breaker for audiophiles. The AirPods Pro 2 also only have an IPX4 rating, which means they are only splash-resistant and not completely waterproof.

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are an excellent choice for iPhone users looking for high-end true wireless earbuds. They offer impressive audio performance, advanced features, and a comfortable design. However, for Android users and those looking for lossless audio support, there may be better options available. Despite these limitations, the AirPods Pro 2 are still a top performer in the true wireless earbud market.

The Google Pixel Buds Pro

The Google Pixel Buds Pro

6. Google Pixel Buds Pro: Best Touch Controls

Pros

  • Superb, rounded sound
  • Great fit
  • Solid ANC
  • Wireless charging

Cons

  • No EQ options
  • No Hi-Res/aptX support
  • No iOS Pixel Buds app

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are a solid choice for those in the market for a new pair of wireless earbuds. The standout feature of these earbuds is the touch controls, which are among the best in the market. The sound quality is superb, with a well-rounded and balanced sound profile. The fit is also great, providing a secure and comfortable listening experience. Additionally, the active noise canceling (ANC) is solid and does a good job of blocking out background noise. The earbuds also support wireless charging, which is a convenient feature.

On the downside, the Pixel Buds Pro lack EQ options and Hi-Res/aptX support, which may be a dealbreaker for some audiophiles. Additionally, there is currently no iOS Pixel Buds app, which means that iOS users will not be able to take full advantage of the earbuds' features.

Overall, the Pixel Buds Pro are a great option for those looking for a well-rounded pair of earbuds with great touch controls and Google Assistant integration at a reasonable price. However, they may not be the best choice for those who prioritize high-resolution audio or need an iOS app.

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2

7. Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2: Best Dual Drivers

Pros

  • Dual-drivers sound amazing
  • Solid ANC performance
  • Useful smart features
  • Wireless charging case

Cons

  • Irritating software setup
  • New colour is a fingerprint magnet
  • Slightly awkward swipe gesture

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 make use of several smart features, such as touch controls and voice commands, and make using the earbuds even more convenient. The wireless charging case is also a nice touch, eliminating the need for additional cables.

However, the setup process can be a bit frustrating as the software can be glitchy and may require multiple attempts to connect. Additionally, the new color option for these earbuds is a fingerprint magnet and can easily become smudged with smears. The swipe gesture for controlling the volume and track skipping can also feel slightly awkward at times.

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are an excellent choice for anyone looking for high-quality, dual-driver earbuds at a more affordable price point. The sound quality and active noise cancelling performance are top-notch and the smart features are very useful. The minor drawbacks are definitely worth overlooking for the overall value and quality of these earbuds.

The NuraTrue earbuds

The NuraTrue earbuds

8. NuraTrue: Best Personalised Sound

Pros

  • Incredible personal sound
  • Secure fit
  • Touch controls

Cons

  • Average ANC
  • No fast charging

The NuraTrue earbuds are a great choice for anyone looking for a personalized audio experience. The earbuds use a unique technology that adapts to your individual hearing, providing a truly customized sound that is truly impressive. The earbuds are also designed to fit securely, making them perfect for running and other physical activities. The touch controls are easy to use and provide convenient access to all of the earbuds' features.

On the downside, the NuraTrue earbuds do not have the best noise cancelling capabilities and they do not support fast charging.

Overall, the NuraTrue earbuds are a great value for the price, especially when compared to some of the more expensive options on the market. Additionally, the NuraLoop, a neckbud design from the same brand, is also available for a slightly lower price if that design is preferred.

The Apple AirPods (2021)

The Apple AirPods (2021)

9. Apple AirPods (2021): Best Open Fit

Pros

  • Comfortable design
  • Improved smarts
  • Wireless charging
  • Spatial Audio

Cons

  • No Active Noise Cancellation
  • Limited noise isolation
  • Slightly more expensive

The Apple AirPods (2021) offer a comfortable and convenient design, making them a great option for Apple users. The new version has improved smarts, wireless charging, and Spatial Audio, which enhances the listening experience.

However, the AirPods do not have Active Noise Cancellation, which can be a downside for some users. Additionally, the open-fit design means there is limited noise isolation, which is not as good as the AirPods Pro or other rivals. While the AirPods are a great option, the slightly higher price may make them less of a no-brainer for some users.

Overall, the Apple AirPods (2021) are a great option for those looking for a comfortable and convenient listening experience, but they may not be the best choice for those looking for the best noise cancellation and isolation.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

10. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: Best Value

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Solid sound and ANC
  • Wireless charging

Cons

  • Fiddly touch controls
  • Limited iOS support
  • Average battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is a great value option for those looking for a solid pair of wireless earbuds. The design is lightweight and compact, making them easy to carry around and comfortable to wear. The sound quality and active noise cancellation (ANC) are both solid, providing a good listening experience. The earbuds also support wireless charging, which is a nice convenience.

One downside of the Buds 2 is the touch controls, which can be fiddly to use. Additionally, the battery life is average, so you'll need to charge them more frequently than some other options. Lastly, iPhone users should be aware that the Buds 2 have limited iOS support.

If you're looking for a budget-friendly option with good sound, noise cancelling, and wireless charging, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is worth considering. However, if you're an iPhone user, or if battery life is a concern, you may want to look elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, when looking for the best true wireless earbuds in 2023, it's important to consider factors such as sound quality, battery life, connectivity, and comfort. Additionally, features like active noise cancellation, water resistance, and touch controls can also be important depending on your individual needs and preferences.

It's also recommended to read reviews and compare prices before making a decision. Overall, with so many options available, it's important to take the time to find the right pair of true wireless earbuds that meet your specific needs and budget.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2023 Maina Wilson