This article is a part of RS Recommends, an editorial series reviewing products in music and entertainment. Items are independently selected; Penske Media may earn a commission from purchases made from our links.
There has never been a better time to go wireless, especially when it comes to your music.
While headphones have always been a reliable option for taking your music on the go, a ton of manufacturers are now making wireless sets that deliver the same sound quality in more versatile, portable packages. Using Bluetooth technology, they let you listen to music or take calls without being tied down by annoying cables. And, you don’t need to plug in to stay powered up.
But not all wireless listening devices are the same. For the best wireless listening experience, you’ll want to upgrade to a pair of true wireless earbuds.
Wireless headphones don’t need to be plugged in to anything but still require a headband that sits over your head. Some wireless earbuds, meantime, are attached to each other with a cord, or come with a neckband that wraps around your neck, to help keep them in place.
True wireless earbuds, however, refer to two earbuds that don’t need to be connected to one another. Instead, they fit snuggly inside your ear, either with adjustable cushioned tips or with a wrap-around hook that slides over your ear. By cutting the cord, you’re less restricted in your movement, letting you easily take your wireless earbuds on a run or hike, without getting tangled up in an annoying cable.
True wireless earbuds still work with Bluetooth technology, only the Bluetooth connection is built directly into each earbud as opposed to being built into a wire. Because the earbuds are separated, you can choose to either use each one individually or pair them together for more immersive audio. And when you need to charge the battery, just snap the earbuds into their included charging cases, which power up your buds without needing an outlet.
The best true wireless earbuds will deliver studio-grade sound in a portable package. Pair them with your device to stream music, or use them to take calls, while freeing your hands up from the phone.
We’ve rounded up some of the best true wireless earbuds available online. They all win points for ease of use, comfort and durability, while delivering clean, crisp and reliable sound that will last you through the day and into the night.
1. Samsung Galaxy Buds
Apple may have staked its claim first with the AirPods but Samsung is coming for the true wireless market with these Galaxy Buds.
Sound quality is consistently reliable, crisp and accurate, with the earbuds able to pick out tiny nuances from your favorite tracks, whether you’re listening to classical or rap. The AKG drivers deliver deeper, fuller bass and a wider range of sound.
The Galaxy Buds’ battery life is strong, with six hours of playback time on a single charge. The wireless charging case gets you an additional seven hours.
Samsung’s “Ambient Aware Mode” lets you control how much noise you want to let in or block out. Let some traffic noise in when you’re running or biking, to stay safe on the road. Then swipe for more sound isolation, say, when you’re working at the office and want to focus on your music without any distractions from perky coworkers.
Great for workouts, the Galaxy Buds are splash-resistant and durable, holding up to sweat and any accidental drops or dings. This set includes three adjustable ear tip and wingtip sizes to help you find the most comfortable, secure fit.
PROS: The Galaxy Buds work with both Android and iOS compatible devices.
CONS: Some users say the noise isolation could be quieter.
2. 1MORE Stylish True Wireless Earbuds
These 1MORE true wireless earbuds deliver a lot of bang for their buck. The sleek, titanium composite driver gets you superior audio quality, with warmer tones, richer detail and well-balanced bass that thumps rather than thuds.
Use the buds for listening to music, or for taking calls. 1MORE says its high-stability MEMS microphone and DSP Environmental Noise Cancellation technology let you take calls, even in loud environments, with the technology isolating your conversation as if you were talking face-to-face.
These earbuds are among the most comfortable on our list, thanks to a 45-degree oblique angle that ensures more natural and flexible placement. We never worried about them flailing around in our ears, but we never worried about them falling out either. This set includes a silicone O-hook and three different ear tips to help customize your fit.
A single charge gets you up to six and a half hours of use. Running short on time? Just 15 minutes of charging will get you up to three hours of playback. Then, pop the buds back into the included portable charging case, which has three additional charges built in.
PROS: The earbuds automatically turn on and power up when taken out of the case, and turn off when returned to the case. Like all of 1MORE’s headphones, the Stylish True Wireless In-Ear headphones are tuned by Grammy-award winning sound engineer, Luca Bignardi.
CONS: These are durable, well-made earbuds, but they are not water-resistant.
3. Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds
Great for athletes, gym goers and busy commuters, these Jabra wireless earbuds can really take a beating without losing clarity. Their IP56 rating means they’re splash-proof, sweat-proof and dust-proof, while the solid construction holds up to your active lifestyle (I.e. don’t worry about tossing it in your bag or accidentally dropping them on the ground).
Jabra says its third-generation Bluetooth 5.0 technology ensures that your connection never drops out, whether you’re taking calls or pairing the earbuds to your music.
Get up to five hours of battery on a single charge, and up to 15 hours in total with the included portable charging case.
What we like: these Jabra earbuds are compatible with your favorite voice assistant, letting you use Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant to control your settings, take a call and more.
PROS: Two-year warranty against sweat and dust.
CONS: Some users say sound is a little thin. Voice calls come in fine, but some say the microphone doesn’t pick up your voice as clearly.
4. Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones
Beats is back with a pair of premium true wireless earbuds that deliver the best fit among the options on our list. That’s thanks to an innovative earhook that tucks securely and comfortably behind your ears to stay in place no matter what you’re doing or how fast you’re moving. The earbooks are adjustable so you can find the most secure fit. Multiple ear tip options, meantime, let you customize how the buds sit in your ear canal.
The durable buds are sweat and water-resistant, so they’ll hold up to even your toughest (and sweatiest) workouts.
Get up to nine hours of listening time on a single charge, and more than 24 hours when you use the included charging case.
Users say the audio is loud and powerful, with big bass and deep, full sound. Use the earbuds individually, or pair them together for a full, immersive listening experience. There are control settings on each earbud for versatility. These wireless earbuds are also great for taking calls, with multiple microphones that hone in on your voice and filter out outside noise.
This set comes with the Powerbeats Pro totally wireless earphones, portable charging case, eartips with four size options, lightning to USB-A charging cable, user manual and warranty card.
PROS: Snug, secure fit that won’t come loose.
CONS: Ears will be a little sensitive at first if you’re not used to the wrap-around earhooks.
5. Soul Electronics ST-XX Superior High Performance True Wireless Earphones
With a ton of bright colors to choose from and decent sound, these lightweight earbuds let you go wireless with your music for less than you think. These tiny earbuds weigh just four grams, but deliver surprisingly powerful sound for their size. You get well-balanced audio, with none of the tinniness you’d expect from these less expensive sets.
The included charging case gets you up to 20 hours of playtime (about three full cycles) and the auto pairing function means the earbuds automatically turn on when you take them out of the case, and power down when they’re put back in.
What we like: the IPX5 rating means these buds are protected from exposure to sweat and rain, making them great for workouts and the outdoors.
A great gift idea for all ages and personalities, the ST-XX true wireless earbuds come in six colors: lemon yellow, raspberry red, navy blue, sakura pink, matte black, and pure white.
PROS: Super lightweight and portable earbuds that tuck easily into your pocket or bag.
CONS: Some users say it takes a little bit of time to set up. The earbuds are comfortable but we felt a little bit of fatigue after wearing them over a prolonged period.