This article was originally published on Make the Sound Better. I have edited this content, updating the recommendations to be more relevant for 2023.
With the advent of the iconic Apple Airpods, wired listening is now a thing of the past. However, there are plenty of true wireless earbuds that sound comparable or even better than Apple’s emblematic pair.
Best True Wireless Earbuds 2023 Roundup
What Are True Wireless Earbuds?
As you can probably guess by the name, wireless earbuds are buds that work without a wired design. This usually means using Bluetooth or some sort of signal. However, not all wireless earbuds are truly “wireless”.
For example, a set might have a connector cord in between the left and right ear units. This is commonly seen in “wireless” sport earbuds as the added connected cable can sometimes add helpful stabilization while participating in vigorous activities.
However, if you’re just looking for wireless earbuds that make it easy for you to leisurely listen to music, a true wireless pair is your best bet. Just like other earbuds and headphones, true wireless earbuds come in a variety of styles to fit the individual needs of the listener.
Things To Look For In True Wireless Earbuds
While picking out the best true wireless earbuds for your needs, it’s important to take several factors into consideration. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind while finding your dream pair of earbuds.
Not all Bluetooth versions are created equally.
While picking out your earbuds, you’ll want to look for the most current Bluetooth version available. Older Bluetooth versions can still connect to your device under most circumstances, but they might have more connection issues and a smaller range of use.
In-Ear or Outer-Ear Design
Wireless earbuds either have an in-ear or outer-ear design, with in-ear probably being the most popular. Outer-ear wireless earbuds may be a bit bulkier but they’re well suited for active use, and might produce a more comfortable fit for some users.
Battery life is certainly one of the most important considerations when picking out wireless earbuds. Unfortunately, Bluetooth centric devices are notorious for needing frequent charging. Be sure to pay attention to the battery life of the earbuds themselves along with the charging case.
Many wireless earbud cases will hold some charge so that you can still use your earbuds for a little bit longer even if they run out of juice while you’re on the run.
If you live in a loud city or plan on using your wireless earbuds out in public, you might want to look for earbuds with integrated noise cancellation so that you can focus on your listening experience even in busy environments.
If you’re hoping to make calls on your wireless earbuds, make sure you have a set with a built-in microphone.
If you plan on using your earbuds in an active setting, you’ll want to look for earbuds with a strong, sturdy build. In addition, it may be worth exploring earbuds that have a waterproof or water-resistant design especially if you plan on using your earbuds in an outdoor setting.
Overall Sound Quality
This is perhaps the most important consideration when evaluating any set of earbuds or headphones. Whether you appreciate an audiophile neutral sound or a basshead boost, make sure you review your potential earbuds carefully to make sure your set suits your listening needs.
Since wireless earbuds are so small, it’s important to have a case that you can easily keep track of when not in use. If possible, prioritize a case that holds a charge or two even when disconnected from the base to conserve battery life.
Since wireless earbuds rely on an in-ear design, you’ll have to make sure that it’s a comfortable fit for long time wear.
Lastly, it’s important to consider affordability while picking out the best true wireless earbuds for your needs.
While it may be tempting to pick up the cheapest pair you can find, it may make sense to put down a little extra change initially if you plan on using your earbuds on an everyday basis.
Best True Wireless Earbuds 2023 Buying Guide
Without further ado, here are some of my favourite true wireless earbuds currently available on the market.
1) EarFun Air Pro 3: Check Price On Amazon
Best True Wireless Earbuds 2023 Under 60
The old version of this guide recommended the Edifier TWS2, which I don’t think is relevant for 2023. The EarFun Air Pro 2 are the best true wireless earbuds that are affordable that I can remember reviewing.
Since I reviewed those, the EarFun Air Pro 3 Hybrid have come out and received superb reviews on Amazon. I have selected these for my recommendation as they should be a bit better and they are only £2 more expensive.
For the Air Pro 3, I found that the sound quality is good, and I generally enjoyed the sound profile. The bass emphasis might not suit some users who enjoy something more neutral, but they should work well with casual listeners. I didn’t suffer from the same fatigue using this as I have done with others recently.
For ANC, using my normal airplane cabin noise test, these provide a significant drop off for low-end frequencies leaving a high-end hum that’s moderately loud high-end hum. Music or movies are easily audible over this, and they help drown out the noise further. I’d happily use these on a plane.
Some opinions for the Air Pro 3 include:
- Sound quality far exceeds their value, they might need tweaking or a profile to enjoy them.
- Stay in the ears after a good shake (at least in mine)
- Comfortable to wear
- The case actually feels better made than the XM4’s, with absolutely no left right lid wiggle on the hinge.
- The build quality is good
- Superb ANC for the price
- Wireless charging
- Bass is perhaps a bit over-emphasised
2) SoundCore Liberty 4 NC: Check Price On Amazon
Best True Wireless Earbuds 2023 Under 80
I have only just reviewed the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC and they have quickly become one of the main earbuds I wear. For me, the main things I like about them are they fit very well in my ears, I can go running with them or lift weights, and I do not have to adjust them. The sound quality is superb for the price, and they don’t have the bright highs that the more expensive Soundcore Liberty 4 has.
If you get a good seal in your ears, the ANC performance is superb for the price. They leave a bit of the very low-end frequencies, but I found that these were better than many earbuds at removing the high-end frequencies. The new environmental adaption will make sure you have the best ANC possible wherever you are.
They have a rating of 10 hours for the battery, but if you use LDAC and ANC this will be significantly reduced. However, the battery is still good.
They also include wireless charging, which is something you don’t often get at this price.
I think Soundcore have one of the best apps for customising your earbuds for pretty much all earbuds, but especially on the affordable end of the spectrum.
- Excellent ANC
- Warm smooth sound
- 3D sound isn’t very good
3) Jabra Elite 5: Check Price On Amazon
Best True Wireless Earbuds 2023 For Workout
The old recommendation list had the Jabra Elite 75T as the best true wireless earbuds for workouts. I reviewed the Jabra Elite 75T, and I agree they are amazing, I wore them for a few years as my primary fitness earbuds. However, it looks like they are now discontinued and I have also moved on myself.
The Jabra Elite 5 are a perfect substitution, and I think these are designed to be a true successor for the Elite 75T.
The Jabra Elite 5 has a similar, but updated design, and the fit is almost identical. They are quite small earbuds and fit comfortably inside the concha and this is one of the big reasons why they are so good as fitness earbuds.
Jabra is probably the best brand on the market for fitness earbuds due to the superior IP rating and warranty you get with them. The Jabra Elite 5 is IP55 rated, which is better than the IP54 rating on most earbuds. Technically, the Elite 4 or 7 Active are a better choice for this as they have an IP57 rating, but I have had the Elite 75T, 85T and Elite 5, and all of them still work after perhaps hundreds of hours of exposure to my sweat. Even if they did fail, these have a 2-year warranty (Against failure from dust and water with Jabra Sound+ app registration).
These have a decent app with EQ and I found that using the bass boost helps achieve a much more lively sound at the cost of some detail. I personally enjoyed them in this mode and I think it is well suited for fitness.
For general ambient noise, the ANC performance is good enough; they remove irritating noises like my PC and air purifier. They also work well at reducing outdoor noise, such as cars.
- Superb fit, IP rating and warranty make these perfect for fitness
- ANC is not as good as other at this price
4) Google Pixel Buds Pro: Check Price On Amazon
Moving up in price a little, I was tempted to recommend the Soundcore Liberty 4, but I don’t want to be too much of an Anker/Soundcore shill.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro are a popular option and certainly excellent if you are on Android or better Pixel.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro deliver impressive all-around performance. With their effective ANC feature, you can expect excellent noise isolation, even when faced with rumbling engines during your daily commute. Additionally, these earbuds offer the convenience of multi-device pairing, allowing you to stay connected to both your phone and computer simultaneously. Stand out from the crowd with a wider range of colour options, including vibrant shades like coral and lemongrass.
These earbuds provide a V-shaped sound profile, adding a satisfying rumble and punch to your audio while maintaining clarity and brightness in instruments and vocals. Take control of your sound experience with an in-app graphic equalizer and pre-set sound profiles. It’s worth noting that these buds have a slightly bulkier design compared to other options mentioned earlier, which may impact comfort and stability for some users. However, if comfort and stability are top priorities for you, consider the Jabra Elite 7 Pro True Wireless earbuds, available at a similar price point. The Jabra Elite 7 Pro offers enhanced comfort and stability, reducing the likelihood of them slipping out during workouts. While their ANC feature may not block out as much noise, they excel in microphone performance, making them a great choice for phone calls when compared to many other truly wireless earbuds we’ve tested.
- Ideal for Android/Pixel owners
- Bulky design may not suite some
5) Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen): Check Price On Amazon
I admit that I am not an Apple user or particularly an Apple fan; however, it would be remiss not to recommend the Apple AirPods Pro. If you are an iPhone user these are probably the best overall option,
I personally can’t stand the open-fit design on the none-Pro earbuds; they just don’t fit in my ears properly. But, my partner feels the opposite, so this is worth considering. I think this design with a silicon ear tip is better suited for most people. Ignoring the design, the AirPods Pro are the flagship AirPod product and much better than the normal AirPods.
For iPhone users, these offer more features than you will find on things like the Sony WF-1000XM4, and therefore this is why I’d probably recommend these for iPhone users over other premium earbuds.
With the integration of the H2 chip, the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) ensure seamless pairing with Apple devices. Embrace a more immersive listening experience through their support for Spatial Audio, a surround sound feature designed to elevate your enjoyment of compatible content.
The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) boast an adaptive EQ that adds a touch of warmth to the sound profile. This results in audio with a pleasing punch, cozy vocals, and instrumentals. However, unlike the previous selection, these earbuds lack an app for sound customization, such as an EQ. While their ANC feature may not match the effectiveness of the Bose earbuds, it still delivers impressive overall performance, effectively reducing a wide range of ambient noise, including the rumbling engines of buses and planes.
When it comes to battery life, these earbuds offer just under six hours of continuous use with ANC activated, and the accompanying case provides an additional four charges. The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are generally comfortable for most users, but some may find that they require occasional repositioning as they can wiggle out of the ears over time.
- Superb ANC performance
- Excellent Apple iPhone specific features
- Passive sound stage could be better
6) Sony WF-1000XM4: Check Price On Amazon
Best True Wireless Earbuds 2023
The old list had the Sony WF-1000XM3, but the Sony WF-1000XM4 has launched. Both are amazing and this range of earbuds has been the go-to option for anyone wanting premium in-ear ANC earbuds for the past few years.
These earbuds deliver an extraordinary blend of dynamism, detail, and balance, making them stand out from the competition. The bass notes are tight and textured, while vocals exude refinement and sophistication. Prepare to be captivated by their musical delivery, and with an impressive eight hours of battery life, these earbuds set the standard in their category.
Comfort is not compromised with the WF-1000XM4. The redesigned earpieces feature touch-sensitive controls and an improved ear tip design, enhancing both comfort and noise isolation. Sony’s Integrated Processor V1 ensures exceptional noise cancellation, effectively blocking out the surrounding hustle and bustle.
The WF-1000XM4 package includes IPX4 water resistance, providing peace of mind in wet conditions. Additionally, Sony’s Headphones Connect app, available for both iOS and Android, offers a range of intelligent features such as Quick Attention and Speak-To-Chat. These innovative functionalities enable you to engage in conversations without the need to remove your earbuds. Furthermore, thanks to a February 2022 update, the headphones now support Multipoint Bluetooth, allowing simultaneous connection to two devices.
While we anticipate a successor to the WF-1000XM4 in 2023, it remains the pinnacle of in-ear wireless headphones currently available on the market. Don’t hesitate to indulge in this exceptional audio experience.
- Industry-leading ANC
- Clear, detailed bass performance
- No aptX HD
Conclusion – Best True Wireless Earbuds 2023
When it comes to picking the best wireless earbuds amongst these 6 stellar picks, it’s not an easy choice. What works best for you is a highly-individualized choice, so make sure you evaluate each of these choices based on your needs.
If you can justify the price, I think the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds are the best overall choice, and to be fair, they are normally around £190, which is much cheaper than the Apple AirPods Pro, so I think they are good value for money for what you get.
That being said, there are so many good affordable earbuds, if you can’t afford that price then you can make a small sacrifice in performance and save a lot of money. The Sony LinkBuds S are a good alternative to the XM4, they sound great, fit amazing well, but the ANC won’t be quite as good.
However, if you are on a budget, I’d recommend the SoundCore Liberty 4 NC,
I am James, a UK-based tech enthusiast and the creative mind behind Mighty Gadget, which I’ve proudly run since 2007. Passionate about all things technology, my expertise spans from computers and networking, to mobile, wearables, and smart home devices.
As a fitness fanatic who loves running and cycling, I also have a keen interest in fitness-related technology, and I take every opportunity to cover this niche on my blog. My diverse interests allow me to bring a unique perspective to tech blogging, merging lifestyle, fitness, and the latest tech trends.
In my academic pursuits, I earned a BSc in Information Systems Design from UCLAN, before advancing my learning with a Master’s Degree in Computing. This advanced study also included Cisco CCNA accreditation, further demonstrating my commitment to understanding and staying ahead of the technology curve.
I’m proud to share that Vuelio has consistently ranked Mighty Gadget as one of the top technology blogs in the UK. With my dedication to technology and drive to share my insights, I aim to continue providing my readers with engaging and informative content.