Health & Wellness

The 9 Best Wireless Earbuds of 2020

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We’re all familiar with the single Bluetooth over-the-ear cell phone earpiece, which can be a bit cumbersome and uncomfortable on your ear. While these are great at keeping your hands free on a phone call, they are too clunky to use for your workout. And that huge earpiece makes you look a bit like a cyborg.

The convenience of having your hands free to do whatever you please while you are on your phone or listening to music is becoming a necessity. And I think we can all agree that getting rid of that annoying cord makes the experience ten times better.

All wireless earbuds connect with Bluetooth and come in two formats. The traditional earbuds, which we are all familiar with, have one cable connecting the two earpieces together. And the “true wireless” type, appropriately named because they do not have any wires at all – just two tiny earpieces.

New products are being introduced into the market daily, so it’s challenging to know which products are the best.

Some things to consider when purchasing wireless earbuds are sound quality, phone call quality,  fit, battery life, and water resistance. And of course, like any new tech product, there is considerable variance in price.

Here are our picks for the 9 best wireless earbuds of 2020.

True Wireless

We’re going to start with the true wireless earbuds.

100% wireless seems to be the direction all earbuds are headed and have become increasingly popular in the last year. The convenience factor alone sets them apart from any corded headphones.

With zero interference from the wires, these types of earbuds allow you to move about freely and don’t hinder your ability to get in all those crunches at the gym.

The price of freedom is high, however. Who knew that removing a wire could cost so much money?

 1. Apple AirPods Pro

No surprise here, Apple was one of the first distributors out of the gate to offer wireless headphone tech. It only makes sense that they are at the top of the list when it comes to the wireless variety. The newly released Apple AirPods Pro is extremely popular and has achieved a very high 4.3-star rating on Amazon.

Two additional features compared to the original Airpods include noise cancellation and transparency mode. In case you are unfamiliar with transparency mode, this is the feature that allows you to blast Whitney Houston and hear the lyrics perfectly, without the background noise of the airplane engine when flying or a screeching subway train on your evening commute. Once you experience this feature, trust us, you will never turn back to other headphones.

But, our favorite feature is the upgraded customizable fit silicone tips. They come in different sizes that can be interchanged for those of us that have very small ears, that the original Airpods were too big to fit into.

The Airpod Pros hold a charge for an underwhelming 4.5 hours, but when they are in the charging case, can hold more than 24 hours of battery life. They are also sweat and water-resistant, making them great workout headphones.

If you have an Android device, the Apple AirPods do technically work with them, but there are quite a few features that do not fully cross-over with that operating system. So we recommend that you get an iPhone or find another type of earbud.

If you are an Apple enthusiast, then you are used to the steep price tag that comes with all Apple products, and at $250, they are no steal. But, you’ll feel as though Apple made them just for you. They have seamless automatic connectivity with all your Apple devices as well as integration with your buddy Siri.

2. Powerbeats Pro

Another top contender both in price and features is the Powerbeats Pro from Beats By Dre. The Powerbeats Pro has an impressive 4-star rating on Amazon.

One of the best features on these earbuds is that there are controls on each earbud, not just one. This makes it possible just to wear one earbud at a time, and control the volume on either ear.

While these earbuds are not customizable in size, they do sort of address that small ear problem that some of us have, by using adjustable ear hooks. So even if the earbud doesn’t fit securely in your ear, or you are doing heavy cardio, you don’t have to worry about them falling out. And with a price tag of $250, you certainly don’t want that to happen.

These earbuds hold an impressive 9 hours of charge, which is enhanced to 24 hours with the charging case. Our favorite feature is the ability to detect when you are not moving and automatically put your headphones into sleep mode, which conserves the battery. They are also sweat and water-resistant, again great for the gym rats.

These earbuds automatically connect to your Apple devices and your Siri voice recognition. As with the Apple AirPods, they are built primarily for Apple users, so even though you can use them with your Android phone with reduced functionality, you probably don’t want to. You can find a much better fully Android compatible pair of earbuds from our list.

3. Jaybird Vista True Wireless

The Jaybird Vista True Wireless Earbuds are considered by the manufacturer to be fully weather-proof. This means you can wear them in the rain, snow, sleet, or hail, not sure why you would want to be outside in these conditions, but your headphones can handle it. While the other earbuds are only sweat and water-resistant, these should stand up to the test of mother nature.

They also claim that these earbuds are smaller and lighter than most of the other earbuds on the market, weighing in at .71 ounces.  And for our small-eared friends, they come with three sizes of interchangeable ear gels so they won’t fall out.

These earbuds hold a 6-hour charge, but only 10 additional hours with the case. And, they pair easily with any phone, which is great news for our Android users.

They also have a handy “Find My Buds” feature where you can track these teeny tiny pieces of technology when they get lost under a pile of clothes in your bedroom. We think this is a pretty nifty feature since they only cost $180.

4. Samsung Galaxy Buds

Samsung Galaxy Buds have many comparable features with all the earbuds mentioned so far and scored a respectable 4.1 stars on Amazon, but they are far less expensive. Coming in at a price tag of $120.

They hold 6 hours of charge with an additional seven from the case and are sweat and water-resistant.

If you have an Android device, they have the amazing feature of turning on the ambient sound around you, so you can’t ignore everyone who is talking to you. This feature isn’t available for Apple devices, so if you are an iPhone user, you will just have to continue ignoring the rest of the world.

Our small-eared friends can enjoy these earbuds as well with the three adjustable ear tips and wingtip sizes.

They have a near-instant pairing with both Android and iOS devices and will let you talk to Siri.

5. Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds

The Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds, while still very functional and popular on Amazon, scored a slightly lower 3.6-star rating on Amazon.

One great advantage to these earbuds is when you download the Jabra Sound+ app, you can activate a feature that makes the earbuds serve as a fitness tracker. This motion sensor feature allows you to track your fitness goals and workouts while listening to music.

And for those days that you are playing hooky from work, they have wind noise protection. No one on the conference call will know you are calling from that breezy spot on the beach.

Otherwise, the features are similar to the rest of the pack. They have 5 hours of battery life, with a total of 15 when you factor in the case. Like most options, they are water and sweat resistant. They pair with Android and Apple devices, and you have the pleasure of speaking with Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. These Jabra earbuds are available for $189.99 and come in black, blue or red.

6. Skull Candy – Sesh True Wireless

All of these earbuds sound great, but if there is no way you are going to spend over $100 on something the size of a quarter. The Sesh True Wireless Earbuds from Skull Candy might be the best option for you.

At $30 with a 3.6-star rating on Amazon, how can you go wrong?

They easily connect with all devices, and you can summon your favorite assistants, as well.

Unfortunately, these do not offer the social and safety benefits of ambient noise inclusion, and they only hold a 3-hour charge with an additional 7-hours in the case. Remember, they are under $50, they can’t have everything!

Our small-eared buddies are out of luck, too, as they are only offered in one size.

Obviously, a lower price tag is going to come with fewer features, bells and whistles aren’t your things anyway. If you have normal-sized ears and your trip to the gym takes under three hours, then these are a wonderfully economical option that will serve you well. Plus, they also come in three different colors for you to choose from and would be a great stocking stuffer.

Not-Quite Wireless Earbuds

Traditional wireless earbuds are partially wireless. They are considered wireless because there is no wire connecting your phone or device to the earbuds; they do still have wires connecting the left bud to the right bud.

So why would anyone use these over the true wireless earbuds? Well, for one, they are considerably cheaper with the most expensive earbuds on our list coming in at $136.

They also tend to have better battery life, and that doesn’t depend on the carrying case.

These not-quite-wireless wireless earbuds are great picks for the on the go person who doesn’t mind the neck cord.

7. One Plus Bullet Wireless 2

The One Plus Bullet 2 Wireless earbuds are fairly comfortable to wear. The wire that connects the two earpieces slouches down slightly, so you don’t really notice it is there.

They also have a pretty nifty feature we haven’t seen on other earbuds. The One Plus Bullet Earbuds are magnetic, and when they are held together with the magnet, they are turned off. As soon as you separate them, they turn on and automatically pair themselves with your last-used device.

These buds also hold a full 14 hours of charge time, but as a bonus, they have an extremely quick charge time. So, if you forgot to charge them the night before, you can stick them in the charger for 10 minutes in the morning and get 10 hours out of them for your day.

They are compatible with Android and iOS devices and let you talk to your favorite Google assistant and $135.99.

The biggest drawback is they are not sweat or water-resistant, so while they are a great pair of commuting earbuds, they won’t cut it for your next marathon training session.

8. RHA MA650 Wireless Earbuds

The RHA MA650 Wireless Earbuds are our small-eared friend’s favorite. They come with multiple sizes and shaped silicone tips for any size or shaped ear.

They achieved a respectable 3.6-star rating on Amazon and are sweat and water-resistant, with a 12-hour battery life. You can pair them easily with Apple and Android devices.

While most other earbuds mentioned on this list come with a standard 2-year warranty against dust, water and sweat exposure, these come with a whopping 3 years of worry-free use and only $100.

9. Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2

Once again, Skullcandy has presented the best deal. Skullcandy’s Smokin’Buds 2 are held together with a lightweight collar rather than just a wire connecting the two earbuds, but if you don’t like the collar, it can be removed.

They earned a smokin’ 3.8 stars on Amazon and will only set you back $30.

Like the One Plus buds, these also are not sweat or water-resistant. They will hold 6 hours of charge, and the battery will fully recharge after 2.5 hours. The Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2 also have a microphone and controls near the left earbud to adjust sound and answer calls easily.

Wireless earbud technology is relatively new. Even though there are lots of options out there now, the market is going to keep growing as the technology improves. More features will pop up, and other companies will join in on the fun.

If you are scared by the high prices, you can wait a bit; prices will surely come down as they always do with new tech.

Wireless earbuds are such a great convenience for your life, though, they would make a wonderful addition to your wish list. The holidays are just around the corner, and I am sure your family wouldn’t be disappointed if they got some Airpods, Powerbeats, Galaxy Buds or Skullcandy earbuds in their stocking this year.

Christine Devereaux Evangelista

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