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Best True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds for Tether Free Listening 2021

Best True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds for Tether Free Listening 2021. Do you hate headphone wires? Do they ever get in your way or tangle during exercise? Want to get rid of them? Then you need true wireless Bluetooth earbuds.

 

What are True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds?

Not all Bluetooth headphones are created equal. Some are not “truly” wireless. Bluetooth headphones are great. Bluetooth earbuds are much better.

Why? Because they’re incredibly small; often no bigger than a hearing aid. You can place them inside your ears and forget about them. And because they’re so tiny, they’re easier to conceal. While we don’t recommend listening to music or a podcast during your morning conference, you could probably do it and get away with it.

Take note, you should choose some that protect your hearing, especially if you’re wearing them for hours!

 

Why Would You Need True Wireless Earbuds?

They have no wires or cords, so they eliminate the fuss. If you’re doing a physical activity like running or even mowing the lawn, wires get real annoying, real fast.

I can’t remember how many times I’ve bent down only to have the headphone plug yank out of the port with conventional headphones. Wires suck!

The real benefit, however, is that you can leave your phone in your pocket, or stream directly from a smartwatch on your wrist via a Bluetooth connection. Actually, you can often connect them to other types of media players too – like an MP3 player or iPod.

 

The Best True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds of 2021

Based on our research and reviews, here are the best true wireless Bluetooth earbuds in the market today.

 

1. Best Overall – Apple Airpods Pro (3rd Gen)

New Apple AirPods Pro (3rd Gen)

The new Airpods deliver immersive sound, but you stay connected with the world around you

 

The 3rd generation Apple Airpods Pro are a return to form for the company. These babies fit snugly just inside the ears, and stay in place even during strenuous activities, unlike the original Airpods, which always fell out. The improved design is achieved thanks to slightly tapered tips that conform to your ear shape. The design also equalizes pressure for maximum comfort. You can wear these bad boys all day without pain or discomfort.

The earbuds feature active noise cancellation which delivers immersive sound, while simultaneously keeping you in tune with your surroundings. You’ll still hear cars, people, and events happening around you. One user claims that the buds saved his life — thanks to the transparency mode which lets you hear music alongside ambient noises.

 

Why You Should Get It

Let’s face it. Apple is still at the top of its game. These things sound amazing, they feel great even after long sessions, and the unique noise-cancellation is both immersive and totally safe.

 

Pros

  • Active noise cancellation
  • Safe, transparent mode so you can hear your environment
  • Includes 3 sizes of tapered silicon tips
  • Water and sweat-resistant design
  • Instant access to Siri
  • Over 24hrs of battery life

 

Cons

  • Expensive

 

Alternative: Apple AirPods Max

 

2. Best for Athletes – Jabra Elite Active 75t

 

Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds

The Jabra Elite Active 75t are designed to stay in your ears no matter what you’re doing.

 

The Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds strike a near-perfect balance between price, features, and quality. They’re affordable yet capable thanks to high-quality sound, a waterproof design, and noise cancellation support. A recent over-the-air update added both active and passive noise cancellation modes for the buds.

Battery life is fantastic. You get 5.5 hours with fully-charged earbuds and ANC on, and up to 24 hours total with the included charging case. Audio profiles can be customized via Jabra’s Sound+ app, allowing you to tweak various settings and even call quality. All in all, these headphones are a solid choice for athletics and beyond.

 

Why You Should Get It

They sound great, they’re lightweight, and they’re sweat and water-resistant. But the best part is they fit snug in the ear and won’t fall out thanks to smaller earpieces.

 

Pros:

  • Active and passive noise cancellation modes
  • Excellent battery life
  • Waterproof design
  • USB-C charging port

 

Cons:

  • Dated mobile app UI

 

3. Best Noise-Cancelling – Bose QuietComfort

 

bose quietcomfort noise cancelling earbuds

You’ve never experienced active noise cancellation like this before.

The Bose QuietComfort earbuds have 11 levels of active noise-cancellation. Yes, 11 levels. Moreover, a transparency mode keeps you aware of what’s happening nearby. They’re IPX4 water-resistant, as well as sweat-resistant. They also support customized controls via the Bose Music app. You can manage Bluetooth sync, fiddle with an equalizer, change noise-cancellation settings, and much more. Simple touch-based controls are available on the earbuds themselves.

They offer decent battery life, with 6 hours per earbud and another 12 hours with the included charging case. Plus, the charging case is Qi-enabled for wireless charging, which is super convenient. If you spend a lot of time on public transport or in noisy areas, these earbuds are for you!

 

Why You Should Get It

With one of the most advanced active noise-cancellation technologies in place, these earbuds provide a super immersive experience. Even so, they won’t pull you away from the wide-open world. You can still hear what’s going on around you, for safety and better living.

 

Pros:

  • Noise-cancelling with 11 levels of active cancellation
  • Amazing Bose-quality sound
  • Bluetooth 5.1 with up to 30ft range
  • 18hr battery life
  • Water and sweat-proof design

 

Cons:

  • They don’t power down outside of the case

 

4. Best Durability – Jaybird Vista

 

jaybird vista wireless earbuds

The MIL-SPEC design means these earbuds can take a beating and keep on playing.

The Jaybird Vista Bluetooth Sport Earbuds are made to last! They’re waterproof, drop-proof, crush-proof, sweatproof, and weatherproof, thanks to an IPX7 water-resistance rating and the MIL-SPEC STD810G standard. They’re small, lightweight, and come with 3 interchangeable ear gels to customize the fit.

You can use Jaybird’s companion app — for Android and iOS — to adjust equalizer settings, volume, and more. Moreover, a “find my buds” feature allows you to locate them instantly if you ever misplace just the earbuds. They offer 6 hours of use, per earbud, on a single charge, and an additional 16 hours with the portable charging case — up to 32 hours if you’re only using a single earbud.

 

Why You Should Get It

These babies are nigh-indestructible thanks to a waterproof and MIL-SPEC design. They’re excellent for sports, yard work, or listening to some tunes in random places — like a mountain, the beach, or even the deep woods.

 

Pros:

  • Super tough waterproof and MIL-SPEC design
  • Batteries last for 6hrs alone, up to 16hrs with the charging case, or 32hrs with one earbud
  • Lightweight and sleek design
  • Includes 3 ear gel sizes

 

Cons:

  • The app UI could use improvements

 

5. Best Battery – Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus white earbuds

The wireless earbuds last for up to 11 hours with a single charge.

Beautiful, unique, and long-lasting, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Plus feature 11 hours of use on a single charge. When with the charging case, battery life extends to 22 hours total. While that’s not the longest overall, they still last a long time without needing a charge or plug-in.

A dedicated microphone — internal — and dual-external mics ensure call quality and voice commands are clear and concise. They work with Android and iOS devices, and there’s a dedicated app to control and configure the earbuds. Built-in woofers and tweeters deliver excellent sound quality whether you’re listening to podcasts, music, or audiobooks.

 

Why You Should Get It

If you want earbuds that last a long time without needing a charge or a power boost, these are the best bet. Moreover, they come in several stylish colors, including red, black, and white.

 

Pros:

  • Up to 11hrs of continuous listening without a charge
  • Listen for another 11hrs (22 total) with the included charging case
  • Dual-mic clarity for voice
  • Android and iOS compatibility with a mobile companion app
  • They come with 3 eargels

 

Cons:

  • Samsung collects and shares info during use

 

6. Best for the Gym – Beats Powerbeats Pro

 

Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones

The Powerbeats will keep you invigorated, in-touch, and in the game.

 

More often than not, music is the key to an intense workout, and upbeat music gets you ready to rock, pump, and move. The Beats Powerbeats Pro will deliver precisely that, but their secure design will keep them attached to your ears even during intense workouts. You see, while many wired headphones have a wrap-around enclosure, earbuds usually don’t. These merge the best of both worlds without sacrificing the wireless setup.

The batteries will last for 9 hours on a single charge and up to 24 total with the included charging case. They’re water and sweat-resistant. Moreover, they have on-board controls for activating voice commands and adjusting media playback. They even come in several colors, including bright red, navy blue, dark green, pink, and more. If you spend a lot of time at the gym — whether home or away — or you like to get out and hit the streets, these are an excellent match.

 

Why you should get it

These provide the wireless freedom of earbuds, with the secure, wrap-around enclosure of conventional headphones. They sound great, fit great, and they’ll stay on no matter how many squats or deadlifts you have left.

 

Pros

  • Fully wireless, but with a wrap-around ear closure
  • Use them in solo or dual configurations
  • Up to 9hrs per charge, or 24 total with the charging case
  • Water and sweat-proof
  • Available in several styles

Cons

  • The case can be difficult to open

 

7. Best for Android – Google Pixel Buds 2

 

Google Pixel Buds 2 Truly Wireless Earbuds

Multiple styles. 24hrs of playback. USB-C charging. What more could you ask for?

Orange, white, mint green, or black. It doesn’t matter what color you choose, the Bluetooth 5.0 Pixel Buds 2 look awesome in any style. The uniquely egg-shaped charging case cradles the earbuds perfectly and offers an additional 12 hours of talk time or up to 24 hours of listening time. The buds alone will last for up to 5 hours on a single charge.

They’re sweat and water-resistant, with Qi-enabled wireless charging support. They also include USB-C charging, which is quickly becoming the standard across modern devices — no need to pick up any special charging cords if you already have one or two lying around. 12mm dynamic drivers produce premium sound, and adaptive audio adjust the volume to your surroundings.

 

Why You Should Get It

If you’ve invested heavily in the Android ecosystem, these are a solid choice for compatible earbuds. Don’t worry, they work with iOS, too.

 

Pros:

  • Up to 5hrs of listening per charge, 24hrs with the case
  • Adaptive audio adjusts volume levels based on surroundings
  • Compatible with Android and iPhone (8 or above)
  • Several stylish color options
  • Sweat and water-resistant design

 

Cons:

  • No active noise cancellation

 

Note: The latest model is called “Pixel Buds,” which can be confusing. However, they are the 2nd gen model.

 

8. Best for Professionals – Sony WF-1000XM3

 

Sony WF-1000XM3 Industry Leading Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds

Sony’s digital noise canceling lets you listen without distractions.

 

As John Hammond would say, Sony “spared no expense.” Before the Bose QuietComfort earbuds hit the scene, these were the best overall for noise-cancellation technology. While the Bose earbuds now hold the crown, these are still a worthy alternative. The Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds incorporate digital noise cancellation technology to keep you concentrated and focused on your work. The Sony HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1e handles noise-cancellation and delivers improved sound quality via 24bit Audio signal processing. Both left and right wireless earbuds can swap between listening mode to an ambient mode so you can hear conversations and your surroundings without stopping media playback.

The batteries last for up to 6 hours on a single charge, and up to 24 total with the included charging case. In a pinch, a quick 10-minute charge will afford another 90 minutes of continuous listening time. You can also enjoy a hands-free calling and voice assistant with a simple touch — they have Amazon’s Alexa built-in. They’re an excellent choice for business professionals, especially in an office setting where you need to be alert at all times.

 

Why you should get it

Usually, to hold a conversation, you’d have to mute or stop playback. These earbuds incorporate superior, digital noise-canceling tech to keep you immersed yet alert.

 

Pros

  • High definition digital noise-canceling tech
  • Superb sound quality
  • 6hrs on a single charge, or up to 24hrs with the case
  • Quick charge mode offers 90min of playback per 10min charge
  • Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built-in

 

Cons

  • Not water or sweat-resistant

 

9. Best Voice Support – Amazon Echo Buds

 

Echo Buds Wireless Earbuds

Stream music, play audiobooks, and make calls with Alexa.

 

Fit. Comfort. And sound quality. These are usually the top features that people are looking for when buying wireless earphones. Well, these Echo Buds deliver all of that and more!

First, the noise cancellation is superb. It’s from Bose, after all. Sound quality? Super check. The lows are lows, and the highs are highs. They’re crystal clear and punchy when they need to be. Perhaps more exciting, they feature Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built-in. You can make calls without taking your phone out of your pockets or your bag. You can ask Alexa to play music for you. With your voice, you can control all your smart home devices. Alexa can even help you take notes.

 

Why You Should Get It

If you live in an Alexa household these are a no-brainer. But they also offer excellent noise-cancellation support and fantastic sound quality for an affordable yet premium-level experience.

 

Pros

  • Immersive sound and crisp audio
  • Hands-free with Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant
  • Up to 5hrs of playback per charge, or 20hrs total with the case
  • Customizable fit with 3 ear-tips
  • Sweat-resistant

Cons

  • Not a snug fit for everyone

 

10. Best Style – B&O PLAY Beoplay E8 (3rd Gen)

 

Bang and Olufsen Beoplay E8 3rd gen earbuds

Posh design, excellent sound quality, incredible battery life.

 

Created from the ground up by experienced sound engineers, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 3rd Generation wireless earbuds not only sound wonderful but also look great while doing it. Better yet, they offer up to 35 hours of total listening time — 7 for the earbuds alone — with the included charging case. The case is made of crafted leather, and comes in several color options, much like the buds.

They feature Bluetooth 5.1 support, AAC and Qualcomm aptX codec compatibility, and Qi-wireless charging. The minimal design is meant to be unobtrusive without falling out of your ears.

 

Why You Should Get It

If you love fashion and want your earbuds to look as fabulous as you do, grab these. They also produce premium sound and have some excellent features.

 

Pros:

  • A beautiful mash-up of style and function
  • Available in several colors with matching leather cases
  • Offer 7hrs per earbud, up to 35hrs with the case
  • Bluetooth 5.1 for enhanced connectivity
  • Minimally invasive design

 

Cons:

  • Expensive

 

 

11. Best Sound Quality – Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro

 

Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro True Wireless Earbuds

Audio and sound quality a priority? No problem.

 

The pros have spoken, Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is recommended by 10 Grammy Award-winning producers who can attest to the premium quality sound it produces. The Knowles driver is a Balanced Armature effective for interference cancellation and balance between high and low notes. You will hear your playlist on a whole, new level with Liberty 2 Pro’s rich and detailed musicality after personalizing your hearing settings in the Soundcore app.

Listen morning until night and still have hours left of playtime because the earbuds can last for 32 hours. In addition to that, the wireless earphones are Qi-certified so you may choose USB-C or a wireless charger. Liberty 2 Pro delivers clear voice calls using 4 microphones as you speak and cVc 8.0 noise reduction as you receive. 

 

Why you should get it

10 Grammy Award-winning producers recommend it, Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is a true wireless earphone that delivers the most alive sound you will hear. Customize your music settings using its app and you’ll hear the sound most perfect to you.

 

Pros

  • Natural Sound with high & low details
  • Battery life is 8 hours and 32 hours with the charging case
  • Customize hearing profile using Soundcore app
  • Qi-certified for wireless charging

 

Cons

  • Not a snug fit for everyone

 

12. Most Unique – Anker Neckband Headphones

 

Anker Bluetooth Neckband Headphones

Crystal-clear calls without the background noise

 

It’s hard to close a sale over the phone if you can’t concentrate on your discussion. If you need to focus on your calls, you’d love Anker’s Soundcore Life NC. It provides noise cancellation when receiving important calls, and high RES audio for superior clarity while listening to good music. You can even activate its Transparency mode to still be able to be aware of your surroundings. What’s even more impressive is that it has its own app to help you customize its performance to your liking.

Life NC is also usable during flights because of its Micro-USB to AUX Cable feature. It will accompany you even during a long flight, 10-hr playtime is supported. You don’t even have to worry about keeping it since it has its own traveling case.

 

Why you should get it

Looking for one earphone that can cater to both clear music and quality audio in whatever ear tip size suitable for your ears? Soundcore Life NC by Anker is the product you’ve been waiting for. It has four microphones with uplink-noise- cancellation technology and Hi-Res Audio ensuring that the music experience will never be this apparent.

 

Pros

  • Uplink noise-cancellation for a clear background
  • Hi-Res audio for optimum music adventure
  • Sweat and water-resistant
  • Long playtime of up to 10 hours

 

Cons

  • You always have to use both earbuds

 

The Best True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

 

Here are the Best True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds compared.

1Apple AirPods Pro Deals

  • Active noise cancellation
  • Transparency mode
  • Water and sweat resistant
  • Expensive
NA

2Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

  • Active and passive noise cancellation
  • Excellent battery life
  • USB-C charging
  • Dated app UI
NA

3Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds

  • 11 levels of noise cancellation
  • Premium quality sound
  • Bluetooth 5.1 with 30ft range
  • 18hr battery life
  • They only turn off when placed in the case
NA

4Jaybird Vista True Wireless Bluetooth Sport Earbuds

  • Super tough MIL-SPEC design
  • Up to 16hrs of battery life with the case
  • Lightweight and sleek
  • App UI is poor
NA

5Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Wireless Earbuds (White)

  • Amazing battery life
  • Dual-mic voice clarity
  • Android and iOS compatible
  • Includes 3 eargel sizes
  • Samsung collects data
NA

6Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones Black Friday Deal

  • Secure wrap-around ear enclosure
  • Can be used in solo or dual configurations
  • Water and sweat-proof
  • 9hrs to 24hrs playback time
  • Case difficult to open
NA

7Google Pixel Buds 2 True Wireless In-Ear Headphones

  • Adaptive audio matches surroundings
  • Sweat and water-resistant
  • Several stylish options
  • No active noise cancellation
NA

8Sony WF-1000XM3 Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds

  • High-def digital noise cancellation
  • Superb audio quality
  • Amazon Alexa built-in
  • Quick-charge mode
  • No water or sweat-resistance
70

9Amazon Wireless Echo Buds Deals

  • Immersive sound and crisp audio
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Hands-free voice assistant support
  • Not a snug fit for everyone
70

10Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 3rd Generation True Wireless in-Ear Bluetooth Earphones

  • Fabulous and fashionable design
  • Minimally invasive
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Comes with a leather case
  • Expensive
NA

11Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro True Wireless Earbuds

  • Natural sound quality
  • Customizable hearing profiles
  • Qi-enabled charging
  • Great battery life
  • Not a snug fit
80

12Anker Bluetooth Neckband Headphones

  • Uplink noise cancellation
  • IPX5 protection
  • Hi-Res audio
  • Long playtime up to 10 hours
  • Have to use both earbuds
80

—  Bluetooth Earbuds Buyers Guide & FAQ  —

 

What to look for when buying Bluetooth Earbuds?

Listening to music is hassle-free until the wire on your headphones gets tangled. Of course, that won’t happen if you go wireless.

If that’s what you’re planning, then you’ll want to consider some Bluetooth earbuds. Unfortunately, there are so many wireless earbuds on the market, it’s tough to decide what’s best. These guidelines will help you research and choose the right Bluetooth earbuds for you!

Check it out:

 

Installation – Bluetooth earbuds are easy to install, and usually, it just takes a couple of seconds. Grab your smartphone or MP3 player, sync your earbuds via an active Bluetooth connection, enjoy your tunes! Some earbuds may be more difficult to sync than others, and every so often, you may find a pair that’s not compatible with your media device or phone.

Price Check – Prices vary by brand, quality, and features. You must choose an option that both meets your budget and satisfies your needs. They start at about $50 and extend up to $400. The more features you want, the more expensive they’re going to be, generally speaking.

“Truly” Wireless – Not all Bluetooth earbuds are completely wireless. They still use wires but they do not need to be directly connected to your device. This shouldn’t make any difference, since you can stand still and listen to good music anytime, anywhere. Just choose one that would fit you and your style.

Battery Life – Some earbuds have a battery life that lasts only a couple of hours, while others last all day without charging. Choose what works for you. Luckily, a portable charging case is a standard inclusion for nearly all earbuds, which helps extend battery life when you cannot get to an outlet.

Extra Technology – Just as earbuds vary in visual aesthetics, they also vary in regards to feature-support. Some have built-in fitness and activity trackers, others have voice-assistants, like Alexa. Some even have water-resistant designs, touch-based controls, mobile app support, digital voice cancellation technology, and more. Find your groove.

 

How to set up and use true wireless earbuds?

 

Just sync-up via Bluetooth and go!

 

Bluetooth earbuds are incredibly simple to use. It takes only a couple of seconds to sync them to a phone or MP3 player via Bluetooth. Once they’re synced, you shouldn’t have to do it again.

Some earbuds — like the Apple Airpods — are designed to connect automatically to your device as soon as you put them in your ears. No fiddling necessary!

Bluetooth Earbuds FAQs

 

Here are some questions that are commonly asked about true wireless Bluetooth earbuds:

 

Q: Are they compatible with Android only?  

A: It depends on the brand and model. For the most part, many of the newer wireless earbuds are designed to work with both ecosystems.

 

Q: Do I have to bring my device close to my Bluetooth earbuds every time?  

A: Connection distance depends on the Bluetooth protocol and the capabilities of the earbuds, and sometimes the media device or phone you’re connected to. Usually, you have at least a 10-foot distance to move around in, but it’s usually wider than that.

 

Q: How long will it take to charge?

A: Battery life differs from model to model, as do the charging requirements. Some devices need to remain to charge for 4 hours or longer, while others get a quick boost from a 10-minute charge.

 

Q: Do I need WiFi or mobile data to use this?

A: No. All “Bluetooth” earbuds connect wirelessly via the Bluetooth protocol.

 

Q: Do I have to pay for my Bluetooth connection?

A: No, it costs you nothing. Almost all devices today have a built-in Bluetooth connection. All you have to do is sync your earbuds with your device.

 

Q: Do I have to buy Bluetooth earbuds with the same brand as my device?

A: No, not necessarily. Not all brands of devices release Bluetooth earbuds, anyway. Moreover, most Bluetooth earbuds are designed to be compatible with any device.

 

Q: Why you should trust Ideaing? 

A: Since 2013, our team at Ideaing has held an extensive background in technology, from electrical engineering to product managers at Fortune 500 companies. We pride ourselves in providing truly objective insight into our reviews and recommendations. Our expert panel of product experts spend thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products.

 

There are hundreds of Bluetooth earbuds models out there, and as time passes, more will launch. Finding the best is tough, especially when so many offer “smart” features like fitness and health tracking, personal training, local music storage, and more. With the right information in hand, however, you can make a decision, and that’s exactly why we put together this guide!

What Bluetooth earbuds are your favorite? What features do you desire most for your wireless earbuds? Let us know in the comments!

 


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