Best Wireless Earbuds For Christmas 2020
Looking for the best noise-cancelling, sports, budget or true wireless earbuds? We’ve got you covered.
When AirPods were first released, we all laughed at the idea of investing in the tiny, expensive pieces of tech. Surely something so small (and so wireless) couldn’t possibly compete with the audio quality of real headphones, and surely they’d never be able to stay in your ears on their own, and surely you’d lose them within minutes!
But flash forward a few years and they’re the hot item that everyone wants to own. Whether you just want a wireless experience that makes your commute that much easier, or a tangle-free option that won’t get in the way of your workout, they’re a must-have.
But with so many high-quality models now on the market, how can you know which one to put your hard-earned money towards? Well, we’ve done the research to find 12 of the very best wireless earbuds on offer – including noise-cancelling, sports, budget and true wireless options we think you’ll love.
Best true wireless earbuds
Considered to be the top option on the market, these Sony Earbuds offer excellent value at a fairly reasonable price tag (in comparison to its competitors, at least). They’ve got industry-leading noise canceling, amazing sound quality with dual noise sensor technology, a battery life of up to 24 hours with the carrying case, Alexa-enabled voice control, smart listening functions with adaptive sound control, and three sizes of triple comfort silicone rubber earbuds. Seriously, what more do you need?
Let’s be honest: AirPods are probably the first option you think of when you think wireless earbuds, and that’s for a good reason. According to all reviews, they really do live up to the hype. With a wireless charging case, comfortable silicone ear tips (in three sizes), immersive sound quality, transparency mode, noise-canceling capabilities, sweat and water resistance, it has all the bells and whistles. The battery life offers four and a half hours of listening time on one charge, and over 24 hours of listening time with multiple charges using the case. if you’re an iPhone user they’re your best bet.
If you’re not an Apple fanatic, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live give AirPods a run for their money. Their ergonomic design promises all-day comfort, they contain two wing tip sizes for a custom fit, they have active noise cancellation and voice control options through Bixby. There’s also a Spotify integration that makes it even easier to blast your fave tunes, a long-lasting battery of up to six hours non-stop listening (and up to 21 hours of battery with the charging case). You can buy them in stylish black, bronze or white colourways, and The Iconic’s fast shipping options mean you can have them on your doorstep in as little as four hours.
Best noise cancelling earbuds
These Bose earbuds feature simple touch controls, sweat and weather resistance, clear call quality, lifelike sound, and a secure and comfortable fit, but their main drawcard is the trademarked Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling. They pair top notch sound quality with “the world’s most effective noise cancelling” to produce super crisp audio with rich bass that allows you to hear every detail of the song, podcast, or video you’re tuned into.
For a slightly cheaper option that still comes with highly-rated noise cancellation, the Jabra Elite 75T Truly Wireless Headphones are a great option. Available in gold beige or titanium black, they offer up to 7.5 hours of power off a single charge as well as one-touch voice assistant access that works with Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant.
Best budget wireless earbuds
Who would’ve thought you could score a quality pair of wireless headphones for under $50?! If the thought of true wireless earphones gives you instant nightmares about losing one of your precious (and expensive) buds, these ones feature a wire that keeps everything secure – while still counting as wireless due to their Bluetooth connectivity. They deliver quality JBL sound with up to eight hours of battery life, a convenient neck clip, and a microphone for crystal clear calls.
If you thought $45 was a great deal, here’s an even cheaper one – that still rakes in hundreds of five-star reviews. They include a high quality microphone in both buds to provide great call performance, smart touch control for easy use, four hour battery life (or 24 hours if you’ve got the charging case on you), and three sizes of eartips to ensure a snug and secure fit in your ears. They’re sweatproof, making them suitable for workouts, and also feature auto pairing as soon as you take them out of their case.
$179.95 might not sound very “budget”, but in terms of true wireless earbuds, it’s a steal. These Skullcandy buds are sweat, water and dust resistant, have up to 30 hours total battery, allow you to call, skip tracks, and adjust volume, and have a built-in microphone. Even better? They have in-built Tile technology that, once connected to the free Tile app, allows you to track down the buds if either of them go missing, which we think is pretty damn smart.
Best wireless sport earbuds
Dr Dre knows his stuff when it comes to high quality earphones, and this pair is no exception. With up to 15 hours of listening time, sweat and water resistance, on-ear volume and track controls, and adjustable ear hooks and a neck band for a secure fit, they’re ideal for a wide range of sports and exercise – from a gym sesh to a marathon.
With a 4.3 out of five star average from over 13,000 ratings, these earbuds are a proven favourite. They have a neck band so you don’t need to worry about losing one of your buds, as well as exclusive Stay Hear+ tips to keep the headphones comfortably in place during the most intense workouts. They are sweat and weather resistant, and the battery life offers up to six hours per charge. There’s an inline microphone and remote to control volume, skip tracks and take calls, as well as both Bluetooth and NFC pairing to make connecting to your phone super easy.
Best wireless earbuds for running
Similar to the Powerbeats mentioned above, these high-tech earphones have the added benefit of being truly wireless – which means there’s no wires to flap against your neck or get caught on anything as you run. But don’t stress, the adjustable ear hooks ensure that they’ll stay snugly in place, no matter how much of a sweat you work up. There are seven fun colours on offer (much more than your standard black or white), hands-free Siri voice control, an auto play/pause function, a powerful and balanced sound and volume and track controls on each earbud.
For another great set of earphones to get you through your run, these JBL’s are a winner. With Bionic Hearing and Ambient Aware technologies to help you hear your surroundings while enjoying top-notch sound quality, Talk-Thru technology to allow for speech-optimised, noise-cancelling calls, UA Stormproof waterproof technology for ultimate sweat and water protection and winged ear tips to hold them in place, they certainly don’t play around. They have up to five hours of battery life with a 20-hour charging case too.
Is it worth buying wireless earbuds?
If you find yourself getting annoyed with the wired connection to your phone on regular earbuds – maybe you keep accidentally tugging your earphones out while running, or the cord doesn’t reach long enough put your phone in your bag while commuting – then wireless buds are definitely worth considering. The wirefree connection offers equally good (if not better) sound quality, and they offer a lot more freedom of movement.
What are true wireless earbuds?
To clear up any confusion, regular wireless earbuds are ones that use Bluetooth (or occasionally NFC) to connect to your phone without a wire, whereas true wireless earbuds are ones that are designed with no wires at all – not even a neck band to connect each bud.
Should I buy wireless or true wireless?
It depends on your preference. If you’re the type of person who is always losing things, you might prefer wireless ones like the Beats By Dr Dre Powerbeats High-Performance Wireless Earphones which you can hang around your neck when not in use. That said, true wireless earbuds are designed to have a secure fit so losing them is harder than you’d think – and some, like the Skullcandy Indy Evo True Wireless In Ear Headphones, even include a tracking feature so you can find out where you last left them.
Looking for more tech gadgets? We rounded up the best fitness trackers and the best smart scales to help you reach your health goals. Plus, for more Christmas gift inspo, check out our roundup of the best beauty Advent calendars.
All products featured in this article are selected by our editors, who don’t play favourites. If you buy something, we may get a cut of the sale.