While Bluetooth earbuds will technically work with any modern phone, having a pair that plays well with your OS will give you a better experience. While Apple’s AirPods Pro have been in the spotlight for a couple years (now joined by the updated AirPods 3) and can be used with Android devices, the audio quality drops off on non-Apple devices according to experts and the quick connectivity features tank.
Every new Apple audio solution gets the keynote treatment, but there are plenty of other wireless earbuds available that are just as good (or better) than the latest AirPods. Samsung, Sony, Bose, and other audio-centric brands have been building better buds year after year. Maybe it’s time you give them a try.
When it comes to picking a solid pair of earbuds, you want to first consider sound quality, active noise cancellation, and battery life. There are also plenty of differing styles to match your other tech or personal style, and specific features like touch controls and case design that you’ll want to pay attention to. Whatever your hierarchy of earbuds needs looks like, one of these stellar pairs will check all the boxes for you and fit in your budget.
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The price tag on the Pixel Buds A-Series is unbeatable — this is a stylish little pair of budget-friendly earbuds. Google nixed a few features from the now-discontinued Pixel Buds 2 to make these cheaper buds but kept what worked well. If you’re not picky about advanced features, these buds sound good and have a solid battery life.
The Galaxy Buds 2 sound fantastic and have killer active noise cancellation that’s comparable to pricier earbuds. With the sleek charging case, you’ll get 20 hours of ANC music playback. Touch controls are simple and consistent, the buds are lighter than most, and come with multiple ear tips for a custom fit. We think they’re Samsung’s best earbuds.
Even though Beats is owned by Apple, these earbuds are Android-friendly. That connection means the Studio Buds have active noise cancellation and transparency mode comparable to the AirPods Pro, without the price tag. Features aside, these stylish earbuds deliver powerful, balanced sound across the board.
When it comes to sound quality, the Galaxy Buds Pro sound really similar to the newer, cheaper Galaxy Buds 2. Here’s what you get with the price bump: a superior design with IPX7 water resistance, a spatial audio mode, better active noise cancellation control, and smoother, more consistent connectivity. If you’ve got the extra $50 to spare, it’s worth the upgrade.
The QuietComfort Earbuds might not be the most fashionable earbuds on the market (they’re pretty bulky), but the active noise cancellation quality is unmatched. Other brands are catching up but Bose is still the king of ANC. A sliding 1-10 ANC scale gives you a lot more control over noise reduction compared to other earbuds.
Sony’s WF-1000XM4 buds deliver superb audio quality, top-tier active noise cancellation, and an impressive 24 hours of ANC music playback with the charging case. They’re also super compact and comfortable, so you’ll be able to enjoy that long battery life. The combination of ANC superiority and healthy battery life makes these some of the best buds on the market.
One of the most pricey pairs of buds out there, Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless 2 Earbuds are a luxury product. The charging case is cloth-wrapped and the buds themselves have a shining metal backing. The sound quality is great, the active noise cancellation is respectable and the battery life is average — they’re on par with buds $100 cheaper but that high-end design will cost you.
The MW08 Earbuds boast an impressive 10 hours of ANC playback on a single charge, blowing every other pair on this list out of the water. Add an extra 30 hours of battery life from the charging case and you can go days without a charge. The sound quality is the best you can get with buds, and the ANC is up there with our other favorites.