Sep 30, 2023

The best wireless earbuds of 2023

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A good pair of wireless earbuds can last you through work meetings, gym visits and subway commutes. That said, there are a lot of options available, with many boasting features like active noise cancellation or wireless charging. Below, we list the best wireless earbuds of 2023, plus our methodology behind choosing them.

Each pair of buds mentioned below has been tried by a staff member or tested by me - we're recommending them because we love them, and have used them for at least over three months. To test these earbuds, I wore them to work, to the gym and in loud environments like a grocery store or on a subway train. I also took into account how comfortable they felt, how secure the fit was and how vocal heavy and bass heavy tracks sounded on them.

Battery life: Every option mentioned below has a battery life of at least five hours per charge.

IP rating: The IP rating of a product determines its water and dust resistance, see here for a full list of what each IP rating means. For example, an IP68 rating tells us that the product is both dust and waterproof.

Fit: Every earbud we mention comes with multiple ear tips for a better fit. We also included a range of earbud options, including bone conduction earbuds that don't need to be plugged into your ears, as well as more traditional earbuds like the AirPods Pro.

Image credit: Amazon

I've owned the AirPods Pro 2nd Gen for over a year now - note the only difference between last year's model and the 2023 AirPods Pro is the USB-C charging cable. They have excellent noise cancellation - some of the best I've experienced easily - muffling loud subway sounds and city chatter almost completely. You can also toggle transparency on to listen to what's going on around you or try the new Adaptive Sound mode, which automatically adjusts the noise cancellation to your surroundings. For example, you'll get a more muted plugged-in feeling around loud construction spaces, but if you're at the office in a quiet space, you might hear more background noise come in. Battery life is around six hours on a single charge and the wireless case can hold an additional 24. As for sound, I personally love listening to music on the AirPods Pro. They have Apple's new H2 chip which the brand says gets you better noise cancellation and more immersive sound. I enjoy listening to bass-heavy tracks particularly, as they have no distortion even at high volumes.

Image credit: Amazon

If you want something a little more premium, go with the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2. These buds also have active noise cancellation, although it's not quite as strong as the AirPods Pro, That said, they do deliver big, balanced sound, with attention to detail - when I replayed some of my favorite tracks I could hear instruments and sound features I hadn't hear before. They only have a combined battery life of 21 hours with the charging case, but they do have fast charging features to help boost battery backup. You can choose between three ear tips and three colors, depending on your preference.

Image credit: Amazon

These are the best waterproof earbuds on the market, so if you're looking for a pair for the gym or for your next jog in the rain, pick the Elite Active 8. They're extremely light and grippy, staying in my ears even during HIIT workouts or cycling. You'll get eight hours of battery life on a single charge (32 hours in total with the case) and there's active noise cancellation too, which automatically filters out background noise depending on the environment you're in. It's not the strongest ANC Jabra offers though. If you're okay with sacrificing a sweat-proof design, pick the Jabra Elite 10 which is also exceedingly comfortable and has the best noise cancellation out of Jabra's offerings.

Image credit: Amazon

These bone condition style earbuds are a favorite of Localish producer Cameron Covell for their sweat-resistant design and secure fit thanks to the lightweight frame that wraps around your head. Since they don't technically plug into your ears, there's no noise cancellation available. That said, if you want to stay in tune with your surroundings, these are the best earbuds for you. They conduct sound through vibrations sent to your cheekbones which then transmit sound to your inner ear, according to the brand. The result is an immersive sound experience, without having to worry about ear tips or finding the right fit. Battery life is only eight hours, but you can get an additional 1.5 hours with a 10-minute charge, according to the brand.

Image credit: Amazon

You don't have to be a Google Pixel user to take advantage of the Pixel Buds Pro - it functions with iOS devices too. They have multipoint connectivity, which allows you to seamlessly switch between listening to music on your smartphone to your laptop. There's also active noise cancellation, which is pretty decent and mutes most city sounds around me. There's also a special gaming mode that helps deliver audio faster during intense e-sport moments. Like other earbuds on this list, you also have a transparency mode to help you stay aware of your surroundings, and a sweatproof design so you can wear them while you work out. Battery life can last up to a full 11 hours, according to the brand and the case stores an additional 20 hours. Choose between six colors including the new Bay colorway that debuted on the Pixel 8 Pro.

I have tested and written about wireless earbuds for over three years now, including producing in-depth reviews on various earbuds and headphones. For this article, I personally tested each pair of buds in my daily life for at least three months before forming an opinion on them.