The best wireless earbuds are our top picks for a reason. They pack fantastic-sounding audio, excellent connectivity via Bluetooth and a comfortable fit that stays put in your ears all into one stylish package.
There is nothing as comfortable as walking around, jogging, and even working with one of the best wireless earbuds available. They make lots of things much easier. As the world evolves, the telecommunication industry does too and people are now drifting too much lighter, easy to carry and micro gadgets that can easily fit into their pockets.
Table of Contents
- Sony WF-1000XM4: The best wireless earbuds overall in the UK
- Apple AirPods Pro 2: The best wireless earbuds from Apple in 2024
- Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: The best Samsung Galaxy Buds
- Panasonic RZ-S500W
- Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus: The best wireless earbuds for affordable sound quality
- JLab Go Air Pop: The best wireless earbuds under £20
- JBL Reflect Flow: Affordable sporty wireless earbuds
- Beats Powerbeats Pro: The best wireless earbuds for working out
- Google Pixel Buds A-Series: The latest Pixel Buds wireless earbuds
Sony WF-1000XM4: The best wireless earbuds overall in the UK
Sony is a leader in audio and offers some of the best noise-cancelling wireless earbuds on the market today. That’s why it’s no surprise that, after an extensive testing period, we’ve decided the brand’s latest Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds are our top choice and outshine the other earbuds on this list when it comes to checking the most boxes.
Granted, noise cancellation isn’t quite the best out there (the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds deliver that), but will suit most people looking to drown out a little background noise. And when the WF-1000XM4 earbuds sound as good as they do, second-best noise cancelling is no big deal.
As well as the excellent sound on offer here, Sony’s buds offer great call quality, too, which makes them a solid choice for all kinds of scenarios, from commuting to work calls and everything in between. Design-wise, we found that these earbuds are smaller and lighter than previous models from Sony, like the Sony WF-1000XM3, which means they’re comfy to wear for long periods.
Apple AirPods Pro 2: The best wireless earbuds from Apple in 2024
The highly-anticipated Apple AirPods Pro 2 are here and they enter our best wireless earbuds guide in a high spot because they offer superb audio performance and truly stunning ANC in a small and lightweight design.
The original Apple AirPods Pro has long been one of our favourite pairs of wireless buds for iPhone owners. Now the Pro 2 are a significant upgrade, offering fantastic audio performance thanks to new drivers and amplifiers. There’s also better ANC on board which, during our testing, we found to be right up with the best-in-class, blocking out almost all external sounds.
Battery life has had a decent boost and although it may not outperform all of the other wireless buds in this guide, it’s good for all-day listening at 6 hours from the buds and 30 hours from the charging case. The case has been revamped too, with an IPX4 water resistance rating for light showers and sweat as well as a built-in speaker so you can find it if you lose it.
As always with Apple products, these buds are best suited to iPhone users and aren’t cheap. But with solid audio improvements, they’re one of the best pairs of wireless earbuds you can buy right now, rivalling many of our long-standing favourites, including the Sony WF-1000XM4 and even offering ANC to give Bose a run for its money.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: The best Samsung Galaxy Buds
Given Samsung’s formidable reputation in the smartphone and tablet arena, it has long surprised us that the company’s Galaxy Buds output never quite hit the mark. But that has just changed in the best way possible.
Apple, Sony, Bose and Sennheiser now need to take a good look at what Samsung has done with the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. They’re good. No, really, they’re good.
The headline-grabber, if you own a Samsung Galaxy device (and thus, access to the Samsung Wearable companion app and home-screen widget) is 360 audio with optional head-tracking, thus allowing you to use your phone as the focal point to direct more of that new end-to-end 24-bit high-res audio to whichever ear you prefer.
These smaller, more comfortable and less arrogant earbuds (remember the rose gold, kidney-bean-shaped Galaxy Buds Live? These are nothing like those) are packed full of useful perks such as excellent ANC, voice detects, wearer detection and customizable on-ear controls – all of which work very well indeed – plus IPX7 water ingress protection. All in all, a home run from Samsung – marred only by the disappointing five-hour battery life.
Panasonic isn’t a brand that immediately springs to mind when you think of the best earbuds. But perhaps it should be. The RZ-S500W are the company’s first foray into the market and they’re sensational performers for the money.
Specs are thorough, with noise-cancelling tech, an Ambient Mode, twin mics for voice calls, and battery life that totals 19.5 hours (6.5hrs from the buds and 13hrs from the charging case). A 15-minute USB-C quick-charge can deliver 70 minutes of playback. The touch controls on each bud are responsive and intuitive, allowing you to control your music and switch between noise-cancelling modes with zero fuss.
You also get five sizes of ear tips to help with fit. We found this a little hit-and-miss, so we’d definitely experiment and consider mixing the sizes if it means getting a more secure fit.
Both noise-cancelling and sound quality are excellent. There’s plenty of agility through the low end and loads of texture across the frequencies. The music sounds clear and there’s a great deal of refinement on the show, which is to be welcomed at this price level. To sum up, these Panasonic wireless earbuds are superb for the money.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus: The best wireless earbuds for affordable sound quality
The first thing we noticed when reviewing the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus earbuds is that they have exceptional battery life. You get a total of 45 hours with the charging case and nine hours from the earbuds on their own. But there’s a lot more to love about the Melomania 1 Plus, including outstanding audio performance and an app that we found genuinely useful and easy to control during our testing.
These buds are an upgrade on the Melomania 1 from Cambridge Audio. While the Melomania 1 Plus design may look similar to its predecessor, there’s a clear step up in terms of audio performance here, with levels of detail and clarity that could even rival some of the best over-ear headphones.
You won’t find noise-cancelling tech built-in here. Still, if you’re looking for a pair of the best wireless earbuds you’ll find excellent battery life, solid audio performance and reliable connectivity in a very affordable package. You can’t go wrong with this pair of minimal, top-performing buds.
JLab Go Air Pop: The best wireless earbuds under £20
The JLab Go Air Pop cost only $20 / £20 / AU$49.95, which is incredibly cheap and would have been unheard of just a few years ago. Fast-forward to 2024, and JLab is bringing out durable listening gear at rock-bottom prices. The big question is: can earbuds this budget-conscious actually do a job?
We put in the time and tested these budget buds and found that the JLab Go Air Pop are actually pretty good generally – and emphatically unbeatable for the money.
JBL Reflect Flow: Affordable sporty wireless earbuds
JBL is a heavy hitter when it comes to wireless sports earbuds, and the JBL Reflect Flow is a value-packed effort.
The Reflect Flows are very good indeed, especially if you desire a bass-heavy sound for the gym – without resorting to on-ear or over-ear headphones. You get 10 hours of battery in the buds plus an extra 20 hours from the case, and JBL promises a quick 10-minute charge will provide an hour’s playback.
With the right tip and fin combination, they produce a stable fit that holds them securely in place when tackling all manner of athletic pursuits, while that extra helping of deep but accurate bass should see you over the finish line. One notable feature is the ambient mode: press the left bud and the volume decreases, allowing you to hold a conversation without removing the buds.
Beats Powerbeats Pro: The best wireless earbuds for working out
The Powerbeats Pro promise an incredibly secure fit, which is essential if you’re going to wear them when you’re working out. We found them to be extremely comfortable, and (at least during our testing) they never, ever fell out thanks to their ear hook design.
This is why it’s slightly disappointing that they come with quite a bulky case that weighs 130g with the earbuds inside. Otherwise, the PowerBeats Pro have an excellent design.
They also sound genuinely fun no matter what you’re listening to, which should help motivate you, and have a long battery life, which means you don’t need to worry about charging them up when you’re trying to hit a new personal best.
There are several downsides, though, including the fact they’re only IPX4-rated, which means they should handle sweat, but we’d prefer stronger waterproofing from a pair of workout buds. They’re also not noise-cancelling – though the Beats Fit Pro check this box.
Google Pixel Buds A-Series: The latest Pixel Buds wireless earbuds
Google’s latest wireless earbuds are packed with features and come in at a very low price which is an attractive package in itself. But how do they sound?
They’re light and comfortable, and while they don’t offer noise cancelling, they do a good job of isolating you and are aided by rubber fins that keep them secure. They are vented, though, so some background noise inevitably creeps in, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Your colour choices are either white or ‘Dark Olive’.
Battery life is okay at around five hours, plus another 20 or so from the carry case in four charges. The Pixel Buds A-Series pair with your device very easily indeed, too, especially if you’re using an Android smartphone or tablet that boasts the Fast Pair feature. IPX4 water resistance means they should be ok for exercise too.
These wireless earbuds put in an admirable performance come music time, with a clean, balanced sound that doesn’t lean too far into any part of the sonic spectrum. This is a great pair of wireless earbuds at a great price.
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