15 Sep 2021 9:17 AM +00:00

Best Earbuds 2021: Top Picks From Budget To Premium

If you've kicked off your search for the best earbuds, you're in the right place.

When it comes to earbuds, there are so many to choose from, it can be a little tricky narrowing down exactly what you're looking for.

Perhaps you're looking for the best earbuds for making calls, or even the best budget earbuds that still deliver on both sound and build quality.

Advertisement

So whether you're looking for brilliant noise cancellation with the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds or something wired in the 1MORE Quad Drivers, we've got you covered, plus stick around for our guide to picking the best earbuds for you, and the latest news on what exciting new sets we expect to see in the future.

Jump To

Let's get straight to it!

Best Earbuds 2021

Advertisement

Best Earbuds True Wireless - Sony WF-1000XM4

Best Earbuds 2021 Sony, product image of black wireless earbuds
click to enlarge
+ 6
Image Credit: Sony

Brand: Sony | Colour: Black / Silver | Battery Life: 8 hours (earbuds) + 16 hours (charging case) | Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth | Weight: 7.3 grams | Dimensions: 6.7 x 4 x 3 cm

If you're interested in one of the best of the best when it comes to true wireless earbuds, we think the Sony WF-1000XM4 are definitely ones to consider.

Advertisement

These earbuds boast industry-leading noise quality which should provide you with a rich, vibrant and balanced listening experience.

The integrated V1 processor from Sony combined with dual microphones work together to create high-performance active noise cancellation technology, which can be useful in loud environments.

Their high-end ANC is also a key part of the WF-1000XM4's over-ear sibling, which has also marked itself out as some of the best wireless headphones around.

Even with all the power from the high-end speakers and processor, these earbuds still provide up to 8 hours of battery life which should be enough to last a full day with on and off use.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 also feature IPX4 water-resistance, wireless fast charging and adaptive sound control, making them a real winner in our eyes.

Best Wired Earbuds - 1MORE Quad Driver In-Ear Earphones

Best Earbuds Wired, product image of wired earbuds
click to enlarge
+ 6
Image Credit: 1MORE

Brand: 1MORE | Colour: Gold | Battery Life: N/A | Connectivity Technology: 3.5mm Jack | Weight: 18.5 grams | Dimensions: 22.3 x 18.8 x 8.1 cm

If you're after some standout wired earbuds, the 1MORE Quad Driver earphones could be the choice for you.

Advertisement

When it comes to sound, these earphones boast immersive balanced audio thanks to the diamond-like carbon driver, engineered by a Grammy award-winning sound engineer.

In terms of comfort, they also include 45-degree angle nozzles to align more naturally with your ear canal to reduce strain from extended periods of listening.

While the 1MORE Quad Driver earphones are wired they also include a Bluetooth adapter on Amazon giving you the best of both worlds.

Best Earbuds With Noise Cancellation - Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Best Earbuds For Noise Cancellation Bose, product image of black earbuds
click to enlarge
+ 6
Image Credit: Bose

Brand: Bose | Colour: Triple Black / Soapstone | Battery Life: 6 hours (earbuds) + 12 hours (charging case) | Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth | Weight: 9 grams | Dimensions: 5.05 x 8.69 x 3.4 cm

Noise cancellation is one of those features that you never knew you needed until you've had it, and the good news is there are a ton of earbuds that offer it.

Advertisement

We'd say that if you're after some of the best earbuds with noise cancellation, the Bose QuietComfort are a solid choice.

In fact, you can actually pick how much noise cancellation to have, giving you more of a tailor-made experience.

In terms of sound, these earbuds also include high-fidelity speakers that offer a wide range of frequencies that should sound fantastic and balanced at any volume level.

The Bose QuietComfort also offer a range of ear tip sizes to give you a tight comfortable feel which should also add a layer of passive noise cancellation.

See more: Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds 2021: Our Top Picks From Budget To Premium

Best Earbuds Mid-Range- Lypertek PurePlay Z3

Best Earbuds Mid-Range Lypertek, product image of white earbuds
click to enlarge
+ 6
Image Credit: Lypertek

Brand: Lypertek | Colour: Black / White | Battery Life: 10 hours (earbuds) + 70 hours (charging case) | Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth | Weight: 70 grams | Dimensions: 8.5 x 4.3 x 4.1 cm

The Lypertek PurePlay Z3 make for a good mid-range option, and we think they're one of the best earbuds for under 100around.

Advertisement

In terms of sound, these earbuds boast multi-award-winning audio which promises to deliver a powerful balanced listening experience.

You're also getting impressive battery life, with up to 10 hours playback from a single charge with an additional 7 charges from the case, a staggering total of 80 hours playback.

The Lypertek PurePlay Z3 also comes with adjustable EQ through the PureControl app and Bluetooth 5.2 for a strong stable connection, you're certainly getting a lot for your money here.

See more: Best Wireless Earbuds Under 100: Our Top Mid-Range Picks

Best Earbuds For Calls - Jabra Elite Active 75t

Best Earbuds For Calls Jabra, product image of gold earbuds
click to enlarge
+ 6
Image Credit: Jabra

Brand: Jabra | Colour: Black / Mint / Gold / Navy / Grey / Sienna | Battery Life: 5.5 hours (earbuds) + 24 hours (charging case) | Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth | Weight: 5.5 grams | Dimensions: 6.24 x 3.66 x 2.7 cm

If you find yourself having to take important calls while on the move, whether social or business, it pays to go for the best earbuds with a mic you can find.

Advertisement

These Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds feature 4 microphones that work together to provide both active noise cancellation that cuts out any background noise and pick up your voice clearly that should ensure high-quality calls.

They're also less conspicuous when used on video calls for some of the more formal meetings you'd encounter.

In terms of comfort, they boast a secure ergonomic fit which means you should be able to enjoy hours of listening with very little strain, whether you're lounging at home, running outside, or dashing from meeting to meeting.

See more: Best Earbuds With A Mic 2021: Top Picks For Phone And Video Calls

Best Earbuds Budget Choice - JLab Go Air

Best Earbuds Budget Choice JLab, product image of black earbuds
click to enlarge
+ 6
Image Credit: JLab

Brand: JLab | Colour: Black / White / Green /Blue | Battery Life: 5 hours (earbuds) + 15 hours (charging case) | Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth | Weight: 60 grams | Dimensions: 15.24 x 20.32 x 5.08 cm

If you're looking for a pair that delivers high-quality audio but doesn't break the bank, we think the JLab Go Air are amongst the best budget earbuds out there.

Advertisement

Equipped with 8mm drivers that boast crystal clear audio output with a wide frequency range, these earbuds should hit the mark.

In terms of battery life, you're also getting up to 20 hours of total listening which is brilliant considering this is on par with many of the most expensive earbuds out there.

The JLab Go Air also offer adjustable EQ, dual-connect technology and multiple ear tip options, giving you some serious bang for your buck.

See more: Best Budget Earbuds 2021: Our Top Affordable Picks

Frequently Asked Questions About Earbuds

Are earbuds worth it?

Yes! But it depends on what you value when it comes to portable audio.

Advertisement

The best wireless headphones generally deliver better quality sound than earbuds, due to many factors, such as sheer speaker size for one.

That being said, not everyone needs to hear music in the absolute optimal way and while that may be a pursuit for many audiophiles out there, most people are more than happy with decent, clear, bassy audio.

Earbuds come into their own when they offer true wireless connectivity. They really are unmatched in that regard and the freedom they provide is at a whole new level compared to wireless headphones.

They're also small and often come with a charging case, many of which are built like a rock, making them exceptionally good for travel.

There are countless other reasons we could go into, but we'll leave it there!

What is True Wireless?

True wireless is when there are no wires connecting each earbud. There are some earbuds that are wireless but connected by wire (confusingly).

Advertisement

These are typically the one's which you'll have the wire laying on the back of your neck.

True wireless offers the benefits of being able to use one earbud by itself, which is great if you're either running low on battery or just want to keep an ear free.

Are earbuds comfortable?

With the right fit, absolutely. The good news is that many earbuds nowadays come with different sized bud inserts to fit practically every sized ear out there.

It's personal preference, but we think they have the edge on over-ear and on-ear headphones when it comes to heat buildup, as they keep your ear relatively uncovered.

Are wireless earbuds better than wired ones?

It used to be the case that sound quality was generally better with a wired connection, however, with technological advances, that is no longer the case.

Many of the best wireless earbuds offer high-quality audio in just the same way as wired options, thanks to the latest iterations of Bluetooth and enhanced wifi connectivity.

Advertisement

Upcoming Earbud Releases, Latest News & More

The world of headphones is certainly an exciting one and there are plenty of upcoming releases that you'll want to keep a sharp eye out for.

Right now the main focus is squarely on both Apple and Samsung's offerings, understandably so as they are both slated for new phone releases in the near future.

When it comes to Apple, we're expecting the Apple AirPods 3 to make an appearance, however, the release date is still very much a mystery.

Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 may be in for an official reveal sooner than we thought, meaning we could finally get a release date and more information on specs.

Read More: Best Wireless Headphones 2021 - Our Top Picks