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Highest Rated Earbuds in 2020

More smartphones are dropping their headphone jacks, and the trend doesn’t look bound slowing down in that regard. Finding a phone that still has its 3.5mm jack is tough, and it’s slowly becoming constricted to budget smartphones. With this, wireless headphones and earbuds are becoming the go-to option.

To match the portability that wired earphones used to have, the best option to enjoy your content with is wireless earbuds. With each year that passes, they get better in terms of battery life, portability, and audio quality. There are so many options available these days, and while that gives you, the customer, more choice, it makes it harder to filter out the best.

Luckily for you, I’ve gotten that done for you. I’ve listed out the 10 highest rated earbuds you can get today. Whether you need something for the plane, the gym, or for enjoying content at home, you’ll find something. They are all a little different from one another, so you’re almost definite to find one that suits you perfectly.

Want to see the comparison of affordable earbuds? See our test.

Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds

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  • Weight: 77g (charging case), 8.5g (one earbud)
  • Frequency response: 20 – 20,000Hz
  • Battery life (on-board): 8 hours (6 hours with ANC)
  • Battery life (charging case): 18 hours (24 hours with ANC)
  • Wireless range: 10 meters

PROS

  • Very solid battery life
  • Noise cancellation is great
  • Great audio performance

CONS

  • Not well suited for gym
  • No wireless charging

Perhaps the best wireless earbuds you can get today, the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds perform exceptionally. Similar to the WH-1000XM3s, their high-standing over-ear brother, these earbuds are arguably the best in their segment.

With the case by your side, there’s enough battery to last you a full day, and more if you turn off ANC. Earbuds with ANC are a premium offering, and while these do amazing considering their size, they can’t provide the level of passive cancellation that over-ear headphones give. The audio reproduction here is exceptional and balanced.


The bulky case lacks wireless charging, which is a shame. The earbuds hang mostly out of the ear, so be careful not to have them drop out of your ears during vigorous activity.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

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  • Weight: 58g (charging case), 6g (one earbud)
  • Frequency response: 5 – 21,000Hz
  • Battery life (on-board): 7 hours
  • Battery life (charging case): 21 hours
  • Wireless range: 10 meters

PROS

  • Great battery life
  • ANC is solid
  • Sound quality is Sennheiser-quality
  • Build quality is exceptional

CONS

  • Very costly
  • No wireless charging

Running neck-to-neck with the Sony’s offering, the Momentum True Wireless 2 is a proper workhorse. With a premium build and a small profile, Sennheiser has managed to fit a beefy battery, 7mm drivers, and ANC into these. And this is all while weighing a mere 6g per earbud.

These earbuds will set you back a pretty penny, however, and that makes it even harder to justify the lack of wireless charging for the case. Apart from that, the rest of the experience is great, with fantastic audio reproduction. You have support for hi-res audio codecs like aptX, which is always a plus.

Apple AirPods Pro

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  • Weight: 45.6g (charging case), 5.4g (one earbud)
  • Frequency response:20 – 20,000Hz
  • Battery life (on-board): 5 hours
  • Battery life (charging case): 19 hours
  • Wireless range: N/A

PROS

  • Wireless charging is convenient
  • Audio quality is good
  • Connectivity is fast on iPhones

CONS

  • Quite pricey

The AirPods Pro is Apple’s premium offering in an already premium lineup of wireless earbuds. To be fair, they deserve the top spot, as they improve on the formula that the regular AirPods set.

You have a new design with rubber tips, so the AirPods Pro goes into the ear canal as opposed to sitting outside it. This gives a more secure fit, and better isolation, which when paired with the ANC, gives a listening experience free of outside noise. Some people may be used to the previous design, however.

You have the convenience of wireless charging and great battery life. Connecting to an iPhone is as easy as opening the case. The major disadvantage is the price. There are better options in the same range.

Beats PowerBeats Pro

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  • Weight: 109g (charging case), 20.3g (one earbud)
  • Frequency response: 20 – 20,000Hz
  • Battery life (on-board): 9 hours
  • Battery life (charging case): 15 hours
  • Wireless range: N/A

PROS

  • Adjustable fit makes perfect for the gym
  • Wide range of colors
  • Battery life is ample

CONS

  • Cost is rather high

I’ll put it short and say, if you’re looking for the absolute best option for the gym, this is the one. Despite the price, it’s hard not to recommend the PowerBeats Pro to anyone looking for wireless earbuds to listen to their workout jams through.

With the adjustable ear hooks and sweat and water resistance, the PowerBeats Pro is built for the active user. No matter which exercises you do, they’ll stay in. Audio quality is great, and battery life is among the best.

You get more options for colors than almost all other wireless earbuds. We were let down by the lack of wireless charging and noise cancellation, unfortunate considering the high price.

Microsoft Surface Earbuds

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  • Weight: 40g (charging case), 7.2g (one earbud)
  • Frequency response: 20 – 20,000Hz
  • Battery life (on-board): 7 hours
  • Battery life (charging case): 17 hours
  • Wireless range: 10 meters

PROS

  • Battery life is sufficient
  • Support for hi-res Bluetooth codecs
  • Good sound quality, drivers are large

CONS

  • No ANC
  • Design can be polarizing

Looking at the Microsoft Surface Earbuds, you’ll either hate the design or love it. The visible part of the earbud is simply a flat disk, and while it puts that surface to good use with touch controls, it can be polarizing.

If you frequently find yourself using Microsoft’s suite of software, then you may find the Surface Earbuds to be a nice fit for you. They integrate nicely with Microsoft software to bring added functionality like reading out emails or dictating documents.

There is no wireless charging or ANC on board, which is a shame. It has an IPX4 rating that is much appreciated, considering the price. There is also support for aptX, so along with the 13.6mm drivers, you’re getting solid audio.

Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW

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  • Weight: 60g (charging case), 8g (one earbud)
  • Frequency response: 5 – 40,000Hz
  • Battery life (on-board): 15 hours
  • Battery life (charging case): 30 hours
  • Wireless range: 10 meters

PROS

  • Battery life is leading
  • Relatively affordable
  • Supports aptX codec
  • Fits securely

CONS

  • Sound quality is merely decent

Audio-Technica is a company well established when it comes to audio hardware. It’s unfortunate that what stops this from being one of my highest rated earbuds is the sound quality. It truly leaves quite a bit to be desired. The bass is thick, but perhaps too thick. The equalization leans towards the bass.

Apart from that, everything is good. The battery life is unbeatable, the earbuds fit perfectly, and it costs a lot less than most of the other earbuds I have put on the list.

Bose SoundSport Wireless

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  • Weight: 22.7g
  • Frequency response: 20 – 20,000Hz
  • Battery life (on-board): 6 hours
  • Wireless range: 10 meters

PROS

  • Relatively affordable
  • Connects via NFC in addition to Bluetooth
  • IPX4 rating and wire make perfect for the gym

CONS

  • Without a case, battery life is meager

The SoundSport Wireless from Bose is the perfect companion for the gym. While not truly wireless, some folks might prefer the neckband that the wire makes. If they fall out of your ears during a workout, they’re less likely to hit the ground. And with an IPX4 rating, they’ll resist sweat from the gym without a problem.

The form factor means you don’t get a case, and that’s unfortunate because they last only 6 hours on a single charge. The sound quality is good and pairing that with the price, it might be worth it if you’re looking for new earbuds for the gym.

Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Headphones

Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Headphones
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  • Weight: 31g
  • Frequency response: 10 – 30,000Hz
  • Battery life (on-board): 8 hours
  • Wireless range: 10 meters

PROS

  • Great audio quality
  • Supports aptX for better sound
  • Fast charging is convenient

CONS

  • Quite pricey
  • Battery life can’t compare to truly wireless options

The Bowers & Wilkins PI3 has a trick up its sleeve. It delivers unmatched audio performance by fitting two drivers into each earbud. One takes care of the highs and mids, while the other does the bass. This gives you a better dynamic than a single driver would be able to deliver.

Being a neckband pair of earbuds, there’s no option for a charging case, so all you get is the 8 hours in the buds themselves. This isn’t bad per se, but when there’s no option for juicing up on the go, it can be a weakness.

Considering the price, I’d have really loved to see ANC on these. They nail it spectacularly in sound, but we wish there was more top-end stuff for the price tag.

Jaybird Vista

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  • Weight: 32g (charging case), 6g (one earbud)
  • Frequency response: 20 – 20,000Hz
  • Battery life (on-board): 6 hours
  • Battery life (charging case): 10 hours
  • Wireless range: 10 meters

PROS

  • Rugged and durable
  • Great design and snug fit
  • Lightweight and comfortable

CONS

  • Poor battery life
  • No hi-res codecs supported

Built to take a beating outdoors, the Jaybird Vista wireless earbuds are rugged and certified with an IPX7 rating. This makes them dustproof, waterproof, shockproof, and sweatproof. If you’re looking for a pair of wireless earbuds for the gym or intense outdoor activities, there’s none better.

The sound is rather impressive for such light earbuds, and whether you’re lifting weights or on a hike, you’re sure to get premium sound quality from these. They are comfortable and light, so you might even forget they’re there.

When it comes to battery life, the charging case only provides 10 hours of extra juice. That’s dismal when competitors are able to attain up to 30.

Shure SE846

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  • Weight: 36g
  • Frequency response: 15 – 20,000Hz
  • Battery life (on-board): 10 hours
  • Wireless range: 10 meters

PROS

  • Audiophile-grade sound performance
  • Numerous customization options
  • Battery life is good

CONS

  • Prohibitively expensive

The Shure SE846 wireless earbuds are not for the common consumer, and if you needed any convincing of that, the price is the foremost indicator. These earbuds retailed at $1000, so they are clearly targeting a specific form of customer: the audiophile who wants the very best.

They hit the mark precisely in that regard, as the audio quality is absolutely unbeatable, and the sound reproduction is stellar and clear. Each earbud has four drivers, which is something you’ll probably never see in a lesser priced competitor.

The earbuds are detachable, with numerous options of cables, for different forms of connectivity. You also get a whole suite of additional attachments for the perfect experience. The price is the biggest issue with these, but honestly, they aim for the very best of audio consumers. In terms of audio quality, these are the highest rated earbuds.

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