Best True Wireless Earbuds Android Central 2019

In 2019, when smartphones are slowly but surely getting rid of the 3.5mm audio jack from smartphones and tablets, users are turning to wireless as the next viable option. Ironically, as the company that still retains the headphone jack in their flagship smartphones, Samsung currently builds the best truly wireless earbuds for Android devices. Our best overall pick is the Samsung Galaxy Buds for their wireless charging case, smart features on Android, and excellent sound quality.

Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Buds

Samsung is relatively new to the truly wireless earbud game. The company has been known to retain the 3.5mm audio jack throughout multiple generations, even when its competition continues to axe it. With the Galaxy Buds, Samsung is now stiff competition in this space.

Samsung's Galaxy Buds integrate best with Samsung's latest smartphones but work with all other smartphones, including Pixel devices and iPhones. You'll miss features such as quick pairing and quick access to the buds' battery status, which is only available on Samsung devices. It features a wireless charging case that uses the Qi standard, in addition to USB-C wired charging for faster charging. The charging case gives the Galaxy Buds up to two full charges for the earbuds and the buds themselves last up to six hours on a single charge.

Overall, they're the best bang for your buck in terms of truly wireless earbuds. They offer superb sound quality for its form factor, exceptional battery life, wireless charging, and noise isolation. There's not much more you can ask for. The only real downside is the microphone on the Galaxy Buds. They could definitely be better and recipients have complained that the caller is hard to hear.

Pros:

  • Long battery life
  • Great sound
  • Integration with Samsung devices
  • Wireless charging case (and USB-C wired!)
  • Universal app on Android

Cons:

  • No iOS app
  • Underwhelming bass
  • Poor microphone

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy Buds

Balanced, portable audio

Samsung's Galaxy Buds are the new kid on the block. Despite this, they check all the boxes people want with their genuinely wireless earbuds: excellent battery life and sound, convenient features, and a wireless charging case.

Best Sound Quality: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless

You can't go wrong with Sennheiser when it comes to any audio gear, and the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless are no exception. These earbuds make the list for those who enjoy dance, hip-hop, or any other bass-heavy genre of music.

The Momentum True Wireless has a super harsh boost in the bass. It gives it an overall darker sound signature, with a clear and even midrange and a rather underwhelming treble response overall. The excellent news is Sennheiser's mobile app (available on both iOS and Android) allows you to customize the sound signature to a certain extent.

They offer six hours of usage, with up to 12 hours of use using the included charging case. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Buds, the case is missing wireless charging of any kind, but it still offers USB-C for charging.

They are also one of the biggest genuinely wireless earbuds out there. But that's not a huge deal since they're still much more portable than any on-ear or in-ear headphones. At the very least, they're still pocketable even with the rather large charging case.

Overall, if you have the money to spend on Sennheiser earbuds and want that great bass, this is the choice for you.

Pros:

  • Super sound quality
  • 6-hour battery life
  • Charging case with USB-C
  • App for iOS and Android

Cons:

  • Case and buds bulky
  • Bass boosted

Best Sound Quality

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless

High definition audio

You can never go wrong with Sennheiser. It offers some of the best audio gear on the market, and the Momentum True Wireless are no exception.

Best Value: Anker Soundcore Liberty Air

When it comes to best value, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air are the best bang for your buck. If you set your expectations accordingly, these are an excellent value.

The charging case allows up to 20 hours of listening time while the earbuds themselves net you around 5 hours of listening on a single charge.

The sound is excellent for earbuds at this price. They're rather neutral across the board with a slight boost in the treble. They also feature an IPX5 water resistance rating, which equates to being able to use them in the rain or while doing intense workouts.

Pros:

  • 20 hours of battery life with case
  • Great sound
  • IPX5 water resistance
  • Battery life

Cons:

  • No customization (app or on earbuds)
  • Micro-USB for charging

Best Value

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air

Solid inexpensive tunes

They are excellent for the price. Up to 20 hours of listening time with the charging case, the sound is excellent, and you get IPX5 water resistance.

Best Active Noise Canceling: Sony WF-1000XM3

There aren't many active noise-canceling (ANC) truly wireless earbuds out there so this is an easy pick if you need no distractions when listening. The design isn't the prettiest, and they're rather bulky, but they get the job done.

Battery life is excellent with up to six hours alone and up to 19 hours with the charging case. For a pair of truly wireless ANC earbuds, the WF-1000XM3 perform surprisingly excellent in this department. Of course, as with most ANC headphones, the WF-1000XM3 offer an ambient sound mode that reverses the ANC microphones to allow the outside world in, therefore preserving battery.

Sound quality came out of left field with the WF-1000XM3s. Rather than having a bass-boosted sound and recessed treble which is typical with Sony headphones, the WF-1000XM3s have a tame bass that's only slightly boosted, with mids and treble being excellent and neutral.

In terms of water and dust resistance, the WF-SP700N get a basic IPX4 rating. This means that they are "splash-proof" which covers sweat, but it's not recommended in rain or similar situations.

Pros

  • Great sound
  • Active Noise Cancelation (ANC)
  • Ambient sound mode
  • IPX4 water and dust resistance
  • USB-C charging

Cons

  • Not as water-resistant as other options
  • Bulky design

Best Active Noise Canceling

Sony WF-1000XM3

Silent workouts

The Sony WF-1000XM3 are great if you need ANC. You'll also get an ambient sound mode that allows you to have a conversation without removing your earbuds.

Best Value Sound Quality: Jabra Elite 65t

Sound quality is a strange thing and is very much subjective. However, the Jabra Elite 65t undoubtedly has superb sound quality for its size and form factor.

Just like pretty much every other option on this list, how excellent the sound quality is depends on how well the earbuds seal in your ears. With a proper seal, the bass can sound rich and present with a slight emphasis to provide a warm sound signature. However, the mid-range is a bit uneven, making them slightly muddy, especially when it comes to vocals. As for the treble, they're present and slightly overemphasized to the point where S's and T's may sound a bit sharp in certain recordings and tracks.

In terms of comfort, these are above average. They're angled to fit in your ears and will flat out not work for some people's ears due to its unique design. If you have smaller ears, I'd avoid these altogether. The Jabra Elite 65t have a slightly larger than usual design which would make them unfeasible for those who have smaller ears.

They offer a 5-hour battery life with the charging case giving users up to 15 hours of usage on a single charge. The Jabra Elite 65t are rated for IPX55 water and dust resistance, which is better than most earbuds.

Pros:

  • Great sound
  • Battery life
  • Water and dust resistance

Cons

  • MicroUSB for charging
  • Comfort
  • Not great for small ears

Best Value Sound Quality

Jabra Elite 65t

Inexpensive wireless sound

Truly wireless earbuds are still relatively expensive due to their nature. However, the Jabra Elite 65t's are by far the best value when it comes to sound quality, battery life, and portability.

Best For Workouts: Jaybird Vista

When it comes to working out, the newly announced Jaybird Vista is by far the best solution. They offer great battery life while also giving superb passive isolation. The design allows them to fit most people's ears and with better isolation means a more consistent sound signature. They feature the latest Bluetooth 5.0 protocol for better overall efficiency between the buds and your phone.

In terms of Bluetooth audio codecs, you only have SBC here which is fine in terms of quality for most people. But latency will be pretty high here so you'll see a noticeable lag when watching videos or playing games. Battery life is better than most with up to 6 hours with the buds alone and up to 10 additional hours with the included charging case. The charging case charges via USB-C and takes roughly 2 hours to charge from dead. No wireless charging here on the case.

Sound quality is decent here. The Vista has a solid V-shaped sound signature with boosted bass, neutral mids, and boosted treble. The sound isn't overly boomy or heavy in the bass and the treble isn't boosted to the point where they sound piercing or sharp.

The Jaybird Vista offer IPX7 water resistance so it should be able to withstand practically any sort of water you throw at it. You can do practically anything but swim with these things.

Pros:

  • Solid, fun sound
  • Battery life
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB-C for charging
  • IPX7 water resistance

Cons:

  • No wireless charging for case
  • No auto pause

Best For Workouts

Jaybird Vista

Fitness junkies

The Jaybird Vista offer a fun sound signature for working out. They feature Bluetooth 5.0, great battery life, and IPX7 water resistance.

Best Value Workout: JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash

The JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash are built like a tank with an IPX7 water resistance rating. For working out, these are an absolute gem and will be able to handle any sweat, rain, or snow that comes your way. With IPX7, these are rated to be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes.

In terms of battery life, these rival the top dogs in the true wireless space. They offer up to five hours on the earbuds, with up to 25 hours with the charging case.

For sound, the JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash is decent. They use the same signature JBL sound, which translates to a boosted yet controlled bass, a neutral mid-range, and a treble that is present with a rapid roll-off to prevent treble fatigue. For working out, this type of sound signature is preferred as it gets the adrenaline pumping and elevates your music.

The only real downsides to these buds are that they still use Micro-USB for charging and that they use an "active" blue LED indicator when the earbuds are paired to a device, which I found to be distracting.

Pros

  • Battery life
  • Exceptional sound
  • Comfort and size
  • Class-leading water and dust resistance

Cons

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • Odd shaped case
  • Annoying blue LED status indicator light

Best Value Workout

JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash

Classic JBL sound

If you're familiar with the JBL sound, the True Wireless Flash is right up your alley. With these earbuds, you'll get strong battery life, class-leading water and dust resistance, and great sound.

Best for iPhone: Apple AirPods (2nd generation)

It's no secret that Apple's AirPods have become the most popular truly wireless earbuds on the market. Since their debut in December of 2016, the company has struggled to keep up with demand.

In early 2019, the company refreshed the popular earbuds with new features such as an always-listening "Hey Siri" (Apple device required), a Qi-compatible wireless charging case, and slightly better battery life when taking on phone calls.

Sure, they lack any sort of isolation, and the sound quality is debatable. However, they are super convenient and offer features such as quick pairing between devices and up to 24 hours of battery life with the charging case.

Pros:

  • Battery life
  • Portability and convenience
  • Wireless charging case
  • Bluetooth 5.0

Cons:

  • No gesture support or customization on Android
  • 5-hour battery life
  • Sound isolation

Best for iPhone

Apple AirPods (2nd generation)

It just works

Apple's AirPods (first or second generation) are by far the most popular wireless earbuds on the market, let alone truly wireless earbuds, and they're popular for a reason. They offer the best bang for your buck in terms of the feature set if you use an iPhone.

Bottom line

Truly wireless earbuds have gained popularity over the past several years, and are now some of the most popular headphones you can buy. Choosing a pair is difficult right now because many tech companies are rushing to get their own versions out. As the technology matures, great earbuds will come down in price, and sound quality will continue to evolve.

However, Samsung's Galaxy Buds remains one of the best you can buy right now. It's also the best bang for your buck in terms of performance and features. Unless, of course, you're planning to use them to work out purely. In that case, check out the Jaybird Vista or JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash.

How to choose the best true wireless earbud

Choosing earbuds can be difficult, especially truly wireless ones. They come in varying shapes and sizes and comfort can vary greatly depending on how big your ears are.

But that's only the tip of the iceberg as headphone manufacturers continue to make custom designed earbuds for specific scenarios. Wireless earbuds are a lot more complicated than simply cutting the cord.

Sound Quality

Our top pick, the Samsung Galaxy Buds, have really solid sound. However, they're not the best when it comes to sound quality. For those, we'd recommend the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless due to its superior soundstage and dynamic range. While it might have a slightly darker sound signature out of the box, it can be tweaked through the smartphone app.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 sound also surprisingly fantastic. Despite Sony having a reputation for making dark-sounding headphones, the WF-1000XM3 turns the tide here. You get an overall more neutral sound signature with only a small bass boost and neutral mids and treble giving it a rather impressive sound for ANC earbuds.

Lastly, the Jabra Elite 65t are very decent when it comes to sound quality as well. Similar to the Momentum True Wireless from Sennheiser, the Elite 65t's sound quality can be modified through the Jabra smartphone app. Out of the box, they have a warm sound signature with boosted bass, a neutral mid-range, and recessed treble.

Best true wireless earbuds, ranked by sound quality

  1. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
  2. Sony WF-1000XM3
  3. Jabra Elite 65t
  4. Samsung Galaxy Buds
  5. Jaybird Vista

Comfort

Comfort plays a huge role in choosing a pair of true wireless earbuds. Comfort is arguably more important than anything else because if they don't fit your ears or if you can only wear them at 20 minutes at a time, what's the point?

Our overall pick, the Samsung Galaxy Buds, are really comfortable for long periods of time. They don't cause any sort of ear fatigue and. They're not the lightest pair of true wireless earbuds out there but they're not the heaviest. You definitely shouldn't have an issue with the Galaxy Buds, granted you have the right set of ear tips.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 are rather large in size and a bit heavy. However, with the right ear tips, they are super comfortable. You won't ever not notice they're there but you won't feel any sort of ear fatigue, even over extended periods of time.

The Jabra Elite 65t are really comfortable at first. But in our testing noticed that they can get slightly uncomfortable after about an hour or two of usage. And that's unfortunate because the 65t's are genuinely great earbuds which pack a ton of features and last a really long time.

Best true wireless earbuds, ranked by comfort

  1. Samsung Galaxy Buds
  2. Sony WF-1000XM3
  3. Jabra Elite 65t
  4. Jaybird Vista
  5. JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash

Noise isolation

The Sony WF-1000XM3 are obviously the best set of true wireless earbuds when it comes to noise isolation. It has class-leading ANC, and even with that disabled, the passive isolation still takes the cake. However, everything that comes after it is a tad more difficult to decipher.

So in second and third place are the Jabra Elite 65t and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless. Neither of which feature active noise cancelation but are solid when you crank the volume up to a decent level. You'll still hear a decent amount of environmental noise but it's greatly reduced when you crank up the volume.

What surprised us was the amount of sound isolation from the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air. For its price, they are able to block out a considerable amount of noise despite not having active noise cancelation. In low to medium volume environments, they do surprisingly well, but in louder and super loud environments they'll struggle.

Best true wireless earbuds, ranked by noise isolation

  1. Sony WF-1000XM3
  2. Jabra Elite 65t
  3. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
  4. Jaybird Vista
  5. Anker Soundcore Liberty Air

Smart Features

The Sony WF-1000XM3 are probably one of the smartest earbuds on the market. The earbuds themself feature auto-play/pause when you remove them, auto-connect when you put them in your ear, and hands-free Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. You'll also get an ambient sound mode which lets you quickly hear the environment around you without removing your earbuds. This feature uses the great ANC microphones already onboard the earbuds and reverses them.

The earbuds can be configured in the Sony companion app even further, allowing you to customize the sound signature, how much ANC you'd like to be pumped in, and choose if you want Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

Jaybird has one of the most robust earbud smartphone apps out there. While the earbuds themselves don't have any smart features aside from auto-connecting when you take them out of the case, the features the smartphone app adds makes up for it. The app lets you adjust your sound signature, as well as find your earbuds if you've lost them.

The AirPods make the list because they're smart but only if you use an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad. You get hands-free Siri by saying "Hey Siri", they automatically play and pause when you remove them from your ear and put them back in, and you'll also get seamless pairing and device switching across any Apple device paired to your iCloud account. And if you happen to lose your AirPods? Use the Find My iPhone app on your iPhone or iPad to locate them.

A little known secret about the AirPods is that device switching is still easy even when you don't pair them to Apple devices. If you've paired to the device before, simply go into your device's Bluetooth settings and tap on them to connect. The AirPods will automatically stop whatever is pairing on the previous device, disconnect from the previous device, and then pair to the device you've just hit connect on.

Best true wireless earbuds, ranked by smart features

  1. Sony WF-1000XM3
  2. Jaybird Vista
  3. Apple AirPods
  4. Samsung Galaxy Buds
  5. Jabra Elite 65t

Battery Life

This one was pretty close. Our top three contenders all had really amazing battery life with anywhere between 24-26 hours of battery life with their respective charging cases. Battery life is an interesting topic when it comes to true wireless earbuds as you have to take into account the earbuds' battery life but also how much juice the charging case gives you.

Both the JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash and the Sony WF-1000XM3 have 25 hours of battery life with their respective charging cases. However, the WF-1000XM3 edges the JBL's in this case as they are able to last up to 6 hours on a single charge compared to the JBL's 5 hours on a single charge.

The AirPods was a close third as it offered up to 24 hours of battery life with the charging case. On their own they have a respectable 5 hours of audio playback and 4 hours of talk time.

Best true wireless earbuds, ranked by battery life

  1. Sony WF-1000XM3
  2. JBL Under Armor True Wireless Flash
  3. Apple AirPods
  4. Anker Soundcore Liberty Air
  5. Jaybird Vista

Microphone Quality

The best true wireless earbuds in terms of microphone quality is easy. This goes to the Apple AirPods. While they don't have the greatest sound reproduction or sound isolation, Apple nailed it when it comes to the microphone quality. With AirPods, no matter the environment, they're able to isolate your voice extremely well from the environment around you. We never once had an issue with the person on the other end not being able to hear us, even in super loud environments. The noise isolation algorithm here is superb and isn't overly aggressive to the point where your voice sounds robotic.

The Jaybird Vista are also pretty good when it comes to its microphone quality. While not as great as the AirPods, the Vista are able to block out a considerable amount of background noise and the noise isolation algorithm keeps up and doesn't clip your voice or make it sound robotic. The person on the other end can still hear a decent amount of background noise but it's not too bad.

Lastly, the Jabra Elite 65t. They're pretty good in this department as well. However, if you have a higher-pitched voice, the noise isolation algorithm will more than likely cut some of your voice out. While it's not too terrible, it is worth noting if you have a higher-pitched voice. For everyone else, the Jabra Elite 65t compares favorably to the Jaybird Vista. The algorithm itself is great at blocking out background noise and isolating your voice. You can still hear a good amount of background noise but that's too be expected.

Best true wireless earbuds, ranked by Microphone Quality

  1. Apple AirPods
  2. Jaybird Vista
  3. Jabra Elite 65t
  4. Sony WF-1000XM3
  5. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Peter Cao has been an audio enthusiast for a number of years. He's tested over a dozen headphones and is excited to continue on his audio journey.

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