Best Wireless Headphones for Note 10 and Note 10+ Android Central 2020
The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ are the first flagship smartphones from Samsung that ditch the 3.5mm audio jack. This means your pre-existing wired headphones won't work and you'll need to find other headphones, probably wireless (unless you're a fan of dongles). The Samsung Galaxy Buds are a solid pair of wireless earbuds and will provide the best experience with your Note 10 or Note 10+.
- Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Buds
- Best ANC buds: Sony WF-1000XM3
- Best Workout Buds: Jaybird Tarah Pro
- Best Bassy Buds: Plantronics Backbeat Go 410
- Best Budget Truly Wireless: SoundPeats TrueFree
- Best Sound Quality: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
- Best Over-Ear: Sony WH-1000XM3
Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Buds
The Galaxy Buds are a great example of what it's like when your earbuds are built by the same company that built your smartphone. While the Galaxy Buds work with other Android devices (even iOS to a certain extent), they work the best when paired to a Samsung smartphone.
When you first get a pair of Galaxy Buds, you just simply open the case and unlock your Samsung smartphone. A card will appear prompting you to pair with your new Galaxy Buds. Once tapped they easy pair to all of your Samsung gadgets including your smartphone or tablet. No need to go into your phone's settings or enter pairing mode. You also get Bixby, but it's totally up to you whether or not that's a useful feature.
Let's talk about convenience because that's the Galaxy Bud's biggest selling point. Of course, they're truly wireless buds, which means they require a charging case to charge. This also means the Galaxy Buds work independently. Yep, you can have just one in your ear at a time and effectively double your battery life. The buds themselves get six hours of battery life. The charging case will net another seven hours of listening time. Once the charging case is dead, you can re-charge the case with either a USB-C cord or place it on a Qi-compatible mat. The case isn't too large, either, and will easily fit in normal jean pockets.
You also get active noise-canceling (ANC) with the Galaxy Buds but they're as you would expect from a standard pair of earbuds. They block out some noise but most things will come through. However, they do offer an ambient sound mode, which reverses the ANC microphones and pumps in the environment. This means you won't have to remove your earbuds if you need to hear a flight announcement or when you're at Starbucks taking your order.
- Wireless charging case
- Fast pairing with Samsung devices
- Battery life
- Ambient sound mode
- Charging case battery could be better
- ANC could be better
Puts the "true" in truly wireless
The Galaxy Buds are a great at being convenient. Sound quality and battery life is what you come to expect from a pair of truly wireless buds.
Best ANC buds: Sony WF-1000XM3
The Sony WF-1000XM3 have industry-leading ANC for a wireless earbud, let alone truly wireless ones. They block out an impressive amount of low rumbles, such as engine noise, but also mid-range noises such as people having conversations.
You'll also get hands-free Google Assistant. This means that you'll be able to access the Assistant by simply saying "Hey Google" or "Ok Google". What's great about this feature is that they work when either bud is paired to your phone so you don't have to worry about which one has the feature and which one doesn't.
The charging case will get you an additional 19 hours of battery life and charges over USB-C. Unfortunately, there's no wireless charging here. For the buds themselves, each bud gets six hours of battery life (either on their own or together in a stereo pair).
Unfortunately, the touch controls on each bud might become an issue here. By default, the left bud is reserved just for the ambient sound mode and the right ear cup houses all of your media controls. There's an option in the Sony Headphones Connect app to reverse these, but there's no more customization beyond that. The case itself is a decent size. You might have some issues fitting them in smaller pockets, but most pockets will work just fine.
- Great Battery life on both case and buds
- Hands-free Google Assistant
- Touch controls specific to L/R earbud
- No wireless charging
Best ANC buds
Sorry, can't hear you
The WF-1000XM3 have class-leading ANC, which is its biggest selling point. Sound quality and battery life are exceptional as well.
Best Workout Buds: Jaybird Tarah Pro
Looking to work out but don't want to carry a charging case around? The Jaybird Tarah Pro are your best bet. With up to 14 hours of battery life on a single charge, you'll be able to run a marathon before the battery runs out. While the battery life is great, the Tarah Pros use a proprietary connector for charging, so you'll need to make sure you have enough juice for your day.
In terms of sound quality, the Tarah Pro are excellent. There's a small boost in the upper-bass but most won't hear the boost; otherwise the bass is flat and neutral. The mid-range is good but is slightly recessed in the mid-mid range which means lead vocals will take a backseat. The treble is above-average here. It's mostly great, flat, and neutral but the low-treble (4-5KHz) has a small recession which will make these earbuds a bid darker.
The Tarah Pros don't have that many smart features despite being a pair of wireless buds. They have physical controls on either bud and can activate your digital assistant of choice (Bixby or Assistant depending on which you have set up). There's no auto-pause feature when you remove a bud and there's no hands-free voice assistant's here.
As workout earbuds these are super comfortable for long term use and are also water resistant so you'll be okay if things get intense and you start sweating. They're only IPX2 rated though, which means you can only sweat with them. Just hope you don't drop them in a puddle. The Tarah Pro come with several ear tips in the box so fit shouldn't be an issue.
- Excellent sound quality
- Exceptional battery life
- IPX2 water resistance
- Proprietary charging cable
- Could be more water resistant
Best Workout Buds
Intense listening sessions
The Jaybird Tarah Pro have excellent battery life, are rated for sweat resistance, and sound excellent. There's only one downside: the charging cable.
Best Bass Buds: Plantronics Backbeat Go 410
Bass heads, the Plantronics Backbeat Go 410 are right up your alley. The amount of bass boosted on the BackBeat Go will make all bass heads happy. For the rest of the sound, the mid-range is neutral and even, and the treble gets a sizable boost as well, giving the Backbeat Go 410 a fun V-shaped sound that most will enjoy.
In terms of battery life, you're looking at eight hours with ANC and 10 hours without ANC. Totally up to you if you want to keep the ANC. The ANC on the Backbeat Go 410 are decent but doesn't rival bigger over-ear headphones.
Comfort wise, the Backbeat Go 410 do pretty well. With the amount of bass these push though, you'll want to take a break every few hours. Not because an excess of bass is bad but because they start to get uncomfortable after a few hours use. The bud begins to sink in your ears a bit and that's never fun.
While these don't have smart features of any sort, they have basic support for the Google Assistant. As is with most other headphones with a multi-function button, you simply tap and hold the button to summon the Assistant.
- V-shaped sound
- Good battery life
- Decent ANC
- Bass affects long term comfort
Best Bassy Buds
The Plantronics Backbeat Go 410 feature a solid, bass-heavy sound with great long battery life, but aren't the most comfortable for long term use.
Best Budget Truly Wireless: SoundPeats TrueFree
The SoundPeats TrueFree are a great pair of earbuds for the price. They pack a strong bass-heavy punch and are suited for genres such as EDM, hip-hop, or rap. You'll also get a solid three hours of battery life. While not the best battery life around, it's just enough for a longer podcast. Luckily, since they're truly wireless, they also come with a charging case that nets 3-4 additional charges which makes up for the lower bud battery life.
One oddity the charging case has is that it don't have a lid. You simply place them in the case and the buds sit flush with the body. Fortunately, the buds and the case are lightweight, so you shouldn't have issues lugging them around. Plus, I'd take a charging case without a lid over having a charging case that's larger because it has to accommodate a lid.
The TrueFree come with a few additional ear tips, so finding tips to fit your ears shouldn't be an issue. The buds have a single-button design which manages play/pause, calls, and skipping forward and back. Unfortunately they don't have support for volume control so you'll need to use the volume buttons on your Galaxy Note 10 or Note 10+.
- Strong, bass-heavy sound
- Multiple charges with charging case
- Physical buttons
- Comes with additional ear tips
- No volume control
- Charging case doesn't have a lid
- Could have better battery life
Best Budget Truly Wireless
Affordable truly wireless buds
Truly wireless buds don't need to be expensive to be good and the SoundPeats TrueFree is a great example.
Best Sound Quality: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless buds at its core were built for sound quality, which is expected coming from the company. They sound great with a neutral bass and mid-range, and boosted treble for an overall brighter sound. The Momentum True Wireless also offers excellent dynamic range and a solid soundstage for a truly wireless bud.
Battery life is solid with four hours of listening time, and the included charging case give you an additional two charges, totalling 12 hours of listening time with the buds and case combined. Once the case is dead, you can charge it back up over USB-C. Unfortunately there's no wireless charging here.
The Momentum True Wireless are somewhat smart. Just like most other truly wireless earbuds, it pauses when you remove one out of your ear if you have both in. And it'll resume when both are put back in your ear. They'll also work independently of one another and unlike some older truly wireless buds, you don't have to worry about which bud is in your ear as they both connect to your phone independently.
The case is made of a nice felt material and is small enough to fit in most pockets. The earbuds are mainly plastic but have a touchpad for touch controls. The touchpad is made out of metal, which makes them cool to the touch. Being an in-ear bud, you have several ear tips that come in the box. You shouldn't have that much of an issue finding tips to fit your ears. Comfort wise, they are super comfortable. They don't feel like they'll fall out of your ear, no ear fatigue, and they're relatively light.
- Solid battery life all around
- Excellent sound quality
- USB-C charging case
- Comes with multiple ear tips
- Buds are mainly plastic
- No volume control
- No wireless charging
Best Sound Quality
Superb sound quality
If you're looking for the absolute best sound quality in a portable package, look no further than the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless.
Best Over-Ear: Sony WH-1000XM3
The WH-1000XM3 make the list as the best over-ear for several reasons. They're compact and fold, which means they'll be easy to travel with. They also feature class-leading ANC, which is equally as great for traveling. Comfort wise, the WH-1000XM3 are excellent. The headband and ear cups are made out of leather and the clamping force isn't too strong, so it doesn't feel like its squeezing your head.
But the biggest reason it makes the list as best over-ear headphone is that it supports all the major Bluetooth audio codecs (SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX-HD, and LDAC). Pair this with your Galaxy Note 10 or Galaxy Note 10+ and you'll get the absolute best sound quality from a wireless headphone. The sound itself is a bit heavy on the bass, which is great for bass heads. The mid-range is neutral, and the treble is recessed quite a bit. Overall, you'll get a warm sound signature out the WH-1000XM3. Fortunately, you can adjust the sound with a basic EQ in the Sony Headphones Connect app, which is available on iOS and Android.
You'll also get hands-free Google Assistant with these as well. So just say the trigger word and she'll be able to answer any of your questions as if you were asking your phone the questions. Obviously, in this mode any questions that require visual cues will be relayed back to your phone.
In terms of battery life the WH-1000XM3 are superb. They last up to 30 hours on a single charge and charge over USB-C. When it comes to charging, they feature fast charging capabilities. With a 10-minute charge, you can get up to five hours of listening time. The only real downside with the WH-1000XM3 is that as soon as you plug them in to charge, you can no longer use them wired or wireless.
- Long battery life with fast charging
- Customizable sound quality
- High fidelity Bluetooth audio codecs
- Active Noise Cancelation
- No simultaneous charging and listening
- Bass heavy sound isn't for everyone
Best wireless sound around
With the combination of high fidelity Bluetooth audio codecs and customizable sound, the WH-1000XM3 deliver some of the best wireless sound around.
The Note 10 and Note 10+ don't have 3.5mm audio jacks, and that sucks. But we all knew it was going to happen eventually since that's where all flagships and a lot of phone companies are headed. Fortunately, Samsung has already created a pair of truly wireless earbuds to help with the transition, the Galaxy Buds.
And now that Samsung is starting to ditch the jack on its phones, even more headphone manufacturers will make the push towards wireless headphones. Hopefully, with Samsung on board the 3.5mm audio jack-less train, we'll continue to see even more innovation in this space.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Peter Cao is an audio enthusiast at heart. He started with expensive "use at home" only headphones that required expensive amps to even hear a sound. Nowadays, he's downsized to Bluetooth headphones and earbuds.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Have small ears? There are still headphones out there for you
Having trouble finding headphones that fit well with your small ears? Here are a few of our favorite ones that are sure to be a great match!
12 best wireless headphones to work out with
Need some new headphones for crushing it at the gym? Here are out 12 top picks!
Which wireless headphones charge via USB-C?
Want to buy a pair of headphones that charges with the same cable as your phone? Here are all the best headphones we could find that support USB-C charging.