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Best Wireless Earbuds to Buy in 2018

These are the best wireless earbuds on the market today.

Photo by Jaz King on Unsplash

Whether you like it or not, wireless earbuds are entering a heyday. Apple removed the headphone jack from their latest iPhone, and it's only a matter of time before other smartphone manufacturers follow suit. This new era of Bluetooth headphones has been controversial, but there's no denying it's the way of the future. Whether you want truly wireless earphones for working out or you don't have a choice because your phone doesn't have a headphone jack, these are the best wireless earbuds for any purpose.

AirPods by Apple

The flagship bluetooth headphones to accompany the iPhone, Apple's AirPods are serviceable and have a sleek charging case that allows you to extract up to 24 hours of battery life. The design, albeit odd, allows them to function well as a wireless headset for phone calls in addition to playing music. Apple's AirPods, however, are not without their drawbacks. The hard plastic design means they aren't really adjustable for fit, so if you're like me and the AirPods simply don't fit perfectly in your ears, there's not a whole lot you can do about it. Even if your ears are the perfect size and shape, the design of the AirPods doesn't have noise-cancelling capabilities. 

For everyday use, AirPods are a decent pair of wireless earphones. If you need a secure fit for athletic activities or you want active noise cancellation or you don't have the exact perfect shape of ear canals, the AirPods may not be for you. But at least this $11 accessory will keep you from losing your $159 AirPods

Elite Active 65t Headphones by Jabra

The Jabra Elite Active 65t is one of the best pairs of true wireless earbuds on the market today. They're perfect for when you want to listen really hear the bass while listening to songs about police brutality. Though they are more expensive than Apple's AirPods, they are more than work the extra cost thanks to the extra features. They feature a tight fit for active noise cancellation and high-quality microphones in each earpiece allow you to make calls with no hassle. The five-hour battery life isn't much, but the included carrying case offers two additional full charges.

If you're willing to give up a few of the more extreme features of these sport headphones, the standard 65t model is the same high-quality product at a lower price compared to Apple's AirPods.

X3 Sports Headphones by Jaybird

Jaybird makes the best wireless earbuds in the mid-range price bracket. These earphones hit that sweet spot where they're considerably cheaper than the benchmark of Apple's AirPods, but not so cheap that you might worry about their longterm durability. Technically intended to be sport headphones, the X3 earbuds provide a secure fit and a sweat-proof, moisture wicking coating. Even if you aren't planning on working out in them, however, they make an excellent pair of wireless earphones for everyday use. The Jaybird X3 also offers a commendable eight hours of battery life, and that's without needing a charging case.

Bluetooth Headphones by SENSO

Let's face it, not everyone is willing to shell out hundreds of dollars just for some wireless earphones. Luckily, there are several budget-friendly options to choose from. SENSO's Bluetooth Headphones are some of the best wireless earbuds you can get without breaking the bank. Featuring a sweat-resistant coating and an impressive eight hours of battery life, these earbuds can take you just about anywhere. For many, ear hooks are a matter of taste. Normally I don't prefer them, but they actually provide a comfortable fit as well as a sense of security if you're nervous about losing your wireless earphones.

Soundsport Headphones by Bose

These truly wireless headphones from Bose are not as sleek as Apple's Airpods. These headphones are actually quite bulky and their charging case is heavy and nearly twice the size of most comparable cases. On top of that, Bose's SoundSport headphones are one of the most expensive offerings on this list. Why, then, have I included them at all? Two words: sound quality. Bose SoundSport earbuds have the richest, fullest sound quality out of all the wireless earphones I know. If you're looking for a budget option or something that provides a wide variety of features and not necessarily great sound quality, then Bose SoundSport is not the option for you. If, however, you have the singular desire for the highest quality sound you can get out of a pair of truly wireless headphones, then look no further. Just put them on and bliss out listening to the best Star Wars Theme remixes

SP700N Headphones by Sony

This offering from Sony is quite comparable to Apple's AirPods. Available for about the same price, there are a few stark differences between the two products, and each has its own advantages. Sony's SP700N headphones have excellent noise-canceling capabilities and fit well into your ear. For me, this secure fit is the biggest improvement over the AirPods. 

However, the SP700N Bluetooth headphones are not without their drawbacks, the greatest of which is the battery life, which is close to half of what AirPods offer (three hours vs. five on a single charge). Even with the included charging case, the Sony SP700N earbuds have a maximum listening time of nine hours total, compared to the AirPods's 24. If you're deciding between these two options, it really comes down to whether you value comfort and audio quality over battery life.

IconX Earbuds by Samsung

The Samsung IconX bluetooth headphones are notable for being one of the very first true wireless earbuds on the market, predating Apple's AirPods by half a year. While that first edition had a number of serious drawbacks, this new model is much more advanced and is comparable to AirPods in many ways. Again, I'll have to mention that I don't find AirPods comfortable or secure at all. I think the IconX headphones are better designed as far as providing a secure and comfortable fit. Otherwise, the features are quite similar. 

The big "thing" here, however, comes down to the iPhone/Android debate. Samsungs IconX earbuds are simply not optimized to be compatible with iPhones. Generally speaking, they work fine, but a lot of the IconX's special features are only compatible with Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy. Samsung IconX are perhaps the best wireless earbuds for Galaxy phones and other Android devices. If you have an iPhone, however, you will probably want something more compatible.

SoundBuds Slim+ Wireless Headphones by Anker

These wireless sport headphones by Anker are another budget-friendly pair of wireless earphones. These are in the same low price range as the SENSO model, but with a couple different features that set them apart. Anker SoundBuds have a slightly shorter battery life than the SENSO headphones (seven hours instead of eight), but they can still be quick charged to full capacity within 90 minutes. If you aren't a fan of SENSO's ear hooks, then you'll be pleased to see that these SoundBuds fit directly in your ear. In fact, Anker includes multiple pairs of rubber ear tips so you can find the size that best suits you.

Elite 45e Headphones by Jabra

If the advanced features of the Jabra Elite 65t interest you, but you don't don't have the budget to accommodate the premium Bluetooth headphones, the Elite 45e is a great mid-range option that offers many of the same features but at a much lower price. One of Jabra's most useful signature features is the simplified access to Alexa, Siri, and Google Now. The Elite 45e brings that same ease of use along with excellent microphone technology, making it a perfect option if you frequently need to make calls. Compared to the Elite 65t, the audio quality is not as impressive, but the Jabra Elite 45e is nonetheless one of the best wireless earbuds in its class. 

E18 Bluetooth Earbuds by ENACFIRE

Due to the need for an extended battery life, it is common for wireless earphones to come with a charging case. These cases allow you to double or triple the number of hours of battery life you can get out of your earbuds. Most of the time, a charging case is a luxury reserved only for the most expensive wireless earbuds on the market. These bluetooth headphones by ENACFIRE break that mold. Though they are among the cheapest pairs of earphones on this list, they come with a compact charging case, allowing you to get up to fifteen hours of listening time out of these headphones, which is probably the most you'll get in this price range. Perfect for when you've fallen so far down one of those YouTube rabbit holes you can't stop watching that you've eaten up all your earbud juice!

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