Even though true wireless headphones are taking the world by storm, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea.
Many people would actually prefer wireless earbuds that have a neckband, for a variety of reasons. Comfort is one of them, the assurance of knowing you can’t lose them is another, and they’re oftentimes better functionally, too.
Now, if you’re looking at buying a pair of wireless earbuds, you’ve got quite a lot of options. There are premium models by well-known manufacturers, and there are some more budget oriented ones, too, so there’s something for everyone.
Best Wireless Earbuds 2021 Roundup
The downside here is that if you’re versatile in terms of your budget, you won’t really know which ones to go for.
To help out a bit, we’re taking a look at some of the best wireless earbuds out there, at various price points, and letting you know which ones you should pick. Let’s not waste any more time and check out the options.
Note: We’ve got you covered even if you’re more interested in new truly wireless earbuds.
Things To Look For In Wireless Earbuds
Before we get into the earbuds themselves, there’s one thing we should discuss. Not all earbuds are made the same, and depending on what you’ll be doing with them and what you want to use them for, some models might suit you better than others.
We will recommend one pair that’s the best allrounder at the end, but if you need something more specific, here are the things you need to look for in a pair of wireless earbuds.
While Bluetooth does compromise a bit in terms of sound quality compared to wired, you can still get excellent quality from a pair of wireless earbuds. In this regard, more expensive isn’t always better, so try to look at (and understand) the frequency response in order to get an understanding of what you can expect out of a pair of earbuds.
The frequency response will also give you an idea of whether or not a certain pair is bass, or treble-heavy, and if you prefer something like that, you’ll know which earbuds suit your ears best.
The next big thing with wireless earbuds is comfort. Unlike with a wired pair, wireless earbuds also come with either a neckband that houses the battery, or a slightly larger controls pad if the battery is there.
This might mean that some discomfort is to be expected, so you’ll want to get a pair of earbuds that fit your ears well. Or, get a pair with as many wing tips and earbud tips as possible, so you can get the right fit.
When it comes to the battery life, most wireless earbuds will give you at least a couple of hours. And yes, while a bigger battery usually results in a longer battery life, it also results in a physically heavier pair of earbuds, which isn’t always comfortable.
Here, it’s a matter of compromise, and you should get enough battery life for the activities you’ll be using the earbuds for, while sticking to a reasonably sized pair of earbuds.
Last but not least, you should take a look at how the neckband is designed. With some wireless earbuds, you don’t even have a neckband – there’s just a cable that connects the two earbuds. In this case, if the battery is on one side, the earbuds will be heavier there, which isn’t too comfortable.
If the battery and all modules are in the neckband, however, you’ll have a slightly heavier and larger neckband, which is something to get used to. It’s all a matter of personal preference here.
Best Wireless Earbuds 2021 Buying Guide
Jaybird Tarah: Check Price On Amazon
Jaybird made waves with their wireless earbuds a few years ago, especially with the X2 and X3.
The Tarah are a side series of those, and are an evolution of the design that put Jaybird on the market. They’re priced rather reasonably, compared to the X2 and X3 when they came out, and they do offer quite a lot for the money.
To begin with, they sound pretty good. This is something Jaybird have always been good at, and you also get a nice level of customisation with different equalising options that you can set up in the app.
Bass lovers will like the fact that the Tarah are slightly bass-heavy, so you’ll get that nice thump when you’re listening to music.
As far as comfort goes, The Tarah come with a nifty ear tip design that will definitely fit just about anyone. Instead of conventional ear tips, they use ear gels, which are softer and provide a better seal by adjusting to your ear canal better.
They’re very flexible as well, and this only adds to the comfort. This is what Jaybird calls a “Sport fit”, and we like it – even during workout sessions, they don’t fall out.
While we’re at it, the Tarah are waterproof, with an IPX7 rating that ensures workouts don’t do any damage to them whatsoever. You can use them for running, cycling, gym workouts, pretty much anything, and in any weather conditions.
Last but not least, the battery life is good, but not great, and you can expect around 6 hours of play time. What is nice is that 10 minutes of charging gets you around an hour of listening time.
But, you’ll need the proprietary charger, which we aren’t fans of. If you don’t mind this, though, it’s a great pair for users on a budget.
AUKEY Key Series B60: Check Price On Amazon
Best Wireless Earbuds Under 50
AUKEY is by many considered to be the king of budget consumer electronics in a variety of categories, and if you were to take a look at the Key Series B60 wireless earbuds, you’ll easily see why.
They’re a very wallet-friendly pair of earbuds that work very well in a variety of situations, and come with a few nifty features you wouldn’t expect to find on a pair of earbuds at this price.
To begin with, the sound quality is pretty decent. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s not bad either. It is bass heavy, which is what AUKEY advertise with the earbuds themselves, but we found it to be satisfying for a variety of different music genres.
Comfort is good, and AUKEY do give you two pairs of ear tips that have ear hooks, to make things even better, and to ensure you can get a good fit.
The earbuds themselves are rather small, which does help with comfort, and the control pad that houses the battery isn’t too heavy either. They also come with an IPX6 rating, which is an nice addition.
Speaking of that, the battery life is pretty good, and you can comfortably expect around 8 hours of music on a single charge.
To make things better, you don’t get a proprietary charging pad like with some other models – all you need is a regular USB Type-C cable. With most devices nowadays using a USB Type-C port, this is a great benefit.
Last but not least, included in the box is a nifty carrying case that provides protection when you’ve got them stored in your pocket. Overall, the AUKEY are a great pick for users who want to save a few bucks and don’t really need the best in terms of sound quality.
Anker Soundbuds Curve (2019): Check Price On Amazon
Best Wireless Earbuds Under 30
With many people having fit issues with wireless earbuds, there is one simple solution to ensure they won’t fall out of your ear – a hook design. And that’s exactly why you should consider Anker’s Soundbuds Curve.
They come with a lot of great features and a design that ensures comfort, and that the earbuds will still be in your ears when you come back home from a run.
To kick things off, the ear hook design is probably the main thing about the earbuds. You get a thick, comfortable and adjustable hook that you can set up for your ear, and after a few minutes, you stop noticing the earbuds completely.
To add to this, the battery and control pad are on the right earbud, and thanks to the hook, you don’t feel the extra weight.
The sound quality is pretty good, and thanks to Anker’s BASSUP technology, the low end is really, really good. The rest of the sound spectrum is pretty well covered, too, and you have good mids and clear, accurate treble. But yes, they’re definitely bass heavy.
Anker has obviously tailored these for workouts. You get their SweatGuard technology that keeps the insides dry when you’re working out, and there’s even an IPX7 water resistance rating.
Not only does this allow you to work out in any type of conditions, but if you get them dirty, you can even rinse them with water once you’re done.
Of course, the slightly larger design also allows for a larger battery, and in the case of the Soundbuds Curve, that’s up to 18 hours of listening time. And if you’re in a rush, 10 minutes of charging gives you 3 hours of play time. What else could you need?
Sure, there are some compelling wired options in this price range, but Soundbuds Curve is certainly the best wireless earbuds pair under 30 bucks.
JBL Live 200BT: Check Price On Amazon
JBL is a household name in the audio industry, and their Live 200BT are the entry level model of the lineup. However, they’re still a fairly respectable option for anyone who wants a reputable brand, but would like to stay within a reasonable price range.
If you’ve ever used another pair of JBL headphones, the sound signature should be familiar. It follows what is known as the Harman curve target response, while slightly emphasizing the bass levels. Overall, it’s a fun sound, and one you’ll probably like.
What we love about the Live 200BT is just how small the earbuds themselves are. Since everything else, except for the drivers themselves, is housed in the neckband, you won’t even feel them in your ear once you get the right fit. The cable is also rather thin and light, which makes them even more comfortable overall.
This does mean the neckband is slightly thicker and heavier though, but it’s still made using a soft material that’s rather comfortable and sits well on your neck. It houses the battery, which gets you about 10 hours of listening time, which is honestly quite a lot. If you need to charge them, though, that does take around 2 hours, and that isn’t impressive.
What we didn’t really like about these is the lack of any sort of water resistance. While yes, they’re built really well and feel like a quality product even despite the price tag, it would’ve been nice if some kind of reassurance was provided.
At the end of the day, if you want decent sound, long battery life, and a lightweight, comfortable design, this is the pair you want. And best of all, it’s not going to make a dent in your wallet with the price tag.
AKG N200 Wireless: Check Price On Amazon
What many people don’t like about many wireless earbuds is the long and cheaply made cables. They are a nuisance, and a lot of people would like it if they didn’t have to deal with it. If you’re one of those people, you’re in luck, as AKG’s N200 Wireless is just what you are looking for.
These wireless earbuds come with a short, braided cable, which means you won’t have a lot of it hanging from the back of your head. There is even a cable shortener that helps out a bit if you want it to be even shorter.
The cable feels very well made, and since it’s one of the breaking points for many earbuds, we love this.
Next up, sound quality is pretty good. These work with apt-X and AAC, so the sound quality loss due to Bluetooth is pretty negligible, and overall they sound great. Unlike most of their competitors, these aren’t too bass heavy, and get you an overall balanced sound signature that’s not fatiguing to listen to.
The battery life is pretty good. You get 8 hours of battery thanks to the battery found in the control pad, which is more or less a day of work. And if you need to recharge, you can expect around 1 hour of play time with 10 minutes of charging. Great for a quick charge before a run.
Last but not least, these come with a nifty feature we don’t see too often – the earbuds themselves are magnetic. If you leave them hanging from your neck, they’ll come together and not move around too much, which is nice.
The only potential downside here is the price – they’re more expensive than most of their competition. But for many, they’ll be very much worth it.
Final thoughts – Best Wireless Earbuds 2021
If you want an overall versatile pair of wireless earbuds, we would definitely recommend the Jaybird Tarah.
They’re the result of years of testing and evolution, and apart from the not-too-impressive battery life, they’re great in every possible way. Also, the quick charge makes up for the battery life quite a bit.
You get a reputable brand, excellent sound quality, even better build quality, and best of all, a package that won’t set you back too much. Paired with the customizability through the app, and all the ear tips included, and you’re covered in any possible scenario.