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The best-sounding true wireless headphones of 2019

A lot of people may be looking for cheap true wireless headphones, but if you're looking for something with top-notch sound, this is the list for you.

It's now fairly easy to find inexpensive true wireless earbuds that sound pretty decent, and if that's what you're looking for, we've got a list of the best cheap true wireless earbuds. But alas, many of the best wireless headphones cost a lot. And if sound quality is your top priority, you're going to have to spend more -- and in some instances, a lot more. 

The best wireless headphones also tend to be on the bigger side because size does seem to matter when it comes to the sound quality of wireless earbuds. And that's where the one big caveat to all this comes into play: To get optimal performance, the best wireless headphones need to fit right and feel comfortable -- and you have to get a tight seal. If you can't get a snug fit with in-ear headphones, you'll be sadly disappointed and think you got ripped off, which is why I suggest buying from a store with a decent return policy -- such as Amazon

Below is a list of the best wireless headphones, with a breakdown of features, including performance, noise cancellation, battery, sound and how comfortable they are. I'll update this list as I test new models (the Klipsch T5 True Wireless and  Sony WF-1000XM3 have been added as part of the latest update). 

Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site. 

Read more: Best cheap true wireless earphones

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Sony hasn't been much of a player in the true wireless (AirPods-style) headphone arena, but its new WF-1000XM3 may change that. While this pair of headphones isn't cheap at $229, it's the best-sounding set of truly wireless earbuds at this price, matching and perhaps even exceeding the performance of pricier competitors from SennheiserBeatsMaster & Dynamic and Bang & Olufsen. It also has a feature that those wireless earbuds don't have: active noise cancellation to reduce ambient noise.

Its only drawback is that it isn't rated as being sweat- or water-resistant. That said, I've used these wireless noise-canceling headphones for light workouts at the gym without a problem.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 noise-canceling headphones use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC but not aptX.

Water-resistant: No (lacks IPX certification)

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At $300 (£279, AU$499), Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless are more expensive than Apple AirPods wireless earbuds, Jabra's Elite 65t true wireless earbuds and Elite Active 65t and Bose SoundSport Free wireless earbuds. But they sound superior to those models, with better bass and cleaner, more detailed audio. These wireless earbuds also feature very good performance for making phone calls, with solid noise cancelling capabilities, and offer a generally comfortable fit, though they're bigger than the Jabras and stick out of your ear a little more. Their only significant downside is that they gradually lose their charge in the charging case and can end up completely dead after four days or so if you don't recharge the case.

I've used these wireless earbuds in the gym, but they don't fit quite securely enough in my ear to run with them. Battery life is rated at 4 hours, and you get two extra charges from the carrying case. These use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC and aptX and a firmware update has improved their performance and slightly.

Water-resistant: Yes (IPX4 rating -- splashproof)

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The Master & Dynamic MW07 True Wireless may not fit everyone's ear equally well, but they certainly have a distinct look, as well as very good sound if you can get a tight seal. These in-ear headphones are known for more of an audiophile sound profile, with smooth, well-balanced sound and well-defined bass, and the MW07 delivers that kind of sound. 

Available in a variety of color options for $300, these wireless earbuds with excellent audio include a swanky chrome charging case that comes with a secondary pouch for safekeeping (yes, the case can get scratched up if you leave it in a bag). Battery life is rated at 3.5 hours, which is a little on the short side, and the case with its built-in chargeable battery gives you an additional three charges (it charges via USB-C). These use Bluetooth 4.2 with support for AAC and aptX and have an extended range of more than 20m, according to Master & Dynamic.

Water-resistant: Yes (IPX4 rating -- splashproof)

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While Klipsch's T5 True Wireless doesn't ship until mid-August, I've been testing an early review sample and have been impressed with the sound -- it's nicely detailed with natural-sounding mids and punchy, well-defined bass. The only caveat is you really have to jam the tips into your ear to get a tight seal and the design may not be for everyone. 

While the Zippo-inspired case is somewhat heavy for its relatively compact size, it's sleek, sturdy and features USB-C charging. Battery and battery life are also a highlight: The buds themselves can run for up to 8 hours on a single charge at moderate volume levels and the case with its built-in battery provides three additional charges on the go. 

The T5 Wireless uses Bluetooth 5.0 and has support for both AAC and aptX.

Water-resistant: Yes (IPX4 rating -- splashproof)  

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The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 2.0 True Wireless Earbuds ($350, £300) feature some of those extra design touches that'd you expect -- and end up paying for -- with Bang & Olufsen products. The charging case for this set of headphones is arguably the most aesthetically pleasing of any charging case out there (like the new AirPods' wireless charging case, this one also features wireless charging) and feels like a case you'd get at Tiffany.

They also sound very good, with clear, well-balanced sound. The bass audio has good definition but doesn't have quite as much energy or oomph as the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless' bass. As a result, I wouldn't say these are the best wireless headphones for bass audio lovers (look to the Beats for that), but they do sound impressive with well-recorded tracks. While they're the most-expensive pair of wireless headphones in this roundup, they come in a variety of color options, some of which cost less than $300. 

Note that with version 2.0 of these wireless earbuds, Bang & Olufsen improved the battery life to 4 hours (plus three additional charges from the case with its built-in chargeable battery) and added USB-C and wireless charging. These use Bluetooth 4.2 with support for AAC but not aptX.

Water-resistant: Yes (they are splashproof, according to B&O)

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Yes, the Powerbeats Pro's jumbo charging case with its built-in battery is a notable drawback. But the combination of incorporating all the features that make Apple's AirPods great while delivering richer sound and better battery life in a design that won't fall out of your ear ultimately is a winning proposition. Just make sure you buy them somewhere that has a good return policy in case you're in the small minority that has ears that aren't quite a match for them.

They use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC but not aptX.

Water-resistant: Yes (IPX4 rating -- splashproof)

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The Elite 65t ($170, £150 or AU$300) and slightly enhanced Elite Active 65t ($190, £170 or AU$350) are our current top picks in the true wireless category because they sound better than Apple's AirPods, this pair of headphones offers just as good or even better performance for making phone calls, and they fit a lot of ears securely.

Their sound isn't quite as rich or clean as the more-expensive earphones above them on this best wireless headphones list (the bass lacks a little kick), but it's still a very good sounding set of true wireless earbuds, and the battery life is decent. Since they've been on the market awhile, they're frequently discounted, so wait till you see a deal on these wireless earbuds before buying.

These use Bluetooth 4.2 (AAC but no aptX).

Water-resistant: Yes (IP56 rating -- can withstand heavy sprays of water)

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I don't really know how stylish the 1More Stylish True Wireless earbuds are (yes, that's their name), but they do sound good. With a list price of $100, they're the least expensive of any of the models on this list. 1More made a name for itself with its wired earbuds, the Triple Drivers, which sound great and were a good value when wired headphones were still a thing. The same clear, balanced sound found in that headphone is present in 1More's first true wireless earbuds (they don't sound as good as the Triple Drivers, but they sound very good for true wireless).

These have more of an audiophile sound profile, with more "accurate" sound, so bass lovers may be a little disappointed, but I liked them. Of course, it helped that I was able to get a tight seal with one of the included ear tips. However, the stabilizer fin did nothing for me (I just jammed the tip into my ear to get a secure fit). 

Their battery life is rated at up 6.5 hours (expect closer to 5 if you're listening to your music at higher volumes), with an extra 17 hours or so of battery life available from the charging case. These use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC and aptX.

Water-resistance: No (lacks IPX certification)

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JBL and Under Armour bill their new True Wireless Flash ($170) as totally wireless sports and workout headphones "designed for runners by runners." They're technically the first truly wireless earbuds from the duo, and as far as truly wireless workout headphones go, they're quite good, although some of their allure is tempered by a rather large charging case that's probably three times the size of Apple's AirPods' charging case. Battery life of these wireless earbuds is rated at 5 hours.

With relatively clean, well-balanced sound and meaty bass that's pretty well-defined (read: not boomy), they sound on par and even slightly better some of the other best wireless headphones in this price class. They've got better bass than the Jabra Elite 65t, but the Elite 65t may be a more comfortable fit.

The wireless earbuds are fully waterproof and use Bluetooth 4.2 (no aptX). 

Water-resistant: Yes (IPX7 -- fully waterproof).

Read: Best over-ear headphones

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