Sony WF-1000XM4: Released in 2021, Sony's WF-1000XM4 earned a CNET Editors' Choice Award. They're still excellent earbuds, but Sony has now released the next-gen WF-1000XM5. They may be a good option if you find them at a good discount.
Beyerdynamic Free Byrd: Beyerdynamic may be late to the game, but it's finally introduced its first true-wireless earbuds, which feature active noise canceling, up to 11 hours of battery life (with noise canceling off) and impressive sound quality. Read our Beyerdynamic Free Byrd review.
Master & Dynamic MW08: These buds may not fit everyone's ear equally well, but they certainly have a distinct look, as well as excellent sound and a great listening experience if you can get a tight seal (I was able to get a secure fit with the largest tip). They deliver more of an audiophile sound profile, with smooth, well-balanced sound and well-defined bass.
Status Between 3ANC: Status earbuds aren't exactly the sleekest or most attractive earbuds you can buy, but if you don't mind their utilitarian look and giant stems, you are getting an excellent-sounding set of earbuds. The Between 3ANC, the company's first noise-canceling earbuds, also do a good job muffling ambient sound, though they aren't up to the level of the Bose QuietComfort 2 earbuds for noise-canceling prowess. They did perform very well in my voice-calling test, reducing much of the background noise around me in the streets of New York while picking up my voice clearly, or so callers told me.
Sony Linkbuds: The LinkBuds are, in a sense, Sony's answer to Apple's standard AirPods. While they don't sound as good as Sony's flagship WF-1000XM4 or the Linkbuds S noise-isolating earbuds, they offer a discreet, innovative design and a more secure fit than the AirPods, as well as decent sound and very good voice-calling performance. Like the third-gen AirPods, their open design allows you to hear the outside world -- that's what the ring is all about. Read our Sony Linkbuds review.
JBL Live Free 2: Like the Live Pro 2, JBL's new Live Free 2 buds are surprisingly good. With 11mm drivers, six microphones, oval tubes and oval silicon tips, they combine a comfortable fit along with strong noise canceling, very good sound quality and voice-calling performance. Features include multipoint Bluetooth pairing and wireless charging, and they're rated for up to seven hours with IPX5 water-resistance (splash-proof).
Beats Studio Buds: The Beats Studio Buds look a lot like the rumored stemless AirPods some people have been waiting for. Geared toward both iOS and Android users, they are missing a few key features on the Apple side of things (there's no H1 or W1 chip), but they're small, lightweight buds that are comfortable to wear and offer really good sound. While their noise canceling isn't as good as the AirPods Pro's, they do have a transparency mode and they're decent for making calls. Read our Beats Studio Buds review.
Sennheiser CX: If you can't afford Sennheiser's flagship Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds, the CX are a good alternative. They feature very good sound, plus decent noise canceling and voice-calling performance. The only issue is they stick out of your ears a bit and may not fit some smaller ears. This model, which often sells for less than $100 on Amazon, doesn't feature active noise canceling but the step-up CX Plus does (the CX Plus is also a good value, particularly when it goes on sale).