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What Are the Best Wireless Earbuds Right Now?

Want to find the best true-wireless earbuds? Start here with CNET's various lists of best earbuds by style, use case and price.

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David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
2 min read
Wearing the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2
Enlarge Image
Wearing the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2

Testing the Bose QuietComfort 2 earbuds on the streets of New York City.

David Carnoy/CNET

True-wireless wireless earbuds and noise-canceling headphones are among the most popular products on CNET. Not only do we test a lot of earbuds, but we create a lot of best lists to help folks narrow down their choices and navigate the buying process.

So, what are the best wireless earbuds? There's a lot of debate around this question, and it's hard to name one single model as the best overall wireless earbuds. But a few models do stand out a bit from the rest of the pack, which is why we've given them our prestigious CNET Editors' Choice Award. From 2022, these include the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 and Apple AirPods Pro 2. They're currently on top of our list of best overall wireless earbuds for 2023 along with a budget pick, the Earfun Air Pro 3s, which can be had for an additional 20% off when you apply the code EAP3CNET at checkout at Amazon.

However, we also have more granular lists for those looking for specific types of earbuds with certain qualities or more specific uses. We've compiled all those best lists here on one landing page to give you quick access to our comprehensive earbuds buying advice. 

CNET best earbuds lists

David Carnoy/CNET
Battery Life Rated Up to 6 HoursNoise Canceling Yes (ANC)Multipoint NoHeadphone Type Wireless EarbudsWater-Resistant Yes (IPX4 -- Splash-Proof)

Like

  • Excellent sound and best-in-class noise canceling
  • Fit Kit ear tips and stabilizer system gets you a secure, comfortable fit
  • Improved voice calling with better noise reduction

Don't like

  • Pricey
  • No wireless charging

Bose's second-generation QuietComfort Earbuds 2 are not only about 30% smaller than their predecessors, but their case is about 40% smaller and truly pocketable. They feature best-in-class noise canceling and improved sound, thanks to Bose's new CustomTune sound calibration system that customizes the sound for your ears. Voice-calling performance is also significantly better than that of the original QuietComfort Earbuds.

Read our Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 review.

David Carnoy/CNET

Like

  • Lightweight design, now with USB-C charging
  • Excellent sound and noise canceling
  • Powered by Apple's H2 chip
  • Strong voice-calling performance
  • Support for 20-bit/48 kHz Lossless Audio with Apple's Vision Pro headset

Don't like

  • No support for high-resolution audio with other Apple devices except headset
  • Still no XL tips included

The new AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are powered by Apple's new H2 chip, which delivers more processing power while being more energy efficient, according to Apple. The new chip, combined with new low-distortion drivers, allows for improved sound that offers better clarity and depth. The noise canceling is also improved -- Apple says the new AirPods have "double" the noise canceling of the original AirPods Pro. Additionally, the new AirPods add an extra hour of battery life, up from five to six hours with noise canceling on. Plus, a speaker in the case that emits a sound that helps locate your buds via Find My should they decide to hide from you.

Read our Apple AirPods Pro 2 (USB-C) review.

Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET
Battery life Rated up to 7.5 hoursNoise Canceling YesMultipoint YesWater-Resistant Yes (IPX5-- splash-proof)

Like

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Good sound and overall performance for their price
  • Wireless charging and support for new Bluetooth LE Audio standar

Don't like

  • Voice calling performance is only OK

Earfun has put out a series of wireless earbuds over the last couple of years with one important commonality: They're very good values, made more so by frequent discounts. The company's new-for-2023 Earfun Air Pro 3 earbuds feature the latest Qualcomm QCC3071 system-on-a-chip with aptX Adaptive for Android and other devices that support the new LE Audio standard and LC3 audio codec, which is superior to the SBC codec (they also support AAC for Apple devices).

Note that code EAP3CNET at checkout gives you an additional 20% off, bringing the buds' price down to $56.

Read our Earfun Air Pro 3 review.