Over the past two years, the market has been dominated by truly wireless earbuds, and as we move forward, more are hitting the market. If you’re an Android user, what’s the best pair of true wireless earbuds? What integrates and works best with your phone? Here are some of the best options we’ve tried.
New this month:
- Jabra Elite 85t
- OnePlus Buds Z
Best overall: Samsung Galaxy Buds+
When you’re shopping for a pair of true wireless earbuds, there are a lot of things to look for. Fit, features, battery life, sound quality, case, price, and many others. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, though, strike the best balance of everything.
Galaxy Buds Plus cost $149, and for that price, you’ll get a solid set of earbuds that sit in your ears using silicone tips which, of course, you can adjust using the extra sizes that come included. There’s also a small wing on the earbud that helps keep a grip in your ear.
Sound quality on the Buds Plus is also pretty solid, particularly if paired with a Samsung smartphone. The audio is clear, not too bass-heavy, and sounds good at all volumes. Using Samsung’s apps, too, you can adjust the equalizer with “Dynamic” usually offering the best overall results.
Samsung isn’t lacking features either, with customizable touch gestures, integration with Bixby on Samsung devices, and special Spotify integration, too. The biggest reason to buy, though, is battery life. Samsung manages 11 hours on the buds alone, and double that with the slim charging case. No one does better than that, and it makes Galaxy Buds+ some of the best true wireless earbuds.
Buy Samsung Galaxy Buds+:
Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list — it’s comprised of options we’ve had the chance to test out ourselves.
Best for Google Assistant: Google Pixel Buds
Google Assistant is a big part of the Android experience, and right now, there’s no better option for Google Assistant outside of the company’s own Pixel Buds.
The $179 Pixel Buds offer silicone tips, a slim case, four colors, sound quality that’s pretty good, and Fast Pair support, which means they pair quickly to any Android smartphone. You’ll get five hours of battery life from the earbuds themselves and up to 24 hours with the case, which charges over USB-C or using Qi.
Pixel Buds are also designed to let some ambient noise in. The perk there? While it means the real world comes through with your music, it also means you can both be aware of your surroundings and skip over that awful “plugged” feeling that so many other silicone-tipped earbuds result in. Pixel Buds are super comfortable because of this.
The biggest reason to buy Pixel Buds, though, is the feature set. Google Assistant is built-into the Pixel Buds, meaning you’ll have faster voice commands compared to using the Assistant on your phone over Bluetooth. Further, Pixel Buds are also the only true wireless earbuds to support the “Hey Google” command. Google Assistant can also read your notifications aloud and let you respond to text messages hands-free.
Pixel Buds have gotten some bad press as a result of some connection woes, but updates have made a huge improvement there. Through future updates, too, Google will add new features in regular “Feature Drops.” Pixel Buds are available in white, black, mint, and orange.
Buy Google Pixel Buds:
NEW: Best for sound quality: Jabra Elite 75t/85t
While many people value smarts on wireless earbuds, by their very nature, sound quality is one of the most important parts. If you want killer sound quality on an affordable budget, the Jabra Elite series is perhaps the best.
The Jabra Elite 75t and they’re evolutionary successor the 85t both deliver powerful sound quality starting at $179. Both earbuds use a silicone tip design that isn’t particularly small, but fits in the ear quite nicely. They both also offer a USB-C case that’s not particularly tiny, but not large either.
What’s the difference between the two models? Thanks to a software update on the 75t, active noise cancellation is on both, but it’s improved via hardware on the 85t. The 85t also has an oval-shaped eartip that is more comfortable and the case also offers Qi wireless charging. There’s also a special Elite Active 75t with enhanced water resistance.
Through the Jabra Sound+ app, both sets of buds have EQ controls, various settings, and a “find my earbuds” option. Jabra also offers “HearThrough,” which uses the external mics to pipe the outer world in through your earbuds.
Best for noise cancellation: Sony WF-1000MX3
Active Noise Cancellation is usually a job handled buy proper over-ear headphones, but it’s a feature that’s been in demand for true wireless earbuds. If you’re looking for that feature above all else, the Sony WF-1000MX3 are without a doubt your best bet.
Sony’s excellence when it comes to active noise cancellation can’t be understated. The company’s over-ear options are easily some of the best available today, so it comes as little surprise that their true wireless earbuds are also top of the class. WF-1000MX3 offer ANC that can block out most noises around you, even if that’s as loud as an airplane as we discussed in our full review.
Beyond ANC, Sony WF-1000MX3 nail most other aspects of the experience. Sound quality is top notch and battery life hits 24 hours between the buds (6 hours on the buds alone) and the case combined, even with ANC turned on the whole time. Charging happens over USB-C and Sony has a pretty solid companion app as well. These buds also offer NFC for quick pairing, a treat Android users can take advantage of, and there’s even Google Assistant built-in. A long-press on the touchpad triggers a faster version of Assistant than you’ll find on most other buds.
The downside? These are some huge earbuds. Sony’s design leaves not only the earbuds themselves bigger than most of the competition, but the case is a brick as well. For most people, these will eat up nearly an entire pocket, leaving little room for keys or a wallet.
Buy Sony WF 1000MX3 — $229
Other excellent true wireless earbuds for Android
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds+ are some of the best true wireless earbuds around, but the silicone-tip design isn’t necessarily for everyone. That’s where the Galaxy Buds Live step in. These earbuds offer a similar set of features through the Galaxy Wearable app, but have an open-ear design.
The unique shape of the Buds Live, commonly referred to as “beans,” are a one-size-fits-all solution. For most people, it works, but users with smaller ears may find that the earbuds don’t fit properly. Notably, these buds also offer active noise cancellation but, be warned, the open-ear design mostly negates that as we pointed out in our full review.
Buds Live have a slightly thick, but small-enough case that passes the coin pocket test easily. That case charges via USB-C and Qi and can quickly charge the earbuds themselves. You’ll get up to eight hours without ANC or around six hours with ANC turned on.
The Galaxy Buds Live cost $169.
Buy Galaxy Buds Live:
NEW: OnePlus Buds/Z
Many of the earbuds on this list are not cheap. As has been the company’s tradition, though, OnePlus is undercutting that with its own pair of offerings.
The standard OnePlus Buds are a pair of open-ear earbuds that… well they look a lot like AirPods. Thankfully, though, they’re not just a complete clone. The OnePlus Buds have a slim case, responsive if limited touchpads, and a one-size-fits-all design that feels rather comfortable. They also offer excellent 7-hour battery life on the earbuds alone and up to 30 hours with the case. Notably, the case has Warp Charge for 10 hours of charging in just 10 minutes. They’re also sold in white and gray in the US and blue in some other countries.
On the other hand, there’s also the OnePlus Buds Z. These more affordable earbuds have a silicone tip design that works well for just about everyone.
Sound quality on both the Buds and Buds Z is similar with surprisingly deep bass and solid clarity. OnePlus also includes support for Google Fast Pair on both sets of headphones, enabling quick and easy pairing whether you have a OnePlus phone or not.
OnePlus Buds cost $89 and OnePlus Buds Z will land at $49 when they debut in the near future.
It should come as no surprise that the buds that start it all, Apple’s AirPods, make their way onto this list. Despite being optimized for Apple products such as iPhones and iPads, AirPods and AirPods Pro are still some of the best truly wireless earbuds for any Android user.
Why’s that? AirPods are reliable truly wireless earbuds. They don’t cut out often after being paired over Bluetooth and they remain predictable every time you pull them out of the case.
With the standard AirPods, you’re getting a one-size-fits-all design that’s open-ear. Noise isolation is basically non-existent here, but the audio they pump out sounds just fine. The stem design isn’t for everyone, but it’s hard to deny how good it is for voice calls.
AirPods Pro, on the other hand, deliver the same basic sound quality with an improved design that offers silicone tips. Touch controls are improved, too. Plus, it’s hard to beat the active noise cancellation found on AirPods Pro. Apple really hit the nail on the head there.
Standard AirPods offer about five hours of music or three hours of talk time on a charge. The case, which is one of the smallest around, also supports Qi charging if you purchase that version and adds 24 hours of power. AirPods Pro hit those same numbers, but with about 30 minutes knocked off the total if ANC is enabled. That case is bigger, but still one of the smallest around. Both also use a Lightning port for charging, an obvious annoyance if you’re buying as an Android user.
Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro
As far as looks go, the Liberty 2 Pro are arguably the “ugly duckling” true wireless earbuds to pair with an Android phone. They look quite awful but sound wonderful. At $149, they’re a genuine steal given the pricing of many similar options from the so-called “bigger” brands. You can even pick them up as low as $99, as they are regularly on sale.
They do come with a large carry-case that can be charged wirelessly and provides up to 30 hours of battery. USB-C is also included for quick recharging. The clicky touch controls could do with a little work but the added EQ settings and enticing price point make them a fantastic option for Android users.
The Liberty 2 Pros also support Qualcomm’s aptX HD high-quality audio codec. That means you should see a major step up over cheaper buds that use AAC or SBC when streaming audio. Because most people now stream their music, that means you should see a difference when streaming Spotify at 320kbps or when using other services high-resolution audio streaming options.
Buy Sound Liberty 2 Pro:
LG Tone Free
2020 has made bacteria and germs something we’re all paying closer attention to, and LG has an option to help. The company’s $149 LG Tone Free FN6 have a silicone-tipped, AirPods-esque design that come in a slim circular case.
That case is perhaps the biggest highlight of the FN6. Not only does it offer USB-C and Qi charging, but it has a UV-C light in the “wells” for each earbud. When you close the case, it automatically disinfects the tip of the earbud, making it just a bit more clean when you put them back in. Of course, this won’t get rid of earwax, but it will remain sterilized.
As far as sound quality and features go, there are some good additions here. The sound is tuned by Meridian and is not bad, but not particularly amazing. I found that the “bass boost” EQ did the trick for me, but the Tone Free app makes it easy to tweak the sound to fit your tastes. These earbuds also work with Google’s Fast Pair, meaning getting them connected to any Android smartphone is easy.
The UV-C equipped FN6 cost $149, but nearly identical versions of these headphones are available for as low as $99. Another new option is coming soon with active noise cancellation.
Buy LG Tone Free FN6:
If you’re looking for a very comfortable, affordable pair of earbuds that sit in a very tiny case, look no further. The 1MORE ColorBuds seriously impressed me in my time using them over the past couple of months. They have great sound quality with a decent sound stage and pleasant lows.
What really stands out about these buds, though, is the physical hardware. For one, the case is very possibly the smallest of anything on this list — or at least it feels that way. It also charges over USB-C and has neat additions such as a rubber bottom to keep the case in place when sitting on a surface.
The earbuds themselves are also tremendously comfortable. They have a very small tip which, along with the overall design, sits nicely in the ear. I could wear these for hours and just forget about them. The only pair on this list that are perhaps more comfortable are Google’s Pixel Buds, and these lack the little rubber “wing” that ruins the comfort on those buds for some people.
1MORE ColorBuds offer six hours of battery on a charge of the earbuds and offer a companion app on Android and iOS for delivering firmware updates and adjusting the EQ.
At $99 (often on sale), I’ll happily give these my seal of approval.
Buy 1MORE ColorBuds:
Active noise cancellation is a premium feature, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Mobvoi’s TicPods ANC deliver the feature for just $89 with some decent earbuds behind that flagship feature.
TicPods ANC offer up ANC on any device, complete with passthrough audio modes and oval-shaped eartips. The design of the earbuds is a lot like AirPods — no surprise at this point — but beware on the fit. Personally, I’ve found the oval shape to be uncomfortable regardless of the tips I’m using. They might not be for everyone.
Still, if they are a good fit, the audio quality here is solid with a carrying case that isn’t overly large and charges over USB-C. There’s no Qi here. The buds connect to any phone over Bluetooth and on Android or iOS, there’s a Mobvoi companion app, which allows you to control settings easily.
Buy TicPods ANC:
If you’re constantly on the go and need a pair of buds that can withstand absolutely anything, Soul’s S-Fit might be a good buy. They’re pretty affordable at $79 and have two big benefits. The case, for one, is designed to be attached to a bag and includes a carabiner in the box for that purpose. Most true wireless earbuds lack this ability on their case natively, so it’s a pretty big benefit!
Beyond that, the buds themselves are also IP67 water and dust resistant, a step above most competitors. You still shouldn’t take these in the pool or anything, but they’ll hold up to whatever you’re doing without taking a hit. Notably, sound quality seems to suffer a little bit as a result of this, sounding ever so slightly muffled. If sound quality is important to you, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere on this list.
S-Fit are also available in a wide range of colors from blue to pink to the red pictured above. The buds also sit very comfortably in the ear, offer 6.5 hours of battery life on the buds themselves, and charge over USB-C.
Soul S-Fit are available from Amazon.
Belkin also offers its own pair of super-basic true wireless earbuds. The Belkin Soundform deliver 5-hour battery life, silicone eartips, and a charging case that uses microUSB and is of a reasonable size. Pairing is just typical Bluetooth, too. I didn’t encounter many issues with connection, though occasionally I needed to put a bud back in the case before both were working fully. Notably, this is one of the cheap pairs of earbuds that actually work with only one bud regardless of which side is being used.
These are pretty basic across the board, but they get a couple of things right.
For one, touch controls are reliable and intuitive. A single tap on the right bud increases volume while a single tap on the left decreases it. A double tap on either bud pauses your music while a triple tap will either skip or go back a track in your playlist depending on which side you press. Second, sound quality is decent enough. I think these are a bit heavy on the low end, but there are certainly buds way worse than this out there.
Belkin SoundForm sell for $59.
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