Fully wireless headphones It’s one of those ideas that sounds like a dream: Insert a tiny little headphone into each ear and listen to music or take calls untethered in each ear. Until recently, the reality was quite different. The first wireless buds were giant, died a few hours later, and had a bunch of other problems. Fortunately, times have changed. There are a bunch of new models out there that look great and work (almost) perfectly. After testing dozens of them over the past four years, here are our favorite wireless earbuds right now, in a wide variety of styles and prices.
Updated June 2021: We’ve added Echo Buds Plus and Pixel Buds A-Series.
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How do we identify wireless earbuds
We have seen that there are variations made with many names: True wireless earbudsAnd the Truly wireless earbudsAnd the Fully wireless headphonesAnd the Fully wireless earbuds, wireless earbuds. Here at WIRED, if a pair of earbuds is connected to your phone/computer via bluetooth, and there is no wire connecting the left bud to the right, we call it wireless. Cordless kits usually come with two popcorn-sized buds, each with a battery inside, and a charging stand that holds extra battery power and keeps it safe when you’re not wearing it. Others have a cable or neck strap that holds the two hearing aids together.
They’re liberating, but they do have issues, like limited battery life (don’t buy any battery with less than five hours), confusing controls, and dependence on the charging case. They are also a bit easier to lose than traditional earbuds, and replacing one bud can be expensive.