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It is 2021. Last year threw most of us for a loop, but there’s one thing that no one should have to put up with anymore. Make this year better and more hassle-free without menacing headphone wires.
Bluetooth earbuds are more affordable than ever, and with many modern phones forsaking the headphone jack altogether, it’s time for an upgrade. With that in mind, here are the best wireless earbuds of 2021.
1. Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
They might not be the most flashy option out there, but for people looking for a budget-friendly wireless earbud option — or for diehard Samsung fans — the Galaxy Buds Plus are a respectable entrant in an already incredibly competitive market.
The earbuds offer 11 hours of listening time with a case that provides an additional charge, giving you 22 hours of life. We’re a little disappointed that the charging case only offers one additional charge, but when you consider the fact that most wireless earbuds only last 4-5 hours on a charge, the extended listening time is a definite bonus.
The Galaxy Buds Plus work with both Android and Apple devices, thanks to a companion app on the app stores, and the multipairing feature allows you to connect the buds to multiple devices without having to re-pair them each time.
The case uses the same USB-C cable to charge as most of their flagship phones, so you don’t have to clutter up your bag with charging cables.
2. Apple AirPods Pro
The original AirPods might have been one of the first brand-name “true wireless” earbuds to hit the market, but they left room for improvement. The AirPods Pro, which Apple released at the end of 2019, takes all the good parts of the original AirPods and makes them better.
AirPods Pro provides high-quality sound and active noise canceling so you don’t have to crank the volume to be able to hear your favorite tunes. Transparency mode allows you to hear what’s going on around you without shutting off your music. You can control play, pause, and skip functions by squeezing the stem.
These buds are designed for use with Apple products, but if you don’t mind missing out on a few features, like auto-pause when you remove an earbud, you can still use them on Android phones and Windows PCs.
3. JLab Audio Go Air
If you’re searching for inexpensive wireless earbuds, then look no further than JLab’s Audio Go Air model. On a budget, these wireless headphones make for the perfect purchase, since they still come with powerful features despite the low cost.
Smaller than other models from the company, the Audio Go Air headphones are ergonomic with a comfortable design that will stay in your ear. These earbuds provide high-quality sound, too, using 8mm neodymium drivers. Since they also come with Bluetooth capabilities, you can take calls as you normally would. Plus, they’re sweat-proof!
The battery life on the JLab Audio Go Air will last for five hours, plus the charging case will give an extra 15 hours of battery life. However, if you’re looking for ones that will last for a full day or longer, then the pricier models may be your best bet. Still, for $30, these earbuds are hard to beat!
4. Jabra Elite 75T
Jabra might not be the first brand that comes to mind when you’re hunting for wireless earbuds, but they’ve certainly made a name for themselves since their release. While it doesn’t have active noise cancellation like AirPods Pro, some users report that the Jabra Elite 75T actually generates higher-quality sound than Apple’s Pro model.
You get 7.5 hours of listening time from these earbuds at medium volumes, with an extra 20-plus hours in the case so you can charge on-the-go. These also use Bluetooth 5.0, which helps to reduce battery drain and extend listening time.
The newest incarnation of the Jabra Elite wireless earbuds is giving some of the brand-name buds a run for their money in 2021.
5. Bose QuietComfort
Sometimes you just need to put your earbuds in and tune out the rest of the world. The Bose QuietComfort earbuds are perfect for just that since they are some of the best you’ll find on the market for noise-canceling needs.
After some delays and fine-tuning, Bose finally rolled out these earbuds, which are now widely available for purchase. The noise-canceling feature is ideal for a range of situations. Whether you’re going for a walk or run, need to focus on work, want to tune out background noise or simply want to immerse yourself in your music or podcasts, these headphones are perfect for you.
These earbuds are comfortable, weather-resistant and will last up to six hours on a single charge or 12 hours with the case. The controls make them easy to use at any moment. Watch videos and listen to music without any distracting noise around you!
6. Beats Powerbeats Pro
These are probably the bulkiest buds on this list, but you’re getting some serious battery life alongside that bulk, in addition to fantastic sound quality.
Instead of just sitting in the ear canal like the other wireless buds on this list, Powerbeats Pro uses ear hooks to hold tight to your ear. This isn’t a bad thing, because it provides extra security and you don’t have to worry about them falling off or flying out of your ears, regardless of how active you are.
The bulk also means that you’re going to get nine hours or so of listening time between charges, though the charging case is too large to fit in your average pocket. Still, with the secure fit and superior sound quality, Powerbeats Pro has proven to be one of the best wireless earbuds of 2021.
7. Master & Dynamic MW07 Go
For anyone who works out frequently, you know the struggle of finding the best earbuds for that setting. When they fall out or don’t fit right, they disrupt the flow of getting into the right workout headspace. Instead of worrying, though, use Master & Dynamic’s MW07 Go earbuds.
These earbuds provide you with premium quality sound and a whopping 10-hour battery life on a single charge. The design keeps comfort in mind, too, with slotted silicone fins that will fit perfectly with your ear and feel natural. Since they work so well with exercising, they are, of course, water-resistant!
When you’re within 100 feet of these headphones, your device can automatically, which emphasizes the true nature of wireless earbuds in 2021. The Master & Dynamic MW07 Go model gives you everything you need and more when working out.
8. Sony WF-1000XM3
Sony’s WF-1000MX3 is easily one of the best pairs of wireless earbuds to hit the market in 2021. They offer some of the highest-quality audio on the market for a price that’s comparable to Apple AirPods Pro.
Each earbud has its own chipset, so they can both simultaneously connect to your phone instead of relying on each other for connectivity. This eliminates audio lag, especially when watching videos on your phone or laptop.
The batteries in these buds will last for six hours if you use noise-canceling, and eight without, with the case offering up to 32 more hours of charging. The case uses USB-C for charging but doesn’t offer the option for wireless charging.
There are plenty of budget-friendly options available on the market today that are strong contenders for 2021’s top spot. However, your purchase will ultimately depend on your needs. If you’d like earbuds that are good for exercising, then the Master & Dynamic brand is right for you. If you’re an Apple product person, then the AirPods Pro are ready for you to buy today!
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