May 22, 2023
9 Best Wireless Earbuds of 2023
Every product was carefully curated by an Esquire editor. We may earn a commission from these links. Wires are over. Headphones are over. This is the way. You owe a lot to your little earbuds. Every
Every product was carefully curated by an Esquire editor. We may earn a commission from these links.
Wires are over. Headphones are over. This is the way.
You owe a lot to your little earbuds. Every music-fueled home workout, every Sunday vacuuming session with a podcast on, every long run with an audiobook soundtrack—all powered by a reliable pair of earbuds. Most of these will be OK for a workout, but if you want something exercise specific we've talked about those, too. The category is so built out that they've got noise cancelling now. There's barely a reason to even own an actual pair of headphones.
But it's a crazy world out there. Like with every tech category, there's a million different products, each with a full list of specs that's hard to understand. But we do. Our stable of nerds and audiophiles know what to look for. So we went about testing all the top earbuds on the market—comparing specs, daily performance, and everything else. We took this massive category and whittled it down to this, the best wireless earbuds out there. Buy anything off this list, and we promise you're good.
Listen, I'm not here to give Apple anymore praise. But as far as earbuds go, no one is doing it this well, this consistently. AirPods are unavoidable because they simply are the best earbuds on the market.
If you're an iPhone user, pairing up your AirPods is ridiculously easy. If you use a Samsung, Google, or other non-Apple device, pairing is still a breeze. They look better than any other options, and they sound just as good as more audio-oriented offerings. They're the best earbuds out there, simply put.
For something more workout oriented, but still good for regular use, it's the Beats Fit Pro. Under the Apple brand, these are essentially rebranded AirPods Pro—with the same H1 chipset and all—but it's a rebrand that really works.
Most notable has got to be the mechanics for locking these down. The little wingtips really lock these in place, so they're perfect for the gym or for a run.
For the most workout-focused iteration of this earbud, there's the Powerbeats Pro. Like the two before it, it's got that same H1 chipset, same great sound. Powerbeats pro just takes the lockdown to another level with those ear hooks. They're great for HIIT workouts, great for running.
The only downside is that you'd expect them to have something extra. Ideally a bit more water resistance. But no, it's just a different version of the same earbud.
It's always easier to work with devices that are within the same family. Apple takes it to a different level, as AirPods vastly prefer to pair with an iPhone. But it's pretty standard across the industry.
If you're a Samsung user, the Galaxy Buds2 are made to pair with your phone, and they're made to look good with your phone. When used with a Galaxy phone, you get benefits like spatial audio and easier device switching.
One thing I will say for the non Samsung users: Galaxy Buds have always surprised me, these Buds2 especially so. They sound amazing. If you're a real audiophile who cares about hi-res audio, these support 24-bit audio.
For Google Pixel users, it's Google Pixel Buds. As with every earbud-phone combo, you get the easier setup and controls.
I did, however, choose the A-Series, which is the lesser of the Pixel Buds. Essentially, I've never loved the Pixel Buds Pro. I'm not crazy about noise cancelling, though Google's noise cancelling is quite good. The Pixel Bus Pro just didn't seem worth the money when I used them. The sounds wasn't as good as the other flagships—AirPods Pro and Galaxy Buds2—these compete with.
I love Bowers & Wilkins for headphones. They're the best out there. For earbuds... it doesn't translate as well.
These are the best sounding earbuds on this list, no doubt. They support 24-bit audio, But it's almost too much from a pair of earbuds. The incredible sound quality increase the price to a point where I'd say, "Just buy headphones." But if you want the best sounding earbuds on the market, I wouldn't recommend anything less.
That said, I found these to be a bit squirrelly in setup. My iPhone didn't play nicely with the Bowers & Wilkins app, which I'd use to adjust noise cancelling and transparency levels. A small issue, but an annoying one.
For well-priced earbuds, closer to $100, I once again have to give the cake to Apple. The original AirPods, the ones that really kicked off the wireless earbud thing, are still amazing. They look good. They pair easy (of course easier with an iPhone). They sound decent, and they've got good battery life. Can't ask for much more.
If you're Apple averse, these Philips headphones are another great budget option. Though they don't sound as good, they're generally easier to pair, and with a base price of $100 they're more affordable.
And for something that's truly, truly budget, there's the JBL Vibe 200TWS. Is the sound great? Nope. But, I found that JBL's tendency towards heavy bass kinda negates the sound issues. They're bass-y, and they can get loud. At that point, all other sound kinda disappears anyway.
For under $100, this is as good as it gets.
Luke Guillory is the Associate Commerce Editor at Esquire.
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