10 Best Sounding Earbuds

Wally Nowinski
editor

Our personal audio experts used the PerfectRec decision engine to comb through our database of headphones and earbuds to find the best sounding earbuds available in 2024. Here are the top 10 picks.

Our criteria for the best sounding earbuds:

  • Music: We’ prioritized products that reproduce full-range sound without distortion.
  • Headphones: We limited our search to headphones and excluded earbuds.
To consider others factors, try the PerfectRec decision engine to get your personalized Earbuds or Headphones recommendation
Get your personalized recommendations

10 Best Sounding Earbuds

1
"Nothing" Brand

Ear (2)

BEST RATING
Battery Life:
4.9
Wireless
Music: B+

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Expert Summary
The "Nothing" Brand Ear (2) earbuds are a midrange priced, closed enclosure option with a stemmed form factor. They boast a very good overall sound quality, comfort, and build quality, which makes them suitable for listening to music, and they have features like active noise cancelling, making them excellent for air travel and portability. Their low latency mode is ideal for gaming and watching TV, and they're sweatproof and dustproof, appropriate for exercise. With a dynamic driver and support for AAC and LHDC codecs, they deliver high-fidelity audio. They're optimized for both Android and Apple devices and offer around 6.7 hours of battery life, extendable to 30 hours with the charging case, which also supports wireless charging. They come with an integrated microphone but do not feature virtual surround sound. Their app allows for equalizer settings and controls customization. If you want versatile, durable earbuds with active noise canceling and low latency, these could be a good option, unless you're specifically looking for features like virtual surround sound.
Pros
  • Wireless with low latency mode
  • Very good overall sound quality
  • Good active noise cancelling
  • Comfortable and secure fit
  • Water and dustproof certifications
Cons
  • Fair soundstage may affect immersion
  • Ear detection can be finicky
  • Battery life limited to 6.7 hours
  • Limited app audio controls
2
Moondrop

Chu

BEST RATING
Calls:
4.7
Wired
Music: B+

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Expert Summary
The Moondrop Chu is an earbud that is well-suited for listening to music with a very good overall sound quality and comes at a budget price. It has a closed enclosure with a wired connection and a dynamic driver, although it lacks wireless capabilities. These earbuds excel in call and meeting quality, as well as gaming, providing very good microphone quality and sound. They are not optimized for exercise due to their poor score in that regard and do not offer features like active noise cancelling, sweatproof or dustproof certification, which might be important for some users. Comfort is rated as good, but built-in controls score poorly, so if you prefer earbuds with easy access to controls, you may need to consider other options. Moondrop Chu is quite portable with a large earbud size, and they come with cable ear hooks for a more secure fit but do not support wireless charging. They might be a good fit for users who prioritize sound and microphone quality over wireless convenience and who are not using them in very active scenarios.
Pros
  • Very good overall sound quality
  • Good comfort
  • Very good microphone quality
  • Very good build quality
  • Good for calls and meetings
Cons
  • Poor built-in controls
  • Poor for use during exercise
  • Fair noise isolation
  • Fair portability
3
BEST RATING
Air Travel:
4.6
Wireless
Music: A-

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Expert Summary
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are a midrange priced, stemless earbud option that offer features such as active noise cancelling, wireless charging, and an integrated microphone, making them suitable for calls and meetings. They are optimized for Android, though they also work with Apple devices, and have an app that allows equalizer, controls customization, and audio controls. With very good overall sound quality, they're great for music listening, and their excellent portability and good comfort make them convenient for use during exercise or air travel. However, their microphone quality is only fair, which might be a consideration for frequent call users. These earbuds are sweatproof but not dustproof, and offer 4.8 hours of battery life with an additional 12 hours provided by the case. They're suitable for gaming and watching TV due to their low latency, but might not be the best option if microphone quality is a priority.
Pros
  • Very good sound quality
  • Active noise cancelling
  • Good comfort and fit
  • Wireless and sweatproof
  • App customization available
Cons
  • Fair microphone quality
  • No wired option
  • No lossless codec support
  • Dustproof certification missing
4
BEST RATING
Podcasts & Audiobooks:
5.0
Wireless
Music: A

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Expert Summary
The Sony WF1000XM4 earbuds feature excellent overall sound quality, with very good noise isolation, making them ideal for immersive music listening and effective in noisy environments like air travel. They are comfortable, have very good build quality, and offer top-tier music performance. However, the microphone quality is poor, which may affect calls and meetings. For gamers and those using them for TV and video, they may not be suitable due to latency issues. They are sweatproof, have active noise cancelling, support LDAC for high-quality audio over Bluetooth, and have a dedicated app for equalizer and control customization. They are optimized for both Android and Apple devices, have ear detection features, offer around 9 hours of battery life with an additional 24 hours from the case, but do not support wireless charging. They are not the smallest earbuds available, so portability could be a minor concern.
Pros
  • Excellent overall sound quality
  • Superb comfort
  • Good build quality and controls
  • Advanced app features like an equalizer
  • Supports Sony's 360 Reality Audio
Cons
  • Larger earbud size, which may not suit everyone
  • Mic quality is poor
  • Not ideal for gaming
  • Fair for calls and meetings, TV, exercise
5
BEST RATING
Music:
4.6
Wireless
Music: A-

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Expert Summary
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds offer excellent overall sound quality, with superb noise isolation which makes them perfect for air travel and use in noisy environments. They also have a high comfort score, ideal for extended listening periods. These earbuds are wireless, supporting AAC and AptX Adaptive codecs for better sound, and they are sweatproof, enhancing their suitability for exercise. However, calls and meetings might not be optimal due to the earbuds' fair mic quality. Designed for durability, they come with stability bands but the poor gaming score suggests they may not be the best choice for gamers due to possible latency issues. They provide an impressive 6.5 hours of battery life, with a case offering an additional 21 hours, though they lack wireless charging. The earbuds are optimized for both Android and Apple devices, and they come with an integrated app that allows equalizer and controls customization for a personalized experience.
Pros
  • Excellent overall sound quality
  • Very good comfort
  • Best in class noise isolation
  • Good for air travel
  • App customization available
Cons
  • Fair microphone quality
  • Poor for gaming usage
  • Only fair for calls and meetings
  • Non-detachable cable
6
Moondrop

Blessing 2

BEST RATING
Music:
4.6
Wired
Music: A-

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Expert Summary
The Moondrop Blessing 2 earbuds released in June 2020 are a premium-priced option known for delivering a very good sound quality with a particular strength in music listening. They offer a closed enclosure design and come with a detachable cable. Note that they have a poor mic quality, so they might not be the best option for calls or meetings. Additionally, these earbuds are wired, lacking wireless capabilities; thus, they may not suit those seeking wireless convenience for activities like exercise. They provide very good comfort and build quality but have limited features with no active noise cancelling or sweatproof certification, and their size is on the larger side, affecting portability.
Pros
  • Excellent overall sound quality
  • Comfortable for long listening sessions
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Detachable cable for easy customization
  • Suitable for varied musical genres
Cons
  • Poor microphone quality
  • Lacks built-in controls
  • Not optimized for calls or meetings
  • Subpar for gaming use
7
BEST RATING
Podcasts & Audiobooks:
4.7
Wireless
Music: B+

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Expert Summary
The Beats Studiobuds are a midrange-priced, closed-enclosure, stemless earbud design, comfortable for long listening sessions, with very good build quality and controls. They provide very good overall sound quality for music, but may not be the best for gaming and watching TV due to sound latency. Their noise isolation is fair and they feature active noise cancelling, making them suitable for air travel and noisy environments. They are also sweatproof, making them a good option for exercise. With the AAC codec support, they're optimized for Apple devices though they work with Android as well. They offer up to 6 hours of battery life, augmented by an additional 24 hours from the charging case, but do lack wireless charging. Additionally, they have an integrated microphone with decent quality for calls and meetings, and feature customizable controls through an app.
Pros
  • Very good overall sound quality
  • Good for calls and meetings
  • Excellent for books and podcasts
  • Active noise cancelling included
  • Optimized for Android and Apple
Cons
  • Poor score for gaming
  • Poor score for TV and video
  • No wireless charging capability
  • Only fair noise isolation
8
BEST RATING
Battery Life:
5.0
Wireless
Music: B+

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Expert Summary
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are stemless, closed-back earbuds well-suited for a variety of uses. If you prioritize comfort and noise isolation, particularly during air travel or while exercising, these earbuds excel in those areas, providing a secure fit with stability bands and offering active noise cancelling. They feature a very good overall sound quality that would enhance music listening, although they're not the top pick for gaming or watching TV due to fair performance in those aspects. For calls and meetings, the quality is only fair, which could impact clarity during conversations. The build quality is robust, and the built-in controls are rated the best for ease of use. They leverage dynamic drivers and support the AAC codec, which improves performance with Apple devices, but do not have a lossless codec for audiophile-level sound quality. They are sweatproof, making them practical for exercise, but there is no mention of dustproof certification. The battery life stands at 7 hours, with the case providing an additional 20 hours; however, they do not support wireless charging and take 2 hours to charge fully. The companion app offers equalizer settings, controls customization, and audio controls to tailor your listening experience. Keep in mind that these earbuds come with a premium price tag, so if budget is a concern, this should be considered.
Pros
  • Excellent comfort and fit
  • Very good overall sound quality
  • Superior active noise cancelling
  • Effective for exercise and air travel
  • Integrated microphone for calls
Cons
  • No wired connectivity option
  • No lossless codec support
  • Mic quality only fair
  • Poor gaming and TV performance
9
Etymotic

ER2SE

BEST RATING
Music:
4.7
Wired
Music: A-

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Expert Summary
The Etymotic ER2SE earbuds are a wired, closed-back option and are recognized for their excellent overall sound quality, being among the best for music listening. However, they lack built-in controls and score poorly for calls and meetings due to their microphone quality. They're constructed well with a detachable cable and despite not having active noise cancelling, they provide top-tier noise isolation. They are not particularly comfortable for all users and are not suitable for exercise, but if you prioritize superior audio fidelity in a lower midrange price and can handle a fair comfort level, these could be a solid choice.
Pros
  • Excellent overall sound quality
  • Very good build quality
  • Best noise isolation quality
  • Detachable cable
Cons
  • Comfort rated as fair
  • Mic quality rated poor
  • Poor built-in controls
  • Not suitable for exercise
10
BEST RATING
Battery Life:
5.0
Wireless
Music: B+

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Expert Summary
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds offer a very good overall sound quality and noise isolation, making them suitable for enjoying music in various environments, including during air travel. They're also praised for build quality and have an integrated microphone of very good quality, which is useful for calls. They're compatible with AptX Adaptive, ensuring compatibility with high-quality audio streaming and lower latency. Notably, they excel in gaming and TV due to their low latency. The earbuds are sweatproof, so they can be used during exercise. They are not, however, dustproof, and they do not offer wireless charging. The battery life lasts for approximately 7 hours, with a case providing an additional 28 hours. The Sennheiser app provides equalizer and control customization, enhancing the user experience. Their midrange price point makes them an appealing option for those looking for a balance between quality and affordability.
Pros
  • Very good overall sound quality
  • Excellent build and control quality
  • Effective noise isolation feature
  • App offers equalizer and controls customization
  • Good battery life with fast charge
Cons
  • Fair performance for calls and meetings
  • Not the best fit for gaming or TV
  • Not sweatproof for exercise use
  • Lack of wireless charging capability