The best earbuds 2022: our top earphones and in-ear headphones for any budget
Choosing the best earbuds for your needs and your budget can be a challenge. After all, there are so many different types vying for your attention, including wired in-ear headphones, neckbud-style wireless earbuds, and true wireless earbuds. How do you know which one Wireless Earbuds you should choose?
That’s why we’ve brought together this handy guide. The best earbuds of 2021 all come in a range of different form factors – the style you should choose depends on your needs. If you hate wires and have a decent budget, we recommend cable-free true wireless earbuds, like the Sony WF-1000XM3 and the AirPods Pro – many of which now come with extra features, including noise-cancellation.
Do you value security and audio fidelity above all else? Check out the wired earbuds on our list below. Or, opt for something that has the best of both worlds with a pair of the best wireless earbuds. These styles are able to connect to your phone via Bluetooth but still retain a cord between the two buds themselves, which means less chance of accidents.
Something that all the best earbuds of 2021 have in common is that they’re compact, sound fantastic, and are super-convenient to use compared to bulky over-ear headphones.
Best Wireless Earbuds in 2022 Buyer Guide.
Top Rated Wireless Earbuds in 2022 Expert Reviews
Here our tech experts has reviewed 10 best earbuds in performance noises and budget with pros and cons.
1. 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone
If you like your earbuds to come with a cable, the 1More Triple Driver in-ear headphones are the best wiredearbuds you can buy in 2021. After spending a few weeks with both the 1MORE Triple Driver in-ear headphones and the 1MORE Quad Driver in-ear headphones we were blown away at just how much value each one gave in their prospective price ranges.
For $100 / £100 (around AU$168), it’s hard to think of a better sounding pair of earbuds than the 1MORE Triple Driver. That said, if you want just that little extra refinement and luxury materials, the 1MORE Quad Driver in-ear headphones are still a bargain at twice the price.
There’s very little we can fault the Triple Drivers for. Their rubber cable is annoying and its remote control feels cheap but these are just nitpicks.For their price, it’s impossible to do better than 1MORE’s Triple Driver in-ear headphones.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 manage to offer a level of noise-cancellation that’s exceedingly good for a pair of earbuds – they won’t offer the same isolation as a pair of over-ear headphones, but its a worthy trade off for that sleeker form.
Battery life is above average, and that compact charging case is pretty slick too. On-ear volume controls similar to the PowerBeats Pro have been introduced via a firmware update, making them even better than they were at launch and cementing their place among the best earbuds of 2021.
The sound quality, battery life, and design of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are truly brilliant – and they’re a really good alternative to the Sony WF-1000XM3, particularly if your idea of the best earbuds are a little more flashy.
We did find that those with smaller ears sometimes find them a little uncomfortable, however, and their high price just stops them from beating the Sony’s to second place of this round up.
Otherwise? Sennheiser has pretty much knocked it out of the park with these in-ear headphones, offering great noise cancellation alongside smart looks and stunning sound.
NuraLoop boils down the essence of the company’s first product, the Nuraphone, into a much more compact, rugged, and affordable package, and doesn’t lose much in the process.
The star of the show is its adaptive audio technology, which automatically determines a listening profile for the user and feeds them well-balanced, lush sound as a result.
On top of this, features like active noise-cancelling, social mode, an IPX3 rating, Immersion mode, a great battery life, and the ability to attach an analog cable for 3.5mm headphone jacks makes this pair of wireless earbuds truly shine.
The NuForce BE Sport4 wireless earbuds are that rare find: earbuds that are good for basically all situations. While they’re specifically designed for use in the gym and on the track, the BE Sport4 do an awesome job isolating audio in a crowded city environment and are even good enough for home listening.
The BE Sport4 in-ear headphones have claimed 10-hour battery life, which we found to be pretty close to the mark in our time with them, and from empty you can get two hours of use from just a 15-minute charge – ideal for those needing a quick top-up while they put on their trainers and pack a gym kit.
Consider this a warning shot fellow audio manufacturers: build and audio quality do not need to be sacrificed in order to keep earbuds affordable.
The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 come with an outstanding 45 hours of battery life, and combine the brand’s award-winning engineering with the convenience of truly wireless listening.
For a pair of true wireless earbuds, the sound quality offered by the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s is sensational, winning it a place among the best earbuds of 2021.
They may not have the noise cancellation technology offered by the Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds, but they are $100 (around £80) cheaper – and have a superior battery life.
On paper, the GT220 seem to have their work cut out. $259 / £250 / AU$365 for small, humdrum-looking true wireless earbuds with no active noise-cancelling and no control app.
But, by performing with absolute confidence and assurance, they stand head and shoulders above the majority of true wireless earbuds on the market today. They extract every shred of information from digital files of your favorite music and deliver it with such authority, and in such a complete and coherent manner, that it sounds fresh even if you’ve heard it a thousand times before.
The Bowers & Wilkins PI3 are the first neckband headphones for the company, and they’re a great start. Well-designed, comfy, and simple to use, their great sound makes them some of the best earbuds you can buy today.
Thanks to dual drivers, these buds sound fantastic, with crisp highs, lively mids, and plenty of powerful bass. Look past the fairly unremarkable battery life and limited features, and you’ll be mostly very impressed by what these in-ear headphones offer.
With a lively, bass-heavy presentation, and a comfortable fit, the Sennheiser CX Sport wireless earphones make an excellent pair of running headphones as well as some of the best earbuds of 2021.
They don’t come with a heart rate monitor, but the inclusion of ear fins and sporty neon color scheme makes them ideal for casual workouts.
With a battery life of six hours, they’re great for your average running session, or even your daily commute – but marathon runners will want to look elsewhere.
OnePlus is most known for its “flagship killer” phones like the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro, but the company also makes headphones – the best example of which are the company’s excellent Bullets Wireless 2, which offer an incredible value in the neckbud earphones category.
In terms of audio quality, they boast a lively sonic presentation and an accurate-feeling soundstage, although bass-heads may want to look elsewhere for headphones that pack a bassier punch.
They’re comfortable to wear too, but it’s just a shame that they don’t have a waterproof rating and the inline remote is so fiddly, because otherwise they could make a decent pair of running headphones.