The Best Earbuds With Microphone in 2021

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The Best Earbuds With Microphone in 2021

Looking for the best earbuds with microphone for calls can be a bit of an arduous task. There’s so many awesome headsets out there that’re designed to deliver you high quality audio at the click of a button.

But not all Bluetooth earbuds are optimized for calls. Sometimes it’s not even immediately obvious if your earbuds have a mic. In ear wireless earbuds such as Samsung Galaxy Buds and AirPods Pro have integrated earphones with mic options – so the mic is not visually identifiable. Some people can use Bluetooth headsets with mic for months before they even realize they have voice calling or noise cancelling functionality.

Below you will find a list of the best earbuds for phone calls on the market today. If you’re unhappy with this list we’ve also compiled a guide on how to find the best possible headset for you.

Last Updated Apr 22, 2021 at 12:15 PM

Our Top 15 Best Bluetooth Earbuds with Mic

#1 – Apple AirPods (Overall Winner)

Apple AirPods are probably the first thing you think of in terms of true wireless earbuds, and they are still the best! 

This is an image of the Apple AirPods earbud with wireless charging case-white

KEY FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • ANC: Present
  • Range: 30-60ft
  • Compatibility: Apple Exclusive
  • Hours Of Usage: 24+
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Under $200 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our Take: iPhone users will struggle to find better true wireless earbuds to use with their device. They have a unique, adaptive EQ meaning the sound is tailored to your ears. But, the battery life is around a quarter of the Bose Quiet Comfort earbuds. Bose’s offering also features more levels of noise cancellation. If you are a loyal Apple fan, you can’t go wrong with there. But, if you are open to other brands, there are plenty of alternatives to consider.

These are effectively the original true wireless earbuds for phone calls. They caused quite a bit of a stir when they were first announced due to people worrying about losing individual earbuds.

Controversy aside, they’re still a great pair of earbuds to consider if you happen to own an iPhone.

You can expect roughly 5 hours of continuous usage with this headset, extending right over 24 hours if you happen to have your portable charging case with you.

The dual, beam-forming microphones located in each earpiece provide you with a great level of sound quality. They’re perfect for taking calls when you’re on the move. I’ve personally used them to conduct calls whilst travelling to/from locations on my bicycle. Wind wasn’t even an issue as your ears provide some level of shelter for the mic.

Always-on voice recognition software is present. Allowing you to directly interface with the native Apple voice assistant whenever you want by saying “Hey Siri”. This is also handy for grabbing directions on the move.

The sound quality doesn’t really leave anything to be desired, with deep bass tones and solid treble remaining consistent across music genres.

Unlike the AirPods Pro model, these are a little less expensive. This is primarily because they do not have support for features such as active noise cancellation and aren’t sweat/water resistant. If you’re looking for these features, keep reading to see some of our alternatives to Apple AirPods Pro.

Pros

  • Great for iPhone users
  • Hands-free access to Siri
  • Reliable
  • Low latency
  • Decent noise cancellation

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not waterproof
  • Microphone quality isn’t the best

Our Rating:

9.8/10

Apple users couldn’t ask for better – the sound quality is amazing and they offer hands-free access to voice assistant Siri.

 

Other Apple earbuds: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

 

#2 – Bose QuietComfort Earbuds (Runner-up)

Bose’s flagship wireless earbuds are simply outstanding and well worth the price

closed-up view of the Bose QuietComfort wireless earbuds-black

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.1
  • ANC: Present
  • Range: Around 30ft
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Hours Of Usage: 18 Hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Under $300 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: Whilst these might be one of the more expensive pairs of earbuds with mic, they are well worth the money. The noise cancellation is outstanding – far superior to any other earbuds. Even other top brands such as Apple and Sennheiser can’t compete with the battery life on these earbuds. 

If you’re looking for a high quality alternative to the Apple AirPods pro, you’re probably going to struggle to find a better option than the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. They make full use of just about every feature the AirPods Pro have to offer, but also have a lot of unique functionality to set themselves apart.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of these in ear wireless headphones with microphone is their active noise cancellation. It has support for 11 different presets of noise cancellation. This basically means that no matter what sort of noise environment you’re in, you’ll be able to get the absolute maximum level of enjoyment out of your earbuds.

It’s also really difficult to beat Bose’s expertise when it comes to crafting high quality audio devices. These sound great. Their outer casing is a little bit larger than some of their competitors – but for good reason. It’s to make room for an absolutely unbeatable speaker system that can deliver crisp audio with a high level of range across all frequencies.

The battery life is similarly impressive. You can expect about 20 hours of continuous usage (this means listening to music) on a single charge. Most headphones need to be returned to their case after about 5-8, so this is a considerable improvement.

Weather/sweat resistance is also present too. They’re rated at IPX4. You’re not going to be able to take them snorkeling – but they will provide you with some protection if you’re working out or walking in the rain.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Great Frequency Response
  • 11 Levels Of Noise Cancelling
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Quick to charge

Cons 

  • One of the most expensive on our list
  • Sound isn’t too loud even on max volume
  • Difficult to connect to a second device

Our rating: 

9/10

Outstanding active noise cancellation and sweat and water resistance make these one of the top picks for those looking for the very best.  


Alternative options from Bose: Sport earbuds, SoundSport wireless earbuds

 

#3 – SENNHEISER Momentum True Wireless Earbuds 2

image of the SENNHEISER Momentum True Wireless 2 Bluetooth earbuds-black

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • ANC: Present
  • Range: Around 30ft
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Hours Of Usage: 28 Hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Under $250-$300 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: Just as you would expect from such a well-known brand as Sennheiser, these earbuds are outstanding. They are much more comfortable than some of the cheaper earbuds. They also have customizable touch controls – another feature you won’t find on budget options.

This is another one of our top picks. And for very good reason. If you’re in the market for great audio as a music lover or great mic quality for conducting your business, SENNHEISER are very often a safe choice.

Their unique audio drivers are about 7 millimeters in size – but they still pack a massive punch in terms of both bass and dynamic range.

They’re highly ergonomic and come with a couple of different silicon tips to choose from, making them perfect for anyone who regularly experiences discomfort with most generic in ear headphones.

You can cycle through songs or other media easily with the use of the touchpads present on each ear. These touchpads can also be customized and configured in the native app to completely change their functionality to whatever suits your needs.

Voice detection software is present, meaning you’ll be able to make use of voice assistant software when you’re on the move.

Battery life is respectable, netting you about 7 hours of active usage – which can be extended above the 28 hour mark provided your portable charging case is fully charged.

IPX4 resistance is present too, so you don’t need to worry about frying their circuits if you happen to use them for an intense workout session or some jogging out in the rain. Just make sure they’re properly dried off before you throw them back in their charging case.

Pros

  • Small, Ergonomic Design
  • Great Sound
  • IPX4 water-resistant
  • Fantastic build quality and design
  • Outstanding comfort, despite creating a tight seal around the ears

Cons

  • Sound is slightly quiet and not 100% crisp
  • Slight lag
  • Microphone quality is lacking

Our rating:

8.6 / 10

 

#4 – Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 True Wireless Earbuds

colose up image of the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 3rd Generation Bluetooth wireless earbuds

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.1
  • ANC: Not Present
  • Range: Around 30ft
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Hours Of Usage: 35 Hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Around $250 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: A strong contender when it comes to the best earbuds with mic. These offer transparency mode so you can have a conversation without pausing the music on your device, like our other three picks above. Unlike the previous three models, these earbuds have a longer battery life of over 30 hours in total. 

If you’re looking for impressive battery life, these are probably the best earbuds on the market for you. With an impressive 35 hour total case charge time and 7 hours of active usage. These are one of the few in ear headphones we could actually recommend taking if you’re planning on going camping for more than a couple of days.

Battery life aside, though. There’s still a handful of other really impressive facts about this model. They’ve been crafted from the ground up to be completely ergonomic. They’re another one of the few models we actively recommend to people who have smaller than average ear canal sizes. They also come with a variety of tips to further accommodate this need too.

Noise detection is present, and the novel “transparency” mode feature can be enabled to allow a small level of sound to filter through. This is particularly handy if you’re planning on making use of this model in a work place where you’re still required to have some awareness of your surroundings.

The sound quality is fairly reliable. It’s ideal for listening to podcasts/audiobooks as well as a fairly diverse selection of musical genres. There isn’t a powerful woofer for bass tones though. So if you listen to a lot of electronic music, this might become an issue.

Pros 

  • Over 30 Hours Of Battery
  • Beautiful Case And Earbud Design
  • Features Transparency Mode
  • Very lightweight
  • IP54 dust and water resistant
  • Sensitive touch controls

Cons

  • Pricy
  • Slightly difficult to insert properly
  • Quite low volume level

Our Rating:

7.4/10

 

#5 – Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

This is an image of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro bluetooth earbuds

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • ANC : Present
  • Range: Around 30ft
  • Compatibility: Samsung/Android
  • Hours Of Usage: 28 hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Under $200 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: This is another excellent pick from one of the biggest tech brands. The microphone quality is much better than on the Sennheiser buds or the AirPods. The Samsung buds also have one of the best waterproof ratings, at IPX7 – far superior to Bose’s IPX4.

Speaking from strong personal experience – these are my go-to earbuds for hands free communication. I scored them as part of my contract a while back and can always fall back on them for their reliability.

One of the most prominent things I noticed about my Samsung galaxy buds were their durability. a brief mishap involving a glass of water while I slept meant that my galaxy buds were left submerged in a very thin layer of water overnight. When I woke up I dried them off, waited a while and let them charge. Once I started using them again I didn’t have a single problem with the microphone or the speakers. According to the manufacturers specifications – this wasn’t all that impressive. They’re IPX7 rated, meaning I could’ve submerged them in 3 feet of water for half an hour and they would’ve been fine.

On top of their incredible durability they also have fairly impressive battery life. The portable charging case is capable of extending them well above 20 hours active usage – which is more than you’ll ever need.

Easy touchpad controls are present on both earbuds. These allow you to skip songs, answer calls and pause your audio without having to retrieve your phone from your pocket.

Pros

  • Highly Waterproof – IPX7
  • Voice Recognition Feature Present
  • Great Native EQ App
  • Very comfortable and lightweight – you won’t even know they are there
  • Transparency mode allows you to have a conversation

Cons

  • Can’t customize the sound profile
  • Noise cancellation isn’t the best

Our rating:

8.8/10

 

#6 – Sony WF-1000XM3 Noise Canceling True Wireless Earbuds

closed-up view of Sony WF-1000XM3 wireless earbuds in black color

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • ANC : Digital, Present
  • Range: Around 30ft
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Hours Of Usage: 24
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Under $230 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: These Sony earbuds offer industry-leading active noise cancellation, which is much better than that on the AirPods or Bose earbuds. The quick charge of just 10 minutes gives 90 minutes playback, a feature not found on many other wireless earbuds.

This is another pair of headphones to seriously consider for anyone that’s interested in a solid sound profile, high tech noise cancelling hardware and voice control.

The 24bit audio present in this headset allows you to experience incredible, high quality sounds. In terms of audio performance and frequency response – these are among the best.

Sony opted to ditch the master/slave configuration found in most modern wireless earbuds. This means that both earbuds can be operated independently and should theoretically lose charge at the same rate. One of the more annoying quirks of headphones that use the older configuration is that you’ll often find one is at 15% charge whilst the other is at 30%. This is because one of is transmitting audio to the other, rather than them both receiving it simultaneously.

A high quality microphone is obviously present. This can be used for more than just basic Alexa interaction, though. You can conduct voice calls with crisp quality in comfort using this mic. It can also be used for active noise cancellation. The adaptive sound mode will actually switch between ambient settings based on your current auditory environment.

Battery life is solid and reliable too. With the charging case allowing you to prolong active listening time up to 24 hours in total. You can also look forward to being able to charge this case fairly quickly. With ten minutes of charge time netting you one and a half hours of active use.

Pros

  • High Quality DNC / Noise Reduction
  • Reliable Audio Performance
  • Alexa Voice Control Enabled
  • Great battery life
  • Many EQ presets to choose from for customized sound

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • No volume controls on the earbuds

Our rating: 

8.4/10

 

#7 – Technics True Wireless Earbuds

image of Technics Premium True wireless bluetooth earbuds with charging case-black

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • ANC: Present, Hybrid
  • Range: Around 30-60ft
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Hours Of Usage: 18 Hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Under $250 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: These are seriously impressive earbuds, with massive 10mm drivers (much bigger than on the Sennheiser earbuds). The microphone is designed to eliminate wind noises when making a call outside, unlike on many other wireless earbuds. So, if you are looking for the best microphone quality, these are certainly worth considering.

If you feel like your relationship with music falls into the category of “audiophile” – these would probably be your best pick. The 10mm drivers are fairly large, but they’re not unwieldly. This compromise on size means that you get to enjoy Hi-Fi quality audio with deep bass tones and clear highs.

This design pairs incredibly well with the presence of an in-built HD microphone. You don’t need to worry about audio quality during important calls with these earbuds. In fact, the only time you’re likely to encounter issues is when you run out of battery.

Luckily, this won’t be often as a 2 hour charge will net you about 6.5 hours of continuous, active usage. Even just throwing it on the charger for 15 minutes will net you about 1 hour and 10 minutes of use. This is perfect if you’ve got a call scheduled soon and you’re out of juice. The total battery life you can expect is about 18 hours.

Despite the larger driver size, these are still pretty ergonomic. They ship with a variety of available earpiece sizes from XS to XL. If you’ve got a smaller ear canal, this is a life saver.

Much like the Sony WF-1000XM3 model mentioned above, these also use independent left/right signaling. This is honestly the more modern approach to true wireless earbuds and we’re likely to see less and less models using the older system over time.

Advanced noise cancelling features are present, with the microphone constantly listening to cancel out unwanted ambient noise. You can also enable voice recognition – allowing you to communicate with people around you without interrupting the flow of music.

Pros

  • 100 Sensitivity Levels
  • Manufactured From High Quality Materials
  • Among The Best True Wireless Audio Performance Available
  • Easy-to-use touch controls
  • Voice-assistant enabled
  • Five sizes of ear tips included

Cons

  • Not too ergonomic in the ears
  • Bass is good, but not as good as on some other models

Our rating:

7.8/10

 

#8 – Jabra Elite Active Ambient Sound Cancelling Headphones (85T)

colose up image of the Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless eluetooth Earbuds in black color

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.1
  • Noise Cancelling Tech: Present/Active
  • Range: 30-60ft
  • Compatibility: Android
  • Hours Of Usage: 25 Hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Under $180 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: Jabra’s earbuds have one of the best microphones of any earbuds. With six microphones and wind protection, if you want to make sure you are heard loud and clear over the phone, these are the best. The 12mm speakers are even bigger than on the Technics earbuds, and the battery life is compatible to many other models.

These Jabra active noise cancelling headphones contain 6 microphones in total. They’re designed to filter out ambient noise efficiently and even provide you with a good deal of wind protection if you’re making calls on the go. Anyone who’s ever used true wireless style earbuds outside before will know that it’s quite common to receive complaints about wind interference, even when you have your hood up. This problem doesn’t exist with the Jabra Elite.

Phone calls aside, they’re also generally a great pear of headphones to own. They’re a major contender when it comes to displacing the monopoly ran on this market by both Samsung and Apple respectively.

This is namely as a result of the crystal clear 12mm speakers that can be found in each earbud. This is only a couple millimeters bigger than the 10mm drivers found in technics own model. But the difference in quality is night and day. With vivid bass sounds and crystal clear highs ensuring that you can enjoy any form of media from podcasting to various genres of music.

They have a 25 hour battery life with their charging case. You can expect to get about 5.5 hours of continuous usage without the case also. The magnet on the case is pretty strong too, to ensure it doesn’t fly open and cause you to lose your headphones. Just be wary of your keys/loose change sticking to it in your pocket.

If I was forced to choose between them, I would genuinely struggle to pick between this model and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds mentioned in number #2.

Pros

  • Best True Wireless Earbuds For Android (According To Consumers)
  • Great Audio Performance
  • Unparalleled Customizable EQ APP
  • Wireless charging

Cons

  • Don’t fit as snugly in certain ear shapes
  • Background noise can be an issue over the microphone

Our rating: 

8.6/10

 

#9 – Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro True Wireless Earbuds

This is an image of the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 wireless earbuds in black color

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • Noise Cancelling Tech: Present/Active
  • Range: 30-60ft
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Hours Of Usage: 26 Hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Under $130 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: Like the Jabra earbuds above, these have six microphones, but come in at around $50 cheaper. And, despite costing less than half of some of the most expensive options (such as the Bose Quiet Comfort), you get many of the same functions. That includes noise cancellation and a customizable EQ.

If you’re operating on a little bit of a more constructive budget, the Liberty Air 2 Pro might be your best possible choice. It sits at about half the price of most of the high-end entries in this market, but it has all of the same functionality.

This functionality includes 6 mic technology, much like the Jabra Elite active noise cancellation headphones. These earbuds also have their own unique solution to noise cancelling – allowing you to select from a list of scenarios and listen as your headphones phase away all ambient noise until you’re content with the results.

The microphones themselves are standard HQ mics. So you can expect to be able to make phone calls with ease, even when you’re on the go.

The most unique feature about these headphones is probably the presence of HearID personalized EQ technology. With this feature enabled, your headphones will build up a sound profile based on data from the listener. Over time it will gradually adjust your equalization levels so that they’re perfectly in sync with how you like to listen to your music. You can also select from a list of presets if you don’t like waiting.

The battery life is exceptional for the price range too. You can expect 26 hours of usage with your case, and 7 hours of continuous usage without.

Pros

  • Voice Isolating Mic
  • Smart EQ / Dynamic Sound Profile
  • HD Audio Drivers
  • Excellent price for the features
  • Touch controls only require a light touch

Cons

  • Transparency mode isn’t as good as on other models
  • Could be louder

Our rating:

8.6/10

 

#10 – Bose SoundSport Free True Wireless Earbuds

closed-up view of the Bose SoundSport Free, True Wireless earbuds-black

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • Noise Cancellation Tech: Acoustic
  • Range: 30-60ft
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Hours Of Usage: 15 Hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Around $200 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: If you are looking for something that looks a little different, these are great. With more color options than most other wireless earbuds, these are ideal if you want to stand out from the crowd. One unique feature that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere is the one-sided microphone. That means you can continue listening to music whilst on a call!

These earbuds are a little bit on the larger side, but they come in a wide array of available colors & textures. All of which lean more towards the term “aesthetic” rather than “eyesore”.

In terms of conducting phone calls, Bose actually have a fairly interesting approach. Instead of providing you with microphones on both earbuds and streaming call audio through both, Bose have opted to make your calls literally one-sided.

To elaborate, only the right earbud has an integrated microphone array. The right earbud is also the only earbud that can receive call audio. Leaving your left earbud free to continue streaming audio as you see fit. If this seems like something that’s a little more to your taste than the conventional stereo solution then you should consider giving them a try.

The SoundSport Free does leave a little to be desired in terms of power usage, though. The 5 hours of active usage is fine, but the charging case only nets you an additional 10 hours of use. This brings the total to 15, which is 10 hours behind some competitors such as the Jabra Elite active noise cancellation headphones.

Sweat and weather resistance is present, with the device being rated at IPX4. You can expect to wear these in light rain/during exercise without encountering faults. A “Find my buds” function is present too, allowing you to scan for lost earbuds over local Bluetooth.

Pros 

  • Great For Bass
  • Unique Approach To Voice Calling
  • Reasonable Noise Reduction
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Charge quickly

Cons

  • Slight lag when watching live videos on a mobile device (downloaded content is fine)
  • Can be difficult to connect, and can only be paired with one device at a time

Our rating: 

8.8/10

 

#11 – LG TONE Free HBS-FN6

image of the LG TONE Free HBS-FN6 wireless Bluetooth earbuds with charging case in black color

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • ANC: Not Present
  • Range: 30-50ft
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Hours Of Usage: 18 Hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Under $150 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: These earbuds might be a lot cheaper than our Bose or Technics picks, but they share many of the same impressive features. The microphones ensure call quality is always crisp and clear, just like on more expensive models. The earbuds can be charged in just five minutes to give one hour of playback time – a feature you won’t find on many earbuds made by the top brands.

This is another one of our favorite budget buys. Namely because the lower price point hasn’t stopped LG from being seriously innovative when it comes to their headphones.

If the recent pandemic has resulted in you becoming a little bit more conscious when it comes to hygiene and the avoidance of harmful microbes, these are undisputedly the best earbuds for you.

The UVNano charging case bombards your headphones with UV light when charging – this has been shown to kill 99.9% of bacteria resting on their surface. The in ear tips are made from a medical grade, easy to clean and toxin free silicon. This is perfect for anyone who suffers from easily irritated skin.

Hygiene isn’t the only great thing about these headphones though. They also have Hi-Fi quality sound with their own unique EQ. This compliments their dual microphone solution to phone calls well, leaving you with crisp call quality regardless of ambient noise.

Another unique feature is the presence of Meridians HSP technology. The “SP” stands for Spatial Processing. This is a novel solution to simulate being in a spacious area with real loudspeakers. You can close your eyes and feel like you’re really at a concert, which is always a plus. Especially when concerts won’t be open to the public for another year.

Pros 

  • UV Case That Kills Bacteria
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Reliable Audio Performance
  • Cheaper than many other options
  • Five-minute fast charge
  • Companion app is very good

Cons

  • Bass and volume are lacking slightly
  • Connecting can be difficult, sometimes drops out

Our rating: 

8.6/10

 

#12 – TaoTronics SoundLiberty True Wireless 94 Ear Buds

colose up image of the TaoTronics wireless earbuds with charging case-black

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.1
  • ANC: Present
  • Range: 50ft
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Hours Of Usage: 32 Hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Around $75 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: Perhaps one of the cheapest wireless earbuds with mic, these come in at around a quarter of the price of some of the most expensive we have reviewed. In spite of this, the drivers are roughly the same size as those in the much more costly Technics buds. And, the battery life is one of the longest of any earbuds we’ve looked at here, at over 30 hours in total. 

The TaoTronics SoundLiberty 94 Earbuds sit at roughly half the price of the budget brands. They’re effectively budget-budget wireless earbuds. Despite this, they still have a diverse range of functionality and are perfectly geared towards taking phone calls on the go, listening to music when exercising and watching movies in bed.

The 9.2mm dynamic drivers deliver solid quality bass tones and reasonable highs. Impressively, you can expect to get about 32 hours of total usage out of these with their portable charger case. With 5 hours of continuous play time between case uses.

4 microphones are present, with 2 on each ear. These are used primarily for TaoTronics hybrid noise cancelling technology which makes use of both active noise cancelling and acoustic cancelling in the design of the case. You can expect to efficiently filter out background noises, even ones in excess of 30 decibels.

SoundLiberty earbuds pair quickly and easily with any Bluetooth enabled device. Using Bluetooth 5.1 technology to ensure that latency is minimal whilst keeping power consumption nice and low. Disabling noise cancellation can even boost your active usage time to 8 hours per charge, which is on par with industry leading headsets such as the Jabra Elite active noise reduction headset.

Pros

  • Long Battery Life
  • Great Range
  • Unbeatable Value For Money
  • Large driver for powerful sound
  • Easy to pair with your device

Cons

  • Sometimes lose connection when in use
  • Only one earbud has touch controls

Our rating: 

8.6/10

 

#13 – Skullcandy Indy Evo True Wireless In-Ear Earbud

This is an image of the Skullcandy Indy Evo wireless earbud-blue

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • ANC: Not Present
  • Range: 30-60ft
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Hours Of Usage: 30 Hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Under $80 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: If you are looking for the best wireless earbuds for phone calls on a budget, you’d struggle to find better than these. With an IP55 rating, they are more dust and waterproof than Apple AirPods! And, unlike our other budget option above, these have controls on both buds, so they can be used individually. 

Skullcandy are a brand who’ve been operating in the earbud space for quite some time now. You might remember them being pretty popular in department stores/electronic shops alike during the early days of the iPod touch. Their brand signature is colorful and playful designs, presumably to separate themselves from the boring color scheme of most major manufacturers.

If you were a fan back then, you’ll be glad to see Skullcandy haven’t stopped innovating. Their Indy Evo range of true wireless ear buds comes in a variety of different colors, including:

  • True Black
  • Pure Mint
  • Deep Red
  • 92 Blue
  • Chill Grey

All of them look great in their own right. But the deep red is a personal favorite.

Aesthetics aside, how do we feel about the functionality? As it turns out, it’s pretty great. Especially in terms of value for money. They ship with three different EQ presets – one designed for music, one designed for podcasts and the other designed for watching movies. If you’re planning on using them for communication, we’d recommend the podcast preset which pronounces vocal frequencies more.

The quick charger case can net you about 30 hours of usage and has LED indicators on the front panel to show you how much juice you have left. IP55 weather resistance is a feature also – meaning these buds lean more on the durable side of things.

Pros

  • Good Mic Quality
  • Dependable Audio Performance/Sound Profile
  • IP55 Water Resistance
  • Lots of color options
  • Fast charging

Cons

  • No noise cancellation
  • Case could be better quality

Our rating: 

8.2/10

 

#14 – Sony WF-XB700 EXTRA BASS True Wireless Earbuds

closed-up view of the Sony WF-XB700 EXTRA BASS wireless warbuds-black

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • ANC: Not Present
  • Range: 70+ ft
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Hours Of Usage: 18 Hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Under $150 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: Another excellent Sony Bluetooth headset with mic, these have perhaps the best bass sound of any earbuds we’ve looked at here. The battery life might not be as good as on some other models, but the IPX4 waterproof rating is decent. 

If you lean more heavily towards EDM genres, a little bit of extra bass can go a long way. These earbuds have been built from the ground up to ensure you get the most out of the deep, booming bass tones that are commonly found in electronic music.

If you’re not particularly concerned with music, this is still a great headset to own. Touchpads are found on both buds to allow you to easily cycle through media, answer phone calls and conduct your business without ever having to take your phone out of your pocket.

Three different earbud tips are provided, which compliment the ergonomic design perfectly. This means you’re unlikely to experience discomfort, regardless of your ear size.

The IPX4 water resistance rating also means that you can comfortably wear these just about everywhere outside of an actual swimming pool without having to worry about damaging the internal electronics.

An under-reported bonus to these earbuds is that they have outstanding range. In open air, you could potentially find yourself getting a clear signal at ranges of over 70 feet.

The only downside to this model is that it does not ship with its own EQ app. So you’ll be unable to customize the sound to fit your preferences.

Pros 

  • Long Range
  • Bass Heavy
  • Easy Control Interface
  • IPX4 rated
  • Ergonomic and comfortable fit

Cons

  • Can’t easily switch between devices
  • Right earbud can’t be used on its own

Our rating: 

8.8/10

 

#15 – Raycon E25 Everyday Wireless Earbuds

image of the Raycon E25 wireless Earbuds-red

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • ANC: Not Present
  • Range: 33ft
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Hours Of Usage: 18 Hours
  • Wireless Mode: True Wireless
  • Price: Under $80 although prices vary on Amazon (buy link) – Checked Apr 21, 2021

Our take: Our final wireless headphones with microphone offer a fast, stable Bluetooth 5.0 connection, like many of our previous picks. They have an impressive IPX6 waterproof rating, which is better than most other budget brands and even most of the more high-end models such as AirPods and Bose Quiet Comfort.

The Raycon E25 earbuds seem to have been built with one particular design philosophy in mind. This is a philosophy of identifying where the other budget brands are underperforming – and building upon it. You can see a prime example of this when you simply look at their water resistance rating.

These earbuds are IPX6 rated. This completely outperforms not just the majority of budget brands, but also some of the more premium quality designer brands too. IPX6 rated electronics can be submerged in a meter of water for 30 minutes before you need to worry about any kind of degradation occurring. This means you could wear these to go swimming.

You should expect 18 hours of total usage out of your Raycon Earbuds too. Which completely outperforms most other wireless earbuds in their respective price range.

5 ear bud tip sizes are included – allowing you to find the perfect fit. We recommend taking your time to experiment with these sizes. The sound quality is already great, but it’s absolutely optimal when you’re wearing the correct tip size.

Universal compatibility is present. You can easily connect to just about any device that is Bluetooth enabled. You can also interact with these devices easily with the interactive controls on the touch pad on both ears.

Pros 

  • IPX6 Waterproofing Make These Swim-Proof.
  • Multiple Tip Sizes For Ear Buds
  • Great Value For Money
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight and comfortable fit

Cons

  • Call quality isn’t great
  • Connection occasionally drops out for some users

Our rating: 

8.8/10

 

Finding The Best Wireless Earbuds With Microphone – A Guide

You don’t have to just take some brand at face value when they say their products are the best. There’s actually a fairly succinct criteria you can make full use of when browsing around for any product in the audio/speaker market.

We’ve taken the liberty of including some of the information from this criteria. We use it daily for selecting products to purchase and review.

If you’re not interested in any of the products above, or you just prefer shopping in person, this info should be incredibly helpful. You’ll be able to use it to make a comfortable, informed decision before any purchase.

Primary questions from our criteria:

Battery Life

This is definitely one of the more important questions. You’re going to want to answer this first. Battery life is essential for anyone who’s planning on using a headset for work. If it’s just for working out, it’s not as important.

What Bluetooth Version Is My Device?

Ideally you’re going to want a headset that makes full use of Bluetooth 5.1 technology. This tech greatly reduces the latency and massively reduces the power consumption over previous iterations of Bluetooth.

Bluetooth 5.0 is also great – but we don’t recommend going any lower than this.

Audio Quality

One of the hardest things for headphone manufacturers to get right seems to be the bass. It’s pretty hard to manufacture woofers that perform well that are also lightweight enough to hang on to your ears.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though. Plenty of in ear headphones have awesome sound quality, especially when it comes to bass. Double check user reviews to get an accurate idea of this metric.

Microphone Quality

This is really important. Not just for calls either. If you’re planning on using a voice assistant, voice detection or running active noise cancellation for undisturbed audio – you’re going to need a really good mic.

User reviews are honestly one of the better ways to assess this metric. You could also try calling someone who owns a pair of the product you have in mind and testing their mic quality yourself.

Noise Cancellation

Noise cancellation can be accomplished in a multitude of ways. The most common and effective method is to ensure the headphones are adequately insulated from sound. Normally with silicon ear tips.

Making sure the ear tips are compatible with your ear canal will help ensure you get some acoustic noise cancellation without any discomfort.

Active noise cancellation is another feature you should keep an eye out for. This is when your headphones mic actively listens out for noise in your environment and adjusts volume levels accordingly. Be aware though – this drains battery.

Wired VS Non-Wired Quality

If you’re thinking about looking for the best wired earbuds for phone calls, you might be somewhat dissuaded by the recent popularity of wireless headsets. They’ve gotten so popular that you’d be forgiven for thinking that wired, in ear headphones are a thing of the past. You might even be entertaining the misconception that wired models are lower quality due to their age.

This isn’t entirely true. Wireless models are only so popular because they allow users a greater range of mobility. It’s still possible to find a wired earbuds with excellent audio, solid eq responsiveness and clear microphone clarity.

Our primary recommendation for fans of music would be something along the lines of the 1MORE Quad Driver In-Ear Earphones. If you’re looking to still take calls and make use of more modern features (such as active style noise cancellation) the 1MORE ANCPRO model is worth checking out too.

FAQ

If I’m Not Using My Headset For Calls – Do I Need A Mic?

Even if you’re not planning on using your in ear headphones/earbuds for calls, having a mic can still bring you a variety of benefits. For starters, you’ll need a headset with some kind of integrated microphone to make use of active noise cancellation.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, active noise cancellation is a feature found in premium quality wireless earbuds. Instead of just blocking out sound with thick silicon padding – your earphones actively listen out for sounds using their mic and adjust audio levels to compensate.

People with integrated mics can also benefit from voice detection. A feature in which their earbuds will listen out for human speaking voices, and play these through the speakers whilst filtering out other noises. This can be handy for music lovers who work in an environment where they still have to speak to people occasionally. It’s particularly sweet because the music isn’t paused or affected in any way other than being temporarily quietened.

My Earphones Don’t Have A Mic, Can They Still Be Used As One?

You might be surprised to find out that you actually can. Headphones basically function as the inverse of a microphone. They convert digital signals into vibrations using a fairly reversible process. However, the quality always suffers drastically when you modify headphones in this manner. So we don’t recommend it.

How Do I Test My Earphones Microphone?

It’s really important to test your mic straight away. It’ll let you know if there are any faults with your headset that might creep up on you later.

There’s a handful of different ways you can go about testing your microphone, but the easiest way to do it is simply to call to a friend. When the call window opens up, make sure your earbuds are the primary microphone and audio source and ask your friend if they can hear you clearly.

If you’re not able to select your earbuds as a mic/audio source, double check you have paired them correctly via Bluetooth.

Do Air Buds Have A Microphone?

Both major players in the wireless ear bud market, Samsung and Apple, have integrated microphones in their earbuds. This includes Apple AirPods Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds. Both have varying levels of call quality and offer slightly different levels of functionality which you can read about in the article above.

Other popular brands such as the Jabra Elite Active feature incredibly impressive microphone quality too.

Rose Annemarie
Rose loves to review products and has been doing so for years. Now she focuses on headphones and tech products.

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