Our Favorite True Wireless Earbuds

True wireless earbuds provide optimal freedom of movement.

Earbuds, and the closely related in-ear monitors, have evolved from wired sets to embrace the beauty of Bluetooth. Many of these earbuds are expensive, some costing several hundred dollars. But there are some surprising bargains out there, too—here’s what to look for in your new pair.

Sweat Safely

Resistant to water up to 1 meter deep for half an hour, you can even rinse these off after gym sessions. TOZO

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Some wireless earbuds are so advanced, they can survive being submerged in water up to three feet. To determine the waterproof capabilities of your set, look at the IPX number. IPX8 is the highest—you could easily wear IPX8 earbuds in the shower, and even take a dip in the shallow end with them in.

Three Sizes of Silicone Tips

Active noise cancelling, long battery life and adaptive sound that adjusts to the wearer’s ear. Apple

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There are some features that really high-end true wireless earbuds have that cheaper ones don’t. One of these is noise cancellation, an advanced technology that uses microphones to hear exterior sound (like airplane noise) and then plays another, opposite sound to trick your ears into not hearing either sound at all. That’s pricey! But cheaper earbuds will usually feature “noise isolation,” which is much cheaper and simpler, and still effective: it simply seals up your ear canal tightly, not letting any external sound in.

Comfortable Fit

These feature volume control and a multifunction button to play or pause music and answer phone calls. Amazon Renewed

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If you plan to have your headphones in for a long commute or active sweat session, it’s important to find a pair that fits comfortably in your ears and won’t go flying when you hop on the treadmill. Foam and silicone ear tips are best for sealing out outside noises and conforming to the ear canal.

Long Battery Life

A graphene model is lightweight but durable and allows for purer sound. EarFun

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One feature that has trickled down from the really expensive products is the concept of a storage case. Previously, electronics makers would have to figure out a way to fit a USB port on the earbuds themselves, where there’s already a real lack of space. Instead, why not use tiny magnetic charging strips which allow the earbuds to charge while nestled in a cute little case? Many of these cases offer three key features: they protect earbuds when not in use, they allow you to plug them into power for charging, and the case itself functions as a battery for on-the-go charging.

Also Consider:

Exclusive Technology

Graphene earbuds are lightweight but durable, and allow for purer sound. Soundcore

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Powers Up Fast

After a one-time setup, these are always “on” and always connected as soon as you take them out of their case. Apple

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