There may be no better way to get into creative mode than by slipping on a pair of headphones and blocking out the distractions of the outside world. Today’s true wireless earbuds (that is, with not even a wire between each bud) are a lightweight and comfortable option to turn any space—a classroom, a noisy studio, your kitchen table—into your own private art work space. When choosing a pair, consider whether you want true noise cancellation or a product that allows some ambient sound to enter. Read on for our wireless earbud recommendations for a range of budgets and preferences.
1. Apple AirPods with Charging Case
Apple’s simplicity wins again. While not noise-canceling and not advertised as water resistant, the experience of using AirPods is so smooth and easy that they’ve become the best seller in the category. The earbuds automatically turn on and quickly make a secure connection, thanks to a new H1 chip. An ear detection feature automatically pauses your audio as you remove the buds and resumes when you put them back in. The on-ear controls are simple and effective, and everything else can be managed by voice-activating Siri. With clear sound, sensitive microphones for phone calls, and a long-lasting and quick-charging battery, AirPods are an excellent choice.
2. Jabra Elite 75t Earbuds
If ambient noise ruins your creative flow, the noise-canceling 75t earbuds from Jabra will provide a cocoon of quiet. Even while the technology is in use, batteries will last up to 5.5 hours on a single charge (7.5 hours with noise cancellation turned off). Water resistant and dust resistant, these have longevity whether you use them indoors or out. You can easily switch from noise cancellation to “hear through” mode when you need to be aware of your environment, making these buds a versatile choice.
3. Enacfire E60 Wireless Earbuds
If you are looking for the freedom of true wireless headphones without needing the highest-quality set (with the highest price tag), these are an excellent choice. Each charge gives you 8 hours of playback time, and if you start with a fully charged case, you can recharge up to five times. These buds also have enhanced voice capture, which is good for phone calls or taking audio notes as you work. Fit can often be an issue with earbuds, especially at the low end, but Enacfire gets around this by providing 6 sets of ear tips, so you can choose the ones that give you the snuggest and most comfortable fit.
4. MPOW M9 Noise-Canceling Wireless Earbuds
Effective noise-canceling technology can be hard to find below a certain price point, but these MPOW earbuds do a good job. You won’t totally leave the honking cars behind, but noise is significantly reduced. Even if noise cancellation isn’t your primary concern, there is plenty else to be impressed with. These earbuds charge quickly, reaching up to 2 hours of playback time with just 15 minutes of charging. The on-ear touch controls are sensitive and responsive. And the included foam caps make it easy to find the right fit.
5. Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds
Come for the highly intuitive user experience of the Sony XM3 earbuds; stay for the gamut of top-end specs. The on-ear controls are intuitive and expansive, though you can’t control volume by tapping. Each bud will announce its battery level when you put it in, and you can charge one bud while you use the other for continuous listening. Casually drop your buds into their case—magnetization makes it nearly impossible for them not to charge. A single charge will provide up to 6 hours of life, with a total of 24 hours with a fully charged case and active noise cancellation turned on. And the noise cancellation is among the best out there—if not the best.