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Jabran (J.) Kundi is a seasoned reviewer for Four Best. He has an engineering background from the National University of Science and Technology and studied in Germany for several years. In his free time, when he is not spending his time researching and reviewing some of the best products around, he enjoys speaking German. Guten Tag!

The 4 Best Wireless Earbuds for 2020

March 27, 2018    Electronics Gifts 

It's Time to Go Wireless!

There have been tremendous advances in headphone technology over the past two decades. First, we went from relatively standardized models with little variation in sound quality to an explosion of models boasting sound fit for hardcore audiophiles. Next, we moved from wired headphones to wireless headphones connected via tether. The true revolution, however, took place with the switch to today's completely wireless sets with standalone earbuds.

  • OUR TAKE
    PROS
    CONS

  • RUNNER UP

    Apple AirPods

    Amazon.com Paid
    OUR TAKE
    • Great call quality, solid sound quality and a carrying case that holds the longest charge in our comparison. Although we prefer the Jabras, buy these if you will be paring them to a device in the Apple ecosystem for the seamless integration.
    PROS
    • Sit firmly in place in the ear and have great call quality (sound quality is solid but not as good as our top pick).
    • Carrying case has the longest recharge capability in this comparison (enough for 24 hours of listening time).
    • Work seamlessly with other Apple devices.
    CONS
    • No manufacturer water resistance rating.
    • There is a ridge on the top of the earbuds that can cause slight discomfort after wearing for extended periods of time.
    • No active noise cancellation.

  • ALMOST

    Jaybird Run True Wireless

    Amazon.com Paid
    OUR TAKE
    • Although stylish and easily customizable with respect to ear fit, complaints about sound quality and the shortest case charging capacity in our comparison took these out of the running for our top two spots.
    PROS
    • Low profile styling makes for the best looking earbuds in our comparison.
    • 5 minute quick charge can deliver one hour of listening time.
    • The most customizable fit of the earbuds in our comparison.
    CONS
    • Consumers have indicated the sound quality leaves a little to be desired.
    • Case only has battery capacity to deliver 8 hours of listening time (shortest in our comparison).
    • No active noise cancellation.

  • ALMOST

    Bose SoundSport Free

    Amazon.com Paid
    OUR TAKE
    • The unattractive styling for these relatively bulky units coupled with the worst quick charge performance in our comparison, make these a no go for us. Especially as these are the most expensive (non-sale) earbuds in our comparison.
    PROS
    • Ability to control music and calls directly from the earbuds.
    • Unique tracking function enables you to locate missing earbuds.
    CONS
    • Dated styling and bulky appearance.
    • Worst quick charge performance and second shortest case battery capacity in our comparison.
    • Call audio only plays in right earbud.
    • No active noise cancellation.

Additional Considerations

Image Credit: iStock

Important Items To Keep In Mind

Battery Life –All of the units in our comparison will play music somewhere between 4 and 5 hours on a single charge, with some users reporting up to 7.5 hours in the case of the Jabras. However, each pair also comes with a carrying case with its own battery that can recharge the earbuds when you are away from an outlet. These will deliver between 8 and 24 hours of listening time to the earbuds, with the AirPods leading the way (Jaybirds 8 hrs, Bose 10 hrs and Jabra 15 hrs). The difference in case charging capacity is significant among the headphones in this comparison—if you will frequently be away from a power source, consider the AirPods.

Quick Recharge –The units in today's comparison all have quick recharge capability, meaning you can charge the earbuds for 15 minutes (or less) and generally get plenty of play time for a workout session. The Jay Birds will give you 1 hour with a 5 minute charge, while 15 minutes will give you 3 hours with the Airpods, 1.5 hours with the Jabras and 45 minutes with the Bose.

Where you Buy – When purchasing a set of wireless headphones, we would recommend making the purchase through a reputable online merchant. For instance, a search of the web indicates there are customer complaints about receiving refurbished, as opposed to new, AirPods.

Device Compatibility – While all of today’s options are compatible with cellphones using IOS and Android, the AirPods are specifically adapted to work seamlessly with Apple iPhones and provide a number of additional integrated functions such as Siri, automatic syncing once the carrying case is opened and an on screen battery charge indicator. If you have an iPhone, these additional features will likely make the AirPods the best choice for you.

Comfort – Headphones can vary widely in comfort based on personal preference. If you don't like bulkier units, make sure to stay away from the Bose. If you have a unique ear size, the Jaybirds might be a good option as these come with different size ear fins and silicon tips you can use to adjust the fit. Keep in mind that the AirPods are the only units in our comparison which are not adjustable for fit.

The Four Best Method

Image Credit: iStock

What We Do . . .

We started Four Best on the premise that a great deal of the information required to properly evaluate a given product is already right in front of your (and our) eyes. In fact there is too much information! A crucial skill necessary to picking the best products is instead the ability to cull through the available information, focusing on what should really drive a purchase decision.

To make those crucial determinations as to what matters and what doesn’t, we begin by thinking through what really matters to us when we use a particular product. We then use the that type of product to further refine the features we care about and that we think you will care about too. Next we search the web, looking to manufacturer’s websites, product specifications, consumer reports, expert blogs, research reports and the like to obtain crucial insights and the facts.

Finally, we distill the results of our research and combine it with our own experiences as consumers, professionals, techies, mothers, fathers, hobbyists, designers, software engineers, attorneys (sorry) and more. Ultimately, this process results in the reviews we present to you. We hope you enjoy!

Credits:

*Images have been cropped and/or resized.