1. Start
  2. Expert reviews


Best true wireless headphones: 6 models tested

Elina Blom

True wireless headphones are all the rage when it comes to headphones. As the name implies, they’re completely wireless and come in a case that can be used to charge the earbuds when you’re not using them.

But while the number of models on the market has exploded, there is a clear difference in quality between different brands — or different models, even. Which ones stand up to the competition, and which ones don’t live up to their price?

1. Jabra Elite 3 - BEST CHOICE

Reasonably priced headphones from a well-known brand

Playback time: 7 h (28 h when charged with the case) Charging: 3,5 h (a 10-minute quick charge gives one hour of playback time) Noise-canceling: No

Jabra Elite 3

Jabra Elite 3 is a pair of very reasonably priced true wireless headphones which balances an attractive price point, high-quality audio, and awesome features. The manufacturer has slimmed the product down to be able to charge a lower price but in a consumer-friendly way. You get both quick charging and great battery life as well as app support and a stable connection.

The audio quality is, as stated above, good when put in relation to the price. There is a detailed mid-range. The audio profile is good for various genres, but also for movies and podcasts. If you are very particular when it comes to sound quality, then you might wish for greater depth in the sound. Some details don’t come out in the lower range and in the treble. But you get quite a good heft and balance for your money.

Above all, you get both a well-balanced sound and high microphone quality, so you won’t have to switch over to your phone if someone calls you, which is the case with some other true wireless headphones.

Opts out on noise cancellation

So what won’t you get if you buy a pair of Jabra Elite 3 instead of a more expensive model? One thing missing here is active noise cancellation. If you have a noisy workplace or spend a lot of time in noisy environments then you might wish you had this. But if you are using the headphones mostly at home or in a quiet office, then this is of little consequence.

What you do get is a hear-through feature, which pauses the passive noise cancellation.

You don’t get wireless charging, which has become more or less standard in more expensive models. Another detail is that you can’t be connected to two devices at the same time.

But this is still quite a cautious trimming of features on these headphones, which sit stably and comfortably in your ears as long as you don’t undertake some type of highly active workout routine. Jabra Elite 3 is a great pair of headphones in every way.

Well-balanced soundnice mid-rangegood microphonestable connectiongood battery life
No active noise cancellationcannot connect to two devices at the same time

Price Comparison

Compare all prices

Jabra Elite 3 - Dark Grey


JABRA Elite 3 Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds - Grey


Jabra Elite 3 In Ear Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds - Noise Isolating True Wireless Buds with 4 Built-in Microphones for Clear Calls, Rich Bass, Customizable Sound, and Mono Mode - Dark Grey


2. Apple Airpods Pro - BEST PREMIUM CHOICE

Amazing sound and a clean design

Playback time: 4,5 h (24 h when charged with the case) Charging: 30 minutes (a five-minute quick charge gives one hour of playback time) Noise-canceling: Yes

Apple AirPods Pro (1st generation) 2019

Apple Airpods Pro does what the previous generations of Airpods have not quite been able to do: combine great audio quality with a comfortable design. The sound is the most prominent and surprising aspect of these headphones. Apple has managed to balance the sound perfectly and the built-in equalizer helps get the sound just right depending on what you’re listening to. This works far better than you might expect.

Phone call quality is really good, too, both for you and whoever you’re talking to. The microphone is normally a weakness for many true wireless headphones, but not so with Airpods Pro. You could perhaps argue that it’s placed a bit too far down.

These headphones also have active noise cancellation, so you won’t have to hear all the noise from the outside world when listening to your favorite music. It’s not quite as sharp as with the very best models, but it still eliminates quite a bit of unwanted sound.

The battery life could have been better, many competitors are better in that aspect. Apple does quick charging very well, on the other hand, and as little as five minutes of charging gives you an hour of playback time.

Convenient wireless charging

The fit for these headphones is great. They don’t, of course, sit well enough to not fall out or move around during an intense workout, but on the other hand, that’s not the primary purpose for them. They are water-resistant, however, so if you work out a bit more gently then you won’t have to worry about them getting exposed to sweat from your ears.

The headphones are also claimed to have some form of ventilation system for pressure equalization. This is hard to test, but we think that they fit well overall and experienced no pressure in our ears.

Something that we do miss is access to more settings. Even on an Iphone, you’re very limited to what settings you can make, pretty much nothing else than what the touch button should do. On other devices, you can adjust no settings at all.

Apple Airpods Pro supports modern features such as wireless charging, transparency mode for noise cancellation, and a rechargeable case. If you’re after the signature design from Apple, then these are an obvious choice. But they are also a good purchase for those who are just looking for a pair of headphones with awesome sound quality and good phone call sound.

Great audio qualitygood noise cancellationwireless chargingquick chargecomfortable fit
Limited settingsneeds to be charged often

3. Soundcore by Anker Liberty 3 Pro

Great sound and nicely designed

Playback time: 8 h (32 h when charged with the case) Charging: 45 minutes (a 15-minute quick charge gives three hours of playback time) Noise-canceling: Yes

Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro

Soundcore by Anker Liberty 3 Pro is a pair of sturdy in-ear headphones which, despite being eye-catchingly large, look really good. The manufacturer has been clever when adding LEDs to both the headphones themselves and the case — not to the point where it becomes childish, but just to lift the design. Simply put, they look really good.

A big plus with Liberty 3 Pro is the awesome battery life. This is, however, a bit of a must because if you forget to put them in the case between uses you’ll be pretty much out of battery the next day. They can sense when you take them out of the ear, but there is no automatic shut-off that kicks in after a while — which is a shame.

Charging them is quickly done. You get a whole three hours of battery life from a single quick charge.

However, what we like the most is the sound. These headphones have a detailed sound on all ranges and a broad sound image. When put in relation to the price you get a sound profile that works with pretty much any genre of music. We also never perceive any problems with distortion at higher volumes.

The noise cancellation works well, too. They shut out a large chunk of the office chatter and the noise from traffic during our morning walk.

The microphone, on the other hand, is quite poor. If you would want to use the headphones for phone calls on a regular basis, then this is the wrong choice for you.

Sit firmly despite their larger size

These headphones fit really well. Despite not being dedicated workout headphones as such, there are several included silicone tips and hooks in several sizes. There is something for all ear sizes here.

The hook is somewhat of a necessity, because as we said the outer part of the headphones is quite large, which makes them fall out easily if you tilt your head. With a hook fitted, that problem is non-existent.

You control the headphones with touch-sensitive buttons on each earbud. They work well enough, but the touch-sensitive surface is somewhat small so you may have to press more than once, which could lead to you making the wrong command.

In the app, you can set what the touch buttons should do. There are plenty of other settings as well.

Soundcore Liberty Pro 3 is a pair of really high-quality true wireless headphones which are perhaps best suited for listening to music or podcasts — not as a headset. They sit comfortably, look great, and have a really good audio quality.

Really good audio qualitygood battery lifecomfortableplenty of settings
Small touch buttonsno automatic shut-offpoor microphone

4. Sony WF-1000XM4

Excellent sound quality that suits the audiophiles

Playback time: 8 h (24 h when charged with the case) Charging: 1,5 hours (a five-minute quick charge gives one hour of playback time) Noise-canceling: Yes

Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony WF-1000XM4 is a pair of headphones with incredible sound. The previous generation was popular for the same reasons, but here Sony has actually managed to turn up the audio quality a bit more. You get a detailed sound on all ranges, a lovely vigorous base, and great depth in the sound.

However, just like with the over-ear sibling of these headphones you get a really bad microphone. These are definitely not headphones you should buy if you intend to use them as a headset first and foremost.

Considering the price tag we would expect a few more premium features. You can’t, for example, connect to two audio sources at the same time. There is also no NFC.

That being said, the simply great audio quality is why you buy these headphones. They are great for those who don’t want to put on a pair of bulky over-ear headphones to be able to listen to high-quality audio and instead are looking for a pair of good in-ear headphones. Then this is a given choice.

Shuts out all the noise

One premium feature that you actually do get is wireless charging. Another plus is great noise cancellation which prevents any noise from disturbing you when you’re listening to music.

The headphones fit comfortably in your ears and don’t move much, despite not having hooks. They are well-balanced and have a thought-through design that fits various ear shapes.

Sony WF-1000XM4 is perhaps not the best choice for those who want multi-purpose headphones, what stands out the most is the amazing audio quality. These are the headphones you buy if you prioritize sound above everything else and are willing to pay a bit more to get the very best.

Huge depth in the soundgreat bass handling in the lower rangewell-functioning noise cancellation
Works poorly as a headsetcannot connect to two audio sources at the same time

5. Huawei Freebuds 4i

Multi-facetted headphones with several uses

Playback time: 7,5 h (22 h when charged with the case) Charging: 30 minutes (a ten-minute quick charge gives four hours of playback time) Noise-canceling: Yes

Huawei FreeBuds 4i

Huawei Freebuds 4i are visually reminiscent of Apple Airpods but have a significantly lower price tag. They have a really good battery life when put in relation to the price. If you turn off the noise cancellation, which is not very helpful anyway, you get a whole nine hours of playback time.

As stated above, the noise cancellation doesn’t work very well. You can pretty much just leave it off since the difference is barely discernible, so the only thing it does is cost you a couple of hours of battery life.

The quick charge, on the other hand, is one of the best we’ve ever seen. Ten minutes is enough for four hours of battery life.

Works best with Android phones

The headphones fit well once you’ve found the right size for the silicone tips. Since the microphone is placed on the shaft you get a decent phone call sound. There is also no lag in the sound and the connection with your phone is stable, which is not always the case with true wireless headphones.

Huawei Freebuds 4i have quite a few settings, but you need an Android phone for that since there is no Iphone app.

Freebuds 4i suits those who are on a tight budget and want a pair of headphones that work well both as a headset and as headphones. If you have an Android phone you can also tailor their behaviour according to your preferences and for example, change what the touch-sensitive surfaces do. They have good audio quality as long as you don’t turn the volume all the way up or listen to too noisy music.

Really good audio quality for calm musicgreat battery lifeworks well as a headsetexcellent quick charging
Settings limited to Android devicespointless noise cancellationmessy sound for intense music

6. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

High audio quality and good noise cancellation

Playback time: 7 h (28 h when charged with the case) Charging: 1,5 hours Noise-canceling: Yes

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 is a pair of well-built headphones that come in a really nice, textile-covered case. They emit a sense of luxury. They fit very well, and since they are IP-rated to a certain degree, we would say that the overall build quality is very good.

However, it quickly becomes apparent that the stated battery time is not quite what you get. For one thing, we can’t get up to seven hours with the noise cancellation on, but land closer to five or six hours. Also, you might expect that the battery shouldn’t deplete that much if you’re not using them. But that is true in this instance — even if you put them back in the case.

True, they do recharge. But at the same time, you are depleting the battery in the case. So if you put the headphones in the case and leave it for a couple of days, then both the headphones and case will have run out of juice. Considering the price, we think this is very poor.

Really good audio quality

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 lives up to Sennheiser’s reputation when it comes to good sound. The audio quality is great. There are plenty of details on all ranges and you can turn up the volume quite a bit without the sound being distorted. We would wish for more energy in the audio profile and more details in the bass, which you would get with a pair of XM4 from Sony. But overall the sound is great.

However, while they rock as headphones, they don’t perform as well as a headset. The microphone produces a sound that is a bit too sharp for those listening to you, and it also picks up some noise from your surroundings. This makes it a hassle to talk for longer periods of time in noisy environments.

If you won’t be talking on the phone that much, but rather just listen to music, then they have active noise cancellation for those noisy settings. They do a great job of sorting out the worst noise so that you can focus on what you’re listening to.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 suits those who want a pair of headphones with great audio quality and good noise cancellation. But don’t forget to keep both headphones and case charged.

Good audio qualitygreat build qualityfits very well
Depletes the battery even when not in useworks poorly as a headset
  • Expert reviews
  • Sale
  • Guides
  • How to use
  • About us