The 10 Best Bluetooth Earbuds
10. Mee Audio X7
- can answer and hang up calls
- highs are lacking a bit
- only come with three earbud tips
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
9. Braven Flye
- impressive 25 hours of playback time
- reflective cable for safety
- bass could be richer
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
8. TaoTronics BH026US
- high-quality in-line microphone
- charge fully in just two hours
- large remote makes them feel heavy
|Rating||3.5 / 5.0|
7. Zinat White
- have no cables at all
- case doubles as a charger
- can use just one or both at a time
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
6. SoundPeats Q30
- include tips ranging from xs to xl
- stay securely in the ears
- hook together magnetically
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
5. Shure SE112-BT1
- three-button inline remote
- cable wraps around the ear
- come with a carrying case
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
4. TrebLab XR800
- nearly 40-foot bluetooth range
- display remaining battery life
- compatible with ios and android
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
3. Zipbuds 26
- don't distort at high volumes
- 15 hours of battery life
- weigh less than half an ounce
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
2. Phaiser BHS-730
- lifetime sweatproof warranty
- audible and visible battery info
- near total noise isolation
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
1. Bose SoundSport
- 6 hours of battery life per charge
- sweat- and weather-resistant
- inline mic and remote control
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
Over The Wireless
As long as headphones have had wires running to their sources, I couldn't run in them. That is to say, I always found it impossible to go jogging with that chord endlessly slapping me, its weight slowly pulling the buds out from their place in my ears. No matter the sound quality, the physics of the buds never quite lined up.
Outdoors, this is not much or a problem. When I'm up in the hills by my home, I like having the sounds of nature all around me, so I don't find I need music to power me through. I also have an irrational fear of mountain lions and rattle snakes waiting for me at every turn, so I like to keep all my senses about me.
The gym is a very different story, though. Without the beauty of nature around me, surrounded only by the clanging of metal weights and the grunting of oversized men, I need all the distractions I can get. That's why I bit the bullet on a pair of Bluetooth earbuds that stay in place better than anything I've ever owned, and that sound good while they do it.
Bluetooth is essentially just a specific band of radio frequencies that ping outward in overlapping shifts many times per second. By doing so, the odds that the Katy Perry song the person on the treadmill next to you is enjoying will cut into your audio book on quantum mechanics are slim to none.
Beyond the ability to receive a Bluetooth signal, these buds are designed with all the trappings of the finest earbuds on the market, with advanced ergonomics to fit snugly and comfortably in your ear, and tiny speakers with powerful drivers to boost the bass against all the bones in your ear. The result is phenomenal sound quality, and unsurpassed security and comfort.
Sounds Like Fun
There was a time when the long white cord associated with Apple's signature earbuds was a kind of status symbol. They even had a rather annoying commercial for their iPods that featured a bunch of dancing silhouettes, the only visible feature their dangling white cords. I feel like the only people I see wearing those earbuds anymore wear them while driving, and that's just a combination of a dangerous driving situation and an increasingly passe fashion statement.
As you look up and down our list of top rated Bluetooth earbuds, it wouldn't hurt to take the appearance of them into consideration as much as anything else. All the models on our list are exceptionally durable, so the only variables you really want to consider are fit, sound, and look.
Gym fashion has, in the past decade or so, reached well outside of the gym, and it's perfectly acceptable in our current times to go straight to brunch from yoga without so much as reapplying deodorant, let alone changing out of your workout clothes. As such, attire made for exercise has become significantly more fetching, and your earbuds are going to become an integral part of your ensemble.
As for the fit, that's a tough one to measure without sticking these things in your ears, since human ears are as variegated as fingerprints. For now, in addition to the look, you'll want to read up on the sound quality.
An audiophile probably wouldn't want to enjoy the third movement of their favorite symphony in the middle of a treadmill 10K, so manufacturers aren't trying to create mind-blowing audio experiences with their earbuds. They are, however, trying to maximize the quality you can get in a small, simple design for not too much money. That said, if you are interested in the clearest sound, established brands like Beats and JBL are likely to be your best bet.
Listening To The Past
Earphones of any kind weren't a common household item until the 1970s, when home stereo systems became more customized and better-equipped to reproduce the quality of the recordings waiting there on all that vinyl. Before that, they were almost the exclusive property of studio engineers, musicians, telephone company employees, and the military.
It was the advent of the Walkman, however, that caused earphones to explode around the country and around the world. That portable cassette deck came with a very specific pair of headphones. They were cheap pieces of metal and plastic, drastically uncomfortable and miserable to listen through, but everybody had to have them.
More expensive headphones, like those associated with the music industry, made their way further into the culture at this point, but the field remained relatively stagnant until Apple came along with their iconic headphones in 2001. From there, all bets were off, as portable music became all but a human right made doctrine.
Around this time (a little earlier, in fact), Bluetooth technology found its way into a few appliances, most notably laptop computers and cell phones. It, too, very quickly became a technology we could scarcely live without, whether for connecting our iPods to our earphones or for linking our cell phones to our car stereos.