It’s challenging to decide on the best iPhone earbuds, especially if you’re not going for our number one pick, the Apple AirPods Pro 2. After having spent a considerable amount of money on the phone itself, the goal is to look for budget-friendly earbuds. However, you also don’t want to compromise on quality. In order to maximize the features of your iPhone, it makes sense to invest in quality earbuds too. With a number of earbuds on the market, it is overwhelming to choose which ones are best.
TL; DR – These are our picks for the best iPhone earbuds:
- Apple AirPods Pro 2
- Sony WF-1000XM4
- Apple Beats PowerBeats Pro
- Beats Fit Pro
- Airpods 3rd Gen
- Jabra Elite 7 Pro
- Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless
This is where we come in. We have reviewed some of the best earbuds and wireless earbuds, and have come up with a list of the best iPhone earbuds to buy in 2023. We have made sure to cater to different budgets and, hence, our list also includes some of the best budget wireless earbuds. We’re sure our list will help you find something that is worth your buck.
The Best iPhone Earbuds
1. Apple AirPods Pro 2
Apple AirPods, specifically the second generation, run on the enhanced H2 chip that gives them boosted performance. First of all, ANC (ambient noise cancellation) has been amped up and mutes much more noise in your background. The transparency mode has been improved too, and is much better at minimizing loud, sudden sounds. While you still don’t get support for higher-res audio files in the 2nd gen, the sound has been considerably more dynamic as compared to the buds’ predecessor.
Another exciting feature of the AirPods 2nd gen is Spatial Audio, which uses head tracking to create a sound profile tailored to you. This helps make your experience increasingly immersive. The buds last for a good 5.5 hours with Spatial Audio on, and six hours with ANC on. The MagSafe charging case gives you another 24 hours which should be enough to last you a few days. The buds also offer improved controls with a new swipe functionality that lowers and raises the volume. The IPX4 water-resistance rating ensures compatibility with your intense workout sessions.
2. Sony WF-1000XM4
Best noise-canceling iPhone earbuds
Sony WF-1000XM4 are the buds to go for if you want to completely cancel out all noise around you. In fact, they’ve been praised for featuring the best ANC in true wireless earbuds. They’re good at muting droning sounds, such as the sound from air conditioners and engines, exceptionally well, as opposed to middle and high frequencies. Their sound is rich, big, and bold. The bass, mids, and treble are well-separated and each element has sufficient breathing space.
The WF-1000XM4 buds offer quite impressive battery life, too. They last eight hours with ANC on, and 24 hours with the charging case. In terms of design, they utilize a modern and stylish look finally ditching the oblong aesthetic their predecessors sported. The charging case is 40% smaller and supports wireless Qi charging. Controlling the buds is pretty easy thanks to the intuitive controls they offer. The left earbud is responsible for ANC while the right bud controls media, calls, and activates your phone’s virtual assistant. Using the buds’ companion app, the right bud can also be programmed to control volume.
3. Apple Beats PowerBeats Pro
Best sounding iPhone earbuds
The Beats PowerBeats Pro sound brilliant. According to the company, these buds use upgraded piston drivers that are supposed to reduce distortion. The claim isn’t just a marketing gimmick – the PowerBeats Pro deliver richer, cleaner, and clearer sound. The bass is enhanced, but also retains its tightness. The buds are rated at 9 hours of battery life with the charging case offering 15 extra hours. That’s is impressive already, but you can also get an hour and a half worth of juice with just a quick 5-minute charge, and a 15-minute charge can last you four and a half hours.
The PowerBeats Pro also feature the same H1 chip that the AirPods sport. This means you get fast-pairing on these too, and the ability to activate Siri with your voice. Another cool feature of the PowerBeats Pro is the optical sensors that are built into the buds. These detect whether or not you have the buds in your ears, and plays or pauses music accordingly. They also support mono audio which means you can use each bud individually. There are two beam-forming mics in each bud, and a speech-detecting accelerometer, all of which help pick your voice up extremely well when you’re on a call, while filtering out external noise.
4. Beats Fit Pro
Best workout-friendly iPhone earbuds
If you’re into fitness and are looking for the perfect workout companion, the Beats Fit Pro are for you. These buds sport an extraordinarily snug design that is designed to stay glued to your ears no matter how intense your workout gets. There are wingtips that tuck into your upper ear and three different ear tip options to choose from. Additionally, the IPX4 rating on the buds means you don’t have to worry about sweat or a light pour. As long as you’re not taking these out for a swim, you should be fine.
The Beats Fit Pro come with an H1 chip too, which means your Siri interaction can be completely hands-free. You can either ask Siri to control your playback, or use the controls on the buds. In either case, you don’t need to pull your phone out of your pocket. The six hours of battery life and 18 hours with the charging case is more than sufficient for travel or everyday commute. The Beats Fit Pro also feature Spatial Audio in addition to, of course, ANC, which means you can fully immerse yourself in your music regardless of how noisy your surroundings are.
5. AirPods 3rd Gen
Best battery life iPhone earbuds
The AirPods 3rd gen look similar to the AirPods Pro, except these feature stems that are 33% smaller than the latter. The buds also feature grilled black speakers and mics. Another feature that distinguishes these buds from the Pros is the absence of silicone ear tips. These feature a standard size hard plastic design, and are open-style, which means they don’t extend all the way into your ear canal. One of the most impressive features of the third-gen AirPods is their battery life. You get a whopping 30 hours with the charging case which is a significant leap from the 24 hours with the previous model. The buds last six hours, which is quite decent, too.
Sound-wise, the highs and mids are far more prominent on these buds as compared to the bass. The audio is detailed and rich, and you can clearly tell all the different elements in the orchestra. The mic suppresses background noise and offers decent audio quality to manage your everyday calls. Just don’t expect these to be suitable for any kind of professional recording.
6. Jabra Elite 7 Pro
Best water resistant iPhone earbuds
At $199, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro earbuds are the successor to a number of Jabra earbuds we have seen over the years. The Elite 7 Pro feature an ergonomically enhanced body that is considerably smaller and fits much better in your ears. The circular tips, instead of the previously-adopted oval shape, also contribute to making the buds extremely stable when you’re out on a run. Another feature on these buds that supports your workout sessions is its IP57 rating. This means they can be submerged in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
The Elite 7 also sport improved ANC and HearThrough mode five intensity levels for each mode. The noise cancellation is quite impressive across the board but is especially good at muting lower frequencies which makes them ideal to be used on the plane or the subway. The buds’ battery life also makes them perfect as a travel companion: they’re rated for eight hours of listening time and six hours for calls, and the case offers a total of 30 hours.
7. Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless
Best companion app iPhone earbuds
The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless sound decent with a special emphasis on bass. Phone calls on these buds are also quite good, as they cancel out a amount of your background noise. The buds are lightweight, and ship with four ear tips of varying sizes. The charging case features a sturdy body, and hosts the earbuds nicely, secured by magnets and pegs, and with a satisfying click. The CX Plus hosts capacitive touch panels – you can control everything from playback to calling and ANC with either a single, double or triple tap or by tapping and holding one of the buds.
Sennheiser Smart Control, the companion app for these buds, is well-designed and quite intuitive to use. It lets you remap the controls on the buds, adjust the EQ, and turn on sidetone so you can hear how you sound over phone calls. The app is fairly decent and offers a good degree of flexibility over how you choose to use your buds.