The best earbuds of 2022
According to JBQ best earbuds of 2022, It’s hard to find a bad pair of wireless headphones these days, and with holiday deals constantly on the way, now’s a great time to grab that pair of headphones you’ve been eyeing. The market has come a long way since the early days of true wireless headphones, when we had to deal with mediocre sound quality and unreliable performance, all because of the elimination of cables.
Things are very different now, after several product generations of lessons learned, companies like Sony, Apple, Samsung and others are releasing their most impressive headphones to date.
If you’re willing to splurge, you can get great noise cancellation and sound quality in the premium line of headphones. But those aren’t always the most important criteria for everyone: Maybe you’re looking for the right headphones for fitness or a set that works well for Zoom calls and streaming your favorite playlists and podcasts. Tech companies are increasingly making their headphones work best with their own products through exclusive features and functionality, so this is another thing to consider when shopping.
In terms of overall excellence, best earbuds of 2022 you can get are the Sony WF-1000XM4. They have a unique combination of premium active noise cancellation, incredibly detailed sound and long battery life. And we see discounts on them during the holiday shopping season. But we also have a number of other picks based on other factors that you might rank higher—and many of them are also significantly reduced for the holiday season.
- Sony WF-1000XM4
- Jabra Elite 3
- Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
- Beats Fit Pro
- Apple AirPods Pro (second generation)
- Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
- Google Pixel Buds Pro
- Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
- Apple AirPods (third generation)
- Sony LinkBuds
- Razer Hammerhead True Wireless (2021)
- The ear of nothing 1
- UE Fits
best earbuds of 2022 overall
Although expensive, the best wireless headphones you can buy are the Sony WF-1000XM4. They offer excellent, warm and detailed sound quality and excellent active noise cancellation. The ANC doesn’t quite match Bose’s new QC Earbuds II, but it’s still pretty powerful. And their impressive battery life can last up to eight hours of continuous listening with noise cancellation turned on, which is enough to outlast all of Sony’s top competitors.
The WF-1000XM4s have a premium design, matte black (or light gray) with stylish rose gold accents. Most headphones come with standard silicone ear tips, but the Sony has foam tips that expand into your ears to create a perfect seal that does an impressive job of shutting out the outside world along with noise cancellation. Sony’s in-ears aren’t the most comfortable for everyone they’re on the larger side so be sure to try them out for yourself if you can.
On Android phones, the 1000XM4s supports Sony’s LDAC codec for higher quality music playback. But even when used on other platforms, there are premium sound-focused premium headphones like Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless 2 with much better noise cancellation.
And just recently, Sony announced that it would address a major weakness of the 1000XM4s: their lack of multi-points. Support is coming soon, so you can pair them with two Bluetooth devices at the same time. With a combination of best-in-class features (including bonuses like 360 Reality Audio support), improved voice calling performance, and impressive battery endurance, you can’t do much better.
2.Jabra Elite 3
best earbuds of 2022 under $100
JBQ says, Sometimes all you need are the basics, and that’s where Jabra’s Elite 3 headphones rise above the crowded field of sub-$100 competition. Their sound is somewhat bass-emphasized, but still manages to come off as generally balanced and with very good clarity for this price range.
These headphones last up to seven hours of continuous playback, and the compact case holds three extra charges. Their large physical buttons are easy to use and the earbuds are IP55 rated for dust and water resistance.
The Elite 3s lack the multi-point feature that Jabra has long been known for – the main price sacrifice – but in an improvement over past models, each earbud can be used independently in single mode. And they are very comfortable to wear for a long time. You don’t get features like active noise cancellation or wireless charging (although Jabra has a very nice transparency mode), but the Elite 3s performs reliably with a strong Bluetooth signal. They are fantastic value for money.
3. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
best earbuds of 2022 headphones
Bose QuietComfort II Earbuds are the most powerful noise canceling headphones on the market. Out of all our top picks, these do the best job of offering peace and quiet from the grind of everyday life and putting you in a private bubble with your favorite music playlists or podcasts.
Bose QC Earbuds II are pictured on top of a backpack at Moynihan Train Hall in New York City.
The QC Earbuds II are significantly smaller than Bose’s original QuietComfort Earbuds, and the same can be said for the included charging case – though it sadly lacks wireless charging. Sound quality is rich and dynamic, offering more bass than Apple’s AirPods Pro. And by switching to a two-piece eartip/stabilizer installation process, Bose’s latest flagship buds should fit more comfortably in a wider range of ears.
4. Beats Fit Pro
best earbuds of 2022 for training
The long-time champion of fitness headphones, the Powerbeats Pro, has finally gone down. And fittingly, they’ve outdone themselves with the latest Beats headphones. Beats Fit Pro replaces the Powerbeats ear hooks with a new wing tip design that locks them securely in your ears even during the most intense workouts. As a result, these headphones have a much smaller form factor – and their carrying case is much more manageable.
The way these headphones attach magnetically to the case also means you no longer have to worry about one or both buds not charging in the case, which was a common annoyance with the Powerbeats Pro.
Unlike the Powerbeats Pro, the Fit Pros include active noise cancellation. And they’re on par with the AirPods Pro in that department, so you can work out without distraction. When you want to be aware of your surroundings, the transparency mode, like the AirPods Pros, has natural and clear sound.
These headphones are IPX4 rated for water resistance. While this bud isn’t as robust as some other fitness-focused buds, it should be more than enough to survive sweat and running outdoors in a variety of conditions. The Fit Pros have easy-to-use physical buttons, and while it lacks the volume button on the Powerbeats Pro, you can adjust the volume by long-pressing each earbud instead of toggling the noise cancellation.
If you own an iPhone, Fit Pro offers Apple-only features like dynamic head tracking for surround sound, automatic device switching, Find My integration, and more. For Android users, Beats has an app that lets you adjust settings and view the battery status of the headphones and case, among other functions.
5. Apple AirPods Pro (second generation)
best earbuds of 2022 for iPhone owners
For those invested in Apple’s ecosystem, the second-generation AirPods Pro combine a compelling combination of premium noise cancellation and advanced sound compared to the original pair. As always, they also have a number of features – surround sound, voice sharing, automatic syncing across iCloud devices and more – that make them an ideal companion for other company devices. They’re also the only AirPods to come with different sizes of eartips for an adjustable fit—now including an extra small option.
AirPods Pro has a compact case that supports wireless charging.
Setting them up is as simple as holding the open case near the iPhone. The headphones are lightweight and fit well in most ears. Their pressure-sensing controls slide down easily, and with the second-generation model, Apple added swipe-based volume controls. AirPods Pro are traditionally ranked among the best wireless headphones in terms of audio call quality, and the second generation AirPods do not disappoint.
Their ANC has been improved over the original and is now right up there with the Sony, and the Clarify mode has gained the ability to quickly reduce any sudden, loud noises that may be happening around you.
Apple’s second generation AirPods Pro photographed on a reflective black surface.
Where AirPods stand out are Apple-only features like head tracking for spatial audio, automatic device switching, extensive Find My support, and more. The charging case now has a built-in speaker and a U1 chip for accurate location tracking. The second generation of AirPods Pro has better sound and noise cancellation than the original versions and maintains its deep integration with Apple’s hardware ecosystem.
6. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
best earbuds of 2022 for Samsung Galaxy phone owners
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 Pro sound fantastic, and that’s before you factor in the optional 24-bit audio support. Compared to the first professional versions, these have a smaller, lighter design that won’t stick out of your ears, and the sound quality is second only to the Sennheisers among our favorite headphone picks.
Like AirPods Pro with Apple devices, the Buds 2 Pro offer Samsung-only tweaks like head tracking for spatial audio, automatic device switching between Samsung devices, and more. The compact charging case supports wireless charging, and the Buds 2 Pro is IPX7 rated for water and sweat resistance, making it even more durable than AirPods.
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