Best Smart Headphones for 2020
Say goodbye to wired headphones for good! These smart wireless earbuds are comfortable, convenient and high-tech.
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Buying Smart Headphones
Wireless headphones are incredibly convenient because you’re no longer tethered to your phone as you were with traditional earbuds. Now, many include high-tech features that make life easier. Today’s best smart headphones often feature things like voice and touch commands, noise cancellation, automatic audio adjustments and more.
As you shop, be sure the headphones you purchase are compatible with your smartphone operating system, and assess whether you’ll actually benefit from the features offered. Otherwise, you may end up paying top dollar for functions you don’t need.
Best Wireless Ear Buds: Apple AirPods Pro
The Apple AirPods Pro, which cost $250, are some of the best wireless headphones you can buy today — assuming you have an iPhone, that is. These earbuds feature active noise cancellation, a water-resistant design, voice commands via Siri and up to 4-1/2 hours of listening time per charge. Three interchangeable silicone tips (included) ensure a comfortable fit. And their balance of aesthetics and function produce consistently positive reviews.
Best Non-Apple Wireless Ear Buds: Samsung Galaxy Buds
For those who prefer Android devices, the Samsung Galaxy Buds are sleek, convenient and affordable, retailing for around $130. These earbuds let you determine how much surrounding noise you hear with their “Ambient Aware” feature, controlled via touch commands. Plus, this Samsung device is water-resistant and delivers up to six hours of listening time per charge.
Best Noise Cancelling: Sony Noise-Canceling Wireless Earbuds
If you want to tune out the world around you, the Sony Noise-Canceling Earbuds offer industry-leading digital noise-cancelling technology. These wireless earbuds cost around $230 and last about 90 minutes per charge. Control them with touch commands or Amazon Alexa, and they’ll automatically switch to ambient sound mode based on your activity.
Best for Translation: Google Pixel Buds
One of the most innovative features of today’s smart earbuds is language translation. The Google Pixel Buds, which cost $179, offer Android users real-time translation of dozens of common languages, allowing you to travel more confidently. These earbuds respond to voice commands via Google Assistant, and their Adaptive Sound feature automatically adjusts your volume based on the noise level around you. Cool, right?
Best for Exercising: Jabra Elite Active 75t Earbuds
The $200 Jabra Elite Active 75t Earbuds are an athlete’s best friend. These wireless headphones are sweat- and water-proof, and they last up to 7-1/2 hours per charge. Because they’re designed for running, the Jabra Elite Active 75t Earbuds feature a special “HearThrough” mode that lets in a customizable amount of ambient noise so you can stay alert to your surroundings. And their secure fit features a grip coating to help keep them from falling out.
Best Sound: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Earbuds
If your priority is superior sound, you’ll be pleased with what the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2 Earbuds offer. These headphones feature unique, dynamic audio drivers to provide deep bass, natural mids and detailed treble, and you can use built-in equalizers to customize the sound. These $300 earbuds also offer active noise cancellation, customizable touch controls and up to seven hours of listening time per charge.
Best Budget: TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 True Wireless Earbuds
For budget-friendly wireless headphones, the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 Wireless Earbuds are a top-rated option that cost just $50. Delivering up to eight hours of listening time per charge, they come with a built-in microphone, noise-cancelling technology for clearer calls and smart touch controls — everything you’d expect from headphones twice that price.