Because they’re tiny and fit in your ear, earbuds (or in-ear headphones) are perfect for working out. But you can also use them in an office while shopping while walking the dog and so on.
Their size and the fact that they are quite good at isolating the wearer from the world around makes them an accessory you can’t ignore. Today we’ll have a look at the best earbuds with mic since they’re easier to use as a hands-free device while driving, walking, jogging, or simply working.
Our Top Picks
Last update on 2024-02-05 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
How to Choose Earbuds with Mic?
Low-quality earbuds will have you crank up the volume to hear the music better, but if you go over the recommended 80 decibels, you may suffer from hearing problems. High-quality designs are limited so you won’t be able to get the volume higher (not that you would have to).
High sound quality means that all the notes are well-represented and balanced. Now, just like with over-the-ear-headphones, you should also watch for features such as impedance, frequency, and drivers because they can tell you everything you want to know about the sound quality.
Mono vs. Stereo Earbuds
This is a feature that makes a difference in how you hear the sounds. For instance, with mono earbuds, you hear the same sound in both ears, while with stereo ones there are two sound channels (one for each ear).
Stereo is better because the brain can map the location of the sound and thus the music experience is intensified.
ANC vs. Passive Noise Cancellation
ANC or active noise cancellation works the same as with over-the-ear headphones. Each bud has a tiny microphone that registers the environmental sounds and then produces a counter sound wave to cancel the noise.
On the other hand, earbuds with passive noise cancellation rely heavily on various materials that fill your ear canal, keeping the outside noises outside. Due to their designs, most earbuds are extremely effective at isolating the noise, so if you’re not picky about this, passive cancellation is the best option.
If you want to use your earbuds while working out or jogging, we recommend getting a design that’s water resistant. Some buds can even hold up to about 5 minutes in the shower or while swimming, so there are lots of options on the market.
With or Without a Voice Assistant
Some of the most high-end designs will come with an integrated voice assistant option that will allow the wearer to talk to Siri, Cortana, or Alexa without using the phone. This feature is great for people who drive a lot or work with their hands a lot and have to stop to use their phone.
Wired or Bluetooth
In a world where the coolest designs are wireless, it makes sense to select the best Bluetooth earbuds with mic. However, wired designs are just as good and don’t need any batteries to work.
In terms of durability, wired designs have the upper hand, but Bluetooth ones are more portable and don’t get in the way when you’re walking, working out or jogging.
If you’re not the kind of person to wear a smartwatch or a fitness bracelet, you may like biometric earbuds. These have a heart rate monitor function and monitor your working out routine. The results are sent to an app on the phone, and you get to see if your heart is healthy or if the workout was difficult enough.
9 Best Earbuds With Mic
Totally Wireless Design for High-Performance Athletes
If you like to blast through your favorite playlist while cranking it up at the gym, you need the Powerbeats Pro earbuds!
They look cool, feel amazing against the skin, and fit around the ear using a comfortable hooking system that is adjustable. This makes them completely wireless, which is ideal for any workout. Furthermore, they are sweat and water-resistant and boast around 9h of playtime!
Quick note: if you like to wear them outside the gym, the charging carrying case prolongs the battery life to up 24h.
Each earbud has its own volume and track controls, and you don’t need both to make or take calls. They use Class 1 BT technology and the famous Apple H1 chip for amazing sound quality, extended range, and crystal-clear voice calls.
- Fast charging capabilities and charging carrying case
- Soft finish that makes them comfortable for long time wear
- 9h of playtime
- Adjustable hook that keeps them in place
- High-end BT technology and latest processing chip
- Impressive sound quality
- Crystal-clear voice calls
- Each earbud works separately
- The price tag is in the upper range
- The case is bulky for wearing in your pocket
The Final Boss of Earbuds With Mic
The Sony WF-1000XM4 are arguably the best earbuds with mic in the business, pound for pound. That’s a really bold statement to make, but considering the price asked, which is less than $300, and the performance/features these earbuds bring to the table, it may not be an exaggeration after all.
So, to begin with, for something like $300 with shipping, you’ll get true wireless earbuds with Alexa built-in (not that we care about Alexa, but we have to mention it), plus industry leading noise canceling, which is Sony’s signature.
There are many premium offerings on the market today, in the vicinity of $300, from big names like Apple, Bose, Master&Dynamic, Klipsch, Sennheiser, Samsung, Bowers&Wilkins, but these Sony’s combine high performance, near perfect ergonomics, build quality and relatively affordable pricing in a unique package, which makes them hard to beat.
The latest addition to the WF-1000 line is lighter, smaller and greener than ever, not to mention the fact that they sound more articulate and immediate than ever before. Also, if you took the time to read our pre amble, the WF-1000XM4 are either excellent or perfect in every respect, as in they check all of the boxes in terms of SQ, ANC, water resistance, and biometric features.
To be more precise, you’ll get IPX4 water resistance, speak to chat technology that reduces music volume during convos automatically, superb SQ due to the latest Integrated Processor V1 and supporting LDAC codec, crystal clear call quality via a beamforming microphone and a bone-conduction sensor, and, last but not least, industry leading ANC thanks to Sony’s latest chip, the aforementioned V1.
- Great control app
- 8 hours battery
- Wireless charging
- Balanced convincing SQ
- Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa
- Impeccable ergonomics
- Amazing call quality
- Nothing really
Sennheiser CX 300S
Affordable and Reliable In-ear Headphones
The CX 300S in-ear headphones manage to deliver detailed sound and enhanced bass due to the built-in 18-ohm transducers precision-engineered by the best German specialists. They’re also compatible with a wide array of mobile devices, computers, and gaming consoles due to the 3.5mm cable jack.
The in-line smart one-button remote lets users perform a series of activities such as taking calls or pause/play the music.
Headphones are delivered with silicon ear adapters in four sizes to provide the perfect passive noise isolation and make sure every user is comfortable wearing them for a long time.
Overall, the CX 300S are ideal for anyone who wants a pair of affordable and reliable in-ear headphones that can be used for both voice calls and music.
- Impressive sound quality
- Built with German precision
- Compatible with various devices
- In-line smart remote control
- Comfortable to wear for a long time
- Custom fit with several ear sleeves
- Great value for the price
- Bass is a bit light
- The silicone ear tips can be uncomfortable at first
Jabra Elite Active 75t
The Best Companion for Active People
Available in a wide range of colors and with a compact charging case, the Jabra Elite Active 75t are the earbuds that will enhance your workouts without getting in the way. Since there are no wires to tug on your ears and the fit is perfect (due to different size ear tips), you just put them on, start the music, and enjoy!
In addition, they have an ANC module that filters out the noise and allows you to focus on your workout. It also has a HearThrough option, for when you’re running or working out in public places (to hear oncoming traffic or other people).
While they are small, they accommodate four advanced mics for crystal-clear calls and chatting with your favorite virtual assistant (Siri, Google, or Alexa).
The buds are accompanied by the Jabra Sound+ app, which means you can customize your listening experience. Also, it lets you decide what the earbud button should do.
- Compact & lightweight design
- Secure fit for active people
- 24h autonomy (with the charging case)
- Clear calls & compatible with virtual assistants
- Easy to control using the app
- Warning & connection messages can be annoying
- A bit difficult to remove from the case
Apple AirPods Pro
Designed to Bring Out the Best Audio Experience
AirPods Pro buds are designed by one of the biggest tech brands in the world, but do they raise to the expectations?
As it turns out they do! The design is sleek and elegant while the buds fit nicely in your ears due to the soft, tapered silicone tips available in three sizes. In addition, the buds are sweat and water-resistant, which makes them perfect for the gym or other workouts.
The ANC module ensures you can get lost in the rhythm and Transparency Mode is the ideal way to keep in touch with the environment without removing the buds. In terms of sound, the AirPods Pro buds are equipped with advanced technology (the famous H1 chip, for instance) and can deliver a well-balanced audio experience. Also, the adaptive EQ is there to adjust the tunes according to your needs.
Lastly, the earbuds are compatible with every modern Apple device (and Siri) and have 24h autonomy (with the charging case). The mic is powerful enough to pick up your voice and ignore environmental noise, so it is helpful if you want to take calls while running or enjoying a quick walk.
- Sleek design with a compact charging case
- Secure fit & sweat proof
- Good ANC module
- Adaptive EQ
- Compatible with most Apple devices
- Access to Siri
- A bit pricey
- The battery drains pretty fast
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Quality Buds with Great Battery Life
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are on the “more affordable” side compared to previously reviewed products, even if they retail for something like $150, give or take. It must be noted that the 2 particle stands for second-gen, and it must be admitted that Samsung did a great job here, as the Buds 2 are a huge improvement in terms of both fit and SQ.
Moreover, the new Buds come with active noise cancelation technology, which makes them a great option for Samsung smartphone users who are shopping for gear and require perfect synchronicity with their Galaxy toys. To make a comparison, the Galaxy Buds are for Samsung smartphone user what the AirPods are for Apple aficionados.
These cool earbuds feature a 2-driver design, and offer a well-balanced soundstage. However, noise canceling is not best in class, as expected from their price actually, and bass is somewhat lacking compared to other products (read Sony WF-1000XM4).
But, we must mention the intuitive touch controls, which make the Buds 2 a pleasure to use all day long, and the IPX2 rating (workout-proof, not water proof). Also, the second gen is 15% smaller and 20% lighter than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus.
The most important features include support for SBC, AAC, and Samsung’s Scalable Codec, active noise cancelation and a voice listening assistant, while call quality is pretty good. Battery life is where these earbuds excel, as they’re rated at 29 hours, and you’ll get support for wireless charging and automatic pausing via a proximity sensor located on the inside of the buds that will automatically pause the music when the buds are not inside your ear-canal (goes to juice-saving).
- Amazing battery life
- Great fit
- Balanced sound
- Very good call quality
- Galaxy Wearable app is nice
- Not the best ANC
Bose Sport Earbuds
Designed for Tough Environments & Extremely Reliable
When you’re at the gym or jogging, you want a pair of lightweight and sweat-resistant earbuds. As such, Bose Sport earbuds were created especially for this – they have a secure fit (due to different sizes of silicone tips) and are lightweight and comfortable for long use.
This is possible due to the StayHear Max tips, that have a unique shape (like an umbrella), and the flexible wing that secures everything in place. In addition, they have a durability rating of IPX4, with special wrappings that protect sensitive elements. As such, once they’re in your ears, you forget they’re there.
Of course, the only reminder is the amazing sound quality that brings every note to a new level of clarity and richness.
The back of the buds is a capacitive touch surface that can be tapped as a way to control their activity. As such, users can choose if they want to answer a call, listen to music, or change tracks. In addition, if you use the Bose Music app, there are additional controls and settings.
When it comes to calls, the buds are equipped with a beamforming microphone array that separates your voice from any surrounding sounds. As a result, people on the other end will hear you clearly enough to have a great conversation.
Lastly, the buds will last (according to specs) up to 5 hours (with the included charging case) and the quick charge function provides an extra 2 hours for a 15-minute charge.
- Lifelike sound quality
- Secure fit for almost every ear shape
- Built to last in high humidity environments
- Touch-sensitive controls on the earbud’s surface
- Good call quality
- 5h autonomy, with the charging case
- Limited control options on the earbuds
- A bit too big for a motorcycle helmet
The Best Earbuds with Mic Under $50
Not everyone is happy to shed off more than $100 for a pair of high-quality earbuds, which is perfectly understandable. So, if you’re looking for good earbuds under $50, have a look at Sony’s MDRXB50AP!
They are easy to wear due to the hybrid silicone earbuds and tangle-free wires and can be used for hours without your ears getting tired. They’re lightweight so you can use them during workouts, and the integrated microphone and remote control are well-placed.
The sound is powerful, due to the high-energy neodymium magnets and the frequency response is really nice (4-24,000Hz).
- Lightweight & comfortable
- Compatible with most devices
- Good sound quality
- They feel a bit heavy
- The remote doesn’t allow for volume control
- The earbuds are slightly larger than most
OnePlus Buds Pro
OnePlus’ Best Buds To Date
The Buds Pro are definitely the best buds ever produced by OnePlus so far, and they are a huge step forward from the “vanilla” OnePlus released back in 2020. The second-gen offers effective ANC, a pleasant audio experience, comfortable fit and solid battery life for something like $150, give or take, and they would make for a great addition to your smartphone, even if you’re not a OnePlus user (yes, they also make pretty good smartphones).
Even if OnePlus started manufacturing wireless buds last year, the Pro version can run with the best in the business at this price, and besides solid SQ and ANC, it offers cool features like fast charging, smart and intuitive controls, Zen Mode Air, and a well-designed companion app, i.e. the price of $150 is actually justified even for a “no-name” brand (we’re being sarcastic).
In terms of ANC, the Buds Pro do an amazing job with almost completely blocking out external noises (up to 40db), and there are 3 modes to choose from, depending on the environment: max ANC, noise cancelation, and smart.
The Hey Melody app also works for iOS devices and non-OnePlus smartphones, and allows you to configure/update your earbuds as you see fit. Battery life is rated at 24 hours with the case/ANC turned off, which is almost class leading.
Audio performance is very good due to the large 11 mm drives, as the earbuds are tuned with an emphasis on treble/bass and come with SBC, AAC, and LHDC codec support, Dolby Atmos support on certain OnePlus smartphones, low-latency mode, plus Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.
- Good audio
- Fast charging
- Solid app
- Impressive ANC
- IP55 rating
- Wireless charging
- No gesture volume control
Now that you know about features and best earbuds, it’s time to choose the ones that fit your needs best. There are many models at affordable prices, even for earbuds designed for audiophiles, so you can have a pair for every type of activity!