With a multitude of models to choose from, it's not easy to figure out which headphone to buy these days. With that in mind, we're highlighting several of our highest-rated wireless headphones -- not all of them are pricey -- to help narrow down your gift choice this holiday season.
Looking for budget-priced true wireless earbuds? What's most impressive about the EarFun Free is the features: Bluetooth 5.0, both USB-C and wireless charging, and fully waterproof (IPX7), according to their specs. Do they sound fantastic? No, but they sound pretty good. They don't have the clarity of higher-end true wireless earbuds that cost $150 or more, but they do have plump bass and enough detail to avoid sounding dull. They're also pretty solid for making calls. An excellent value at less than $45. Read our Earfun Free first take.
AirPods and other name-brand truly wireless headphones cost $160 and up. But the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 earbuds have an appealing design and deliver solid sound quality at less than $100. Available in black or white, this second-gen model offers USB-C charging, better battery life (up to 7 hours) and call quality. In fact, except for active-noise canceling, it offers a lot of what the AirPods Pro do for a lot less, including a compact charging case that has a smart matte finish. Its noise-isolating design seals out a lot of ambient sound passively and it's a top-notch set of earbuds for making calls -- close to the performance level of the AirPods Pro.
With an IPX5 water-resistance rating (they can sustain a stead stream of water but can't be full submerged), they're suitable for gym use and running. Read our Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 first take.
Even if they don't sound as magical as you'd hope a $249 model would, the AirPods Pro still manage to be a great pair of truly wireless earphones. That's largely due to their winning design and fit, improved bass performance, effective noise-canceling and excellent call quality. Yeah, they're expensive at $250, but the good news is you'll use them so much you'll probably wear the battery down -- it does degrade over time and isn't replaceable -- and have to buy a new pair in 18 to 24 months if you don't lose them first. Read our Apple AirPods Pro review.
At $180, these true wireless earbuds are a little more expensive than they should be, but they're among the better true wireless headphones to hit the market in 2019. They'll appeal to those looking for a more discreet set of totally wireless sports earbuds that offer full waterproofing. Read our Jaybird Vista review.
Sony hadn't been much of a player in the true wireless (AirPods-style) headphone arena, but its WF-1000XM3 changed that. While it's not cheap at $230, it's the best-sounding set of truly wireless earbuds at this price, matching and perhaps even exceeding the performance of pricier competitors from Sennheiser, Beats, Master & Dynamic and Bang & Olufsen. Needless to say, it crushes the AirPods' sound, and has a feature the AirPods don't have: Active noise cancellation. Read our Sony WF-1000XM3 review.
If you're looking for a headphone gift for an Android user, the Galaxy Buds are Samsung's latest answer to the AirPods -- and they're a likable set of true wireless earphones. Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds review.
Apple's second-gen AirPods are an incremental upgrade from the original AirPods -- and incremental upgrades tend to be a little boring. And on the surface, anyway, the new AirPods aren't exciting. But thanks to those updated components on the inside, which include a new H1 chip that supports Bluetooth 5.0, improved audio synchronization and always-on Siri, they're definitely better in small ways that a lot of people will appreciate. Even though it's $40 more at $199, the model with the wireless charging case is probably the one to get -- if you're giving it as a gift anyway. Read our Apple AirPods 2019 review.
The Powerbeats Pro, Beats' first true wireless earphones, are larger, sportier versions of the 2019 Airpods. They offer all the same basic conveniences of the AirPods, including fast pairing, rock-solid wireless connectivity and always-on Siri voice recognition for iOS users, but they deliver bigger sound and have better battery life. Only drawbacks: They're fairly pricey and have a bulky charging case. Read our Beats Powerbeats Pro review.
Sony's WH-1000XM3, the third generation of Sony's excellent wireless noise-canceling headphones, is more comfortable and features even better performance. With a strong battery life, it's currently our top-rated noise-canceling headphone, edging out the Bose models. Read our Sony WH-1000XM3 review.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, the long-awaited successor to its QuietComfort 35 II models, may not be a quantum leap forward but they offer slightly better sound, call and noise-canceling quality. Alas, they cost $400, but they're a strong all-around performer with up to 20 hours of battery life. Read our Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 review.
While its noise-canceling feature and comfort levels aren't quite on par with competing models from Bose and Sony, JBL's Live 650BTNC (around $160 online) sound measures up well and it's worth considering if you don't want to spend $300 or more on a noise-canceling headphone. Read our JBL Live 650BTNC review.
Here's a way to give two gifts at once. Yes, the Bose Frames ($200) are both sunglasses and headphones -- and they sound surprisingly good for sunglasses headphones.
The Frames are available in two models: the Rondo and Alto. You can only get them in black for now. Read our Bose Frames review.