iPhones handle wireless audio a bit differently than Android smartphones. If you don’t get the right pair of iPhone earbuds, you may run into connectivity issues, lag, or low-quality audio. Rather than banging your head against the wall from endless trial and error, we looked at the best iPhone earbuds to make your decision easier.
Editor’s note: this list was updated on June 28, 2019, to include the JLab JBuds Air Executive.
The best iPhone earbuds: Apple AirPods (2019)
Reasons to consider the new AirPods (2019):
- The new AirPods (2019) use Apple’s latest H1 chip, which improves battery life and allows for hands-free Siri access.
- They support AAC for high-quality, lag-free streaming.
- An array of sensors are packed into the AirPods, so when they’re removed, music is automatically paused.
- They work seamlessly within the Apple ecosystem.
Best battery: Apple Beats Powerbeats Pro
Reasons to get the Apple Beats Powerbeats Pro:
- The Powerbeats Pro take everything great about the AirPods and improve upon their shortcomings. The ear hooks and distinct nozzles provide a stable fit and better audio quality than the AirPods 2.
- Standalone battery life is the best of any true wireless earbuds around. You get 10 hours and 52 minutes of playback on a single charge.
- These also use the H1 chip, meaning you get hands-free Siri access.
Best noise cancelling: Sony WF-SP700N
Reasons to buy the Sony WF-SP700N:
- Sony’s noise cancelling earbuds are one of few options in the true wireless market.
- They stay in place thanks to the various bundled ear and wing tips.
- By downloading the Sony Headphones Connect app, you can prioritize connection stability or audio quality, EQ your music, and more.
Best sound: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
Reasons to buy the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless:
- Although the Momentum True Wireless don’t offer many features, they reproduce clear, accurate audio which makes them some of the best iPhone earbuds.
- They maintain a reliable connection and support both aptX-LL and AAC.
- The build is lightweight, making them extremely comfortable to wear relative to the earbuds’ size.
Best value: JLab JBuds Air Executive
Reasons to buy the JLab JBuds Air Executive:
- For less than $70, the JBuds Air Executive are some of the best value true wireless earbuds you can get.
- They support both AAC, which is great for iPhone users (albeit hit or miss for Android phones).
- The IP55 rating means they can withstand any workout save for swimming.
- Battery life, while not as good as the Powerbeats, is solid. You get 4.5 hours of playback on a single charge. Plus, the case features an integrated USB cable, so you can charge it from anywhere.
What you should know about iPhone earbuds
- When it comes to iPhones, the only Bluetooth codec that matters is AAC. If the iPhone earbuds don’t support AAC streaming, you’ll experience some audio-visual lag and lesser audio quality.
- Battery life matters, but only so much. According to our previous poll, a majority of you spend between one and two hours a day listening to music. Although true wireless battery life is relatively poor, they should have enough battery life to satisfy most listeners.
- A proper fit greatly improves audio quality. If your earbuds are falling out because the ear tips are too small, audio quality will suffer dramatically.
- Some of these models received an IP certification. This means that they’ve undergone rigorous testing to ensure some degree of water-resistance. This is a must-have if you plan to exercise with them.
- Although the H1 chip maintains a stable connection between compatible devices, true wireless connectivity is still shaky. Unless you get the AirPods or Powerbeats Pro, you’ll probably experience connection stutters. It’s annoying but par for the course.
Why you should trust SoundGuys
SoundGuys is our sister site that focuses solely on audio products and information. The team has a diversified understanding of audio and respects that certain aspects are objective and quantifiable without disregarding the importance of subjective enjoyment. When it comes to consumer audio, the team hopes to educate readers and ease the research process.
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