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What Bluetooth earbuds and headphones does Android Authority use every day?

One brand dominates the list, and it's not Apple, Google, or Samsung.

Published onApril 8, 2023

Sony WH 1000MX3 Bluetooth pairing
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

We mostly focus on smartphones here at Android Authority, but there are plenty of other categories we cover as well. Bluetooth audio is one of these categories, with our sister website SoundGuys comprehensively covering all things audio as well.

We’ve collectively spent plenty of time with earbuds and headphones as part of the review process, but what about the Bluetooth audio devices we use as daily drivers? Well, we asked Android Authority team members about the Bluetooth earbuds and headphones they use. A total of 17 members took part in this survey, covering their specific picks, their likes/dislikes, and much more.

The Bluetooth audio gear we use daily

We’re posting our results both by model and by brand. Check out our model-based breakdown in the first graph below, and our brand-based breakdown in the second chart. Yes, the total actually comes to 20 devices, because a couple of colleagues voted for two or more devices.

Sony absolutely dominates

A photo of the Sony WH 1000XM4 noise cancelling headphones inputs and buttons on the ear cups.
Adam Molina / Android Authority

One company stands head and shoulders above all else when it comes to Bluetooth audio daily drivers at Team AA.

Sony’s audio products accounted for seven out of 20 picks, being far and away the most popular brand. The WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones and older WH-1000XM3 cans were the most popular options here, getting two votes apiece. Otherwise, the WH-1000XM5 headphones as well as the WF-1000XM4 and WF-1000XM3 true wireless buds received one nod each.

Sony was the runaway winner here, accounting for seven Bluetooth earbuds and headphones.

It’s not a big surprise to see Sony being so popular, as its products are often among the best wireless buds and headphones you can get. In fact, most of our Sony-backing respondents pointed to the great battery life, sound quality, and active noise cancellation (ANC) as reasons for their picks.

However, most of these Sony users also disliked the finicky touch controls and some felt they were uncomfortable in certain situations. Meanwhile, News Editor Adamya Sharma disliked the fact that her XM5 headphones were expensive and didn’t fold. Editor C. Scott Brown also gave a comprehensive rundown of his WH-1000XM4 likes and dislikes.

Samsung also enjoys some love

A photo of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus true wireless earbuds using wireless PowerShare atop a Samsung Galaxy S10e.
Lily Katz / Android Authority

Samsung was a distant second in this Team AA poll, accounting for three Bluetooth audio daily drivers. It turns out that the Galaxy Buds Pro was the most popular pair here, with two team members using them. The Galaxy Buds Plus accounted for the remaining pick.

Team members commonly cited comfort and audio quality as their biggest likes. DroneRush Editor and newsletter head Jonathan Feist also pointed to the Pro model’s ability to quickly connect, as well as its connection stability and ANC support.

It wasn’t all rosy with Galaxy earbuds though, as technical writer Calvin Wankhede found the Pro model to be uncomfortable. He also felt that battery life wasn’t great.

Another company weighs Anker

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 headphones buttons
Lily Katz / Android Authority

The only other brand to see more than one nod in our survey was Anker, as two members were using SoundCore devices. News and SEO Writer Andy Walker uses the SoundCore Life Q20 Plus while Copy Editor and Weekly Authority writer Paula Beaton is using the SoundCore Life Q30 headset.

Anker's SoundCore products also made a little splash in our survey, and both of these devices are very affordable.

Both Andy and Paula pointed to strengths such as ANC, easy pairing, and comfortable designs. In saying so, Paula specifically decried the Q30’s battery life, while Andy praised the Q20 Plus’s endurance.

Many single entries in our daily Bluetooth audio rotation

A pair of Google Pixe Buds Pro outside their closed case lying on a wooden table.
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The rest of the entries on the list consisted of one product from each brand. Features Editor Rita El Khoury was the queen of variety here, touting three different pairs of audio products (Marshall Monitor II, Nothing Ear 2, Google Pixel Buds Pro).

Otherwise, Calvin also listed the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones, reviewer Jasper Lastoria had the Master & Dynamic MW07 Go, Senior Writer Roger Fingas packed the Beats Fit Pro, former SEO analyst Jared Wilder touted first-gen AirPods Pro, and contributor Tina Sieber listed the Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless headset.

Other takeaways

  • Literally everyone said they’d recommend their wireless audio products to Android Authority readers. That’s a big departure from our Team AA 2022 phone survey, where five out of 21 team members said they couldn’t recommend their daily driver phones to readers.
  • None of these picks received a perfect 10. But two devices got 9.5 out of 10, namely Nick Fernandez’s WH1000-XM4 and Calvin’s QuietComfort 35 II.
  • Half of the 20 Bluetooth audio products in the survey were headphones, while the rest were true wireless earbuds. So Team AA doesn’t have an overwhelming preference for any particular form factor. In fact, the two people who listed multiple audio products (Calvin and Rita) both had at least one pair of cans and one pair of true wireless earbuds. Rita in particular noted that each pair had its own use case.
  • Two of the entries on the list don’t support ANC, namely the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and the Master & Dynamic MW07 Go.
  • The cheapest earphones on this list are likely the Anker SoundCore Q20 Plus with a $70 launch price. But the SoundCore Q30 is also similarly cheap at a reported ~$80.
  • It’s also interesting to note that 12 respondents said they had no plans to buy new wireless audio gear in 2023. Five of these respondents said they’d only buy a new pair if their current product broke.
  • Jared said he planned to buy the second-generation AirPods Pro, Jonathan wanted another pair of Galaxy Buds, Jasper had his eye on the Sennheiser Momentum 4 or Sony WH-1000XM5, and Scott Brown planned to get the XM5 headphones as well.

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