True Wireless Earbuds Comparison: AirPods, Powerbeats, Sony, Jabra, and More

After Apple came out with the AirPods, wire-free earbuds flooded the market, and there are now a ton of options from companies ranging from Sony to Razer.

In our latest YouTube video, we took a look at several popular wire-free earbud options, comparing the features and giving each one an overall score to figure out which ones are the best.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

This comparison includes the following earbuds: Razer Hammerhead, Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro, Jabra Elite 75t, Sony WF-1000XM3, AirPods Pro, ‌AirPods‌ 2, and Powerbeats Pro.

We're comparing the major features of each set of earbuds and assigning a score in four different categories, including comfort, portability, sound quality, and bonus features. Keep in mind that these are opinion-based scores. We have a quick overview below, but make sure to watch the video for the full comparison.


Razer Hammerhead ($99)

These earbuds are modeled after the ‌AirPods‌ with no silicone tips and a stem at the bottom. They're cheap at $99, and while the sound isn't bad, it does lack bass.


They're not uncomfortable, and charging via USB-C is a nice bonus. Razer promises 60ms latency for gaming, and while we didn't notice a huge difference when playing a game, it was noticeable with videos. The battery lasts for four hours, with an additional 12 hours from the charging case.

  • Comfort: 8
  • Portability: 7
  • Sound Quality: 6
  • Bonus Features: 6
  • Overall: 7

Soundcore Liberty 2 ($149)

Soundcore is an Anker brand, and Anker is known for its high-quality but still affordable hardware. Priced at $149 (but often on sale for less), these earbuds are standard wireless earbuds that are rather bass heavy out of the box. These have "Astria coaxial acoustic architecture," which is a fancy way of saying good sound, and these do indeed offer some pretty great sound quality.


Sound profile can be customized with the Soundcore app, and there physical media controls. The battery lasts for 8 hours, and the USB-C charging case provides an additional 24 hours of battery life. These are comfortable to wear and provide a good seal in the ear, though there's no active noise cancellation technology (Anker does say these have noise reduction, but it's mostly for phone calls.)

  • Comfort: 8
  • Portability: 8
  • Sound Quality: 7
  • Bonus Features: 7
  • Overall: 7.5

Jabra Elite 75t ($180)

Jabra has been making wireless headphones for a long time, and the Elite 75t are the company's wire-free option. These are small earbuds (the smallest of the bunch), but they fit well and offer a good in-ear seal, so good that there's a "hearthrough" mode. We weren't entirely sure what hearthrough mode was meant to do, but it didn't seem to work well.


Sound wise, these are a little bass heavy but can be adjusted with the Jabra app, and there's excellent instrument separation. A four microphone setup offers great call quality, unsurprising from a Jabra offering. The battery lasts for 7.5 hours and the charging case provides an additional 28 hours of battery life.

  • Comfort: 8
  • Portability: 9
  • Sound Quality: 7
  • Bonus Features: 6
  • Overall: 7.5

Sony WF-1000XM3 ($229)

With noise cancellation, the Sony WF-1000XM3 are the earbuds that are closest to the ‌AirPods Pro‌. There are 6 different silicone tips for a good fit regardless of ear size, but these are heavy which can lead to ear fatigue after awhile.


Sound is excellent with impressive balance and an equalizer option in the app to adjust the sound to your preferences. Sound cancellation isn't as good as the ‌AirPods Pro‌, and the ‌AirPods Pro‌ Transparency mode wins out over the Ambient Noise control Sony offers. Battery life is 6 hours, with 24 hours from the case.

  • Comfort: 8
  • Portability: 7
  • Sound Quality: 10
  • Bonus Features: 8
  • Overall: 8

‌AirPods Pro‌ ($250)

‌AirPods Pro‌ are Apple's newest ‌AirPods‌ and the priciest on this list at $250. ‌AirPods Pro‌ are super comfortable, fit well, and offer silicone tips in three sizes. Battery life is not as good as some of the other headphones on this list at 4.5 hours with ANC, but the charging case adds 24 hours.


The press-based playback controls are easy to use, but no volume control is a major downside. Sound quality is impressive, though the ‌AirPods Pro‌ lack the option for customization via an app. The H1 chip for easy iPhone connections can't be overlooked, and the active noise cancellation works well.

  • Comfort: 9
  • Portability: 8
  • Sound Quality: 10
  • Bonus Features: 10
  • Overall: 9

‌AirPods‌ 2 ($159 - $199)

‌AirPods‌ 2 offer all of the features of the ‌AirPods Pro‌ when it comes to connectivity and device switching, but the design is the original ‌AirPods‌ design without the silicone tips. Most people find ‌AirPods‌ comfortable, but the ‌AirPods Pro‌ have the edge.


There's no active noise cancellation and the sound quality isn't quite as good, but these still sound excellent for earbuds that are this portable. ‌AirPods‌ have become some of the most popular wire-free earbuds on the market for a reason, and we think they're almost as good as the ‌AirPods Pro‌, but not quite as nice when it comes to fit or sound quality.

  • Comfort: 8
  • Portability: 8
  • Sound Quality: 7
  • Bonus Features: 9
  • Overall: 8

‌Powerbeats Pro‌ ($200)

Like the ‌AirPods‌ and ‌AirPods Pro‌, the ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ have Apple's H1 chip for simple setup and fast device switching. Design wise, these are in a category of their own thanks to the earhooks that hold them securely in place even during vigorous workouts.


The silicone tips offer a tight in-ear fit that can drown out ambient noise, but there's no active noise cancellation. Sound quality is solid, but again, there's no option for customization. ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ offer excellent nine hour battery life, but the charging case is enormous because it needs to accommodate those earhooks.

  • Comfort: 8
  • Portability: 8
  • Sound Quality: 8
  • Bonus Features: 9
  • Overall: 8

Conclusion

There's nothing quite like the ‌AirPods Pro‌ if you have an Apple device, given the noise cancellation and the deep integration with the ‌iPhone‌, iPad, and Mac. Simple pairing, easy device switching, and Hey Siri support are features that third-party headphones can't match.

The Sony headphones also have noise cancellation and great sound if you're looking for an ‌AirPods Pro‌ alternative, but you'll miss out on several of the aforementioned options.

If you don't need noise cancellation, you won't go wrong with the ‌AirPods‌ 2, and for those who want an in-ear fit along with secure earhooks for working out, the ‌Powerbeats Pro‌ are a great choice.

What are your favorite wire-free earbuds? Let us know in the comments.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
15 weeks ago
No way Air Pods Pro have 10 of sound quality They're more like 8 on 10. If you compare with the Sony's, they have a less premium sound to it.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 weeks ago
I laughed my ass off at the 10 for sound quality on the AirPods Pro. Good one!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 weeks ago
This is one of very few reviews out there where Sony and Airpod Pro were graded same. To me, Sony’s sounds better.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 weeks ago


No way Air Pods Pro have 10 of sound quality They're more like 8 on 10. If you compare with the Sony's, they have a less premium sound to it.


I came here to say the same thing. But at the end of the day, sound quality is subjective.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 weeks ago


No way Air Pods Pro have 10 of sound quality They're more like 8 on 10. If you compare with the Sony's, they have a less premium sound to it.

I totally agree. I have both the APP and PBP here, been comparing them for a while and the PBP are significantly better in sound quality, especially the sound stage and the low end. They're not even close but that's just my subjective opinion.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 weeks ago
I'm quite puzzled with the sound quality ratings. Was actual music used to make these ratings? I have the Airpods, PowerBeats Pro and Airpods Pro. I use all three of them on a very regular basis, and while sound quality is subjective, there is quite a big difference in the sound quality and profiles of each of these earphones. In my opinion, if any of there were to get a 10, it would probably be the Powerbeats Pro, with Airpods Pro getting an 8-8.5 and the Airpods receiving a 6.

The Powerbeats get louder, they have better highs and lows which translates to better dynamic range and a better representation of the music. AirPods Pro are a huge improvement over Airpods, but still lack the range the PBP enjoy.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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