Since we moved from wired to bluetooth speakers, build quality and sound have improved significantly. This year, there are some excellent choices that would make anyone happy. Here’s our gift guide to the best wireless earbuds of 2022.
Google Pixel Buds Pro
If you or your gift recipient is already rocking one of Google’s Pixel phones — or any Android device, really — the Pixel Buds Pro are the best wireless earbuds you can get. Made by Google, these speakers seamlessly integrate into your Android ecosystem and allow for some amazing listening.
One feature that really takes the cake is Google’s Auto Audio Switch feature, which uses machine learning to automatically switch the output device when the Pixel Buds Pro are connected to multiple devices. Moreover, they have Google Fast Pair, which allows any Android device with your account to access the buds in seconds, without digging into the necessary settings.
In terms of sound, the Pixel Buds Pro are among the best wireless earbuds in terms of sound quality. Of course, Bluetooth earbuds have their limitations, but the Pixel Buds Pro do a great job. If you need to set the default profile, the companion app makes it easy to do so.
Buy Pixel Buds Pro
1 More EVO earbuds
In terms of sound alone, the EVO earbuds by 1More take the cake. The 1More EVO earphones use Sony’s LDAC audio codec to deliver some of the best sound you can get from wireless earphones, even when compared to the Pixel Buds Pro. Of course, the EVO earbuds don’t have the same solid, feature-packed resume as the Pixel Buds Pro.
Besides great sound quality, the 1More EVO earphones pack solid battery life along with intuitive touch controls to handle playback. I’ve always felt that 1More’s approach to touch controls is superior and doesn’t allow for accidental pauses/play.
With that said, the 1More EVO earphones offer well-performing ANC and Transparency modes, two features that are hard to do without these days. These earphones offer multiple settings to help you tame your ANC strength in order to get the best sound quality.
If you’re looking for solid sound quality with a good set of features, the EVO earphones from 1More are a worthy choice.
Buy the 1More EVO earbuds
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
As part of Samsung’s ecosystem, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro go hand in hand with almost any Samsung Galaxy device. First, the Buds 2 Pro only benefit from the best sound quality when using a Samsung device, as has always been the case with Samsung earbuds. Second, Easy Pair — Samsung’s version of Fast Pair — works best with a Samsung device, using your Samsung account.
On top of that, the Buds 2 Pro can put out some really good sound. If you’re using a Samsung phone, you can’t go wrong with the Buds 2 Pro. At the price point, you’re looking to pay for the convenience and integration offered with Samsung devices, which can be worth it.
As long as you’re using a Galaxy device, we highly recommend the Buds 2 Pro, as they hit the nail on the Samsung-branded header and are definitely some of the best wireless earbuds out there.
Buy Samsung Buds 2 Pro
Bose QuietComfort II headphones
The QuietComfort II earphones come in at $299 from Bose and are an obvious, sophisticated choice. With this price, you get a few extra features and generally good build and sound quality.
As the name suggests, the QuietComfort II takes a proprietary approach with ANC and fit, with multiple size options and intelligent noise cancellation, based on your fit. When the earphones are placed in your ears, a tone will be played and bounced back to the earphone’s microphones. Once this is complete, the earbuds will adjust based on the acoustic response of your ear, making the earbuds unique to you.
Moreover, these Bose earbuds use Bluetooth 5.3, so you’re always up to date with the latest standards. You also get the companion app, which can be used with the QuietComfort over-ear headphones as well and is a very good app overall. At this price, these have to be some of the best wireless earbuds out there, though Bose rarely disappoints, making them a great addition to our best wireless earphone gift guide.
Buy the Bose QuietComfort II headphones
Google Pixel Buds A-Series
Pixel Buds Pro has a feature set that is superior to some other brands. However, they don’t scream about budget. For half the price, you can buy a pair of Pixel Buds A-Series, which do much of the same heavy lifting without the cost.
First, the A-Series sound very good. In testing, the mids only lack a little, though that gets somewhat wobbly. Where Google dropped the cost partly is the absence of volume control gestures. Furthermore, the A Series benefits from a vent for passive transient sound, which can be less annoying than the translucent mode on some earbuds.
The A-Series is still a great option more than a year later, and at half the price of the Pixel Buds Pro, they still make a very good gift.
Buy Pixel Buds A-Series
Sony WF-1000XM4 Headphones
What was widely considered a breaking point for wireless earbuds was the launch of the Sony WF-1000XM4. These earphones have incredibly good sound quality, so far. By using Sony’s LDAC codec, they benefit from a better audio signal from your device, which translates to deeper detail and clarity in your listening.
The XM4s have all the bells and whistles you’d expect, like ANC mode and transparency. Moreover, Sony’s bone conduction sensor detects when you’re talking and can pick up better sound for calls and messages. The earphones alone have eight hours of battery life while the case extends battery life by another 16 hours for all-day listening.
Although these earphones are over a year old at this point, they still handle some of the other pairs on this list with ease. The best part about it is the possibility that you can find XM4s for sale somewhere at a great price.
Buy the Sony WF-1000XM4 Earbuds
Sony Linkbuds and Linkbuds S
The Sony Linkbuds are a divisive pair of earphones. With a unique design, Linkbuds are meant for a different type of listener. They feature a hollow ring that sits in your ear, with the viscera and processor enclosed in a closed shell and up to the side. This hollow part is where the driver sits, and it delivers good sound but does nothing to block out the noise.
Of course, it’s not supposed to block out noise. Instead, Sony Linkbuds are meant to play audio all while listening to external ambient sound at the same time. Thanks to this open design, the earphones are very comfortable to wear in environments where you actually want to hear the outside world. The Linkbuds allow for a more similar sensation to listening to a pair of speakers than headphones or earbuds. It doesn’t hurt that the sound quality is absolutely in order.
Buy Sony Linkbuds
Much like the Sony Linkbuds, the Linkbuds S excel in transparent sound, although they don’t have the same open design. With that, you also get ANC. You can think of the Linkbuds S as the silent brother of the Linkbuds.
The Linkbuds S take advantage of Sony’s LDAC codec, which makes them sound really good. What really stands out is the lightweight design, which comes in at just 4.8g per earbud. Of course, the Linkbuds S also has plenty of features like auto play/pause and nine hours of battery life.
Buy Sony Linkbuds S.
OnePlus Nord Buds
If you are on a budget for someone or yourself, Nord Buds are probably your best choice. While it lacks a lot of features, like ANC mode and transparency, it’s pretty cheap. At $40, the Nord Buds are a steal.
In our review, we mentioned that these buds sound better for just $40. While the build quality and features are somewhat lacking, for those who are primarily concerned with sound, the Nord Buds are the perfect fit. The Nord Buds fit into our best earbud gift guide well from a value perspective because every penny spent goes toward sound quality, which they do back.
Buy the OnePlus Nord Buds
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