If you’re an Apple user, you’re probably pretty happy with their ecosystem. If you own an iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, or all of the above, you’ve probably already heard about Apple’s offerings in headphones. They’ve released a few headphones, primarily Apple’s AirPods line as well as their Beats sub-brand, but they don’t have a huge selection of headphones. So not all of the suggestions on this list use Apple’s W1/H1 and H2 chips, which allow the headphones to pair seamlessly with many of your Apple devices. This is not strictly necessary, and all Bluetooth headsets will still work with Apple devices. Also, since the newer iPhones no longer have a headphone jack, choosing wireless headphones will be easier.
We’ve tested more than 210 wireless in-ear headphones. Here are our picks for the best wireless earbuds iPhone owners can buy. Check out our picks for the best wireless earbuds, best earbuds with a mic, and best true wireless earbuds.
1. Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) True Wireless
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Truly Wireless are the best wireless earbuds for iPhone we’ve tested. These premium and iconic headphones are an excellent choice for those looking for the full Apple experience. These earphones feature a newer H2 chip instead of the H1 chip found in its predecessor, the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. While you can seamlessly pair the headphones with other Apple devices, it also enhances their audio playback by automatically adjusting the bass and treble to match your listening volume. They also support Apple Music’s Spatial Audio — a feature that aligns compatible audio to your head movements for a more immersive experience. Their ANC also eliminates the low hum of the engine during commutes, making it easier to hear your music in busy environments.
Offering versatile overall performance, they work well whether you’re traveling, working out at the gym, or unplugging at the office. While its 6-hour battery life won’t hold up to extended workdays, the carrying case holds up to four additional charges, bringing your headphones back to 100 percent in under an hour. Their sound quality is warm and balanced, with better bass response than the first generation. And thanks to its adaptive EQ that adjusts the sound to the shape of your ears, you’ll get consistent playback every time. While they don’t have built-in sound customization, you can access limited customization through the Accessibility tab when using a compatible iOS device.
2. Sony WH-1000XM5
It’s hard for a manufacturer to keep improving the sound performance of a product generation after generation, but Sony has done just that with the WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones, our new favorite with Bluetooth ANC.
We were quite surprised when we saw the official images of the Sony WH-1000XM5. We wondered whether a major redesign of one of Sony’s biggest recent success stories — and the best iPhone earbuds ever made — was a wise move. But it paid off.
The Sony XM5 headphones may not feel as premium as they used to be, but with such a big leap in sound quality from the previous generation, competitors may be cutting their work again. If you’re looking for a new pair of iPhone headphones, your audition should start here. The older XM4 (below) was already the best, but for those who can afford the extra price, the XM5 is unquestionably better.
3. Earfun Air Pro 3
Earfun has released a line of wireless earbuds over the past few years, and they all have one important thing in common: They offer very good value, which is further enhanced by frequent discounts. The company’s new 2023 Earfun Air Pro 3 headphones feature the latest Qualcomm QCC3071 system-on-chip with aptX Adaptive for Android and other devices that support the new LE audio standard and the LC3 audio codec, which outperforms the SBC codec (they also support Apple device AAC).
Lightweight and comfortable to wear – I got a good seal with the largest size eartips – it’s not a huge upgrade from the Earfun Air S, but they’re better. They feature slightly larger wool-composite drivers (11mm vs. 10mm), slightly improved noise cancellation, and longer battery life (up to 7 hours with noise cancellation, according to Earfun).
In short, the Earfun Air 3 offers strong performance for a modest price, with strong bass, good clarity, and a fairly wide soundstage. They also pack a lot of features, including wireless charging cases and “multi-device” connectivity. (I was able to pair them to two devices at the same time, but had to pause the music on one and press play on the other to switch the audio.) They’re IPX5 splash-resistant and work fine too (if not particularly good). Headphones for phone calls.
4. Apple AirPods Max
Apple’s first over-ear headphones certainly aren’t cheap, but they can’t go wrong when it comes to sound. In fact, they’re one of the best iPhone headphones we’ve tested because of their level of detail and wideness — no wonder they won the 2021 What Hi-Fi? forgive.
You miss out on most of their unique features when you use them with non-Apple products. That’s cinematic spatial audio, delivering convincing virtual surround sound experiences for 5.1, 7.1 and even Dolby Atmos content.
Apple’s use of high-quality materials provides excellent comfort, but this means that the AirPods Max are about 100 grams heavier than the Sony WH-1000XM4 (found earlier on this list), which may be worth considering. Some might find the design quirky, but you can’t deny Apple’s excellent build quality.
Overall, these iPhone headphones are an absolute win, albeit very expensive.