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Whether you’re on the train to work, in the gym for a quick workout or simply walking around, earbuds have become essential for tuning into your favorite music and more on the go. But picking the most comfortable earbuds for your preferred podcast or playlist isn’t always easy. In a market slammed with viable options, finding the right accessories — such as the best noise-canceling earbuds or runner-friendly gear — can often be more difficult than deciding which song to queue next.
Still, regardless of what’s playing through them, having comfy earbuds — ones you can wear effortlessly all day — is absolutely vital for an audio addict. Here are eight of the best options for gym rats, sharp dressers and everyone in between.LifestyleLifestyle
They may not be the cheapest option on the market, but the Sony 1000XM4 Truly Wireless earbuds are among the best out there. The performance is typically excellent, largely thanks to Sony’s Integrated Processor V1 that seamlessly squeezes the clearest sound out of every note or voice coming through the speaker. Sony’s offering is practical, too, coming with memory foam buds that mold to the user’s ear, and stay put for hours on end.
They’re smart, too, offering true active noise cancellation that automatically changes based on your surroundings — adapting to every scenario from a crowded street to a quaint cafe. But the real appeal is the microphone quality. Few buds rival the microphone system of AirPods, but the WF-1000XM4 is among them. They mute outside sounds, making the user’s voice crystal clear for phone calls or voice commands. And as an additional perk, Amazon Music and Alexa connectivity are included.Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless Earbuds$248.00on Amazon.comBuy now
You wouldn’t be blamed for missing Jabra’s Elite 7 Pro earbuds. The newest model is very small — so much so that you might not notice them plugged into a passerby’s ear. But the tiny devices pack a punch. Jabra has sneakily made some very powerful headphones for a few years now, reaching back to the stellar 85t model. This new pair continues that run of form, providing excellent sound while staying comfortably in the user’s ear despite the jumps and jolts of daily movement.
It does that while also offering a comprehensive active noise cancellation and noise isolation technology. Those settings can be tweaked using a clever app that allows the user to specify how much ambient sound they want to let into their buds — ranging from complete silence to standard surrounding noise.
The battery life is also good, with around 30 hours of full-time functionality available. And if you do happen to run out of juice, you can switch to just using one earbud — at which point the 7 Pros will automatically switch to mono mode to make sure you’re not losing anything in the mix.Jabra Elite 7 Pro $179.99on Amazon.comBuy now
If you have an iPhone, you likely bought — or are going to buy — AirPods Pro. And that’s a perfectly good choice, as the Pros are a very good earbud. They’re very light, and make a nice snug fit, especially if you have slightly smaller ears. AirPods Pro are also sweatproof and can handle a heavy workout with aplomb. And although they won’t offer the same sound quality as Sony or Bose, AirPods will certainly make for an enjoyable listening experience — both on the go and at home.
Add that to a solid active noise cancellation system, and you’ll struggle to find a better bud for iPhone users. The only problem is they’re not really suited to anything without an Apple logo, and aren’t always great at connecting to older Laptops. But if you’re on the go, and using an iPhone or iPad, then that likely won’t be a big issue.Apple AirPods Pro$174.98on Amazon.comBuy now
Every runner needs a reliable earbud that can cope with long distances and a variety of terrains. For a while, the best option was Beats’ Powerbeats Pro, but they failed to guard against sweat and their noise cancellation was ineffective. The company has added those upgrades in the Fit Pro model, which appears to have addressed some of those inconsistencies.
Smaller and lighter, the Fit Pros can fit into the ear more comfortably, and can even be twisted to find the perfect resting point — with the wing tip “clipping” into the upper ear. The sound quality is also better, borrowing some of the technology from AirPods to make for an immersive listening experience while you’re on the go.
Crucially, they’ve also held on to the real perk of the Powerbeats: excellent call quality. Phone conversations tend to be effortlessly smooth and crisp, with the buds automatically filtering out any excess or ambient noise. So, whether you’re walking around town or jogging on a treadmill, you can chat or tune in with ease.Beats Fit Pro $199.99on Amazon.comBuy now
With the Bose QuietComfort earbuds, the appeal is quite literally in the name. Similar to the company’s soundbars, the brand’s earbuds are unmatched when it comes to audio quality with the addition of supreme comfort. They’re the perfect earbuds for staying still, equally ideal for blasting music in your room as they are for facilitating an ambient soundtrack to your daily grind.
That’s all thanks to one of the smartest speaker systems out there, one that figures out the user’s listening preferences, and then customizes the default bass, treble and noise cancellation accordingly. Standard “quiet” and “aware” modes also adapt to the user’s surroundings, and filter the amount of noise let in — or block it altogether. All of that can be controlled by a nifty app that makes your listening experience accessible. They’re plenty comfy, too, with a silicone hook helping the QuietComfort rest easily in the ear.Bose QuietComfort Earbuds$219.00on Amazon.comBuy now
Master & Dynamic’s products don’t come cheap, so they might not be at the top of everyone’s earbud bucket list. However, their MW08 model certainly looks the part. The semi-circle silhouette and bright color offerings make them something of a statement piece. Even the shiny metallic finish on the stainless steel case screams style and sophistication.
But all of that flash doesn’t mean they lack in sound quality. The MW08s offer a good range of sound, with deep bass that critics love. Meanwhile, a six-microphone system means that you can call a friend or make use of the numerous voice commands with ease. The noise cancellation technology is also good, and two different ambient noise modification modes are included. Add that to an app — made by a company that regularly updates its software — and you have a striking and highly functional piece of kit.Master & Dynamic MW08 Earbuds$299.00on Amazon.comBuy now
Most of the earbuds on this list make something of a dent in the buyer’s pocket — it’s the price you tend to pay for quality. However, not every practical pair of earbuds has to burn a hole in the wallet. The JLab GO Air Sport stands as proof of that assertion. Although they don’t offer the noise cancellation or ambient modes of some of the fancier earbuds out there, they’re a reliable and high-performing option for the avid gym-goer.
Furthermore, the 32 hours of play time is far superior to even the most expensive and critically acclaimed options out there. They’re sweat- and water-resistant, too, and also come with three different sound settings for a customizable and enjoyable listening experience — perfect to help the user hit the last rep.JLab Go Air Sport $30.00on Amazon.comBuy now