5 Best True Wireless Earbuds With Long Battery Life In 2020


Is there a difference between wireless and true wireless earbuds? It isn’t a completely made-up term. True wireless earbuds have been around for a while but with advancing technology, there has been a push to create the discrete category of earbuds. Think of true wireless as wireless 2.0. Wireless headphones or earbuds specifically referred to the lack of a cord that connected the earbuds to the phone. Wireless earbuds or headphones are still be connected by a cord. True wireless earbuds are not connected via a cord. They are connected to each other via Bluetooth or to the device independently. This is wireless 2.0 or true wireless. 

If you are looking to cut all the cords then you need to consider the altered aspects of the earbuds by going truly wireless. The main considerations are as follows: Battery Life; Sound Quality; Latency; Comfort; Storage Case; Design; and Connection Type. The earbuds will connect via Bluetooth to each other. One will connect to the device. 

What Should You Focus On?

The earbuds themselves have a battery life anywhere between 5 and 10 hours. Though most people only listen to music for a few hours a day. The storage case allows for extra charging power. You can get anywhere between 2-4 more battery cycles out of the earbuds by charging via the charging case.

Comfort and design are important as most likely you are wearing them in public or for a specific purpose like exercise. If so then the need to either look good or perform well under pressure. If you are looking for something that can handle a hard workout you need to be concerned about the “sweatproof” metric. You should buy something with an IP rating of at least IPX4. However, sweat proofing tends to degrade over time. For a great intro to IP rating systems check out this guide at AudioReputation.com.

Latency means the delay between the device and the earbuds. Check out how it works here. Here your phone will send the audio and then after a short delay you will hear the audio. This delay is the latency. Earbuds with less latency perform better. Normally, if you are just listening to audio then you don’t need to worry about latency. This is an important metric when you are watching videos on your phone. Under high latency situations, you will see the video and the audio out of sync. This isn’t because of your phone. Your earbuds are just slow at receiving and distributing the audio to your ears.

What Do You Need? What Do You Want?

In the universe of true wireless earbuds, there are duds and studs. This review delivers a few of the top performers. But before you run off to buy the first one, think about what your top use is and try to match that up with the earbuds that can deliver under that benefit.

Comparison Table

Below is a summary of all of the important specs as they relate to the reviewed true wireless earbuds.

SpecsSony WF-1000XM3Jabra Elite Active 65tKlipsch T5Cambridge Audio Melomania 1Beats Power-beats Pro
Battery Life6 Hours7.5 Hours8 Hours9 Hours9 Hours
Case Life18 Hours20.5 Hours24 Hours36 Hours16 Hours
Sound QualityExcellentHeavy BassMax Expert LevelMax Expert LevelAverage
ComfortDecentVery ComfortableUnique DesignAverageGreat
WaterproofIPX4IP57IPX4IPX5IPX4
StyleClassyAthleticHip Coffee ShopUrban ProfessionalApple Athlete
LatencyNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Noise CancelingYESNONONONO

Best For Noise Canceling: Sony WF-1000XM3

Sony WF-1000XM3
Main Specifications For:Sony WF-1000XM3
Battery Life6 Hours
Case Life18 Hours
Sound QualityExcellent
ComfortDecent
WaterproofIPX4
StyleClassy
LatencyNone
Noise CancelingYES

The Good And The Bad

Sony makes amazing over the ear headphones and makes some of the best active noise cancelling (ANC) devices on the market. If you are looking to separate yourself from the world around you then the Sony WF-1000XM3 is your choice hands down. If you have never had a pair of ANC headphones before it is worth reading about how it works. The peeps at SoundGuys.com have a nice article that discusses it. Sony also upped their game with the audio quality. These earbuds were made for showing off and disconnecting from the world. 

The downside is that they are about 2x as heavy as their competitors and with an IP rating of only IPX4 they aren’t the best option for athletics. Further, the battery life is only mid-range good. It may seem that having the option of using the digital assistant is a pro but currently, these earbuds only support Alexa.

Bottom Line

Pros

  • Amazing Active Noise Canceling Technology
  • Great Audio
  • Very Professional

Cons

  • Average Battery Life
  • Poor Waterproof Level

If you are looking for a stylish accessory to wear on a crowded bus or metro line then these will make you look sharp and give you the privacy you need. Just make sure that you have a separate pair for when you hit the gym so these don’t get scuffed up or water damaged.

Best For Athletes: Jabra Elite Active 65t

Jabra Elite Active 65t
Main Specifications For:Jabra Elite Active 65t
Battery Life7.5 Hours
Case Life20.5 Hours
Sound QualityHeavy Bass
ComfortVery Comfortable
WaterproofIP57
StyleAthletic
LatencyNone
Noise CancelingNO

The Good And The Bad

If you are looking for the best earbuds for your long outdoor run in the rain or indoors sweat-fest then you have found your work out buddy. Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds have a long insert that fits most all ears due to multiple sized tips. The grip is soft rubber-coated that allows for superior flexibility and stability in the ear. With an IP rating of IP57 you could literally submerge these in water and they will come out still working. Though you might not want to do that on a regular basis.

The downside to these is that they may not be your everyday earbuds. If you need something that is more in line for phone calls and business meetings or podcasts then the audio isn’t going to impress you much with its base heavy levels. Since the sound quality is pretty important with earbuds you may want a separate pair for the office.

Bottom Line

Pros

  • Great fit and comfort
  • Better than average battery life
  • Expert level IP Rating

Cons

  • Not great audio
  • Not the ‘best’ looking earbuds

If you need something for the gym or the treadmill or the running trail then you can’t get better heavy-duty wear and tear earbuds. The Jabra Elite Active 65t are a great fit and a great pair to add to your daily workout. Your ears won’t get tired of the inserts and you will most likely forget that they are in.

Best For Audiophiles (1 of 2): Klipsch T5

Klipsch T5
Main Specifications For:Klipsch T5
Battery Life8 Hours
Case Life24 Hours
Sound QualityMax Expert Level
ComfortUnique Design
WaterproofIPX4
StyleHip Coffee Shop
LatencyNone
Noise CancelingNO

The Good And The Bad

This is for all the hip people out there just looking to get by and staying chill in this harsh environment! When you need to disconnect and fall into a warm, clear, and never harsh vibe of music in that corner café over a late the Klipsch T5 is your study partner. Hardly is there ever a moment when you can say that sound quality meets your expectations as well as design and coolness factor. 

With above-average battery life and a storage battery case that opens like a Zippo lighter there is little bad to say about these. You might not wear them to the gym due to the low IP rating but otherwise, you will never want to take them out. Check out the unboxing and review here of how they blow Apple AirPods out of the water.

Bottom Line

Pros

  • Max Expert Level Sound Quality
  • Style Matches Audio Quality
  • High Performing Battery Life

Cons

  • Low IP Rating

If you need a diverse pair of earbuds that you can wear to work, in the corner office, to the bar, and even to a grunge rock band in your neighbor’s basement, AND be respected at each location then the Klipsch T5 is your travel buddy. Don’t expect them to last if you are working out and sweating heavy but everywhere else they outperform most other earbuds.

Best For Audiophiles (2 of 2): Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 

Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
Main Specifications For:Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
Battery Life9 Hours
Case Life36 Hours
Sound QualityMax Expert Level
ComfortAverage
WaterproofIPX5
StyleUrban Professional
LatencyNone
Noise CancelingNO

The Good And The Bad

If you are looking for the best of all worlds then this British audio powerhouse of high-end audio equipment is your closest option. There is a little bit of everything in these for everyone. The main draw to these is the sound quality, by far. They rival the Klipsch T5 in sound quality delivered and may even be better. The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 also are protected enough to be worn at the gym. Are they as waterproof as the Jabra Elite Active 65t? No, these only have a rating of IPX5 but that will get you solid sweat protection and occasional rain showers protection. When you are out in the elements you don’t have to stop listening to the tunes as you are cruising. Further, these have the best battery life by far. 

The fact that these are subtle is a personal style issue. They are a true British style of class with no loud branding or symbols on the exterior of the earbuds. They sit unobtrusively in the ear. These are the sophisticated older sibling to the Klipsch T5, a little more age and a little more refined style. You will still get the background noise from the other commuters due to the lack of active noise canceling. However, the only pair to have that option at the moment are the Sony earbuds.

Bottom Line

Pros

  • Max Expert Level Sound Quality
  • Subtle British Style Matches Audio Quality
  • Highest Performing Battery Life

Cons

  • Decent IP Rating
  • No Active Noise Cancelation

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 earbuds are the closest thing you will get if you want the best of all worlds. However, true to form this British based high-end audio company has developed some of the best sounding earbuds on the market. What is more impressive is that this is one of their first ventures into truly wireless earbuds. If this is what they can do on their freshman shot think about all of the future tech.

Best For iOS: Beats Powerbeats Pro

Beats Powerbeats Pro
Main Specifications For:Beats Powerbeats Pro
Battery Life9 Hours
Case Life16 Hours
Sound QualityAverage
ComfortGreat
WaterproofIPX4
StyleApple Athlete
LatencyNone
Noise CancelingNO

The Good And The Bad

Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds are the only Apple product on the list. This is by design. The Beats Powerbeats Pro contains all of the benefits of the AirPods Pro but has a much better athletic ability. With something called a “pressure-reducing micro-laser barometric venting hole” it takes comfort to a new level. Further, since they are the only over the ear model you can literally fall down a hill and they will still be snug as a bug in a rug. Also, because they are an apple product they have the fast connecting H1 chip that syncs crazy fast and easily with iPhones. 

However, in general, these aren’t the best of the top of the line earbuds. The IP rating is low and the battery life of the storage case is nothing to write home about. This is a great pair of earbuds, nonetheless. They just aren’t the best in any one category.

Bottom Line

Pros

  • Superior Comfort and In-Ear Stability
  • Average Sound Quality
  • Average IP Rating

Cons

  • No Noise Canceling
  • Average Battery Life

If you are a fan of Apple products and all of the unique qualities that they have when used together you will surely be happy with the Beats Powerbeats Pro. In terms of Apple earbuds, these are the ones you should get over other Apple products. These have the most versatile utility. They can be worn every day from work to the gym without worrying about looks or degradation of quality.

Conclusion

New tech can be difficult to buy. There are new advancements and refinements on the market before the life of the original product has ended. Often times there are models and products that are completely unknown but deliver a better result. However, the main factor to consider and remember when making any type of technology purchase is utility. Ask yourself these simple questions:

  • When will you be using the earbuds?
  • How long will you be using them at a time?
  • What will you be doing when you use them?
  • Will you need them for multiple types of activities?
  • Work? Athletics? Commuting?
  • What will you be listening to? Music? Podcasts? Telephone conversations?

Don’t underestimate the power of properly purchased utility. Let’s put it this way when you need a pair of earbuds that you can wear outside do you buy the fanciest ones? No, that would be a waste of money. They would get sweaty and die in a week or two. When you want a high-quality audio experience do you go buy the cheap knockoffs in the kiosks of airports? Definitely not. You would be throwing them in the trash before you got on the plane. Plan your utility and buy accordingly. Future you will thank you for being a smart buyer.

Here is a quick breakdown of the top buys from above.

Truly Wireless Earbuds For Athletes: Jabra Elite Active 65t

Truly Wireless Earbuds For Hipsters: Klipsch T5

Truly Wireless Earbuds For Urban Professionals: Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

Everything you need you should be able to find in these three earbuds. They have all of the features that make great sounds and active utility. When you need to hit the trails and are worried about the rain or sweat, then go with the Jabra earbuds. When you need to chill and fall into some sweet vibes then you should go with the Klipsch. Finally, when you need something that covers all of your bases for your office day job and weekend warrior life, then the sophisticated Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 will be your best friend.

So, that is it. Those are the top players on the market. Now that you have the knowledge and power to make the right choice the best thing to do is to make it. Order it. Wear them. Enjoy it. Go forth and conquer your world.

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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