On the hunt for headphones with great sound? If you want to go easy on your wallet, we've got a list of the best cheap true wireless earbuds However, if you want to find the absolute best-sounding wireless earbuds, the hard truth is you'll need to spend more -- a lot more, in some cases.
Below are three of CNET's picks for best-sounding wireless earbuds, with a breakdown of features, including performance, noise cancellation, battery life, audio quality and how comfortable they are.
WHAT Sony WF-1000XM4
THE COST $279.99
AVAILABLE FROM sony.com
No earbuds are perfect, of course, and not everybody will love the fit of the Sony WF-1000XM4 buds or be able to afford their high price. But if you're looking for great-sounding earbuds with brilliant noise canceling, solid voice-calling capabilities and good battery life, these buds check all the boxes.
While Bowers & Wilkins PI7, which was also tested, may just be the best-sounding true-wireless earbuds out there right now, the Sony WF-1000XM4's noise canceling and headset performance is superior. They also cost $120 less.
WHAT Beats Fit Pro
THE COST $199.99
AVAILABLE FROM beatsbydre.com
Hot on the heels of the third-generation AirPods, Apple has another new set of earbuds, this time from its subsidiary audio company, Beats. Technically, the new Beats Fit Pro aren't AirPods, but they're built on the same tech platform as the AirPods Pro.
Unlike Beats' earlier, less expensive Studio Buds, the Beats Fit Pro include Apple's H1 chip and have most of the AirPods Pro's features, including active noise canceling, spatial audio and Adaptive EQ.
WHAT Bowers & Wilkins PI7
THE COST $399
AVAILABLE FROM bowerswilkins.com
Bowers & Wilkins, the venerable British audio company acquired last year by Sound United, has released its first true wireless earbuds. The new flagship noise-canceling PI7 earbuds sound terrific — they're arguably the best sounding true-wireless earbuds out there.
Aside from stellar sound and great noise canceling, the PI7 buds have a few bonus features that may help you rationalize paying the steep price. For starters, they appear to be the first earbuds with a wireless charging case that converts into a transceiver. That means you can plug the case into the headphone port on an airplane's in-flight entertainment system and wirelessly stream audio from the case to the earbuds.
Additionally, Bowers & Wilkins says the PI7 supports Qualcomm aptX Adaptive wireless transmission (which includes the aptX HD codec) from compatible mobile devices, allowing for "high-resolution music transmission from suitable streaming services, such as Qobuz."
The following CNET staff contributed to this story: executive editor David Carnoy and copy editor Jim Hoffman. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit cnet.com.