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The best true wireless earbuds we've tested in 2023

Apple, Bose, Google, and Huawei

Note: This feature was first published on 31 March 2023.

Anyone still unconvinced that wireless earbuds are the future of personal audio only needs to look at the number of nominees we have in the Best True Wireless Earbuds category of the 2023 Tech Awards. In the past 12 months alone, these eight major brands have released flagship-class products, that’s not to say of the countless more mid-range and entry-level ones from these brands and many other smaller ones.

If you want to know how these flagship-class earbuds fare against each other quickly and succinctly, and buy them (buying links included), this is the place. Let’s not waste any more time and get right down to it.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) – Best for iPhone users

IPX4 water resistanceUp to 6 hours single charge / Up to 30 hours with charging caseS$362.25

If you own an iPhone, you can stop reading now and go out and buy the new AirPods Pro. It is, without question, the best true wireless earbuds for any iPhone user. Its active noise cancellation abilities are one of the best and its ambient sound mode is peerless. It doesn’t hurt that it sounds good too, with tastefully emphasised lower frequencies and balanced mids and treble. Battery life isn’t bad either. But most of all, and what makes it so special, is its deep integration with Apple devices. It’s extremely easy to set up and once it's done, you can easily switch between all your Apple devices (as long as they are signed in to your iCloud account) that you would think there's witchcraft at work. If you use multiple Apple devices daily, these are the earbuds to have.

Find out more in our full review of the AirPods Pro here.

The AirPods Pro areS$362.35, and you can find them onAmazon, Lazada, Shopee, and the Apple Online Store.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II – Best ANC

IPX4 water resistanceUp to 6 hours single charge / Up to 24 hours with charging caseS$379

The moment you put on the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, you’ll be amazed at how much noise it can nullify. I consider it to be the best – better than Apple and Sony. In fact, it's so good it's almost freakish. However, some might find it uncomfortable to wear because the earbuds have a silicone band around them to help create a tighter seal. The charging case is also large and cumbersome when compared to its rivals. As for its sound, it’s one of the few earbuds to feature adaptive EQ technology, so it constantly measures the drivers to achieve its target frequency response. The sound is best described as typical Bose, which is to say it has a U-shaped sound signature with strong bass and slightly bright treble. Overall, these are very solid earbuds, but apart from the above-mentioned shortcomings, it’s also missing wireless charging and multipoint support. That keeps it from getting a higher rating. But if ANC is your greatest priority, these are the earbuds to get.

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II areS$379,and you can find themon Amazon,Lazada, andShopee.

Google Pixel Buds Pro – Best for most Android users

IPX4 water resistanceUp to 7 hours single charge / Up to 20 hours with charging caseS$299

Most Android users should be very pleased with Google’s Pixel Buds Pro. Naturally, these earbuds have deep integration with Android and have a fast pairing feature that rivals Apple’s AirPods. While the active noise cancellation is one of the best, the transparency mode could use a bit more work as it sounds digitised and unreliable. The way it sounds is one of its biggest strengths. Perhaps it’s because of its large 11mm drivers, but it sounds surprisingly spacious and wide. The overall sound is also balanced and pleasant, though I think it could use a little more bass energy. Overall, for Android users, it’s hard to beat the Pixel Buds Pro’s blend of performance and features. Furthermore, it’s quite reasonably priced.

Find out more in our full review of the Google Pixel Buds Pro here.

The Google Pixel Buds Pro areS$299 and you can find themAmazon, Shopee, and the Google Online Store.

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 – Best for Huawei users

IP54 water resistanceUp to 4 hours single charge / Up to 18 hours with charging caseS$298

The FreeBuds Pro 2 have many Huawei-specific features that make them the best choice for anyone who’s invested in the Huawei ecosystem. Apart from the usual quick-pairing, it can also switch quickly between your Mate phone, MateBooklaptop, and MatePadtablet. Co-engineered with Devialet and featuring a dual-driver configuration, the sound is good and easily above average. Bass is punchy, the mids are smooth and forward, and the treble is crisp and smooth. The sound stage is also above average. Fussy listeners will appreciate that it’s one of the few earbuds to support the LDAC codec. On the flip side, it didn’t fit me well despite my attempts with the various ear tips. Consequently, the ANC suffers and is average at best. Another downside is that its battery life ismiddling. I’d recommend this only if you use more than one Huawei device.

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are S$298, and you can find them on Lazada and Shopee.

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