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A look at the best massage guns for percussive therapy — 12/22/2019

A look at the best massage guns for percussive therapy

Finding time for proper workout recovery is — but shouldn’t have to be — a luxury.

Between a job, social life, and chasing eight hours of sleep, workouts get squeezed into the day’s only free time slot. A proper cool down (let alone a massage) is usually the thing that gets half-assed, or else skipped completely.

Percussion massage guns make it possible for you to nurture your tissues and sore muscles without waiting for an appointment with a physical therapist or massage therapist.

The mesmerizing skin ripples that you’ve probably seen in an Instagram ad are more than a weird flex: The form of portable muscle therapy that started with professional athletes has trickled down into the lives of your average gym-goer who doesn’t have the time or money for foam rolling sessions on sore days.

The ability to give yourself a deep-tissue massage at home is also potentially life-changing for anyone suffering from chronic shoulder, neck, or back pain. When a cheap massage ball is too weak but weekly acupuncture is too daunting, a massage gun might be the perfect middle ground.

How do massage guns work?

Percussive therapy is the name of the game — which is essentially a more professional term for “your muscles like it rough.”

Athletes turn to deep-tissue massage for quick pain relief and faster recovery times. Here, a professional masseuse delivers forceful, rapid thumps to a specific area of the body to stimulate a specific set of muscles. The percussive therapy afforded by a massage gun lets individuals perform this same type of penetrative tissue attention on themselves without extra help, and in minutes instead of an hour.

Treating something that hurts like a punching bag may seem like the last thing it needs. But beating that damaged deep tissue into submission has a desensitizing effect, and if you’ve ever tried a cheap As Seen On TV massager on back knots, you know it takes some oomph to feel anything. These short-duration pulses enhance blood flow, soften knots, and accelerate the repair of muscle fibers, all of which can lead to better-prepared warmups and quicker recovery times. This form of self-myofascial release is huge for folks who have a hard time keeping up with a routine due to delayed-onset muscle soreness.

Your mood might see a spike, too. The pressure point relief that massage provides has been linked to decreased levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), an increased production of endorphins (the feel-good chemical), and even a lower heart rate.

Do massage guns and foam rollers do the same thing?

Both tools focus on that aforementioned myofascial release. The foam roller pushes lactic acid out of your muscles in a gentler and slower manner than a massage gun. They can be different sizes (including small enough to knead legs or large enough for the whole back) and can be textured with spikes of sorts to better reach pressure points. The rolling can help with flexibility and even be incorporated into yoga-esque stretching sessions — an approach that some may find more relaxing than a massage gun.

But foam rollers simply aren’t using the equivalent of 30 to 60 pounds of force. They’re not about to replace a traditional massage session. For hardcore athletes and gym goers (or people with severe chronic pain), the sheer intensity of the vibrations is more effective on deep-sitting tissue. The swappable attachments that most massage guns come with are able to pinpoint super specific muscle groups in ways that a foam roller may not be able to.

Whether a percussive massage gun or a foam roller is better for you just depends on your pain type and how you prefer to cool down. If you like it gentle and need to *easily* roll out some kinks (especially in the neck or back), go foam roller. If your body is begging for some serious, deep targeted relief after working your muscles to the death on a daily basis, go massage gun.

But remember, percussive therapy isn’t a fix-all. A massage gun may be able to replace pricey massage appointments or heckling your gym partner to help you stretch, but nutrients from a balanced diet, sleep, and proper hydration are still crucial to the muscle growth and recovery process.

Which massage gun is the best?

Frequent workout schedules and high pain levels might make a $600 massage gun worth it — but in other cases, a less-intense device may be more beneficial. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Shape: Popular massage guns come in two main shapes: a donut design and an L-shaped design that looks like a radar speed gun. Which one to choose mostly depends on what feels more ergonomic to you, but the donut shape could reach tricky areas better if its head can be pushed to different angles.

  • Percussion massagers vs. vibration massagers: Not all pain is created equal. Percussion massagers mimic the kneading hands of a masseuse, providing pressure strong enough to hammer below the top layers and tend to damaged muscle fibers. This is ideal if heavy-duty workouts are your lifestyle, but 60 pounds of force may simply be too much in other situations. Occasional exercisers, seniors, and folks with chronic pain may prefer the surface-level rumbling of a vibration massager, which provides the same speedy pulses with less “punch” for a more relaxing experience. Vibration massagers usually oscillate in more rapid strokes with less horsepower.

  • Customization options: You wouldn’t massage a bony spine like you would a shoulder with a tough knot — you don’t need a professional to tell you that. If you have multiple muscle categories that need to be worked on and varying levels of strain, look for a device that offers lots of different speeds (RPM) and attachment heads to target each specific muscle group. When comparing specs, remember that higher speed doesn’t always mean vigor. The amplitude (how deep the massage head will push into your body) relies on the amount of force (usually measured in pounds) behind each pulse. Heavier force on a slow speed setting will feel more intense than a faster speed setting with weaker force.

  • Noise: No one wants to be *that* person at the gym who’s distracting everyone — or *that* parent who just woke up a sleeping baby — by using a device that sounds like a construction site. It might be impossible for these drill-like massage guns to be completely silent, but the reviews will let you know if the noise is tolerable or obnoxious. The quietest ones will be somewhere between 30 and 60 decibels, mimicking a whisper to normal conversation level. For reference, a vacuum’s hum is around 75 decibels.

  • Battery life: Charging a massage gun after every use would be a huge inconvenience. People have lives! The best massage guns have batteries that last between 150 and 180 minutes (or more, if they come with two batteries). Most guns are so strong that the recommended self-massage time is just a few minutes. A 150 to 180 minute battery life has you set for days, even with daily use.

Here are the best massage guns on the market right now:

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Image: mashable photo composite

The Good

Ergonomic donut handle and four-way adjustable arm • Corresponding app shows how to use attachments • Most forceful percussions for fast muscle recoup • OLED screen displays current force and speed • Comes with a carrying case

The Bad

Not the quietest • Gets hot after being on for a while

The Bottom Line

People are down to pay for the gold standard, which delivers 60 pounds of force and has an interactive app.

Theragun Pro

Pro athletes stan the Theragun for its high-velocity reps and six swappable attachments.

  • Battery life:
    300 minutes (includes two 150-minute batteries)
  • Speed settings:
    5
  • Force:
    60 pounds
  • Strokes per minute:
    1,750 – 2,400
  • Stroke depth:
    16 mm
  • Interchangeable tips:
    6
Theragun has secured its spot as the Apple of massage guns over the past few years. Its product line has greatly expanded to meet multiple price ranges, but the Theragun Pro is still the market hardass.
The fourth gen Pro packs the same 60 pounds of force into each 16 mm punch as its predecessors, now with five speed options instead of two. The percussions are so forceful and deep that Theragun suggests sessions of just a few minutes, depending on pain levels and the attachment. Six total choices (a supersoft head, dampener, ball, wedge, thumb, and cone) delivering customizable impact for different muscle groups or parts of the body. The donut shape and adjustable angles make it easier to reach places that typically require someone else’s help. 

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Image: mashable photo composite

The Good

30% more powerful than the old Hypervolt • Super quiet • Battery lasts up to three hours • Feels lightweight in the hand • Closest to a professional massage experience

The Bad

Carrying case sold separately

The Bottom Line

The feather-light Hypervolt Plus is almost as powerful as the Theragun and with half the noise.

Hyperice Hypervolt Plus

These high-powered vibrations are great for general soreness without losing the peaceful massage experience.

  • Battery life:
    180 minutes
  • Speed settings:
    3
  • Force:
    57 pounds
  • Strokes per minute:
    2,000 to 3,200
  • Stroke depth:
    16 mm
  • Interchangeable tips:
    5
And in this corner, we have the only player that’s giving Theragun any real competition. Hyperice took the original Hypervolt and sprinkled in 30% more power without any real spike in noise level. The Quiet Glide technology provides more of a consistent, well-rounded massage experience than the Theragun’s blunt, loud approach.
The Hypervolt Plus is equipped with pressure sensor lights on the back that offer feedback about how much pressure you’re putting on and how hard to push to achieve the same results next time. It’s a thoughtful feature that pairs well with the Hyperice app, which syncs with the gun to guide you though custom recovery plans.

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Image: mashable photo composite

The Good

90% of Amazon ratings are 5 stars • Nine speed settings make experimenting easy • Battery can last weeks on one charge • Settings are very straightforward • Quiet

The Bad

Build feels cheap • Accessory swapping mechanism is junky • Half the force in poundage as top competitors

The Bottom Line

Despite cheap build quality, the Vybe Pro operates at incredibly high speeds and is effective for the price.

Exerscribe Vybe Pro

The manageable price point and robust speed settings of the Vybe Pro make it great for beginners.

  • Battery life:
    180 minutes
  • Speed settings:
    9
  • Strokes per minute:
    1,800 to 3,400
  • Stroke depth:
    16 mm
  • Interchangeable tips:
    5
  • Force:
    33 pounds
Exerscribe’s Vybe Pro takes on a chrome gun shape like the Hypervolt. The Vybe Pro has six more speed settings (nine total) with the fastest crossing the finish line at 3,400 pulses per minute. Those nine percussion settings can be tailored to different parts of the body through five massage heads, including a fork shape for the spine that many massage guns don’t include. Be sure to screw ’em in tight, though.
In the massage gun market, a lower price typically means less force. The Vybe Pro administers 33 pounds of force — roughly half of the Theragun’s 60 pounds. The milder punches might be better for someone with sensitive skin or broader aches rather than a heavy lifter.

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Image: mashable photo composite

The Good

Unbelievably low noise level — averages 40 decibels • Stellar battery life • Beats surprisingly fast for how quiet it is • Very light to hold • Frequently on sale

The Bad

Expensive for mediocre power

The Bottom Line

The closest thing you’ll get to a silent massage gun, but power is sacrificed.

Hydragun

Your most tranquil massage gun experience will come from the less-powerful, whisper-quiet Hydragun.

  • Battery life:
    Up to 6 hours
  • Speed settings:
    6
  • Strokes per minute:
    1,200 to 3,200
  • Interchangeabke tis:
    6
  • Force:
    30 pounds
Wanting your massage gun experience to be peaceful — as a massage should be — can be a lot to ask for when considering devices with big, obnoxious motors. If you can give up some of that power in lieu of the state of your ear drums, the Hydragun is all but confirmed the quietest massage gun on the market right now. It can be as quiet as 30 decibels (think a rustle of leaves) and maxes out at 50 on the highest speeds.
The Hydragun can compete speed wise, but would get the ol’ KO from a Theragun or Hypervolt. It administers half the force of those similarly-priced competitors, and the other 30-pounder on this list is half the price. However, it’s a well-built machine that would provide a smooth, impactful massage for someone sensitive to high force.

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Image: mashable photo composite

The Good

Weighs less than two pounds • Simple one button controls • Attachments from Hypervolt Plus are compatible • Faster RPM than Theragun Pro

The Bad

Only comes with two attachments

The Bottom Line

It’s not as powerful, but the compact Hypervolt Go provides customizable emergency massages

Hypervolt Go

Keep up with recovery on the road with the mini Hypervolt that has decent settings for the compact size.

  • Battery life:
    150 minutes
  • Speed settings:
    3
  • Strokes per minute:
    2,200 – 3,200
  • Stroke depth:
    10 mm
  • Interchangeable heads:
    2
Athletes who travel or folks who won’t miss the gym even on vacation should have a massager that can keep them feeling good on the road. Hyperice shrunk the regular Hypervolt and put its best features into a 30% smaller body that’ll add just 1.5 pounds to your suitcase.
For its compact size, the Hypervolt Go offers a decent amount of customization settings. Its highest RPM matches that of its older sibling, with three speed settings and two included attachments (flat and bullet) to target different parts of the body. Hyperice has not provided an official number for force in pounds, but the 60 watt motor is about 30% weaker than that of the Hypervolt Plus.
The best wireless earbuds for cutting out tangled cords — 12/01/2019

The best wireless earbuds for cutting out tangled cords

With fewer devices having headphone jacks, Bluetooth headphones and earbuds have become the norm. A wireless pair of earbuds means you don’t have to worry about cords getting tangled in your pocket or bag. You just pop them out of their case and into your ears and you’re good to go.

Wired earbuds vs. wireless earbuds

Wireless earbuds connect to your devices via Bluetooth, and usually after you’ve paired them once, they connect automatically when you put them in your ears. Most devices have Bluetooth capabilities, but not every electronic has an aux port, so wireless earbuds are honestly the safer choice, unless you want to carry around an adapter everywhere you go.

Bluetooth connection is reliable and you shouldn’t experience too many audio drops or connectivity issues with wireless earbuds.

Wired headphones can provide better connection and sound quality, but they tether you to your phone or computer, so you’re not able to walk around freely while still listening to your audio. On the plus side, you don’t have to worry about battery life with wired earbuds since they’re not battery-powered. They’re also cheaper than wireless earbuds if you have any financial restraints.

Overall, we prefer to go wireless, and we’re guessing you do too since you’re here reading this.

Earbuds vs. headphones

Headphones go over or around your ears while earbuds go inside and have a much smaller profile. Choosing between the two comes down to style, comfort, and sound quality. Headphones can squeeze your head and give you a headache if you wear them too long, and while earbuds won’t do the same, they can make your ears feel sore after extended wear. It’s all about personal preference on which fit you like better.

Earbuds are easier to transport, and because they’re smaller, you don’t have many restrictions when it comes to wearing them. You can wear wireless earbuds while also wearing a helmet or hat, which is not so easy or comfortable with headphones.

Headphones do provide a better seal and have larger speakers, causing them to be the winners in the sound quality department. There’s some give and take when choosing between wireless earbuds and wireless headphones.

What to look for when buying wireless earbuds

Battery life is one of the most important features to look at in a pair of wireless earbuds. You don’t want to have to take a break from your music or podcast in the middle of listening because your earbuds’ battery died. You want a pair of buds that have a long playback time as well as a decent extended battery life from the charging case. If the playback battery life is less than five hours, you’re going to have to pop the earbuds back in their case more frequently than you might want. On the bright side, though, charging cases usually work pretty quickly and a fast 15-minute charge will provide you with an hour or more of listening time.

You’ll also want to pay attention to how the earbuds actually fit. Do you want rubber tips? Ear hooks? If fitted silicone tips don’t sit right in your ears, the original AirPods might be more comfortable for you. PowerBeats Pros are also good if standard earbuds don’t stay in your ears, because they feature over-the-ear hooks to ensure those puppies stay put.

Sound quality and noise reduction or cancellation are also important to consider when buying wireless earbuds. Like we said, headphones are probably going to give you better audio quality, but you can still get some crisp, full sound from earbuds. Brands like Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser are known for their great sound quality, so you can expect their reputations to shine through their wireless earbuds.

Active noise cancellation in wireless earbuds

When wireless earbuds first hit the market, we didn’t see many with noise cancellation abilities, but now it seems that noise-canceling earbuds are the standard. This means newer models of wireless earbuds cost a bit more than their predecessors, but in our opinion, the extra cost is worth it.

Active noise cancellation isn’t the same in earbuds as it is in headphones. Over-ear headphones can create a sound-blocking seal that you just physically cannot get with earbuds. But earbuds with silicone tips still do a pretty good job creating a seal that allows for ANC. It’s definitely enough for blocking out noisy coworkers or a loud, bustling street.

Most earbuds with active noise cancellation also have some form of transparent or ambient mode that you can turn on to hear what’s going on around you.

Are true wireless earbuds worth it?

Let us put it simply: yes. Truly wireless earbuds give you totally free mobility (within range of your device, which is usually about 30 feet). You’re able to walk around the house or office, go for a run, and so much more without being tethered to your phone. You won’t experience the awful yank that happens when you drop your phone while wearing wired earbuds.

Wireless earbuds that have a connecting cord still run the risk of getting caught on something and getting tugged out of your ears. Truly wireless earbuds are the only way to avoid this.

Are cheap wireless earbuds good?

Wireless earbuds are an item to splurge on. A low price tag may sound appealing, but you’re going to be losing out on sound quality, features, and durability. Dropping $200 for a pair of earbuds might not seem ideal, but you know for that price they’re going to last. Opting for a cheap pair of wireless earbuds could mean that you’ll have to replace them not long after buying. And in the end, that’ll cost you more than if you just bought the nice, expensive pair from the start.

However, there are a few decent wireless earbuds under $100 — you just won’t get as many features. Which is totally fine if you’re more budget-focused. Just know that if you dip into the $20 to $30 range, you shouldn’t expect much in terms of quality and longevity.

How AirPods compare to other wireless earbuds

Apple is almost always going to be one of our top picks. The company just knows what it’s doing. And we’re hoping to see some good discounts on AirPods and AirPods Pro this Prime Day. That said, there are some other wireless earbuds that give Apple’s buds a run for their money.

Bose, Jabra, and Sony have stellar sound quality that meets or surpasses Apple. And the brands feature different designs for their buds if you don’t like the way AirPods look. It seems like most wireless earbuds now have silicone ear tips, so the original AirPods stand out by having an earpiece we’re familiar with from Apple’s wired earbuds.

Choosing the right pair of wireless earbuds for you comes down to your personal preferences, but here’s a guide to help you directly compare the top earbuds on the market based on specs like battery life, style, noise-canceling features, music controls, and more.

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Image: jabra

The Good

Support Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant • Three sets of EarGels (adjustable tips) included • Long battery life • Three free months of Amazon Music Unlimited included when ordered through Amazon • Active noise cancellation

The Bad

Some Redditors have issues pairing their buds to the Jabra Sound+ app • Have to pair with the app to activate noise cancellation the first time

The Bottom Line

These are the most well-rounded true wireless earbuds money can buy.

Jabra Elite Active 75t

Jabra’s good-sounding, long-lasting earbuds are solid for working out or everyday use.

  • Battery life:
    7.5 hours (28 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes
Designed to keep up with an active lifestyle, the Jabra Elite Active 75t true wireless earbuds are water, sweat, and dust resistant. They feature active noise cancellation and the charging case makes the battery last up to 24 hours with ANC turned on. Pair the wireless earbuds to the Jabra Sound+ app to customize a music profile, monitor your buds’ charging status, and connect them to your preferred voice assistant.

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Image: apple

The Good

Sweat and water resistant • Great sound quality • Excellent noise cancelation for their size • Apple’s H1 chip makes for easy pairing and a stable connection • Three sets of silicone tips included • Hands-free control with Siri

The Bad

Expensive • Playtime takes a hit when Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes are turned on

The Bottom Line

The hype is well deserved.

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple’s popular in-ear buds have gotten even better with the addition of active noise cancelation technology.

  • Battery life:
    4.5 hours (more than 24 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes
AirPods Pro are popular for a reason — they fit snugly in your ears with a low-profile design, feature active noise cancellation, have transparency mode, and pair seamlessly with devices. They’re a step up from the original AirPods with a new design, noise cancellation, and improved controls. P.s. While they’re pretty pricey, you can usually find AirPods Pro on sale

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Image: samsung

The Good

Come in multiple colors • Ambient aware mode • Active noise cancellation • Clear microphone

The Bad

Design is not ideal for small ears • iPhone users might experience connectivity issues

The Bottom Line

These earbuds are ready to tackle every part of your day.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Powerful woofers and intuitive controls make the Galaxy Buds Pro stand out.

  • Battery life:
    8 hours (28 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro include active noise cancellation and feature powerful woofers in each earbud. Their design is different from AirPods in that they’re more bulbous and don’t have stems that go past your ears. The earbuds are water resistant and fit your needs whether you’re working out, working at a desk, or just going about your daily routine.

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Image: sony

The Good

Matte charging case less prone to scratches • Noise canceling • Ambient sound mode • Quick attention mode • Alexa enabled

The Bad

Bulky design • No wireless charging

The Bottom Line

Though the design is bulky, these earbuds deliver great quality with industry-leading noise cancellation.

Sony WF-1000XM3

Active noise cancellation, ambient mode, and quick attention mode let you control how much background noise you hear.

  • Battery life:
    6 hours (24 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes
Noise cancellation isn’t always the absolute best in wireless earbuds, but the Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds have industry-leading noise cancellation technology that is seriously impressive. The Bluetooth earphones utilize smart listening that automatically switches to ambient sound mode based on your activity. The design is a little bulkier than some other wireless earbuds — they almost resemble Bluetooth earpieces from the early 2000s, but they come with silicone ear tips to fit snugly in your ear.

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Image: bose

The Good

Volume control on the earbuds • Water resistant • Stellar overall sound quality • Three sets of silicone tips included

The Bad

Mediocre battery life • No noise cancellation

The Bottom Line

If you care about the sound quality of your music above all else, these should be your go-tos.

Bose Sport Earbuds

These Bose earbuds offer some serious oomph even without noise cancellation.

  • Battery life:
    5 hours (15 total hours with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes
With both silicone tips and ear hooks, the Bose Sport earbuds will stay securely in your ears no matter what you’re doing. Unlike some other wireless earbuds, there’s no squeezing or button pushing — you swipe up and down for volume control, tap to control music, and more that you can configure in the Bose Music App. And if for any reason you don’t want both earbuds in at the same time, music will still play and the mic will still work if you only have one earbud in.

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Image: beats

The Good

Fast pairing thanks to Apple’s H1 chip • Great sound quality • Secure fit • Long battery life • Volume control on earbuds

The Bad

Charging case is huge and requires a Lightning cable (no wireless charging) • No noise cancellation

The Bottom Line

An excellent AirPods alternative if you hate the way AirPods look.

Beats Powerbeats Pro

The Beats Powerbeats Pro are a sporty AirPods alternative comfy enough for all-day wear with an all-day battery life to match.

  • Battery life:
    9 hours (more than 24 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless with earhooks
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes
With the same internal tech as AirPods (including Apple’s H1 chip), Beats PowerBeats Pro truly wireless earphones are a good alternative if you aren’t a fan of AirPods’ fit. These earbuds have hooks that go over your ears to keep them in place all day long, while a silicone tip ensure a snug fit inside. Each earbud has volume and track control as well as auto play/pause functions.

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Image: anker

The Good

Very lightweight • Four sets of EarTips and EarWings included • Sweatproof and water resistant • Extremely affordable

The Bad

Short battery life • Don’t fit securely enough for running or rigorous workouts • Some reviewers report connectivity issues

The Bottom Line

They won’t blow you away, but they’re excellent for the money.

Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo

Offering decent sound for the money, Anker’s buds are a worthy upgrade from the junky earbuds you impulse-bought at the airport.

  • Battery life:
    3.5 hours (12.5 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes
For under $50, you’re not going to get the same stellar quality and features as more expensive options, but the Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo are a pretty good pair of true wireless earbuds. If you’re a casual headphones user, these pair to devices easily and deliver balanced, natural sound with above-average bass. Though some reviewers reported connection issues, random audio drops, and an awkward fit.

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Image: sennheiser

The Good

Active noise cancellation • The best sound quality money can buy • Transparency mode • Durable build quality with modern design • Reliable connection • Splash resistant

The Bad

Expensive AF • Some reviewers reported audio delay with video games and YouTube videos

The Bottom Line

Very high quality at a very high cost.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

If you can justify their price tag, you’ll be the proud owner of the best-sounding buds on your block.

  • Battery life:
    7 hours (28 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes
Even pricier than AirPods Pro, Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wirless 2s live up to the brand’s reputation. The mid-tones are clear, bright, well-balanced; the bass is super bold (but doesn’t rattle your skull); and high notes don’t sound tinny. These are the wireless earbuds for true audiophiles. Plus, you’re able to customize the touch controls on the earbuds.

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Image: apple

The Good

Sleek look • Fast charge time • Long playback time • Good sound quality • Comfortable fit

The Bad

Hard to clean • No noise cancellation

The Bottom Line

Though they don’t have noise cancellation like AirPods Pro, Apple’s standard design provides excellent sound quality and battery life.

Apple AirPods

Though they aren’t the newest from Apple, we still love the classic AirPods.

  • Battery life:
    5 hours (more than 24 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes
Even though AirPods Pro are the newer, more advanced Apple earbuds, we still have love in our hearts for the OG AirPods. They don’t have noise cancellation, but they do have good sound quality, reliable connection, and customizable controls. These are a more budget-friendly option for Apple loyalists.

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Image: amazon

The Good

Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant integration • Sweat resistant • Noise reducing • Control volume with Alexa

The Bad

Bulky charging case • Sound quality is good but nothing exceptional

The Bottom Line

While they don’t quite compete with AirPods, Echo Buds are decent for their price point.

Echo Buds

With Alexa skills and Bose Active Noise Reduction, Echo Buds are a decent option.

  • Battery life:
    5 hours (20 hours total with charging case)
  • Style:
    True wireless
  • Built-in mic:
    Yes
  • Charging case included:
    Yes
If you have any other Amazon Alexa products, you already have the app needed to control the Echo Buds. The earbuds work with Alexa to stream music, play Audible books, make calls, and get directions. They also feature Bose Active Noise Reduction technology — they’re not noise canceling, but they do block out a good amount of environmental sounds.