5 Best In Ear Headphones 2023

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Welcome to the ultimate guide for audiophiles and music enthusiasts! In this article, we’ll unveil the top 5 in-ear headphones of 2023, offering exceptional sound quality, comfort, and cutting-edge features. Whether you’re a seasoned music professional or simply seeking the best listening experience, these headphones are sure to elevate your audio journey.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation

Sony WF-1000XM4
Sony WF-1000XM4

Beats Fit Pro
Beats Fit Pro

1. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

The first one on our list is Bose Quiet-Comfort Wireless Earbuds 2. The Bose Quiet-Comfort Earbuds II follows on from the hugely successful Bose Quiet-Comfort Earbuds which launched back in 2020. And there’s been a big design shake-up for the new pair. They’re around a third smaller than the original Quiet-Comfort Earbuds. But we’re pleased to report comfort levels, in our eyes at least, haven’t been affected. Our review team found them more comfortable than bulkier rivals such as the Sony WF-1000XM4.

The new ear tips are very soft, and pliable and don’t burrow in like some rivals, while the new ‘stability bands’ provide plenty of grip without irritating over long listens. With the original Quiet-Comfort Earbuds, the ear tips and wings were all one piece and took a little more manipulating to get into place.

Bose improved the sound quality of these Earbuds, too. It’s not heads-and-shoulders over their predecessors, but in our testing, we found that they delivered a slightly more balanced and vibrant sound that’s not quite so reliant on bass. The soundstage is beautifully balanced and you can pick up an exceedingly high amount of detail that wasn’t possible in the older buds. This is particularly evident when it comes to the low end, where bassy elements like kick drums and double bass get a pretty good amount of attention.

Every time the earbuds are taken out of their case and placed in your ear, you’ll hear a short sweeping tone. This isn’t just confirmation they’re powered up – it’s actually a test tone for Bose’s CustomTune sound calibration tech. When the sound is made, a mic inside each earbud measures your ear canal’s acoustic response. The audio and ANC performance is then altered to suit and is also continuously tweaked in the background as the headphones monitor what’s happening around you.

Bose claims a battery life of up to six hours, with three extra charges coming courtesy of the charging case. It can fully juice the QC Earbuds II in one hour, with a 20-minute charge delivering around two hours of playtime. The case charges by USB but we’re slightly surprised to report that there’s no wireless charging such as is offered by close rivals and some cheaper models too. Elsewhere, the Bose earbuds offer Bluetooth 5.3 capability and an IPX4 rating for water and sweat resistance.

One feature missing that we’d have loved to see here is multipoint connectivity – this allows you to be connected to two Bluetooth sources simultaneously and can help to improve the overall user experience. It’s a feature we see more in over-ear designs, but it would be nice to see it make a regular appearance in wireless in-ear headphones, especially premium pairs. There’s also no support for high-quality wireless audio codecs such as LDAC or aptX HD.

Overall, The Bose QuietComfort II is excellent for commute and travel. These well-built buds have a powerful ANC system, which can easily block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines as well as passenger chit-chat, and are perfect for anyone.


  • Detailed, balanced, and upbeat sound
  • Solid battery life
  • Customizable and comfortable


  • Expensive
  • Only SBC and AAC not higher quality
  • No multipoint connectivity

2. SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

The Second one on our list is the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro wireless earbuds. the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro has a similar design to last year’s Buds Pro, but there are a few notable changes. First, this new model is 15 percent smaller than the 2021 version, which means they fit better in your ear and are more comfortable for longer periods of time. What’s more, Samsung added a vent on the inside of each earbud to help relieve pressure. Of course, the tiny stature means they tuck nicely into your ear, leaving very little sticking out from the side of your head. It’s a design Samsung adopted early on for its earbuds and subsequent models have continued to be satisfyingly svelte.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro has a soft-touch matte coating whereas the Galaxy Buds Pro was a glossy affair. We prefer the former as it’s more pleasant to the touch and isn’t a fingerprint magnet. However, it doesn’t necessarily offer more grip and neither surface impacted the touch controls. The included charging case for the Buds 2 Pro is covered in the same matte finish, so it too is pleasantly tactile. Like the Buds Pro, this model is IPX7 rated, which will allow you to submerge the earbuds in up to three feet of “freshwater” for up to 30 minutes, according to Samsung.

In terms of sound quality, The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro has a neutral sound that’s well-suited for a variety of audio content. Originally, we reported a dip in the mid-range, but this was due to an improper fit. However, if you take the time to ensure a proper fit, vocals, and instruments sound accurate and present in mixes. If you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers equalizer presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking.

In terms of battery life, Samsung promises up to five hours of listening time with ANC enabled on the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Unfortunately, that’s unchanged from the previous model and on the lower end of new earbuds these days. You’ll get an additional 18 hours with the charging case, or if you disable noise cancellation, you can expect up to eight hours with 21 more via the case. During our tests, these figures were spot on.

Overall, Samsung has finally turned a corner with its Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, which foregoes futuristic looks in favor of great 24-bit sound, head-tracked spatial audio, and a design that fits comfortably.


  • Vastly improved hi-res sound quality
  • Can record videos with 360-degree audio
  • Excellent connectivity
  • Fully waterproof (IPX7)
  • Solid ANC


  • Battery life is only average
  • No true multipoint Bluetooth pairing
  • In-app EQ isn’t customizable
  • High price
  • Touch controls make fit adjustments tricky

3. Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

The third one on our list is Apple Airpods Pro 2nd Gen wireless earbuds. The Apple AirPods Pro second generation shares an almost identical design to its predecessor, with a couple of incremental changes here and there, mainly in terms of vent and microphone placement. From a distance though, it would be tricky to tell the difference between the first-generation AirPods Pro and the second-generation model – though that’s not a bad thing.

This Second gen earbud features active noise cancellation technology that reduces unwanted background noise, while also adapting to your surroundings so you can still hear your music clearly. They’re designed for professionals who need to stay focused and on task and are perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy their music without being disturbed. The overall sound is indeed richer with more depth, clarity, and a wider soundstage to create a fuller listening experience.

The AirPods Pro second gen uses the always-enabled Adaptive equalizer feature to account for how the earbuds fit in your ear and your precise ear shape. The active noise cancellation on the second-gen model has vastly improved though thanks to a couple of factors, including the H2 chip, new low-distortion driver, and optimized placement of the acoustic vent and microphone. It’s excellent in use, drowning out all manner of sounds when switched on.

The stem also has a touch control sensor on it, allowing you to adjust the volume by sliding your finger up and down. Along with the new touch controls, the AirPods Pro 2 still offers the same controls as the original AirPods Pro, allowing you to press and hold to switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Adaptive Transparency modes.

The buds and case for the new AirPods Pro arrive with an IP-X4 rating, denoting protection against splashing water in any direction. That means the AirPods Pro should survive a jog on a rainy day, but dropping them in a pool would be a no-no.

According to our battery testing, the AirPods Pro standalone battery life is 5 hours, 43 minutes with active noise cancellation on, falling just short of Apple’s official 6-hour battery specification with active noise cancellation on. The charging case provides an extra 24 hours of listening time, or 19 hours, and 30 minutes of talk time.

While testing we found some drawbacks of these Earbuds which is: it has the same old design, no equalizer adjustments and it charge via lightning cable. Overall, The second-gen AirPods Pro is better in practically every way than the original model, delivering top-tier audio reproduction, greatly improved noise-canceling performance, longer battery life, and a carrying case with more charging options.


  • Excellent noise cancellation
  • Very good sound quality
  • Case has speaker and pinpoint location finding
  • Seamless integration with Apple devices
  • IPX4 rating for workouts


  • Still no EQ adjustments
  • Siri doesn’t activate perfectly all the time
  • Same old design
  • Lightning connector
  • No hi-res codec support

4. Sony WF-1000XM4

The next one on our list is Sony WF-1000XM4 Headphones, The Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless Earbuds are the perfect set of headphones for a variety of uses. They feature incredible sound quality with support for LDAC codec, making them perfect for enjoying your favorite music. The integrated Processor V1 enhances sound quality, while the beamforming microphone and bone-conduction sensor provide clear voice detection even in noisy environments. You can also reduce the volume during conversations with Speak-to-chat technology.

These earbuds are very well made. The magnets inside the case hold the earbuds in place even if you shake them up, so you don’t run the risk of losing them or having them fall out somewhere. In the box, you will receive 3 different size ear tips, Small, Medium, and Large. These ear tips are made of a memory foam material, which is really comfortable for all-day wear and provides an excellent seal in the ear canal for better sound quality and an amazing noise-canceling experience.

The sound quality of these earbuds is great, the music was crisp, clear, with deep bass, and just right on point. The app allows you to adjust the equalizer setting if you need, and also with a pre-set equalizer setting, honestly, we do not feel the need to adjust or set our custom settings because everything sounded great, but we do like using the bass-boosted pre-set just because we like the extra bass and even with that option turned on, the bass is not overwhelming.

These earbuds have up to 8 hours of battery life with the noise cancellation on and the case provides another 16 hours of charge. And with IPX4 water resistance, you can take these headphones anywhere you go. While testing we found some drawbacks of these Headphones which are: it has No Bluetooth multipoint support, No Qualcomm aptX support and it’s fairly expensive.

Overall, Sony has lived up to its reputation of providing an excellent product. The WF-1000XM4 looks great, sounds great and even feels great.


  • Best noise cancellation in true wireless earbuds
  • 360 and high-res audio support
  • Hi-Res Audio Wireless and LDAC support
  • Adjustable EQ


  • No Bluetooth multipoint
  • No support for Qualcomm aptX
  • May not fit small ears
  • New ear tips can be awkward
  • Speak-to-chat is handy but imperfect

5. Beats Fit Pro

The last one on our list is Beats Fit Pro Earbuds, The Fit Pro sounds really good, particularly for fitness-focused earbuds. They have a well-balanced and fully-rounded sound that suits a variety of genres. They can produce deep notes with a thump when needed but the bass is kept from overriding the good treble and high notes. Vocals are excellent, instrument separation is good and they handle complex tracks well.

The sweat and water-resistant Beats Fit Pro sound is powered by 9.5-millimeter drivers and they come with the same Apple H1 headphone chip that you find in the AirPods Pro. That means you get the same Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode performance found on the AirPods Pro.

The Beats Fit Pro is the best-sounding wireless earbuds from Apple right now. They sound similar to the AirPods Pro, but they have a more pronounced bass, which gives them a wider range and makes them more fun for working out.

You also get Adaptive equalizers that tailors sound to your environment and spatial audio support – a clever feature that uses gyroscopes and accelerometers to sense where you’re looking in relation to the audio action.

The Fit Pro also packs automatic ear detection which uses skin sensors to spot when you’re wearing your buds, preventing them from confusing your pockets with your ears. Though somewhat frustratingly there’s no off switch on the buds, so they leak battery life unless they’re placed back in the case.

Officially, the Beats Fit Pro can last up to 6 hours with ANC on, and you get an extra three charge cycles from the case for a combined battery life of 24 hours. Our standardized battery test showed this to be pretty accurate, yielding a result of 6 hours, and 22 minutes with ANC on. When you place the earbuds in the case for just 5 minutes, you’re rewarded with 60 minutes of playback, a feature we are often grateful for.

Overall, The Beats Fit Pro is an excellent pair of everyday earbuds. In our opinion, they are much more practical than AirPods Pro. They offer the best features of AirPods Pro with a much more secure and comfortable design that is perfectly suited for active lifestyles.


  • Comfortable, secure fit
  • Good noise cancellation and transparency mode
  • Shares many of the AirPods Pro’s features
  • Great, balanced sound quality
  • Spatial audio on Apple Music


  • No wireless charging
  • More expensive than Studio Buds
  • Most H1 features exclusive to Apple devices
  • The case is bulkier than AirPods
  • Volume controls require sacrifice

Buying Guide: 5 Best In-Ear Headphones of 2023

In-ear headphones, also known as earbuds, have become an essential accessory for music lovers and audiophiles alike. With so many options on the market, finding the right pair of in-ear headphones can be a daunting task. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve put together a buying guide for the 5 best in-ear headphones in 2023.

Sound Quality:
Look for headphones that offer excellent sound quality. Features like balanced audio, deep bass, and clear mids and highs are essential. Consider models with advanced driver technology, such as dynamic drivers or balanced armature drivers, for a rich audio experience.

Noise Cancellation:
If you want to immerse yourself in your music and block out external noise, opt for in-ear headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC). This technology uses microphones to analyze and cancel out ambient sounds, providing a quieter listening environment.

Comfort and Fit:
Comfort is crucial for extended listening sessions. Look for headphones that come with multiple ear tip sizes and shapes to ensure a secure and comfortable fit. Some models also offer memory foam tips for added comfort.

Wireless Connectivity:
Wireless in-ear headphones, particularly those with Bluetooth technology, offer greater freedom of movement. Make sure to check for compatibility with your devices, as well as features like aptX for high-quality audio streaming.

Battery Life:
For wireless models, battery life is a critical consideration. Choose headphones that can provide several hours of playback on a single charge. Some models even come with quick charge features for on-the-go convenience.

Durability and Build Quality:
Look for headphones made from durable materials that can withstand daily wear and tear. Water and sweat resistance can also be important, especially if you plan to use your headphones during workouts.

Controls and Accessibility:
Check for user-friendly controls, like touch or physical buttons, for playback, volume adjustment, and calls. Additionally, consider headphones with voice assistant integration for hands-free operation.

Remember to prioritize your specific needs and preferences when choosing in-ear headphones. Whether you prioritize sound quality, noise cancellation, or wireless convenience, there’s likely a perfect pair of in-ear headphones for you in 2023. Happy listening!