Here at the Strategist UK, we like to think of ourselves as obsessive (in the best way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve covered all sorts of technology before — including the best headphones, portable chargers, and ring lights — here, we’ve rounded up the best earphones for everyone, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated overall earphones
This wireless pair of earphones from Tozo is the best-rated overall. The sound quality was mentioned in over 24,000 reviews, including the bass, clarity, and noise-cancellation. One customer said it was hard to see how a pair four times the price could be any better. The comfort was mentioned by more than 7,300 customers — even after three hours of wear, although many customers found them falling out after rigorous exercise (one woman even lost hers while washing the dishes). The battery life was commended in 7,685 positive reviews, though one review noted that the ears appeared to lose battery life at separate speeds. The earphones are larger than AirPods, according to one five-star review, but as long as you insert them correctly, they won’t budge, apparently — this customer wore them in his hot tub without them falling out.
Best-rated noise-canceling earphones
In total, 502 reviewers spoke highly of the noise cancellation in these Anker earphones. One customer said they bought them to drown out the sirens that are always going off outside their flat, while another said he could listen to the football with these on and his wife wasn’t disturbed at all. Part of the effectiveness of the noise-canceling is in the neat fit of the buds, which 1,543 reviews highlighted as a key selling point. They come with five sizes of rubber seals, and several customers noted that it’s worth experimenting to see which size fits best. The battery life was also noted in 2,838 reviews — one person who uses them for an hour a day said they didn’t need to charge their earphones up for almost two weeks. Similarly, one person said they get seven hours out of their earphones before they need a charge. For the price, they were considered excellent by 711 reviewers.
Best-rated earphones for sound quality
Apple’s AirPods currently have over 100,000 reviews, and 88 percent of them are five stars. Customers largely recommended them for their sound quality — 592 reviews in total singled it out in reviews. These included a self-confessed audiophile who said Hans Zimmer had never sounded so good as on these earphones, and a metal obsessive who said these could handle his favourite heavier bands. The standard Airpods don’t have rubber seals on them, which one reviewer notes makes them less ideal for working out in, but commuters found them helpful for dealing with the hustle and bustle of public transport. They were described as easy to use in 145 reviews — one customer bought them for his dad so he could listen to audiobooks during his 2020 lockdown walks and said he set them up himself (plus they never fell out). One London Underground commuter said that they never fell out, even during rush hour. Though these are a pricier option, 132 reviewers felt they were worth the money.
Best-rated earphones for battery life
The Powerbeats Pro by Beats are the best rated for battery life, with one enthusiastic customer simply calling it phenomenal (in capital letters). Overall, these have over 8,000 reviews, with 71 percent of those being five stars, and while the sound quality and comfort was well reviewed, it was the extensive battery life that stood out among reviewers. One person said it made the battery of their AirPods look dismal by comparison, saying that after a two-hour bike ride, they still had 80 percent battery left. Beats say this has a nine-hour battery in total, after which it will require a charge, but one person said the charging case is bulkier than others (so may not be ideal to fit into a pocket). Another liked the fact both ears had identical controls, as she could use the earphones at work and also share them with her partner on their evening walk and adjust the sound levels accordingly.
Best-rated earphones for running
A total of 429 reviewers used these wireless earbuds for running. One self-professed “heavy user” of earbuds who both walks 15,000 steps a day and runs said the ear hooks enabled these buds to stay in place even when running fast. Another runner, who tends to run on pavement, said the shock and impact of their runs often dislodged their AirPods, but this pair didn’t budge. This is helped by the “gummy” finish on the overear portion of the earphones, which reviewers said was soft when moving against skin but firm enough to grip and stay in place. The sound quality was mentioned in 299 reviews, with customers calling it both superb and crystal clear. A total of 76 reviewers said these were easy to set up through a small two-sided leaflet detailing the process, though many customers intuitively did it themselves. One frequent complaint was the size of the charging case, which is more cumbersome due to the size of the earphones; one reviewer likened it to a bar of soap.
Best-rated earphones for the gym
These earphones by Jabra are specifically designed for wearing during sport and come highly rated by gymgoers. One customer said they stayed in place even while using a rowing machine, and another said they didn’t budge even after an hour on a cross-trainer. There were also 148 reviews mentioning the comfort when wearing them, including during long workouts and when worn under a cap or hat. These earphones also have a “HearThrough” setting — a mode that allows you to control the level of outside noise coming into the ears. Eighty-three reviewers specifically highlighted this as a selling point, saying that it allowed them to have brief conversations at the gym without their music being interrupted.
Best-rated earphones for kids
Though these aren’t as highly rated as other models, parents spoke highly about this ten-pack of colourful earphones for their kids. One dad said his son was always losing his headphones and this was an effective way to mitigate a meltdown if they went missing on days out. One young customer said he got them to stop his mum nagging him, as he often broke his more expensive headphones. The sound quality was mentioned as not the best on the market by several reviewers but good enough for smaller ears to enjoy music through. The cable is three feet in length, according to one customer, meaning devices can remain in pockets, and the jack fits most standard devices, too.
The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.