Here at the Strategist UK, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good 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 treadmills, microwaves, and slow cookers — here, we’ve rounded up the best earphones for everyone, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated overall earphones
This pair of wireless earphones by Enacfire have 602 reviews, with 96 percent of all reviews being five stars (the highest-percentage rating of any product listed here). Customers spoke highly of the sound quality, which featured in almost 50 percent of all reviews, including one who said every genre they listened to, from EDM to hip-hop, sounded vibrant and clear. The headphones charge wirelessly via the case, and reviewers said they had a good battery life. Enacfire earphones have 48 hours continuous use on a full charge, and reviews were consistent with this; one reviewer listened to music all day at work and only had to charge the earphones at the end of the week. Another said that after six days of listening to music, they were surprised the battery still wasn’t low enough to warrant a charge.
Best-rated (less expensive) earphones
This wireless pair of earphones from Tozo are a little less expensive but still come highly rated — this pair has been reviewed by over 49,000 customers. Of those reviews, 70 percent were five stars, and customers rate everything from their sound quality and comfort to battery life, making them a more affordable all-rounder. One reviewer who bought them solely for a holiday said they weren’t expecting much for this price point, but they were such good earphones they’ve kept using them since they got home. Another person, who had never used Bluetooth or wireless earphones before, said they were blown away by the comfort, ease of use and quality. The earphones are larger than Apple 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, 109 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 127 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 several 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 167 reviewers, including someone who said they couldn’t fathom ever paying seven to eight times the price for a pair of headphones again.
Best-rated earphones for sound quality
Apple’s airpods currently have over 15,000 reviews, with 84 percent of all reviews being five stars. Customers largely recommended them for their sound quality — 415 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 they could handle his favourite heavier bands. These buds 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. One London Underground commuter said that they never fell out, even during rush hour. Though these are a pricier option, 48 reviewers felt like 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 5,585 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
For those looking for earphones they can exercise in, this magnetic pair from Mpow is popular — 71 percent of the 2,530 reviews are five stars. Both cyclists and gymgoers recommended these, but they were most popular with runners — 164 reviews recommended them for jogging, marathon training and 5Ks, adding that they stayed secure even on high-intensity runs. The fact they are waterproof also impressed reviewers because they are resistant to both rain and sweat (one reviewer claims he can even shower with them in, although Mpow cautions against this). The sound quality was mentioned in 127 positive reviews, too, with one customer, who bought three more pairs for his family, comparing them to the much pricier Bose headphones.
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 50 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. 25 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.