The Best Wireless Earbuds in 2020: Post-Lockdown Life UK Edition [Updated]
Thanks to advances in battery life, signal strength, and sound quality, truly wireless earbuds have finally eclipsed their wired counterparts. Whether its endless Zoom calls or the need to get extra motivation after being stuck indoors for months on end, 2020 may be the year to cut the cord for good.
That said, the wireless earbuds market has become cluttered with cheap Apple knockoffs and dodgy internet sellers. Even well recognised brands are rushing to put out subpar product that is not worth your hard earned quid. This is where we come in…
If you are thinking of buying new true wireless earbuds, this list (updated monthly) will help you make the best choice with a focus on sound and call quality, features, and overall value for your money.
Where to buy the Mifo O5 PLUS earbuds in the UK
The best wireless earphones including commuting, the office, running, and all around gym use (yes, even swimming) come from a brand that is new to the UK. But don’t let that scare you off, as these earbuds are easily some of the best we have ever tested. It is worth noting Mifo have also released a new O7 model which while providing many added features and enhancements, also comes at over double the price.
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So what makes Mifo true wireless earbuds the best all around earphones?
The best earbuds for active lifestyles, period. The Mifo O5 come with a bevy of features that improve the tasks of the day immensely, beginning with their form factor. Weighing in at just a few grams each, the O5 earbuds feel supremely comfortable, and include 7 silicon ear tip shapes and sizes for that perfect fit. Further, once in it’s nearly impossible to get them to fall out. Readers may remember propensity to fall out was a major problem that prevented us from recommending Apple’s AirPod Pro in our last wireless review.
Absurd battery life with power bank feature. The O5 Plus earbuds themselves will play continuously for 7+ hours, a feat we tested over several days. Not only that, but the included USB-C charging case offers an additional 100 hours of play time. No, that is not a typo. We were able to use the earbuds without charging the case for an entire week before it gave out. Not only that, but the case allows you to plug a smartphone in to charge your devices on the go. In our test, we were able to charge an iPhone 11 Pro Max from 0 to 100%. That’s stunning, and makes us wonder why earbuds from other brands costing 3-4 times more have just a third of the battery life.
Excellent sound with passive noise canceling. The Mifo O5 packs some of the best bass in any true wireless earbuds we have tested. That’s particularly helpful if you prefer energetic tracks when pushing yourself to the limit. That said, the tight seal ensures sound does not leak, meaning others around you will not overhear your music.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Mifo have now released a Professional edition of the O5 with balanced armature drivers designed for true audiophiles in mind. It carries with it substantial added cost, but offers a more accurate high range for those willing to pay £129.99.
UK-based customer support. We have been continuously disappointed with true wireless earbuds in the past, even from tech giants like Samsung. Part of that disappointment comes with poor or absent customer service. We tested Mifo on several occasions with questions and every time received proper replies within an hour. That demonstrates commitment to the UK market and contributes greatly to our award of Editor’s Pick.
Where to buy the Jabra Elite 65t earbuds in the UK
If you aren’t price sensitive, Jabra may be the brand for you. These true wireless earbuds come with fewer accessories than the Mifo O5, but offer a more generalist approach to the format.
Why Jabra makes the list of best earbuds in the UK
Good overall quality for true wireless earbuds. Since true wireless earbuds were invented, we have lamented at poor signal quality, dropped calls, and pairing fiascos. Jabra has included top quality chipsets and firmware, and we were pleased with the overall experience.
Excellent marks for sound quality. While bass isn’t as rich as the Mifo O5, the overall high and low tones of the Elite 65t are quite good. We’ll leave it to you to determine if they sound £170 good.
Limited sports-specific features. While Jabra does an excellent job with calls, we aren’t typically on the phone while working out. So we were not surprised when Jabra released the Elite Sport, a newer model designed just for active lifestyles. Unfortunately, it does not live up to the 65t. See below for more on the Elite Sport.
Where to buy the Bose Soundsport Free earbuds in the UK
Bose has delved into the true wireless category by focusing on sports. And while the Soundsport Free is an excellent first product, it suffers from an aging Bluetooth chipset and mediocre battery life, costing Bose a higher position in our list.
Why Bose gets our approval for the gym
Great sound that comes at a cost. While Bose has engineered a product that is indeed worthy of the name, it does come at a cost. Reduced battery life and Bluetooth 4.1 instead of 5.0 hurt the product and age it to the first generation of true wireless product.
Fun, fitness-oriented colors. Of note are the options to pick from a bright, bold, and just plain fun color scheme. While not strictly to do with features, the Soundsport makes going to the gym just a bit more interesting.
Built for sports, but may not work for you. While the Soundsport is made for active movement, we found it a bit bulky. If you have smaller ears, you may experience some discomfort or a feeling that the earbuds may fall out. That’s not particularly comfortable when you are trying to focus on your workout.
Runners-up: Best Wireless Earbuds
There are many, many wireless earbuds in the UK market. And while we attempt to test as many as possible for our readers, some units simply don’t make the cut. Here’s a quick peek at sports earbuds that didn’t make the list.
AirPods Pro (often referenced as AirPods 2) build on the iconic white design with a slightly new shape and capabilities along with a new in-ear tip that in theory will keep them secure when moving about. Unfortunately, these added features only manage to bring Apple in line with competitors, not above them. And whilst other products operate perfectly with Android and Apple products, Apple has clearly set preference for iOS devices, meaning non-Apple users are left without a full feature set. For the price, we expect Apple to do better.
Jabra is well known for call quality and overall aesthetic, so we were surprised to find the Elite Sport fall a bit flat. While the earbuds are just fine in a number of categories, they fail to excel in any one. What we end up with is a jack of all trades priced at absurd levels.
The Jaybird Run XT are designed and named for runners. It’s a shame that these purpose-built true wireless earbuds don’t live up to the moniker. Jaybird has the right idea, but falls short in sound quality and Bluetooth signal strength.