When it comes to earbuds and battery life, there is a BIG gulf between some of the most popular brands. Therefore, when choosing a pair of wireless earbuds it is important to put aside brand loyalty and go for the options that have the best overall sound and the best battery life.
As you can see in the table below, Apple’s AirPods, while easily the most popular on the list, actually have the worst battery life. Apple knows this too. But it also knows that 9/10 of its users will happily use AirPods over the next best alternative simply because they’re AirPods.
This is the power of Apple’s brand. But just because Apple doesn’t care about battery life on its AirPods doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. You already have to charge your phone once a day, and possibly a smartwatch, so do you really want to add yet another product into the mix? No, most likely.
For this reason, when eyeing up a new pair of wireless earbuds, be sure to go with a pair of earbuds that have decent battery life. Check out the table below to see which earbuds have the best battery life.
EarBuds With Longest Lasting Battery – The Good, The Bad & The Middling…
|BRAND||BATTERY LIFE||WHERE TO BUY|
|SONY WF-XB700||11 Hours||CHECK PRICES|
|BEATS POWERBEATS PRO||9 Hours||CHECK PRICES|
|Cambridge Audio Melomania||9 Hours||CHECK PRICES|
|JABRA ELITE 75T||7.5 Hours||CHECK PRICES|
|SENNHEISER MOMENTUM 2||7 Hours||CHECK PRICES|
|Samsung Galaxy Buds Live||6 Hours||CHECK PRICES|
|Urbanista London||5 Hours||CHECK PRICES|
|Apple AirPods||4-5 Hours||CHECK PRICES|
|Apple AirPods Pro||4.5 Hours||CHECK PRICES|
EarBuds Battery Life Overview – An In-Depth Look…
AirPods Battery Life
Apple’s AirPods were the fast-growing tech product on the planet. From the moment they launched, they sold by the boat-load. And I never understood why – they’re uncomfortable, the sound isn’t great, and they’re made almost entirely from plastic, so they look and feel pretty darn cheap.
They also have below-average battery performance too. You’re looking at 4-5 hours maximum with the OG AirPods, so not even enough to cover a flight from Heathrow to JFK. My advice? If you want good sound quality, comfort, and decent battery life, avoid the AirPods like the plague…
AirPods Pro Battery Life
With the AirPods Pro, Apple made some pretty big improvements over its OG AirPods. The design is vastly superior and the AirPods Pro is a lot comfier as a result. You also have improved sound quality and support for Active Noise Cancellation, one thing sorely missing from the first and second-gen AirPods.
With battery life, however, the AirPods Pro is much the same as the AirPods. You’ll get around five hours of listening time before it is time to return them to their charging case. And, again, five-hour battery life is not good, it’s not even close.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Battery Life
Next to Apple’s AirPods, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are arguably the next most popular choice when with consumers when it comes to true wireless earbuds.
With the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, you get a gorgeously designed set of earbuds that are really comfortable to wear, full noise-cancellation support, and better than six hours of battery life – or, two full hours more than both Apple’s Airpods and AirPods Pro.
Urbanista London Battery Life
I tested the Urbanista London earlier on this year, mid-way through the UK’s first lockdown. I really want to like these wireless earbuds, but they were just so buggy it was impossible to recommend them to anyone.
With respect to battery life, they’re distinctly average: you’re looking at five hours, so around the same level of performance you get from Apple’s AirPods. Sound quality, when they actually work, is decent enough. But still lacks the finesse of Cambridge Audio’s Melomania earbuds, which we’ll discuss next.
Cambridge Audio Melomania Battery Life
Cambridge Audio makes dope audio gear. From amplifiers for sound systems to headphones, Cambridge Audio has been faithfully serving audiophiles for decades and its Melomania wireless earbuds are a masterclass in portable, great-sounding wireless headphones.
The Cambridge Audio Melomania look the business, possess outstanding sound quality, have noise cancellation, and they have one of the best battery life of all the products on this list – 9 hours, baby! As of right now, the Cambridge Audio Melomania is probably the best option out of all the products in this test.
JABRA ELITE 75T Battery Life
The JABRA ELITE 75T earbuds are a decent option for those looking for a pair of earbuds that have better battery life than Apple’s AirPods. But that’s where the distinction ends. In my experience, the JABRA ELITE 75T are way too heavy on the bass – like way, way too heavy. And this results in a needlessly muddy sound.
As for comfort, the JABRA ELITE 75T is great. They sit comfortably in your ear canal and are a joy to wear for prolonged periods of time. And with 7.5 hours of battery life, they’re considerably better than both the AirPods and AirPods Pro when it comes to how long they’ll last between charges.
Beats PowerBeats Pro Battery Life
Here’s a weird one for you. Apple owns Beats. And Apple’s Beats PowerBeats Pro are really, really good. They have great sound, they look good, and they stay in your ears like they’re glued in there.
They also have 9 hours of battery life in between charges too which is way more than Apple’s more-popular AirPods and AirPods Pro. If you must go the Apple route with your next pair of headphones, make sure you go with its Beats PowerBeats Pro instead of its AirPods. You won’t regret it.
SENNHEISER Momentum 2 Battery Life
If you want outstanding sound quality, superior comfort, and above-average battery life of 7 hours, the SENNHEISER Momentum 2 earbuds are well worth a look. I tested these back in late-2019 and was blown away by how good they sounded – from metal to podcasts, the audio is perfect.
SENNHEISER is a well known audio brand too, so you’re in good hands with respect to overall sound quality, active noise cancellation, and connectivity.
When it comes to wireless earbuds, we saved the best for last. The Sony WF-XB700 not only delivers the best sound of any wireless earbuds I’ve used in the last 12 months, but they also KILL it in the battery department too, with 11 hours of music playback between charges.
The Sony WF-XB700 aren’t cheap, but when you listen to them and use them for a few days you will know where all that extra money went. For noise-cancellation, they’re superb. Overall sound quality, with crisp highs and mids, and lovely bass response, is exceptional. If you only buy one pair of wireless earbuds this year, make it the Sony WF-XB700. They’re brilliant.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.