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Best wireless earbuds in Australia: the top neckband and true wireless buds for 2021

While they started out as somewhat of a gimmick, Bluetooth earbuds have become all-but ubiquitous for everyday use. To begin with, the audi...

While they started out as somewhat of a gimmick, Bluetooth earbuds have become all-but ubiquitous for everyday use. To begin with, the audio quality was almost always poor, but thanks to increasing development in Bluetooth standards as well as codecs like aptX, wireless earphones are now some of the best available.

Regardless of whether you're interested in the increased range of motion you can achieve by cutting the cable or are turning to Bluetooth audio because your phone has ditched its 3.5mm audio jack, you're in luck! All the best consumer brands – Jaybird, Plantronics, Apple, Jabra and more – are lending their weight to the cause so we can keep listening to top-notch audio, cable-free.

While the neckband-style wireless earphones have had their popularity cemented, the likes of the Apple AirPods and other truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds have changed the game once more. Don't worry, we'll explain the differences shortly.

It can be tricky to choose a pair with so much variety out there, but thankfully TechRadar has been painstakingly reviewing these earbuds over the years and have a solid idea of what's worth the dosh. On this page, we'll take you through the best wireless, Bluetooth earphones on the market right now so you can find exactly what you want.

Best true wireless earbuds in Australia 2021 at a glance

  1. Sony WF-1000XM3
  2. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
  3. Beats PowerBeats Pro
  4. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
  5. Jabra Elite 75t
  6. Jaybird Vista
  7. Lypertek PurePlay Z3 (Tevi)
  8. Apple AirPods Pro
  9. Apple AirPods (2019)
  10. Jabra Elite 85t
  11. Microsoft Surface Earbuds
  12. Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless

Best Bluetooth earbuds in Australia 2021 at a glance

  1. NuraLoop
  2. Jaybird Tarah Pro
  3. Bowers & Wilkins PI3
  4. Jaybird Tarah
  5. Beats X

Wireless earbuds vs true wireless earbuds

Before we dive too deep down the rabbit hole, we should cover the whole true wireless vs wireless discussion happening in the audio world right now. 

Wireless headphones have existed for some time now, basically since Bluetooth as a standard was invented. 

For years they went largely unrecognised by the audio community because Bluetooth, despite being ultra-convenient, didn't do the best job transmitting music at a high enough resolution. That changed with the advent of aptX - a codec that allowed for higher bitstreams at lower latency. 

While aptX was changing the game for the whole of the audio community, audio manufacturers were working on an entirely new form factor: True Wireless.

True Wireless Headphones have no cord whatsoever. While wireless allows us to wear headphones a few feet away from our music players, True Wireless cuts the cord between the earbuds, giving us true freedom. 

This round-up primarily focuses on the former, but, if you're looking to go full wireless, we also have a round-up of the best true wireless headphones to help you live that cord-free lifestyle.

The best true wireless earbuds

Sony WF-1000XM3

Sony WF-1000XM3 (Image credit: Steve May)

1. Sony WF-1000XM3

Ace noise-cancelling, stunning audio and compact style

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 8.5g (each) | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 20 - 20,000Hz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 6-8 hours (ANC enabled/disabled) | Battery life (charging case): 18-24 hours(ANC enabled/disabled) | Wireless range: 10m | NFC: Yes (case)

Industry-leading noise-cancelling
Clear, warm audio
Reliable connectivity
Not suitable for sports
No water-resistance

Sony's fabulous WH-1000XM3 noise-cancelling headphones have gotten a true wireless counterpart, and they're every bit as solid as their over-ear siblings.

With state-of-the-art noise-cancelling, a crystal clear yet warm audio signal, and an impressive 24-hour battery life (when using the ANC and recharging with the case), these earbuds are worth every dollar spent on them. They also avoid the foibles of many other non-Apple true wireless buds by establishing a connection between each bud and your device individually, thus dodging the sometimes flaky signals that result from a single primary bud having to connect to both your device and a secondary bud.

Read the full review: Sony WF-1000XM3

sennheiser momentum true wireless 2

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

2. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

Great-sounding and noise-cancelling

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 6g | Frequency response: 5 - 21,000Hz | Drivers: 7mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 7 hours | Battery life (charging case): 28 hours | Wireless range: 30ft | NFC: Yes

Incredible sound
Sleek design
Support for Hi-Res Audio
More expensive than rivals

Sennheiser has pretty much knocked it out of the park with these wireless earbuds, offering great noise cancellation alongside smart looks and stunning sound. 

The sound quality, battery life, and design of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are truly brilliant – and they're a really good alternative to the Sony WF-1000XM3, particularly if you prefer a more flashy design to adorn your ears.

We did find that those with smaller ears sometimes find them a little uncomfortable, however, and their high price just stops them from beating the Sony WF-1000XM3.

Read more: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review

(Image credit: Future)

3. Beats PowerBeats Pro

Impressive-fitting workout buds from Beats

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 10.1g (each) | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 9 hours | Battery life (charging case): 15 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

Simple pairing with iOS
Great, secure fit
Solid Beats sound
Bulky case
No noise-cancelling
Only IPX4 rated

For those rocking an iPhone, the simplicity of pairing with the AirPods was a joy, but now you can have that same ease-of-use but with true wireless earbuds made to be pumped at the gym.

With one of the most secure fits to date, the PowerBeats Pro are sure to stay in your ear when you're sweating it up, and the IPX4 resistance makes sure that sweat won't break your buds. The sound is typically punchy, as is the style of Beats, and very suitable for modern electronic, hip hop and similar genres. In most ways, these are in improvement on the AirPods, and even feature the same smart H1 chip that helps with pairing and allows for on-board Siri communication.

Read the full review: Beats PowerBeats Pro

jabra elite 75t

(Image credit: Jabra)

4. Jabra Elite 75t

A worthy successor to the Elite 65t

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 5.5g | Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 7.5 hours | Battery life (charging case): 20 hours | Wireless range: 33ft | NFC: No

7 hours on a single charge
Compact earbuds and case
App lets you customize EQ
Overwhelming, muddy bass

The Jabra Elite 75t improve upon their predecessors, the Jabra Elite 65t, in just about every way – except for tonal balance. 

The headphones and charging case are much smaller, battery life makes an immense jump, catching up to the competition, and the customization features we enjoyed in the 65t remain. 

While they don't have the best sound quality, they now have noise-cancelling thanks ot an update and can be found significantly cheaper than the more recent Elite 85t (lower on the list). This makes the Jabra Elite 75t a solid pair of true wireless headphones to use, especially if you make frequent calls with your headphones on.

Read the full review: Jabra Elite 75t review

[Update: The Jabra Elite 75t now come with active noise cancellation thanks to a firmware update – which could make them a potential rival for the AirPods Pro, and a cheaper noise-cancelling alternative to the Elite 85t.]

bose earbuds

(Image credit: Bose)

5. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Noise cancellation in the true wireless market just got serious

Acoustic Design: Closed | Weight: 0.3 oz each | Frequency Response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver Type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery on-board: 2 hours | Battery case: 3 hours | Wireless range: 30ft | NFC: N/A

Best-in-class ANC
Rich, clear sound
Secure, comfortable fit
Wireless charging
Lacks on-board volume control
Bulky charging case
Case could offer more charge

It’s Bose’s second attempt at a set of true wireless headphones, and the QuietComfort Earbuds are leaps and bounds better than the older SoundSport Free. Not only is the design a lot better, but the noise cancellation is also exemplary. Sound quality is also really very good – albeit a touch less bassy as compared to Sony – with superb clarity. They’re incredibly comfortable and well balanced too, despite their bulky form factor.

Read more: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds review

true wireless earbuds

(Image credit: Jaybird)

6. Jaybird Vista

Near-perfect fitness earbuds

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 6g | Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: 103dB | Impedance: 23 Ohm | Battery life (on-board): 6 hours | Battery life (charging case): 10 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A

Instant connection
Premium sound
IPX7 water resistance
Limited battery life

The Jaybird Vista earbuds are some of the best true wireless headphones out there – and it's not hard to see why. With a sleek, compact design, and features squarely aimed at real and budding athletes – with the ability to appeal to the less committed fitness nuts among us too.

Coming off the back of the Jaybird Run True – and waterproof Run XTs – the Jaybird Vista earbuds are highly compact fitness earbuds with the water and sweat resistance to deal with all levels of indoor and outdoor workouts. As true wireless earbuds, too, you won't find any cables getting in your way.

Lypertek Tevi

(Image credit: Lypertek)

7. Lypertek PurePlay Z3 (Tevi)

Incredible, affordable buds

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: Graphene | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 10 hours | Battery life (charging case): 70 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: No

Incredible value
Neutral audiophile-like sound
Great battery life
Design is a bit plain

You may not have heard of up-and-coming audio brand Lypertek yet, but expect to hear a lot from it soon – its Lypertek PurePlay Z3 (formerly known as Tevi) true wireless earbuds are among the best we’ve tried, especially given the low price tag.

With USB-C charging, a well-balanced sound, lengthy battery life, and waterproofing, it ticks every box you could ask for, from what are basically a pair of budget wireless earbuds. The Lypertek Pureplay Z3, surprisingly, might just blow you away, punching well above their weight and rivaling the best wireless earbuds from some of the biggest audio brands on the planet. 

Consider us pleasantly surprised.

Read more: Lypertek Tevi true wireless earbuds review

AirPods Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

8. Apple AirPods Pro

The perfect earbuds... for Apple fans

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 5.4g | Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): Up to 5 hours | Battery life (charging case): 24 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: Yes

Good noise cancellation
Better fit than AirPods (2019)
Good for tracking hearing health
More expensive than better rivals

Apple's most recent true wireless earbuds bring active noise cancellation, a (finally) much better fit, and an improved design, in a bid to lure more iPhone users into the true wireless fold.

However, at AU$399, they’re pretty pricey too, and as such can’t be called the very best wireless earbuds out there.

That said, if you’re an iPhone user looking for some well-fitting earbuds with strong sound quality, you could do a lot worse than the new AirPods - the redesign means they’re far less likely to fall out, and the additional microphones provide strong noise-canceling (particularly when commuting), as well as a useful Transparency mode, which really does let the outside world in.

The sound quality of the AirPods Pro has certainly improved since the previous iteration – there’s a notable emphasis on vocals and bass, meaning these earbuds are better for pop fans than those that enjoy a more natural presentation that lends itself to classical music or more orchestral sounds.

[Update: The Apple AirPods Pro have been given a hefty firmware upgrade, which allows for Dolby Atmos spatial audio, bringing immersive 3D sound to your true wireless earbuds.

There's also a new auto-switching feature means that the AirPods can now "magically switch over between devices", detecting automatically which device you are using.]

Read the full review: Apple AirPods Pro review

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar

9. Apple AirPods (2019)

The ones to beat

Acoustic design: Open-back | Weight: 4g (38g with case) | Driver type: Dynamic **Battery life (on-board):** 5 hours | Battery life (charging case): 20 hours | Wireless range: 10m | NFC: No

Faster pairing
Wireless charging
Hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ functionality
Wireless charging case costs extra
Audio hasn't improved
Identical design to the originals

The second generation Apple AirPods, the AirPods (2019), aren't quite the AirPods 2 we were hoping for, but they still boast some cool features. 

They still sport the iconic design of the original AirPods (a good or bad thing depending on your point of view), and sound quality hasn't changed at all. The bulk of the upgrade comes from the new H1 headphone chip, which improves connectivity and battery life, and allows for a new ‘Hey Siri’ voice activation feature.

The AirPods (2019) also come with an optional wireless charging case, which means you can use a Qi-compatible charging mat to power the case, rather than sticking a cable into the Lightning charging port in the bottom of the case. 

Like their predecessors, they are super easy to pair, but they are very much optimised for using with iPhones and are somewhat pricey. 

Read our full review: Apple Airpods (2019)

jabra elite 85t

(Image credit: Jabra)

10. Jabra Elite 85t

A worthy successor to the Elite 75t

Acoustic design: Semi-open | Weight: 7g | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: 12mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 7 hours | Battery life (charging case): 31 hours | Wireless range: 33ft | NFC: No

Adjustable active noise cancellation
Elegant design
Much bulkier than the 75t
Fit isn’t perfect

While they don’t quite cut it like their predecessors owing to a slightly bulkier design, the Elite 85t deliver impressive performance thanks to some great audio quality, effective noise cancellation and decent battery life. 

Audio has been vastly improved thanks to a new pair of 12mm in-built speakers, which are twice the size of those on the 75t buds and offer a wider and more well-balanced soundstage. This, alongside even deeper bass, adds more depth to your favourite tunes. 

With that said, we still think the 75t is currently a better option with its lower price and slimmer design, but if audio fidelity is your main focus the 85t are worth a consideration.

Read more: Jabra Elite 85t review

[Update: The Jabra Elite 75t now come with active noise cancellation thanks to a firmware update – which could make them a potential rival for the AirPods Pro, and a cheaper noise-cancelling alternative to the Elite 85t.]

microsoft surface earbuds

(Image credit: Microsoft)

11. Microsoft Surface Earbuds

Anything Apple can do, Microsoft can do slightly differently

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 7.2g | Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz | Drivers: 13.6mm | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 8 hours | Battery life (charging case): 16 hours | Wireless range: 10m / 33ft | NFC: Yes

Eloquent, detailed sound
Comfortable, secure fit
Design is... distinctive
Battery life isn't class-leading

In terms of features, the Surface Earbuds cover off most - but not all - of what we’ve come to expect from a premium pair of true wireless in-ears: they have app-based adjustable EQs, aptX Bluetooth connectivity, and responsive touch controls. Plus they play impeccably nicely with virtually the entirety of Microsoft’s hardware and software ranges. They don’t have active noise-cancellation, though, and the way they fit means they let ambient sound leak in.

Sound is served up by relatively large full-range drivers. Of course, ‘relatively large’ could, in another life, be the Surface Earbuds’ official model name: a 25mm diameter is big by in-ear standards, 7.2g is heavy by in-ear standards and their charging case isn't exactly slim, either.   

Despite these big numbers, though, the Surface Earbuds prove comfortable and secure in situ, for hours on end. The ‘twist-to-fit’ arrangement keeps them nicely steady, even during mild exercise.

Overall, the Surface Earbuds are a very welcome addition to the ever-increasing list of worthwhile true wireless in-ears, and while their distinctive looks won’t be for everyone, they deliver in the only two areas that count: functionality and sound quality.

Read more: Microsoft Surface Earbuds review

earbuds

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

12. Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless

‘Affordable’ Sennheisers have Apple AirPods firmly in their sights

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 5.6g | Frequency response: 5-21,000Hz | Drivers: 7mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 8 hours | Battery life (charging case): 16 hours | Wireless range: 10m / 33ft | NFC: Yes

Detailed sound
Comfortable to wear 
Great app and good touch-control
Can be excitable with treble sounds
Ordinary battery life

Having established its credentials as a high-end true wireless earbud front-runner with two generations of its Momentum True Wireless, Sennheiser’s now turned its attention to the less rarefied area where Apple, Microsoft, Sony and all the rest duke it out. At £169 / $199 / AU$299, the CX400BT are pitched right into the thick of the action.

Happily, the CX400BT are specified to compete. They have aptX Bluetooth connectivity, with SBC and AAC codecs catered for too; they have app-based EQ adjustment; they have responsive touch-controls (which can be customised in the app); and they can be operated using Google Assistant or Siri.

Read more: Sennheiser CX 400BT review

The best wireless earbuds

Nuraloops

(Image credit: NuraLoop)

1. NuraLoop headphones

Improving on aural perfection

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 25g | Frequency response: 20Hz - 20 kHz | Drivers: 8.6mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 16 hours | wireless range: N/A | NFC: No

Rich, adaptive audio
ANC and social mode
Rugged, sweatproof desig
Stiff neckband can get in the way

NuraLoop boils down the essence of the company's first product, the Nuraphone, into a much more compact, rugged, and affordable package, and doesn't lose much in the process.

The star of the show is its adaptive audio technology, which automatically determines a listening profile for the user and feeds them well-balanced, lush sound as a result.

On top of this, features like active noise-cancelling, social mode, an IPX3 rating, Immersion mode, a great battery life, and the ability to attach an analog cable for 3.5mm headphone jacks makes this pair of wireless earbuds truly shine.

Read more: NuraLoop headphones review

Jaybird Tarah Pro

Jaybird Tarah Pro

2. Jaybird Tarah Pro

Well-crafted wireless earbuds for endurance athletes

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 20 grams | Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 103dB +/-2dB | Impedance: 16 Ohms | Battery life: 14 hours | Wireless range: 10m | NFC: No

Tactile rope cabling
Excellent battery-life
Jaybird app easy and effective
A little expensive

While Jaybird has consistently offered some of the best bang-for-your-buck Bluetooth 'buds, the sport-centric company's first foray into 'Pro' territory proves that they're not just for the conscious. 

Improving on almost everything that made its predecessors great, the Jaybird Tarah Pro offers excellent sound (tweakable via the simple Jaybird app), great comfort and fitting options, and all the conveniences you'd come to expect in the ultimate pair of wireless in-ears, such as a 14-hour battery life, magnetic driver housings, and a rugged design.

Read our full review: Jaybird Tarah Pro

Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Headphones

(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

3. Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Headphones

Neckbuds with phenomenal sound

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 31g | Frequency response: 10Hz - 30kHz | Drivers: 9.2mm | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: 96 dB | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 8 hours | NFC: No

Comfortable design
Excellent sound quality
No waterproofing
Average battery life

The Bowers & Wilkins PI3 are the first neckband wireless earbuds for the company, and they're a great start. Well-designed, comfy, and simple to use, they sound really good, too.

Thanks to dual drivers, these buds sound fantastic, with crisp highs, lively mids, and plenty of powerful bass. Look past the fairly unremarkable battery life and limited features, and you'll be mostly very impressed by what these offer.

Read the full review: Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Headphones review

Jaybird Tarah

Jaybird Tarah

4. Jaybird Tarah

Jaybird's budget offering delivers the goods

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 14 grams | Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 99dB +/-3dB | Impedance: 16 Ohms | Battery life: 6 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: No

Affordable without too much sacrifice
Durable and compact design
Weaker battery life

While we've put the Pro version in at first place, the budget alternative offers an equally compelling package for a different reason. 

Weighing it at around half the price of the Tarah Pro, these trimmed-down buds offer much the same core experience (excellent and customisable sound with a rugged, sports-centric design) as their more expensive brethren. You will be losing a considerable amount of battery life (down to 6 hours) and some of the niftier features, but if you're conscious then the discount will more than make up for it.

Read the full review: Jaybird Tarah

Beats X

Beats X

5. Beats X

Good-sounding wireless earbuds that can charge in five minutes

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 8 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: No

Balanced sound signature
Quick Charge feature
Relatively expensive
Lacking in clarity

There will always be those who are ready to complain about the sound performance of Beats headphones, but the inclusion of Apple's proprietary W1 chip has been a boon for the strength of their wireless connectivity. 

Functionally that makes these wireless earbuds a joy to use (with Apple products, at least), just don't expect the most detailed or broad soundstage. If you’re shopping for a no-fuss pair of earbuds that charge in 5 minutes and don’t mind spending a little extra money on them, the Beats X are for you.

Read the full review: Beats X



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