Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones/Earbuds Under $200 Of 2021


Compact, wire-free and sonically clear, a great pair of wireless earphones can be an everyday item in our lives. These earbuds are becoming more and more popular as people get tired of wires and device manufacturers phase out headphone jacks.

Not all wireless earbuds are created equal, though. In this article, we’ll go over the best wireless earphones on the market with a price tag under $200 USD.

The top 5 best wireless earphones/earbuds under $200 are:

You may be thinking that $200 USD is pretty expensive for a pair of earbuds. This is true. However, at this price point, you’ll find many of the top-performing wireless earphones.

Since we’re having a discussion within the context of a price cap, I figure I should leave a link to a related My New Microphone article: Are Expensive Headphones (Or Cheap Headphones) Worth It?


What Makes A Great Wireless Earphone?

Though the term “best” is subjective, we should still list the criteria used to determine what makes a great pair of wireless earphones.

  • Comfort: this is perhaps the simplest yet most important criterion of any pair of earphones. Though highly subjective, factors such as weight; shape, and the overall dimension play a role in comfort.
  • Battery life: because wireless transmission requires power, wireless earphones will require batteries. The amount of time it takes for the battery to drain from fully charged is an important factor to consider.
  • Wireless specifications: do the earbuds use the Bluetooth protocol or some other type of wireless transmission? Will they be compatible with your current set up? Are the earbuds true wireless (two independent receivers for the left and right buds) or “regular” wireless (the two earbuds must be connected via a wire)? These are questions worth asking.
  • Frequency response: a great pair of earphones should be able to reproduce the full audible spectrum from 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz with clarity.

With that, let’s get into our top 5 best wireless earphones for under $200!

To learn more about wireless earphones before we jump into the best models under $200, please consider reading the following My New Microphone articles:
How Bluetooth Headphones Work & How To Pair Them To Devices
How Do Wireless Headphones Work? + Bluetooth & True Wireless


Related articles:

Click here to return to the Recommended Gear Page.


Sony WF-1000XM3

First up is the Sony WF-1000XM3 (link to check the price on Amazon) from the popular Japanese electronics brand, Sony.

Sony WF-1000XM3

The Sony WF-1000XM3 is a pair of true wireless earbuds. True wireless means that each earbud has its own wireless receiver and so there’s no need to have the two earpieces tethered together. These earbuds use Bluetooth V5.0 for a secure and easy connection with a range of 10m / 33 ft.

The supported Bluetooth profiles are A2DP, AVRCP, HFP and HSP, and the supported audio codecs are SBC and AAC.

Battery life depends on what we’re using the earphones for. With continuous music playback, we get 6/8 hours (with active noise-cancelling on/off); continuous communication via the built-in microphones is limited to 4/4.5 hours (with ANC on/off), and if we only choose to use ANC, then the battery should last up to 9 hours. There’s some foreshadowing for what we’ll discuss next about these headphones!

The charging time for the earbuds is approximately 1.5 hours, and the charging case holds an additional 3 charges before the entire system has to be plugged in to recharge.

The 6mm dynamic drivers in the WF-1000XM3 are designed with neodymium magnets and a dome-type CCAW voice coil. This relatively common design produces an expansive sound considering the nature of earbuds with accuracy across the 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz frequency response.

To learn more about dynamic drivers and driver size, check out my articles The Complete Illustrated Guide To Moving-Coil Dynamic Headphones and What Is A Good Driver Size For Headphones? respectively.

These earbuds, like all earbuds, should be fitted properly within the listener’s ear canal to get the best bass response. The tri-hold structure fits universally well in listeners’ ears. Additionally, 3 sizes of triple-comfort earbuds and 4 sizes of long hybrid silicon rubber earbuds are included to ensure the listener will find a comfortable and secure fit.

In addition to great sound, the ergonomic wear of the WF-1000XM3 earbuds will allow for Sony’s renowned noise cancellation. Of course, some amount of passive isolation will happen with a properly fitted earbud (in the same way that earplugs work). However, the real magic is in the active noise-cancellation (ANC).

Dual-microphone noise sensors are built into each earbud. Both feedforward and feedback circuits are used to cancel external noise. The dedicated HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1e is capable of the typical low-end noise cancellation and remarkable dulling of mid and high frequencies. Even for earbuds, the WF-1000MX3’s are top-performers when it comes to ANC.

For more information on active noise cancellation in earphones, check out my article How Do Noise-Cancelling Headphones Work? (PNC & ANC).

These earbuds also include DSEE Extreme (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) technology, which utilizes artificial intelligence to upscale compressed digital audio files in real-time. This tech aims to restore the lost quality that comes with compression for a more complete listening experience.

This aforementioned 24-bit QN1e processor acts as a digital-to-analog converter and headphone amp. Sony has made it possible for a set of Bluetooth wireless earbuds to sound as good as, if not better than, the majority of the high-end wired options on the market.

Built-in microphones allow for hands-free use with voice assistant control. These noise-cancelling mics allow block-out background noise for crystal clear telephony when making calls.

Intuitive touch control settings allow users to adjust the performance of the earphones by simply tapping the outside of the earbud. Skip tracks, make calls, pause music, engage/disengage ANC and Ambient Sound and more. The Quick Attention feature allows users to quickly drop the volume and let in ambient sound for easy communication that doesn’t involve taking the earbuds out.

Adaptive Sound Control senses where you are and what you’re doing and adjusts ambient sound settings for the ideal listening experience. It can even learn your regularly-visited spots and automatically adjust the ANC/Ambient settings to the location.

The Sony | Headphones Connect app allows users to adjust the smart controls. We can also customize the aforementioned tap controls to our personal liking. The app’s equalizer allows us to dial in the sound to our specific taste.

For so much technology and such great sound, the Sony WF-1000XM3 is a steal, even at just under $200 USD.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 0.24″ dome type Dynamic
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: in-ear
  • Weight: 0.3 oz. per earbud (2.8 oz. net)
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth 5.0

To learn more about headphone specifications, be sure to read my article Full List: Headphone/Earphone Specifications w/ Examples.

Sony is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World
Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World
Top 11 Best AV Receiver Brands In The World
Top 9 Best Car Stereo Brands In The World
Top 11 Audio Portable/Field Audio Mixer/Recorder Brands
Top 11 Best Soundbar Brands On The Market
Top 8 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker Brands On The Market


Beats Powerbeats Pro

Love them or hate them, Beats headphones often make lists like these. The Beats Powerbeats Pro (link to check the price on Amazon) are a great pair of wireless earphones.

Beats Powerbeats Pro

The Beats Powerbeats Pro true wireless earbuds use Class 1 Bluetooth via Apple H1 chip for a secure and easy connection with a range of 10m / 33 ft.

The supported Bluetooth profiles are A2DP, AVRCP, HFP and HSP, and the supported audio codecs are SBC and AAC.

A 9-hour battery life keeps listeners going for a while before ever having the charge these earphones. An additional 15 hours is available in the portable charging case. A 5-minute Fast Fuel will net an extra 1.5 hours of playtime when the battery is low.

The dynamic drivers of the Powerbeats Pro earphones produce the enhanced low-end that put Beats on the map. They’re not the most transparent, but for earphones, they’ve got a superb bass response. That being said, the frequency response produces frequencies across the audible spectrum.

These headphones are made for movement with an adjustable, secure-fit ear hook and 4 differently-sized pairs of eartips. Pick the tips that feel best in your ear canals and adjust the hooks to keep the earphones securely and comfortably in place.

When fitted properly, the listener will hear the superb sound and wide dynamic range of these great wireless earbuds.

The sweat/water-resistant IPX4 rating makes the Powerbeats Pro an excellent option for workouts as well as regular listening.

Dual beam-forming microphones are combined with a motion & speech accelerometer for speech-detecting and noise reduction. This makes calls crystal clear when using the Powerbeats Pro. Voice assistants are easily engaged with these same microphones.

Each earbud has volume and track controls, and the earphones ever feature an auto play/pause function.

If bass music gets you going and keeps you going, try out a pair of Powerbeats Pro to keep the pump you need in a compact earbud form factor.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: no info
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: IPX4
  • Open/Closed-Back: in-ear
  • Weight: 0.71 oz / 20.3 g
  • Wireless/Wired: Class 1 Bluetooth

Beats is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World
Top 8 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker Brands On The Market


Samsung Galaxy Buds+

Third on the list are the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ (link to check the price on Amazon).

Samsung Galaxy Buds+

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ is a superb pair of true wireless earbuds that builds on the experience of the legendary AKG audio equipment manufacturer (now a Samsung subsidiary).

The Galaxy Buds+ work on Bluetooth 5.0 with A2DP, AVRCP, HFP profiles and Scalable (Samsung proprietary), AAC, SBC codecs. The range of wireless connectivity is 10m / 33 ft.

The battery life of these earbuds is 11 hours, and the charging case offers an extra charge for a total of 22 hours. A 3-minute charge gets users an extra 1 hour of playtime. The case battery can be replenished on any Qi-compatible wireless charger or even via Galaxy smartphones.

Each Samsung Galaxy Buds+ actually has two different dynamic speaker drivers. The woofer provides a powerful bass response while the tweeter delivers clear and defined highs. These earbuds sound great across the audible spectrum, bringing studio quality to wireless earbuds.

Though the Galaxy Buds+ don’t have dedicated active noise-cancelling, the 3-microphone system acts similarly to deliver crystal clear calls when using the earbuds. Two exterior mics and one interior mic work together to block out an impressive amount of external noise while on calls.

Easy tap controls allow users to shift through playlists, answer calls and adjust volume with simple taps on the earbuds. Customizable controls can be programmed in the Samsung Cloud.

Pairing these earbuds to the Samsung Cloud is simple and allows the earbuds to pair more easily to all your Samsung devices.

Download the Galaxy Wearables app to opens up additional customization. Adjust the Ambient sound to allow more external sound in, customize EQ and touch controls, and more.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: no info
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: IPX2
  • Open/Closed-Back: in-ear
  • Weight: 6.3g per earbud (39.6g charging case)
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth 5.0

Samsung is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Soundbar Brands On The Market.


Jabra Elite Active 75T

Let’s now turn our attention to the Jabra Elite Active 75T (link to check the price on Amazon).

Jabra Elite Active 75T

The Jabra Elite 75t is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones For Running Under $200
Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Earphones Under $200

The Jabra Elite Active 75T is a pair of true wireless Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds with an operating range of up to 10 m / 33 ft. These earbuds support SBC and AAC codecs along with HSP v1.2 , HFP v1.7, A2DP v1.3, AVRCP v1.6 and SPP v1.2 BT profiles.

A fully charged battery will run for 5.5 hours with ANC on or 7.5 hours with ANC off. With the charging case, we can get a total of 24 hours or 28 hours (ANC on/off) before having to recharge the system. Fast charging nets 60 minutes of earbud playtime from 15 minutes in the charging case (ANC off).

The Jabra Elite 75t offers a balanced sound across its frequency response of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, delivering solid low-end, clear mids and non-fatiguing highs.

For more info on frequency response, check out my article What Is Headphone Frequency Response & What Is A Good Range?

These 5.5g earbuds have been strictly tested for a secure fit in every type of ear. The Elite 75t comes with 3 different size eargels (small, medium and large) to help fit anyone’s ears comfortably and securely.

The IP55 rating means these earbuds will continue to perform throughout a sweaty workout and even in rainy outdoor conditions. Note that the charging case is not waterproof.

4 built-in MEMS microphones help to filter out disruptive noise during calls for clear communication. These mics also allow for voice assistant usage with paired devices.

To learn more about MEMS microphones, check out my article What Is A MEMS Microphone? (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems).

These earbuds offer active noise-cancellation and HearThrough technology. Depending on what the situation calls for, we can choose to block out external noise or allow more environmental sound in.

Turn HearThrough on in the Jabra Sound+ App. Adjustments to the EQ can be made within the app as well.

MySound technology (within the app) further enhances the earphones by first conducting a hearing test and then adjusting the EQ of the headphones appropriately, tailored to your individual hearing profile.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 6 mm Dynamic
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz (music)|100 Hz – 8 kHz (calls)
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: IP57
  • Open/Closed-Back: in-ear
  • Weight: 5.5 g / 0.19 oz (each earbud)| 35.4 g / 1.25 oz (charging case)
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth 5.0
  • Microphone: 4 x MEMS

Jabra is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World.


Bowers & Wilkins PI3

Last but not least is the Bowers & Wilkins PI3 (link to check the price on Amazon).

Bowers & Wilkins PI3

The Bowers & Wilkins PI3 earphones are not true wireless. Note how the two earpieces are connected together.

The wireless protocol of the PI3 is Bluetooth 5.0. It supports the following codecs:

  • AptX-Adaptive
  • AptX-HD
  • AptX-Classic
  • AAC
  • SBC

And the following profiles:

  • A2DP v1.3.1
  • AVRCP v1.6.1
  • HFP v1.7.1
  • HSP v1.2
  • BLE GATT (Generic Attribute Profile)

The lithium-polymer battery is rechargeable via the included USB-A to USB-C cable or any other USB-C cable. A full charge gets listeners 8 hours of playtime, and charging only takes an hour (from 0% to 100%).

Note that if we wanted to go with a wired connection, the USB-C connection could also carry audio. This way, we won’t have to worry about battery life at all.

Bowers & Wilkins designed this earphone with dual drivers on each side. Each earbud has a driver for highs/mids and a separate driver for bass. The result is a huge sound that makes these small buds seem larger than their physical size.

The bass driver is a 9.2mm dynamic driver, capable of extended low-end, especially when the PI3 is properly fitted and snug in the ear canal.

The second driver has a balanced armature design and does a superb job at accurately recreating the mids and highs of the incoming audio signal.

To learn more about balanced armature drivers, check out my article The Complete Guide To Balanced Armature IEMs/Earphones.

In terms of fit, the PI3 is fairly universal and ergonomic. It comes with 3 differently sized pairs of eartips and 3 differently sized pairs of earfins to ensure a perfect fit. Mix and match to find the ideal fit for your ears and have a secure headphone that sounds as great as it feels.

The connecting cable of the PI3 earbuds hosts the control panel, which includes power on/off, volume + and -, and a multi-function control. Use these buttons to control the audio and to make/take calls.

The built-in cVc 1 noise-cancelling microphone is used for telephony, ensuring you sound clear on calls. It also allows the PI3 to work with voice assistants.

The Bowers & Wilkins PI3 is actually quite simple compared to the other earphones on this list. That being said, its sound makes up for its relative “lack” in functionality. This set of earphones is certainly above its class at under $200 USD.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 1x balanced armature / 1x dynamic driver (0.36″ / 9.2 mm)
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz – 30,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: in-ear
  • Weight: 30g
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth 5.0

Bowers & Wilkins is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World
Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World
Top 11 Best Home Speaker Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 10 Best Loudspeaker Brands (Overall) On The Market Today
Top 11 Best Soundbar Brands On The Market


Honourable Mentions

There are plenty of other wireless earphones worth discussing. Here are 4 more excellent examples that didn’t make the top 5:


Choosing the right headphones or earphones for your applications and budget can be a challenging task. For this reason, I’ve created My New Microphone’s Comprehensive Headphones/Earphones Buyer’s Guide. Check it out for help in determining your next headphones/earphones purchase.


Other Top Headphones/Earphones Articles

Here are additional My New Microphone articles regarding the best headphones/earphones by type, application, and price:
Top 5 Best Balanced Armature In-Ear Monitors
• Top 5 Best Balanced Armature In-Ear Monitors Under $500
• Top 5 Best Bone Conduction Headphones
• Top 5 Best Circumaural (Over-Ear) Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Circumaural (Over-Ear) Headphones Under $200

• Top 5 Best Circumaural (Over-Ear) Headphones Under $500
• Top 5 Best Closed-Back Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Closed-Back Headphones Under $200
• Top 5 Best Earphones For Sleeping Under $250
• Top 3 Best Earphones For Swimming Under $200
• Top 5 Best Electrostatic Headphones
• Top 10 Best Headphones/Earphones For Hiking
• Top 5 Best Headphones Under $50
• Top 5 Best Headphones For Podcasting Under $100
• Top 5 Best Headphones For Podcasting Under $200
• Top 5 Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $200
• Top 5 Best Moving-Coil/Dynamic Headphones Under $500
• Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Earphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Earphones Under $200
• Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $200
• Top 5 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $500
• Top 5 Best Open-Back Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Open-Back Headphones Under $200
• Top 5 Best Open-Back Headphones Under $500
• Top 5 Best Planar Magnetic Headphones
• Top 5 Best Supra-Aural (On-Ear) Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Supra-Aural (On-Ear) Headphones Under $250
• Top 5 Best Supra-Aural (On-Ear) Headphones Under $500
• Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones/Earbuds Under $100
• Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones For Running Under $50
• Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones For Running Under $100
• Top 5 Best Wireless Earphones For Running Under $200
• Top 5 Best Wireless Headphones Under $100
• Top 5 Best Wireless Headphones Under $200
• Top 5 Best Wireless Headphones Under $500


This article has been approved in accordance with the My New Microphone Editorial Policy.

Arthur

Arthur is the owner of Fox Media Tech and author of My New Microphone. He's an audio engineer by trade and works on contract in his home country of Canada. When not blogging on MNM, he's likely hiking outdoors and blogging at Hikers' Movement (hikersmovement.com) or composing music for media. Check out his Pond5 and AudioJungle accounts.

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