When asking around about the best true wireless earbuds, three models come up over and over: Sony’s WF-1000XM4, Jabra’s Elite 85t, and Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds. They all have passionate fans, and for good reason—they offer excellent sound quality, smart features, and long battery life. But which one is right for you?
All three earbuds offer outstanding noise cancellation, which effectively blocks out most ambient sounds so you can focus on your music or podcast. They also provide high-quality audio, balancing low, mid, and high tones well. The Sony buds have the warmest tone out of all three, while the Bose and Jabra earbuds are more neutral. The Bose buds have the clearest highs, while the Sony earbuds lose a little clarity in their higher frequencies (think cymbal clashes).
In terms of fit and comfort, all three are comfortable to wear for hours on end. The Sony earbuds can be finicky when seating them in the ear, but once they’re in place they form a tight seal that’s comfortable. The Bose and Jabra earbuds, on the other hand, are easier to get into place and have a less clunky design than the Sony buds. The Jabra earbuds are also the smallest of the bunch, making them the best choice for people who want a discreet look or find that the Sony and Bose buds are too large for their frame.
All three pairs have easy-to-use apps that make pairing and navigating their features simple. The Bose app is a bit more polished and offers a larger selection of settings, but the Sony app is simple enough to get used to quickly. When it comes to voice-assistance functions, the Bose and Jabra apps take the lead over the Sony buds, which have a hollow quality that makes you sound like you’re in close proximity to listeners and struggle with windy environments.