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November 28, 2022  |  Electronics

Earbuds podcast fans will want to find in their Christmas stockings, according to our tech expert

Podcasts are an excellent way to pass the time while exercising, cleaning or hanging out around the house. Podcast hosts put time, money and effort into providing the highest-quality audio. You'll want a top-notch pair of earbuds to get the most out of your podcast-listening sessions. We interviewed BestReviews tech expert, Jaime Vazquez, to better understand which earbuds are best for podcast lovers.

In this article: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)Marshall Minor III True Wireless In-Ear Headphones and Edifier W240TN Active Noise Cancellation Earbuds.

Why buy earbuds as a holiday gift?

Earbuds are relatively affordable and incredibly useful. "This is a really good season for wireless earbud fans," Vazquez said. "All of the high-end earbud makers came to the true-wireless market, and most now have really good active noise cancellation."

There are numerous earbud styles, meaning you can easily pick the perfect pair for your loved ones. Those who work out will be happy with a pair of sweat-resistant and waterproof earbuds, while those who travel will appreciate a pair with good battery life.

What to consider when buying earbuds for podcasts

  • Noise cancellation: This feature makes it easier to enjoy your favorite podcast while in a busy airplane or building. Cheaper earbuds used to feature passive noise cancellation, but most have upgraded to active noise cancellation. Active noise cancellation uses a microphone to listen to outside sounds. It then creates an inverted version of those sound waves to eliminate the noise.
  • Battery life: Wireless earbuds rely on a rechargeable battery. Those with noise cancellation likely require more power than traditional earbuds. However, many wireless models last up to eight hours on a single charge, and they often come with a carrying case that acts as a wireless charger.
  • User preferences: "To me, it is context specific when I’m shopping for earbuds," Vazquez said. "I travel a lot, so active noise cancellation and battery life are really important to me." It's best to consider how your loved ones typically use earbuds in order to buy a pair that fits their lifestyle.

Other tips for buying earbuds

Apple fans will surely love a pair of AirPods. "Both the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 are available now," Vazquez said. "The Pro 2 I’m very excited about. The only things they changed are the quality of the noise cancellation, the quality of the sound and the battery life. That was all they really needed to improve."

Memory foam ear tips make an excellent stocking stuffer as well. You can squish these before putting them in your ears to create a tight seal that ensures you get the best possible sound.

It's a good idea to check for device-specific features. "If you want Dolby Atmos sound, you’ll probably need Apple’s earbuds," Vazquez said. "On the other hand, if you're looking for EQ, you’ll do well with Marshall earbuds." With EQ, or sound equalization, a device adjusts sound so that different parts of an audio signal come out at the same perceived loudness.

Earbuds FAQ

Q. How long does it take to charge wireless earbuds?

A. In most cases, you can expect charging to take around two hours. Many wireless earbuds come with cases that charge them when they aren't in use. As long as you remember to put them in the case when you aren't using them, you're unlikely to run out of battery.

Q. Are wired earbuds still worth checking out?

A. Wired earbuds are often more affordable than wireless models. They're great for travel since it isn't as big a deal if you lose them. These also make an excellent backup pair if you forget to charge your wireless ones.

Q. How does passive noise cancellation work?

A. Passive noise cancellation typically relies on thick materials that help block sound. Active noise cancellation is better, but it can be more expensive.

Earbuds our tech expert recommends for podcast fans

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

These have excellent active noise cancellation and a transparency mode that lets you hear outside sounds. They come with four tips in different sizes so you can find the perfect fit for your ears. Most reviewers were impressed with the sound quality and battery life.

Sold by Amazon

Marshall Minor III True Wireless In-Ear Headphones

These last around five hours on a single charge, and the carrying case provides an extra 20 hours of battery life. They feature a sleek design reminiscent of a Marshall guitar amp. They're easy to connect, and the sound quality is superb.

Sold by Amazon

Edifier W240TN Active Noise Cancellation Earbuds

These have impressive bass and active noise-cancellation capabilities. They last seven to eight hours on a single charge and come with a case that extends the battery life. You can buy them in black, white or blue.

Sold by Amazon

Marshall Mode II True Wireless Headphones

These feature an ergonomic design and intuitive touch controls. The bass and treble tones are impressive. Additionally, they are water-resistant.

Sold by Amazon

Bose QuietComfort Noise-Canceling Earbuds

The built-in microphone helps reduce background noise while you're taking phone calls. They last around six hours on a single charge, and the included case provides an additional 12 hours of battery life. They come in black or white.

Sold by Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

These detect your voice and automatically turn off active noise cancellation when you're having a conversation. The sound quality is excellent, and the touch controls are easy to use. They're available in three colors.

Sold by Amazon

Google Pixel Buds Pro

These last around 11 hours per charge and come with a carrying case that charges them wirelessly. You can switch between connected devices with ease. They come in four colors.

Sold by Amazon

Marshall Motif True Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

These come with three sets of tips in different sizes. They feature intuitive touch controls, and the sound quality is impressive.

Sold by Amazon

Comply SmartCore Memory Foam Earphone Tips Variety Pack

These versatile tips fit most earbuds. They help keep your earbuds in place and improve the overall sound quality.

Sold by Amazon

Sennheiser CX True Wireless Earbuds

These can last around 27 hours with the included case that charges them wirelessly. They come in black or white.

Sold by Amazon

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.