Find the best earbuds with a microphone that are great for answering phone calls in loud places.
|Rating||Price||Connection||Mic Quality||Battery life||Noise-cancelling||More info|
Jabra Elite Active 75t Best overall
7h + 20h in case
Aukey EP-N7 Runner-up
5h + 20h in case
Apple AirPods Pro Best Apple
Bluetooth 5.0 (+ H1 chip)
5h + 24h in case
TaoTronics Soundliberty 80 Best classic earphones
2.5h + 16h in case
Jaybird Vista 2 Best for sports
8h + 16h in case
Skullcandy Ink’d 2.0 Best wired
Wired – 3.5mm
SoundPEATS Sonic Best under $50
14h + 20h in case
While everyone likes the convenience of having multiple features stuck into one device, their quality varies significantly. It’s the same with microphones.
Earbuds, especially true wireless ones, sit far away from your mouth. Therefore, they require a lot of processing to isolate your voice more clearly.
However, the performance is bad in most cases, with lots of distortion, loud ambient noise, or muffled voice.
Price doesn’t really matter when it comes to mic quality in earbuds. Some premium earbuds, like Sony WF-1000XM4, can actually disappoint with their performance.
That’s why we’ve tested and collected only the best earbuds for call quality so that you can make a more educated decision.
Best Earbuds with Microphone
1. Jabra Elite Active 75t
A perfect combination of great audio quality and microphone quality.
- Reliably stable during movement
- Comfortable for hours thanks to smart ergonomics
- Fully waterproof with IP57 (IPX7)
- Great sound quality with equalization
- HearThrough awareness mode (useful for runners, cyclists…)
- Competitive battery life at 7 hours per charge (+20h in case)
- Perfectly designed physical controls
- High build quality
- Tiny soundstage (all sounds come from the middle of your head)
- Pricier than most alternatives
- Only right earbud can be used as mono
Bass-dominant sound is excellent for sportspeople who need an extra punch to get them going. And by further tweaking Elite Active 75t response, you can make them sound the way you want.
These come from a reputable brand that’s known for making great professional headsets.
The latter shows with mic quality. Apart from occasional pops, the call quality is excellent. Earbuds use a total of 4 mics to pick your voice with great clarity.
Apart from that, Elite Active 75t are fully water-resistant, boast a high build quality, and a comfortable, ergonomic design.
Pairing them with the Jabra+ app lets you tweak the sound output, change controls, and download firmware updates.
2. Aukey EP-N7
Undeniably the best call quality on a budget that can rival premium models.
- Excellent comfort
- Good fit and stability
- Impressive active noise cancellation performance
- Great call quality for the price
- Decent overall battery life
- Warm sound
- … but with too much bass
- You have to force SBC to eliminate video lag (Android)
The sound quality is good for the most part, with a strong emphasis on punchy bass notes. The midrange and treble stay relatively relaxed, so the EP-N7 make for a very pleasant listen.
Despite their affordable price at just $40, the EP-N7 are truly compelling true wireless earbuds with mic. Not only do they do a great job with active noise cancelling, but the voice quality is also superb.
Earbuds successfully block the majority of surrounding noise during voice or Zoom calls, even in more demanding situations.
On top of excellent call performance, you can expect a comfortable fit as well. You can wear them for hours without having to take a break.
3. Apple AirPods Pro
The most popular true wireless pick for casual users.
- Sound better than original AirPods
- In-ear fit that’s suitable for moderate exercise
- Effective noise cancelling and isolation
- Seamless user experience with iPhone/iOS
- Sweatproof with IPX4 certification
- Expensive even among premium alternatives
- No built-in volume controls
- Cheap lid mechanism on the charging case
AirPods Pro have a balanced sound quality throughout the frequency range, with minor elevation in the upper midrange to boost vocals.
That is especially important when making voice calls so that you can hear the caller’s voice more clearly.
Furthermore, mics work incredibly well. Active noise canceling, Transparency mode, and overall call quality are excellent. No wonder AirPods Pro are so popular among customers.
By pairing them with an Apple device, you enable extra features such as Dolby Atmos and ear canal scanning. Earbuds also have decent battery life and support wireless charging.
Another highlight is comfort. Many users swear by these as the most comfortable earbuds on the market. Unfortunately, ear tips don’t go very deep, so their stability is only decent.
4. TaoTronics Soundliberty 80
The AirPods lookalike with robust construction and equally excellent mic performance as Apple’s earbuds.
- Good overall sound
- IPX8 water-resistant rating
- Excellent microphone quality
- Support for both AAC and aptX
- No audio lag with videos and games
- No passive isolation whatsoever
- Subpar battery life
- Poor stability
For classic earphones, the sound quality is quite good. It’s decently full and airy, providing an enjoyable experience even for long listening sessions.
The design of these true wireless earphones strongly resembles Apple’s AirPods, with a few unique accents to distinguish one from the other.
For more than half a price, call quality is quite impressive and comparable to more premium models.
Sadly, Soundliberty 80 don’t have a great battery life, lasting only 2.5 hours per charge. Moreso, there’s no passive isolation, so using them in noisy places can be problematic.
5. Jaybird Vista 2
Great true wireless earbuds for sports that also deliver clear call quality.
- Great out-of-the-box sound
- Excellent comfort and stability
- Extremely durable with water-resistant charging case
- Good battery life
- Feature-rich companion app
- Decent active noise cancellation
- Occasional connection stutters
- Error messages during firmware updates
Out of the box, the sound signature is smooth and slightly V-shaped. The audio performance is suitable for most music genres, from rock to hip hop. You can flavor it to your taste inside a companion app.
Vista 2 have a similar design as their predecessor. Only this time, they’ve added a fabric mesh on top of on-ear controls and mics.
The mesh provides greater noise reduction wind noise when you have to answer a call outdoors.
Microphones perform pretty well in both quiet and loud places. On top of that, earbuds offer active noise cancellation and ambient mode.
Additionally, earbuds sport a highly durable build, with an IP68 rating and MIL-STD-810G military standard of durability. Even the case has an IP54 splashproof rating.
6. Skullcandy Ink’d 2.0
The best wired earbuds for making phone calls on the go.
- Decent microphone quality
- Comfortable fit
- Overly bass-forward sound
- Cheaper build
As with many budget consumer earbuds, the sound of the Ink’d 2.0 is leaning towards the bassy side. If you like bass-focused music, these will suit you well. Just don’t expect a highly detailed presentation.
Earbuds have a pretty ergonomic design that provides a tight fit without causing discomfort. You can wear them for hours without problems.
Inline remote houses a mic that does its job quite well. It can isolate your voice clearly enough, even when you enter a noisier room.
On the flip side, excellent noise isolation helps you hear the caller better.
7. SoundPEATS Sonic
A reliable pair for phone calls and good sound quality that doesn’t cost too much.
- Great sound quality
- Amazing battery life (14h/charge)
- Comfortable fit
- Reliable Bluetooth 5.2 connection
- Support for aptX Adaptive
- Overly boosted sub-bass
- Cheap-feeling construction
A reasonably balanced presentation is cut off by a huge boost in the sub-bass. In many cases, you don’t even hear it, but the lower bass can get overwhelming in more modern genres.
The Sonic’s mics are more than decent enough for answering voice calls in all situations. Earbuds keep your voice clear and understandable, regardless of the amount of background noise.
If you make many voice and video calls per day and want your earbud’s battery life to last for a long time, these are worth checking out. With up to 14 hours per charge, they’re among the best out there.
JBL Reflect Mini NC
Another great sports true wireless earbuds that also excel at mic quality. Durability and stability are top-notch, and you can pair them with an app to fully customize your experience.
Skullcandy Push Ultra
Their earphone design provides good awareness, while ear hooks ensure they don’t fall off. They’re a great alternative to classic earpieces, with good call quality.
Dirt-cheap truly wireless earbuds with good quality mics and even better sound quality. They’re very basic and cheaply made, but for $20, you can’t complain much.
How to Pick the Best Earbuds with Microphone?
Before buying earbuds with microphone, you have to ask yourself a few questions to narrow your search.
Where Will I Make Calls With a Mic?
While most earbuds with microphones perform well in quiet places, it’s the loud ambient noise that makes the biggest difference.
If you plan to make phone calls with earbuds in a noise-free environment, almost any earbud will do the job.
On the other hand, if you’re often in a noisy environment, like on the streets, commuting, or loud offices, investing in earbuds with a great ANC mic is a must.
Do I Need Quality ANC Technology for the Mic?
Most mics, especially those built into wireless earbuds, use special noise reduction technologies (cVc is most common) to isolate your voice during calls.
Much like in a previous question, if you make calls in a noisy place, a good noise-cancelling mic helps make your voice understandable.
Still, not all earbuds that use cVc have great performance. This is just an algorithm that takes the signal and processes it.
Even this advanced tech can’t perform miracles if the mics are of bad quality or poorly placed.
How Do the Earbuds Fit?
If you plan to use earbuds for phone or video calls, chances are you will be using them for extended periods. Therefore, comfort is of the essence.
If you can’t test them personally, browse through various reviews to better understand how comfortable earbuds are.
The latter is even more important if you have smaller ears. True wireless earbuds can be quite bulky, so picking the right ones can be a chore.
In general, look for more ergonomically shaped and light earbuds, as they usually fit the best.
What Sound Quality Do I Want?
That can be a bit tricky since there’s no guarantee that the best-sounding earbuds will also have excellent mic quality.
If the main priority is the call quality, make a list of your favorite earbuds with a mic. Then, check how each sounds like and only then decide which one you should buy.
What Makes a Quality Microphone?
A quality microphone can pick up your voice even in challenging situations. Voice must be as full as possible, with as little distortion and artifacts.
To achieve that, built-in mics have to resort to the latest technologies for background noise reduction.
Earbuds must pick up your voice with good enough clarity so that the person on the other side of the line understands you.
Furthermore, microphones must be sensitive enough so that your voice doesn’t appear too quiet. If the mic is quiet and earbuds boost your voice afterward, it can introduce lots of noise and distortion.
Since microphones also pick up unwanted ambient noise, they must know how to reduce it.
One way of doing that is to use multiple mics. One is facing your mouth to hear your voice better, whereas the other(s) listen to outside noise.
By having both your voice and ambient noise information, earbuds can filter out unwanted sounds and highlight your speech.
Active Noise Cancelling Technology in Mics
First of all, active noise cancellation technology for phone calls is different than noise canceling technology in headphones.
The latter cancels out background noise for you, a headphone user, whereas the other block ambient noise from your voice so that the caller can hear you better.
It works similarly to regular noise filtering tech, just that this time around, it uses special chips (cVc) to erase everything around you actively.
cVc takes the information from all microphones on earbuds and uses a computer algorithm to isolate your voice.
Does it Pick Up Wind Noise?
Wind noise can be a big problem when making calls outdoors. Apart from good active noise cancellation, earbud manufacturer has to strategically place microphones to reduce a chance creating wind noise.
Jaybird Vista 2 uses such a practical solution, placing a mic under a fabric mesh. Newer ear buds like Sony WF-1000XM4 rely on an algorithm to cut out wind noise.
True wireless earbuds sit pretty far away from your mouth. That’s why some struggle to keep your voice clean, boosting the volume and introducing unwanted static noise.
No wonder that the best wireless earbuds for call quality have a stem to move the mic closer to your mouth.
How Does a Mic Work?
For a basic understanding, a mic catches sound waves and transforms them into an electrical signal.
Of course, that signal is full of unwanted noise, so it has to use tricks to make it sound better.
To ensure clear call quality, the mic uses various filtering options.
The most basic one uses at least 2 mics. One is picking up your voice, while the other listens to background noise. Mic later filters out what he hears as ambient noise and only focuses on your voice.
A more advanced approach uses a computer algorithm to isolate your voice and cancel out ambiance. It’s called cVc, and is found in most headphones with built-in microphones.
Types of Microphones in Earbuds
For tiny devices such as in-ear headphones, you require even smaller mics. Manufacturers tend to pick between 2 different types: ECM and MEMS.
1. ECM is an older design, which uses slightly more space than MEMS. It’s also more power-hungry and less resistant to noise that’s induced by electronics.
However, it’s the cheapest to manufacture, easily swappable if it stops working and more resistant to water by design.
2. MEMS, on the other hand, is much smaller and more power-efficient. It’s also more resistant to heat and produces less noise.
That’s why it’s the most common type of microphone in today’s wireless headphones, where every bit of space matters.
Which is Better: ECM or MEMS?
As mentioned before, both have advantages and disadvantages. In general, using MEMS design makes more sense since it’s smaller and more power-efficient.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Do I Know My Earbuds have a Microphone?
This information is usually stated on the box. Also, almost all Bluetooth earbuds have a built-in mic.
On the other hand, wired earbuds have a casing (and possibly remote controls) somewhere on the wire. If not, then they lack a microphone.
Do All Earbuds Have a Mic?
While only some wired earphones have a microphone, all Bluetooth ones have one built into the housing.
What Does Built-In Mic Mean?
It means that the mic is located inside the housing of an earbud/headphone. Most Bluetooth audio devices use built-in microphones.
What’s the Difference Between Earphones with Mic and Without It?
Earbuds with microphones can provide additional features, such as answering phone calls and summoning voice assistants. Furthermore, mics are essential for both active noise cancellation and ambient sound mode to work.
In contrast, earbuds without a mic can only play audio.
Are Earbuds Good for Phone Calls?
Wired or wireless earbuds, they both perform equally as good as bigger headphones. Also, earbuds are smaller and more practical to carry around.
Of course, a dedicated headset with a boom mic is still the best choice for making phone calls.