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7 Best Earbuds with Microphone for Clear Phone Calls (2023)

Last updated: 10 months ago
10 min read

Find the best earbuds with a microphone that are great for answering phone calls in loud places.

We test and review headphones based on an independent 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Rating Price Connection Mic Quality Battery life Noise-cancelling More info
Apple AirPods Pro Best overall
Apple AirPods Pro
Bluetooth 5.0 (+ H1 chip)
5h + 24h in case
Jabra Elite 7 Pro Runner-up
Jabra Elite 7 Pro small image
Bluetooth 5.2
8h + 22h in case
1MORE Evo The prettiest
Bluetooth 5.2
8h + 28h in case
Apple AirPods 3 Best classic earphones
Apple AirPods 3 small image
Bluetooth 5.0
6h + 24h in case
Jaybird Vista 2 Best for sports
Jaybird Vista 2 small image
Bluetooth 5.0
8h + 16h in case
Antlion Kimura Duo Best wired
Antlion Kimura Duo gaming in-ear monitors
Wired – 3.5mm
SoundPEATS Sonic Best under $50
SoundPEATS Sonic
Bluetooth 5.2
14h + 20h in case
CONTENTS (show more)

    While everyone likes having multiple features in one device, their quality varies. It’s the same with microphones.

    Earbuds, especially true wireless, sit away from your mouth. So, they require a lot of processing to isolate your voice clearly.

    And usually, the performance is bad in many cases, with lots of distortion, loud ambient noise, and muffled voice.

    Price doesn’t really matter when it comes to mic quality either. Some premium earbuds, like Sony WF-1000XM4, actually disappoint with their performance. And call quality matters when using earbuds for serious work.

    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. Apple AirPods Pro

    Apple AirPods Pro white earbuds

    Apple AirPods Pro are the best earbuds with a quality microphone for most people.

    in stock
    in stock
    5 new from $149.99
    3 used from $114.00
    as of November 30, 2023 4:06 pm
    in stock
    31 used from $219.30
    as of November 30, 2023 4:06 pm

    Apple AirPods Pro review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5h + 24h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h + quick charge – Lightning | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: ANC, Transparency mode, Dolby Atmos
    • 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

    Check the AirPods Pro microphone test:

    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 to 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 such a huge deal among customers.

    By pairing them with an Apple device, you enable extra features such as Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio, Audio Sharing, switching between two devices simultaneously, and ear canal scanning.

    Earbuds also have decent battery life and support wireless charging. Sadly, you have to use voice commands to change the volume.

    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.

    2. Jabra Elite 7 Pro

    2nd-place RUNNER-UP
    Jabra Elite 7 Pro earbuds and case

    Undeniably the best call quality under $200 that can rival premium models.

    Jabra Elite 7 Pro review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 22h in case | Wireless range: 60 feet (18.3m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2.5h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP57 | Features: Multipoint, ANC, HearThrough, EQ, app
    • Balanced sound out-of-the-box that gets better with EQ
    • Comfortable fit for long listening sessions
    • High IP57 rating and premium-feeling build
    • Good battery life of 8 hours per charge & wireless charging support
    • Jabra+ app has overwhelming amount of features
    • Impressive passive noise isolation
    • Mediocre active noise cancellation with almost no effect
    • Custom EQ doesn't let you tweak frequencies above 7kHz

    Check the Jabra Elite 7 Pro microphone test:

    Elite 7 Pro have a pretty neutral sound out of the box that you can further improve by using our custom EQ (in the full review). They also have a good soundstage, increasing the listening immersion.

    Earbuds sit comfortably in your ears without causing any pressure. They reach deep into your ear canal, ensuring excellent passive noise isolation.

    This close contact with your skin ensures that earbuds can use bone-conducting to help them isolate your voice for more reliable phone calls. You never sound too distorted, even in loud environments.

    Furthermore, the Jabra+ app offers a ton of features for complete customization. Unfortunately, active noise cancelling isn’t that impressive.

    3. 1MORE Evo

    1MORE Evo microphones

    Premium earbuds with a perfect combination of great active noise cancelling and microphone quality.

    in stock
    1 used from $113.43
    as of November 30, 2023 4:06 pm

    1MORE Evo review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: 10mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 28h in case | Wireless range: 40ft (12.2m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: App, SoundID by Sonarworks
    • Great build with quality materials
    • Super-fast and Qi wireless charging
    • Good level of customizability
    • Splendid comfort & stability
    • Great active noise cancellation
    • Impressive microphone quality
    • Good bass performance…
    • but with harsh treble
    • Below average passive noise isolation
    • Mediocre Bluetooth range

    Check the 1MORE Evo microphone test:

    1MORE Evo’s audio quality is good for the most part, but the tuning isn’t very balanced. The SoundID feature inside the app lets you tweak the sound based on your preferences.

    Each earbud is equipped with 3 microphones, carefully listening to the outside noise. The result is excellent active noise cancelling performance, rivaling the best in class.

    Furthermore, 1MORE Evo excel in microphone quality as well. Phone calls sound excellent in a quiet environment (for true wireless buds), with minimal distortion.

    Call quality gets more compressed when speaking in a loud place, but you remain perfectly understandable.

    Earbuds come with 6 hours of battery life on a single charge with ANC (or 8 hours with ANC off). The charging case supports fast charging (4 hours in 15 minutes) and Qi wireless charging.

    Get Free Headphones by Joining Our Giveaway

    Click on the button below to find out this month’s giveaway prize.

    4. Apple AirPods 3

    Apple AirPods 3 buds in case

    Apple earbuds are known to deliver excellent call quality, and the third-generation AirPods continue this trend.

    Apple AirPods 3 review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: Custom Apple driver
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 24h in case | Wireless range: 50 feet (15.2m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Quick charge – Lightning + Qi wireless + MagSafe | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: H1 chip, Spatial Audio, multipoint
    • Good sound quality
    • Comfortable fit
    • Useful features (for Apple users)
    • Excellent microphone quality
    • No audio lag in videos/games (on iOS)
    • Basic functionality with non-Apple devices
    • Not the most stable fit
    • Poor passive noise isolation
    • Pricey

    Check the Apple AirPods 3 microphone test:

    For classic earphones, the sound quality is quite good. Apple AirPods 3 have a full sound with punchy bass, providing an enjoyable experience even for long listening sessions. Although they can sound thin in upper registers.

    The design of these true wireless earphones strongly resembles Apple AirPods Pro but without ear tips. That makes them very comfortable and surprisingly stable (although still not suitable for intense workouts).

    The call quality is quite impressive and comparable to the best models.

    Earbuds are now water-resistant, sporting an IPX4 rating. Apple users will like the support for the H1 chip, which improves wireless connectivity with macOS and iOS devices.

    Furthermore, the battery life has increased over the previous generation, lasting more than 6 hours on a single charge. The charging case holds another 24 hours and supports Qi wireless charging and MagSafe charging.

    5. Jaybird Vista 2

    Jaybird Vista 2 on the ground

    Great true wireless earbuds for sports that also deliver clear call quality.

    Jaybird Vista 2 review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 16h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP68 (IP54 on case) | Features: Ambient mode, mono mode, EQ
    • Great sound for all music genres you can fully customize with EQ & presets
    • They stay comfy and stable in your ears during activity, even when sweaty
    • Can easily survive dust AND water, even submerging
    • 8-hour+ battery provides convenience without worrying about charging
    • Fully customize the earbuds to fit your needs in the companion app
    • Removes background noise with ANC so you can focus on the workout
    • Occasional connection stutters
    • Annoying errors during firmware updates

    Check the Jaybird Vista 2 microphone test:

    Out of the box, the sound profile 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 earbud 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 sound 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. Antlion Kimura Duo

    Antlion Kimura Duo IEMs

    The best wired gaming headsets that can also to clear phone calls.

    in stock
    2 used from $123.07
    as of November 30, 2023 4:33 pm

    Antlion Kimura Duo review

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – Dual 3.5mm TRS
    Driver size icon Driver size: Dynamic & Balanced armature driver
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 10-30.000Hz
    Type: In-ear monitors | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Mic only | Impedance: 24 Ohms | Weight: 1.5 ounces (43 g) with cable | Cable lenght: 6.5 feet (2 meters) | Surround sound: No | Features: Detachable cable, boom mic, shirt clip
    • Durable IEMs made of resin
    • Great call quality from the included boom mic
    • Comfortable & with ear hooks for better stability
    • Y adapter for compatibility with laptops
    • Bassy yet controlled sound quality
    • Good soundstage & precise imaging
    • Bass bleeds into the midrange
    • Putting IEMs in your ears can be a chore
    • No mic mute button

    Check the Antlion Kimura Duo microphone test:

    The Kimura Duo are probably the best wired in-ear monitors for gaming. Firstly, they have excellent sound quality.

    Despite having a bassy sound signature, they play bass lines with great control, and thanks to a balanced armature driver, they can also do the detailed treble.

    Secondly, they come with a Kimura Microphone Cable with an excellent boom microphone. You can bend it in all directions, and it isn’t too long to be distracting.

    It offers great clarity for phone calls, with good background noise suppression. You can rest assured others won’t hear any pops of wind blowing from your nose.

    Lastly, they’re comfortable and stable thanks to ear hooks. However, it takes some time before you put them in your ears.

    7. SoundPEATS Sonic

    dollar BEST EARBUDS UNDER $50
    SoundPEATS Sonic earbuds

    A reliable pair for phone calls and good sound quality that doesn’t cost too much.

    SoundPEATS Sonic review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 15h, 20h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1.5h + quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, aptX, aptX Adaptive | Water resistance: IPX5 | Features: Mono mode, Game mode
    • 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

    Check the SoundPEATS Sonic microphone test:

    A reasonably balanced presentation is cut off by a huge boost in the sub-bass. You don’t even hear it in many cases, 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 pick up a clear voice that’s fully understandable, regardless of the amount of background noise.

    If you make many voice and video calls per day and want your earbud’s battery to last for long periods, these are worth checking out. With up to 14 hours on a single charge, they have the longest battery life on this list.

    They’re also simple to use and have a reliable Bluetooth 5.2 connection. Unlike many others on the market, Sonic even support a futureproof aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec and mono mode (so you can use only one earbud).

    Honorable Mentions

    JBL Reflect Mini NC

    JBL Reflect Mini NC earbuds

    Another great sport 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.

    JBL Reflect Mini NC review

    1MORE ComfoBuds Mini

    1MORE ComfoBuds Mini water resistant

    And even though they sit flush inside your ears, they pick up your voice very well. For true wireless earbuds, they provide good call quality in both quiet and noisy places.

    Earbuds have a pleasantly balanced sound quality with a tiny bit of bass boost.

    1MORE ComfoBuds Mini review

    Skullcandy Push Ultra

    Skullcandy Push Ultra earbud

    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.

    Skullcandy Push Ultra review

    Skullcandy Dime

    Skullcandy Dime earbuds edges

    Dirt-cheap truly wireless earbuds with good quality mics and excellent sound quality. They’re very basic and cheaply made, but for a lower price than $30, you can’t complain much.

    Skullcandy Dime review

    Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

    Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

    Premium Samsung true wireless earbuds with a quality microphone system that make your voice sounds natural and decently full. On top of that, the buds have a Harman curve sound output and can actively reduce ambient sounds using ANC mode.

    Check Galaxy Buds Pro price

    Other options worth considering:

    Antlion Kimura Solo: These earbuds come with a quality boom microphone and cost less than the Kimura Duo. But sound quality is a bit muddy. Nonetheless, if you only need to make clear phone calls, the Solo do a great job.

    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 (using Microsoft Teams from home), almost any earbud will do the job.

    On the other hand, if you’re often in a noisy environment, like on the streets, daily commute, or loud offices, investing in earbuds with a great ANC mic is a must.

    working in office with headphones
    Noise-isolating and active noise-canceling headphones are popular office tools.

    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 regular or conference 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 the best noise cancelling 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. Truly wireless earbuds can be a bit bulky, so picking the right ones can be a chore.

    Uncomfortable fit on earbuds
    Some earbuds are too bulky to fit comfortably.

    In general, look for more ergonomically shaped and light earbuds, as they usually offer the best fit.

    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.

    Noise Pickup

    Earbuds must pick up your voice with good enough clarity so that the person on the other end 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.

    EarFun Air Pro 2 mics and sensor
    Truly wireless earbuds with multiple microphones.

    Noise Reduction

    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 more 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.

    Jaybird Vista 2 earbuds close-up
    Fabric mesh helps to reduce wind noise during phone calls.

    Microphone Position

    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.

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    Click on the button below to find out this month’s giveaway prize.

    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.

    For calls

    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.

    For ANC

    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 Bluetooth headphones with integrated microphones.

    TaoTronics Soundliberty 80 mic port
    An elongated stem on the Soundliberty 80 helps move a microphone closer to your mouth.

    Types of Microphones in Earbuds

    For tiny devices such as in-ear headphones, you require tiny microphones. 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 well 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.

    1. SUCH A LIE

      Have you even tried airpods pro?

      They are sooo bad in loud places…..


      1. You can have a different opinion, but the AirPods Pro are among better earbuds when it comes to holding phone calls. We test dozens of earbuds and trying the microphone is part of the test. Granted, it won’t remove loud background noise and in super loud cases it’s going to be unusable, but so would any other earbuds. The technology isn’t sophisticated enough to eliminate loud ambient noise yet.
        But for phone calls in normal conditions with a little bit of noise, the AirPods are solid. 🙂


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