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11 Best Earbuds with Microphone for Calls in Noisy Places (2024)

Last updated: 4 months ago
13 min read

We’ve tested 193 headphones and their mics. Here we’ll cover:

  • The best earbuds with a microphone for clear calls in loud environments
  • Microphone tests, so you know what call quality to expect
  • Our hands-on experience with each pair

Let’s dig in:

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Sonic9Score Price More Info Mic Quality Battery life Noise-cancelling
Apple AirPods 3 Best non-in-ear
Apple AirPods 3 small image
3.6
$180
Excellent
6h + 24h in case
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4.1
$250
Excellent
6h + 24h in case
checkmarkcheckmark
Jabra Elite 7 Pro Best under $200
Jabra Elite 7 Pro small image
4.2
$100
Excellent
8h + 22h in case
checkmarkcheckmark
Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2 Best under $150
Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2 small image
3.6
$130
Excellent
5.5h + 12h in case
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3.8
$150
Excellent
8h + 28h in case
checkmarkcheckmark
Jaybird Vista 2 Best sports
Jaybird Vista 2 small image
4.1
$180
Great
8h + 16h in case
checkmarkcheckmark
Antlion Kimura Duo Best boom mic
Antlion Kimura Duo gaming in-ear monitors
4.2
$150
Excellent
/
crosscross
TOZO T10 (Upgraded 2024) Best under $50
TOZO T10 (Upgraded 2023) small image
4.1
$30
Great
10.5h + 40h in case
crosscross

All earbuds on our list are evaluated based on 9 key factors (Sonic9Score).  And the main criteria we looked at to pick the top models is call quality in silent and noisy environment. See our testing and ranking methodology.

First, we want to be honest with you. Earbud microphones are generally pretty bad.

Even expensive models, like Sony WF-1000XM4, promise high-quality calls but deliver a muffled, distorted voice. Loud background noise is another problem. It often turns a clear, audible call into a mess.

So we tested 193 headphones and their call quality in quiet and loud places to figure out which work well.

And here’s our list. The best earbuds for call quality we’ve tested, so you can have clear calls no matter the situation.

So, if you’re looking for earbuds for serious work, this guide is for you.

Let’s start.

CONTENTS (show more)

    Best Earbuds with Microphone

    1. Apple AirPods 3

    earbud Best Non-In-Ear Earphones with Mic
    Apple AirPods 3 buds in case

    If you want a good microphone in earbuds that don’t go in the ear, Apple AirPods 3 are the best we’ve tested and our #1 recommendation – 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

    The call quality is impressive and comparable to the best models out there. AirPods are known for solid mic quality, and the 3rd generation are no different.

    You can hold calls in quiet and loud places. When noisy, there’s some distortion at the start of the call, but the earbuds soon reduce it to a minimum. Hear our test below.

    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. However, 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).

    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. We go into detail in our review.

    If you prefer earbuds that don’t go in ears and want to hold clear calls in all situations, AirPods 3 are the ones you want.

    2. Apple AirPods Pro 2

    Apple AirPods Pro 2 in hands

    Apple AirPods Pro 2 are another AirPods among the best earbuds for phone calls we’ve tested – Apple AirPods Pro 2 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 11mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 24h in case | Wireless range: 35 feet (10.6 m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: Quick charge – Lightning/USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 (IP54 – USB-C model) | Features: H2 chip, multipoint, Spatial Audio
    • More balanced sound than original AirPods Pro, with greater detail
    • Familiar comfy design with extra (4) pair of ear tips
    • Effective ANC & fantastic transparency mode performance
    • Seamless connectivity with Apple devices
    • Good battery life of around 6 hours per charge (ANC off)
    • USB-C model has an IP54 rating on AirPods & the case
    • Could be stabler during sports activites
    • You need (newer) iOS device to enjoy all features

    The built-in mics work incredibly well. Active noise canceling, Transparency mode, and overall call quality are excellent. We’re not surprised AirPods Pro are such a huge deal among customers. We tested the call quality in calm and loud environments, and the results are impressive.

    Apple AirPods Pro 2 microphone test:

    AirPods Pro 2 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.

    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.

    Apple AirPods Pro 2 earbuds in case
    AirPods Pro 2 last over 6 hours per charge.

    The noise cancelling earbuds also have good 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.

    For clear calls on the go, check the Apple AirPods Pro 3 true wireless earbuds.

    Best Earbuds for Phone Calls under $200

    3. Jabra Elite 7 Pro

    trophy Best Microphone Earbuds under $200
    Jabra Elite 7 Pro earbuds and case

    Jabra Elite 7 Pro earbuds offer the best call quality under $200 of all we tested. These offer premium microphone performance – 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

    The Jabra Elite 7 Pro let you have clear and distortion-free phone calls on the go. And it’s also impressive how these handle noisy environments.

    While they slightly muffle the voice, it’s still understandable, so you can communicate clearly even on a busy street. You never sound too distorted, even in loud environments.

    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.

    Jabra Elite 7 Pro nozzle size
    Small holes in the casing show the microphone’s location.

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

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

    For tons of features and a quality microphone in earbuds under $200, check these.

    Best Earbuds for Phone Calls under $150

    4. Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2

    trophy Best Microphone Earbuds under $150
    Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2 in a bush

    For around $130, Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2 easily compete with the best models out there, beating the AirPods Pro 2 and coming close to AirPods 3 in call quality. Easily recommended – Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: BA + 10mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 5.5h + 12h in case | Wireless range: 40 feet (12.1 meters) | Noise cancelling: Yes, hybrid | Charging: Quick charge – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC, LHDC | Water resistance: IP54 | Features: Spatial audio, LED effects
    • Excellent call quality, even in noisier situations
    • Huge number of features & customization options in the app
    • Good active noise cancelling performance
    • Decent battery life of 5.5h per charge
    • But only an additional 12h in the case, without Qi charging
    • Harsh treble response hurts the sound quality

    What is great about call quality in NeoBuds Pro 2 is that it consistently picks your voice regardless of the background noise. You remain clear and easy to understand with minimal distortion.

    Check our test:

    Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2 microphone test:

    Audio quality is a bit mixed on the NeoBuds Pro 2. It’s fine in terms of bass and midrange but not so much in avoiding harshness. Treble is quite strong and you can’t mute it, as the app’s custom EQ is pretty limited.

    If you don’t have very small ears, you should find these earbuds pretty comfortable. They only weigh 5.6 grams each and offer 7 ear tip sizes (from XXS to XXL).

    Thanks to an IP54 rating, you can wear them to the gym or outside for a jog. Just note that their battery “only” lasts around 5.5 hours per charge.

    The Edifier app offers a lot of customizability, LED effects, and even a Spatial Audio feature. Apart from the app, there’s also active noise cancelling, which is good enough to make your daily commute on a noisy bus more bearable.

    5. 1MORE Evo

    1MORE Evo microphones

    1MORE Evo have the best microphone in earbuds under $150 we’ve tested. These premium earbuds have a perfect combination of active noise cancelling and microphone quality – 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

    1MORE Evo excel in mic quality. Phone calls sound excellent in a quiet environment (for true wireless buds) with minimal distortion. And noise doesn’t mess it up too badly. It changes the way your voice sounds but keeps it clean and understandable.

    Check our test:

    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. Read more about it in our review.

    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.

    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.

    If you prefer beautiful true wireless earbuds with a great microphone, we recommend the 1MORE Evo.

    Best Microphone Earbuds for Sports

    6. Jaybird Vista 2

    weights Best Microphone Earbuds for Sports
    Jaybird Vista 2 on the ground

    Jaybird Vista 2 have the best call quality of all sports earbuds we’ve tested. These are fully waterproof and dustproof with a stable fit and punchy sound 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

    The built-in microphones perform well in both quiet and loud places. On top of that, earbuds offer active noise cancellation and ambient sound mode.

    While the call quality is slightly worse than with the models above, it’s the best of any sports earbuds. You can hold calls in a gym during a workout, even if it’s noisy. However, some of the noise is hearable. See the test to see what we’re talking about.

    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 to 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.

    Additionally, the true wireless 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. We go into much more detail in our review.

    If you’re looking for sports earbuds with a solid microphone for calls in loud places, check out the Jaybird Vista 2.

    Best Earbuds with Boom Microphone

    7. Antlion Kimura Duo

    wired Best Earbuds with Boom Mic
    Antlion Kimura Duo IEMs

    Antlion Kimura Duo are the best wired earbuds with a boom microphone we’ve tested. These are perfect for phone calls and gaming with friends – 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

    These come 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 air blowing from your nose. Hear our test below.

    Antlion Kimura Duo microphone test:

    The Kimura Duo are among the best wired in-ear monitors for gaming. They have excellent sound quality with rich details and strong bass. Despite having a bassy sound signature, they play it with great control, and thanks to a balanced armature driver, they produce detailed treble. We discern the sound in our full review.

    Lastly, they’re comfortable and stable thanks to ear hooks. However, it takes some time before you put them in your ears. And they are wired, which isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.

    If you’re looking for reliable, great-sounding wired earbuds with a clear boom microphone, get the Antlion Kimura Duo.

    Antlion Kimura Solo: These are slightly cheaper earbuds and come with a quality boom microphone like the Kimura Duo. But sound quality is a bit muddy. But if you only need to make phone calls, the Solo do a great job.

    Best Microphone Earbuds under $50

    8. TOZO T10 (Upgraded 2024)

    dollar Best Microphone Earbuds under $50
    TOZO T10 (Upgraded 2024) calling

    TOZO T10 (2024 Edition) are the best earbuds for phone calls and good sound quality under $50 we’ve tested – TOZO T10 (Upgraded 2024) review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8mm dynamic driver
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 10.5h + 40h in case | Wireless range: 45 feet (13.7 meters) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: <2h – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LC3 | Water resistance: IPX8 | Features: Custom EQ, custom controls
    • Fun & clear sound performance for the price
    • Durable build with an IPX8 waterproof rating
    • A 10.5-hour battery per charge & wireless charging
    • App support with audio & control customization
    • Call quality that rivals 4-5x more expensive earbuds
    • Slightly too unstable to use during extreme sports

    TOZO T10 (2024 model) greatly improved their microphone performance over their predecessor, boosting loudness, clarity, and the overall effectiveness of the noise reduction technology for calls.

    As expected, they perform best in quieter situations, whereas you get a bit of distortion when the surrounding noise gets too loud. That said, they’re close to Apple AirPods Pro 2, which, at less than $30, is a huge praise.

    Check the TOZO T10 (Upgraded 2024) microphone test:

    Now, let’s talk about sound quality. It’s V-shaped by default but can be molded into something more balanced-sounding by using the app’s EQ.

    TOZO app support is definitely the biggest upgrade over the classic T10s. Apart from EQ, you can now customize controls and update the firmware.

    Moreover, the design is now slimmer, with a smaller charging case and rounded earbuds, ensuring long-lasting comfort. Battery has also improved, now boasting 10.5 hours of playtime (and another 40 hours of charge in the case).

    For versatile budget wireless earbuds under $30 with a solid microphone, get the TOZO T10 (Upgraded model).

    Runner-Ups: Models to Consider

    9. JBL Reflect Mini NC

    JBL Reflect Mini NC earbuds

    These are great sports true wireless earbuds with excellent mic quality. Durability and stability are top-notch, and you can pair them with an app to fully customize your experience. But their ANC is lacking, which is the reason we didn’t include them in the main list. Read our full review.

    JBL Reflect Mini NC review

    10. 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini

    1MORE ComfoBuds Mini water resistant

    1MORE ComfoBuds Mini are the best comfortable earbuds with a clear microphone. These fit smaller ears thanks to their small ergonomic design. And even though they sit flush inside the ears, they pick up the voice well. For true wireless earbuds, they provide good call quality in both quiet and noisy places. Read our review for details.

    1MORE ComfoBuds Mini review

    11. Skullcandy Push Ultra

    Skullcandy Push Ultra earbud

    Skullcandy Push Ultra are non-in-ear earbuds with ear hooks. They provide good awareness and stability during movement. They’re a great alternative to earphones that don’t go in ear, with solid call quality in silent and noisy places.

    Skullcandy Push Ultra review

    How We Tested The Microphone Quality?

    We tested the microphones of 193 headphones and earbuds. The way we tested them was by mimicking a phone call by recording our voices in calm and noisy conditions. We believe this is the best way to determine call quality and present it in a way people can understand. Better than any graphs or charts.

    Each pair of earbuds in our list comes with a microphone test, first in normal situations without ambient noise, then in a noisy environment. This way, you can compare how the earbuds respond in different situations.

    EarFun Free Pro 3 on head

    How did we choose the models?

    We primarily focused on microphone quality for calls in normal and noisy environments.

    Apart from mic quality, we also took into account performance across the board. Altogether, we test earbuds on 9 key points: Sound quality, noise isolation, ANC, battery life, comfort, features, etc. This helps us compare and pick the best-performing models that we can confidently recommend. Read on our testing and scoring methodology.

    So, all recommended earbuds have high-quality mics and perform well in other areas. Then we ranked them based on type and price, cheaper towards the bottom.

    How to Pick the Best Earbuds with Microphone?

    Ask yourself these 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 background 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 all earbuds will do the job.

    On the other hand, if you’re often in a noisy environment, like on the streets, public transport, or loud offices, invest in earbuds with a quality microphone.

    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?

    Best earbud microphones built into wireless earbuds use noise-reduction technology to isolate your voice during calls. Qualcomm’s cVc is the most common.

    • If you regularly make calls in noisy places, a good noise-cancelling mic will keep your voice understandable.
    • If you only need it for calls from home without ambient noise, then you don’t need an ANC microphone.

    P.S. Not all cVc microphone earbuds perform great. The algorithm has its limits, as the only thing it does is take the signal and process it. And even the best noise-cancelling technology can’t perform miracles if the mics are bad quality or poorly placed.

    How do the earbuds fit?

    If you plan to use earbuds for work and video calls, chances are you will be using them for extended periods. Therefore, comfort is essential.

    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 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 what 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. The 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 clarity so the person on the other side 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 background noise information, earbuds can filter out unwanted sounds and highlight your speech.

    Active noise cancelling technology in microphones

    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 blocks 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 is a big problem for phone calls outdoors. Apart from good active noise cancellation, the manufacturers have to strategically place microphones to reduce the chance of creating wind noise.

    Jaybird Vista 2 uses a practical solution. They place a mic under a fabric mesh. Newer earbuds like Sony WF-1000XM4 rely on a software 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 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.

    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 background 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.

    Models We Considered That Didn’t Make The List:

    • Google Pixel Buds Pro: These are recommended on other websites, but their call quality is disappointing. You can hear the mic test in our review.

    Why Trust HeadphonesAddict?

    At HeadphonesAddict, we provide honest headphone tests through a rigorous methodology and a transparent process. See how we test here. We put a lot of effort into personally testing and measuring each pair so we can make educated recommendations.

    More reasons to trust us:

    • We test headphones ourselves on 9 key points (less for wired models).
    • We measure frequency responses, ANC, passive isolation, compare EQ presets, and battery life.
    • We don’t take money for tests and reviews.
    • We don’t delete or edit “bad reviews.” Even when brands ask us to. If the headphones sound bad or have other faults, we tell you without embellishment.

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

    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 microphone. If you have wired earbuds you can see the microphone module on the cable.

    Do all earbuds have a mic?

    The majority of earbuds have a microphone. All Bluetooth earbuds have a mic built into the housing. While only some wired earphones have a microphone on the cable.

    What does built-in mic mean?

    It means that the mic is located inside the housing of an earbud/headphone. Most Bluetooth earbuds have a built-in microphone.

    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. Also, 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?

    Some earbuds are good for phone calls. While generally they both perform similarly to bigger headphones. But to get good call quality, you have to pick the correct model. The microphone performance varies quite considerably.

    Conclusion

    This is it for the list. Hopefully, you found our guide and microphone tests useful. We put a lot of effort into giving objective information. So, if you picked earbuds from our list, we’d love to know which ones.

    • #1 Best Earbuds for Calls
    4 Comments
    1. SUCH A LIE

      Have you even tried airpods pro?

      They are sooo bad in loud places…..

      Reply

      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. 🙂

        Reply

    2. Just in case you get negative reviews… I wanted to communicate how grateful I am of your research. Without exaggeration, I burned through some Sony’s, Jabra’s, Bose, Tozo, Between Pro and BeatsX. The only ones that had a reasonably good mic set up to isolate my voice when I was on a call in a noisy environment was* the BeatsX. Being that I am driving, working out, and in noisy coffee shops working, although active noise cancelation may be nice, a good mic with voice isolation was paramount.
      The way that you oriented the reviews with a recording was awesome so I could get an idea of how each of them sound in a noisy room. THANK YOU!
      I ended up buying the 1MORE Evo as they seemed to be the best overall for my use.

      Again, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your work!

      Reply

      1. Thank you so much Joshua!

        We really appreciate positive feedback. Have a great day!

        Reply

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