Best earbuds for making phone calls for 2022

If you make a lot of calls on the go, you can benefit from investing in a high-quality set of earbuds with a mic. No matter your usage levels, budget range, and style preferences, there’s something for every user in the market. From the high-end £249 AirPods Pro 2 for Apple users to the £200 Google Pixel Buds Pro for Android users, there’s a lot to pick from.

Want to avoid confusion and quickly narrow down the best earbuds for phone calls? We’ve rounded up a list of the top picks with pros and cons for each. And if you decide that earbuds aren’t right for you, we also have a roundup of the best headphones for making phone calls.

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apple airpods pro 2 review 00025Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Apple AirPods Pro 2

The best for iPhone users

  • Excellent noise cancellation
  • Top-notch transparency
  • Very good sound quality
  • Great call quality
  • Fun charging case features
  • Not ideal for Android
  • Still no EQ adjustments

Apple’s latest offering, the second-generation AirPods Pro, offer some of the best noise cancellation and calling features of any pair of earbuds on the market.

The AirPods Pro line has always featured excellent active noise cancellation and transparency mode, but the second-generation model takes it one step further with improved ANC and a new Adaptive Transparency mode that adapts to the sounds around you. This means your calls will be crystal clear, and you don’t have to worry about traffic noises or background sounds disturbing your important discussions. Our in-depth review found the call sound quality has improved, too, and hardly any background noise was heard, especially in indoor settings.

Loud, outdoor settings may muffle your voice slightly, but it’s still clear enough to understand. Apple has also improved the battery life on the second-gen AirPods Pro, now offering up to six hours per charge. This will be lower if you use ANC continuously, with our reviewer getting a solid five hours during a noisy motorcycle trip, so you know it’ll be sufficient for most calls on the go.

Plus, a quick five-minute charge will give you back an hour of listening time. The biggest issue, however, is that Android users miss out on many of the cool features, limiting the AirPods Pro 2 largely to iOS users. They’re also a bit on the pricier side compared to other earbuds with decent calling functions, but if you love Apple, this is the best pick for you.

AirPods Pro 2Apple AirPods Pro 2The best for iPhone usersjabra elite 7 pro review 00018Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Jabra Elite 7 Pro

The best for noisy or windy conditions

  • Super comfortable
  • Great sound quality
  • Excellent call quality
  • Very good ANC and transparency
  • Good battery life
  • Wireless charging
  • Tons of customization options
  • Excellent water/dust protection

The Jabra Elite 7 Pro offer everything you need in earbuds but at a lower price tag.

They’re comfortable to wear, so you avoid those itchy, irritating ears after long phone calls. The best part is the MultiSensor Voice technology, which uses an extra set of bone conduction mics. When conditions get windy, these mics kick in, giving the Elite 7 Pro a way to avoid all of that extra wind noise.

This is further boosted by the excellent ANC that you control through the Sound+ app. The customizable settings are a huge plus for users who like their calls to sound a particular way. You don’t have to worry about noise either.

The ANC works well even in the loudest of settings, but like most other earbuds, you get the best call quality in relatively quieter environments. One of the biggest differentiating features is the microphone-mute option, which almost no other popular earbuds have. This lets you mute your sound for a while if there’s a disturbance while continuing to hear what the other person is saying.

This unique feature can come in handy during meetings where everyone takes turns to speak. The Jabra earbuds are not as popular as the AirPods Pro, Pixel Buds, or Galaxy Buds but offer excellent call clarity with highly functional ANC for even the noisiest settings, so if you frequently make calls in loud public places, these are a great option for you.

Jabra Elite 7 ProJabra Elite 7 ProThe best for noisy or windy conditionssony linkbuds review 00008Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Sony LinkBuds

The best for hearing yourself and those around you

  • Unique, sound-permeable design
  • Very good “open” sound quality
  • Excellent for voice and video calls
  • Wide Area Tap feature
  • Wear sensors
  • EQ and control customization
  • IPX4 water resistance
  • Poor battery life
  • Not good for noisy environments
  • Not very secure and may not fit some ears
  • No wireless charging
  • No Bluetooth Multipoint

The Sony LinkBuds sport one of the most unique designs around: having a hole right in the middle of them. This is designed to let the outside sound seep in so you can remain aware of your environment without having to remove your earbuds every time.

It helps with overall situational awareness, but it’s also geat for calls because you can hear your voice without any of the muddiness that typically comes with earbuds that seal your ear canals. The open design delivers an “airy” sound that feels more natural than earbuds with a closed design. The biggest wow factor, however, is the automatic volume control.

The earbuds adjust to the noise outside and raise your volume when it’s loud, then reduce it when the noise subsides. This way, you don’t have to fiddle with the volume controls for every little change in the environment. The unique design is cool but it can also become a downside as you hear every noise in the environment without an option to turn on ANC.

The earbuds also don’t work too well in loud environments so they’re best suited for indoor calling.

Sony LinkBudsSony LinkBudsThe best for hearing yourself and those around yougoogle pixel buds pro review 00012Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Google Pixel Buds Pro

The best for Google fans

  • Compact and comfy
  • Very good sound quality
  • Very effective ANC/transparency
  • Wireless charging
  • Bluetooth Multipoint
  • No real EQ adjustments
  • No high-quality/low-latency codecs
  • Still no iOS Pixel Buds app

If you’re an Android user, the Google Pixel Buds Pro are a good option for calling and overall use. Along with a gorgeous look in vivid colors, the Pixel Buds Pro impress with great ANC and clear sound quality, especially when you’re indoors. They aren’t excellent in super noisy conditions but still maintain decent sound clarity.

The Pixel Buds Pro are always compared to the AirPods Pro and do fall short in terms of noise cancellation and overall sound quality, but this doesn’t mean the Pixel Buds Pro are bad. The transparency features are top-notch, and switching the ANC on and off is fairly easy. Android users also get Bluetooth multipoint connection and Google’s renowned voice assistant features that make both calls and music easier and more enjoyable to listen to.

The biggest plus point here may be the battery life that beats the better-sounding AirPods Pro 2. You typically get seven hours of use with ANC and an impressive 11 hours with ANC off, making the Pixel Buds Pro an ideal pick for people making calls on the go.

Google Pixel Buds ProGoogle Pixel Buds ProThe best for Google fanssony wf 1000xm4 review featuredSimon Cohen / Digital Trends

Sony WF-1000XM4

The best for sound quality and battery life

  • Great sound quality
  • Good battery life
  • Great noise cancellation
  • LDAC Bluetooth codec
  • Wireless charging
  • IPX4 water resistance
  • May not fit small ears
  • Slightly lacking in high-end detail
  • No Bluetooth multipoint

The Sony WF-1000XM4 have featured prominently in our best earbuds list owing to their rich sound quality and high-quality LDAC Bluetooth codec. This ensures you enjoy smooth calling as well as hearing the finer details when listening to music.

The noise cancelation and transparency mode also work well, letting you seamlessly switch between paying attention to the call and being aware of your surroundings. In fact, the earbuds automatically detect when you begin speaking and pause the music so you don’t need to remove the earbuds if a friend stops by. Moreover, all of these settings are also easy to customize through the app, making these one of the most easy-to-use pairs of earbuds for calls you can find.

The charging speed and battery life don’t disappoint either. They run for eight hours with ANC on and 12 hours with ANC off, putting them quite ahead of competitors like the AirPods Pro 2. The fast charging takes it even further, giving you an hour of playback after just five minutes plugged in.

The downside is the price. They’re the most expensive earbuds on this list, setting you back £50 to £100 more than other popular models. The XM4 are also the biggest buds on the list and that may prove to be a deal-breaker for anyone with small, or hard-to-fit ears.

Sony WF-1000XM4Sony WF-1000XM4The best for sound quality and battery lifesamsung galaxy buds 2 pro review 1Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

The best for Samsung Galaxy owners

  • Excellent fit and feel
  • Plenty of features
  • They look great
  • Acceptable battery life
  • “360 Audio” is not good
  • Head tracking isn’t great

If you’re a Samsung Galaxy user, this one’s a no-brainer.

Going with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro will give you good call quality and easy pairing with Galaxy phones. The Galaxy app also makes everything easy to adjust, giving you full control over the noise cancellation and transparency mode, which is ideal for making sure your call sounds right. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro aren’t the best in the market, but you get some cool features like 24-bit audio, 360 Audio (its version of spatial audio), and head tracking for an improved listening experience.

The automatic voice detection is also quite useful, turning the transparency mode on and lowering the volume if you start talking to someone in front of you. The five-hour runtime with ANC on won’t last you through long journeys, but it’s more than enough for everyday calls during your commute or at the office. The extra features like 360 Audio aren’t top-notch, but they don’t really affect the call quality that much, so you’re fine.

They are a bit expensive, though, considering some of the features are subpar compared to other similarly-priced earbuds.

Galaxy Buds2 ProSamsung Galaxy Buds 2 ProThe best for Samsung Galaxy owners

Editors’ Recommendations