Choosing the best pair of earbuds or headphones for any purpose, whether for your computer or your Android smartphone, and across an array of use cases, can be a challenge. In fact, it can be a bit like looking for a needle in a large field of haystacks. There are hundreds of potential brands to consider. And, as often as not, dozens of offerings from each brand.
This list is geared toward helping you find the best pair for use with your Android smartphone.
Summary of the top best headphones for your smartphone
Now, it’s important to note, right from the start, that this isn’t a completely comprehensive list. We spend a lot of time reviewing audio gadgetry at Android Headlines but don’t necessarily review every device. And there will certainly be disagreement about which are the “best” since the term is, at its basest, subjective.
Aside from that, only devices that our staff has had hands-on time with will make the cut for the purposes of our top device list. Specs sheets and other details from third-hand sources simply aren’t the best gauge to go by. And real-world performance, as often as not, doesn’t track perfectly with those details anyway.
We made our determination based on our experiences and assessment of real-world usage, as opposed to statements from any given manufacturer or brand. And also based on which headphones fit best into which category. Including gaming, budget, calls, workouts, and whether they were wireless or wired. We also split this list between over or on-ear headphones and earbuds.
Pricing is another matter that has been taken into account for this list of audio wearables. While many premium brands feature offerings that cost well above the $300 or $400 mark, those won’t be found here. Another list of top devices will be made for those since most aren’t actually looking to spend that much on headphones anyway. And, of course, the age of any given audio wearable was taken into consideration too.
It follows from that, that some of your own favorite brands or models may not be on this list. And there are plenty of devices that may well deserve to be that aren’t. Bearing that in mind, any of the offerings found on this list are sure to please most in terms of value and quality. So, without further ado, here’s our take on the top headphones you can buy today for use with your Android Smartphone.
Strauss & Wagner EM205
Strauss & Wagner is a smaller company attempting to offer wired and wireless headphones at audiophile quality without the typically staggering prices. And with its EM205 wired headphones, it very nearly accomplishes that. These are easily going to be some of the best, at least in terms of wired headphones, for any Android smartphone with a 3.5mm audio jack.
But what’s truly shocking about these earbuds is the price. You can expect to pay no more than $40 for these earbuds and you’re going to get some of the best, most stable audio you’ll hear anywhere. In fact, you’ll need to pay a lot more money to get the same on both fronts. As well as on balance, punchiness, tone-representation, and build quality. The tangle-free classic bud design is a big plus too.
Where these buds fall short, of course, is on waterproofing. They simply don’t have an IP rating associated with them at all. And they do need to be wired to a 3.5mm audio jack to work properly. Some USB-C to 3.5mm adapters may, in fact, work. But we couldn’t find any that did in our tests. At the very least, those with advanced audio inside likely won’t. Such as the Google Pixel 5 and some others.
Fortunately, or maybe not just yet, Strauss & Wagner are looking to repeat their best-in-class audio experience for smartphones and other category devices that don’t support the standard 3.5mm audio experience with their upcoming EM8C earbuds. Those are wired straight to USB-C rather than a 3.5mm audio combo jack. And otherwise are identical to EM205.
EarFun Air Pro 2
EarFun Air Pro 2, while not sharing in design, shares a lot with its predecessor. And it’s easily one of the best audiophile-like headphones you could buy for your smartphone. Priced to move at just under $80, Air Pro 2 does take everything aside from design up a notch.
With over seven hours of listening with ANC active, wireless charging, just an hour to charge up the earbuds, and both ANC and Transparent Mode, these earbuds already pack a punch. And, continuing on the features front, the IPX5 sweat and waterproof rating with extra protection against deterioration on that front are just icing on the cake.
The company has additionally packed in 10mm titanium composite drivers for these earbuds. Offering a better balance in the audio and more spatially accurate audio as well. For voice calls and wind reduction, the company opted for no fewer than six on-bud mics. Making these some of the best truly wireless earbuds for that purpose. And for listening in general.
Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro
If you’re looking to cancel out background noise and reduce latency, for the purpose of gaming on your smartphone, Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro is probably the headphones for you. They aren’t, of course, the least expensive on this list. But, with a cost of just under $150, they bring a lot to the table. And not just in terms of gamer-friendly aesthetics.
As with other gadgets listed here, Ambient Mode and Hybrid ANC are part of the package. So you can drown out background noise while you game. But these also offer improved touch controls over their widely-lauded predecessor as well as better battery life. So you can game for longer and control the earbuds better. The audio quality is top-notch as well. And so is mic quality for voice chatting in-game. There are plenty of ear tips included to ensure a good fit for comfort for long sessions too.
However, Gaming Mode is likely going to be the headlining feature for those who want a great audio experience, particularly while gaming on mobile. The mode is straightforward but any gamer will understand the appeal. The mode works in conjunction with ANC. But what it does is cut down on audio latency. So games are more immersive and the audio in games is on-point. In effect, giving gamers better in-game situational awareness to boot.
Leaving behind eSports for real-world physical activity, the brand behind our pick for best headphones for a smartphone playlist during a workout shouldn’t be too surprising. Adidas is known for its prowess in pumping out athletic shoes and it does headphones for the same purpose too. Specifically, on the wireless front, Adidas FWD-01.
Better still, these headphones will be used for well beyond a single day of working out. Or ready if you need them for something else. In addition to an IPX4 sweatproof and water-resistant rating, these earbuds offer up to 16-hours of listening on a single charge. There’s no charge-and-carry case, of course, since these are a more traditional design. But the around-neck earbuds also fuel back up in just under 45 minutes. So if they do run out, you can take a break and come back to more high-quality audio.
Now, we did find Adidas FWD-01 to be slightly bass-heavy under review. With great clarity, depth, and spatial audio placement. Balance isn’t too bad either. Even with the extra low end. The design is comfortable for long-term use and fits snugly in ear. And the sporty design and premium materials are appealing too.
With that said, a little bit of extra bass is often great for getting geared up for an intense workout. So you’ll get no complaints from us on that front either. And these will easily be the best earbuds for the money for that purpose.
Now, we could have easily selected something different for our best headphones for smartphone video calls and calls than KLH Fusion. For instance, AfterShokz OpenComm would undeniably be a better fit. Except that those and other bone-conductive-based headphones aren’t necessarily great for music or media.
We’re looking for headphones that won’t be relegated to just one purpose but can be used for calls and for media. Especially since it can be a pain to keep track of all that hardware and associated charging accessories. KLH Fusion, conversely, fits both needs.
Aside from including easier-to-read battery indicators, with wireless and wired fast charging, these top of with 7-hours on a single charge and more than 28 from the charging case. The comfortable design and easy-to-use touch controls are just icing on the cake. As is the fact that KLH includes no fewer than seven earbud tip sizes from extra-small to extra large. And that these are IPX5 water-resistant.
Audio quality on the listening side is better than average. And better than might be expected at the cost of these earbuds — at just under $200. But the real benefit is the use of four Knowles MEMS smart mics. Those allow for better call audio across the board. Especially for those on the receiving end of the call or video chat. Even in windy conditions, KLH Fusion blocks out external audio, allowing better voice pickup and clear conversation via Bluetooth 5.0.
All of which is to set aside the great, one-hand-use-ready design and sleek stylings of that carry case.
Sennheiser CX 400BT
Sennheiser is a brand that’s well known for its top-tier, $300+ headphones, and it’s one of the best for any purpose, including smartphones. And if you really want premium audio at a discount, Sennheiser’s CX 400BT is the place to look right now.
That’s not just because they’re typically priced at $199.95, either. These headphones bring almost all of the latest features to the table. That’s with two exceptions that really aren’t going to make a massive difference with consideration for the brand we’re talking about here. Namely, in-ear detection and ANC or noise pass through. Both of those, unfortunately, have a tendency to muddy up the listening experience and they’ve been left out here.
In their place, Sennheiser offers 7mm, dynamic drivers, with true high-fidelity audio, including incredibly hard-hitting bass, natural mids, and crystalline highs. That’s met with a uniquely Sennheiser design that can be worn for even the longest listening sessions. And a battery that will last as long as up to seven hours of battery life on a single charge. 13 hours of battery life in the case and fast charging round out those features.
Customizable touch controls are another perk with these earbuds. Letting you tailor your interactions to meet your own needs. And the built-in EQ keeps sound balanced and detailed. Of course, for those who want more control, Sennheiser also has an app. And that brings a fully customizable EQ too. Including up to nine custom presets and graph or slider-based control for each. So dialing in the sound, if an almost perfect balance isn’t what you’re looking for, is easy. Putting the audio curve right where you want it at any volume.
Tribit QuietPlus 78
Tribit isn’t the best-known brand when it comes to smartphone accessories, headphones, or otherwise. But its Tribit QuietPlus 78, priced at just $79.98 are easily some of the best headphones we’ve tested. And, better still, they fit the bill on the affordable end of the spectrum both for wired and wireless over-ear headphones.
That’s because these don’t just rely on Bluetooth but also come with a 3.5mm audio port and a lengthy cable for truly endless listening. For those whose phone has a 3.5mm audio port. For those that don’t, our review showed that even at full volume and a reasonable distance, these will last nearly 40-hours on a single charge. With less than two hours required to charge them back up via the included cable.
That battery test, by the way, was performed with dual-level ANC turned on to its highest setting. So that’s a conservative estimate for battery life, at best. And Ambient audio passthrough mode is just a button-click away as well. For those who need to heighten their environmental awareness or have a conversation without interrupting the music or media.
Topped off with a premium design with top materials and soft flexible ear cups for heightened comfort, this is already a complete package. But the dual 40mm audio drivers also deliver plenty of detail with punchy bass, superb mids and highs, and great balance. Making these an easy pick for those looking for great audio without emptying their wallet.
EPOS H3 Gaming Headset
Like Tribit, EPOS is a brand making headphones for well beyond the smartphone market that not every user is going to have heard of but they’re also one of the best. In fact, the EPOS H3 Gaming Headset is much more than a gaming headset for consoles. In fact, it works for those, mobile devices, and really anything that has a 3.5mm audio jack. And it’s latency-free to match its branding.
The biggest caveat, of course, is that users will need a 3.5mm audio jack, and not every phone has one. But an adapter should work just as well here too. And that brings more than just low latency. It brings a great setup for those that need a dedicated over-ear device for phone calls and video chat too.
EPOS H3 delivers top-quality closed acoustic audio for its sub-$150 price tag. And it delivers great audio for voice chatting in games. As noted already, that also makes it incredibly well-suited for calls and video chats. Especially with consideration for the advanced studio-quality mic, placed on a swing arm that mutes automatically when raised.
All of which is further bolstered by an extremely comfortable design with volume control on the headset and a brilliant aesthetic. While EPOS also includes a detachable cable arrangement for added convenience. And no battery to worry about for long calls or gaming sessions.
Plus, when you’re ready to switch over to your game console, EPOS H3 supports them all. So there won’t be any need to buy any more audio devices just for those.
The second Adidas entry in this list costs a bit more than the last but that likely comes in part because they’re on-ear headphones rather than earbuds. And, dubbed Adidas RPT-01, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better value with regard to that style of workout wearable. At under $150, these premium fabric-wrapped headphones offer a great aesthetic and premium feel. But without the hefty price tag to match.
Of course, the IPX4 sweatproof and water-resistant rating is more than enough to make these great workout headphones. But matching that with great balance, spatial audio placement, and bass punch — without the too-bass-heavy feel of the other entry here — really takes things over the top. Especially at that price and even more so with consideration for how great the audio is at all but the lowest volumes.
Plus, tested at 85-percent volume with upwards of 20-feet in terms of distance between the headphones and a source device, they lasted over 40-hours. And didn’t suffer any connection drops. That’s also without being too overbearing, thanks in part to the great in-app EQ features, helping tamp down on any wayward, disruptive frequencies. And without any discomfort thanks to how soft the ear cups are to wear.
Stacking atop the great battery life, audio leveling, and EQ, it only took just under 50-minutes to charge up during a review of Adidas RPT-01. So, even if they do die, it won’t take too long to charge back up. No longer than a short break between reps, in fact. With plenty of battery from that to finish the workout and charge them up completely again.