Powerbeats ProSource: iMore

Best Bluetooth Headphones for Apple Watch iMore 2020

The Apple Watch is the most popular smartwatch on the market, and you can listen to music directly on it! Such a small wearable device is perfectly in line with small Bluetooth headphones like the AirPods Pro. We've tested a lot of different earbuds while exercising, walking in the city, and just sitting on the couch to come up with the best ones to wear with your Apple Watch.

Best Overall: AirPods Pro

Woman wears AirPods Pro while waiting in train stationSource: Apple

Apple has taken what people love about the AirPods to the next level with the AirPods Pro. Apple has bumped up the sound quality with Adaptive EQ, which creates a rich sound by automatically tuning the low- and mid-frequencies of the music to the shape of your ear. The AirPods Pro also feature the long-awaited Active Noise Cancellation using two microphones and advanced software to adapt to each ear continually. Or, you can switch the AirPods Pro to Transparency mode so you can hear your surroundings. Additionally, you get multiple ear tips for a perfect fit. AirPods Pro are sweat and water-resistant.

Pros:

  • Adaptive EQ for excellent sound quality
  • Easy pairing
  • Siri support
  • Active Noise Cancelling
  • Variety of ear tips for a perfect fit
  • Water-resistant

Cons:

  • Small form factor makes them easy to lose
  • Pricey

Best Overall

AirPods Pro

The latest technology from Apple

Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive EQ, water-resistance, multiple ear tips add up to Pro experience.

Best For Working Out: Powerbeats Pro

PowerBeats ProSource: iMore

The first truly wireless headphones to come from Beats, the Powerbeats Pro, improve the sound quality, comfort, and design over previous and current iterations. Powerbeats Pro are practically perfect in every way. They fit comfortably, have an incredibly rich sound, and sport Apple's H1 chip with Siri voice control support. If you're worried about the iconic bass-heavy Beats sound, don't. The Powerbeats Pro are designed with a completely different audience in mind. They are calibrated for a broader audience. With sweat and water resistance, an ear hook for stability, and a variety of ear fit options, they are the best wireless in-ear headphones for most people.

Pros:

  • Rich, clear sound
  • Fast pairing with Apple devices
  • Siri support
  • Independent left/right buds
  • Variety of ear fit options
  • Water-resistant

Cons:

  • Canal buds aren't for everyone
  • Charging case is large

Best For Working Out

Powerbeats Pro

Siri support and comfortable design = perfect for Apple Watch.

With ear hooks plus a comfortable in-ear fit, the Powerbeats Pro can be worn while working out without falling out.

Best value: BeatsX

BeatsX headphonesSource: Beats

Apple's BeatsX hit all of the important criteria when looking for headphones for your Apple Watch. They provide an instant connection to your Apple Watch and its music through the company's W1 chip. Though the buds are still attached by a wire and two weighted remotes, the BeatsX headphones are more comfortable and last longer than Apple's AirPods. BeatsX don't have the best sound quality, they tend to be a little bass-heavy, but they have a rock-solid Bluetooth connection and super-easy pairing process, which makes them ideal for use with the Apple Watch.

Pros:

  • Long battery life
  • W1 chip
  • Compact
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons:

  • Bass-heavy sound
  • No water resistance

Best value

BeatsX

A perfect ratio of features and price.

The long battery life, lightweight, customizable fit, and W1 chip make BeatsX a great value at a reasonable price.

Most portable: AirPods

AirPodsSource: iMore

That dental floss-sized case may have been mocked across the Internet, but it's perfectly sized to slip into a jeans pocket. I carry my AirPods with me almost everywhere I go. They're the perfect pair to have with you for any occasion since they don't take up a lot of space in your bag (or pocket) and have a relatively long battery life — combined with the charging case, up to 24 hours.

Pros:

  • Long battery life
  • Super small charging case
  • Siri support
  • Independent left/right buds
  • Fast pairing with Apple devices

Cons:

  • Earbuds aren't for everyone
  • No water resistance

Most portable

AirPods

Tiny charging case for total portability.

There's no denying that AirPods are the smallest, most portable, truly wireless earbuds.

Best on a budget: Aukey EP-B40

Aukey EP-B40 headphonesSource: Aukey

These headphones not only offer an 8-hour playtime, but they're sweat-resistant, making them a great choice for the gym. They also use magnetic clasps (like the BeatsX) to snap around your neck magnetically. You're not going to get the same level of audio quality or durability as you would with some more expensive headphones. Still, these earbuds have the essential features you need for an enjoyable listening experience.

The Latitude earbuds support Bluetooth 4.1 for a strong connection and can be recharged for only 15 minutes to return 1.5-hours of playback. You don't need a charging case since they're charged directly in the volume control panel, which also doubles as a microphone for taking phone calls.

The set comes with three sets of ear tips for different sized ear canals and three different types of ear hooks (in-ear hooks, that is) for different shapes of ear bowls.

Pros:

  • Very inexpensive
  • Customizable EQ settings
  • Water-resistant
  • Three sizes of ear hooks and tips

Cons:

  • Not truly wireless
  • Doesn't mask outside sound well

Best on a budget

Aukey EP-B40

Superior quality considering the low price point.

If you don't have a big budget, Aukey's Latitude Wireless buds offer a great entry point.

Bottom line

Because the AirPods Pro have all the same features as Apple's AirPods, but more, like Active Noise Cancellation, sweat and water resistance, multiple silicone ear tips for a more comfortable fit, superior sound quality with Adaptive EQ, Transparency mode, and customizable controls. They're the perfect companion for listening to audio on your Apple Watch.

However, if you want more security, the over-ear hook design of the Powerbeats Pro allows you to work up a sweat running, jumping, dancing, or whatever you do without worrying about them falling out or getting lost. They are comfortable, have Siri support, and sound great.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Lory Gil is the managing editor of iMore and considers herself a bit of an audiophile. She has a wall full of vinyl and is one of those people that thinks analog is better than digital. Her headphones are in her ears pretty much all day, every day...

Rene Ritchie is iMore's resident Apple analyst and Apple Watch enthusiast. In fact, calling him an enthusiast is an understatement. He knows what is most important when it comes to choosing the right headphones with your wearables.

Karen S. Freeman is a teacher, writer, social media person, and family woman. She loves to travel, play with tech stuff, drink coffee, discover amazing new restaurants, and experience new things.

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