Powerbeats ProSource: iMore

Best Bluetooth headphones for Apple Watch iMore 2021

The Apple Watch Series 6 is the latest iteration of the most popular smartwatch on the market. You can listen to music, podcasts, and anything else directly on your Apple Watch, plus you can make and take phone calls. 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 around town, and just sitting on the couch to come up with some of the best Apple Watch Bluetooth headphones you can buy.

Best overall: Apple 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 continually adapt to each ear. 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

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple's 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: Beats by Dr. Dre - Powerbeats Pro

PowerBeats ProSource: Rene Ritchie/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 various 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

Beats PowerBeats Pro

Beats by Dr. Dre - 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 connected earbuds: Beats by Dr. Dre - Beats Flex

BeatsX headphonesSource: Beats

Apple's Beats Flex 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 Beats Flex headphones are more comfortable and last longer than Apple's AirPods. Beats Flex tend to be a little bass-heavy for some tastes, but they have a rock-solid Bluetooth connection and super-easy pairing process, making them ideal for use with the Apple Watch. Get up to 12 hours of playtime. If you're running low on power, a 10-minute Fast Fuel charge will get you 1.5 hours of playtime.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Bass-heavy sound
  • No water resistance

Best connected earbuds

BeatsX

Beats by Dr. Dre - Beats Flex

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: Apple AirPods

AirPodsSource: iMore

That dental floss-sized case is 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. The second-generation AirPods have two options: wired or wireless charging case. Either way, you get Apple's ease and quality in an ultra-portable package.

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

Apple AirPods

Tiny charging case for total portability.

There's no denying that AirPods are tiny, portable, truly wireless earbuds that just work.

Best truly wireless ANC budget model: EarFun Free Pro

Earfun Free Pro Wireless Headphones LifestyleSource: EarFun

These truly wireless earbuds have active noise canceling (ANC) and can be charged wirelessly or via USB-C. A four-microphone array makes for crystal clear phone calls. Low latency mode is great for gaming and watching videos. In addition to adjusting the volume on your Apple Watch, you can actually control the sound on the EarFun Free Pro earbuds themselves. Plus, you can access Siri (or Google Assistant.)

Get up to 32 hours of playtime: Seven hours on the earbuds and another 25 hours with the charging case. The fast-charging feature gives you two hours of playtime from a 10-minute charge. They are IPX5 rated, meaning they are water and sweat-resistant. Single earbud mode means that you can use the earbuds together or either one alone. The sound quality on these earbuds is excellent!

The EarFun Free Pro earbuds come with multiple ear tips and ear hooks, so you can find your perfect fit. I have found these to be comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Pros:

  • Truly wireless
  • Active noise canceling
  • Water-resistant and sweat-resistant (IPX5)
  • Wireless or USB-C charging
  • 32 hours playtime (seven on earbuds plus 25 with charging case)
  • Fast charge feature: two hours playtime on a 10-minute charge

Cons:

  • Touch controls aren't very intuitive and can be fiddly to use

Best truly wireless ANC budget model

Earfun Free Pro Wireless Headphones Render Cropped

EarFun Free Pro

Get a lot of bang for your buck

Get high-quality truly wireless earbuds with ANC at an attractive price point.

Best truly wireless long-play value: Tribit FlyBuds C1

Tribit Flybuds C1 LifestyleSource: Tribit

If you want to charge your earbuds less often, consider the Tribit FlyBuds C1. You'll get up to 50 hours of playtime each time you charge the case: 12 hours of listening time on a single charge and an additional 38 hours of playtime from the charging case. Plus, just 10 minutes of quick USB-C charging gives you 1.5 hours of playtime.

Utilizing Bluetooth 5.2 technology and a Qualcomm QCC3040 chip, the headphones give you a fast connection and low-latency listening experience. I've tested these extensively, and the audio is great. If you're making and taking phone calls, four microphones with noise reduction technology will filter out up to 90% of the background noise around you for better call clarity.

A single tiny button on the stem of each earbud makes for easy controls. Play and pause your music with a single click of either button. Answer and hang up calls the same way, or double click to reject a call. A double click of the right advances the track; the left goes back. Triple-click either one to activate Siri. Press and hold the right button to increase volume or the left button to decrease it.

Five different ear tips are included, so you'll be sure to find one that fits your ears. I find these quite comfortable to wear for a long time, and I have sensitive ears. They are water-resistant (IPX5), so you can work up a sweat without worry.

Pros:

  • Truly wireless
  • Great audio quality for listening and for phone calls
  • Water-resistant and sweat-resistant (IPX5)
  • Easy push-button controls
  • 50 hours play time (12 on earbuds plus 38 with charging case)
  • Fast charge feature: 1.5 hours play time on a 10-minute charge
  • Siri support

Cons:

  • No ANC

Best truly wireless long-play value

Tribit Flybuds C1 Render Cropped

Tribit FlyBuds C1

Charge less often

Get great quality audio and nice features at an attractive price point.

The best Apple Watch Bluetooth headphones for you

Apple's 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, simply the best Apple Watch Bluetooth headphones for just about anyone. If you need a case to protect the AirPods Pro charging case, we've got you covered.

However, if you want different features or a lower price point, any of the headphones in this guide will be sure to please. Happy listening!

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author:

Lory Gil is the former 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...

Author:

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.

Author: Karen Freeman

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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