Science & Technology



CNET: Best headphones and wireless earbuds for iPhone 12


Published in Science & Technology News

If you've ordered one of Apple's new iPhone 12 models, you may have heard that Apple is no longer including earbuds — or any sort of headphones — in the box. The 3.5mm headphone jack has been missing from the last few iPhone iterations, and now that the wired EarPods are no longer included, shifting to wireless headphones feels like even more obvious option.

Apple will be glad to sell you its AirPods, AirPods Pro, or the Powerbeats Pro from its Beats subsidiary. And sure, those those models are on this list, but the idea here is to give plenty of alternative iPhone 12 headphone options (, including some good budget models that are highly affordable. Since these are Bluetooth headphones, they do work with other Bluetooth-enabled devices as well, including Android smartphones.

If you're looking for AirPods alternatives but don't want to spend much money, we do have a list of best true wireless earbuds that cost less than $50 ( as well as a list of best true wireless earbuds under $100 (


Best all-around headphones

Sony WH-1000XM4


CNET TAKE: Sony's earlier WH-1000XM3 model was great. But if it had a weakness, that was its voice-calling capabilities, particularly in noisier environments. The new WH-1000XM4 ( improves in that area and also adds multipoint Bluetooth pairing so you can connect to two devices — such as your phone and PC — at the same time. This means that if a call comes in while you're using the headphones with your computer, the audio will switch to your phone when you answer the call.

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 probably still have the edge for voice calls, but the 1000XM4 headphones are arguably a tad more comfortable. They also have some other improvements to noise cancellation and sound, making this model a great all-around choice.


Excellent-sounding true wireless


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