Wireless Earphones with Good Mics for Taking Calls outside?

I'd like to take a few of my meetings and phone calls outside instead of being stuck working from home all day everyday. I use Sony XM4s and previously Bose QC25s but both picked up a ridiculous amount of background noise (esp wind).

Has anyone had luck finding a good value ($50-$100) pair of earphones that have decent mics (with some kind of ANC?) thats good for outside?

The airpods seem to be very good at it since i see a lot of people using them outside without having to yell at the top of their lungs.


  • +2

    AirPods and particularly the Pros are perfect for that use but not within that price range. There are Sony equivalents which may be cheaper.

  • I've used Airpods for years, with calls being a very significant use case. Including regular bike rides, with just one side in, so the beamforming effect couldn't work optimally. This would only rarely be an issue, like when I would ride fast on a windy day.

    They are great for calls, background noises disappear. Regular or Pros, both are very good. Easy to forget you've got them in at all. Main benefit of the Pros is the NC, so you can still hear the call in noisy environments. Otherwise I find them pretty similar.
    There might be other good options, but I readily replaced mine when the battery started dying after 3 years because they had been great.

    There may be some new model of airpods this month to watch for

  • +2

    AirPods 2nd gen, $187 at the moment from Amazon/Big W.. maybe more than you’re willing to spend though

    If you’re dead on target for budget, Huawei Freebuds 3i With Active noise cancellation wireless earphones for $105 (30% off) from Amazon

    • seen the huawei'd mentioned a few times. have you tried it outside in the wind? hows it go?

  • My QCY's cost $17 and work fine.

  • I've taken calls walking from train back home using the Samsung buds and didn't notice any bg noise at all

    • I would say it’s also the person on the other line noticing the background noise coming from you.

      I’ve had many calls where it became almost impossible to speak with the other person because their mic picked up too much noise

  • The Samsung buds plus are decent for the money. The mics are pretty good.

  • +1 AirPod pro but out of budget

    • How are the air pod when using on Android?

      • Can’t personally say but other ozbargain guys said it’s good.

        Goes without saying but kinda missing out if not using with apple for features like Siri and seamless handover between apple devices

      • Fine. I kept using iphone because of Airpods, but the switch to android made almost no difference

  • I think questions like this are hard to answer as everyone has different opinions on whats acceptable and whats not.. some people are happy to put up with mediocre quality to save a few bux…
    also comfort comes into it.

  • I've got these and they're great for voice in particular


    https://staticice.com.au/cgi-bin/search.cgi?q=TWS200&spos=3 or https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000401957654.html if you don't mind waiting

    (There also seems to be a newer model available but I have no experience with it: https://www.edifier.com/int/product-tws200-plus.html)

    • perfect! have you had a chance to use these outside much?

      • i used them for walking and talking - not next to any construction sites or similar, but they work well. they have rudimentary "tap the side of the bud" control on android too :)

        use for phone calls and music when walking and have also used them for zoom calls on my laptop when WFH

        I actually bought as a present for a family member (they wanted airpods, but had never used wireless pods before, so I said try a cheapy first) and was so impressed I got a pair myself :)

    • +1

      I have the tws200, as does my brother, so I get to see what they are like from both my side and on the other end of the call.

      People often complain about the quality of my audio when I'm using them, and I notice my bothers calls are often poor. They sound great to me though, but I simply have up using them for voice calls as I could be feared well enough, especially outside

      • I've had no problems with a Galaxy S21, I wonder if bluetooth stack changes how they sound (technically I know it shouldn't, but I remember my Galaxy S10 sounding terrible with every Bluetooth handsfree/headphone/headset I used, I suspected it was two noise cancelling systems (ie. phone + device) interfering with each other)

        Family member is using an older iPad Pro with them more or less daily (Zoom)

  • Soundpeats true air 2 hands down. It was selling for $35 ish not long ago I think.

  • I have tried the Soundpeats TrueAir 2, while I quite liked them, I managed to lose the charger case (possibly on a bus) after a couple of drinks one night. My experience was they were not much better that the TWS200 - based on number of comments made to me by those I was talking to about the level of background noise. I also have Jabra Evolve 65 over ears, mono bluetooth with boom mike. These are exceptional for calls, and their noise cancellation allows me to unpack the dishwasher while on a call and no one hears. They are not music headphones though. I have also tried the Anker Soundcore Life P2. Quite a few reasons not to like these, luck I got them on a good deal.
    This week I bought Google Pixel Buds Series A (just above your budget ~$130). So far I am impressed. They stay in my ears better than Taotronics TT-BH079 ear buds, sound better, have better touch controls and so far anyone I speak to seems to have noticed no difference in my sound quality to the Jabra headset. I will update again with more experience after I've given them a bit more of a workout

    • After about 3 weeks use, the pixel buds are amazing . Sound quality for calls is brilliant (for both parties), even been able to make a call while riding my bike, music and podcasts sound good and the touch controls are excellent.

Login or Join to leave a comment