Where there are so many earbuds out on the market, not everyone boils down to your expectations when it comes to making phone calls. If you are living in a windy or noisy area, you will have to choose earbuds that come with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) or features that offer better call quality in noisy situations.
The good thing is, that the earbuds market is flooded with a lot of options when it comes to your usage level, budget, and style preference. From expensive Airpods to budget-friendly Soundcore buds, there’s a lot to choose from.
No matter whichever earbuds you choose, you can make phone calls. But in this guide, we have chosen the ones that stand out from the rest when it comes to high-quality voice-calling experience.
When it comes to making phone calls, you have to watch out for features like sound, mic quality, and ANC in one spot. To me, the mic plays the most important role in improving your audio call quality. It’s the quality and placement of the mic on earbuds that decide the calling performance.
Apart from just focusing on the ANC or noise isolation, I take into account the Sidetone that allows you to hear your own voice in earbuds. Having this feature helps you “not to shout” when making calls in public or office environments.
Best Earbuds for Making Phone Calls in Windy or Noisy Areas
Apple AirPods Pro 2 – Overall Best
Form Factor: In-Ear | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery Time: 6 Hours without Case (30 Hours with Case) | Noise Cancelling: Yes | Water-Resistant: Yes
Reasons to Buy:
- Improved Sound Quality
- Powered by H2 Chip
- Low Distortion Drivers
- Upgraded Mic
- Adaptive Transparency Mode
- Powerful Noise Cancellation
Finally, we have the 2nd Generation of Apple AirPods Pro 2 powered by the latest H2 chip technology. One of the most trending features of this technology is the cancellation that it offers as compared to the previous Airpods.
The H2 tech uses the most advanced software to filter out noises like ambulance sirens, wind, machinery, concert, etc. To produce crystal clear sound, Apple has combined the H2 chip with low-distortion drivers and digital processing algorithms.
As this guide is about getting earbuds for phone calls, I’ll stick with the features that make Airpods Pro 2 shine in that department. If you have used the AirPods Pro 1st-Gen, then you would be well aware of the voice-calling performance in that model.
Where the design of AirPods Pro 2 remains the same as the previous version, there are some minor yet noteworthy changes made to the new model. For improved mic performance, Apple has now changed the position of the noise-cancellation mic and it has moved up to the top of the bud and the other one at the bottom of the stem.
This little change makes the Airpods Pro 2 Bud more exposed to the external environment to filter out ambient noise. Apple says that it has improved the noise-cancellation sensor and it’s now more energy-efficient than it was before.
Active noise cancellation isn’t the only thing you’ll get here, Apple has finally introduced the Adaptive Transparency Mode that allows you to hear the world around you in a natural way while filtering out unwanted noises.
Apple offers some extra ear tips that you can use to fit these earbuds perfectly inside your ear canals. I’ve never used the additional ear tips as the regular one fits more easily into my ears. But keep in mind that the size of your earbuds does impact the sound quality in the long run.
But if you are having issues fitting the ear tips included in the package, then you can simply opt for third-party foam ear tips to get a secure fit and prevent Airpods from falling out of your ears.
As you know ANC is more influenced by how tight the seal is around your ear canals. Thanks to Apple, the ear tips that come with Airpods Pro 2 snugly fit and prevent any external noise from leaking inside your ear.
With features that influence your calling experience, let’s now talk about what’s the actual voice-calling performance you can expect using AirPods Pro 2. As I’ve said previously, there are two beamforming microphones, one at the top and the other one at the bottom of the stem.
Both of these microphones have a mesh covering on them to filter out the extra wind noise during voice calls. I have noticed a huge difference in the voice call quality in Apple Airpods Pro 2 compared to the normal Airpods Pro.
One thing that you will notice yourself is that during the call, Airpods Pro 2 leaks in more background noise, however, your voice is crystal clear to the receiver at the other end. This is where I would recall the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 that completely filters out the background noise as you make phone calls.
The Apple AirPods Pro 2, however, don’t completely dampen the background noise, but they bring it down to a level where you don’t get disturbed at all. So making calls with ANC ON or OFF won’t create much of a difference to listeners who are at the other end.
I would recommend turning on the ANC on Airpods Pro 2 only when listening to calls in a windy or noisy area. Otherwise, it’s better to turn on Transparency Mode so that you can listen to your own noise while talking without being too loud on the call.
Apple promises a battery life of 6 hours without the charging case on Airpods Pro 2. And with the case, you can get almost 30 hours of battery life in your pocket. I think this is more than enough if you are just limited to phone calls.
For those who own Apple phones, I recommend going out of your budget ceiling and getting AirPods Pro 2 for a better phone call experience. Well, Android users could also get these buds, however, they will then need to sacrifice features like spatial audio, which I believe won’t affect the overall performance.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II – Best Noise-Cancellation for Phone Calls
Form Factor: In-Ear | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery Time: 6 Hours without Case (24 Hours with Case) | Noise Cancelling: Yes | Water-Resistant: Yes
Reasons to Buy:
- Excellent Noise Cancellation
- Comfortable for Long Hour Calls
- Improved Voice Calling With Noise Reduction
- Decent Battery Life
Bose’s 2nd Gen QuietComfort Earbuds bring a lot of new things to the table. First of all, QuietComfort 2 buds are 40% smaller than the previous QuietComfort 1 model. With Bose’s new CustomTune sound technology, you get the best-in-class active noise cancellation for amazing voice call performance.
Although these earbuds are much slimmer and smarter than the previous models, they also carry a hefty price tag on them. I mean spending around $300 to get a pair of these buds just to listen to calls won’t be justice. Only if you are into other tasks like listening to music for long hours, then I would suggest going with these.
Whilst the premium price tag would keep these earbuds away from the reach of budget-oriented users, their design and voice-calling performance would force many to get a pair of these right away.
I’ll be straight to the point, the noise-cancellation performance on Bost QuietComfort 2 is outstanding. Bose has done a lot of hard work in suppressing the frequencies like screaming babies, co-workers in the background, wind blowing, etc.
And now even if you make your calls near to a heavy-machinery unit, these earbuds would completely silence the noise. What I liked most about these earbuds is the transparency mode, Bose calls it the Aware mode. Turn this mode on, and you will hear the sound as are not wearing any earbuds at all.
Where Bose’s CustomTune technology and other algorithms play a huge role in muffing the outside, they come up with four powerful microphones to catch up with the external noise. Out of four, two of them are beamforming mics to pick up your voice during phone calls.
And with all these mic upgrades, the Bose QuietComfort 2 earbuds offer superior call performance over its predecessor, the QuietComfort 1. I think all of these voice call improvements justify price higher price tag on these earbuds.
Now comes the battery part, how long would QuietComfort 2 last if you make long-hour calls or listen to your favorite music? Well, the battery timing on QuietComfort 2 earbuds is the same as the Apple’s Airpod Pro 2, which is 6 hours.
With the help of a USB-C charging case, you can expect around 24 hours of battery which is 6 hours less as compared to Airpod Pro 2. Another thing that keeps the QuietComfort 2 falling behind the Airpod Pro 2 is the wireless charging. It’s unfortunate that Bose hasn’t included the wireless charging at such a premium price point.
But Bose compensates you by making these earbuds splash-proof. These earbuds are IPX4-rated and you can wear them in the rain and listen to your phone calls. But don’t expect it through it inside a bucket full of water, it’s not waterproof like the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds.
Bose has included touch controls with a swipe gesture to adjust your volume. You can also customize the touch control through Bose’s companion app.
All in all, the Bose QuietComfort 2 earbuds are my second-best choice when it comes to listening to your calls without any external noise interference. They feature the best in the industry noise-cancellation mics and speakers. If your budget allows you to get a pair of these, I recommend you to try them, you won’t regret it.
– Best Value for the Money Earbuds for Phone Calls
Form Factor: In-Ear | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery Time: 5 Hours without Case (30 Hours with Case) | Noise Cancelling: Yes | Water-Resistant: Yes (IPX7 Waterproof)
Reasons to Buy:
- Improved Design
- Great-Calling Performance
- 360 Audio Virtual Surround Sound
- Waterproof (IPX7)
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro deliver optimal sound quality and noise-cancellation when put side by side with the Airpods 2 Pro and Bose QuietComfort 2 earbuds. The change I’ve noticed so far is the eye-catching design and easy-to-fit nature. The only drawback I’ve found is that they are overpriced, maybe not for budget geeks.
One major improvement that Galaxy Buds 2 brings over its predecessors is the design and reduced net weight. The Galaxy Buds 2 are 15% smaller in size and they weigh around 5.5 grams only.
The new shape and smaller size make these buds much more comfortable for different ear types. I myself had a pair of these and I used them for the medium ear tips that were perfectly sealed by ear canal without any issue.
Samsung has marketed these earbuds by showing their impressive noise-cancellation performance and 24-bit audio support. Noise cancellation can be used by pairing these with any Android device, but for the 24-bit audio experience, you will need a dedicated Samsung Galaxy device that comes with Samsung’s One UI 4.0.
The feature that I liked the most in these earbuds was the IPX7 rating. This means you can use these buds in rain or windy conditions without any problem. IPX7 rating means they can be fully submerged in 1-meter deep water for 30 minutes.
Let’s talk a bit about the voice-calling performance of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds. Samsung has integrated these buds with two drivers (a 10mm woofer, and a 5.3mm tweeter) and three microphones. Two out of these three microphones are beam-forming and serve for voice calls.
Well, the voice quality on these buds is awesome and turning on the noise cancellation suppresses the external noise way down to a level where you feel comfortable speaking and listening to the other person on the call.
According to Samsung, they have improved the noise cancellation on this model as compared to its predecessors. However, I haven’t felt a lot of difference in both versions as most of it depends on how well the seal fits around your ear canal.
Overall, the noise cancellation performance of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is exceptional. Wearing these and walking in a crowded street or metro station while making phone calls is achievable. These buds muffle down external noise to a great extent when needed.
Samsung also lets you activate the ambient mode and hear the outside world when you need it. This feature is similar to Apple’s transparency mode which is more natural than what Samsung offers. Samsung lacks out on the noise cancellation levels and adjusts them according to the environment you are in.
With my last words about the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, I would say that earbuds offer the best value when it comes to phone call performance.
The advanced beam-forming mics on these buds pick up your voice while reducing the background noise at the same time. To me Galaxy Buds 2 Pro sit on the upper tier of voice-calling performance.
Battery life performance on Buds 2 Pro isn’t too great but it isn’t bad either. The battery lasts for 5 hours with ANC on and 8 hours with ANC off. This shows that Samsung hasn’t done enough to improve battery life in this version. But for calls, I think the battery life on Buds 2 Pro will do the justice.
So, should you buy Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds knowing that they perform best with Samsung devices? Well, if it all comes down to phone call performance, then yes these are worth buying. Currently, Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are being sold for $169 on Amazon, which I think is reasonable as compared to QuietComfort 2 and AirPods Pro 2.
Soundcore by Anker Life A1 – Best for Call Quality on Budget
Form Factor: In-Ear | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery Time: 8 Hours without Case (35 Hours with Case) | Noise Cancelling: Yes | Water-Resistant: Yes (IPX7 Waterproof)
Reasons to Buy:
- Decent Sound Quality
- Long Battery Life
- Comfy to Wear
At the time of writing this guide, I’m wearing the Soundcore Life A1 True Wireless earbuds. Now these are the earbuds I have been personally using for the past five months and there are a few things that I want to discuss with you guys here.
The Soundcore Life A1 is the most inexpensive earbuds on our list that sits under the $50 price tag. Anker has marketed these earbuds by saying that “incredible sound loved by 20 million+ people,” which also caught my attention as well.
First, these are the most comfortable earbuds I’ve ever found for such a lower price. The box comes with differently-sized ear tips that you can install on these buds to fit them perfectly inside your ear canal.
The second big thing that amazed me was the IPX7 rating, which makes these earbuds fully waterproof. I live in an area where there are gusty winds blowing most of the time, so these buds are ideal for me to wear and talk to anyone on the phone in rough weather conditions.
Furthermore, I was truly amazed by the battery life on these buds, which last for more than 8 hours on constant use. The USB-C charging case that comes with these buds adds an extra 35 hours of battery to them.
If you make long-hour calls, then Soundcore Life A1 is the deal you don’t want to slip out of your hands.
Let’s talk about the audio call quality of these earbuds. Wearing these buds, I’ve called most of my friends on cellular networks, and none of them reported any issues at all. However, I’ve noticed that if the earbuds are 1 foot away from you, then the other person won’t be able to hear your voice clearly.
There are two mics on Life A1 earbuds to capture your voice during calls. However, I’ve noticed that if the noise source is far away from the mic, the caller’s voice would be optimal. But if the noise source is close to these mics, then the original speech is distorted and the voice isn’t clear enough.
Unfortunately, Soundcore Life A1 buds do not support ANC, but they do offer what we call passive noise cancellation. Most of the noise is blocked by the seals that come along with buds. The amount of noise blocked depends on how well the seal goes around your ear canals.
I’ve found that higher frequencies are blocked well by these earbuds. But these are unable to block high-pitched noises, which I believe is common with earbuds without ANC.
All in all, the Soundcore Life A1 earbuds offer the kind of performance that everyone needs on a low budget. The overall call quality is good and you get an IPX7 waterproof assurance for such an affordable price. Soundcore also offers Bluetooth multipoint support so you can pair these buds to two devices at the same time.
Finally, these were some of the best earbuds for calling in windy or noisy conditions. If I had to pick out from the list, then it would be the Bose QuietComfort 2 as they offer the best noise cancellation experience that one would need while making voice calls.
The only thing that might concern you would be the higher price tag, but this doesn’t put a hole in your wallet.
How We Test
When it comes to wireless earbuds for phone calls, there are different features that we take into account like design, sound quality, voice-calling performance, battery life, etc.
- Design: We put more focus on ergonomically designed earbuds that easily fit inside the ear canals. The build quality and features like dust and water resistance play a key role at this point.
- Sound Quality: In order to test the sound quality, we listen to music on different earbuds and then come to a conclusion. Our criteria for sound quality revolve around the bass, dynamic range, and clarity.
- Calling-Performance: A simple way to test voice-calling performance is to make phone calls in different environments. We walk in a busy street or a metro station to find out if the person on the other end hears us clearly.
- Extended Features: Getting as many features with your earbuds enhances your overall listening experience. Where ANC stays on the top of our list, there are features like transparency mode, 360 audio surround, and ear-detection sensors that add more value to your earbuds. Some earbuds come with foam or mesh materials over the mic to block wind noise. These can be effective at reducing interference during calls in windy conditions
Is AirPods Pro 2 good for calling?
Yes, AirPods Pro 2 are one the best earbuds you can have for voice calling. They come with advanced microphones that capture your voice and remove the ambient noise to produce a high-quality human voice. The phone calls with AirPods Pro 2 are more natural and clear as compared to other earbuds.
Do Samsung earbuds answer calls?
Yes, there are dedicated buttons on Samsung earbuds to answer or reject calls without taking out your phone. All you need is to connect your Samsung earbuds with your phone, and that’s it.
Do Galaxy Buds cancel noise?
Yes, Galaxy Buds come with active noise cancellation that automatically filters out the background noise around you.
Can wind damage earbuds?
No, wind cannot damage your earbuds. However, if your earbuds are not sitting perfectly inside your ear canals, then strong wind can make your earbuds fall out of your ear canals.
Does noise-cancelling work with wind?
Well, it depends on how powerful the noise-cancellation sensors are in your earbuds. If your earbuds are integrated with advanced wind-detection sensors, then ANC will automatically reduce the wind noise as it detects it.
Can you hear the wind in AirPods?
Yes, you can turn on the transparency mode in AirPods if you want to hear the sound of wind. Transparency mode allows you to hear ambient noise as if you are not wearing earbuds at all.
I’ve been writing about gadgets for over 7 years now. I have a strong taste for music, no matter if it’s pop or classic. My passion for music has enabled me to come closer to audio equipment. I like writing and sharing my personal experience with audio equipment that passes by me.