Best headphones for Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus

A few years ago the iPhone lost its headphone jack. Now Samsung’s left the 3.5mm audio jack off the new Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus — and didn’t include a USB-C headphone adapter — which means most Note 10 owners will be looking to go the wireless route. Popular Apple-centric models like the AirPods and Beats Powerbeats Pro work just fine with the Note 10, but we’re highlighting models in this roundup that are more platform-agnostic or even have a slight Android tilt. 

Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site. 

Read more: Galaxy Note 10 and 10 Plus kill the headphone jack

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Sony hasn’t been much of a player in the true wireless (AirPods-style) headphone arena, but its new WF-1000XM3 may change that. While it’s not cheap at $228, it’s the best-sounding set of truly wireless earbuds at this price, matching and perhaps even exceeding the performance of pricier competitors from Sennheiser, Beats, Master & Dynamic and Bang & Olufsen. It also has a feature that those earphones don’t have: active noise canceling.

Its only drawback is that it isn’t rated as being sweat- or water-resistant. That said, I’ve used it for light workouts at the gym without a problem. There’s an Android version of the companion app (Sony has its own line of own Android phones). 

The earphones use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC but not aptX.

Water-resistant: No (lacks IPX certification)

Read more: Best cheap true wireless earphones

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The Galaxy Buds ($128) are the third iteration of Samsung’s Android-leaning answer to Apple’s AirPods. Lightweight and compact, they fit my ears fairly securely, have decent battery life — 6 hours at moderate volume levels — and their charging case is relatively small. On top of that, you can charge them via USB-C or wirelessly on any Qi-enabled wireless charging pad or the back of the Note 10, which has the same PowerShare feature found in Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 models.

Although they’re called Galaxy Buds, they do work with non-Samsung devices, including other Android and iOS devices as well as Bluetooth-enabled computers. But some of the features, such as Automatic Sync (an easy pairing feature) and Ambient Aware Mode, only work with Android devices running Android 5.0 or higher with 1.5GB of RAM or more.

Water-resistant: IPX4 (splash-resistant)

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Jaybird got off to a bumpy start in the world of true wireless — that’s “AirPods-style headphones” — when it released its Jaybird Run workout headphones back in October 2017. That model, updated to the wireless in-ear Jaybird Run XT earlier this year, was well designed but had some small performance issues that held the wireless earbuds back from being great. But its wireless successor, the Jaybird Vista (cue the Windows Vista jokes), includes design, battery life and performance improvements that make it the product I’d hoped the Jaybird Run would be.

At $180, the Jaybird Vista is a little more expensive than it should be, but it’s one of the better true wireless headphones to hit the market in 2019. The Jaybird Vista will appeal to those looking for a more discreet set of totally wireless sports headphones that offer full waterproofing. A companion Android app allows you to tweak the sound.

Water-resistant: IPX7 (fully waterproof)

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If you’re someone whose ears are a good match — and fit — for the AirPods, Apple’s true wireless headphones do have some small performance advantages, particularly when it comes to call-making. But these earphones sound as good, if not better, than the AirPods, and they fit my ear better — and more securely. In short, as long as you’re OK with a noise-isolating design, the Anker Liberty Air true wireless earbuds are an excellent AirPod alternative that happens to cost half the price. They’re also sweat-resistant so you can run with them.

Normally $80, Amazon currently lets you clip an instant coupon to save $10.

Water-resistant: IPX5 (can be hit with a sustained jet of water)

Juan Garzon/CNET

Bose has its new Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. It’s an excellent choice for a full-size noise-canceling headphone, but we still rate the Sony WH-1000XM3 slightly higher, partially because you can get it for $100 less than the Bose. While it lists for $350 but is frequently on sale for $300. Like the true wireless WH-1000XM3, there’s a companion app for Android. 

Some users have complained that the touch controls don’t work in cold weather. Presumably, Sony will fix that flaw in the M4 version of the headphone. However, it’s unclear when Sony will release the next version — it may not be until 2020. 

Water-resistant: No (lacks IPX certification)   

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