Bass is a vital component of any music listening experience, and the driving force behind our favorite recordings. A study conducted by the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind (via insomniac.com) shows that our obsession with low frequencies stems from the brain and how it “picks up on the rhythms of lower, bassier music faster than it does high-pitched noises.” Simply put, our brain is more responsive to lower tones.
This explains why many audio brands configure their products with a boost to the lower parts of the frequency response. Many of the best headphones we've tested feature an energetic low end and the same goes for the best wireless earbuds.
As a headphone reviewer, I’m constantly asked, “which wireless buds are best for bass?” The answer is many models, depending on your needs. Are you an audiophile seeking full frequency range with notable punch, or someone who wants emphasized lows that dominate the soundstage? There’s something out there for every bass lover.
Here are my personal picks based on performance, preference, and price.
Best bass performance and noise canceling
1. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
The Momentum True Wireless 3 offered great performance at their original $249 / £219 / AU$399 price, and are exceptional value discounted to $169 at Amazon (at the time of writing). Active noise cancellation and audio are top tier, with bass that sounds richer than the higher-priced AirPods Pro 2 and Sony WF-1000XM5 in my opinion — two of our audio editor's favorite wireless earbuds of 2023.
Sennheiser incorporated 7mm drivers, adaptive listening modes, multiple EQ settings, and aptX Adaptive audio codec support for smooth music streaming. You’ll enjoy a fantastic blend of robust lows, striking mids, and transparent highs that can be customized in the Smart Control app. Bass is accurate, dynamic, and tight, which is what most audiophiles want from an upscale model. The rumble and thump produced on boom-heavy mixes are impressive. Also, Sennheiser’s soundstage is so well engineered that it exposes low-end nuances that would normally go unheard on basic buds.
Best under $99
2. Sony WF-C500
These Sony WF-C500 originally launched at $99 but can regularly be found discounted to around half that at online retailers. They rank as the best cheap wireless earbuds for sound and are sonically superior to most inexpensive and mid-range rivals. Sony’s proprietary technologies (e.g., 360 Reality Audio, DSEE) give tracks a significant boost in fidelity and imaging. However, it is the WF-C500’s monstrous bass performance that stands out most.
Their warm and vibrant sound profile compliments contemporary music genres such as alternative, EDM, hip hop, and rock. Drums slap hard and reverberation remains consistent throughout recordings. Lows are fairly balanced, granted they can compromise some mids at max volume. Lastly, the EQ setting in Sony’s Headphones Connect app comes in clutch for personalizing sound, letting you choose from 9 different high-quality presets or manually adjust frequencies for stabilized output.
3. Jabra Elite 8 Active
Although I loved Jabra's new flagship Elite 10 when they arrived in September 2023, it's the sports-centric Elite 8 Active that are the greater value. They're priced at $199 / £199 / AU$329 (compared to $249 / £229 / AU$379 for the Elite 10), and come with 90% of the same features, much longer battery life, and stronger bass delivery.
Several elements factor into the buds’ boom-filled performance. Jabra’s 6mm drivers give the low end a bit more oomph, which can be increased in the Sound+ app by enabling the Bass Boost preset or manually adjusting the three-band EQ.
ShakeGrip technology keeps these buds locked onto your ears for full audio consumption. ANC automatically optimizes sound to your surroundings, so you can hear music uninterrupted. Then there’s Spatial Sound, which is the company’s new spatial audio format powered by Dolby Atmos that adds arena-like acoustics to the soundstage and extra punch to bass-heavy recordings.
An indestructible design and terrific call quality also make the Elite 8 Active an ideal workout companion, and one of the best sport headphones I've tested in 2023.
Best high-quality codec support
4. Edifier NeoBuds Pro 2
Edifier is no stranger to the true wireless space, and has released several great models at affordable prices. The NeoBuds Pro 2 are no exception. Although we haven't reviewed these at Tom's Guide, I've had experience with them elsewhere and have been impressed. On top of carrying a fully loaded spec sheet consisting of high-powered audio features such as LDAC/LHDC codec support, ANC, and spatial audio, they’re also some of the better bass blasters under $129. Even better is that they can currently be found discounted to $99 at Amazon.
A 10mm driver paired with a balanced armature speaker gives these buds their warm, accentuated low-end sound. Every pounding kick drum and striking snare feel visceral. The Dynamic mode in Edifier’s Connect app enriches bass and treble without ruining the frequency range; electronic effects and instruments have more snap. Hi-Res Audio and LDAC provide clean and widely detailed listening on Android devices. The NeoBuds Pro 2’s 3D audio mode is adequate for movie watching and brings a layer of realism to action sequences.
Best for fitness
5. Beats Powerbeats Pro
Newer Beats releases like the industry-favorite Fit Pro and Studio Buds+ have more refined sound profiles, but the $249 / £269 / AU$379 Powerbeats Pro prioritize the low end to get your adrenaline pumping before workouts. They can regularly be found discounted for less online.
The 12mm drivers dish out trembling bass, and drums, synths, and percussive instruments are reproduced incredibly well. Treble is also noticeably cleaner than the PowerBeats3, while mid and high tones sound crisper. The fact that these buds achieve this level of performance without advanced sound features is a testament to their greatness.
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A lifestyle journalist with an affinity for consumer products, Alex has over a decade of experience and has worked with popular publications such as Complex, Thrillist, Men’s Health, Gear Patrol, AskMen, and Hoop Magazine. He currently focuses on audio, reviewing the most coveted headphones in the market for both Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine.
Try the Gemini 2 they will shake your brain out of your noseReply
And that is a good thing?ECA77 said:Try the Gemini 2 they will shake your brain out of your nose
Well if you try them they will blow the ones you were talking about out of the waterCOLGeek said:And that is a good thing?