The Best Wireless Earbuds for 2023 New Zealand Edition: Best Value and Features for the Gym, Calls, and More [Updated]

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  Updated 14 November, 2023 by Matthew Miller, Consumer Technology Editor

Wireless earbuds are one of the hottest trending products in 2023, and for good reason. Thanks to leaps forward in battery life, signal strength, and sound quality, the time is right to buy.

Read this article before making a purchase, as the content is updated for the New Zealand market each month with a focus on comfort during long gym or work sessions, sound and call quality, and overall value for your money.

Mifo O5 Plus Gen 2: Editor’s pick for best true wireless earbuds – $159.99 at Mifo.com.au →

Where to buy the Mifo O5 Plus Gen 2 earbuds in Australia

The best wireless earphones including commuting, the office, running, and all around gym use come from a brand that is new to Australia. But don’t let that scare you off, as these earbuds are easily some of the best we have ever tested.

BEST VALUE LINK

$159.99 tax included at Mifo.com.au – free 2-day delivery

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mifo have placed the O7 with carbon nanotube dynamic drivers, Qualcomm chipset, and touch controls on sale. It carries with it substantial added cost, but may offer a superior experience for $199.99.

So what makes Mifo true wireless earbuds the best all around wireless earphones?

  • The best earbuds for active lifestyles, period. The Mifo O5 come with a bevy of features that improve the tasks of the day immensely, beginning with their form factor. Weighing in at just a few grams each, the O5 earbuds feel supremely comfortable, and include 7 silicon ear tip shapes and sizes for that perfect fit. Further, once in it’s nearly impossible to get them to fall out. Readers may remember propensity to fall out was a major problem that prevented us from recommending Apple’s Airpods in our last wireless review.
  • Absurd battery life with power bank feature. The O5 Plus Gen 2 earbuds themselves will play continuously for 7+ hours, a feat we tested over several days. Not only that, but the included USB-C charging case offers an additional 100 hours of play time. No, that is not a typo. We were able to use the earbuds without charging the case for an entire week before it gave out. Not only that, but the case allows you to plug a smartphone in to charge your devices on the go. In our test, we were able to charge an iPhone 11 Pro Max from 0 to 100%. That’s stunning, and makes us wonder why earbuds from other brands costing 3-4 times more have just a third of the battery life.
  • Excellent sound with passive noise canceling and transparency mode you have to hear to believe. The Mifo O5 Plus Gen 2 packs some of the best bass in any true wireless earbuds we have tested. That’s particularly helpful if you prefer energetic tracks when pushing yourself to the limit. You won’t be able to hear any outside noise, unless you activate transparency mode. Once activated with a tap, you are able to hear ambient noise around you perfectly, including conversations. That means you don’t have to remove the earbuds when you want to order a coffee or have a quick word. We’ve never seen a premium feature like this is sub-$200 earbuds before, and it is truly impressive.
  • New Zealand-based customer support. We have been continuously disappointed with true wireless earbuds in the past, even from tech giants like Samsung. Part of that disappointment comes with poor or absent customer service. We tested Mifo on several occasions with questions and every time received proper replies within an hour. That demonstrates commitment to Kiwi market and contributes greatly to our award of Editor’s Pick.

Jabra Elite Active 75t: Solid but pricey earbuds for runners – $249.00 at Amazon.com.au →

Where to buy the Jabra Elite 75t earbuds in New Zealand

If you aren’t price sensitive, Jabra may be the brand for you. These true wireless earbuds come with fewer accessories than the Mifo O5, and offer a more generalist approach to the format for frequent runners.

BEST VALUE LINK

$249.00 at Amazon.com.au – 2-4 day delivery

Why Jabra makes the list of best earbuds

  • Good overall quality for true wireless earbuds. Since true wireless earbuds were invented, we have lamented at poor signal quality, dropped calls, and pairing fiascos. Jabra have included top quality chipsets and firmware, and we were pleased with the overall experience. That may not be of interest to Android users who always have a device close by and aren’t usually on the phone, but is worth noting.
  • Excellent marks for sound quality. While bass isn’t as rich as the Mifo O5, the overall high and low tones of the Elite 75t are quite good. In addition, the earbuds controls are straightforward and simple to use, allowing you to easily change tracks or answer calls while on a run. We’ll leave it to you to determine if they sound $180 good.
  • Limited sports-specific features. While Jabra does an excellent job with sound quality and calls, they are not designed specifically for runners. The 75t suffer from pairing issues, particularly when they run out of power or undergo a reset. Accessory-wise, earbuds also include fewer ear tips than competitors, which are absolutely critical to ensure a complete fit that will not fall out during runs.

Bose Soundsport Free: Sports earphones that live up to the Bose name – $268.00 at Amazon.com.au →

Bose Soundsport Free Earbuds Review

Where to buy the Bose Soundsport Free earbuds in New Zealand

Bose has delved into the true wireless category by focusing on sports. And while the Soundsport Free is an excellent first product, it suffers from an aging Bluetooth chipset and mediocre battery life, costing Bose a higher position in our list.

BEST VALUE LINK

$254.99 at Amazon.com.au – 2-4 day delivery

Why Bose gets our approval for the gym

  • Great sound that comes at a cost. While Bose has engineered a product that is indeed worthy of the name, it does come at a cost. Reduced battery life and Bluetooth 4.1 instead of 5.0 hurt the product and age it to the first generation of true wireless product.
  • Fun, fitness-oriented colours. Of note are the options to pick from a bright, bold, and just plain fun colour scheme. While not strictly to do with features, the Soundsport makes going to the gym just a bit more interesting.
  • Built for sports, but may not work for you. While the Soundsport is made for active movement, we found it a bit bulky. If you have smaller ears, you may experience some discomfort or a feeling that the earbuds may fall out. That’s not particularly comfortable when you are trying to focus on your workout.

Sony WF-1000XM3: Great for sitting at home, tough to use on the go – $328.00 at Amazon.com.au →

Where to buy the Sony WF1000-XM3

Sony have spent years of research and development on the WF1000-XM3, but over engineered an expensive and somewhat clumsy product for runners. And while the active noise canceling and sound quality are superb, those little annoyances add up with an otherwise excellent product.

BEST VALUE LINK

$328.00 at Amazon.com.au – 2-4 day delivery

Why Sony stumbles on features and value

  • Sony stumbles when it comes to features. We gave the WF1000-XM3 a higher rating in 2020, but it’s 2022 now and there are new challenger products that outperform the WF1000-XM3 on nearly every front. That includes battery life (more below), charging capabilities, and overall miniaturization of previously large components.
  • You’ll get 3 to 4 hours of battery life from the earbuds themselves if you listen at high volume, and the included charging case provides an added 4 charges. That’s fine and good, but not up to par with other earbuds in this price range. In the same vein, the WF1000-XM3 are not water proof and don’t do well with repeated exposure to sweat.
  • Larger, heavy design is also a big miss for Sony. The WF1000-XM3 is simply uncomfortable to wear for longer than 10 minutes of movement. The earbuds themselves are too large for small ears, even when using smaller ear tips. They are far too easy to catch with natural arm motion, and tend to fall out when you least expect it.
  • We also wish Sony would release an updated model with very important features for sports like complete waterproofing, shock proofing, and a more durable charging case standard.
  • While Sony brings a decent result to the table with the WF1000-XM3, they are hurt by an uncomfortable product that should be redesigned or priced far lower than it is today.

Runners-up: Best Wireless Sports Earbuds

There are many, many wireless earbuds in the sports market. And while we attempt to test as many as possible for our readers, some units simply don’t make the cut. Here’s a quick peek at sports earbuds that didn’t make the list.


Jabra Elite Sport – $309.99 at Amazon.com.au →

Jabra Elite Sport Earbuds Review

Jabra is well known for call quality and overall aesthetic, so we were surprised to find the Elite Sport fall a bit flat. While the earbuds are just fine in a number of categories, they fail to excel in any one. What we end up with is a jack of all trades priced at absurd levels.


Jaybird Run XT – $209.99 at Amazon.com.au →

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The Jaybird Run XT are designed and named for runners. It’s a shame that these purpose-built true wireless earbuds don’t live up to the moniker. Jaybird has the right idea, but falls short in sound quality and Bluetooth signal strength.


Samsung Galaxy Buds – $191.00 at Amazon.com.au →

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The Galaxy smartphone is one of the most popular on the planet, and the pressure to create award-winning accessories is high. But from active movers’ perspectives, the Galaxy Buds don’t quite justify their price tag. Samsung tackled the challenge of an all around true wireless earbud, but failed to address runners and gym goers head on. We look forward to Samsung producing a model made specifically for sports.