Escape to the desert with 15 remote homes on Airbnb across Texas, Utah, and the western US

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Best desert Airbnbs

  • A desert offers a dreamy backdrop for a secluded getaway amid nature, hiking, and stargazing.
  • Airbnb lists many unique homes in remote deserts and towns in Arizona, Nevada, and other states.
  • From Joshua Tree to Sedona, we rounded up the best Enhanced Clean Airbnbs near deserts under $600.

Think of the last time you looked up and saw a pitch-black sky speckled with stars. If a recent evening doesn’t come to mind, you’re due for a stay in a remote desert where stargazing and solitude are a nightly spectacle.

Desert landscapes also offer unrivaled hikes, historical landmarks, artisanal shops, and a crop of cool Airbnbs to add to your must-visit list.

I’ve driven across the country (twice), watching the trees become cacti and grassy terrain turn to sand, making stops in towns like Marfa, Texas; Palm Springs, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Sedona, Arizona, where I even stayed at an Airbnb on this list.

Though fall through spring is the best time to visit the desert, you can find cheaper prices during the summer if you’re willing to face the hot temperatures.

Browse all the best Airbnb homes in the desert below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

These are the best Airbnbs in desert towns, sorted by state and price.

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Colorful oasis in Palm Springs

Colorful oasis in Palm Springs
This colorful adobe’s walk-in shower leads to a heated backyard private pool.

Book this Palm Springs home with a pool on Airbnb

While Coachella is not until next year, you can still enjoy a trip to Palm Springs, which is about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles.

Within the Colorado Desert, this colorful abode is located close to the main downtown area and is a vibrant, plant-filled oasis. Pop art and vintage books pay homage to celebrities who owned homes in Palm Springs, like Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin. 

Bright orange and teal colors cover the walls underneath vaulted ceilings, alongside an open-concept kitchen with funky, colorful appliances. The bedroom includes a Queen-size, memory foam bed, couch, TV, as well as a workspace.

A spacious bathroom with a walk-in shower leads to the backyard with a heated, private pool and hot tub bordered by mod lounge furniture, a grill, bikes, and mountain views framed by cacti.

Artist’s loft in Joshua Tree

Art Loft near Joshua Tree
This urban loft is an art space to gain inspiration and create while on vacation.

Book Joshua Tree loft on Airbnb

Joshua Tree National Park, named for the spiny, palm-like botanical tree that grows here, is where two deserts converge: the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert. With no light pollution, you’ll be able to spend evenings admiring the stars and days hiking 100-plus miles of trails — just beware of extreme heat warnings and pack more water than you think you’ll need.

This art-infused loft is a creator’s dream haven and is located just north of a few eclectic restaurants and the national park’s entrance on Park Boulevard. The remote home boasts floor-to-ceiling windows to soak up desert views, as well as a fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms with Queen-size beds, two bathrooms, and open-concept studio space. 

Work on large projects that can be spread across a work table on casters, surrounded by six bar stools. Art supplies are stored in a desk that spans 22 feet, and a vintage Dutch typewriter awaits poetic inspiration. A chalkboard wall also makes sharing ideas easy, while music from a record player provides the score for artistic sessions. 

When you’re not working, dangle from a transparent hanging bubble chair or peruse provided books about art, design, travel, and photography. In the backyard, find a hot tub, fire pit, lounge area, bocce ball court, and a custom cabana inspired by a 2006 Burning Man bamboo sculpture.

Off-the-grid house in Pioneertown

Off the grid House in Pioneertown
Step away from society in this eco-friendly home with minimal Wi-Fi and no TVs.

Book this Pioneertown house on Airbnb

Unlike lively Palm Springs or hiker-laden Joshua Tree, Pioneertown offers total remoteness. Out of sight in the California high desert, this sequestered refuge is a 10-minute drive from local favorites like Pappy & Harriet’s, a quirky bar, restaurant, and music venue that’s hosted musicians like Paul McCartney to Diplo. 

There are no TVs in this industrial home, only satellite Wi-Fi for emergency communication. Guests are meant to instead soak in views of the desert with floor-to-ceiling windows in almost every room. Not only is the architecture stunning, but the property is eco-conscious, powering energy and hot water entirely using solar panels.

The modern and minimalist design also includes a petite kitchen island next to an expansive dining table and a living room with a hanging fireplace that serves as a focal point. A shaded outdoor patio is set between this part of the home and two bedrooms, one with a King-size and one with a Queen-size Casper mattress, where you can enjoy panoramic views from bed.  

Travel Hotel Reviews Sub banners Nevada

Desert home near Death Valley National Park

Desert home near Death Valley National Park
This seemingly floating desert home is a remote retreat that’s 20 miles away from any civilization.

Book this Death Valley home on Airbnb

Set on 80 acres of land north of Las Vegas, this home is seemingly in the middle of nowhere, with the closest landmark being Death Valley National Park, 20 miles away. Designed by lauded architect Peter Strzebniok, the home was featured in The New York Times for its remoteness. 

The 1,200-square-foot marvel appears to be floating thanks to a concrete plinth that elevates the structure. There are two bathrooms and three bedrooms; the master has a Queen-size bed below a skylight for nighttime stargazing. In the office, a writer’s desk is set flush against floor-to-ceiling windows with desert views. 

The all-white kitchen, with pops of red from light pendants, is an open concept that flows to the dining and living rooms with a coffered ceiling. Glass doors slide open to a 900-square-foot deck with a sunken hot tub.  

‘Desert rose’ house in Las Vegas

‘Desert Rose’ house in Las Vegas
Take a therapeutic retreat from the city at this hacienda-styled home with a spa, pool, and massive tepee.

Book this Las Vegas home on Airbnb

A 10-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip, this hacienda-style home in a residential neighborhood is nicknamed the “Desert Rose.” 

Stay in one of the master bedrooms and you’ll step out of a four-poster, King-size bed and onto cool ceramic floor tiles that lead to an en suite with two vanities, two shower heads, and a therapeutic copper bathtub. 

In the living room, a zebra rug and western throw pillows support a southwestern aesthetic, and the gourmet kitchen includes an expansive bar and two slot machines as a reminder of the home’s close proximity to casinos.

Outside, the large private backyard is an oasis with a garden veranda with barbecue grills and a picnic table. There is also a spa and pool with a water slide, chaise lounges by a Kiva fireplace, fire pits, and various seating arrangements. Finally, a tepee large enough to cover two rustic couches is an unexpected touch that makes this home stand out.

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner Utah

Desert townhome in Southwestern Moab

Desert townhome in Southwestern Moab
Near Arches National Park, this townhome embodies the surrounding desert in its earth-tone decor.

Book this Moab home on Airbnb

This townhome is a 15-minute drive from Arches National Park with its gorgeous natural sandstone arches, and a 10-minute drive from downtown Moab with restaurants, shops, and galleries.

The color scheme incorporates orange and beige shades inspired by the surrounding desert, as well as a green velvet couch complemented by a spiral Peruvian cactus. In the dining room, a rattan light fixture hangs above a sustainably sourced mango wood table, and a fully stocked kitchen has stools for additional seating. In the master, a Pendleton Escalante duvet is spread across a King-size bed under a clay and cholla cactus wall hanging. There’s also a bunk room with four twin beds. 

The front patio features a striped beach chair surrounded by desert plants, and on the back patio, a grill, accent chairs, and a hammock are set in front of expansive views. 

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner Arizona

Cowboy bunkhouse in Scottsdale

Cowboy bunkhouse in Scottsdale
A bunkhouse that feels like the Old West with its vintage cowboy decor and rustic charm.

Book this Scottsdale house on Airbnb

Scottsdale, nicknamed “The West’s Most Western Town,” is east of Phoenix, in the Sonoran Desert. While the area is known for upscale shops and dining, you’ll also find Frontier Town, which celebrates the city’s history with old-fashioned saloons, museums, and even gun show reenactments, which could have inspired the theme of this Airbnb dubbed the “Cowboy Bunkhouse.” 

The kitschy-cool, pueblo-style home takes design cues from the city’s heritage with wood-beamed ceilings and rustic, vintage furnishings. Decor includes cowboy hats and painted hanging bull horns, a painting of a cow, and barrel chairs with lattice woven bases.

In the master, buzzard statues perch atop a tree-branch headboard and in the guest bedroom, two bunk beds are stacked below cowboy dangling boots.

Outside, mariachi wire sculptures are set near a round dining table by a Kiva fireplace and a metal swing hanging from two trees.

Yucca Room at JTH Tucson

Yucca Room at JTH Tucson
This intimate lodge is set on a 40-acre compound in the Sonoran Desert.

Book this Tucscon lodge on Airbnb

The Yucca Room is a lower-level unit in the JTH Tucson, a five-suite inn on the outskirts of Saguaro National Park, near Tucson. The compound is set on 40 acres of the Sonoran Desert, peppered with cacti and native plants. 

The one-bedroom accommodations include a King-size bed below an exposed-beam ceiling and Tulum-inspired rattan light fixtures. Two rustic leather barrel chairs face a mustard-colored Kiva fireplace to create a comfy seating area, and on a private, shaded patio, twin chaise lounges and chairs also invite relaxation. There is also a bathroom, kitchenette, and a light breakfast of tea, coffee, granola, and fruit, served daily. 

To take full advantage of the property’s remoteness, be sure to stock up on groceries before arriving. Other common areas include a swimming pool surrounded by rock formations, a rooftop lounge, a yoga room, a fire pit, and a living room with a projector for movie nights.

Mountain-top getaway in Sedona

Mountain top Getaway in Sedona
Bask in this home’s panoramic views of the red rock mountains changing orange at sunset.

Book this Sedona house on Airbnb

Located in Arizona’s high desert, Sedona is surrounded by red rock mountains said to be where healing energies are palpable. I can’t attest to whether that’s true, but I can personally vouch for this property. 

I stayed here during a recent trip to Sedona, a small town where psychics and crystal shops line the streets. Inside, a desk is set up in the foyer between two bedrooms, one with a fireplace and King-size bed, and another with two Queen-size beds. A shared bathroom is tucked behind a staircase that leads to the open-concept kitchen with mint green cabinets stocked with organic tea, coffee, and oatmeal.

You’ll spot Buddha statues and quotes sprinkled throughout the house, a callback to the destination’s alleged spirituality, and an additional room that includes a pull-out couch for more guests. A full bathroom is attached to the living room, where a dark gray sectional and ottoman face a media console displaying guide books and board games. 

Best of all is the wraparound balcony with unobstructed views of red rock formations that turn bright orange as the sun sets. There are plenty of seats, including a dining table, plastic chairs, and a daybed, and the porch wraps around to more seating. At the back of the house, a gate leads to the National Forest that connects to Airport Mesa Trail, one of the 100-plus hikes to check out during your stay. 

Travel Hotel Reviews Sub banners Colorado

Resort-like adobe in Grand Junction

Resort like adobe in Grand Junction
This luxurious adobe styled home has views of the Colorado National Monument, Colorado Grand Mesa, and the Book Cliffs formation.

Book this Colorado house on Airbnb

See the Colorado National Monument, Colorado Grand Mesa, and The Book Cliffs formation all from this adobe-style home. The southeast patio has rocking chairs for reclining while taking in views, while an expansive patio with a pizza oven, grill, and fireplace is optimal for watching the sunset.

A well-lit master suite is outfitted with a King-size bed, sling-style leather seat, a hide rug, and ensuite bath with a tub and walk-in shower. Bed configurations include a Queen-size bed, a twin and double bunk, and a Murphy double bed in the office. 

There is also a full kitchen with a coffee station and margarita machine, a dining room, and a living room framed by bookshelves showcasing eclectic art and maracas.  

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner New Mexico

Casita de cacti in Albuquerque

Casita de Cacti in Albuquerque
This southwestern townhome is filled with earth-toned decor and desert plants everywhere.

Book this Albuquerque house on Airbnb

New Mexico’s largest city in the high desert state is home to this townhouse, nicknamed “Casita de Cacti,” filled with cacti and other desert plants. Red clay concrete floors, a gray stone fireplace, and natural woods are also incorporated to mimic the local landscape. 

On the lower level of this two-bedroom, two-bathroom property an all-white, full kitchen opens up to the living room, which includes a contemporary couch upholstered in an orange-red velvet that faces accent chairs, a round pouf, and a transparent coffee table. The dining room flows nicely to the patio, where guests can relax on two circular lounge chairs. 

The master bedroom has a Queen-size bed, ensuite bathroom, and a balcony that overlooks the backyard with a colorful mural.

Secluded home near Santa Fe

Secluded home in Ojo Caliente
While staying here, take advantage of area spa offerings.

Book this New Mexico home on Airbnb

Ojo Caliente is north of Santa Fe and is a natural spa destination, known for its concentration of hot springs. Between wellness experiences, retreat to this home with a King-size, four-poster bed that looks out into the living room with a wood-burning fireplace.

A four-person dining table is set behind the couch, and the marble-topped kitchen comes equipped with stainless steel appliances. 

The bathroom includes a walk-in marble shower and plush Frette linens, and the covered backyard patio features a gas grill and chairs facing the mountains.

Modern house in Taos

The Modern Taos House in El Prado
This modern bungalow is a summer and winter off-the-grid destination.

Book this New Mexico bungalow on Airbnb

Home to a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Taos preserves a pueblo with the only living Native American community in the U.S. The high desert area on the outskirts of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains experiences scorching hot summers and snowy winters, making it a ski destination. 

Whether you prefer the heat or cold, this off-the-grid luxury home is far enough away to feel totally secluded yet close to haunts like the Taos Mesa Brewery Mothership that’s just two miles away.

The 1,250-square-foot home has two bedrooms with King-size beds, two bathrooms, and a Queen-size sofa bed to comfortably accommodate up to six. In the living room, a brown leather couch and Papasan chair are arranged around royal blue ottomans in a modern, industrial setting. The kitchen includes a hand-polished concrete island and expands to the dining room table, which was custom-built to also function as a ping pong table.

The home runs on rainwater and solar power, which is possible because Taos experiences 283 sunny days on average per year.

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner Texas

Corte del Norte in Marfa

Corte del Norte in Marfa
This unique home is part of a three-home compound in the heart of this artsy town.

Book this Marfa house on Airbnb

The western Texas city of Marfa is an unexpected art hub. It draws travelers to pose in front of Prada Marfa, an art installation by artists Elmgreen and Dragset that depicts a life-size designer store replica in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert.   

Part of a three-home compound called Corte del Norte, “The Love House” accommodates up to six guests in an eclectic setting. Find Big Bend Coffee Roasters coffee in the kitchen’s vintage cabinets, and in the dining room, rustic blue walls complement an expansive wooden table. A TV room is complete with a large couch, cowhide rug, and marble coffee table. 

One bathroom stocked with Marfa brand soap is shared by two bedrooms with Queen-size beds and one daybed. The accommodations are quirky with accents by local artists, including a Woody Farris painting and a striped armchair by Constance Holt Garza.

Luxury yurt in Terlingua

Luxury yurt in Terlingua
A luxury yurt that has a 360-degree view of the Chihuahuan desert and mountains.

Book this Texas yurt on Airbnb

You’ll find this luxury yurt near the entrance to Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas, which is part of the Chihuahuan Desert. Encompassing 573 square feet, this circular, permanent structure is sealed to protect from extreme winds or rain, and provides both electricity and running water during your stay. 

The home boasts a King-size bed, a designer lounge chair and pouf, as well as a wood-burning fireplace and telescope. There’s also room for a dining table with four chairs, and a full bathroom with a walk-in shower.

Outside, plush Stori Modern furniture is set up on the deck for unobstructed, 360-degree views of the desert and mountains. Beyond is an outdoor campfire ring with two rocking chairs.

FAQ: Staying in the desert

When is the best time to visit a desert? 

Plan a trip to the desert during the fall through spring in order to avoid extreme heat warnings. In summer, temperatures skyrocket well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, temperatures can still dip low enough to spot snow on the mountains, too. No matter the time of year, evenings can feel brisk after the sun sets, so be sure to pack a jacket.

How much does it cost to stay in the desert?

Prices for Airbnb rentals in the desert will vary based on the location, the number of guests, and the time of year you plan to visit. During the off season in the summer, rentals can run cheaper than the more desirable months to visit in fall through spring.

What is the best desert town to visit?

When deciding which North American desert — Great Basin, Mohave, Chihuahuan, and Sonoran — to visit, choose to stay in a town that caters to your agenda: Joshua Tree, California, is an ideal hiking destination for the active traveler; Sedona, Arizona, is a retreat for the wellness-minded; Marfa, Texas, is perfect for the art enthusiast; and Taos, New Mexico, is attractive to those who want to go totally off-the-grid or ski. 

Why vacation in the desert?

Deserts offer stunning scenery and secluded stays, but there’s also plenty to do beyond relaxing and disconnecting. When visiting a US desert, you can visit hiking trails, holistic spas, historic landmarks, art colonies, quaint downtowns, artisan shops, and so much more. Plus, you can enjoy stargazing at night without any light pollution in the sky.  

Is Airbnb safe?  

The CDC says fully vaccinated people can safely travel in the US.

Additionally, medical experts say that private Airbnbs are safe, perhaps even more so than hotels because they minimize interactions with other people. Plus, Airbnb hosts are required to follow enhanced cleaning procedures.

What should you look for in an Airbnb? 

When choosing an Airbnb, similar to the criteria we set above, look for a listing by a Superhost with a high rating and positive reviews, participation in the Enhanced Clean program and the amenities you may need during your stay, like access to Wi-Fi, a washer and dryer, parking, a full kitchen, and more.

When specifically looking for desert Airbnbs, think about booking close to a grocery store, or plan on stocking up on food and water prior to your arrival in order to enjoy the remoteness of the property. Also, be sure to ask your host about whether the property has air conditioning and how strong the cell service is before booking. 

What is Airbnbs cancellation policy? 

Each Airbnb property has a cancellation policy that’s been implemented by the individual host, causing stipulations to differ from home to home. To learn more about Airbnb’s cancellation policies, click here.

More remote places to stay on Airbnb

Private cabin with hot tub Next to Purg Resort colorado airbnb
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We tested 16 ice cube trays, here are the 4 best ice trays and molds in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Choosing an ice cube tray requires sorting through different materials, sizes, and shapes.
  • We tested 16 ice cube trays to determine the best for everyday use, large cubes, spheres, and more.
  • Our top pick is the W&P Everyday Tray for its easy release and neatly shaped ice cubes.

Most ice cube trays successfully freeze water, but are difficult to maneuver when full, don’t release the ice easily, take up too much space in the freezer, or produce misshapen cubes. To solve those problems, classic plastic trays are being replaced by silicone molds and trays with locking lids. We wanted to put these features to the test to see if they improved the ice making experience.

There are three main materials for ice trays: silicone, plastic, and stainless steel. We tested trays in all three materials and focused on the most common shapes: regular cubes, large cubes, and spheres.

While ice might be the last thing on your mind when preparing a cocktail or a glass of ice water, experts told us that choosing the right size and shape cubes for your drink can make your drink taste better or stay colder longer. Joseph Gitter, senior editor at America’s Test Kitchen and recipe developer for How to Cocktail, told us that ice with a lower surface area to volume ratio (i.e., bigger cubes) takes longer to melt, cooling drinks slowly without diluting them. On the flipside, small cubes or crushed ice cool drinks faster, but provide more dilution.

I tested 16 ice cube trays and molds, making ice multiple times in each. I also spoke with Gitter and Micah Melton, Beverage Director at The Aviary, to find out what makes a great ice cube tray. Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or just a fan of iced water, there is an ice cube tray in this guide for you.

Here are the 4 best ice cube trays of 2021

Our testing methodology

The white W&P Ice Tray stained with coffee and coffee ice cubes next to it, showing how we tested the tray for scent and stain retention.
An ice cube tray stained with coffee, as part of our testing for odor and stain retention.

We consulted two experts on the uses of different ice shapes, how to make clear ice, and how to solve common ice problems. We spoke with Joseph Gitter, senior editor at America’s Test Kitchen and recipe developer for How to Cocktail, and Micah Melton, Beverage Director at The Aviary.

I tested 14 ice cube trays, making ice between three and five times in each tray according to the following tests.

Ease of use: The ideal tray is easy to bring to the freezer without spilling water, releases the ice without too much effort, and can be stacked in the freezer. We evaluated each tray based on these qualities. 

Performance: We evaluated the appearance and taste of the finished ice. We looked for sharp-edged cubes and smooth spheres. 

Odor retention: Silicone is a porous material and therefore can absorb scent that then imparts a taste or smell to the ice. We froze coffee in the ice cube trays, emptied and washed them, smelled them, and then froze water in the trays to see if the coffee taste or smell remained. (It’s worth noting that all but one of the trays passed this test.)

Leaking: For trays with sealable lids, we flipped unfrozen, full trays upside down to see if water spilled out.

The best ice cube tray overall

Our pick for the best overall ice tray, the W&P Everyday Tray in white, shown with the ice it made.

The W&P Everyday Tray had the smoothest release of all the trays we tested; each cube popped out without any resistance.

Pros: Ice cubes come out easily, you can remove exactly as many as you need

Cons: It’s time consuming to empty the whole tray of ice

The construction of the Everyday Tray is unique among the ice cube trays I tested. The Everyday Tray is made of silicone and none of the cubes share a wall, so you can release them one at a time by applying pressure to the bottom. I also found that this helps the cubes release easily because there is no friction between neighboring ice cubes and the whole tray doesn’t empty out at once.

Like many silicone trays, the Everyday Tray wobbled slightly when I walked it to the freezer, but the reinforced rim provides a good grip. The lid doesn’t seal, though it allows for stacking and promises some protection from odors. We will focus on this in our long term testing.

Best ice mold for spheres

The best sphere mold, the Tovolo Sphere Mold, shown in separated into top and bottom piece, with a hand holding the ice sphere.

The Tovolo Sphere Molds‘ silicone and plastic construction makes them easy to fill and store without spills.

Pros: Easy to avoid overfilling, ridge between hemispheres less prominent than others we tested

Cons: You can only make two at a time

I tested three sphere molds and overflowed all of them, except for the Tovolo. The Tovolo has a plastic bottom with a marked max fill line and a silicone top. You fill the bottom portion and then push in the top, which squeezes out any excess water. There is no space for overflow to sneak in and freeze an odd shape to the sphere. 

After freezing, the instructions recommend running the plastic section under hot water, and I found the spheres popped out easily after doing so. All of the spheres had slight ridges where the top and bottom of the mold meet, but this line was less noticeable than on spheres made using other molds.

Best ice cube tray for large cubes

The best for large cubes, the Samuelworld Jumbo Cube Tray in dark gray, with one cube it made.

The silicone Samuelworld Large Cube Tray is structured enough to produce cubes with sharp edges, but flexible enough that they pop out easily.

Pros: Cubes had neat edges

Cons: Can be difficult to extract cubes when ice tray is full

The Large Cube Tray from Samuelworld had the best combination of easily release and neatly shaped cubes. Part of the appeal of large cubes is their appearance. The Samuelworld tray is made of rigid silicone so the edges of the cubes stay sharp even as the water freezes and expands. 

The firm silicone is necessary for getting a precise shape, but it does make it harder to release the cubes. I have used this tray regularly for three months; it has held it’s shape and has no noticeable odor. I started using the large cubes for iced coffee because they melt slower, keeping my coffee strong for longer.

Best spill-proof ice cube tray

The best spill-proof tray, the OXO Ice Tray, with the crescent shaped cubes it produced.

The OXO tray‘s silicone lid prevents leaking, allowing you to store it in small or crowded freezers without worry.

Pros: Leakproof, can be stored slanted or stacked

Cons: Cubes are an irregular shape, not dishwasher safe 

The OXO was the only truly leakproof ice cube tray we tested. The lid is a sheet of thin, flexible silicone, with tabs at one end to keep it attached to the plastic base. You smooth down the silicone over the filled tray and it adheres to the plastic so that no water escapes even if you flip the tray upside down (which we did).

The plastic base produced crescent shaped ice cubes that released easily with one or two taps on the bottom of the tray. If you’re looking for aesthetically pleasing ice, this tray may not be best for you because our cubes came out irregularly shaped (though still perfectly serviceable).

What else we tested

All the spherical ice molds we tested shown separated into top and bottom pieces.

What else we recommend and why:

TrueCubes Clear Ice Tray: This tray delivers on its promise: totally clear ice. The clear cubes were completely transparent and had sharp, clean edges, easily the most visually attractive ice I’ve ever seen. Because of how the system works, you do need 18-22 hours to freeze the whole thing properly. Additionally, I had to wait a few minutes for the ice to soften slightly before I could separate the top and bottom mold. 

Target Made By Design Ice Cube Tray: This is an upgraded plastic tray. The frame and lid are plastic, but the bottom is silicone. Instead of twisting and cracking the ice, you can push on the silicone base and pop out the cubes. The lid does not make it leakproof, but it does enable you to stack thing on top of it while it freezes. Ultimately, this is an inexpensive improvement on traditional ice trays.

Lekue Ice Cube Tray and Box: This product had a lot of positives, but some design flaws. It takes three full lids of ice to fill the box, and the lid isn’t as flexible as other silicone trays so it’s harder to release the ice. However, I liked the gem-shaped ice aesthetically and the ice box itself is convenient and well-insulated. I left the full ice box covered at room temperature for a half hour and the ice inside didn’t melt. 

Tovolo Perfect Cube Ice Tray: This tray was a close second to the W&P Everyday Tray in the best overall category. The Tovolo’s unified bottom and plastic lid make it easy to store. It does make three more cubes than the Everyday Tray, but the cubes are much harder to get out. Though this tray has a sealing lid, it leaks more than our favorite no-spill tray. 

Tovolo King Cube Tray: Out of the large cube trays, the Tovolo had the most flexible silicone. While the ice cubes were the easiest to release, they were also the most misshapen. Since the aesthetics of large cubes are important, this was not my top pick.

Peak Sphere Ice Tray: This tray is made entirely of silicone, unlike the other spherical trays, which included at least some plastic. The silicone construction means these spheres were the easiest to get out of the mold right out of the freezer. Fortunately, excess water didn’t freeze onto the spheres because it was very easy to overflow this mold.


What we don’t recommend and why:

RSVP Endurance Old Fashioned Ice Cube Tray: If you are looking to avoid plastic and silicone, a stainless steel tray is your best solution. However, when testing the RSVP Endurance Tray, I noticed that the mechanism to break and release the cubes is not foolproof and can take several attempts to accomplish.

Peak Crushed Ice Tray and Lekue Crushed Ice Tray: I tested two crushed ice trays, but neither of them were successful. The shallow and narrow troughs produced ice spears, and twisting the molds to break them apart resulted in tinier spears, not crushed pieces. One plus is that because of the size and shape, the ice freezes quicker than in any other tray. The Lekue trays froze within two hours. 

Samuelworld Ice Sphere Molds: This mold has small spouts that you pour water through, and the funnel shape did make filling the mold less messy. However, if you overfilled it even a bit, some of the water would freeze in the shape of the spout, ruining the perfect sphere.   

OXO Good Grips Covered Large Ice Tray: This tray tried to fix the issues of stability and storage common to silicone trays by placing the silicone tray inside a plastic frame with a locking lid. Though the frame made it easier to stack, the lid froze to the base and was difficult to unlock. Plus, you have to remove the silicone tray from the plastic frame in order to get out the ice cubes. The problems solved were not greater than the inconveniences introduced.

What we’re testing next

A hand holding an ice sphere, with all the spherical trays we tested laid out in the background.

Glacio Ice Sphere Maker: These are stand-alone molds, like our current top pick for ice spheres, but made entirely of silicone. Testing the Glacio spheres could illustrate whether the plastic element or the stand-alone construction of our top pick was key to its success.  

Joseph Joseph QuickSnap Ice Cube Tray: This tray has push tabs next to each cube, which would allow you to release the ice cubes individually. We are curious to see if this actually works, as a benefit of our best tray overall is that you can get one ice cube at a time. 

FAQs

Two large ice cubes next to each other. The left one is cloudier than the right one.

Are ice cube trays dishwasher safe?

Cleaning instructions vary by product, so we recommend consulting the manufacturer’s instructions. All but one of our top picks is dishwasher safe.


Why does ice sometimes have an odor? How can you deodorize an ice cube tray?

Water absorbs air as it freezes, which can impact the flavor. Additionally, silicone is a porous material that can absorb scent. 

There are a few methods to deal with this problem. Tovolo recommends soaking its trays for an hour in a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water. For trays made wholly out of silicone, the New York Times suggests baking the trays for 20 minutes at 250 degrees F or lower.


Why should I use large cubes or spheres?

The main reason to use large cubes or spheres is to chill alcoholic beverages without diluting them. For example, spheres have a lower surface area to volume ratio than regular ice cubes. “Ice spheres are the worst at making a drink cold, but dilute it the least,” said Gitter. This is why large cubes are most ideal for a straight spirit.

However, large ice cubes or spheres aren’t perfect for all drinks. Some cocktails are meant to be diluted and slow melting ice can change the intended flavor. Gitter mentioned martinis as an example of this because, traditionally, the gin and vermouth are stirred with regular ice cubes before serving. The stirring action starts the melting process, which chills and dilutes the drink to a palatable flavor. An ice sphere wouldn’t melt quickly enough for this purpose, and you’d be left with a too strong and too warm cocktail.

We recommend using large cubes or spheres when serving straight spirits, or when you want to keep a drink cold without changing its flavor and strength.


What is clear ice and how is it made?

There are two factors that make ice cloudy: the direction the water freezes and impurities or air bubbles in the water. 

Most ice cube trays are not insulated, so water freezes from the outside in and from all directions. Safe tap water contains impurities that aren’t dangerous to drink, but can impact the flavor of the water and the appearance of the ice. As water freezes, it also absorbs some of the surrounding air. The absorbed air bubbles and the impurities are pushed towards the center of the ice as the outer layer freezes first. The air bubbles and impurities interfere with forming an organized crystal lattice and so the ice appears cloudy, said Gitter.

When making clear ice, you eliminate or limit those bubbles and impurities and focus the direction of freezing. “Essentially the process involves freezing the ice from a single direction versus all directions like a standard freezer,” said Melton. To make clear ice at home, first purify your water by boiling it. Then, you can follow Gitter’s technique of insulating an ice tray by surrounding it with dish towels and leaving the top exposed so it only freezes from the top down.

Besides the aesthetics, clear ice is less likely to have an odor or taste because it doesn’t contain absorbed gases from the surrounding air, according to Melton.

Check out our other buying guides

product image of three red wine glasses with different shapes best wine glasses 2021
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The cheapest hotels in Las Vegas are also some of the best. Here are our top picks on or near the Strip.

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las vegas strip
  • Las Vegas hotels are lavish, large, and also much cheaper than you might expect.
  • Many top hotels start in the double digits and are located on or near the Strip.
  • The best cheap Vegas hotels in 2021 are based on our reviews and ratings from trusted travel sites.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Las Vegas is filled with eye-popping entertainment, attractions, and plenty of ways to drop a lot of cash – but that doesn’t have to extend to your hotel.

There are so many cheap hotels in Las Vegas that the price may seem like a typo. And in Sin City, cheap doesn’t mean dismal. Many of Las Vegas’ best hotels start well under $100, and in many cases, under $50 in low season.

As an LA resident who covers travel and entertainment in Vegas regularly, I’ve certainly taken advantage of those deals. And now, as travelers emerge from COVID lockdowns, I’m highlighting the best cheap hotels in Las Vegas. And if you find yourself with cash to spare, we rounded up the best Las Vegas luxury hotels, too.

Browse all the best cheap Las Vegas hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area:

These are the best cheap hotels in Las Vegas, sorted by price.

Sahara Las Vegas

Sahara Las Vegas Hotel Review

Book Sahara Las Vegas

After a stint as the SLS Las Vegas, this property has returned to the building’s original roots as the Sahara Las Vegas. As part of the rebrand, the property underwent a $150 million revamp, including an updated casino, renovated hotel rooms and corridors, an upgraded spa, and a new hotel lobby.

We found the entry-level rooms to generally be well-appointed, sleek, and super cheap. It’s also one of the most convenient places to stay if you have business in or near the Las Vegas Convention Center.

COVID-19 policies are available here.

Read our full hotel review of Sahara Las Vegas

Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

ballys las vegas hotel review room

Book Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is one of the oldest hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, but thanks to a recent renovation to tower guest rooms, it feels new again.

The hotel is part of Caesars Entertainment and is one of the most affordable hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. We stayed in and reviewed a King Resort room while attending one of the busiest trade shows of the year and were impressed by the generous size, comfort, and cleanliness, as well as the access to an on-site monorail station. 

COVID-19 policies are available here.

Read our full hotel review of Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Planet Hollywood Las Vegas

Planet Hollywood

Book Planet Hollywood Las Vegas

With nice, basic rooms available squarely in the two-figure range, Planet Hollywood over-delivers on value. We also enjoy staying here for the electric energy and casino floor, which always feels lively. There is top-tier dining from the likes of Gordon Ramsay, and designer stores at the Miracle Mile Shops, all on-site.

Planet Hollywood is also a great spot to just chill out. The Spa by Mandara is excellent and the pool boasts dozens of cabanas and is the only Vegas pool with a wave machine. 

COVID-19 policies are available here.

Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Paris Las Vegas hotel

Book Paris Las Vegas

As the name implies, rooms at Paris Las Vegas feel European-inspired, with a fashionable color palette, Versailles-inspired fixtures, and chic marble detailing. Plus, there’s plenty to do on-property that makes staying here especially exciting, including dining at Gordon Ramsay Steak, or 110 feet above the Strip in the Eiffel Tower Restaurant.

We suggest relaxing by the Soleil Las Vegas pool to enjoy a view of the tower, or get pampered at the full-service Voie spa and salon.

COVID-19 policies are available here.

Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas

Palms Las Vegas balloon wall

Book Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas

Palms Casino Resort recently completed a massive property-wide $690 million renovation with newly revamped rooms and suites available at shockingly low prices. 

When we stayed here, we felt downright pampered in our guest room, which came with a striped marble bathroom, deep soaking tub, and 65-inch TVs. The Palms is also home to a restaurant from famed chef Bobby Flay, and a new spa that sprawls over three stories. Plus, the buffet is only $17, a fraction of what it costs elsewhere.

COVID-19 status and policies: Palms Casino Resort is temporarily closed, and does not currently have an expected reopening date.

Read our full hotel review of Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas

Signature at MGM Grand

Signature at MGM

Book Signature at MGM Grand

The Signature is an all-suite hotel set back from the MGM Grand’s main resort and casino but is still easily accessible to it by indoor walkways. There’s no casino on-site, which means the crowd is less rowdy, and the hotel feels peaceful. There are fewer amenities too, though all of the restaurants, entertainment, and wellness found at MGM Grand are just steps away. 

We once used the Chase Sapphire Reserve card to book here and scored extra perks such as free upgrade, late checkout, and complimentary food and beverage credit. Spacious suites are quiet and include spa baths, flat-screen TVs, separate sitting areas, balconies, and kitchenettes for an apartment-like experience. It’s a great fit for a family or someone in town for business on an extended stay.

COVID-19 policies are available here.

Vdara Hotel & Spa at ARIA Las Vegas

Vdara hotel

Book Vdara Hotel & Spa at ARIA Las Vegas

Another central, non-gaming option, Vdara is adjacent to Aria at CityCenter and is a totally smoke-free and casino-free property. This makes it a great option for those who prefer to focus on work, relaxing, or traveling with kids in tow.

The all-suite property has amenities like kitchenettes with microwaves, stove tops, fridges, and cookware. Add an additional $50 per night and bring your pup along, too. We stayed here and recommend it as a solid option when you want to be near CityCenter in spacious rooms, but without the casino bustle.

COVID-19 policies are available here.

Read our full hotel review of Vdara Hotel & Spa

Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Caesars Palace hotel

Book Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Caesars is one of the Strip’s older properties, but it’s always iconic and attracts bold-faced names and ventures. Recently, that included Lisa Vanderpump’s Vanderpump Cocktail Garden restaurant, as well as celebrity chef spots from Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Guy Savoy, and Nobu Matsuhisa. There’s also the 4,100-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace theater which hosted a Mariah Carey residency.

There are 4,000 guest rooms in six towers, many of which have been smartly renovated with marble bathrooms and flat-screen TVs, which we reviewed to highlight how they’ve adapted to COVID. Pro-tip: upgrades here cost just dollars and can make a huge difference.

Among our favorite features — although not always the best thing for a budget-minded trip — is the attached Forum Shops mall, as well as the glam pool deck.

COVID-19 policies are available here.

Read our full hotel review of Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas

Aria hotel

Book Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas

Located on the Las Vegas Strip within the CityCenter complex, Aria is a glittering curvilinear property with a 150,000-square-foot casino, 16 restaurants, and more than 4,000 rooms. Opened just a decade ago, rooms still feel brand new with fully tricked-out tech. A one-touch room control system operates features like lighting and climate control, and I’ve felt pretty pampered by making those changes without even having to move around the room.

Plus, Hakkasan Group’s Jewel nightclub is located here, as is a huge spa with 62 treatment rooms, and three pools including the Liquid pool club for grown folks.

COVID-19 policies are available here.

The Venetian Resort Las Vegas

Venetian hotel

Book The Venetian Las Vegas

This five-star Las Vegas Strip resort can go well above $100 in busier seasons, but if you travel midweek or in winter, you might find a rate right around $100 (before the daily fee, of course). 

The high-end hotel has 80 restaurants — including Thomas Keller’s Bouchon — a glittering casino, the Grand Canal Shoppes, and a pool deck that covers 1.2 acres, and every room is a suite, and huge, starting at 650 square feet.

We’ve stayed here often for work, as the Venetian connects to the Sands Expo & Convention Center, and enjoyed luxuriating in a suite with a sunken sitting area, dining table, and two high-def TVs. Each also has a luxurious bathroom with an oversized soaking tub, separate glass-enclosed shower, and marble counters. Guests are also granted access to the Canyon Ranch Spa Club gym.

COVID-19 status and policies available here.

Read our full hotel review of The Venetian

Our methodology for selecting hotels

Las Vegas draws all kinds of travelers: gamblers, groups of friends, couples, ticket holders to big-name entertainment, hotel enthusiasts, families, business travelers, and first-timers eager to see Sin City.

And with prices starting well under $50 per night, there’s plenty of choices to go around too. But cheap doesn’t have to mean low quality. In addition to the criteria noted above, our picks for top cheap hotels in Las Vegas all factored in the following:

Price: Of course, when compiling the best budget hotels, price is a top point of consideration. All the hotels we chose start under $120 per night in low season, which most often means midweek during peak summer or winter.

Rooms: We don’t want a case of ‘you get what you pay for,’ and so all the properties in our list of the best cheap Las Vegas hotels include rooms that were recently renovated. They might not be as fancy as other Las Vegas hotels, but they’re also not as expensive.

Location: We only considered hotels on or very near to the Las Vegas Strip.

Experience: Our team of writers visited and personally stayed at every hotel on this list. Most have reviews for you to read and consider, too. 

Ratings: We also consulted past reviews and ratings from others on trusted traveler sites such as Trip Advisor, Booking.com, and others.

Safety and cleanliness: We only selected hotels that prioritize the health and safety of guests with new COVID cleaning policies.

FAQs: Cheap Las Vegas hotels

vegas

Where is Las Vegas?

Las Vegas is located in the southern tip of the state of Nevada, near the borders of both California and Arizona. 

What is the best time of year to visit Las Vegas?

Las Vegas is located in a desert climate, so you can expect hot, hot summers and cool winters. No matter when you visit, it’s likely to be chilly at night. Early winter and spring, however, offer the nicest, mildest weather when it will be the most comfortable to stroll the Las Vegas Strip or lounge at the pool.

Though, if you’re planning to spend most of your time indoors on the casino or convention floor, the weather likely won’t be a big factor when considering the time of year to visit.

What are the cheapest and most expensive times of year to visit Las Vegas?

You’ll often find the cheap deals on hotels in Las Vegas midweek in summer, or in the winter, after New Year’s Day, through early spring. Once the temperatures turn milder, expect prices to rise and stay high through the end of the year.

Of course, much of Las Vegas tourism revolves around a robust convention calendar, which can also drive up hotel prices. Holidays too, see an influx of crowds.

Why are Las Vegas hotels cheap?

Because Vegas resort operators make a huge chunk of their profits down on the casino floor, where the house always has the advantage, cheap room rates are offered to attract guests who will then spend their money on slots and tables.

Beware when booking though, as a resort fee could inflate hotel prices much higher. I’ve seen rooms for $50 per night with an $80 daily resort fee. Of course, in high season or during big events, all rates are subject to change, and starting price points can soar.

Is it safe to stay in hotels right now?

The CDC now says fully vaccinated people can safely travel in the US. And, with added caution, experts we spoke to said it is safe to stay in a hotel

Of course, there’s no guarantee of safety when it comes to travel. We recommend following CDC guidelines and wearing a mask in public, using hand sanitizer, and following social distancing.

Is Las Vegas open right now?

Las Vegas is open to visitors, though, depending on where you go, the experience may look different.

More of the best places to stay in or near Las Vegas

Palm Springs Hotel Deals: V Palm Springs Hotel Review
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The 5 best dusters we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • No matter how clean you keep your home, it’s going to generate unwanted dust.
  • A great duster removes dust quickly and easily, and it can get to those hard-to-reach places.
  • Our top pick by OXO will remove dust from your home and help you breathe easier.

While I would like to say that the dust and cobwebs in my home are early Halloween decorations, that line doesn’t work most of the year. Dust just seems to accumulate at an extraordinary rate. That’s not surprising when you consider how dust originates.

The dust that settles in your home each is a combination of pollen, pet dander, dead skin cells, dust mites, insect droppings, soil, food crumbs, and particulates in the air, among other things. The more people and pets in your home and the more often the doors and windows open, the more dust you’re going to have.

Even if you claim to love the patina of dust-covered surfaces, there are plenty of good reasons to remove the dust. When we breathe in dust particles, depending on the type of particulate, our respiratory tracts respond. Some particles are fairly benign and cause mild allergic reactions like sneezing and a runny nose. Other particles can trigger asthma.

Even with diligent cleaning, there will still be dust, so it’s a good idea to buy a duster. We’ve done the research and testing to find the best dusters.

Here are the best dusters in 2021

Our testing methodology

Our picks are based on my more than 40 years of experience with laundry and cleaning products, as well as my own testing. In addition to dusters, I’ve also tested and written guides to the best mops, floor cleaners, cleaning cloths, stovetop cleaners, stainless steel cleaners, and more.

The best duster overall

oxo duster

The OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable Duster traps dust easily, extends and adjusts to reach high surfaces, and can be washed for years of reuse.

Pros: Microfiber duster head traps and holds dust, machine-washable head, aluminum extender handle reaches from 27 to 54 inches, replacement heads available

Cons: Duster head will shed fibers unless washed first

As a woman who is both short in stature and always watching expenditures, the OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable Duster is my duster of choice. My favorite thing is that after dusting, I can remove the head and toss it in the washer so I can start each dusting session with a clean duster. The washable head means no additional expense and no excuses to put off cleaning because I’m out of disposable duster heads.

With a sturdy but lightweight and comfortable handle, the duster can stretch from 27 to 54 inches. The duster head rotates 270 degrees and can be locked into place at multiple angles. Since the duster head has microfibers on each side to capture dust, you can simply switch the angle and continue dusting when one side is heavily soiled.

Microfiber is made from polyamide (nylon) and polyester and creates an electrostatic fabric that attracts dust. The dust is then trapped in the many, tiny fibers until you use laundry detergent and water to flush them away. Because of the way microfiber is manufactured, you may see lint or loose fibers at first on the duster. Just rinse the head under cold water and give it a good shake before drying. The lint will be gone.

To keep your duster in top shape, avoid bleach that can damage fibers and fabric softeners and dryer sheets that coat the fibers and lower their ability to trap dust. I find that air-drying the head works best. If you’re concerned about washing microfibers, some laundry bags can help keep microplastic out of the wastewater.

The best disposable duster

swiffer

With a 360-degree duster surface that has more fibers and an extendable handle, the Swiffer Heavy Duty Dusters with Extender Handle is a hard-working, disposable duster.

Pros: Disposable, lightweight, fits into tight spots to trap dust, extendable handle reaches three feet, dusting head locks into place

Cons: Replacement dusters can become expensive and aren’t eco-friendly

When I want to use a disposable duster, I turn to Swiffer. I’ve tried every brand on the market and the Swiffer Heavy Duty Dusters with Extender Handle is the very best one I’ve found.

Because there are more electrostatic fibers on the duster head, I find the Swiffer Heavy Duty Duster picks up twice as much dust as other brands. The sturdy plastic extender handle expands from about 15 to 36 inches plus the 8-inch duster head. The head can be locked into four different angles to clean hard-to-reach surfaces.

This starter kit comes with one handle and 12 dusters. The disposable dusters are easy to find online and in many stores; however, a heavy-duty duster refill costs around $1 each. It’s not the most environmentally friendly solution.

I like Swiffer for dusting “knick-knacks” on mantels and shelves. The duster is flexible enough that I don’t have to move each small item every time I want to capture the dust. I also use it in my car to reach those tight spaces in the corners between the windshield and dashboard and all the little nooks and crannies of air vents.

The best lambswool duster

Norpro duster

The Norpro Pure Lambswool Duster acts as a natural magnet for dust, comes from a renewable source, and will last for years.

Pros: Natural fibers, a renewable material source, picks up dust easily, reusable, lasts for many years

Cons: Handle is not extendable

If you prefer a natural fiber duster, then lambswool is an excellent choice. Many synthetic fibers were developed to mimic the characteristics of wool. The qualities of wool fibers and the lanolin they contain make them a natural magnet for dust.

Wool has an inner cortex that is elastic and resilient to damage, meaning the fiber can be bent more than 20,000 times without breaking. The cortex is covered with a cuticle layer that is composed of hundreds of microscopic overlapping scales. The scales create tiny pockets that trap and hold dust particles. Finally, the scales are covered by a thin, protective film called the epicuticle that makes the fibers resistant to abrasion on even the most delicate surfaces.

If you decide on a wool duster, look no further than the Norpro Pure Lambswool Duster. I was introduced to the Norpro line while in college and still have the duster I purchased then. The dusters are available in 12-, 24-, and 48-inch lengths. The head is around 12 inches long and seven inches wide when fluffed. The handle is wooden, with a leather loop for hanging.

When you have finished a dusting session, simply step outside and spin the handle between your hands to release the dust. (Consider wearing a dust mask to avoid breathing in the dust particles.) If the head becomes excessively soiled, it can be hand washed with cool water and a gentle detergent. Give the head a good spin to fluff the fibers and then allow the duster to air dry.

If you are ready to lessen your dependence on plastics and choose a natural fiber, Norpro Lambswool is an excellent choice.

The best duster for tight spaces

OXO under appliance duster

One glance under your kitchen and laundry room appliances and you’ll know why you need the OXO Good Grips Under Appliance Microfiber Duster.

Pros: Slim profile and flexible handle fit under appliances and in tight spaces, the duster head is removable for washing, reusable

Cons: Duster head can shed if not washed before the first use

After an embarrassing moment when the refrigerator had to be moved to retrieve some dropped jewelry, I discovered the OXO Good Grips Under Appliance Microfiber Duster. It is the perfect dusting tool. I simply can’t move some appliances and furniture during weekly cleaning, but a few swipes with the OXO Under Appliance Duster and I can feel satisfied that my house is cleaner.

You may say, “who cares” about the hidden dust. Unfortunately, it can be a breeding ground for insects and can even hinder the proper operation of an appliance. Dust and lint under a refrigerator can clog the circulating fan and cause it to overheat and fail. With a clothes dryer, excessive lint can cause a fire, especially with gas dryers. It’s not all a vanity thing.

The OXO Under Appliance Duster has a microfiber head that is removable for easy cleaning in the washer. The duster head flexes so it can conform to tight spaces and the 33.5-inch length will reach the back of most deep appliances, cabinets, and furniture. The duster head can be removed and washed for reuse.

The best duster for window blinds

window blind duster

If you want to remove dust from window blinds and shutters more quickly, the Hiware Window Blind Cleaner Duster is for you.

Pros: Cleans window blinds, indoor shutters, and air vents thoroughly, comes with five duster heads, washable, reusable, can be used with a cleaning solution if needed

Cons: Microfiber can shed if not rinsed before first use

I have white wooden blinds on every window in my home. They are great for privacy and to shut out the heat of the sun but they do attract dust. I’ve tried other types of dusters to get rid of the dust that clings to both sides of each slat but just when I thought I had all the dust removed, I’d see it clinging to a slat I missed. Then I found Hiware Window Blind Cleaner Duster.

This ingenious little contraption has a sturdy three-pronged plastic handle and microfiber “gloves” that slip over the prongs. I can dust the top and bottoms of blinds at the same time. To get the best results, give the flexible handle a little squeeze to get good contact with the slat surfaces.

Since there are five microfiber cloths included, when one gets soiled I can just slip on a fresh one and keep dusting. At the end of the job, all the cloths go in the washer.

FAQs

How do you reduce dust in your home?

In addition to looking for the most effective, easiest to use, and the best value in dusters, there are also other steps you can take to lower the amount of dust in your home.

  • Declutter: The less stuff you have in your home to accumulate dust, the less dust there will be.
  • Clean from the top down: When you’re ready to clean, start at the top of the room and do the floors last, so you can capture all of the dust that settles there. No need to dust twice.
  • Wash bedding weekly: We spend hours and hours in a bed and within a week bedding accumulates a great deal of human and pet dander, dust mites, and dead skin. Washing is a simple way to get rid of the problem.
  • Remove your shoes at the door: Around 60% of dust particles come from outside, and removing shoes reduces the amount of dust in a home.
  • Lower the humidity: Keeping interior humidity levels around 40% will reduce the number of moisture-loving dust mites.
  • Change your air filters: Fresh filters in your HVAC system will trap more dust and keep your system running more efficiently.
  • Bathe and groom pets: A clean animal sheds less dander and hair.
  • Vacuum regularly: Keep floors clean with a good vacuum that has a HEPA filter to trap the smallest dust particles.

Are reusable dusters or disposable dusters better for removing dust?

The choice of whether to use a reusable duster, such as the OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable Duster, or a disposable duster, such as the Swiffer Heavy Duty Duster, mostly breaks down to cost and personal preference. Reusable dusters offer a significantly cheaper alternative to dusting while disposable dusters must be replaced after each use. Both options work very similarly when it comes to removing dust, as they both are made of special fibers that grip dust easily and efficiently.

If you’re planning on buying a reusable microfiber duster, consider also purchasing a microplastic-capturing bag for when you wash it.

Check out our other great cleaning guides

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18 of the best Airbnbs in Myrtle Beach whether you want to enjoy the beach, boardwalk, or golf courses

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Best myrtle beach airbnbs
  • Around two hours from Charleston, Myrtle Beach is a lively, family-focused beach resort town.
  • We found the best Myrtle Beach Airbnbs offering great locations, amenities, and even beach access.
  • These top Myrtle Beach vacation rentals range from $72 to $538 per night.

Myrtle Beach is a popular summer destination for its lovely stretch of coastline known as the Grand Strand and a busy downtown filled with amusements and attractions. Located just north of Charleston, South Carolina, Myrtle Beach draws big summer crowds but shoulder seasons like spring and fall offer cheaper rates and fewer crowds.

It’s a personal favorite of mine after writing about consumer and leisure travel in the area for over 20 years and I highly recommend the local vacation rental market. It’s also an especially popular choice for a more affordable family vacation option.

Rentals like those found on Airbnb are a great way to claim more space to spread out, and often for cheaper than you’ll find in hotels. Here are my top picks for your next getaway.

Browse all of the best Airbnbs in Myrtle Beach below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

These are the best Airbnbs in Myrtle Beach, sorted by price from low to high.

A condo with golf course views

GolfCourseCondo
This Airbnb’s proximity to scenic Arrowhead’s Cypress golf course is a particular draw for golfers.

Book this Myrtle Beach Airbnb

Myrtle Beach isn’t just about the beaches and bars; lots of people travel here for the excellent golfing. This three-bedroom condo is a bit dated in terms of decor but the low price and location offer high value for a group of golfers ready to hit the links at the neighboring, very scenic Arrowhead’s Cypress golf course on the Intracoastal Waterway. 

It’s even possible to eye up the lie of the land before teeing off from the comfort of the condo’s deck. Staying here also comes with access to a community pool for cooling off after a round, and a cute bar in the kitchen to sit with a beer and analyze those putts that could have been.

Fancy an evening cook-out? There’s a grill for barbecuing while you talk up your short game. 

Condo with Arcade Games

Condo with Arcade Games
Spend your free time playing the fun retro arcade games in this cozy unit.

Book this Myrtle Beach Airbnb

Skip the crowded arcades and enjoy your own game setup in this whimsical teal and gray suite that features vintage arcade games like Golden Tee and NBA Jam in the living area. The smart TV loaded with Sling TV, Netflix, and Amazon Prime adds additional entertainment options.

Location-wise, it’s right across from the beach and has a balcony that overlooks the shared outdoor pool. Although the one bedroom is compact with one Queen sized bed, a sleeper sofa, and twin air mattresses can accommodate additional guests.

Tiny beach home in North Myrtle Beach

tiny beach home in Myrtle Beach on Airbnb
This cute and compact home is just a half-mile from the beach and well-suited to family vacations.

Book this Myrtle Beach Airbnb

With a six-person capacity, this isn’t really a tiny home in the new, trendy sense of the word, but it’s cute and compact and would probably suit a family or group of four.

The porch and floors feature handsome distressed wood alongside a metallic blue and slate color scheme for a classy, subtle look. The decor is playful, with a suitably aquatic theme, and the attractive furniture creates a welcoming, neutral space.

It’s half a mile to the beach, but that’s a breeze thanks to the provided golf cart and bicycles. There’s also a community pool, and the porch comes with a fire pit for outdoor evening socializing. 

Tranquility cabin

Tranquility cabin in Myrtle Beach
Check-in and say ahh at this unique spa-like cabin with Himalayan salt brick walls near the ocean.

Book this Myrtle Beach Airbnb

This cabin might seem more at home in the Californian countryside but it’s a great addition to the beachfront portfolio of Myrtle Beach. It’s completely unlike most properties in the city, with a peaceful, reflective space constructed out of white oak wood and salt Himalayan brick wall. 

The interior basks in warm, golden light and the property comes with perhaps the only aerial yoga swing in Myrtle Beach. There is also a bathroom that looks like a small but high-end Alpine spa, crafted from wood and stone. A small kitchen and back porch with a grill means that you can buy and cook your own food, which is always a bonus, and the hosts generously provide homemade almond milk, and green smoothies every morning. It’s just a minute from the beach and includes bikes, skateboards, beach games for guests’ use. 

Condo in a resort complex

GroundFloorResortCondo
Guests have access to various resort facilities like poolside bars, game rooms, and a lazy river.

Book this Myrtle Beach Airbnb

It doesn’t get too much more relaxing than lazily swinging in your own hammock on a generous patio while being graced by sea breezes. That’s one of the main draws for this gorgeous one-bedroom condo with designer-inspired interiors such as wooden floors, a King-sized bed, and tasteful fittings.

The unit is located inside the Caravelle Resort and guests can enjoy the on-site facilities that include indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, a kids’ lazy river, a poolside bar, and a game room. There’s also a restaurant and sun deck, and it’s such a well-placed spot that it’s easy to walk to most of downtown’s main attractions, including the beach, of course.

There’s also fast Wi-Fi, cable TV, and a kitchenette.

Waterfront condo

Waterfront condo
Guests have access to a boating dock with rental easy boat and jet ski rentals.

Book this Myrtle Beach Airbnb 

If crowded beaches and getting sandy aren’t your thing, opt for watersports along the Intercoastal Waterway and pool activities at this waterfront stay. The private community boat dock lets guests avoid the summer crowds with jet skis and boat rentals available. If you happen to have your own boat, you’re also welcome to bring it and keep it at the dock. 

The property is also within reach of the town’s many popular attractions, such as Ripley’s Aquarium and Wonderworks, Market Commons shops, and Broadway at the Beach. Additionally, the grey-hued decor gives this modern condo a refreshingly modern touch, though a coral tablecloth and a community patio with bright Adirondack chairs still give it plenty of coastal charm.

Surfside cottage

SurfsideBeachCottage
This cottage comes with a golf cart to check out the nearby beach, pools, and sport courts.

Book this Myrtle Beach cottage

Not many properties come with their own transportation options beyond bicycles, but this three-bedroom cottage includes the use of a golf cart. It’s a fun way to explore the beachfront, and cruise up to the center of downtown, which is about 10 minutes away.

The cottage itself ticks all the boxes with plenty of space, wooden floors, and fittings, giving the place a beachside cabin feel. The kids will love the indoor and outdoor pools and splash pad that are available to guests and the property also comes with access to tennis, bocce, and basketball courts, as well as an exercise room.

Dog-friendly condo

Dog friendly condo Myrtle Beach
This pet-friendly condo has plenty of space for large groups to spread out.

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Located just north of the main drag, close to Arcadian Shores, and still just a couple of blocks from the beach, this modern condo welcomes larger groups and their four-legged friends. 

There’s an adult feel to the design, helping it stand out against the playful beach motifs of many other rental units in this town. The cream walls and dark furnishings seem elegant, with geometrically-patterned throw cushions, and a spiral staircase descending into the open-plan living and dining spaces. The property comes with a dining table, breakfast bar, access to front and rear covered porches, a huge sun deck, indoor and outdoor pools, a hot tub, and grilling stations. Best of all, there’s space all around for Rover to run around. 

Condo for indoor-outdoor living

Condo for outdoor living in Myrtle Beach
The furnished balcony terrace at this Airbnb features jaw-dropping ocean views.

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While the inside of this beautiful family condo is bright and vivid with an aquarium-like ambiance, the outdoor spaces truly impress with a 300-square-foot balcony terrace outfitted with a retro swing bed, day bed, and full sofa framed by jaw-dropping ocean views. You’ll easily want to lounge here all day and night.

Back inside, delight in playful maritime motifs of fish, starfish, and seahorses, and eye-popping bolts of turquoise everywhere from the walls to the kitchen tiles to lighting that illuminate one of the beds.

The unit comes with the use of the resort’s heated outdoor and indoor pools, kids’ play pool, lazy river, hot tub, and beach bar. 

Modern townhouse

TwoStoreyTownhouse
Conveniently located near the airport and beach, this two-story townhouse is located in a quiet residential area.

Book this Myrtle Beach Airbnb

Larger groups or families will appreciate the space of this two-story townhouse, which is quite a rarity in Myrtle Beach with a sea of condo complexes.

The house has two bedrooms and comes replete with hardwood floors and attractive furniture in green and blue hues. There are 50″ HDTVs, cable, fast Wi-Fi, and a kitchen that is fully equipped for home cooking. If you’ve been fishing, the charcoal grill will come in handy. 

The house is just a couple of minutes’ drive from the airport, and the quiet, residential neighborhood will suit guests who don’t want to stay in the thick of downtown. Taking a day out at the beach, golf course, or amusement park is easy, and this home is just a couple of minutes’ walk from public access to the beach as well.

Penthouse with oceanfront balconies

Airbnb condo Myrtle Beach
Catch a beautiful sunset from the balcony of this rustic-meets-coastal penthouse.

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Retreat to this corner penthouse suite and soak up panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding beach area.

The condo is refreshingly designed with modern furnishings done up in blue and salmon colors that contrast peacefully against custom Tuscan tile. Subtle maritime art compliments the seaside setting, and the bedrooms have a Hamptons-esque rustic feel with washed wood and curated beachy accents.

The complex has indoor and outdoor pools and a hot tub, and the beach is just a few footsteps away. The views from the top of the building are the real draw, though. 

Lush townhome

NorthMyrtleBeach
Destress on this townhome’s secluded patio or ocean-view balcony.

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If your group is here for a fishing weekend and would enjoy cooking up the catch of the day on a shady patio, consider this townhouse. The leafy backyard couldn’t be more accommodating with its terracotta tiles, comfy furniture, and chimenea fireplace.

The house gives off a playful seaside vibe with a color palette of bright greens and blues, bamboo furniture, and striking, nautical-themed decor. The quieter, more refined environs of North Myrtle Beach are just a couple of blocks away, and the house comes with supplies including a surfboard, Wi-Fi, cable TV, a Roku, and a selection of board games. 

The SkyWheel condo

The Skywheel condo Myrtle Beach
This condo directly overlooks a 180-foot tall Ferris well called the SkyWheel.

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The SkyWheel is a 180-foot tall ferris wheel and one of the most popular attractions in Myrtle Beach. This fun, colorful condo sits on a prestigious corner that overlooks the wheel and the beach beyond.

A bold blue, turquoise, and green color scheme makes for a playful tropical setting, with plush, hotel-like furnishings. There is also a rock tile fireplace, and the balcony’s Adirondack chairs are a prime place to settle in and look out over the bustling seafront or watch the spectacular LED light display of the wheel every night.

The center of Myrtle Beach is right outside and the location really means that you’re so close to the action that you could stay here without the need for a car. 

Hip designer home

HipCondo
This elegant property features exposed wood, granite surfaces, and a deck for relaxing.

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Some of the Myrtle Beach condo stock can look a little tired and out of date, but that can’t be said of this refurbished, three-bedroom unit that was redesigned with an eye for aesthetics. Exposed wood walls, granite surfaces, and hip curated decor all stand out prominently.

The amenities are up to date as well, with a Keurig coffee maker and smart TVs ready to play all the popular streaming services. There’s a deck for relaxing but it’s just a couple of blocks to the beach, and this home comes kitted out with outdoor gear such as bikes and boogie boards, as well as beach chairs and a cooler. 

Beachfront condo

StylishBeachfronCondo
This chic oceanfront condo is larger than it looks with an eight-guest capacity.

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With contemporary decor and a plum spot right on the Grand Strand, this chic one-bedroom condo is larger than it sounds because it can actually sleep up to eight guests comfortably. The main bedroom has two Queen beds and there are two convertible sofa/futons for two more people each in the living spaces. 

Interiors were freshly refurbished in 2019 and a private balcony makes a great perch when not taking advantage of access to shared heated pools, hot tubs, the kids’ lazy river, and the on-site gym. The beach, boardwalk, and Family Kingdom Amusement Park are all just a few minutes’ walk away. 

 

Beautiful four-bedroom house

Beautiful four bedroom house in Myrtle Beach
High cathedral ceilings and plenty of light offer an open, airy space great for entertaining and large groups.

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Set 200 yards from the ocean, and just steps from the dining and entertainment options of Grand Strand, this home enjoys a plum location right in the thick of things. 

The open plan design opens up thanks to high, cathedral ceilings and hardwood floors, and the four bedroom/three bathroom arrangement means that three families could share this space while maintaining a modicum of privacy.

There are patio decks on both floors, with a grill on the second, and smart TVs throughout for entertaining the kids. There’s also a shared community pool. 

Large oceanfront condo

Large oceanfront condo in Myrtle Beach
This family-friendly condo is located in a resort with an indoor waterpark and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

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This is a great spot for larger groups with a prime Ocean Boulevard location overlooking lots of great restaurants and entertainment options. 

The decor is a kaleidoscope of patterns flanked by views of the beautiful Atlantic streaming in through the wrap-around, ceiling-to-floor windows. Traditional wooden dining tables mix with leather sofas and jazzy, floral print curtains and carpets for an eclectic look that certainly stands out. Kids and parents will love the Dunes Village Resort with its heated pools, Jacuzzi, lazy river, and water slides. 

Midcentury modern condo

Mid century modern design condo in Myrtle Beach
Situated on the 18th floor, this condo has three balconies that provide stunning views of the ocean and the SkyWheel.

Book this Myrtle Beach Airbnb

If you desire a seaside location but want to avoid the near-endless ‘seaside chic’ interior design choices, consider this condo. There isn’t a wall-mounted fish in sight. 

This 18th-floor space is huge with a thoughtful selection of polished, hardwood, midcentury modern pieces, all set against rich but subtle red carpeting. Granite worktops in the fully-equipped kitchen and three balcony spaces with views of the ocean and the SkyWheel add to the allure. The master bedroom also comes with ocean views through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Bayview Resort allows guests to access indoor pools, a lazy river, hot tub, fitness room, and a splash deck. 

FAQ: Visiting Myrtle Beach

Where is Myrtle Beach?

Myrtle Beach is a seaside destination in South Carolina, located around two hours or so north of Charleston along a stretch of coast known as The Grand Strand.

In contrast to the somewhat refined Charleston, Myrtle Beach is much more skewed to families and tourists, and is an unpretentious, down-to-earth coastal getaway that gets very busy at peak times, such as summer.

Where should I vacation in Myrtle Beach?

Where you stay in Myrtle Beach depends a lot on your budget and personal tastes. Along the oceanfront, the north end is generally held to be more contemporary, with the south end having older properties.

Ocean Boulevard is the main drag that runs parallel to the beaches with busy spots around Wither Heights and Yaupon Circle. Families will probably want the ease of being close to the action and the sands, while couples or older visitors may want to stay a few blocks back from the seafront, and there are quieter residential areas around the country clubs and golf courses away from the clamor.

There are many units within gated resorts, from brands such as Marriott and Sheraton, and some independent complexes. These places have shared community pools and other leisure facilities, some even having small water parks. The vast majority of the accommodations in Myrtle Beach are close to the beaches. 

How much does it cost to rent a vacation house in Myrtle Beach?

If you want to book a private vacation rental in Myrtle Beach, the cost will depend on factors such as house or unit size, proximity to the beach and downtown, added amenities such as a pool, plus the time of year and the day of the week that you plan to visit.

It will also, as noted, depend on whether you’re renting inside a gated resort community or not. Myrtle Beach gets incredibly busy during the summer and over holiday weekends. 

For example, a small unit in a resort might start at less than $75 per night off season, but surge to over $300 per night for a summer weekend. A large, lavish beach house could be closer to a thousand dollars or more per night at any time.

For better deals, as well as increased availability, visit in shoulder seasons like spring or fall when the weather is still quite pleasant and there are fewer crowds and less competition for inventory. If you’re set on a summer trip to Myrtle Beach, plan to increase your budget or consider only staying midweek for lower rates.

Expect to pay, at minimum, a few hundred dollars for a short midweek stay off season, or over one thousand dollars for a weekend or summer visit in a higher-end property. B

Also, be aware of cancellation policies and read the fine print, as some homes have strict rules and service fees. You may also want to check other home rental sites before you book to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Finally, as the global pandemic continues, be aware that shared amenities such as pools or gyms may be closed. Be sure to check with the host before booking if accessing such facilities is important to your stay.

What is there to do in Myrtle Beach?

Myrtle Beach is a casual, family-focused resort town, with 60 miles of brown sand along the Grand Strand, framed by amusement and water parks, shopping malls, family attractions, chain restaurants, golf courses, and country clubs.

The major attractions center around families and golfing, with theme parks including the Family Kingdom Amusement Park, Myrtle Waves Water Park, and the NASCAR SpeedPark. Ripley’s Aquarium and the SkyWheel are also huge draws.

Some of the best golf courses include Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Caledonia Golf Club, Tidewater Golf Club and Grande Dunes Resort Club.

Is Airbnb safe?

The CDC now says fully vaccinated people can safely travel in the US.

Additionally, experts say Airbnb is safe, especially compared to hotels, because they eliminate interactions with others. Airbnb hosts must also follow enhanced cleaning guidelines.

Of course, there are still risks and we recommend following CDC guidelines, practicing social distancing, double masking, and washing hands frequently.

More East Coast beach getaways

4 bed Home with Large jacuzzi new orleans airbnb

 

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The 30 bestselling audiobooks on Audible right now, from Matthew McConaughey’s memoir to Oprah’s new self-help book

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Pattern of Best audible books, including Untamed by Glennon Doyle Melton and What Happened to You by  Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey

If you’re spending more time outside these days and have already cycled through your weekly podcasts, we’d recommend the slow burn of a great (and highly mobile) audiobook.

If you’re looking for a new title, we suggest starting with the books currently gaining buzz. Below are the top 30 bestselling audiobooks on Audible right now, with descriptions provided by Amazon (lightly edited and condensed). The site has hundreds of thousands of titles to choose between, as well as a catalog of podcasts.

If you’re new to Audible or audiobook services in general, be sure to check out the FAQ section at the bottom of this article to get started. You can access Audible for free as part of a 30-day trial.

The 30 bestselling audiobooks on Audible right now:

“Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey

Greenlights Book Cover

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $16.95

From the Academy Award-winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.

“Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir

"Project Hail Mary" by Andy Weir

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $14.49

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission — and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery — and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone. Or does he?

“The Last Thing He Told” Me by Laura Dave

'The Last Thing he Told Me' by Laura Dave

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $16.30

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: “Protect her.” Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers — Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity — and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they’re also building a new future — one neither of them could have anticipated.

“Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” by James Clear

Audible top 30 Atomic Habits

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $11.98

No matter your goals, “Atomic Habits” offers a proven framework for improving every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

“Once upon a Time in Hollywood” by Quentin Tarantino

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $7.48

Rick Dalton – Once he had his own TV series, but now Rick’s a washed-up villain-of-the week drowning his sorrows in whiskey sours. Will a phone call from Rome save his fate or seal it?

Cliff Booth – Rick’s stunt double, and the most infamous man on any movie set because he’s the only one there who might have gotten away with murder…

Sharon Tate – She left Texas to chase a movie-star dream, and found it. Sharon’s salad days are now spent on Cielo Drive, high in the Hollywood Hills.

Charles Mason – The ex-con’s got a bunch of zonked-out hippies thinking he’s their spiritual leader, but he’d trade it all to be a rock ‘n’ roll star.

Hollywood 1969 – You shoulda been there.

“Notes on a Silencing” by Lacy Crawford

"Notes on a Silencing"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $16.99

In this searing book, Crawford tells the story of coming forward during the state investigation of an elite New England prep school decades after her assault, only to find for the first time evidence that corroborated her memories. Here were depictions of the naive, hardworking girl she’d been, as well as astonishing proof of institutional silencing. 

The slander, innuendo, and lack of adult concern that Crawford had experienced as a student hadn’t been imagined; they were the actions of a school that prized its reputation above anything, even a child.

This revelation launched Crawford on an extraordinary inquiry deep into gender, privilege, and power, and the ways shame and guilt are used to silence victims. Insightful, arresting, and beautifully written, “Notes on a Silencing” wrestles with an essential question for our time: what telling of a survivor’s story will finally force a remedy?

“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

"Malibu Rising"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $16.80

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over — especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud — because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.

“The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig

The Midnight Library: A Novel

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $13.29

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe, there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

“What Happened to You?” By Oprah Winfrey and Bruce D. Perry

"What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing" by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce D. Perry

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $17.39

Have you ever wondered “Why did I do that?” or “Why can’t I just control my behavior?” Others may judge our reactions and think, “What’s wrong with that person?” When questioning our emotions, it’s easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It’s time we started asking a different question.

Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”

“The President’s Daughter” by James Patterson and Bill Clinton

"The President's Daughter"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $18

Every detail is accurate — because one of the authors is President Bill Clinton. 

The drama and action never stop — because the other author is James Patterson.

Matthew Keating, a one-time Navy SEAL — and a past president — has always defended his family as staunchly as he has his country. Now those defenses are under attack.

A madman abducts Keating’s teenage daughter, Melanie — turning every parent’s deepest fear into a matter of national security. As the world watches in real-time, Keating embarks on a one-man special-ops mission that tests his strengths: as a leader, a warrior, and a father.

“Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds” by David Goggins

Audible top 30 Can't Hurt Me

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $18

For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare — poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored his days and haunted his nights. The only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him The Fittest (Real) Man in America.

In “Can’t Hurt Me,” he shares his astonishing life story and reveals that most of us tap into only 40% of our capabilities. Goggins calls this The 40% Rule, and his story illuminates a path that anyone can follow to push past pain, demolish fear, and reach their full potential.

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling

91G2aMQuu9L

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $6.98

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 

“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah

“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah Book Cover

Free on Audible with a 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $14.49

From the number-one bestselling author of “The Nightingale” and “The Great Alone” comes a powerful American epic about love and heroism and hope, set during the Great Depression, a time when the country was in crisis and at war with itself, when millions were out of work and even the land seemed to have turned against them.

“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

Audible top 30 Where the Crawdads Sing

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $11

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say.

Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life — until the unthinkable happens.

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $13.76

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

“Star Wars: The Rising Storm (The High Republic)” by Cavan Scott

"Star Wars: The High Republic: The Rising Storm"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $20.28

In the wake of the Great Hyperspace Disaster and the heroism of the Jedi, the Republic continues to grow, bringing more worlds together under a single unified banner. Under the leadership of Chancellor Lina Soh, the spirit of unity extends throughout the galaxy, with the Jedi and the newly established Starlight Beacon station at the vanguard.

In celebration, the chancellor plans The Republic Fair, a showcase of the possibilities and the peace of the expanding Republic — a peace the Jedi hope to foster. But as the eyes of the galaxy turn toward the Fair, so too does the fury of the Nihil. Their leader, Marchion Ro, is intent on destroying this unity. His storm descends on the pageantry and celebration, sowing chaos and exacting revenge.

As the Jedi struggle to curb the carnage of the rampaging Nihil, they come face-to-face with the true fear their enemy plans to unleash across the galaxy — the kind of fear from which even the Force cannot shield them.

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book 2” by J.K. Rowling

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $11.94

The summer after his first year at Hogwarts is worse than ever for Harry Potter. The Dursleys of Privet Drive are more horrible to him than ever before. And just when he thinks the endless summer vacation is over, a creature named Dobby the house-elf shows up issuing a grave warning to Harry not to go back to school or disaster will happen! 

Of course, Harry has to go back — and he does so in grand style, in a flying car magicked by his friends Ron and Percy Weasley. But getting back to Hogwarts isn’t the cure Harry expects it to be. Almost immediately a student is found turned to stone, and then another. And somehow Harry stands accused. Could Harry Potter be the long-feared heir of Slytherin?

“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama

Audible top 30 a promised land

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $23.23

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from a young man searching for his identity to the leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency — a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

“Nightmare Scenario” by Yasmeen Abutaleb, Damian Paletta

"Nightmare Scenario"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $21.35

From the Washington Post journalists Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta — the definitive account of the Trump administration’s tragic mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the chaos, incompetence, and craven politicization that has led to more than a half-million American deaths and counting.

“Behind the Scenes” by Christina C. Jones

"Behind The Scenes"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $14.99

Perfect. Privileged. Strong. Spoiled. Uptight. Useless. 

If there’s any one thing Pierre and Logan have in common, it’s their ability to invite snap judgments based on shallow views of who they are. 

Logan is the privileged only daughter of a respected family whose legacy runs long and deep.

Pierre is the moody, orphaned son of big-screen royalty who couldn’t possibly live up to the prestige of his pedigree. Or maybe not. 

Perhaps they’re just two people trying to navigate the pressures of a world hellbent on telling them what they should be, and eschewing the limits of other people’s expectations. 

Maybe what they need most is somebody who can see beyond the shallow first impressions — just one person they can allow to see behind the scenes of who they are. Maybe they have more in common than it seems.

“The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel A. van der Kolk

"The Body Keeps the Score"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $11.40

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In “The Body Keeps the Score”, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments — from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga — that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. 

Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, “The Body Keeps the Score” exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal — and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.

“Survive the Night” by Riley Sager

"Survive The Night"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $16.61

It’s November 1991. Nirvana’s in the tape deck, George H. W. Bush is in the White House, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.

Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the shocking murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father — or so he says.

The longer she sits in the passenger seat, the more Charlie notices there’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t want her to see inside the trunk. As they travel an empty, twisty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly anxious Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s jittery mistrust merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?

“Untamed” by Glennon Doyle

Audible top 30 Untamed

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $13.98

This is how you find yourself.

There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful, hiding our discontent — even from ourselves.

For many years, Glennon Doyle denied her own discontent. Then, while speaking at a conference, she looked at a woman across the room and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. But she soon realized they had come to her from within. This was her own voice — the one she had buried beneath decades of numbing addictions, cultural conditioning, and institutional allegiances. 

“Untamed” is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. 

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Book 3” by J.K. Rowling

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $12.87

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it’s the start of another far-from-ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run — and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first-ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry’s tea leaves… But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss…

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Book 5” by J.K. Rowling

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $11.93

Dark times have come to Hogwarts. After the Dementors’ attack on his cousin Dudley, Harry Potter knows that Voldemort will stop at nothing to find him. There are many who deny the Dark Lord’s return, but Harry is not alone: a secret order gathers at Grimmauld Place to fight against the dark forces. Harry must allow Professor Snape to teach him how to protect himself from Voldemort’s savage assaults on his mind. But they are growing stronger by the day and Harry is running out of time….

“How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

"How To Win Friends and Influence People" Dale Carnegie

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $11.38

One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time,”How to Win Friends & Influence People” will teach you: six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and nine ways to change people without arousing resentment. 

“People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $10

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has an insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart — she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown — but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. The last time she was truly happy was on that ill-fated, final trip. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together — lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

“12 Rules for Life” by Jordan B. Peterson

"12 Rules for Life  An Antidote to Chaos" by Jordan B. Peterson

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $13.81

What are the most valuable things that everyone should know?

In this book, Jordan Peterson provides twelve profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticizing others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today. Happiness is a pointless goal, he shows us. Instead, we must search for meaning, not for its own sake, but as a defense against the suffering that is intrinsic to our existence.

Drawing on vivid examples from the author’s clinical practice and personal life, cutting edge psychology and philosophy, and lessons from humanity’s oldest myths and stories, “12 Rules for Life” offers a deeply rewarding antidote to the chaos in our lives: eternal truths applied to our modern problems.

“Local Woman Missing” by Mary Kubica

"Local Woman Missing"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $14.49

People don’t just disappear without a trace…

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find…

“48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene

"The 48 Laws of Power"

Free on Audible with 30-day trial

Available on Amazon for $14.99

Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum.

Some laws teach the need for prudence (“Law 1: Never Outshine the Master”), others teach the value of confidence (“Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness”), and many recommend absolute self-preservation (“Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally”). Every law, though, has one thing in common: an interest in total domination. “The 48 Laws of Power” is ideal whether your aim is conquest, self-defense, or simply to understand the rules of the game.

Audible FAQ

How much is Audible?

Audible Plus is $7.95/month and Audible Premium is $14.95 per month. You can compare the Audible plans here.

Audible Plus and Audible Premium Plus have a 30-day free trial to most new members that come with one free credit to use on a title of your choice. And since Audible is an Amazon company, Prime members get two credits in their Audible trial as one of their perks.

When your trial is over, you’ll be automatically charged a monthly subscription fee. You can cancel anytime. 

What’s the difference between Audible Plus and Audible Premium?

Both memberships give you unlimited access to select audiobooks, Audible Originals, podcasts, and more.

But, only Audible Premium gives you a credit that’s good for one title of your choice in the premium selection every month and 30% off all additional premium titles, plus access to exclusive sales. You can toggle between some of the titles in the Premium selection and Plus selection here.

Are there other good audiobook services out there?

At Insider Reviews, we also like the service Scribd, which is $10/month for unlimited audiobooks and books. The company also has a joint NYT and Scribd membership for $12.99/month which can be a very good deal. You can start a free trial here, or find a full review of the service here

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 8 best cheap headphones in 2021 – all under $50

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Flagship headphones are pricey, but you can still find some excellent models on a budget.
  • Audio-Technica’s ATH-M20x are the best cheap headphones thanks to their great sound for the money.
  • For more headphone recommendations, check out our roundup of the best headphone deals.

If you spend a lot of time listening to music, watching shows and movies, and playing video games, then a good set of headphones is one of the quickest ways to get the most out of your media. A good set of cans creates an immersive experience by letting you hear all the detailed highs and lows.

Audiophiles will happily spend a ton of money on high-end headphones, but most people don’t want to drop several hundred dollars on a pair. Even audio enthusiasts will admit that inexpensive headphones have come a long way in recent years.

In the budget-friendly range, you shouldn’t get into the weeds with technical specifications like frequency response – these are more of a concern with high-end gear. At lower price points, your primary considerations should be durability and sound quality: Your headphones should be well-built enough to withstand regular use and should offer good sound for casual listening.

With these criteria in mind, we’ve selected the best affordable headphones you can get right now. Our top picks include standard over-ear headphones as well as some more specialized models that offer additional portability, wireless functionality, or other features built for specific tasks.

Here are the best cheap headphones you can buy:

The best cheap headphones overall

Audio Technica ATH M20x 1

If you’re looking for a well-made pair of entry-level headphones that sound great, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are more than up to the task.

Pros: Well-made, comfortable, great sound for the price, sturdy 3.5mm cable comes with a 6.3mm adapter

Cons: Bass response is lacking compared to more expensive models

Audio-Technica is one of the biggest names in the world of studio-quality headphones. The company offers a big lineup of professional-grade cans that will set you back hundreds of dollars, but it also makes a variety of affordable alternatives, including our top pick: The ATH-M20x over-ear headphones.

The ATH-M20x are designed to be an entry-level pair of studio headphones and they feature a full-sized over-ear design with 40mm drivers. This means that they’re best suited for use with your laptop or desktop computer. Smaller devices like smartphones won’t have enough power to get the most out of these headphones.

When hooked up to a PC or TV, however, the ATH-M20x really shine. They deliver excellent sound quality in the high and mid ranges, with sufficient impedance to eliminate annoying interference (like faint buzzing) when hooked up to your electronics. The sound is clear, crisp, and accurate, but don’t expect super-deep bass.

The cushioned headband and leatherette-covered padded ear cups are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, and the cups also provide good noise isolation that filters out the majority of ambient sounds and won’t bother others around you unless you’re really cranking up the volume.

The ATH-M20x could be considered the little sibling of Audio-Technica’s ATH series, as these are essentially a budget-friendly alternative to the M40x and M50x — two highly rated headphones that cost more. But, for about half the price of the M40x, the ATH-M20x are an incredible value.

The best cheap on-ear headphones

Koss Porta Pro 2

If you’re looking to ditch your earbuds for something beefier but still portable, then look no further than the Koss PortaPro.

Pros: Impressive sound quality for size, lightweight and comfortable, folding design is super-portable

Cons: The on-ear design doesn’t isolate noise

When it comes to portable on-ear headphones, one pair stands above the rest: The famous Koss PortaPro. The PortaPro have been around for decades and have earned something of a legendary status among the head-fi crowd. This fame is owed to their impressive output relative to their small size and low cost. They’re not going to put out the same deep sound as a pair of over-ear studio headphones, but the PortaPro nonetheless punch well above their weight in the audio department.

The on-ear pads are connected to a slim, flexible metal headband. This headband features a simple slide adjustment, and the plastic ear pieces fold inwards for portability. The lightweight construction might take some getting used, but the PortaPros are surprisingly durable.

The PortaPro also shine when it comes to sound quality. The lows, mids, and highs are all punchy and responsive. Just bear in mind that the on-ear design won’t isolate noise as well as over-ear headphones. If you like to crank the volume, others are going to hear it.

The Koss PortaPro might just be the perfect pair of travel headphones and they’re a solid value. If you’re willing to pay a bit more, you can even buy a version with Bluetooth support for wireless listening.

The best cheap true wireless earbuds

JLab Audio JBuds Air

The JLab Audio JBuds Air offer a truly wireless design, are relatively comfortable, and sound pretty good too.

Pros: Well designed, great sound, very inexpensive

Cons: Buttons can be tricky, some connectivity issues

True wireless headphones have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and thankfully, there are some great options out there on a budget. Perhaps the best budget true wireless headphones are the JLab Audio JBuds Air, because they offer a comfortable, secure fit, a great sound, and a very reasonable price tag.

The headphones have plenty of bass response, a decently tuned midrange, and solid clarity in the high end, especially for a pair of headphones in this price range. 

The headphones are pretty comfortable, too. While they’re not as reliable at staying in your ears as the company’s more expensive headphones, they’re still good at staying put during day-to-day use. And, you’ll get a battery life of six hours on a single charge, and the battery case will get you an extra 18 hours, bringing the total to 24 hours. 

Of course, the JLab Audio JBuds Air aren’t perfect. Some reviewers found the buttons were a little tricky to use, and that they sometimes remained connected to your phone even in the battery case. Still, considering the price, those issues are relatively minor. — Christian de Looper

The best cheap wireless Bluetooth headphones

headphones bluetooth

Bluetooth headphones can be hit or miss, but the wireless Mpow 059 offer a surprising level of comfort and sound quality at an incredible price point.

Pros: Solid construction, folding design, sound is surprisingly good for a pair wireless headphones, cable for wired use, strong value

Cons: Wireless sound signal won’t be as deep or detailed as a wired connection, the mic is only usable in Bluetooth mode

One of the most popular applications for Bluetooth connectivity is headphones. In the past, wireless headphones have been rather hit or miss, but today’s Bluetooth headphones, like the top-rated Mpow 059, are head and shoulders above those of yesteryear.

In terms of design, the Mpow 059 don’t re-invent the wheel. They feature two 40mm neodymium magnet drivers and a full-size over-ear design with rotating padded ear cups and an adjustable cushioned headband. The 059 also include a convenient built-in mic for hands-free calling when synced to your phone, and the earpieces fold inwards for added portability.

What sets the Mpow 059 apart from other inexpensive headphones is that what they do, they do quite well, delivering good wireless sound along with a sleek design and solid build. One really nice design touch is that you can actually use the Mpow 059 as wired headphones with the included cable. When used wirelessly, the Mpow 059 draw power from an integrated 420mAh battery for around 15-20 hours of juice.

For this price range, the Mpow 059 headphones represent an excellent value given their sound quality, great design, and wireless convenience.

The best cheap gaming headphones

HyperX Cloud Stinger

Kingston’s excellent HyperX Cloud Stinger offers everything you need for intense gaming sessions without cutting corners.

Pros: Outperforms similar headsets in its price range, comfortable design, good audio and microphone quality, compatible with all modern gaming platforms

Cons: The microphone folds up but cannot be removed

Gaming headsets have something of a bad rap among the audiophile community. Yet, these headsets have improved considerably in recent years, with brands like Kingston releasing impressive models, like the excellent HyperX Cloud series.

Our pick, the Cloud Stinger, is Kingston’s budget-focused HyperX model. One of the reasons gaming headsets get the side-eye from audio enthusiasts is because the built-in mic means that makers have to pack more electronics into the housing, potentially causing sound quality to suffer. The Cloud Stinger doesn’t skimp on hardware, however, with beefy 50mm directional drivers that deliver big sound.

The drivers are contained in large rotating memory foam ear cups that are comfortable enough for hours of gaming. The padded headband is adjustable via a steel slider, and while the rest of the headphone housing is polymer, it feels durable without being too heavy.

Although the drivers are large, they’re fairly basic, and the sound quality is very good but not mind-blowing. You’re simply going to have to spend a lot more money if you want super-detailed studio-quality sound. The directional drivers make it easy to pick up in-game environmental details and they also isolate noise very well.

The microphone feels very sturdy but you can’t remove it when you’re just using the Stinger as normal headphones. It simply folds up out of the way. For the price, however, it’s hard to find fault with the HyperX Cloud Stinger.

The best cheap over-ear headphones

Tascam TH 02   1

The Tascam TH-02 are an unbeatable value for a pair of over-ear headphones that sound great and isolate noise well with a closed-back design.

Pros: Solid construction, good sound quality, comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, the closed-back design isolates sound well

Cons: Pleather ear cups aren’t that breathable, the vinyl covering on the padded headband is prone to peeling after a while

Most pairs of budget-friendly headphones feature an open-back or semi-open-back design. These types of headphones leak sound out as well as let ambient noise in, making them less than ideal for busy environments with other people around (think co-workers or roommates). The closed-back over-ear Tascam TH-02 headphones stand out as a clear exception to this rule, and are a shining example of the value that headphone makers are offering today.

I’ve been personally using a pair of Tascam TH-02 for about three years now. I initially intended to use them as “beater” headphones that I wouldn’t have to be too fussy about, but I found the sound quality more than good enough for music and gaming (bass, mids, and highs all come through smoothly and cleanly), and they quickly became one of my workhorses, especially when I’m traveling and don’t want to risk losing or breaking a more expensive set.

They’ve proven to be very durable, although the vinyl covering of the padded headband eventually started to peel after a couple years. The peeling proved to be no big deal, as I simply pulled it all off to reveal the soft cloth pad underneath. More importantly, the pleather ear cup covers have remained intact with minimal wear despite years of use.

If all you need is a no-frills, no-nonsense set of over-ear closed-back headphones, then the Tascam TH-02 have you covered. — Lucas Coll

The best cheap wireless earbuds

iFrogz

The iFrogz Impulse Duo headphones deliver good sound quality for the price.

Pros: Excellent design, affordable, Bluetooth connection

Cons: The sound quality isn’t as good as other options on this list

Besides sounding pretty good for the price, the reason iFrogz Impulse Duo earbuds made the cut over all the other budget earbuds we’ve tried is their design.

The dual driver construction is what gives these earbuds an audio-edge over the competition. But mostly, these earbuds succeed where most Bluetooth models fail: Instead of having all of their technology built into an unwieldy dongle that hangs off the cable connecting both buds, iFrogz built it all into a magnetic clip.

Clip the dongle onto your clothes, pop in the earbuds, and you’re ready to listen to music. In terms of audio quality, you shouldn’t expect an audiophile experience at this price point, but don’t expect a bad one, either. These are actually the upgraded version of the earbuds iFrogz previously released, and while the design is the same, time was spent in improving the sound quality.

I’ll put it to you this way. These headphones are so easy to use that they’re my go-to pair between reviews. It’s just so convenient to coil them up and pop them in my pocket after a commute. — Brandt Ranj

The best cheap wired earbuds

Panasonic ErgoFit

The Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds are about as basic as a pair of wired earbuds headphones can be, but they feature surprisingly good sound quality.

Pros: Impressive value, comfortable fit, integrated microphone and call remote

Cons: Some build quality issues, audio performance is good for the price but not on par with more expensive earbuds

If you don’t mind a fully wired design, it’s hard to ignore the value that Panasonic’s ErgoFit earbuds provide. Sure, you don’t get Bluetooth playback and you do have to deal with wires running down your ears, but when it comes to in-ear headphones in this price range, few can compete with the overall quality of the ErgoFit.

Each earbuds uses a 9mm neodymium magnet driver, and the resulting sound is very solid for the price. To be clear, you won’t get anything near audiophile-quality, but reviews from Tom’s Guide and Reviewed both note the ErgoFit’s deep bass performance. Though overall clarity is only decent, the earbuds offer a lot for very little.

The ErgoFit earbuds don’t provide much in the way of extra features, but the headphones do include an integrated microphone and call remote for easy use with smartphones. You still won’t get the convenience of a Bluetooth wireless connection, but the mic is a nice inclusion. 

Overall build quality is nothing to get excited about, but that’s to be expected for such a budget-friendly headphone model. If you want to save even more, Panasonic also has a version of the ErgoFit without the microphone and remote for an even lower price. 

How to shop for headphones

WH-1000XM4 headphones lifestyle

Headphones are available in a variety of styles and sizes specifically designed to suit different needs. A large pair of over-ear headphones, for instance, can offer impressive sound quality for listening at home, but they’re not ideal for portability.

Below, we’ve detailed some common headphone types, explaining the basic advantages and disadvantages of each style. Wired and wireless options are available for all of the headphone types we’ve listed.

Over-ear headphones: This style of headphone features large ear cups that are designed to rest over your ears to create a seal around them. Over-ear headphones are typically capable of offering better sound performance and noise isolation than other headphone types. On the downside, they tend to be larger and less portable. 

On-ear headphones: Like over-ear headphones, on-ear models also feature ear cups, but instead of completely covering your ear with a seal, they simply rest on top of your ears. Though they can still provide good audio, this design makes them less suitable for isolating outside noise. However, on-ear models can be more compact than over-ear models.

Earbuds: Unlike on-ear and over-ear models, earbuds are compact headphones with separate left and right buds that can be designed to either rest just outside your ear canal or be inserted inside. In-ear buds can feature different size tips to better fit different ear shapes, allowing them to create a tight in-ear seal for better sound and noise isolation. Some earbuds feature a wire to connect the left and right buds together, while true wireless models are completely free of cables. This design makes earbuds great for portability and use with smartphones.  

Gaming headset: Designed for use with video game consoles and computers, gaming headsets include an integrated microphone for online multiplayer chat, allowing you to communicate with other players. Headsets can be on-ear or over-ear, and certain models feature support for advanced surround sound processing and 3D audio formats. Some gaming headsets are built for specific platforms while others feature universal compatibility with multiple systems. 

The best deals on budget-friendly headphones from this guide

While it’s tempting to pick up a pair of headphones for dirt cheap, it’s also easy to spend your money on a pair that doesn’t sound very good, or isn’t very comfortable. We tested several pairs of headphones to find the ones that are an especially good value.

Better still, headphones see discounts all the time; picks like the Koss Porta Pro and HyperX Cloud Stinger are usually available for $5 to $10 less than retail, year-round. You can also look forward to deeper discounts during Black FridayCyber Monday, and Prime Day. 

We’ve rounded up the best deals on budget-friendly headphones below.

Porta Pro (small, Preferred: Amazon)JBuds Air (small, Preferred: Amazon)TH-02 Closed Back Studio Headphones (small, Preferred: Amazon)

Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.

Check out our other headphone buying guides

Apple AirPods Pro

The best over-ear headphones


The best noise-cancelling headphones


The best earbuds


The best true wireless earbuds


The best gaming headsets

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 27 best non-fiction audiobooks, from celebrity memoirs to self-help bestsellers

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Best non fiction audiobooks 4x3
  • Non-fiction audiobooks are an easy and flexible way to learn something new on the go.
  • Narration, especially when by the author themselves, adds emotion and passion to any story.
  • We’ve rounded up readers’ favorites, from humor and history to memoirs and self-help.

As an avid reader, I was growing frustrated with my limited available free time to read. Formerly obsessed with podcasts and perpetually disinterested in reading non-fiction, I found that audiobooks were an incredible way to learn during my commute. Passionate narration from audiobooks shed the textbook-like feeling I often associated with non-fiction reading, especially with memoirs narrated by their own authors.

Audiobooks have grown tremendously as readers discovered they can fit stories even into the busiest schedules. With more and more services offering audiobook streaming – such as Libby, Audible, and Google Play – readers are finding audiobooks as a perfect alternative to physical books. Personally, Libby has quickly become my most-used app. Since it works like a library, I love putting audiobooks on hold, my queue naturally shuffling as more become available.

Audiobook App (small)

I chose these non-fiction audiobook recommendations based on how well the narration enhances the reading experience. While I’ve listened to the majority of these personally, the others come heavily recommended to me by other bookworms. So whether you’re looking to expand your understanding of society, hear life lessons from a famous actor, or learn about an event that happened long before you were born, below are some recommendations to get you started.

27 great non-fiction audiobooks:

Memoir

Self-Help

Comedy

History

Social Justice

Memoir

A painful account of assault and healing

Amazon audiobooks Know My Name

by Chanel Miller (button)

Chanel Miller was previously identified as Emily Doe when her victim statement went viral during Brock Turner’s trial. Now, in her memoir, Chanel recounts her story and process of healing but also encourages us to reexamine how we respond and recover from trauma. Being able to hear Chanel’s voice adds such powerful emotion — don’t be surprised if you shed a few tears over the course of this memoir.

Standout quote: “My pain was never more valuable than his potential.”

Anthony Bourdain’s exposing stories about restaurant life

Best non fiction audiobooks Kitchen Confidential

by Anthony Bourdain (button)

Listening to an audiobook often turns a story into an experience, and hearing the late Chef Anthony Bourdain tell honest tales of classic kitchens is one that will resonate with any reader. This memoir is vulnerable in the sense that it is unyieldingly genuine, never skirting around hard (and often shocking) subjects and reminding us of the legacies great chefs leave behind. 

Standout quote: “Good food and good eating are about risk.”

Michelle Obama’s moving life story

Best non fiction audiobooks Becoming

by Michelle Obama (button)

Michelle Obama manages to feel like your personal mentor as she tells her life story from her childhood, to meeting and falling in love with Barack, to the hidden challenges of being First Lady. Divided in three sections — Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More — the memoir is as inspiring as it is an honest peek behind the curtain of the Obamas’ lives.

Standout quote:Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?

Barack Obama’s first presidential memoir

Audible top 30 a promised land

“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama (button)

If getting through a 768-page memoir feels daunting, the audiobook — narrated by a president especially known for his compelling oration — might be a more approachable option. Hearing beloved former president Barack Obama speak passionately and powerfully in a genuine account of his campaign and presidency makes the 29 hours of the audiobook fly by.

Standout quote: “Whatever you do won’t be enough,” I heard their voices say. “Try anyway.”

Jessica Simpson’s raw narrative of her battles

Best non fiction audiobooks Open Book

by Jessica Simpson (button)

In this extremely vulnerable memoir, Jessica Simpson outlines the deepest struggles of her life. While most of us see her as one of a long line of blond pop stars in the Britney Spears era, her book details pressure from a media label; unhappiness and manipulation in relationships; and even struggles in her church, all told with a candid voice. As a bonus, the audiobook also includes new songs inspired by her writing.

Standout quote: “Sometimes we are all so afraid to be honest with ourselves because we know that honesty will lead to somewhere.”

Trevor Noah’s engaging essays from his life

Best non fiction audiobooks Born a Crime

by Trevor Noah (button)

Born of a Swiss father and a Xhosa mother, Trevor Noah’s birth was illegal and for many years, he was hidden from the government. Though sometimes serious and unsettling, Trevor Noah’s memoir is delivered with warmth and humor as he navigates a world in which he wasn’t allowed to be born. 

Standout quote: “We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.”

Self-Help

Compassionate advocacy for mental health support

Products that have helped our mental health Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

by Lori Gottlieb (button)

When Lori (a therapist) starts to go to therapy herself, she begins to take a deeper look at why we go to therapy (and how it can change our lives). Told in memoir form, this audiobook advocates for mental health by weaving Lori’s personal journey with therapy with those of her patients, showing how anyone can benefit from booking a session.

Standout quote: “But part of getting to know yourself is to unknow yourself—to let go of the limiting stories you’ve told yourself about who you are so that you aren’t trapped by them, so you can live your life and not the story you’ve been telling yourself about your life.”

A framework to improve your life

Audible top 30 Atomic Habits

“Atomic Habits” by James Clear (button)

A self-help meets how-to book, this bestseller aims to help you improve your life by focusing on how you change your habits to reach your goals, no matter what they may be. By addressing the systems of change, it gives readers clearly defined strategies and practical examples to apply to their own lives. 

Standout quote: “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

A moving guide to self-compassion

Best non fiction audiobooks When Things Fall Apart

by Pema Chödrön (button)

Frequently hailed as the type of book that comes into your life exactly when you need it, Pema Chödrön uses Buddhist teachings to help a reader learn how to work and communicate through stressful or difficult periods in life. This book encourages you to have compassion for yourself, your loved ones, and humanity. 

Standout quote: “The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”

A way for introverts to find their voice

"Quiet" by Susan Cain

by Susan Cain (button)

Arguing that our society dramatically undervalues introverts, former attorney (and fellow quiet person) Susan Cain demonstrates that there is space for people who aren’t extroverted or loud. Using research, personal anecdotes, and success stories, Cain not only helps more reserved people feel seen — she shows them where caution and quietness can be an enormous strength.

Standout quote: “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”

A roadmap to finding yourself

Audible top 30 Untamed

“Untamed” by Glennon Doyle (button)

Half inspirational memoir, half self-help book, “Untamed” welcomes us into Glennon Doyle’s life as she raises her children, leaves her husband to marry her wife, and encourages us to be brave and untamed in a world that often wants to keep us in cages. 

Standout quote: “This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.”

A key to building resilience in the face of crisis

Best non fiction audiobooks Option B

by Sheryl Sandburg and Adam M. Grant (button)

Grief can feel isolating and terrifying but with this audiobook, you can learn how to take care of yourself and others after experiencing loss. When Option A is no longer available, we can learn to make the most out of Option B. 

Standout quote: “I am more vulnerable than I thought, but much stronger than I ever imagined.”

A manual for becoming an empathetic and daring leader

Dare to lead by  Brené Brown

by Brene Brown (button)

To become caring, empathetic, and effective leaders, we must overhaul the impersonal culture we’ve been taught and return to humanity. Based on two decades of research, Brené Brown teaches us how to become and raise daringly vulnerable leaders through real strategies and demonstrated applications. 

Standout quote: “At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of my life, I want to say I contributed more than I criticized.”

Comedy

A memoir on honest, funny, and sometimes gross life advice

Best non fiction audiobooks Dear Girls

by Ali Wong (button)

Narrated in letters to her daughters, comedian Ali Wong shares enlightening wisdom through personal stories of motherhood, making it as a comedian, reconnecting with her East Asian heritage, and “trapping” their father into marriage. 

Standout quote: “You have suffered enough.” That became my mantra for motherhood from there on out. You have suffered enough. If you can make it easier, make it easier, and don’t feel guilty about it.”

A mortician answering kids’ questions about our post-mortem bodies

Best non fiction audiobooks Will my Cat Eat my Eyeballs

Big Questions from Tiny Mortals (button)

A dark subject matter made light, this book has no business being as funny as it is. Caitlin Doughty, a mortician, takes the most asked questions from kids (“What would happen if you die on a plane?” or “What would happen if you swallowed a bag of popcorn before you were cremated?”) and applies sarcasm and humor to answer them all without leaving the reader feeling heavy about death. 

Standout quote: “Sometimes death can be violent, sudden, and unbearably sad. But it’s also reality, and reality doesn’t change just because you don’t like it.”

A severely funny memoir on accomplishments and setbacks

Best non fiction audobooks A Very Punchable Face

by Colin Jost (button)

It’s been a pattern for famous “SNL” cast members to write memoirs, from Tina Fey to Amy Poehler, but Colin Jost will have you laughing in the first five minutes with his ridiculous stories, self-deprecation, and long list of all the names he’s been called. 

Standout quote: “No one in comedy (or any field, really) succeeds in a vacuum. And the faster you find friends who challenge you and sometimes make you jealous, the faster you’ll grow as a comedian (and regress as a human).”

Exceptional storytelling of Greek mythology

Best non fiction audiobooks Mythos

by Steven Fry (button)

For history buffs, Stephen Fry’s audio contributes significant entertainment to a complex tapestry of Greek mythology, relating classic stories to our modern world through pathos and humor. Through this chronological collection of short stories, you’ll undoubtedly learn something new about Greek myths (while savoring all of Fry’s witty interjections). 

Standout quote: “Gaia visited her daughter Mnemosyne, who was busy being unpronounceable.”

History

An immersive narrative into the American caste system

Audible top 30 Caste

Book (button)

Shaped on the deeply researched premise that America was built on a caste system, this book is profoundly thought-provoking and challenges how we’ve always understood America’s culture, economy, and politics. 

Standout quote: “We are responsible for our own ignorance or, with time and openhearted enlightenment, our own wisdom.”

A vivid experience of a historical day

Best non fiction audiobooks The Only Plane in the Sky

An Oral History of 9/11 by Garrett Graff (button)

This audiobook is a compilation of first-hand accounts from September 11th, 2001. To put it lightly, it’s an emotional experience, heightened by the individual narrations from each storyteller. 

Standout quote: “Sen. John Glenn, a dear friend, came by. I said, “Did you see that? A pilot flew into the World Trade Center.” He said, “Pilots don’t fly into buildings. That wasn’t a pilot.”

A new exposition of an infamous school shooting

Best non fiction audiobooks Columbine

by Dave Cullen (button)

A definitive account from an investigative reporter who followed the story for 10 years, this story challenges what we knew about one of the most notorious school shootings in America’s history. 

Standout quote: “The final portrait is often the furthest from the truth.”

A chronicle on how racism shaped American history

Best non Fiction audiobooks Stamped From the Beginning

The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (button)

The narration keeps this expertly written book moving at a fast pace, capturing a full image anti-Black ideas in America. If you like this one, Ibram X Kendi and Jason Reynolds wrote a shorter, anti-racist companion: “Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You.”

Standout quote: “The beneficiaries of slavery, segregation, and mass incarceration have produced racist ideas of Black people being best suited for or deserving of the confines of slavery, segregation, or the jail cell.”

Social Justice

A collection of essays on being a better feminist

Best non fiction audiobooks Hood Feminism

Notes From the Women that a Movement Forgot (button)

This book turns a light on the blind spot of feminism: racial inclusion. Through a collection of essays, Mikki Kendall argues how food insecurity, access to medical care, and gun violence are all feminist issues, often forgotten by the larger feminist movement. 

Standout quote: “For a movement that is meant to represent all women, it often centers on those who already have most of their needs met.”

A YA Pride read on the account of a hate crime

The best non fiction audiobooks The 57 Props

A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives, by Dashka Slater (button)

In this queer YA non-fiction, two very different teenagers’ lives intersect for only eight minutes a day. A single impulsive interaction involving a lighter and a skirt leads to two hate crime charges and severe burns, changing both of their lives forever. 

Standout quote: “There are two kinds of people in the world. Male and Female. Gay and Straight. Black and White. Normal and Weird. Cis and Trans. There are two kinds of people in the world. Saints and Sinners. Victims and Villains. Cruel and Kind. Guilty and Innocent. There are two kinds of people in the world. Just two. Just two. Only two.”

A straightforward conversation about race in America

Best non fiction audiobooks So You Want to Talk About Race

by Ijeoma Oluo (button)

With a clear and authentic voice, this book tackles structural injustice head-on. Each topic begins with a personal narrative before diving into invaluable knowledge to aid in anti-racist learning and living. Blunt and passionate, Oluo teaches in such a way that these lessons naturally become a part of your life. 

Standout quote: “When we identify where our privilege intersects with somebody else’s oppression, we’ll find our opportunities to make real change.”

A personal account of Blackness in a white world

Best non fiction audiobooks I'm Still Here

Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness (button)

Greatly personal in the trenches of America’s racial divide, this story shows how a world that outwardly appears to value “diversity” above all else still fails to conquer racial injustice. By no means written to comfort white people, Austin Channing Brown explores being a Black woman in a world built for white people but how embracing and including Blackness could change the world. 

Standout quote: “Our only chance at dismantling racial injustice is being more curious about its origins than we are worried about our comfort.”

An eye-opening read on race and the prison industry

Best non fiction audiobooks The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (button)

An accessible telling of an extensive issue, this book exposes the concept that slavery has transformed to the current mass incarceration of Black men. Michelle Alexander, a lawyer, uses inarguable statistics to arm anti-racist readers in the fight for equality. 

Standout quote: “The nature of the criminal justice system has changed. It is no longer primarily concerned with the prevention and punishment of crime, but rather with the management and control of the dispossessed.”

A guide to the difficult questions America needs to ask

Amazon Books Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man 4x3

by Emmanuel Acho (button)

An invitation for people to have honest and difficult discussions about racism in America, this book is a follow-on to Emmanuel Acho’s successful internet series, acknowledging that these conversations must happen in order to make real progress.  

Standout quote: “There is a fix. But in order to access it, we’re going to have to have some uncomfortable conversations.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 29 best romance novels to read this summer

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Romance Reads 4x3
  • Romance novels make for perfect summer beach reads.
  • We rounded up some of the best ones, from modern bestsellers to rom-coms and YA books.
  • We also included some of the best romance books of all time if classics are more your speed.

I’ll admit: I’m a relatively new romance book convert. I used to alternate between devouring dark, creepy thrillers and gutting, emotional contemporary fiction – not exactly sweet and fluffy fare. But when the pandemic hit, I needed the light, optimistic amusement of an engrossing love story, and so many of these romances helped me get through the past year.

Romance books are often sexy, wild rides through whirlwind passions but as the genre keeps growing, new niches arise. Right now, the enemies-to-lovers and faking-a-relationship tropes are some of the most popular in new romances. We included so many fan favorites, from bestselling rom-coms to classics that have stood the test of time (and, of course, plenty of beach reads).

29 romance novels for every kind of love story:

Contemporary

Rom-Coms

Young Adult

Classics

Historical Fiction

Contemporary

A tale of when algorithms and romance combine

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

“The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang, available on Amazon and Bookshop

This steamy romance is about Stella, a 30-year-old math genius with Asperger’s who wants a bit more experience in the love department. When she hires Michael, an escort, to help her practice everything from kissing to complicated positions, he can’t resist her offer — and she soon finds that she can’t resist him. This one has a ton of sexy scenes but also takes us on Stella’s journey of accepting that romance might not fit her careful computations. 

Read if: You love a truly original romance.  

A sexy, inclusive romance novel

Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

“Take A Hint, Dani Brown” by Talia Hibbert, available on Amazon and Bookshop

After reading this book, I will buy anything Talia Hibbert writes, no questions asked. This is the second of three “Brown Sisters” rom-com books, each standing alone and featuring a sexy romance and characters that are unapologetically themselves, flaws and all. Dani is on the hunt for a friend-with-benefits when she and Zafir, the flirty security guard, go viral for a video of him carrying her out of a building during a fire drill. Monopolizing on the publicity by faking a relationship is mutually beneficial: Zafir gets the publicity he needs for his rugby charity, and Dani gets to see him naked. It’s fun, it’s flirty, it’s down-right sexy—  but this rom-com is also fantastic for tackling (pun intended) toxic masculinity, anxiety, and witchy spirituality. 

Read if: Unique characters are what keep you turning the page.

A second-chance romance

The Devil Wears Black by L. J. Shen

“The Devil Wears Black” by L. J. Shen, available on Amazon and Bookshop

You will love to hate some of these characters in a romance that’s as entertaining as it is delicious. Maddie has set up everything for her perfect life until her ex walks back in with an outrageous proposition that lands her in the middle of a fake engagement. It combines the fake relationship and enemies-to-lovers tropes to a unique plot with Grade-A characters. It’s romantic, funny, angsty, and full of all kinds of heartbreak. 

Read if: You love sassy heroes and heroines.

A dramatic and sexy romance between two actors

You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria

 “You Had Me At Hola” by Alexis Daria, available on Amazon and Bookshop

This romance reads like a Netflix special — a little dramatic, a little funny, and fully captivating. Jasmine is returning to NYC after a messy and public breakup to film a new telenovela with co-star Ashton, who fears his career is dead after his last character was killed off. Ashton and Jasmine make a pact to rehearse in private in order to generate on-screen chemistry. As their behind-the-scenes romance heats up, so does their performance, until the press threatens to ruin everything. Despite their initial awkward meeting, the chemistry between these characters nearly explodes off the pages and makes for a wildly sexy read. 

Read if: You need a romance that sizzles.  

 

A story of what happens after a rejected proposal

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

“The Proposal” by Jasmine Guillory, available on Amazon and Bookshop

Nikole attends a baseball game with her boyfriend of five months when he very publically proposes, despite his inability to spell her first name and the fact that they aren’t even in love. After she says “no,” — and Carlos, a stranger sitting nearby, rescues her from a stadium of disapproving onlookers — Nik sets off on an epic rebound with her new hunky doctor/hero until they start breaking all the hookup rules. This is one of those books that made me forget I was reading because the story played out so smoothly. 

Read if: You love the drama of a rebound.

A fantastical romance to binge-read

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

“In Five Years” by Rebecca Serle, available on Amazon and Bookshop

Once I started this book, I didn’t put it down until I reached the end. It’s such a well-constructed novel about destiny and self-realization. In a job interview, Dannie is asked where she sees herself in five years. That night, Dannie accepts the job offer and a proposal but wakes up five years into the future in a different apartment next to a different man. Dannie struggles to figure out what happened — until she’s back in 2020 an hour later, the experience remaining barely more than a visceral vision. This is a fast read that had me so interested in the balance between what we want and what we need.

Read if: You’re hungry for a true page-turner.

An emotional romance

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

“The Light We Lost” by Jill Santopolo, available on Amazon and Bookshop

I cried actual tears on public transit because of this book and I am not sorry. This is a 13-year journey of the battle between fate and choice between Lucy and Gabe, starting from their senior year at Columbia. They reunite a year later, just before Gabe receives a photojournalism assignment in the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. This book is overflowing with emotion, fantastic prose, and heartbreak. It explores all kinds of love, especially the kind that changes you forever.

Read if: You don’t mind breaking your own heart.

A super-sexy relationship between a former sex worker and a Rabbi

The Intimacy Experiment

“The Intimacy Experiment” by Rosie Danan, available on Amazon and Bookshop

Naomi’s sex-positive business has taken off and Ethan is looking to bring more congregants to his synagogue. An unlikely pair, the two team up to host a seminar series on “Modern Intimacy,” a solution that will save Ethan’s synagogue and expand Naomi’s business to higher education — until their attraction for one another threatens their success. This book is beloved for its strong plot and for the way it doesn’t follow the common tropes of many new releases. It’s also extremely sexy while tackling real issues, making it an enriching (and very steamy) read. 

Read if: You root for sex-positive protagonists.  

Rom-Coms

An amusing rom-com about a secret book club

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

“The Bromance Book Club” by Lyssa Kay Adams, available on Amazon and Bookshop

I found myself utterly invested in this book’s non-traditional romantic plot and deep characters — the first in a short and highly entertaining series. The “Bromance Book Club” is a secret club amongst Nashville’s major-league baseball players who read sexy romance novels to keep the romance in their marriages alive. When Gavin finds out that his wife faked every orgasm, his teammates bring him into the club to help him save his marriage. This is the perfect, easy romantic read when you need a laugh. 

Read if: You want a romance novel about romance novels. 

A hysterical enemies-to-lovers romance

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

“The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren, available on Amazon and Bookshop

Truly one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, “The Unhoneymooners” takes place on a romantic Hawaiian vacation between sworn nemeses Olive and Ethan. When food poisoning at her sister’s wedding leaves everyone but Olive and Ethan heaving, the two head on the abandoned, all-expense-paid honeymoon with the intention of avoiding each other. All of it works out — until Olive’s new boss is at the same resort and the couple fakes being madly-in-love newlyweds to avoid being caught in a lie. The banter between these two characters made me want a whole series of just their conversations.

Read if: You live for snarky, flirty dialogue.

A summer rom-com with all the feels

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

“People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry, available on Amazon and Bookshop

Emily Henry is quickly becoming the queen of unique summer rom-coms (her last one, “Beach Read,” blew readers away) and this one continues the trend. Alex and Poppy are complete opposites and were inseparable best friends until two years ago. They decide to take a weeklong vacation together again to mend their friendship and find their old happiness again. This is a romance that’s wholly cute and emotional at the same time. 

Read if: You loved “Beach Read” (and if you haven’t read “Beach Read” do that immediately, thank you.) 

A holiday love story

In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren

“In A Holidaze” by Christina Lauren, available on Amazon and Bookshop

Okay yes, this is a holiday read but it’s such a fun “Groundhog Day”-style romance that it’s worth reading any time of year. At her favorite cabin with her family and friends, Mae awkwardly makes out with Theo — a family friend on whom she’s had a crush since she was 13. On the drive back to the airport, Mae finds out that the beloved family cabin is being sold, just before a truck crashes into the side of their car. She tumbles into living the same day over and over until she finally allows the universe to tell her where to find happiness. 

Read if: You feel the holiday spirit all year long. 

Young Adult

A secret, royal romance

Red, White, and Royal Blue By Casey McQuinston

“Red, White, and Royal Blue” By Casey McQuiston, available on Amazon and Bookshop

The sheer comedy and sweet enemies-to-lovers story make this is a queer, YA, royal romance staple in the genre. When a confrontation between Alex (the First Son in the US) and Henry (British royalty) hits the tabloids, the PR teams decide the best course of action is for Alex and Henry to stage a very public, fake friendship. But as their time together buds into a secret romance, Alex and Henry know so much more is at stake than teenage heartbreak. 

Read if: You’re ready for a queer royal romance to steal your heart.

A teen love story in the confines of a hospital

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

“Five Feet Apart” by Rachael Lippincott, available on Amazon and Bookshop

This is a YA love story about two teens living with cystic fibrosis. Perpetually stuck in the hospital, Stella is on the waiting list for new lungs and Will can’t wait to turn 18 so he can walk away from all the treatments. They have to stay six feet apart in order to not risk infection — but six feet for a budding teenage love might as well be a universe away. I was so emotionally invested in the characters while also learning so much about cystic fibrosis and the trials each patient endures. 

Read if: You’re in the mood for a truly moving romance.

An 80’s teen romance

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

“Eleanor and Park” by Rainbow Rowell, available on Amazon and Bookshop

A love story between two completely different (but equally quirky) teenagers, Eleanor and Park begin to fall for each other over mixtapes and late-night conversations in 1986. Anyone who’s ever felt that all-consuming, first-love feeling can attest that this book captures it perfectly. It’s told with alternating points of view, so you really get to understand the souls of these characters as they navigate a teenage romance in the midst of two separately difficult lives.

Read if: you miss that first-love feeling 

An absolute heartbreaker

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green, available on Amazon and Bookshop

How could I list YA romances without “The Fault in Our Stars”? A cult favorite, “The Fault in Our Stars” has earned every tear dropped onto its pages. Hazel is living on borrowed time with her terminal cancer diagnosis when she meets Augustus in her support group, who lights up a world that’s felt so dark. This is a magical love story that will fill your heart just to break it and put it back together again. I think this book is still so deeply loved because the writing is so moving and the testaments between Hazel and Augustus feel incredibly real.

Read if: You don’t mind shedding many, many tears.  

A teenage love with everything on the line

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

“Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon, available on Amazon and Bookshop

As the moving truck next door brings Olly into Maddy’s exceptionally small world, she knows love and disaster are inevitable. Maddy’s immunodeficiency confines her to her home, but Olly is the key to a world she can’t help but ache to explore. This and Nicola Yoon’s other YA stories have garnered so many readers in need of a happy ending. “Everything, Everything” comes with a great message, eager and aching characters, and a classic teen romance.

Read if: You love optimistic and adventurous characters.

A YA about mental health and love

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“All The Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven, available on Amazon and Bookshop

Theodore Finch is always thinking about death and dying, but every time he comes close to taking his life, something stops him. Violet is pining for the future where she can escape their small town and the memories of her late sister. After Violet and Finch meet at the bell tower, each saving each other in some small way, they set out to discover the wonders of their state. This book tackles the delicacy and importance of mental health in young people. It’s a memorable and surprising story sprinkled with many kinds of love that I absolutely cherished. 

Read if: you need a powerful and important YA story

Classics

A swoon-worthy tale

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, available on Amazon and Bookshop

Published in 1813, “Pride and Prejudice” is the epitome of a classic love story. It explores the contrast between marrying for love and marrying out of societal and familial pressure, all as Elizabeth’s witty and flirty relationship with Mr. Darcy unfolds. This story is a masterful, high-society classic that is enchanting from the very first page. 

Read if: You love a classic that reads like a modern novel.

A classic coming-of-age romance

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë, available on Amazon and Bookshop

Jane Eyre is a Victorian, gothic romance that follows Jane from her teen years to adolescence. This, at least on the surface, is a story woven and sometimes driven by romance but it is so much more than the love between Jane and Rochester, the contemplative and mysterious man by whom she’s been hired. “Jane Eyre” feels so ahead of its time, telling the story of an intellectual and morally driven young woman navigating the secrets held by Rochester and his home. 

Read if: You love darker, brooding romances and iconic female protagonists.

A monumental piece of literature

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

“Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë, available on Amazon and Bookshop

Catherine and Heathcliff are doomed lovers, selfish and borderline monstrous as characters. Their two families are linked by fate — the actions of one inevitably affecting the other. The love and lust that runs through this story is just one component of the careful balance between good and wicked that continues to uphold this classic’s epic status to this day. 

Read if: You thought you hated this in high school. (Seriously, give it another chance.) 

A historical romance within the Great American Novel

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

“Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell, available on Amazon and Bookshop

“Gone With The Wind” is rightfully one of the bestselling novels of all time, beloved for the tragic and emotionally absorbing story of Scarlett O’Hara and how the Civil War changed her life forever. Scarlett is a character designed for us to hate — she’s selfish, self-absorbed, and seems to have little to no redeeming qualities, but must tear herself from poverty after Sherman’s March to the Sea. This classic is simply a masterpiece, with nearly every line meticulous and memorable.

Read if: You love an epic and revolutionary novel.

A 20th century masterpiece

A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

“A Room with a View” by E. M. Forster, available on Amazon and Bookshop 

Published in 1908, “A Room with a View” is a love story between independent Lucy and the handsome George Emerson, but it’s also a wide-angle portrait of the human condition. Set in Italy and England, this book gives us a great look at the societal changes of the early 1900s and the charming love between two characters as Lucy finds the bravery that will set her free. It’s a short classic, but the progression of Lucy’s character development and love story is unforgettable.

Read if: A passionate period piece piques your interest. 

Historical Fiction

A steamy story starring a wallflower

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

“Secrets of a Summer Night” by Lisa Kleypas, available on Amazon and Bookshop

Annabelle’s situation is tense — she must wed a wealthy man to help her family, no matter what. But Annabelle’s only persistent suitor is Simon, an entrepreneur who wants Annabelle as his mistress. This might be easy to resist, considering what’s at stake — if Annabelle’s attraction to Simon was remotely resistible. The tension and magical romance in this novel keep this historical read at the top of my list.

Read if: You’re looking for a slow-burn romance with a ton of chemistry.

The first book of a fun, sexy 1800s series

The Duke Heist by Erica Ridley

“The Duke Heist” by Erica Ridley, available on Amazon and Bookshop 

Chloe Wynchester is able to blend into any crowd, a curse she finds highly useful when recovering a missing painting becomes her father’s dying wish. In the heist, she accidentally kidnaps the hunky Lawrence Gosling, a Duke who must marry an heiress to mend his family’s reputation, complicated by his immediate attraction to Chloe. If you’ve read an Erica Ridley novel in the past, you know most of her romances are slow burns with low steam. In this series, she cranked up the heat to deliver a fast-paced, sexy, and playful heart-melter of a story. 

Read if: You want adventure and steamy romance packed into one book. 

A time travel romance in 18th century Scotland

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

“Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon, available on Amazon and Bookshop

The plot of this book is a rollercoaster of motives and morals that so many readers can’t resist. Claire is a former combat nurse on a second honeymoon in 1945 when she finds herself inexplicably thrown back in time to a war-torn Scotland in 1743. In her potentially impossible mission to get back home, she meets James Fraser, a complex man with whom love is easy, and finds herself romantically torn between her husband (who she may never see again) and her newfound protector. 

Read if: You can’t resist the tear between two great loves.

A favorite historical romance that recently became a Netflix hit

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

“The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn, available on Amazon and Bookshop

In Regency-era London, Daphne Bridgerton should be poised, courteous, and perfectly ladylike — but her honesty and lack of desire to play the games to get a husband leaves her without a suitor. She finds that a fake courtship with Simon, Duke of Hastings — who wants to shun marriage completely — could be more than mutually beneficial…until she begins to fall for him. In this book, we get to know the families and histories of Daphne and Simon really well, which multiplies our empathy for the characters. This is a really sweet story with a couple of sexy scenes that will have you reaching for the rest of the books. 

Read if: You’re looking to become completely obsessed with a new romantic series. 

A post-World War II story we’ve come to know and love

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

“The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks, available on Amazon and Bookshop

I’ve read a lot of sometimes-cheesy, super-romantic Nicholas Sparks novels over the years but this one is still my favorite. Noah is restoring a home in North Carolina after returning from WWII, reminiscing about the love-filled summer he spent with Allie 14 years ago. When she suddenly returns to town to see him again, their love story continues to unfold. “The Notebook” is every bit as sappy and cheesy as we’ve come to want from a Nicholas Sparks story, but this romance will likely draw out the waterworks, too.

Read if: You need a good tug on your heartstrings.  

A feel-good historical romance

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

“Bringing Down the Duke” by Evie Dunmore, available on Amazon and Bookshop

In 1879, Annabelle is among the first women accepted into Oxford University. The only stipulation? She must support the women’s suffrage movement by recruiting Sebastian Devereux-a Duke to their cause — while denying the attraction she has for a man who stands against everything she’s fighting for. This book is a chemistry-filled debut with an interesting look at the women’s suffrage movement in Britain. 

Read if: Smart women and historical accuracy make up your perfect novel.  

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 5 best true wireless earbuds in 2021 for listening on the go and at home

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • The best wireless earbuds balance portability, sound quality, comfort, and features.
  • Jabra’s Elite 85T manage to do all that for a great price, making them our top pick overall.

True wireless earbuds are headphones that fit neatly in your ear and are completely without wires. Because they’re so small and wire-free, these earbuds can be easily transported and stored in small charging cases when you’re not wearing them, not to mention they’re more comfortable and lightweight than on-ear or over-ear headphones.

There’s no shortage of true wireless earbuds available, making any buying decision difficult. The sheer convenience of this type of headphone makes them suitable for everyday use, on-the-go listening, workouts, and noisy environments. The best models offer the right balance of comfort, cost, and battery life.

After testing and comparing several pairs of true wireless earbuds, we’ve selected the best models you can buy in 2021. Our picks cover a variety of needs and budgets, offering recommendations based on overall value, sound quality, specific platforms, and more.

Here are the best true wireless earbuds:

How we test wireless earbuds

We take product testing seriously, and we aim to use consistent, reproducible testing methods. For audio products like headphones and wireless earbuds, we assess their sound quality by listening to a wide range of music genres. To replicate the most likely scenario that our readers would be using wireless earbuds, we stream music from common mobile devices, both iOS and Android, with popular music streaming services. We also test the ease of setup and use. 

An extra note on sound quality on wireless earbuds: We don’t base our assessment on how “accurate” their sound is. “Accurate” headphones tend to be studio-grade or monitor headphones that have flatter sound signatures, and they aren’t very pleasing for general listening. Those kinds of studio-grade headphones tend to be designed for audiophiles or professionals. We’re making recommendations for “most of us” who simply want a good, convenient pair of wireless earbuds we can use with our computers and mobile devices. 

For noise-cancelling performance, we find common noisy environments and try new models against our top picks one after the other in the same testing period. 

We are currently devising a way to validate the battery life claims that companies make about their wireless earbuds and headphones. However, we haven’t found that any claims have been dramatically inaccurate so far.

The best wireless earbuds overall

An open case of the Jabra Elite 85T with one outside of the case on a white background

The Jabra Elite 85T have high-end audio quality and noise-cancelling performance for a great price.

Pros: Great audio quality, good noise cancellation, customizable sound, Bluetooth Multipoint, comfortable fit, wireless charging case, water resistant

Cons: Can be prone to interference (very rare) 

Jabra’s Elite 85T are the first headphones that pop into my mind when someone asks me what wireless earbuds they should buy. 

That’s largely because they’re such good all-rounders that do almost everything well for a good price. Audio quality and noise cancellation are very good, they fit well, they come with a wireless charging case, and they’re water-resistant. 

Battery life is fairly average at five and half hours for the buds with ANC activated, but the wireless charging case holds 19.5 hours of charge, making for a total of 25 hours. You can get up to 31 hours with ANC turned off. 

Phone calls are fine, but they’ll struggle in noisy environments, where my test calls were disjointed and full of “can-you-hear-mes.” That’s par for the course in noisy places with most wireless earbuds and even full-size headphones — you need to spend more and get the Sony WF-1000XM4, or full-size WH-1000XM4 or Bose 700 if this is a priority for you. 

There was one instance during testing where the Elite 85T faced interference — they hated being next to a TV in an office waiting room, and they crackled to the point that it was better to simply take them off. This was the only instance I encountered this issue, so it’s likely isolated.

The best premium wireless earbuds

The Sony WF-1000XM4 outside of their case on a glass table

The Sony WF-1000XM4 are best-in-class for sound quality and noise cancellation, but they’re best suited for those willing to pay their high price. 

Pros: Superb audio quality and noise cancellation, customizable sound, long battery life, comfortable ear tips, wireless charging case, good phone call quality, water resistant

Cons: Pricey, lack Bluetooth Multipoint, app could be easier to use

If you’re looking for the best pair of wireless earbuds and you’re willing to spend up to $280, Sony’s WF-1000XM4 come highly recommended. 

Audio quality and noise-cancelling performance are only rivaled by the Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds, but for the same price as the Bose, we’d rather recommend the Sony WF-1000XM4 for their slightly better battery life. Sony also has excellent EQ settings in the Sony Headphones app that helps you get the best out of the earbuds. 

We also prefer the foam ear tips on the WF-1000XM4, as they make for a more secure ear-plug-style fit that ensures a tighter seal. The Bose may be more comfortable in the ears, but users who have difficulty getting earbuds to fit properly may have more trouble getting a proper seal with them. 

You also get a long eight-hour battery life with ANC activated on the buds themselves, and the wireless charging case’s 16 hours makes for a total of 24 hours of battery life. You can get up to 36 hours with ANC turned off. The WF-1000XM4 are also water-resistant, and offer good phone call quality with some ability to reduce ambient noise, so the person you’re calling can hear you better.

The best mid-range wireless earbuds

Amazon’s new Echo Buds (2nd generation) offer plenty of features and customization

Amazon’s Echo Buds 2 offer almost everything you’d want in wireless earbuds for a little less than most competitors.

Pros: Good sound quality and noise cancellation for the price, customizable sound, sleek and comfortable design

Cons: Not as much bass as pricier earbuds, sometimes feel loose while exercising without wing tips, no multi-device connectivity

If $180 for our overall top pick — the Jabra Elite 85T — is a little out of budget, Amazon’s Echo Buds 2 are a great alternative. They offer good sound that can be customized, noise cancellation, and water resistance for a cheaper price.

The Echo Buds 2 come with four different tips compared to the usual three you get with most earbuds, so you’re likely to find a great fit. Plus, the optional included wingtips add security to the fit for workouts.  

Battery is about average at five hours for the buds with ANC enabled, or six and a half hours with ANC off. With the case, you get 15 hours total with ANC on, and 19.5 hours with ANC off. For $20 extra, Amazon offers a model with a wireless charging case.

The best budget wireless earbuds

The Belkin SoundForm Earbuds in an open case on a white background

Belkin’s Soundform wireless earbuds deliver impressive sound for the money, and they’re water-resistant, too.

Pros: Impressive sound for price, touch controls, water resistance 

Cons: No ANC, microUSB charging case 

At such a budget-friendly price, we’d be too nitpicky to say anything wrong about the audio quality on the Belkin Soundform. Sure, it’s not quite as rich and bass-y as pricier earbuds, but you’re still getting good clarity, and they don’t sound hollow — a common trait in cheaper earbuds. And they certainly have some punch, too. 

You’re not getting noise cancellation, but the ear-plug-style ear tips do a decent job at muffling ambient noise. You do get IPX5 water resistance, which is great to see on such an affordable pair of earbuds. Combined with their lighter weight, they’d make an ideal pair for working out, as well as daily use. 

You get touch sensors for media controls, volume control, and picking up phone calls. They can even summon Siri on iOS devices. Battery life is rated at five hours for the buds themselves, and the charging case holds 19 hours of charge, making for 24 hours of total battery life.

To charge the case, the Soundform use microUSB — a fading standard that’s being replaced by the more modern USB-C connection. That’s not a big deal, especially considering the affordability of these wireless earbuds.

The best wireless earbuds for Apple users

airpods pro

Apple users who want to get the most out of Apple’s ecosystem should consider the AirPods Pro.

Pros: Integrate with the Apple ecosystem, decent sound and noise cancellation, water resistant, wireless charging case, comfortable and more universal fit than standard AirPods

Cons: Inferior earbud battery life compared to competition

The vast majority of wireless earbuds will work on any Apple device with a Bluetooth connection, and you’ll find better sound quality, noise cancellation, and battery life for the price. But no other wireless earbuds complement your Apple devices like the AirPods and AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro pair seamlessly with iPhones and Apple Watches, and they can connect to Macs simultaneously to switch back and forth to various Apple devices automatically. As expected, Siri is fully supported, and you can take advantage of Apple’s Audio Sharing feature that lets you share what you’re listening to with another user’s pair of AirPods. 

Anyone who’s had fitting issues with the standard AirPods will find solace with the AirPods Pro and their silicone tips, which fit deeper in your ear canal, but don’t quite have an ear-plug fit. As a result, they’re comfortable and light in the ear. Their water resistance also makes them a suitable option for working out. 

And if the AirPods Pro are a little over budget, the cheaper standard AirPods also come with seamless Apple ecosystem support. You just lose noise cancellation and water resistance, and audio quality isn’t as good.

What else we considered

We also tried out the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, and they actually come highly recommended in the premium category, next to the Sony WF-1000XM4. Their audio quality and noise-cancelling performance are comparable to the WF-1000XM4, and they come with nearly identical features like water resistance. The main reason the Bose didn’t quite make it to the top of the list is because the sound profile is very much Bose’s, and it’s harder to sculpt the sound to the way you like it.

We also tried the Jabra 75T, the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+, and the Beats Studio Buds, all of which are in the $120 to $150 price range. These are all great options, and they would be worthy alternatives to the Amazon Echo Buds 2. Just note that the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+ don’t have noise cancellation. 

We also tried the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, which we loved at first. However, their value proposition has diminished since we’ve tested more capable and better-priced wireless earbuds.

The best deals on wireless earbuds from this guide

Apple AirPods are one of the most sought-after wireless earbuds on the market. However, they don’t fit all needs. They may be convenient for everyday listening with an iPhone, but other brands are a better fit for Android devices or specific uses, like working out. Most of the year, our picks are discounted to a little less than retail price; the AirPods Pro and Galaxy Buds Pro are often $20 off, for example. During Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Prime Day, they’ll likely be down even more. 

Below, we rounded up the best deals on wireless earbuds from top brands, including Sony, Apple, and Jabra.

Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.

Check out our other headphone buying guides

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