Emu-wrens exhibit sexual dimorphism, the males have brownish plumage with rufous crowns of varying intensity, and a sky blue throat and upper chest. The females lack the blue coloration and are predominantly reddish brown above and paler below. Their most distinctive feature is their long tails, composed of six filamentous feathers, the central two longer again. The tail is double the body length in the case of the southern and rufous-crowned species. They weigh from 5.4 g in the case of the smallest, the rufous-crowned, to 7.5 g of the southern emu-wren.