12 of the best wireless headphones money can buy right now
There are options other than AirPods.
The latest wire to disappear from our tech is the humble headphone cable. Our phones no longer come with 3.5mm jacks, and it seems neither does anything else apart from computer motherboards and desk-based headphone amps. That means you need some Bluetooth-enabled headphones for your listening when out of the house, but which set?
The market is saturated with new brands all trying to get your money, so which should you choose? Well, we have some suggestions.
Here are the best Bluetooth headphones money can buy
The 3.5mm jack is disappearing off our phones, and nobody likes getting tangled up at the gym. If you need some wireless headphones, here are the picks of the crop:
Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Ever wished that the world would just disappear? I can’t make that happen, but I can tell you about some of the best Active Noise Cancelling you can get. The $350 Bose QuietComfort 35 II removes the distractions of your daily routine, with solid Bluetooth, noise-rejecting dual-microphones for clear voice calls, and Alexa, whenever you need a helping hand. Nice.
Sony Noise-Canceling Headphones WH1000XM3
Bose might have a fight on their hands, with Sony’s latest, the $350 WH1000XM3. It’s also got Alexa onboard, touch controls and a loooong battery life. Sony also brings quick attention mode, which lets you turn down your music by cupping the right ear cup. It’s got smart listening, constantly adjusting the ambient sound to your activity level, so you always get the best noise canceling. And about that noise-canceling – it’s now the best in the industry.
Broski noise-canceling headphones
Want active noise canceling and Bluetooth, but don’t want to have to eat ramen for the next month? Check out these Broski cans, which are currently crowdfunding. Our founder’s been using a pair this week and he’s immensely impressed with the noise canceling and the overall sound. And he’s not easily impressed. Seriously.
If you want to grab these insanely good, insanely cheap, noise-canceling headphones, you’ll have to head on over to Indiegogo, where you can grab an early set for $149. Orrrr… you could enter our giveaway and get a chance to get your own set for free.
RHA T20 Wireless In-Ear Monitors
Need a set of earbuds that can do dual duty, both in wired mode and via Bluetooth? Check out the latest hotness from RHA, the $200 T20 Wireless. It’s the beloved T20’s, with their wires cut off. Well, not quite cut, there’s MCCX connectors so you can change between wires and the Bluetooth neckband.
You’ll get 12 hours of playtime when listening wirelessly, and you’ll want to use all of that time – trust me. Oh, and you can tune the sound signature between balanced, bassy, or treble.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4
Listen up, your ears deserve to be draped in luxurious things as you listen to sweet, sweet music. Bang & Olufsen has always known this, and the latest iteration of the popular Beosound H4 is no exception. Lambskin over memory foam cushions your ears, while the stainless steel sliders mean these will stand up to the rigors of daily use while you try to run down the 19 hours of battery life. They’re $300 but then again, your ears are worth it.
FiiO BTR3 HiFi Bluetooth Receiver & USB DAC
Okay, bear with me here. This isn’t strictly a set of wireless headphones, but it’ll turn almost any wired set into a portable one. Got a favorite pair of cans you can’t bear to part with? The $70 BTR3 from FiiO turns them into wireless ones, with 11 hours of continuous playback. You can also use it as a passthrough DAC, while it recharges.
It also has the honor of being the first Bluetooth amp that supports all of the wireless sound formats: AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX LL, aptX HD, LDAC, and LHDC (HWA). One-touch NFC pairing rounds out the full package. Just because your smartphone stopped using the 3.5mm jack, doesn’t mean you have to.
Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus and MW07 GO True Wireless Earphones
The MW07 Go ($199) and MW07 Plus ($299) are upgrades to the company’s existing MW07s, bringing better battery life and range to the already great sound of all M&W headphones. Both sets come in a range of colors, and have a crazy 10 hour playback time, with another three recharges in the case.
Bluetooth 5 gives you a stable connection at range, and dual beamforming mics for clear comms. The MW07 Plus brings Active Noise Canceling to the party, with the MW07 Go bringing IPX6 water resistance and lighter weight, perfect for the gym.
Krankz Maxx Wireless Active Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones
For $200, the Krankz Maxx build on the brand’s reputation for studio-quality sound – now with Bluetooth. Large 50mm drivers bring clear, crisp sound, and the over-ears come with 40-hour battery life. They’ve got Active Noise Cancelation, a microphone for voice calls, and some pretty comfortable earcups. They’re also vented, for a wider soundstage and work with your voice assistant of choice.
Skullcandy Crusher ANC Personalized Noise Canceling Wireless Headphone
Skullcandy might be late to the Active Noise Canceling party, but what a heck of an entrance. The $300 Crusher ANC comes with tweakable “sensory bass” that gives you a deeper sound than normal headphones. Want to rattle your eyeballs? You can do that. Want a subtle kick on those drums? You can do that too. Heck, it’s your party.
Oh, and they’ve got a Tile tracker built in so you can find your cans if misplaced. But you won’t need it, cause you won’t want to take these off.
HyperX Cloud Mix
Need a headset that can game home and away? The $200 HyperX Cloud Mix lets you play like a pro, either wired or via Bluetooth, with up to 20 hours of battery life. The dual-chamber drivers give clear separation with less distortion, all wrapped in HyperX’s comfortable earcups.
Oh, there’s both an inbuilt mic and a detachable boom mic, for clear comms with your teammates, or just for screaming at the teenager that fragged you, again. It’s also Hi-Res Audio certified, to add a different type of comfort to the mix.
Skullcandy Indy True Wireless earbuds
Like AirPods but don’t like the glossy white? Grab the $70 Skullcandy Indy, a comfortable set of true wireless earbuds that come with IP55 water and dust resistance, and a 4 hour listening time before needing a recharge.
We gave these an 8.4 overall when we reviewed the Indy earlier this year, for the solid wireless connection and an impressive amount of bass from a set of earbuds. The best part? They won’t break the bank.
Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro wireless earbuds
The $150 Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 earbuds pack a lot of tech into a small space. You get two drivers, a balanced Knowles armature and an 11mm dynamic driver. You get 8 hours of playtime and another 3 charges from the case. Which, by the way, you can recharge via USB-C or a Qi-compatible wireless charger. Oh, and they analyze your hearing profile and tweaks their sound accordingly.
Matt gave them a 9.5 out of 10 recently, which either means that the Soundcore Liberty 2 earbuds are really that good, or that he’s more liberal with scoring that I am. I’m betting on the former.
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