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In this guide, we’re exploring the 10 best wireless headphones currently on the market from some of the world’s biggest brands.
The world of wireless headphones has changed hugely in recent years as features like noise cancellation and Bluetooth headphones have become all the rage. No more cables, and less annoying background noise. To keep up-to-date with the industry trends, we’ve made a short buying guide before diving into in-depth reviews of the top models out there today.
What to Consider When Buying Wireless Headphones
Let’s dive into the top considerations when buying wireless earbuds and headphones, and the main features considered for each of our reviews. Make sure you understand the relevance of each of the features.
This refers to the design and whether they are in-ear, on-ear, or over-ear headphones.
In-ear headphones, as you would expect, actually sit within the ear canal. Examples like Apple AirPods are in-ear headphones and follow the “truly wireless” design. On-ear models sit on the ear but don’t go all the way around and form a ‘seal’ with the head. Over-ear headphones are popular for the noise canceling and sound isolation as they totally surround the ear. You need to consider what is the most appropriate type for you and the scenario in which you’ll be using your headphones.
Sound Quality and Drivers
The drivers producing the sound impact both the volume and the quality of the audio produced. The size and quality of the drivers is often closely tied to the price of the headphones as better, louder headphones tend to cost that bit extra. Sound quality is a priority for pretty much everyone buying a set of headphones.
Many headphones now offer special features to differentiate from the competition. These may include active noise canceling features, where microphones are used to detect external noise and then counter those frequencies to cancel out noise like the sound of an airplane.
Sweat and water resistance can also be useful for those who like to wear headphones outside, or are planning to do a lot of exercise wearing them.
Voice assistants are another relatively recent addition to our devices, and headphones may incorporate your Siri, Google, or Amazon Alexa voice assistant.
Microphone and Controls
Do the headphones include a microphone and do they have controls for things like voice assistants? You should opt for wireless headphones that are easy to control using gestures or tapping the side of the headphones. Voice control via a mic is always a useful function.
The battery life is a key consideration when buying wireless headphones. ANC (active or ‘adaptive’ noise canceling) may drain the battery of your headphones, so it is vital to consider how long you get. Each manufacturer performs battery life tests which are included in our reviews below.
Here are the best wireless headphones 2022:
- Sony WH-1000XM4
- Sennheiser HD 450BT Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Headphone
- Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
- Apple AirPods Pro
- Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
- JBL Tune 510BT
- Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Over Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphone
- Jabra Elite 45h
- Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones
- Apple AirPods Max
1. Sony WH-1000XM4
The ultimate blend of value and high-end quality
These headphones, made by electronics giant Sony, have an amazing level of noise-canceling functionality, making them an excellent choice for public transport and listening in noisy environments.
The form factor is over-ear, so they are able to isolate sound and provide a good level of clarity as they reduce outside noise. Combined with 40mm drivers, a strong frequency response gives them crystal clarity in the sound.
Touch controls mean that you can control all that you need to simply and easily and even activate a variety of different voice assistants. You can do all you need to without ever having to actually touch your device.
In terms of the battery, you get an impressive 30 hours from a fully-charged battery, but there is also a quick charge feature that gives you five hours of playback from a 10-minute charge.
When you make calls, the technology automatically reduces the volume to ensure a clear conversation. These headphones are designed for use with modern devices and suit modern lifestyles.
|Image credit: Sony Check Price on Amazon||
The multiple microphones are used for reducing the background noise, combined with Edge-AI music technology which “analyzes music in real-time and recognizes instruments, music genres and individual elements of each song to restore the high range.” This all adds up to excellent overall sound quality.
The headphones aren’t waterproof but they can withstand a little moisture. We wouldn’t recommend using them in a downpour which is a negative, but the quality is beyond question.
2. Sennheiser HD 450BT Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Headphone
Foldable Over-Ear Headphones
Sennheiser is one of the best brands when it comes to audio equipment including headphones and microphones, and the HD 450BT headphones have a reliable Bluetooth control and loads of modern features.
The manufacturers have made these as over-ear headphones which means they reliably block external sound, and the noise-canceling functions reliably, too, meaning that you can block out the sound of a plane or train, for example. This ANC functionality does drain the battery life a little quicker, but the impressive USB-C charging and 30-hour battery life mean you won’t be constantly having to put it back on charge.
The wireless connection is made via Bluetooth 5.0 and has a reliable low-latency codec so you don’t hear any audio delay, especially useful when it comes to watching something on TV or a device and using your headphones (a delay can cause an annoying lag). The 32mm dynamic driver isn’t as loud as some of the 40mm models on the list.
|Image credit:Sennheiser Check Price on Amazon||
These headphones have excellent support via an app, which gives Firmware updates regularly to keep the cans working at their very best. The app also gives you a lot of control such as EQ and even a podcast mode. As well as using via the app, you can also use these headphones to quickly and easily use your voice assistant.
The folding design is smart, and there is a carry case, great for putting in your luggage for a vacation.
Unfortunately, they don’t have a waterproof rating, so these cans only really work when it comes to withstanding a little moisture, not huge amounts of rain, for example.
3. Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
Best True Wireless Earbuds
Jabra doesn’t have the same historic brand presence as some of the audio giants on this list like Sony and Sennheiser, but their 75t wireless earbuds are a fantastic example of Bluetooth headphones that are small and portable, great for the gym and for the times when you don’t want bulky on-ear or over-ear headphones. These are in-ear, true wireless earphones.
The 75t earbuds come in a variety of different designs so you can choose which suits your look best. Not a big deal, but it is a bonus to have this choice.
The earbuds are good for an active life and are designed to fit neatly and snugly in your ear while giving plenty of comforts, and being IP57 waterproof. Using them out and about? They shouldn’t fall out while you are on a run or get damaged when it starts to rain.
|Image credit:Jabra Check Price on Amazon||
The snug fit also means that you can enjoy active noise cancellation too, and the earbuds are compatible with voice assistants including Alexa, Siri, and Google. There are four microphones so it is easy to trigger your voice assistant, get a reliable signal for the noise-canceling, and also for making crystal clear phone calls.
The controls are pretty simple (you can use tap controls on the side) but it takes a little while to get used to the gestures.
With the ANC feature on you get up to 24 hours of battery life, but you need to use the charging case to unlock all of this capacity. On top of this, there’s a Jabra Sound app that lets you tailor the EQ and sound profile to your own preference.
4. Apple AirPods Pro
Best True Wireless Earbuds
If you are the sort of person who loves your Apple devices and are looking for excellent compatibility, then the AirPods Pro could be ideal for you.
These are in-ear headphones but they block outside noise using active noise canceling functionality for an immersive feel. The silicone ear tips are relatively comfortable within the ears, but most importantly, they tend to stay put reliably rather than fall out while you are out on a run. You can also change your silicone tips if you want to create
To go along with Apple’s push toward spatial audio, the AirPods pro cleverly provides you with a 3D soundscape by tracking your head and giving the illusion of surround sound. On top of this, Apple’s headphones boast adaptive EQ, which can automatically ‘tune’ and adapt the sound of the audio to suit your ears and surroundings.
The battery life is pretty good, with 24 hours of total time with ANC turned on, but you need to use the MagSafe charging case in order to recharge when you are on the go.
|Image credit:Apple Check Price on Amazon||
As you might expect, the setup is much easier and more straightforward when you are using these with Apple devices, but they can also be used in conjunction with Android devices, and show up just like any other Bluetooth headphones. You won’t get the same level of features such as the adaptive EQ controls.
They are sweat-resistant so fine for use with exercise, but not totally waterproof, so be careful in torrents of rain.
As well as being able to easily control your device using Siri, you can use the force sensor to answer calls, control the volume, and more. In spite of the small 11mm drivers, the sound is pretty loud as they are worn in your ear.
5. Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
Excellent Value Headphones
A great deal of headphones with lite features are expensive. There’s no avoiding that, or is there?
The Soundcore by Anker headphones offer ANC technology at a really reasonable price, and they also have some pretty impressive features to match.
The design is over-ear and they have a soft set of leather ear cups, which also have foam padding. They sit tightly but not uncomfortably around your ear, and the light design means they don’t grip with too much pressure or discomfort.
The active noise cancellation uses two microphones to filter out ambient noise and works well against things like train noise or rain. In fact, the Q30 headphones have three different modes, with one designed for air travel, one for traffic and wind, and the other for the chatter of people talking.
The same mics are used to chat to your voice assistant, and you can use Siri and Google Assistant with these headphones.
Hefty 40mm drivers with a silk diaphragm produce plenty of volume, and while the crispness and clarity of the headphones aren’t quite up there with some of the other brands, it is plenty good enough for those who don’t consider themselves audiophiles. If you love bass, though, the headphones shouldn’t leave you disappointed.
|Image credit:Soundcore Check Price on Amazon||
The battery life is also one of the most impressive aspects of the headphones, in spite of being a cheaper model they have a 40 hour battery life when using the ANC features, you can get up to 60 hours if not using noise canceling. A five-minute quick charge can also give you hours of listening.
They don’t have a waterproof rating if you buy these, but they are suitable for use in lighter rain and for sweating away in the gym.
6. JBL Tune 510BT
ExcBest On-Ear Wireless Headphones
On-ear headphones haven’t been the focus for a lot of brands in recent years. There have been loads of in-ear true wireless earbuds and over-ear models released, but the JBL Tune 510BT proves there is still a strong argument for this type of headphone.
JBL has tackled one of the bigger issues with on-ear headphones, as with their smaller drivers they can struggle with bass. But JBL’s Pure Bass feature helps to create a clearer, louder bass frequency.
These headphones are lightweight and portable, but not as durable as some of the other models on the list.
In terms of convenience, the headphones can easily control features such as voice assistants, with a “multi-function” button to trigger Siri or Google.
|Image credit:JBL Check Price on Amazon||
The battery is a big plus point, as it has a 40 hour life and can be recharged as quickly as two hours. On a five-minute recharge you can also enjoy two hours of listening time, so if you’ve forgotten to charge before the gym, the JBL 510BTs have you covered.
It is really easy to dismiss on-ear wireless headphones as they don’t tend to have noise canceling and they may not give you the same quality isolation as some other options, but these have a fantastic bass response and are great for listening in low-noise scenarios.
7. Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Over-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphone
Audiophile Over-Ear Headphones
Bowers & Wilkins is a brand with an amazing reputation of creating excellent headphones with amazing quality, as well as some speakers and other audio equipment.
The “Legend” drivers are 43mm in size and generate a good level of power and exceptional clarity. They are tuned by the engineers that created the Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series speakers used in Abbey road studios in London.
PX7 has responsive reactions to your movements, so if you lift up an ear cup, the device will pause the audio. Perfect for chatting to those near you without having to change controls on your phone.
As you would expect from the elite-level cans on the market, these have a fantastic adaptive noise canceling technology, which is constantly listening and adapting to the background noise in the room, rather than just blocking out the noise of a train or airplane.
30 hours of listening time on a single charge, and six hours from a “15-minute quick charge” means you’ve got a brilliant battery at your disposal if you buy these headphones.
The PX7 is sturdy in its design, and uses carbon fiber, mimicking the arms and strength of F1 cars. These headphones can handle a bit of wear and tear.
|Image credit:Bowers & Wilkins Check Price on Amazon||
What they can’t really handle, though, is moisture. This is something you need to consider if you’re looking to wear them on-the-go. The manufacturer explains that “Bowers & Wilkins Wireless headphones are not waterproof and should not be exposed to rain or moisture”.
They’re audiophile headphones, so expect this to be reflected in the price. The manufacturers are clearly expecting them to be reserved for use indoor and not when running or exercising outside.
8. Jabra Elite 45h
Loud On-Ear Headphones with Incredible Battery
A lot of on-ear headphones struggle to reproduce the kind of volume that other designs of wireless headphones can, but the Jabra Elite’s strong 40mm drivers provide you with plenty of volume, great for those who like the feel of on-ear but struggle with the pitiful volumes some of the models offer.
These headphones are relatively affordable, and certainly not up there with the most expensive models on the list. They are particularly good for listening in spaces where you aren’t going to face much background noise as they don’t have noise cancellation.
The battery is definitely one of the best things about these headphones as they have an incredibly long battery life and also a fast charge feature that a lot of the competing models can’t keep up with. 50 hours of use is not beyond the realms of possibility, though this is aided by the fact that no battery life is used up on a noise canceling feature.
Like most options, you can easily use these headphones in conjunction with your phone to make calls, and with your voice assistant. Siri, Alexa, and Google can all be called up at the touch of a button for your voice instructions.
|Image credit:Jabra Check Price on Amazon||
The on-ear design means these are pretty small anyway, but they are further aided in portability by the fact they are so light and even have a foldable design, perfect for putting in your backpack for the day ahead. The comfort is pretty good too, as they have a memory foam padding while in use and the light design means they aren’t constantly putting pressure on your head.
Like a lot of other modern wireless headphones, you also have the option to personalize the sound by altering the EQ and tweaking the sound via the Jabra Sound+ application.
9. Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones
Loud On-Ear Headphones with Incredible Battery
Bose is one of the most recognizable and quality brands out there, known largely for the Quiet Mode feature they include on a lot of their different headphones, including the QuietComfort 45 over ear headphones. This means that if you’re on a plane or in a noisy environment and just want some peace and quiet, you can use these headphones to block out the external sound.
The audio is undeniably high-quality with TriPort architecture to give a full acoustic feel to the sound, with plenty of depth. You can also choose to use the volume-optimized EQ for a balanced mix along with an exceptional sound.
The active noise canceling mode uses multiple small microphones to cancel out the external noise and give a great level of clarity. Their noise canceling is among the best on the market.
At the price point, you’d expect some comfort from the cans, too. The nylon design with minimum clamping and a plush synthetic leather ear cup provides you with exactly that. Listen all day without ear fatigue.
You can get 24 hours of listening from one charge, which is pretty impressive, and the 15-minute quick-charge means you can get three hours of listening from a very speedy charge. There’s also an audio cable included so you can listen while plugged in, preserving the battery life.
|Image credit:Bose Check Price on Amazon||
You can use the speakers to control your voice assistant, and the included Bose Music app also allows you a guided setup to get started really easily. There are even more settings and Bluetooth connections from Bose Music.
The price is on the high end for a lot of music lovers, but if you want the Quiet Mode feature it may be worth the extra. Keep in mind the fact that these headphones aren’t designed for use in the rain.
10. Apple AirPods Max
Best Spatial Audio
Apple’s push to spatial audio continues with the AirPods Max. These over-ear headphones have a very sleek design as you would expect, and for those who want wireless functionality and the ability to listen in spatial audio, these AirPods could be a great choice.
The dynamic audio driver is made by Apple and does a great job of audio reproduction whether you are listening to lossless 3D audio or otherwise. The acoustic design combines with the new H1 chip to give an amazing spatial audio experience, amazing for movies as well as listening to the audio, and natively compatible with Apple Music.
The headphones use on-head detection to give brilliant spatial audio experiences.
|Image credit:Apple Check Price on Amazon||
If you’re an Apple fanatic these headphones could be ideal, as they allow you to share audio within two sets of AirPods, so your device can send audio to multiple sets of headphones. In terms of comfort, you can enjoy the knit-mesh canopy and memory foam for a great snug fit.
The battery life isn’t as high as some of the other options due to all of those extra features and functions. Using spatial audio and ANC you can get 20 hours from the headphones, but you can expect longer if you aren’t using these features.
How Do Wireless Headphones Work?
Wireless headphones usually work using Bluetooth. They connect to your devices, such as a phone, tablet, or even a television, and the wireless signal is sent quickly enough that you hear the sound almost instantly through your headphones.
Of course, there are extra considerations such as the connectivity range as you will need to make sure you are within a certain distance of the audio source.
The Difference Between In-Ear, On-Ear, and Over-Ear Headphones
The form factor has been described above, but you should consider where you are going to use your headphones and what noise will be nearby. In-ear headphones are those like the AirPods that sit inside the ear. They are great for exercise and they are very portable.
On-ear headphones sit on the ear but don’t fully surround the ear. They usually have a smaller, round design on each of the ear cups. They tend to be a poor choice when it comes to noise-canceling so they are best in an already quiet room where you won’t be interrupted. They can be pretty comfortable, though.
Over-ear headphones are those that completely cover both ears. They help with noise cancellation by forming a seal around the ears, but some models are big and bulky, or even uncomfortable. On top of that, you might not hear what is going on around you. For instance, if you’re a cyclist, you might choose to avoid drowning out all other sounds.
Each of the design types has its merits, so it is up to you to choose which is the most suitable for your needs.
Special Features Explained
There are a number of special features that you might get from your headphones, as the technology has improved and the industry has become so much more competitive. To provide an in-depth review of features, it is best to understand the following features:
- ANC. This is the “active noise-canceling” feature. The headphone uses microphones to detect outside sounds and adjust the audio to drown them out. This can use extra power and impact battery life, but it gives you a peaceful listening experience.
- Water resistance. If you are looking for a model you can use at the gym or in the rain, this is crucial. Headphones have an IPX rating that shows you how waterproof they are. The higher, the better.
- Voice assistants. Can the headphones be used with voice assistants like Siri and Alexa? Most include microphones that can allow you to speak to your device.
- Controls. Your headphones should be easy to control, even if you are on-the-go. Most give you an option to make changes that doesn’t involve having to press buttons on the device.
- Folding design. Some of the headphones on the market fold up to a smaller size, meaning they can have larger earcups but also remain portable, and easy to sling in a backpack.
As you can see from this list, there are headphones on the market to suit a variety of different pricing points, and in the three different designs (in-ear, on-ear, over-ear).
Be sure to do your research and consider which features you need, and which design you would prefer, before taking the plunge and buying a brilliant set of Bluetooth headphones.
1. Which headphones are the safest for ears?
All of the models on the list are safe for your ears. If you want something that can cope with long listening sessions, make sure you go for a comfortable model that doesn’t clamp around the ears too much which can cause discomfort. Don’t crank your headphones to their maximum volume all the time, as this can damage your hearing no matter which headphones you use.
2. Which headphone type is the best?
There isn’t one specific type of headphone that is always the best. In-ear headphones tend to be more convenient for walking and exercising, and over-ear headphones are usually best for blocking and isolating external noise. On ear options are good if you are listening in environments where it is not excessively noisy as they don’t tend to have ANC. However, it comes down to your own specific needs.
3. Which headphones are best for long use?
There are plenty of headphones that are suitable for long-term use, just make sure you have a comfy set of cans with plenty of battery life. The Bose QuietComfort 45 are very comfortable and suited to long listening sessions, but they are on the expensive side. If you don’t have the budget, the Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 can be a cheaper alternative.