Best Wireless (Bluetooth) Headphones: Welcome to TechRadar’s guide to the best wireless and Bluetooth headphones you can buy in 2019.
Years ago, we might’ve tried to dissuade you from buying a pair of wireless headphones. At the time, the technology had issues with wireless connectivity over Bluetooth and sound quality took a dive as a result. On top of all that, the batteries that were put into these headphones only lasted an hour or two, max.
Thankfully, we’ve left those days behind us and are now living in the golden age of wireless. Thanks to advancements in Bluetooth (thanks, aptX), the latest batch of wireless headphones not only stay connected in every situation, but they sound just as good as they’re wired counterparts to boot.
Sure, a wireless pair of headphones might cost a bit more than a similar wired model, but wireless headphones offer greater freedom of movement – making them perfect for a trip to the gym or a great companion for phones like the iPhone X and Pixel 2 that simply lack a 3.5mm aux port to connect with.
Whatever your reason for upgrading, we’re here to help you pick out the best wireless headphones, regardless of your budget. What you’ll find below are the top headphones we’ve reviewed with a mix of in-ear, over-ear and on-ear headphones, plus some with neat features like noise-cancellation – all vetted by our staff so you can shop with confidence.
Can’t decide which headphones to buy? Check out our guide video below:
The best over-ear wireless headphones
1. Sony WH-1000XM3
Wireless noise-cancelling headphones that sound better than Bose
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 275 grams | Frequency response: 4Hz – 40kHz | Drivers: 40mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 103dB | Impedance: 46 Ohms | Battery life: 20 hours | Wireless range: 30 feet | NFC: Yes
30-hour battery life
Hinges are fragile
For the last three years, the Sony 1000X series of headphones have been our favorite wireless headphones on the market. They sound great thanks to a combination of superb wireless codecs – aptX and Sony’s proprietary LDAC tech – and keep outside noise at bay thanks to Sony’s ever-improving noise-cancellation algorithms.
While the Sony WH-1000XM3 might not be a massive improvement over last year’s WH-1000XM2, they’re still a cut above their rivals, the Bose QC35 II, in nearly every way: they sound better, they block out noise better and have better features like Quick Attention mode that lets in all outside noise without taking off the headphones. (The latter is perfect when giving a drink order on a plane or speaking to a coworker for a brief moment before diving back into your work.)
Great-sounding and feature-packed, the Sony WH-1000XM3 are great travel companions and all-around excellent wireless headphones.
Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM3
2. Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Premium headphones that include industry-leading noise-cancellation
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.68 pounds | Cable length: 3.94 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 20+ hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: Yes
Broad and clear soundstage
Amazing noise cancellation
Active EQ an acquired taste
Bose took the already-excellent QC35 and updated with Google Assistant. The headphone is identical in every way save for the new Google Assistant button. This means you still get the class-leading noise cancellation Bose is known for, good sound quality, and incredible comfort. Said simply, they sound great and their battery life is long enough for all but the longest of flights.
If you’re looking to save some money, however, consider the original Bose QuietComfort 35. They can also be found for far cheaper these days, and if you’re not fussed about having Google Assistant built into your headphones then you can save yourself some money while you save up for QC35 II.
Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
3. Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless
The best-sounding wireless headphones you can buy
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 380g | Cable length: 1.2 m, detachable | Frequency response: 5 – 40,000 Hz | Drivers: 50mm | Driver type: Dynamic, Tesla | Sensitivity: 100dB At 1KHz | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: 30 hours | Wireless range: 10 meters (30+ feet) | NFC: N/A
Excellent build quality and comfort
Detailed, dynamic, spacious sound
Sounds just as good wired
Not ideal for travel
The Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless are the best-sounding wireless headphones you can buy, period. Sound is spacious, detailed, and makes you want to rediscover your music library. Their bulky design and average noise isolation make them terrible for travel but if you’re looking for the best sound from a wireless headphone, this is it.
Read the full review: Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless
4. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
Technically brilliant on nearly every level
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 310g | Cable length: 1.2 m, detachable | Frequency response: 15 – 28,000 Hz | Drivers: 45mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 99dB At 1KHz | Impedance: 38 ohms | Battery life: 40 hours | Wireless range: 10 meters (30+ feet) | NFC: N/A
Great sound quality
Audio-Technica has a long history of producing high-quality headphones, microphones, and turntable accessories, and with the release of the ATH-M50xBT, it delivers studio-quality audio without the cord.
The ATH-M50xBTs are designed for really high-end audio performance, with 45mm drivers and a frequency response range of 15-28,00 Hz, and it shows – we were very impressed with the warm, well-rounded sound.
The ATH-M50xBT headphones also performed well in terms of battery life and Bluetooth connectivity, however the microphone isn’t particularly strong, and you may struggle to make phone calls using them – still, that’s probably not the reason you would purchase a pair of studio grade headphones in the first place.
Read our full review: Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
5. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
Incredible audio fidelity backed by a serious price
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: 4.6 feet | Frequency response: 16-22,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: 28 ohms | Battery life: 25+ hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | NFC: Yes
Everlasting battery life
Noise-cancelling for good measure
Although they’re a much better looking, and sounding, pair of headphones, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (not to be confused with the smaller, cheaper, Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear Wireless) are kept off the top spot of the list by their premium price point, which puts them out of reach of all but the most committed of music lovers.
But for those that can afford them, these are a no-holds-barred wireless headphones are oozing with positive qualities. They’re comfortable, hard-working set of headphones that will likely last for years.
Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
6. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
These wireless noise-cancelling headphones are a traveler’s best friend
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.64 lbs (289g) | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: 40mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 24 hours | Wireless range: 100 meters (330 feet) | NFC: No
Incredible 24 hour battery life
Noise-canceling at a great price
Bass overwhelming at times
Styling not for everyone
If you’re a frequent traveler you’re probably all too familiar with headphones that can’t hold a charge and can’t block out sound, let alone sound very good. Let us introduce you to the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2, one of the few headphones on the market that can do all of the above and cost less than half as much as one of the bigger names like Beats, Bose and Sony.
They also include a neat little feature that allows them to automatically turn off when you’re not wearing them, meaning you’re able to easily maximise their battery life without much effort.
If we had to boil it down to its core, the BackBeat Pro 2 offers an excellent travel headphone with incredible battery life, supreme comfort, the ability to pair two device as once and, most importantly, good sound quality for the cost.
Read the full review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
7. AKG N60NC Wireless
Wireless noise-cancellation from the mid-range master
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 199.4g | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 10-22,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: 111dB SPL/[email protected] | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: 15 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: No
Not the most comfortable
Initially confusing controls
The AKG N60NC Wireless sound like a pair of headphones that should be much more expensive than they are.
At their mid-range price point the headphones offer fantastic value for money, with great sound quality and a level of noise-cancellation performance that’s on a level with the much more premium entries on this list.
Our biggest issue with these headphones is the fact that they’re on-ear rather than over-ear, meaning that we found that they got uncomfortable over longer periods.
Regardless, the benefit of this is that this is a fantastically compact pair of headphones, and if you’re willing to make the trade-off then these are great for the price.
Read the full review: AKG N60NC Wireless
8. Jabra Move Wireless
Sporty wireless headphones that will completely surprise you
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 150 grams (5.59 oz) | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 20-20kHz | Drivers: 40mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: 29 Ohm | Battery life: 8 hours | Wireless range: 10m (33ft.) | NFC: N/A
If you want a pair of wireless headphones without breaking the bank, and you don’t fancy the in ear Optoma’s above, your next best bet is the Jabra Move Wireless.
These headphones may look like a budget buy, but don’t let that fool you: this set of on ear Bluetooth headphones is nothing but an all-around stellar product. From the fun and edgy design to excellent performance, these cans come recommended for anyone interested in wireless on the cheap.
Read the full review: Jabra Move Wireless
Microsoft Surface headphones
Warm sound and great noise cancellation
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.64Ibs | Cable length: 3.94 ft | Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz | Drivers: 40mm Free Edge Driver | Driver type: Free Edge | Sensitivity: 115 dB | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 15 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: Yes
Brilliant sound quality
Effective noise cancellation
Design won’t appeal to all
Sound may be too warm for some
Overall, Microsoft’s Surface headphones are surprisingly good, with a stunningly warm sound, and generous bass frequencies, which means your music will sound great whether you’re listening to subby hip-hop or acoustic singer-songwriters.
One criticism of this warm sound is that it can take some of the attack away from lower-mid frequencies, which some users may find a bit underwhelming. However, if sharp trebles and mids tend to give you listening fatigue, these could be the perfect headphones for you.
The calling card of these headphones is the active noise cancellation, which we felt worked really well, and we loved how easy it was to control this using the inbuilt dials on each housing.
Although we were initially unconvinced by the high price (particularly when you can buy quality cans from heritage audio brands for less), the features work so seamlessly that it feels justified.