The best wireless headphones bring fantastic convenience and a swathe of smart features, in a comfortable design that doesn’t need to be wired to any device to play your favorite music, movies or podcasts.
For quite some time now, the best Bluetooth headphones have been winning in the popularity stakes thanks to their sheer convenience and ease of use. The best wired headphones might still have the edge on sound quality for audiophiles, but for the rest of us, it's wireless options that dominate our pick of the best headphones. Their quality and reliability is so good now, there are very few downsides.
We’ve spent hours reviewing every pair of wireless headphones in this list and our testing is done by experts with more years of experience in the game than we'd care to admit. We know how newer rivals stack up against the class-leaders – that's why the Sony WH-1000XM4 remain our top pick, despite being a few years old. (Spoiler alert: they're still top dog for value.)
We’re serious about music, which means we know what makes a fantastic pair of headphones and which features you need to listen out for, including app support and active noise cancellation. In this best wireless headphones guide, we're looking at (or listening to) headphones rather than earbuds – we've got a whole separate guide to the best wireless earbuds you can dive into.
Becky is a senior TechRadar writer (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team in early 2022, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems.
The quick list
Want to cut to the chase and find out which wireless headphones are the best? Below, you’ll find a roundup of our top choices. You can also jump to a more detailed review of every pick, along with our price comparison tool to help you find the best deals.
Best wireless headphones overall
Sony continues to reign with these older cans, which remain fantastic value for sound quality, features and noise cancellation thanks to price drops.
Best budget wireless headphones
These were already great value when we first reviewed them, but now that they often see discounts, the WH-CH520 are by far the best bargain buy for wireless on-ear cans.
Best premium wireless headphones
Packed with high-end features, smart control options and a class-leading, expansive sound, these are top choice for overall quality at a higher price.
Best for sound
Best wireless headphones for sound
Edifier's flagship wireless planar magnetic headphones are an audiophile dream. Not only do they sound amazing, but they have great wireless features too.
Best for design
Best wireless headphones for design
These deliver awesome detail and balance, and pretty good ANC along with other smart features. As do lots of other cans here, but the PX8 look and feel a cut above.
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Best mid-priced wireless headphones
Final's first wireless ANC offering is a slam dunk. While the noise cancellation isn't the best, it's a first-class listen for music, with great features for the price.
Best for Apple fans
Best Apple wireless headphones
These are fantastic-sounding headphones with excellent features unique to iPhone, including spatial audio. But they're extremely high-priced.
The best wireless headphones for 2023
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The best wireless headphones overall
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
This is not a mistake – even though the newer WH-1000XM5 now exist, we still rate the XM4 as a better buy for most people. The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones deliver excellent noise-cancellation and sound quality in a wireless design that we found extremely comfortable and lightweight throughout every step of our testing. The XM5 do all of this better, no question, but they also do it for a lot more money, and we think the XM4 are the better balance right now.
The Sony XM4 are crammed with features, including impressive audio upscaling, and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format, which delivers spatial audio on stereo headphones, plus the LDAC codec that can send a bitrate of up to 990 kbps. However, they don't aptX or aptX HD, so your hi-res audio support mileage may vary.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 are our favorite wireless headphones because they deliver exactly what they promise. The standout features are exceptional noise cancellation, which we found worked incredibly well in all kinds of environments – even noisy commutes and planes – and we highly rate the cutting-edge codec support here too.
Usually you’re forced to pick between a pair of noise-cancelling headphones that do a good job of blocking outside noise, or ones that excel at audio playback. The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are great at both, meaning you don’t have to pick.
The only drawback we've found is they’re not ideal for working out. That's because they don’t stay put with lots of movement and there’s not IP rating here, which means they’re not water resistant enough for sweating or even mild rain showers.
Read our full Sony WH-1000XM4 review
The best budget wireless headphones
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you like the idea of Sony wireless headphones but don't need a high-priced, high-end set like the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones above, then the Sony WH-CH510 headphones are a much more affordable option packed with all the features most people will need.
The Sony WH-CH520 offer strong audio for the price that we found to be really well-balanced in our review, plus tons of battery life. At such a low price, they don't have the build quality or the dynamic audio of headphones costing five times as much, but they are an excellent pair of all-rounders for a very impressive price.
These are on-ear headphones rather than over-ears, and one result of that is that the soundstage isn't quite as immersive as with a pair of over-ears. You might also hear some ambient sounds too, but for those who work in an office or need to stay alert at home this could be a plus point rather than a criticism. Not everyone finds these as comfortable for long periods too.
Sony says you can get 50 hours of battery from a charge, and we found that to be realistic. Usefully, you can fast-charge from flat for 90 minutes of playback in just three minutes, which can be a lifesaver. Annoyingly, there's no 3.5mm audio jack for listening if you run out of charge, or to connect to a computer or plane system.
Read our full Sony WH-CH520 review
The best premium wireless headphones
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
These Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless headphones are incredibly impressive. In our review we called them excellent value for money and wrote: "The adaptive noise cancellation is strong, the feature set is as exhaustive as you'll find at the level, the design is minimalist but carefully considered, and the sound is supremely talented."
They're definitely one of the best pairs of wireless headphones you can buy today and one of the best pairs of headphones ever, full stop.
Although there are plenty of reasons why we enjoyed testing the Momentum 4 Wireless, it's the battery life that stands out as exceptional, especially compared to the competition. You'll get 60 whole hours, even with ANC on. For comparison, Sony's XM4 wireless headphones at the top of this list, as well as its newer XM5s, offer only half that at 30 hours.
But we also loved the crisp and detailed sound these headphones deliver – on calls, too – as well as the solid ANC. The simple design was a plus in our eyes, but it might be a little basic for those who like their tech to really make a statement. Otherwise, these headphones might not be cheap, but they're still fantastic all-rounders and great value for money .
Read our full Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless review
The best wireless headphones for sound
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
When it comes to sound, these Edifiers absolutely excel, thanks in no small part to their planar magnetic drivers, which offer more precise and dynamic sound than standard drivers. Truly, in a wireless design you'll struggle to better the sound for this money – planar is incredibly rare, and doubly so at this price. However, are you willing to forgo active noise cancellation to get this sound? It's not included, so that decision is up to you – but a quick glance at the star-rating above proves how we feel about these regardless.
And it's not just about the sound. As stamina claims go, 80 hours is impressively insatiable in almost any arena, but particularly concerning wireless headphones – and we actually gleaned just over 90 hours from these in practice.
These headphones are very easy to pair, very quick on the uptake where the app is concerned and easy to use, too. Multipoint? Completed it; you'll happily be chopping and changing betwixt phone and laptop all the livelong day.
But aside from lacking ANC, you're also not getting an ambient awareness mode here, no auto-off functionality, and the Edifier Connect app is fine, but that's as far as it goes. They're not the smartest on the block, but they sound so good.