Skip to main content

The best wireless headphones 2019: our pick of the best ways to cut the cord

The best true wireless headphones

RHA TrueConnect True Wireless Earbuds

Image credit: RHA

1. RHA TrueConnect True Wireless Earbuds

The reigning king of true wireless

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 13g | Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz | Drivers: 6mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 5 hours | Battery life (charging case): 20 hours | Wireless range: 10m | NFC: No

Balanced, detailed sound
Excellent build quality
Reliable connection
Fingerprint magnet
Mushy buttons

Although the TrueConnect is RHAs first true wireless headphone, the company showed they did their research and development by making it one of the best true wireless headphones on the market today. The combination of sound quality, battery life, and wireless reliability means these are a pair of headphones you can rely on everyday. 

The Jabra Elite 65t set the standard for what true wireless headphones should be and, regardless of what RHA has done here with the TrueConnect, they’re still great headphones. Compared to the RHA TrueConnect, the Jabra has more features with its useful ambient noise mode to help with situational awareness and an app that lets you tailor sound. 

The RHA doesn’t have either of those features but we didn’t miss them, thanks to better sound quality and wireless reliability. The RHA also feels more like a premium product than the all-plastic Jabra. 

All said, if you’re shopping for a pair of true wireless headphones, the $170 (£150, about AU$265) RHA TrueConnect should be at the very top of your list.  

[Looking for a more stylish design? It comes at a price, but the Earin M-2 true wireless earbuds look as good as they sound.]

Read the full review: RHA TrueConnect

best wireless headphones

Image credit: Jabra

2. Jabra Elite 65t True Wireless Earbuds

A near-perfect pair of true wireless earphones

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: .71 pounds | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 22 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | NFC: No

Mature, understated design
Pleasure to use
Excellent battery life
Balanced sound quality
Limited water resistance

You might have expected to see the Apple AirPods on the list. While Apple's true wireless earbuds are fine for certain folks - cough, iPhone users exclusively - they're not the best for everyone. If you're looking for an egalitarian pair of true wireless earbuds, you can do no better than the Jabra Elite 65t. 

Not only are these competent Bluetooth buds for use around town, with a long-enough battery life and good sound quality, but they are easily some of the best true wireless earbuds on the market, offering a perfect balance of usability, features, and sound quality. If you’re in the market for the ‘ultimate’ set of true wireless headphones and don’t mind paying for them, then they are a strong choice.    

Read the full review: Jabra Elite 65t True Wireless

best wireless headphones

Image credit: Optoma

3. Optoma NuForce BE Free5

Great entry-level truly wireless earbuds with a few connection issues

Acoustic Design: Closed Dynamic | Weight: N/A | Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20,000 Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver Type: Dome | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery Life: 13 hours | Wireless Range: 10m (30 ft.) | NFC: Yes

Polished design
Comfortable
Good sound and isolation
Connection dropouts
Mushy buttons

The NuForce BE Free5 wireless earbuds show just how accessible truly wireless headphones can be nowadays. For around $100 (about £75, AU$134) they feature a more polished design than the more expensive BE Free8, and even sound better to boot. However, we found the left earbud would drop out briefly more than we’d like, and we hope NuForce can address this issue.   

The connection dropouts combined with the frustrating controls keep it from claiming the top spot on our list, but the BE Free5 offer undeniable value in the truly wireless headphone market,, making them a great option for your first pair. 

Read the full review: Optoma NuForce BE Free5

best wireless headphones

Image credit: TechRadar

4. Apple AirPods (2019)

The iconic buds get an upgrade

Acoustic design: Open-back | Weight: 4g (38g with case) | Driver type: Dynamic **Battery life (on-board):** 5 hours | Battery life (charging case): 20 hours | Wireless range: 10m | NFC: No

Faster pairing
Wireless charging
Hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ functionality
Wireless charging case costs extra
Audio hasn't improved
Identical design to the originals

The second generation Apple AirPods, the AirPods (2019), aren't quite the AirPods 2 we were hoping for, but they still some cool features. 

They still feature the iconic design of the original AirPods (a good or bad thing depending on your point of view), and sound quality hasn't changed at all. The bulk of the upgrade comes from the new H1 headphone chip, which improves connectivity and battery life, and allows for a new ‘Hey Siri’ voice activation feature.

The AirPods (2019) also come with an optional wireless charging case means you can use a Qi-compatible charging mat to power the case, rather than sticking a cable into the Lightning charging port in the bottom of the case. 

Like their predecessors, they are super easy to pair, but they are very much optimized for using with iPhones – and they aren't exactly cheap. 

best wireless headphones

Image credit: TechRadar

5. Apple AirPods

The originals

Acoustic design: Open-back | Weight: 4g (38g with case) | Driver type: Dynamic **Battery life (on-board):** 5 hours | Battery life (charging case): 20 hours | Wireless range: 10m | NFC: No

Battery life is exceptional
Pairing is quick and easy
Controversial looks 
Sound has been bettered by competition 

Apple AirPods undeniably popularized the true-wireless format. They work seamlessly with an iPhone, sound good in terms of their form factor, and have excellent connectivity and battery life.

Even though they are around three years old, the original AirPods still hold their own in the true wireless earbud arena, and the upgraded AirPods (2019) aren't actually very different. 

Apple has now stopped selling the AirPods, but many stores are still trying to sell off their remaining stock – head to our round up of the best Apple AirPods prices, sales, and deals for up to date information on any discounts. 

best wireless headphones

Image credit: TechRadar

6. TicPods Free

Like the Apple AirPods, but for every phone

Acoustic Design: Closed Dynamic | Weight: N/A | Frequency Response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver Type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery Life: 18 hours | Wireless Range: N/A | NFC: No

Works with Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant
Comfortable
Audio can clarity
Long stems

From the minds behind the Ticwatch Pro, Ticwatch S and Tichome Mini , the TicPods Free have been cited as a more flexible alternative to the AirPods, coming in a range of colors, and enabled for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, as well as Siri.

When we tested them, we thought the audio quality was impressive, and although guitars sometimes sounded a little distorted, it’s a small price to pay for the amount of sonic power you get with these in-ears. 

These in-ears are unlikely to appeal to true audiophiles but if you’re a casual listener, the TicPods Free will do just fine, and for a great price.

Read the full review: TicPods Free review

best wireless headphones

Image credit: Sony

7. Sony WF-SP700N Noise-Cancelling Earbuds

Best for those on a budget

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 4.5 hours | Battery life (charging case): 13.5 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: No

Comfortable fit
Sweat-resistant
Clarity could be better
Poor noise-cancellation

Sony’s first pair of true wireless headphones, the Sony WF-1000X, were divisive -some users thought they didn’t offer enough bass, while others said they had too much. Some said they cut out or unpaired periodically. Others simply never had that problem. 

Criticisms came from all corners of the internet and the only reasonable conclusion one could make after sifting through all of the noise was that Sony’s headphones just couldn’t please everyone.

Now, Sony’s second-generation true-wireless headphones – the Sony WF-SP700N – are here to try it again. These true wireless headphones are better tuned for the low-end and they’re stable in almost every situation. They still offer very modest active noise-cancellation tech and a sweat-resistant PX4 rating, and the new charging case is aesthetically pleasing if not radically different in functionality from before. 

Read the full review: Sony WF-SP700N

best wireless headphones

Image credit: TechRadar

8. B&O Beoplay E8 Wireless Earphones

Very pricey - but they sound wonderful

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 13g (combined) | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz | Drivers: 5.7mm | Driver type: Electro-dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 4 hours | Battery life (charging case): 8 hours | Wireless range: 100ft | NFC: Yes

Good audio quality 
Exceptional design 
Easy to setup 
Can feel a bit snug 

Let’s get one thing out of the way – the B&O Beoplay E8 are one of the nicest-looking and most expensive wireless earphones you can buy. 

At $299 (£259, AU$449, AED 1,199) you can throw in a bit more cash and splurge for one of our favorite noise-cancelling headphones, the Bose QuietComfort 35 $349 (£259, AU$499, AED 1,449), which give you better battery life and a richer sound. But if you’re looking for a something to take to the gym and have the cash burning a hole in your pocker, then the Beoplay E8 might be just what you’re looking for.   

While they don't feature noise-cancellation, you will find a longer-lasting battery life of around four hours alongside Bluetooth 4.2. The E8 come with a stylish carrying case, and you can tweak the sound to your liking using the accompanying Beoplay app on Android and iOS.

Even without tinkering around with ToneTouch, the E8 sounds crisp and clear. Bass feedback will depend on how snug you’re wearing the E8s, but was acceptable for earphones of this size. If you’re able to look past the price point, then then Beoplay E8 is a great investment. It’s super compact, offers great audio, and looks great – what more could you ask for?  

Read the full review: B&O Beoplay E8 Wireless Earphones

Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 true wireless earbuds

Image Credit: TechRadar

(Image credit: TechRadar)

9. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

Mind-blowing sound without the wires

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 9.2g | Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz | Drivers: 5.8mm | Driver type: Dome Type | Sensitivity: 9.8dB | Impedance: N/A | Battery life (on-board): 9 hours | Battery life (charging case): 36 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: Yes

Outstanding audio quality
Good value for money
Comfortable design
Control buttons can be annoying 
No noise cancellation

Cambridge Audio is well-known for its good quality audio equipment. However, untul recently the company hasn’t ventured into the world of true wireless earbuds. 

Enter the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s: with an outstanding 45 hours of battery life, these buds combine the brand’s award-winning engineering with the convenience of truly wireless listening. 

For a pair of true wireless earbuds, the sound quality offered by the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s is sensational. In fact, it rivals some of the best over-ear headphones, which is all but unheard of for buds of this size. 

They may not have the noise cancellation technology offered by the Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds, but they are $100 (around £80) cheaper – and have a superior battery life. 

They certainly outperform the Apple AirPods, in all respects apart from the lack of wireless charging case. This is a small price to pay for that exceptional audio quality, though, and we think they represent much better value for money, too.

Read the full review: Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

Additional resources: