Best Wireless (Bluetooth) Headphones: Welcome to TechRadar's guide to the best wireless and Bluetooth headphones you can buy in 2018.
The disappearing 3.5mm headphone is the reason these headphones have come to represent the epitome of convenience. Not to mention, the aspect of their portability.
Most people prefer wired headphones because they supposedly provide a better audio experience, when in fact, it's possible to get that same pristine quality with wireless headphones. The only feature that gets added is the convenience of being hands free and wire free.
You might've been hesitant to cut the cord before – everyone has heard horror stories of wireless headphones' poor battery lives or awful sound quality. But it's tough to ignore the utility of wire-free listening.
Forget having to run a wire down your top every time you want to listen to music on the go, or struggling with a cable to get your phone out of your pocket, wireless headphones are a convenience dream.
Headphones, no strings attached
So what makes wireless headphones so special? And how do you determine the best wireless headphones from a whole bunch of wannabes?
Easy. You try dozens of wireless headphones and stack them against one another, mono a mono. (Well, stereo a stereo in this case.)
While these headphones are great for anyone looking to go wireless, they're especially practical when you consider the growing amount of phones launching without headphone jacks. Looking to finally ditch the cord? Here are the top 10 wireless headphones, ordered by their price-to-performance ratio:
Be sure to check out our guide to the best headphones of 2018 if you want to browse some wired alternatives
1. Sony WH-1000XM2
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
The Sony WH-1000XM2 are an excellent revision to Sony's already great pair of wireless headphones. They sound great, wield innovative noise cancellation technology and cost just as much as a pair of Bose QC35s. They may have slightly shorter battery life than some other headphones on our list, but Sony’s WH-1000XM2 outclass them all in terms of performance and feature-set.
Not only do they provide awesome noise-cancellation, but they have three neat tricks that few other wireless headphones have. One is an ambient noise mode that only lets in mid-to-high frequency tones (announcements over a loudspeaker, for instance) and another being Quick Attention mode that allows you to let in all outside noise without taking off the headphones (the latter is perfect when placing a drink order on a plane or speaking to a coworker for a brief moment before diving back into your work).
The last trick Sony has up its sleeve is the LDAC codec. Alongside the widely adopted aptX HD standard, LDAC enables Hi-Res Audio playback using the 1000XM2.
Great-sounding and feature-packed, the Sony WH-1000XM2 is a great travel companion and all-around excellent wireless headphone.
Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM2
2. Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Industry leading noise-cancellation on a premium headset
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
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
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. 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
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
5. 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
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
6. 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/V@1kHz | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: 15 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: No
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
7. 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
7. Sony WH-H900N
Offers great sound and noise cancellation
Sony's second pair of headphones on this list could be called the champion of noise cancellation on a budget. The WH-H900N h.ear on Wireless NC is one of the best options in this range since it lasts forever between charges without compromising on sound quality and comfort.
Sony has topped up their headphones up with Hi-Res Audio which ensures more natural sound output and better bitrate than before.
9. Beats Studio 3 Wireless
Great wireless functionality let down by so-so sound
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
If you’re not too picky about audio, you’ll love the Beats Studio 3 Wireless. They look good, are comfortable and sound decent while releasing the pressure valve of city life with active noise cancellation.
Add great battery life and an Apple W1 chip and you have headphones that are very easy to get on with, particularly if you own an iPhone.
Read the full review: Beats Studio 3 Wireless
10. Bose QuietControl 30
Noise-cancelling neckbuds that are comfortable for the long haul
Acoustic design: N/A | Weight: N/A | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 8 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: No
When you think of noise-cancelling headphones you probably picture bulky over-ear cans like the Bose QuietComfort 35 or the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless, but three years ago Bose turned its noise-cancelling chops to in-ear headphones, and the result was the excellent Bose QuietComfort 20i.
Soon after that came the Bose QuietControl 30 (QC30, for short). These neckbuds offer the best noise cancellation of any in-ears we’ve tried and are comfortable enough to wear around your neck for long flights. Add to that the fantastic wireless capabilities of these headphones and you have the recipe for success.
While we'd love to see a true wireless pair of headphones from Bose, the QuietComfort 30 are a tried-and-true stopgap that you'll enjoy all the same.
Read the full review: Bose QuietControl 30
We're constantly reviewing new wireless headphones so do get in touch if there is a set that you'd like us to take a look at.a