If you’ve ever traveled on an airplane, chances are you know how cramped and uncomfortable sitting in the seats are. They’re small, don’t provide enough legroom, and the strangers next to you often take up more space than they need.
Even worse is when you must listen to everyone on the plane. Rather than just taking the time to relax and rest, some people are obnoxiously loud and are happy to let you hear them.
How do you fix this, or any other scenario like it? Most of the time, you plug in some music, and if you’re starting up any type of electronic device, chances are you’re using Bluetooth headphones to do so.
Why Bluetooth headphones though?
If you’ve never experienced what a true wireless pair of Bluetooth headphones feel like when out-and-about, you haven’t had the chance to live free. Instead of your standard wired headphones that can become cumbersome and awkward, Bluetooth devices allow you freedom from wires, making them easier to pack and turn on since there’s nothing to plug in. It’s a quick and painless task to turn on your headphones every time you want to use them, and once you’ve owned wire-free headphones it’s hard to go back to wired.
So, it’s time to sit back, relax, and look at the best Bluetooth headphones out there.
Choosing the Best Bluetooth Headphones
How do you pick the best wireless headphones?
What seems like a daunting task can be narrowed down into four main categories: sound quality, battery life, features, and comfort. That’s it – that’s all we need to determine if a pair of Bluetooth headphones should be on this list or not. Price can be a factor, but isn’t always a good indicator.
Let’s start with sound quality. This category is crucial to any headphone, not just Bluetooth ones, and will determine just how successful a model or line is. Transmitting sound is the primary reason of having headphones, aside from drowning out unwanted noise, and if the quality isn’t good, you’re bound to notice. Sound quality can change your perception of music or the movies you watch, so the better it is, the better the experience you get from the sound is.
Next up you have battery life and comfort. These are two practical categories, ones that you should be concerned about. Sure, your snazzy new Bluetooth headphones may sound spectacular, but if the battery cuts out in two hours you won’t be happy. On the other hand is comfort, one category that, again, can decide if certain headphones are right for you. The perfect pair will be just as comfortable after 10 hours of listening as it was after only two hours of use.
Lastly, you have features. This one isn’t as important as the other three on a standard basis, but it’s more leveled towards the individual. Do you want noise canceling built-in? How do water or sweat-proof earphones sound? Is the ability to plug in the headphones once the battery dies important to you? There are plenty of ways companies make a pair of Bluetooth headphones more enticing. This is a more subjective area, but still needs to be considered when ranking the best of the best.
Once you add these all together, you have the recipe for a pair of great wireless headphones.
- Pure adaptive noise canceling (pure ANC) actively blocks external noise
- Real-time Audio calibration preserves a Premium listening experience
- Up to 22 hours of battery life enables full-featured all-day wireless playback
The company that aided in bringing over-the-ear headphones back into style knows how to make good headphones, even if you don’t believe it.
Their newest release, the Studio3 Wireless, proves little in terms of radical design changes, but does improve on their solid design of years past. Coming in six snazzy-looking colors, everyone will know what headphones you’re rocking with these Beats. This proves to be an interesting design, and some may not like it, while others find it great.
Overall the battery is very good, lasting 22 hours on with active noise canceling enabled. Speaking of noise canceling, the feature actively monitors your environment to calibrate the noise around you, leading to better effectiveness. It works great and is a nice touch. If you do need to recharge in a pinch, the fast-charge technology gives you three hours of juice in just 10 minutes of cord time. Sound quality is great, with natural, well-balanced audio delivered across all media.
The biggest gripe with these is the fact that they don’t fold completely flat for travel, and are inheritably big. Some might argue you’re paying more for the “B” on the side of the earpad, but that’s more talk than anything.
The Studio3 Wireless is the perfect starting point for our list, and if you’re looking for superb noise-canceling technology, these Bluetooth headphones do it great.
- Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
- Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
- Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
Everyone has heard of Bose, whether you want to admit it or not.
Some argue Bose products are just fancy marketing and labeling rather than good, overall sound quality. We’re not here to talk about that, though, and the QuietComfort 35 provide a great experience into the Bluetooth market.
These feature-packed Bluetooth headphones top our list by providing excellent battery life and decent sound quality. The biggest draw for this Bose model though? Their comfort. The whole device is packed with extra-plushy foam to deliver a satisfying feeling every time you put them on.
On top of that, the battery life is rated for around 20 hours, making them a good choice for anyone who wants to go for three days on a single charge. They’re rechargeable via USB, making them a better option than the Series I which used AAA batteries. The sound quality is arguably this pair’s weakest link, but everything else helps to bring that rating up.
The QuietComfort 35 also use Bose’s excellent noise canceling technology, ensuring a smooth, pleasant experience when in use. These may be expensive headphones, but the quality is there.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with them.
- Professional Active Noise Cancelling Technology. Significant noise reduction for travel, work and anywhere in between. Advanced active noise reduction technology quells airplane cabin noise, city traffic or a busy office, makes you focus on what you want to hear,enjoy your music, movies and videos. The noise cancellation function can work well both in wire and wireless mode.
- Proprietary 40mm Large-aperture Drivers. Deep, accurate bass response. The Active Noise Cancelling around-ear headphones from COWIN give you crisp, powerful sound and quiet that helps you enjoy your music better. The goal that provide Customers with better sound quality, is our constant pursuit.
- High-quality Built-in Microphone and NFC Technology. COWIN E7 provides high-quality built-in microphone for hands-free calls, Which is convenient for you to free yourself from wires. NFC pairing aided by voice prompts, promises quick and stable connection with your Bluetooth enabled devices, Powerful Bluetooth Function.
Well, what if there was an option that was one-fifth of the price but sill offered good sound?
No, that’s not a typo. The Cowin E7 Active Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones are here to disrupt the market. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better budget pair than these. For the price, they deliver adequate sound control technology, solid comfort, good battery life, and look like a premium device.
The E7 makes it easy for you to switch between normal and noise-canceling modes, with a simple flick of the switch to do so. While listening in noise-canceling mode will affect the battery life, chances are you’ll still be able to go a few days on a single charge. These headphones carry a 30-hour battery life, making them a good choice for travelers.
The sound quality is pretty good overall, with some issues with lower tones and bass, but again, you must consider the overall budget when judging them. They’re among the easiest of products to use, and while Cowin doesn’t provide any cool features like Google Assistant they still belong with the best Bluetooth headphones.
- Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology in an ergonomically designed lightweight, comfortable and collapsible travel headset perfect for travel. Connectivity Technology: Wireless
- NoiseGard adaptive noise cancellation ensures superior sound quality in every environment. Impedance:Active 490 Ohm/ Passive 46 Ohm
- Intuitive user control and convenience thanks for voice prompts, touch controls, NFC pairing, smart pause and automatic on/off
Finally, a quality-first brand. One of the recognizable names in headphone and audio products, Sennheiser has been in the business for years.
If you’re looking for a headphone that looks like a business-class device, the PXC 550 is for you. Weighing in at just eight ounces, they feel light and well-built. Instead of the traditional power button to turn on the headphones, you twist the right ear up from a flat position. This lends itself to the other controls as well: swiping up or down will adjust the volume, while swiping left or right will change the current track.
The overall sound quality is great for the higher pitches on music, such as mids or trebles, but falls slightly short with bass. Granted, it’s hard to get a mighty punch from headphones. Music and movies all feel natural, which is a hard feat to accomplish with limited space in a small device. Thankfully, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite music longer as the PXC 550 will last for 30 hours.
These are, of course, noise canceling and deliver a positive experience with that portion too. One of the best parts, though, is how they can be stored. Simply fold the Bluetooth headphones up into a ball, and place them in their case. Boom, you’re done.
That said, if you’re looking for great German-made headphones, these are for you.
- Premium wireless, over-ear headphones with Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound.Connectivity Technology: Wireless
- Designed with clean lines, minimalist expression and a focus on the pure essentials
- Up to 19 hours of battery life with Bluetooth
Another recognizable name when it comes to the audio scene, these Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 wireless headphones deliver some of the best sound on the entire list.
To drive sound home, headphones need big, bass-driving power, and these B&O Bluetooth headphones feature 40mm drivers. All the clear, natural sound is delivered in a great looking, and feeling, package. Made from premium materials such as leather, aluminum, and steel, these headphones are sure to last you. The ear foam is crafted from memory foam, lending another subtle design detail into the equation.
Even though this pair of audio equipment doesn’t feature noise-cancellation, the whole design lends itself to block out noise very well. You’ll find a solid 20 hours of listening time from a single charge, which is ample for most applications.
Really, these Bluetooth headphones by Bang & Olufsen look and sound incredible, so if you’re looking for nice sound and modern looks give these a listen.
- DIGITAL NOISE CANCELING: Industry leading ANC lends a personalized, virtually soundproof experience
- VOICE ASSISTANT: Alexa enabled for voice access to music, information and more. Activate with a simple touch
- QUICK ATTENTION MODE: Cover the right ear cup to turn down your music for instant, easy conversation
The best headphones on our list, the Sony-WH1000XM2 will provide you with the nicest sound quality, superior comfort, and the longest battery life – plus, the best noise canceling you’ll find.
A fully-packed Bluetooth headphone, the WH1000XM2 gives you the one thing you’d want most in an audio device: spectacular sound. It has a slight warm tint to the natural, detailed tones of music, along with punchy bass when needed. Everyone’s ears are different, but this is truly a great-sounding headphone.
One charge will last you 30 hours of noise canceling, and 40 with the technology turned off. There’s no real benefit to turning the cancellation software off, though, as it’s one of the strong points here. Add in the touch controls on the right side of the earmuff and you’ve got a winner here.
Arguably the neatest feature around, though, is the ability to muffle your tunes and hear the sound around you by holding your hand over the right side of the earcup. Sometimes you forget how inconvenient it can be to talk to someone when you’re deep in sound. This makes it easier. These are the best noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones you can buy.
There are Lots of Choices in the World of Bluetooth Headphones
Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling (Pure ANC) actively blocks external noise, Real-time audio calibration, Apple W1 chip for Class 1 Wireless Bluetooth®, Fast Fuel, Stereo Bluetooth®, RemoteTalk
Up to 22 hours
9.17 oz / 260 g
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants, Alcantara® cushion, Bose Connect App, Acousting Noise Cancelling, Volume-Optimized EQ, Voice Prompts
Up to 20 hours
Active Noise Cancelling, Fast Fuel, 40mm Ear Cup Aperture Drivers, Fast Connect, Adjustable Headband
Up to 30 hours
Touch Sensitive Trackpad, Built-in Limiter, CapTune Support, Fold Control, NoiseGard, NFC Pairing, Smart Pause
Up to 30 hours
Wireless Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound, Bluetooth Technology, Generous battery life, Premium Durable Materials
Up to 19 hours
Digital Noise Canceling, Persona Noise Canceling Optimizing, Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing, Bluetooth and NFC, Smart Listening by Adaptive Sound Control, DSEE HX™, S-Master HX ™ and LDAC
Up to 4 hours
You might already feel overwhelmed when choosing a pair of wireless headphones, but rest assured the perfect pair for you is out there.
There are loads of brands out there, each delivering their own flavor into the mix. Whether you crave the ultimate in comfort, all-day battery life, or what the sleekest-looking headphones on the block, there is a device for you.
Our list isn’t extensive, remember, and focuses on a combination of features, comfort, sound quality, and battery life. There are other things to consider, such as price, when determining the best choice for you. Simply put, these are the best Bluetooth headphones out there right now, regardless of any price point.
This means you can take our list and mend it into something that suits your needs. All of the headphones here are good for what they are. If you’re in need of an earbud makeover, any one of them will give you something you’re currently lacking.
That all said, enjoy the music.