Updated

Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones - Winter 2017
Reviews

Wireless Bluetooth headphones offer a cable-free listening experience and typically connect to your devices via Bluetooth. Below are our recommendations for the best Bluetooth headphones we have tested so far, both for over-ear and in-ear/earbuds.

Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones $300+

Usage Ratings
7.1Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
7.1Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.2Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
7.4Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
7.3Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
6.6Studio Recording
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What it is How effective the headphones are in a studio recording environment. Therefore sound quality should be good, and leakage should be minimal, to not add noise to the recording. They should also be durable for continuous and repeated studio use.

The PXC 550 have a versatile set of features that makes them great for most use cases. They're comfortable and isolate fairly well in loud environments. They have multiple sound profiles, to suit your listening preferences and a very customizable and in-depth app that gives you a surprising amount of control over the active features. However, they're a bit pricey and can be a bit confusing to use and pair at times.

See our review

Alternative

The QuietComfort 35 are well-built and exceptionally comfortable wireless headphones. They sound great, and the superb noise canceling significantly reduces the ambient noise of loud environments. They also provide a bit more isolation than the PXC 550. However, they leak quite a bit, so people may hear what you're playing, at higher volumes. 

See our review

Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones $150 to $300

Usage Ratings
7.2Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
7.1Critical Listening
Show Help
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.7Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
6.8Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
7.4Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
7.8Studio Recording
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What it is How effective the headphones are in a studio recording environment. Therefore sound quality should be good, and leakage should be minimal, to not add noise to the recording. They should also be durable for continuous and repeated studio use.

The Plantronics Backbeat Pro are a decent pair of wireless headphones, with one of the most easy-to-use and ergonomic control schemes we have tested so far. They sound good if a little bass-heavy. They also have one of the longest wireless ranges, and they support aptX and aptX(LL). However, they're a little bulky and cumbersome, and the ANC produces an audible, low rumble when turned on.

See our review

Alternative

The Samsung Level Over are well-designed and comfortable wireless headphones. They have a good customizable sound and don't leak much. But they're slightly bulky and heavy and add an extra layer of tinkering to get the best sound quality, which is not for everyone. They're also a bit more expensive than the Plantronics Backbeat Pro.

See our review

Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones $50 to $150

Usage Ratings
7.3Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
6.3Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.4Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
7.9Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
7.5Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
7.1Studio Recording
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What it is How effective the headphones are in a studio recording environment. Therefore sound quality should be good, and leakage should be minimal, to not add noise to the recording. They should also be durable for continuous and repeated studio use.

The Jaybird X2 are great sports headphones. They're  stable and wireless with a decent control scheme that's easy-to-use. They also and block a surprising amount of ambient noise and have an above-average audio reproduction. However, the in-ear fit is not comfortable for everyone. 

See our review

Alternative

The Samsung Level U Pro have a stable, lightweight design and good wireless range. They also deliver an above-average sound quality and more comfortable listening experience than typical in-ear models. However, the around-the-neck deign is not for everyone and the earbud audio cables feel a little cheap and susceptible to wear and tear.

See our review

Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones below $50 

Usage Ratings
6.9Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
6.0Critical Listening
Show Help
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.9Commute/Travel
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
7.6Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
7.2Office
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
7.0Studio Recording
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What it is How effective the headphones are in a studio recording environment. Therefore sound quality should be good, and leakage should be minimal, to not add noise to the recording. They should also be durable for continuous and repeated studio use.

The SoundPeats QY8 have an above-average audio reproduction. They're in-ear, wireless and stable enough to be used while doing sports. They also do well at isolating listeners, although they only block noise passively. They're a great option for the gym, and they're not too pricey but can be uncomfortable for some.

See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think is currently the best wireless headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

A few examples of wireless headphones that didn't make the cut:

  • Sennheiser Momentum 2.0.Wireless  The Wireless version of the momentum 2.0. Sturdy, durable design. Decent isolation but average sound quality. See our review
  • Beats Studio Wireless.  Stylish wireless design and good sound. A good alternative to the Samsung Level Over. See our review
  • Bose SoundLink On-Ear. Good sound and decent overall performance. However, they're slightly pricey for what they have to offer. See our review
  • JBL E50BT. Above-average sound and good wireless range. But they're uncomfortable at times and do not isolate well. See our review
  • B&W P5 Wireless. Great design and balanced sound. A bit pricey and the on-ear design is not always comfortable.See our review

If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for wireless headphones. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no perfect wireless headphone. Personal taste, preference and listening habits will matter more in your selection.

 

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Questions & Answers

4 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
0
Do you plan on reviewing the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC? I just purchased it and while the ergonomics are good, for the cost, I'm less than thrilled with it's noise canceling performance across the board. (e.g. Mic picks up other voices / rustling papers. Speaker ANC does not really do too much to deaden background noise) It would be good to see how you rate it compared to Bose QC35's etc. Maybe it's worth buying those instead.

Thank you for your suggestion, we will add the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC to the list. But, since we do not have them yet, we cannot make a direct comparison to the Bose QuietComfort 35. However, based on our test results we can confidently say that the QC35 provide one of the best noise isolation performances.

Unfortunately, unlike the QC25, the mic does pick up voices/rustling papers when making a call. This does not occur when the phone mic is not active, and shouldn't be a problem during regular listening sessions.

0
Kanoa wireless earbuds look very interesting. They're not yet GA but I'd be curious to see how they stack up to the competition. Thanks!
Thank you for your suggestion. The Kanoa Earbuds do seem quite interesting, as they are truly wireless and feature packed. We will add them to the list. However, it may take some time until we can test them, as we have a lot of headphones currently in our review queue.
0
Great reviews! I could really use your advice. I am looking for Bluetooth fitness headphones, but I have very small ears and most all in-ear options will fall out if I do not have a "hook" that goes around the top of my ear. I haven't seen any good options. Any ideas? Thank you!
The Powerbeats 2 have a stable ear-hook design, and their in-ear fit is a bit more comfortable than typical in-ear models. However, they don't have the best audio reproduction. Alternatively, you could get the Soundpeats Q9A, which are very similar to the Powerbeats but at a much lower price. These are the best, of the few, ear-hook designs that we've tested so far but you can always manually place the audio cables of better sounding headphones, behind your ears, to simulate an ear-hook fit. For more options, please check our Sports/Fitness recommendations.
0
Any chance you guys could review the Bohm B76 headphones and maybe the Avantree Audition Pros? both seem to be pretty popular lower-cost alternatives that seem pretty interesting.
We will add them to the list, but the list has gotten quite long and we're not sure when we will get to them.
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