Wireless technologies have come a long way in recent years, and you don’t need to pay a small fortune to own decent wireless headphones anymore. Wireless headphones still have some flaws, though: Bluetooth headphones generally aren’t great for gaming since they tend to lag too much and have poor microphone quality, but gaming headphones that use dedicated wireless transmitters lack the portability and versatility of Bluetooth headphones. That said, there are a lot of wireless headphones out there and you’re sure to find a pair that suits your needs.
We’ve tested nearly 250 wireless headphones and below are our recommendations for the best budget Bluetooth headphones to buy. If you’re looking for a more specific type of headphones, check out our recommendations for the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $50 or $100, the best headphones under $50, or take a look at the budget category for our best wireless gaming headsets.
The best budget headphones that we've tested so far are the Mpow H5 Wireless. These over-ear Bluetooth headphones and surprisingly feature-packed for their low price point, and have ANC, multi-device pairing, and come with a great hard carrying case. They're decently comfortable, though they do fit a bit tight on the head. Their build quality is also reasonable considering their low price, and they're made from dense plastic with some metal in the headband for support.
Their sound profile is a bit bass-heavy and boomy sounding, with vocals and lead instruments getting pushed back in the mix. While fans of genres like hip-hop or EDM will likely be pleased with the extra boominess, they may not be the best choice for more vocal-centric genres or content. Their ANC is only passable, and does a lot more at reducing the rumble of bus or plane engines than that of background chatter, or the high pitch whine of AC units.
Their 12-hour battery life is good, and they can be used wired with the included 1/8" TRRS cable if they die, which is great. They can even be paired to two devices, which is great if you often switch between your phone and laptop. Overall, while their sound reproduction and ANC may not be as impressive as some more expensive options, they're surprisingly decent considering their price.
If you want something even a bit cheaper, or prefer the portability or fit of in-ear headphones, get the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019. They don't have ANC like the Mpow H5 Wireless, and some people may not like their in-ear fit as much, but they're cheaper and are much easily to slip into a bag or pocket when not being used. They're surprisingly comfortable for in-ears, and their ear-hook design is very stable, making them a great option for taking to the gym. Despite not having ANC, their in-ear fit actually blocks more background chatter, though they aren't as good at blocking engine rumble. Their excited sound profile should be decent for most genres of music, and fans of bass will enjoy their slight extra kick. Their 18.5-hour battery life is outstanding for in-ears, and lasts significantly longer than the Mpow.
Overall, if you prefer the fit of on-ears, or want something that'll do a better job at blocking out engine rumbles, get the Mpow, but if you want something you can easily toss into your pocket while saving some money, go with the Anker.
The best headphones under $100 that we've tested so far are the Mixcder E9 Wireless. They have a better build quality than most headphones in this price range and offer a good sound profile that's decently well-suited to a wide variety of genres, though they do perform better with bass-heavy music.
These are a comfortable pair of headphones that should be suitable for longer listening sessions. The cups are decently large with thick and comfortable padding, and while they should be large enough for most ear sizes, they could be slightly deeper. The headphones have a great control scheme with large and clicky physical buttons that are easy to use. The buttons allow you to take calls, play/pause music, and adjust the volume.
Unfortunately, their ANC isn't great and there are better options in the same price range if noise cancellation is your priority. Their battery life is decent, providing about 18 hours with ANC on, though it's much less than the 24 hours advertised by the manufacturer. All-in-all, these are a decent well-rounded pair of headphones that offer good build quality and comfort for their price point, making them some of the best budget wireless headphones.
If noise cancellation is your priority but you don't want to break the bank, go with the Mpow H10. Their build quality isn't as good as the Mixcder E9 Wireless and they make a concerning snapping sound when you fold in the ear cups, but their ANC is better, blocking out as much engine rumble and office chatter as headphones double the price. They're a comfortable pair of headphones that most people should be able to wear for extended periods. While their ear cups are plushy and well-padded, their headband is fairly large and some people may find the headphones fall. Their sound quality is decent, though their vocals and leads are pushed a bit to the back, making them better-suited for less vocal-centric music. On the upside, they have a great 23-hour battery life with their ANC turned on, which should easily get you through several full work days.
Get the Mixcder if ANC isn't as important to you and you want a pair of headphones that feel slightly more premium; however, if you don't care about build quality and want the best noise cancellation you can get for the price, get the Mpow.
If you'd rather the extreme portability of truly wireless headphones, go with the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2. They don't have ANC like the Mixcder E9 Wireless, and they don't last as long off a single charge, but they can easily be slid into most pockets, or tossed into a bag. They're a welcome improvement over the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless, which was our previous pick, as they now have a companion app, a much longer battery, and feel more premium overall. While their out-of-the-box sound profile is a little more bass-heavy than the Mixcder, they can easily be customized to suit your own personal preference within the SoundCore app. Their 6.5-hour battery life is quite good for truly wireless headphones, and their case will charge them an additional five times, which is great. They're also quite comfortable for in-ear headphones and feel extremely stable.
If you prefer the fit of over-ear headphones, or want something that will do a better job at blocking out the low rumbles of plane or train engines, get the Mixcder. However, if you prefer something more portable, that you can easily toss into your pocket, go for the Anker.
The best budget headphones under $150 that we’ve tested so far are the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They’re comfortable, easy-to-use headphones that come with an ergonomic physical control scheme that’s simple and efficient. They have lots of active features, sound very good, and feel very durable, which is great at this price point.
These headphones have an excited, bass-rich sound that brings out the thump and rumble of EDM and hip-hop without drowning out the vocals and lead instruments of pop, rock, or jazz music. Their 30-hour battery life is outstanding, and they have lots of power-saving features like an auto-off timer and smart pause to help further save power.
Unfortunately, they aren’t the sleekest-looking headphones. Their companion app also doesn’t feature an EQ, which is a bit disappointing. If you prefer a more neutral sound with a more streamlined design, the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless are a good choice, but they’re a bit less comfortable. All-in-all, the BackBeat Pro 2 provide very good value and are among the best Bluetooth headphones we’ve tested.
If you’re looking for a great pair of gaming headphones that won’t cost you a fortune, consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition. They're not Bluetooth, so you can’t use them wirelessly with your phone like the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016, but their low-latency wireless transmitter provides a lag-free gaming experience on PC or PS4. They’re comfortable, sound good, and have a great boom microphone for multiplayer games. Unfortunately, they don't have the best frequency response consistency, which means that certain people will find they sound different than what we measured, especially those who wear glasses. That said, you can EQ the way they sound with the SteelSeries Engine software to better suit your tastes.
Get the Plantronics if you're looking for Bluetooth headphones to use more casually with your mobile devices, but if you're after something specifically for gaming, then go for the SteelSeries.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best budget wireless headphones for most people to buy. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones 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).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of cheap wireless headphones. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.
02/14/2020: Replaced the Anker SoundBuds Curve with the Anker SoundBuds Curve Upgraded 2019, and the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air with the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2.
12/17/2019: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
10/21/2019: Replaced Mpow H10 Wireless with Mixcder E9. Added Mpow H10 Wireless as 'Better Noise Canceling Alternative'. Removed 'Customizable Alternative for Sports'.