Wireless headphones can be much more convenient than their wired counterparts; they allow you to move around and help eliminate annoying cables from your life. While wireless headphones used to be a premium luxury, you can now get wireless headphones with good sound quality and some premium-level features without breaking the bank.
We've tested over 500 pairs of wireless headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best budget wireless headphones to buy. If you're looking for more of the best cheap Bluetooth headphones, check out our picks for the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $50 or $100, the best headphones under $50, or look at the budget category for our best wireless gaming headsets.
The best budget Bluetooth headphones we've tested are the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless. These headphones are the next generation of the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless and have improved active noise cancellation (ANC) performance, so they're the better option if that's your priority. The ANC can be set to different modes to suit the situation. Set to 'Transport' mode, it does a fantastic job of blocking out a wide range of noise, including rumbling engines and background conversations.
They have a sturdy, comfortable design and a good control scheme that lets you adjust your music and answer calls on the go. When you want to stay aware of your surroundings instead of blocking them out, their 'Transparency' mode lets in ambient sound. They have a bass-heavy sound profile that adds extra thump, punch, and boom to your audio, but unlike the Q20, they're compatible with a companion app that features a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization. They also support multi-device pairing so you can stay connected with your phone and computer simultaneously.
The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are the best cheap Bluetooth headphones we've tested. They're lightweight, comfortable, and decently well-built, although their hinges feel plasticky. They're less expensive than their successor, the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless, and are missing a few features compared to those headphones, like adjustable ANC and sound adjustment controls. That said, the ANC still does a good job of cutting down sounds like ambient chatter and the high-pitched hum of an AC unit. However, it has some trouble tackling the low rumble of bus engines. Their 32-hour continuous battery life will also last through long flights or a couple of workdays.
Their V-shaped sound profile adds intense rumble, punch, and boom to your audio, while instruments are bright and sparkly. This sound is well-suited for genres like rock and pop, but you might find the intense bass response overwhelming, and they don't have sound customization features like a graphic EQ or presets. If you don't mind spending a bit more, the newer Life Q30 are compatible with an app with sound customization features. They also offer a better noise isolation performance and come with a hard case.
The JBL Tune 760NC Wireless are the best budget Bluetooth headphones for calls we've tested. Their price fluctuates, but they're worth considering if you can get them on a deal. These lightweight over-ears have an integrated mic with decent recording quality, making your voice sound clear and understandable, if a little thin. It does a good job of separating your voice from moderate background noise. You can be heard by a busy road or in a shopping mall, although you may get drowned out by louder background noise, like a passing truck or subway train. Their ANC performs reasonably well when cutting out mid and treble-range noise, like office chit-chat or whiny PC fans, but doesn't do as well at isolating you from the low rumble of bus or plane engines.
They have a slightly bass-heavy sound profile that will give genres like hip-hop and EDM extra thump and punch. The rest of the range is well-balanced, making them well-suited for listening to most audio content. However, they don't have sound customization features, like a companion app with graphic EQ or presets, so you're stuck with their default mix. Fortunately, they last just over 40 hours on a single charge with ANC on, so you can use them for most of the workweek before needing a recharge.
The best on-ear Bluetooth headphones in the budget range are the Sony WH-CH520 Wireless. On-ears are generally less popular than other types of headphones, and compared to over-ears like the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless, they hardly block out any noise. However, these offer a few advantages over the Q20. They support multi-device pairing, meaning you can stay connected with your phone and computer simultaneously. They also work with an app with sound customization features so that you can adjust their warm default sound profile. They also offer a longer 52-hour continuous battery life, so you don't need to recharge them daily.
Their integrated mic has a good recording quality, especially for Bluetooth headphones, so your voice sounds clear and natural over the phone. Unfortunately, it can't separate your voice from background noise as effectively as the JBL Tune 760NC Wireless' mic. They're fairly well-built but don't feel particularly premium or durable. Still, they feel light on your head and have a more portable design than the over-ears listed here. You can fold the ear cups to fit them in a bag more easily.
If you're still looking for budget-friendly headphones and don't care if they're wireless, you might find what you need on our list of the best budget and cheap headphones.
If you prefer earbuds for their portability and lightness, check out the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless. These buds have a more stable and comfortable fit than over-ears like the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless. They're even certified IP54 for resistance against dust and direct water exposure, so you can wear them during workouts or runs in the park. One of the trade-offs in their design is that their continuous battery life of over nine hours is still much less than that of other picks on this list. While they should still last you through long days on the go, their carrying case supplies an additional three charges if needed.
They have a V-shaped sound profile out of the box, so they pack on the bass while vocals and instruments are bright and sparkly. Unlike many budget-friendly picks, they have a companion app, which offers an EQ and presets so you can finetune them to your liking. They lack noise cancelling, though, and they struggle to reduce the low rumble of bus engines. They do a better job when it comes to blocking out ambient chatter, though.
If you're shopping for earbuds, you can find more options on our best budget and cheap wireless earbuds list.
Jan 09, 2024: We've replaced the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless with the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless, as the Vibe Buds have a more comfortable and stable in-ear fit. We've also added the Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 to Notable Mentions.
Jul 14, 2023: We've restructured this article to better suit user needs. Our main picks for the 'Best Budget' and 'Best Cheap Wireless Headphones' are the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless and the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. We've also changed 'Best Budget Commuter Headphones' to the 'Best Budget Wireless Headphones For Calls', for which we've picked the JBL Tune 760NC.
May 19, 2023: Replaced the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless with the TOZO NC7 Truly Wireless because the Life Dot 2 are now difficult to find in stock. Moved the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless to Notable Mentions to focus the list on over-ear and on-ear headphones. Added the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless as the 'Best Budget Commuter Headphones'.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best budget-friendly 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's a list of all our headphones reviews in the budget range. 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.