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 200 wireless headphones and below are our recommendations for the best budget Bluetooth headphones to buy in 2019. 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. There aren’t very many decent pairs of over-ear headphones in this price range, but these are Bluetooth over-ear headphones with active noise cancelling (ANC) that are surprisingly well-rounded for the price.
They’re fairly comfortable and their build quality feels on par with headphones that cost significantly more. They come with a great hard case, too, which is a nice touch at this price point. They even support multi-device pairing, so you can pair them with two devices simultaneously. They sound decent in general but will sound a bit boomy and muddy to more critical listeners. They have an ordinary rechargeable battery that lasts for 12 hours, but they also support passive playback, so they can be used wired when their battery dies.
Unfortunately, their noise cancelling performance isn’t very good, as it fails to isolate noise well. If you care most about noise cancellation, consider the Cowin E7 Wireless, which isolate much better but sound significantly worse and feel more cheaply made. All things considered, the Mpow H5 are the best cheap Bluetooth headphones.
If you prefer the portability of earbuds and are looking for something even cheaper than the Mpow H5 Wireless, get the Anker SoundBuds Curve. They aren't noise cancelling like the Mpow, but they're among the best cheap wireless in-ears we’ve tested so far. Their 13-hour battery life is even better than the Mpow's and they’re surprisingly comfortable for in-ear headphones. They have an excited, bass-rich sound that's still surprisingly well-balanced and provide great value for the price.
Get the Mpow if you prefer over-ear headphones, but if you're looking for the best wireless in-ears under $50, then it's hard to beat the Anker, making them some of the best cheap wireless headphones.
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 prefer the more compact format of truly wireless earbuds, then get the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air. Not everyone finds in-ears as comfortable as over-ear headphones like the Mixcder E9 Wireless, but they're a lot more portable. They have a sleek, low-profile design, similar to that of the Apple AirPods 2 2019 but with much better audio reproduction and passive isolation. They only last for about 4 hours on a charge, but if you store them in their charging case when you're not using them, you can get up to 12 extra hours of battery life. If you use your headphones for working out, consider the Jaybird Tarah Wireless; they aren't truly wireless like the Anker, but have an excellent companion app that allows you to easily adjust your sound.
Get the Mixcder if you find over-ears more comfortable, but if you're a fan of the ultra-compact form factor of truly wireless headphones, then 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.
10/21/2019: Replaced Mpow H10 Wireless with Mixcder E9. Added Mpow H10 Wireless as 'Better Noise Canceling Alternative'. Removed 'Customizable Alternative for Sports'.