Tired of tangled cords while listening to music? Some wireless headphones connect to your devices via Bluetooth to provide a cable-free listening experience (check our articles What is Bluetooth and Wired vs Wireless Headphones: Which one is for you). They’re not usually the best choice for gaming or watching TV since they tend to have high latency, but having the freedom of being untethered to your audio source is great when listening to music at the office, on the bus, or on the treadmill.
So far, we've reviewed over 400 headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best Bluetooth headphones to buy in 2020. See also our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds, the best on-ear wireless headphones, and the best true wireless earbuds.
The best Bluetooth headphones we've tested so far are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. They're one of the most comfortable over-ear headphones we've tested so far and are versatile enough to satisfy most people. They're great headphones for travel thanks to their great ANC performance, comfortable design, and long 20-hour battery life that should last most flights or road trips.
Unfortunately, their companion app doesn't offer any EQ options, though thankfully they have great sound reproduction out-of-the-box that's well-balanced enough for all types of genres and content, from dubstep to podcasts. They do leak quite a bit of sound, however, and those concerned about bothering those around them may want to consider the Bose QuietControl 30/QC30 Wireless, which leak much less sound thanks to their earbud design.
Overall, these are a good, well-rounded pair of Bluetooth headphones that should satisfy most people thanks to their comfort, sound quality, and ANC performance.
If you often listen to music in noisy environments or want something with a more customizable sound profile, get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They aren't quite as comfortable as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018, but they have excellent customization options and are the best noise cancelling headphones we've tested to date. They're great for long trips thanks to their impressive 27 hour battery life, comfortable design, and excellent ANC performance. Their companion app gives you access to a lot of features, including a graphic EQ which allows you to fine-tune their sound to better suit your needs. While their touch sensitive control scheme is easy-to-use, unfortunately it doesn't work in freezing temperatures, meaning they may not be great for people who live in colder climates.
Get the Bose if you have a hard time finding headphones comfortable enough to wear for extended periods, but if you want to customize your sound or need to block out a lot of background noise, go for the Sony.
If you’re looking for versatile noise cancelling headphones but find the more premium options too expensive, then get Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They don’t look or feel as premium as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018, and their noise cancelling pales in comparison to that of the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, but they’re the best headphones under $200 we’ve tested so far and provide excellent value for their price. They’re well-made with a comfortable, easy-to-use design and an exciting, yet still very well-balanced, bass-rich sound. Unfortunately, they’re rather bulky and some people may find them a bit too rumbly, especially since they don’t come with an EQ.
You’ll want to get the Bose if they’re within your budget and you prefer a more premium option with better ANC, but for the price, you can't do much better than the Plantronics thanks to their ergonomic design, good sound quality, and great battery performance.
The best wireless in-ear headphones we’ve tested so far are the Jaybird Tarah Pro. These earbuds have a secure fit and an IPX7 rating for water and sweat resistance, making them a great choice for sports. The earbuds are connected with a short cable that allows you to hang the earbuds around your neck when not in use, as well as housing the in-line remote and the charging pins. The only downside is the use of a proprietary charger, which can be an annoyance if you lose it. You shouldn't have to charge them often, though, as the battery life lasts on average 13 hours and the earbuds have an auto-off feature to extend it further.
Overall, these earbuds sound decent out of the box. They're fairly well-balanced, but the emphasis in the high bass makes them sound a tad muddy. That said, Jaybird has one of the best mobile companion apps on the market. It allows you to customize the sound through presets, a parametric EQ, or profiles created by other users. If you use these earbuds on-the-go, they have excellent noise isolation in the mid and treble range, which is good for ambient chatter and high-pitched noises such as AC units, but they won't perform as well in the bass range, where the rumbles of bus engines sit.
If you're looking for a good pair of earbuds, it's hard to go wrong with these.
If you like the Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless but want to go fully wireless, then consider the Samsung Galaxy Buds. They're lightweight, comfortable to wear, and they have a secure fit that shouldn't fall out during exercise. The overall sound signature is decent, but a bit light on the bass, and the treble can sound overly bright at times. There's a mobile companion app to adjust the sound profile; however, it's limited to presets, and the app is only available for Android users, not iOS. Although they have a good 7.5-hour battery life on a single charge, the charging case can only hold one extra charge, which is rather disappointing.
If you don't mind the cable and the proprietary charger, the Jaybird are better overall; but for a truly wireless pair, you should check out the Samsung.
If you find the Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless a bit pricey, go with the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2. These earbuds look and feel much more premium than their predecessors, and they still offer good performance at a low price. Although the earbuds have a very stable fit, they require a deep insertion into the ear canal, which may be uncomfortable for some. The sound profile is fairly well-balanced, though the bass can be overpowering and the mids are slightly underemphasized, causing vocals and leads to sound farther away. There's now a mobile companion app for customization, but it's pretty limited. There are a few presets that you can choose from and you can also remap the touch controls on the earbuds.
If you can stretch your budget, the Jaybird perform better, otherwise, the Anker are a good option for the budget-conscious.
The best wireless headphones under $100 we’ve tested so far are the Mixcder E9 Wireless. They offer decent build quality for the price and are quite comfortable. They aren't too heavy, and the cups should be large enough for most ear shapes and sizes. They have an easy-to-use control scheme allowing you to play/pause, skip tracks, and adjust the volume, all on the headphones themselves.
Their sound quality is pretty good overall, providing excellent bass with the right amount of thump for bass-heavy music while still accurately reproducing vocals and lead instruments in the mid-range. Their treble lacks a bit detail and brightness, though, so while they're decently suited for a wide range of genres, they'll perform better with more popular genres of music like pop or hip-hop than, say, classical or jazz. They don't cancel noise as well as the similarly-priced Mpow H10 Wireless, but they feel much better-built and even leak less sound, so you can raise the volume to mask more background noise without bothering those around you.
The Mpow H5 Wireless are the best budget wireless headphones we've tested so far. They're over-ear headphones that are decently comfortable due to their light weight and well-padded ear cups. The weight can be attributed to the plastic construction, which is fairly sturdy; however, they do look a bit cheap and will accumulate scratches. Thankfully, Mpow included a hard carrying case for transport. The headband may be a bit tight out of the box, but should loosen up over time.
Surprisingly, these headphones have multi-device pairing, which is a rare feature to find on budget headphones. This allows you to have two devices paired at the same time so you can switch between them easily. The downside to their Bluetooth performance is the lack of low latency codecs, which makes watching videos and gaming less ideal. Another feature that we don't expect at this price is active noise cancelling. Though the performance is somewhat mediocre, they're still capable of blocking out a good amount of noise, especially in the treble range. With ANC on, the headphones can last up to 12 hours of continuous playback and take about 2.3 hours for a full charge.
You may think that Mpow sacrificed sound quality to keep cost down, but that isn't so. The bass is a bit boomy and the mid-range can sound muddy, but the overall sound profile is still decent, better suited to bass-heavy music and less so for vocal-centric genres. If cost is a concern, the Mpow H5 Wireless will surely give you bang for your buck.
If you don't like over-ear headphones like the Mpow H5, try the Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless. They have a more sports-oriented ear hook design and a cable connecting both earbuds, which also serves to house the in-line remote. Not only does this design provide a stable fit that won't fall off during vigorous exercise, Anker provides tons of tips and stability fins for a tighter seal, which is essential for proper bass response, and these earbuds will definitely make bass heads happy. The bass is deep and powerful, but somewhat at the cost of overpowering vocals. The battery life on these earbuds last just a little below 13 hours, which is decent, and they take about 1.3 hours for a full charge.
If you want a feature-packed pair of headphones, get the Mpow. But for more portability, the Anker are a better choice.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Bluetooth headphones to buy for most people in each price range. 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 for 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.
01/10/2020: Replaced Anker SoundCore Liberty Air with Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2. Minor text and structure changes.
12/06/2019: Replaced Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless with Mpow H5, replaced Skullcandy Grind Wireless with Anker SoundBuds Curve Wireless as In-Ear Alternative. Dropped Gaming section, dropped SoundPeats TrueFree. Moved Anker SoundCore Liberty Air to Cheaper Alternative Earbuds.
11/08/2019: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
10/10/2019: We replaced the Mpow H10 with the newly-reviewed Mixcder E9, swapped the sports-oriented Jabra Elite Active 65t for the more comfortable Samsung Galaxy Buds, and added the budget SoundPeats TrueFree.