Preferred headphones store
Updated , Jean-Simon Bonneterre

The 8 Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones - December 2018
Reviews

Best Wireless Headphones
285 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

Tired of tangled cords while listening to music? Wireless headphones offer a cable-free listening experience and typically connect to your devices via Bluetooth. They’re convenient for any situation, especially during workouts.

So far, we've reviewed 283 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best wireless headphones to buy in 2018. See also our recommendations for the best wireless over-ear headphones and the best wireless earbuds.

  1. Best Wireless Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 II

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.4
    Mixed Usage
    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.
    Score components:
    7.9
    Critical Listening
    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:
    7.7
    Commute/Travel
    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.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Sports/Fitness
    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.
    Score components:
    7.8
    Office
    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.
    Score components:
    6.0
    TV
    Score components:
    5.6
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best wireless headphones we've tested are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. They're super comfortable and easy-to-use Bluetooth headphones with one of the best noise-cancellation on the market. They also have a well-balanced sound and a good battery life, which makes them versatile enough for most environments and use cases.

    The QC35 II are a slightly better option overall than the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the Bowers and Wilkins PX, mostly thanks to their more comfortable over-ear fit and easier to use design. They also have a slightly better-balanced default sound that packs a lot of bass without overpowering instruments and vocals. 

    Overall, they are the best Bluetooth wireless headphones we've reviewed. The Sonys have a lot more customization options and the B&W are better built and look a lot more premium than the Bose for around the same price. However, the better sound quality and comfort level of the QC35 II make them the slightly better choice overall.  

    See our review

  2. More customizable alternative: Sony WH-1000XM3

    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you prefer having control over the sound of your headphones but still want great isolation from ambient noise, get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They're not quite as comfortable as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. They also have a bit more bass with their default sound profile, which some may prefer, especially if you're a fan of bass-heavy music genres, but it also makes them sound slightly darker overall. On the other hand, they have a great companion app that lets you customize your listening experience thanks to a great EQ, presets and room effects, that you don’t get with the Bose. You also get access to more in-depth ANC controls including an optimizer to calibrate the noise cancellation to your environment and also an auto-off timer that you can set yourself to save battery. 

    Overall, the XM3 are one of the best Bluetooth earphones we've tested and an excellent alternative to the QC 35 II. They may sound a little boomier overall, but you can always EQ their sound profile to better match what you're listening to. They also leak a little less and all the abundance of features make them a more versatile pair of headphones than the Bose.

    See our review

  3. More Portable Alternative: Bose QuietControl 30

    Type : Earbuds
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want the great isolation of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and Sony WH-1000XM3 in a more portable format, then we recommend the Bose QuietControl 30 wireless earbuds instead. They will not last as long on a single charge as the QC35 II or the WH-1000XM3. They also lack customization options, especially when compared to other similarly designed headsets in their price range. But on the upside, they're a lot more compact and easier to carry around on your person than the over-ears on this list, which makes them a bit more practical for commute and travel. They're also better suited for sports and office use thanks to their stable, breathable and comfortable earbud design. The Jabra Elite 65e are similarly designed and a cheaper alternative to the QC30s, but they do not sound as good and their noise isolation is worse.

    See our review

  4. Best Mid-Range Wireless Headphones: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.3
    Mixed Usage
    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.
    Score components:
    7.7
    Critical Listening
    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:
    7.4
    Commute/Travel
    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.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Sports/Fitness
    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.
    Score components:
    7.5
    Office
    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.
    Score components:
    6.2
    TV
    Score components:
    5.9
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you like wireless noise canceling headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and the Sony WH-1000XM3, but find them a bit too expensive, then get the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 instead; they're one of the best Bluetooth headphones we've reviewed. They're not as comfortable and have weaker noise canceling than the Bose. They also do not have the customization options of the Sony WH-1000XM3. 

    On the upside, they are one of the more versatile and well-rounded over-ears that we've tested and offer a great value for your money. They have an exciting sound that will please fans of bass, a sturdy, comfortable and ergonomic design that's easy to use, and a great wireless range and battery life that's suitable for most use cases. They're also decent enough to watch movies and game with if you have the right Bluetooth dongle that supports aptX Low-Latency.

    Unfortunately, they are little bulky and cumbersome to carry around. Also, since they have no EQ, you cannot really adjust their bass if it's too much for you. However, if you're looking for a good, mid-range wireless over-ear, then you can't do much better than the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2, especially at this price.

    See our review

  5. More Portable Alternative: Samsung Gear IconX

    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Truly Wireless
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you need a more portable design that can fit into your pockets, then get the Samsung Gear IconX. They will not have the excellent wireless range or long lasting battery life of the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They also won't be as comfortable as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II for most listeners. On the upside, the IconX are compact truly wireless earbuds portable enough to have on you at all times. They also have an above-average and customizable sound, and a good passively isolating in-ear design that's suitable for sports and commuting. 

    They have 4GB of onboard storage, so you do not need to have your phone on you to listen to music. They also have a built-in coach to keep track of your progress via the Samsung Gear/health app which makes them a great option for sports. The Jabra Elite Active have a slightly more sweatproof design and better customization options, but overall the Samsung have a bit more features and a better performance overall.

    See our review

  6. Gaming Alternative: Turtle Beach Stealth 700

    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you want a headset for gaming that also supports Bluetooth, then get the Turtle Beach Stealth 700. They're a slightly worse gaming headset overall than the SteelSeries Arctis 7 and the HyperX Cloud Flight. They're also not as practical to use outdoors with your phone as the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. But on the upside, they are one of the few gaming headsets that support Bluetooth so you can use them wirelessly with your phone unlike the Arctis 7 or the Cloud flight, which will only work wired with mobile devices. 

    They’re also noise canceling, and come with a USB dongle that has an optical input, so they have a few connection options that make them a good choice for gaming and home theater. They won't be the best gaming headset considering their price range, but if you want Bluetooth support with your gaming headset, then they are a good option and won't cost as much as the Turtle Beach Elite 800.

    See our review

  7. Best Budget Wireless Headphones: Samsung U Flex

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.8
    Mixed Usage
    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.
    Score components:
    6.7
    Critical Listening
    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:
    6.9
    Commute/Travel
    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.
    Score components:
    7.6
    Sports/Fitness
    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.
    Score components:
    6.9
    Office
    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.
    Score components:
    5.7
    TV
    Score components:
    5.7
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : In-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you’re looking for a more budget pair of headphones, and prefer the portability of in-ears to over-ears like the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2, then get the Samsung U Flex, especially if you have a Samsung phone. They're one of the best wireless earphones we've tested. They offer great customization options but are quite lackluster when paired with a non-Samsung Android or an iOS device.

    On the upside, they have more a premium feels than the similarly designed Samsung Level U Pro and a decent 11 to 12-hour battery life that only takes 2 hours to charge fully. If you don’t mind the around-the-neck design, then they are also quite comfortable and won’t put as much pressure in your ear canal, unlike some of the more typical in-ear designs we've tested.

    Unfortunately, they sound fairly average when not EQed and do not block as much noise in loud noisy environments. Also, if you don’t have a Samsung device, then the Jaybird Freedom or the Anker SoundBuds Curve may be slightly better options, since they do not have any OS or brand restrictions. However, if you have a Samsung phone then the build quality, budget price and customization options of the U Flex make them a great choice.

    See our review

  8. On-Ear Alternative: Skullcandy Grind

    Type : On-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you're not a big fan of in-ears but want an affordable pair of wireless headphones, then we recommend the Skullcandy Grind. They won't be as portable as the Samsung U Flex and they do not fold like other on-ears to be a bit more compact to carry around in your bag. On the upside, they're surprisingly well-built for their price range, they're easy-to-use and deliver an above-average sound that's good enough for most listeners and use cases. They have a good battery life and decent wireless range, and they're easily one of the most comfortable on-ears we've tested only beaten by the Bose SoundLink On-Ear which are much pricier.

    They don't block a lot of ambient noise, and they aren't the most stable headphones for sports and physical activity since they are not as tight on the head as most on-ears (which is a good thing for comfort but not stability). However, like the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2, they offer a great value for your money and are a difficult headphone to beat at this their price.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Sony WH-1000XM2. Wireless headphones with the best noise cancellation and superior build quality. Slightly inconsistent sound and bulky build. See our review
  • Jabra Elite 65e. A good and cheaper alternative to the Bose QC30, but worse sound and noise cancellation overall. See our review
  • Bowers and Wilkins PX. Decently versatile wireless headphones with great noise canceling and excellent build quality. They would be a great alternative to the QC 35 II but they do not sound quite as good. See our review
  • Sony WH-H900N.  A good mixed usage headphone with a well-balanced sound and a good build quality. Unfortunately, their isolation is not as good as some of the competing models. See our review
  • Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless. Good overall performance and great customizable features. Mediocre at best isolation. See our review
  • Astro A50. A well designed and comfortable wireless gaming headset. Good for movies and videos but can't be used outdoors without their dock like the Arctis7. See our review
  • Sennheiser HD 4.50. Versatile wireless headset with a lot of features. Not as good as the Plantronics for around the same price. See our review
  • Beats Studio3 Wireless. A good upgrade to the Beats Studio Wireless with better overall performance. They do no perform as well as the Bose or Sony wireless over-ears for around the same price. See our review
  • BeatsX. A good alternative to the Samsung Gear IconX if you're an iOS user. See our review
  • Anker Soundbuds Curve. A versatile budget wireless in-ear with good performance for the price. Does not block noise as well as most typical in-ears and lacking in customization options. See our review
  • Marshall MID ANC. A versatile and good sounding on-ear with a great design. But a mediocre noise isolation performance. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are 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).

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.

Discussions

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:

Create Discussion

Preview Back to editor Format guide

The editor uses special characters (aka. markdown).

To post formatted content follow these rules:

What you typeWhat it will look like
*italic text*italic text
**bold text**bold text
[link](http://rtings.com)link
> quoted text
quoted text
# header

header

- item 1
- item 2
- item 3
  • item 1
  • item 2
  • item 3

* Quotes and lists must be followed by a blank line