The 7 Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones - Summer 2018
- Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
- Retest after major updates
- Easily comparable results
- No ads; unbiased reviews
Tired of tangled cords while listening to music? Wireless headphones offer a cable-free listening experience and typically connect to your devices via Bluetooth (check our articles What is Bluetooth and Wired vs Wireless Headphones). They’re convenient for any situation, especially during workouts.
So far, we've reviewed 90 wireless headphones and below are our recommendations for the best ones you can buy in 2018.
Best Wireless Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
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.
They are a slightly better option than the Sony WH-1000XM2 and the Bowers and Wilkins PX for casual everyday use, although the Sonys have a bit more customization options and the B&W have a much better build quality. Both headphones would be a good alternative to the Bose for commute and travel, however, the better sound quality and a comfort level of the QC 35 II makes them the slightly better choice overall.
More Portable Alternative: Bose QuietControl 30
If you still want the great isolation of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and Sony WH-1000Xm2 but find over-ear models a bit too bulky and cumbersome, then we recommend the Bose QuietControl 30 wireless earbuds instead.
They're a lot easier to carry around on your person which makes them a bit more suitable for commute and travel than the over-ear noise canceling recommendations. They're also better suited for sports and office use thanks to their stable, breathable and comfortable earbud design that barely leaks even at higher-than-average volumes. The Jabra Elite 65e have a similar design to the QC 30 at a much more affordable price. However, their noise cancellation is not as good and they do not sound quite as balanced.
Gaming Alternative: SteelSeries Arctis 7
If you're looking for a wireless headphone that's versatile enough to be suitable for gaming, watching movies and outdoor use, then get the SteelSeries Arctis 7. They're one of the best wireless gaming headsets that we've tested so far. They're sturdy, comfortable and have multiple connection options that make them compatible with PS4 and Xbox One as well as mobile devices.
Unfortunately, you won't be able to use them wirelessly with your phone since they're not Bluetooth headphones, they do not have native support for Xbox and they do not have a dock to rest or showcase the headphones like the Astro A50. Their design is also fairly bulky so they won't be as convenient to use outdoors as the HyperX Cloud Flight but on the upside, they're a much better gaming and mixed usage headset overall.
Best Mid-Range Wireless Headphones: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
The best mid-range wireless headphones we've tested are the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They are one of the more versatile and well-rounded headphones that we've tested and they have an exciting sound that will please fans of bass. They're also decent enough to watch movies and game with if you have the right Bluetooth dongle that supports aptX Low-Latency.
They don't isolate as well as the more premium noise canceling headphones on this list or the JBL Elite 700 but they have a better build quality and an ergonomic button layout that gives you more control over their active features, even without an app.
More Portable Alternative: Samsung Gear IconX
If you need a more portable design that can fit into your pockets, then get the Samsung Gear Iconx. These truly wireless earbuds are decently affordable, have an above-average and customizable sound quality, and a great design.
They're compact and come with a great charging case that will easily fit into your pocket, bag or purse, so you can have them on you at all times. They're also a great option for sports since they're stable and compact enough to not hinder your movements. They also have a couple of sensors and a built-in coach to keep track of your progress via the Samsung Gear/health app. They have a lot of features for their price, but they're a bit limited to Android devices so if you're an iOS user, the BeatsX or the Jaybird Run would be a better option.
Best Budget Wireless Headphones: Samsung U Flex
For a budget option, we recommend the Samsung U Flex. They are a better-built alternative to the Samsung Level U Pro with more features if you have a Samsung device. The flexible headband makes them a bit more portable too while still being decently comfortable for an in-ear.
They have a decent but not great sound quality, although it could be better if you EQ them via the app. Unfortunately, the Samsung Level app, when paired with the U Flex, is very limited for most Android users unless you have a Samsung device, and it is not available for iOS. If you are an iOS user, then the Jaybird Freedom will be the better option, but they're not as well built as the U Flex and have a couple of flaws with their charging system.
On-Ear Alternative: Skullcandy Grind
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're surprisingly well-built for their price range, they're easy-to-use and deliver an above-average sound that's good for most listeners.
They don't block a lot of ambient noise, but they're quite comfortable for an on-ear design and don't put too much pressure on your ears, while still being stable enough for a light jog and for working out.
- Sony WH-1000XM2. Wireless headphones with the best noise cancellation and superior build quality. Slightly inconsistent sound and bulky build. 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. Good overall performance and great customizable features. Mediocre at best isolation. See our review
- Cowin E8. A well-isolating headphone with a decent sound but mediocre design. They're also not very portable and a bit pricey for their lack of customization options and features. 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
- JBL Everest Elite 700. Wireless earphones; good substitute to the Plantronics with great customization options. Tight on the head and slightly bulky design. 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
- Marshall MID ANC. A versatile and good sounding on-ear with a great design. But a mediocre noise isolation performance. See our review
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.
Questions & Answers
Thank you for your suggestion, we will add the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC to the list. But, since we do not have them yet, we cannot make a direct comparison to the Bose QuietComfort 35. However, based on our test results we can confidently say that the QC35 provide one of the best noise isolation performances.
Unfortunately, unlike the QC25, the mic does pick up voices/rustling papers when making a call. This does not occur when the phone mic is not active, and shouldn't be a problem during regular listening sessions.
Before asking a question, make sure you use the search function of our website. The majority of the answers are already here.