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The 6 Best On-Ear Wireless Headphones - Spring 2019
Reviews

Best On-Ear Wireless Headphones
345 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.

Lots of people prefer on-ear headphones for their blend of comfort and portability. Bluetooth wireless on-ear headphones are even more convenient, since you don’t have to worry about a cable getting snagged on anything. There are lots of decent wireless over-ear headphones and Bluetooth earbuds out there, but it can be hard to find a satisfactory pair of wireless on-ears.

We’ve tested 329 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best on-ear Bluetooth headphones to buy in 2019. If you’re looking for our top picks for other on-ear or Bluetooth headphones, check out our recommendations for the best on-ear headphones, the best on-ear noise cancelling headphones, and the best Bluetooth headphones.

  1. Most Comfortable On-Ear Wireless Headphones: Bose SoundLink On-Ear Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.0
    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:
    7.5
    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:
    7.1
    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:
    7.1
    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 : On-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The most comfortable on-ear wireless headphones we’ve tested so far are the Bose SoundLink On-Ear. They’re well-built, lightweight headphones that can fold up tightly for added convenience. The ear cups are covered in plush, supple padding with soft synthetic leather. The headband is also well-padded and doesn’t feel too tight on the head.

    The Bose SoundLink On-Ear have a balanced sound and are well-suited for a wide range of music genres. They have a good battery that provides 21 hours of continuous playback and a power-saving feature to help them last even longer. They also support multi-device pairing, so you can connect them to 2 devices at a time, which is convenient if you like to switch between a smartphone and a tablet.

    Unfortunately, unlike the Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II, the SoundLink On-Ear don’t support NFC for an easier pairing procedure and aren’t compatible with the Bose Connect app. They’re much cheaper than the Bose SoundLink Around-Ear, though, and provide better value overall for those who prefer an on-ear fit.

    See our review

  2. Entry-Level Alternative: Skullcandy Grind Wireless

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

    If you’re looking for comfortable yet affordable on-ear headphones, get the Skullcandy Grind; they're one of the best wireless on-ear headphones in the budget category. They’re not as portable as the Bose SoundLink On-Ear since they don’t fold up into a more compact format, but they’re just as comfortable for a fraction of the price. They’re fairly well-built, sound decent, and have a reasonable 15-hour battery life.

    The Skullcandy Grind have poor noise isolation and don’t isolate at all in the bass range, which means if you wear them in the bus, they’ll let in all the deep rumbles of the engine. Their leakage performance is alright, though, so you can raise your volume a bit to mask out more noise without bothering those around you too much. Overall, the Skullcandy Grind have a good price-to-performance ratio, especially if you value comfort.

    See our review

  3. Best Sounding On-Ear Wireless Headphones: Marshall MID ANC Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.0
    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:
    7.6
    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:
    7.0
    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:
    7.2
    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:
    7.0
    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:
    5.7
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : On-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best-sounding on-ear Bluetooth headphones we’ve tested so far are the Marshall MID ANC. They’re stylish noise cancelling headphones that sport Marshall’s signature black and gold color scheme. They’re fairly comfortable and are well-built, sturdy headphones. They have a multi-directional control knob on the left ear cup that provides great tactile feedback and they are overall easy-to-use.

    The Marshall MID ANC have a bright, balanced sound with deep, powerful bass. They’re well-suited for nearly all music genres, from EDM and hip-hop to jazz or classical. They have a 17-hour battery life, which is decent, and can be used while they’re charging.

    Unfortunately, the Marshall MID ANC have unremarkable noise isolation performance, which is disappointing for headphones with active noise cancelling. If you’re looking for better noise cancelling, consider the AKG N60NC Wireless; however, they don’t sound quite as good as the Marshall MID ANC. Though their noise cancelling performance isn’t the best, the Marshall MID ANC are still a good choice for critical listeners who prefer an on-ear fit.

    See our review

  4. Open-Back Alternative: Grado GW100 Wireless

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

    If you prefer the more spacious sound of open-back headphones, get the Grado GW100. They don’t feel as well-made as the Marshall MID ANC, but they’re a fair option for critical listeners looking for more open-sounding on-ear headphones. They have more bass than most Grado headphones and sound decent overall. Their battery lasts for 15.5 hours and they charge in under 2 hours, which is pretty good.

    Since the Grado GW100 are open-back headphones, they have virtually no isolation. Although this is by design, it does reduce the versatility of these headphones. If you wear them at work or while walking around downtown, you’ll hear all of your surroundings and everyone will be able to hear what you’re listening to as well. That said, if you’re looking for critical listening headphones to use in a quiet room, the Grado GW100 are an alright choice, especially if you prefer on-ears.

    See our review

  5. Best On-Ear Wireless Headphones For Battery Life: Beats Solo3 Wireless

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.9
    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:
    7.4
    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:
    7.2
    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:
    7.0
    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:
    5.7
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : On-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best on-ear wireless headphones for battery life that we’ve tested so far are the Beats Solo3 Wireless. They’re well-built, compact headphones that are easy-to-use. They have a tight, stable fit but are still fairly comfortable thanks to their heavily padded cups. They have a great, long-lasting battery and are reasonably well-performing headphones all-around.

    The Beats Solo3 have an outstanding 42-hour battery life, long enough to last you an entire work-week without charging, and support Apple’s W1 chip for easier pairing with iOS devices. They have good audio reproduction and sound decent overall. They also have an excellent wireless range, so you shouldn’t experience audio cuts if you don’t keep your audio source directly on you.

    On the downside, the Beats Solo3 don’t have an auto-off timer, so their battery will continue to drain if you forget to turn them off. If you tend to forget to power off your headphones, consider the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless. Their battery life isn’t as remarkable, but they turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity, which is a helpful feature. However, the Beats Solo3 have a more balanced sound and are an overall better choice for most use cases.

    See our review

  6. Less Expensive Alternative: JBL Everest 310 Wireless

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

    If you want a great battery but don’t want to break the bank, get the JBL Everest 310. They’re less comfortable than the Beats Solo3 Wireless, but they’re significantly cheaper and have a unique feature that lets you share your music with another pair of Bluetooth headphones. Their battery lasts for nearly 24 hours and they have an auto-off timer to keep them running even longer. They sound decent, have good leakage performance, and can pair to 2 devices simultaneously.

    The JBL Everest, like nearly all the headphones on this list, don’t have any customization options. If you have an Android device and care about customization, the Samsung Level On Wireless have a great battery too and are compatible with the Samsung Level app on Android for added customizability. They’re more expensive, but if you like to spend some time fine-tuning your headphones to sound the way you want, they could be worth it. However, if you just want your on-ear headphones to sound alright out-of-the-box, get the JBL Everest 310.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless: Very well-built, premium wireless on-ears. Great battery, but their treble sounds a bit veiled. See our review
  • AKG N60NC Wireless: Decent noise cancelling wireless on-ears. Satisfactory performance all-around and a fair choice for those looking for well-rounded on-ear headphones. See our review
  • Samsung Level On Wireless: Highly customizable wireless on-ear headphones. Feel cheap and flimsy but have a great battery and good app support on Android. See our review
  • JBL E45BT Wireless: Stylish wireless on-ears with an exciting sound profile. Don’t sound quite as good as the Marshall MID ANC and are rather uncomfortable. See our review
  • BÖHM B-66 Wireless: Budget wireless on-ears that sound decent but aren’t as comfortable as the Skullcandy Grind. See our review
  • Koss Porta Pro Wireless: Unremarkable open-back wireless on-ears. Comfortable and lightweight, but don’t sound as good as the Grado GW100. See our review
  • JBL T450BT Wireless: Inexpensive wireless on-ears that feel cheap and flimsy and have a tight fit that lacks padding. See our review
  • Sony WH-CH500 Wireless: Wireless on-ears with a good battery life but poor latency and cheap build. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Bluetooth on-ear 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 on-ear 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.

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