Get insider access
Preferred headphones store
Updated

The 6 Best On-Ear Wireless Headphones - Summer 2020
Reviews

Best On-Ear Wireless Headphones
472 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
  • Supported directly by you via insider access and when you purchase through our affiliate links
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

If you find over-ear headphones slightly too bulky or you don't like the deep fit of earbuds, on-ear headphones can be a great option. On-ear headphones have a unique design that some prefer for their portability and sound. Wireless design can be a useful feature to have for headphones, too, as there's little worry about snagging the audio cables on something. Although there are a lot of good Bluetooth earbuds on the market, it can be a bit harder to find suitable wireless on-ears.

We’ve tested over 450 pairs of headphones and below are our recommendations for the best on-ear wireless headphones to buy. If you’re looking for more on-ear headphones, check out our recommendations for the best on-ear headphones or if you're more interested in a wireless connection, see our picks for the best Bluetooth headphones.


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

    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    7.5
    Neutral Sound
    7.0
    Commute/Travel
    7.4
    Sports/Fitness
    7.0
    Office
    5.6
    Wireless Gaming
    7.2
    Wired Gaming
    6.5
    Phone Call
    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The Bose SoundLink On-Ear are the most comfortable on-ear wireless headphones that we've tested so far. They have a lightweight design with soft, well-padded ear cups, and a headband that's comfortable even for long listening periods. Their physical buttons are extremely easy to use, and the headphones look and feel durable and well-built.

    Their balanced sound profile is well-suited for most genres of music, but they have a tiny bit of extra kick and thump that'll please fans of EDM or hip-hop. They last 21 hours off a single charge, so you don't have to worry about plugging them in every night, and they support multi-device pairing so you can easily switch between your phone and laptop.

    Unfortunately, unlike other popular Bose headphones, they don't have an ANC feature and do a poor job at blocking out background noise. They also leak a fair amount of audio, so your coworkers may hear your music if you work in a quiet office. Overall, these headphones offer the lightweight and comfortable design that Bose is known for, with a well-balanced sound profile that's suitable for everything from hip-hop to audiobooks.

    See our review

  2. Cheaper Alternative: Skullcandy Grind Wireless

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

    If you don't want to sacrifice comfort for price, the Skullcandy Grind are a good alternative. While they're more affordable than the Bose SoundLink On-Ear Wireless, they're still comfortable enough for long listening sessions. Their fairly well-balanced sound profile places an emphasis on vocals and leads but some may find their treble a bit sharp and piercing. They also have 15 hours of continuous playback time which is great to get you through long work days. On the downside, they don't do any better than the Bose for passive noise isolation and are less than ideal for commuting or office work.

    If you're looking for a more balanced sound right out of the box with a more comfortable fit, get the Bose, but if you're trying to cut down costs, the Skullcandy are an affordable option.

    See our review

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

    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    7.3
    Neutral Sound
    7.2
    Commute/Travel
    7.3
    Sports/Fitness
    6.8
    Office
    5.4
    Wireless Gaming
    7.0
    Wired Gaming
    6.3
    Phone Calls
    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best wireless on-ear headphones with a well-balanced sound profile that we've tested to date are the Marshall MID ANC. They feel quite well-built, and feature a somewhat excited and fairly accurate sound profile, and intuitive physical controls. Meanwhile, their tasteful gold-and-black color scheme should please audiophiles with a taste for retro looks.

    That old-school design also offers a very consistent listening experience regardless of the wearer's head shape, hair length, or if they wear glasses or not. Their audio reproduction is mostly even, although it does deliver slightly overemphasized bass, which is good for those who prefer a little more thump and kick in their listening sessions. Battery life is another strong suit, with a continuous playback time of 17 hours with both ANC and Bluetooth enabled.

    Unfortunately, they lack an auto-off timer, which means it’s a little too easy to drain their battery if you forget to turn them off. Their ANC performance is also only okay, as it does little to block background noise, especially at low frequencies, so you’ll still hear quite a bit of engine noise. That being said, thanks to their punchy sound profile, these are the best sounding on-ear wireless headphones.

    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 want a more immersive sound experience with an open-back design, check out the Grado GW100. Although they're more difficult to track down and lack a similarly great build quality as the Marshall MID ANC Wireless, their soundstage feels more open and spacious than a closed-back design. Their decently well-balanced sound profile suits a variety of audio genres while the added bass can especially please fans of EDM and hip-hop. On the downside, due to their open-back design, these headphones don't isolate almost any sound and can also leak a lot of audio, which may annoy those around you.

    If you want a versatile pair of on-ears that can be used in noisier environments, get the Marshall, but if you're looking for a spacious sound experience for home or studio use, consider the Grado.

    See our review

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

    6.8
    Mixed Usage
    7.2
    Neutral Sound
    6.8
    Commute/Travel
    7.4
    Sports/Fitness
    6.6
    Office
    5.6
    Wireless Gaming
    7.2
    Wired Gaming
    6.2
    Phone Calls
    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The Beats Solo3 are the best on-ear wireless headphones for battery life that we've tested so far. With a continuous battery life of 42-hours, they’ll easily manage several days worth of the daily grind without having to worry about plugging them in. They feature the classic Beats design that looks premium and feels quite well-built, and they're surprisingly stable on the head, even during moderate workouts.

    Charging time is another plus point, with a full charge taking about 1.5 hours to complete. If you’re in a rush, a quick 5-minute charge should give you 2.5 hours of continuous playback time, though this isn't something we test. In regards to how these headphones actually sound, they deliver a heavily overemphasized bass, which might please fans of rap and EDM. However, mids and treble are reproduced more accurately. Like the Apple AirPods 1 Truly Wireless 2017, they feature a W1 chip, meaning that pairing with Apple devices is a cinch.

    On the downside, their fit is a little tight, so they might become a little uncomfortable to wear during longer listening sessions. They also do an unimpressive job of blocking out background noise, especially the low rumble of bus engines or construction equipment. If you want something similar that features ANC to help give you some peace, check out the newer Beats Solo Pro Wireless, though they're a bit more expensive and don't last nearly as long off a single charge.

    See our review

  6. Less Expensive Alternative: JBL Live 400BT Wireless

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

    If you want a long-lasting battery but at a more affordable price point, go for the JBL Live 400BT. While they lack a premium build and they're less comfortable than the Beats Solo3 Wireless, they have a lower price point and offer customization features. Their 30-hour battery life is impressive and as they can be fully charged in less than two hours, you won't be away from your audio for too long. Unlike the Beats, they also have an auto-off feature after 10 minutes, which is great when you want to save power. They have access to the JBL Headphones companion app, and their full parametric EQ allows you to customize their sound profile to your liking.

    Get the Beats if you're looking to expand your iOS ecosystem and like seamlessly pairing with your other Apple devices. However, if you're looking to save a bit of money but don't want to skimp out on impressive battery life, check out the JBL.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless: The Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless are premium on-ears with a great build and an impressive battery. They have a touch of extra bass but their treble is dull and lifeless. See our review
  • AKG N60NC Wireless: The AKG N60NC are well-rounded wireless on-ears. Although they have decent noise cancelling, their all-around performance is okay. See our review
  • Samsung Level On Wireless: The Samsung Level On Wireless are customizable on-ear headphones thanks to good app support on Android. On the downside, they have a cheap and flimsy build, but a great battery life. See our review
  • JBL E45BT Wireless: The JBL E45BT Wireless have an exciting sound profile but don't sound as good as the Marshall MID ANC and are fairly uncomfortable. See our review
  • BÖHM B-66 Wireless: The BÖHM B-66 Wireless have a decent sound profile but they don't feel as comfortable as the Skullcandy Grind. See our review
  • Koss Porta Pro Wireless: The Koss Porta Pro Wireless are comfortable and lightweight open-back on-ears but they don't sound as good as the Grado GW100 and are generally unremarkable. See our review
  • JBL T450BT Wireless: The JBL T450BT Wireless are affordable wireless on-ears. They have a cheap and flimsy build while their tight fit lacks comfortable padding. See our review
  • Sony WH-CH500 Wireless: The Sony WH-CH500 Wireless have a good battery life, but their long charging time is disappointing and they have a very high wireless latency on PC. See our review
  • Sony WH-XB700 Wireless: The Sony WH-XB700 are fairly comfortable on-ears that have a good set of controls but produce a dark sound. See our review
  • Sony WH-CH400 Wireless: The Sony WH-CH400 Wireless have a good sound and support NFC pairing. However, they have a cheap build and aren't very comfortable as there's barely any padding between the drivers and your ears. See our review

Recent Updates

07/03/2020: Minor text and structure changes. No change in recommendations.

All Reviews

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

Recommended Articles

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:
Become an insider
EARLY ACCESS

Gain early access to all tests results for new products

Early Access UI
PRICES LISTED

Prices will now be listed directly in reviews and tables

product prices UI
MORE VOTES

Have 5 votes per product category to choose which product we’ll review next

Additional votes UI
UNLIMITED ACCESS

Gain unlimited access to detailed test results in tools and results (no blurred results)

test table UI

Create Discussion