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 560 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.
The best wireless on-ear headphones that we've tested are the Beats Solo Pro Wireless. These well-built headphones offer a fairly versatile overall performance that can please lots of different types of listeners. With a continuous battery life of 24 hours, they're suitable for long listening sessions without needing a recharge.
Out-of-the-box, they have a pretty neutral sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different music genres, and they have a slightly excited sound thanks to the little extra emphasis in the bass and treble ranges. They don't leak a lot of noise, so you can crank up the volume on your favorite tunes without really bothering those around you. Also, thanks to their ANC feature, they have great noise isolation, so you don't really hear the sounds of people chatting around you.
Unfortunately, while these headphones are fairly comfortable, they may feel a bit too tight for some listeners, especially those with larger heads. They also don't have any sound customization features, which can be disappointing if you like to adjust the sound to your liking. However, if you're looking for a pair of wireless, noise cancelling on-ears with versatile performance, they're a solid choice.
If you're looking for a more comfortable pair of versatile on-ear headphones, consider the Marshall MID ANC Wireless instead. While they don't isolate against as much background noise as the Beats Solo Pro Wireless, they aren't as tight on your head, so they're more comfortable for listeners with larger heads. These headphones have a slightly excited, though fairly neutral sound profile, so there's a little extra thump in the bass and vocals, and lead instruments are bright and sparkly. They also last for seventeen hours off of a single charge, which is amazing, and if you don't want to worry about battery life, you can also use them wired. Unfortunately, even though they have an ANC feature, it offers just okay noise isolation, and you likely still hear background noises like bus and plane engines.
If you want a versatile pair of on-ear headphones with a better ANC feature, check out the Beats, but if you prefer a more comfortable fit, consider the Marshall instead.
The best on-ear wireless headphones for running that we've tested are the JBL Live 400BT Wireless. These headphones have a very stable and tight fit on your head, so they shouldn't fall off while you're out for a run. Also, thanks to their wireless design, you don't have to worry about accidentally snagging any cables while at the gym.
They have a very neutral, balanced sound profile out-of-the-box that makes them suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. They also offer a parametric EQ and presets in their companion app so you can customize their sound according to your preferences. They don't leak a lot of noise, either, and escaping audio sounds very thin, so you can crank up the volume on your tunes without really bothering people working out around you.
Unfortunately, while their build quality is fair overall, their plastic design feels a bit cheap and doesn't seem very premium. Also, their noise isolation performance is just okay, so you can still hear the low rumble of bus and plane engines as well as people talking around you. However, this design feature may be preferred by some athletes since it can help you stay aware of your surroundings while running outside.
The best noise cancelling on-ear wireless headphones that we've tested are the Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless. These premium on-ear headphones have an adjustable ANC feature that allows them to filter out a broad spectrum of ambient noises, from the rumble of a bus engine to the hum of an AC unit, not to mention the chatter of nearby coworkers. Their near 38-hour battery life should ensure that they easily last you throughout a couple of days in the office or throughout long overnight trips.
They support a broad range of Bluetooth connectivity features, including the aptX and aptX HD wireless codecs for high-quality audio as well as multi-device pairing, so you can stream music off of your phone while remaining connected to your work computer. They also have a fairly comprehensive control scheme that puts a lot of functionality at your fingertips, and the headphones themselves look and feel amazingly well-built.
Unfortunately, while fans of EDM and hip-hop music may enjoy their bass-heavy sound profile, their companion app doesn't have an EQ to fine-tune your listening experience, which is a disappointment at this price range. They also don't have a very consistent audio delivery, especially compared to the Beats Solo Pro Wireless, so they may sound a bit different depending on their fit, seal, and positioning on your head. However, they still offer the best noise isolation performance of all the wireless on-ear headphones we've tested.
If you're looking for noise cancelling on-ears but don't want to spend quite as much, consider the AKG N60NC Wireless. These Bluetooth on-ears aren't nearly as well-built as the Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless and have less than a third of their battery life, but they're much cheaper and do a similarly impressive job of filtering out background noise. They also have a more consistent audio delivery as well as a more neutral sound profile overall, with a less overemphasized bass range. Like the Bowers & Wilkins, they support multi-device Bluetooth pairing. They also come with a 1/8" TRRS cable that allows for passive audio playback and microphone usage on a wired connection. However, they don't have a companion app to customize your listening experience.
Get the Bowers & Wilkins if you want better-built wireless on-ear headphones with far better battery life, but consider the AKG if you're looking to save some money without giving up some features.
The best budget on-ear wireless headphones that we've tested are the Status Audio BT One Wireless. These wireless on-ears are decently comfortable and lightweight, with an understated design that shouldn't stand out in any environment. Their control scheme is basic but easy to use, even when you're on the move.
They have a well-balanced sound profile with a touch of added bass, which should add extra thump and rumble to your favorite EDM and hip-hop tracks without overwhelming vocals or lead instrumentals in other genres. They have a battery life of over 22 hours, which should be more than enough to get you through a couple of days at work without needing to be recharged. While they don't offer any sort of multi-device pairing capability, they do support the aptX-LL codec for low-latency wireless audio with devices that have a compatible receiver, allowing you to watch videos with very little audio delay.
That said, they block out very little background noise, which may interfere with your listening experience. They also aren't especially stable on the head and are likely to fall off your ears with even moderate movements. Still, if you're looking for a well-balanced listening experience without breaking the bank, they're a solid option.
Feb 19, 2021: Restructured the article for greater clarity by adding the Beats Solo Pro Wireless as the top pick. Moved the Marshall MID ANC Wireless from 'Best for Neutral Sound' to a 'More Comfortable' alternative. Added the JBL Live 400BT Wireless as 'Best for Running'. Removed the Sony WH-CH400 Wireless and the BÖHM B-66 Wireless from Notable Mentions as they aren't widely available.
Dec 23, 2020: Removed Grado GW100 Wireless from recommendations due to current availability.
Oct 30, 2020: Substantial restructuring of article. Replaced Bose SoundLink On-Ear Wireless, Skullcandy Grind Wireless, Beats Solo3 Wireless, and JBL Live 400BT Wireless. Added Jabra Evolve2 65 Wireless, Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless, AKG N60NC Wireless, and Status Audio BT One Wireless to main product recommendations.
Sep 01, 2020: Slight changes to the text for accuracy and clarity; no change in product recommendations.
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 wireless 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.