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 500 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 most comfortable on-ear wireless headphones that we've tested are the Jabra Evolve2 65. These professional headphones are very lightweight, fairly well-padded, and don't clamp your ears very tightly, so you shouldn't feel too much discomfort while wearing them. They also have a physical control scheme that's easy to use and offers extra functionality with video-conferencing apps like Skype or Microsoft Teams, depending on the variant you select.
If their well-balanced default sound profile isn't to your liking, it can be adjusted via a graphic EQ or audio presets in their companion app. You shouldn't have to worry about battery life either, as they supply more than 60 hours of continuous playback time on a single charge. They can connect wirelessly to devices via their proprietary USB dongle or over Bluetooth, and they support multi-device pairing, so you can stream music from your phone while still receiving audio from your work computer.
However, their on-ear fit blocks out very little background noise. They also leak quite a bit of audio, so you may disturb people nearby if you like to listen to content at high volumes. Still, thanks to their comfortable fit and versatile sound profile, these are among the best wireless on-ear headphones we've tested.
The best noise cancelling on-ear wireless headphones that we've tested are the Bowers & Wilkins PX5. These Bluetooth-enabled on-ears look and feel amazingly well-built, with a high-grade plastic construction accented with metal and densely-woven cloth. They also have a great physical control scheme, with dedicated buttons for volume adjustment, playback control, and ANC preset cycling.
Their adjustable ANC feature is quite effective overall, as it helps them do an impressive job of filtering out everything from the low rumble of passing trucks to the high-pitched hum of a nearby AC unit. They support a wide variety of Bluetooth connectivity options, including multi-device pairing as well as compatibility with aptX and aptX HD wireless codecs. They supply over 37 hours of continuous playback time, so you shouldn't need to worry about running out of battery life either.
Unfortunately, some users may find their bass-heavy sound profile to be quite boomy, which may overwhelm so vocals and lead instruments. Their companion app doesn't have an EQ to adjust this either, though it does feature audio presets. Boomy sound profile aside, these noise cancelling on-ears are a good choice if you're looking for headphones that are feature-packed and well-built.
If you're looking for noise cancelling on-ears but don't want to spend quite as much, consider the AKG N60NC Wireless. These on-ears aren't as well-built as the Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless and have a much shorter battery life, but they're substantially cheaper and easier to carry around. They also have a better-balanced sound profile, with a less overwhelming bass response and slightly less muddy mids. Unlike the Bowers & Wilkins, they offer full audio and microphone compatibility on a wired connection with their included 1/8 inch TRRS cable, which may be useful if you run out of charge. They do a great job of filtering out background noise and don't leak too much audio either. Unfortunately, they don't have an especially stable fit, and they can easily fall off of your head with even moderate head movements.
Get the Bowers & Wilkins if you want better battery life and a sturdier build, but take a look at the AKG if you want to save some money and aren't willing to sacrifice too many features.
The best wireless on-ear headphones with a well-balanced sound profile that we've tested are the Marshall MID ANC Wireless. These on-ears feel quite premium and feature distinctive retro-inspired aesthetics, with squared-off ear cups and a gold-on-black color scheme. While they provide a good 17 hours of playback on a single charge, they come with a coiled 1/8 inch TRRS cable with an in-line remote for full audio and microphone capability if you run out of battery.
They have a well-balanced, slightly excited sound profile, with just a hint of added bass to give your favorite EDM and hip-hop tracks an added bit of thump and rumble. Their on-ear fit also yields a very consistent listening experience, so you won't experience any drastic differences in bass or treble delivery on separate re-seats.
Unfortunately, their ANC system isn't particularly effective, as it barely enhances their passive noise isolation. You may hear quite a bit of low-pitched ambient noise, like the rumble of construction equipment or bus engines. With that said, courtesy of their excited yet versatile sound profile, these are the best sounding on-ear wireless headphones that we've tested.
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. Unfortunately, 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.
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.
10/30/2020: 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.
09/01/2020: 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.