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 Bluetooth earbuds out there, but it can be hard to find a satisfactory pair of wireless on-ears.
We’ve tested nearly 400 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 and the best Bluetooth headphones.
The best on-ear wireless headphones for comfort that we’ve tested so far are the Bose SoundLink On-Ear. They have a lightweight design with a decently padded headband that doesn’t feel too tight on your head. The ear cups are covered in dense, plush padding that cushions your ears nicely and feels a lot better than most on-ears we’ve tested.
These are good-sounding headphones with a fairly well-balanced frequency response that lends itself well to most genres of music. Their 21-hour battery life is great and they have an auto-off timer to help prolong the battery life even further. They support multi-device pairing, so you can use them with your smartphone and laptop simultaneously, and they can be used passively with the included audio cable as well.
Although they’re comfortable, they won’t be ideal if you have a noisy commute or are working in a noise-sensitive office, since they don’t isolate very well. They’re also lacking in features compared to other wireless Bose headsets; they don’t support NFC and aren’t compatible with Bose’s mobile app. That said, they still provide good value for their price thanks to their comfortable design, great battery life, and good sound.
If you want comfortable on-ear headphones but want to spend less, get the Skullcandy Grind Wireless. They aren't as portable as the Bose Soundlink On-Ear since they don't fold up, but they are equally comfortable and are considerably cheaper. They have a decently well-balanced sound profile which should be suitable for most genres of music, though some people may find they sound a bit bright or sharp. They have a good 15-hour battery life which should be able to get you through a few days of work, though they may not be the best option for noisy offices as they have poor noise isolation, even for on-ears.
Get the Bose if you want something more portable with better-balanced sound reproduction, but if you want on-ear headphones that are cheaper but still comfortable, go with the Skullcandy.
The best on-ear Bluetooth headphones for sound we’ve tested so far are the Marshall MID ANC Wireless. 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.
These headphones 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, they 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. Though their noise cancelling performance isn’t the best, these are still a good choice for critical listeners who prefer an on-ear fit.
If you prefer the sound of open-back headphones, get the Grado GW100 Wireless. They're harder to find, and don't feel as well-built as the Marshall MID ANC Wireless, but they have a much more open soundstage due to their open-back design. Their sound profile is decently well-balanced and they have more bass than most other Grado headphones, making them decently suited for a wide variety of genres. Because these are open-back headphones, they have poor noise isolation, though this is by design. This means they aren't the best choice for commuting or use in a noisy office as they also leak quite a bit of audio and may bother those around you. It's worth noting that at the time of writing, they only seem to be available to purchase online through the official Grado store.
Get the Marshall if you want a more versatile pair of headphones that can be used in noisier environments, but if you mainly listen to music at home and prefer a more open soundstage, go with the Grado.
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.
They 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, they 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 have a more balanced sound and are an overall better choice for most uses.
If you want great battery life but want to spend less, go for the JBL Live 400BT. They're less comfortable and don't feel as premium-built as the Beats Solo3 Wireless, but they're quite a bit cheaper and are customizable. Their battery lasts just over 30 hours, and can be fully charged in less than two, which is fantastic. They also turn off automatically after 10 minutes which helps them save power, something the Beats don't do. They're compatible with the JBL Headphones app, which gives you access to their talk-through feature as well as a full parametric EQ.
Go for the Beats if you want headphones that feel more premium or have an Apple device and want more seamless pairing, but if you want to spend less and still want impressive battery life that should last you all week, get the JBL.
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.
10/31/2019: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.