The 6 Best On-Ear Wireless Headphones - Spring 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best On-Ear Wireless Headphones
591 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 580 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. Best On-Ear Wireless Headphones: Beats Solo Pro Wireless

    6.9
    Mixed Usage
    7.3
    Neutral Sound
    7.4
    Commute/Travel
    7.1
    Sports/Fitness
    6.9
    Office
    5.5
    Wireless Gaming
    5.3
    Wired Gaming
    6.2
    Phone Calls
    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    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 they're 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.

    See our review

  2. More Comfortable Alternative: Marshall MID ANC Wireless

    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    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.

    See our review

  3. Best On-Ear Wireless Headphones For Running: JBL Live 400BT Wireless

    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    7.2
    Neutral Sound
    7.1
    Commute/Travel
    7.3
    Sports/Fitness
    7.0
    Office
    5.6
    Wireless Gaming
    7.2
    Wired Gaming
    6.5
    Phone Calls
    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best on-ear wireless headphones for running that we've tested are the JBL Live 400BT Wireless. These Bluetooth on-ears are lightweight and clamp your head fairly tightly, so they shouldn't fall off your head or move around too much if you wear them while you're out on a run. They do a mediocre job of filtering out background noise, which could be helpful if you're run outdoors and want to stay aware of your surroundings.

    They have a fairly well-balanced default sound profile that should suit most kinds of audio content, though their companion app features a parametric EQ that lets you fine-tune their audio reproduction in-depth if you're the type that prefers a little more thump and rumble in your music. They can also pair with two devices simultaneously, so you can stream music from your phone while remaining connected to your computer. They also supply more than 30 hours of runtime on a single charge, though battery life can vary with your usage habits, and offer full audio and mic compatibility on a wired connection thanks to their included 1/8" TRRS cable with an in-line mic.

    Unfortunately, some users with larger heads may find their on-ear fit to be too tight. The plastic prominently used in their construction also feels rather cheap, and the headphones don't come with a carrying case or a pouch, which makes transporting them when not in use a little tricky. Still, their broad feature set and long battery life help make them some of the best wireless headphones under $100 that we've tested.

    See our review

  4. Best Noise Cancelling On-Ear Wireless Headphones: Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless

    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    6.1
    Neutral Sound
    7.6
    Commute/Travel
    6.9
    Sports/Fitness
    7.4
    Office
    5.4
    Wireless Gaming
    6.9
    Wired Gaming
    6.5
    Phone Calls
    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    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.

    See our review

  5. Cheaper Alternative: AKG N60NC Wireless

    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    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.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget On-Ear Wireless Headphones: Status Audio BT One Wireless

    6.6
    Mixed Usage
    7.3
    Neutral Sound
    6.5
    Commute/Travel
    6.9
    Sports/Fitness
    6.6
    Office
    5.4
    Wireless Gaming
    7.1
    Wired Gaming
    6.5
    Phone Calls
    Type On-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best budget on-ear wireless headphones that we've tested are the Status Audio BT One Wireless. These Bluetooth headphones have a sleek, conservative design and feel decently well-built, with a metal-reinforced headband and faux-leather lined padding. Depending on your usage habits, they supply more than 22 hours of runtime on a single charge, which should last you throughout a couple of days.

    These headphones have a reasonably well-balanced, even sound profile, though with a slightly overemphasized low-bass range that emphasizes the thump and rumble of EDM and hip-hop music without muddying or cluttering vocals and lead instrumentals. They support the aptX-LL codec for low-latency audio, which is somewhat rare for headphones at this price point, and can pair with two devices simultaneously.

    Unfortunately, they really struggle when it comes to filtering out background noise, especially the low rumble of bus and plane engines. They also don't clamp to your head especially tightly and could slip off if you shake your head around too vigorously. They lack any sort of sound customization features like a companion app with a graphic EQ, or even built-in EQ presets. Otherwise, they're a good choice if you're looking for basic wireless on-ear headphones.

    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
  • Samsung Level On Wireless: The Samsung Level On Wireless are customizable on-ear headphones thanks to good app support on Android. Unfortunately, they have a cheap and flimsy build but a great battery life. See our review
  • JBL E45BT Wireless: The JBL E45BT Wireless have an excited sound profile but don't sound as good as the Marshall MID ANC and are fairly uncomfortable. 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 Wireless 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-XB700 Wireless: The Sony WH-XB700 Wireless are fairly comfortable on-ears that have a good set of controls but produce a dark sound. See our review
  • Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless: The Beats Solo3 2018 Wireless offer a longer battery life than the Bowers & Wilkins PX5 Wireless but block out less ambient noise, aren't built as sturdily, and have a harder to use control scheme. See our review
  • Jabra Evolve2 65 Wireless: The Jabra Evolve2 65 Wireless are among the most comfortable on-ear headphones we've tested, but their poor noise isolation means they aren't really suitable for use on the go. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 20, 2021: Verified that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.

  2. 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.

  3. Dec 23, 2020: Removed Grado GW100 Wireless from recommendations due to current availability.

  4. 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.

  5. Sep 01, 2020: Slight changes to the text for accuracy and clarity; no change in product 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 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.

Recommended Articles

Discussions