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The 6 Best Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones - Fall 2018
Reviews

Best Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones
288 Headphones Tested
  • Store-bought headphones; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

Bluetooth headphones are getting more popular thanks to the freedom they offer and also because newer phones are coming out without any audio jack. If you like the over-ear fit and don’t mind bulky headphones, you should be looking at headphones that offer great comfort, sound quality and usually, good noise isolation. They won’t be great for watching videos because of latency issues and aren’t the most portable design, but they are usually quite versatile.

We’ve tested 285 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best wireless over ear headphones to buy in 2018. See also our recommendations for the best Bluetooth headphones and the best over-ear headphones.

  1. Best Wireless Over-Ear Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 II

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.4
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    7.9
    Critical Listening
    What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
    Score components:
    7.7
    Commute/Travel
    What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    7.8
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    6.0
    TV
    Score components:
    5.6
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    The best wireless over-ear headphones we've tested so far are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. They are one of the most comfortable and versatile headphones we’ve reviewed. They have a well-made and lightweight design, similar to the first model, and they have a good, neutral sound signature that still packs a lot of bass. They also have a good battery life and offer one of the best active noise cancelation features we've measured, only bested at times by the Sony WH-1000XM3

    They have a flat and consistent bass, a very well-balanced mid-range and a great treble range that doesn't sound too sharp or piercing on brighter tracks. This makes them versatile for every type of music genre, podcasts or audiobook. However, unlike the often compared WH-1000XM3, they do not have an EQ within their app which makes them a bit less flexible for the days when you just want a bit more (or a bit less) bass.

    They're also slightly leaky at moderate-to-high volumes so people around you might hear what you’re listening to but overall, they're a great over-ear headset with good and easy-to-use physical controls and their 20-hour battery life should last you a couple of days, especially since they have power saving features.

    See our review

  2. Alternative with more customization options: Sony WH-1000XM3

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

    If you like getting a bit more punch to your music and also like having the possibility to EQ your headphones to better match what you're listening to, then get the Sony WH-1000XM3 instead. They have a bit of an overemphasized bass which might sound a tad boomy compared to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. Their touch control scheme is also a bit imprecise and sensitive to weather conditions and colder climates. However, the WH-1000XM3 are one of the best noise cancelling over-ears we've tested so far and their more pronounced bass range make them a great choice for fans of bass-heavy genres.

    You also get a great app with customization options like an EQ, controls over the noise-canceling features, presets, room effects and sound positioning, so even if you're not a fan of bass you can always tweak their sound profile to your liking, which is a plus over the Bose. They are also very comfortable and leak a little less than the QC35 II. They might sound a bit veiled for some who want great sound quality right out of the box. Their control scheme is also not suited for use in cold conditions, but overall, the XM3 are versatile wireless noise-canceling headphones with 27 hours of battery life that's great for most use cases.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Wireless Over-Ear Headphones: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    7.3
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    7.7
    Critical Listening
    What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
    Score components:
    7.4
    Commute/Travel
    What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    7.5
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    6.2
    TV
    Score components:
    5.9
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : Yes
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If the Bose QuietComfort 35 II or the Sony WH-1000XM3 are too expensive, then get the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They offer great value for their price and are the best Bluetooth over-ear headphones that we've tested so far in the mid-range category. They might not be as comfortable as the other high-end headphones on this list. They also do not cancel as much noise as the Bose or Sonys, but they have a great 30-hour battery life, a good sound quality with a deep and powerful bass, as well as a sturdy design that's easy-to-use and offers great controls.

    Their sound signature especially, makes the headphones exciting to listen to. They have a powerful low-bass that doesn't sound muddy, a sharper treble range for a V-shaped sound profile that sounds exciting and a flat and even mid-range that doesn't push instrumentals and vocals too far back in the mix. This makes them versatile enough for most genres, but they are a bit better-suited for bass-heavy genres like dubstep, EDM and hip-hop. 

    Unfortunately, their ANC feature isn’t on par with the higher-end models like the XM3s and the QC35 II. They have a slightly bulky design that won't look as good for everyone and the compatible app doesn’t offer any options to improve your listening experience. Nevertheless, at this price range, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are great headphones and should please most people.

    See our review

  4. Alternative with more features: Sennheiser HD 4.50

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

    If you prefer having more control over the sound f your headphones, then the Sennheiser HD4.50 are a better option thanks to the EQ and presets available in the Sennheiser CapTune mobile app. The Sennheiser do not have the build quality of the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. They also do not have the wireless range or codec options of the Plantronics. However, they have a better noise canceling feature and more flexibility with their already above average sound quality.

    The HD 4.50 also provide about 20 hours of continuous playback with their ANC feature on and are well-built enough to withstand a couple accidental drops without getting damaged. They are above-average sounding headphones and are decently comfortable, but a bit tight right out-of-the-box.

    Unfortunately, the ease of use and feedback of the control scheme on the HD 4.50 are subpar. Even if you get common functionalities, everything feels cramped and hard to use. On the upside, they have decent isolation performance and barely leak. 

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Wireless Over-Ear Headphones: JBL E55BT

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2017
    • 0.9: Winter 2016
    6.6
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
    Score components:
    7.2
    Critical Listening
    What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
    Score components:
    6.3
    Commute/Travel
    What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
    Score components:
    6.9
    Sports/Fitness
    What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
    Score components:
    6.6
    Office
    What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
    Score components:
    5.7
    TV
    Score components:
    5.4
    Gaming
    Score components:
    Type : Over-ear
    Enclosure : Closed-Back
    Wireless : Yes
    Noise-Cancelling : No
    Mic : Yes
    Transducer : Dynamic

    If you don’t want to pay too much for a good pair of wireless over-ear headphones, get the JBL E55BT; they're the best Bluetooth over-ear headphones in the budget category. These stylish headphones are decent for mixed usage thanks to an above-average sound reproduction, decent build quality, and a comfortable fit. They also have an 18-hour battery life, which is great for this price range.

    They have a deep and hyped bass, a well-balanced mid-range, and a neutral treble, making them quite versatile and suitable for a variety of music genres. They also have an average microphone for calls. They only take about 2 hours to charge fully and you can also pair them to 2 devices simultaneously, which is nice for a budget pair of headphones.

    However, they don’t isolate much noise and won’t cover engine rumbles, making them not ideal for commuting. Their bass is also prone to inconsistencies and wearing glasses might be breaking the seal and cause a drop in bass. On the upside, they are fairly portable and have a lightweight design for over-ears.

    See our review

  6. Noise-canceling Alternative: Mpow H5

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

    If you’re looking for budget headphones for your daily commutes or for the office and don’t want to get distracted by ambient noise, get the Mpow H5. They do not isolate nearly as well as the other noise cancelling headsets on this list. They also have a slightly cheap looking design although they do feel decently solid.

    On the upside, their ANC feature does block a bit more low-frequency noise than that of the JBL E55BT, which do not have any noise cancelling. They isolate a bit of lower frequencies like engine rumbles and a decent amount of higher frequencies, which should cover noises like A/C units in your office. They are also sturdy enough to handle a few accidental drops and come with a great hard case, which is a nice addition at this price.

    On the other hand, the overall sound might be boomy for some and the ANC feature is not the most powerful, but it is to be expected on budget headphones. They also have the shortest battery life of this list at 12 hours, but this should last you an average day without too much problem and shouldn’t be a concern if you charge them daily.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless. Good overall performance and great customizable features. A good alternative to the QC35 II and Sony WH-1000XM3 but the isolation is mediocre at best. See our review
  • Bowers and Wilkins PX. Decently versatile wireless headphones with great noise canceling and excellent build quality. They would be a good alternative to the QC 35 II but they do not sound quite as good and aren't as comfortable. See our review
  • Sony WH-H900N. A good mixed usage headphone with a well-balanced sound and a good build quality. Slightly pricey for their performance relative to the XM3. See our review
  • Sony WH-1000XM2. Wireless headphones with the best noise cancellation and superior build quality. Slightly inconsistent sound and bulky build. See our review
  • Beats Studio3 Wireless. A good upgrade to the Beats Studio Wireless with better overall performance. They do not perform as well as the Bose or Sony wireless over-ears for around the same price. See our review
  • Beoplay H9. Excellent build quality and great design. Average sound quality and a mediocre-at-best noise-canceling performance for the price. See our review
  • Parrot Zik 3.0. Noise canceling headphones with a customizable sound and high isolation. Very short battery life and confusing pairing procedure. See our review
  • Bluedio T4. Good overall performance but incredibly high latency and mediocre comfort level. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best wireless over-ear headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one 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 over-ear Bluetooth 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.

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