By Lauren Dragan
After testing 176 pairs of headphones and considering over 100 more, we think the Sony H.ear On 2 WH-H900N is the best set of Bluetooth wireless headphones. It sounds great for music and phone calls, provides better-than-average noise cancelling, and offers more than 25 hours of battery life. These headphones are very comfortable and they come in several colors, too.
Our pick: Sony H.ear On 2 WH-H900N
The Sony H.ear On 2 WH-H900N is a versatile pair of over-ear Bluetooth headphones that’s good at everything. With a mildly forward bass plus clear, clean highs that don’t pierce, these headphones sound better than models retailing for hundreds more. Battery life of 25-plus hours, a comfortable fit, quality active noise cancelling, and super-clear phone calls round out the package. Although the noise cancelling isn’t the absolute best you can get (check out our guide to the best active noise-cancelling headphones for more info), it’s still well above average.
Budget pick: Jabra Move Style Edition
The Jabra Move Style Edition on-ear headphones sound about 75 percent as good as many luxury Bluetooth headphones for one-fourth of the price, and they’re great with phone calls, too. The controls are easy to understand and use, and the soft earpads, padded headband, and swivel earcups offer a comfortable fit for most people. A recent upgrade has improved the battery life, which is now listed at 14 hours of talk/listen time (compared with eight hours in the previous version) and 12 days of standby time, and the Move Style Edition set will still function while it’s charging. Although it doesn’t have active noise cancelling, people who don’t need that feature can save a bunch of money with this model. This pair isn’t flashy, but it gets the job done surprisingly well for the price.
Upgrade pick: NAD HP70
The NAD HP70 is the best-sounding pair of Bluetooth headphones we’ve heard. It’s also one of the most comfortable pairs of headphones, with a lightweight chassis and supersoft memory-foam earpads that make it a joy to wear, even for long periods of time. It includes decent active noise cancelling as well. The set has a sleek, minimalist look and easy-to-use controls. With 15-hour (or longer) battery life, you can get through several workdays before needing to plug this pair in—plus, you can use it in wired mode. Although the active noise cancelling isn’t as good as that of the Sony H.ear On 2 WH-H900N, it is still effective, especially with airplane noise. And NAD covers the HP70 with a two-year warranty, which is twice as long as most.
Why you should trust us
I hold a bachelor’s degree in both music performance and audio production from Ithaca College, and I have tested literally hundreds of headphones while working for Wirecutter.
I spent several years in terrestrial radio before moving on to become a professional voice actor in Los Angeles, a job I still do and love. In other words, I’ve been in and out of top recording studios for over a decade. I also have reviewed high-end home audio equipment for publications such as Home Entertainment, Home Theater Magazine, and Sound & Vision. My articles have been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, and Time, and on Good Morning America, the BBC World Service, and NBC Nightly News. Through all of this, I’ve gained quite a bit of insight about what’s available and what’s worth your time and hard-earned money, and I am committed to finding gear that will make you happy.
Then there’s our panel of experts: In addition to myself, we had Brent Butterworth, a Wirecutter AV writer with decades of experience in the audio field reviewing for publications such as Lifewire, Home Theater, Sound & Vision, and many others; John Higgins, a session musician, sound editor, and freelance writer for Wirecutter and IGN who has a master’s degree in music from the University of Southern California; and Geoff Morrison, AV editor at large for Wirecutter and writer for CNET, Forbes, and Sound & Vision, who has over a decade and a half of audio and video reviewing experience.
Who should get this
Bluetooth wireless headphones are for people who don’t like to be tethered to their music devices and are willing to pay a little more for that freedom. They’re also for people who own smartphones lacking headphone jacks and who would rather not deal with dongles or headphones that won’t work with their other devices. Bluetooth audio quality has come a long way, so although you’ll pay more money to get the same fidelity as with corded headphones, you should still expect headphones in this category to sound comparable to wired headphonesthat cost less than $300 and generally better than similarly priced Bluetooth earbuds.
Also, if you are looking for a pair of headphones to use while working and your tasks include a lot of video chatting, phone calls, or work with dictation software, you may want to consider an office headset with a boom mic. You can find wireless options, even a few that sound pretty good while playing music, too. Check out our office headset guide to learn more.
Although some of the headphones in this category offer active noise cancelling, their sound quality, comfort, and ease of use were our top priorities in evaluating them for this guide. As of now, no single headphone model offers both the best sound and the best active noise cancelling. Unfortunately, that means you need to compromise a little in one area or the other. If noise cancellation is your top priority, check out our noise-cancelling headphones guide instead.
If you’re looking for our take on AirPods and similar types of totally cordless, collarless in-ear headphones (earbuds), check out our guide to true wireless headphones. Bear in mind that when it comes to these kinds of earbuds, the battery won’t last as long and you’ll likely pay more money to get similar or slightly inferior performance compared with that of the picks in this review.
One last thing we should mention: Wireless Bluetooth headphones are great for watching movies on your computer or mobile device, but not every television is Bluetooth compatible. Unless you have a receiver that can pair with Bluetooth headphones, you need a transmitter to get the sound from your TV to your headphones, and only one person can listen at a time. Also, Bluetooth transmission takes a few milliseconds, meaning there’s a delay (“latency”) between the video and the sound. Generally the delay is pretty small, but some detail-oriented people might find the effect irritating. If you want to avoid this (or for families who want more than one person to be able to use headphones), you’ll need a purpose-built RF headphone setup, so check out our guide to wireless TV headphones.
How we picked
Our quest for the best Bluetooth headphones always starts with research. First, we research more than 100 companies to see what they’ve released since our last update. To date, we’ve seriously considered more than 200 headphone models just for this guide. To help us narrow down the field a bit (even we can’t test everything), we read reviews, both by professionals on sites like CNET and InnerFidelity and by customers on retailer sites such as Amazon and Crutchfield. We take note of what people like and don’t like as we look for models that meet what we think are the most important criteria for good wireless headphones.
• Fantastic sound quality and a comfortable fit: These are, of course, our top two priorities. If something hurts to wear, you won’t use it, and poor fit often affects sound quality. And nobody should have to pay for subpar sound quality. During our research, we eliminate any headphones with several poor professional reviews or consistently low owner reviews.
• Easy-to-use-and-understand controls: Batting desperately at your headphones trying to pause a track or answer a call is frustrating. Any headphones that were confusing to use or too easy to accidentally trigger were dismissed.
• Solid Bluetooth connection strength: Repeated complaints of music cutting out or calls being dropped prompt a dismissal.
• Good voice-call quality: Very important if you expect to use the headphones all day.
• Full eight to 10 hours of battery life and can work while charging and/or passively via a cord: A good pair of Bluetooth headphones at minimum should last a full workday and you should still be able to use it while it’s charging or with a cord. Otherwise, if your battery dies in the middle of something important, you could be out of luck.
• Legitimate customer support: This is the kind of thing that doesn’t seem to matter until you need it. We dismissed any headphones not backed by a company that we can actually contact and receive a reply from, as well as those from a company that has a large backlog of complaints. A lifetime warranty means nothing if you don’t have anyone you can call or email for help.
For this round, as before, we called in every model that met these criteria (and either had positive reviews or was too new to have any feedback) for our expert panel to evaluate.
How we tested
Our expert panelists considered the sound quality, fit, ease of use, and comfort of each pair and ranked their respective top three picks. I then took those favorites and tested the microphones over phone calls. I also checked the Bluetooth signal strength by wandering a good distance away from my phone, putting it in a pocket or bag, walking outside, and going several rooms away.
Finally, we tested battery life to make sure that the actual use time lined up with each manufacturer’s claims by playing some music loud enough to drown out an air conditioner and timing how long each set of headphones took to finally die. Once we wrapped up testing, to determine our winners we made our picks based on overall performance and value.
Our pick: Sony H.ear On 2 WH-H900N
If you want to invest in only one pair of wireless Bluetooth over-ear headphones, the Sony H.ear On 2 WH-H900N is our recommendation. Versatile and comfortable, the WH-H900N headphones not only sound great but also have better-than-average active noise cancelling, long battery life, and a microphone that sounds clear over phone calls. Although you can find other headphones that surpass the WH-H900N in a single aspect (noise cancelling or sound quality or battery life), no other headphone model offers the same all-around quality for less money. We also like that these headphones come in some vibrant yet tasteful colors that set them apart from the seemingly endless sea of black, white, and gray options.
In our tests, whether active noise cancelling was on or off, the WH-H900N pair sounded great. The bass had a mild boost that made it more forward than natural, but the effect was restrained enough that it didn’t overly blur or overwhelm the mids. The bump was just enough to make hip-hop music sound vibrant without muddying up male vocals. The highs were clear and detailed, with no massive spike in the 3 kHz to 5 kHz consonants range that is common in headphones touted as “high-end.” You’ll hear consonants on lyrics, but they won’t become painful as you turn up the volume. If the tuning isn’t to your liking, Sony’s free app allows for some EQ adjustment in five frequency ranges.
The comfortable earpads, the light build, and the long, 25-hour-plus battery life mean you can wear the WH-H900N all day. That’s why it’s of consequence that these headphones also sound good over phone calls. During our tests my caller told me that I sounded as though I were speaking directly into my iPhone as opposed to on a headset. When I was watching video or video chatting, the latency was minor enough not to matter.
In our measurements, the active noise cancelling on the WH-H900N measured above average—better than that of the other picks in this guide, but not as good as that of the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II or the Sony WH-1000XM3.
Speaking of the WH-1000XM3, Sony has told us that the WH-H900N has not experienced the same performance issues in the cold as its more expensive sibling.
The WH-H900N uses intuitive swipe-and-tap touch controls. It also has an “ambient awareness mode” that uses the headphones’ microphones to mix in the sounds around you with your music. This feature is helpful if you commute by walking, for example, or if you need to hear when someone in the office is speaking to you. Additionally, if you have the ANC on and music playing, holding a palm to the right earcup triggers the “quick attention” feature, which lowers your music and amplifies your surroundings through the headphones. After your conversation, just release the earcup and the sound returns to normal.
Overall, the WH-H900N sits at the sweet spot where features, sound quality, and price meet. Although these headphones aren’t perfect, you’d need to spend at least a hundred dollars more to get appreciable improvement.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Sadly, as with most wireless headphones we tested in this category, the WH-H900N pair’s included cord doesn’t have a remote or mic. The sound quality of the headphones while corded wasn’t our favorite, with a bit too much bass that could blur into male vocals.
Additionally, this model doesn’t work while charging, so you’ll need to confirm that it has enough power before making a phone call. But with such long battery life on this pair, we don’t think needing to remember to charge it every third day is a dealbreaker.
Despite these headphones’ active noise cancelling, we’d prefer to have a bit better isolation on them. In our tests in a busy coffee shop, the ANC dramatically reduced the espresso machine noises, but we could still hear a good bit of the female vocals in the store’s piped-in music. The effect wasn’t enough to be distracting, but better isolation would make these headphones stellar.
Budget pick: Jabra Move Style Edition
The Jabra Move Style Edition is the best set of budget wireless Bluetooth headphones because it’s great sounding, comfortable, equipped with easy-to-use controls, and affordably priced—with solid battery life. Overall, we had to look to wireless headphones that cost much more to find anything better. Whereas every other Bluetooth headphone model under $200 falls short on at least one of our criteria, the Move Style Edition covers the basics you need—and it does so rather well.
The Move Style Edition is the new and improved version of our original budget pick, the Jabra Move Wireless, which is now discontinued. Though both sound the same, the Move Style Edition has slightly better battery life and upgraded padding in both the earcups and headband. The Move Style Edition headphones have a claimed 14-hour battery life (the previous version had a claimed battery life of eight hours, although we got 15 in our test). The headphones started giving an alert that the battery was low around the 14-hour mark, but they lasted 16 hours in our tests.
The sound quality of the Move Style Edition was balanced in our tests, so all genres sounded great. The lower end of the frequencies was defined, so electronic basslines didn’t muddy up the sound and kick drums avoided blurring or thudding. The refined bass meant mids were clear and didn’t get lost. Male voices sounded smooth and rich and the lower range on piano had depth.
As for the highs, you’ll find a touch of boost in the sibilant range, so you will get a bit of extra “sss” in your consonants, but the effect is relatively minor compared with what we’ve heard from a good number of the other Bluetooth headphones in this price range. Overall, violin, flute, and female voices sounded clear and even. You won’t quite get the sense of three-dimensional space that the Sony WH-H900N delivers, nor the detail of the NAD HP70, but both of those models cost significantly more. While testing, Geoff said, “Considering that the Jabra headphones sound as good as they do, some of these companies making $250-plus headphones should be ashamed of themselves.”
All of our panelists found the Move Style Edition pair comfortable. Extra-soft earpads, a cloth-coated and padded headband, and a slight swivel to the earcups made this pair feel not only light and comfy but also sturdy and well-made, especially for under $100. Whereas the foam in the original version of the Move felt like the kind in an egg-crate mattress topper, the new foam is more like a memory-foam mattress. Although the Move SE headphones don’t block out as much noise as the over-ear earcups of the Sony Hear.On WH-900N, the on-ear design of the Move pair may be more comfortable for glasses-wearers. The clamping force of the headband and the pliable padding don’t put too much pressure on your ears, and the earcups stay clear of the arms of glasses.
When you’re wearing the Move Style Edition headphones, their rubberized controls are easy to find by touch. During our testing, trying to find the controls on many of the other designs was a frustratingly huge problem. The volume-up and volume-down buttons on the Move Style Edition double as track-forward and track-back, and you can use the center button between them to play, pause, access voice commands, and take calls. The set has a built-in microphone and in our experience it sounded about as good on the other end of the line as that of any other wireless headphone we’ve tested.
Another basic, but somehow lacking, feature in many other wireless headphones we’ve tested is an on/off button. We know this sounds simplistic but in many cases we’ve found it frustrating to figure out if the power is truly off—when you want to be sure to save your battery life, knowing you’ve powered down is a big deal. The Jabra Move Style Edition has an easy-to-understand toggle button that slides to the right to power off, to the center to power on, and to the left to pair. Easy peasy.
Upgrade pick: NAD HP70
If you’re in pursuit of the absolute best-sounding pair of wireless headphones—and you’re willing to pay more to get it—check out the NAD HP70. Of all the Bluetooth headphones we’ve tested, this pair is the most enjoyable to listen to thanks to its natural and more spacious sound. The luxurious-looking stitched-leatherette headband and supersoft memory-foam earcups are comfortable to wear, even for long periods of time. The controls are easy to access and use, and the HP70 folds flat enough to be reasonably portable. The noise cancelling is competitive but not as good as that of the Sony WH-H900N, and the HP70 also has shorter battery life than that Sony model, around 15 hours.
The main reason to buy this pair is the excellent and natural sound quality. Any kind of music is well-served. In our tests, the HP70 delivered more clarity in the highs and sounded almost completely neutral—but it produced just a tad extra bass, which one could argue is what adds a sense of three-dimensional space to music, especially live performances. A mild bump in the vocal range was just enough not to lose details, and it avoided a sibilant, icy, inauthentic tone. The HP70 features the aptX HD audio codec, which according to Bluetooth blind tests can subtly enhance sound quality if used with an aptX HD-compatible media device.
Lightweight and with excellent padding, the HP70 pair is very comfortable to wear, which is especially important if you’re on a long flight or you like to listen to music through an entire workday. Everyone on our panel was happy with the fit, despite our variety of head and ear sizes. The headphones feel well-made, and NAD covers the HP70 with a two-year warranty.
When you fold the set flat into its leatherette soft-sided case, the profile is slender enough to fit into most laptop cases, which is helpful if you plan to take your headphones on the go. Unfortunately, as with every other model we recommend here, the HP70 pair’s included cable has neither a remote nor a microphone—so you can’t take calls or toggle songs via remote if you run out of battery power. NAD does include dual-input flight adapters for jet-setters.
The claimed battery life is up to 15 hours with Bluetooth and noise cancelling on. In our tests, we got 15½ hours but your results may vary. The Bluetooth range was a solid 30 feet line-of-sight with a Samsung Galaxy S9 in our testing but the call quality wasn’t so hot—voices sounded muddy to me, with similar results on the caller’s end. It wasn’t so bad that we couldn’t understand each other but it lacked the crispness of the phone calls we’ve taken on our top pick, the Sony WH-H900N.
The noise cancelling of the HP70 is effective, but not the absolute best. You can see how it compares with other ANC headphones in our noise-cancelling headphones guide. Although the noise cancelling isn’t as good as that of the Sony WH-H900N, it does the trick for airplane noise. And unlike with the vast majority of headphones we’ve tested with active noise cancelling, on this pair the sound quality does not change whether you listen with noise cancelling on or off, or if you listen passively with a cable. That’s a rare feat, which makes it clear that NAD spent some time carefully tuning this pair.
A word on aptX
Readers often ask if the Bluetooth headphones we pick support aptX. If you’re unfamiliar with aptX, it’s a method of encoding and compressing audio that, enthusiasts claim, offers better sound via Bluetooth. For aptX to work, both the device sending the audio and the headphones receiving the audio have to support it and that’s often hit or miss: For example, a MacBook Pro supports aptX, but no iPhones do. So before you consider if aptX in headphones is a factor worth exploring, find out if your playback device even supports it.
There is some skepticism as to whether aptX encoding is even worth the effort. Panelist and Wirecutter contributing writer Brent Butterworth wrote an entire article on the subject for Lifewire. The verdict? It depends on the person. Brent made a blind test that you can take yourself, comparing the sound quality of MP3, WAV, MP3 through SBC, and WAV through aptX and aptX HD. Generally speaking, most of us who took the test found that the biggest difference depended on the quality of the original file, not on the software that compressed it, but aptX HD does provide a moderate benefit. We recommend that you give the test a try to see if you can hear the difference before you make a decision on if spending the extra money is worth doing.
What to look forward to
The Jabra Elite 85h will have noise-cancelling capabilities and an adaptive noise control feature that adjusts the noise cancellation based on your surroundings, which is great for when you’re on a plane or at a crowded subway station. Jabra claims that the Elite 85h will have 32 hours of battery life and will also be the first headphones to use wake-word access to Amazon’s Alexa; the voice-activation feature also works with the Google and Apple virtual assistants. The Jabra Elite 85h is due in April and will cost $300.
A new set of Bluetooth headphones by Beyerdynamic, the Lagoon ANC, promises 20 hours of battery life and a hearing-test-based audio profile that can adjust the EQ based on your personal hearing ability.
Cleer is planning to release an updated version of its Flow Bluetooth headphones. The 2019 pair will start at $180 and the company claims it will have up to 100 hours of battery life.
The pricey Microsoft Surface Headphones, which have active noise cancelling and are designed to work with Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, didn’t reach us in time for this update but we hope to give that pair a spin very soon.
We’ve tested more than 175 headphones for this guide, which is a lot to digest, so we’re sharing our thoughts on only the most notable competitors here. However, if there is a specific model you’re curious about, reach out to our team via Twitter (@wirecutter) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll be happy to help.
Samsung AKG Y500: The controls were not the most intuitive and the fit could pinch even smaller heads. The sound was only okay: Female vocals sounded recessed and the bass was too forward in the mix. The auto pause/play when you take these headphones off (and put them back on) is neat, though. If this pair were $80 we might overlook the flaws, but its current price of $130 is pushing it.
Anker Soundcore Space NC: A budget pick in our noise-cancelling headphonesguide, this pair is a solid choice if you need active noise reduction. It can’t match the performance of our top picks here, but it still sounds quite good, delivers a useful degree of noise cancelling, and is reasonably compact. With touch-sensitive playback and volume controls, the Space NC includes all of the features that most people want and need.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT: This is the Bluetooth version of Audio-Technica’s popular studio headphones, and the two models sound very similar. If you like the wired version you’ll like this set. Our panel found that the bass had a tendency to blur the mids, so male vocals got muddled. The highs were slightly edgy but not so sibilant that it was fatiguing—they were just a bit more forward on “s” sounds or cymbal hits than was natural. The Sony H900N costs only a little more and sounds more balanced, plus it has ANC, so the ATH-M50xBT didn’t make the cut.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H8i: The biggest flaw of the H8i was the very intense and fatiguing peak in the high-frequency range. “S” sounds and cymbals were piercing and could become uncomfortable at moderate volumes. Unfortunately, the EQ settings on the included app didn’t address the problem without negatively impacting the overall sound quality. Although the active noise cancelling was a little better than average and the H8i is beautifully built, we’d like a more balanced and accurate sound profile.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9i: On the H9i, the touch controls are finicky, which can be annoying, especially when you’re trying to turn down the volume on a too-loud track and the headphones won’t respond. The active noise cancelling was decent but not the most effective we’ve encountered. As for sound quality, a dip in the lower-mid frequencies made for an unnatural sound quality and bass guitars got lost. This pair wasn’t as clear and accurate as we’d like to see at this price.
Beats Solo3: The W1 chip makes pairing with Apple devices a breeze and the 40-hour battery life is impressive. The sound was very similar to that of the Solo2, which we also liked, with nice highs and mids with a slight bass boost. But the Solo3 currently costs too darn much for what you get. At $150, it could be a pick.
Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless: This pair sounded really good right out of the box; the bass was a smidgen bloated, so low notes or kick drums could lack definition on attack and decay. The chassis is made of high-quality materials that are a little heavy but balanced, with not too much clamping force. Like many on-ear headphones, this set can make your outer ears ache somewhat after a long period of listening. The controls are swipe-touch style and work intuitively. What sets the Aventho apart is the built-in hearing test, designed by Mimi. However, these kinds of headphones aren’t regulated by the FDA; if you think you have hearing damage, we recommend checking with an audiologist before using any hearing-augmentation headphones.
Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II: The QC35 headphones offer some of best noise cancellation you can get but you pay a premium for it. Not only is this set expensive at over $300, it also offers merely acceptable sound quality, whereas all our picks in this guide are at least good- or great-sounding. So unless you need the best noise-cancelling performance above all else, we recommend saving your money and going with one of our picks here.
Bowers & Wilkins PX: These headphones are beautiful to look at but they have too many problems. With the ANC activated the sound was bizarrely tuned. Acoustic guitar sounded boxy and hollow, as though someone tried to add ambient room EQ to a mix. Bass notes had a reverby quality that muffled male vocals. With the ANC off the sound was even worse. Plus, the PX set’s auto-pause function is too sensitive: While I was typing my notes and looking down at my laptop, the PX kept pausing my music.
Cleer Flow: Generally speaking, this pair is good. The overall fit was comfortable, even though the headphones themselves were somewhat heavy. The bass was a bit boosted and mildly blurry, and the highs had a minimal lisping quality, but the effect was by no means offensive. Although the noise cancelling isn’t Bose-level, it does reduce noise in the airplane-cabin range effectively enough. Because Cleer is a newer company, we’re hesitant to elevate this model to pick-contention status until we see how the customer service plays out over time.
Heyday Wireless On-Ear Headphones: This set sold under Target’s house brand name is built really well and easy to pair but the fit can be too big and loose on smaller heads. The sound was boomy, with blurry bass and lackluster detail on strings and snare hits. We’ve heard worse but we’ve also heard way better.
Marshall Mid ANC: This pair isn’t half bad, with a comfortable, light design, easy-to-operate controls, and a fun, bass-forward sound. What’s crazy is that this pair folds up to be rather small, yet the clunky carrying case makes it far more unwieldy to pack than it needs to be. The ANC is only okay but capable of reducing lower-frequency airplane noises. If you like the looks and the on-ear fit it’s a fine alternative to the Sony H.ear On 2 WH-H900N.
Master & Dynamic MW60: Beautiful but heavy, the MW60 is a luxury headphone model in looks and price. The sound was great but ever-so-slightly flawed: The boost on the lows extended slightly into the lower mids, so the sound had a subtly veiled quality that took some of the vitality out of live music. That’s an exceptionally minor quibble but when you’re paying $450 and you don’t get any bonus features like active noise cancelling, we insist upon the best sound quality. If you love the aesthetic and have the cash to throw around, the MW60 is somewhat more form than function but it’s still a lovely pair of headphones.
Plantronics BackBeat Fit 500: This is the first Bluetooth pair of on-ear workout headphones we’ve liked, and our workout pick for weightlifters: This set fits comfortably but stays put and it’s sweat resistant and easy to keep clean. Simple-to-use controls allow you to change tracks, adjust volume, take calls, and access your phone’s digital assistant without taking the BackBeat Fit 500 off your noggin. These headphones also have a fun, bass-forward sound and 18-hour battery life. However, their sound quality isn’t as good, nor is their padding as plush as the Jabra Move pair’s.
Plantronics BackBeat Go 810: Our panelists split on this affordably priced model versus our noise-cancelling budget pick. We adored the lightweight, comfy design, but we found bass notes to be a little blobby and we all wished the active noise cancelling were a little more effective. In the end, competitors with lower prices or better noise cancelling and sound edged out this pair.
Samsung Level On Wireless: Although the active noise cancelling was better than average, especially for the price, the sound quality was middle-of-the-road. Mildly bloated and blurry lows caused the Level On Wireless to lose some clarity and definition; it wasn’t bad but our picks sounded better.
Sennheiser HD1 Wireless: A former upgrade pick, these headphones combine beautiful and comfortable build quality, better-than-average active noise cancellation, and great sound quality. The set also offers 22-hour battery life, two microphones to improve call clarity, and a two-year warranty. We still really like this model but it’s been surpassed by newer headphones. We’d love to have the ability to turn the ANC off, as well as somewhat bigger earcups and a little less boomy bass, but overall our complaints are pretty minor.
Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC Wireless: Very comfortable. These headphones had the Sennheiser sound, producing an extra peak in the high-highs that was unnatural but not terrible or piercing, paired with clear, very deep bass. We liked these headphones a lot but other options sounded a little better or had better noise cancellation for the same price. That said, if you want lightweight, comfortable headphones that sound quite good if a bit artificial, this set is a fine alternative to our picks.
Sony H.ear On 2 Mini WH-H800: We adore Sony’s MDR-100ABN, which has been an upgrade pick in the past, so we were excited for the Mini, a smaller, more portable version. Sadly, although the looks and fit were similar, the Mini pair had way too much blurry bass and smeared everything else. We wanted to love these headphones but the sound let us down.
Sony WH-1000XM3: A lot of people love this pair for its excellent ANC and how very well-made it feels. But we just didn’t love the sound as much as we did that of the WH-H900N, especially when we considered the higher price. A lot of the bonus features are less than helpful. Additionally, there have been complaints that this pair will malfunction in colder weather, from 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Sony is addressing the problem and the company informed us that there’s no indication that the issue affects our pick, the WH-H900N. You can read more about how this pair fared against other ANC headphones in our noise-cancelling headphones guide, but we’re confident you’ll get more for your money with the WH-H900N.
V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless: Providing balanced, vivid, and exciting sound, the Crossfade 2 Wireless boosts the lowest bass notes and specific high frequencies to amp up music in a fun, energizing way. The chassis is sturdy, edgy looking, and customizable and it folds up into a surprisingly small case. However, we struggled with making this model a pick due to its price, weight, and lack of isolation. For the base price iof $280 (features such as aptX, a removable boom mic, and extra shields add to the cost), we would have liked active noise cancelling or some of those aforementioned add-ons included. We also questioned whether the weight of the Crossfade 2 would become uncomfortable to wear over a long day. Knowing all of these quibbles, if you still want the Crossfade 2, get it; you won’t be disappointed. But in a saturated category, even minimal downsides are enough to pull a headphone model out of contention as one of our picks.
Read the original article on The Best Bluetooth Wireless Headphones.
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