The 9 Best Wireless Headphones of 2022

Taking your music on the go just got easier with these top wireless headphones

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The best wireless headphones offer great sound quality and a comfortable fit, along with features such as reliable battery life and noise-cancellation capabilities so you can block out unwanted sounds around you. They're a great alternative to conventional wired earbuds, often proving far more convenient in every way. The best options on the market are suitable for everyone, but it's useful to browse our headphones buying guide to figure out the specifics that appeal most to you. 

With so many different options out there, you may find that the search for the best wireless headphones seems intimidating. We've checked out dozens of examples so you can go straight to the best pair for you. If wires aren't a concern, there are plenty of solid headphone options out there that involve cables, too.

Best Overall

Jabra Elite 85h Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

Jabra Elite 85h Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones


What We Like
  • Fantastic sound quality

  • Excellent battery life

  • Great noise cancellation

  • Comfortable fit for smaller heads

What We Don't Like
  • Get dirty fast

  • No longer the newest headphones

Consistently a big hit in the wireless headphones world, the Jabra Elite 85h offer everything you could need from a high-end pair of cans. At its core, the Jabra Elite 85h boasts fantastic sound quality, providing a rich soundscape of vibrant tones and excellent clarity. Alongside that is a bevy of features to keep anyone happy. This includes superb active noise cancellation (ANC), which creates only a minor effect on audio quality while blocking out unwanted environmental noises. 

Such effective ANC doesn't negatively impact battery life, either, with about 36 hours on a single charge that's sure to delight the majority of users. A 15-minute quick-charge session gives back five hours of playback, plus you can always switch over to wired mode courtesy of the bundled audio cable. 

Other useful features include compatibility with the voice assistant of your choice so you can gain quick access to your messages or reminders. The pair of headphones is also built ruggedly to withstand a few knocks and blows, although don't expect the Jabra Elite 85h to stay clean for long. They're quite the dust magnet. Also, if you have a larger head, you may find these less comfy than alternatives. Still, the Jabra Elite 85h have everything else going for them and are sure to please the majority of users.

"You get great sound quality, excellent active noise canceling, a durable, attractive exterior, and design choices that make listening to music a little more effortless."Andy Zahn, Product Tester

Runner-Up, Best Overall

Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4


What We Like
  • Natural sound quality

  • Fantastic noise cancellation

  • Well-designed headphones

What We Don't Like
  • Awkward touch controls

  • Very Expensive

The Sony WH-1000XM4 feel as expensive as they are. Everything about them ooze premium quality, right down to ear cups that are slightly rounded so that they blend more naturally with your head. They're incredibly comfortable no matter what shape your head may be. 

They don't just look and feel good—the headphones offer a sound quality that's full and rich, producing a frequency response that's more than the theoretical hearing range for the average human.  The headphones personalize noise cancellation based on whether you wear glasses, and are also specially formulated to deliver great sound at flying altitudes. It all comes together to provide a phenomenal listening experience as you'd expect at this kind of price.

Where the Sony Wh-1000XM4 falter is with their reduced codec options, dropping aptX support compared to their predecessors. It won't be a dealbreaker for everyone but it is something to bear in mind, much like how the headphones' touch controls aren't as comfortable to use as you'd expect. 

These are relatively minor issues for many users, though. Rich sound quality, great ANC, and little details like a proximity sensor that knows when you've taken the headphones off, along with voice assistant support, all mean you'll soon be impressed by these premium headphones for a typically premium price tag.

"The better noise cancellation, the flatter, more natural sound quality, the slightly more comfortable feel, and the tried-and-true build quality all make the Sony WH-100XM4 a no-brainer if your pockets are deep enough." Jason Schneider, Reviewer

Best for Long Sessions

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 II


What We Like
  • Very comfortable

  • Great sound quality

  • Excellent noise cancellation

  • Rugged design

What We Don't Like
  • Dated appearance

  • Unremarkable battery life

Bose has a great reputation for audio quality and noise-cancellation features, and that remains the case with the Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II). These headphones may sport a somewhat dated appearance, but they make up for it with great features. These include a choice of three levels of acoustic noise cancelling, which work to counteract ambient noise by delivering an opposing signal to cancel it out. Such capabilities are controlled either via a button on the ear cup or from the Bose Connect app

Listening to your favorite music sounds great thanks to the volume-optimized equalizer. Battery life, however, lasts a mere 20 hours on a single charge, which isn't quite as spectacular as it once was. But there is a quick-charge function that adds another 2.5 hours of life after 15 minutes of charging time. Other features include Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice assistant support.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) are also able to withstand a drop or two. That's thanks to the use of corrosion-resistant stainless steel and a comfy Alcantra headband—the same material you'll find in high-end cars and boats. These headphones may not be as stylish, but they're certainly tough.

"Overall, these headphones are extremely comfortable. And when we used them over extended periods—weeks and weeks of use—they didn’t cause any discomfort or strain." Don Reisinger, Product Tester

Best Sound Quality

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700


What We Like
  • Great audio quality

  • Lightweight design

  • Effective noise cancelling

What We Don't Like
  • Touch controls are easily triggered

  • Expensive

  • Average battery life

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 pack a lot into their lightweight design. The wireless headphones house eight microphones, with six of them controlling ANC while four offer fantastic voice quality whenever you might need to take a call. In all, there are 11 settings for ANC ensuring you can enjoy everything from complete sound transparency to full noise cancellation. Tweaking these settings is a tap or press away, with a combination of touch controls or easy-to-access buttons. The touch sensors can be a little easy to trigger, however.

Battery life is just average at about 20 hours, but that should be enough for most users. You'll soon forgive that feature when you hear just how out-of-this world the sound quality is. The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are carefully designed to handle music, movies, and phone conversations equally well.

"Between the awesome sound quality, the powerful noise-cancelling technology, and the blissful comfort, the Bose 700 manages to stand out even against so many great alternatives." Andy Zahn, Product Tester

Best Design

Marshall Mid ANC

Marshall Mid ANC

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

What We Like
  • Great build quality

  • Distinctive look

  • Good sound quality

What We Don't Like
  • Small fit for some users

  • Steep price tag

If good-looking headphones are everything to you, then the Marshall Mid ANC are sure to appeal. They offer reliable sound quality and good ANC, but their true strength lies in their design. Using premium, textured vegan leather, anodized metal hinges, and brass finishings, these headphones look fantastic—typical of the Marshall brand. 

Where they struggle a little is with a singular multipurpose button—a retro joystick-style knob—that looks cool but is a little awkward to effectively use. Also, while the Marshall Mid ANC offer Bluetooth aptX connectivity, they lack the wow factor with playback compared to other headphones in this price range. With such style, though, this is a pair of wireless headphones that manages to stand out from the crowd.

"The Marshall Mid ANC headphones practically ooze style in their beautiful design, wonderfully reminiscent of Marshall’s renowned guitar amplifiers."Andy Zahn, Product Tester

Best Noise Cancelation

Sennheiser Momentum 3

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones


What We Like
  • Advanced Bluetooth codecs

  • Wide frequencies

  • Good ANC

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Poor battery life

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 support more advanced audio Bluetooth codecs than you'll find in many competing models. This includes aptX, aptX low latency, and advanced audio coding (AAC). The headphones also feature a fairly wide frequency of 6Hz to 22kHz, which is more generous than the commonly used 20Hz to 20kHz. This provides satisfyingly punchy bass lines and better-sounding highs, too. Plus, dependable noise cancellation means you can focus solely on your music rather than what's going on around you, although a hear-through mode means you can always stay alert to outside noises.

Battery life is slightly poor at around 17 hours, but it's worth it if you need features that just aren't available elsewhere. In addition, there's a companion app making it simple to control ANC settings as well as tweak the equalizer to your liking. Voice assistant integration and a proximity sensor round off the package nicely.

Best Reference

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Wireless Bluetooth Headphones


What We Like
  • Fantastic sound quality

  • 40-hour battery life

  • Extensive codec support

What We Don't Like
  • No noise-cancelling

  • Awkward fit

  • Slow to recharge

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT are the Bluetooth version of the M50x monitor headphones typically used by audio professionals, and are aimed at those who want a studio-quality listening experience at home. They offer a notable frequency response of 15Hz to 28,000Hz as well as house 45mm drivers for a powerful experience. There's also support for Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity along with advanced audio codecs including aptX and advanced audio coding. 

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT do fall short with their fit. They're simply not that comfortable, with some users reporting issues after prolonged use such as feeling as if the ear cups don't fully surround their ears or feeling their ears overheat. The headphones also don't offer noise cancellation, which seems like a big omission for wireless headphones of this price. Plus, it takes seven hours to recharge the device.

Best In-Ear

Jabra Elite 65T True Wireless Earbuds & Charging Case

Jabra Elite 65T True Wireless Earbuds & Charging Case


What We Like
  • Durable design

  • Good-quality sound

  • Clear microphone

What We Don't Like
  • Limited battery life

  • Unusual fit

An in-ear solution rather than an over-ear pair of headphones, the Jabra Elite 65t offer a lot for their relatively slim price tag. The sound quality is great, and with Bluetooth 5.0 support, your connection won't drop any time soon. They also have a rugged build, able to withstand a few knocks. Their sweat- and dust-proof design make these earphones ideal for working out, and, thanks to a clear microphone, you can even use them to take calls.

Where things aren't so hot for the Jabra Elite 65t is the unusual fit. It takes a bit of practice to slot the earphones into your ear safely, and they might not be comfortable for every ear. There's also no ANC, although you can tweak how much environmental sound is allowed in at any time.

"There are some quirks, like the slightly rickety case and the learning curve associated with the fit. But, these headphones check pretty much every other box, and any workout regiment or commuter bag would be all the better for having these there."Jason Schneider, Product Tester

Best Unique

Avantree Aria Me

Avantree Aria Me Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones


What We Like
  • Impressive personalized sound quality

  • Excellent accessories package

  • Pretty comfortable

What We Don't Like
  • Cheap-looking design

  • ANC is nothing special

  • A bit expensive for an off-brand

The Avantree Aria Me headphones are an interesting mid-level set of Bluetooth cans that don’t feel overly premium but do happen to check a lot of boxes. First off, there’s active noise cancellation included, and though it isn’t quite as effective as the ANC you’ll find with premium flagship brands like Bose or Sony, it’s perfectly adequate for basic noise-canceling needs. It’s important to note that if you are using the ANC, it will severely hamper the battery life, offering less than 20 hours on a single charge. You will get almost 25 hours of use if you keep the ANC toggled off, though.

The sound quality on the Aria Me headphones is a little more complicated than you might expect. Out of the box, these headphones don’t offer a particularly impressive sound profile. They cover the whole 20Hz-20kHz spectrum and are pretty loud, but the quality of the sound is slightly muddy and unfocused. But there’s a little trick up the Arias’ sleeves. Using the app, you can create a custom sound profile, which entails a short “hearing test” that maps your personal sound spectrum. Once this is loaded in, the headphones sound really impressive, especially for the sub-$200 price point.

The whole package comes with a lot of accessories, including all the requisite cables and a premium-feeling, leather-esque travel case. They also throw in a desktop headphone stand that actually charges the headphones when you hang them on the arm as well as a detachable, bendable boom mic perfect for video calls. It’s a pretty nice package, even if the build quality and design aren’t terribly impressive.

"This is the biggest improvement I’ve seen afforded to Bluetooth headphones by EQ alone, and it really does bring the sound quality up to par with more expensive cans."Jason Schneider, Product Tester

Final Verdict

The Jabra Elite 85h top our list thanks to their well-rounded feature list, including a durable design, excellent battery life, and highly effective ANC control. Great sound quality means these headphones are ideal for daily use.

Our runner-up, the Sony WH-1000XM4, is close behind with some truly exceptional sound quality and near-perfect noise cancellation. The only downside is a hefty price tag. Ultimately, you can't go wrong with either pair.

About Our Trusted Experts

Jennifer Allen has been writing about technology since 2010. She specializes in iOS and Apple technology, as well as wearable technology and smart home devices. She's been a regular tech columnist for Paste Magazine, written for Wareable, TechRadar, Mashable, and PC World, as well as more diverse outlets including Playboy and ​Eurogamer.

Yoona Wagener is a technology and commerce writer. She writes about tech and tests peripherals, smartwatches, and wired and wireless headphones for Lifewire.

Jason Schneider has been writing about tech and audio products for nearly a decade. Previously published on Thrillist, Greatist, and more, he has a degree in Music Technology and his own band. He's reviewed just about all the audio products on Lifewire, and most of the headphones on this list. He liked the Sony WH-100XM3 for its excellent noise cancellation and the Jabra Elite 65t for its great audio quality and secure fit.

Andy Zahn has written for Lifewire since 2019. As an avid outdoorsman, he enjoys using tech on the road. He particularly liked Bose's new noise-canceling 700 headphones for their high-quality build and comfortable fit.

Don Reisinger has been covering tech for more than 12 years. He's previously been published on PCMag, CNET, and other sites. He liked the Bose QuietComfort 35 II for its excellent noise cancellation, the added support for voice commands, and the solid overall sound quality.

The Ultimate Wireless Headphones Buying Guide

A great pair of wireless headphones can transform anyone’s listening experience. However, because there are so many different options out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. Read on for our guide to finding the best pair of wireless headphones for you.

Why Go Wireless?

Although wired headphones tend to offer better sound quality, if you’re not an audiophile with a love of high-fidelity music, the best wireless options on the market should more than satisfy you. Plus, going wireless is infinitely more convenient and portable—especially if you love to listen to music while you travel or exercise.

Wireless headphones generally have a listening distance of around 10 meters, or 33 feet, but that’s likely to change as Bluetooth 5.0, which supports a distance of up to 800 feet, continues to roll out.

Samsung Galaxy Buds
Lifewire / Jason Schneider

Form Factor: What's Your Style?

The first thing to think about when buying a new pair of wireless headphones is the form factor. In general, there are three major form factors to consider: in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear.

In-Ear Headphones Are Very Portable

In-ear headphones can get a bad rep, but they're also the most portable headphones on the market. Some in-ear headphones rest in your ear, while others rest on a section of your outer ear called the antitragus. Other models are pushed slightly deeper into the ear canal, which helps them stay in place.

Comfort is less of a given. Some pairs can even do damage to your ear cartilage, though those instances are very rare. Most people get used to the feel of in-ear headphones, but if you buy a new pair of wireless earbuds, it may take a few days of use for that to happen.

Some in-ear headphones have a small wire that wraps around the back of your head. Recently, however, “true wireless” headphones, like Apple’s AirPods, have become more popular. These earbuds connect wirelessly to your listening device and often come with a charging case when not in use. This technology is still in its infancy but has improved immensely over the past few years—and will definitely continue to do so.

On-Ear Headphones: Compact Yet Comfortable

On-ear headphones offer a happy medium between in-ear and over-ear models. While they keep the same general shape as over-ear headphones, they tend to be a little smaller. The trade-off is that most people find on-ear headphones to be more comfortable than in-ears, and they often have better sound quality.

When it comes to comfort, on-ear headphones offer a compromise between the two other types, with padding that rests on the outer ear. Their comfort level is more defined by how hard the clamp is. If it's too hard, the headphones can’t be worn for long without getting uncomfortable; if it's too soft, they'll fall off.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 Wireless Headphones
 Lifewire / Claire Cohen

Over-Ear Headphones Offer The Best Sound Quality

Over-ear headphones are the ultimate in comfort and sound quality but are by far the least portable. As the name suggests, these headphones often don’t touch your ears at all. Instead, they have padding that clamps around your ears, which is how they’re able to stay comfortable for so long. Part of the reason over-ear headphones sound better is that they have more room for larger drivers, or different types of drivers, that require more space to work properly.

Design: Closed or Open Back?

While the look of the headphones may be important to you, their design refers to whether they’re closed-back or open-back. The vast majority of consumer headphones are closed-back, but some audiophile-focused headphones are open-back. The difference in sound quality can be enormous.

Closed-Back Headphones Keep Outside Noise Out

Most headphones you see in a store will be closed-back. What that means is that the outside of the headphones is designed to keep your music inside while rebuffing outside sounds. There are some advantages and some disadvantages to this. Closed-back headphones are better for those who want to take their headphones on the go or listen to music with others in the room. The main drawback is sound quality—most audiophiles argue that open-back headphones sound more natural. Read on to find out why.

Open-Back Headphones: The Choice for a More Natural Sound

While closed-back headphones are designed to keep your music at least somewhat isolated, open-back headphones are designed to do the opposite. Here's why: if sound can escape your headphones, it won't reverberate inside them. While largely imperceivable, those echoes do create a tighter soundstage. Open-back headphones sound a little wider and more open.

There are some cons, though. Just as sound inside the headphones can get out, outside sound can also creep in. Also, because there's a lack of a physical barrier between the outside world and the electronics inside your headphones, they're more easily damaged by the elements.

If you plan on listening in a quiet environment and simply want the best listening experience, then open-back headphones could well be the way to go.

Semi-Open-Back Headphones: Should You Consider A Pair?

There are also semi-open-back headphones. These cover most of the outside of your ear but leave a little space. These headphones have a slightly more natural sound but with all of the disadvantages of open-back headphones. We really only recommend semi-open-back headphones to users who plan on listening at home and are willing to compromise on some of that openness for a slightly more isolated listening experience.

Microsoft Surface Headphones
Lifewire / Jason Schneider

Audio Quality: What Should Be Your Biggest Considerations?

When purchasing new wireless headphones, there are a number of other audio-related qualities to evaluate. Many are only worth considering if you're looking for the best possible sound quality, but even if you’re not, it can be helpful to know a little more about how your headphones work.

Frequency Range: Low or High Frequency?

Frequency response refers to the different frequencies that headphones are able to reproduce, ultimately resulting in a full sound.

Instruments like bass guitars, bass synths, and kick drums largely live in the lower frequencies, while the sizzle of cymbals and sibilance on a vocal lives in the higher frequencies. Guitars, other drums, the body of a vocal, and so on, all live in between.

The frequency range of human hearing is 20Hz to 20kHz, though most adults can’t hear much past 17kHz. Most headphones have an advertised frequency range of 20Hz - 20kHz—so, while you shouldn’t consider headphones that have a frequency response of less than this, don’t simply assume that this range means they’ll sound good.

Driver Type: What You Should Know

Just like speakers, headphones have drivers—at least one on each side. The driver is what vibrates the air, creating sound. There are a few main kinds of drivers.

Dynamic drivers are found on the vast majority of consumer-level headphones. They're the cheapest to produce, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they sound bad. Generally, they're great at creating a solid bass response without much power. The trade-off is that they can distort more easily at higher volumes.

Balanced armature drivers are only used in in-ear headphones, and work slightly differently in that they can be tuned to specific frequencies. Many in-ear headphones feature two sets of balanced armature drivers, tuned to different frequencies, or are also coupled with dynamic drivers for an evener frequency response.

Planar magnetic headphones are usually only found on higher end over-ear headphones because of their larger size, but they’re often able to produce a much better sound. However, they require a headphone amp to run properly, as they need a little more power than dynamic headphones.

Last but not least is the electrostatic driver, which is able to produce a largely undistorted sound and a wide, natural soundstage. They also have a very natural frequency response. However, they’re larger, much more expensive to make, and require a headphone amplifier.

Jaybird X4 Wireless Sport Headphones
 Lifewire / Jason Schneider

Impedance: How Many ohms Should Your Headphones Have?

Impedance refers to the opposition your headphones give to the flow of current from your headphone amplifier. Impedance generally varies from 8Ω (ohms) to the hundreds of ohms on high-end models.

Most consumer headphones are low-impedance and can be powered easily by a smartphone or computer. High-impedance headphones require a dedicated headphone amplifier to output enough sound.

If you plan on using your headphones with a phone or computer, any headphones with an impedance of under 25Ω should be fine. If you have a headphone amplifier, however, you could get higher-impedance headphones—though just how high depends on the amplifier.

Sensitivity: What Kind of Volume Do You Want?

Sensitivity refers to how loud headphones can get. This volume is measured in decibels. Generally, sensitivity is measured per 1mW (milliwatt). So, if headphones have a sensitivity of 90 dB / mW, that means they can produce 90 dB of volume using 1 milliwatt of power. Usually, a sensitivity of between 90dB and 120dB / 1mW will be perfectly fine for use.

Noise Cancellation Helps to Block Out Exterior Sound

In recent years, noise cancelation tech has improved greatly. Active noise cancelation uses a microphone to detect outside sounds, then plays back an opposite version, effectively canceling it out to your ears. Generally, Bose and Audio Technica are known for their excellent noise cancellation.

There is a downside to this technology: it usually affects audio quality in small ways. For example, noise-canceling headphones can sometimes produce a faint hiss, and the frequency response might be slightly different depending on the frequencies being filtered out.

There are also noise-isolating headphones, which are also known as passive noise-canceling headphones. These models physically cut out any outside noise by creating a seal around your ears with sound-proof materials. This is both lower-tech and less effective, but can still help prevent unwanted sound from distracting you.

Samsung Galaxy Buds
Lifewire / Jason Schneider

Battery Life: What's Considered Good?

There’s one more thing to keep in mind when it comes to buying wireless headphones, and that’s battery life. Battery life varies widely depending on the type of headphones you have. A good battery life for true wireless headphones is anything more than four hours of continuous playback—though the charging case will extend that if you don’t listen for four hours straight. Non-true wireless earbuds should have at least 8-10 hours of playback on a charge. On-ear headphones should be able to offer 15 hours or more, and over-ear headphones should offer at least 16 or 17 hours—though it can range up to around 25 hours.

Other Features and Considerations When Buying Headphones

Wireless headphones are often full of extra features. Many have controls built right into the ear cup. Certain pairs also offer support for a digital assistant like Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, while others go even further, with sensors that can track your heart rate through a workout. Some have features to limit the volume, preventing you from doing too much damage to your ears (which are especially great for kids).

Conclusion: Here's the Gist

No two pairs of wireless headphones are the same. But for the average consumer, the most important things to consider are form factor, design, general sound quality, and battery life. Ultimately, the perfect pair of headphones doesn’t exist—it'll depend on your needs, budget, and taste. Hopefully, armed with this new information, you'll have a better idea of what to look for.

  • What devices work with wireless headphones?

    Pretty much all devices will now work with wireless headphones. Or, at least, all devices that have Bluetooth. This will include smartphones, tablets, your PC or Mac, as well as sounders, and even some TVs. Check the device you wish to connect your headphones to before making a purchase. Many wireless headphones also come with a cable for wired use so you can circumvent any issues this way, too.

  • Is noise-cancellation essential?

    That depends on how you plan on using your headphones. If you're sitting indoors in a quiet room listening to music, ANC is less of an issue than if you're regularly commuting or dealing with a noisy environment. When spending a lot of money on headphones, it makes sense to have noise-cancellation features even if you don't plan on using them, but it's not essential. 

  • How do I know they'll fit me well?

    With over-ear headphones, it's often possible to adjust how tightly the headband wraps around your head, making it easier to get a good fit. In the case of in-ear earphones, look for pairs that also come with additional silicone tips or other ways of making them fit well. Read as many user reviews as possible to get an idea of what will work best for you.

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