The 8 Best Wireless Headphones to Buy in 2017

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

B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 Wireless Headphones
Photo from Amazon

Wireless Bluetooth headphones have changed the way we listen to music, but it's difficult to know which ones to buy. But you're in luck: We've done the homework for you, so read on for our top picks, which include the best wireless headphones overall, the best for exercise, the best for sound quality, best for travel and more.

Jabra MOVE Wireless on-ear headphones are the best all-round option on the wireless headphone market. They only weigh about a pound and are a relatively low cost option yet deliver excellent sound in a thoughtful, energetic design. The headphones (particularly the red and cobalt designs) stand out from the crowd and the look is both bold and minimalist.

The lightweight stainless steel headband is adjustable for comfort and is covered in a dirt-resistant fabric for durability. Earcups are matt-textured plastic and you’ll find a power switch that doubles as the Bluetooth discovery switch on the right earcup. On the left earcup, there is a 3.5” input, so should your battery run dry you can plug in to your device with a standard connector. You’ll also find a multifunction button that allows you to play and pause your audio from the headset. You can expect up to eight hours of constant usage and 12 days of standby time.

Another reason we choose the Jabra MOVE Wireless as our top pick is the sound performance – it’s crisp and balanced. Across bass, mids and highs, the earcup speakers perform their job admirably, and the MOVE headphones’ sound is right up there with the best wireless ones despite their relatively low price. It has a 29 Ohm speaker impedance and a speaker max input power of 80mW. Depending on your use case, you might find their lack of noise insulation annoying, and constant use can tend to wear down the leather earpads, but at this price point Jabra MOVE Wireless headphones are hard to beat.

While the QC35 headphones were a top contender for our favorite noise-canceling headphones, they ultimately won us over for their extreme comfort. Starring large, oval ear cups and a headband that are both plumped with padding, even extended listening sessions feel comfortable. As far as noise-canceling goes, Bose is the gold standard. The QC35 has built microphones inside and outside the ear cups to sense unwanted noise and, using its new digital equalizing system, will balance sound accordingly.

This wireless pair has a battery life rated at an impressive 20 hours, but Bose has moved away from AAAs to a rechargeable battery mechanism, which makes it impossible to swap in new, standard batteries should yours die in the middle of your listening session. Thankfully, the QC35 can be used with a wire, so it’s easy to just plug in and continue listening. It’s worth noting that the sound quality is also slightly better when using it as a wired headphone, but it’s still top of its class when it comes to wireless Bluetooth sound.

A pair of Bluetooth headphones under $50 that actually sound good? Yes, it's possible. The Creative Sound Blaster Jam headphones come from the company better known for making computer sound cards, but they’re punching way above their weight here.

Considering the price, there are some concessions here (the build quality is noticeably cheaper and the headphones don’t fold for travel). Earcup padding is minimal, but does the job – if you’re used to thick pads then you’ll need to look elsewhere, and the look is a little '90s (but don't trends come back every 20 years?). However, Creative Sound Blaster Jam headphones are nice and light – just 8.8 oz.

Both Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC are supported, and you’ll get a range of around 30 feet, which is pretty standard for wireless Bluetooth headphones. You’ll get up to 12 hours of use between charges, thanks to the 3.7 V 200mAh lithium ion battery inside, and it can be charged through a USB cable (a one-meter cable is provided). There’s no 3.5” input at all, so you’ll need to ensure to keep your battery charged.

Sound quality is pretty good, and is powered by 32 mm NeoDymium drivers. The bass is helped immensely when you engage the bass boost switch and mids are nice, although there will be some muddying if you push the volume up. At the high-end, the treble is crisp.

Although these headphones don’t excel in any one area, they get a passing grade for everything, and at such a low price for wireless Bluetooth headphones, they’re an extremely good value.

Perhaps the most important feature for any audiophile on the market for wireless headphones is sound quality and these Bang & Olufsen headphones don’t disappoint. They house 40mm electro-dynamic drivers that produce a deeply rich and balanced sound with high clarity and crisp mids. They have an option to be used as wired headphones, but when used over Bluetooth, we’re pleased to say the sound quality holds up. The battery life impresses, too, promising a respectable 19 hours of playtime per charge.

Bang & Olufsen is renowned for its design details and the H4 certainly upholds the reputation. Sleek yet sturdy, they are made of metal with lambskin leather on the headband and feature memory foam earpads that one Amazon reviewers says “feel like clouds.” While they don’t have active noise cancelation, you’ll find they block out sound very effectively anyway.

Sennheiser's PXC 550 will quickly earn its place among your favorite tech gadgets. The noise-cancelling headphones feel relatively light (they're just eight ounces) without feeling cheap. Instead of a power button, turn on the PXC 550 by twisting the right ear up from a flat position. You can swipe up/down on the earcup for adjusting volume and swiping left/right will change tracks.

When powered on, the PXC 550 automatically pairs to the last connected device via Bluetooth 4.2 and remembers two devices at a time. The 2.5mm proprietary input sits next to the microUSB power port. Sennheiser claims up to 30 hours of battery life before needing to recharge. The PXC 550 excels when it comes to mids and trebles with clear dynamic sound that feels natural. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for bass (so heavy bass users will want to look elsewhere).

The business-like design shines when it comes to folding up into a ball and placed back into their soft material case. The combination of noise cancellation, great sound and compact design make the 550 a top-notch choice for transport.

If long-lasting battery life tops your wish list for wireless headphones, look no further than the Marshall Major IIs. These Bluetooth aptX over-ear headphones boast over 30 hours of playtime on a single charge, putting other pairs to shame. If you do manage to drain the battery, never fear; just plug in the cord to the 3.5mm jack to keep listening to your music (an option not common with smaller earphones). You can juice it back up quickly with the included USB charging cable.

Marshall’s design is classic yet comfortable, even when worn over time. You can control your music via the simple analog control knob on the right earpad and sync it with your phone to answer, reject and end phone calls. The headphones are collapsible, making them easy to listen with on the go.

Its 40mm dynamic drivers yield deep, rich bass and well-defined highs and it has a 10Hz to 20kHz frequency range. Amazon reviewers love these headphones for both their build and sound quality.

There’s nothing more frustrating than fidgeting with ill-fitting earphones during your sweat session, but the Jaybird X3s fit snuggly in almost anyone’s ear, thanks to many customizable options. They come with six pairs of eartips in various sizes – three in silicone and three in Comply foam – all of which are sweatproof and fit well under a helmet. They also come with three sizes of optional ear fins that help hold the earphones in place during a vigorous workout, although many Amazon reviewers report that the fins are unnecessary. The cord can loop behind or in front of your neck, but be warned that the earphones are not individually marked with an R and L, which might cause a little confusion. The earphones come in an array of colors: black, military green, red, white and gold.

As for the sound, the in-ear speaker design features a 6mm driver that produces a rich and balanced bass and bright highs. If the levels are not to your liking, you can fine-tune the sound in Jaybird’s MySound app and save your settings to play on any device they are paired with. The 100mAh battery will score you up to eight hours of playtime despite their small size and it charges up surprisingly fast. So whether you’re running in the rain or lifting at the gym, the Jaybird X3 headphones make a perfect workout buddy.

The Plantronics active noise-canceling technology allows you to block out the outside world and be immersed in your music. This setting is fully adjustable, so that means you can change the amount of outside noise you hear in an instant.

Backbeat PRO wireless headphones support Bluetooth, NFC and A2DP. Sound quality is good, too. The bass is full (some would say boomy), mids are neutral and highs are clear.

Battery life is particularly good – you’ll get up to 24 hours of listening between charges. A smart hibernation mode allows for shelving them for up to six months and they’ll still power up. Also nice is the 330-foot range on the Bluetooth, so you don’t need to be right next to the device you are getting your audio from.

In addition, some smart features make these headphones an essential item. For example, you have the ability to switch quickly between two different connected devices (so it's a cinch to go from watching a movie to answering a call on your smartphone). Another nifty feature: Removing the headphones from your head can automatically pause music.

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