The 14 Best Wireless Headphones to Buy in 2018

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

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones

4.8

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.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best Bose headphones

Best Durability: Jabra MOVE Wireless

Jabra MOVE Wireless
Courtesy of Amazon.com
4.9

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.

Best for Exercise: Jaybird X3 Sport Bluetooth Headset

Jaybird X3 Sport Bluetooth Headset
Courtesy of Amazon.com
4.7

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.

Check out our other reviews of the best exercise headphones on the market today. 

Best Sound Quality: B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 Wireless Headphones

4.6

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 cancellation, you’ll find they block out sound very effectively anyway.

Take a peek at some of the other best Bang & Olufsen headphones you can buy.

Best Budget: Creative Sound Blaster Jam

Creative Sound Blaster Jam
Courtesy of Amazon.com
4.4

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.

Check out our other reviews of the best budget headphones on the market today. 

Best In-Ear: Jabra Elite Active 65t

Apple might have the majority of the public's attention when it comes to in-ear wireless headphones, but Jabra’s Elite Active 65t might just edge them out when it comes to performance. They’re truly wireless — no wires to tangle or drape across your neck — which makes them attractive to those who want an AirPod-style experience without the price tag. In addition, the Jabra Elite Active 65t has the added advantage of noise cancellation circuitry and a custom fit system. This makes them even more attractive to those who are looking for a better sound and fit.

The Jabra Elite Active 65ts are sweatproof and dustproof, as well, making them a perfect set of earbuds to take with you when exercising, and they come with different sized ear covers to get them to stay in many different sized ears. Jabra’s HearThrough mode gives you an adjustable slider to let some ambient noise through when you’re out and about, which is essential for safety. Jabra’s Elite Active 65t has another advantage over Apple’s offering: you can connect these to more than just iOS devices (including Android and your Mac or PC), though the iOS connection is a standard Bluetooth one, not the AirPod’s fancy quick connect. Still, with the extra fit and size customization — not to mention the adjustable noise cancellation — Jabra has the better feature set here. 

Best Noise-Canceling: Microsoft Surface Headphones

The new Surface Headphones fold in amazing noise-canceling tech with some interesting and unique features. One of the earcups is actually a twistable controller — most likely modeled after the Surface Dial accessory that accompanies the Surface Studio — that lets you adjust the amount of ambient noise you can hear. If you want to focus and block out all distractions, you can turn it all the way up and block out all external sound. And if you're in public and need to be aware of your surroundings, then you can let in more ambient noise.

The construction is similar to the rest of the Surface line: sleek, sturdy, and lightweight (in this case, only 0.64 pounds). The memory-foam-style ear cups seem pretty comfortable, and the sound quality should serve most users — it delivers decibel levels up to 112 dB and a frequency spectrum covering the entire human hearing range from 20Hz to 20kHz. It’s designed to pair well with Surface products and integrates nicely with Microsoft Cortana, but you can use these with most smart assistants like Siri and Google Assitant, too.

The Surface headphones can connect via Bluetooth or with the included aux cable (if your batteries run out). They have a pretty premium price tag, but the features could be worth it for some users.

Check out our other reviews of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market today. 

Best for iPhone: Apple Airpods

Apple Airpods
 Courtesy of Apple

It’s hard to find a better pair of truly wireless earbuds for iOS and other Apple devices than Apple’s own AirPods. Yes, they’re a bit pricey (though alternatives like Bose’s SoundSport Free cost even more), they’re not super high-end on audio quality, and they only work fully with Apple’s own W1-chip devices, but the easy pairing feature alone is worth the price of admission. They last a long time, too, with a five-hour per headphone charge, which extends to more than 24 hours of listening time — or 11 hours of talk time — thanks to the clever little charging case. This dental floss-sized pack holds your AirPods in it with a satisfying magnetic click, and can be charged with the same Lightning cable you use to charge your iPhone.

Pairing with a W1 chip-enabled device like your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch is a breeze and will truly spoil you for any other way of doing things. Using them is great, too. A quick tap on the right earbud will start and stop music and answer phone calls and taking one AirPod out of your ear will pause whatever audio source you were listening to. It resumes right away when you replace the earbud. While some users report not liking the fit or overall look of AirPods, the lightweight design, super portable form, and perfectly acceptable sound quality make these a perfect choice for anyone using an iOS device.  

Best for Android: Bose SoundSport Free

You can’t really talk about truly wireless earbuds without mentioning Apple’s AirPods, for sure, but they aren’t the only option in town. That’s a good thing, too, as most major mobile phone makers have dumped the headphone jack as well. Luckily, there’s a solid option for Android users (AirPods don’t work with non-Apple devices) in the form of Bose’s SoundSport Free earbuds.

Bose knows how to make headphones sound great, and the SoundSport Free is no exception. They’ve got a fantastic, comfortable fit and they’re sweat-resistant for all the workout activities you’re going to want to do while wearing them. Amazon reviewer found the little plastic fins that stick up on each earbud to be a great way to keep the SoundSport devices in their ears, especially as they are a bit bulkier than Apple’s sleek white AirPods. Thankfully, you’ll be able to locate them if they do get lost using the Bose Connect app to “Find My Buds.” The app also makes pairing a bit easier than standard ways of connecting Bluetooth devices, and Bose’s SoundSport Free has volume, pause, and skip controls right on the earbuds themselves. Many reviewers say that sound quality is even better than AirPods, which makes them a perfect rival and a worthwhile buy.

Best for Gaming: SteelSeries Arctis 7 (2019 Edition)

SteelSeries has a long history of making solid, quality peripherals for the demands of professional video gamers. Their headphones are just as quality, making the Arctis 7 headset a great choice for a wide variety of gamers, pro and otherwise. They’re super comfortable, with a suspension-style headband that never puts too much pressure on the top of your skull, and soft, pillowy, breathable over-the-ear cups that let you keep them on for those long Fortnite sessions. Better yet, the Arctis 7 has a 24-hour battery life, so you can charge while you sleep and never worry about them running out of battery while you’re playing.

The Arctis 7's design also features a retractable microphone perfect for in-game chatting (you can easily tuck it away when you're just listening to music or watching videos). The headphones connect wirelessly to PC, Mac, PS4 and VR devices, and can be wired to work with Xbox One and Switch consoles, too. If you use them with your PC, you’ll be able to adjust the surround sound options from there as well. The 2019 edition features 360-degree surround sound and S1 drivers that offer high-end, distortion-free audio so you can better hear your enemies approaching. The Arctis 7 will please anyone who plays a wide variety of games across console and PC. 

Best for Kids: Puro Sound Labs BT2200

Choosing a pair of headphones for your kids might seem easy, but making sure they come with some volume limits is super important. While you can easily find a cheap pair of cute headphones that look like farm animals or cartoon characters, these Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones for kids will make sure your child’s hearing is protected. Pediatric audiologists recommend over-the-ear headphones that don’t exceed 85 decibels of sound. Puro’s BT2200 headphones do exactly that, offering a comfortable fit for most children, prioritizing volume reduction and comfort. Sure, they’re a bit more expensive than cheaper solutions, but they’re exceedingly durable and will take heavy usage from your kids. Not only do they keep your child’s eardrums safe, but they sound pretty great too with a solid bass response and clear highs and non-muddy midrange frequencies. The Puro headphones don’t offer any active noise cancellation, but there is a bit of passive help from the soft ear cups. For less than $100, you can be sure that your kids are able to rock out without damaging their hearing. 

Best for TV: Sennheiser RS 185

If you’re looking to watch a blockbuster or play a video game at high volume without disturbing others (like roommates or parents), you're going to need a really good pair of wireless headphones. These Sennheiser RS 185s offer low-latency, high-reliability connection to the set-top box that you’ll connect to your television and headphones. Low latency means you won’t notice any lag between what you see on TV and what you hear in your headphones, while a reliable connection will make sure you’re not taken out of the immersive entertainment by static or sound stutters.

The Sennheiser RS 185s are made specifically for home theater fans, and they use radio frequencies instead of Bluetooth to give you better range, super low latency, and uncompressed sound. They’ll only work with the included transmitter, though, so don’t plan on using them for any other purpose. Sennheiser makes them open-backed, which ensures a comfortable fit to go along with the great sound, but they can leak audio, which might disturb anyone too close to you while you’re using them. Still, the RS 185s deliver high-quality audio up to 100 feet from the transmitter and get up to 18 hours of battery life on one charge.

Best Design/Best for Travel: Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones

Everyone likes to pick on Beats headphones, most notably after their Apple acquisition. Still, the Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones can’t be beat for price, sound, noise cancellation, or portability. While some reviewers note that the headphones don’t fold flat like other models, they do fold up into a little football-sized shape to fit into the included hard case, an attractive option to slip into a carry-on bag. They pair with Apple devices with ease thanks to the W1 chip, but can also be used as wireless headphones with any other Bluetooth-capable smartphones or other gadgets. You can take phone calls easily and reviewers say that the sound quality is great for video conferencing as well.

The latest Beats Studio3 model has upped the noise cancellation game, offering more auto-adjustments thanks to the addition of in-ear microphones to monitor the changes in sound if you wear glasses or have a lot of hair. While there are more expensive models out there with perhaps better sound or noise cancellation, the attractive price of the Beats keeps them atop our list.

Best Battery Life: Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

Let’s cut to the chase: The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless headphones have a 30-hour battery life. That’s pretty much the top of the game in this category, and it ensures that you can go long periods between charging sessions. That’s not the only thing they have going for them, either. They’re pretty light, making them easy to wear for long periods of time, and they include some neat gesture controls, like swiping on the ear cup to adjust volume or change tracks. You even turn them on by unfolding them from a flat position. Even better, the PCX 550 auto-pairs to the last connected device, thanks to Bluetooth 4.2, and can remember up to two devices at a time. The sound is good, too, with clear, dynamic highs and mids for those who are tired of the other super bass-heavy options out there. The over-ear headphones offer stellar sound cancellation as well, with adjustable levels and hiss-free listening. If you need quality headphones that will keep a charge longer than most people would need, the PCX 550s are the way to go. 

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best Sennheiser headphones.

Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 158 hours testing five of the most popular pairs of wireless headphones on the market. To get the most thorough results possible, they tried them in all types of scenarios: on their daily commute, working out, relaxing at home, and more. We asked them to consider the most important features when using these headphones and we've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in Wireless Headphones

Design - The design of wireless headphones differs drastically. You can choose among bulkier over-the-ear headphones, sleeker neckband-style earphones, or true wireless earphones that have no wires whatsoever. Over-the-ear models undoubtedly deliver the best sound and eliminate surrounding noises, but a wireless pair that sit in your ear canal can be more convenient for exercising — not to mention safer by letting in some ambient noise.

Sound quality - If sound quality is your number one priority, you should take note of the internal drivers. The driver’s diameter is measured in millimeters and it’s generally thought that the larger the driver, the louder the sound it’s capable of producing. However, that’s not necessarily true, as the sound also depends on how far the drivers sit from your eardrum with any given design. Generally, earphone drivers measure between 8mm and 15mm, while headphone drivers fall between 20mm and 50mm.

Battery life - The downside of wireless headphones is that they have a limited battery life. While a good pair will last you up to 30 hours on a single charge, it can be inconvenient when you’re left powerless. To be safe, spring for a pair that has a wired option, so if you’re caught on a long flight, you can just plug the cord in via the 3.5mm jack to continue listening.

Test Results: Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones (Best Overall)

4.8

What We Like

  • Extremely comfortable

  • Amazing audio quality

  • Great noise-cancelation

  • Come with a carrying case

What We Don't Like

  • Not as stylish as some other models

  • Short charging cable

One of our testers thought these headphones were so essential that she said she wouldn’t travel without them ever again. The only real issue our reviewers had? Style. One person said, “I wish there was a way to make them less garish-looking. They're a bit bulky and you certainly don't look ‘cool’ while wearing them.” However, she still wears them daily because of the superior sound and the comfort — which speaks to their quality. One of our reviewers also noted that the charging cable is only 10 inches, which makes it tough to charge the headphones and wear them at the same time.

Test Results: Jabra MOVE Wireless (Best Durability)

4.9

What We Like

  • Sturdy but compact

  • Good sound quality

  • Reliable Bluetooth connection

  • Great battery life

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn’t block a lot of external noise

One of our reviewers told us that this pair seemed “sturdier and smaller” than other wireless headphones he had tried before, and that he felt comfortable throwing them in his bag on the way to work without worrying they would break. One of our testers also found that he didn’t have to charge them very often at all. He noted, “I used them to commute an hour each way for three days in a row without charging.” Our testers also pointed out how good the bass sounded, even at lower volumes.

Test Results: Jaybird X3 Sport Bluetooth Headset (Best for Exercise)

4.7

What We Like

  • Outstanding sound quality

  • Can pair with several devices simultaneously

  • Sweat-proof

What We Don't Like

  • Protrude out of your ears a little

Our reviewers confirmed that these headphones stay put during the toughest of workouts. They also found them to be sweat-proof, fashionable, and one person even described the sound quality as “awesome.” One of our testers’ only complaints was that this model “sticks out a little” from your ears, although that didn’t seem to affect the fit.

Test Results: B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 Wireless Headphones (Best for Comfort)

4.6

What We Like

  • Very comfortable

  • Good sound quality

  • Battery life is reliable

What We Don't Like

  • Bluetooth disconnects after inactivity

  • Not enough bass

  • No carrying case

We’re happy to report that the sound quality of these headphones is stellar — even when used wirelessly over Bluetooth. Another big draw was comfort. One of our testers raved, “These are easily the most comfortable headphones I've ever owned and I wear them for long periods of time every day.” One reviewer had trouble finding an indicator for battery life, but was happy with the battery itself, using it daily for over a week without needing a charge.

Test Results: Creative Sound Blaster Jam (Best Budget)

4.4

What We Like

  • Very light

  • Good sound quality

  • Long battery life

What We Don't Like

  • Don’t feel sturdy

When using these headphones, one of our testers seemed to get even better battery use than promised. He said, “I can use it two full days of eight-hour listening before charging.” Overall, our reviewers were happy with the sound quality you get for the price. “These are definitely better than most of the budget headphones I've used in terms of sound quality,” one tester wrote.