Using headphones with a cord can be a pain sometimes, I know for myself one of the biggest annoyances was always getting the cord tangled up in the feet of my rolling desk chair. Sometimes the cord is too short, sometimes you don’t want to be tethered to your desk, or you don’t want a cord that can be snagged and have the headphones pulled off your ears as a result. Luckily thanks to bluetooth technology cordless headphones are now a reality, and you can get some pretty high end and noise-cancelling ones as well if you don’t want to sacrifice sound quality. This list has bluetooth wireless headphones that run from top of the line to your more budget-friendly options.
#1 Sennheiser PXC 550
Sennheiser released the new PCX 550 wireless Bluetooth headphones with a lot of fanfare, and there’s a good reason for that. They sound great! Sennheiser is known for putting out well-balanced, high sonic quality headphones, but the PCX 550 model takes it a step further.
One important consideration when it comes to Bluetooth audio is the version that is being use. This is where Sennheiser beat out most of the higher-end brands. The PCX 550 uses the latest Bluetooth 4.2 technology standard with NFC pairing for quick and reliable connection to your audio devices. Not only that, but these headphones also feature NoiseGuard adaptive noise cancelling technology with a triple microphone array for great clarity. And yes, there is a mobile app that allows you to customize the EQ, user presets, and noise cancellation settings.
There are a many more impressive features available, but the important take-away is that they sound amazing.
- ergonomic and lightweight design
- automatically turns on when unfolded
- app control for audio presets
- noise cancellation with option for on/50%/off
- 2-year warranty
- touch controls instead of buttons
- ear cups may feel small for some users
- lots of listening modes and choices can make the user interface seem complicated
- wind noise may be heard when used outside
#2 Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless
Modest price point and superior sound quality gives the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 wireless noise cancelling headphones a big advantage over other headphones on this list. If your main requirement is accurate music reproduction and quality listening to a variety of music styles, then you’ll want to strongly consider these headphones. The noise cancelling technology is not as refined as the Bose headphones, but the reproduction of musical nuances will certainly impress critical listeners. While the vintage-looking style may appeal to some users and not others, the construction is very sturdy and durable.
- Solid metal band construction
- foldable and very compact
- excellent sound quality and musical reproduction
- great Bluetooth wireless range
- tight fit with good outside noise isolation
- Noise cancelling not as good as the Bose headphones
- may feel a little heavy for some users
- finish on the headphones can tend to wear off in some cases
- perceived loudness may be lacking for some users
- built-in talkback microphone is lower quality than other headphones on this list
#3 B&O Play BeoPlay H7
The B&O Play BeoPlay H7 headphones are beautiful to look at. The anodized aluminum headband reveal and lambskin leather trim make this product look and feel like a first rate set of headphones. The sound quality is exceptional, featuring balanced tones with just a hint of crisp high frequency character. The BeoPlay H7 headphones do not have active noise cancellation, but the luxurious leather ear cups do provide good natural sound isolation.
While these headphones are fairly comfortable, they are on the heavy side, so long-term use may cause a little fatigue. They only reason they didn’t rank higher on this list is due to the relatively high price point and the lack of noise cancellation.
- beautiful style and design
- balanced sound
- long battery life
- good acoustic isolation
- supports aptX and AAC audio codecs
- can feel heavy after a couple hours of use
- no active noise cancellation
- Bluetooth connectivity can take some time to set up with certain devices
#4 Bose QuietComfort 35
Bose often ranks high on headphone comparison lists. While other brands may have better sound quality, it is very difficult to beat the world-class technology that Bose has developed in this category. The QuietComfort 35 headphones exhibit the best noise cancelling performance over all other headphones on this list. You’ll get reliable Bose-quality sound as well, with a little help from the built-in volume-optimized EQ processing.
The audio playback may not sound as sonically pure or transparent as some other models, but the Bose QuietComfort 35 has a good mix of quality features and value.
- excellent noise cancellation
- good talkback mic sound quality
- good overall music playback quality
- pivoting ear cups allow for very comfortable for long-term use
- good Bluetooth connectivity range and device connectivity
- uses older wireless Bluetooth 4.1 technology,
- slightly brittle sound characteristic,
- highest price point on this list,
- build quality not as robust as some other models on this list,
- headphone jack uses smaller connection,
- so replacement cables maybe be more difficult to find for wired-headphone users.
#5 Sony H.ear On Wireless NC Headphones
These Sony noise cancelling headphones feature the perfect balance of audio quality, style, and noise cancellation technology. They rival the higher price point of the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones, but you still get great performance and overall quality for the price.
The noise cancelling technology for the H.ear On MDR-100ABN headphones is better than the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0, but not quite at sophisticated as the Bose solution. Music playback sounds warmer than the Bose, but perhaps not quite as detailed as the Sennheiser or B&O BeoPlay H7. The construction of these headphones is solid and they feel well built. With an average 20+ hour battery life, the Sony H.ear On is a great choice for long-term wearing.
- Good noise cancelling
- quality audio reproduction
- several color options to choose from
- sturdy construction
- Higher price point than most other headphones on this list
- slight static noise when in noise cancelling mode
- some users may feel like the headphones are too heavy or tight
#6 Bose Soundlink II Around Ear Wireless Headphones
For the price, the Bose Soundlink II wireless headphones provide fairly decent value, without the enhancements of active noise cancelling technology. Sound quality is good and may even provide less sonic coloring than other Bose models. The 15-hour battery and lightweight design make the Soundlink II a great choice for traveling and long-term use.
It should be noted that there is not support for the higher quality AAC audio codec via Bluetooth, and you may notice a decrease in the maximum volume level when listening in wireless mode. But overall, these headphones sound better than many other brands competing at this level.
- long battery life
- 15-minute charge provide 2 additional hours of playing time
- quality sound reproduction
- good Bluetooth distance range
- diminished volume when used in wireless audio mode
- talkback microphone quality is not great
- proprietary audio cable required
- push buttons instead of touch buttons
#7 V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The iconic design of the V-Moda Crossfade wireless headphones will certainly catch your eye. The modern, industrial-looking design is robust and features metal headband attachments. And the included analog audio cable is made of Kevlar.
The V-Moda wireless headphones feature the largest drivers in this list, coming in with a 50mm speaker. One other perk is that you can change out the ear pads for the “XL” size, which makes long-term listening more comfortable. There are a couple notable downsides, however. The Bluetooth audio quality does not seem to be as crisp or punchy as it is when used in wired mode, and there is a fair amount of sound leakage heard outside the headphones. Overall, a cool design with reasonable sound quality – but it just isn’t enough to put the V-Moda higher on this list when considering the final price.
- solid construction
- interchangeable ear pads
- large 50mm drivers with good bass response
- Bluetooth shuts off as soon as the audio cable is plugged in
- lower quality audio in Bluetooth mode compared to using a wired connection
- control buttons are almost too discrete which makes them harder to find/use
- may feel a little tight for large heads
#8 Bowers and Wilkins P5 Wireless
The Bowers and Wilkins P5 wireless headphones definitely could have ranked higher on this list, except that the sound quality versus price point just don’t seem to match up. The P5 is a beautifully designed set of headphones with a classy vintage look, quilted cloth and leather trim, and long playback battery life.
The sound quality is rather good, but it is not exceptional when you consider the final price tag and compare it to other high performance headphones on this list. The high frequencies can seem a little muffled, and overall there is just a little too much sonic coloration. The sound quality does improve a little bit over time, so be prepared to allow a good 10-20 hour “break in” period to loosen up the speakers. Great design and good sound, but that just doesn’t match the price.
- classic design and robust build
- 17-hour battery life
- 2-year warranty
- Bluetooth aptX quality audio support
- sound character is slightly colored with high frequencies being a little muffled
- requires several hours to break in the speaker drivers
- proprietary audio cable
#9 Parrot Zik 3.0
Parrot Zik 3.0 wireless headphones follow in the tradition of the 2.0 series with respect to style and color options. The minimalist design with brushed-nickel accents has a slight retro throwback appearance that is unique and pleasing to look at. The “concert hall” EQ effect provides quality playback sound, and the noise cancelling technology is actually pretty decent. The Parrot Zik mobile app allows the user to customize the audio experience with several different EQ settings and even a library of more advanced custom presets.
These headphones do fold flat for travel, but they are not collapsible, so they are not as compact as other headphones on this list. And the battery life leaves something to be desired, providing only 6-hours of wireless audio listening and noise cancelling usage. Yes, these headphones have active noise cancelling, but that feature isn’t enough to move them on this list of premium headphones, especially since the higher priced 3.0 version is only marginally better than the lower priced Parrot Zik 2.0 headphones.
- Good noise cancelling
- lots of audio presets and listening modes
- Bluetooth connectivity
- colorful and minimalist design
- Short battery life
- not very compact compared to other units
- construction is a little cheap
- multi-device Bluetooth support is intermittent for some devices
#10 Jabra Move Wireless
The Jabra Move wireless headphone rank lowest on this list, but it has nothing to do with their low price point. The metal headband construction looks clean and sturdy, and the ear cups are small, providing a tastefully simple appearance. However, the Jabra Move headphones do not swivel or fold in any way, so they are not very compact. They feature a good headband grip for many users, but high levels of activity may cause these headphones to slip.
The 10-hour battery life is OK. But the biggest reason these are the lowest ranking headphones on the list is due to the generally mediocre sound quality. The tone is fine, but there are some static problems at times, and Bluetooth connectivity can be intermittent. These could make a good low-cost backup set of headphones, but don’t expect premium quality and transparent audio reproduction.
- metal headband
- reasonable battery life
- not very compact
- intermittent Bluetooth issues for some devices
- notable issues with ear pad cover quality
- mediocre sound quality