Best wireless headphones offer way more mobility and convenience than its run-of-the-mill, wired counterpart because of two main reasons. It doesn’t require you to manually plug it in each time you want to listen to your music and you don’t have to deal with those annoying tangled cables anymore.
Because of their liberation from their cables, wireless headphones are very popular with those of us who are active and on the go around the clock; this includes college going students who walk long distances from one campus building to another. Which is really boring without any music for the company and other commuters who just want to channel out the world around them and be with their music (this is where noise-canceling headphones come in handy).
Top 10 Best Wireless Headphones 2018
Wireless headphones are also becoming increasingly popular with gamers since the lack of cables makes a gaming setup much neater and easier to game on. In our list, we’ll look at what we (and many others) believe are the best wireless headphones that one could buy in 2018 in terms of comfort, design, noise-cancellation and most importantly: the audio performance that they offer.
1. Bose QuietComfort 35 – Best Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
The Bose QuietComfort 35 is the successor to the QuietComfort 35, which pretty much set the gold standard for noise cancellation wireless headphones; that alone raises the bar for the QuietComfort 35 headphones pretty high. The QuietComfort 35 are still available on amazon for about $300 while the QuietComfort 35 cost just $50 more. The price difference isn’t too much so let’s see what we gain for that extra 50 bucks.
Design and features
Unlike the red and black shell of the QuietComfort 35, the newer QC35 are totally black but still retain all the handy features found on the predecessor model – and then some. The QuietComfort 35 have a very flexible band and are very lightweight despite the fact that they house a battery over the QuietComfort 35 headphones.
All the controls are housed in the right ear cup, including a power switch, multi-function buttons for playback, call handling and navigating through your playlist. On the underside of the ear cup, you’ll find a micro USB charging port and on the other ear cup, there’s a 3.5mm jack that will facilitate any aux cable for wired listening.
The ear pads are very soft and plush, making these wireless headphones very easy on the ears for long periods of listening like when you’re on a flight etc. The space inside the pads doesn’t get hot so you don’t have to worry about sweaty ears either.
The audio performance of the Bose QuietComfort 35 is very balanced across the highs and lows and makes for a great listening experience. However, because these headphones are in fact wired, the audio isn’t as great as what would suit the appetite of an audiophile, but then again headphones aren’t exactly for sound monitoring or critical listening. Overall, these headphones sound pretty good and it’s hard to complain.
The battery life on the QuietComfort 35 is right up there with the best wireless headphones at even higher price ranges; on a single charge, you’ll get around 20 hours of playback, which should be enough to get you through the whole week. Upon powering on, the headphones will tell you the remaining battery percentage, which is a useful feature that you’d expect from a premium wireless headphone set.
2. Beats Solo3 – On-Ear Wireless Headphones
Beats only made their appearance on the stage recently, compared to other manufacturers and for better or worse, they’ve become very popular as a producer of expensive headphones. The Solo3 was announced, following the inception of the iPhone 7, which was a smart move by Beats, considering how the iPhone 7 would raise the demand for wireless headphones.
Design and features
The Beats solo3 wireless headphones look a lot like the outgoing solo2, with the same glossy finish which looks nice when worn but won’t sit too well with neat freaks like us who don’t like seeing fingerprints all over. There are other color options besides gloss black which might show lesser fingerprints.
There’s a single multi-function button, in the form of the Beats ‘b’ logo that you can press in different combinations to navigate through your tracks, handle calls or control playback. This button is nice to use but it’s identical to the logo on the other ear cup, which you’ll be pressing a lot accidentally during the first few days.
The solo3 headphones come with a soft case and can be folded down to a very compact size, making them easy to store and carry around, great news for those of us who travel around a lot. However, it’s worth mentioning that the plastic build is a double-edged sword; while it makes the headphones very light to wear, it also feels brittle so we’re not too confident in how well they’ll hold up if someone accidentally sat on them.
The W1 chip of the Beats solo3 has to be its most valuable feature; this chip allows you to connect to your iOS devices by just having them close to your headphones. It’s like an NFC chip with an extended range, making this an absolute delight for iOS users.
However, if you don’t have an iOS device, you’ll have to pair manually like any other wireless headphone set out there. Basically, Android devices don’t get to enjoy this benefit of the W1 chip. The solo3 headphones do come with an audio cable with an inline remote for wired listening, which is a useful feature for those who want to use these with a laptop.
The sound is very bass heavy, the kind you’d enjoy if your music tastes are restricted to hip hop but if you’re into music with much more going on such as metal or instrumental, you wouldn’t hear the highs and mids that well at all.
What we liked best about the Beats solo3 wireless headphones was its incredible battery life of up to 40 hours. The solo2 promised a lot of playback time as well but only delivered 12 hours on a single charge but the W1 chip of the Beats solo3 allow it to go above 35 hours, maybe even 40, like Beats claims?
3.Sony MDRXB950BT/B – Extra Bass Wireless Headphones
The Sony MDR XB950BT is a prime example of Sony’s XB (Xtra Bass) series and is designed to cater to the needs to bass lovers but not bass lovers alone. These Bluetooth headphones retail for around $150 on Amazon, so they’re easy on the pockets too, but do they provide the value for money that we’re looking for? Let’s find out.
Design and features
There are two kinds of plastic that we see on all the gadgets that we review: the good plastic and then the cheap plastic. To our delight, the Sony MDR XB950BT headphones is built from the former; the build isn’t exactly the most premium feeling, but the headphones are pretty solid.
One thing that we didn’t like about the build of the Sony MDR XB950BT headphones is the fact that the ear cups are in fact huge, which may not sit well with those of us who prefer going out with gadgets that are a bit more discreet. Other than that, the black design with red accents is very pleasing to look at. And despite the large size, these headphones are lightweight and portable.
On the bottom of the right ear cup, there’s a single multi-function button to control playback and also doubles as a sliding switch to navigate tracks and rewind. Next to that, you’ll find your volume control switch and on the left cup, there’s a USB charging port and a 3.5mm jack for wired listening in case you run out of battery or just prefer it that way.
Overall, these wireless headphones are very comfortable to wear for extended periods and are robust enough to be carried with you in a bag pack, despite the fact that you can’t fold them down to a more manageable size.
Like we said earlier, the Sony MDR XB950BT headphones was created to give bass lovers that deep booming sound that they so crave, but at the same time this wireless headphone doesn’t really eat u the mids and the highs either, so even if you listen to more structured music that is more than just bass, you won’t be disappointed.
The left ear cup has a button labeled ‘Bass Boost’, which really packs on hell of a punch when used but while it is going to give you much more of a bass drive, it’s also where things start sounding a bit muddy so use it at your own discretion. If you like music such as EDM, then you’ll be reaching for this button pretty often. This feature only works in wireless mode.
4. BÖHM Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling
The BÖHM Wireless Headphones B76 are cheaper than most another premium wireless headphone sets out there but they are in no way inferior to any of them, in fact, we believe that they might even be on par with Bose, which is really saying something.
Design and features
Right off the bat, the BÖHM Headphones B76 look and feel spectacular; most of the build is made of metal, with plastic here and there and remarkably, the B76 feels very light to wear. The ear cups can be rotated, making them easier to put down on a flat surface or wear around your shoulders. On top of that, they’re also foldable, so that they can fit inside the hard shell case that comes with them.
Needless to say, the B76 is a very robust wireless headphone, which is great news for those of us who want to travel around with them a lot. They fit very nice and securely on your ears and are very comfortable, ideal for even going for a jog with them on (though the obvious choice for listening to music while physically active are earphones).
The leather padding on the cups and headband makes the BÖHM Headphones B76 very comfortable and premium feeling and it doesn’t end there. The inside of the ear cups are padded, which is good news for those of us with large ears since having a hard surface touching your ears can get painful after some time.
Other than that, these wireless headphones support 3.5mm aux cable connection and have a multi-function button to interact with your music and calls.
The B76 out rival many of the more popular brands on the market when it comes to both design and performance, which is why we featured these on our list of the best wireless headphones of 2018. The audio performance is almost as good as what we’ve heard on Bose headphones; it’s not as high fidelity as what would be required for critical listening and monitoring but it’s right up there with the best sound we’ve heard on headphones; very balanced and clear.
The active noise cancellation on the BÖHM Headphones B76 is pretty remarkable and eats up almost all kinds of ambient noise that you’d hear on your daily commute or even in a crowded college cafeteria. The noise cancellation doesn’t affect battery life too much, which is a good thing but considering how to power the battery is on the BÖHM Headphones B76, we couldn’t complain even if the nose cancellation took a few hours out of it.
5. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 wireless are premium wireless headphones from the maker of one of the best-wired headphones, that are designed to cater to the needs of the most demanding audiophiles. These wireless Momentum 2.0 have a lot to live up to, to justify their $500 price tag.
Design and features
The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 are the kind of headphones that just about anyone can identify as premium, thanks to their robust build and stellar design. The ear cups on these headphones are large enough to be worn around the biggest of ears and if you wear ear accessories such as earrings, these won’t bother you.
We like how these can be folded down to a very compact size, which makes it easy to store them for travel but for $500, we’d have preferred a hard shell case over the flimsy cover we got out of the box. These come with a line in cord for wired listening, an adapter that allows you to connect them as a headset for your computer and a USB cable for charging. Honestly, for this price, one would expect more in terms of accessories, maybe a stand?
After hearing the audio on the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 wireless headphones, they didn’t seem to be overpriced anymore; the sound is remarkably clear across the board, with a deep bass response and clear highs. In short, these sound way better than what we’d expect from headphones. Attaching the line in cord makes the bass response more intense, which fills the gap for those of us who want more bass from time to time.
The active noise cancellation on these is pretty good but with one slightly discerning factor that you can’t switch it off. The battery life is pretty great and you get up to 22 hours even with ANC on but the music can sound a little sculpted to some listeners, with ANC on, which is why we’d have liked if there was an option to switch off ANC when it’s not needed.
6. Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless Headphones with Mic
The Hesh 2 are Skullcandy’s first wireless headphones and retail for around a $100, making them easy on the pockets of those of us who’re still living on an allowance or just have a tight budget. But then again, that’s never enough of a reason to buy something so let’s see what these are like.
Design and features
The Hesh 2 is definitely the kind of wireless headphone that one can easily underestimate because of their price, but make no mistakes, these things wouldn’t have been on our list if they weren’t good.
The Hesh 2 headphones are very well built, with a sturdy plastic on the ear cups, rubber on the headband which makes them flexible and the leather coated ear pads are very nice and comfortable. These are over-ear headphones but since the ear pads aren’t too roomy, they might not cover larger ears so heads up for that.
For their price, the Skullcandy Hesh 2 headphones sound pretty impressive and clear. The sound is warm and will sit well with most casual listeners but it’s worth mentioning that the bass response isn’t very detailed. So if you want more quality bass, you might have to pay more and get something else, for everything else, we’d like to applaud Skullcandy’s efforts for making these wireless headphones.
7. Sony H.ear on Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphone
The Sony MDR-100ABN h.ear is basically what you get when Sony decides to jump into the wireless, noise cancellation headphones bandwagon. These cost around $350 which is a lot considering how their wired counterparts are about $150 cheaper. Let’s see what these are about.
Design and features
The first thing that stood out to us when we got our hands on the Sony MDR-100ABN h.ear wireless headphones was its interesting finish, which looks better in real life than it does on the box, the finish is charcoal black but at different light angels, you see nice tints of color that give them quite the personality, in our opinion.
The headband is very sturdy and made of metal, it bends at almost 180 degrees and manages to stay in shape, not that you’ll ever bend it this much but this way you know that these are durable. The build is plastic but it feels and looks very good. The ear pads are large and soft and don’t get too hot when worn for extended periods.
The only thing in the design that could have been improved is the low volume rocker, which is hard to find and press. That and the fact that these can feel a bit heavy to some.
The noise cancellation wireless headphones are superb and you can listen to a calm and peaceful piano piece when standing next to a train, even. The ANC isn’t on par with Bose but it’s right up there with the best ANC we’ve heard on a wireless headphone. The battery life is sufficient for around 24 hours of use with ANC on, making the Sony MDR-100ABN h.ear a great choice for most of us.
8. Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless Headphone
The Sennheiser PXC 550 looks a lot like Bose headphones at first glance, instead of having the bolder kind of design that we saw on the Momentum 2.0 from Sennheiser. They’re business like and cool looking, but let’s see what they bring to the cable.
Design and Features
Getting right down to it, the Sennheiser PC 550 headphones have a very material design which is both good looking and functional. The build quality is promising and the rubber coated finish feels very nice and premium. The ear pads are very soft and comfortable and thanks to the lightweight, it’s easy to forget that you’re even wearing them at times.
There’s a touchpad on the outside of one ear cup which you can use to control playback, calls, and volume, this is a unique feature that we’re really fond of. You also have a button that allows you to toggle different pre-sets to reap a sound that brings out the most in your music.
The Sennheiser PXC 550 wireless headphones are a joy to listen to, thanks to their open and well-detailed sound across all the ranges. The noise canceling and the pre-set options make them all the better to use. Overall, they’re really pleasing to use and it’s hard to find things to complain about with these headphones.
9. V-MODA Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphone
Back in 2012, the Crossfade M100 earned editor’s choice for being the best wired over-ear headphones, which raises the bar quite some for these wireless ones, let’s see what they’re made of.
Design and features
The V-MODA Crossfade headphones are pretty much the same as the M100, but with a few additions and subtractions here and there; the left ear cup has to accommodate the battery so the ear cups a bit bigger, which is understandable but we don’t get why they didn’t make these foldable and easier to store like the M100s wireless headphones were.
Other than that, the hexagonal ear cup design and changeable metal plates make up for a nice design that’s also quite durable but not the lightest, so some of you might not like them too much if you plan on wearing them for too long.
The sound is well detailed and the bass response is pretty good, better than what most wireless headphones are capable of, anyway. The battery life gives you a little over 12 hours of playback, which would’ve been a good playback time a few years back but with more competition now, it comes across as a bit of a let-down.
10. Avantree Super Comfortable Wireless Over-Ear Headphones with Mic
These Avantree Super Comfortable wireless headphones are some of the best over ear Bluetooth headphones b the company; the Avantree hives pale in comparison to the new Audition series but let’s have a more critical look at what they’re good for before deciding that.
Design and features
The Avantree Super Comfortable Wireless Audition headphones are nicely built and look nice too. They’re mostly black with red accents, which make them pretty decent to wear out in public unless your style is a bit more discreet. The ear cups are large and can facilitate all ears, but they do have a bit of firmness to them that can make them uncomfortable for long periods of use.
The Audition headphones are also a bit tight to wear, which we believe is both a pro and a con since this means that you can go running with these and they won’t fall off while you’re headbanging to Slayer either. But this also means that they get uncomfortable after long periods of listening.
The best thing about the Avantree Super Comfortable headphones Audition is its battery life of 40 hours, which is exceptional. These have the longest playback on a single charge on our list. They sound very clear and have a good bass response too, moreover, they are very loud and the sound doesn’t suffer at higher volumes either, which is a good thing, considering their price.
Best Wireless Headphones – Buyer’s Guide
Now that we’re at the end of our list, let’s make things a bit simpler by going over the features that make a wireless headphone set worthy of being listed among the best wireless headphones of 2018. Remember that just because a pair of headphones has these features, it doesn’t mean that it’s your best option since quality has a lot to do with how much you can benefit from these features – but that’s what our list is for.
Here’s a list of the kind of features you want to read at the back of the box, before you can make your decision and why these features are necessary.
A lot of the wireless headphone sets on our list have some kind of noise cancellation so that you can enjoy your music with minimal interruptions from your surroundings. Noise cancellation doesn’t make you totally deaf to the sounds around you (that would be rather dangerous) but it really makes all the difference when you’re in a crowded area and the constant murmur of people talking is interfering with the intensity of that guitar solo you’re listening to.
There are two kinds of noise cancelation wireless headphones: active and passive. The former is built into the headset’s system and makes the use of a special mic in the earpiece that monitors the ambient noise around you and then adjusts electronics in the earpiece to create a sound wave that’s out of phase with the ambient noise, thereby deadening it to a certain extent.
Passive noise cancellation is much simpler and is basically done by the earmuffs of your headphones; many headphones come with these large and plush ear cushions that trap all the music inside them so that your surrounding noise doesn’t get in the way. The best noise cancellation wireless headphones, such as the Bose Quiet Comfort series, make use of both kinds of noise cancellation for the ultimate listening experience.
It’s safe to assume that no one wants to wear headphones that are too heavy or painful if worn for a long time, which is why comfort is one of the most important things to consider when picking out a wireless headphone set. You’ll be glad to know that most of the over-ear wireless headphones on our list pay a great deal of attention towards comfort (otherwise we wouldn’t have listed them as the best wireless headphones of 2018)
Comfort is a subjective thing and not everyone might be discomforted by the same things that bother other users, which is why if you can try on the headphones you want to buy, that’d be great. Ideally, you want a wireless headphone set that sits nice and securely over your ears without feeling too heavy. Some very plush ear muffs can make your ears sweat a lot, unless you live in a cold area, in which case you’ll enjoy them.
Just a handful of years ago, Bluetooth headsets were actually receiving quite a bad press for not sounding as good as wired headphones. Unfortunately, there still is a disparity in the audio performance between wired and wireless headphones because Bluetooth signals are compressed as compared to those that run through a wire.
The good news is that many of the best wireless headphones manufacturers realize this shortfall and do their best to equip their headphones with wireless connectivity without compromising the sound as much. In fact, many headphones come with the option of going wired as well, which is good news for critical listeners who want mobility as well as audiophile grade performance.
Over-ear wireless headphones have more room for drivers in their earpieces, making them far superior in terms of fidelity and performance whether they’re wired or streaming wirelessly.
Style and Design
Let’s face it, no one wants to go out wearing a particularly ugly set of headphones, regardless of how great they sound. Wireless Headphones make quite the fashion statement wherever they go and therefore, it’s important that you pick out a pair that suits your style as well.
Asides from good looks, you’re also going to want to make sure that your headphones have a bit of durability to them; you never know when something might knock them off your head. Many of the wireless headphone sets on our list come with some kind of a protective cover or case for better storage too, so look out for that.
Which is the Best Wireless Headphone for you?
Wireless technology is the cornerstone of our electronic evolution – an evolution that over-ear headphones and earphones benefit from greatly. Of course, this also means that every electronics manufacturer with an audio division has their own line up of Bluetooth headphones, leaving any buyer with a daunting amount of choice.
While there are many best wireless headphones on the market, not all of them may be a perfect fit for you and your musical tastes; this is why before making a buying decision. It would really help if you did a little bit of digging around, reading as many user reviews as you can about the headphones you’re interested in and if you can try on a pair, you’re sure to be happy with your decision.
From our list, you can get a clear idea of what wireless headphones suit you more and based on this, you can narrow down your options vary greatly. Remember that just because a wireless headphone set is expensive. It isn’t necessarily better than a cheaper alternative, which is why we think that your ultimate buying decision shouldn’t be based on your budget alone.
If you find a pair of Bluetooth headphones that offer you the kind of comfort, audio performance, noise cancellation wireless headphones, and style that you’re looking for then don’t be afraid to spend a little extra on it – and if it’s still a bit out of your reach then you can always save up too. The important thing is that you walk away with a music partner that you can be with for a long time.