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Finder's team of experts spent hundreds of hours testing and reviewing headphones. For each pair, we considered the design, performance, battery life and overall value for money.
Our editorial team selected the Bluetooth headphones on this list based on the results from our testing as well as real customer reviews and key product features.
If you want the freedom to listen to your favourite music or podcasts without the hassle of wires, what you need is a good set of Bluetooth headphones. While some smartphones still support a 3.5mm headphone jack, many don't, but every single modern smartphone does come with Bluetooth audio support.
There's a huge array of Bluetooth headphones on the market. While they all support the core Bluetooth wireless standard, their audio quality, build and features differ and can suit many different kinds of users.
If you're after a pair of Bluetooth earbuds, see our guide for the best wireless earbuds. Also be sure to check out our complete guide to earphones vs headphones here.
The best Bluetooth headphones you can buy right now are Sony's new WH-1000XM4 noise-cancelling over-ear wireless headphones. On top of sounding fantastic and having some of the best noise cancellation in the market, the WH-1000XM4 headphones have ambient noise settings that automatically adjust based on your location. If you want to have a conversation while wearing your headphones, all you have to do is start talking and your music will pause automatically.
A cheaper option is the new mid-range Sony WH-B910N, which are great. But you can often find the XM4s for far below the RRP, which makes its mid-range counterpart harder to recommend.
Alternatively, the previous-gen Sony WH-1000XM3s are still truly excellent even years after their release and we can still very happily recommend them to anyone looking for quality on a budget.
You can read our full review of the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones here.
Apple's AirPods Max run neck and neck with the Sony WH-1000XM4s, and in some ways, they're better headphones for pure music listening. Battery life is exceptional and they're very comfortable to wear for a long period of time as well. There's a small downside in the carrying case, which is a weird and not very protective option, but the bigger issue here is that the AirPods Max are a pricey set of Bluetooth cans. However, if you can meet their asking price, you won't be disappointed.
You can read our full review of the Apple AirPods Max here.
Bose has a reputation in the noise-cancelling space that makes it the almost-default choice for folks looking for top-quality audio without distraction. The QuietComfort QC35 IIs are older in Bose's line-up now, but that makes them more compelling in our view because while their audio quality is top-notch, their asking price has tumbled down to a much more affordable price point.
Here is our complete review of the Bose QuietComfort II.
If you're looking for a truly stylish set of Bluetooth headphones with great noise-cancellation and sound, the Bose 700s might just be for you.
They're stylish and rate well for audio throughput and call quality. They're just not the best for battery life.
Here's our full review of the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.
Before it had the AirPods Max, the AirPods Pro were the top of the Apple in-house audio family. They're still a great option if you do favour in-ear Bluetooth rather than full headphones, and especially if you're using them for exercise. Smaller buds often struggle with decent noise isolation, but the noise cancellation (and general audio quality) of the AirPods Max is top-notch.
Read our full AirPods Pro review here
Sony's effective equivalent to the AirPods Pro are the WF-1000XM4 headphones. In fact, they are arguably the best wireless noise-cancelling earbuds on the market right now.
They offer superb noise-cancellation, incredible audio quality, great battery life and the ability to customise your music.
They also improved on the previous generation Sony WF-1000XM3 with a much smaller charging case and more comfortable fit.
You can read our full Sony WF-1000XM4 review here.
If you're looking for high-quality Bluetooth earbuds, but don't want to drop $300 or more, it's hard to get past the Sony WF-C500.
While they aren't as magical as the WF-XM4s, they take the best bits of those earbuds and pair them back in a way that still gets you very high-quality sound, battery and comfort. Plus they're only $128
And even though they don't advertise any kind of noise-cancellation, it passively blocks out a surprisingly amount of environmental noise.
If you wanted to try a different brand though, the Jabra Elite 3 are also truly excellent and have an RRP of just $119.
Here's our full review of the Sony WF-C500.
They may be over 18 months old but the Momentum 2 are still incredible Bluetooth earbuds that dominate the active noise-cancellation (ANC) space.
They do a brilliant job of blocking out a range of environmental noise when you want to be in your own little world. And on the flip side, their transparency mode also gives you the option to be more aware of your surroundings.
You can read more about these excellent buds in our full review of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.
Beats has a reputation as a "style" choice in the headphone space as well as providing headphones heavily tailored towards bass frequencies. That's fine if you're into specific music styles, but it's less appealing for more general music and audio use. The new Beats Powerbeats Pro headphones subvert that expectation with a more balanced sound and a build that's tailored towards fitness users. The battery life is exceptional, although that does mean that the battery case is also exceptionally large. If you don't like the style of Apple's AirPods and want more than they offer, the Powerbeats Pro headphones are an easy recommendation.
Bluetooth transmits data, such as music, over short ranges. When Bluetooth was first introduced, the technology behind it only supported very simple low bitrate mono audio, which worked for Bluetooth headsets, but didn't offer the sound quality that audiophiles had come to expect from high-end headphones.
However, Bluetooth has since been refined and updated to deal with the challenges of delivering stereo music in decent quality to wireless headsets.
Each pair of Bluetooth headphones is slightly different from the next. Some sit snugly in your ear, while others sit on top or over them. Which type is better is subjective, so you'll have to decide for yourself which suits you the best.
Here are some more details about the 3 main types:
For more information, check out our guide to all types of headphones.
If you're planning on picking up a pair of Bluetooth headphones, there are a few things you should consider first:
Some Bluetooth headphones can last for well over a day of full use, while others can go flat in just a few hours. The longer the battery life, the better. However, there's usually a trade-off to longer battery life, such as a higher price tag, larger charging case or bulkier headphones. Also, using features like active noise cancellation can drain the battery life more quickly.
The best way to get a sense of the audio quality of a pair of headphones is to listen to several different types of music while wearing them. If you can't try them on in person, read expert reviews to find out how they compare to other models. Keep in mind, paying more doesn't always get you better sound, but budget pairs rarely come with high-quality audio.
Choosing comfortable headphones can be challenging, especially when buying online. If you can, try them on in-store for as long as you can since wearing them for just a few minutes won't necessarily be a good indicator of how they'll feel after hours of wear. If you do buy online, check the returns policy in case they aren't as comfortable as you hoped.
Some headphones offer basic noise cancellation with little more than a white noise feature that blocks out some audio, while others offer active noise cancellation (ANC) features that listen to your environment and provide a more complete enclosing soundscape. Some headphones also offer noise isolation that blocks out sound using the shape of the headphone or in-ear suction.
Headphone controls allow you to adjust the volume, pause, play and more. Some headphones have dedicated buttons or scroll wheels to adjust volume, whereas others have touch-sensitive sides that let you pause and play or skip and go to the previous song. You might want to play around with the controls in-person to see which kind you prefer.
You can get budget Bluetooth headphones for less than $50. These models don't usually offer noise cancellation or long battery life. High-end headphones from leading brands can cost $700 or more, but you don't necessarily have to pay that much to get everything you want. There are lots of headphones that cost between $150 and $500 offering quality audio, decent battery life and a variety of features.
Not all Bluetooth headphones are built the same. Many of the cheaper options on the market come with plastic shells and sport less comfortable materials. Some more expensive options feature rigid metal designs and come with supportive ear tips or cups.
Bluetooth doesn't work underwater so you can't wear Bluetooth headphones swimming, but waterproof headphones can still come in handy, especially if you want to wear them to work out.
Most on-ear and over-ear headphones come with a Micro-USB or USB-C charging cable. In-ear headphones, on the other hand, usually come with a charging case that powers up the earbuds when you store them away.
If you travel with your headphones or like to store them in your gym bag or purse, you'll need a carrying case to protect them from being bashed around. Some headphones include a carrying case in the box, but it might not be as durable as you'd like, especially if it's a budget pair.
Higher-end Bluetooth headphones usually offer support for high-end audio codecs that can make a significant difference in the overall audio quality. iPhone/iPad users can get higher-resolution playback with the AAC codec, while Android users should look for aptX or aptXHD.
The specific steps to pair your Bluetooth headphones to your mobile phone or other device depend on the type of headphones and the type of device.
Generally, pairing involves the following steps:
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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JBL’s Reflect Flow Pro headphones deliver good sound and benefit from water resistance, but their active noise cancelling can’t compete with the best in this category.
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 offer incredible sound quality, comfort and noise cancellation.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds offer superior levels of comfort, great audio and above all, the best active noise cancelling we've heard in a set of true wireless buds to date.
The Shokz OpenRun Pro headphones are the best bone conduction headphones yet, even if they still struggle at high volumes.
Anker's "pro" Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro earbuds do sound pretty sweet, and their battery endurance is good, but they don't quite make the grade when it comes to active noise cancellation.
The Yamaha TW-E3B are really good mid-range headphones, as long as they fit you properly.
The Skullcandy Push Active is a good option if you’re looking for sports earbuds you can knock about and sweat on.
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