There's a huge array of Bluetooth headphones on the market, and their audio quality, build and features can suit all kinds of users.
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.
10 Best Bluetooth headphone choices
Sony's WH-1000XM3 gets the top nod from us for anyone wanting a set of noise-cancelling cans with superb audio and top-notch noise cancellation features. They've got battery life to spare and a compact carrying case that makes them ideal for travellers. They're easily adjustable and can work with a cabled connection if you need that, although the supplied cable does lack any inline remote control features. As with most high-end noise-cancelling headphones, they don't come cheap – but they're worth it.
Want to know more about the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones? You can read our full review here.Buy at Amazon
Bose Quietcomfort QC35 II
Bose has a reputation in the noise-cancelling space that makes them the almost-default choice of folks looking for a combination of top-quality audio without distraction. The Bose Quietcomfort QC35 II headphones are the company's latest iteration, and they're a very solid choice for Bluetooth headphone users, pipped only slightly by the Sony WH-1000XM3 in most reviews.Buy at Amazon
Sennheiser Momentum 2 Wireless
Sennheiser has plenty of form in the premium sound space, and its Momentum Wireless 2 headphones take what high-end consumers love about Sennheiser's approach to sound in a cable-free direction. The design is just as premium as the sound, with an understated but classic leather top band that collapses down for easy transport. With active noise cancellation on board and the option to plug in a cable for those devices that you don't want to pair to, the Sennheiser Momentum 2 Wireless headphones have plenty of flexibility.Buy at Amazon
Apple didn't invent bud-only Bluetooth headphones, but the iconic design of its AirPods has allowed it to dominate the category ever since the first pair hit the market. We like the generally balanced sound of the AirPods a lot, but what we like even more is how Apple has taken the base design and iterated on it to make it even better over time. If you're pairing your AirPods with an iOS device, you get easy notifications, Siri support and even wireless charging. That's a newer feature, but Apple also sells the wireless charging case separately, so that even owners of older AirPods can enjoy hassle-free charging.
You can read our full review of the Apple AirPods (2019) here.Buy at Amazon
Bluetooth headphones often get a bad rap for audio quality, which is where the Nuraphones step in. They're a uniquely designed pair of headphones that combine over-ear shells and internal buds for optimal noise isolation, and then juice that up with a personalised hearing test that creates a unique profile for each listener. The unique design means that they're much better for sitting back and taking in a whole album with a nice glass of your favourite tipple than for using on your morning run, though.
Check out our full review of the Nuraphones here.Buy at Amazon
Bose Soundsport Wireless
Bose takes its audio expertise seriously for its sports headphones too. The Bose Soundsport Wireless headphones are its mid-range pair, which means you're not paying top whack for a set of fitness headphones – that'd be the SoundSport Pulse Wireless model – but you're still getting great audio quality while you work out. If you find the usual loops that sports headphones use to keep themselves in place annoying, the Bose Soundsport Wireless headphones' simple construction is a definite plus as well.
Find out more about the Bose Soundsport Wireless headphones in our full review.Buy at Amazon
If the Sony WH-1000XM3 are so good, why are we including the Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones as well? Simply because while they're the WH-1000XM3's predecessors, they're a fine pair of headphones in their own right with great noise-cancelling features, custom app controls and a comfortable design that they passed through to their successors. The fact that Sony has newer headphones in this category means that it's entirely possible to pick up the Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones at a more affordable price point.
Need to know more about the Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones? Read our comprehensive review.Buy at Amazon
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
Like the Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 headphones aren't the newest set of headphones you can buy, but that means they're also far from the most expensive. They were moderately priced even when they were the flagship Plantronics headphones, but these days you should be able to pick up these good, mid-range quality, noise-cancelling headphones for a really decent price.Buy at Amazon
Beats PowerBeats Pro
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.Buy at Apple
The Taotronics TT-BH-22 headphones surprised us. Not because they're great – they're very much built as a cheap pair of Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones – but because for what is a sub-$100 pair of headphones, they were much better than we'd generally expect at this price point. You're not paying a premium price, so don't expect superb noise cancellation or cutting-edge audio. But as a basic pair of travel headphones, they're very good value.