The days of bulky wireless headphones with flimsy ear pads and spotty sound quality are over, as brands focus on better materials, enhanced sound technology and more reliable Bluetooth connectivity. The new features come as people rely on their wireless headphones for more than just music. With no cables tying you down, a solid pair of Bluetooth headphones let you take calls on the go, zone out for a quick nap or meditation session, or immerse yourself in a gaming experience without being tethered to your computer or console.
While most headphones these days deliver decent sound quality, not all of them are on par when it comes to power, portability and performance. With hundreds of models in the marketplace, it’s hard to gauge which headphones punch at their weight, but we’ve rounded up six of our favorite pairs that deliver the best value when it comes to sound quality, battery life and comfort. And they all pair in a cinch with any of your Bluetooth-enabled devices.
1. Skullcandy Hesh 3 Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
Skullcandy’s bestselling Hesh 3 headphones are a decent entry-level option if you’re looking for a reliable pair of wireless cups for everyday use. The brand’s “rapid charge technology” gets you four hours of play time on just 10 minutes of charging, while the battery fully recharges in under an hour. Reviewers love the lightweight design, dynamic sound and range of available colors. It’s great if you want to catch up on a podcast or playlist on your daily commute, though if you’re heading to the gym or a hike, you’ll likely want something a little more durable. Purchase: $75.99 on Amazon.com.
2. Panasonic Hi-Res Premium Over-Ear Headphones
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The winner of an IF Design Award, these RP-HD10C headphones beat the competition with dual 50mm HD drivers (most only have 40mm drivers) that deliver a higher level of detail and sound quality. You’ll no longer have to strain to hear the subtle beats, booming bass and enhanced mid-tones in your music. Another plus: The driver units are placed under multiple layers of polymer film (“diaphragms”), which support frequencies from up to 50kHz for wide-bandwidth, high-res sound. These diaphragms also work to suppress excess noise, resonance and vibration. Purchase: $175 on Amazon.com.
3. Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Noise-Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones
One of Sony’s newest entries to this space, the WH-CH700N headphones deliver a more immersive listening experience thanks to Sony’s Artificial Intelligence Noise Cancellation system, which actively works to filter out background noise (i.e., on planes or at the gym) while you’re on the go. Sony has also fine-tuned its headphones to restore more detail to your digital music, recapturing some of the richness and high-frequency elements that are sometimes lost during a digital transfer. The rechargeable Li-ion battery gets you up to 35 hours of use and lasts up to 200 hours on standby mode. Purchase: $199.99 on BestBuy.com.
4. Samsung AKG N700NC Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
Samsung has really upped up its game in the past few years when it comes to personal electronics and these AKG headphones are a prime example. One of the best-reviewed headsets in the market right now, they feature a robust 20-hour battery life, crystal-clear dynamic sound, and active noise cancellation that creates a gentle cocoon effect within the memory foam ear cushions. We like Samsung’s “Ambient Aware Technology,” which lets you control the amount of outside noise you let in with just a quick touch of a button. You never have to remove your headphones again to chat with a friend, or to get directions. The AKGs have been a favorite for music producers working in the studio and for artists, who like that its flat, foldable design lets them take their music and calls on the go. Reviewers have also used these as gaming headphones, praising the comfortable, ergonomic design. Purchase: $319.99 on Samsung.com.
5. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H8i Wireless On-Ear Headphones
Inspired by Scandinavian design and packed with modern, high-tech features, these B&O headphones are great for gearheads and the stylish set alike. With improved battery life (up to 45 hours) and super clear sound quality, they deliver a solid bang for your buck. The H8is get you well-balanced, evenly distributed sound, with active noise-cancellation technology that you can control with a quick swipe of the aluminum touch interface. It’s all packed into a sleek, Nordic-inspired package with soft leather, ergonomic ear cups, and a leather-wrapped headband that will patina beautifully over time. Reviewers love how lightweight the headphones are — they come in at just 225 grams — and they like the fact that the touch interface works with gloves too, letting you control your tunes with ease, even when the weather is anything but pleasant. Purchase: $399 on Bang-Olufsen.com.
6. Master & Dynamic MW60 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
When it comes to premium wireless headphones, Master & Dynamic leads the pack with the MW60. As powerful as it is stylish, the well-designed set features a Bluetooth range that’s three times the industry average, with rich, deep sound and a 16-hour rechargeable battery. An omni-directional, noise-isolating microphone lets you make calls with greater clarity, while the padded ear cups stay put even during an active run or workout. We like that the company paid as much attention to the design of these headphones as it did on the technical specs, with heavy-grain cowhide, luxe lambskin, stainless steel and aluminum all blending seamlessly for a tactile and immersive listening experience. Purchase: $449 on MasterDynamic.com.
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