Wearable In Ear – Top Picks for Best Bluetooth Wireless Headphones in 2018 – Discarding the headphone jack is a trend many smartphone makers have recently revealed, a reason gave Bluetooth headphone sales a boost and you should prepare for the change if you plan to upgrade your phone to iPhone 7.
Based on design, we’ll be breaking down wireless headphones into 3 categories: full size, on ear, in ear wireless headphones (in ear/earbuds with a short cable, neck band, or totally wireless earbuds), here are our top picks and the comprehensive guide.
- 1 Best Full size (Over Ear) Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
- 2 Best On-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- 3 Best In Ear Bluetooth Headphones
Best Full size (Over Ear) Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
Big earcups held by a rugged headband fully wrap your ears, sweeping the biggest soundstage, most powerful bass and real-live listening experience. Those earcups house large drivers with the size up to 40mm.
The earcups not only offer effective sound isolation, but help keep the headphone on the ear, and you can fix the fitting by the adjustable headband.
Full size Bluetooth headphones are used with phone and Bluetooth support audio devices. Aside from wireless experience, you can get additional features like ANC, touch control and Voice command prompt. Note that big earcups with leather padding can be bad for your ears in some situations like hot weather.
Considering comfort, style, features and sound quality top 5 below may be in your shortlist: Best for noise cancellation, for making calls, best for comfort, quality and feature.
1. Bose QuiteComfort 35: Premium Sound and Performance
The recently launched Bose QuiteComfort 35 is a comfortable, great sounding wireless headphone that can doubles as noise siliencer. It is categorized in a business class in headphone world, now you can even get more freedom from wireless tech and outstanding capacity to eliminate the noise. It currently sells for $349, more expensive than the competitor, the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless.
2. Sony MDR-1000X
If you look for an over ear Bluetooth headphone that combine great noise cancellation, comfort and outstanding sound quality, the Sony MDR-1000X would be your first stop. It competes directly with Bose QC35 and Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 at the moment, it is really really hard to say which is the best among them. The Sony MDR-1000X are built with lastest AptX Bluetooth tech for high quality sound, which is clear and crisp. It has a good battery that lasts 20 hours.
The touch control on the R ear cup enables you to control the volume and navigate tracks. One cool feature I also want to mention here is that when you hold your palm on the right earcup, it will muffle your music and let the ambient sound in – the trick here is a microphone to capture that ambient sound or your voice, which is amplified so you can hear everything clearly.
It is a great looking headphone, Sony blended premium materials together such as texture soft touch leather, shiny metal headband. Though it is somewhat bulkier and less comfortable than Bose QC. Note that both of them are superb comfy.
3. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless Best sound and Runner-up ANC
Constructed solidly in a fold-up design, metal-headband wrapped with leather, the Momentum 2.0 is the best sounding Bluetooth wireless headphones, even in wire mode. The active noise cancelling feature works effectively cancel out the ambient noise and it remains active when you use the headphone in pairing mode via Bluetooth.
While noise canclling feature adds benefit to users, its circuit does comprise the sound. If you don’t need this feature here are alternatives.
4. JBL E55BT Over Ear Wireless Headphones
Not everyone spends that much money on 3 premium models we’ve recommended. If you like something with a half of the price, say, $150 the JBL’s E55BT would be a nice pick. Their comfort and build quality aren’t outstanding, but they look good sound decent and live up for the music up to 2 hours.
The control positions on the right earcup and in case the headphone runs out of battery you can use a included cable with one button romote for wired mode listening.
As most headphones with 50mm drivers, the E55BT ensures a substantial amount of bass, but it aslo controls over the sound, avoiding boomy or over loaded bass. In terms of details, this can didn’t blow your mind and it is far from on par with Sony MDR-1000X.
5. Koss BT540i: Great sound, yet affordable
That won’t break the bank for great pair of wireless headphones, the Koss BT540i sounds really good for the price. It is a balanced sound can with no-bass emphasis or harsh treble. The headphone has a decent battery life, confortable fit in a slick design.
The control is easy to use, and you just feel and press the buttons. The headphones can be use as a great headset. With dual-mic, it not only captures your voice clearly, but reduces background noises.
Best On-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Look smaller than full-size headphones, the on ear models are less noise-isolating, lighter and more flexible. Their earcups don’t fully wrap your ear. But due to built with smaller driver, they pump less bass, and their soundstage isn’t as open as full-size headphones. This type of headphones is the least popular and there are a few models released every year. Here are top wireless on ear headphones
6. Jabra Move Wireless
Best value on ear wireless headphones was rewarded to the Jabra Move. It sounds great for the money, sit comfortably on your head, and offer solid Bluetoot connection. The set can be used for running and it is not just appealing for its sound, but its look too. It is easy to control with no confusing buttons in a simple, durable, fashionable design.
For sound the headphones offfers solid, punchy bass, and show off a wide response frequency for many kinds of music.
7. Beats Solo2 Sporty and Stylish Wireless On-Ear Headphones
The Beats Solo 2 Wireless is a rugged, cool looking headphones that Beats did the trick by adding some metal that make users feel enough solid, snug on their heads. Judging the price, you get what you paid for for sound and comfort. As always this on ear wireless headphones of Beats offer strong bass, creating a unique sound profile that dance, Pop music lovers like, but the bass would be more crisp. This Beat headphone redefines the headphones, not just about the sound but how they look on you.
Aside from appealing style, I like the remote control that is easy to locate just like you feel where it is. Apple just released the Beat Solo 3 with longest bettery life – 40 hours for an on ear Bluetooth headphone, but it comes with hefty price tage. It is also equipped with W1 make it very easy to pair with other Apple devices. Aside from its great good and feel, their sound quality isn’t worth for $300 headphones.
8. Plantronics BackBeat Sense
The Plantronics BackBeat Sense is a good sounding, well designed headphone. It is solidly built and very comfortable to wear. Though it is far from being a basshead set, overall, it is the best on ear set you could find for under $200.
I like the dual mics that easily to catch up my voices and built-in sensors can detech when you wear the headphone.
9. The Mid-Range: Bose SoundLink Bluetooth On-Ear Headphone
Though the design of Bose SoundLink is less attractive than Beats Solo 2 Wireless, the Bose SoundLink sounds slightly better, more balance, and it adds warmth to the midrange. The headphone can pair to 2 devices simultanously so you can switch back and forth between them.
10. SkullCandy Grind Wireless The Budget
Though you can’t fold up this can, it is a brilliant design on ear headphone. With the metal headband and soft padding on top of it, it will sit solidly, stable on your head. The Skullcandy Grind sounds surprisingly good for its modest price. It is aslo lightweight and comfortable to wear and has a remote/microphone built into the left earcup.
Best In Ear Bluetooth Headphones
With lightweight, small and compact size, good noise isolation, in ear headphones are the most portable options. But when they are run out of battery, you have no option to use cable to continue listening to music. They are categorized following: around the neck, totally wireless, wired wireless Bluetooth earbuds, voice assistant, for workout (running, cycling).
Around-The-Neck Wireless Headphones
Behind the neck Bluetooth headphones, for listening music yet they also work as a decent headset for calls. This style are prefered by a lot of people, and the LG Tone neckband-style Bluetooth headphones are among the first introducing this type of headphones and they succeeded.
11. SkullCandy Ink’d Wireless
SkyllCandy is known for making unique headphones with their signature logo – Skull on Black background. The collar-design SkullCandy Ink’d Wireless is not that stylish, but they offer a powerful bass in a flexible behind the neck design. The headset comes with an affordable price tag, and is rated moderately for call quality and sound. It also has the remote control on the right with easy-to-navigate large buttons. With thin cable and light earbuds attached to the collar you will forget wearing them.
The Ink’d Wireless indeed sounds impressive with decent amount of bass push, clear treble and midrange. Though Its battery doesn’t measue up to more expesinve model like LG Tone Ultra.
12. LG Ultra Tone HBS-900
Rated as somewhat audiophile grade in ear headphones, which together with a collar style is one of waoo factor defines the LG Tone, perhaps the best seller Bluetooth around the neck headphones. Plus, they can be used as a decent headset, and the slylish desgin.
13. Sol Republic Shadow Gyming Wireless In Ear Headphones
Aside from good sound, the neck band of Shadow is flexible, allowing you easily to wrap up for storage. With solid construction, metal earbud housings and rugged, flat cable attached to the band, it is the ideal headset for any situations.
The sound of the Shadow is less appealing than the Infinim, but it beats more punchy bass.
14. Sony SBH70 Best sport wireless Sony headphones.
Another solid pick around the neck Bluetooth headphones is the SBH70. It sounds open, clear and pleasant with open-sealed fitting of earbuds, for those who don’t like eartips insertion or runners who want to be aware of the surroundings will appreciate this design. Waterproof resistance allows users can use it in light rain.
One drawback of this set is their battery, 6 hours seems to be a lack of juice for a round neck bluetooth headphone.
15. Samsung Level U Pro
Designed for active users, the Samsung Level U Pro provide excellent fit and sweat resistant feature. The headet also delivers decent call quality with built-in dual mic and NC feature. When not it use, not letting 2 earbuds dangle down, since they magnetically clap to each other, the headset looks like a nice collar on your neck.
This type of headphones is a great option for sports. They sound good, fit securely with hooks and resist to water ans sweat.
16. Jaybird X3 Sport Wireless Bluetooth In Ear Headphones
Jaybird always set high standards for Bluetooth earbuds since they launched their first Bluetooth earbuds, Jaybird X. If you are looking for a sweatproof headphones, that combines the quality audio and solid build you never go wrong with Jaybrid. Their new model, the X3 is among the top choices out there. They are durable, water-resistant and comfortable to wear. It sounds good for a Bluetooth headphone and their sound profile leans forward to balance, but doesn’t miss to announce the deep, rich bass. The internal battery can last up to 8 hours between charges.
Aside from improvements in design and sound, the X3 fits better than their predecessor with a bunch of accessories, including wing tips, silicon and foam eartips. It removes micro-USB charge, instead the four-pin changing system, which will clip on the in-line for charging.
17. Nuforce be6i
The Nuforce Be6i offers a bunch of accesories, including, wingtips eartips, clip and nice carrying case. The Latest released earbuds are very well designed have solid construction for active users. The cable is durable with an inline control that appears to be bulky. The Be6i sounds pretty balanced, but fails to deliver bass–if you like thump up bass, move to the next pair. When not in use, the earbuds can magnetically clap, neatly right! The headset has 8 hours of playtime and strong Bluetooth connection up to 30 meters.
18. Beats PowerBeat wireless 3
The cool looking sports in ear headphones never miss to deliver the bass you love for your tracks. The PowerBeat 3 are equipped with Apple lastest chip designed for their headphones, the W1, which is stable and provide solid Bluetooth connection together with high sound quality. Aimed for active personalities, it sports hangers to lock the budss on the ear and very comfortable eartips, when you exercise you will never feel it shakes. This model, Apple adjusted a bit the design, so it could fit more people.
19. Bose SoundSport Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
You may be familair with Bose Soundsports, the wired earbuds are specifically designed for active user, this model now goes wireless. Though they look big in your ear, they are very comforatble and snug with StayHear+ Sport tips. Those tips don’t jam deeply into you ear canals, they are open to let the ambient sound come in. It delivers a plenty of bass, warm midrange and have open-sounding profile.
The extra accessory, a portable charching case, which costs $50 allow you to charge the headphones on the go via micro USB port on the inline-remote. And their is another of this version, Bose SoundSport Wireless Pulse that can track your fitness, which costs a little more than $50.
20. 1MORE iBFree Bluetooth Earbuds
Take all advantages of sound from wired model–triple driver, which I picked for the best earuds under 100, 1MORE rencently released their first Bluetooth earbuds called IBfree. With the metal housings, the earbuds look sleek and polish, other accessories like earhooks and cable shortener make the IBfree ideal for workout. They are also sweat-resistant for your vigorous workout.
Completely Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
No cable, no band, just 2 earpieces, they are wireless Bluetooth and built with smart features. To pick this type of wearable headphones you might have to consider sound quality, call clarity, battery life, range, simplicity, fit and waterproofing
21. Samsung Gear IconX ( Our pick for best totally wireless earbuds)
Price: $199 | Style: Totally wireless earbuds | Play Time: 3 hours (battery: 47mAh)| Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz | Driver Size: N/A | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 89.5 dB ± 3 dB / 1mW | Impedance: 16 ohms | Bluetooth range: + feet |NFC: N/A
Almost totally wireless earbuds you see on the market now are still the first gen, so they are not perfect. But if you are still interested in, the Samsung Gear IconX is the best totally wireless Bluetooth earbuds you should pick. First, their Bluetooth connection is strong and stable with long range. Secondly, it sounds good and fit snugly in the ear with silicon earhooks, actually it looks sturdy yet are lightweight and comfortable. It also has quite decent battery and gets full of juice from pocket-sized portable charging case. Finally, it features touch control and water resistance to survice rough conditions while you workout.
22. The Kanoa (turned out to be a SCAM)
Craving totally wireless earbuds for your sports, you will be impressive with what the Kanoa can offer, snug and comfortable, decent sound, small size in a pentagon shape. It is not as smart as the Gear IconX or the Dash, but for those who often excercise, the will comfort you with both fit and sound.
23. The Dash headphones.
The German startup released their second gen of Dash, which sounds good. The Bragi headphones are designed for sports and listening mussic rather than for being “smart”. They are simply a pair of earbuds without a cable. They are well built and noise-isolating, so their bass is stronger than Apple Airods ($149) with the same price tag.
Small, and light they are supposed to be in-visual. The pen-size portable charging case (CAPSULE) let you easily to carry arount and charge the earuds on the go, giving 8 hours addtional charge. Take advantage of AptX for Bluetooth audio and BA driver, the Earin sound accurate with details.
25. Apple Airpods
Every Apple product seems to look simple, but not simpler. The Airpods inherits the design from popular wired Earpods, but they are the W1 – headphone with Siri assistant. They don’t feature tap control and fitness tracking, but they can recognize your touching partterns and motion to stop/play music.
The Airpods may not sound best in the category “true wireless”, but what Apple did extremely well is Bluetooth, rare hiccup and no connection drop. As many Apple products Airpods are more customized to iOS users. They can automatically connect to other iOS device with the same iCloud ID.
The Airpods are unsealed in the ear, but it fits great without falling out–which was proved in the ad. And Apple recently updated the iOS with “find my Airpods”, so you will never worry about lossing your buds.
If you are still not convinced, here are other sets you would consider
Beats Studio Wireless
Beats headphones are well-known for good looking and comfort, and they are expensive too. The Beats Studio Wireless may not be the best value Bluetooth set, but it offers effective ANC and good sound. The headphones appear to be stylish and well-designed. This can doesn’t throw in a bunch of bass like almost Beats headphones known for, whereas its sound was engineered to remain balanced over all ranges.
Bluedio Turbin 2: The Budget
Cheap products are not always worthless. With the entire plastic construction, the Bluedio Turbin 2 are lightweight and comfortable, yet durable too. Rotate to fit, definitely they will sit snugly on your head. For sound quality, it delivers a plenty of bass, nice mid-range. However, I found this pair is not comfortable for extended listening sessions–earcups pinch a bit.
Mpow Bluetooth Headphones
If you need a Bluetooth can that do the job, but it doesn’t compromise the look and feel, Mpow is a great choice. It is a well-designed headphone, honestly they appear to be over $100 headphones. The headband is foldable, and the joint with 4screws around make the headband look more solid. The earcups are pretty flexible and nicely padded, ensuring best noise isolation.
Bohm S10 Wireless
Though the S10 falls short for sound quality and battery life, if you still need a pair to try out before getting a better set in the future, it is a good choice for your time in gym or outdoor running with totally freedom.
It may take several steps for true wireless earbuds from concept to consumer goods, the Dash stepped in with their first model – it’s an MP3 player and earbuds that gained its rage with some features such as NC and HRM, but fails to deliver the key feature which is solid Bluetooth connection. They are also quite heavy and bulky, but able to give the perfect fit. We may wait for their second gen – the Dash Headphone, which will be set to deliver soon.
Common problem with Bluetooth headphones
- Bluetooth cuts out
- Battery is dead after several years of use and not replaceable
- Can’t not connect to your phone
Why is buying a Bluetooth headphones in 2018 tough?
A lot of things you would consider before buying your first pair of Bluetooth heapdhone. Design, feature, comfort, battery life and a lot more you name it.
Many big names announced their products at CES2018 and they were a mess that’s hard to predict which feature will be the main stream.
One thing you could notice, the sound quality has been improving but phone makers, Bluetooth chip and operating system limit the usability of the new technology, so headphone makers rather sticks to the standard that work for all devices than invest on new technology that only works on a few devices or operting systems.
This feature is pretty much everywhere from Alexa to Google and Siri. It’s interesting and convenient to use AI voice assistant. It rapidly becomes the standards for Bluetooth speakers and now it comes to Bluetooth headphones.
Sound quality: as nature of Bluetooth audio, the audio transmitted by Bluetooth goes through compressed and decompressed process, the more date transferred the better sound quality it delivers. AptX HD, for example has been proved to deliver a better sound quality but it is only supported by a few Android phones and only high-end models support this feature.
Sony also developed the LDAC technology that can handle more wireless data so wireless audio quality is no longer limitted but what really matters is the number of devices supporting it and I’m sure you could only find a few.
Apple always sets their standards and for Bluetooth they have Bluetooth ACC encoding. Since Apple accquires Beats it developed their own Bluetooth proccessor. And this chip processor has been implemented in almost Beats Bluetooth headphones. Those headphones will instantly pair with any Apple devices with the same cloud ID.
Bluetooth 5.0 is mainly designed for IoT. It benefits since the Bluetooth chip maker Qualcomm spared a lot of features such as HRM, sugar monitoring in their chip for future connected devices. But how does it make any difference considering sound perspective, it is still questionable.
Sony WH-1000XM2 – A better alternative to Bose QC 35 II
Bose is always know for a crown of High-end Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones, but this time Sony takes that crown for superior sound, better NC performance and some nifty features. Sony is a pioneer in building in new features in their headphones.
It is a Bluetooth headphones that you won’t be worried running out of battery. – Pending review.
- NFC: Near Field Communication, automatically pair/unpair when the gadgets are put close to other NFC compatible devices
- Active Noise Cancellation
Bluetooth headphones are not simply cutting the cord but varied in types, on ear, over ear, in ear. They appear in eye-catching design and appealing colors. They are also added a bunch of features for workout lovers and travellers. Most importantly as for listening to music they sound good with thundering deep bass and lifting up the treble to bright state with details. Some sets sounds surprisingly good for the price. They are all comfortable whether the fit in the ear or over ear. Ideally you are able to pick the sound you like. They are designed to suit to many purposes weather you use them in office or for traveling. They offer a variety of sporty options and noise cancelling capacity. You don’t have recharge them regularly since they are built with long lasting battery life.
It is undeniable that Bluetooth headphones’ sound is not as good as wired headphones that you plug them through the headphone jack. As more rumors emerge that many smart phone manufaturers, including Apple and LG will ditch the headphone jack in their latest phones, and users have to use lighting port or Bluetooth to connect their headphones to the phone. The Bluetooth headphones consumers has surpassed the traditional wired headphones for the first time in the US. First reason, non-headphone jack device like smart watch and recently rumors that the lastest iphone won’t have the headphone jack.
Discard the cable, Bluetooth headphones are very convenient for sports, travelling and training with additional features like noise cancellation, fitness tracking, vibration on calls, connect App. Those feature are handy and useful in some situations.
With lastest tech integration for audio like AptX and Kleer, the sound quality has been much improved, soon they will satify audiophiles since it is getting more close to wired models. You probably know the Bluetooth audio depends on many factors: how good the Bluetooth headphones and the devices they connect to. If the device wasn’t well equipped with Bluetooth audio (low bit rate), the Bluetooth audio from those device never sounds good.
The price of Bluetooth headphones also have been cut off, for under $50 you can find a set that sounds acceptable. For the price range from $200 to $400 you can buy a better sounding can with premium sound, some even integrate a great noise cancelling feature. They are superb comfortable.
The wireless headphones will soon fill the gap with wired headphones in terms of sound quality and funtions. They become more affordable, easy to use with reliable Bluetooth. Audiophiles are not big fans of wireless headphones. Even the apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak once said: ditching iPhone 7 headphone jack would tick people off. And he would prefer that if the Bluetooth gets better.
We didn’t test all these headphones, but based on our intensive research, we think they may be in your shortlist. The reviews are from those sources:
Updated on 01/28/2017 by Tinh Le