Finding the best wireless headphones for your needs isn’t exactly straightforward. With hundreds of pairs competing for your cash, knowing what’s bad and what’s good can be something of a minefield.
In our guide, we’ve done the hard work for you. You’ll find our pick of the best Bluetooth headphones available, the cheaper alternatives worth considering, and the best wireless headphones for running and the gym. There are a few exciting models coming out in 2018, such as the Jabra Elite 65t and the new B&O Play headphones with proximity mode – we’ll be constantly updating this page with the latest and best.
Related: Best headphones
Why buy a pair of wireless headphones?
The main reason is convenience – wireless headphones offer unprecedented freedom from tangled cables, not to mention headphone jacks. Active noise cancelling (ANC) is a common and useful feature for blocking out noisy environments too, and is well worth considering if you travel frequently.
What do I need in a pair of wireless headphones?
Your first question when buying a pair of wireless headphones is what you need them for and what your budget is. Bigger budgets often (but not always) open to door to better performances and better finishes, while what you use them for will have a big say on the design you should opt for.
In-ear Bluetooth headphones are a great pick for sports, and are often waterproof for outside training (not to mention, you know, sweat). There are more and more that are ‘truly wireless’ too, but keep an eye out for those with plenty of eartips to ensure a snug fit.
Over-ear and on-ear styles are the most popular for day-to-day usage. On-ear are usually a little smaller and cheaper, but by design, they’re not always the comfiest – especially for glasses wearers. Over-ear are better in this respect, but can make your ears hot over long listens. Be sure to read our reviews to see how they fare.
Battery life is another consideration, and will range from over 20 hours on larger over-ear headphones to as little as three hours on completely wireless earbuds. Fine for most commutes, but not as convenient for longer haul journeys. If you’re forgetful when it comes to charging, consider an on- or over-ear style that allows wired playback when the battery runs out. Not all do.
As for getting the best sound quality, look out for aptX or aptX HD support (Sony offers its own solution called LDAC). You’ll need a source device that supports it as well as your headphones, which counts iPhones out, but most Android devices are on board.
If you’re not 100% sure wireless headphones are right for you, we recommend you take a look at our best headphones round-up as well.
6 of 10
- On-ear design
- aptX support
- 15-hour wireless battery life
The AKG N60 NC Wireless are a petite pair of on-ear noise-cancelling headphones aimed at travellers and commuters alike.
Their lightweight, collapsible design makes them much more portable than their larger over-ear competition, and their 15-hour wireless battery life is more than acceptable for their size – plus they’ll work passively too.
As far as noise cancelling, the N60 NC Wireless can’t quite compete with Bose levels of quiet, but it does enough to dull the outside world to little more than a murmur.
They sound great too, offering a punchy, detailed and well organised performance that’s both fun and expressive. A formidable little package that’s certainly worth considering.
At the time of review, the AKG N60 NC Wireless were available for £250