Although Bluetooth audio quality can’t hold a candle to wired options, it’s convenient for most and preferred by many. Seeing as the consumer market is settling comfortably around wireless earbuds and headphones, we present to you a truncated version of our sister site SoundGuys’ list of the best Bluetooth headphones.
Editor’s note: this list was updated on July 25, 2019, to include the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.
Best all-around Bluetooth headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
Reasons to buy the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT:
- The ATH-M50xBT takes everything great from the original wired version and adapts it for wireless listening.
- Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX HD support facilitates high-quality wireless streaming.
- The hinges fold, making them easy to transport.
- Battery life is superb and allows for 31.2 hours of playback before needing to recharge.
Best durability: V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex
Reasons to buy the V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex:
- These durable Bluetooth headphones have received MIL-STD 810G certification.
- Both aptX and AAC codecs are supported.
- Wired listening affords hi-res audio quality and zero latency, great for gamers.
- The headphones house an integrated DAC/amp.
Best noise cancelling: Sony WH-1000XM3
Reasons to buy the Sony WH-1000XM3:
- Sony’s WH-1000XM3 boasts top-notch noise cancellation.
- It offers LDAC support and granular EQ controls via the free app.
- USB-C charging is supported as well as NFC.
Best design: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Reasons to buy the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700:
- Sound quality is improved compared to the old QuietComfort 35 II model.
- The updated design is much more modern than we’ve seen from Bose.
- Gesture control is easy to operate.
- Active noise cancelling performs well when combating general chatter.
Best bang-for-your-buck: Anker Soundcore Vortex
Reasons to buy the Anker Soundcore Vortex:
- The Anker Soundcore Vortex retails for around $50.
- It provides aptX support, a rarity for headphones of this price.
- Listeners enjoy 20 hours of playback before needing to charge the headphones.
- The ear cups are spacious and comfortable without applying excess pressure to the head.
What you should know about Bluetooth headphones
- The effectiveness of Bluetooth codecs depends on your source device. For instance, AAC doesn’t perform well on Android devices, and generally speaking, LDAC isn’t hi-res.
- Bluetooth connectivity is fallible, even with Class 1 Bluetooth and Bluetooth 5.0 technology.
- Noise-cancelling headphones are more expensive than non-noise-cancelling options, but they can reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
- Needless to say, many of the options listed are expensive. While the initial investment is painful, it often affords premium features and extended or lifetime warranties.
Why you should trust SoundGuys
As our sister site, we entrust the folks over at SoundGuys to know their way around consumer audio, Bluetooth headphones in particular. Each writer has years of experience keeping tabs on the audio industry and understands that audio requires both subjective and objective analysis.
None of the writers may benefit from featuring one product over another, and ultimately want readers to enjoy what they listen to without spending an exorbitant amount of time researching products. If you have the time and desire, feel free to read up on the ethics policy.