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 May 15, 2019, to include the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT and Grado GW100.
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.
nbsBest 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 sound: Grado GW100
Reasons to buy the Grado GW100:
- These on-ear cans reproduce a clear, realistic sound due to the open-back design.
- They support aptX for high-quality streaming and optional wired listening.
- Connectivity is reliable even when moving about and they last for 15.5 hours on a single charge.
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 earcups 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.
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.