Just a few short years ago, we might have discouraged you from buying wireless Bluetooth headphones. The non-recommendation (if such a thing exists) was a no-brainer at that point, as the wireless earphones space was at its infancy. And as with any technology in its early stages, it’s littered with an abundance of issues. For one, wireless connectivity, as well as the technology around it, was still wonky and in the works. This resulted in sound quality taking a deep dive, which, if you’re not following, as a major no-no for a pair of wireless headphones you spent good money on. Besides, who would want crappy-sounding headphones? Or to better phrase it, why spend money on a pair of headphones that sound bad when you can do it on cheap portable speakers for a couple of dollars? In fact, most of the time, those cheap speakers will provide a better sound quality than the usual wireless headphones. And on top of all that, these wireless headphones only last about a couple of hours before you need to recharge them or replace their batteries, a number that will set music aficionados from ever considering it.
After all, going wireless when it comes to music listening isn’t enough to justify poor sound quality and a battery that can barely accompany you throughout the day. Back then, normal headphones with wires are there, and they work just fine.
But alas, man, with his constant need to improve the ways of life, have continued finding technological advancements in wireless technology. After all, wireless headphones allow for more movement, making it a better alternative for those with an active lifestyle. Furthermore, it can also be a great companion for phones that lack a 3.5mm aux port to connect with.
The result can be seen today, where, thankfully, the wireless golden age have reached our handheld listening devices. Thanks to Bluetooth advancements and manufacturers stepping up their game, wireless headphones sound just as good, if not better, as their wired counterparts.
Before you dive deep into the world of cord-free auditory goodness though, here are four aspects that we used to test out the earphones and ultimately come up with our list.
a. Comfort and fit – A common dilemma with headphones is that they may start feeling uncomfortable after wearing them for a long time. A poor-fitting earphone will make you wear it, as well as affect overall sound quality. With that, we made sure that those included in this list offer a comfortable fit for your ears.
b. Sound quality and battery life – Probably the biggest factor when it comes to buying earphones or headphones of any kind is how they sound. Or rather, how good they sound. Is the bass overpowering? Can you hear the mids? Is it dynamic enough? or does it sound like your favorite artist made a demo tape using a four-track recorder? Furthermore, how long does the battery last? Can it accompany you through a two-day road trip? Or ask for a recharge after a couple of albums? We don’t want anyone paying for a wireless headphone that sounds bad and has a poor battery life, and this list made sure of that.
c. Other features and build quality – This is another important factor. After all, what use is a fantastic sounding headphone if it breaks after a few months? Or if the Bluetooth connection is faulty? With that in mind, we made sure to look for products that offer consistent durability and build quality. Other features, such as a microphone and call capabilities, are also considered since they become important when you use the headphones daily.
d. Customer support – Often overlooked, this factor is actually very important. A warranty means nothing if you can’t even get help from the manufacturer of your headphone, so we made sure that every company on the list has a notable manufacturer that looks after its customers.
So with all of that in mind, here are our top picks this 2019 for wireless Bluetooth headphones in the over-the-ear, in-ear, and “truly wireless” categories. Have a listen for yourself!
Best Over-The-Ear Headphones
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT – When it comes to manufacturing high-quality music devices, Audio-Technica has had its fair share of the audiophile spotlight. Founded back in 1962, the Japanese company have had a long history of making turntables (and its accessories), headphones, and microphones, and that history shines through in the ATH-M50xBT.
Designed with high quality in build, performance, and looks, the ATH-M50xBT provides a warm, dynamic, and well-rounded sound, thanks to its frequency response range of 15-28,00 Hz and built-in EQ. Furthermore, the set also features 45mm drivers and a wireless range of 30+ feet, making it the perfect gym companion. In terms of battery life, the headphones also last for a whopping 40 hours, making it perfect for road trips and traveling. However, the built-in microphone isn’t the strongest, nor is its calling capability. Still, these are mostly second-thought features for someone who’s spending good money for studio-grade headphones.
NAD HP70 – One of the most common problems when wearing over-the-ear headphones for an extended period of time is that they may get uncomfortable. Well, that’s what the NAD HP70 focused on, featuring a lightweight build, a non-heavy yet durable chassis, and long-lasting supersoft memory foam ear pads, the HP70 is unmatched when it comes to lasting comfort.
Pair that up with well-rounded warm sound quality, wireless Bluetooth connection courtesy of aptX HD and NFC, 15 hours of battery life, minimalist look, easy-to-use controls, and decent noise cancellation, and you got yourself the best-pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones ever.
And did we mention that it also comes with a two-year warranty?
Sennheiser Momentum Wireless– Sennheiser is no stranger when it comes to top-of-the-line auditory devices, proven by its long and impressive catalog. The Momentum Wireless then is certainly no less credible. Featuring incredible fidelity and pristine sound quality, the headphones come with a high price point, although for committed music enthusiasts, that price is more than justified. And justify it does, as the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless features a stainless steel build wrapped in leather, giving it a classy look and feel that putting it around your neck adds another layer to your outfit. More so, the headphones also feature an industry-leading 22 hours of performance off a 3 hour charge. It’s ridiculous, but at this price point, it just has to be there.
Of course, the controls may be a bit finicky, and may not feature twisting ear cups to better rest on your neck. But put it on and you’ll find no less than auditory flawlessness, featuring pronounced and punchy bass that’s never overbearing, and pitch-perfect mid and highs that don’t muddle up the mix. Throw in some stellar active noise isolation and you may find that imagining your favorite artist performing in front of you is now more believable.
The price point may be a hard pill to swallow, but with that performance and quality, the Momentum Wireless basically pays for itself.
Best In-Ear Headphones
Jaybird X4 – For those who prefer to keep a more low-profile music listening experience, the Jaybird X4 comes with our high recommendation. A versatile, all-around workhorse of a pair, the Jaybird X4 packs some serious punch in despite its size, producing high-quality music for both casual listeners and music aficionados alike, all while being comfortable and stylish. The earbuds achieve this by featuring interchangeable ear fins, Comply Ultra Foam tips, and an adjustable Speed Cinch, guaranteeing a perfect fit.
The earphones are also specially made for those that want customization options for their music, coming with an adjustable bass and treble levels, along with a built-in EQ. Battery wise, the earphones can last for up to 8 hours, and can be used for an hour with just 15 minutes of charging time. As an added feature, the set comes with an IPX7 rating, ensuring it’s completely waterproof and making it perfect for sports enthusiasts and adventure-lovers who push through whatever the weather.
Bose QuietControl 30 – Another feature that music aficionados look for whenever they are looking to get new earbuds is if it has a noise cancellation/isolation feature. And it’s easy to understand why. After all, listening to your music without the accompaniment of any outside noise is pure bliss, akin to being in your own world. Plus, it also helps with focus and keeping yourself from getting distracted, especially when you’re doing something that requires your full attention, such as when you’re working at the gym.
Thankfully, the Bose QuietControl 30 offers a noise cancellation feature that is no less than exceptional. Coming from a company that is best known for its high-quality noise cancellation headphones, the QuietControl 30 does more than deliver, offering a noise cancellation feature that can be easily adjusted. The noise cancellation feature also works well with its dual-microphone system, helping to deliver clearer calls.
Sound-wise, the QuietControl 30 offers a warm well-rounded sound. Battery life reaches up to an impressive 10 hours and features a sweat-proof horseshoe-style neckband that can comfortably rest on your neck.
Best “True Wireless” Headphones
Sony WF-1000x – For those who completely want to cut the cord but are not on-board with how the Apple Airpods look, then Sony’s own offering might just be what you need. Lightweight, compact, stylish, and sturdy. the WF-1000x is quite the achievement when it comes to truly wireless earbuds that provide incredible sound quality and fidelity. In fact, how Sony managed to squeeze in batteries, playback controls, a Bluetooth receiver and active noise-cancelling in such a small package is a feat in itself, let alone its performance.
Sound-wise, the WF-1000x features stellar tonal balance with superb timing and a great sense of dynamics. The overall result is dynamic, with the mids showing no trace of bleeding and the bass never overbearing. For a battery, the unit lasts for about 3 hours, although the carry case, which also doubles as a charger, provides an extra 6 hours. As an extra feature, the earbuds come with Smart Listening by Adaptive Sound Control feature that automatically switches to the ambient sound mode based on your activity.
Jabra Elite 65t – Sporting all of the features of a standard Bluetooth earbud with the added comfort of being truly wireless, it’s no surprise that the Jabra Elite 65t made it as the last entry on our list. Well, that, and its fantastic sound. Simply put, they look great, are comfortable in the ears, are fantastic for phone calls, and overall effortless to use throughout the day.
The set also uses Bluetooth 5.0, meaning that the usual dropped calls and stuttering music that plagues most of its counterparts in the market aren’t present in here at all. The set also features a four-microphone array that helps provide wind-noise reduction. An EQ is provided as well for music aficionados, guaranteeing pristine sound quality. Battery wise, the Elite 65t clocks in at around 5 hours of continuous usage, putting it on the higher end of truly wireless earphones. As an added feature, the set comes with a two-year warranty is also completely waterproof due to its IP56 rating, making it perfect for outside, everyday use.
If you’re looking for earbuds that can be used for a wide array of everyday uses, then look no further than the Jabra Elite 65t.
So there you have it, our top picks for wireless Bluetooth earphones this 2019, whether it’s over-ear, in-ear, or truly wireless, and whether you’re a casual music listener that needs something to pump you through the day, or a music aficionado that wants the best possible sound quality. Dive in, and don’t hesitate to tell us in the comments if we missed something, or if you have recommendations yourself! Have fun, and happy listening!