Sick of tangled headphone wires in your back pocket? Or scrambling for your keys amongst a sea of wires? We have the solution. More and more wireless headphones are popping up at work, at the gym and on the morning commute and we wanted to see what all the fuss was about. As you may have guessed, these headphones can be used for business just as much as pleasure. Not only are they ideal for people working with videocalls and dictation software but also for running, the gym or just enjoying really great music on the go. Along the way we found that the best starting point is to decide what your price range is and what the primary function of the product will be. From then, you can focus on battery life, effective noise cancelation, comfort, ease of use and more. So, if a convenient and tangle free listening experience combined with luxurious sound quality appeals to you then please read on.
As soon as we pressed play on our music device it was hard to ignore the unbeatable sound quality coming from the Sony MDR 1000-XM2. These headphones provide great bass frequency as well as super clear vocals making them a great choice for podcast and music fans alike. The battery life is approximately 20 hours which is a bit longer than average for Bluetooth headphones and can be easily charged with the USB charging cable provided. As well as the USB charging cable your Sony MDR-1000XM2 headphones come with a carrying case, 3.5 mm auxiliary cable and an airplane adaptor. They also have built in ANC, with two different modes, helping to block out background noise. The first mode allows some background noise to filter in and the other blocks all noise except speech which is great if you're in an office space and need to pay attention to social interaction. We were also especially impressed with an advanced touch feature that lets you quickly enhance background noise which is great e.g. when crossing the road. Although they fit a wide range of sizes, the headband isn’t as sturdy as we would have liked so they're less suitable for workouts. The touch commands on the left and right cups are easy to use and the product itself is great value for money making it a winner for us.
Best Noise Blocker: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Coming at a very close second was the Bose QuietComfort 33 II. We found that these headphones matched all the features we loved about the Sony MDR 1000X like sound quality and battery life whilst even scoring higher in terms of ANC. The headphones are comfortable, have a 20-hour battery life (with the noise blocking software switched on), produce excellent sound and can be stored easily. We found these headphones to be the best at making phone calls at home or on the go due to the fact that they are excellent at muffling distractions like wind and crowd noise. The reason why didn’t crown this Bose pair as our winner was due to the price compared to the Sony MDR- 1000XM2. This may be down to the fact that there is technology that connects to Google Assistant however we are unsure as to how necessary this feature really is. Although it serves as a nice addition, some users wouldn’t even think to use it and its certainly not worth the extra expense. We think we'd like to wait to see how the Google Assistant software develops before making this feature one of our priorities.
Best Luxury Headphones: B&O Beoplay H9i
Beats Studio Wireless Over-Ear Headphone
The Beats by Dre Wireless Over-Ear headphone allow users to comfortably enjoy 12 hours of wireless time and 20 hours of wire connection scoring below other products in the market in terms of battery life. They do however have an LED light system on the ear cup which displays how much batter remains so you're never caught off guard. The noise cancelling technology isn’t the best around but it's still of a high quality making the product suitable for making phone calls. The fit is good enough to exercise but lose enough to comfortably enjoy for hours on end. They fold to fit in a flat carrying case and come with a cord for wired listening and a built-in microphone. The Beats Studio Headphones are also extremely user friendly with a large button (the beats logo) allowing you to answer calls, pause music and skip tracks with various tap combinations. Unfortunately, if you forget to turn the Bluetooth setting off when not in use, your battery life will be drained very quickly. Beats are renowned for creating on trend products so it's not surprising that these headphones are available in a choice of 6 colors. On the other hand, it could also be the reason that the price is so high and could also make manufacturers feel like they can scrimp on quality as the product is made mostly of plastic. We liked this product but feel you can get more for your money elsewhere.
Best Affordable Noise Blocker: Lindy BNX-60
These headphones are the best headphones we found for under $160 making them a total bargain. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for meaning that the battery life is just 15 hours in wireless mode and 30 hours when using an audio cable. The Lindy BNX-60 come with a hard carry case, airline adaptor and a 6.3mm adaptor. The padded cups are nice for long journeys meaning that all in all, they would serve as great vacation headphones. The controls on the left ear cup allow you to skip tracks, play and pause as well as activate the Bluetooth pairing. The right ear cup comes with technology that activates noise cancelation (which can be used both wirelessly or over a wired connection) which is effective but not amazing. What we did notice is that with the sound blocker switched on the sound quality improves allowing us to pay special attention to the trebles and the bass. The sleek black finish makes the headphones look expensive and manages to hide the cheap black plastic which unfortunately is easily breakable and marks and scratches easily. Although wireless headphones these are a steal, we would only recommend them to those on a tight budget.
Selecting which wireless headphones to buy isn’t the easiest of decisions to make. We found that you do get what you pay for and a bigger budget means better quality. Having said this, our top choice came with a middle of the range price tag, a product we would recommend to people that work freelance and music lovers alike. We tested these Bluetooth headphones based on comfort, easy to use controls, battery life and more. Our winner was the Sony MDR- 100X headphones with the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 coming in at a close second. Both these products were comfortable, come with excellent battery life, fit well and gave us great sound quality. Although we would recommend the Bose model for those using headphones primarily to exercise, priced at under $300 the Sony MDR- 100X are great value for money, winning the affection not only of our hearts and our ears but also our bank balance.