Product Use case Rating
Jabra Elite 65t Best Truly Wireless Earbuds 9
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Best Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones 9
Smartomi Q5 Wireless Earphones Best Truly Wireless Earphones Under $60 8
Sol Republic Shadow Wireless Best Wireless Earbuds 8
Bowers & Wilkins PX Headphones Best Wireless Headphones 8
Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless Headphones Best Hearing Protection 8
Jabra Sport Coach Best Sport Wireless Headphones 8

Best Wireless (Bluetooth) Headphones and Earbuds

Wireless headphones free you from the cords that tether you to your music. And now that smartphones are ditching the headphone jack, they're more useful than ever. But with a plethora of wireless headphones available, which are worth a spot on your ears?  Is it the Jabra Elite 65t, our current favorite wireless earbuds, the Bowers & Wilkens PX, our choice for best over-ear headphones or the Smartomi Q5 Wireless Earphones our choice for best truly wireless earbuds for under $60? We tested the most popular and well-known wireless headphones to find the ones that are best for you.

What Wireless Headphones Cost

Features like active noise cancelling can affect your headphones' price just as much as the design. For instance, you can snag a solid pair of wireless headphones for as little as $8 while mid-range cans and buds can range between $150-$250 while audiophile-grade headphones can cost upwards of $1,000.

News and Updates (March 2018)

  • The Jabra Elite 65t just became our favorite truly wireless earbud thanks to its sleek, durable design, functionality and great audio quality.
  • The Bowers & Wilkens PX headphones earned an Editor's Choice award for its stunning design, great audio and adjustable active noise cancelling technology.
  • We just reviewed the Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless headphones which give you a quick hearing test to deliver the optimal audio quality for your unique ears with 30 hours of untethered listening time.
  • The new Bragi Dash Pro earphones can translate over 40 languages in real time. The buds will also track your heart rate and steps, store up 1,000 songs and last five hours on a charge.

What to Look For

  • The most important thing to look for in a pair of wireless headphones is battery life. Most devices have an expected battery life, or the number of hours the company says the device can last on a charge. Most wireless earbuds are rated for 6 to 8 hours, while wireless headphones can last about 25 hours.
  • Another important factor is design — depending on how you like to wear them, you may want to go with on-ear, over-ear or in-ear wireless headphones.
  • If you're interested in a pair of truly wireless buds, makes sure they come with a charging case. Since they have shorter battery life, there's a great likelihood you'll have to charge them on the go. 

How We Test Wireless Headphones and Earbuds

To help you separate the wheat from the chaff when shopping for headphones, Tom's Guide evaluates the following criteria: design, comfort, features, performance and value. We employ a rigorous review process, comparing products with similar fit, features and pricing.

Each pair is worn over the course of a week for 2 hours at a time. During this testing period, the staff is evaluating comfort, ease of use and, of course, audio quality. We listen to several predetermined sample tracks that span a number of genres, including hip-hop, rock, jazz, classical and R&B, and we evaluate the volume, clarity and fullness.

In terms of features, we test the effectiveness of active noise cancelling, Bluetooth range and battery life. For the fitness-focused models, we test to see how they stand up to vigorous workouts, evaluating both how securely they fit while we exercise and how well they handle ambient noise from things like falling weights and gym machines. We test every feature for app-enabled headphones along with ease of setup.

Once we complete our testing, we rate headphones based on our ten-point system (1 = worst, 10 = best). If a product is truly exemplary, it's awarded an Editors' Choice.

And now that more streaming music services are offering high-resolution resolution audio, be sure to read our audio codec FAQ for everything you need to know about FLAC files, MP3s and everything in between.

Related Buying Guides:
Best Cheap Headphones
Best Cheap Earbuds
Best Lightning Headphones
Best Gaming Headsets

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  • Sammy_2
    What about Jaybird X2?
  • Eric_31
    So essentially this article can be summed up with "all the headphones listed have great noise cancelling and great sound." I would have appreciated at least a bit of effort in comparison. The only point of comparison is the price and the seemingly arbitrary and unexplained rating. This article was absolutely no help at all.
  • LizzyHarris
    Great, thanks! :)
  • Peter_133
    How bout Audio Technical MTH 50X or Sennheiser 598SE or Jaybird X1 or X2 or Grado SR 60E and maybe NoiseHush nx80 for $12.00 on Amazon.com. I know music is subjective but the equipment listed here is mostly crap.
  • neuronet
    Eric I agree this seems to have none of the usual standards they would use to evaluate, say, a motherboard.
  • neuronet
    Peter also great points they mostly included mainstream brands that the audiophiles would agree are not very high quality. For instance, Sennheiser is sort of a "go to" brand for people that really want great sound. They really need to do a much more thorough product test. This is sort of like doing an evaluation of laptops and only including Dell and Lenovo.
  • Royharper
    Great article, I'm surprised to not see the JBL Everest Elite 700 on here. I saw a review on Audio46 where they compared it to The QC 35 and said the Everest was better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn18BkBnZ5U When I a&b tested the two I felt the same way that they did, and was actually underwhelmed by the sound quality on the QC35. While it has great noise cancelling It didn't sound as good as I would expect.
  • Geoff_11
    looks to me like maybe this review was done on paper without actually testing all the products? Otherwise, you'd know that that the SMS biosport is no longer supported by any apps (i.e. the HR monitor is useless because you can't get anything to read it). This has been the case for about 6 months!
  • hydrangea
    The Sentey earbuds are no longer available. Do you have a new suggestion?
  • jumavictor49
    great article, but terming this list as the 'best headphones' I would disagree. Can you please update the list and also feature planar magnetic headphones, they are one of the best technology headphones in the market.
  • SkyBill40
    Given your relatively sample size and the exclusion of brands seen as audiophile grade or higher than average, I find difficulty in accepting the results here. That's not to say that what is shown here are poor choices or anything, but the testing could have and should have been a lot more robust given the"best" tag thrown into it.
  • coolmantinator
    I have used the earphones for around 6 months now. Boult Audio Curve is an amazing choice to be considered if you are planning to buy wireless earphones. With A great battery life as well. Good for calling purposes too...
  • cajunvol
    To this day I don't know who the makers of the bullet have made mad. You never see them listed and there are even knockoffs out there.(which sound just as good) smallest true wireless out there, can hot swap then in the pocket charger while using just 1 giving you like a total listening time of 40 hours, either will handle calls since both have a Mic or use both in stereo, come with choice of pocket charger so you can do one on a small keychain version or my fave that take 2, list goes on. I have used a lot of bluetooth ear buds and these are my favorite hands down. I even bought the cheaper knockoff version and they do just as well.
    Companies should be looking at these as the bar to beat. Not something 3 times bigger with no added benefits or even less options. I know when I read these articles to see what is the newest best thing, I just skim it to see if I see the bullet of one of the knockoffs. If I don't see it I just move along assuming they didn't do their homework.
    And heads up. I have bought a few versions of these. One brand starts with an S and runs like 300+ for the pair and charger, Rowkin makes the same for just under half that and there are a few versions under 100 for a pair of 2 and the same bigger pocket charger. There is no real difference. I have the first 2 mentioned and one total knockoff for sure. All 3 kick butt. The cheapest I didn't like as much because the button to turn on and off is flush and not as easy to push because of that. Since the whole bud is so small it does make a difference. If the button looks round and not a bar, then that is the one I didn't like. Overall quality was the same though.
    Also, I have seen these up to bluetooth 4.2 and not 5 yet.
    Anyway, want me to take an article serious, include these so I know where your limits of good are at.
    Oh, you can find multiple versions of these on eBay from the expensive to the cheaper version. I think they are on Amazon too. If you feel more pride in something the more you pay, knock yourself out and go for it. I thought they were all 3 very comparable. There are more than 3 brands though. I just wouldn't do the 340 price tag again. Seriouly no difference justifying that
  • keerthivr1
    Why is everything from Amazon? Although I love amazon, I dont like having it as my only option!
  • rgd1101
    You don't need to buy thru amazon. just google it to see where else you can buy them from.
  • lucky_123
    I'm using my mixcder ms301 aptx headphones for one year. It works very well.
  • top_earbuds
    I vote vastland earbuds!