The best wireless headphones in 2023

Hero image for best best wireless headphones showing Sony WH-1000XM5 and. AirPods Max placed either side of an iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Our guide to the best wireless headphones bring together top over-ear headphones and in-ear designs. Improvements in Bluetooth standards have boosted sound quality, and all the models here offer great sound that won’t fail to put a smile on your face when you're listening to your favorite music.

These wireless headphones are the best-performing, longest-lasting, and best-value models we’ve tested. So, if you want the very best wireless sound, read on to find out our pick of the top models you can buy right now.

Top 3 best wireless headphones

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Best over-ear headphones overall: Sony WH-1000XM5
At the top of our list is the Sony WH-1000XM5, which improve upon their predecessors the XM4 with upgraded active noise cancellation, better call quality, intuitive controls and enhanced connectivity. The category-leading sound and hefty 30-hour battery life are also as far ahead of the competition as ever. (opens in new tab)

Best over-ear headphones overall: Sony WH-1000XM5
At the top of our list is the Sony WH-1000XM5, which improve upon their predecessors the XM4 with upgraded active noise cancellation, better call quality, intuitive controls and enhanced connectivity. The category-leading sound and hefty 30-hour battery life are also as far ahead of the competition as ever.

Best in-ear overall: Grado GT220
If you're an audiophile looking to hear Grado’s signature sound in a true wireless product with top audio quality as a priority over everything else, it's near impossible to find a pair of wireless earbuds better than the Grado GT220. In a market that's oversaturated with options, these are superb wireless earbuds that justify the price. (opens in new tab)

Best in-ear overall: Grado GT220
If you're an audiophile looking to hear Grado’s signature sound in a true wireless product with top audio quality as a priority over everything else, it's near impossible to find a pair of wireless earbuds better than the Grado GT220. In a market that's oversaturated with options, these are superb wireless earbuds that justify the price.

Best in-ear for iOS users: Apple AirPods Pro 2
The AirPods Pro 2 are Apple's flagship ANC earbuds taken to the next level with better overall performance, including 6 hours of battery life on a single charge. Not only are the earbuds IPX4-rated, but the wirelessly chargeable case is too, and has a built-in microphone that helps you find it when it’s lost. (opens in new tab)

Best in-ear for iOS users: Apple AirPods Pro 2
The AirPods Pro 2 are Apple's flagship ANC earbuds taken to the next level with better overall performance, including 6 hours of battery life on a single charge. Not only are the earbuds IPX4-rated, but the wirelessly chargeable case is too, and has a built-in microphone that helps you find it when it’s lost.

The best wireless headphones you can buy right now

Sony XM5 showing outer earcups placed on an outdoor tableEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best wireless headphones overall

Specifications

Weight: 8.8 ounces
Battery life (rated): 30 hours (ANC on); 40 hours (ANC off)
Bluetooth range: 33 feet
ANC: Yes
Codec support: SBC, AAC, LDAC

Reasons to buy

+
Articulate and engaging sound
+
Great control options
+
Impressive noise-cancelation

Reasons to avoid

-
Redesign and eco credentials ups the price
-
Gets hot around the ears during longer listening

Sony’s new flagship headphones improve upon the already great XM4s with better active noise cancellation, call quality, sound, comfort and connectivity. Most of the changes aren't huge — though the first two are certainly noticeable — but it's more than enough for Sony to retain its long-held number 1 spot. 

The touch controls and battery life (30 hours with ANC on, 40 with it off) are also to be commended, as is the excellent Sony Headphones Control app, which lets you tweak the EQ to your preference. The slightly bland design counts against them, as does the $50 price increase, but the XM4s are still around if you want to spend less, and overall there's no question that these are the best wireless headphones you can buy.

Read our full Sony WH-1000XM5 review.

Grado GT220 with charging case on stone slabEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Future)
Class-leading sound in a minimalist package

Specifications

Size and weight: Not stated; 0.2 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 6 hours; 36 hours (with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet (9 meters)
Special features: Bluetooth 5.0; Digital assistant support; SBC and AAC codecs

Reasons to buy

+
Spacious and accurate sound
+
High comfort levels
+
Good battery life
+
Useful touch-controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Fiddly when changing ear tips
-
No ANC

The Grado GT220 has articulate and balanced sound that only a handful of true wireless models can match. All music selections are given plenty of depth and texture, which brings a naturalness to vocals, and allows you to hear songs as the artist and recording engineer originally intended. More impressive is how the GT220 achieves this without Hi-Res Audio codec support or advanced features like a customizable EQ with presets. The high comfort levels and reasonable battery life (6 hours) also mean you can conveniently enjoy elite sound quality at home or on the go.

Grado’s discreet design won’t win over fashionistas and the GT220’s bare feature set might have you feeling a bit shortchanged for the price. Then again, if sound is the priority, $259 is a bargain compared to what high-end audio brands (e.g., Bang & Olufsen, Bowers & Wilkins) sell their buds for.

Read our full Grado GT220 review.

The Bose 700 placed on a carpetTop Pick

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)
The best wireless headphones for ANC

Specifications

Size and weight: 8 x 6.5 x 2 inches; 8.8 ounces
Battery life (rated): 20 hours (ANC on)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet (9 meters)
Special features: ANC; Adjustable ambient listening mode; Equalizer

Reasons to buy

+
Slick, attractive design
+
Adjustable ANC levels
+
Precise, balanced audio
+
Smart, intuitive buttons and touch controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

These aren't your daddy's Bose. The Bose 700 headphones have raised the bar for active noise cancelling headphones, effectively silencing outside noise while simultaneously allowing you to clearly be heard when talking to someone on the phone or cueing up a digital assistant. The 700s don't skimp on audio quality either, offering clean, balanced sound with some impressive, intuitive tech flourishes.

Right now, it’s the only model engineered with 11 levels of noise cancellation to keep things quiet without adding distortion to your music, and the Full Transparency mode is similarly impressive. Battery life is standard at 20 hours, though you can spend extra on the travel charging case (opens in new tab) that holds 40 extra hours of playtime and protects the cans in style. Anyone looking to upgrade their work-from-home headphones may also want to look at the Bose 700 UC (opens in new tab), a new version that maintains the excellent mic performance of the original and is programmed to work with third-party cloud services like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts Meet, and Zoom to enhance virtual collaborations.

Read our full Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 review

AirPods Pro 2Top Pick

(Image credit: Future)
A major upgrade with better battery life and personalized spatial audio

Specifications

Size and weight: 1.22 x 0.86 x 0.94 inches (per bud); 0.19 ounces (per bud); 1.8 ounces (charging case)
Battery life (rated): 6 hours; 30 hours (charging case)
Bluetooth range: Not specified
ANC: Yes
Water resistance: Yes (IPX4 rated)

Reasons to buy

+
World-class noise cancellation
+
Volume controls right on the stem
+
Dolby Atmos spatial audio
+
Improved battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Audio performance needs finessing
-
Lackluster call quality
-
Lanyard costs extra

Apple's next-gen AirPods Pro 2 have arrived, bringing significant upgrades to the popular original to take performance to the next level. Externally, they look pretty similar to the first generation, but battery life has been increased to offer 6 hours on a single charge from the earbuds and a further 30 hours from the wireless charging case. Not only are the earbuds IPX4-rated, but now too is the case itself.

Designed for iPhone owners looking for a more tailored listening experience, these are the pinnacle of Apple technology. On the audio front, Apple has included a new H2 chip with custom amp and driver that delivers better lower and higher frequencies, and you can use the iPhone's TrueDepth camera to create a personalized spatial audio sound to listen to some of the best Dolby Atmos sound in any pair of earbuds. Noise cancellation is double what the last pair of AirPods Pro offered, and is among the best we’ve yet to see, period. 

Read the full Apple AirPods Pro 2 review.  

Bowes & Wilkins Px8 in cream and tan on white carry case

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
A great balance of luxury design and high-end sound

Specifications

Size and weight: 7.4 x 2.4 x 9.1 inches; 11.2 ounces
Battery life (rated): Up to 30 hours
Bluetooth range: 30 feet
Special features: ANC

Reasons to buy

+
Sophisticated build and styling
+
Next-level sound quality
+
aptX Adaptive codec support

Reasons to avoid

-
High price limits appeal
-
No aptX Lossless audio
-
No touch-controls

The Px8 are Bowers & Wilkins' most advanced noise-canceling headphones to date, and are a confident addition to the luxury headphone market. Wireless audio is via Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC, aptX HD and aptX Adaptive codec support when connected to compatible playback devices, and cables are suppled for wired headphone jack connections too.

The bespoke 40mm Carbon Cone drive units present even more sound details across all parts of the frequency range than the the company high-ranking Px7 S2, and sumptuous materials to further aid comfort. Bass performance is more agile on the Px8, thanks to the new driver material, but it's the mid frequencies where these flagship headphones excel, delivering an abundance of natural detail and midrange clarity to make every voice syllable sound convincingly realistic. Despite the sound quality gains though, the higher price compared to its fellow Px7 S2 and near rivals, means they rank slight lower in terms of overall value.

Read our full Bowers & Wilkins Px8 review.

Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 on a table outside

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Premium over-ears with great sound

Specifications

Size & weight: Not specified; 10.8 ounces
Battery life (rated): Up to 30 hours
Bluetooth: Not specified
Special features: ANC

Reasons to buy

+
Balanced, engrossing and confident sound
+
Improved noise-cancelation over its Px7 sibling
+
Sophisticated looks (if you like that sort of thing)

Reasons to avoid

-
No touch-controls and featured are a bit basic
-
Noise cancelation is bettered by rivals
-
Anonymous looks (if you don’t)

The Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 over-ear headphones are priced the same as Sony's Sony WH-1000XM5. They feel good, are beautifully constructed and are either good-looking in an understated way or a bit too understated for their own good — it depends on your taste. They have active noise-cancelation and a control app — but ‘extended functionality’ is not their thing. 

They’re designed to deliver the best wireless sound this sort of money can buy, and they do. The entire frequency range hangs together well, with nothing overstated and nothing struggling for representation. Tonality is clean, consistent and entirely convincing. If you want every wireless headphone feature under the sun, you have plenty of choice. If, however, you want headphones that make the most of the digital audio information you give them, the Px7 S2 really needs to be in your thinking.

Rear our full Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 review.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless in black on a window seat at reviewer's home

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best-ever battery life for a wireless headphone with ANC

Specifications

Size & weight: 7 x 7.67 x 1.82 inches; 10.3 ounces
Battery life (rated): Up to 60 hours with ANC
Bluetooth range: Over 30 feet
Special features: ANC

Reasons to buy

+
Spectacular battery life
+
Great sound
+
Effective noise-cancelling performance 
+
Reliable touch controls
+
Robust design with plain styling (if you like that sort of thing)

Reasons to avoid

-
Anonymous styling
-
Earpads may make ears hot
-
Flaky connectivity issues with Smart Control app

Although the revamped design of Sennheiser's fourth generation Momentum Wireless headphones don't stand out quite like their classic-looking predecessor, the 60-hour battery life is a real crowd pleaser and make these the one to beat. Add in the easy-going Sennheiser sound and effective noise cancelling, and the Momentum 4 are one the most practical wireless headphones we've seen, perfectly built for a life on the road rather than tethered to a power socket needing regular battery top ups. 

Sennheiser's smooth house sound handles a wide range of music content, from pounding beats to more mellow tunes with aplomb. It has Bluetooth 5.2 and aptX Adaptive support, and there's a supplied 3.5mm cable for audiophile wired connections. ANC performance is effective, and auto Wind Noise Reduction is very impressive when stood on a windy train platform on daily work commutes.

Read our full Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless review.

The Cleer Enduro ANC placed on a desk

(Image credit: Future)
The best wireless headphones for ANC on a budget

Specifications

Size and weight: 7 x 6.6 x 3 inches; 10.6 ounces
Battery life (rated): 60 hours (ANC on)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet (9 meters)
Special features: ANC; Adjustable ambient listening mode; Customizable EQ

Reasons to buy

+
Very good value
+
Class-leading battery life
+
Bass-rich sound
+
Effective ANC

Reasons to avoid

-
ANC mics pick up wind noise
-
Comfort wanes over time

Cleer is no stranger to high-end audio gear, like the $699 Cleer Crescent, but the Enduro ANC shows it can produce a seriously tempting pair of cheap wireless headphones as well. For starters, it's got the best battery life of any over-ear headphones we've tested: playing music at 50% volume got us over 50 hours of playtime, even with ANC.

And let's not gloss over that even having ANC at this price is an impressive feat. Filling out the rest of the the Enduro ANC's feature list are handy tools like the Ambient mode, NFC and Android Fast Pairing, aptX Adaptive support and EQ customization. That's an awful lot of toys for the price, and yes, sound quality is good too.

Read our full Cleer Enduro ANC review.

The Apple AirPods 3 wireless earbuds resting atop the wireless charging case

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)
The best standard AirPods for voice and FaceTime calls

Specifications

Size and weight: 1.21 x 0.72 x 0.76 inches; 0.15 ounces (per bud)
Battery life (rated): 6 hours, 30 hours (with charging case)
Bluetooth range: 40 feet (12 meters)
Special features: Adaptive EQ; Spatial Audio; MagSafe charging

Reasons to buy

+
Adaptive EQ with well-balanced sound
+
Spatial audio support
+
Improved battery life and ergonomics
+
H1 chip-powered features

Reasons to avoid

-
No ANC or Transparency mode
-
Loose fit

Apple’s third-gen AirPods share similar specs with the AirPods Pro, which is quite the feat for sub-$180 wireless earbuds. On the list are high-performance features like Adaptive EQ and Spatial Audio that bring their own unique traits to the table, from adjusting frequencies to create distinctive sound to bringing 3D-like effects to music and movies. Almost everything tied to the H1 chip is present, including automatic switching, “Hey Siri” voice activation, and even new additions like Enhanced Find My to better locate misplaced AirPods. Apple even increased battery life to 6 hours, making these the longest-lasting AirPods ever. 

Sure, they lack ANC and Transparency mode, and the loose-fitting design is something that Apple has yet to perfect, but the AirPods 3’s overall performance outweighs all drawbacks. If the price seems too high, and you still want standard AirPods with premium features, look at the AirPods 2, which just dropped to $129.

Read our full AirPods 3 review.

Technics EAH-A800 listing image shoing black headphones on a desktop

(Image credit: Panasonic)
Heritage design and sound

Specifications

Size and weight: 7-11/16 x 6-11/16 x 3-3/8-inches; 10.5 ounces
Battery life (rated): 30 hours (ANC and LDAC on); 50 hours (ANC); 60 hours (ANC off)
Bluetooth range: 33 feet (10 meters)
Special features: Active noise cancellation; Ambient sound control; Customizable EQ

Reasons to buy

+
Lively, balanced sound
+
Impressive battery life
+
Great build quality and high-level finish
+
Good comfort level

Reasons to avoid

-
Noise cancelling not quite up to the best
-
Plenty of price rivals

At $350, the Technics EAH-A800 don’t come cheap and it is pitted against some of the market’s best audiophiles headphones, including the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 and Sony WH-1000XM4. However, these over-ear cans handle their own, backed by legacy design and sound that justify the expensive MSRP. Craftsmanship is superb with the headphones replicating the elegant aesthetic of Technics’ luxury stereo amplifiers (the shiny aluminum housing and minimalist detailing are on-brand). Sound is tuned to suit all music genres and the inclusion of lossless audio transmission using the LDAC codec increases streaming quality on compatible services (e.g., Deezer, Tidal). Battery life is also top tier with a full charge generating up to 50 hours of ANC listening time.

Speaking of which, noise cancellation is considered the model’s one true weakness, though the ambient sound mode is great for broadcasting the speech of others.

Read our full Technics EAH-A800 review.

The Apple AirPods Max displayed on a bookshelf

(Image credit: Future)
The best over-ear wireless headphones for iOS users

Specifications

Size and weight: 7.4 x 6.6 x 3.3 inches, 13.6 ounces
Battery life (rated): 20 hours (ANC on)
Bluetooth range: 33 feet (10 meters)
Special features: ANC; “Hey Siri” voice activation; Spatial audio

Reasons to buy

+
Luxury design
+
Excellent noise cancellation
+
Spatial Audio sounds great

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The dinky AirPods Pro are a much more cost-effective route into Apple headphones, considering the AirPods Max cost a widowmaking $549. Still, you get what you pay for, and on a purely technical level, Apple’s first over-ear cans are absolute fantastic.

There’s active noise cancelling, which works about as well as the best on the market. There’s Spatial Audio, which creates a striking surround sound effect as you move your head. There’s a impeccable build quality, the comfy memory foam earcup padding, the healthy battery life – the list goes on. It’s worth noting that if you ever want to switch to wired listening you’ll need to buy a separate $35 Lightning cable, but on Bluetooth alone these headphones are an excellent iOS companion.

Read our full Apple AirPods Max review.

Galaxy Buds 2 Pro in charging case, in purple with packing box and Samsung tablet in background

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Samsung's next-gen flagship earbuds are their best so far

Specifications

Size and weight: 0.7 x 0.85 x 0.7 inches (per bud); 0.19 (per bud)
Battery life (rated): Up to 8 hours (ANC off); up to 29 hours (charging case with ANC off)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet (9 meters)
ANC: Yes
Water resistant: Yes (IPX7 rated)

Reasons to buy

+
Wide soundstage
+
Effective ANC
+
Compact and practical design
+
Easy to use features
+
Excellent connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Disappointing battery life
-
Bixby needs some work
-
Most coveted features are exclusive to Galaxy devices

Samsung finally has a serious AirPods Pro rival, at least for Galaxy owners. Sound alone makes the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro worth the investment, giving you a high quality audio experience and compelling 3D sound with precise head tracking. Samsung’s ANC holds its own against the category best and blocks out close to 90% of ambient noise. The updated design also provides improved comfort and noise isolation.

These buds operate well across all Bluetooth-enabled devices, but Galaxy smartphone owners get to enjoy cool features like Easy Pairing and compatibility with Samsung's Scalable Codec. It’s upsetting that Bixby doesn’t perform up to its potential, though the mediocre battery life with ANC on is a greater disappointment.

Take a look at our Samsung promo codes for the latest discounts from Samsung. 

See our full Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro review.

The Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones being held aloft against a backdrop of a coastal street with palm trees

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)
Inexpensive noise cancellation with lengthy playtime

Specifications

Size and weight: 7.25 x 6 x 3 inches; 8.5 ounces
Battery life (rated): 24 hours (ANC on)
Bluetooth range: 30 feet (10 meters)
Special features: Two-level ANC; Pairable with other Bose products; Volume-optimized active EQ

Reasons to buy

+
Elite active noise cancellation
+
Refined sound signature
+
Increased battery life
+
Fantastic comfort and connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Can’t disable ANC mode
-
Dip in call quality

Bose’s latest model is an excellent upgrade for brand enthusiasts who want prime active noise cancellation and longer battery life. These headphones offer ANC performance very similar to the flagship 700, blocking out a significant number of ambient noises, while also boasting one of the more powerful transparency modes in the category. A total of six microphones were placed into the minimalist, cozy design, four of which are used for picking up vocals and producing clear-sounding calls. Bluetooth 5.1 ensures strong and reliable connectivity with two devices at the same time. Having 24 hours of playtime on the go is also a major improvement compared to past models.

You will need to be mindful of battery life because not being able to turn off ANC means these headphones will drain juice more quickly than expected. At least Bose gives you the opportunity to still use ANC in wired mode.

Read our full Bose QuietComfort 45 review.

How to choose the best wireless headphones for you

The most important thing to look for in the best 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 5 to 8 hours, while Bluetooth headphones can last about 25 hours or higher.

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.

Let’s not forget accessories. Should you want to purchase wireless headphones, look at the bundled accessories listed on the packaging. On your radar should be an aux cable, carry case, charging cable, and a user guide.

If you're interested in a pair of truly wireless buds, make sure you receive a handful of extra ear tips, charging cable, user guide, and most importantly, a charging case. Since earbuds have shorter battery life than over-the-ear headphones, there's a great likelihood you'll have to charge them on the go. 

How we test the best 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.

Find out what we listen for during our testing process and how to get the best headphone sound for you.

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 five-point system (1 = worst, 5 = best). If a product is truly exemplary, it's awarded an Editor's Choice.

Find out how we test for more information on our reviewing procedures.

Contributions from: Alex Bracetti, Simon Lucas

Next: See what we made of these mid-range wireless buds with LDAC codec support for best-quality wireless streaming in our full 1More Evo review.

More: Want the best sound? Learn about audio codecs and what they all mean in our FAQ. It's really not as dull as you might think. Plus, check out the best Audiophile headphones if you want to listen in luxury and the ultimate sound quality.

Looking for a pair of headphones to improve online meeting call quality while working from home? Then check our guide to the best headsets and headphones for working from home. And for great wireless earbud options, check out our guide targeting the best wireless earbuds.

Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.