Skip to main content

Best wireless headphones 2020

Wireless headphones offer freedom from the cables that tether you to your audio devices. They're portable, deliver high-quality sound, and oftentimes include smart features to enhance your listening experience. 

And now that most premium smartphones have ditched the headphone jack, the demand for wireless headphones is growing at an exponential rate. We tested dozens of models to recommend the best wireless headphones you can buy. 

In our wireless headphone reviews we rate them based on several key criteria. We look at design and especially comfort, because you should be able to wear wireless headphones for at least a few hours without realizing you have them on. 

We also evaluate wireless headphones based on audio quality using multiple genres of music; the best wireless headphones deliver clear sound but also a fair amount of bass. Other factors include the controls and ease of use, battery life and noise cancelling performance (if offered). 

Last but not least, we look at value to determine how much bang for the buck wireless headphones offer users.

Check out all of our best wireless headphone recommendations below.

The best wireless headphones right now

(Image credit: Future)

1. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Best wireless headphones overall

Size and Weight: 8 x 6.5 x 2 inches, 8.8 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 20 hours (NC on) | Bluetooth Range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Slick, attractive design
Excellent noise cancelling on calls and music
Precise, balanced audio
Smart, intuitive buttons and touch controls

These aren't your daddy's Bose. The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 have raised the bar for active noise-cancelling headphones. The headphones effectively silence outside noise while simultaneously allowing you to clearly be heard, whether you're 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. The adjustable noise cancellation keeps things quiet without adding distortion to your music, and the Full Transparency mode is similarly impressive. Add it all up, and it's easy to see why the Bose 700 is our best wireless headphones overall.

See our full Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Apple AirPods Pro

The best wireless earbuds yet

Size and Weight: 2.4 x 1.7 x 0.9 inches, 8.8 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 4.5 hours (NC on) | Bluetooth Range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Modern, functional design
Great active noise cancelling
Expanded, easy to use controls
Comfortable semi-custom fit
Great sound
No companion app
Battery life could be longer

Hands? That's so passé. Thanks to Apple's H1 chip, the AirPods Pro are packing even more hands-free Siri integration. Plus, you get the near-instant pairing and stable connections we've come to expect from an Apple audio product. And with the new Force Sensors embedded in the redesigned stems, you may never need to touch your smartphone ever again. 

See our full Apple AirPods Pro review.

Jabra Elite Active 65t

Jabra Elite Active 65t

3. Jabra Elite Active 65t

The best wireless earbuds

Size and Weight: 1.2. x 1.1 x 0.9 x inches,0.2 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 5 hours, 15 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth Range: 33 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Great comfort and fit
Sound customization via companion app
Quick-charge capabilities
Doubles as a fitness tracker
Charging case is tough to open
Inconvenient controls

If you're looking for a pair of truly wireless earbuds that offer the right balance of personalized comfort and sound, place the Jabra Elite Active 65t at the top of your list. These buds made it on our best wireless headphones list because they are sleek and unassuming, deliver impressive sound, and last up to 5 hours on a charge. Thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 technology, the Active 65t consume less power so that you get longer battery life, can pair with two separate devices simultaneously and have a signal range of up to 800 feet. While the Elite Active 65t is designed for fitness use, it's also a great everyday pair for enjoying music and taking calls on the go, much like the standard Elite 65t.

See our full Jabra Elite Active 65t review.

Apple AirPods

(Image credit: Future)

4. Apple AirPods 2

Superb wireless earbuds for Apple fans

Size: 1.6 x 0.7 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 0.14 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 5 hours;13 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Lightweight, comfortable design
Faster connection on iOS devices
Hands-free Siri integration
Good audio quality
Limited controls
No equalizer
Lacks ambient listening mode

Faster, smarter, longer-lasting, the AirPods 2 are still at the top of the heap for iPhone owners looking for the best wireless headphones. Apple has given people what they want with wireless charging and a hands-free approach to Siri. And the fact that the buds offer longer talk time and faster pairing are icing on the cake, especially since the old AirPods' pairing was near instantaneous. For iOS fans, these are the best wireless earbuds you can buy.

See our full Apple Airpods 2 review.

Sony WF-1000xM3

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

5. Sony WF-1000XM3 Earbuds

Great active noise cancelling in a compact design

Size and Weight: 5.6 x 4.7 x 2.5 inches, 0.3 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 6 hours (NC on), 8 hours (NC off) | Bluetooth Range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Stellar audio performance
Great noise cancellation
Tons of personalization via companion app
Excellent battery life across the board
Luxe, sharp-looking design
Touch controls could use some work
Poor call quality
Loose-fitting tips

The Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds successfully combines stellar sonics with impressive noise cancellation. A plethora of features and solid battery life also elevate its status among the elite to land on our list of best wireless headphones.  Deep, rich bass and tonal balance give the buds an edge over the competition. And with an estimated 6 hours of battery life (ANC on), you'll have a lot of time to enjoy your music, movies or podcasts.

See our full Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds review.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones

6. Sony WH-1000XM3

Great battery life for long trips

Size and Weight: 10.4 x 7.3 x 2.9 inches, 9 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 30 hours (NC on), 38 hours (NC off) | Bluetooth Range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Class-leading sound
Impressive noise cancellation
Longest battery with NC on
Companion app with sound-customization options
Aesthetics are less premium than the previous model
Call quality could use a boost

Sony definitely upped its game with the WH-1000XM3. The improvements in audio fidelity alone place these wireless headphones nearly on a par with the Bose 700. They deliver a powerful low-end punch suited for their target demographic, bass lovers, and grant listeners a suite of sound-optimizing options accessible through the Connect app. Most music genres are well-represented, with live recordings shining in Ambient mode. The WH-1000XM3 also supports five codecs for music playback — aptX, aptX HD, AAC, LDAC and SBC — each engineered to maximize sound quality over Bluetooth. 

See our full Sony WH-1000XM3 review.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose QuietComfort 35 II (Image credit: Future)

7. Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Great active noise cancelling headphones for less

Size and Weight: 7.1 x 6.7 x 3.2 inches, 8.2 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 20 hours (NC on), 40 hours (NC off) | Bluetooth Range: 33 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Champion noise cancellation
Clear, dynamic audio
Comfy and lightweight
Solid battery life
Google Assistant integration needs work
Design remains unchanged

These wireless headphones combine Bose's best-in-class active-noise-cancellation technology with Google Assistant for a more affordable price than the Bose 700. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II feature a liberating and comfy wireless design and a dedicated button to summon Google's AI, without skimping on the powerful active-noise-cancelling technology. The volume-optimized EQ feature makes your tunes sound great even when you crank your phone to 11, and with the 20 hours of battery life, you'll have plenty of juice for a couple of cross-country flights.

See our full Bose QuietComfort 35 II review.

Powerbeats Pro

(Image credit: Future)

7. Powerbeats Pro

Top sports wireless earbuds with long battery life

Size and Weight: 1.1 x 1 x 0.9 inches, 0.7 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 9 hours; 24 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth range: 33 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Magically seamless setup, just like with AirPods
Lengthy battery life
Well-balanced sound
Comfortable, stable fit for running
Bulky charging case

The $249 Powerbeats Pro combines water- and sweat resistance, a low-profile design and signature Apple-y integration, making them a no-brainer for workout buffs with iPhones. In addition, they offer well-balanced audio and a secure, comfortable fit. The best part? 9 hours of battery life, which is 4 hours longer than the AirPods. Just keep in mind that these earbuds are bigger than the AirPods.

See our full Powerbeats Pro Review.

Bowers & Wilkins PX Headphones

Bowers & Wilkins PX Headphones

8. Bowers & Wilkens PX

A luxury look meets high-end sound

Size and Weight: 7.98 x 6.89 x 2.95 inches, 11.82 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 22 hours (NC on), 29 hours (NC off) | Bluetooth Range: 33 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Premium design
Adjustable noise cancellation
USB-C charging
Strong audio performance
Heavier than most other noise-cancelling headphones

You get what you pay for. And in the case of the Bowers & Wilkins PX wireless headphones, you're paying for quality. They're pricey, at $399, but these headphones offer a gorgeous, sturdy design with great audio quality, solid active-noise-cancelling technology and long battery life. When the headphones are paired with the free app, listeners have the ability to tweak what they hear and how much, so they can control how much of the outside world gets in. 

See our full Bowers & Wilkins PX review.

JLab JBuds Air (Credit: JLab)

(Image credit: JLab JBuds Air (Credit: JLab))

9. JLab JBuds Air Wireless Earphones

The best cheap wireless earbuds

Size and Weight: 1.8 x 3 x 1.6 inches, 0.13 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 4 hours, 14 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth Range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Strong bass performance
Affordable price
Preset EQs
Water-resistant coating
So-so battery life
Bulky design

For the price, JLab JBuds Air headphones supersede expectations due to their powerful bass response and IP55 durability, which provides water-resistant protection. The buds are an ideal investment for exercisers who want energetic sound and sturdy aesthetics, as well as for budget shoppers who want an AirPods alternative for $100 less. The carry case is portable as well and won't weigh down your pockets.

See our cheap truly wireless earbuds page.

Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless Headphones

Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless Headphones

10. Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless Headphones

Personalized sound makes a big difference

Size and Weight: 6.1 x 7 x 2.75 inches, 9.6 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 30 hours | Bluetooth Range: 32 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: No

Integrated sound personalization
Long battery life
Touch controls
USB-C charging
Floaty bass
High price

The Beyerdynamic Aventho wireless headphones deliver warm, rich audio while keeping the volume at safe levels. Thanks to the companion app, the headphones can adjust the sound profile based on your age or provide an in-depth hearing test for a more personalized listening experience. Outfitted with capacitive touch controls, the cans provide smooth command inputs and last 30 hours on a charge.

See our full Beyerdynamic Aventho wireless headphones review.

Microsoft Surface Headphones (Credit: Microsoft)

(Image credit: Microsoft Surface Headphones (Credit: Microsoft))

11. Microsoft Surface Headphones

Smart digital-assistant integration

Size and Weight: 8 x 7.7 x 1.89 inches, 10.2 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 15 hours (NC on) | Bluetooth Range: 35 feet (10.6 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Adjustable NC levels
Spacious sound
Pairs with 10 devices simultaneously
Smart controls
Lower battery life than competitors
Cortana app required for most features

First impressions are everything, and the Microsoft Surface headphones offer more than enough bells and whistles to capture your interest. One of the most prominent features is the digital-assistant integration with Cortana, Siri and Google Assistant. All three operate similarly, though Cortana extends functionality to additional services and skills. Having the ability to get LinkedIn updates, monitor stocks and create voice shortcuts is sweet. In addition, you get adjustable active noise cancelling, fast charging, intuitive touch controls and a wide soundstage. 

See our full Microsoft Surface headphones review.

Sennheiser Momentum Free

Sennheiser Momentum Free

12. Sennheiser Momentum Free

Surprisingly good sound for earbuds

Size and Weight: TBD (Could not find online), 1.4 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 6 hours | Bluetooth Range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Excellent sound
Strong connectivity
Lightweight and comfy
Pairs to two devices simultaneously
Bland design
Low battery life

The Sennheiser Momentum Free features a well-balanced soundstage, highlighted by amazing clarity and responsive bass. Using the Sennheiser CapTune app creates an opening to fine-tune the sound profile to one's liking, though the default profile is engineered to reproduce all frequencies equally. The earphones also do a surprisingly good job of stabilizing connections, ensuring little-to-no dropout when you're standing several feet away from an audio source.

See our full Sennheiser Momentum Free review.

Grado GW100

Grado GW100

13. Grado GW100

Best on-ear wireless headphones

Size and Weight: 9.2 x 7.9 x 2.1 inches, 6 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 15 hours | Bluetooth Range: 30 feet (10 meters) | Digital Assistant Support: Yes

Well-balanced sound
Solid frequency range
Nostalgic design
Bleeds sound
Battery life could be better

On-ear headphones may be a niche category, but the Grado GW100 remains one of the best-sounding sets of cans we've tested. It's one of the few models that balances the portability of in-ear headphones with the sound quality of an over-ear set. Audio is clean and neutral, so you can hear recordings as they were intended. Comfort and responsive controls are two of the headphones' other biggest selling points. Then there's the retro design, which exudes charm and has throwback appeal.

See our full Grado GW100 review.

Wireless headphones buying tips: What to look for

  • 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 6 to 8 hours, while Bluetooth 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.