Best wireless Bluetooth headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best in-ear and on-ear wireless headphones you can buy in 2019.
Wireless headphones aren't what they used to be; they're far superior. Joining the wireless revolution means ever-more advanced Bluetooth codecs and ever-more ways to go wireless.
There are over-ear wireless headphones, often with noise-cancelling thrown in for good measure, with brands including Bose, Sennheiser, B&W and Sony leading the way. And there are also now plenty of in-ear wireless earphones, some with neckband cables joining the buds, but others, known as ‘true wireless', where the earpieces are completely wire-free.
Whatever wireless style you require, we've got the best wireless headphones you can buy, with prices starting at under £100. And with Black Friday around the corner, it's a good time to be keeping an eye out for bargains.
In the US? We've picked out the best Black Friday wireless headphones deals for your perusal.
1. Sony WH-1000XM3
2019 (and 2018) What Hi-Fi? Award winners, the WH-1000XM3s are Sony's latest wireless noise-cancelling headphones and one of the most comfortable pairs of on-ears we’ve tested with thick, cushioned earpads that completely envelop your ears. Features include Sony's Atmospheric Pressure Optimiser which optimises the noise-cancelling for when you're flying, touchpad controls and an accompanying Headphones Control app. Thanks to a quick charging battery (done via USB-C), the XM3s go from empty to full in three hours while a ten minute charge gives you a whopping five hours of use.
They produce an open, spacious sound that gives every instrument, effect and vocal room to breathe. Vocals sound focused and direct, but the instruments around them are delivered in a way that makes it feel as if you’re in the room with the band. Combine that spaciousness with greater detail, dynamic subtlety and loads of lovely deep bass and you've got a breathtaking noise-cancelling package. If you can stretch to these excellent Bluetooth cans you won't be disappointed.
Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM3
2. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3.0 (2019)
Got a slightly bigger budget for a pair of wireless noise-cancellers? This brand-new pair is an extraordinary effort by Sennheiser’s engineering team.
Sennheiser doesn’t need any ‘third time lucky’ well wishes for its third-generation Momentum Wirelesses – both the originals and second versions were instant knockouts when they arrived. These have been much improved over their predecessors in the sound department, promising an energetic, timely and hugely insightful listen you've no choice but to be entertained by.
That sonic success is backed by enhanced usability features too, although be aware that battery life is only 17 hours next to the above Sony's 30-hour claim.
3. Sony WF-1000XM3
When it comes to true wireless headphones, there's a new king. Not only do these 2019 What Hi-Fi? Award winners come with more sizes of tip than most rivals, they pack brilliant noise-cancelling tech into their tiny frames too. The touch controls are intuitive (even if volume controls are conspicuous by their absence) and they sound wonderfully musical: instruments sound natural, believable and wholly expressive. There's plenty of subtlety on show too, and a great level of detail. These take the crown from our previous favourite true wireless buds, the Sony WF-1000X. The king is dead, long live the king.
4. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
If an unadulterated sound is your sole concern, these buds are hard to beat in their price category. Another 2019 What Hi-Fi? Award winner, these budget-conscious in-ears offer a cohesive, expansive and rhythmically driven sound, but also an intuitive, playful soundstage that few wireless in-ears can achieve at the price.
A good fit is essential, and, due to the length of the earpiece itself, that might not be as easy to come by for everybody, but their sonic talent is such that it's worth the effort and potential purchase of extra buds.
With nine hours battery life from the buds themselves, plus four additional charges from the case, that means an impressive 45 hours of continuous use from this little set-up. There's no noise cancelling, but it is clear Cambridge Audio's focus has been on great sound over bonus features.
Read the full review: Cambridge Audio Melomania 1
5. AKG N60NC Wireless
One of the most compact and convenient pairs of noise-cancelling headphones we've ever tested, the AKG N60 NCs deliver a superb performance for the money. They're a good-looking pair of on-ears with an excellent fit. Battery life is 15 hours with the noise-cancelling and Bluetooth engaged and this ramps up to 30 hours when the noise-cancelling is turned off.
Bass delivery is powerful yet transparent with crisp, detailed vocals, soaring highs and convincing dynamics. You'd be perfectly content to wear these all day and for the money, they're extremely tough to beat.
6. Bowers & Wilkins PX7
Hugely impressive noise-cancelling headphones
Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: Yes | Battery life: 30hr | Charging: USB-C | Built-in mic and controls: Yes
Reasons to Buy
Lively, insightful soundThree-tiered noise cancellationSophisticated, comfortable design
B&W’s flagship noise-cancellers are born entertainers and can rub shoulders with the very best. All a pair of headphones can do is sound, look and feel great – and the B&W PX7s tick all three boxes.
The Sonys that top this list might have pipped them to a 2019 What Hi-Fi? Awards Best Buy, but these are fine alternatives – especially for those who value sonic sprightliness and street-cred style.
7. JBL Reflect Flow
If you’re after sports in-ears, these are some of the best around
Connector: N/A | Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: N/A | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 10 hours (30 hours with charging case)
Reasons to Buy
JBL is a heavy hitter when it comes to true wireless sports earphones – and with the Under Armour Flash as its predecessor, the JBL Reflect Flow is a hotly anticipated entrant to the flourishing, albeit rather niche, true-wireless-for-sports market.
In their niche category, though, the JBL Reflect Flow headphones are very good indeed, especially if you want a bass-heavy sound for the gym without resorting to cans – and the 10-hour battery (or 30 with the case) will outlast a seriously long run.