All that choice is great, but it can make it difficult to find the best wireless headphones for your needs. That’s why we created this guide to help. We’ve spent the past 10 years testing the best headphones on the market and we know a thing or two about finding the perfect pair of wireless cans.
The best wireless headphones offer a heady combination fantastic connectivity, supreme audio quality, and slick designs – and some even come with nifty extras, including active noise cancellation and built-in AI assistants you can control with your voice.
The cordless cans in this list make for fantastic companions if you have a jack-less phone, like the iPhone 11 and Pixel 3 and you don’t want the hassle of buying a converter for your wired headphones.
Whatever your reason might be for upgrading, we’re here to help you find the best wireless headphones for you, regardless of your budget – and there are lots of models to choose from.
To help you get started we’ve divided our guide into wireless over-ear headphones, wireless earphones, and true wireless earbuds. These are the three main styles of wireless headphones – so feel free to jump to whichever style fits your needs and budget.
First up, here are the best over-ear wireless headphones you can buy in 2020.
[Update: Mobvoi has just launched its first noise-cancelling over-ear headphones. The TicKasa ANC come with active noise cancellation and support for Hi-Res Audio, and will set you back $129.99 / GBP £109.99 / AU$189.99 – that’s significantly cheaper than the Sony WH-1000XM3.
In true wireless news, we’ve seen new images of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, which are rumored to come with noise cancellation. Meanwhile the hotly anticipated OnePlus Buds could come with support for Dolby Atmos spatial audio, according to a deep dive into the APK for the latest OnePlus 8 update by 9to5Google. ]
The best over-ear wireless headphones
1. Sony WH-1000XM3
Wireless noise-cancelling headphones that sound better than Bose
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 275 grams | Frequency response: 4Hz – 40kHz | Drivers: 40mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 103dB | Impedance: 46 Ohms | Battery life: 30 hours | Wireless range: 30 feet | NFC: Yes
30-hour battery life
Hinges are fragile
For the last three years, the Sony 1000X series of headphones have been our favorite wireless headphones on the market. They sound great thanks to a combination of superb wireless codecs – aptX and Sony’s proprietary LDAC tech – and keep outside noise at bay thanks to Sony’s ever-improving noise-cancellation algorithms.
While the Sony WH-1000XM3 might not be a massive improvement over last year’s WH-1000XM2, they’re still a cut above their rivals, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, in nearly every way: they sound better, they block out noise better and have better features like Quick Attention mode that lets in all outside noise without taking off the headphones. (The latter is perfect when giving a drink order on a plane or speaking to a coworker for a brief moment before diving back into your work.)
Great-sounding and feature-packed, these impressive Sony headphones are great travel companions and all-around excellent wireless headphones – and while we’re hoping to see the Sony WH-1000XM4 this year, they’re still the best wireless headphones of 2020.
Read more: Sony WH-1000XM3 review
2. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Bose’s new wireless noise-cancelling headphones are easily its best yet
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.64 lbs (289g) | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: 40mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 20 hours | Wireless range: 100 meters (330 feet) | NFC: No
Outstanding noise cancellation
Fun, lively sound
Battery life could be better
More expensive than Sony
Bose has really outdone itself with the Headphones 700 – and a big part of these cans’ appeal, is the sophistication of the noise cancellation they offer, which is applied to your voice during phone calls, as well as your surroundings.
As an alternative to the Sony WH-1000XM3, these wireless headphones sound fantastic, with a vibrant, lively character and well-balanced soundstage and offer the same great noise-cancellation you’d expect from Bose.
They don’t have the same dexterity as the WH-1000XM3 and the battery life is also 10 hours less than Sony headphones despite costing more, but they’re perhaps the best wireless headphones for making calls with.
Read more: Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700 review
3. Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 310g | Cable length: 1.2m | Frequency response: 10 – 30,000 Hz | Drivers: 43.6mm | Driver type: Full range | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: 20 kOhms | Battery life: 30 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: N/A
Best-in-class sound quality
Competitive battery life
Robust Bluetooth connection
Earcups don’t collapse
If you’re looking for wireless headphones with active noise cancellation and you’re not put off by the $399 / £349 / AU$600 price tag, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are well worth considering.
With sophisticated noise cancellation, much-improved sound quality, and a honed aesthetic, the PX7 could give any of the headphones on this list a run for their money.
Plus, they’re packing aptX Adaptive for improved stability and latency between the headphones and your device, as well as high-quality (24-bit) streaming aptX HD brought to the table.
4. Jabra Elite 85H
Giving Sony and Bose a run for their money
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 296 grams | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 10-20kHz | Drivers: 40mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 36 hours | Wireless range: 10m (33ft.) | NFC: N/A
Class-leading battery life
Excellent ANC performance
Stylish and comfortable
Lacks support for high-end codecs
Offering class-leading battery life, terrific style and plenty of personalization when it comes to sound profiles, the Elite 85h are easy to recommend. That said, purists will bemoan the lack of high-end codec support and there are punchier wireless headphones on the market at this price point.
When you consider that Jabra’s Elite 85h headphones are the company’s first attempt at premium wireless ANC headphones, the result is quite commendable. We can’t wait to see what the company’s next premium ANC headphones will accomplish.
If you want an alternative to Sony’s WH-1000XM3, these wireless headphones are a great choice.
Read more: Jabra Elite 85H review
5. Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Premium wireless headphones that include Google Assistant
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.68 pounds | Cable length: 3.94 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 20+ hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: Yes
Broad and clear soundstage
Amazing noise cancellation
Active EQ an acquired taste
Bose took the already-excellent QC35 and updated them with Google Assistant. This means you still get the class-leading noise cancellation Bose is known for, good sound quality, and incredible comfort. Said simply, these wireless headphones sound great and their battery life is long enough for all but the longest of flights.
Despite the popularity of the QC35s, Bose has shaken things up by releasing a totally new wireless noise-cancelling headphones model, with a focus on sleek design and “breakthrough” audio tech: the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. They may not have pipped Sony to the top spot of the best noise-cancelling headphones, but they’re still a fantastic pair of over-ear headphones, coming in at number two.
Read more: Bose QuietComfort 35 II review
6. Philips PH805
Premium wireless headphones without the premium price
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 7 – 40,000Hz | Drivers: 40mm | Driver type: Dynamic | Sensitivity: 90 dB | Impedance: 16 Ohms | Battery life: 30 hours | Wireless range: 33ft | NFC: N/A
Good battery life
Punchy, controlled, and detailed sound
Noise cancelation could be more effective
At $199 / £160 (around AU$290) the Philips PH805 offer exceptional value for money. These are wireless headphones, using Bluetooth 5.0 for connectivity – so high-resolution audio playback should be achievable.
Using a single Lithium-Ion cell for up to 30 hours of playback time from a single charge, the Philips PH805 have active noise cancellation on board, administered by a couple of mics on each earcup.
Read more: Philips PH805 review
7. Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless
Over-ear headphones that don’t skimp on the smart features
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: N/A | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 6Hz to 22kHz | Drivers: 42mm | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: N/A | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 17 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: Yes
Brilliant audio quality
Battery life isn’t great
More expensive than rivals
These Sennheiser over-ear wireless headphones sound fantastic, with high levels of detail, warm bass, and natural-sounding highs.
Customizable noise cancellation is a great touch, though it doesn’t quite reach the class-leading standards set by Sony and Bose. Battery life also doesn’t compete with the Sony WH-1000XM3s, and they’re more expensive to boot.
So, why buy the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless? Well, if built-in Tile tracking appeals to you, and you like the industrial design and premium materials of the Momentum Wireless, that could be reason enough – and if you do opt for them over the Sony model, you won’t be missing out on any audio quality. In that respect, they’re truly matched.
Read more: Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019) review
8. AKG N60NC Wireless
Wireless noise-cancellation from another mid-range master
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 199.4g | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 10-22,000Hz | Drivers: N/A | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: 111dB SPL/V@1kHz | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: 15 hours | Wireless range: N/A | NFC: No
Not the most comfortable
Initially confusing controls
The AKG N60NC Wireless sound like a pair of headphones that should be much more expensive than they are.
At their mid-range price point these wireless headphones offer fantastic value for money, with great sound quality and a level of noise-cancellation performance that’s on a level with the much more premium entries on this list.
Our biggest issue with these headphones is the fact that they’re on-ear rather than over-ear, meaning that we found that they got uncomfortable over longer periods.
Regardless, the benefit of this is that this is a fantastically compact pair of headphones, and if you’re willing to make the trade-off then these are great for the price.
Read more: AKG N60NC Wireless review
9. JBL Tune 750BTNC
Quality noise-cancelling headphones for a great price
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 220g | Cable length: N/A | Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz | Drivers: 40mm | Driver type: N/A | Sensitivity: 95dB | Impedance: 32 ohms | Battery life: 15 – 22 hours | Wireless range: 30ft (10m) | NFC: No
Good sound quality
Strong active noise cancelation
Average battery life
JBL is a popular name in the world of wireless headphones and Bluetooth speakers, and rightly so. Solidly dependable, consumers know what to expect from the brand – decent sound quality for a decent price.
That’s what we found with the JBL Live 650BTNC last year – and now, ready to take their place are the JBL Tune 750BTNC, a superior successor to the 650BTNC’s as a high-spec and well-priced set of over-ear headphones.
The JBL Tune 750BTNC sound great, look great, and they fit well. Reliable and easy to use, you might miss waterproofing and a few minor features – but at this price, it feels foolish to complain too readily.
Read more: JBL Tune 750BTNC review
10. Microsoft Surface Headphones 2
Warm sound and great noise cancellation
Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 0.64Ibs | Cable length: 3.94 ft | Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz | Drivers: 40mm | Driver type: Free Edge | Sensitivity: 115 dB | Impedance: N/A | Battery life: 20 hours | Wireless range: 30 ft | NFC: No
Warm, wide soundstage
Sound could be more detailed
Slightly boring look
The Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 are the tech giant’s second pair of noise-cancelling headphones, and they offer a ton of great improvements over the original Surface Headphones, while retaining some of their best qualities.
In spite of those improvements – which includes a longer battery life and a more comfortable design – the Surface Headphones 2 are considerably cheaper than their predecessors, making them the obvious choice if you’re trying to choose between the two.
That lower price also makes them a great alternative to the best headphones of 2020, the Sony WH-1000XM3, especially as they’ve retained the winning design features of the original Surface Headphones, with built-in dials on each earcup to control your music and the active noise cancellation.
Read more: Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 review
Best wireless headphones 2020: over-ear headphones
- Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones
- Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
- Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones
- Jabra Elite 85H
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II
- Philips PH805
- Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless
- AKG N60NC Wireless
- JBL Tune 750BTNC
- Microsoft Surface Headphones 2
Wireless vs true wireless: what’s the difference?
Wireless headphones are traditional over-ear or on-ear headphones without the wire – the two earcups are connected by a headband.
Wireless earbuds have existed for a while now, basically since Bluetooth was invented. Though battery-powered and not physically connected to your phone, they have a cord connecting both buds – and sometimes a band around the neck too. Check out the best wireless earbuds for more.
True wireless earbuds have no cord whatsoever. While wireless allows us to wear headphones a few feet away from our music players, True Wireless cuts the cord between the earbuds, giving us true freedom. If you’re looking to go full wireless, we also have a round-up of the best true wireless headphones.