If you have your smartphone with you all the time — which, let’s face it, most of us do — then there’s another gadget you probably have close by. That’s your favorite pair of headphones. Headphones are getting expensive these days, in no small part because we’re expecting more of them. More features, designs that are more specific to our favorite activities, and more options when it comes to connectivity. But if you’re tired of untangling cables and unwinding cords, now’s the time to change. Make sure that the next accessory you buy for your smartphone is a great pair of Bluetooth headphones.
Bluetooth headphones, like any gadget large or small, can be difficult to shop for. You probably know that audio quality, battery life, and fit are all important factors when choosing a pair. But the variety of options available is overwhelming. Fortunately, a few reliable organizations have tested dozens of pairs of Bluetooth headphones in pursuit of the best models. We trust the reviewers at both The Wirecutter and Tom’s Guide, two publications that have tested numerous pairs of Bluetooth headphones and determined which ones emerged the winners. Ahead, learn which wireless headphones are the top-rated sets, and learn a little bit about how you can choose the perfect pair.
1. Jabra MOVE Wireless Bluetooth headphones
Lauren Dragan reports for The Wirecutter that after researching 93 pairs of Bluetooth headphones and testing the 55 best-reviewed models, the publication’s panel of experts agreed that Jabra’s MOVE Wireless model was the best choice for most people. Of all of the Bluetooth headphones tested, this comfortable and durable pair offered some of the best sound while wireless, even beating some headphones that cost twice as much. However, it’s worth noting sooner rather than later that no matter how good a pair of Bluetooth headphones sounds, you’ll still get more for your money when buying corded headphones. So if you don’t need to go wireless, you can save money. But if you really need a pair of Bluetooth headphones, the Jabra MOVE Wireless may be the way to go.
2. JBL E40BT stereo headphones
Another great choice is The Wirecutter’s runner-up: the JBL E40BT. This model offers a sound that’s more treble and bass-boosted than the MOVE Wireless, which makes it an excellent pair if you listen primarily to pop, rock, or hip-hop. Panelists reported that the ear pads are soft and comfortable, though the band is on the tighter side. (So you may want to steer clear if you know you have a large head or are sensitive to pressure on your ears.) Otherwise, this pair of Bluetooth headphones is a little more expensive and a little less user-friendly than the MOVE Wireless, but is all in all a solid choice, too.
3. Jabra REVO Wireless headphones
If you aren’t planning to listen wirelessly all the time and want a pair of headphones with an in-cable remote, you may want to consider the Jabra REVO Wireless. Dragan reports that reviewers loved the warm (and app-adjustable) sound of these Bluetooth headphones. They also appreciated that the model’s controls are easy to use and that its battery is long-lasting. Ultimately, they cost a bit more than the MOVE Wireless, and it’s up to each shopper to determine whether the extra features are worth the higher price tag. It’s definitely a nice touch to be able to plug the headphones in when you want to save battery or improve sound quality though.
4. Kinivo BTH240 Bluetooth headphones
Finally, The Wirecutter also has recommendations for Bluetooth headphones at the very top price ranges and at the most budget-friendly level. The publication’s pick of affordable headphones is the Kinivo BTH240. At just $25, this set costs much less than the rest of the choices. Its low-end build and sound quality mean that it’s probably not the best choice for people who listen to music all day. But it’s a super budget-friendly secondary pair, particularly for situations in which you don’t want to carry a more expensive pair around with you.
5. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless headphones
The reviewers’ pick among headphones over $150 is the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless. This pricy model offers Bluetooth connectivity, competitive active noise canceling, and great sound. They also reportedly sound just as good wireless as they do wired — an impressive feat. For most people, the price is unrealistic, and you can save a lot of money by purchasing a pair that isn’t such an “all-in-one” model. But if you want the best of the best, and don’t mind the price tag, this is the model the reviewers would recommend.
6. Sol Republic Shadow Bluetooth headphones
Next, we’ll move on to the Tom’s Guide picks of Bluetooth headphones and earbuds. Sherri L. Smith and Valentina Palladino report that the top choice among wireless earbuds is the Sol Republic Shadow. These Bluetooth headphones offer an in-ear design, and the reviewers report that this model offers the best combination of features and style of all of the wireless earbuds they tested. Additionally, you can connect two devices to these earbuds to switch between different sources of audio.
7. Plantronics Backbeat Pro headphones
The Tom’s Guide team chose the Plantronics Backbeat Pro as the best overall Bluetooth headphones. That’s because this model goes “above and beyond what you’d expect from a pair of wireless headphones.” They offer an impressive 60 hours of battery life (which should be enough to get you through your work week). This model also reportedly offers a comfortable fit, integrates powerful active noise-canceling technology, and offers full, rich audio performance.
8. Jabra Sport Coach
If you’re more interested in earbuds than in over-the-ear headphones, you’re in luck. Tom’s Guide has two more models to add to the list. For the best pair of Bluetooth headphones for your workout, the publication recommends the Jabra Sport Coach. This model offers comfortable ear inserts and “booming sound.” Another selling point is the Jabra Sport Life app, which can deliver workout tips to get you through CrossFit activities.
9. Plantronics Backbeat Go 2 earbuds
The final pair of Bluetooth headphones to make the list? The Plantronics Backbeat Go 2, which Tom’s Guide named the best inexpensive wireless earbuds. This model offers solid audio quality and what the reviewers describe as a secure design, with “torpedolike buds and supersnug ear inserts that never fall out.” While the battery life of this affordable pair of earbuds is relatively low, you can purchase them bundled with a portable charging case.