The best wireless headphones package great sound, special features, and lengthy battery life into a convenient, cord-free design. On top of being the perfect companion for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, they also work well for laptop users, especially business travelers, remote workers, students, and anyone who loves using their portable PC as their main audio source.
Laptops were designed to be taken anywhere and can be excellent productivity tools or entertainment consoles when hitting the road. Pairing your machine with some high-quality wireless headphones only enhances the listening experience.
- The best noise-cancelling headphones
- Our expert picks for the best wireless earbuds
Sure, you can spend money on an elite gaming mouse. Maybe even a portable charger that’s powerful enough to juice up the laptop when an outlet isn’t available. But wireless headphones remain the wiser and more practical investment.
The market is flooded with options and styles, from noise-cancellers to truly wireless buds. To make the decision easier for you, we have compiled this list of the best wireless headphones, based on our extensive testing, research, and comparisons. Here is a look at some of our top picks in the category.
What are the best wireless headphones and earbuds?
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Currently listed as the best wireless headphones overall is the Bose 700. A svelte, futuristic design combined with intelligible features, precise sound, and unbeatable active noise cancellation, the company’s latest flagship model has set the standard for what wireless headphones should look and sound like moving forward. Its in-ear counterpart, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 are also excellent wireless earbuds that combine great sound quality with the very best noise cancellation in the true wireless category.
In the No. 2 slot for best wireless headphones is the Sony WF-1000XM4, which combines the refined sound and ANC performance of the Mark Series over-ear headphones into a fancy compact design. Coming in third is the Sony WH-1000XM5, which is considered by many critics to be the best-sounding ANC headphones available. Audio quality is outstanding, with the headphones delivering boomy sonics and crisp mids and highs. Amazing noise cancellation that nearly rivals Bose, customizable features via companion app, and plenty of playtime (30 hours with ANC on) help solidify their placement on this list.
The Apple AirPods Pro 2 isn’t too far behind on our best wireless headphones list. This upgraded version welcomes innovative features like an adaptive EQ, Personalized Spatial Audio, and FindMy support with the MagSafe charging case to easily locate the device. Sound quality has also been given a boost with the inclusion of a new low-distortion driver that balances frequency range exceptionally well.
Consumer favorites like Audio-Technica, Samsung, and Sennheiser, along with newbies like Cleer, make the cut as well. Scroll further down to see our official ranking of the best wireless headphones in 2022 (so far).
The best wireless headphones and earbuds right now
If you’re someone who wants to feel completely immersed in their Spotify playlists without any distractions, look no further than the current king of active noise cancellation. The Bose 700 is the best wireless headphones for the money, taking ANC to the next level with six microphones that filter out ambient sound across the entire frequency spectrum. You won’t notice the crying babies in coach when watching films in flight. Bose also programmed the headphones with 10 adjustable ANC levels, three of which can be assigned as presets to control the amount of noise you want to hear.
Even more impressive is the call quality, as the mics amplify your vocals, while filtering out background fracas. You’ll also get clean sound in a beautiful package that complements any MacBook model. Battery life isn’t anything to brag about, but it’s stable. If you have the money, then it’s worth investing in the 700’s charging case (opens in new tab) to get 40 additional hours of playtime. Bose also just released a new version of the headphones called the 700 UC (opens in new tab) that is designed specifically for video conferencing (e.g. Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams) and includes a USB Link Bluetooth model for reliable connectivity to answer calls in a jiffy and easily switch between audio sources.
See our full Bose 700 review.
The smartest, best-sounding, and most feature-laden wireless ANC earbuds are the Sony WF-1000XM4. Sony threw in all the bells and whistles when developing the latest in-ear Mark series model, even developing a new chipset (Sony V1) to reduce distortion and enhance overall audio quality, which is exceptional. It also analyzes ambient noise and provides highly accurate noise cancellation that is on par with Bose’s technology; that is no easy feat. Battery life receives a generous boost (8 hours of ANC playback) from the previous version. Intelligible features such as speech detection (e.g., Speak-to-Chat) and voice activation (e.g., Google Assistant, Alexa) offer users more unique ways to operate the buds. The Sony Headphones Connect app also grants access to a ton of functionality for personalizing the buds.
Sony’s redesign is aesthetically pleasing, though some might find its ergonomic frustrations, like the long sound port and unstable memory foam tips, to be unpleasant at times. However, fit, along with glaring omissions like a Find My Buds function and NFC, shouldn’t stop you from splurging on a pair.
Read our full Sony WF-1000XM4 review.
A year after launching the critically acclaimed WH-1000XM4, Sony's unleashed its successor with hardware upgrades and some performance enhancements. The Mark Series 5 has dual processors, twice as many microphones, and a carbon-fiber 30mm driver, all of which work together to produce stellar sound and call quality. Several of Sony’s proprietary technologies are installed into these bad boys, including 360 Reality Audio, Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) Extreme, and LDAC. Most importantly, Sony’s ANC circuitry is improved and gives Bose headphones a run for their money.
It was brave for Sony to overhaul the design, but it doesn’t compare to the luxe look of past entries. Still, for that to be the WH-1000XM5’s only blemish says a lot about the model.
Read our full Sony WH-1000XM5 review.
It took long enough, but the AirPods Pro 2 has finally hit store shelves, bringing some innovative upgrades along with it. You can now track a missing MagSafe charging case using the Precision Finding function in the Find My (AirPods) app. Touch volume controls have been added to the Force Sensors that let you seamlessly adjust sound using slide gestures. The AirPods Pro 2 reduces more ambient noise than its predecessor and introduces a new Adaptive Transparency mode that keeps listeners aware of their surroundings and reduces harsh environmental noise at the same time. Lastly, there’s Personalized Spatial Sound, which optimizes 3D listening by scanning your ears and creating a personal audio profile.
If we have any complaints, it’s that Apple requires you come out of pocket for a lanyard and that they didn’t do the best job making these buds platform neutral; expect performance struggles with non-iOS devices.
Read our full AirPods Pro 2 review.
Fourth time is a charm for Sennheiser. The Momentum 4 is arguably the best ANC-and-sound combo out there, putting Bose and Sony on high alert by delivering elite performance on both audio fronts. Sennheiser’s adaptive noise-cancelling technology is intuitive, scanning environments to effectively neutralize external sounds across the frequency spectrum. A powerful 42mm transducer system, Hi-Res playback, and multiple EQ settings give these cans superior sound. Connectivity is strong and the battery life is even stronger, granting up to 60 hours of ANC playtime, which crushes Bose and Sony’s models.
Had more effort been put into improving the comfort and touch controls, the Momentum 4 could have been considered a five-star product.
Read our full Sennheiser Momentum 4 review.
We thought the Momentum True Wireless 2 would be a hard act to follow. Sennheiser didn’t. The third entry is the series’ best, delivering legacy sound that can be easily personalized through intelligible features like Sound Check, which can tailor audio to your hearing via listening test. Sennheiser’s default sound profile is amazing as is, but it never hurts to have audio customization tools at your disposal. Adaptive noise cancellation is just as powerful as the ANC on the Sony WF-1000XM4, which is all you need to hear regarding noise reduction. Then there’s the beautiful redesign that earned these buds a 2022 Red Dot Design Award.
Not every upgrade is considered a success. The enhanced call quality Sennheiser promotes is a step down from what we experienced in the previous entry. We also anticipated that a Find My Buds function would finally be introduced to the series, but that didn’t come to fruition. Flaws aside, these buds are a fantastic companion for any mobile device.
As much as we love the B&W PX7 S2, its expensive sibling is even more impressive. Upgrades to the driver units, which use a similar design found in the company’s 700 Series loudspeakers, produce a spacious soundstage filled with depth and detail. ANC is some of the strongest available, slightly surpassing the PX7 S2. Battery life is longer than any Bose model at up to 30 hours per charge. Refinements to the design such as a cast iron arm structure and leather wrapping around the earcups show why these headphones are marked up so high.
Not all is perfect, as we’re waiting for B&W to fix some of the PX8’s functional flaws such as the unreliable wear detection. A firmware update should take care of this.
The QuietComfort Earbuds 2 replaces the original QC Earbuds as the market’s best noise-cancelling earbuds. It uses new CustomTune technology to calibrate ANC and the sound frequency profile to the unique properties of your ear, creating the perfect balance of noise neutralization and dynamic audio quality. Up to 95 percent of ambient noise will go unheard when enabling the mode in loud settings. Features like ActiveSense automatically adjust ambient listening to hear your surroundings more clearly. The all-new redesign is another major improvement that provides better comfort and fit for lengthy listens.
Certain shortcomings keep the QuietComfort Earbuds 2 from achieving perfection, those being finicky touch controls and connectivity issues with the Bose Music app.
Read our full Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 review.
It took Audio-Technica long enough to release this sequel, but the wait was well worth it. The ATH-M50xBT2 is a superior-sounding and wirelessly powerful model that puts every luxury wireless headphone on notice. A combination of 45mm large aperture drivers, an amplifier, an internal DAC, and Hi-Res Audio support (LDAC) creates sonic bliss to enjoy all kinds of music. Film soundtracks are given an immersive presence, while classic hip-hop and rock tracks have clear and punchy delivery. Up to 50 hours of playtime is awesome and cool wireless features like Google Fast Pair and multipoint technology allow for a more user-friendly experience.
The lack of noise cancellation doesn’t hurt the ATH-M50xBT2’s purchasability as much as the uncomfortable design. Though if you’re someone who has a high pain threshold or plans on using the headphones mostly at home, there’s little to complain about.
Read our full Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 review.
Samsung’s latest noise-cancelling earbuds are their finest to date. They merge hi-fi audio with strong connectivity and versatile ANC into an ergonomic, pressure-reducing design. Specs like 360 Audio with Dolby Atmos, 24-bit Audio (with compatible Hi-Fi streaming services), Bluetooth 5.3 (LE Audio-Ready), SSC HiFi codec, and a custom coaxial 2-way (tweeter + woofer) speaker tuned by AKG result in some of the best true wireless sound available. Galaxy smartphone owners receive access to features like one-tap Easy Pair and reverse wireless charging, while features like Auto Switch make transitioning between devices a breeze, no matter the platform.
Battery life isn’t going to please everyone, especially those looking to use ANC most of the time. Bixby voice activation needs work as well. Still, these are small complaints when factoring in the overall performance these buds deliver.
The Sony WH-1000xM4 headphones offer excellent audio quality, 30 hours of battery life and a host of audio customization features that make the headphones some of the smartest on the market. And you get active noise cancelling that, dare I say, is a serious contender to Bose’s crown. And thanks to Bluetooth 5.0, the 1000xM4 can connect with two devices simultaneously.
In addition you can program the cans to pause whatever you’re listening to the second you speak, adjust the noise cancelling depending on your activity or location, and create a 3D audio experience. And this is all before we get to the excellent active noise cancelling that’s nearly equal to Bose, the incredibly rich audio experience, the 30 hours of battery life and the MIF (Most Improved Feature), the crystal clear call quality.
Read our full Sony WH-1000xM4 review.
M&D adds another fantastic model to their acclaimed headphone collection. The MW75 is a notable upgrade that delivers audiophile sound and exceptional call quality in a beautifully crafted design. High-end materials like aluminum (earcups, yokes), lambskin leather (padding), and tempered glass materials (front panels) make up the entire frame. On the inside lies 40mm beryllium drivers that pump out bright, accurate sound across the entire frequency range. M&D also makes several accessories available to extend functionality, specifically the MW01 wireless Bluetooth adapter/transmitter that transforms wired devices into Bluetooth-ready devices.
Adjustable noise cancellation allows listeners to personalize the number of external sounds they want to block out or let in, though the technology is a slight step down from what we’ve experienced on past brand releases. That doesn’t make the MW75 any less valuable, especially for music lovers that desire grade-A sound.
Read our full Master & Dynamic MW75 review.
How to choose the best wireless headphones and earbuds for you
The keyword here is wireless, so, realistically, you’ll want to select the best wireless headphones with the best connectivity. Look at the spec sheet to see what Bluetooth protocol these cans operate on; the majority of today’s headphones and earbuds have Bluetooth 5.0, whereas older models run Bluetooth 4.2. Just know the higher the protocol, the better the pairing capabilities and wireless range you’ll get.
Next on the checklist is sound. It goes without saying that these headphones or earbuds should sound great. Brand recognition goes a long way, so researching models from companies with strong audio backgrounds might help narrow down your selections. Otherwise, hunt for models with powerful drivers that can deliver well-balanced sound, no matter the media format (e.g. music, movies, podcasts, video games). We also advise looking at those with either programmed EQs or mobile apps with personalized sound settings.
The move from wired headphones, which require zero power, to wireless headphones can be a big change for some, as usability is based primarily on battery life. Simply put, you want headphones with long playing times, that way you won’t have to worry about carrying around a charging cable or portable charger. Most wireless earbuds are rated at 5 to 8 hours, though newer releases (e.g. Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus) offer as much as 11 hours on a single charge. Bluetooth headphones should last 20 hours or more.
Design is just as important. Why wouldn’t you want headphones or earbuds that look as good as they sound, and are easy to carry around? See what’s out there that is comfy, flexible, lightweight, and built to last. A travel case is vital as well, so don’t overlook this when browsing through the product’s list of bundled accessories.
How we test the best wireless headphones and earbuds
Several factors are taken into account when finalizing our list of the best wireless headphones. Our reviewers evaluate the following criteria: audio, battery life, connectivity, design, and value. Any models with app-enabled features are thoroughly tested as well.
Every pair is worn over the course of a week for 2 to 3 hours at a time. Throughout the testing period, our staff evaluates Bluetooth performance, comfort, ease of use, and sound quality. We listen to tracks across several genres, including hip-hop, rock, jazz, classical, and R&B, just to name a few. We evaluate clarity, fullness, and volume levels too.
With more streaming services offering high-resolution audio, we advise reading this audio codec FAQ to learn more about FLAC files, MP3s and everything in between.
Once testing is completed, our reviewers rate each pair of wireless headphones based on Laptop Magazine’s five-point system (1 = worst, 5 = best). Any product that shows it is truly exemplary is awarded an Editor’s Choice badge.
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