2021 Best Wireless Headphones
2021 Best Wireless Headphones
Ahh, freedom from wires. Wireless headphones are all about convenience — the convenience of connecting to your music and not having to worry. When we aren’t worried about tethered connections, we roam free.
At Audio Advice, we’re loving the new ways we can listen to music on-the-go. Back in 1978, when we were setting up turntables and two-channel audio systems, there was only one way to transmit music wirelessly on-the-go — the radio! There was no way around audio cables except for radio transmissions. But with so many advancements in technology, the ways we’re able to experience music today have completely evolved.
When it comes to wireless audio, we couldn’t be more excited about what these new conveniences mean for audio — but with so many options, it’s tough trying to figure out if ditching the cable is even worth it. More importantly, which wireless headphone is truly the best for your lifestyle?
By the time you’ve finished the first part of this “best of” guide, we hope you’ll have a better understanding of how the best wireless headphones can improve your life and the music you love.
Why You Need Wireless Headphones
Ergonomics. True wireless headphones have always been about ergonomic convenience, and they’re so much fun to use!
When we’re not bogged down with wires, everything we already do is enhanced. Commuting in the mornings, enjoying music while we work, going for a light jog in the evening or working out at the gym — all of these activities are easier and more satisfying when music is playing — cheering us on. Whether it’s running on the treadmill, taking calls with a built-in microphone, or blocking out the outside world while traveling, listening to music without wires is so cool!
Important Features To Consider For Wireless Headphones
Today, the best wireless headphones have a whole host of features making them simple to use, seamless to connect and extremely satisfying to listen to.
In-Ear, On-Ear and Over-Ear headphone-styles provide various fits for numerous ergonomic situations, but which style provides the right fit for you? To understand the benefits of each, check out our In-Ear vs. On-Ear vs. Over-Ear Buying Guide.
Wireless in-ears and headphones come with rich sets of features that may be useful to you. Features such as active noise-canceling, convenient hands-free smart controls, and built-in microphones are popular choices with wireless headphone users; however, because there are so many options, it can be confusing determining which headphones or earphones are perfect for your scenario. So, we’ve taken the confusion out of it and have compiled a list of the top features you should look for when shopping for Bluetooth headphones.
Top Wireless Headphone Features To Shop For
- Ease of Connectivity and Use
- Built-in microphones
- Convenient Hands-free Smart Controls
- Quick Charging
- Long-lasting Battery Life
- Adaptive EQ Control via Mobile App
- Capacitive Touch Controls
Adaptive Noise Canceling, Voice Assistance (via Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant), Tactile Buttons Control, Proximity Sensors, Intelligent Head Tracking Technology, 3D Virtual Sound Localization, Room Simulation, Detachable Headphone Cable, Carrying Case, Foldable Design.
Whether your activities and lifestyle require active noise-canceling headphones, a high-quality built-in mic with great sound, or great battery life, Audio Advice is proud to present the best wireless headphones for taking calls on-the-go, working out, traveling, or enjoying music at home.
What Are The Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones?
Now that we’ve put the best features on your radar, it’s time to do the same for wireless headphones. We’ll tell you what the best wireless headphones are and why we selected them. Whether it’s on your commute to work, at the office, on a run, or in the gym, when you need to bring your A-game, show up with the best, so you can do your best. The best wireless headphones are right here.
Best Wireless Headphones
- Grado GW100 Wireless Bluetooth Open-Back HeadphonesRegular Price $249.00 $249.00
- Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesRegular Price $348.00 $348.00
- Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Carbon Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesRegular Price $399.98 $399.98
- Audeze Mobius Headphone & Gaming Headset with 3D SoundRegular Price $399.00 $399.00
Best Wireless Earphones
- Sony WF-1000XM3 Noise Canceling True Wireless In-Ear HeadphonesRegular Price $228.00 $228.00
- Klipsch T5 II True Wireless In-Ear HeadphonesRegular Price $199.00 $149.00
- Klipsch T5 II True Wireless Sport In-Ear HeadphonesRegular Price $229.00 - $249.00 $187.00 - $229.00
- B&W PI7 Wireless Noise Canceling In-Ear HeadphonesRegular Price $399.00 $399.00
Interested in learning how we at Audio Advice rate our headphones as the best? Read our Headphone Buyer’s Guide to learn everything there is to know about the best sounding headphones. There’s a pair of headphones for everyone, but when getting the most out of your music, sometimes one style is just not enough!
Best Wireless Headphones With Noise-Cancelling
Fully-loaded with the coolest tech, the Sony WH-1000XM4 takes you even deeper into silence and the music with Sony’s industry-leading Noise Canceling Technology and smart listening features that dynamically adjust to you and your surroundings.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 wins as the “best wireless headphone with noise-canceling” because of the headphone’s intelligent noise reduction features that target specific frequencies or noises set by the user and actively silences them even when the user’s environment changes.
Any noisy situation can benefit from Sony’s adaptive active noise-canceling technology. For example, traveling by air, car, bus, or even walking along a busy urban street are great opportunities to block out unwanted noises in your environment. When traveling, navigating a crowded area like an airport is another perfect opportunity to silence the background noises of your changing environment. When your on-the-go lifestyle requires a good wireless headphone with active noise canceling that adapts to you, the Sony WH-1000XM4 will help you rest, focus, and meditate no matter where you go next.
With powerful 1.57-inch drivers made with Sony’s Liquid Crystal Polymer diaphragms, the Sony WH-1000XM4 delivers a full range of frequencies up to 40 kHz for exceptional sound quality that’s perfect for handling heavy beats.
Head over to our 2020 Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Comparison to see if this is the right one for you.
Adaptive EQ Control (via Mobile App), Hands-free Voice Assistance (via Mobile App), Capacitive Touch Control, Proximity Sensors, Detachable Headphone Cable, Carrying Case, Swivel Foldable Design, Highly Portable.
Adaptive Active Noise Cancelling
Battery Life Lasts Up To 30-Hours
10-Minute Quick-Charge = 5-Hours of Play-Time
Best True-Wireless Earbuds With Noise-Cancelling
Similar to the WH-1000XM4, Sony packed tons of similar technology into their smaller truly wireless earphone-version — this time, in the form of In-Ear headphones that you can put in your pocket. Sony managed to take you deeper into silence and your music with a truly wireless in-ear design that has the same industry-leading noise-canceling and smart listening features as the larger over-ear WH-1000XM4.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 wins as the “best true wireless earphone with noise-canceling” for several reasons. First, the smaller fitting universal design is well thought out and fits snugly inside the ear canal without falling out. This alone makes the WF-1000XM3 a perfect match for anyone with an active lifestyle who wants one of the best fitting universal earphones.
Next, since the WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds pack almost the same technology as the larger Sony Over-Ear headphone model, users benefit from cool features like noise-canceling that helps you stay in the zone. Also, with a simple finger-gesture over the earbud, convenient hands-free “Quick Attention” controls instantly bring the volume down and allow ambient sound in so you hear your surroundings in an instant. This feature is great for social interactions like ordering coffee, or even at the gym, so you can strike up a conversation without taking your earbuds off. A simple gesture over the earbud turns the volume right back up when you’re done chatting. Or, take one earbud out, and the music automatically pauses on both sides. Put the earbud back in and the music automatically resumes playing — right where you left off.
To learn more about how it performs, read our Sony WF-1000XM3 In-Ear Review. Want to know how it compares with the other earphones that also pair with your cell phone? Read the Sony WF-1000XM3 vs. Airpods Pro vs. Power Beats Pro Review.
Adaptive Active Noise Canceling, Adaptive EQ Control (via Mobile App), Hands-free Voice Assistance (via Mobile App), Capacitive Touch Control, Proximity Sensors, Charging Case/Carrying Case, Highly Portable.
Great Fitting Earphones That Stay In Place
Battery Life Lasts Up To 24-Hours
10-Minute Quick-Charge = 90-Minutes of Play-Time
Best True-Wireless Earbuds to Use at Work
The B&W PI7 wins as the “best true wireless IEM to use at work" for several key reasons. First, the all-day comfort. Once you find the right tips for your ears, these are some of the most comfortable in-ears on the market. When seated stationary at our desks or going on a walk around town and doing normal activities, the soft silicone tips did an excellent job reducing ear fatigue and lasted hours on end without the need for a break to remove the earphones.
Next, the PI7 steps up the noise-canceling tech to Adaptive Noise Canceling that will automatically monitor and adapt to your surroundings in real-time so you can block out the external world and focus on the music. The ANC tech here is driven by six microphones – three in each earphone – for crystal-clear sound quality with every phone call. Holding the intuitive, one-touch user interface will activate the ANC and this can also be further refined in the app.
In terms of Bluetooth, multiple source devices can be wirelessly paired to it, and this allowed us to reconnect easily and conveniently to each source as needed – such as quickly switching from music on a phone to an online conference call on a laptop. Also, the range of aptX compatibility is extended when you step up to the PI7. The PI7 gives you aptX, aptX Adaptive, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, and aptX Classic.
Finally, the smart case that comes with the PI7 has a cool trick up its sleeve. When you want to switch to music playing from a laptop or another audio source, the smart case can function as a wireless retransmission soundcard that will transmit high-resolution audio up to 24-bit/48 kHz to your PI7 in-ear headphones. We think the ability to play through the case itself is super cutting edge, making these the only headphones you'll need for daily use, on flights, and especially listening to hi-res music while you work on your laptop. This is a real differentiator for an in-ear headphone at this price point.
To learn more about the PI series from Bowers & Wilkins, read our B&W PI7 & PI5 Noise-Canceling In-Ear Headphones Review.
Adaptive Active Noise Canceling, Adaptive EQ Control (via Mobile App), Hands-free Voice Assistance (via Mobile App), Capacitive Touch Controls, Proximity Sensors, Smart Charging Case/Carrying Case with hi-res audio wireless transmission capabilities, Highly Portable.
Great Fitting Earphones That Stay In Place
Cutting-edge Smart Case with Wireless Re-transmission Super Powers
15-Minute Quick-Charge = 60-Minutes of Play-Time
Best Wireless Earphones For Working Out
Klipsch T5 II True Wireless Sport edition wins as the best in-ear headphone to use at the gym, for fitness, or almost any extreme activity involving water. It's similar to the regular edition T5 II True Wireless — the earpieces house Klipsch's custom 5mm ultra-thin driver to present a wide soundstage with more top-end extension and dynamics. Additionally, the earpieces each have the high IP-rating of IP67, so they're completely waterproof and dust-proof.
But, what separates the Sport edition from the regular Klipsch T5 II True Wireless is the bundled case, color selection, and price. For less than $250, you get a rugged, water-tight, and gasket sealed (IP67) Sport edition case that's also a USB-C and wireless Qi-charging system. This gives you 24-hours of use when they're inside the case or up to 8-hours of wireless use. This one will really help you go the distance while protecting your earphones from the elements.
Not only that — there's a really clever moisture-removal-system built inside the case. What happens when you use your earphones at the gym and stow them in your bag inside the case only to forget about them overnight? Klipsch engineered a convenient system that absorbs liquid from within. So, just stow your earphones in the case overnight, and when you wake up, your earphones will be dry!
You get more color options too: Black, Gray, Green will match your high-performance style. For less than $250, we think this stands out as one of the best earphones to work out with — and when you need a break from your workout to answer your phone, you get the same clear call quality as the slightly less-expensive T5 II True Wireless with the benefits of a waterproof and dust-proof case that dries out your earphones at the same time — but with the Sport model, you'll never have to worry. Your earphones will always be ready for your next adventure.
Read our Klipsch T5 II True Wireless In-Ear Headphone Comparison to learn more about how this one performs.
Highly Portable, Includes Six Pairs of Ear Tips for Twice the Customizability — includes a pocket-friendly wireless Qi-Charging Case with USB-C charging port, and push controls that are easy to use.
IP67 Water & Dust-Proof Earphones + Case
Internal Moisture-Removal System Dries Your Earphones
Great Fitting Earphones That Stay In Place
Best Wireless Headphones For Working From Home
Jam-packed with over 30 years of American headphone heritage, Grado sets a milestone with the world’s first open-back Bluetooth headphones — the Grado GW100.
Grado GW100 Wireless Bluetooth Open-Back headphones win as the “best wireless headphones for working at home” because of it’s great open-back on-ear design. Open-back headphones are rare in wireless headphones, but the open-back design is the perfect way to listen to music, and still be alert to your surroundings while you work.
Does your job require you to be alert to your surroundings when working? If you work from home, the Grado GW100 Wireless Open-Back headphone is the best wireless headphone for the job. It sounds great, and if you have home-matters to attend to while you're multitasking, then the GW100’s open-back design will let you stay alert to anything or anyone who needs your attention. If you work from home and want better-sounding music to motivate you throughout the day, see the Best Audio Gear for Remote Workers, to learn more — Grado GW100 Wireless Bluetooth Open-Back Headphones are on the list.
Inside the GW100 are the signature drivers by Grado. These are the same speakers built inside their iconic wired headphones, which Grado finely tunes for especially for the enclosures. Grado Lab’s first wireless headphone is no different from drivers configured specifically for the GW100. The desired sonic capabilities of the GW100 would not be possible without Grado’s decades of experience designing the drivers.
Detachable Headphone Cable, Highly Portable
Battery Life Lasts Up To 15-Hours
Classic Grado Signature Sound
Best Wireless Headphones For Taking Calls
Similar to the Sony’s, the PX7 by Bowers & Wilkins is a premium over-ear wireless headphone, sporting luxurious ear cups that provide an immersive soundstage and complete Active Noise Cancellation which adapts to you and your environment. Wherever you roam, you can experience music and calls at the highest fidelity with the Bowers & Wilkins PX7.
The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 wins the “best wireless headphone for taking calls” category because of its Clear Voice Communication (CVC) technology. With four microphones dedicated to Adaptive Noise-Canceling and two mics dedicated for telephone use, the PX7 offers the clearest calling experience of all. For example, when walking through crowded streets, the PX7 has the advantage of canceling out background noise from wind or other sources without having to press mute as frequently during calls.
Finally, the PX7’s 43.6mm drivers are built and tuned by the same engineers who crafted the famous Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond speakers used in Abbey Road Studios. No matter where your life takes you next, powerful drivers by Bowers & Wilkins and Adaptive Noise Cancelling technology will put you at the center of the phone conversation and the music while you roam free from wires. If you want to know more about how the PX7 performs against the best noise-canceling headphones of the year, read our Bowers & Wilkins PX7 vs Bose 700 Series vs Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphone Comparison.
Adaptive Active Noise Canceling, Adaptive EQ Control (via Mobile App), Voice Assistance (via Mobile App), Tactile Buttons Control, Proximity Sensors, Detachable Headphone Cable, Carrying Case, Highly Portable.
Best Experience On Calls
Battery Life Lasts Up To 25-Hours
15-Minute Quick-Charge = 5-Hours of Play-Time
Best True-Wireless Earbuds For Taking Calls
For anyone who wants the best call quality and the most comfort, the Klipsch T5 II TW packs the best performance for long phone conversations for less than $200.
Klipsch T5 II True Wireless stands out as the best true wireless earbuds for taking hands-free calls for several reasons. First, the T5 II is one of the most comfortable earbuds on the market. It included six ear tips for a more customizable fit and the sound isolation is best-in-class.
Second, it packs four high-performance Beam-Forming Microphones. With four high-quality microphones, your voice will be crystal clear during phone conversations, and transparency mode will pipe in clear ambient noise when you want to hear the noise in your environment.
Next, the T5 II True Wireless earphones house Klipsch's custom 5mm ultra-thin driver to present a wider soundstage with more top-end extension and dynamics. Think of music with deeper sub-bass, clearer vocals, and enhanced details in the higher frequencies compared to typical true wireless earbuds.
Not only that — the new T5 II True Wireless earpieces also have the high IP-rating of IP67, so they are water & dust-proof.
To learn more about how this one performs, read our Klipsch T5 II True Wireless In-Ear Headphone Comparison.
Highly Portable, Includes Six Pairs of Ear Tips for Twice the Customizability — includes a pocket-friendly case, USB-C charging port, and push controls that are easy to use.
IP67 Water & Dust-Proof Earphones
8-Hour Battery Life & 24-Hrs In The Case
Quad Beam-Forming Microphone Pattern
Best Wireless Headphones For Gaming
The Audeze Mobius wins as the “best wireless headphone for gaming” because it’s powered with tons of cool technology that completely immerses players in their game-play and music. Powered by Audeze world-famous Planar Magnetic drivers, the Mobius provides an immersive experience for both music and gaming with a level of depth and realism that no other gaming headphone can match. The included detachable microphone is high quality and will give you and your comrades a competitive advantage by enhancing the game with clearer communications.
Partnering with Waves, the world-leader in audio DSP technologies, Mobius can process 5.1 and 7.1 Surround Sound with ground-breaking Head Tracking and Room Emulation technologies. The Mobius is the first gaming headset to provide a completely integrated listening experience that is truly believable and fully immersive without requiring any additional software or hardware.
Adaptive EQ Control, Intelligent Head Tracking Technology, 3D Virtual Sound Localization, Room Simulation, Detachable Headphone Cable, Headphone Carrying Pouch.
Read our Audeze Mobius Gaming Headset Review to learn more about how this performs.
Powered By Tech To Immerse You In All The Action
Battery Life Lasts 10+ Hours