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Whether you’re ready or not, the world is going wireless. As phone manufacturers remove headphone jacks, consumers must seek out wireless headphones to match the changing world. And while there is no shortage of Bluetooth headphones on the market, it can be hard to determine which ones are worth the investment. Right now, the best wireless headphones have a few features in common: comfort, noise-cancellation, all-day battery life and advanced drivers.
Unfortunately, these top-rated wireless Bluetooth headphones have one more thing in common: They all cost about $300. That’s a lot of money to spend, so you want to ensure you buy a high-quality product that meets your needs and will last for at least two years.
In this shopping guide, SPY breaks down the best wireless headphones for sale in 2022 into a few different categories: noise-canceling headphones, on-ear headphones, budget headphones and wireless earbuds. Keep scrolling for our editors’ top picks of the year. We’ve got excellent options from our favorite audio brands such as Apple, Sony, Master & Dynamic and Bose.
But before we dive into the best of the best wireless headphones for sale in 2022, here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
Features to Look for in the Best Wireless Headphones
Everyone has different needs and preferences, but when shopping for the best wireless headphones, prioritize the following features:
• 40-50mm Drivers: You typically want headphones with drivers between 40mm and 50mm. This range ensures that you get plenty of bass response while maintaining clear imaging and detail from your audio.
• Active Noise Cancellation: Once a feature only found in specialty headphones, it’s becoming increasingly rare for a pair of wireless headphones not to have active noise cancellation (A.N.C.) in 2022. Generally speaking, the best wireless headphones drown out some combination of voices, ambient noise or low-frequency rumble without an audible hiss.
• Multi-Codec Support: While most Bluetooth headphones support the A.A.C. and S.B.C. audio codecs, not all of them support aptX. But if you don’t have an iPhone or MacBook, aptX is crucial. Why? The quality of A.A.C. audio can be inconsistent on non-Apple devices. Also, consider models that come with LDAC and LHDC support, as both codecs stream lossless music at the highest transfer speeds.
• Comfort: If you are planning to use these headphones while working, traveling or watching movies, you’re going to want a pair that feels light and doesn’t squeeze the sides of your head too much. Generally speaking, over-ear headphones tend to be more comfortable than on-ear headphones or earbuds when used for long periods. But they’re also heavier and bulkier, so there’s a tradeoff to consider.
• Good Battery Life: When it comes to the best over-ear and on-ear headphones, you’ll want a pair that has at least 20 hours of battery life. This ensures that you can go for at least a couple of days between charges. For wireless earbuds, you’ll want a pair that can provide at least five hours of battery life.
• Latency: This one may not be too important if you’re only planning to listen to music, but it’s critical for watching videos. Latency is the delay between what you see versus what you hear. Latency isn’t too much of a problem with most over-ear headphones, but it can still be problematic for wireless earbuds. The last thing you want is a two-second delay with the voices you hear in any video.
With this in mind, we’ve rounded up the best wireless headphones on the market. A majority of these come with superior active noise-canceling abilities and Bluetooth connectivity, so you’ll be able to focus on what really matters: whatever podcast, tune or audiobook that you just can’t seem to get enough of. Below are our top picks for the best wireless headphones of 2022.
The Best Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones
If you truly want the best of the best, you don’t want just any pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones. Instead, you’ll want to find a set of cans that offer true active noise cancellation. While many cheap headphones promise to reduce ambient noise, true noise-cancellation technology is its own category. The best noise-canceling headphones let you shut out the world as you disappear into your favorite music or podcasts, and this tech is absolutely worth the higher price.
Fortunately, there are a lot of companies competing to deliver the best noise-canceling headphones, which means there are tons of options at (almost) every price. Below, you’ll find our top picks from Apple, Marshall and Sony.
1. Sony WH1000XM5 Wireless Headphones
OVERALL BEST WIRELESS HEADPHONES
It’s no secret that the Sony line of noise-cancelling headphones are legit awesome. The WH-1000XM5 builds upon the successful line with headphones that last upwards of 30 hours with ANC and 40 hours with it off. That’s a whole work week without having to charge them. The cans also have eight microphones that listen for outside noise and filter it out, leaving you with only your favorite music or podcast in your ears. These are pricey at $400, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find more comfortable, durable and better sounding wireless headphones.
We were very excited to test these noise-canceling headphones and compare them to the Sony XM4 headphones, which we previously named the best noise-cancelling headphones in the world, full stop. We’re pleased to report that the new XM5 headphones offer more than a design upgrade, but also noticeable improvements to the already killer ANC. Based on our experience, we’re ready to name the XM5 the best wireless headphones of the year.
Why They’re the Best: Sony continues to prove that it has industry-leading active noise-cancelation, and we also love the sleeker design of the XM5 model. More expensive studio headphones might offer better overall sound for audiophiles, but unless you’re a professional musician, these are the best headphones in any category.
Full Review: Sony’s WH-1000XM5 Met Our High Expectations
2. Apple AirPods Max Wireless Headphones
When it comes to the best performance, the Apple AirPods Max is so good in every imaginable facet that few pairs are even worthy of mention in the same breath. Whether you’re considering audio quality, design, comfort or noise-cancellation, these headphones are among the very best. But what really sets the AirPods Max apart is its spatial audio support, which not only simulates the effect of 3D audio a la Dolby Atmos but can also track the position of your head and make audio adjustments on the fly to make it feel like you’re in the same room as whatever you’re watching. Plus, they’re absurdly comfortable.
So why aren’t these our top overall pick? We named these among the coolest tech gadgets of 2022, but we couldn’t call them the overall best wireless headphones. There are two main reasons: price and compatibility. As you may have heard, Apple AirPods Max are expensive. And not just “premium” expensive, but “luxury” expensive. And while they pair perfectly with iPhones and other Apple devices, Android users might prefer headphones from Sony or Marshall.
3. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Bose has long been the standard for noise-canceling, and while Sony is giving Bose a run for its money, nothing tops the 700’s A.N.C. performance. An adaptive eight-mic system hides underneath the ingenious design that works in unison with the company’s intelligible algorithm to produce 11 levels of noise cancellation. The Bose Music app lets you control the amount of noise entering the soundstage, which is also customizable via the E.Q. setting. Notable features like Alexa integration, one-tap Spotify and multipoint technology to simultaneously pair the unit to two devices keep the 700 in the race with other wireless headphones on this list. We recommend Bose’s flagship for those who are looking for reliable, stylish and great-sounding headphones.
Like the Sony XM4 headphones, the Bose 700 series has excellent customer reviews, and the noise-canceling tech left a powerful impression on our product testers. However, the Sony headphones edge these out on price by about $50. If genuinely elite active noise-cancellation is more important than price, then these are the best headphones for sale in 2022.
4. V-Moda M-200 ANC
These wireless headphones have a stellar design and customizable sound and ANC through the V-MODA app. In fact, there are 10 different levels of hybrid noise cancellation via the app. There’s even a nifty “voice in” feature which will lower the ANC and pauses the music when you cover the left earcup so you can hear and talk, then get right back your listening after. The headphones themselves sport about 20 hours of battery life on a single charge when you’re using ANC. And a quick 10-minute charge provides about 1.5 hours. We picked this pair as the best wireless headphones for style guys who need both sound quality and an accessory fix for their daily fits.
5. Marshall Monitor II Wireless Headphones
BEST FOR MUSICIANS
When we wrote about Marshall’s Monitor II headphones last year, we stated that the noise-canceling cans “immediately (stood) out” thanks to their retro-inspired look and feel. There’s so much more than just good looks at play here, as the audio company has ensured they deliver on premium audio quality as well. If you want excellent performance without having to forgo a sharp-looking set of headphones, consider your search complete. Marshall has solidified their brand as a go-to for musical equipment, and these wireless headphones are no exception. If you’re rocking on a Marshall amp, this is a great tool for practicing at home.
Read More: Marshall’s Monitor II Headphones
6. Master and Dynamic MW65 Active Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones
BEST FOR AUDIOPHILES
In addition to being a beautiful pair of headphones (some serious retro-yet-modern vibes are happening here), the Master and Dynamic MW65 active noise-canceling wireless headphones are a perfect solution for those looking for a luxury at-home listening experience. We’re thinking gaming, high-quality vinyl setups or even as a cheaper home theater system replacement. Additionally, they have Google Assistant built right in, which means you can make calls or change a song without picking up your device.
Full Review: Master & Dynamic MW65 Headphones
7. J.B.L. Under Armour Project Rock Over-Ear Headphones
BEST FOR WORKING OUT
Over-ear workout headphones are rare, like only-three-models-really-exist-in-the-market rare. But leave it to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to make it the next big thing in wireless audio. This latest collaboration expands on the Project Rock line that the wrestler-turned-Hollywood-A-lister created with J.B.L. and Under Armour, and it’s the best collab yet.
These wireless headphones are composed of premium materials such as aluminum and durable rubberized plastic that feels indestructible, along with a foam mesh covering that produces airflow for ears to fight off excessive sweat. Sound is impactful with J.B.L.’s monstrous 40mm drivers running the show. You also get access to several well-engineered presets, including a custom one that Johnson helped fine-tune to “crush workouts.” Noise cancellation blots out numerous sounds across the frequency spectrum, plus the 35-plus hours of playtime should be sufficient for completing two-a-days over two weeks without recharging.
8. Microsoft Surface 2 Wireless Headphones
BEST FOR WFH
Suppose you’re the kind of person who spends their 9 to 5 huddled over a Windows-based computer and would love some music to power you through the day. In that case, the Microsoft Surface 2 Headphones are the perfect companion for your P.C. The headphones easily pair with any Microsoft Surface device thanks to Swift Pair tech, but they’ll also hook up to your regular P.C. with ease as well. The Surface 2 wireless headphones are designed to wear for long periods and rest comfortably and cozily on your ears to help the productivity go all day long.
Best Budget Wireless Headphones
We’re suckers for premium noise-canceling headphones, but we know the juice isn’t worth the squeeze for everybody. If you want a reliable pair of headphones that can connect to your computer or phone, then you don’t need to drop $300 or more. Brands like Anker, Jabra and Plantronics make renowned wireless headphones for under $200.
If you just need wireless headphones for calls and work, then we’d recommend checking out our guide to the best Bluetooth headsets, which includes options starting at just $25. However, we recommend spending a little more on one of the best cheap wireless headphones for listening to music and gaming.
9. Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless Headphones
BEST BUDGET OPTION
There is absolutely nothing flashy about the look or feel of the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 wireless headphones. While they don’t necessarily feel junky, the loose, plasticky build does make them feel far less thank premium. However, slap these around your ears and you’ll quickly discover the audio quality and noise-canceling performance, which belies its $79 price tag and earn it the top spot as our best wireless headphone for a tight budget. Furthermore, with transparency mode, a customizable E.Q. and more than 40 hours of battery life, you’d have to spend much, much more to get a feature set as comprehensive as this.
10. Cleer Enduro A.N.C.
BEST BATTERY LIFE
Bose set the original standard for battery life on wireless A.N.C. headphones: 20 hours. Shortly after, others came along and increased it to somewhere between 30 to 40 hours. Incredibly, the Cleer Enduro A.N.C. gives you a whopping 60 hours of battery life, and that’s with active noise cancellation turned on. What’s even crazier is that these headphones perform at a high level in other categories, including audio and noise cancellation, making it a rare bargain for music lovers who value external silence when listening to music for hours on end. You won’t find many sub-$150 wireless headphones that can match the Enduro A.N.C.’s overall performance.
11. Wyze Noise Cancelling Headphones
MOST UNIQUE FEATURE
There’s plenty to love about the Wyze Noise Cancelling Headphones. Not only is this pair of wireless headphones one of the more affordable options on our list, but it’s packed with rich features such as noise cancellation, dual Bluetooth connectivity, 20 hours of battery life and custom equalizer settings. What sets it apart, though, is its support of Amazon Alexa. The popular smart assistant is built-in and offers all the same conveniences as any Echo device, with Alexa a quick double-tap of the right earcup.
12. Jabra Elite 85H Wireless Headphones
BEST WATER-RESISTANT MODEL
The Jabra Elite model has many of the same features you’re used to seeing in high-end headphones (noise-canceling, long battery life, etc.), but we think the absolute steal here is the call quality and the water-resistant nature. The former makes it great for wearing in the office or at home, while the latter makes it so that you won’t need to fret about getting caught in the open if Mother Nature decides she’s got some alternative plans for the day’s weather. That water resistance will come in handy, too, if you decide you really want to make sure people know not to bother you while you’re lifting at the gym.
Full Review: The Jabra Elite 85t Are True AirPods Pro Competitors
The Best On-Ear Wireless Headphones
Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? We had to sort through dozens of options to find the best wireless headphones. With prices ranging from cheap $25 headsets for gaming and phone calls to premium sets of cans for high-fidelity music, there’s a lot to choose from for the average consumer.
Below, you’ll find a selection of the best on-ear wireless headphones, which some users find to be more comfortable and convenient.
13. Beats Solo Pro Headphones
BEST ON-EAR HEADPHONES
Outside of making Dr. Dre a boatload of cash, Apple’s high-profile Beats purchase in 2014 ensured that the brand would get easy access to Apple’s quality products. While it’s taken a few years for Beats to catch up to the high-end audio quality of some of its competitors, it’s safe to say that the Solo Pro is the best version so far. Beats headphones are all about that bass, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find another pair of headphones that tops its performance in that regard. And Apple has made sure that these headphones easily pair with all of its products.
14. Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 ANC Headphones
If you’re an audiophile, then you may want to consider the new Bowers & Wilkins PX7 ANC wireless headphones over our “Best Overall” selection, the Sony XM5 headphones. In our recent review, we noted that even though the XM5 headphones have the edge on overall noise cancelation, the PX7 actually offers the superior audio quality overall. Combine that with a supremely comfortable design and an impressive battery life and you have one of the best new headphones of 2022.
Full Review: Bowers & Wilkins New PX7 S2 Are Seriously Impressive
15. Jabra Elite 45h Wireless Headphones
If the Jabra Elite 45h had come out five years ago, they would have easily cost as much as the AirPods Max. The design, build quality, customizable E.Q., noise-canceling and 50 hours of battery life are features you find on current premium headphones. Instead, these headphones cost less than $100, making them a great deal and worth a shout-out in our list of the best wireless headphones.
The Best Wireless Earbuds
Finally, we wanted to present our top picks for the best wireless earbuds. Technically, these aren’t considered headphones by many people, but they still fall into the same broad category. If you prefer in-ear buds to over-ear headphones, you can’t go wrong with these products from Apple, Jabra and Anker.
16. Apple AirPods Pro Wireless Headphones
BEST WIRELESS EARBUDS
While no single pair of wireless earbuds in 2022 is hands down “The Best,” the AirPods Pro comes the closest. Better yet, they’re pretty much always on sale these days. And even though Apple has now released its third-generation AirPods, we still recommend the AirPods Pro for Apple users looking for new wireless earbuds. These earbuds are sleek and comfortable to wear, have excellent noise-cancellation for earbuds and have many tricks when connected to an iPhone, iPad or Mac (including spatial audio support and head tracking). While these may not overwhelm you with bass or have the longest-lasting batteries, we’ll take the warm and detailed audio over raw low end any day of the week.
Read More: The Best Deals on AirPods & AirPods Pro
17. Sony WF-1000XM4
Sound is Sony’s forte, so it should come as no surprise to see the audio brand’s latest creation crowned the best-sounding wireless earbuds. The combination of powerful 6mm drivers with 360 Reality Audio (aka spatial audio) and upscaling technologies (e.g., DSEE Extreme, LDAC) creates one hell of an immersive listening experience. Music is lively, movies sound realistic and podcasts have you feeling like you’re inside the recording booth. Being able to tweak sound profiles through well-engineered presets or creating your own sound profile is clutch. And we haven’t even touched on the WF-1000XM4’s other notable traits, including adaptive A.N.C., ambient listening, Bluetooth 5.2, Google Fast Pair, wireless charging and smart controls that automatically pause music when speaking.
Full Review: The Sony XM4 Earbuds Have Industry-Leading ANC
18. Jabra Elite Active 75t Wireless Headphones
BEST FOR WORKING OUT
If you need a pair of great-sounding earbuds with a little more weatherproofing (or you just aren’t a fan of Apple products), the Jabra Elite Active 75t is the wireless earbud you want. The IP67 rating means that these buds not only survive the sweat from a workout, but you can subject them to a dunk underwater or a dust storm, and they’ll survive. But the best part is that this does not come at the expense of other features, including excellent audio quality, active noise cancellation, transparency mode, a customizable E.Q. and a comfortable design.
In our testing, we found that these are the ultimate earbuds for working out, and we even think they’re more comfortable than the newer Jabra Elite 85t earbuds (which are also excellent).
19. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
How’s this for a one-two knockout blow. Not only are the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds the best wireless earbuds for A.N.C., but critics also consider the model to be the category’s best calling headset. The fact that Bose managed to give these buds nearly the same A.N.C. technology as the 700 Headphones, with half the mics, is mind-blowing. On top of hybrid ambient listening, you’re getting 11 levels of adjustable noise cancellation, which Bose achieved by blending both A.N.C. and Transparency modes to make ambient noises more distinctive and less harsh. Much of that performance carries over to call quality, as Bose’s adaptive mic array produces loud and clear results during voice and video calls while minimizing background interference.
20. Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Wireless Headphones
The Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 may cost less than $50, but they sound as good as some $150 earbuds thanks to solid bass drivers and aptX support. Furthermore, features such as a customizable E.Q., wireless charging and programmable touch controls give these buds the feel of a premium pair without the premium price. After testing dozens of wireless earbuds, we’re convinced these are the absolute best cheap wireless earbuds for sale in 2022.
Full Review: Anker Soundcore Libert 2 Wireless Earbuds
21. UE Fits
MOST COMFORTABLE EARBUDS
Thanks to a singular process that molds the UE tips to the contours of your ear canals, our SPY team has dubbed these the most comfortable earbuds we’ve ever worn. The molding creates a great seal as well as passive noise cancellation (unfortunately, active noise cancellation is not featured on these earbuds) that limits the amount of outside noise that seeps in. These earbuds also have an impressive battery life of eight hours and sound as good as they feel to wear.
Full Review: Ultimate Ears Fits Earbuds
Updates: This article was last updated on July 26, 2022, at which time we added additional purchase links wherever possible and updated pricing. Our overall selections for “Best Overall” remained the same in every category. After further testing of the Sony XM5 Headphones, we added additional information and linked to our in-depth review. Finally, based on our product review, we replaced the Bowers & Wilkins PX5 headphones with the new Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 Headphones and named them our “Best Sound” winner.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wireless Headphones
Overall, you can't beat the sound quality and features of the Sony XM4 headphones, which Sony released in August 2020. However, that doesn't mean they're the best wireless headphones for everybody.
We can split our picks for the best wireless headphones into three categories:
These headphones use Bluetooth to wirelessly connect to mobile devices (e.g., phones, tablets, laptops) and desktops. Some (but not all) also work with a wired connection, either 3.5mm aux or USB. This can be a lifesaver for moments when the battery on your headphones dies, but you don’t have access to a charger.
The odds of you owning an HDTV or streaming device — an Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku Stick or video game console (e.g., Sony PlayStation 5, Xbox One) — with Bluetooth capabilities are pretty high. Therefore, access the device’s Settings page and go through the select options to pair your wireless headphones with your HDTV or streaming device.
Many people still frequently confuse the two, but as the names imply, headphones go over or around the head, while earbuds are buds that fasten to your ear.
As we’ve detailed in our article, you can break down headphones into two main categories — over-the-ear and on-ear styles. With the former, the earcups usually cover the entirety of the ear to ensure that audio feeds directly without any ambient noise interfering with the performance. Noise-canceling headphones are usually designed with an over-the-ear style because of this exact reason.
Meanwhile, on-ear style headphones tend to rest gently on top of the ear, but they don’t cover the entire ear. And finally, earbuds such as the AirPods are tinier in size and usually inserted outside the ear canal.