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Whether you’re ready or not, the world is going wireless. As phone manufacturers forcibly remove headphone jacks from our phones, consumers must seek out new headphones to match this wireless world. And while there is certainly no shortage of Bluetooth headphones on the market, it can be hard to determine which ones are worth the hundred(s) dollar 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. We know that’s a lot of money to spend, and so you want to make sure you’re buying a high-quality product that meets your needs and will last for at least two years.
In this shopping guide, we’ll break down the best wireless headphones for sale in 2022 into a few different categories: the best noise-canceling headphones, on-ear headphones, the best budget headphones, and the best 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 40 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, you want your headphones to be able to 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 using them 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 at least a couple of days between charges and don’t have to worry about charging them constantly. 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-the-ear styled 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 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 WH1000XM4 Wireless Headphones
BEST WIRELESS HEADPHONES OVERALL
With Sony’s WH1000XM series, the brand has become the new gold standard for noise-canceling over-the-ear headphones, boasting ease of use and premium quality features over all else. Thanks to the superior noise-canceling, you can wear these on a plane and hardly be able to hear that annoying plane drone. That feature alone is enough to warrant the higher price tag, but plenty of other features make them the best pick overall. Side-panel touch controls, a fast-charging battery with a long lifespan, and quick noise-canceling optimization help the Sony WH1000XM4 headphones stand ahead of the competition.
We were extremely impressed with the XM4 headphones in our product testing, and Amazon customers have also rated this product highly. Currently, it has almost 30,000 reviews and an overall 4.7-star rating. After a recent price drop, these wireless headphones are the clear winner.
READ OUR REVIEW: Sony WH1000XM4 Wireless Headphones
2. Apple AirPods Max Wireless Headphones
When it comes to the best performance, the Apple AirPods Max are so good in every imaginable facet that few pairs are even worthy of being mentioned in the same breath. Whether you’re considering audio quality, design, comfort or noise-canceling, these headphones are among the very best, if not the best. But what really sets the AirPods Max apart is their 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 best wireless headphones overall. 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 instead.
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 pair the headphones to two devices simultaneously keep the 700 in the race with other pairs on this list. We recommend Bose’s flagship for those who are looking for reliable, stylish, great-sounding headphones.
Like the Sony XM4 headphones, the Bose 700 series have 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. However, if genuinely elite active noise-cancellation is more important than price, these are the best headphones for sale in 2022.
4. Marshall Monitor II Wireless Headphones
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 to match their good looks as well. If you want excellent performance without having to forgo a sharp-looking set of headphones, consider your search complete.
5. Master and Dynamic MW65 Active Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones
BEST FOR AUDIOPHILES
In addition to just 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 to have 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 ever needing to pick up your device.
READ OUR REVIEW: Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport Adds a Tight Fit and Water Resistance
6. 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.
The headphones are composed of premium materials such as aluminum and durable rubberized plastic that feels indestructible, along with 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 Mr. The Rock helped tune to “crush workouts.” Noise cancellation drones out numerous sounds across the frequency spectrum, plus the 35+ hours of playtime should be sufficient for completing two-a-days over two weeks without recharging.
READ OUR REVIEW: J.B.L. Club 950NC Over-Ear Headphones Cancel Noise in Favor of Music
7. Microsoft Surface 2 Wireless Headphones
Suppose you’re the kind of person that spends their 9 to 5 huddled over a Windows-based computer and would love some music to help you 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 their Swift Pair tech, but they’ll also hook up to your regular P.C. with ease as well. The Surface 2 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 under $200.
If you really 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.
8. 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 makes them feel anything but premium. However, slap these around your ears, and you’ll discover the audio quality and noise-canceling performance, which belies its $79 price tag. 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.
9. 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 that value external silence when listening to music for hours on end. You won’t find many sub-$150 headphones that can match the Enduro A.N.C.’s overall performance.
10. Wyze Noise Cancelling Headphones
MOST UNIQUE FEATURE
There’s plenty to love about the Wyze Noise Cancelling Headphones. Not only is it also 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 of any Echo device with Alexa a quick double-tap of the right earcup.
11. 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 if you want a quiet commute, 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.
READ OUR 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? The best wireless headphone category is a big one, ranging from cheap $25 headsets for gaming and phone calls to premium sets of cans for high-fidelity music.
Below, you’ll find a selection of the best on-ear wireless headphones, which some users find to be more comfortable and convenient.
12. 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. Much like Meghan Trainor, Beats headphones are all about that bass, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find another pair of headphones that tops their performance in that regard. And Apple has made sure that these headphones are incredibly easy to pair with all of their products.
13. Bowers and Wilkins PX5 Wireless Headphones
Back in the 2014 salad days of wired headphones, before noise-cancellation was standard and Bluetooth audio was actually decent, Bowers and Wilkin’s headphones were at the top of every non-audiophile list. And while the PX5 may not have the same tricks as the best wireless headphones from Apple and Sony, they still offer dependable noise-cancellation and 25 hours of battery life to go with the premium look and feel that Bowers and Wilkin’s headphones have always offered.
14. Adidas RPT-01 Sport On-Ear Headphones
When discussing audio, Adidas isn’t a name you think of, but the global athletic conglomerate made some noise after launching their on-ear wireless headphones. The RPT-01 shares the same sustainable aesthetics as the company’s running shoes, covered in stylish, strong mesh fabric and IPX4-rated water-resistance protection to ensure extended use. If you think audio will be half-ass, guess again because Adidas stuffed 40mm drivers into the earcups tuned by Zound Industries, the same team responsible for the high-end sound on Marshall headphones. In other words, expect an energetic, warm sound to fuel your workouts. The 40 hours of battery life and the pliable, durable frame will have you ready and steady for a cross-country run, Forrest.
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 an incredible deal and worth a solid 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 there is no single pair of wireless earbuds in 2022 that are hands down “The Best,” the AirPods Pro comes the closest to fitting the bill. 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 of 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.
ON SALE NOW!
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 are the wireless earbuds you want. The IP67 rating means that these buds can not only survive the sweat from a workout, but you can subject them to a dunk underwater or 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.
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 only cost $80, but they sound as good as some $150 earbuds, thanks to their 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 you having to pay premium prices.
READ MORE: The Best Cheap Wireless Earbuds Under $100
21. UE Fits
MOST COMFORTABLE EARBUDS
Thanks to a unique process which 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 unique molding actually creates quite a great seal as well creating 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 equally as good as they feel to wear.
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.