Bluetooth headphones come in all shapes and sizes now, from wireless earbuds to sizable, over-ear headsets. Some keep it simple with just a Bluetooth connection, while others can offer a wired connection or even a secondary wireless connection as alternatives; not all Bluetooth connections are the same, as codecs can come into play, changing the quality of the audio sent over the air.
We’ve picked out 5 Bluetooth headphones that will give you plenty of options for how they work and their extra features, like noise canceling. While we’ve stuck to larger headphones here, you can check out some of the best ones we listed below here.
1. Sony WH-1000XM4
Interface: Wireless, wired ● Connections: Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm audio cable ● Drivers: 40mm ● Frequency response: 4 – 40,000Hz ● Design: Closed-back + ANC ● Surround sound modes: Virtual ● Battery life: 30 hours ● Weight: 224g
Sony just outdid itself with the latest WH-1000XM4 headphones. This update takes what was already great from the Sony WH-1000XM3 and makes it even better. Sony’s DSEE Extreme works to improve the quality of compressed audio files, like MP3, so you can take full advantage of the wide frequency response range of the 40mm drives and enjoy the premium LDAC codec. Unfortunately, Sony has left the aptX and aptX HD codecs out of this model. But, it has added wearing detection and includes extra microphones for improved call quality.
Sony’s headphones still offer a 30-day battery life, and they can deliver five hours of playtime after just 10 minutes of charging. They also continue to support wired and wireless operation, with the wireless connection now handled over Bluetooth 5.0. And, Sony’s active-noise cancellation has even received an upgrade – no small feat, given it was already the best in the business at this price point.
2. Razer Opus
Interface: Wireless, wired ● Connections: Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm audio cable ● Drivers: 40mm Dynamic ● Frequency response: 20 – 20,000Hz ● Design: Closed-back + ANC ● Battery life: 24 hours ● Weight: 265g
These headphones offer many of the premiums you’ll find on high-end headphones at a slightly more affordable price. Namely, you’ll get a long, 24-hour battery life over a Bluetooth connection and active noise cancellation to cut down on ambient sound. The headphones can let you hear your surroundings with Quick Attention Mode as well, giving you multiple ways to use the headsets built-in microphones.
The Razer Opus features leather coverings for the headband and ear cups along with memory foam padding for your ears. While Bluetooth may be the star of the show, the Razer Opus also offers up a standard 3.5mm wired connection whenever you need it, these headphones charge over USB-C, so you won’t need to carry around any outdated micro USB cables to keep them charged.
3. Beats Solo 3 Wireless
Interface: Wireless, wired ● Connections: Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio cable ● Design: Closed-back ● Battery life: 40 hours ● Weight: 215g
The Beats Solo 3 Wireless is pretty much the closest thing to a pair of AirPods you put around your ears. They come equipped with Apple’s W1 chip for seamless connection to Apple devices such as an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Pro, or the Apple TV 4K.
You also get one some of the longest battery life—up to 40 hours—and you can get up to three hours of charge after plugging them in for just five minutes. The Beats Solo 3 Wireless comes in a wide variety of color combinations too.
4. Apple AirPods Max
Interface: Bluetooth 5.0, Wired (Lightning-to-3.5mm) ● Drivers: Apple-design Dynamic drivers ● Headphone Type: Closed back + ANC ● Battery Life: 20 hours ● Weight (earbuds): 385g
Apple users don’t get left out when it comes to high-end headphones made for their devices anymore. Apple has made its own pair of premium headphones with the AirPods Max. The AirPods Max headphones offer massive, circumoral earcups to provide plenty of cushion for long-term comfort. The headband design, is akin to what we’ve seen from SteelSeries recently, with what’s effectively a stretchy mesh band that evenly distributes pressure across the top of the head to prevent any sore spots.
The AirPods Max headphones support active noise cancelling to cut out unwanted background noise and they also support an ambient passthrough mode, so you can hear what’s going on around you without having to take the headphones off. When you’re listening, you’ll get powerful sound from Apple’s specially designed drivers; with Apple’s H1 chips, the headset can offer spatial audio and head tracking, so you’ll get even more when pairing these other Apple products.
5. Audio-Technica ATH-SR30BT
Interface: Wireless ● Connections: Bluetooth 5.0 ● Drivers: 40mm ● Frequency response: 5 – 35,000Hz ● Design: Closed-back ● Battery life: 70 hours ● Weight: 193g
Bluetooth headsets are replacing their wired counterparts at every turn, but even as they catch up in audio quality, they’ll always need a battery. Many of the best wireless headsets are lucky to last 20 hours on a charge; the Audio-Technica ATH-SR30BT blows past the competition with a 70-hour battery life.
This is a headset that’s ready for the Bluetooth era, and it doesn’t even bother to include a 3.5mm audio port for when the battery dies. With 70 hours of battery life, you just have to make sure you charge it every weekend, and running out of battery shouldn’t even be a thing. Of course, the headset pairs that battery life with the audio chops Audio-Technica is known for, and support for the AAC codec can give iPhone users an extra bump in audio quality, and they can fold up neatly for travel and twist flat to wear around your neck.