Wireless headphones are possibly the greatest gadget of recent history. Thanks to their ability to connect over Bluetooth, you can use headphones with your phone, tablet, laptop, TV, Nintendo Switch, and virtually any device. Bluetooth headphones come in all shapes and sizes now, from compact earbuds to sizable, over-ear headsets. They can also come with a dizzying number of features like noise-cancelling, low-latency audio codec support, surround sound modes and more.
We've picked out Bluetooth headphones that will give you plenty of options for how they work and their extra features. While we've stuck to larger headphones here, if you're looking for smaller in-ear check out our best wireless earbuds list – and click here to see them in the UK.
TL;DR – These Are the Best Wireless Headphones:
- Sony WH-1000XM5
- Razer Opus
- Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
- Bose QuietComfort 45
- Grado GW100 Wireless V2
- Beats Solo 3 Wireless
- Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR30BT
- Apple AirPods Max
- Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal
1. Sony WH-1000XM5
Best Wireless Headphones
Sony continues to one-up itself with its latest WH-1000XM5. This update makes some of the most dramatic changes to the headphone since the WH-1000XM2. Most notably, you get improved noise cancellation with eight microphones on board that monitor the noise around you, optimizing the sound using AI to drown out all the distractions around you. There are even activity and location smarts baked in, so it can detect when you’re walking or at a location you frequent – like a coffee shop – and adjust the sound based on your preferences.
Beyond the ANC improvements, you get a whole new design with the WH-1000XM5, including a headband that does not fold up, making it slightly less portable. However, that headband is wrapped in pleather and memory foam to rest comfortably on your head for hours. It also totes slightly tweaked earcups with various intuitive on-ear controls for easy listening. Of course, the audio quality on these pair of cans is unmatched, with a wide sound stage and warm sound for insane sonic clarity. Sony even includes DSEE Extreme to improve the quality of compressed audio files, like MP3, so you can take full advantage of the wide frequency response range of the drivers and enjoy the premium LDAC codec.
2. Razer Opus
Best Budget Wireless Headphones
- See it on Amazon (out of stock)
Razer has done some more dabbling in the on-the-go headphone business with the Razer Opus. These headphones offer many of the premiums you'll find on high-end headphones at a slightly more affordable price point. Namely, you'll get a long, 40-hour battery life (32 with ANC on) 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 leatherette coverings for the headband and ear cups along with memory foam padding for your ears. While Bluetooth 5.0 may be the star of the show, the Razer Opus also offers up a standard 3.5mm wired connection whenever you need it. And, these headphones charge over USB-C, so you won't need to carry around any outdated micro USB cables to keep them charged.
3. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Best Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 offer an elegant and lightweight package that lets you take your music with you wherever you go while avoiding the headache of background noise disrupting it. Bose’s noise-cancelling technology trades blows with Sony’s, and the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 offer a particularly compelling experience for commuters thanks to their ability to cut down on low droning sounds – think the loud hum of airplanes. Bose also lets you dial in that noise cancelling with multiple levels of intensity, and you can activate a transparency mode to hear your surroundings without having to take the headphones off.
With 20 hours of battery life, these headphones are ready for your longest days. Even if the battery does run low, you don’t have to stop listening to your tunes, as the headphones feature a backup 3.5mm connection. You also can keep your headphones, charging cable, and audio cable all together when you’re on the move in Bose’s included carrying case.
4. Bose QuietComfort 45
Best Closed-Back Wireless Headphones
The Bose QuietComfort 45 is the successor of the legendary QuietComfort 35 II. Bose’s latest closed-back headphones offer insane comfort thanks to the large plush ear cups and lightweight build, so you’ll be content rocking these for hours – which is easy to do with the 24-hour battery life. They still pack in class-leading noise cancellation using tiny mics to observe and then react to outside sounds. And, a new Aware Mode will turn down your music and turn off ANC in order to easily hear what’s going on in the environment around you.
It’s easy to activate the Aware Mode thanks to loads of intuitive controls on the Bose QuietComfort 45. The earcups offer a button not only for the Aware Mode but also for playback, volume, and your phone’s virtual assistant. To further improve your listening experience, you can tune the EQ settings using the Bose Music app. However, it’s important to note that these headphones don’t have the punchiest base or best call quality. But if you're looking for an uber comfortable and quality pair of cans, the Bose QuietComfort 45 is ready to rock.
5. Grado GW100 Wireless V2
Best Open-Back Wireless Headphones
The Grado GW100 V2 wireless headphones provide a touch of retro chic with wireless freedom and open-backed dynamics. These headphones simply won’t be for everyone, as you’ve got to be willing to accept you’re going to hear the world around you a little bit even while you’re wearing them. But, if you can put up with a bit of noise bleeding into your listening, you’ll get exceptional audio.
The Grado GW100 V2 headphones use Grado’s signature drivers in open-backed earcups to deliver crisp audio with a wide-open sound stage. This can create a much more lively feel for music as it lets each element feel a bit more spaced out so you can pick up on every little thing. Helping in that regard, the Grado GW100 Wireless V2 use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for aptX and AAC codecs for higher-bitrate audio. You’ll be able to enjoy your tunes for 40 hours on single charge of the battery with these headphones, though you’ll also have the option to listen non-stop with a 3.5mm headphone cable.
6. Beats Solo 3 Wireless
Best Wireless Headphones For Apple Users
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. If you're looking for something stylish, the Beats Solo 3 Wireless comes in a wide variety of color combinations too.
7. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
Best High-End Wireless Headphones
If money's no object, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless is the best high-end wireless Bluetooth headphone you can buy. The first striking thing about the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless is how stylish it is with leather and polished metal exterior.
But aside from the fancy looks, these wireless headphones serve up balanced sound and a fully customizable EQ with plenty of range. These wireless headphones sound as good as they look and for $500 they ought to.
8. Audio-Technica ATH-SR30BT
Best Long-Lasting Wireless Headphones
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. But, 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, though these are large, over-ear cans, they can fold up neatly for travel and twist flat to wear around your neck.
9. Apple AirPods Max
Best High-End Wireless Headphones for Apple Users
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. They come at a pretty premium, but what you get is nothing short of luxury. The AirPods Max headphones offer massive, circumaural earcups to provide plenty of cushion for long-term comfort. The headband design, which Apple is calling the canopy, 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.
Naturally, since these are coming at a premium even over the AirPods Pro, they aren't lacking in features. 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. And, 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.
10. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal
Best Wireless Headphones for Gaming
Who says you have to buy gaming headphones and Hi-Fi headphones separately? The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal headphones serve dual purposes with an array of connectivity features to use on the go and native support for Xbox Wireless to connect directly to an Xbox Series X/S for game audio and chat. You can also take advantage of the headphones' multiple connections at the same time to play music over Bluetooth while you're gaming. With both connections active and ANC on, the headset will run for 12 hours, which is longer than anyone should play in one go anyway.
This headset can connect to a wide variety of devices over Bluetooth 5.1 and supports the aptX Adaptive and AAC codecs to deliver high-quality audio. It also supports wired connections over USB-C and 3.5mm audio cables. It'll pump out sound through its 40mm speaker drivers and shut out outside noise with active noise cancellation technology. While you're gaming, you'll also be able to benefit from virtual surround sound with Dolby Atmos. And, the Beoplay Portal's Own Voice technology will help you hear yourself so you don't shout at your teammates on accident.
Where to Get the Best Wireless Headphones in the UK
Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark