Upcoming

The best wireless headphones 2020: our pick of the best ways to cut the cord

Finding the best wireless headphones for your needs can be tricky, but we're here to help – we've spent the last 10 years with headphones around our ears and know a thing or two about finding the perfect pair of wireless cans.

Honestly, a few short years ago we may have tried to dissuade you from buying a pair of wireless headphones, but thanks to advancements in Bluetooth, the best wireless headphones sound just as good as their wired counterparts, offer fantastic connectivity, and some come with nifty features like active noise cancellation and built-in AI assistants. 

These cordless cans also make great companions for jack-less phones like the iPhone 11 and Pixel 3 that simply lack a 3.5mm AUX input to plug your headphones into. So whatever your reason for upgrading, we're here to help you pick out the best wireless headphones, regardless of your budget – and there are lots of models to choose from.

To help you get started we've split our guide into over-ear headphones, wireless earphones, and true wireless earbuds – the three main styles of wireless headphones – so feel free to jump to whichever style fits your needs and budget. Not seeing something you like? Be sure to check back regularly as new additions are added.

  • Try Amazon Music Unlimited with a FREE trial: US | UK | AU

The best over-ear wireless headphones

Sony WH-1000XM3

For the last three years, the Sony 1000X series of headphones have been our favorite wireless headphones on the market. They sound great thanks to a combination of superb wireless codecs – aptX and Sony's proprietary LDAC tech – and keep outside noise at bay thanks to Sony's ever-improving noise-cancellation algorithms. 

While the Sony WH-1000XM3 might not be a massive improvement over last year's WH-1000XM2, they're still a cut above their rivals, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, in nearly every way: they sound better, they block out noise better and have better features like Quick Attention mode that lets in all outside noise without taking off the headphones. (The latter is perfect when giving a drink order on a plane or speaking to a coworker for a brief moment before diving back into your work.) 

Great-sounding and feature-packed, these impressive Sony headphones are great travel companions and all-around excellent wireless headphones – and while we're hoping to see the Sony WH-1000XM4 this year, they're still the best wireless headphones of 2020.

Read more: Sony WH-1000XM3 review

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose has really outdone itself with the Headphones 700 – and a big part of these cans’ appeal, is the sophistication of the noise cancellation they offer.

As an alternative to the Sony WH-1000XM3, these headphones sound fantastic, with a vibrant, lively character and well-balanced soundstage and offer the same great noise-cancellation you'd expect from Bose.

They don't have the same dexterity as the WH-1000XM3 and the battery life is also 10 hours less than Sony headphones despite costing more, but they're still well-worth considering when looking for a pair of wireless headphones.

Read more: Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700 review

bowers & wilkins px7

If you’re looking for wireless noise-cancelling headphones and you're not put off by the $399 / £349 / AU$600 price tag, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are well worth considering. 

With sophisticated noise cancellation, much-improved sound quality, and a honed aesthetic, the PX7 could give any of the headphones on this list a run for their money. 

Plus, they're packing aptX Adaptive for improved stability and latency between the headphones and your device, as well as high-quality (24-bit) streaming aptX HD brought to the table.

Read more: Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones review

Jabra Elite 85H

Offering class-leading battery life, terrific style and plenty of personalization when it comes to sound profiles, the Elite 85h is easy to recommend. That said, purists will bemoan the lack of high-end codec support and there are punchier headphones on the market at this price point. When you consider that Jabra’s Elite 85h headphones are the company’s first attempt at premium wireless ANC headphones, the result is quite commendable. We can’t wait to see what the company’s next premium ANC headphones will accomplish.  

If you want an alternative to Sony's WH-1000XM3, this is it.

Read more: Jabra Elite 85H review

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose took the already-excellent QC35 and updated them with Google Assistant. This means you still get the class-leading noise cancellation Bose is known for, good sound quality, and incredible comfort. Said simply, they sound great and their battery life is long enough for all but the longest of flights.

Despite the popularity of the QC35s, Bose has shaken things up by releasing a totally new wireless noise-cancelling headphones model, with a focus on sleek design and “breakthrough” audio tech: the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. They may not have pipped Sony to the top spot of the best noise-cancelling headphones, but they're still a fantastic pair of over-ear headphones, coming in at number two.

Read more: Bose QuietComfort 35 II review

Philips PH805

At $199 / £160 (around AU$290) the Philips PH805 offer exceptional value for money. These are wireless headphones, using Bluetooth 5.0 for connectivity – so high-resolution audio playback should be achievable. 

Using a single Lithium-Ion cell for up to 30 hours of playback time from a single charge, the Philips PH805 have active noise cancellation on board, administered by a couple of mics on each earcup. 

Read more: Philips PH805 review

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019)

These Sennheiser over-ear headphones sound fantastic, with high levels of detail, warm bass, and natural-sounding highs.

Customizable noise cancellation is a great touch, though it doesn't quite reach the class-leading standards set by Sony and Bose. Battery life also doesn't compete with the Sony WH-1000XM3s, and they're more expensive to boot. 

So, why buy the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless? Well, if built-in Tile tracking appeals to you, and you like the industrial design and premium materials of the Momentum Wireless, that could be reason enough – and if you do opt for them over the Sony model, you won’t be missing out on any audio quality. In that respect, they’re truly matched. 

Read more: Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019) review

AKG N60NC Wireless

The AKG N60NC Wireless sound like a pair of headphones that should be much more expensive than they are. 

At their mid-range price point the headphones offer fantastic value for money, with great sound quality and a level of noise-cancellation performance that's on a level with the much more premium entries on this list. 

Our biggest issue with these headphones is the fact that they're on-ear rather than over-ear, meaning that we found that they got uncomfortable over longer periods. 

Regardless, the benefit of this is that this is a fantastically compact pair of headphones, and if you're willing to make the trade-off then these are great for the price. 

Read more: AKG N60NC Wireless review

jbl tune 750btnc

JBL is a popular name in the world of headphones and Bluetooth speakers, and rightly so. Solidly dependable, consumers know what to expect from the brand – decent sound quality for a decent price. 

That's what we found with the JBL Live 650BTNC last year – and now, ready to take their place are the JBL Tune 750BTNC, a superior successor to the 650BTNC's as a high-spec and well-priced set of over-ear headphones.

The JBL Tune 750BTNC sound great, look great, and they fit well. Reliable and easy to use, you might miss waterproofing and a few minor features – but at this price, it feels foolish to complain too readily.

Read more: JBL Tune 750BTNC review

Microsoft Surface headphones

Overall, Microsoft’s Surface headphones are surprisingly good, with a stunningly warm sound, and generous bass frequencies, which means your music will sound great whether you’re listening to subby hip-hop or acoustic singer-songwriters.

One criticism of this warm sound is that it can take some of the attack away from lower-mid frequencies, which some users may find a bit underwhelming. However, if sharp trebles and mids tend to give you listening fatigue, these could be the perfect headphones for you.

The calling card of these headphones is the active noise cancellation, which we felt worked really well, and we loved how easy it was to control this using the inbuilt dials on each housing. 

Although we were initially unconvinced by the high price (particularly when you can buy quality cans from heritage audio brands for less), the features work so seamlessly that it feels justified.

Read more: Microsoft Surface headphones review

Best wireless headphones 2020: over-ear headphones

  1. Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones
  2. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
  3. Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones
  4. Jabra Elite 85H
  5. Bose QuietComfort 35 II
  6. Philips PH805
  7. Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless
  8. AKG N60NC Wireless
  9. JBL Tune 750BTNC
  10. Microsoft Surface Headphones

Wireless vs true wireless: what's the difference?

Wireless headphones are traditional over-ear or on-ear headphones without the wire – the two earcups are connected by a headband. 

Wireless earbuds have existed for a while now, basically since Bluetooth was invented. Though battery-powered and not physically connected to your phone, they have a cord connecting both buds – and sometimes a band around the neck too. Check out the best wireless earbuds for more.

True wireless earbuds have no cord whatsoever. While wireless allows us to wear headphones a few feet away from our music players, True Wireless cuts the cord between the earbuds, giving us true freedom. If you're looking to go full wireless, we also have a round-up of the best true wireless headphones.

Check out TechRadar's exhaustive guides to the best headphones to buy today including the best on-ear headphones and the best in-ear headphones.

For some more specialist pairs, take a look at our guides to the best wireless headphones, best true wireless earbuds, best wireless earbuds, and the best noise-cancelling headphones.

Need a specific brand? We have guides to the best Sony headphones, the best Bose headphones, and the best Audio-Technica headphones.

Looking for some headphones you can work out with? Check out our guide to the best swimming headphones and the best running headphones

The best in-ear wireless headphones

Optoma NuForce BE Sport4

The NuForce BE Sport4 wireless earbuds are good for pretty much any situation, whether you're looking to take them out on a run or just wear them around town. 

They're ideal for exercise, although any urbanite will also find their lightweight functionality and impressive sound isolation highly appealing. If you want proof that wireless headphones can now compete with the best of them, look no further.

Read more: Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 review

Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Headphones

The Bowers & Wilkins PI3 are the first neckband-style headphones for the company, and they're a great start. Well-designed, comfortable to wear, and simple to use, they sound really good, too.

Thanks to dual drivers, these buds sound fantastic, with crisp highs, lively mids, and plenty of powerful bass. Look past the fairly unremarkable battery life and limited features, and you'll be mostly very impressed by what these offer.

Read the full review: Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Headphones review

Sennheiser CX Sport wireless earphones

If the most important aspect of wireless earphones for you is the audio quality, these wireless earbuds from Sennheiser could be a fantastic choice. 

With a lively, bass-heavy presentation, and a comfortable fit, the Sennheiser CX Sport wireless earphones are ideal running headphones, and can really bolster your workout through sound quality alone. 

They have a battery life of six hours, which means they'll last you all day, whether you're wearing them on your commute or taking them out for a jog.

Read more: Sennheiser CX Sport Wireless earphones review

oneplus bullets wireless 2

OnePlus is most known for its “flagship killer” phones like the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro,, but the company also makes headphones – the best example of which are the company’s excellent Bullets Wireless 2, which offer an incredible value in the neck-bud headphone category. 

In terms of audio quality, they boast a lively sonic presentation and an accurate-feeling soundstage, although bass-heads may want to look elsewhere for headphones that pack a bassier punch. 

They may be $30 more expensive than their predecessors, but the improved battery life and sound quality makes up for that; it also makes it worth upgrading if you have the originals and are due a new pair of wireless earbuds. 

Read more: OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 review

soudnmagic e11bt

The SoundMagic E11BTs are a great pair of wireless in-ear earphones, and given their low price, it really is difficult to fault them – the audio quality is fantastic and they look very elegant, with sleek, compact buds. 

They're comfortable to wear thanks to ergonomically designed eartips and a flat neckband that won’t irritate you while running or working out – and with an IPX4 rating, they should withstand sweaty sessions. 

Read more: SoundMAGIC E11BT review 

Jaybird Tarah Pro

Another pair of running headphones to make it onto our list, the Jaybird Tarah Pro headphones are wireless sport headphones for the endurance runners, athletes and fitness nuts out there. With a neck cable to keep the earbuds together, they aren’t quite ‘true wireless’, but will be practical for those concerned about dropping and losing a costly earbud in the heat of a race or training session.

As the first in Jaybird’s new ‘Pro’ range of earbuds and aimed at offering higher quality audio and materials, the Tarah Pro will suit anyone not willing to sacrifice audio quality in harsher outdoor conditions or indoor workouts and who don't mind spending a bit more to get a premium product.  

Read more: Jaybird Tarah Pro review

Jaybird X4 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Now committed to a yearly refresh of the popular mid-range model, the Jaybird X4 manage to outdo both the previous Jaybird X2 and Jaybird X3 wireless Bluetooth earphones, with an upgraded IPX7 water-resistance rating. Whether you're sweating buckets or running doggedly through the rain on your way to work, the X4 will be able to cope with it.

Jaybird's excellent app also provides easy EQ customization as well as the ability to make your own sound profile, with various ear tip sizes to boot. A great all round choice for anyone who doesn't want to skimp on sound or durability.

Read more: Jaybird X4 review

Beats X

Beats haven't always gotten the best rap when it comes to audio performance, but the Beats X is trying to set the record straight. The Beats X hence make up for their slightly bassy, confined sound with a rock solid connection and a pairing process that, on iOS devices at least, is as painless as it's possible to be. 

If you’re shopping for a no-fuss pair of earbuds that charge in 5 minutes, work well with iOS and don’t mind spending a little extra money on them, the Beats X are for you.

Read more: Beats X review

Bose QuietControl 30

Life is full of compromises, and it's no different with the Bose QuietControl 30. On the positive side you get a level of noise cancellation that comes close to what's offered by the brand's over-ear headphones, but the concession here is on sound fidelity, which just isn’t on the same level as that of other in-ear or over-ear headphones we’ve tested. 

There's also that neckband which adds an unfortunate level of bulk to what should otherwise be a slimline pair of headphones. 

Read the full review: Bose QuietControl 30 review

Beats PowerBeats 3

The PowerBeats 3 running headphones are yet another pair of Beats headphones that aim to keep your tunes pumping all day long – and while we're expecting the Powerbeats 4 to launch soon, the 2016 Powerbeats 3 are still worth considering.

They may come with the high price that is a signature of the Beats and Apple brands, but they offer a lot, especially for Apple iPhone users.

With a 12-hour battery life and a quick charge function that can add an hour of battery life in a few minutes, the PowerBeats 3 should rarely run out of juice in the middle of your commute, or your workout. They’re also ready for all the sweat from your brow, and can even handle a run in the rain.

While they may not top some of the other wireless headphones on this list for features, the PowerBeats 3 headphones will truly shine for major Apple lovers. They feature Apple’s W1 chip, which makes the Bluetooth pairing process with multiple iCloud-linked devices incredibly easy in addition to boosting wireless range.

Read the full review: Beats PowerBeats 3 review

The best wireless headphones 2020 (in-ear)

  1. Optoma NuForce BE Sport4
  2. Bowers & Wilkins Pi3
  3. Sennheiser CX Sport
  4. OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2
  5. SoundMAGIC E11 BT
  6. Jaybird Tarah Pro
  7. Jaybird X4 
  8. Beats X
  9. Bose QuietControl 30
  10. Beats Powerbeats 3

The best true wireless headphones

Sony WF-1000XM3

Considering it's still rare to get noise-cancellation in wired earbuds at all, the fact that Sony has managed to pack it into a pair that are not only wireless, but true wireless is very impressive indeed – and that's why they're the best true wireless earbuds of 2020. 

The Sony WF-1000X manage to offer a level of noise-cancellation that's very good for a pair of earbuds – it won't offer the same isolation as a pair of over-ear cans, but if you're after a sleek form factor then the compromise is well worth it. 

Read more: Sony WF-1000XM3 review

Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

Cambridge Audio is known for its high-end audio equipment, but until now, hasn’t ventured into the world of true wireless earbuds. Enter the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s: with an outstanding 45 hours of battery life, they combine the brand’s award-winning engineering with the convenience of truly wireless listening. 

For a pair of true wireless earbuds, the sound quality offered by the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s is sensational. In fact, it rivals some of the best over-ear headphones, which is all but unheard of for buds of this size. 

Read more: Cambridge Audio Melomania  1 review

Lypertek Tevi

You may not have heard of up-and-coming audio brand Lypertek yet, but expect to hear a lot from it soon – its Lypertek Tevi true wireless earbuds are among the best we’ve tried, especially given the low price tag.

With USB-C charging, a well-balanced sound, lengthy battery life, and waterproofing, it ticks every box you could ask for, from what are basically a pair of budget buds. The Lypertek Tevi, surprisingly, might just blow you away, punching well above their weight and rivaling buds from some of the biggest audio brands on the planet. 

Read more: Lypertek Tevi true wireless earbuds review

Klipsch T5 True Wireless

With their stellar sound and build quality, long-lasting battery life and what may be one of the coolest cases we've ever seen, we'd argue that the Klipsch T5s are of the best models on the market right now..

Of course, you're buying a Klipsch product because it features the signature Klipsch sound, which is warm, detailed, and never harsh. Acoustic music is lush and detailed, and the detail extends to the highs as well, allowing the headphones to sing in the higher registers without ever being sibilant. 

Read more: Klipsch T5 True Wireless review 

jabra elite 75t

The Jabra Elite 75t improve upon their predecessors, the Jabra Elite 65t, in just about every way – except for tonal balance. 

The headphones and charging case are much smaller, battery life makes an immense jump, catching up to the competition, and the customization features we enjoyed in the 65t remain. 

While they don't have the best sound quality and they lacks active noise cancellation, neither stops the Jabre Elite 75t from being a solid pair of true wireless headphones to use, especially if you make frequent calls with your your headphones on. 

Read more: Jabra Elite 75t review

AirPods Pro

Apple has launched its new true wireless earbuds, bringing active noise cancellation, a (finally) much better fit, and an improved design, in a bid to lure more iPhone users into the true wireless fold. 

However, at $249 / £249 / AU$399, they’re pretty pricey too, and as such can’t be called the very best wireless headphones out there. With an entry-level version of these buds expected this year – the so-called AirPods Pro Lite – this could soon change.

The sound quality of the AirPods Pro has certainly improved since the previous iteration – there’s a notable emphasis on vocals and bass, meaning these earbuds are better for pop fans than those that enjoy a more natural presentation that lends itself to classical music or more orchestral sounds.

Read more: Apple AirPods Pro review

Beats PowerBeats Pro

ThePowerBeats Pro true wireless Beats headphones are something special – they’re supremely comfortable, sound decent and seem to never, ever fall out. 

Thanks to small additions like the pressure-reducing micro-laser barometric venting hole, their longer battery life and their superior sound quality, they're the best Beats headphones you can buy in 2020. 

Read more: Beats PowerBeats Pro review

soundmagic tws50

With the TWS50, SoundMAGIC has hit the price/performance sweet-spot, thanks to these true wireless earbuds' fantastic price, comfortable design, great sound, and support for Bluetooth 5.0.

They offer a wide, spacious soundstage, with a good, well balanced presentation, alongside a decent battery life and comfy fit – in short, if you're looking for some cheap AirPod-alternatives, the SoundMAGIC TWS50 are well worth a look. 

Read more: SoundMAGIC TWS50 true wireless in-ear headphones review

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless

Sennheiser entered the race with its Momentum True Wireless earbuds. An extension of its reputable Momentum range, these cordless buds offer Sennheiser's trademark high-fidelity audio in a gorgeously sleek package.

You only get four hours of charge in the earbuds, but the carry case will be able to charge them two times over on top of that, giving you 12 hours in total when on the go.

Don't expect to see these buds here for much longer, though; the new Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 look to be better than their predecessors in just about every way. Stay tuned…

Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless review

bang & olufsen Beoplay E8 Wireless Earphones

Let’s get one thing out of the way – the B&O Beoplay E8 are some of the best-looking and most expensive wireless earphones you can buy at $350 / £300 (around AU$570).

Audio quality is undeniably excellent, and you can tweak the sound to your liking using the accompanying Beoplay app on Android and iOS. The Bang & Olufsen E8 2.0 truly wireless earphones look great and sound great, although the touch-sensitive buttons are a little too sensitive at times, and there's no active noise cancellation. 

However, it's hard to not find these earphones appealing, and if you want your true wireless earbuds to look as good as they sound, they could be the perfect model for you.

Read more: B&O Beoplay E8 2.0 Wireless Earphones review

wireless earbuds

With a promising battery life and well-managed bass enhancement over Audio-Technica’s usual neutral sound, the Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW true wireless earbuds have a lot going for them. 

They've one of the most complete and well-rounded sound profiles we've seen from true-wireless earbuds, and that's despite the claimed bass enhancement. It's a very enjoyable sound that they make.

However, they are let down a bit by their fit – mileage will vary of course depending on your preferred bud style and the size of your ears, but all will find the fiddly case fit will annoy over time. Still, the quality audio here may be a worthy trade-off.

Read more: Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW review

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *