Top Wireless Headphones for Every Need: Wired-Tested Picks for Exceptional Sound

Wireless Headphones

Best Wireless Headphones for Everyone. Whether you need workout earbuds or gaming over-ears, these WIRED-tested picks sound like a million bucks. Whether you’re listening to the latest episode of the Gadget Lab podcast or hitting the trail with Taylor Swift’s album on repeat, the right pair of wireless headphones can make or break your day. The only problem is that there are so many to choose from. WIRED’s Gear team is constantly testing new models, and these are the very best we’ve found.

Be sure to check out all our audio buying guides, like the Best Wireless Earbuds, Best Workout Earbuds, Best Smart Speakers, and Best Bluetooth Speakers, for more music nirvana.

Updated February 2023: We’ve added the Anker Space A40, Focal Bathys, and Belkin Soundform Mini.

Best Overall Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM5
Sony WH1000MX5 headphones

Sony’s flagship noise-canceling headphones are now in their fifth generation, and that means a new, more elegant look to go with improved sound and noise canceling. The WH-1000XM5 (9/10, WIRED Recommends) offers 30 hours of battery life and some of the best sound quality you’ll find, thanks to Sony’s clever processing and drivers. They cancel out the world better than nearly all competitors, and they even sense when you’re talking and automatically pause your music—you’ll rarely reach for the pause button. Smaller 30-mm drivers make for a punchy, convincing soundstage that can distract you from whatever you’re using music to escape from.

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Best Earbuds

Beats Fit Pro
Beats Fit Pro wireless headphones

The Beats Fit Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends) are also one of our favorite wireless earbuds right now, thanks to their excellent integration with both iOS and Android, comfortable fit, and great sound. These Apple-made buds feature the company’s proprietary H1 headphone chip, which means they work like AirPods with an iPhone, but they also function great on Android, with an app that allows you to customize the controls and perform a fit test to ensure you’re getting proper bass. They also have active noise canceling and decent mics—and (most importantly!) they come in colors besides Cupertino white.

Runner-Up

Soundcore by Anker Space A40
Anker SoundCore Space A40 Earbuds on purple backdrop

The Space A40 are a surprisingly great pair of wireless earbuds. For under $100, you get solid noise canceling, multipoint pairing, and a wireless charging case. The sound is solid, with an app that allows you to customize your experience, and 10 hours of battery life to boot. The only faults are that they don’t have auto pause, and the touch controls aren’t the best we’ve ever used. But if you want an AirPods Pro–like performance for much less, these are a great pair.

Best for Workouts

Jabra Elite 7 Active

WIRED Gear editor Adrienne So likes the comfortable silicone coating and small size of these Jabra buds. We’ve recommended several pairs of Jabra’s workout buds over the years, but these are the latest and greatest, with an IP57 rating for dust- and water-resistance and eight hours of battery life between trips to the charging case. Sound quality is excellent, and you can customize the EQ in Jabra’s Sound+ app if you have specific tuning requirements.

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Best for iPhones

Apple AirPods Max
Apple Airpods Max

They’re some of the most expensive wireless headphones on the market, but Apple’s AirPods Max (8/10, WIRED Recommends) will get you the best sound. They have rich bass, a massive soundstage, and excellent noise cancellation. My favorite part? The large Apple Watch-like knob on the top of the right ear cup, which you use to easily adjust the volume. Apple users will love how well they integrate with iOS devices, and especially how well they handle video. When watching via certain apps (HBO Max, for example), they can track your head to simulate full object-based surround sound.

Best for iPhones

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
AirPods Pro 2nd Generation with earbuds rising out of the charging case

I wasn’t a huge fan of Apple’s first-generation AirPods Pro, which had middling battery life to go with their excellent noise canceling and sound quality, but that issue has been solved for the second generation (9/10, WIRED Recommends). Along with six hours of juice and a new case with a speaker to help use Apple’s “Find My” feature, the new version has better touch controls for quick volume adjustments, and better noise reduction and sound. If you own an iPhone and like to listen to songs at home or on the go, these are a really solid choice.

Best for Android

Google Pixel Buds Pro
Google Pixel Buds Pro in orange

The Pixel Buds Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends) are a perfect alternative to the AirPods Pro if you’re an Android fan, like me. The cute multicolored earbuds have great noise canceling, a super comfortable fit, and an hour more playtime (seven) than the Apple-made equivalents. I also like that they switch quickly between multiple paired devices, which makes it nice for those of us who use headphones for both work and workouts. The only downside is that they don’t work super well with iPhones. Too bad. So sad.

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Best for Phone Calls

Bose Noise Canceling 700
bose noise cancelling 700 headphones

Special digital signal processing (DSP) and an advanced microphone array inside these Bose headphones allow them to limit background noise and focus on your voice alone, making them excellent for call quality. Plus, the special mics and DSP pair with Bose’s incredibly effective noise-canceling tech for amazing peace and quiet when you’re home or out and about. All of that plus great comfort, long battery life, and excellent sound quality mean the Bose 700 should be your top pick if you place a lot of phone calls and Zoom meetings.

Best for Samsung Phones

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro
Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro with case

The Buds2 Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends) are a solid Android alternative for people who aren’t stoked on the Pixel Buds Pro. They are supremely comfortable, and the dual-driver array means they offer better sound than the Pixel Buds, albeit without the multidevice connectivity. You do, however, get better microphones than on the Google option, which makes these better for those who work and play in the same buds.

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