Are you still running using your ‘came with my iPhone’ earphones with the annoying cable swaying in front of you and getting knotted in your gym bag? If you’re ready for an upgrade this year then read our list of the best wireless headphones for 2017.

You may be under the impression that all wireless headphones have the same functionality and sound quality but the truth is key features and quality can vary significantly by product and brand.

Our list of the Best Wireless Headphones in 2017 includes a buyer’s guide to explain what the features mean for you, a FAQ section and which headphones would be best suited to:

  • the gym,
  • your commute to work,
  • your budget,
  • gaming,
  • travelling,
  • the morning run, or
  • for the kids
  • plus, the best all-rounder

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 – Best for Commuting

The BOSE QuietComfort 35 offers acoustic noise cancellation and the lithium-ion rechargeable battery stays powered for up to 20 hours wirelessly and up to 40 hours for wired use, so they comfortably get you through any interstate work trips with the included airline adapter as an added bonus. As to be expected from BOSE the sound doesn’t disappoint, offering deeper bass with a clear and balanced sound for all music genres.

bose-quite-comfort-35
image source: bose.com.au

For $499 the BOSE QuietComfort 35 has excellent functionality for taking phone calls including Skype and FaceTime with the additional feature of the dual-microphone which assists in avoiding background noise during the call.

One of the features I like the most is the multi-function button located on the ear cup allowing not just the basics such as play, pause and volume but also control phone calls, videos and music.

The only downside with the BOSE QuietComfort 35 I noted was the bluetooth range was limited to 10 metres (33 feet) compared to the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 which has a range of up to 100 metres, however, not an issue if you usually have your phone within reach. Weighing only 234 grams the BOSE QuietComfort 35 easily folds down for portability.

In a nutshell
Only 2.25 hours charging time for 20 hours of battery life
Can be used wired or wirelessly
Light weight at only 234 grams
The best noise cancellation available on the market
Exceptional call handling abilities

2. Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 – Best on a Budget

Our top choice on a budget is the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 and while noise cancellation is all the rage with wireless headphones these days – the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 has stepped it up a notch! Offering what they describe as ‘On-demand’ active noise cancelling to silence the outside noise around you and with ‘open-listening’ mode you can hold conversations again.

Interrupted while listening to your tunes? Don’t stress as your music pauses once you remove your headphones so you can resume you’re listening session quickly.

backbeat-pro-2-black
image source: plantronics.com

Charging the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 for 3 hours will ensure you the full 24 hours of use and they have a wireless range of up to 100 metres (33 feet).

The quality of the sound doesn’t match the price tag on a pair of these thanks to the 40mm dynamic drivers which handle treble well and offer an expressive and smooth sound.

The Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 is heavier in weight at 289 grams, although retailing at only $295 it will be worth it.

In a nutshell
On-demand active noise cancelling
24 hours of battery life
Wireless range of 100 metres (33 feet)
Great price for wireless headphones
Your music pauses when you remove the headphones

 

3. Sony h.ear Over-ear Wireless – Best for Students

sony-h.ear
image source: sony.com.au

If the previous two headphones were described as 1980’s and 1970’s retro pop then the Sony h.ear Over-Ear Wireless has to be called modern techno! With five bright colours to choose from including lime yellow and cinnabar red I can’t help but picture University students at the local coffee shop wearing a vibrant set of these.

While looks aren’t everything if you’re buying the Sony h.ear Over-ear Wireless then you’re wanting a fun and bold statement. Thankfully with high resolution audio, digital noise cancelling and 100 metres of wireless range you wouldn’t be wasting your money, all $499.95 of it to be exact.

Whether you like your bass or modern folk music you’ll find these offer a tight bass line with mid tones and vocals in detail for sound clearer than a music festival.

The Sony h.ear Over-ear Wireless have an in-built microphone and high definition voice support you can take your calls on the move, activate the one touch bluetooth for a speedier connection and enjoy up to 20 hours of battery life.

Overall, the Sony h.ear Over-ear Wireless will get you through those late night study sessions comfortably.

In a nutshell
Available in five bold colours
20 hours of battery life
Digital noise cancelling
Wireless range of 100 metres (33 feet)
One touch bluetooth

 

4. SENNHEISER Momentum Wireless – Best for Artists

Now, at the top end for quality and sound the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless retails at $799 with exposed brushed stainless steel sliders and leather materials adding that extra touch of quality to their black or retro brown/ivory design.

sennheiser-momentum-wireless
image source: sennheiser.com.au

SENNHEISER was founded in Germany in 1945 they’ve had over 70 years to innovate the world of sound and perfect their design.

The SENNHEISER Momentum Wireless headphones were created solely with gifted musicians and audiophiles in mind to offer a musical oasis. Providing flawless sound unlike anything you’ve ever heard, ranking high in quality for low, mid and high tones including impressive deep lows and a powerful sub bass, in addition to the clear and detailed vocals means every serious musician will own a pair of these.

 

In a nutshell
Flawless sound and noise cancelling
Leather ear cups and brushed stainless steel sliders
Near Field Communication (NFC)
22 hours of listening time after 3 hours of charging
Over-ear headphones

 

5. Beats Studio Wireless – Best for the Gym

The Beats Studio Wireless available in six colours including gold, silver and gloss black offer an ultra modern and sleek style to be favoured among 24 hour gyms everywhere.

beats-studio-wireless
image source: beatsbydre.com

The Beats Studio Wireless has a dual-mode Adaptive Noise Cancelling (ANC) which means you can cancel out background noise when listening to your music AND you can switch to the ANC-only mode. Thanks to the thumping base and dynamic range that flood your senses the moment you put them on you’ll have plenty of musical motivation for the tredmill.

The controls located on the ear make it easier to skips songs, adjust volume and even take calls. Weighing 260 grams they are comfortable for movement and the hard shell carry case to protect them in your gym bag is a good idea with the price tag at $379.95.

The Beats Studio Wireless battery life is only 12 hours but thanks to the LED fuel gauge a pair of these will still get you through plenty of workouts.

In a nutshell
Dual mode active noise cancelling
Active noise cancelling only mode where you can activate it even when not listening to music
On-ear controls
LED indicator for battery life
Available in six colours

 

6. B&O Beoplay H7 – Best for Running


image source: beoplay.com

If you’re looking for comfort on the move or during your morning run then the B&O Beoplay H7 is ideal, with its soft lambskin ear cups, no microphone and ease of use on the run thanks to the controls located on the ear cup.

The B&O Beoplay H7 retails for $599 and with a charging time of only 2.5 hours, even the most unmotivated runner will be out of excuses and enjoying 20 hours of wireless music.

Speaking of music the B&O Beoplay H7 has a unique capacity compared with other wireless headphones on the market for outstanding instrumental separation and great balance.

Weighing 280 grams it’s on the heavier side but the comfort of the ear cups and band along with no call taking ability allows you to switch off at the end of the day.

In a nutshell
2.5 hours to full charge
20 hours of battery life
Lambskin ear cups
No microphone to easily just focus on the music rather than phone calls
Extra comfort design

 

7. Audio Technica ATH-SR5BT – Best for the Traveller

You’ve booked your flights, bought your new camera and packed your bag ready for a journey, whether it be camping or a long haul flight the Audio Technica ATH-SR5BT is your comfortable travelling companion.

Audio-Technica-ATH-SR5BT
image source: audio-technica.com.au

Weighing just 185 grams it’s the lightest we have listed so you won’t tire of wearing these. Be patient however, with the 4 hours of charging as the pay off is a whopping 38 hours of battery life! A pair of these will get you where you want to go on one charge, the on ear cup controls offer ease of use, take your calls, listen to your music or watch the inflight entertainment with ease thanks to the balanced sound and energetic highs.

The LED indicator displays the battery life among other things and with Near Field Communication NFC (see our FAQ section below for more information) offering faster connection for up to eight devices. Pop away in the soft carry bag that won’t add extra weight to your luggage when not in use and discover how the $369 investment is worth it for your next journey.

In a nutshell
Weighs only 185 grams
38 hours of battery life
Near Field Communication (NFC)
LED indicator for battery life
Connect to up to eight devices


8. JBL Everest Elite 700 – Best for Gaming

JBL-Everest-Elite-700
image source: jbl.com

For the gamer who doesn’t want a bulky headset then the JBL Everest Elite 700 is waiting to take your gaming experience to the next level. With a built in microphone, active noise cancellation and TruNote which calibrates sound based on how the ear cups surround your ears offering the most personalised sound experience.

Prepare to be surrounded by the enemy as you feel the bass created by their heavy boots and hear every word with the voices as clear as though they were within your own living room.

Thanks to their ergonomic design enjoy 19 hours of use without distracting wires. Weighing 305 grams won’t bother any true gamer who wants an authentic gaming experience for $299.95 lose yourself in the clarity of the music and sound effects that the JBL Everest Elite 700 offers.

In a nutshell
Comfortable over-ear model
Ergonomic design
TruNote personalised sound experience
Active noise cancellation
19 hour battery life


9. Beats Solo 3 Wireless – Best for kids

Beats came to fame with their modern portable and wireless Beats Pill speakers and have remained in the market thanks to their trendy style and celebrity endorsements by popular musicians such as Dr. Dre.

Beats-Solo-3-Wireless
image source: beatsbydre.com

The Beats Solo 3 Wireless for $299.95 is a slim design available in eight colours including ‘rose gold’ and they’re marketed at the young for good reason – portable, fashionable and with great sound. They are called Beats for a reason with extreme bass like this they are not for the faint of heart.

The ‘Fast Fuel’ feature provides 3 hours of music with just 5 minutes of charging if the battery is low or 40 hours of battery life if fully charged.

Overall, the Beats Solo 3 Wireless will be enjoyed by anyone who loves music on the go.

In a nutshell
40 hours of battery life
Fast Fuel’ charge for 5 minutes to get 3 hours of music when battery is low
Available in 8 colours
LED indicator for battery life
Excellent sound

 

10. Samsung Level Over – Best All-rounder

Our pick of the best all-rounder is the Samsung Level Over as it offers a bit of everything for $331 including active noise cancellation, near field communication and 30 hours of battery life.

Samsung-Level-Over-headphones
image source: samsung.com.au

Enjoy clean and realistic sound thanks to the 50mm driver unit and high-quality neodymium magnets which provide distortion free lows and crisp highs.

Overall, weighing 350 grams they are the heaviest on our list but you won’t notice when you’re busy with the Samsung Sound AliveTM Equalizer feature which customises your sound effects for streaming services such as YouTube.

In a nutshell
Best all-rounder
Active Noise cancellation
Near Field Communication (NFC)
30 hours of battery life without
Customise your sounds effects while streaming

 

Wireless Headphones Buyers Guide


What is Noise Cancellation?

Noise cancelling technology uses outward-facing microphones to pick up on external noise which it can then cancel out so the music can be clearer without adjusting volume.

What is the difference between Bluetooth and Near Field Communication (NFC)?

Near Field Communication is similar to bluetooth in that it’s a form of contactless communication between devices such as mobile phones, though unlike bluetooth and Wi-Fi which utilise radio transmissions NFC uses electromagnetic radio fields making it faster and easier to set up than Bluetooth.

What is the difference between over-ear and on-ear headphones?

Over-ear headphones enclose the ears into the ear cups allowing the headphones to block out the most outside noise and can usually offer a superior sound. On-ear headphones rest on the ears and aren’t as bulky or visually distracting.

Key Features

There are three KEY FEATURES to make note of with all wireless headphones:

  1. The Battery life, as with all wireless gadgets, it’s important in prolonging your use of the headphones (think long haul flights) and allowing you to go further between charges.
  2. The Weight of the headphones you prefer will depend on how long you wear them each time. For example, a heavy pair may not concern you during your one hour train ride to work, however if you’re running, at the gym or travelling on an overseas flight the weight might (literally) weigh you down. In this case opt for a light weight model which would weigh in around 185 grams – 270 grams.
  3. Whether your headphones feature active noise cancelling capabilities is entirely up to you. If you want to drown out the inner city sounds and commuters on the train then this may be a priority for you. Just remember noise cancellation when active on some models will halve the listening hours you would enjoy without it so use it wisely.

Best Headphones For:

Commuting

If your commute to work involves crowded trains, work calls and your new playlist than the BOSE QuietComfort 35 has all of the key features you could find in wireless headphones and is ranked number one on our list for work and commuting with its exceptional sound and call handling capabilities, a multi-function button that even opens the voice command features of your mobile including Siri and voice dial, a great advantage for anyone running a business or working on the run.

Your Budget

If you’re on a tight budget and want value for money then the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 is the best wireless headphones for the affordable price of $299. To get a well known brand, on-demand active noise cancelling wireless headphones for this price is unheard of. One of the best features of the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 is the wireless range of up to 100 metres (330 feet)! Check your mailbox, take your bins out or head up two flights of stairs and you’d still be able to listen to your music. You definitely get more for your money.

Students

I recommend the Sony h.ear Over-ear Wireless headphones for students thanks to the bold colour choices, crisp tones, digital noise cancellation and compact design – with bright colours like these you won’t get away with sneaking them on during the lecture though!

Artists and Musicians

The SENNHEISER Momentum Wireless headphones were created with gifted musicians and music enthusiasts in mind to provide the ultimate music experience. Offering flawless sound unlike anything you’ve ever heard, any serious musician will own a pair of these.

The Gym

The Beats Studio Wireless ultra modern and portable style is to be favoured among gyms everywhere. You want to block out the repetitive gym music with active noise cancellation in favour of your playlist played loud for full motivation and they match your stylish gym outfit too.

Running

If you’re committed to your early morning or evening run then you can’t go past the B&O Beoplay H7 headphones with it’s soft lambskin ear cups, crisp sound and with no call taking ability allowing you to switch off on your run so it’s just you, the music and the path ahead.

Travelling

Weighing just 185 grams you won’t tire of wearing the Audio Technica ATH-SR5BT, which is great for the traveller, whether you’re trekking across Europe or stuck in an airport, the 38 hours of wireless music will have you enjoy the journey not just the destination.

Gaming

JBL Everest Elite 700 headphones is going to take your gaming experience to a whole new level and while I can’t promise you’ll win more battles I’m sure the built in microphone, active noise cancellation and TruNote which calibrates sound based on how the ear cups surround your ears, will make each battle well worth it.

Kids

The Beats Solo 3 Wireless is available in eight colours and they’re marketed at the young for good reason – it’s portable, fashionable and offers a deep bass. The handy ‘Fast Fuel’ feature provides 3 hours of music with just 5 minutes of charging so your kids will never miss a track with a pair of these.

All-rounder

Thanks to its sleek design you won’t look out of place on your way to work or at the gym with the Samsung Level Over. If you want it all – active noise cancellation, near field communication and 30 hours of battery life then the Samsung Level Over is for you.

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