Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy.

Top five best wireless headphones for 2017

By Martin Pratt

Sound quality and battery drain are no longer a concern with wireless headphones. We’ve rounded up some excellent models to suit you.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Most wireless headphones work using Bluetooth. The best Bluetooth headphones are comfortable and have enough battery to see you through several long-haul flights. Most importantly, they don’t sacrifice sound quality for wireless convenience.

However, our testing has uncovered some models that you wouldn't want anywhere near your ears, wireless or not. Don't invest in a pair of headphones that simply can't bring out the detail in your favourite tracks, or have a horrible balance between bass and treble. 

We’ve found great examples of wireless headphones that sit over, in or on your ear, shown in the table below.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you're not yet a member, you can get instant access by taking a £1 trial to Which?.

Best wireless headphones

Lowest price (in stock) £57.00
Which? score 82%
Reviewed Jul 2015
Best Buy
Overall sound quality :
5 out of 5
Features:
4 out of 5
Comfort:
3 out of 5
Battery Life:
5 out of 5
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

40 hours of battery life puts these headphones at the top of the heap for longevity. But you need more than a big battery to achieve a Best Buy score. Thankfully, these headphones have the sound quality to match. We didn’t find a genre that they were unable to handle with aplomb.

Lowest price (in stock) £209.99
Which? score 78%
Reviewed Aug 2016
Best Buy
Overall sound quality :
5 out of 5
Features:
3 out of 5
Comfort:
4 out of 5
Battery Life:
4 out of 5
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

Despite the sparkling sound and terrific noise cancelling, these striking headphones still manage to keep going for 20 hours on a single charge. Not all of our experts were as impressed with the comfort, but that didn’t stop these cans romping to a Best Buy score.

Lowest price (in stock) £23.71
Which? score 71%
Reviewed Jul 2015
Best Buy
Overall sound quality :
4 out of 5
Features:
5 out of 5
Comfort:
3 out of 5
Battery Life:
1 out of 5
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

These headphones are designed for sport, with special wings to help keep them securely in your ears while you're running. Sound quality is pretty good too, and they have buttons for controlling your music without getting your phone out of your pocket. They're a smidgeon away from being Best Buys, but they're just as good as other wireless headphones that cost five times as much.

Lowest price (in stock) £288.95
Which? score 68%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Overall sound quality :
4 out of 5
Features:
5 out of 5
Comfort:
3 out of 5
Battery Life:
4 out of 5
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

These headphones have some of the most advanced noise-cancelling technology around. Using touch-sensitive pads on the ear cups you can adjust the level of noise cancelling to your liking, allowing you to let just the right amount of the outside world in. Sound quality is good, and with Bluetooth connection you’ll be completely free of wires.

Typical price £200.00
Which? score 67%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Overall sound quality :
4 out of 5
Features:
5 out of 5
Comfort:
4 out of 5
Battery Life:
5 out of 5
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

These wireless on-ear headphones have a battery life of over 40 hours, so you won’t have to worry about charging them too often. There’s plenty of bass, but not at the expense of treble detail so your favourite songs will sound entertaining and lively.

Not found the product for you? Browse all of our headphone reviews.

And here are three cheap wireless headphones to avoid

The convenience of wireless headphones won't count for much if you get a pair that can't produce great audio. The worst models we see at our test lab are bad enough to induce headaches, with harsh sound and uncomfortable fits. Make sure you check the table below so you can avoid some of the worst offenders.

Wireless headphones to avoid

Lowest price (in stock) £120.00
Which? score 30%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Overall sound quality :
1 out of 5
Features:
5 out of 5
Comfort:
2 out of 5
Battery Life:
1 out of 5
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

These headphones are fully wireless - there’s no cable between the two earbuds at all. In theory this should give you ultimate freedom of movement, and they’re designed to integrate with your smartphone too. However, much like the other models featured in this table, they commit the cardinal sins of headphone design: poor sound and poor comfort. Battery life is pretty bad too – they’ll struggle to last for a long session in the gym.

Lowest price (in stock) £35.95
Which? score 28%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Overall sound quality :
1 out of 5
Features:
3 out of 5
Comfort:
2 out of 5
Battery Life:
2 out of 5
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

On paper these headphones look pretty decent. They’re wireless, and they have small hooks designed to keep them secure in your ears when you’re out for a jog. However, the bass is overpowering and the worst crime of all is that they’re uncomfortable, so you won’t be able to get the most out of your workout.

Lowest price (in stock) £43.99
Which? score 24%
Reviewed Mar 2015
Overall sound quality :
1 out of 5
Features:
3 out of 5
Comfort:
3 out of 5
Battery Life:
2 out of 5
Wireless:
Member exclusive
Noise cancelling:
Member exclusive

You'll want to steer well clear of these headphones. They're actually meant for use in the home, so you can listen to your hi-fi or TV late at night without disturbing others. Unfortunately though, you're the one that will end up being disturbed if you buy these headphones. The sound is rotten - a distracting hiss swamps everything you listen to.

More on wireless headphones

Will wireless headphones work with any smartphone?

Pretty much, yes. The vast majority of wireless headphones and all the models featured in the tables above use Bluetooth to connect wirelessly to your phone. Bluetooth is a universal standard, so you'll be able to transmit music from any Bluetooth-enabled phone, laptop or tablet to any pair of Bluetooth headphones. 

Things do get slightly more complicated, as there have been different Bluetooth standards released over the years. The later versions allow music to be transmitted in higher quality and use less battery power. Don't worry though: if the headphones and the music source are both compatible they'll automatically use the higher-quality version. 

Can wireless headphones sound as good as wired?

The reasons are complicated but, in short, yes, wireless headphones can sound just as good as a wired pair for most people's purposes. The thing that matters most for sound quality is the physical design of the headphones. The best wireless headphones are capable of playing music in CD quality and above, and it's a matter of scientific debate whether we can even hear differences in quality above this.

How we test 

We use a panel of five experts to judge every pair of headphones on their sound quality, comfort, durability and how much sound they leak. We also look at how stable the wireless connection is between the headphones and smartphone or MP3 player, to make sure you get uninterrupted music.

SHARE THIS PAGE

Related products

See all headphones