The Best Bluetooth Headphones, No Matter Your Budget

updated Nov 1, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Shot of a young woman using a smartphone and headphones on the sofa at home
Credit: Getty Images | Delmaine Donson

Safe to say, Bluetooth headphones are pretty much standard for everyday listening nowadays. Whether you’re commuting with a podcast, exercising with a playlist, or just trying to make a phone call, it’s easy to enjoy the physical flexibility of wireless headphones. If you’re an iPhone user, your device doesn’t even have a headphone jack anymore (quelle horreur!), so wireless is really your only option these days.

Audiophiles lament the loss of sound quality that happens when you switch away from wired headphones, but most listeners probably won’t notice the difference. And the convenience is well worth the imperceptible drop in quality, in my opinion. You can walk anywhere and do anything, tangle free, from across the room or with your phone safely secured in a pocket.

If you’re concerned about air travel, you should know that the FAA allows for short-range Bluetooth to be used on flights, and your smartphone probably keeps Bluetooth connectivity activated even in airplane mode. Still, most of the bigger on-ear and over-ear headphone styles on this list also come with headphone cords that plug into the cups to make your wireless headphones wired (which extends the battery life, too). It’s also worth mentioning that almost every headphone on the list — from the tiniest earbuds to the big over-ear cans — comes with a protective carrying case. In fact, I found that among each type of headphone, most models have strikingly similar features across brands.

Your decision should come down mostly to comfort, style, and the all-important (if subjective) “do these sound good to me?” test. Even to an untrained ear, sound definitely gets better and richer when you’re willing to spend a little more. But each of the headphones below wins our seal of approval.

1 / 13

I couldn't talk about Bluetooth headphones with mentioning arguably the most famous pair on the market today: Apple's AirPod Pros. A favorite of many AT staffers, they're beloved for their comfortable design and impressive noise-canceling power. "For years I bought cheap wireless earbuds to avoid shelling out the big bucks for Airpods," says AT contributor Amy. "The knockoffs were always terrible, so I finally sprang for the AirPod Pros. Oh. My. Goodness. I am blown away by how well these headphones work. The noise cancellation is incredible, on par with the ones that fit over your entire ear. They block out all of the background noise on flights (and pretty much everywhere else). I almost always have one in my ear now, whether I’m walking down the street listening to a podcast, talking to a friend while washing the dishes, working out to a YouTube-led yoga class, or falling asleep to Netflix on my iPad. Love love love!"

2 / 13
was $39.95

If you feel like you would misplace true wireless earbuds but don’t want something with a too-long cord getting in the way of your workout, go for these. The JBL Tune 125 headphones are a reliable inexpensive buy, with 16 hours worth of that iconic JBL sound playback. You also get three sets of ear tips and a magnetic fastening feature, all designed to keep them secure in your ears and around your neck.

3 / 13
was $39.99

Now if what you want from your Bluetooth headphones is mostly convenient, hands-free calling, this feature-packed budget pick is for you. You can wear them around your neck all day, snapping the earbuds in and out of place with the “shark-like” magnet when you need to talk — the headphones will also vibrate to alert you when you get a phone call or text.

4 / 13

Soundwise, this pick from Jabra is a fantastic value for on-ear headphones. The sound is crisp, clear, and much better than the price tag would suggest. Couple that with a padded headband and soft ear cups, and you’ve got yourself a great pair of around-the-clock headphones for less than fifty bucks.

5 / 13
was $69.95

If you like to be able to drape your earbuds around your neck when you’re not using them, the Beats Flex are designed with magnets in the buds so they “snap” together and stay secured. They’re also the most comfortable buds I tried, with four types of eartips included for you to find the best fit — I forgot they were in my ears sometimes. The integrated Apple W1 chip means setup and switching between Mac and iOS devices is a breeze. And they charge fast; 10 minutes plugged in will get you almost two hours of playback time.

6 / 13

It’s rare to find good noise-cancelling, over-ear headphones in the under-$150 range. The Soundcore Q35 headphones are a very trustworthy pick if you need good commuter or workday headphones and you’re not really ready to splurge too much. Style-wise, they feel more expensive than they are, with comfortable padding and a sturdy hardshell zippered case for safe travel. The 40-hour battery life (with a five-minutes-for-four-hours rapid charge) is on the level of some other more expensive picks. One of the coolest features is the connected Soundcore app that lets you customize your own EQ settings or choose from 22 presets so you can perfect your sound.

7 / 13
was $199.95

These are the ultimate commuter headphones. Sturdy and comfortable, they come in a ton of colors to complete any #streetstyle look. They also collapse securely into a carrying case that won’t take up too much room in your everyday bag. If you’re an Apple addict, you’ll love how seamlessly they set up and switch with your iOS and Mac devices thanks to the integrated Apple W1 chip. They also have an impressive 40-hour battery life (and can get three hours of juice with just a five-minute charge). The on-ear controls are sleek and hidden within the design, but potentially a challenge if your fingers are looking for more tactile feedback. You’d easily get used to knowing where things are, though.

8 / 13

These Jabra earbuds are true wireless headphones with a really comfortable fit. You could run in these feeling totally secure without any wires bouncing around your neck. If you’re looking for exercise headphones, these are top-of-the-line. The buds themselves have a five-and-a-half-hour battery life, but the charging case gets you up to 24 hours before you have to plug in. Combine them with the Jabra Sport Life app, and they become a fitness tracker and heart rate monitor, too. How’s that for bang for your buck?

9 / 13
was $149.99

Marshall's Major IV headphones offer the perfect mix of function and style thanks to their very minimalist control — everything from picking up calls to skipping tracks to adjusting volume happens via a single tiny golden knob. This means that once you know your way around how it works, you’ll never find yourself fiddling across a row of buttons to orient yourself. With 80 hours of battery life and that classic vintage Marshall design, it's hard not to love these.

10 / 13
Best Buy
was $249.99

It’s rare to see true noise-cancelling earbuds, but Beats Powerbeats really do a great job. A great pick for anyone who wants an extremely secure fit, these headphones feature a wrap-around ear design so you'll never have to worry about them falling out. Sweat and water resistance, alongside a nine-hour battery life make them great for working out, while an intuitive noise-canceling construction (would you expect anything else from Bose?) and compact size make them a dream for traveling. And alongside easy button controls on each bud, this pair automatically pauses content when they're removed and starts back up again once you put them back in, so you'll never have to worry about missing a beat.

11 / 13

The Ultimate Ear Fits have to be one of the most interesting headphones we here at AT have tested, but I'll let AT contributor Stella take this one. "There are two things you need to know about me to understand why I love these headphones — both of them are a little TMI, so bear with me here. First of all, I have oddly small ears, even an AirPod won't sit tight, which makes finding earbuds that fit a real challenge. Secondly, when I workout (music is nonnegotiable) I sweat, and I'm talking sweat, which makes rattly earbuds fall out in a jiff and over the ear headphones get gross real fast. My long-sought, finally-discovered solution? The UE Fits. They use special technology to heat themselves and mold to the exact dimensions of your ear. They sound fantastic (even over the noise of the tredmill) and never fall out."

12 / 13
Master Dynamic

This unique model from Master Dynamic lets you trade between on-ear and over-ear headphone styles with interchangeable ear cups, so you can switch it up for comfort (or if you just want to get more into the music). Unless you’re a dedicated audiophile, you’d probably consider these headphones a splurge. But they’re well worth the price if you can swing it, thanks to a rich sound and elegant design. Everyone I showed them to agreed that these were the best-looking of the whole bunch. Rock-star-caliber design details (like the leather accents, metal mesh, and woven charging cable) make you feel like you’re in a recording studio, even when you’re just sitting at your desk. My personal favorite detail is a short synth-type sound that plays when you turn the headphones off, a sound that was customized for Master & Dynamic by a commercial sound studio. It makes me feel like I’m a badass guitarist unplugging my amp after a recording session.

13 / 13

It's no surprise that Bose knows what they’re doing with sound. Known for superior sound, the Bose 700 has a 20-hour battery life (40 hours if you use them wired) and comes complete with virtual assistant integration through Amazon Alexa. That means you can get on-the-fly help at work (think: “Alexa, what’s 14 times 24,” that is if you don’t mind talking to yourself) or interactive access to your home automation system when you’re on headphones at home (“Alexa, turn off the desk lamp,” and you can hear her reply in the headphones with “ok”). Not to mention, this pair is a serious style upgrade from previous models.