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The best wireless headphones for 2022

A pair of comfy and great-sounding headphones is essential kit, whether you're a music or podcast lover, or you like to watch TV episodes on your commute. We're constantly trying out the latest wireless headphones at Digital Trends, and after factoring in several aspects like comfort, audio quality, battery life, and noise cancellation, we think that Sony's WH-1000XM4 are simply the best wireless headphones you can buy.

The WH-1000XM4 are so good that they currently take the top spot on not just this list, but also our picks for the best noise-canceling headphones and the best headphones, period. They're light, very comfortable, have excellent noise cancellation and sound quality, and are packed with premium features.

Despite this unprecedented high praise, if the Sony WH-1000XM4 aren't right for you, either because you're looking for a set of earbuds or something a little more affordable, don't fret. We've rounded up some more excellent wireless headphone picks at a variety of price points and styles for multiple uses to make sure you can take beautiful music along no matter where you go.

Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4

The best wireless headphones
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Wyze Headphones

Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Best budget wireless headphones
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Adidas RPT-01

Adidas RPT-01

Best for running
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Best for comfort and call quality
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Apple AirPods Max

Apple AirPods Max

Best for iPhone users
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Urbanista Los Angeles

Urbanista Los Angeles

Best for the eco-minded music fan
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JBL Tour One

JBL Tour One

Best for battery life and call quality
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Hyper X Cloud Alpha

Hyper X Cloud Alpha

Best for gaming
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PuroQuiet On-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Puro PuroQuiet

Best for kids
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Sennheiser Momentum 3

Sennheiser Momentum 3

Best for sound quality
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sony wh 1000xm4 review 00013
Riley Young / Digital Trends

Sony WH-1000XM4

The best wireless headphones

Pros
  • Very comfortable
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Excellent noise canceling
  • Very good call quality
  • Very good battery life
  • Bluetooth multi-device pairing
  • Handy, customizable features
Cons
  • No aptX or aptX HD

Why you should buy them: Top-tier sound, excellent comfort, and (of course) impressive noise-canceling make Sony's WH-1000XM4 the headphones to beat.

Who they're for: Those who are looking for total sonic isolation and wireless convenience, but don't want to give up high-fidelity sound to get it.

Why we picked the Sony WH-1000XM4:

Let's get right to it. The previous leader of this list was Sony's WH-1000XM3, and the WH-1000XM4 have everything that made those headphones amazing, plus a bit more, for not too much more money. That by itself should be all you need to know to be sold on the XM4.

For the sake of thoroughness, we'll break down these headphones from Sony anyway. The design of the 1000XM4 remains largely the same, making for the same comfort and stability as the previous model. The battery life of these new cans is unchanged, providing 30 hours with active noise cancellation on and 38 hours without. And while Sony says it has improved its software algorithms and hardware when it comes to active noise cancellation, the 1000XM4 are basically the same as the XM3 — excellent.

The few significant changes that were made with Sony's WH-1000XM4s include the introduction of Bluetooth multipoint connection, allowing them to be connected to two different devices at the same time. Essentially, you could be watching Netflix on your laptop, field a phone call on your mobile device, and then effortlessly return to your streaming enjoyment. The XM4s also got a wear sensor to automatically pause content when you remove the headphones, as well as Sony's latest music upscaling tech, DSEE Extreme. None of these changes are major, but they don't have to be. Sony's headphones were already the best, and this new model only cements that position.

Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4

The best wireless headphones
A person wearing the Wyze Headphones.
Wyze

Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Best budget wireless headphones

Pros
  • Affordable
  • ANC with ambient noise mode
  • Alexa support
  • Great app support
  • Comfortable design
Cons
  • Just OK battery life
  • Sound is good, not great

Why you should buy them: Noise cancellation, transparency mode, slick design, and pleasing sound — all for the price of a nice meal.

Who they're for: Those who want a full-featured set of noise-canceling headphones without spending three figures.

Why we picked the Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones:

If you just read the description of the Sony WH-1000XM4, and thought, "Wow, I love those features, but there's no way I can afford those things," we've got some great news.

No headphones can truly rival the XM4 at a far lower price, but the $80 Wyze Headphones come astonishingly close. Their design and build quality feel nothing short of luxurious, and their generous ear cushions provide comfort as well as good passive sound isolation.

But what really amazes us about these cans is their feature set. They possess both active noise cancellation and an ambient transparency mode. You can activate an instant conversation mode just by touching one earcup. An auto-pause feature stops the tunes when you remove them and starts playing when you put them back. And you can pick from your phone's built-in voice assistant or Amazon Alexa.

You can use the Wyze app to customize various features including EQ, which is almost unheard of at this price level.

And though their battery life, at just 20 hours, isn't super-impressive, they can be quick-charged for 10 minutes, which will give you an extra four hours of playtime.

Finally, their sound quality is very pleasing. Plenty of bass and a clear rendering of high frequencies is on tap, but this is the one area where their low price can't quite keep up with the more expensive models. The midrange can get muddied, and we don't recommend listening with the analog cable if the headphones are powered off. They rely on the built-in amp for most of their sound quality.

This one caveat notwithstanding, the Wyze Headphones are one of the best headphone values you can find right now.

Wyze Headphones

Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Best budget wireless headphones
bose noise cancelling headphones 700 review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Best for comfort and call quality

Pros
  • Excellent noise canceling
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Remarkable voice clarity for calls and voice assistants
  • Connect to multiple devices at once
  • USB-C brings convenient quick-charging
Cons
  • Boost to lower treble comes off as harsh
  • Requires Bose Music App to control many functions

Why you should buy them: The Bose Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 shine in voice performance, making them the go-to companion for frequent callers and flyers.

Who they're for: Those who need excellent and reliable call quality without sacrificing musical fidelity

Why we picked the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700:

While the Sony WH-1000XM4 are our favorite pair of full-sized wireless cans overall, Bose steps in for calls with its Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 — which we’ll just call the Bose 700 from here on out. These are ideal for the individual who switches between tunes and talking often. In testing, we found that the microphone on the Bose 700 consistently matched, and sometimes outclassed, the one built into the phone. Get ready for productive calls, as those on the other end won’t have to devote precious brainpower to deciphering garbled dialog.

Perfect for business users, the Bose 700 boast excellent noise cancellation, which helps those noisy rides in a car or airplane. They don’t measure up to the aforementioned Sony pair in that regard, but they come very close, and the rich audio performance helps drown out anything that might otherwise penetrate the soundstage. Although the overall design offers less ergonomic flexibility compared to the company’s highly refined QuietComfort II model, Bose’s signature comfort is in full force here thanks to soft padding for the cups and headband and good weight distribution.

The Bose 700’s controls are convenient, with three tactile buttons combined with a touch interface to give you one-touch access to volume and playback functions. One of those buttons allows you to adjust the noise-canceling intensity on a scale from zero to 10 or outright disable the feature altogether. There’s also a button dedicated to calling up your favorite virtual assistant.

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 have the power to go as long as 20 hours when noise cancelation is engaged, and that runtime doubles to 40 hours with it off. Even if you’re an unusually heavy listener, a 15-minute charge with the included USB-C cable can get you two extra hours, so you should never feel the need to stay tethered.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Best for comfort and call quality
apple airpods max review
Riley Young/Digital Trends

Apple AirPods Max

Best for iPhone users

Pros
  • Best-in-class ANC
  • Amazing transparency mode
  • Excellent build quality
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Top-notch call quality
Cons
  • Charges via Lightning cable
  • Heavy on head

Why you should buy them: They’re superb in almost every way and the perfect headphones for iPhone owners.

Who they're for: Apple users who want the best wireless headphones and aren't put off by high prices.

Why we picked the Apple AirPods Max:

After Apple's runaway success with the AirPods Pro, we were ready to be wowed by the AirPods Max, but they're even better than we expected.

Yes, their price is high. In fact, at $549, they're the most expensive headphones on this list by a mile. But if you're willing to make that investment, Apple rewards you with beautiful design, high-quality materials, and a feature set that will please the most discerning listener.

Where the AirPods Max truly shine is their ANC, transparency, and call quality, each of which is best-in-class for wireless headphones. That's saying something considering just how good the competition (Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700) is. The noise-canceling is sublime, and our reviewer believes their transparency mode is the closest thing you can get to not wearing headphones at all.

Apple has also done its usual "it just works" magic with the AirPods Max's controls. The digital crown knob may look a little unusual perched on top of the right earcup, but it's intuitive and even a little addictive. The dedicated button for ANC/transparency is also perfectly positioned and works like a charm.

The innovative mesh materials used on the headband and ear cushions are comfortable, but they can't quite make up for the AirPods Max's one major drawback: Their weight. Considerably heavier than any other models on this list, you may find that they're simply too weighty for long listening sessions. That's a bit of a shame considering how great they sound.

Battery life is on the low end at 20 hours, but this number might be conservative. At lower volume levels, it could easily extend to 25. Pairing with and switching between Apple devices is a snap. The only thing we think Apple has to rethink with the AirPods Max is the protective travel case, which is neither very protective nor very useful for travelers.

Apple AirPods Max

Apple AirPods Max

Best for iPhone users
urbanista los angeles review 00002
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Urbanista Los Angeles

Best for the eco-minded music fan

Pros
  • Solar charging really works
  • Secure fit
  • Real-time power meter in app
  • Huge 80-hour battery
Cons
  • Only works under optimal conditions
  • No EQ adjustments

Why you should buy them: They run off solar energy and have amazing battery life.

Who they're for: People who like over-ear headphones and care about eco-friendly energy; those who know they'll be out in the sun a lot.

Why we picked the Urbanista Los Angeles:

This Urbanista headset offers a fascinating proposition: Wear them out in the sun, and they'll recharge automatically thanks to the solar cells in the headband. Leave them out long enough, and they'll fill up an enormous 80-hour battery reserve you can use for days. While that's a very climate-dependent benefit (they're called "Los Angeles" for a reason), those in the right areas have plenty to benefit from.

Solar power is far from the only thing the Los Angeles offer. The headset also delivers competent ANC, with an ambient sound mode (aka transparency mode) so you can hear the outside world while you're moving around, plus complete app controls that allow you to monitor operation, adjust volume, and check on the solar sensor.

The headset supports Google Assistant, Siri, and Bluetooth 5.0 connections. The ear shell design uses vegan leather for sound-canceling foam for a comfortable (if simple) design. Of course, outdoor users will get a lot more out of the headset than others, but it's still an ambitious — and clever — result from Urbanista.

Urbanista Los Angeles

Urbanista Los Angeles

Best for the eco-minded music fan
jbl tour one review featured
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

JBL Tour One

Best for battery life and call quality

Pros
  • Effective ANC
  • Good sound quality
  • Excellent call quality
  • Great battery life
Cons
  • No sidetone for calls
  • No aptX/aptX HD/LDAC codecs

Why you should buy them: These call-friendly headphones ensure you don't miss any communication.

Who they're for: Music fans who also get a lot of calls while they're listening.

Why we picked the JBL Tour One:

While these headphones are very competent on their own, they really shine when it comes to calling features and quality. That includes adaptive noise canceling with Ambient Aware for environmental sounds and TalkThru that automatically pauses and resumes ANC when talking to people in the real world. Four different mics in the headset capture your voice with crystal clarity while on calls but also remove noise and echoes as you're speaking.

The headset is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for giving voice commands whenever you want. And with the 50-hour battery life, you won't have to worry as much about bouncing between music and calls throughout the day.

Sound quality is also excellent thanks to the 40mm dynamic drivers and frequency support up to 40kHz. The app provides options to adjust the EQ and even set alarms if you like falling asleep with headphones on. This versatile headset is ready for just about anything you do throughout the day.

JBL Tour One

JBL Tour One

Best for battery life and call quality
hyperx cloud alpha wireless review 8
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Hyper X Cloud Alpha

Best for gaming

Pros
  • Incredible sound quality
  • 300 hours of battery life
  • All-day comfort
  • Rigid design
  • DTS:X spatial audio support
Cons
  • No Bluetooth
  • A little expensive

Why you should buy them: The Hyper X Cloud Alpha headset lives up to its audiophile-grade promise and then some.

Who they're for: Gamers after the best wireless headset available.

Why we picked the Hyper X Cloud Alpha:

We loved these wireless gaming headphones, which pack in all the updates we were looking for when it comes to modern gaming. That includes incredible 300-hour battery life, along with important support for DTS:X and Spatial Audio so your games will sound their best.

The design of the Cloud Alpha is also superb, with well-made memory foam padding that's comfy without being too heavy or overbearing, made for lengthy gaming sessions without worrying about headaches. The aluminum frame is also very durable for those who want to avoid any accidental damage, and the onboard controls include easy-to-use options for muting your mic and other basic tasks.

Inside, you'll find dual-chamber drivers designed for sound accuracy. Pair that with the support for features like DTS Spatial Audio, and it's easier than ever to pinpoint where sounds in the game are coming from. Software options include turning on EQ and creating your own EQ presets, but you won't find the in-depth options that some gaming headsets have here.

Hyper X Cloud Alpha

Hyper X Cloud Alpha

Best for gaming
The Puro PuroQuiet headphones.

Puro PuroQuiet

Best for kids

Pros
  • Automatic audio limitation so music doesn't get too loud
  • Strong sound quality
  • Comfortable design
Cons
  • Can't compare to wireless headphones designed for sound quality

Why you should buy them: The PuroQuiet are designed to keep children's ears happy and safe.

Who they're for: Parents who want the peace of mind of knowing their children's hearing is protected.

Why we picked the PuroQuiet:

When we say “best wireless headphones for kids,” we aren’t talking about the cutest or most colorful — though we could see a case being made for the PuroQuiet being referred to as such. Instead, what we mean are the safest headphones for kids. As reviewers of audio equipment, hearing damage and loss rank pretty high on our list of fears, so we can empathize with parents looking for the safest pair for their kids (we're actually turning down our headphones as we write these words). In this department, the PuroQuiet can’t be beaten.

The PuroQuiet are noise-canceling headphones designed for kids that come with a hard volume limit to prevent your child’s tiny ears from getting damaged.

Despite children’s products being stereotyped as low-quality junk (rightfully so, in many cases), Puro hasn’t cut corners on the PuroQuiet, which punch well above their weight when it comes to looks and build quality. The headphones feature rectangular-shaped earcups that are made out of robust metal and come in vibrant colors like electric blue or bright pink. They’re blocky and colorful, as kid stuff often is, but don’t look or feel childish, if that makes sense.

They also strike a balance between comfort and design, with a plush, round headband coated in soft imitation leather. Even the adjustment section of the headband, which is also metal, feels solid and strong. Parents can feel comfortable letting their kids wear these, and the headphones are durable enough to take a beating, too.

However, the standout feature here is the Puro PuroQuiet headphones’ custom, built-in software limiter. It’s designed to keep music below 85 decibels while maintaining a balanced sound signature. This means that your budding audiophile can crank them all the way up, and you’ll still never have to worry about them blasting their ears out. And thanks to 16 hours of battery life, your kids can listen for as long as they (by which we mean you) want.

PuroQuiet On-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Puro PuroQuiet

Best for kids
sennheiser momentum wireless 3 review full headphones header

Sennheiser Momentum 3

Best for sound quality

Pros
  • Gorgeous fidelity
  • Easy to use controls
  • Great passive noise isolation
  • App-based controls
  • Tile built-in
Cons
  • Noise reduction isn't as good as Sony and Bose
  • Headband still needs better padding
  • Middling battery life

Why you should buy them: For the money, there are no better-sounding wireless headphones out there.

Who they're for: Avid audiophiles who want to go wireless.

Why we picked the Sennheiser Momentum 3:

Sennheiser is a company that has been making superior-sounding audio products for decades. So it was no surprise that when our reviewer spent time with the Momentum Wireless 3, it was clear that Sennheiser hadn't wavered one bit from its commitment to top-notch sound. The wireless cans manage to "achieve both energy and accuracy in a way that we’ve rarely experienced from wireless headphones before," with modern rock music being an especially strong genre. Female vocals, in particular, stand out from the mix and are given just the right amount of precision and crispness without suffering from any harshness.

Noise-cancellation, though not quite as good as Bose or Sony's, will still satisfy most listeners in typical environments like coffee shops and public transit. Call quality is also excellent thanks to Sennheiser's judicious placement of mics on the earcups.

Of course, there's more to the Momentum 3 than just sound quality. In our opinion, they're some of the best-looking headphones on the market. The clean, bare-bones design has a slightly retro vibe, yet the choice of materials makes it clear these are state of the art. Their physical buttons instead of touch controls make them a snap to figure out and use, and Sennheiser's companion app for iOS and Android lets you tweak things like EQ to your heart's content.

Integrated Tile tracking is a bonus: No more where-the-heck-did-I-leave-my-headphones as you try to get out the door in the morning.

Are they perfect? No — we have some minor quibbles when it comes to battery life, which at just 17 hours is only just OK, and we wish the headband had just a bit more padding. The lack of a hard case and the Momentum 3's one-way folding design means that they're not going to be as good for frequent travelers as some of our other picks.

That said, if you're looking for sublime sound in a set of wireless headphones, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 check all of the right boxes and even save you some money over pricier models.

Sennheiser Momentum 3

Sennheiser Momentum 3

Best for sound quality

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Airpods the best wireless headphones?

While this is obviously subjective, our answer is no. The latest AirPods have middling battery life, mediocre sound, and are missing features we expect to see in top wireless earbuds, including waterproofing and features like ambient awareness mode. That said, Apple's new AirPods Max are spectacular. If it weren't for their sky-high price and some Apple-exclusive features, they'd have nabbed the top spot.

Do wireless headphones work well for TV?

Generally only with TVs that output Bluetooth audio, many of which do not. Otherwise, you’ll usually need an adapter or select soundbars with Bluetooth transmission.

Can I make calls with wireless headphones?

As long as they have a built-in microphone, which the vast majority do, you can make calls with your wireless headphones.

Are any wireless headphones sweatproof?

Yes, if they have an IPX rating for water or sweat resistance.

How durable are wireless headphones?

This depends heavily upon the make and model. Look for aluminum frames and durable foam if you want your headphones to last. The good news is that you don't have to worry about cables ripping or tearing.

How long do wireless headphone batteries last?

This depends on many factors, but batteries last anywhere from three to 36 hours or more per charge. Expect battery life on the lower end of that scale for wireless earbuds, while full-sized over-ear headphones typically last much longer. If the wireless headphones in question offer a decently fast quick-charge option, that can make up for a smaller battery capacity.

A bigger question is: How long will those rechargeable batteries continue to hold a full charge? As we've seen with Apple's AirPods, the answer isn't always great.

Are wireless or wired headphones better?

Wired headphones will almost always offer better fidelity, longevity, and durability. For most folks, though, wireless headphones offer significantly more convenience and most let you use them as wired headphones too.

How do you test?

We test headphones and earbuds the way normal people live.

We run every pair of headphones through a rigorous process over several days. That includes playing them in all sorts of scenarios — be it on a bus, in the listening room, or at the office — and playing back from a wide array of sources. We know most people use their headphones with a smartphone, often with lower quality MP3 resolution tracks, so we do, too.

However, we also move up to high-resolution audio files, as well as a wide variety of sources, including plugging in directly to a PC or Mac, using USB DACs (digital-to-analog converters), and employing high-quality dedicated portable players and amplifiers. Finally, we compare the headphones to some of our go-to models, both in their class and price point, as well as a level or two above to find out if they can punch above their weight.

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