Your hunt for the perfect Bluetooth headphone ends here as we bring you the best from the rest!
Diligently searching for the “perfect” pair of Bluetooth headphones is not as easy as shooting fish in a barrel with over a million perspectives and hundreds of brands offering amazing products. What makes the task even more challenging is that no headphones are strictly speaking “bad”. However, keep it in mind that you can only take one (or two if you are a mega audiophile!) home, here is a list of 10 of the best Bluetooth headphones in the market today.
SO WHAT GOES INTO THE 10 BEST BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES?
Before getting down to the main agenda, let’s address the elephant in the room! Keep it in mind that almost every Bluetooth headphone in the market satisfies some of the most basic necessities such as a decent range of connectivity and minimum levels of treble, mid and bass that makes it passable, the list of criteria that we used to select these 10 were on a more serious note.
Being a music aficionado and a certified audiophile, we like our headphones to do justice to an artist’s efforts. We would love to hear every single detail in the track from the slightest jingles on the high hats to the heart thumping bass. However, besides this, here is a list of parameters we ticked off, before narrowing down the list from hundreds of candidates to the ten best Bluetooth headphones.
|PARAMETERS||A BRIEF DESCRIPTION|
|Pros||Reasons why we would put the headphones in our cart|
|Cons||Reasons why we would not put the headphones in our cart|
|Features||For those who like to know EVERYTHING before they buy something!|
|Weight||So it feels like headphones and not headgear!|
|Battery Life||For long music streaming sessions|
|Touch Screen||For quick access and being tech savvy|
|Cost||The value the product offers|
|Sound Clarity||The clarity of the music you hear including the mid, bass and treble|
|Comfort||How comfortable the headphones feel on my ears (for in-ear and on-ear variants)|
|Build Quality||How sturdy the headphones are and how reliable they seem|
|Active Noise Cancellation||So that surrounding ambient noise does not interfere with your listening|
SO THE 10 BEST BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES ARE:
|Device Name||Weight||Battery Life||Touch||Active Noise Cancellation|
|Jabra Move Wireless||150g||8h||No||No||Check Price|
|Bose QuietComfort 35||236g||20h||No||Yes||Check Price|
|Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2.0||265g||22h||No||Yes||Check Price|
|Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless||227g||30h||Yes||Yes||Check Price|
|BEOPLAY H9||295g||14h||Yes||Yes||Check Price|
|Beats Studio Wireless||260g||12h||No||Yes||Check Price|
|Skullcandy Grind Wireless||167g||12h||No||No||Check Price|
|Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2||272g||24h||No||Yes||Check Price|
|Sony MDR-1000X||275g||20h||Yes||Yes||Check Price|
|Jabra Elite Sport||13g||3h(9h)||No||No||Check Price|
Jabra Move Wireless at a glance:
- Sleek, colourful design
- Removable cable that can be plugged in when running out of battery
- Reasonable price
- Excellent tonal quality and clarity at all audio frequency levels (mid, high and bass)
- Low weight yet highly durable
- Great value for money
- Good quality build
- Excellent audio quality
- Removable cable for wired use
- Highly comfortable on the ears
- Sleek and stylish design
- Battery life could have been extended
- Limited accessories
- No active noise cancellation
The reason why the Jabra Move Wireless triumphed over the likes of brands like Bose and Skullcandy is that we found that it is a product of promising value for money and excellent features that are competitive with other brands. Combined with the fact that it is satisfactorily one of the best Bluetooth headphones on our checklist, the Jabra Move Wireless is certainly on top of our list.
The most amazing feature that struck us was that the Move Wireless had crystal clear clarity and base tonal quality even though it costs only $59.99. We tested the headphones with a fast bass track (the Seven Nation Army remix by the Glitch Mob) and was honestly surprised with the clarity. We then moved on to progressive tracks (Great Gig in the Sky by Pink Floyd) known for the ultimate highs and mid ranges. The Move Wireless certainly proved its mettle to be on the list of the best Bluetooth headphones.
I then tested out the headphones in varied environments right from the calm and quiet in our room to streets with mild traffic and finally a commuter bus. Since the headphone features a supra-aural (on-ear) design, most of the noise went unheard (even in the commuter bus). However, since the headphone does not feature an active noise cancellation design, we could hear a background buzz very clearly in noise intensive environments.
Moving around with the Jabra Move Wireless was pure bliss. The headphone features a lightweight, sleek and stylish design and has excellent build quality. The Move Wireless just weighs 150g which is considerably lighter than all the Bluetooth headphones we reviewed. Available in red, black and blue, we did notice many heads turn and look inquisitively at our black variant.
One of the things we noticed on the go was the battery life of the headphone. It lasted for about 8 hours, and considering that we blast music into our ears, this was pretty good. We believe the battery should last more for people who listen to music at moderate or light volume levels. However, considering that the headphone is meant to be wireless and made for people on the go, we were slightly disappointed with the battery life.
However, Jabra’s Move Wireless is a hybrid headphone of sorts, and this is one of the reasons why it found the top spot amongst the best wireless headphones. The Bluetooth headphone comes with a wire option, which can simply be hooked into the device so that it works just like conventional headphones. We found this feature to be especially handy when the battery was running out. This way we could still listen to music, though the “wirelessness” function was compromised.
All in all, the Jabra Move Wireless is one of the best Bluetooth headphones we have ever used.
Bose QuietComfort 35 at a glance:
- Glass fiber nylon, matte surface treatment, and fabric-Alcantara
- Bose Connect app. (Setting for auto shutdown)
- QC35 represents the strongest active noise reduction strength in the current headphone market
- 20 hours of listening and quick charge
- Removable cable for wired mode of operation
- Hard case with Aeroplane adapter
- Special app for streaming
- Active noise cancellation
- Voice quality
- Sound quality
- Long Battery life
- Hard case for travel
- Only black and white color variants available
- Distortions in intensive bass tracks at maximum volume (sometimes!)
For those who have no issues in owning one of the best Bluetooth headphones even if it costs a significant amount, the Bose QuietComfort 35 is a must have pair of headphones. The headphone is available in black and white variants. Though the design does look good, we are people who likes our headphones to be on the sleek side, and unfortunately, QC 35 is a bit bulky for our liking. However, putting that aside, the headphones weighs 236 grams which is pretty justified for the features it packs.
One of the major reasons why this is probably one of the best Bluetooth headphones, even for this price, is because of Bose’s active noise cancellation feature. Being someone who travels quite a bit (and not in luxury sedans but commuter buses!), we honestly had a jaw dropping effect when we started streaming. The active noise cancellation is so perfect that we could not hear a single sound, despite the bus being as noisy as ever, and this made us silently whoop in joy! The sound clarity was perfect, so was the voice quality when we made a few calls.
I was surprised to see that the active noise cancellation feature worked even for phone calls. Thrilled, we played our test songs to see how good the QC 35 gets. we first played the Great Gig in the Sky to compare with the Jabra Move Wireless. The QC 35 beats the experience due to the added noise cancellation feature. However, when we played the Seven Nation Army, we were shocked. We found some tonal distortions when playing a bass intensive track at high volumes. We looked into reviews by other users and found that this is a persistent problem with 10 – 20% of the QC35 users. However, when we lowered the volume a notch, this problem no longer persisted.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 comes with a hard case which is a boon for people who frequently travel. Also, Bose has an exclusive app for QC 35 users, which lets you use presets and other EQ effects which enhance your listening experience. Considering that we all use music apps to stream, we found the Bose app convenient and more packed with features. The app also has an auto shutdown feature, which turns off the device automatically, and we found this extremely useful at night because we could nod off without a care in the world! The device has a playback time of 20 hours, and this certainly earns it the second spot amongst the best Bluetooth headphones in the market today. The headphone comes with a 2.5mm audio jack cable which can be plugged in for wired usage when the battery is running low.
For those who do not mind dishing out $349 for an awesome headphone which certainly worth the money, the Bose QuietComfort 35 is one of the best Bluetooth headphones that you can have.
Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2.0 at a glance:
- The ear cups are bigger, so they fit over ears better and don’t pinch
- Permanent noise cancellation that cannot be turned off
- 22 hours of battery life
- Captune app for streaming
- Built-in Voicemax microphone for great conversations
- Slightly overpriced
- Great design following a minimalistic approach
- Big ear-cups that seat well in the supra-aural design
- Active noise cancellation
- Long battery life
- Optional wired mode of operation
- Only black and white variants available
- Active noise cancellation cannot be turned off
In our hunt to find the Best Bluetooth headphones in the market today, we came across the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2.0 which we could very easily compare with the Bose QuietComfort 35. We would even go far enough to say Sennheiser tried to give Bose a run for its money, and sadly it backfired! The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2.0 despite being a great competitor for QC 35 is a bit overpriced at over $ 400. The headphone is available as black and white variants, and we got the black variant. The second we got the headphones, we could not help but notice the minimalistic and elegant design approach. The larger-than-ear ear-cups and headband have a leather finish to them. This gives the headphone a classy appearance.
I then checked out the sound quality of the Momentum Wireless 2.0, and we found that it works like a charm for both bass intensive music and tracks filled with mid and high notes from the likes of Vivaldi and Coldplay. The sound quality was great, and the active noise cancellation kicked in the second we started streaming music on our daily way to work. Just like the QC 35, we could barely hear a thing but music and was thrilled to see there were no distortions at any volume levels.
The Captune app is a music streaming app from Sennheiser specially built for the likes of some of the best Bluetooth headphones like the Momentum Wireless 2.0, and it has a bunch of presets and EQ settings to amp up the listening experience. What puts this earphone in the list of the best Bluetooth headphones is the sound design and crystal clear clarity even in conventional phone calls, which uses a Voicemax microphone. However, the active noise cancellation seems to be everywhere, including quiet rooms (where it is completely unnecessary!) and can be an unwanted source of battery draining.
However, since the Momentum Wireless 2.0 packs a battery with average playback time per charge at 2 hours, this issue is not of much consequence. However, we sometimes wonder if this feature being user controlled could have extended the battery life even more! Sennheiser has considered almost all possibilities and the possibility of your music streaming stopping with a low battery is tackled too! The headphone has an optional cable that can be plugged in for wired usage. Even the cable keeps with the minimalistic design, and we found this great.
We did a bit of research as to how Sennheiser could build a Bluetooth headphone that offers such great clarity and found that it uses the aptX codec. This codec enhances audio clarity for Bluetooth streaming. What makes Sennheiser one of the best Bluetooth headphones is the built-in voice prompt which tells you when you are powering your device on or off and when the battery is running low. The headphone has easily accessible controls on the right earcup, and we could distinguish the power on/off and volume adjustment keys with ease.
If you are looking for classy Bluetooth headphones, and do not mind paying the price for it, then the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2.0 is one of the best Bluetooth headphones that you can have.
Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless at a glance:
- Portable with a sturdy build
- Customizable EQ settings and great sound quality through Captune
- Packed with features such as voice prompts, smart pause, NoiseGard and Smart Pause
- Three modes for noise reduction
- NFC connection
- Great Voice call clarity
- Touch operation and gesture sensing trackpad
- 30 hours Battery life
- Active noise cancellation
- NFC connection
- Touch and gesture sensitive trackpad
- Intuitive design and functions
- Sound quality not as great as Momentum Wireless 2.0
The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless is, without doubt, one of the best Bluetooth headphones we ever had a chance to play with! It is no surprise that we like the PXC 550 more than the Momentum Wireless 2.0, but in all fairness, we have decided to give the PXC 550 the 4th spot due to a few cons.
The PXC 550 is a traveler’s true companion, and we found this out during our week-long vacation trip. Sennheiser has packed a bag of features into the headphones, and we found each of them to be extremely useful such as an added dimension of human intuitiveness to it.
The PXC 550, arguably one of the best Bluetooth headphones powers on and off automatically! The foldable design has been crafted such that the headphone powers on when it is stretched out in all glory and ready to sit on your ears, and powers off are automatic when you fold it to lay it back into the case. We love this because it is extremely savvy and stylish!
The PXC 550 has a touch-sensitive trackpad on the ear-cups. The trackpad is gesture sensitive and can be used to pick up calls, control volume, switch tracks and more. However, what truly gives it worthiness to be among the best Bluetooth headphones is the adaptive noise cancellation feature. The noise cancellation feature has three modes of working. Noise cancellation off is a setting you can use in quiet rooms where there is no need for the feature so that you can save on battery life. The adaptive noise reduction mode takes into account surrounding ambient noise and streams music to nullify its effects while the complete noise reduction mode is useful in very noisy environments where the noise cancellation takes place in full force!
Another major tech savvy thing we found is the NFC communication mode. The PXC 550 can be paired with your phone by just bringing it within a distance of 4cm. Say goodbye to conventional pairing procedures! we would say this is a must have feature for all the best Bluetooth headphones out there.
However, this is more or less everything great about the headphone! Sadly, when we got to testing what it was built for (music streaming), we found the headphone lacking the punch and sparkle we found with the Bose QC 35 or the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2.0. There are no distortions in any volume levels and the Captune app built for streaming gives great presets and EQ adjusting abilities. However, we still found the baselines lacking in depth and reach for tracks like “The Start of Something Beautiful” by Porcupine Trees. However, considering that the price and sound quality is comparable to Bose QC 35, we would say that these are healthy competitors vying for the top spot.
As we were doing quite a bit of traveling, we could not help but notice how less frequently we had to charge the headphones. The battery life is extended for 28-30 hours, and we only needed to find a plug point once in 2 to 3 days. We could finish our whole trip with just three full charges, and we are pretty sure this would be a great boon to travelers and audiophiles constantly on the move.
The Sennheiser PXC 550 is one of the best Bluetooth headphones we have had the fortune to experience, and we would recommend people going for QC 35 to try this out too since the price is comparable at $400.
B&O Beoplay H9 at a glance:
- ANC Noise Reduction Technology
- Handy touch controls
- Removable battery and battery-saving feature that will automatically turn off the headphone
- Beoplay app for Android and iOS
- Pure sheepskin leather material
- 14 hours playback time per charge
- Sleek and stylish design
- Comfortable earcups
- Removable battery
- Active noise cancellation
- Not foldable and has a bigger footprint than other headphones
- No carry case included
- ANC not as great as Bose or Sennheiser
- No voice prompts
For those folks familiar with the Beoplay H7, the H9 is an upgraded variant that has put the Beoplay flagship of wireless headphones in the list of the best Bluetooth headphones. The Beoplay H9 features the ANC feature which was prominently missed in the H7 counterpart, and this added feature gives the headphone a charm it never had before. The headphone is available in black and brown variants. Usually, any headphone with less than three color variants is looked down upon by me. However, the design and looks of the Beoplay H9 are too good to be true, and we am going to let this one slide since the brown and black variants are close to perfect in its aesthetic looks. We got a brown variant to try out, though we are more inclined to favoring black on our gadgets. That was until we counted 34 heads turn and took notice of our headphone on the way to work!
The Beoplay H9 has an active noise cancellation feature which was lacking in B&O products which made it open to criticism since the headphones could not power over ambient noise. However, the ANC in H9 bids adieu to this issue. The active noise cancellation technology uses an intuitive method of detecting noise frequencies which have a potential to interfere with music streaming. It then emits a counter signal along with the music, such that the noise from surroundings is effectively canceled. Since ambient noise is a form of white gaussian noise that consists of all kinds of frequencies, implementing an ANC design is no child’s play. B&O has done a great job with the H9 in this aspect and has successfully put it on the list of the best Bluetooth headphones. However, the ANC quality is a notch below the likes of Bose and Sennheiser.
I found the battery life to be satisfactory and a single charge lasted for a course two working days. This roughly came to about 14 hours, and we found the headphone pushing 16 hours when we used the ANC intermittently. The Beoplay H9 has no fancy voice prompts to warn you of a low battery when you power on and off your device. However, the headphone has a sleep mode that can be enabled to power it off automatically after 15 minutes.
The Beoplay H9 has a touch control interface which is becoming quite the trend in some of the best Bluetooth headphones in the market. The touch control, however, did have a few glitches, which was not to our liking. Coming at a price of $500 the B&O could have at least ensured that the headphone is without glitches. We tried the headphone with two of our standard test tracks to measure the performance for bass and higher frequencies. Surprisingly we found the headphone to exhibit great clarity, consistent with B&O standards.
Another thing we liked about the Beoplay H9 was the removable battery feature. This lets you swap batteries even if the device runs low on power. The Beoplay app for both iOS and Android allows you customize EQ and effects which let you modify things to your liking. Furthermore, the app also substitutes for the voice prompt feature seen in some of the best Bluetooth headphones on the list.
The Beoplay H9 is a great Bluetooth headphone and shows remarkable design and feature enhancements compared to its predecessors. Priced at $500, the headphone certainly looks expensive and is comfortable to use.
Beats Studio Wireless at a glance:
- Two modes of active noise cancellation
- Signature DSP software
- Solid build and great balance between style, comfort, and quality
- Highly compact when folded
- 12 hours of battery life
- Wireless headphone capability for calls
- 12 hours battery life
- Stylish design and highly compact when folded
- Comfortable earcups
- Active noise cancellation – 2 modes
- Slightly expensive for the features it offers
- Very dependent on battery
- Detachable chord only available in red
The Beats Studio Wireless is arguably one of the best over-ear Bluetooth headphones in the market today. What prompted us to try this headphone out was the brand name, and we must say we were not disappointed! Beats has certainly outdone itself and one of the most appreciable features in the studio wireless headphone is the active noise cancellation.
The headphone is available in a number of color variants from black, red, blue, titanium and white. The black edition is available in glossy and matte variants. Since the glossy variant leaves fingerprints, we chose the matte black for testing. The Beats Studio Wireless certainly powered over the Beats Pro, in many aspects ranging from audio quality to lesser weight and space.
What puts the Beats Studio Wireless in the league of some of the best Bluetooth headphones in the market is the special DSP software embedded into it. We noticed this when we played bass intensive tracks with the active noise cancellation turned on. While most other headphones sounded a little bit artificial, we found the sound experience with the Studio Wireless pretty natural. The headphone did great justice to bass, mid and high levels of all the tracks we tested on it. The headphone also felt comfortable in our ears, and we could stream more than 6 hours of continuous music with no stream.
One of the most interesting features that put this device with some of the best Bluetooth headphones is the two modes of active noise cancellation. While one of the modes works as a typical active noise canceller that delivers music and cuts all the ambient noise, the second mode is for pure bliss. It delivers maximum noise cancellation without streaming music, thus giving silence in its purest form even in the noisiest environments.
Though 12 hours of wireless streaming is justified for one of the best Bluetooth headphones in the market, the Beats Studio Wireless also comes with a detachable cord for wired listening when the battery is low. Unfortunately, this chord comes only in the color red, and this can be a mismatch for titanium and blue colored headphones.
The Beats Studio Wireless is priced at $380, and we found that it did justice to the brand name. If you are a person who does not mind shelling out some money for premium sound quality, then the Studio Wireless is recommended for you.
Skullcandy Grind Wireless at a glance:
- Premium materials and widely celebrated acoustics
- Bluetooth® wireless with 12-hour rechargeable battery
- Call, track and volume control via the built-in microphone and remote
- Lightweight and comfortable
- 12 hours battery life
- Low price
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Built-in volume control and microphone
- Cannot be folded
- No carrying case
- No ANC
- Average performance when it comes to phone calls
I had the fortune of owning a few Skullcandy headphones over the course of time and was thrilled to find out that the brand also had a Bluetooth headphone that could stay in the league of the best Bluetooth headphones in the market. The Skullcandy Grind Wireless can be called as a revamped edition of sorts of the Grind headphone which was one of our favorite Skullcandy on-ear headphones of all times. The Grind Wireless does not disappoint in terms of looks and is pretty much everything that the wired edition was and more. The grind wireless is available in multiple color options. However, the black and tan colors are the best variants and have a great design appeal.
I got the black variant to try out for a course of few weeks, and we got pretty attached to the headphone. Though we are not a big fan of on-ear headphones compared to over-ear headphones when it comes to comfort, we found no reason to complain about the Grind Wireless.
I began our regular day with a fully charged Grind Wireless and saw that it lasted us for quite a long time (the whole day in fact!). I, later on, timed the Headphone for battery life and saw it came to 11 hours when played at max volumes and 12 hours when used in moderation. This is okay for us since we listen to music only while traveling, taking breaks and going to bed. What makes the Skullcandy Grind Wireless undeniably one of the best Bluetooth headphones is the low price it comes at and the array of functionalities.
I tested the headphone with a bass intensive track first and was delighted to find that the Grind Wireless packed a punch just like its wired counterpart. The headphone also did justice to tracks which had a range of mids and highs as well. We then tested the Headphone for call quality and found that it comes to just average. The headphone has an inbuilt microphone and control buttons in the right earcup. Since we were talking while traveling, we were told the wind could also be heard on the other side. The one thing we did take notice of was the absence of Active Noise Cancellation which is becoming a common trend in some of the best Bluetooth headphones in the market today. This did bring down the music experience a notch.
Despite being one of the best Bluetooth headphones, the Skullcandy Wireless cannot be folded and does not come with a carry case! We found this to be especially lacking since we had to take extreme care while traveling around with the headphone. I, later on, got a carry case online, but because the headphone cannot be folded, it ended up taking a bit of space in the backpack.
Considering that the Grind Wireless comes at a price of $90, there is very little to complain about. This is one of the best Bluetooth headphones you can get your hands on for the price, and this makes the Grind Wireless gain an edge over the likes of Bose and Sennheiser.
8. PLANTRONICS BACKBEAT PRO 2
Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 at a glance:
- High notes sound crisp, mid-tones sound natural, and deep, powerful bass delivers low notes with minimum distortion
- On-demand active noise canceling
- Roam, talk and listen to a range of up to 100 meters
- One single charge lasts for 24 hours
- Slightly bulky build
- NFC for higher end variants
- Optional ANC that can be turned on/off
- Great sound clarity
- 100 m range for Class 1 Bluetooth devices
- Long battery life
- Less costly compared to competing products
- Great ANC
- Bulky build
- A little bit on the heavy side
- Not foldable
- Leaves a larger footprint and is hard to carry around
One of the most ideal candidates for being the best Bluetooth headphones that we had the chance to try out was the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2. The Backbeat Pro 2 can be considered as an upgraded variant of the original backbeat pro and this variant is 15% lesser in weight and 35% less bulky. However, even then we found the headphone to be on the heavier side and the fact that it cannot be folded added to the dilemma of carrying it around.
However, putting the cons aside, we found that Plantronics offers its users a lot more in the leagues of brands like Bose and Sennheiser for a lot less money. Priced at $250 the over-ear headphones gave us a snug feeling whenever we used them. The sound quality can only be termed as serene, and we found the headphone offering excellent responses for highs, mids, and lows. The highs sounded as crisp as possible; the mids sounded natural, and the bass sounded wonderful, no matter what level of volume we listened to.
After two weeks we switched our headphones for an upgraded variant of the Backbeat Pro 2 which was priced $50 more than what we tried first. This came with an NFC feature which let us pair the headphone with just a tap on our phone, as promised. We tried out how well the headphone worked for regular calls. It was hardly disappointing since the cushion on the cups muffled surrounding sound to an extent, and the optional ANC took care of the rest of the ambient noise.
What truly put the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 on the map of the best Bluetooth headphones was the class 1 Bluetooth functionality. While all the other headphones we ever used went poof when we walked more than 10 meters away from our phone, we found the Backbeat exhibit a function true to what it promised. We could talk and listen to music freely walk around the park when our friend was gaming on our phone around 60-80 meters away from me. We later got a measuring tape to see is good this function gets and saw that it worked well within a range of even 95 – 98 meters (close enough to the 100 m advertised!). This is what in our opinion puts the Backbeat Pro 2 in the league of the best Bluetooth headphones today.
The headphone lasted for close to 24 hours on a single charge and considering that we used full volume most of the time, we found it to be extremely handy. The headphone has an inbuilt microphone on the right earcup with options to turn on and off the ANC. Though the ANC is not as great as Sennheiser or Bose, we still found it to get the job done. The play/pause and volume control buttons were on the right side and worked smoothly.
Considering that it costs just $250 and offers everything that the higher priced best Bluetooth headphones do (more in some cases!), the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 is, without doubt, a great headphone. Barring the fact that it is a little on the bulky side, there is very little to be left desired when you get used to this headphone.
9. SONY MDR 1000X
Sony MDR 1000X at a glance:
- Sense engine form of personalized settings for each user
- High-resolution audio and crystal clear streaming
- LDAC transmission
- Great ANC
- Backup 3.5 mm cable
- Hard carry case
- Capacitive touch
- Great sound clarity
- Light and comfortable
- Long battery life
- Great ANC that is adjustable
- Superb quality built-in microphone for calls
- Slightly overpriced
- Touch controls take a little getting used to
- Not foldable into compact forms
It is no surprise that Sony has answered the battle call for the best Bluetooth headphones in the market. The Sony MDR 1000X is every bit the rival for Bose and Sennheiser’s flagship wireless headphones. The headphone is available in black and white variants, and we found the black one to be more stylish and elegant looking. There is minimal branding on the headphone, but this is no indicator of the level of comfort and luxury that it offers.
The Sony MDR1000X is by far one of our most favorite over-ear headphones. It comes with some features, and we got familiar and obsessively attached to them over the course of time. The MDR 1000X has a combination of button controls which are intricately placed on the lower side of the earcups. The headphone also offers a capacitive touch interface for volume control, play/ pause and song skipping like some of the best Bluetooth headphones today.
The MDR 1000X uses a specialized design called sense engine which can be activated by pressing the NC button for a few seconds. This makes the headphone emit a set of tones which are used to gauge your head shape, ear shape and overall positioning of the headphone by using these tones to create a feedback through the microphone. The headphone then manipulates the music and sound levels such that you get the best music experience delivered. We tried the headphone on with and without glasses, as these usually create a void and do not seat headphones properly. The sense engine came over this difference, and we could hardly tell the difference between listening with and without glasses.
Another major surprise that was in store was the rich tonal quality we experienced. This beat Bose and Sennheiser since we could hardly find a flaw in quality with the wireless streaming. I, later on, found out that the Sony MDR 1000X uses LDAC transmission over conventional Bluetooth technology. The LDAC transmits three times the data that Bluetooth does, which means there is little compression in the transmission algorithms, which in turn means the headphone streams original music with all the intricate details left untouched.
I found the sound quality and ANC to be in the same level of the Bose QC 35. However, the QC 35 is indisputable when it comes to ANC though Sony offers the same set of features. We played the same set of testing tracks that we used on some of the best Bluetooth headphones and found no reason to complain. The voice quality for calling was excellent, and the ambient noise was effortlessly cut off due to the ANC.
The headphone has some modes of which the quick listen mode was our favorite. Holding our hand to the right ear cup, made the music fade away in seconds and we could hear the outside world again. This is especially useful for short one line conversations with your fellow colleagues and co-passengers when you are listening to your daily dose of salvation.
Coming at a price of over $300, the Sony MDR 1000X is undeniably one of the best Bluetooth headphones in the market today. It has some features that make the Bose QC 35 look small. However the headphone is a little bulky and cannot be folded, and this is a minor drawback.
10. JABRA ELITE SPORT
Jabra Elite Sport at a glance:
- First wireless headphones to come with a heart rate monitor
- IP67 rated for water and dust resistance
- Extremely lightweight and small
- Handy little carry/charging case
- VO2 max calculation is present
- Fits perfectly in the ear
- The heart rate monitor is accurate
- The charging case is quite innovative
- Sound quality is good
- Extremely small and easy to misplace
- Pretty expensive
- Battery life could have been better
What we like about the Jabra Elite Sport is that it is handy and is just 13 grams. The only thing that we have to be worried about is misplacing them. This is Jabra’s most advanced Bluetooth headphones without a doubt and is also one of the best Bluetooth headphones. Before we get to the sound quality, let us talk a bit about the design and other features. It fits snugly inside our ear but doesn’t cancel out the noise a lot. There is a cool feature called HearThrough which lets in ambient noise so that we can engage in conversations without removing the headphones.
Jabra Elite Sport is a sports headphone and not meant for long hours of playback. It can give you around 3 hours of quality music before it runs out of juice. A nifty little feature is that you can use the headphones’ case as a charger. Simply put the earphones back inside the case, and it will charge by induction and can give you two additional charges for a total of 9 hours, which is good enough.
Another thing that we liked about the Jabra Elite Sport is that it is IP67 rated. So, our intense sweaty workouts will not affect these bad boys. It can even survive underwater to a depth of 1m for about 30 minutes. We love the Jabra Sport Life app and it so easy to hook it up. People who are into running can track their VO2 max levels, which is the amount of oxygen they use while engaging in intense workouts.
Each headphone houses a microphone, out of which one is used for calls and the other one is for active noise cancellation. Coming to the sound quality, it is pretty darn good on the Elite Sport. We do not like it when manufacturers concentrate only on bass and Jabra has done a splendid job in keeping everything intact, whether it be the lows or the highs. Even if we are listening to a thumping song and getting ready for our workout or something soothing to calm myself, the sound quality is just gorgeous. There is a perfect balance, and Jabra has hit the bulls-eye in terms of sound quality and is one of the best Bluetooth headphones.
With technology progressing in rapid strides it is no surprise that it impacts all forms of gadgets that we use today. With popular brands competing to find a way into the user’s pocket, it is no surprise that they are pulling all stops to build some of the best Bluetooth headphones humanity has ever laid its hands on. That being said, the reason why we decided to include 10 and not 1 or 5 in this list is because everything is a matter of perspective. While some people will find the budget headphones to be sufficient, people who can splurge more money will find brands like Bose, Sennheiser and Sony cater to their requirements. The Plantronics and Sony headphones will be favorites for people who love more features and functions while Jabra will be the common man’s best friend. All in all, choosing one of the best Bluetooth headphones is all about what you need and how much you are willing to spend for it after some careful reading around. This buying guide gives you our firsthand experience with some of the best Bluetooth headphones, and we hope it proves sufficient in getting you what you are looking for.