2023’s Top Wireless Headphones

2023's Top Wireless Headphones

The Best Wireless Headphones of 2023: A Comprehensive Guide

There are plenty of great wireless headphones out there, which can make the process of shopping for a new pair a little overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. With such a wide variety of different brands and models to choose from, trying to find the best wireless headphones or earbuds can feel like you’re hunting for a needle in a haystack.

In all honesty, there’s no single best pair of headphones out there because a lot of that is subjective, based on your individual needs. But that doesn’t mean some headphones aren’t better than others. To help you narrow the field and find the best wireless headphones for your needs, I’ve rounded up some of the top of the crop right now. Whether you’re looking for premium over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones or some rugged true-wireless earbuds, I’ve got you covered with some solid options for just about any budget.

Sony WH-1000XM5: Best Noise-Canceling Headphones from Sony

Sony WH-1000XM5

Price: $398 at Amazon

When you have a product that a lot of people love, change can be risky. Such is the case for Sony’s WH-1000XM5, the fifth generation of the 1000X series headphones, which were first released in 2016 as the MDR-1000X Wireless and have become increasingly popular as they’ve improved with each generation. Over the years, Sony has made some tweaks to the design, but nothing as dramatic as what it’s done with the WH-1000XM5. Other than the higher $400 price ($50 more than the WH-1000XM4), most of those changes are good, and Sony’s made some dramatic improvements with voice-calling performance as well as even better noise canceling and more refined sound.

Apple AirPods Pro 2: Best Lightweight Noise-Canceling Wireless Earbuds

Apple AirPods Pro 2

Price: $249 at Amazon

The new AirPods Pro 2nd generation are powered by Apple’s new H2 chip, which delivers more processing power while being more energy efficient, according to Apple. The new chip, combined with new low-distortion drivers, allows for improved sound that offers better clarity and depth. The noise canceling is also improved – Apple says the new AirPods have “double” the noise canceling of the original AirPods Pro. Additionally, the new AirPods add an extra hour of battery life, up from five to six hours with noise canceling on. Plus, a speaker in the case that emits a sound that helps locate your buds via Find My should they decide to hide from you.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Best Sennheiser Noise-Canceling Wireless Headphones

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

Price: $287 at Amazon

Sennheiser’s previous-generation Momentum Wireless headphones have always had a pretty distinct look that was part retro, part modern, and stood out for the exposed metal on their headband. For better or worse, that’s all gone now, and the new Momentum 4 Wireless, Sennheiser’s flagship noise-canceling headphones, look a bit more subdued and also a bit more like some of their competitors.

Sony CH-720N: Top Midrange Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sony CH-720N

Price: $150 at Best Buy

Sony’s improved entry-level noise canceling headphones, the CH-720Ns, have a bit of a plastic-y budget vibe, but they’re lightweight and very comfortable. Part of me was expecting them to sound pretty mediocre, but I was pleasantly surprised. No, they don’t sound as good as the WH-1000XM5s. But they sound more premium than they look (and feel), and their overall performance is a nice step up from their predecessor, the CH-710Ns. Are they worth $150? Maybe – or maybe not. But the good news is that, like the CH-710N and WH-XB910 before them, these should see some nice discounts in the not-so-distant future, which is what you may want to wait for.

Apple AirPods Max: Best High-End Apple Wireless Headphones

Apple AirPods Max

Price: $477 at Amazon

Yes, they’re expensive, but the AirPods Max deliver richer, more detailed sound than lower-priced competitors from Bose, Sony, and work very well as a headset for making calls. While I wouldn’t recommend them for Android and Windows users, they’re the best wireless headphones for iOS and Mac users who want to switch easily between their Apple devices.

1More SonoFlow: Good-Performing Noise-Canceling Headphones Under $100

1More SonoFlow

Price: $80 at Amazon

The design of 1More’s SonoFlow headphones reminds me a little of some earlier Sony headphones and also the newer Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 4. They’re a bit generic-looking but sleek enough and, more importantly, comfortable to wear. They also feature very respectable sound quality. While it doesn’t quite measure up to more premium models like the Momentum Wireless 4, it isn’t that far off. The SonoFlow headphones deliver smooth sound with good clarity and relatively well-defined bass; they’re just not quite as rich or dynamic sounding as those premium models I mentioned. They also have support for the LDAC audio codec.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2: Best Noise-Canceling with Top-Notch Sound

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2

Price: $299 at Bose

Bose’s second-generation QuietComfort Earbuds 2 are not only about 30% smaller than their predecessors, but their case is about 40% smaller and truly pocketable. They feature best-in-class noise canceling and improved sound, thanks to Bose’s new CustomTune sound calibration system that customizes the sound for your ears. Voice-calling performance is also significantly better than that of the original QuietComfort Earbuds.

Bose QuietComfort 45: Best QuietComfort from Bose

Bose QuietComfort 45

Price: $329 at Bose

The QuietComfort 45 has virtually the same design as its predecessor, the QuietComfort QC35 II, which many people considered one of the most comfortable over-ear headphones – if not the most comfortable. It has the same drivers, according to Bose, and the buttons are in the same place. However, there are small but notable changes. First off, these thankfully have USB-C instead of Micro-USB.

Soundcore by Anker Space Q45: Premium Noise-Canceling Headphone for Less

Soundcore by Anker Space Q45

Price: $150 at Amazon

If you can’t afford Sony’s WH-1000XM5 or Bose QC45, the Soundcore by Anker Space Q45 (yes, there’s a bit of copying going on here) is a good alternative for $150, and we should see occasional discounts on it. While it may not fit some smaller heads, it’s comfortable to wear, with nicely padded ear cups and a dual-hinge folding design. Sound quality is very good and the headphones offer better noise canceling than the step-down Q35, as well as multipoint Bluetooth pairing (these are equipped with Bluetooth 5.3) and support for the LDAC audio codec for streaming high-resolution music tracks over Bluetooth, if you have a device that supports LDAC. Many Android phones do, although Samsung’s Galaxy phones don’t.

Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2: Next-Gen Bowers & Wilkins Noise-Canceling Headphones

Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2

Price: $399 at Amazon

Available in three color options (gray, blue, and black), Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 headphones offer some significant improvements over the first-generation version. Not only are these headphones more comfortable – they tip the scales at 307 grams – but they sound better and have better noise-canceling and voice-calling performance with improved noise reduction. I don’t necessarily think they’re a better option than the lighter and even more comfortable Sony WH-1000XM5. But the PX7 S2 certainly looks and feels luxurious, with its sturdy design, and delivers very good sound with better voice-calling performance thanks to an upgraded microphone setup.

Earfun Air Pro 3: Best New Budget Noise-Canceling Wireless Earbuds

Earfun Air Pro 3

Price: $51 at Amazon

Earfun has put out a series of wireless earbuds over the last couple of years with one important thing in common: They’re very good values, made more so by frequent discounts. The company’s new-for-2023 Earfun Air Pro 3 earbuds feature the latest Qualcomm QCC3071 chip with aptX Adaptive for Android and other devices that support the new LE Audio standard and LC3 audio codec, which is superior to the SBC codec (they also support AAC for Apple devices).

Sony WF-1000XM4: Best Wireless Sony Earbuds

Sony WF-1000XM4

Price: $230 at Walmart

No earbuds are perfect, and not everybody will love the fit of the Sony WF-1000XM4 buds or be able to afford their high price. But if you’re looking for great-sounding earbuds with great noise canceling, solid voice-calling capabilities, and good battery life, these wireless earbuds check all the boxes.

Beats Fit Pro: Best Wireless Earbuds for Sports

Beats Fit Pro

Price: $160 at Amazon

While the Beats Fit Pro technically aren’t AirPods, they’re built on the same tech platform as the AirPods Pro (yes, Apple owns Beats). Unlike Beats’ earlier and less expensive Studio Buds, the Beats Fit Pro includes Apple’s H1 chip and have most of the first-gen AirPods Pro’s features, including active noise canceling, spatial audio, and Adaptive EQ. I’d venture to call them the sports AirPods you’ve always wanted. And for some people, they might just be better than the AirPods Pro.

Jabra Elite 45h: Best Budget On-Ear Headphones

Jabra Elite 45h

Price: $100 at Amazon

Released in mid-2020, the Jabra Elite 45h wireless headset was essentially billed as the best wireless headphones to fit on the ear for those on a budget. While there’s nothing terribly fancy about it, it is one of the best on-ear headphone values right now, with good sound quality, a sturdy design, and comfortable fit (for on-ear headphones, anyway). Additionally, it performs well as a headset for making calls and includes a sidetone feature that allows you to hear your voice in the headphones so you don’t talk too loudly. Battery life is also good. It’s available in multiple colors.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3: Best Sennheiser True-Wireless

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3

Price: $280 at Amazon

Featuring excellent sound, improved noise canceling and voice-calling performance, as well as a smaller, more refined design that includes stabilizing fins (so the earbuds stay in your ears more securely), the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 are among the best new true wireless earbuds for 2023. They’re also one of the best true wireless earbuds overall, giving the Sony WF-1000XM4 a run for the money.

JBL Live Pro 2: Best AirPods Pro Alternative for Less

JBL Live Pro 2

Price: $150 at Walmart

Over the years, JBL has put out some decent true wireless earbuds, but nothing that really got me too excited. That’s finally changed with the arrival of the Samsung-owned brand’s new Live Pro 2 and Live Free 2 buds. Both sets of buds – the Live Pro 2 has stems while the Live Free 2 has a pill-shaped design – offer a comfortable fit along with strong noise canceling, very good sound quality and voice-calling performance, plus a robust set of features, including multipoint Bluetooth pairing, an IPX5 splash-proof rating, and wireless charging.

Sony LinkBuds S: Smaller Sony Wireless Earbuds with Big Sound

Sony LinkBuds S

Price: $148 at Amazon

Unlike the “open” LinkBuds, the LinkBuds S are traditional noise-isolating earbuds with tips you jam into your ears. They’re more compact and lighter than Sony’s flagship WF-1000XM4, and also feature Sony’s V1 processor. While their sound and noise canceling don’t quite measure up to the XM4’s, they’re close and cost less. They’re the Sony buds for people who can deal with larger buds like the XM4 but want 80 to 85% of those buds’ features and performance for $80 less.

More headphone recommendations:

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  • Best Wireless Headphones for Working at Home in 2023
  • Best Noise-Canceling True Wireless Earbuds for 2023
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  • Best Cheap Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones Under $100
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  • Best Noise-Canceling Headphones of 2023
  • Best Wireless Earbuds for 2023: Top Picks for Every Listener
  • Best Workout Headphones for 2023
  • Best Over-Ear Headphones for 2023
  • Best Cheap Earbuds and Headphones
  • Protect Your AirPods: 5 Cases Under $20
  • Best AirPods Max Accessories for 2023

This comprehensive guide provides a selection of the best wireless headphones and earbuds available in 2023. Whether you’re looking for top-of-the-line noise-canceling headphones, lightweight wireless earbuds, or budget-friendly options, there’s something for everyone. So dive in, find the perfect pair that suits your needs and preferences, and enjoy high-quality audio on the go.