Wireless headphones have changed the way we listen to music. The lack of wires offers unmatched convenience. Best of all, wireless headphones are slowly catching up their wired counterparts in terms of sound quality. People all over the world are cutting the cord at an unprecedented rate.
Buying a pair of wireless headphones can be a tricky affair, especially given the number of options in the market. A lot of wireless headphones suffer from poor battery life and mediocre sound quality. To help you make the right buying decision, we have listed the best wireless earphones and headphones you can buy right now. Unlike our guide for best Bluetooth speakers where we picked our best picks at various price points, for this guide of best Bluetooth headphones and earphones, we have broken it down by various use case.
So without any further delays, here are our picks for the best Bluetooth earphones and headphones for fitness enthusiasts, the best for sound quality, the best for general use, and the best Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancellation built-in.
1More iBFree Sport
With IPX6 water resistance, a lightweight design, and ergonomically shaped earpieces with small silicone hooks that fit into the contours of the ears ensuring a secure fit, the 1More iBFree Sport are geared towards people with an active lifestyle.
The earpieces are built out of aluminium and the build-quality is top-notch. The earphones support Bluetooth 4.2 and AAC and sound crisp and detailed. The mids are warm and expressive and highs are crystal clear. However, the treble can be slightly harsh at times. The earphones have a wireless range of 35feet and last up to 7 and a half hours on a single charge. The 1More iBFree Sport can be found online for Rs. 2,699.
Bose SoundSport wireless
While the Bose SoundSport Free are priced at a premium, the BoseSoundSport wireless make for a great buy for fitness enthusiasts and general consumers alike. Bose's proprietary StayHear sports tips conform to the shape of your ear ensuring a tight and secure fit and the non-sealing design of the ear tips does not put pressure on the ear canal.
The earphones also have an IPX4 water resistance rating which means they are splash and sweat proof. The neutral sound signature and impressive soundstage just adds to their appeal. The only downside is the relatively meagre 5.5 hours of battery life but the stellar sound quality, great build quality and secure fit more than make up for that. The Bose SoundSport wireless is priced at Rs. 13,275 and can be found online as well as offline from stores such as Chroma and Bose official retailers.
Jabra Elite Active 65t
The Jabra Elite Active 65t is IP56 dust and water resistant and comes with a two year limited warranty against water and dust. The earphones also have an accelerometer which allows for fitness and performance monitoring via the Jabra Sound App, making them a solid option for fitness enthusiasts.
The earphones have four microphones for ambient noise reduction and wind noise protection and last around 4 and half hours on a single charge with music playing at 70 per cent volume. The included wireless case can fully charge the earphones twice. The sound on offer is detailed and balanced, with punchy lows, expressive mids and sparkly highs. The Jabra Elite Active 65t retails for Rs. 14,999 online and via authorised retailers.
Additional pick: The Jabra Move is also a great option for fitness enthusiasts seeking a headphone with an over-the-ear design. It has been listed below under the best sounding headphones category.
The Sony WI-C300 is amongst the best sounding budget wireless headphones out there. The sound on offer is superb for the price and the sound signature is fairly balanced, with all frequencies represented well in the sound mix. Mids are better reproduced than most affordable wireless earphones, bass is tight and controlled and treble is crisp and energetic.
The built-in noise cancelling microphone is of high quality, and the battery life, at 7 and a half hours, is above average. The earphones are extremely comfortable as well, which is just icing on the cake. The noise isolation is pretty mediocre though and so is the build-quality of the cable. The Sony WI-C300 can be found online for less than Rs. 2,700.
Jabra Elite 65t
Those looking for truly wireless earphones that sound stellar should look no further than the Jabra Elite 65t. Every frequency is well represented in the sound mix with the mids and highs in particular being crisp and clear. The bass is tight and controlled but bassheads should look elsewhere.
The battery life is also quite good. The earpieces last around 4-5 hours on a single charge with the included case providing an additional 10 hours of use. All is not smooth sailing though. The ear tips are somewhat uncomfortable and the case is quite fiddly. At Rs. 12,999 the Jabra Elite 65t is more expensive than the AirPods, but is worth it for those who care about sound quality.
If you are in the market for over-ear headphones and do not want to spend exorbitant amounts of money, the Jabra Move is a great option. The headphones last around eight hours on a single charge and sound impressive. Mids are expressive, bass is punchy and controlled, and highs are crisp and bright. There is a solid sense of balance to the sound - with no frequency outshining the other.
The soundtstage is quite shallow though and the build-quality is average at best. With a dirt-resistant mesh fabric around the headband and a lightweight design, the Jabra Move also makes for a great option for fitness enthusiasts. The Jabra Move can be found online for around 5,300 rupees.
Additional picks: Two of our picks for the best sounding wireless headphones, the Bose QC 35 II and Sony WH-1000MX2, have been listed under the best active noise-cancelling headphones category.
Ever since Apple launched the AirPods back in 2016, manufacturers have been releasing truly wireless headphones left, right, and centre. The AirPods might not be the best sounding earphones on the planet, but they offer unmatched convenience.
Thanks to the compact and easy to use case, seamless pairing across all Apple devices, high-quality microphones, and above average battery life, the AirPods are the easiest truly wireless earphone to live with on a day-to-day basis. The AirPods were launched in India for Rs. 15,400 but can be now found online for less than 13,000 rupees.
OnePlus Bullets Wireless
The OnePlus Bullets Wireless is an affordable and well-rounded option that is built well, supports fast charging and is comfortable enough for hours of use. The earphones are said to have some degree of sweat resistance even though they lack an official IP rating. They last around 8 hours on a single charge and are one of the few wireless earphones to have a USB-Type C port for charging.
The earphones support Qualcomm's aptX high resolution audio codec and sound above average. The instrument separation is impressive and mids are crisp, however the bass is a bit soft so you don't really feel the thump in most tracks. The Bullets Wireless can be found on OnePlus's official Indian website for Rs. 3,990.
Bose SoundLink Wireless Around Ear Headphones II
The Bose SoundLink Wireless Around Ear II offers great sound quality, high quality microphones, good battery life and soft, comfortable ear pads - making it a great all-around package. The headphones are feather light, and the padded headband and plush ear cups make them a pleasure to wear for hours on end. The soundstage is noteworthy and the mids and highs are prominent in the sound mix. The bass is slightly downplayed and might be a bit too restrained for some. The Rs. 19,999 price tag makes the flimsy cable a bit hard to digest but the overall package is well wroth it.
Additional pick: We listed the Sony WI-C300 under the best sounding headphones category. The great battery life, high-quality microphones and comfortable fit makes the Sony WI-C300 a great day-to-day companion as well.
Bose QC 35 II
The Bose QC 35 II is the benchmark pair of headphones for noise cancellation, and offers very good audio quality. The Sony WH-1000MX2 might be loaded with features like Ambient Sound mode but Bose's noise cancellation technology is simply unmatched. With the Bose QC 35 II, you do not get the dreaded high frequency hiss associated with most noise cancellation headphones.
The sound signature is balanced, with tight and punchy lows and well-represented mids. The soundstage is spacious and image spacing is impressive. The earphones have a light and comfortable design and last around 17 hours on a single charge, which is good, but not segment leading. The earphones provide one touch access to Google Assistant and do not support the aptX and AptX HD streaming codes.
The Bose QC 35 II is priced at Rs. 29,363 and can be found online as well as offline from stores such as Croma and Bose official retailers.
Sony WH-1000MX 2
Providing tough competition to the Bose QC 35 II, the Sony WH-1000MX2 is loaded with features and sounds excellent. Some may not find as comfortable as Bose's offering for long-term use, but it has better battery life and is arguably a notch ahead when it comes to sound quality. The soundstage is wide and open and the highs are crisp, bass is punchy and mid-range is detailed. At 30 hours, the battery life is also extremely impressive.
Bose still has a slight edge when it comes to noise cancellation but Sony has improved dramatically. The The noise cancellation on the Sony WH-1000MX 2 is quite effective and does a good job at blocking out persistent ambient sound. A feature called Adaptive Sound Control dynamically changes the level of noise cancellation and ambient sound to suit your activity at any time, by using your phone's sensors and GPS to detect whether you're still, walking, running, or in a vehicle. The Sony WH-1000MX2 retails for Rs. 30,990.
Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC
If you are in the market for a relatively affordable pair of noise cancelling wireless headphones, look no further than the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC. For half the price of the Bose QC 35 II, you get above average noise cancellation, a rich and neutral sound, and good build quality.
Sennheiser's active noise cancellation has improved over the years and is now good enough for day-to-day use. The earphones do emit a hiss but it is only audible at very low volume levels. The earphones have a claimed battery life of 19 hours and support the aptX high-resolution streaming codec. The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC retails for Rs. 14,990.