It finally happened. After months of speculation, Apple’s iPhone 7 abandoned the once-ubiquitous 3.5mm headphone jack. While you can still listen to music with the included 3.5mm to Lightning adapter or Lightning headphones, wireless headphone options are easier to use and more plentiful. And we’re continuing our holiday gift guide series with the best wireless headphones, covering a number of different price points.
TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones
A great pair for the gym or a quick run, this option from TaoTronics offers up to five hours of music playback and 175 hours of standby on one charge. Designed to stay put when in your ears, noise isolation technology can reduce outside interruption while rocking out and clearer microphone sound when on a call. When not in use, built-in magnets allow users to attach the earbuds together and wear the earbuds like a necklace, minimizing the chance of losing them.
Bose Quiet Comfort 35
Tailor-made for travelers, the QuietComfort 35 wireless headphone features the famous Bose active noise cancellation technology in a wireless package. The built-in battery lasts for up to 20 hours using Bluetooth and up to 40 hours in wired mode.
Along with a volume optimized EQ feature, a dual-microphone system should provide clear handsfree phone calls, even in a noisy environment.
You can snag either the black or gray version of the over-ear headphones for $349.
The Powerbeats 3 Wireless Earphones from Beats are perfect for anyone who wants to listen to music while exercising or running thanks to a water and sweat resistant design.
But the real star of the show is the new Apple-designed W1 chip.
That will provide up to 12 hours of music playback on a single charge, which is well above what is offered by other similar wireless earphones.
Pairing is extremely easy when using an Apple device like an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac. All you need to do is power them on and hold near an Apple device.
A Fast Fuel feature also provides up to 1 hour of music with a 5-minute charge. The built-in microphone allows users to take calls, converse with Siri, and adjust volume.
Powerbeats 3 retails for $199.95. Along with a number of different colors to select from, there are also four different sized ear tips included to help users find that perfect fit.
Since we’re still waiting for Apple’s AirPods to hit the market, an interesting alternative is Skybuds. The completely wireless set is designed to stay in place and be comfortable in your ears. Each bud has a button that can be used to accomplish tasks like play/pause music and answer/end phone calls. Music fans can go up to four hours on a single charge. The included Skydock acts as a charging station for the earbuds and can automatically recharge them while on the move. The dock provides up to an extra 24 hours of music.
Using the companion app, you can monitor the charge levels of both the dock and the earbuds. And coming soon, you’ll be able to find the Skybuds from any iPhone when needed.
A black version can be purchased now for $249.99.
With a padded headband and adjustable headband, the over-ear iHome iB87 wireless headphone can be controlled directly from the on-ear remote control.
You can adjust tracks, play/pause music, control the volume, and even answer phone calls with a push. Users can also make phone calls with a voice command. The battery last for up to 12 hours of continuous use.
This pair of inexpensive wireless headphones from Sony is all about the bass. Made specifically for dance music, they feature Bass Booster technology.
The padded headband and swivel earcups provide as nice fit and won’t take up a lot of space when on the move. Battery life is a big plus as you can play up to 30 hours of music on a single charge. That’s one of the best on the market.
Beoplay H5 Wireless
While Bang & Olufsen is known for its decidedly high-end headphones, the Beoplay H5 Wireless headphone is designed to bring an immersive audio experience in a smaller earbud package.
My favorite feature is that a magnet is built into each earpiece, so when they are removed from your ears, it can be worn around your neck without falling off. Clicking the magnets also automatically turns the earphones power off. Along with being resistant to dust and splashes of water, the battery can provide up to five hours of music playback before needing to be recharged.
Using the Beoplay app, you can select from a preset sound profile or design your own. You can even access presets directly from an Apple Watch.
V-MODA Crossfade Wireless
Able to connect to two sources simultaneously, V-MODA’s Crossfade Wireless headphone can provide up to 12 hours of wireless music before needing to be recharged. Even when the battery runs out, you can still use the headphones with a device with a 3.5mm jack. Along with a 50mm dual diaphragm design, the headband is covered with special material designed for comfort. The ear cups are made with a soft memory cushion foam.
The over-ear headphones are available in four different color options and can be purchased now for $269.99. If you’re interested, the XL Memory Cushions cost an additional $20. The custom shields start at $25.
Bluedio T3 Plus
Sporting a durable alloy frame and body, Bluedio’s T3 Plus wireless headphone is an inexpensive option you’ll definitely want to consider. Using Bluetooth 4.1 technology, the over-ear headphones can provide up to 20 hours of music playback on a single charge.
And if truly ever go off the grid, there’s a built-in Micro SD card slot to take music pretty much anywhere, even without a Bluetooth device. If the battery ever runs down, you can use the included 3.5mm cord to plug into most any device.
Jaybird Freedom is a perfect option for active music fans. Sporting a new design, the earbuds are noticeably slimmer than anything previously from JayBird. The speaker diameter is 20 percent smaller, but it can still produce a nice, pleasing sound range.
Along with being sweat resistant, the company wants to make sure that you will get the perfect fit. There are more than 12 different ways to customize the earbuds with a variety of different tips and surprisingly comfortable fins. As a nice plus, the Freedom can be paired to two different Bluetooth devices simultaneously, making it easy to multitask with a number of different Apple products, including an iPhone and Apple Watch.
Buyers can select from one of four different color combinations for $129.99.
Master & Dynamic MW50
Master & Dynamic is one of our favorite high-end wireless headphone companies here at AppAdvice, and the MW50 is a great all-around choice. The exterior is protected with premium leather on the headband exterior and ear cup accents while soft lambskin covers the interior of the headband and ear pads. When traveling, the rotating hinges fold flat.
The battery provides up to 16 hours of music playback while tactile controls are located on the earcups. As a unique touch, the charging port is USB-C so the battery can be juiced up faster than other options. A charging cable is included along with a 3.5mm cord, a leather cable box, and canvas headphone pouch.
Retailing for $449, you can select from a version with brown or black leather.
JBL Everest 700
A comfortable over-ear choice, the Everest 700 wireless headphone uses Bluetooth 4.1 technology to connect to any device. With the unique ShareMe 2.0 feature, you’ll be able to connect with the Bluetooth headphones of others to share music, videos, and games.
The built-in microphone for voice calls also sports echo cancellation technology for better sound.
Sony H.ear on
Featuring digital nose cancellation technology, Sony’s H.ear on headphones are made for long music listening sessions thanks to an adjustable headband and padded ear cups. When on the go, automatic AI analyzes the outside environment and will then provide the most effective noise cancellation mode. Bass heads will be happy to hear that Beat Response Control technology is designed to provide a deep bass response. With a built-in microphone, users can also take handsfree calls.
You can grab a black or blue version of the headphones now for $199.99. More exotic colors, like pink, red, and yellow, are significantly more expensive at $349.99.