The best wireless headphones in 2018

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What are the best wireless headphones out there right now? With so many products available, choosing the right earbuds can become tricky – so we've done the hard work for you (if you call trying out headphones hard work, that is) to bring you a list of the best wireless headphones available right now, for a range of different budgets.

Whether you're looking for in-ear, on-ear, over-ear or noise-cancelling cans, we've got the perfect option for you here – and the best prices, too.

Which are the best wireless headphones? 

If you’re looking for a great all-rounder that will suit most scenarios, we think  the Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 are the best wireless headphones you can get right now. Coming in at under $100/£100, these earphones provide the perfect balance between cost and quality – and they're great for sport, too. 

If you've got a bigger budget, we'd recommend the Sony WH-1000XM2 wireless headphones, at number three on this list. But the right wireless headphones for you will depend on what you want to use them for, and how much you have to spend –  which is why we've curated a wide range of options below. 

How do you choose the best wireless headphones?

Before buying a new pair of wireless headphones, first think about what sort of situations you want them for. If you’re looking for the best headphones for running, sport or working out, for example, you'll want them to be waterproof and have a decent battery life. You'll also need a secure but comfortable fit, and you might want the ability to let ambient sound through – to keep you safe from traffic or muggers. 

If you’re searching for the best wireless headphones for gaming, meanwhile, you’ll be more concerned about latency, and what happens if power cuts out mid-session. Above all else, you’ll need to know the cost – and whether they will actually work with your hardware. 

To help you make the right decision, we've highlighted the best wireless headphones across a range of different categories. Read on to pick the right ones for you...

The best wireless headphones right now

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01. Optoma NuForce BE Sport4

Fantastic all-rounders – and stylish too

Platform support: Bluetooth 4.1 | Range: up to 98ft (30m) | Battery life: 10 hours | Waterproof: IPX5 (water-resistant)

Great design
Stunning audio
Long battery life
Short charge required for continual use

When it comes to the all-round best wireless headphones, Optoma's NuForce BE Sport4 earbuds are our top pick. These are a rare find that do it all, at an affordable price – and they boast a stylish design, too. They were actually crafted specifically with exercise in mind (so they're technically our best wireless headphones for sport, too) but that doesn't stop them from being a brilliant set of everyday wireless headphones. In fact, it only makes them better as they come fully equipped with extras you wouldn't usually find in other non-exercise specific models, without the extra cost. For example, these bad boys are fully waterproof, so you don't have to worry about the weather. They also have a decent 10-hour battery life, and will give you two hours of use with just a 15-minute charge, which is handy if you're about to head out. 

If you prefer the sound quality of the BE Sport4 without any of the cords, try Optoma’s new true wireless form factor: BE Free8 and BE Free5 in-ears. But for the best balance of build, audio quality and price, Optoma's brilliant Sport4 wireless headphones are our winners.  

The best in-ear wireless headphones

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02. Sennheiser Momentum Free earphones

Our pick of the best Bluetooth wireless in-ear headphones

Platform support: Bluetooth 4.2 | Range: up to 164ft (50m) | Waterproof: IPX4 (splash-proof)

Excellent sound quality
Extremely durable
Four sets of buds
Weak magnets on headphones

If you're looking specifically for in-ear wireless headphones, you might choose the Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 earbuds (at number one in this list) – but if you've got a little more cash to spend, try the excellent Sennheiser Momentum Free Wireless Bluetooth earphones. These headphones are amazing value, offer durability, can connect to two devices simultaneously, and provide some of the best audio of any headphones we’ve tried, at any price. And with high frequency up to 22,000 Hz, you get a great balance between bass, mid and high ranges. 

Competition for the best in-ear wireless headphones is tough, of course. Prices range from what you might spend on a latte, right up to what you’ll pay for a tricked out MacBook – so we've keep things under two hundred bucks here. Alternatives include the excellent sounding RHA T20i; 1MORE’s flagship Quad Driver in-ear headphones; the more expensive Optoma NuForce HEM6 wireless headphones; and for truly wireless earbuds, the Jabra Elite 65t True Wireless headphones. 

The best over-ear wireless headphones

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03. Sony WH-1000XM2

These wireless noise-cancelling headphones simply excel

Platform support: Bluetooth 4.1 | Waterproof: No

Great noise cancellation
Stunning audio
Fiddly controls
Require careful handling

When it comes to over-ear wireless headphones, Bose and Sennheiser both have horses in the race – but it’s Sony that comes out tops, with the company's superb WH-1000XM2 headphones. For just under $300/£300, you get hi-res audio that will make your ears sing, fantastic noise-cancellation, 30 hours of battery life and Sony’s Smart Listening tech, which adjusts audio based on ambient sound, should you still wish to hear what’s going on around you – when you're talking to colleagues, for example. They also boast cutting-edge gesture controls (which take a little getting used to). Of course, this all comes at a price, but if you're after great-sounding audio and loads of brilliant features, the Sony WH-1000XM2 cans are the best over-ear wireless headphones you can get right now.

The best budget wireless headphones

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04. TaoTronics TT-BH07

Cheap wireless headphones that surpass expectations

Platform support: Bluetooth 4.2 | Range: 33ft (10m) | Battery life: 6 hours | Waterproof: Yes (IPX6 rating)

Amazing value
Dust/Waterproof
Average sound quality
Mic volume can be low

Our pick for the best budget wireless headphones are the TaoTronics TT-BH07 IPX6 Waterproof Wireless headphones, which deliver the best overall package, at an exceptionally affordable price. For less than $20/£20, you get a great looking, good-fitting set of headphones, with an IPX6 rating, which means they'll cope with the very worst the elements can throw at you (and they also sport magnetic ear buds that connect handily together when not in use). These headphones feature technology that you see in headphones well over £100, and decent Bluetooth connectivity. The sound isn’t as good as more expensive options, but at this ultra-low price you’re getting a bargain. (Want an alternative? Try the RHA S500u headphones, which have a narrow soundstage but sound ridiculously good for the price.)

The best wireless headphones for gamers

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05. SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

High-quality audio and looks for gamers

Platform support: Windows 7+, Mac OS X 10.9+ | Range: 40ft (12m) | Battery life: 20 hours | Waterproof: No

Dual battery system
Lossless high-res audio
Expensive
Not compatible with Xbox One

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless headphones are a little pricier than gaming options such as the Corsair VOID Pro – which do a great job for under $100 / £100 – but they're well worth the extra spend. They don’t try and shout their way to the top with garish neon and flashing lights, and have a more stylish and minimalist aesthetic than most gaming headphones – which should appeal to designers as well as gamers. 

But it’s the sound that will ultimately blow you away: the Arctis Pro Wireless headphones provide hi-fidelity audio that's unsurpassed in this price range,  improving your overall gaming experience, and enabling you to steal a march on your competition. One major downside, though, is the fact they only support PS4 and PC (leaving Xbox One owners out of luck).

The best wireless headphones for sport

Optoma NuForce BE Sport3 wireless headphones

06. Optoma NuForce BE Sport3

Great value wireless headphones for fitness fanatics

Platform support: Bluetooth 4.1 | Range: 30ft (10m) | Battery life: 10 hours | Waterproof: IPX5 (water-resistant)

Comfortable
Stay put under impact
Stunning audio
Short charge required for continual use

While the NuForce BeSport4 earbuds (number one in this list) get our vote for the best wireless headphones for sport, a better value option is their little brother, the Optoma NuForce BeSport 3. These headphones give you nearly all the benefits of the newer model, but at a lower price. The only real difference between the two is the BeSport 3 headphones offer slightly less range. However sound quality is unsurpassed at this price point, they're water-resistant up to IPX5 and boast a 10-hour battery life (again, with a 15-minute quick-charge providing two hours of playback).  

Bear in mind that high-impact sports require a really secure fit to keep the buds in your ears. The angled nozzles on the BE Sport3 let you insert the earbuds deeper for a better fit. You also get a range of eartips, so you should find a fit you'll like – and there are even wing tips to keep the earbuds stable during exercise.

The best wireless headphones for iPhone

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07. Apple AirPods

Expensive, and they have no buttons. But we don’t care. AirPods are a must for Apple fans

Platform support: Bluetooth 4 | Range: up to 98ft (30m) | Waterproof: No

Simple pairing
Siri enabled
No buttons
Pod size won't suit everyone

With its AirPods, Apple has created another game-changing product, packing a huge amount of tech into two, standalone earbuds – or pods. Both pods contain a microphone, providing crystal-clear audio when dictating or making a call. And this is important, as AirPods have to work seamlessly with Siri, because with no buttons, you have to rely solely on your voice to control them. For this reason, we wouldn’t recommend them for any products outside of the iOS/OSX ecosystems, even if they can connect to them.

No other headphone has this amount of integration with Apple’s OS, and – as is usually the case with Apple – a huge amount of thought has gone into how people actually use them. On top of this you get five hours of listen/talk time (increased to 24 hours using the charge case), a quick charge time of 15 minutes for every three hours, and great sound. There’s no noise cancellation, though, and it’s a one-size-fits-all approach (which won’t suit people with particularly small or large auricula). However, with its AirPods, Apple has managed to make ear buds a desirable object, which is no small feat.

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