Although there will always be staunch defenders of wired headphones, the reality is that the presence of wireless headphones continues to grow in the market as do their sales. While comfort is an undeniable argument to opt for them, has been the progressive disappearance of the jack jack mobile phones which has given the final backing to these gadgets.
And is that ending 2018, the sound quality of some of these models is beyond doubt. However, here we present featured models for all budgets and needs.
Design, ergonomics and use
Although there are models of wireless headphones with constructions and elements of the most varied, all of them are summarized in four types: in-ear, earphone or button, supraaural and circumaural.
The choice between one or the other will take into account not only how comfortable they are and how well they look at our ears, but also the use and expectations that we have in them. Thus there are three uses:
- If we look for wireless headphones to play sports , it is essential that they endure rain and sweat, that they hold well to the ear and finally that they are compact and lightweight. The button type and the in-ear are the most suitable for these uses.
- If you are looking for headphones to be indoors, for example moving around the house or office, playing, listening to Spotify or watching YouTube videos in bed, supraaurals offer a compromise between comfort, relative lightness and sound quality.
- Finally we reserve the circumaural for those more sybarite ears that seek a rich reproduction in frequency range, high powers, sound without distortion and a source that is at the height. These HiFi headphones are complemented with a DAC to height and aptX Bluetooth profiles, as we will see later.
The sound quality provided by wireless headphones is mainly limited by the quality of the transducers, the internal amplifier, the DAC and its connectivity. Also, technologies such as noise cancellation also act to improve our acoustic experience.
Although manufacturers do not usually reveal information about the internal amplifier, we can get an idea of what sound quality is like by other specifications:
- In a simplified way, the drivers or transducers are the speakers of each headset. The sound quality of a driver will depend on the design and construction of it. As the circumaural headphones have a lot of space to integrate a larger transducer, they usually allow a richer and more nuanced sound. In general, headphones with transducers exceeding 40 mm provide high quality.
- Although in wireless connectivity we find radio frequency and NFC, the most common question why the range of range and the number of compatible devices is Bluetooth. However among the selected models we have included some headphones of all types for diversity. The usual thing is to find wireless headphones with Bluetooth 4.0 version or higher (something that influences its range, speed of information transmission and energy efficiency), but the quality of the sound will be determined by the codecs and the Bluetooth profile . Any current handset is compatible with the A2DP advanced audio profile and from there it will be a matter of codecs. If you are looking for sound quality, the aptX codec provides DVD sound quality(96KHz and 24 bits). Otherwise, we will have to settle only with the SBC codec, which provides audio with a bitrate of 320 kbps in stereo, enough for streaming music.
- The wireless headphones have their own digital to analog converter or DAC, a set of hardware that transforms the audio signal of the ones and zeros that receive a continuous wave, a process whose efficiency has a huge impact on the quality of the sound . To assess the performance of the conversion we will use the total harmonic distortion, which should be as low as possible, and the signal-to-noise ratio (in the most premium models it exceeds 130 dB in stereo). Manufacturers do not usually provide this information and if they do, it is precisely because it is a good sign.
- Another important feature to evaluate how good a headset is is the frequency, a parameter that gives us the range it is capable of reproducing. The human ear captures from the low to 20 Hz to the high, approximately 20,000 Hz. Therefore, it is desirable that a headset reaches all this spectrum of audible frequencies, however we find models that exceed it. Why provide a wider range than we can perceive? Simply because the bass and treble will feel better.
- Finally we do not want to forget the noise cancellation, an additional technology that attenuates outside noise creating a signal that cancels what you hear. This technology works better at low frequencies than high ones. Although we can do without this extra if we are not going to take the headphones abroad, to walk down the street is a feature that we greatly appreciate.
A wireless headset integrates a battery inside to provide power that will be compromised by the weight and size of these. That is, the bigger the headset, the easier it is to integrate a large battery with greater capacity.
In general, most of these headphones provide a range between 5 and 10 hours, but we can also find pleasant surprises in the larger models. However, the reality regarding what the manufacturer contributed could vary depending on the use and the volume.
The desirable thing is not only a great autonomy, but when the battery is running out it does not make the quality of the sound worse. In the same way, we will pay attention to the time required to fully charge.
Up to 50 euros
We started with a classic within the most affordable range, the SoundPEATS, a sports headphones that we can find from 17.99 euros on Amazon. Due to its design and specifications, this is a basic model to use with our mobile phone to go on the street or play sports, if we are not demanding in terms of power and wealth.
These sports aesthetic headphones are embedded inside the ear thanks to pads and hooks of different sizes that we can change to find ones that fit our auditory pavilion, something that helps minimize external noise. If we wear them on the neck, they have two magnets to hang them in the form of a necklace. They have IPX6 certification, which means they tolerate sweat and some exposure to water.
They consist of microphone and control in the cord that joins them, a very comfortable design feature to use as hands-free with our mobile phone.
Your battery has a range of up to 8 hours depending on the manufacturer and will require 1.5 hours to fully charge.
Another popular model in the most trotted headphones are the Mpow Cheetah ( 19.99 euros on Amazon), a helmet that is fixed to the back of the ear as if a pair of glasses were treated. They also integrate several earbuds of different sizes to fit perfectly to the shapes of your ear. They have a coating to protect them from sweat and moisture.
In the technical section, it has Bluetooth 4.1 (in addition to the 4 official profiles), which allows a lower power consumption, better signal transmission and is also compatible with the aptX codec. According to the manufacturer, the battery lasts up to 8 hours with a waiting time of up to 180 hours.
Philips SHB5250BK MyJam Fresh Tones
Another very interesting model among the helmets of button are the Philips SHB5250BK MyJam Fresh Tones, headphones with good finishes, classic design and very light that stand out for their drivers of 14.2mm, a size that gives a thicker bass and more sensitivity.
They are compatible with Bluetooth 4.1 and allow hands-free mode thanks to its integrated microphone. Among its weak points, it is not compatible with aptX and the battery barely lasts 4 hours . On Amazon for 31 euros.
Within this price range we also find alternatives for those who seek more richness of sound such as the Pioneer SE-MJ553BT-K ( 34.95 euros on Amazon), a few helmets with some years on the market.
The best of this model are its 40-millimeter transducers , which provide a richer sound and an amplitude of frequencies ranging from 10 to 22,000 Hz to boost bass and treble. Its circumaural design is sober and comfortable thanks to its pads. A detail that may be interesting: although you can wear them around the neck, they are foldable so they can be easily stored.
According to the manufacturer its autonomy is 15 hours , requiring 4 hours to fully charge. In the connectivity section, it is compatible with both NFC and Bluetooth, yes, with version 3.0 and without aptX.
Skullcandy Grind Wireless
Like the previous model, the Skullcandy Grind share their circumaural design also with 40 mm drivers. Of course, unlike the previous model, the Grind move away from the plastic that we usually find in this price range and replace it with a metal headband, giving it a more premium look. Of course, they are not at all discrete: their aesthetics are the most youthful.
These helmets cover the range of frequencies audible by the human ear in a solvent way, especially in the middle zone. They have a battery of up to 12 hours with microphone and controls integrated into the headphones.
In terms of connectivity, its version is Bluetooth 4.1 and bring a cable jack to turn them into helmets of the lifetime. On Amazon from 37.76 euros.
MEE Audio X6
Finally we have included the MEE Audio X6, a sports in ear helmets for those who in addition to looking for a suitable headphones for sports also want good sound quality.
This model has 10mm drivers, covers the frequency range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and has the latest Bluetooth 4.2 standard, although they do not integrate the aptX profile.
Their autonomy is approximately 7 hours and they are fully charged in two. Its design is very robust and ergonomic for the ears, in addition they include 4 plugs so that the adjustment is perfect. In Lafarga and Herranz for 39 euros.
From 50 to 100 euros
Although depending on the color we can find offers below 50 euros, the Jabra Move ( 63.56 euros ) is a good combination of clear sound, a battery more than acceptable 8 hours and its minimalist design typically Scandinavian, place of origin of the signature.
An interesting model for its price-quality ratio made of resistant materials such as stainless steel and dirt-resistant fabric, with simple controls on the capsules and hands-free function.
The Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT are helmets for those users who are looking for a light, comfortable model with good autonomy figures, since according to the manufacturer it reaches 40 hours of autonomy with 4 hours of charging. They are also folding.
Its control is simple and intuitive from the left cup, from where you can manage the volume, playback and pause or skip the track, with the possibility of answering calls. They have a microphone to answer phone calls.
The ATH-S200BT have Bluetooth 4.1, cover a wide spectrum of frequencies and its driver measures 4 centimeters, which provides powerful sound with good performance in both bass and treble. In Zococity for 69 euros.
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT
Another model that stands out for its comfort are the Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT, circumaural surround helmets with Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC connectivity and cable jack in case you run out of battery and want to continue using them. However, according to the manufacturer reach 25 hours of autonomy.
These headphones provide a balanced sound, with shades and dynamic bass, thanks to the aptX codec and a frequency response of 18 – 22,000 Hz.
They have a minimalist and elegant design with folding headband, with synthetic leather pads from which you can control and answer calls. They come with case to store them once folded. On Amazon for 83.29 euros.
For those looking for deep, deep sounds or simply adjust the sound according to their preferences , the Sony MDR-XB950B1B comes with the Sony Headphones Connect app that allows you to modify bass levels and other sound presets.
Despite their discreet design, they are quite bulky helmets that cover the entire auditory pavilion and also do not fold, so they are not the best option for mobility.
Inside we find a driver of 40 mm and a battery with autonomy of up to 18 hours, even with the Extra Bass function activated. They connect to the player via Bluetooth or NFC. On Amazon for 98.50 euros.
From 100 to 200 euros
The mythical brand Marshall has in its catalog a simple but complete model , the Marshall Mid ( 119.95 euros in PcComponentes) that has a typical signature aesthetic with black vinyl, solid metal hinges and silver details. To make it comfortable, its headband is plush and the hinges fit in three dimensions.
These supraural headphones feature an aptX Bluetooth codec and 40mm dynamic drivers for a balanced sound with special emphasis on the bass. They also integrate 2 passive noise reduction microphones that also serve for hands-free and take voice notes. According to the manufacturer, the autonomy reaches 30 hours of reproduction with a single charge.
The AirPods are one of the most popular models within the wireless headphones and now that they have dropped from their initial 179 euros to 142 euros, they become a more than interesting option despite offering a simply correct sound.
The best of the AirPods is the minimalism and ergonomics of its design (if you are not afraid of losing them, of course), the ease of use and its load, since it is enough to put them a quarter of an hour inside your box to be able to use them for 3 hours. If we allow them to be fully charged, Apple ensures that they provide us with up to 5 hours of use.
Thanks to the W1 chip, accelerometer and integrated optical sensors, the AirPods light themselves as soon as you take them out of the case, they sound when you put them on and stop when you take them off. Just a couple of touches to activate Siri. Of course, if you have Apple devices, it is a very alternative to consider. And if you do not have them, you’ll still have compact and fast-charging headphones, with noise reduction and hands-free , but you will not make the most of their potential.
Jabra Elite 65t
Following the minimalist trail of the previous model, the Jabra Elite 65t is another alternative in the form of in-ear helmets with a battery of up to 5 hours of autonomy. Like the AirPods, just keep them in the box for 15 minutes to achieve an hour and a half more battery.
They have an elegant finish available in various metallic colors that is embedded in the ear, something that isolates from the outside quite efficiently through interchangeable plugs. They also have noise reduction and 6 mm drivers, a large size for how small they are.
These headphones are mainly oriented for use with smartphones, since it even has an app to customize the settings of use and sound. In this case there is no problem with the assistants, because the Elite 65t are compatible with Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant.
They are resistant to water and dust and connectivity comes through the latest Bluetooth 5.0 standard , since it is a 2018 model. This translates into something more scope and better energy management. Yes, without aptX codec. On Amazon from 140.58 euros.
The Denon AH-GC20 is an excellent combination of elegance, functionality and transport , an ideal model to wear on the street enjoying very good sound. These supra-aural headsets provide great sound quality thanks to a truly extensive frequency response, 40 mm transducers, aptX low Latency Bluetooth technology that achieves CD quality level and a noise cancellation that mitigates 99% of noise. sound from the outside.
It jumps at sight his sober and retro aesthetic, with materials like the aluminum and viscoelastic foam. As we see in the image, the Denon AH-GC20 is folded using the Fold Flat & In mechanism, something that allows to store them in the case that comes as a gift.
The controls and microphones are integrated in a capsule and its bluetooth allows to connect two compatible devices at the same time. Its autonomy reaches 20 hours, fully charged in 3 hours. On Amazon for 157 euros.
Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2
The Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 are smart enough to eliminate noise from the environment so you can enjoy all the details of your favorite music and at the same time be alert to announcements and conversations using technology active noise cancellation on demand.
In the same way, they also cease the music as soon as you remove them from your ears and activate them when you put them back on, something that allows you to optimize your battery, which reaches 24 hours.
For greater comfort during your day to day, you can connect it with two devices at the same time and are able to transmit the sound up to 100 meters away from the player.
In addition to its enormous functionality for urban and busy music lovers, they deliver a rich sound in details where sharp notes sound with clarity, medium tones naturally and bass achieve low notes. On Amazon for 164.79 euros.
Sennheiser RS 175
If the idea is to have a helmet to enjoy optimal sound quality at home with the freedom to go wireless , the Sennheiser RS 175 is a model to consider.
Its ergonomic, circumaural and closed design minimizes background noise while comfortably adjusting to your head so you can immerse yourself in your music, series or movies with a rich sound with bass reinforcement transmitted through radiofrequency with Dolby digital quality plus.
The box comes with headphones, transmitter, power supply and wiring, allowing a range of up to 18 hours. If you wish, you can increase the kit by purchasing other compatible headphones separately. On Amazon for 176 euros.
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0
Although the Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT we have seen above slightly surpass this model in autonomy and charging time, the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 stand out for the quality of its sound and its design, full of quality details and a retro aura and at the same time minimalist time that almost make it a fashion accessory.
But beware, the Momentum 2.0 can be heard very well, offering a high resolution sound that reaches very low frequencies, they have Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX codec and NoiseGard active hybrid noise cancellation.
They are also very easy to use thanks to their touch controls, voice prompts and multi-connectivity. If your device allows it, you can also connect using NFC. On Amazon for 199 euros.
Up to 350 euros
After 65 years in the world of sound, Grado Labs has just launched its first wireless model, the GW100 Grade. Despite the jump to wireless mode, the GW100 maintain the retro aesthetics and sound level , since they share the drivers of other ranges of the brand. Thus, the GW100 Grade provides sounds that sound pure and powerful.
The sound comes to the helmets of the hand of the Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX, with autoamplification and some capsules with open envelope design where the controls are integrated.
They offer a range of up to 15 hours with a volume of 50% and come with cable in case you run out. In headphoniaks for 249 euros.
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless
The P5 Wireless are high-performance supra-aural headphones that combine a stunning sound experience and comfort through an exclusive design made of luxury materials.
According to the British brand, these helmets have been designed to work in a similar way to Hi-Fi speakers , with a redesign of the suspension to leave the diaphragm dedicated solely to sound functions.
The P5 Wireless incorporates a battery with 17 hours of autonomy and universal compatibility with most devices on the market via Bluetooth with aptX functionality with built-in speakerphone. On Amazon for 280.56 euros.
According to the German firm, the Sennheiser PXC550 is designed for the most demanding travelers due to issues such as its comfort, ample autonomy and an airport-proof sound thanks to the NoiseGard Hybrid noise cancellation system.
This technology gives the headphones small perforated arc-shaped grilles where ambient microphones are located that pick up the sound and cancel it. However, it can be canceled with a switch and we can also modify aspects of the sound to our liking through our own app.
With Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC connectivity, the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless is charged in 3 hours and provides a range of up to 30 hours . On Amazon for 269.99 euros.
With just one month in the market, the Sony WH-1000XM3 arrive to replace the previous generation with better noise cancellation technology that adapts to the environment and lighter , something that has been achieved by lightening the capsule pads and replacing the metal of the headband by plastic, some modifications that do not alter the premium aspect.
Interestingly, like the previous Sennheiser model, they are also designed for those people who travel frequently. Among its greatest assets is the fast charge, which provides 5 hours of autonomy with 10 minutes plugged invia USB-C. With a full charge you arrive at 30 hours. On eBay for 299 euros from Italy and Amazon for 369.92 euros.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Like the rest of headphones in this price range, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II integrates one of the most effective noise cancellation technologies to filter noise and an application to adjust the sound parameters to our tastes.
Among its main strengths, the integration of Google Assistant to improve the experience with tablets and smartphones, so that we can answer calls, search and play music or read messages without having to take the phone out of pocket. It is only necessary to pair them with the devices via Bluetooth or NFC.
Another interesting feature is the fast charge : with fifteen minutes of charge you can throw 2 hours and a half more. Otherwise, the autonomy according to Bose goes to 20 hours and in the worst case you can always use the cable jack.
Although at first sight the design may say nothing in particular , it is made of resistant materials such as nylon reinforced with glass fiber and stainless steel and at the same time soft, with synthetic leather and Alcantara leather coatings. On Amazon for 307.99 euros.