Compbrella Guide for the Best Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones
With commutes growing longer, open space offices getting louder, and flights filling up to the top, the need for wireless Bluetooth headphones has never been greater. Users need them to be able to block out the world around them, either to concentrate at work or to enjoy a few moments of quiet relaxation on the bus. Technology has changed so much over the past two decades. It used to be that if you had headphones you would also have a portable CD player or Walkman, and of course, they were connected to the device by wires, frequently leaving you tangled up at some point. When the digital revolution came and brought wi-fi, smartphones, and endless amounts of music in our pockets, our headphones were the next device that we were able to cut the cords for. Today, Bluetooth technology is the backbone of the wireless headphone industry, with options ranging from cheap and simple no-name brands to high-end, cutting edge designs from the world’s leading electronics companies.
What are the key features to look for in Wireless Bluetooth Headphones?
Manufacturers are constantly trying to out-perform each other with regards to sound, design, and performance, and shoppers can get very confused when trying to decide which are the best Bluetooth headphones for them. Depending on who you are, you may prefer Bluetooth headphones that are more suited to crisp, speech-emphasizing podcasts and movies than to booming, bass-heavy hip hop sounds. Maybe you need them for the gym so you’re better off with something sturdier that won’t fall apart after a few too many sweaty workout sessions. Or maybe you’re more fashion conscious and want headphones that combine luxury quality leather with sleek modern design. With these considerations in mind, there are a few features that you have to examine before making a purchase that’s right for you:
- Comfort and Fit: Think about how you’re going to use these wireless headphones. The best Bluetooth headphones for running are not going to be the best for listening to music while you work at your desk. Wireless headphones come in a variety of forms like earbuds and over-ears and the difference between them will mean whether you enjoy the experience or not. If you’re listening at your desk all day you might enjoy over-ear muffs that rest on your ears instead of buds inserted inside them blasting music. Conversely, if you’re planning on running a 10k, you will probably prefer light buds with ear hooks instead of over-ears that can get heavy or their padding sweaty.
- Noise Cancelling: Noise-canceling headphones emit specific tones while you use them to block outside noise. Your need for noise cancellation headphones depends on where you’ll use them. You may use them primarily at work so you’ll need something that allows you to easily tune in to what’s going on in the office. On the other hand, you may use them only on your commute and so will want something that drowns out the world around you.
- Battery Life: The next important feature to consider is battery life. Some last for five hours some for 20 and which wireless headphones you buy will depend on your needs. If you’re using them at work for nine hours straight you’ll one, but if it’s just for a quick workout the five hours will do. How the Bluetooth headphones charge is also important. Do you need batteries? Device-specific cable? I prefer devices that are USB charged. You can always pick up a spare cable if you lose the original and you’ll never be without.
- Sound Quality: You can do all the research in the world but if you make a mistake and buy Bluetooth headphones that sounds bad then you’re just out of luck. Read what users have to say about sound quality, go to the stores and try them out. Sound preference is as individual as the user. Some wireless headphones sound amazing when listening to bass-heavy hip hop but sound dull when listening to higher sounds with more dynamic range.
What are the differences styles of Wireless Bluetooth headphones?
There are four main types of Bluetooth headphones: in-ear, on-ear, over-ear, and earbuds. The choice comes down to what you’re using them for. Maybe you need wireless headphones for the gym so you’re better off with something sturdier that won’t fall apart after a few too many sweaty workout sessions. Or maybe you’re more fashion conscious and want Bluetooth headphones that combine luxury quality leather with sleek modern design.
In-ear: In-ear headphones are headphones that fill the inside of your ear canal. These are the best headphones for running and working. Usually, there’s some level of noise isolation but not at the level of big headphones. Despite the small earpieces, in-ears are usually connected by either wires or a band that rests on the back of your neck.
Earbuds: Earbuds are the most ubiquitous and standard earphones available. Most phones and portable music devices provide them and they can be bought at a range of price points. The sound is not as good as in-ears though, but like them, they are connected by a wire or neckband.
Over-ear: These headphones have padded ear cups that enclose the ears. The best sounding headphones with the highest quality noise cancellation are usually over-ear headphones and they are best for listening to music. They are larger and heavier than in-ears and earbuds, with an overhead band so they’re better for listening while you work or relaxation and not as good for sports.
On-ear: On-ears are similarly designed as over-ears but instead of enclosing the ears, they rest on them. While the sound quality is very good, noise cancellation is not as high quality so they’re perfect for when wearing while you work when you don’t want to shut out the rest of the office.
Best Overall: Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3
Sleek design and functionality make these wireless headphones a must-have for music lovers on the go.
Best Battery Life: Bose 700
Great value and exceptional sound and design. Highly recommended.
Best Noise Cancellation: Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II
Highly recommended for audiophiles, commuters, and those that like to cut out all the noise and enjoy themselves.
Why you should trust us
Compbrella was founded by a group of entrepreneurs with over twenty years experience working in retail, electronics, and e-commerce. Over the years, we have spent endless hours writing and revising consumer guides, interviewing customers about the products they enjoyed using, and talking to an untold number of technicians about why some products fail and others don’t. We draw from our own experiences about what products a household needs and what we use in our everyday lives. If we’re reviewing a product, it means we one of us has it in their home and thinks it, or a different version, would be a great addition to your homes. We stand by our recommendations because we make them to each other first.