Which high-end wireless headphones are best?
Tiny, white earbuds have become an inescapable tech trend over the past few years. As popular and convenient as they are, they are not known to deliver high-fidelity audio or a comfortable listening experience.
To take your music listening to the next level, you will need to invest in a pair of high-end wireless headphones. The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Canceling Overhead Headphones are the best high-end wireless headphones available for anyone who is interested in experiencing incredible audio and the latest in noise-canceling technology.
What to know before you buy high-end wireless headphones
Headphones are available in two configurations:
- Over-ear headphones, as their name suggests, completely cover your ears. Thanks to their ability to block out external noise and deliver audio into a sealed space, they are the best choice for users who want superior noise cancellation and rich, rumbling bass. However, they are large and can be challenging to safely store or travel with.
- In-ear headphones often referred to as “earbuds,” are tiny devices that fit tightly in your ear. They are simple to travel with, but their small size makes them easy to lose. Many high-end models feature noise-canceling technology, but they aren’t able to deliver it as well as over-ear models and their ability to produce deep bass also lacks. Some users also find them to be uncomfortable or difficult to wear comfortably in their ears. Earbuds are generally less expensive than over-ear models.
Wireless headphones require battery power to operate. Thankfully, many models will last for hours on a single charge. However, if you anticipate long periods of time where you may not have access to power, you will want to purchase a pair of headphones that has the option to also work while plugged into your devices. Many over-ear headphones allow you to plug them in to save battery life. Keep in mind, however, that noise-canceling features will still use power if they are being used while the headphones are plugged in.
What to look for in quality high-end wireless headphones
The biggest reason to upgrade to a pair of high-end wireless headphones is to enjoy the upgrade in audio fidelity that they deliver. Wireless headphones from premium brands will provide excellent sound, with over-ear models allowing for more bass.
Over-ear models should be heavily padded for maximum comfort. Many users prefer headphones with velvet or suede-like material covering the ear pads, as shiny, plastic coverings can get sweaty or sticky. In-ear models should fit snugly enough to not accidentally fall out, but not so tight as to cause pain or irritation. Some in-ear models include various tips that you can use to customize their fit.
Noise-cancelling technology is a feature that, once experienced, is very difficult to do without. Different models, sometimes depending on how they fit the user, will have varying degrees of noise-canceling effectiveness. Generally, over-ear models perform better due to their ability to fully encompass the listener’s ears.
How much you can expect to spend on high-end wireless headphones
High-end wireless headphones can cost as little as $150 for some in-ear models to $500 or more for the premium, over-ear models.
High-end wireless headphones FAQ
Do over-ear headphones sound better than earbuds?
A. Generally, yes. The larger drivers in over-ear models allow them to create deeper, richer bass tones. They also fully cover your ear, preventing outside noise from interfering with your listening and enhancing any built-in noise-canceling features.
Can I charge my wireless headphones with a power bank?
A. Yes. As long as you have the proper cable, you can charge your wireless headphones anywhere you can plug them in.
What happens if I lose an earbud?
A. Whether they fall out while you are walking down the street, or somehow disappear in your luggage or backpack, tiny earbuds disappear easily. Unfortunately, there is nothing a user can do about this, aside from purchase a new pair. If losing your earbuds is a major concern, invest in a pair of over-ear headphones or an in-ear model that features a wire or band connecting the two earbuds.
What are the best high-end wireless headphones to buy?
Top high-end wireless headphones
What you need to know: Sony’s flagship wireless headphones have outstanding noise-canceling technology.
What you’ll love: Impressively long battery life, comfortable padding and the industry’s best noise-canceling technology put these headphones in a class of their own. Easy Bluetooth pairing and an optional wired connection mean you’ll never have to wait for a charge to keep the music playing. Includes a hard case.
What you should consider: These headphones are expensive and, despite their padding, can pinch larger ears after long periods of use.
Top high-end wireless headphones for the money
What you need to know: These high-end wireless earbuds feature noise cancellation and long battery life.
What you’ll love: Easy to set up with the downloadable Bose app, these headphones are comfortable thanks to their silicone construction. Touch controls allow you to customize and take charge of your listening experience.
What you should consider: These earbuds are on the bulbous side, and some users may not like how much they stick out while worn.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: After dominating the earbud market, Apple looks to the high-end headphone sector with this pair of classy, luxurious, noise-canceling headphones.
What you’ll love: Built to work seamlessly within Apple’s ecosystem of products, these headphones are easy to use and provide exceptional audio fidelity. Memory foam padding and a mesh canopy keep you cool and comfortable.
What you should consider: These headphones are very expensive and their included case offers little protection.
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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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