Since the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus iPhones have been without a headphone jack, which is is a concern for some users. Luckily, wireless headphones have been steadily improving over the years, so the latest iPhones makes the perfect excuse to ditch those 3.5mm cables and switch to Bluetooth if you don't fancy picking up a dedicated pair of Lightning headphones.
Just like their wired variants, wireless headphones come in all shapes and sizes, from chunky on- and over-ear pairs to dinky little in-ears like Apple's own AirPods.
We've rounded up a few of each, and at a few different price points, so hopefully you'll find your perfect pair.
All these will work excellently with the new iPhone X.
Which headphones work with Apple Watch?
It's worth noting that all Bluetooth headphones mentioned here and in our wireless earbuds chart are compatible with the Apple Watch. Simply pair your Bluetooth headphones with your Apple Watch and play locally stored music directly from the Watch with no need for the iPhone - perfect when going for a run.
Apple has produced its own wireless versions of its EarPods, branded as AirPods. They work with all the latest iPhones including the iPhone X.
AirPods easily pair with any iOS device and offer Siri and hands-free calling capabilities. They come in a travel case (which also charges them) and iOS 10.3 features Find my AirPods, both of which should help you to not immediately lose them. You can read more about them in our AirPods review and, if you don't like the colour, there's also a company that'll customise them for you - but it's fairly pricey.
AKG N60 wireless headphones
Noise cancellation is one of the best aspects of on-ear headphones. The technology is clever enough to cut out interfering frequencies that might hum above your tunes. This pair of headphones from AKG are exceptionally good at what they set out to do.
They are also foldable and relatively compact, which is pretty handy as sometimes even the best on-ear headphones can take up a little bit too much space in a bag. This makes them an excellent choice if you're always on the move commuting or at airports.
Given their travel focus, AKG also promises up to 30 hours' battery life, which is incredible for wireless headphones. The N60s also have a passive mode which means they can still be used for a period after the battery is flat.
B&O Beoplay H5
The Beoplay H5 are the latest headphones from high-end audio manufacturer B&O, famous for providing users with high quality, crisp sounding audio. However, with the H5, the biggest draw is arguably the design - they're small, lightweight, discreet and ideal for those that are sick and tired of wires.
The ends can be easily attached thanks to the built-in magnets, allowing them to be worn as a necklace when not in use. The best part? There's no clunky middle part that rests on your neck, housing the battery and other tech found with similar wireless earphones.
It's not all about design either, as comfort was also a huge focus for B&O with the H5. The earphone housing is made from moisture-resistant material, the tips are heat-sensitive and once you've found your perfect fit from the seven pairs of ear tips provided, you'll have no complaints.
We're not usually big fans of in-ear earphones, but these are more comfortable than others we've tested, although we did find them slightly uncomfortable after periods of extended use. The only real downside is that the in-line mic/controls are very high up on the cable, meaning users have to reach quite far back to control audio playback.
There's no ugly micro-USB port on the headphones either, as the H5 uses a combination of wireless charging and a dedicated charging cradle to provide power. The earphones themselves feature a 100mAh battery which B&O claims will last around five hours on a single charge, which we found to be fairly accurate, although this does mean that you may have to carry the charging cradle around in the provided carry case. (Especially if you listen to music all day at work!)
Let's talk audio - the B&O Beoplay H5 wireless features fitted 6.4mm dynamic drivers with small electromagnetic transducers and digital sound processing, according to the guys at B&O, but what does that mean for users? Audio quality is good, with decent balance and crisp-sounding audio, but we must admit that the bass is a little underwhelming.
Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats3
The Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats3 are Bluetooth earphones designed for those who want to take their music on workouts, but also to have long 12-hour listening sessions without charge.
Through the 'Fast Fuel' quick charging ability, you can grab a quick 5-minute charge that will give you an hour of playback.
The standout feature is 'Class 1 Bluetooth', which allows you to connect and listen to your music 20-30 metres from your iOS device. We don't see the feature being of particular interest, given that your iOS device is often less than 2-3m away, but it's nice knowing you can listen to your music while doing the gardening...
The earphones feature RemoteTalk, a control pod to change your music without having to use your phone. They also come in a variety of different colours.
Bose QuietComfort 35
Comfort is the name and the Bose QC35s certainly live up to it. The wider headband makes for a sturdy fit and the cups are pressed around your ears with a good level or pressure. These are over-ear headphones and the foam is incredibly soft and luxurious feeling, and Bose says the cushions are manufactured from a synthetic protein leather and contain a silicone bead for passive noise reduction.
You can connect the QC35 headphones to two devices simultaneously and switch between them seamlessly - just pause on one and play on the other. We found wireless performance to be excellent but you can use the headphones wired should you need to - not all devices have Bluetooth after all, or you might run out of battery power during a long journey.
Although you can use the QC35s wired, you'll still need battery power to make use of the noise-cancelling and digital active EQ. When fully charged (via Micro-USB) you’ll get up to 20 hours battery life from the headphones wirelessly which doubles when using them wired.
The QC35s have microphones outside and inside the ear cups to listen to the unwanted sounds which are going on. An opposite signal is delivered via two proprietary digital electronic chips to cancel out the noise. It works extremely well and gives you a real sense of calm and isolation without even playing anything through the headphones - and without exerting pressure on your eardrums, which can be a side effect, although it will vary between users.
Noise-cancelling aside, the Bose QC35 headphones sound excellent in terms of sound quality, although you do get a slightly better (and more consistent) sound when using them wired. It's strange that the Connect app doesn't have a user EQ but the built-in one does a pretty good job across genres.
What you get here is what many regard as a classic Bose sound quality - rich, balanced and crisp. Combined with the noise cancelling and the result is a very atmospheric and intimate experience where you feel more part of the music. The drivers provide tight and refined bass, which is also powerful and impressive sub-bass depending on what you're listening to.
Denon Globe Cruiser
Denon's Globe Cruiser headphones definitely hit the high-end, premium look that the company was looking to achieve with them. Featuring a combination of material and metal with a lack of cables, the Globe Cruiser looks the part while still being extremely comfortable to wear for long periods. This is thanks to an easily adjustable headband with numbers on each arm to remember your perfect fit, along with soft, leather-covered memory foam earcups.
The Globe Cruiser headphones boast wireless connectivity with Bluetooth 4.0 built-in, but also offer a standard wired experience for audio devices without wireless connectivity, or for when the headphones eventually run out of battery power. You may not be able to use the built-in noise cancellation or Bluetooth connectivity, but at least you're not entirely stuck without music.
The headphones feature aptX Low Latency audio encoding that the company claims will provide users with CD quality audio, although this will heavily depend on the quality of the source audio - you can't expect to listen to a heavily compressed mp3 file and expect the headphones to 'fix' it for you, but it'll enhance the experience if/when you listen to high quality audio.
It also has "Clear Voice Capture" which Denon claims helps to produce high quality vocals, even in noisy environments. We decided to test this on London Underground with noise cancellation activated and while the noise cancellation isn’t the greatest we’ve ever heard, vocals produced were still clear and crisp.
The Denon Globe Cruiser features 40mm professionally tuned drivers that Denon claims utilises its many years of high-end headphone expertise to provide users with a great audio experience - but does it live up to the claim? We've been using the Globe Cruisers and agree that the audio output is of a very high quality, but it's not perfect. While the headphones produce rounded bass tones, clear vocals and generally warm audio, it's not quite bright enough and it seems that the high end slightly suffers for a favoured low end.
The iT7X2s are a pair of Bluetooth enabled headphones created by iT7 Audio, a company founded by former Premiership footballer Ian Taylor.
The downside to Bluetooth headphones is usually battery life, but the iT7X2s have an average life of around 22 hours on a single charge, and can last up to 400 hours on standby. If the battery does run out, the headphones come with an old-fashioned audio cable that you can plug in and continue listening to music with.
The iT7X2s also come with buttons on the side, allowing quick and easy access to volume and track controls. You can skip forward and backwards between songs, pause them using the multifunction button and adjust the volume. They also have a built in microphone for phone calls, but when testing, we had complaints that recipients couldn't quite hear us clearly.
The iT7X2s boast dynamic noise cancellation, and while we can't say it's the best noise cancellation we've ever used, the quality and sheer volume of the headphones make up for it. We feel that iT7X2s are comparable to Beats headphones with the level of bass offered - but it's not just bass-heavy, as the iT7X2s produce clear and bright mid ranges and highs. This means they'll perform just as well playing Skrillex as they do playing Ed Sheeran.
The Jabra Move Wireless is a great headset for those looking for great quality audio without wanting to pay hundreds. As the name suggests, the Jabra Move Wireless is wireless thanks to the inclusion of Bluetooth 4.0 technology, and built-in NFC provides an easy pairing process for those with applicable smartphones (sadly, you can't use the iPhone NFC chip for anything apart from Apple Pay).
They should last around 8 hours on a single charge, and are rechargeable via microUSB - don't worry if the headset battery dies, as you can always plug in the supplied 3.5mm cable for a wired, no-power-required solution.
The Jabra Move Wireless has a pretty simple design, but it works. We like the inclusion of a fabric headband as opposed to plastic or leather, as we feel that the fabric feels more comfortable when worn for long periods of time. It's dirt-resistant and tested to withstand abuse, although we've had a few loose threads appear over time.
According to Jabra, the Move Wireless headphones were engineered by "world-leading sound experts", and though we can't verify this claim, we were very surprised by the audio quality. It's crisp and clear: so much so that the Move Wireless headphones could compete with branded headphones almost double the price. We wouldn't quite describe these as reference headphones as they are quite bassy, though not enough to drown out vocals. We like the levels of bass but this may reflect our choice in music, and those that aren't into bassy songs may find this slightly off putting.
The Move Wireless headphones features a built in microphone that can be used to take calls and use Siri on iOS, as well as built-in volume and media controls for easy access when on the go.
We do have one issue with the Jabra Move Wireless headphones, though - whenever we first connect the headset to our iPhone and play music, it 'buffers' for around 15 seconds. We describe it as buffering because the audio jumps and pauses constantly, much like when you’re waiting for a YouTube video to load. As mentioned, after around 15 seconds standard playback resumes, but it is a tad annoying to rewind the song to re-listen to what you’ve missed.
Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless
The Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless are a pair of in-ear headphones that'll help motivate you during exercise. How? While it'll provide you with music during your workout, it also measures your heart rate and offers regular updates on your progress without having to get your phone out of your pocket.
While at first glance the headphones may look uncomfortable to wear, the extra portion that houses the heart-rate tracker actually helps to keep the headphones in place, with the small rubber wing offering additional support. They're very comfortable to wear and should stay in your ears in even the most intense workouts if you find the right size wings and buds (three wing sizes and four bud sizes to choose from).
The Jabra Sport app offers fitness tests (Rockport test, Orthostatic Heart Rate test and Resting HR test) as well as workout tracking. You can track running, cycling, walking, hiking, skating or even skiing as well as gym-based activities such as running on a treadmill so it’s quite diverse in terms of tracking.
It doesn't however track steps, but you'll be able to find other key information including duration, distance travelled, average heart rate and an estimate of calories burned. It also uses your heart rate to calculate whether you're in the light training zone, fat burn, cardio, intense or maximum, which is pretty interesting to look at post-workout.
The sound quality isn't the best ever, but it's easily good enough for working out. There's just enough bass to motivate you during your workout, but not so much that it becomes a distraction. There's also slight distortion at maximum volume, but as it's rare to find people that listen to headphones on maximum volume while exercising, this isn't something to worry about. The sound isolation is excellent and leakage is minimal, but again that's partly down to finding the perfect size wings and buds.
If you're particularly concerned about sound quality, you can use the Jabra Sound app, which comes free when you buy the headphones. It'll let you play music from your library but with tailored acoustic tuning specifically for Jabra headphones, as well as optimised Dolby high-definition sound, bass enhancement and high frequency enhancement, amongst other things.
JBL Everest 300
JBL is well known for its portable speakers, but hasn't always made such a big splash with its headphones. The Everest range is worth checking out though, as they offer good sound and some smart features at a competitive price.
There are several models in the Everest range, including in-ear buds and larger over-ear cans, but we opted for the mid-price Everest 300 model, which has a compact on-ear design and Bluetooth connectivity for £119.99, available in a few different colours.
The earpieces are thickly padded, with a cut-out section over the ear canal, so they're nice and comfortable to wear for long periods. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to 20 hours when using a Bluetooth wireless connection, but there's an audio cable in the box so that you can use the Everest 300 as ordinary wired headphones if the battery runs out.
JBL gets a little bit carried away talking about the 'legendary' sound quality, but we did like the sound they produced. The key feature here is that they're nicely balanced, with enough bass to provide a firm, full sound, bit without overwhelming the mids and higher-frequencies. There's no noise-cancellation on this model, but there's a mic for phone calls, and JBL has come up with a neat feature called ShareMe, which allows you to pair the Everest 300 with another set of Bluetooth headphones (and it doesn't have to be JBL headphones), so that you can share your music with a friend.
Libratone Q Adapt On-Ear
Libratone generally makes bluetooth speakers, but these are one of the company's first set of headphones. They are notable for having among the best noise-cancellation results of any on-ear (as opposed to full over-ear) headphones we've ever tested.
They aren't cheap at £219, but you get 20 hours of power from a single charge and the design is attractively minimalist. We found when compared to the Bose QuietComfort 35s they lose out in range and clarity of sound - but then again they are on-ear and aren't as expensive.
The right ear has touch controls on it but they are a bit of a faff - just pair these with you iPhone, iPad or Mac and control them from there. They are among the best Bluetooth headphones in this price range.
If you're looking for on-ear, wireless noise cancelling headphones for under a hundred quid then look no further - buy the Lindy BNX-60s. This comfortable par of cans is about as cheap as you can go without majorly compromising on sound quality. The set up with a Bluetooth capable music player (iPod, smartphone, iPad etc) is incredibly easy and the 'phones themselves come with on-ear controls - the normal play/pause and track selection as well as a volume wheel.
Better still, for this price you get aptX noise-cancelling technology. Flip the ANC switch on the right headphone and you'll notice the difference, as the sound levels adjust to keep out external sound and allow you to concentrate on the above-average sound. Treble is bright without being tinny, and the mid range and bass are well supported, particularly on hip-hop tracks. An occassional fiddle with the EQ on your device is all that's needed to make these a stunningly versatile, good value purchase.
The headphones also come with a wired connection in case your charge is low, as well as an adapter for a full-size headphone jack and a headphone splitter to share your music between two 3.5mm jacks. It all comes in a convenient travel hardcase.
Marley Liberate XLBT
House of Marley's Liberate XLBT headphones are reminiscent of the rest of the Marley range, featuring recycled materials and FSC-certified wood for a natural feel. It's an interesting blend of material and metal that we haven't seen used by many other manufacturers, and is a nice change to the all-metal, high-tech headphones on the market.
The earcups are covered in a soft material but it feels a bit cheap for headphones in this price range, and we found that the earcups wouldn't "sit" on our ears properly. We tried adjusting the headband and the position of the headphones but the issue persisted. We also noticed that while the headband is cushioned, it's slightly too tight (for our heads, at least) and can become slightly uncomfortable after long periods of being worn.
The Marley Liberate XLBT headphones are of course wireless and feature aptX low latency audio for high-quality audio over a Bluetooth connection, although the quality will depend on the quality of the source audio. The Bluetooth range is decent and we've had no issues during our time with the headset with regards to audio drop-out and disconnection.
The headphones feature a built-in microphone for phone calls, meaning you can take incoming phone calls without needing to get your phone out of your pocket. The headphones also feature media controls along the outside of the earcups, along with a strip of white LEDs next to the power button to display how much battery is remaining. Speaking of battery, the headphones last around 15 hours per charge on average, although this will depend somewhat on the volume of the headphones amongst other factors.
In terms of audio quality, the Marley Liberate XLBT headphones are fairly decent for the price, although the quality isn't perfect. While the headphones feature generally good mid-tones, punchy bass and manage a high volume output without distortion, muddy vocals and weak high tones let the headphones down. Don't get us wrong; the headphones are great for use at the gym and the daily commute, but we wouldn’t use them to listen to uncompressed FLAC audio files, for example.
Noontec Zoro II Wireless
Bluetooth headphones are especially handy for travellers, commuters and generally people on the move. But many headphones fail on the ability to take up little space or even fit in a jacket pocket, handbag or even backpack. One of our favourite sets of Bluetooth headphones that fold up nicely are the Noontec Zoro Wireless II On-Ear Headphones.
These look a bit like the ubiquitous Beats headphones, and are available in shiny Red & Black, and now a limited-edition Black Volcanic Rock set. The Volcanic Rock are less shiny than the Red & Black set, and feel almost rough - but in a very cool way.
The audio quality (via Apt-X) is very good - not quite as likeable as the Sennheiser MM 400-X, but maybe preferable if you prefer more bass and a little less top end to your music.
These wireless headphones also include a detachable cable so you can plug in when your batteries fade, meaning the Bluetooth headphones aren't useless when the rechargeable battery runs out. Noontec claims they have a 35-hour working time, which is impressive.
They have a memory function with up to eight devices, and can connect to two devices simultaneously. They also support the NFC protocol.
The Zoro Wireless II feature a microphone for phone calls, plus on-ear control buttons. There's also a battery-level indicator, which is super useful - and something we wish all wireless headphones boasted.
We like the easily folded design, perfect for travel. The Red & Black headphones come with a drawstring carry bag; the Black set also with a tougher carbon fibre carry case.
Noontec Hammo TV
Noontec also makes a special pair of headphones for TV use, so you can watch TV without the audio annoying your housemates. It’s also a neat solution for people with hearing difficulties.
If you want knockout home-cinema sound from your movies but don’t want to enrage your neighbours or family, then a dedicated set of TV headphones might do the trick.
The Hammo TV wireless headphones are specially designed for television, and feature a low-latency wireless docking station/stand so that there’s no perceivable lag between the action on the screen and the audio via the headphones.
Hammo TV uses high-definition digital wireless technology that provides resistance to RF interference, so there’s no need for frequency adjustment and very little static unlike earlir models of TV headphone.
You plug the docking station into your TV or set-top box, and then pair the dock with the headphones. You can also use it to charge the headphones; Noontec claims a 50-hour battery life so should be enough for even the longest boxset binge.
The maximum wireless distance of Hammo TV is 10m. A second set of headphones may be paired with the same docking station for shared listening.
One of our favourite pairs of Bluetooth headphones is the Sennheiser MM 400-X, which offers some of the best wireless audio quality we've heard and delivers it in a wonderfully lightweight, portable design.
The headphones neatly fold up into a safe shape, and can be stored either in pocket or the included soft travel case.
These headphones use the aptX codec that promises "CD-quality" wireless connection, by significantly reducing the bit rate without affecting audio quality or introducing latency issues.
There is some upper bass lift to give a warmer, more exciting sound. Yet the bass is not excessively ramped up to give the urban streetphones effect of Beats, for example.
Overall the Sennheiser MM 400-X headphones give a well-mannered, measured presentation of music – much better than some of the cheaper Bluetooth headphones reviewed here.
The padded ear cushions are soft and comfortable, and as they are so light (105g) you’ll soon forget your wearing headphones at all.
You can control your music (volume and playlist controls) using the headphones themselves. There’s an integrated microphone so you can enjoy your music and still not miss that important phone call.
Sennheiser also sells a version of these headphones with the added benefit of noise cancellation: the Sennheiser MM 450-X costs £249.99. These also utilise Sennheiser’s TalkThrough function, which lets you speak without removing the headset. Just press a button and an external invisible microphone lets you hear everything that is going on around you.
Both the Sennheiser MM 400-X and MM 450-X also include a detachable headphone cable for those times the rechargeable battery has run out of juice, or you are sat still and prefer the higher-quality wired sound.
Ministry of Sound Audio On Plus
We were expecting the new headphones from Ministry of Sound to be big, chunky pieces of kit, rather like the Beats headphones - now owned by Apple, of course - which are so popular with the clubbing crowd.
In fact, they look rather elegant, with a distinctive square design for the earpieces; these are also available in a variety of colours, ranging from an understated charcoal grey to a really lurid bright red. There are some neat touches too, such as the touch controls on the earpieces, which allow you to adjust volume and skip tracks without taking your phone out of your pocket. There's also a microphone and in-line remote that lets you take calls when you need to.
As the name suggests, the Audio On headphones sit right on the ear, and they're nicely padded for a comfortable fit. The earpieces also fold inwards when they're not being used, so you can quickly fold them up and stow them away when you're on the move. Battery life is around 10 to 12 hours, so they'll see you through the night when you're ready to party.
The standard wired version of the Audio On headphones costs just £99 (and less on Amazon at time of writing), but the Audio On Plus model adds Bluetooth wireless connectivity, which brings the price up to £149.99. Even so, they're still cheaper than the Beats headphones, while still providing the powerful bass that you need for the Ministry Of Sound's dance-oriented audience.
That bass-heavy sound might not appeal to Radio 3 listeners, but the Audio On Plus headphones are a good - and competitively priced - choice for dance music. And they even throw in a couple of free tickets for the club when you buy them, too.
SAVFY Mini Wireless Earbuds
The Savfy Mini Wireless in-ear earbuds come with a handy portable charging case, just like the Apple AirPods. The earbuds feel well made (from metal rather than plastic) and come with three sizes of earbud tips.
The charging case is great: compact and high build quality. The earbuds dock into the rechargeable case and automatically start to charge. It uses a standard Micro USB cable (included) and holds enough power to recharge the earbuds around 10 times.
The sweat-proof, water-resistant earbuds are pretty comfortable once you have determined which set of tips works best for you. We found the sound quality to be fine rather than excellent, given the bass being quite limited. Noise reduction is minimal, so you’d need to crank them up to block out surrounding noise.
On an over- and underground journey we did suffer a few short Bluetooth drop outs.
The button on the headset enables phone and music controls, including answer/reject calls, dial the last number, and play/pause music.
Pairing to your device using Bluetooth is quite simple. There are voice prompts for calls, pairing and caller ID – transmitted directly to the wireless headset. And the built-in microphone means you can activate Siri on the move, and take calls without having to pull out your smartphone.
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0
Sennheiser took its time adopting Bluetooth because it was aware of the way that Bluetooth compression can affect sound quality, and it wanted to make sure it got the sound just right.
The results speak for themselves. The Momentum On-Ear Wireless headphones aren't cheap, but they produce a nicely detailed sound that sparkles on higher frequencies and fills out with a strong, full-bodied sound in the mid-range, all sitting on top of a nice, firm bass. Audiophiles might question the accuracy of the audio reproduction, but the warm, textured sound of Sennheiser headphones is the audio equivalent of a hot meat pie on a chilly winter evening.
Apple's never been keen on the AptX version of Bluetooth, but it's there if you have a device that supports AptX, along with a noise-cancellation option and microphone for voice calls. The battery will last for up to 22hrs when using Bluetooth, which will be handy on long journeys, but there's also a standard audio connector included so that you can use them as conventional wired headphones if you want to.
We like the design of the Momentum On-Ear Wireless too. The soft, padded earpieces feel nice and comfy, and you can easily adjust the headband for a good fit. The headband feels quite sturdy, so the headphones can cope with being banged about in a backpack every now and then. And the earpieces can fold inwards when you're not using them, so it's easy to fold them up and slip them into a backpack or case when you're travelling.
Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless
The Urbanite XL Wireless headphones are pretty much the same as the regular model, but with added Bluetooth capabilities. The wireless connectivity will set you back an additional £50 compared to the wired headset, which is steep but not uncommon. The Urbanite XL Wireless design features a wide headband which it mostly covered in fabric with white stitching. The underside is a soft rubber which feels slightly odd to the touch but is nevertheless comfortable. It’s only available in a single colour, too: black.
Designed to be durable, most of the Urbanite XL Wireless body is plastic (apart from the stainless steel hinges) and so does make it feel cheaper than the aforementioned rivals. However, this does mean they are more suited to being thrown around a little. The headband bends and twists a long way quite freely.
A trick these headphones have up their sleeve - and you wouldn't know it - is that you can control your music playback easily. The outside of the headband on the right side is touch sensitive so you can adjust volume, pause, play and skip tracks etc. Furthermore, there's a built-in mic so you can have a phone call wirelessly, using the touchpad to answer a call.
Using the headphones wirelessly will give you up to 25 hours of uses (depending on volume etc) and they charge over Micro USB like the vast majority of devices so you're unlikely to be far from a charger - a cable is included, though.
Overall, the sound of the Urbanite XL Wireless headphones is very good. The drivers are powerful enough yet the tuning is well balanced and we found the experience easy to get on with. Sennheiser does promise 'Massive bass', but it's actually nicely balanced while remaining pretty tight and punchy. If you like your sound bassy, these are a good choice. If you really like a super bassy sound then Beats Studio might suit you better, although we prefer the clarity of the Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless.
The mid-range is present and clear and we always found vocals coming across nicely. The top end gets a little swamped at times, which is a shame, but is still bright where it manages to burst through.
For those used to Apple's slick naming of its products, Sony can be very confusing. Even some of its flagship products are named confusing combinations of letters and numbers. This is sometimes necessary, as the company makes a lot of stuff, and these headphones are exceptional.
Wireless, noise cancelling headphones are becoming more common these days, and while we would never advice wearing them while cycling, they're great for indoor exercise and if working in loud spaces. And hey, if you just want to kick back on a beanbag to Dark Side of the Moon, then that's just fine too. These will do the trick and you can probably get them for under £100.
Creative Sound Blaster Jam
The Creative Sound Blaster JAM headset is an inexpensive pair of Bluetooth headphones that surprised us with its sound quality and comfort. Often price is an indicator of quality, and at less than £40 the Sound Blaster JAMs suggest that sound quality won't be great. Even the rather '80s name suggests nothing special, but our initial concerns were unfounded because audio quality was impressive.
We found the headset has good overall tonal balance, with enough weight in the bass to give a comfortable full sound. There is a slight roughness in the treble but without overly exaggerated treble that would otherwise make them too wearing.
We hardly expected these headphones to be the last word in detail but at this price it's excellent. The level midrange means vocals are neither recessed nor pushed up too loud, and these fast and dynamic headphones have an excellent wide stereo with natural spread between the ears.
We are fans of the ergonomics too. The Creative Sound Blaster JAMs are super lightweight, and don't clamp too tightly yet feel secure in place - sitting well on the ears.
We prefer headphones that will fold up to as small a size as possible, and these don't do that - although they're certainly small enough to fit in a coat pocket or take up little space in a bag.
Built into the right earcup are the main controls for the headset power, volume, Bluetooth connection, audio play/pause and calls. You can also boost the bass by tapping the BASS button on the earcup. You can also attach the headphones to a PC/Mac via USB for enhanced sound quality - handy when watching a movie or TV show on your laptop.