10 Best Wireless Headphones Compared and Fully Reviewed

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Wireless headphones have been a godsend to runners because it gives us one last thing to worry about during our runs. Here we feature the best wireless headphones currently available, so you can pick from the best of the best.

Wireless headphones make it so you no longer have to deal with those pesky wires, nor will you have to readjust your headphones. This allows you to run freely and keeps you completely hands-free.

Seriously, how annoying is it when your wires get tangled or when you accidentally yank on them during your run. I mean, it seems like every you turn your head, the wire gets caught and pulls the earpiece out.

The best wireless headphones get rid of this hassle and well worth the investment. Since there are tons of options to choose from nowadays, we have taken the time to compile a list of the top 10 best wireless headphones, along with their Pros & Cons and what to look for before making your purchase.  

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By Giselle Killebrew:

This time around we have added the Sony WF-1000XD, Samsung Gear ICONX, and the Optoma NuForce BE Sports3 wireless headphones. All of these are excellent options, with the Optima headphones being the most affordable. Make sure to consider your needs and your budgets before making your purchase.

Sony WF-1000XF
  • Sony WF-1000XF
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Noise cancelling
  • Price: See Here
Samsung Gear IconX
  • Samsung Gear IconX
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Tracking features
  • Price: See Here
Optoma NuForce BESPORT3
  • Optoma NuForce BESPORT3
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Weather resistant
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Wireless Headphones

Sony WF-1000XF

Sony WF-1000XF
These may be pricey but they are super comfortable and easy to use. They are versatile and provide noise canceling sound that will help you forget the world around you.
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Features

These wireless phones provide uninterrupted listening and connect with Android and Apple phones. Their ambient setting allows them to adjust to your surroundings so you always have just the right volume. They have 9 hours of battery life and allow you to be completely hands-free.

Value
These are pricey but well worth the investment if you are looking for some high-quality wireless headphones.

Fit
They have a pretty universal fit but if you have small ear canals then they may not fit as comfortably.
Pros

• Noise canceling

• Versatile

• Compatible with Androids and iPhones

• 9-hour battery life

Cons

• Bulkier than other options

• Pricey


Samsung Gear IconX

Samsung Gear IconX
These are sleek and minimalistic in design--and even come in 3 different color options. They are comfortable, functional, and perfect for everyday use as well as workouts.
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Features
This one has a decent battery life--between 4-7 hours depending on how what setting you're using them on. They easily control your music and even help track your speed, distance, and calories.

Value
These are pretty pricey but well worth the investment--especially for avid runners and fitness enthusiasts.

Fit
These headphones come with different earbud and wingtip sizes so you can be sure they have one that fits.
Pros

• Useful running features

• 3 color options

• Comfortable

• Functional

• Easy to control music

• Different sizing options

Cons

• Tricky interface

• Pricey


Optoma NuForce BE Sports 3

Optoma NuForce BE Sports 3
These are the best bang for your buck. They're comfortable, easy to use, and let you be handsfree during your runs. Now technically these have a wire to hold them in place, but the connect to your device via bluetooth and provide you with excellent sound.
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Features
These headphones provide high-quality sound and are durable and easy to use. They have a ten-hour battery life and are weather resistant--so you don't have to freak out if you get caught in the rain.

Value
These are one of the most affordable on our list and this doesn't come with much sacrifice when it comes to features.

Fit
These headphones feature the patented SpinFit TwinBlade ear tips for optimal comfort.
Pros

• Great sound

• Comfortable

• Easy to use

• Durable

• Compact

• Great battery life

• Weather resistant

• Affordable

• SpinFit TwinBlade ear tips

Cons

• Has a wire to sustain it


Apple Airpods

The Apple Airpods have improved greatly over time and have become incredibly popular. They're comfortable, easy to use, and exactly what runners are looking for. They are also compatible with any device that has bluetooth--not just Apple products.
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Features
These headphones are perfect for runners because they have a long battery life--so you don't have to worry about them dying on you during your runs--just one charge gives you 5 hours of non-stop listening time. And if you use a charging case you can have them run continuously for 24 hours!
These headphones also begin to play when you place them in your ears, and automatically pause when you take them out!

Value
These headphones cost quite a bit--but if you are looking for a wireless headphone with a long battery life and that doesn't interrupt your listening time whatsoever, then these are the way to go.

Fit
These headphones fit most ears, but unfortunately they don't fit all ear types.
Pros
  • Long battery life
  • Compatible with any bluetooth device
  • Starts playing when you place them in our ears and pauses when you take them out
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t fit all ear types

Bose Sound Sport Pulse

Bose Sound Sport Pulse
No "best headphones" list would be complete with out at least one Bose product. Bose is the gold standard when it comes to noise canceling headphones and superior sound quality. For years Bose has been leading the charge with the highest sound quality for the home via their speakers, and then they began making their signature noise canceling headphones, and now they are finally moving into sports equipment. The Bose Sound Sport Pulse is a great addition to the Bose lineup and is specifically designed with the athlete in mind.
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Features
Unique to this model is a built in heart rate monitor. It also includes their patented StayHear+ Pulse tips to improve your performance and keep you active and safe. This headphone product also features a microphone on the line that connects the headphones so you can answer calls and stay connected even when you're working out. Runners enjoyed the Bose Connect App but this product can also be connected to any Bluetooth compatible app and device.

Value
Bose is a top of the line product and the price tag certainly reflects that. At close to $200, this product might be beyond the price point for some athletes. It is important to note that this product is an investment.

Fit
This product is designed using wireless earbuds and a wire that connects the two in the back of the head. Runners reported no problems with fit or this products ability to stay put. The buds actually house the battery which makes them a bit larger than your average ear bud, but nonetheless, runners reported that they stayed in place just fine.
Pros
  • Heart Rate Monitoring 
  • Superior Sweat Proof 
Cons
  • Some runners commented that the size of the ear buds felt bulky and heavier than they would have liked. This is not the most lightweight options. 

Jabra Elite Sport

The Jabra Elite Sport offers cutting edge technology to ensure superior sound quality and Bluetooth capabilities. These are the headphones for you if you are obsessed with new technology.
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Features
The list is long for this pair. To begin runners get 13.5 hours of battery life because this product comes with its own mobile charging station. Although tiny, each ear bud offers two separate microphones for amazing sound quality. Runners also loved the blue tooth technology, saying that they never lost connection, even over longer distances. Plus they are totally waterproof (and sweatproof).

Value
These are a pricey pair of headphones. They come in right around $250, so they are not for the athlete who is looking to save money. However, review after review raved that they were worth the price. Add to this the fact that they come with a three year warranty which is an extremely rare find.

Fit
Runners love the small and snug fit of these earbuds. They are truly wireless and are comprised of tiny buds that fit snuggly in the ear.
Pros
  • Waterproof and sweatproof
  • 13.5 hour battery life
  • 3 year warranty 
  • Comes with its own app. 
Cons
  • Expensive
  • They are so small that some runners reported that they lost them too easily.

Bragi The Dash Pro

Bragi The Dash Pro
These wireless headphones are for the lover of smart technology. This is a newer brand but already it is gain serious praise for consumers. The Bragi team took one element they felt was missing from most wireless headphones and added it in. That is the capacity to actually store songs. This ups the anty of the wireless headphone movement. You really can be totally free on your runs now! Plus, they turn on as soon as you place them in your ears, they require only a one touch set up, and runners reported that they were a very intuitive product.
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Features
This is one of the few products that actually allows you to upload songs right to the headphones. No need to worry about your phone at all. It can hold up to 1000 songs on in these earbuds. Runners also liked the products portable charging station which gives the headphones 30 hours of battery life.

Value
These headphones are the most expensive on our list. For those that could afford them, they swore they were worth every penny, but for some, the very high price tag is just too much.

Fit
These are truely wireless headphones. They have no cord whatsoever and runners raved about the security and comfort of the overall fit.
Pros
  • Holds up to 1000 songs,
  • Great sound quality
  • Durable
Cons
  • Expensive

Jaybird X3

Jaybird X3
The Jaybird X3 come highly rated this year. They are a favorite among runners who like to be as hands free as possible during their runs. These headphones are comfortable, have a long battery life, and come in several size--to ensure they securely fit each person the way they are supposed to.
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Features
The small and sleek design of these headphones allows them to be discrete, comfortable, and efficient. They also have universal fit--so they fit everyone! They come with silicone ear fins in various sizes--to make sure there is a fit for even those with the smallest of ears. These headphones also have a long battery life--up to 8 hours of straight playing! And with a 15 minute quick recharge you will gain a full hour of playing time as well!These headphones also utilize hydrophobic nano-coating, to ensure they are sweat proof--and thus much more sanitary as well as slip proof.

Value
These headphones are pricey--however they are great for those looking for a universal fit. It is especially difficult for those with smaller ears to find a good pair of headphones, so these are especially worth the cost since they come with additional ear fins.

Fit
These headphones offer a universal fit and come with additional silicone ear fins for additional adjustment.
Pros
  • Long battery life
  • Universal fit
  • Secure fit
  • Sleek design
  • Sweat proof
Cons
  • Expensive 

Plantronics BackBeat Fit

Plantronics BackBeat Fit
Plantronic is a headphone brand that is perfect for the individual who is looking for a high quality pair of noise cancelling headphones. Waterproof, sweat proof, stylish and durable these are a great choice for the athlete looking to purchase a high quality pair of wireless headphones. The Plantronics BackBeat Fit prides itself on being a comfortable pair of headphones that won't distract athletes from their workout goals due to issues in fit and function. Another superior quality about this brand is that they really pride themselves on being available and helpful to their customers. They are happy to help you set up a new product or trouble shoot around any issues you may be having.
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Features
While most workout headphones do claim to be sweat proof, these are also waterproof. They use a technologically advanced nano-coating to ensure that moisture, in any form, won't damage these headphones. The over-ear fit ensures that they will stay in place and won't distract you by moving around. Plus, they have an 8 hour battery life. With the on-ear controls, you don't have to struggle with awkward changes of pace or movement to change a song or answer a call.

Value
This product retails for just under $150. Runners reported that it was a very durable product.

Fit
These headphones features an around the head, durable feature to be support them staying in place during workouts. In addition to this, this model features the stay aware technology that doesn't block out all sound so you can stay safe and secure in your environment. This is a unique fitting headset and some runners reported that it took some time to get used, but once they did, they really enjoyed the security that they offered.
Pros
  • Waterproof and sweat proof
  • Durable
  • Stylish
  • 8 hour batter life
Cons
  • Some runners reported that the range on these blue tooth headphones wasn't as good as some others they had tried in the past. 

Jabra Sport Pace

Jabra Sport Pace
The team at Jabra is obsessive when it comes to the quality of their products. They work a lot with businesses and corporations, setting up their speaker and Bluetooth needs so they are no strangers to pleasing clients and producing quality products. It's no surprise that Jabra made it onto this list twice. They make high quality products for aggressive athletes. The Jabra Sport Pace is a more cost efficient option for runners who are into the Jabra Elite Sport Wireless Headphones.
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Features
The 5 hours of battery life help runners go for longer runs without worrying about their device dying. Although this isn't the longest battery life available in some headphones, this product boasts that it recharges super quickly. If you have 15 minutes, you can get 60 minutes of battery life. Another cool feature? They come in 4 distinct color options to individualize your experience.

Value
Usually, you can find these for around one hundred dollars, but they are often on sale for closer to $70. This is a good price alternative for the runner who wants the quality and durability of the Jabra brand but doesn't want to pay the over $200 price tag for the Elite Sport.

Fit
The fit in comfortable and secure. Runners raved that they never felt uncomfortable, and in fact, many reviewers said they almost forgot they were even wearing headphones. They only weigh 16 grams, after all. Since it is such a huge complaint that so many athletes, it is so valuable to find a pair that you don't have to worry about falling off, fitting incorrectly, or causing irritation around the ears.
Pros
  • 4 unique color options: red, yellow, blue, or gray. 
  • 3 year limited warranty 
  • Charges quickly and once fully charged lasts up to 5 hours.
Cons
  • Some runners commented that these headphones don't come with common features like a button that allows them to skip songs while running. 

The Criteria We Used To Find The Best Wireless Headphones

Features

Wireless headphones come with unique features that are individual to each product. These features are important for runners to consider because each runner has unique individual needs. One important feature we considered was battery life. Runners, especially distance runners, have been faced with the difficult situation of technology dying mid way through their run. Likewise, many runners find it important for devices to charge quickly once they die or give notice before they are dying. Another feature we considered was Bluetooth connectivity.

Some products had a shorter range or would lose connectivity once the device was placed in a pocket. We also looked at special features that certain products offered that made them unique. Some products provide the option of downloading music directly to the earbuds while some came with travel charging case. All of these details are important for the runner to be aware of so they can make the best choice for their needs.

Value

Many of the choices runners make are driven by their budget. It was important to list the cost and the value clearly so that runners could make informed decisions and select a product that best fits their budget.

Fit

Wireless headphones are a wonderful addition to the world of runners, but they aren’t at all helpful if they are uncomfortable to wear. One of the main complaints that runners have in regards to their headphones is that they fall out or need constant readjusting. This can be distracting to the runner. In addition to this, all runners have a personal preference as to the particular fit they prefer. We were sure to detail each fit so the runner could make the most informed choice.

 

More To Think About

Technology

The key to a good pair of wireless headphones is that it is compatible with your preferred device. The products on our list can connect via Bluetooth to any smartphone. Since runners purchase wireless headphones primarily to connect to their music and their fitness apps like Nike+ Run Club and MapMyRide, a high quality pair of wireless headphones should have no problem connecting to either.

The connection should be strong and reliable. We also looked at the range of the connection as well. For example, you don’t want to lose connection to your device if you place your phone into your pocket or into a runner pouch. Since some athletes are using their headphones in their home gyms, you don’t want to leave a room and lose your connection either.  In addition to connectivity, we also looked at the additional technology offered by the product. Some wireless headphones come with their own app, and in that case, we looked at the quality and usability of these apps.

Brand Recognition

Our list has a combination of big brand names and smaller, less well-known brands. Brand recognition might not be an issue for some, but some athletes feel more secure with a product that they recognize and has proven to work in the past for them. While there is often a lower cost associated with a lesser recognized brand name, a well-known name often comes with a more robust warranty policy and a better-equipped team of customer service personnel.

Sound Quality

In our search, we found many headphones that fit well, had great Bluetooth range, were stylish, but when it came down to it, the sound quality just didn’t cut it. It can be very difficult to fit a quality speaker into such a small space, but all of the products on our list were able to do just that. While some of the headsets, like the 66 Audio BTS+ that made this list, over the total surround sound, noise canceling experience, we also added some headphones that provided excellent sound quality but still allowed you to hear your surroundings.

 

FAQ

Q. Are wireless headphones waterproof?

This is going to be different for each product, but overall, most wireless headphones are sweat-proof, but not many are actually waterproof.

Q. What devices are compatible with wireless headphones?

Most wireless devices that have Bluetooth capabilities will be compatible with your wireless headphones. In addition to this, many wireless headphones come with their own unique fitness apps.

Q. How much should I expect to pay for wireless headphones?

The most expensive product on our list is over $400 while the most affordable are closer to $50.  Wireless headphones can be purchased for much less if cost is a primary concern; however, the headphones that cost less often came with very limited warranties or no warranties at all.

Q. How long can I expect the battery life of wireless headphones to last for?

Many wireless headphones come with a portable charging case. These items boast a battery life of close to 30 hours. A good quality product will give you at least 5 hours of uninterrupted battery life without needing to recharge. Some can last up to 12 hours.

Q. Will wireless headphones work without a phone?

Most wireless headphones will not work without a phone because they will need a source from which to generate music; however, there are a small number of wireless headphone brands that can download music right to the earbuds, so in this case, you will not need a phone to play music.

Q. Do wireless headphones come in different colors?

The traditional color is black or gray but some brands do offer different color options. It is important to note though that depending on the design style you choose, the earbud may be so small that color won’t really be an issue.

Sources

  1. Ashley Cole, Top 10 Red Dot Design Award Winning Wireless Headphones in 2016 + What You Really Want for Headphones, Online report, Sep 08, 2016
  2. Jeff Dengate, 12 of the Best Wireless Headphones for Running, Online report, Apr 18, 2017
  3. Consumer report, Headphone Buying Guide How to Choose the Perfect Pair, Online report, Aug 01, 2016
  4. Heaphone Addicts, 15 Best Workout Headphones in 2017 – Bluetooth vs Wired?, Online Report, Jan 01, 2017
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