Audio Industry Updates

The Best Wireless Headphones of 2018

Trains, car horns, loud-chewing officemates, there are a lot of things in the world that can ruin your concentration of enjoyment of your favorite podcast. Enter wireless headphones. After scouring the field for the best headphones in every price range, we bought 12 of the best and brought them into our testing lad for some meticulous analysis of sound quality, noise isolation, comfort, and more. Whether you want the latest and greatest in active noise cancellation and audio drivers, or just want something inexpensive that sounds decent and can muffle most of the world's ambient noise, we can guide you to the perfect pair.

Best Overall Headphones
Sony WH1000XM3

Active Noise Cancelling: Yes | Battery Life: 30 hours
Sony updated their flagship headphones with even better noise cancellation and slightly larger, more comfortable earcups. Now the undisputed kings of noise cancellation, theWH1000XM3 headphones provided a nearly silent environment in which you can enjoy your music. You can even adjust the noise cancellation settings to allow certain noises like voices in, and you can temporarily turn off noise cancellation by tapping the earcup so you don't miss that important announcement. The sound quality is also spectacular, rounding out sharp and booming low end with crisp high notes to create a balanced and nuanced soundscape. The improved touch controls are also a little more reactive than models of yore, making them feel more intuitive. To top all that off Sony increased the battery life to 30 hours, and added a quick-charge features that give you 5 hours of battery life with a mere 10 minutes of charging.

The WH1000XM3 does have some drawbacks when compared to the competing Bose QuietComfort 35 II: the earcups still aren't' quite as large or comfortable, and the touch-sensitive controls can take some getting used to. These are very minor drawbacks, however, so if you're looking for the best listening experience available you can dive into theWH1000XM3 without reservation.

Still Great
Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Active Noise Cancelling: Yes | Battery Life: 20 hours
While these headphones no longer occupy our Editors' Choice podium, they still offer top-notch performance. The sound quality is on par with that of the Sony WH1000XM3, and the noise cancellation capabilities are only slightly inferior. We still feel that the Bose QuietComfort 35 II are the most comfortable headphones around, so if you have particularly large ears or tend to get annoyed when wearing headphones over long periods of time, we would still recommend these headphones over the Sony WH1000XM3.

Best Bang for the Buck
TaoTronics TT-BH22US

Active Noise Cancelling: Yes | Battery Life: 25 hours
The TaoTronics TT-BH22US achieves an impressive feat, offering nearly all of the performance of the top models, but at a fraction of the price. For just $70 you get active noise cancellation, good overall sound quality, and a relatively comfortable fit. You also get an above average battery life, so you can stay in the groove all day.

While the TaoTronics TT-BH22US headphones do everything well, they also aren't' the best at anything. The high-end models listed above provide small but appreciable steps up in sound quality, noise isolation, and comfort. However, if you don't want to pay a big premium to upgrade from good to truly great, the TaoTronics TT-BH22US offer an incredible value per dollar.

Great Budget Option
Mpow Bluetooth Over Ear

Active Noise Cancelling: No | Battery Life: 13 hours
Eschewing expensive noise cancellation technology for large ear cups that muffle sound the old fashioned way, the Mpow Bluetooth Over Ear offers the best option for bargain hunters that want some way to enjoy their music without interruption. For less than $40 these super comfy headphones let you listen to music in a coffee shop or on the subway without hearing every saucer rattle or nearby conversation.
These headphones certainly aren't for audiophiles, and they certainly can't block out much noise as models with active noise cancellation. But they are a big step up in terms of sound quality and noise isolation when compared to standard earbuds, and they won't set you back too far.


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