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Best Bluetooth headphones 2022: Wireless wonders for every budget

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Bid farewell to pesky audio cables with the best Bluetooth headphones you can buy in 2022

The best Bluetooth headphones have surged in popularity over the past few years. People are ditching wired headphones in favour of their wireless counterparts and you'll be hard pushed to find a manufacturer that doesn't include at least one pair of wireless headphones in its product lineup.

There's a pair out there for everyone no matter their style preference, but with so many features and factors to consider, selecting the best Bluetooth headphones for your needs isn't always straightforward. To help you find the perfect pair, we've tested a huge range of options and compiled a roundup of our favourites across every form factor and price bracket.

You'll find our picks grouped into five categories: true wireless earbuds, over-ear, on-ear, in-ear and bone conduction, along with some honourable mentions that are also worth considering. Below the list, you'll find a comprehensive buying guide explaining the pros and cons of each style of headphones and the key things to look out for when deciding which pair is right for you.

JUMP TO: How to choose the best Bluetooth headphones for you


Best Bluetooth headphones: At a glance

Best true wireless Bluetooth headphones

Best over-ear Bluetooth headphones

Best on-ear Bluetooth headphones

Best Bluetooth earphones

Best bone-conduction headphones


The best Bluetooth headphones to buy in 2022 (True wireless earbuds)

1. Sony WF-1000XM4: Best wireless earbuds overall

Price: £250 | Buy now from Amazon

As a true wireless package, the Sony WF-1000XM4 simply can't be beaten. Their noise-cancellation is smart and effective, sound quality is excellent and the buds are smaller and more aesthetically appealing than their predecessor the WF-1000XM3.

They also come with an all-important IPX4 rating for water resistance, so are a solid choice for exercise both at the gym and outdoors, while the range of customisation options with the Sony Headphones Connect app is extensive. You can personalise touch controls, create custom EQs and have the earbuds switch sound and noise-cancelling profiles on your location and what you're doing.

Other earbuds may do certain things better than the WF-1000XM4 - the Bose QC Earbuds are more effective at reducing the impact of external sound, for instance - but no earbuds get quite as much right as Sony's most recent in-ear offering.

Read our Sony WF-1000XM4 review for more details

Key specs – Headphone type: True wireless earbuds; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: N/A; Weight: 6g per earbud, 41g charging case; Cable length: N/A; Stated battery life: ANC on - 8 hours (earbuds), 24 hours (including charging case)

Buy now from Amazon


2. Apple AirPods Pro: Best wireless earbuds for Apple users

Price: £189 | Buy now from Amazon

Apple’s AirPods Pro are a significant upgrade on their predecessor – indeed, they’re best Apple earphones yet. With impressive Active Noise Cancelling technology and a well-balanced sound, these earbuds can compete with the best on the market.

Thanks to their lightweight design and snug fit, they’re suitable for exercise and incredibly comfortable, and they’ll even recommend the right size of silicone tips for your ear. AirPods Pro are an expensive choice, but thanks to their ANC and superior sound quality, they’re worth paying extra for.

Read our Apple AirPods Pro review for more details

Key specs– Headphone type: True wireless earbuds; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: N/A; ANC: Yes; Weight: 5.4g per earbud, 45.6g charging case; Cable length: N/A; Stated battery life: ANC on - 4 ½ hours (earbuds), 19 hours (including charging case)

Buy now from Amazon


3. 1MORE PistonBuds: Best cheap wireless earbuds

Price: £28 | Buy now from Amazon

With responsive touch controls, IPX4 water-resistance and a comfortable, secure fit, the PistonBuds are our pick of the huge number of affordable earbuds on the market. They sit extremely snuggly in your ears and offer decent passive noise cancellation, while sound quality is solid, with the 7mm dynamic drivers delivering plenty of bass and reasonable vocal clarity given the price.

Battery life is roughly 20 hours at moderate volume, which is respectable, while the four built-in microphones do an effective job at picking up and communicating your voice while on phone calls. If you're looking for an entry point into the world of true wireless earbuds, the PistonBuds are our recommended place to start.

Key specs – Headphone type: True wireless earbuds; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: N/A; Weight: 4.2g per earbud, 36g charging case; Cable length: N/A; Stated battery life: 4 hours (earbuds), 20 hours (including charging case)

Buy now from Amazon


4. Bowers & Wilkins PI7: Best wireless earbuds for sound quality

Price: £249 | Buy now from Amazon

These earbuds from esteemed UK audio manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins may cost more than many of the best over-ear headphones around but there's no denying they're the real deal.

Their audio quality is the best we've ever heard from a pair of wireless earbuds - thrown any genre of music at them and they'll deliver beautifully balanced sound characterised by rich bass tones and silky smooth vocals. An IP54 rating for dust and water resistance means they're great for use in the gym, the buds themselves are extremely stylish and we found them very comfortable to wear, too.

On top of all that, the B&W PI7's charging case can be used as a Bluetooth transmitter to broadcast audio from non-Bluetooth sources. It's a feature no other earbuds on the market offer and one that helps elevate the PI7 to the very top of the true wireless earbuds pile.

Read our Bowers & Wilkins PI7 review for more details

Key specs– Headphone type: True wireless earbuds; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: N/A; ANC: Yes; Weight: 5g per earbud, 50g charging case; Cable length: N/A; Stated battery life: ANC on - 4 hours (earbuds), 20 hours (including charging case)

Buy now from Amazon


5. Cambridge Melomania 1 Plus: Best-sounding earbuds under £100

Price: £80 | Buy now from Amazon

If you've got £100 to spend and don't require features such as active noise cancellation and wear detection, the Cambridge Melomania 1 Plus are the buds to buy. They're the best-sounding true wireless earbuds in their price range, thanks largely to their inclusion of a High Performance mode that delivers a wide soundstage, robust bass reproduction and oodles of detail.

Their audio is also highly customisable, with the Melomania companion app providing the option to create your own EQs as well as offering some nicely tuned presets. Unlike many earbuds on the market, the Melomania 1 Plus use physical buttons rather than touch controls and these work very effectively. They cover all the key headphones commands, including volume controls, which is always a bonus.

Despite coming with a large selection of foam and silicone eartips, we didn't find the Melomania 1 Plus as comfortable as some of the competition. However, your mileage will vary in the fit department and it's a small blip on an otherwise very impressive card.

Read our Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus review for more details

Key specs– Headphone type: True wireless earbuds; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: N/A; ANC: No; Weight: 5g per earbud, 50g charging case; Cable length: N/A; Stated battery life: High Performance mode - seven hours (earbuds), 35 hours (including charging case) Low Power mode - nine hours (earbuds), 45 hours (including charging case)

Buy now from Amazon


Also worth considering:


The best Bluetooth headphones to buy in 2022 (Over-ear)

6. Sony WH-1000XM5: Best Bluetooth headphones, bar none

Price: £379 | Buy now from John Lewis

The lastest iteration of Sony's flagship over-ear headphones are its best yet, with improved sound quality, more effective noise cancellation, and a new "noiseless" design. That design may not be for everyone, but we love the XM5's minimalist aesthetic and they're ridiculously comfortable, too.

All the great features found of their predecessors are present and correct, including Speak-to-Chat, Quick Attention mode, Multipoint pairing, Adaptive Sound Control and wear detection, while Headphones Connect remains one of the best companion apps around.

Sony still hasn't made the XM5 water resistant, so they're not gym-ready, but this is one of just a couple of criticisms we have of them. The other pertains to price - the XM5 are £30 more expensive than their predecessors were at launch. That's not a huge price hike, but the excellent WH-1000XM4 are available for under £280, so it's worth considering them if you're looking for the best bang for you buck.

Read our Sony WH-1000XM5 review for more details

Key specs - Headphone type: Over-ear; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: 3.5mm jack (optional); Weight: 250g; Cable length: 1.2m; Stated battery life: ANC on - 30 hours, ANC off - 40 hours

Buy now from Amazon


7. Philips PH805: Best over-ear Bluetooth headphones under £100

Price: £68 | Buy now from Amazon

The Philips PH805 wireless active noise-cancelling headphones blew us away when we reviewed them. They're a cheaper alternative to ANC heavy hitters such as Sony’s WH-1000XM4s and deliver impressive noise cancellation, a comfortable fit and great audio quality.

Not everyone like touch controls, but the PH805’s implementation of them is simple and effective, allowing the wearer to switch between its three modes and control volume with ease. Throw in Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility, a light-yet-durable carrying case and a battery life of up to 25 hours with ANC switched on and you’ve got a fantastic pair of headphones at an affordable price.

Read our Philips PH805 review for more details

Key specs - Headphone type: Over-ear; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: 3.5mm jack (optional); Weight: 280g; Cable length: 1.3m; Stated battery life: ANC on - 25 hours, ANC off - 30 hours

Buy now from Amazon


8. Nuraphone: Innovative Bluetooth headphones that adapt to your hearing

Price: £349 | Buy now from Amazon

Combining the best of in-ear and over-the-ear headphones with technology that can tell how sensitive your ears are to various sound frequencies, the Nuraphones are among the best headphones we've listened to in their price bracket. As well as sounding great, the Nuraphone does pretty much everything you'd want from a pair of headphones costing over £300.

They have active noise cancellation, allow you to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth aptX, have exceptionally good battery life and build quality – and they also let you hook up via digital or analogue cable. The Nuraphone is among the most innovative and best-sounding pair of headphones money can buy.

Read our Nuraphone review for more details

Key specsHeadphone type: Over/in-ear; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: Proprietary to Lightning, USB Type-C or 3.5mm analogue; Weight: 329g; Cable length: 1.2m; Stated battery life: 20 hours

Buy now from Amazon


9. Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2: Best Bluetooth headphones for style

Price: £379 | Buy now from Amazon

This gorgeous pair of headphones from esteemed UK audio manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins sound as good as they look and are extremely comfortable to boot. The blue model pictured above are the most eye-catching of the three colourways, but the black and grey variants are guaranteed to turn heads, too.

Audio quality is another of the PX7 S2's great strengths. Their sound profile is characterised by its neutrality and delivers excellent mid-range and treble detail coupled with an impactful bass response. All of that is articulated within a broad soundstage and switching on noise cancellation has no negative effect on how the S2 sound, which isn't always a given.

That ANC may not be quite as effective as some of the competition but is more than good enough for most situations, meaning you can enjoy how great the S2 sound with minimal distractions just about anywhere.

Read our Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 review for more details

Key specsHeadphone type: Over-ear; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: USB-C; Weight: 307g; Cable length: 1.2m; Stated battery life: 30 hours

Buy now from Amazon


Also worth considering:


The best Bluetooth headphones to buy in 2022 (On-ear)

10. Marshall Major IV: Best on-ear Bluetooth headphones for battery life

Price: £129 | Buy now from Argos

The Marshall Major IV offer unrivalled battery life in their class, with 80 hours of audio playback on a single charge. They're no one-trick pony though, and deliver mids and treble wonderfully well, which makes listening to guitar-dominated genres such as rock and indie especially engaging.

They look striking, too, with a textured black vinyl headband and Marshall's instantly recognisable logo embossed on the outside of each earpad. Though their bass reproduction can't match that of the Beats Solo Pro above, this ultra-portable pair of headphones are the ideal choice for those seeking both stamina and style.

Read our Marshall Major IV review for more details

Key specs – Headphone type: On-ear; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: N/A; Weight: 165g; Cable length: 1.5m; Stated battery life: 80 hours

Buy now from Amazon


11. Jabra Elite 45h: Best on-ear Bluetooth headphones under £100

Price: £90 | Buy now from Amazon

The packaging of the Jabra Elite 45h states they’re engineered to be the best-in-class on-ear wireless headphones, which is a pretty bold claim. They are up there though, particularly when it comes to battery life. The Elite 45h can be used for up to 50 hours without needing a charge: more than double that of many of the other headphones on this list. They’re comfortable too, with soft memory foam ear cushions sitting unobtrusively on your ears and a lightweight frame that feels almost non-existent on your head.

Sonically, the Elite 45h’s 40mm drivers are capable of delivering some serious sound: maximum volume is ear-splittingly loud so you’ll want to be careful on public transport as there’s significant sound leakage as a result of the on-ear design. Overall audio quality is impressive with vocals and trebles especially well-articulated and there are a range of customisation options in the Jabra Sound+ app. These include the ability to create your own EQ, choose from six presets or have Jabra create a personalised sound profile for you. The latter option, which Jabra calls MySound, didn’t sound that different to the default profile during our testing but both proved thoroughly enjoyable listens.

Key specs – Headphone type: On-ear; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: N/A; Weight: 160g; Cable length: N/A; Stated battery life: 50 hours

Buy now from Amazon


Also worth considering:


The best Bluetooth headphones to buy in 2022 (Earphones)

12. Creative Outlier One V2: Best budget Bluetooth earphones

Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon

The Creative Outlier One V2 are a superb pair of budget in-ear headphones. Their lightweight design and secure fit make them great for physical activity and IPX5 certification means you can sweat it out in the gym or run in the rain without worrying about them getting damaged.

There's an in-line remote that allows you to take calls, adjust volume, skip tracks and activate Siri or Google Assistant voice controls and you'll get up to nine-and-a-half hours of playback per charge. Unlike their similarly-priced sibling, the Creative Outlier One Plus, the Outlier One V2 don't have a built-in MP3 player but they do come with a few useful accessories, including a carrying pouch three pairs of eartips and two stabiliser gels. Their earbuds are also magnetic, so when they're not in your ears they clip together, which proves handy in all manner of situations.

Key specs – Headphone type: In-ear; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: N/A; Weight: 15g; Cable length: N/A; Stated battery life: 9 ½ hours

Buy now from Amazon


13. NuraLoop: Best Bluetooth earphones overall

Price: £119 | Buy now from Amazon

Nura’s innovative sound technology listens to the tiny sonic emissions from your ears when they hear audio and judges how sensitive you are to different frequencies. This information is then used to create a unique EQ, resulting in a wonderful, personalised audio experience.

Noise cancelling is excellent and the earhooks provide a stable and secure fit; we had no issues at all with them moving during vigorous exercise. Touch controls are implemented simply and can be customised through the Nura app, which also allows you to boost the bass courtesy of Immersion Mode.

You can even use them wired by attaching the included analogue cable to a metal connector built-in to the NuraLoop’s wiring, making them versatile in addition to sonically superb.

Read our NuraLoop review for more details

Key specs – Headphone type: Over-ear; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: 3.5mm jack (via a magnetic connector); Weight: 27g; Cable length: 1.3m; Stated battery life: 16 hours

Buy now from Amazon


14. Beats Flex: Best value-for-money Bluetooth earphones

Price: £60 | Buy now from Amazon

The Beats Flex have seen a minor price increase since we reviewed them but they remain the best value-for-money earphones on the market thanks to excellent sound quality, solid battery life and a smart neckband design incorporating an in-line remote.

The buds clip together magnetically when not in use and this automatically pauses audio - a rather neat feature - while pairing with Apple devices such as iPads and iPhones is seamless. The Flex also able to take advantage of Apple's audio sharing feature and their in-built microphone enables them to double up as a Bluetooth headset for calls and voice assistant commands.

A lack of any form of waterproofing means they're a poor choice for exercise but the Flex do a marvellous job in just about every other situation.

Read our Beats Flex review for more details

Key specs – Headphone type: Wireless earphones; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: USB-C (charging only); Weight: 19g; Cable length: N/A; Stated battery life: 12 hours

Buy now from Amazon


The best bone-conduction Bluetooth headphones to buy in 2022

15. Shokz OpenRun Pro: Best bone-conduction headphones

Price: £160 | Buy now from Selfridges

If you're after the best bone-conduction headphones money can buy, look no further than the Shokz OpenRun Pro. They're the only headphones in Shokz' line-up to use its ninth-generation technology and deliver the best audio quality of any bone-conduction options we've tested. They also boast class-leading battery life, a comfortable and stable fit and vibrate less on your cheekbones that their predecessors.

Their IP55 rating for dust and water resistance is inferior to the original OpenRun, which are IP67-rated and cost £30 less, but otherwise the Pro version surpass their stablemate in every way.

Read our full Shokz OpenRun Pro review for more details

Key specs – Headphone type: Bone conduction; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Plug type: N/A; Weight: 29g; Cable length: N/A; Stated battery life: 10 hours

Buy now from Amazon


16. Shokz OpenMove: Best entry-level bone-conduction headphones

Price: £80 | Buy now from Amazon

We've not reviewed the Shokz OpenMove but are happy to recommend them as they're essentially the same as their AfterShokz namesakes.

They're Shokz' most affordable bone-conduction headphones, costing £50 less than the OpenRun, and make some concessions to reach that lower price point. Their earhooks are crafted from polycarbonate rather than rubber-coated titanium and are slightly less flexible as a result, which affects their fit somewhat, while their IP rating and battery life are inferior too, too.

Their IP55 rating is still more than good enough for most situations but you'll want to avoid submerging them in water as they're not completely waterproof like their more expensive stablemates. Battery life clocks in at up to six hours of audio playback and there are three EQ modes available.

If you've got the budget for the OpenRun Pro we recommend going for them, but the OpenMove are a solid entry point into the world of bone-conduction audio if you're wanting to see whether the technology is right for you.

Read our AfterShokz OpenMove review for more details

Key specs – Headphone type: Bone conduction; Built-in microphone and music control buttons: Yes; Weight: 29g; Cable length: N/A; Stated battery life: 6 hours

Buy now from Amazon


How to choose the best Bluetooth headphones for you

There are a lot of things to consider when buying a pair of Bluetooth headphones. To help you decide which pair are right for you, we've put together a handy video guide arming you with all the information you need to make an informed purchase.

What are the advantages of Bluetooth headphones?

There are a couple of practical benefits to removing the wired connection from headphones. You'll never have to untangle a knotted cable, which can be a real nuisance, and there's nothing to catch or snag on your clothes while you're enjoying your audio.

It also means you don't have to be in the same room as your output device - as long as you're within Bluetooth range, you'll be able to continue listening at your leisure. These factors make for a far more user-friendly experience, particularly if you're using your Bluetooth headphones while out and about or exercising.

Are there any disadvantages to Bluetooth headphones?

Unlike wired headphones, Bluetooth headphones are battery-powered and therefore require charging. The battery life of Bluetooth headphones varies depending on the style - on- and over-ear headphones typically have longer battery life than in-ear headphones as they are larger and can accommodate bigger batteries. True wireless earbuds boost their battery life with the inclusion of a portable charging case they're stored in while not in use.

The other disadvantages of wireless headphones relate to Bluetooth connectivity. In busy areas such as train stations, you may find experience audio dropouts or stuttering. This is becoming less of an issue with every new Bluetooth version though, so isn't something you should worry about too much. Similarly, wired headphones can deliver superior audio quality via their cabling, but improvements to Bluetooth technology and the advent of advanced Bluetooth codecs are helping close the gap.

What type of Bluetooth headphones should I buy?

If convenience is your number-one priority, a set of in-ear Bluetooth headphones is your best option. There are two main forms of in-ear headphones - earphones, which have earpieces connected by thin wiring or a thicker neckband, and true wireless earbuds, which are completely wire-free.

Given their lightweight design, in-ear headphones are typically the best choice for running and other forms of exercise. They're also very easily transported, which makes them a great choice for general day-to-day use. The downsides are that they're generally less comfortable to wear for longer periods of time and they have less battery life than on- and over-ear headphones.

For many, on-ear and over-ear headphones are preferable both in terms of comfort and sound. These headphones feature earcups that create a seal over your ears or rest on top of them. The larger size of the headphones allows them to contain bigger speaker drivers for increased sonic output and more substantial batteries meaning you can listen for longer without having to charge them.

READ NEXT: The best bone-conduction headphones to buy

How much should I spend on Bluetooth headphones?

Unsurprisingly, the more you pay, the more features you'll get and the better quality your Bluetooth headphones will be. That's not to say you should necessarily avoid cheaper pairs - you can surprisingly good Bluetooth headphones for as little as £30 if you just want a basic, decent-sounding option.

A mid-range pair of Bluetooth headphones will set you back somewhere in the region of £100 to £150, and it's in that price bracket that you'll find a more extensive range of features, which we'll go into more detail about below.

Anything over £200 and you can expect top-notch audio and build quality in addition to a full suite of features. Headphones in this price bracket tend to be made by the industry's big hitters such as Sony, Apple and Sennheiser.

What features should I look out for when buying Bluetooth headphones?

Active noise cancellation: ANC helps reduce the impact of external sound on your audio using clever microphone technology. We're starting to see its inclusion in cheaper Bluetooth headphones but you're after the best noise-cancelling headphones around, prepare to pay upwards of £100.

Waterproofing: Headphones' water resistance is reflected by their IP rating. Look for an IPX4 rating or above if you plan to use your headphones while exercising or want peace of mind while using them outside.

Multipoint pairing: This allows simultaneous Bluetooth connection to multiple devices, which is useful in numerous situations. Not all that many Bluetooth headphones support it, though.

Voice assistant support: If you like to use Siri, Google or Alexa a lot then you'll want Bluetooth headphones that support the use of voice assistants. Some wireless headphones only support a specific assistant so make sure you check the headphone you like work with your assistant of choice.

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