True Wireless headphones are becoming the new standard for listening on the go. There’s an almost infinite amount of choice when it comes to wireless headphones, so it’s worth understanding this category and some of the most common features.

What are true wireless headphones?

Not surprisingly, wireless headphones connect to a smart device, such as a mobile, laptop, tablet, or gaming console, without using wires or cables. Typically, a wireless headset uses Bluetooth to connect to the device and transmits audio signals via radio or infrared signals.

These days most of the headphones you’ll come across are “true” wireless headphones. There are earbuds, which consist of two individual in-ear speakers that have built-in controls, a mic, and a battery. A few years ago, there were some wireless headphone models that were semi-wireless where they had a wire connecting the two earbuds together and you’ll still see a few of them around today, but they are less common these days.

Wireless headphones run on rechargeable batteries. With true wireless headphones, a charging cable connects to the charging case, and the headphones are actually charged while sitting in the case. The headphones have a battery that holds several hours of charge, and the case too usually has a battery, one that can charge the headphones several times on its own. Each time the headphones are placed in their case, they will recharge.

Why choose wireless headphones?

It’s no secret that wireless headphones make your life easier. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of wireless headphones compared to their wired counterparts.

The future is wireless

As technology advances, wireless headphones are becoming increasingly standard for mobile devices with many phone manufacturers even removing the AUX plug from their phones.

Wireless means freedom

Wireless headphones set you free. Gone are the days of untangling your headphone cables and getting the wires caught up in your possessions. Wireless headphones fit seamlessly into your everyday life.

Small package, big sound quality

Despite their compact size, wireless headphones pack a real punch when it comes to audio quality. With huge advances in sound technology, wireless headphones make the most of the most innovative developments to give you amazing audio.

Highly portable: take truly wireless headphones anywhere

Slipping your headphones in and out of their portable case is so much easier than rooting around in your bag for your headphones and finding them tangled up in your keys. Most of the truly wireless earbuds will fit in the pocket of your jeans easily.

Very discreet: truly wireless headphones are small

Wireless earbuds are so much more discreet than headphones with a cable. They can be slipped under your hair or a hat and worn anywhere, anytime. If you’re someone who likes to listen to music or a podcast while you work, earbuds are the perfect tool for discreet office listening.

Truly wireless buds with voice assistant capabilities take your productivity to the next level

It’s so much more convenient to use wireless headphones if you need to block out noise when working from home. You can connect easily to any device and get quickly into the zone, making you more productive.

Multitasking is made easy with wireless freedom

Taking calls on the go has never been simpler. Keep your wireless headphones in your ears or nearby so you can quickly answer calls without interrupting your flow.

Work out in peace

Wireless earbuds are the ultimate choice for wearing while exercising. It’s never been easier to work out while listening to music or podcasts, with the chances of getting tangled up in headphone cables totally eliminated. For runners, simply slip your phone into your pocket and connect to your wireless headphones for a smooth and pleasant workout.

Now that you’re convinced of the benefits of wireless headphones, it’s time to get into detail about the different features offered by different brands and models.

Key features of wireless headphones

Noise cancellation

Some headphones offer the possibility of a totally immersive listening experience by way of digital noise cancellation, like the Jabra Elite 85t which has great reviews online. This technology listens for noise outside the headphones and then digitally blocks it from seeping in to disturb you. This is great if you want to dive right into your listening and lose yourself in music or a podcast or need to focus on work.

Ambient Mode or hearThrough

This goes by several names depending on the manufacturer, but the basic principle is a feature that lets you filter in outside or ambient noise while still listening to your music, podcast, or call. A fairly sophisticated piece of tech, it doesn’t detract too much from the sound quality of the headphones but still allows you to stay safe and alert when moving around outside.

Touch controls

Many wireless headphones offer responsive and intuitive touch controls located on the sides of the buds themselves. You’ll need to read over the instructions to learn the controls but once you have the hang of it, it means you can effortlessly control what you’re listening to and answer calls without having to pick up your device; great for when you’re out and about or during a workout.

Voice control via Digital assistant

Some of the more advanced wireless headphones have voice control features that connect to a digital assistant such as Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. This is a huge plus if you’re someone who prioritizes productivity and multitasking as you can set reminders, manage your calendar, send messages, and make phone calls all without having to pick up your smartphone.

Battery life

One very important point to consider when choosing your wireless headphones is the battery life. Most models have several hours of battery life in the buds, with 5 being average, but this will be greatly increased if you factor in the charging case. A case with a fully charged battery can offer up to 24 hours of extra use for your headphones while you’re on the go. Many have lightning-fast charging capabilities and offer one hour of listening after just 5 minutes in the charging case. It can be so annoying when your headphones die right in the middle of a great song or movie, so make sure you choose a model with good battery life.

Health & Fitness needs

Some earbuds conveniently have heart rate monitors built in, meaning you don’t need an extra fitness tracker or heart rate monitor on your wrist while you’re in the gym or out running.

Wireless headphones for active lifestyles: what to know

Whether it’s the gym, hiking, running, or more adventurous sports, if you lead an active lifestyle, there’s no question that wireless earbuds will greatly improve your life. Instead of having cables flying around and sticking to your sweaty skin while you’re exercising, wireless headphones slip seamlessly into your ears or over your head and stay out of the way of even the most vigorous workouts. Many models have been specifically designed with active lifestyles in mind and have amazing features that can really elevate your workout.

Experience complete wireless freedom with in-ear truly wireless earbuds

Look for features such as waterproof nano coating that will protect the buds against sweat and rain. You can even find some wireless headphones that are adapted for swimming.

When working out, comfort is key, so be sure to choose headphones that are proven to stay in your ear and are comfortable as well; reading the reviews on Best Buy’s website can be a great way to get to know a product before you buy. Right now Bose Sport truly wireless earbuds in a variety of colours are a hot buy.

A built-in mic or digital assistant can add ease to your exercise, making it simple and convenient to carry out tasks or answer calls while you’re working out. Touch controls are great for active lifestyles as you can change the song or control the volume of your audio without having to take out your device. Finally, think about the sound: do you want noise cancellation to block out the music and noise in the gym or do you need ambient mode for when you’re running in the city? Watch for headphones that can do both, as they’re out there, but may cost a bit more.

Wireless headphone design

With so many brands and models on the market, there’s a great range of design styles too. Whether you want something small and discreet or a futuristic headset, there are hundreds of options out there. Wireless headphones come in all the colours of the rainbow, ranging from pastels to bright neons, metallics such as gold and silver, or simply plain black with either a matte or high-gloss finish.

Which wireless headphones are best for kids?

Wireless headphones are a great gift for your kids since there’s the added bonus of keeping them quiet if you’re road-tripping, commuting, or just out in public. If your child loves gaming, listening to music, or working out, a pair of wireless headphones is a surefire way to make them happy—and to give you a bit of peace and quiet too.

Depending on the age of your child, it might be better to get them a wireless on-ear or over-ear set as truly wireless earbuds can be very easy to lose if your kids are not careful to put them in their case. As we mentioned before, it’s a good idea to get them a pair with ambient mode so they won’t be wandering around outside totally unaware of their surroundings, particularly when it comes to crossing the road.

Wireless headphone prices

The massive selection of wireless headphones on the market means there is a huge spectrum of prices, from budget-friendly to premium. Naturally, the cheaper versions are better for kids who might not treat them with the utmost care. However, you can pick up a very decent pair of headphones at a price that won’t cost more than a lunch out with friends.

Of course, the more expensive the headphones, the more sophisticated the features and the better the sound quality. It’s worth bearing in mind that certain brands with established reputations will charge much more than their lesser-known counterparts. Happily, there is a fantastic selection at Best Buy of wireless headphones within the mid-price range that deliver on both audio quality and features so you can be sure to find an affordable pair that fits with your needs and lifestyle.

Which wireless headphone brands are best?

There are so many brands of wireless headphones to choose from, from audio giants to small independent brands.

Sony, a leader in the sound technology industry, has a big range of truly wireless headphones. They come in an accessible range of prices with the more expensive comprising features such as adaptive sound control and true wireless earbuds with ambient mode, however, even the lowest price point has solid sound quality.

Jabra specializes in all types of headphones but has a particularly impressive range of true wireless buds. Active types should look to Jabra for its amazing features specifically adapted to working out.

skullcandy, indy, review, evo, fuel, headphones, earbuds

Skullcandy produces affordable, good-quality headphones that are sure to make you stand out with their bright colours and quirky designs. The Skullcandy Indy Evo is a great set of excellent sounding wireless earbuds. Read my review of them here.

For an unparalleled listening experience, look no further than Bose’s range of wireless headphones. The noise cancellation technology makes for a truly immersive listening experience, however, these headphones are located at the higher end of the price bracket.

Samsung’s wireless headphones and earbuds come in a range of neat colours, from bright red to pearly white, and are perfectly suited to Samsung Galaxy phones.

Google’s Pixel Buds are a great choice for Android phones and have the highly intuitive Google Assistant embedded into them.

Apple, the first brand ever to launch wireless earbuds, has two models of their AirPods: regular and AirPods Pro. Both work seamlessly with Apple devices and have Siri integrated in, but the Pro buds have a customizable fit and are better suited for working out.

JBL is known for its portable, compact speakers but also has a good range of headphones, including true wireless and over-ear headbands, that are a great option for the mid-range price bracket.

When it comes to wireless headphones, we really are spoiled for choice! The fantastic selection available at Best Buy means you are guaranteed to find a model that suits your lifestyle. From pretty designs to sophisticated sound technology and responsive digital assistants, there are lots of great features to consider before making your choice. It’s best to think about when and how you’ll be using the headphones in order to find a pair that will best suit your needs. Whether you want them for running and working out or for blocking out noise while you work from home, there’s a set of headphones that will definitely make your life easier.

Shop all wireless headphones at Best Buy

Erin Lawrence
Editor TV and Home Theatre
Erin is a journalist, writer, and TV producer with a fascination for technology and a love of gadgets. Check out her blog