In a perfect world, everything would be wireless. Like headphone cables. Aren’t you tired of straightening them out and untangling them and nearly getting choked by them? Well, wireless headphones are here and they are poised to take on wired headphones in terms of sound quality in the near future.
If you’re on the go, or if you’re watching a movie at home, wireless headphones are the answer. For your holiday shopping convenience, we’ve rounded up nine of the best wireless headphones that the market has to offer.
Parrot Zik pairs a slick Philippe Starck design with a dazzling array of features. It features Bluetooth 2.1 and NFC wireless support; simply touch your phone to the left ear cup to pair with NFC devices. A built-in jawbone conductor sensor in the ear pad helps pick up your voice during phone calls, while four embedded mics boost voice quality and noise canceling. A swipe of your finger on the right ear cup adjusts volume or switches tracks. When you take off the headphones, the music pauses; put them back on and it resumes. With Parrot Audio Suite, a free iPhone or Android app, you can adjust Zik’s equalization and noise cancellation, turn on its DSP-driven Concert Hall Effect, check remaining battery time and more. Zik weighs 0.7 pounds and offers six hours of battery life at peak usage. It comes with a Micro USB cable for charging and updating, a line-in cable, a Li-Ion battery, quick-start guide and a protective pouch.Beats Wireless
Dr. Dre’s Beats brand is hugely popular, and its Beats Wireless model is no exception. If you’re looking for big bass, you came to the right place. The headphones promise ten hours of battery life, chargeable via USB. Controls on the ear cup let you manage phone calls and music. A cable is included if you don’t want to go wireless. With support for SBC, APT-X and AAC Bluetooth, Beats Wireless can stream audio from a laptop or any Bluetooth-enabled device, including a TV, from up to 30 feet away. Beats Wireless weighs about a half-pound and comes with a USB charging cable, in-line remote and mic cable, carrying case and cleaning cloth.Denon Globe Cruiser AH-NCW500BK
Denon’s Globe Cruiser AH-NCW500BW features an integrated amplifier, 10-hour rechargeable battery, and a cable in case your battery runs out or wireless isn’t allowed, like when you’re on a plane. Included are active noise cancellation circuitry, and aptX and AAC decoding for CD-quality audio over Bluetooth 3.0. A rotary control wheel adjusts volume and telephone calls. Microphones for talk are embedded in the ear cups, which feature patent-pending pentagonally-shaped memory foam. The 0.6-pound headphones fold flat into an included protein leather carrying case that features a detachable Karabiner so you can hook it to your briefcase or purse. Also included are a USB micro charging cable and airline adapter. The Denon Travel app for iOS or Android enables you to create playlists and custom EQ curves, tweet and post to Facebook, listen over 70,000 internet radio stations via TuneIn Internet Radio, and aggregate common travel applications.
Bose’s AE2w features a cushioned around-ear fit, along with a Bluetooth control module that controls certain iPad functions, Bluetooth connectivity, active equalization and more. Offering a range of 30 feet and a lithium-ion battery that provides seven hours of run time, the AE2w can be recharged with its included USB cable. The headphones, which weigh about a third of a pound, can simultaneously connect to two devices, be they iPads, smartphone or other Bluetooth devices. If you’re watching video on your iPad, the video will automatically pause when a call comes in, then switch back when the call is done. A multifunction button on the control module operates iPad functions such as play/pause and track controls for music and videos. Indicators detail power, battery life and Bluetooth connection status. You can make calls or talk to voice-recognition apps like Siri or Google search using the built-in microphone when the headphones are connected to your smartphone.
Jabra Revo Wireless are notable in that they provide Dolby Digital Plus support via a free iOS or Android app, but only for your music library; you can’t Dolby-ize streaming services. Battery life is rated for 12 hours, and like others in this category, Revo comes with an audio cable and USB charging just in case you run out of juice. It offers memory foam ear cups and a foldable design. Revo’s Turntable Touch Control feature allows you to play, skip or pause music and manage calls. Revo supports Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC.Sennheiser RS 180
If you’re looking for a set of wireless headphones that are tailored for home theater and home audio, Sennheiser’s RS 180 is a great option. The RS 180 comes with a multi-purpose transmitter that also functions as a charging cradle and docking station. The transmitter allows up to four RS 180s to listen to the same source at the same time. Automatic Level Control compensates for volume variances to make sure dialog comes through loud and clear. KLEER lossless digital wireless audio transmission ranges up to 320 feet. The RS 180, which comes with velour ear pads and headband cushions, even offers balance control.Harman Kardon BT
Harman Kardon’s BT headphones employ AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) and apt-X coding, and incorporate a built-in microphone and playback buttons. Like others in its class, they still work when the battery dies, via included cable. For the design conscious, the company says that the rectangular BT’s “design and function complement Apple products while reinforcing the sophisticated elegance of the Harman Kardon brand.” BT features a built-in mic for making calls and a 12-hour rechargeable battery. In an interesting twist, charging requires a special USB cable rather than a standard micro USB cable.Sony MDR-1RBT
These Sony Bluetooth 3.0 headphones come with NFC easy connect. Tap them to a NFC-compatible device and bingo, you’re paired. Sony claims up to 30 hours of continuous playback on one battery charge. The headphones feature 40mm liquid crystal polymer film diaphragms that deliver the rigidity and internal loss necessary for the best sound reproduction. Sony emphasizes that these phones bring the bass, so if you’re looking for a good amount of low-end, check out the MDR-1RBT.
Klipsch Image ONE Bluetooth
These Klipsch headphones offer aptX compatibility, an included audio cable, and a micro USB charging cable. They are rated to last for 10 hours of listening and talking per charge. The Image ONE, available in black or white, supports Bluetooth 2.1 and weighs 6.4 ounces.
Did we leave out a worthy model? Let us know in the comments!