With the democratization of wireless devices and the gradual disappearance of smartphone jack sockets, Bluetooth audio headsets are attracting more and more interest. Today, almost all major electronics brands and even GAFAM produce their models. Many users prefer to turn to wireless audio solutions, whether to work in a bubble, enjoy a movie streaming, or listen to music at the gym. Indeed, finding the right headphones at the best price is more complex. We have selected the best wireless headphones of this year, 2023, to make it easier for you.
Top 8 Best Bluetooth Headsets (2023)
Sony WH-1000XM4: The Best Bluetooth Headphones Of The Moment!
If the Sony WH-1000XM4 model does not change compared to the WH-1000XM3, it still stands out from its predecessor in several aspects. It finally integrates multipoint Bluetooth, allowing you to connect to several devices simultaneously. But if this model is so popular, it is partly thanks to its excellent active noise reduction system.
Although a little heavy, this headset enjoys optimal solidity, comfort, and sound reproduction. Very musical, with a precise replica of the treble, the latter still prioritizes the bass. If the dominance of bass sounds bothers you, you can easily remove it with the transparent bass mode.
Note that this headset also includes other very nice options, such as touch controls for managing listening and RBA. There’s also the Quick Attention feature to instantly lower the volume for chatting or listening without removing the device. The 1000XM4 is no longer compatible with the AptX audio codec but retains its compatibility with the LDAC codec.
Finally, let’s talk about its autonomy. The latter is excellent ( more than 30 hours with the RBA ), and the headphones are compatible with fast charging. With this wireless model, Sony persists and signs! The 1000XM4 remains one of the best Bluetooth headsets at the start of 2023.
Sony WH-1000XM5: A Successful Iteration, But A Bit Expensive…
Released in May 2022, this 5th version of wireless headphones produced by Sony appeals to some and less to others. The brand has tried innovating with an aesthetic bias and improving active noise reduction. Overall, relatively minimal changes for a significant price difference compared to the previous version. Although the 1000XM5 headset is lighter than its predecessor and more minimalist in shape, it’s no longer collapsible, which can cause some cringe.
On this mobile headset, there are touch controls and multipoint Bluetooth. In addition, it has a presence sensor to stop playback when you remove it, then resume it as soon as you put it back on your ears. As for the Quick Access function, it allows you to launch music streaming applications such as Spotify or Deezer quickly.
The device’s autonomy remains the same ( about 30 hours ), despite an improvement in the RBA. The latter now relies on two processors and eight microphones for optimal response to surrounding noise. Unfortunately, all these upgrades struggle to convince users to pay 100 € more than the 1000XM4. There is no doubt that this helmet’s quality/price ratio will immediately become much more enjoyable when the next version is released!
Apple AirPods Max: Apple Perfection?
After conquering the market with the AirPods, followed by the AirPods Pro, Apple now offers its true wireless headphones. This device interests collectors of the Apple brand, but is it a good option for the general public? The answer is yes, provided you have the means… Unsurprisingly, it is the most expensive model of this selection with a price between 450 and 650 €. Some would say that we are close to abuse!
That said, you have to be in bad faith not to recognize that this mobile headset is one of the best. It is designed for home use and productivity and is as refined as possible. Despite its solidity, aluminum design, and quality finishes, it remains heavy and needs to be more foldable. In addition, its cover does not offer more ergonomics for transport and has “protection” only in name; it is more incidental than anything else.
Well, now let’s talk about its strengths. Sound quality level, it can be challenging to do better! Everything is designed to make listening enjoyable, and it shows. Likewise, active noise reduction is among the best on the market. There is also a very effective transparency mode, allowing you to reduce the volume to follow a conversion instantly. As for connectivity, it is provided by 2 H1 chips (one in each headset).
It was to be expected, but to take full advantage of the options of this helmet, in particular the multipoint, it is necessary to be surrounded by Apple devices. However, connection with Android smartphones is possible by standard Bluetooth connection, here in version 5.0. Finally, this headset has well-thought-out touch controls (although a little too sensitive) and decent battery life, but nothing more ( 20 hours ). If we forget its price, the AirPods Max is the best.
Bose QuietComfort 45: Optimal Comfort
So visually, the QuietComfort 45 model does not differ from the QuietComfort 35 but incorporates some significant improvements. Always as comfortable, this helmet is also foldable, which facilitates its transport. Its active noise reduction system has been improved compared to the previous version. In its “Quiet” performance, the RBA completely suppresses surrounding noise for better concentration. While with the “Aware” mode, the sounds are filtered so that you can converse with the headphones in your ears.
The sound quality is terrific, but Bose is taking a risk. No powerful bass or dominance of mids; the sound is almost too smooth. On this point, the brand’s Headphones 700 model does better… Thanks to its NFC chip and multipoint Bluetooth 5.1 connection, the headphones can simultaneously be linked to different devices. Its autonomy is excellent, given that it takes almost 24 hours with the RBA.
The headphones can be recharged via USB-C and recover 2h30 listening time in just 15 minutes of connection. In short, this model is easy to use and very comfortable to wear. We regret that these improvements are too timid; Bose prefers to reserve a better listening experience for its high-end models.
Jabra Elite 85H: A Solid Alternative To Bose And Sony
The Elite 85H is the first model from Jabra to integrate active noise reduction. Verdict: this first attempt is a real success! It holds up against severe competitors like the QC 45 and the 1000XM4 presented a little earlier. This is partly due to its intelligent RBA technology. Thanks to the SmartSound application, the headphones automatically process the surrounding noise to offer the best correction.
Although its design is good quality and the helmet is foldable, its comfort remains perfect. This is also valid for the audio component, which sometimes lacks precision in the treble. Otherwise, the sound is impeccable in the clarity and balance of other frequencies in the audible spectrum. We find multipoint technology and intuitive hands-free kit options on this helmet. However, some latencies are sometimes to be deplored since the Bluetooth connection. A relatively affordable purchase price compensates for defects.
Bose Headphones 700: High-End RBA Headphones
We previously talked about the Bose QC45 and the superiority of the Headphones 700 model over the latter. It is, therefore, only natural that we have included it in this ranking. If the purchase price is different, the quality is too! Still very light and very comfortable, this helmet is unfortunately not foldable.
Its effective active noise reduction system can be activated with a simple touch on the left earpiece. The sound quality of this model is close to perfection, with a predominance of mediums. Good news for podcast lovers! On the other hand, if this helmet is distinguished by its RBA and excellent sound quality, its autonomy leaves something to be desired.
Only 20 hours for a full recharge time of 2h30. Note that it also has multipoint Bluetooth. Thus, the Bose Headphones 700 keeps its promises and takes over from the Bose QC 35 II. Let’s hope the brand continues its momentum by marketing an even better model in 2023!
Audio Technica M50xBT2: Good Wireless Monitoring Headphones
This new version of the M50xBT model pushes the limits of excellence a little further. Designed primarily for monitoring, it has good sound insulation. It is, therefore, perfect for targeted applications such as singing and vocal recording. Although the M50xBT2 is comfortable, solid, and ergonomic, its aesthetics are questionable.
Some will like it, others not at all! This headset enjoys certain advantages, including a balanced sound reproduction, with exceptional clarity. But also a great autonomy of 50 hours. However, it does not incorporate active noise reduction technology. A shortcoming is compensated by the effective insulation of its ear cups. Indeed, this wireless headset is made for a smaller number. But for the audience, it is an excellent portable model with an attractive price/quality ratio!
Sennheiser Momentum 4: Effective Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Headphones!
With the Momentum 4, Sennheiser puts all its expertise in active noise cancellation to good use. Marketed last summer, this model is a jewel of audio engineering whose autonomy beats all records. With these headphones, you have 60 hours of listening time (with RBA) between two recharges. The device also features four microphones for efficient recording and has well-designed hands-free kit options.
For a premium headset model, it has an excellent price/quality ratio, which ranks it among the best Bluetooth headsets of the moment. But is there an eel under a rock? Unfortunately, yes… First of all, the half-minimalist, half-retro aesthetic of the helmet leaves one in doubt (not Apple, who wants to). We also regret that this helmet is not foldable.
Then, despite a sound reproduction of the bass, the latter lacks homogeneity. On the other hand, the highs are clear, and all the frequencies are well-balanced. However, this only applies when the headset is on; in wired use, its performance is quite disappointing…
How to choose your Bluetooth headphones: buying guide
As you may have noticed, not all Bluetooth headsets have the same characteristics or the same purpose. Some are intended for a sporty audience, others focus on comfort, and others prioritize sound quality. So, to help you choose the helmet that best suits your needs, here is a buying guide grouping together the characteristics to take into account :
Different types of Bluetooth headsets differ mainly in their shape. Specifically, there are two categories, namely:
- Over-ear headphones
- Over-ear headphones
Over-ear headphones have pads that sit over the ear, while over-ear headphones have more prominent places that encompass the entire ear. Of course, the former is less imposing, but they can also be less comfortable for long-term use. There are also in-ear headphones that are inserted directly into the ear. The latter is more appreciated by athletes, as they are lighter and less likely to fall during exercise.
Sound quality is an essential factor, if not the most important, to consider when buying portable headphones. Above all, look for models that offer balanced sound quality with a comprehensive frequency response and optimal sound clarity. Some headphones also emphasize a well-defined frequency range. This specificity must be considered whether you prefer to listen to podcasts, video content, or music.
You’ll probably be wearing your Bluetooth headphones for hours. It is, therefore, essential to choose a comfortable model, light and with a coating that suits your skin. For example, some users can’t stand fabric upholstery, while others hate faux leather. Also, the ear pads and headband should be padded and adjustable for a custom fit.
Battery life is essential, especially if you plan to use your connected headset for long periods. The latest Bluetooth headsets can offer up to 30 hours of battery life. Some do less (right Apple?), but fast charging can compensate for this shortcoming.
Many Bluetooth headphones offer additional features, such as active noise reduction, multipoint connectivity, touch, voice controls, etc. All these options increase the purchase price, but they are almost indispensable for some users.
Brand And Price
Finally, choosing a quality brand with a good reputation regarding wireless headsets is essential. Prices vary widely depending on the headphones’ brand, features, and overall quality. So a piece of advice: set a budget and compare the different models before buying to find the one that best suits your needs and your wallet!
So that’s it for this overview of the best Bluetooth headsets of this year, 2023. This selection will help you find your happiness in wireless audio solutions. If your budget allows it, you can go with your eyes closed to brands such as Bose, Sony, or Apple. You are likely to be satisfied. Otherwise, brands like Soundcore, Plantronics, or JBL can also make you happy!
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