Wireless headphones wired: 16 Best Wireless Earbuds (2023): Truly Wireless, Cheap, Luxe, and More

16 Best Wireless Earbuds (2023): Truly Wireless, Cheap, Luxe, and More


Ready to cut the cord? These are our favorite buds that will never, ever get tangled.

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more. Please also consider subscribing to WIRED

Featured in this article

How We Define Wireless Earbuds

An Explainer

Read more

Best Overall

Google Pixel Buds A-Series

Read more

$99 at Amazon

Best Noise Canceling

Sony WF-1000XM4

Read more

$278 at Amazon

Pro Earbuds for Less

Soundcore by Anker Space A40

Read more

$89 at Amazon

Show more

4 / 19

Wireless earbuds are one of those ideas that sounded like a dream at first: Pop a little headphone into each ear and listen to music or take calls untethered from everything. The first wireless buds were gigantic, died after a few hours, and had a bunch of other problems. Times have changed. There are tons of new models that sound fabulous and work perfectly. After testing dozens over the past four years, these are our favorite wireless earbuds, in a wide range of styles and prices.

For more top picks, check out our other audio guides, like the Best Wireless Headphones, Best Noise-Canceling Headphones, Best Cheap Headphones, Best Workout Earbuds, and Best Wired Headphones.

Updated March 2023: We’ve added the Anker Soundcore Space A10, Bowers & Wilkins PI7 S2, and Raycon Everyday Earbuds.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

  • Photograph: Daniel Lozano Gonzalez/Getty Images

    How We Define Wireless Earbuds

    An Explainer

    We’ve seen this category go by many names: true wireless earbuds, truly wireless earbuds, completely wireless earbuds, fully wireless earbuds, wirefree earbuds. These days, if a pair of earbuds connects to your phone/computer via Bluetooth and has no cord that connects the left bud to the right, we just call them wireless here at WIRED. Wireless sets typically come with two popcorn-sized buds, each with a battery inside, and a charging cradle that carries extra battery power and keeps them safe when you’re not wearing ’em. Other kinds of wireless earbuds have a cable or neckband that connects the two buds together, usually found on workout earbuds.

    Ridding yourself of all cords can feel liberating, but these do come with issues, such as limited battery life (don’t buy any with less than five hours), confusing controls, and reliance on a charging case. They’re also easier to lose than traditional earbuds, and replacing one bud can be expensive.

  • Photograph: Google

    Best Overall

    Google Pixel Buds A-Series

    Comfortable fit, solid sound, good looks, and a sub-$100 price make the Pixel Buds A-Series (8/10, WIRED Recommends) our favorite wireless earbuds for most people. In addition to an AirPods-matching five hours of listening time and an IPX4 sweat-resistance rating for workouts, these headphones pair instantly with Android devices, and Google Assistant integration is excellent. (They still pair very quickly with iPhones, but not as fast as buds made by Apple. You won’t be able to use Google Assistant on iPhones.) The egg-shaped case adds an extra 19 hours of listening time.

    The ear fins keep them very stable in the ears, and the audio quality is also better than Apple’s entry-level buds, with bolder bass aided by the excellent seal formed by the silicone ear tips.

    $99 at Amazon

    $100 at Target

    $99 at Walmart

  • Photograph: Sony

    Best Noise Canceling

    Sony WF-1000XM4

    If you don’t want to hear anything that’s going on around you, Sony’s WH-1000XM4 (7/10, WIRED Recommends) are the best wireless earbuds you’ll find. They’re a bit chunky—you’ll want to spring for the equivalent Bose model if you’ve got smaller ears—but the combination of foam ear tips and Sony’s digital signal processing turn down the world better than anything else. The companion app allows you to adjust the equalization and choose how much outside sound you want to hear. You can even set them to detect when you’re speaking and auto-pause the music, which comes in handy when you need to have a quick chat with someone but don’t want to take out your earbuds.

    $278 at Amazon

    $280 at Target

  • Photograph: Anker

    Pro Earbuds for Less

    Soundcore by Anker Space A40

    These sub-$100 earbuds from Anker (8/10, WIRED Recommends) boast noise canceling, wireless charging, and 10 hours of battery life when they’re in your ears. That’s a lot of features for such cheap earbuds. Pair that with decent overall sound quality, a comfortable and lightweight design and they nearly give Apple’s AirPods Pro a run for their money. If you’re in need of a pair of noise-canceling earbuds but you don’t want to spend three figures, these are the best option we’ve tried. Too bad they’re not as stylish as Google’s Pixel Buds A-Series.

    $89 at Amazon

    $100 at Soundcore

Most Popular

  • Photograph: JLab Audio 

    Best Under $50

    JLab Audio Go Air

    Not everyone has hundreds of dollars to spend on wireless earbuds. Thanks to JLab, you can spend as little as $30 (and they frequently go on sale too). The company has made a name for itself building big-name-rivaling earbuds for much less, and the Go Air (8/10, WIRED Recommends) are no different. For $30, you get five hours of battery life and a comfortable fit—plus they’re sweatproof. The downside? They’re heavier on the bass than other models, and the open-topped case will need frequent cleaning, as it attracts gunk.

    $20 at Amazon

    $30 at Target

  • Photograph: Best Buy

    Best for Workouts

    Jabra Elite 7 Active

    The folks at Jabra scanned thousands of ears to come up with sleek, comfy designs, and it shows in the Elite 7 Active. WIRED associate reviews editor Adrienne So and I have very different-size ears, and we both found these earbuds to be super comfortable and stable on our outdoor adventures. The sound quality, noise-canceling tech, and mic quality are excellent, and they come with a special grip on the outside of the buds to keep them in your ears. The best part? You get eight hours (!) of battery life and a two-year warranty. Jabra often continues to sell old models for years, which means you’ll have no problem replacing ear tips, the case, or even a bud as needed.

    Our other favorite: We love the Beats Powerbeats (8/10, WIRED Recommends), which get 15 hours of battery life and lock over your ear. They sound great. On the downside (or the upside, depending on your point of view), they do have a neckband that connects the earbuds, and they don’t come with a charging cradle. Read our Best Workout Buds guide for other recommendations.

    $180 at Amazon

    $180 at Best Buy

  • Photograph: Beats

    Most Secure Fit

    Beats Powerbeats Pro

    Apple’s Powerbeats Pro (8/10, WIRED Recommends) are beefier than many earbuds on this list, and that’s by design. They’re made to provide a super-secure fit during even your sweatiest workout—which they’ll stay protected from, thanks to an IPX4 water-resistance rating. They sound far better than Apple’s standard AirPods or almost any pair of Beats you’ve heard before, and they squeeze an impressive nine hours of life out of a charge (18 extra hours with the portly 3 x 3-inch square case they come in). 

    One of the most helpful features is their ability to automatically pause or route calls back to your phone if you take one of them out of your ear. That said, many of their features don’t work when you pair them with an Android phone, but the core functions will. Better yet, they frequently go on sale for around $180.

    $200 at Amazon

    $250 at Apple

Most Popular

  • Photograph: Apple

    The Best for iPhones

    Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

    Apple’s original AirPods Pro had great noise canceling, but they suffered from middling battery life. The latest generation (9/10, WIRED Recommends) gets a respectable six hours of playtime with much-improved noise canceling turned on, and they sound even better. I especially like the new swipe-for-volume feature that Apple embedded in each bud, making it easier than ever to change how loud things are without grabbing your phone.

    The case has a built-in speaker, so it can scream at you when you use the Find My app to locate it in your couch cushions or gym bag (it makes a chime when you place it on a wireless charger, too). Both the case and headphones have an IPX4 rating, which means you won’t have to worry about either sweat or rain storms.

    $235 at Amazon

    $249 at Apple

    $250 at Target

  • Photograph: Beats

    Also Great for iPhones

    Beats Fit Pro

    The Beats Fit Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends) have the same h2 chip that’s inside Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Pro, but with a much more comfortable and ergonomic design. Add to that the six hours of battery life with active noise canceling turned on and some of the best sound we’ve heard south of the $200 mark, and you’ve found yourself some of the best earbuds for the iPhone.

    They work well with Android devices too, thanks to an app that allows you to adjust the functions of the buttons and take a fit test. You even get style options. The Beats Fit Pro come in four colors, ranging from stark white to pinkish purple.

    $160 at Amazon

    $200 at Apple

  • Photograph: Google

    The Best for Android

    Google Pixel Buds Pro

    If you’re an Android owner who wants the simple experience touted by your Apple-toting friends, the Pixel Buds Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends) offer the best bang for the buck. You get a relatively wide soundstage with punchy bass, plus all the bells and whistles you’ll want in the modern world. 

    Beam-forming microphones and noise-canceling tech make these great on calls and in airports, and eight hours of battery life with noise canceling on means you’ll make it to your destination before needing to pop the buds back in the included wireless charging case. Another cool feature is multi-device pairing, which allows you to be connected to your phone and laptop at the same time.

    $150 at Amazon

    $150 at Walmart

    $150 at Target

Most Popular

  • Photograph: Samsung

    Also Great for Android

    Samsung Galaxy Buds2

    Samsung’s Buds2 (9/10, WIRED Recommends) are—by far—some of my favorite headphones for Android. For around the same price as a standard pair of AirPods, you get noise canceling, better battery life (5 hours with noise canceling, 7.5 hours if it’s off), and some of the lightest, most comfortable buds around. The Buds2 come with a wireless charging case and a dual-driver array for better bass.

    Frustratingly, the companion app only works for Android, so iPhone users won’t be able to access the EQ controls, ping for the location of a lost earbud, run Samsung’s fit test, or use Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant (no loss). It’s also worth noting that some people have had issues with these earbuds causing irritation in their ears. I did not experience this, but if you do, be sure to return the buds immediately.

    $109 at Amazon

    $116 at Target

  • Photograph: Samsung

    The Best for Samsung Owners

    Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro

    If you own a Samsung phone and are trying to get the most out of it, these are your best buds. The Galaxy Buds2 Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends) might not have the multi-device connectivity of the Pixel Buds Pro, but they more than make up for that on sound, where a pair of dual dynamic drivers deliver hyper-clean hi-fi.

    You’ll also get a super comfortable fit and five hours of playback with noise canceling on per charge, and an IPX7 rating means they’re good for workouts. Other “pro” features include support for spatial audio and 24-bit sound, provided you have a modern Samsung device to pair these to. Best of all? They come in an adorable purple, and the wireless charging case easily fits in even the smallest pants pockets.

    $200 at Amazon

    $200 at Target

  • Photograph: Sony

    Best for Traveling Around Town

    Sony LinkBuds

    It can be dangerous working out in public or riding your bike with earbuds on. That’s why I like the Sony LinkBuds (8/10, WIRED Recommends), which have physical holes in the middle of each driver to allow sound in from the outside world. You’ll hear announcements at the supermarket alongside your tunes, or an oncoming car before you cross the road. They also come with a super small charging case, which makes them good to leave in a jacket pocket.

    $148 at Amazon

    $148 at Walmart

    $150 at Best Buy

Most Popular

  • Photograph: Shokz

    An Earbuds Alternative

    AfterShokz OpenRun Pro

    Fellow WIRED reviewer Eric Ravenscraft loved his time with the Shokz OpenRun Pro (8/10, WIRED Recommends), which wrap around your head and use bone conduction technology to let you hear music and the outside world. I like the smaller footprint of the above Sony LinkBuds, but these have a more secure design, and they come with 10 hours of battery life for extra-long workouts.

    $180 at Amazon

    $180 at REI

  • Photograph: Grado

    For Headphone Nerds

    Grado GT220

    If you want a more audiophile-like wireless listening experience, check out this no-frills pair from Grado Labs. The Brooklyn brand is known for its excellent headphones and turntable cartridges, and it has branched out to truly wireless earbuds. The GT220 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) are comfortable and ergonomic, and they deliver a quality version of the company’s transparent sound. In fact, WIRED senior associate editor Adrienne So says they fit so well you don’t need noise canceling. 

    An IPX4 rating and six hours of battery life outside the included charging case are respectable specs, and they look nondescript enough to take with you anywhere, unlike Grado’s larger, flashier headphones.

    $259 at Amazon

    $259 at Grado

  • Photograph:  Astell & Kern

    Another for Audiophiles

    Astell & Kern UW100

    If you’re an audio nerd, it can be tough to shop for wireless earbuds to pair with your modern smartphone. Sure, you want them for workouts and wandering around your neighborhood, but very few brands actually put audio quality first. Enter the Astell & Kern UW100 (9/10, WIRED Recommends), which have some of the best tuning and digital-to-analog conversion—and thus sound quality—of any wireless earbuds I’ve tried. The brand won’t be new to audiophiles who like digital music; I’ve been a big fan of Astell & Kern’s high-end digital music players and dongles for years, but these are the company’s first wireless earbuds, and they are excellent.

    Worth considering: The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 S2 ($399) are another excellent-sounding pair for higher-end listeners. They are a bit larger than the UW100, but they sound as good to my ears, and they feature noise canceling and an industry audio retransmission feature, which allows you to connect the case to in-flight entertainment via a cable, but still listen to your content wirelessly. Pretty nifty for travelers who hate bringing over-ears.

    $299 at Astell & Kern

Most Popular

  • Photograph: Amazon

    For Alexa Lovers

    Amazon Echo Buds (2021)

    Amazon’s second-gen Echo Buds (8/10, WIRED Recommends) have all the bells and whistles of a premium pair of wireless earbuds—wireless charging, noise canceling, great app-based customization—but the real reason to buy them is the excellent Alexa integration. The earbuds listen for voice commands while you jam to tunes, allowing you to quickly set timers, check the weather, and add things to grocery lists from wherever you are. It can take some getting used to, but having a voice assistant along with you all day comes in handy more than you might think.

    $120 at Amazon

    $120 at Target

  • Photograph: Bowers & Wilkins

    Honorable Mentions

    Other Buds We Like

    Every month seems to bring new sets of earbuds with longer battery life and more compact designs. As such, we can’t list everything we like. But if you’re still hunting, here are some other recommendations.

    • Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 for $198: Noise cancellation finally arrives on Sennheiser’s excellent high-end earbuds. You’ll have to shell out a lot for them, but they do have some of the best sound quality you’ll find. They also fix the bug in the first Momentum pair that drained the battery after a week or so even if you didn’t use them.
    • Raycon Everyday Earbuds for $80: These YouTuber-beloved earbuds are actually a decent cheap pair (7/10, WIRED Review). They are small and light, and they come with an IPX6 rating, which makes them great for workouts.
    • Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport for $349: The Sport are a great option that come with active noise canceling and a striking design, but the high price keeps them out of the reach of most people.
    • JBL/Under Armour True Wireless Flash for $120: A pair of large, soft ear fins and cross-hatched rubber sections on the top make the second generation of JBL and Under Armour’s workout earbuds super stable. You get 10 hours of battery life, Bluetooth 5.0 for speedy connection, and a great pair of physical buttons built into the Under Armour logos. (No annoying touch controls!)
  • Photograph: Apple

    Earbuds to Avoid

    Why Didn’t We Include AirPods?

    As a general rule, you should avoid earbuds that don’t support the Bluetooth 5.0 standard or don’t offer at least five hours of battery life. Batteries in wireless headphones degrade over time, so the better your battery life is at first, the more tolerable it will be in two to three years.

    There are so many models available now that it’s tough to mention all the earbuds we’re not huge fans of. But we do want to note that while Apple’s standard AirPods (first, second, or third-gen) do some things well, we just don’t like them all that much. (Read our review.) They get OK battery life, come in a compact case, and work well for calls, but they don’t fit all ears well, and since they don’t have ear tips or wings, you’re out of luck if they’re loose. Want clear, high-fidelity music? Get another pair on this list or the AirPods Pro (see above), which cost a bit more but are legitimately great headphones.

Parker Hall is an associate editor of product reviews at WIRED. He focuses on audiovisual and entertainment products. Hall is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied jazz percussion. After hours, he remains a professional musician in his hometown of Portland, Oregon.

Jeffrey Van Camp is a director and editor for WIRED, specializing in personal technology reviews and coverage. Previously he was the deputy editor of Digital Trends, helping to oversee the site’s editorial operations, and before that, its mobile editor. He’s covered tech, video games, and entertainment for more than a… Read more

TopicsShoppingbuying guideswireless earbudsearbudsHeadphonesaudio

More from WIRED

10 Best Wireless Earbuds for Working Out (2023)


Rock your inner jock with a pair of sturdy, sweatproof, and tangle-proof headphones. Here are our favorites.

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more. Please also consider subscribing to WIRED

Featured in this article

A Few Pointers

Should I Get Wired or Wireless Headphones?

Read more

Best Overall

Jabra Elite 7 Active

Read more

$180 at Amazon

Best Cheap Buds

JLab Audio Go Air Sport

Read more

$30 at JLab Audio

Best for Apple Lovers

Beats Fit Pro

Read more

$160 at Amazon

Show more

4 / 11

Luxurious over-the-ear headphones are plush and comfortable, and they sound great. But for most everyday activities—working out, traveling, and wandering around my house pretending to put things away—I much prefer a pair of convenient, durable, wireless workout buds. Since I started testing them, their sound and comfort have improved dramatically. I trail run, hike, work on my yard, lift weights, and watch mildly embarrassing barre and yoga videos on my laptop, all while testing the best wireless workout headphones around.

If you like listening to music while scrambling up stony slopes or mowing your lawn, here are a bunch of WIRED’s favorite pairs. We’ve worn and sweated on all of them. Don’t see anything you like? Check out our Best Wirefree Earbuds, Best Cheap Headphones, Best Bluetooth Speakers, or any of our other buying guides for more.

Updated March 2023: We added the Jabra Elite 5, the JBL Reflect Aero and Endurance Peak III, and the JLab Epic Air Sport ANC, and updated links and pricing throughout.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

  • Photograph: Philippa Langley/Getty Images

    A Few Pointers

    Should I Get Wired or Wireless Headphones?

    Which buds are right for you? A surprising number of people still prefer corded headphones. When you’re going on a long run, the last thing you want to do is stand on your front porch, shivering in your shorts, trying to figure out why the right earbud isn’t connected. But for obvious reasons, wireless headphones are much more convenient when doing other strenuous physical activities.

    I recommend investing in a pair that has ear hooks, clips, or fins to hold them securely in place; you can also buy ear hooks a la carte online. A tight, secure seal ensures that you get that big bass sound to power you through the last mile. Everyone’s ears are different, and your left might even be different from your right. Don’t be afraid to try mismatching sizes of ear tips or fins for a better fit.

  • Photograph: Best Buy

    Best Overall

    Jabra Elite 7 Active

    One of the best qualities of Jabra is that their earbuds don’t change very much from year to year. The Elite 7 Active came out in 2021, but every time I put them on, I still find them to be the buds to beat. They’re still the smallest and most comfortable buds I’ve ever tested, with the tiniest case, and the rubber tip holds the buds securely in my tiny ears. They’ve stayed in place while running outside and under a beanie, plus they’re comfortable enough for me to wear while doing chores around the house.

    The Sound+ app lets you customize the level of hear-through, meaning you can choose to let in more ambient noise if you’re running outside or washing dishes, or less if you’re in a gym. You can customize the hearing profile for listening to podcasts versus hip hop. They’re IP57-rated, which means that they’re dustproof and can be submerged in water up to one meter. They have 8 hours of battery life and up to 30 hours in the case. The mic also works well for calls.

    Alternatives: The latest Jabra model is 2022’s Elite 5 ($150), which are meant to be the midrange model. To that end, they cost a teeny bit less, the buds are just a tiny bit bigger, with a slightly worse waterproofing rating, and they don’t have adjustable noise-canceling. However, like all Jabras, they’re comfortable, tiny, and look and sound great. I do like the matte finish and buttons on these better than the rubbery finish of the Elite 7 Active. The Elite 4 Active ($120) are also cheaper, if a little bigger.

    $180 at Amazon

    $180 at Best Buy

  • Photograph: JLab

    Best Cheap Buds

    JLab Audio Go Air Sport

    Workout buds are getting cheaper and better all the time (I’ve recommended other pairs that I like below) but JLab’s are really in a different class. The Go Air Sport are the sport version of the insanely affordable Go Air (8/10, WIRED Recommends), with a slight markup for over-ear hooks and case with a cover.

    You just can’t find buds with quality this good for this price. They come in a sturdy case with a built-in USB charger. The build quality is solid, and touch controls are not too sensitive; I don’t accidentally turn off my music or turn up the volume whenever I adjust my hair or my hat. They have a solid 30 hours of battery life when you recharge them in the case—I wore them for two weeks for a few hours each day while running and walking my dog, and I never had to recharge them. And the Bluetooth connection is stronger than in other affordable earbuds that I’ve tried; I don’t have to be wary about walking around a corner, away from my phone. As a bonus, they also come in a wide array of playful colors.

    Alternative: Even JLab’s upgraded sport buds are still relatively affordable. The Epic Air Sport ($80) has active noise-canceling, wireless charging, more than twice the battery life, and—most importantly for me, with my weird tiny ears—they have JLab’s magical Cloud Foam tips. Even earbuds with hooks tend to fall out and squiggle around, but Cloud Foam tips stay secure.

    $30 at JLab Audio

  • Photograph: Beats

    Best for Apple Lovers

    Beats Fit Pro

    Not only are the Beats Fit Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends) one of the best workout buds for Apple users, they’re one of the best everyday buds, period. They have squishy ear tips and elegant fins (that may be a little big for smaller ears, unfortunately). They have the Apple h2 chip and pair seamlessly with Apple products, but they also have a great app for Android that includes one-touch pairing, customized controls, and a fit test.

    The noise-canceling works extremely well, and you can click on a physical button on the buds to pause and let ambient noise in. The sound signature is remarkably sculptured, according to WIRED associate editor Parker Hall, meaning you can enjoy music in all genres, movies mixed in Dolby Atmos, and get great-sounding Zoom calls. Most important, unlike many of our other picks, they come in a signature Beats-style eye-catching purple (they now also come in coral, pink, and blue). I also wholeheartedly recommend Beats’ previous, and now cheaper, Powerbeats workout buds; they work reliably after years of heavy use.

    Apple Alternative: If you must have Apple-branded buds, go for the AirPods Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends). They are IPX4-rated so they’re sweat-resistant, and the sound quality, fit, and battery life have all improved over the years. I especially like that they now have a speaker, so you can ping them when you’ve lost them at your desk or under the couch. However, I still don’t find the fit as secure as any of the Beats headphones.

    $160 at Amazon

    $200 at Apple

Most Popular

  • Photograph: Shokz

    Best for Outdoor Workouts

    AfterShokz OpenRun Pro

    I tried to arm-wrestle my colleague Eric Ravenscraft for the opportunity to review the Shokz OpenRun Pro (8/10, WIRED Recommends). I’ve tried many previous pairs of Shokz (formerly known as Aftershokz) and found their bone conduction technology—in which sound is conducted through the bones of your head—to be wildly unpleasant. But these feel more like placing a set of tiny speakers near your ears.

    For that reason, these aren’t a great pick if you work out in a gym and would bother other people with ambient noise. That said, they’re comfortable and fantastic for all outdoor workouts, and have quickly become my favorite headphones. I can wear them running or hiking, or while biking, skateboarding, or roller-skating under a helmet, and still hear everything around me. However, they don’t have a charging case, and a 10-hour battery life before recharging is significantly shorter than every other bud we’ve listed here. 

    Alternative: I have extremely tiny ears and was frustrated to find that Sony’s LinkBuds (8/10, WIRED Recommends) did not work for me. But if you have less wonky ears, the LinkBuds have an unusual donut design that allows ambient noise to pass directly through the earbud into your ear. They leak a little sound, but they let in enough ambient sound to let WIRED editor Parker Hall wear them in the grocery store and on ski trips. 

    $180 at Amazon

    $180 at REI

  • Photograph: JBL

    Best for Customization

    JBL Reflect Aero

    To stay safe on a run, you should remain aware of all the honking, revving, and talking around you. But sometimes, you want to shut the world out completely to enjoy your podcast, audiobook, or death metal playlist in perfect isolation. These buds can deliver both total awareness and total escapism—plus every notch in between—with a fully tweakable noise-canceling experience.

    The Reflect Aeros have many of the basic active noise-canceling features, like an ambient listening mode and the ability to turn ANC on and off. Additional controls live inside the JBL Headphones app, including the ability to adjust the level of noise canceling that’s applied when ANC is switched on, or to activate an adaptive noise canceling mode that automatically adjusts the level of canceling based on the noisiness of your surroundings. Touch controls can also be tweaked in the app, so you can decide what a tap (and double- or triple-tap) on either bud should control: volume, track playback, or ANC.

    They sound fantastic for music, movies, and voice (podcasts, calls, Zooms) with great bass and plenty of volume. The ANC is powerful enough to handle loud train rides and louder roommates. Fin-like wings keep the buds lodged into your ears; our reviewer wore them on two dozen runs with zero fit issues. The battery lasts eight hours, and that drops to six hours with the adaptive noise-canceling on. Our only quibbles are with the case; it’s USB-C (no wireless charging), and getting the earbuds properly aligned so they’ll recharge takes some practice. —Michael Calore

    $150 at Amazon

    $150 at Target

  • Photograph: JBL

    Best Rugged Buds

    JBL Endurance Peak 3

    JBL’s latest outdoor workout buds have one of the most important qualities for a pair of buds that will see all sorts of harsh conditions: They’re relatively cheap! While they’re virtually indistinguishable from their previous iteration, the JBL Endurance Peak II ($70), they do have improved specs, like an IP68 compared to an IP67 dust-ingress and waterproof rating (it can be submerged deeper and for longer) and startlingly long battery life—10 hours of playtime in the buds, and an additional 40 more in the case. I wore them for two weeks while running and walking the dog and never once had to recharge. The JBL app is easy to navigate with quite a bit of customization available.

    I have to admit that these are quite a bit bigger than some of our other picks, and that even the smallest size of ear tip doesn’t seal securely inside my ear. That made it a little difficult to evaluate sound quality as objectively, since if you can’t seal them securely, you’ll find the sound a little tinny. The buttons are a little more sensitive and I often found myself skipping tracks by adjusting my hair or hat. However, if you want killer battery life and buds that you don’t have to worry about even if you step on them, these are a solid pick.

    $100 at Amazon

    $100 at B&H Photo

Most Popular

  • Photograph: Sony

    For Bigger Ears

    Sony WF-1000XM4

    In his write-up, WIRED associate editor Parker Hall says that Sony redesigned these buds to fit roundly in your ear instead of the “mostly in but with a bit hanging out” style of previous iterations. These buds are too big for my ears, but if you have larger earholes, this is the one pair to rule them all. 

    The sound quality is excellent, the noise-canceling is better, and they pick up your voice more clearly than ever before. They also have wireless charging and an industry-leading eight hours of battery life. They might be a little bulky to use on runs, but they work just fine for lifting weights at home.

    $278 at Amazon

    $280 at Target

  • Photograph: Bang & Olufsen

    The Status Pick

    Bang & Olufsen E8 Sport

    Bang & Olufsen make gorgeous headphones, and these … well, they’re gorgeous. I especially love their small size and their low profile in the ear. I have extremely small ears, and these stayed put. They sound amazing and are hugely customizable. You can pick different listening profiles and adjust the degree of audio transparency you’d like, so you can hear the outside world better or barely at all. They’re water-resistant and offer up to seven hours of battery life outside the case, and 30 with it. If you like world-class sound and aesthetics, and wouldn’t throw yourself off a cliff if you lost a $350 earbud, these are great.

    $325 at Amazon

    $349 at Bang & Olufsen

  • Photograph: Back Bay

    Another Affordable Option

    Back Bay Audio Tempo 30

    I was shocked by the Back Bay Tempo 30 (8/10, WIRED Recommends). The build quality is so good, they fit really well, and the sound is so great that I immediately had to have my colleague and WIRED’s resident audiophile, Parker Hall, verify my assessment for me. 

    A $45 pair of headphones isn’t perfect. They sound muddy up in the high range, and the Bluetooth connection isn’t great—it cut out on me when I left my phone on a counter and walked around a corner. Calls are fine to the person on the other end, but they sound remote and tinny on mine. At least they stayed in place while I was hanging upside down at a climbing gym, so you probably don’t need Back Bay’s upgraded pair with ear clips and wireless charging.  

    $50 at Amazon

    $45 at Back Bay Audio

Most Popular

  • Photograph: JLab

    Honorable Mentions

    Other Workout Buds We Like

    We try almost every pair of new workout buds that come out. Here are a few we like that aren’t quite as nice as the options above.

    • Back Bay Runner 60 for $60: Back Bay’s upgraded model have a whopping 80 hours of battery life, dual mics, and are IPX7-rated.
    • JBL x Under Armour True Wireless Streak for $85: These have most of the best JBL features—Ambient Aware, TalkThru, bumping bass—in a tinier package.
    • Adidas Z.N.E. True Wireless Headphones for $155: These sound wonderful, warm and resonant. However, for the price, their specs are not quite as great as some of our other picks—only 20 hours of battery life, with a slightly worse IPX5 rating.
    • Master & Dynamic MW07 Go for $159: We love these earbuds, but they’re getting quite old.
    • Bose Sport for $129: The same is true for the Bose Sport.
    • Philips Wireless Sport Headphones for $50: These fit well, and the sound is decent, but the case battery life is underwhelming, and the UV sterilizing tech seems like a gimmick.

Adrienne So is a senior associate reviews editor for WIRED, where she reviews consumer technology. She graduated from the University of Virginia with bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish, and she previously worked as a freelance writer for Cool Hunting, Paste, Slate, and other publications. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

TopicsShoppingbuying guideswireless headphoneaudioworkoutExerciseHeadphones

Best full-size wired and wireless headphones in 2023: price, which ones to choose

Nikita Boguslavsky

listened very carefully

Author profile

Full-size headphones are good for long-term use: at home, in the office, on a plane or train.

The large ear cushions don’t put pressure on your ears, and the headband evenly distributes the weight so you don’t get sore or numb after hours.

And even in large headphones, the sound is also “big”: with rich bass, well-developed upper and middle frequencies. The enveloping design creates the effect of a three-dimensional space, the so-called wide stage, in contrast to the “plugs”, where the music plays as if in your head.

At least that’s what quality over-ear headphones should be. But among hundreds of models on sale, not all are successful. We studied the offers of Russian stores and chose the six best pairs based on our experience, user reviews and reviews of specialized publications. The selection includes both wired and wireless models.

But we do not distort or embellish reviews, and the choice of specific devices for the test does not depend on whether we receive a commission.

Equipment reviews in Tinkoff Magazine are independent. The verdict depends only on how the devices performed during the tests.

For reviews, we either request equipment from the manufacturer for a test, or purchase it ourselves. Our reviews are subjective, but honest and expert – opinions are written by authors who have more than one technical review behind them. The editorial team of Tinkoff Magazine double-checks the texts, proofreads them and conducts a fact check.

All prices are at the time of publication of the material, but we update them periodically to keep the reviews up to date.

How did we choose the best headphones? →

From £345

Best Wireless – Sony WH-1000XM4

The recognized flagship in every way: Sony has very few competitors in terms of sound quality, noise reduction and technology.

Headphones aimed at the mass user, not at work in the studio. The sound of the Sony WH-1000XM4 is bright, energetic, with a bias towards powerful bass. The standard mode suited me just fine, but there are several genre settings and three user presets with free equalizer settings to choose from.

Noise cancellation is exemplary, one of the best on the market. A system of multiple microphones inside and out picks up and effectively dampens most sounds without creating overwhelming silence. Noise reduction also has almost no effect on the sound quality of music, unlike some models of a lower class.

The button on the left ear cup quickly switches between three modes: noise reduction, amplification of external sounds and processing off. If you download a proprietary application to your smartphone, you will be able to adjust noise reduction on a scale of 20 levels or turn on a smart system that adapts to the environment. There is also a system that stops the music and turns on the amplification of external sounds when you start talking. This is convenient for not taking off your headphones at the checkout in the store, but it gets in the way if you like to sing along to your favorite songs.

The control is touch-sensitive and placed on the right cup: swipes left and right scroll through the tracks, up and down adjust the volume. If you put your palm on the touchpad, the music will pause and the external sounds amplification mode will turn on: this is convenient if you need to hear an announcement on the train.

Sony WH-1000XM4 supports multi-point function – they can be connected to two devices at the same time. For example, to a laptop and a smartphone to listen to music at work, but at the same time not to miss a call and answer it without removing the headphones.

How to choose an Android smartphone in 2022

For storage, the cups rotate 90 degrees, the complete case is quite compact and will even fit into a medium-sized women’s bag. The kit includes a detachable cable for wired connection via a 3.5 mm jack and an adapter for an aircraft.

Headphones are charged via USB-C. With noise cancellation and smart features turned on, they last about a week if you use them every day for a couple of hours.

How much:

  • in “M-video” – 35 999 R;
  • other offers on Yandex Market — from 34 490 R.

Analogues. There are four main alternatives to the Sony WH-1000XM4: the previous model WH-100XM3, the recently announced next model WH-1000XM5, Bose QuietComfort 45 and Apple AirPods Max.

Judging by the first reviews, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is not worth waiting for: the design does not add up in the new design, and the differences in sound and noise reduction quality are rather insignificant.

The older XM3s are nearly identical in design, noise cancellation, comfort and battery life. They do not support multipoint and voice activation, but you can quickly switch to amplifying external sound by pressing your palm to the earpiece. And they also use other speakers, with a more neutral sound: some users like them even more. On Yandex Market, the model costs from 27,800 R, but with the release of the XM5, it may disappear from sale.

Bose QuietComfort 45 have a neutral sound. The quality of noise reduction is at a comparable high level, but they have fewer smart features, and the design is more rigorous and utilitarian than that of Sony. At the same time, some users claim that Bose sits more comfortably. On Yandex Market, prices start at 38,000 R.

AirPods Max didn’t win for two reasons: they are very expensive and don’t work well with anything other than Apple devices. Prices in white retail on Yandex Market start from 50,000 R for a device in an unpopular pink color. At the same time, there is nothing to complain about in terms of sound quality, convenience and assembly. There is multipoint, and excellent noise reduction, and support for surround sound in Apple Music. Most owners are very satisfied with the purchase and if they complain about something, it is only about the unsightly and easily soiled complete case.

From 25,000 R

The best wired — Meze 99 Classics

The Romanian brand Meze is not as well-known as Sony or AKG, but has proven itself well among enthusiasts. The 99 Classics looks premium with real wood cups, a steel headband and premium eco-leather ear pads.

Despite the pretentious design, these are very balanced and practical headphones in the mid-high segment. They have a low resistance of 32 ohms, so even with a regular smartphone, the volume margin will be decent. The cable is removable, the kit includes two different ones: a short one with a button and a microphone and a “home” cable 3 meters long.

These are exemplary closed-back headphones, with deep bass, detailed mids and bright but not annoying highs. Symphony concerts sound grandiose, and rock music rolls over the ears. Rap also “rocks” as it should be: the beat is powerful, but it doesn’t clog and doesn’t overlap the text. However, for lovers of a neutral and transparent sound, the headphones may be too assertive.

Meze 99 Classics isolate external noise well. Despite the design with a double headband, the model is quite compact. Headphones are great for use on the road with a smartphone or player. Just protect them from rain and snow: even treated wood does not like humidity and sudden temperature changes. The headphones come with a convenient case for storage and carrying, so as not to throw them into a backpack just like that.

The best mid-range smartphones up to 60,000 R — 5 successful models

It’s nice that the design is completely collapsible: any element can be replaced if necessary.

How much:

  • in M-video – 24 290 R;
  • other offers on Yandex Market — from 25,275 rubles.

Analogues. In addition to the Classics version, Meze 99 Neo is on sale – the same, but with plastic cups and cheaper, from 17,500 R on Yandex Market. According to reviews, they sound a little different, with excessively powerful bass, which is not very good for music genres with an emphasis on vocals or instruments.

For home use, you should take a closer look at the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X. They have an open design, large cups and velor ear cushions: for the street and public transport, they are far from the best option, but at home they are comfortable. In addition, due to the high resistance of 48 ohms, not every smartphone or compact player will “shake” them.

Best smartphones under R15,000: 5 successful models

Beyerdynamic has a neutral and detailed sound, it is easier to make out instrumental music in them. But there is also enough bass. By the way, these are excellent headphones for video games: with realistic sound and accurate sound positioning in shooters. On Yandex Market, prices start at 31,500 R.

From £200

Optimum Wireless – Sony WH-H910N/h.ear

Sony’s mid-to-high budget model lacks most of the flagship’s smart features, but they are similar in sound, usability, and noise canceling quality.

H910N is lighter and fully foldable, making it easier to carry. The kit does not include a hard case, only a fabric bag. The headband is also different: instead of leatherette with foam padding, there is a rubber pad. It does not look so solid, but it copes with the task perfectly: I spent four to five hours in these headphones without any discomfort.

The speakers can be tuned in the app for a more neutral sound with high instrument detail and excellent mids.

Noise canceling can completely isolate the noise of the road or the office, but low-frequency hum in the subway or next to a running air conditioner still makes its way in. The button on the left cup switches between noise reduction, amplification of external sounds and complete lack of processing.

The control is located on the touch panel on the right cup and is identical to WH-1000XM4. But there are no additional sensors for pausing when removing or for automatically switching to transparency mode when talking. Multipoint is also not provided.

How much:

  • in M-video – 19 990 R;
  • other offers on Yandex Market – from 19 990 R.

Analogues. Huawei FreeBuds Studio costs about the same – from 19,400 R on Yandex Market. They look more solid and also much smarter: there is a multipoint for connecting to several devices at the same time, and a pause when removing, and six microphones for talking and noise reduction. Huawei has arguably the best microphones of all the headsets in the collection: in terms of voice quality, they are not inferior to a smartphone.

But Huawei FreeBuds Studio doesn’t sound like a studio at all. The creators clearly focused on how the Beats Studio3 sounded: redundant lows and fuzzy mids make them attractive to fans of EDM and rap, but in complex instrumental music, some parts are flooded with booming bass. And despite all the smart features, a full-fledged equalizer is not provided in the application.

The best wireless headphones up to 8000 R

Also, Huawei headphones do not support the popular AptX codec for transferring music via Bluetooth without loss and distortion: the company either cannot or does not want to pay Qualcomm royalties for the license. Instead, the headphones support the good L2HC codec, but it only works with Huawei smartphones.

From R15000

Optimal Wired – Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

The ATH-M50X has earned cult status for its convenience, quality and memorable design. Mostly black and white are on sale, but color options have been produced at different times, including bright purple, black-orange and burgundy with gold.

Audio-Technica signature clear and neutral sound. Headphones are equally good in jazz, electronic, heroic metal and pop music. Some people may miss a little thick bass, but the well-developed details at mid and high frequencies really transform their favorite tracks.

I find the ATH-M50X very comfortable. Thanks to the movable cups, they fit perfectly, and the headband does not squeeze the head. There is pressure on the top of the head, but almost all headphones of this type have to be corrected sometimes.

Fully plastic foldable design. The quality of the material is good, but if dropped, the mounts and hinges may crack. The set includes three cables: twisted and two straight cables for 1.2 and 3 meters.

How much:

  • on Dr.Head — from 13 590 Р; Razer Opus X : no glowing snake logos, no contrasting accents of bright colors. In shape, they resemble the flagship Sony WH-1000XM4 more than the inexpensive models of Sony itself. Headphones are available in three body colors: white, pink and signature acid green.

    These are one of the most affordable full size Bluetooth headphones on the market if you want active noise cancellation, a comfortable fit and decent sound. Razer managed to achieve a quite decent neutral sound profile with lively bass. While competitors often focus on a low rumble that floods and clogs other frequencies. But noise reduction is not the most effective. Headphones muffle the noise of the office, road or train, but external sounds are still distinguishable.

    Over the past two or three years, Razer has mastered the development of wireless headphones very well. The mobile application is available on all platforms, works stably and allows you to conveniently adjust the equalizer and noise reduction system. The microphones are good, without pronounced noise reduction, but the interlocutor hears you clearly.

    Earmuffs made of matte plastic with a grainy texture. The cups are circumferential, but comparatively small and shallow, so people with large ears may want to try on Opus X before buying. The folding mechanism is not provided, there is no cover in the kit.

    Simple operation with buttons on the right cup. You need to adapt to their location so as not to get confused on the go. Three buttons in different combinations will turn the music on and off, adjust the volume, scroll through tracks and change noise reduction modes. Shortcuts can be configured in the smartphone app.

    A good signature feature – game mode with reduced latency and increased stability. The quality in it stalls a little, but in games the lack of out of sync between the picture and sound is more important than halftones.

    How much:

    • on Razer.ru – 8199 R;
    • other offers on Yandex Market – from 7900 R.

    Analogues. JBL LIVE 660NC is cheaper, but inferior in sound quality: due to an excess of booming bass, the music lacks clarity. They also lose in convenience: not every ear will fit into small ear cushions, because of the rigid headband without padding, the top of the head quickly begins to ache.

    From 5000 R

    Inexpensive wired – AKG K240 Studio

    The only open type headphones in the selection, they are only suitable for use at home or in the studio. The open design makes the sound more spacious and lively, but allows all external noise to pass through, and those around you will hear the same thing as you.

    K240 Studio are designed for professional audio work, but will also be a good solution for everyday computer use. They have a neutral, balanced sound without pronounced bass – a good solution for instrumental music, recording, podcasts, movies and video games. You should not expect a bright and driving sound from them.

    K240 Studio seem rather flimsy, but very light and comfortable, do not press, do not rub, and the ears do not get tired and do not sweat.

    When connected to a smartphone and most laptops, the sound will be quiet: 55 ohm impedance is high for most portable devices. For such headphones, it is desirable to have at least a simple amplifier.

    The best laptops for work and beyond: 7 good options

    0 Р;

  • other offers on Yandex Market – from 4890 R.

Analogues. If there is an opportunity to add money, take a closer look at the AKG K361. These are undemanding closed headphones with a neutral sound. With a low resistance of 32 ohms and a high sensitivity of 114 dB, they are perfectly compatible with portable equipment and definitely do not require an external amplifier. The

K361 offer fairly neutral and balanced sound without piercing highs and oversaturated bass. These are universal headphones for all genres of music, cinema and sound work. There are two cables in the kit: 1.2 and 3 meters to use both at home and on the street.

The closed design and leatherette ear cushions block out external noise well — at about 80% volume, it is quite comfortable to listen to them in the subway. On Yandex Market, prices start at 7400 R.

How we made the selection

I have been fond of audio equipment for more than ten years, so when choosing, I relied on my experience and reviews of fellow reviewers.

For this material, we set an upper price threshold of 35,000 RUR. All selected headphones are suitable for simple use with a smartphone or computer to listen to music from streaming services. I did not consider very expensive enthusiast models that require connection through an additional amplifier and are overly sensitive to the quality of the source files.

There are no budget models up to 5000 R either. With a limited budget, you should pay attention to in-ear headphones. “Gags” for 2000-3000 R sound much better than full-size “ears” comparable in price. For the same reason, there are no wireless models under Rs. 9000 on the list. I was already familiar with some models, several pairs were provided by colleagues and friends, but I tested most of them specifically for the selection.

Here is a list of candidates for the best wired headphones:

  1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X.
  2. Audio-Technica ATH-M40X.
  3. Audio-Technica MSR 7B.
  4. Meze 99 Classics.
  5. Meze 99 Neo.
  6. AKG K712 Pro.
  7. AKG K240 Studio.
  8. AKG K361.
  9. Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X.
  10. Sennheiser HD559.
  11. Sennheiser HD400S.

And this is the list of tested wireless models:

  1. Sony WH-1000XM4.
  2. Sony WH-H910N.
  3. Bose QuietComfort 45.
  4. Beats Studio 3 Wireless.
  5. JBL LIVE 660NC.
  6. Razer Opus X.
  7. Panasonic RP-HTX90.
  8. Apple AirPods Max.
  9. Huawei FreeBuds Studio.

After three weeks of testing, I selected six models in different categories. There were no completely unsuccessful models among those that did not make it to the final list.

While testing the sound of the wired models, I listened to a few AAC songs on the iPod Classic. He paired headphones with a bluetooth connection with an iPhone 12 and played the same tracks from Yandex Music in HQ mode. I specifically did not use the Astell & Kern SR25 audiophile player, files in formats like FLAC and headphone amplifiers, since such a usage format is hardly relevant for most readers.

To determine comfort, I spent at least 35 minutes of continuous playback of music and video content in all headphones. This is usually enough to show problems associated with heavy weight, too tight fit or hot cups that make your ears sweat a lot. Noise-canceling models were also tested by a trip in the Moscow metro.

How to choose over-ear headphones

When choosing headphones, it is important to be guided by the main rule: is not perfect, you need to try different options yourself.

People do not have the same taste and shape of ears, we listen to different music from different devices and in different situations. Even the perception of sound is different. Therefore, what one person praises may not suit another at all, there are almost no objective criteria here. But there are a few important points to consider when choosing.

First of all, you need to decide on the purpose of the headphones. It is conditionally possible to divide all models into home and street.

Headphones for street and transport. Outdoor models should have good noise isolation, not fall off when walking, be durable and – preferably – fold.

Closed-back headphones with a tight fit and short cord for walking and travel. The solid body does not let in external noise, the sound of such headphones is usually more energetic, but compact.

The single headband and leatherette ear pads make the design lightweight, compact and smudge-resistant. But you should not expect ideal comfort: in a couple of hours, if not earlier, pressure on the top of your head will begin to cause discomfort, and your ears will start to sweat in unventilated cups.

Headphones for home and office. The requirements are different indoors. Comfort is important here, there is no need to escape from noise. A long cable to connect to a computer will come in handy.

Suitable for open and semi-open models with self-adjusting headband. Their cups are with holes or generally with a mesh – they freely let in ambient sounds. Thanks to this, the sound acquires volume and is more reminiscent of a live performance, and the ears are ventilated and do not get tired from long-term use. True, your colleagues or relatives will perfectly hear everything that you turn on.

The rigid headband design with the movable padded headband tends to be cumbersome, but the earbuds are one-click on and generally the most comfortable fit. And if you also use ear pads made of velor or other fabric, then you can sit in these for at least a whole day.

Why wireless headphones are more expensive than wired ones

Bluetooth models work according to a completely different logic than wired ones.

Ordinary headphones are quite primitive: a series of electrical discharges are applied to magnets that move the membrane and thus produce sound. The sound is affected by the size, shape and material of the cups, as the body essentially becomes a resonator, like in a guitar or piano. The main thing is that there is no electronics inside: the signal from a smartphone, computer or player reaches the membrane without loss or artifacts.

Wireless headphones are much more complicated: they are full of electronic components, this is a complete gadget. A smartphone or computer encodes an audio file, splits it into multiple packets, compresses and sends it over the air, and the headphone processor receives, decompresses and assembles the file back – everything happens in a fraction of a second.

But digital compression rarely goes through without loss, and some of the packets also deteriorate along the way, so after transferring the file is not quite the same as it was originally. And inside the case, in addition to sound drivers, you need to fit controls, several microphones, a battery, a charging connector and other elements. All this affects the sound quality.

In order for sound to be played back without delay and quality is not lost, headphones must support efficient audio codecs and have a chip powerful enough to process streaming data. And also a good digital-to-analog converter – DAC – and amplifier: components that turn a digital signal into an analog one.

“Seduced by the brand”: 9 popular wireless headphones that may disappoint At the same time, there is less space for high-quality drivers in the case. That is, at a comparable price, Bluetooth headphones will always sound worse than wired ones. But on the other hand, they are not so sensitive to the quality of the source: they do all the processing related to sound themselves.

Our recommendations

Prices are valid for the Moscow region at the time of publication, but we update them periodically.

Best wireless

Sony WH-1000XM4

Great sound, lots of smart features, exemplary noise reduction

M-Video – R35,999;
on Yandex Market – from 34 490 R.

The best wired

Meze 99 Classics

Premium design, rich sound with great detail and rich, bright bass

in “M-video” – from 24 290 R;
On Yandex Market – from 25 275 R.

Optimal wireless

Sony WH-H910N

Simplified version of the flagship: lightweight, with energetic sound and easy control

In “M-video” – 19 990 R;
on Yandex Market – from 19 990 R.

Optimal wired

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

Popular headphones with neutral and detailed, but not boring sound

On Dr.Head – from 13 590 Р;
on Yandex Market — from 14 990 R.

Inexpensive wireless

Razer Opus X

Gaming brand headphones with quite mainstream sound, discreet design and comfortable fit

Razer.ru – 8199 Р;
on Yandex Market – from 7900 R.

Inexpensive wired

AKG K240 Studio

Inexpensive, but demanding open “monitors” for home and studio use

At Dr.Head – 5390 R;
on Yandex Market — from 4890 Р.

All our recommendations

In the Technoselection stream. Here the editorial staff of Tinkoff Magazine tests devices and selects the best of them

Read articles

what to choose if you plan to be in touch all the time


We deal with an expert which headphones are better to use if you plan to talk for a long time, watch movies or listen to music

Using wired headphones is safer for health.

Copyright (c) 2020 Rido/Shutterstock.

Scientists call for protection

A few years ago, 250 scientists from 40 countries who are studying the biological and medical effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields sent a collective petition to the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the potential danger of this effect on the human body. Devices that generate powerful electromagnetic radiation include modern electronic devices, including Bluetooth adapters, Wi-Fi, modems, cell phones and wireless accessories.

Numerous scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals indicate that exposure to this type of radiation in living organisms leads to a number of consequences such as oncology, cellular stress, genetic damage, functional changes in the reproductive system, neurological disorders, memory problems, as well as negative impact on the general well-being of a person.

For example, in a 2018 paper titled “Wi-Fi poses a serious threat to human health,” Martin Poll, professor emeritus of biochemistry at the University of Washington, argues that the potential health impacts of wireless technology can be serious.

Not all technology is equally useful

It’s worth remembering that any technology that requires regular recharging from the mains, including your mobile phone, fitness tracker or portable headphones, is a source of electromagnetic radiation (EMR), says Metro physicist -engineer Alexei Zolotarev.

– Wireless headphones, like any other wireless devices, are a source of radio magnetic radiation, and in any case – harm to the body, albeit low-power, – says the expert. – Of course, if you are near a working microwave (microwave) oven, the harm will be even greater. And in this sense, the radiation from small headphones will be scanty. And yet it will be permanent.

By the way, in the Soviet years, the physicist recalled, much attention was paid to any electrical product that went on sale to the public – it was checked for harmful effects. And if the device raised questions, it was not allowed to be released. For this reason, microwave ovens appeared in our country rather late compared to the rest of the world.

For long-term use, the expert says, wired headphones are better.


– If you have to choose between wired and wireless headphones, I would prefer to use wired ones. Especially if you have long negotiations or a trip in which you will listen to music or watch movies, the expert continues.