For several years, the trend has been for wireless headphones. Thanks to Bluetooth technology, these products offer total freedom of movement and, for the more expensive ones, effective active noise reduction.
This guide brings together several excellent wireless headphones, at different price ranges.
Our pick of the best wireless headphones:
- Sony WF-1000XM4: the best noise reduction in this format
- Apple AirPods 3: the right choice of headphones on iPhone
- Apple AirPods Pro: noise reduction and the iOS ecosystem
- Nothing Ear(1): a benchmark at an affordable price
- Beats Fit Pro: wireless headphones suitable for sport
A few years ago, the removal of the jack port from the iPhone 7 caused a real outcry. However, the market has adapted and, in 2022, the trend is more than ever for wireless. It is true that in use, bluetooth headphones provide undeniable ergonomics and comfort – no more hanging cords in your clothes. As soon as the headphones fit well in the ears, freedom of movement becomes total. This is particularly important when practicing a sports activity while listening to music.
In this guide, we’ve picked out the best wireless headphones on the market. Whatever your needs and your budget, you can find the most suitable model, with more or less advanced features.
Sony WF-1000XM4: the best noise reduction in this format
Sony has earned a solid reputation in the segment of audio products with active noise reduction. Barely launched, the successors to the WF-1000XM3 are already asserting themselves as a reference – as confirmed by our handling of the Sony WF-1000XM4. They have all the features expected of a product at this price. In particular, they offer impressive active noise reduction which justifies the premium positioning (and the price).
Nestled in a compact case, the WF-1000XM4 also offer several settings in a very complete companion application. This versatility is a real strength and allows the headphones to shine in any situation. As a bonus, Sony has reviewed its copy in terms of comfort. Far from being irreproachable on this criterion, the WF-1000XM3 give way to the much more convincing WF-1000XM4 thanks to a more discreet design. As a bonus, the autonomy is excellent, with 24 hours of listening in all.
Apple headphones for iOS
Impossible not to be interested in Apple AirPods 3 if you own an iPhone. With a fairly universal design and fully integrated into the iOS ecosystem – including Siri – these headphones are easy to use and offer amazing sound reproduction given their format. Above all, they come with a little magic box that recharges them and guarantees them a very sufficient total autonomy, because more than twenty hours. An ideal of wireless comfort, we indicated in our test of Apple’s AirPods 3. Compared to older AirPods, they offer a design closer to AirPods Pro – but without the in-ear design that may bother some people.
Who are the AirPods 3 for? For those who want headphones that are perfectly integrated into the iOS ecosystem and hate the intra format.
Taking up all the qualities of the classic AirPods, the AirPods Pro offer, for their part, active noise reduction in addition, in a very (very) comfortable in-ear format. We find all the know-how of Cupertino in terms of design and integration in the iOS ecosystem.
The multinational has also improved the sound reproduction for more precise and dynamic listening. As for the intelligent noise reduction, it turns out to be stunning and gives the impression that the world is fading away around us – without ever completely disappearing. As explained in our AirPods Pro test, these devices are more expensive than AirPods but they are much more than headphones. In 2021, they benefit from a MagSafe compatible box, for better wireless charging.
Nothing Ear (1): wireless headphones for less than €100
Why aim for the high end at all costs? With its Ear(1) model, the new Nothing brand is aimed at a wider and less demanding audience. Which isn’t to say its headphones are disappointing. It’s even quite the opposite: in addition to offering a battery of key features (active noise reduction, wireless charging, companion application, etc.), the Ear(1) offer convincing sound reproduction. As a bonus, they are based on an original design, with transparent plastic of the most beautiful effect.
Above all, these headphones are offered under the 100 € mark, which constitutes a very interesting quality/price ratio. Their flaws? A somewhat flat sound and active noise reduction far from the references. Find the full description of Ear (1) in our test.
Beats Fit Pro: the best headphones for sports
Beats has long been seen as a company that knew more about making fashion accessories than good audio products, in particular because of its excessive bass. She’s upped her game with the Powerbeats Pro, her first truly wireless headphones. With the Fit Pro, the company continues its momentum: for sports enthusiasts, these earpieces are perfect thanks to a flexible earloop. This specificity allows the Fit Pro to adjust perfectly to your morphology and guarantee perfect support – even during an intensive session. Find all the details and performance of the Beats Fits Pro, Kim Kardashian’s wireless headphones, in our test.
This model fits perfectly into the iOS ecosystem, Beats owned by Apple. It is also equipped with active noise reduction, to be quiet when you train.
What defines truly wireless headphones?
Wireless headphones are any headphones that do not need to be physically plugged into the source. But beware, some have a cord connecting the two earpieces. You have to pay attention to this point if you are looking for truly wireless headphones. The True Wireless are, in this case, delivered in a box dedicated to charging and transport.
What is Active Noise Cancellation?
Active noise reduction has become an essential feature. It allows you to gain in immersion, by isolating yourself as much as possible from the outside world. One might think that it is less suitable for headphones format but it is, in fact, very relevant. It compensates for the virtual absence of passive noise reduction – headphones, especially circum-aural ones, offer a much more significant one. Of course, active noise reduction is more effective on headphones.
Are all the headphones comfortable?
This is a question that is difficult to answer, since it is intimately linked to the morphology of each ear. There are more or less intrusive earphones (which dig more or less into the ear canal). As with headphones, the best thing is to try headphones. From one person to another, the comfort, like the support, can change completely. To compensate for these physical differences, manufacturers provide different sizes of tips.
Can we swim with earphones?
It all depends on the IP certification of the headphones, which provides information on water resistance. Some headphones do not support drops of water, others will resist accidental immersion very well. If you are a swimmer, however, you will be directed to earphones specially designed for this sport.