Whether they’re on or in-ear, these are the headphones you should put your hard-earned down on
The next time you’re on a long-haul flight, look around and you’ll probably notice how wireless headphones have taken over. Wires are clearly passé; they went out of vogue since the debut of the iPhone 7, which ditched the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack, a design idea that many other smartphone brands have since adopted. This has irked many audiophiles, but they’ve adapted, switching to Bluetooth headphones, which have made rapid strides since 2016. Whether you’re yet to take the Bluetooth plunge or are seeking an upgrade, our list should help.
Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
Whether you like to lounge in your den with a drink and your favourite playlist, or plug into your contemporary rock favourites on a flight, you might find these headphones a compelling proposition. The Momentum series has long been a favourite among serious music aficionados. The wireless version has widened the Momentum range’s appeal, with the same high-quality materials. You’ll love the stainless steel sliders, and the leather ear cups ensure maximum comfort even for long listening periods.
Bowers and Wilkins PX
A formidable brand in the speaker space, B&W’s foray into the Bluetooth headphone arena brings a whole new dimension to the segment. First, it’s the elliptical shape, which fits snugly over your ears. Then it’s the luxurious leather, which sets it apart from the competition. The noise cancellation is quite exceptional and offers a range of sound modes, from aeroplane to office and city, which also helps you to stay aware of your surroundings. The 22 hours of battery life is the icing on the cake.
I still remember the moment I fell in love with these headphones. I was on a transatlantic flight and had to respond to a flight attendant. I didn’t have to yank the headphones off; all I did was place my hand on the right ear. The instant mute function (Sony calls this the Quick Attention Mode) is one of the cool tricks that make this a quintessential accessory for a long flight. This headband-style wireless device has great noise cancellation abilities and a whopping 30-hour battery life.
Bose Quiet Comfort 35
In terms of noise cancellation abilities, these headphones are almost unbeatable and live up to their name. The Quiet Comfort 35 features the company’s Acoustic Noise Cancelling technology, which continuously keeps tabs on external sounds and cancels them with opposite signals. You can adjust the noise cancellation, choosing between three levels to suit your sound environment. There’s also a dedicated Google Assistant ‘action button’ which allows you to get a whole lot of stuff done without having to pull your Android device out of your pocket.
Probably the go-to everyday headphones for iPhone users, and not without reason. They work like magic with your iPhone, coming to life when you place them in your ears and turning off when you remove them. You can customise the double taps on your left and right AirPods for a variety of functions. The dental floss-type carry case is another standout example of Apple design, and also doubles up as a charging station. The battery life is almost matchless – the case holds over 24 hours of life, while each full charge ensures five hours of listening time. You can pair them with Android devices, but they work more intuitively with iOS devices.
Samsung Level Active
If you need an extra set of headphones for that morning run or a gym workout, Samsung’s aggressively priced headphones will do nicely. They’re crafted for an active lifestyle, with a water-resistant form factor. They work equally well when you break into a sweat during an intense workout. A variety of ergonomic soft gel ear tips combine with a flexible ear hook, to keep the device in place even as you push the limits on your daily run.
Sennheiser Momentum in-ear wireless
One of the most comfortable neckband headsets you can buy, with premium materials. Sennheiser’s proprietary ‘NoiseGard’ technology, which uses four in-built microphones to cancel noise, allows you to enjoy your favourite tracks even in noisy environments. There are different versions for Android and iOS devices, while the headset’s NFC technology offers instant ‘at a touch’ pairing for compatible devices.
You barely feel these ultra-light headphones in your ears. Sony has positioned them as the world’s first wireless noise cancelling headphones with a splash-proof design. That’s a big draw for active users – it’s ready for sweat and for that occasional run in the rain (thanks to the IPX4 certified splash-proof form factor). The device also features Sony’s proprietary Extra Bass Sound; these headphones truly punch above their weight with bass. The WF-SP7000N boasts of 9 hours of effective battery life – 3 hours for the headphones plus 6 hours for the case.
Bose SoundSport Free
Designed for an active lifestyle, but equally suitable for everyday use. They’re housed in a charging case that looks quite futuristic. Each of Bose’s SoundSport earbuds weighs just 10 grams, and are embedded with a new antennae system that ensures your device makes a strong connection. The SoundSport earbuds are rugged and IPX4 certified – they can resist water and sweat. Bose’s proprietary StayHear+ Sports tips ensure these fit securely and are comfortable for hours.
Digital Noise Cancelling, Ambient Sound Mode and a lightweight wireless design – these sporty headphones let you enjoy your music with no holding back. They’ve been tested extensively in real workout scenarios, and come with earbuds in four sizes for a secure fit, an arc support fitting making sure they stay comfortably perched. You’ll find the IPX4 certification handy during a run in the rain, and you can choose from a range of funky colours.