Anyone who has recently purchased a new phone may be surprised to find that many phones no longer have a headphone jack. While this may be a source of grief and confusion, it's a great opportunity to consider some of the newest wireless headphones to hit the market.
We've compiled a list of some of the most highly-rated headphones of the year.
The best wireless headphones of the year:
Sennheiser PXC 550
There really isn't anything to not like about these headphones. While they deliver superb sound quality, what really stands out is its design. The PXC 550 is similar to the majority of over-the-ear headphones and folds for storage. To encourage users to fold the headphones when they are done, the power switch is located on the neck's headphones. Sennheiser designed the headphones to turn off and on when they are packed away.
Sennheiser's PXC 550 has the best design of all of the headphones on this list. Finding the necessary buttons can be difficult, Sennheiser makes this easier by placing the important features (track control and volume buttons) on the headphone's ear cup. Tapping the ear cup will answer and end calls as well as play/pause music tracks.
These headphones have an NFC chip that allows for easy pairing with a phone. Pairing the headphones is a simple as placing the phone against the left side.
The CapTune app is a great companion to these headphones. The app has an equalizer and gives status updates about the headphones. Unfortunately, the app does not manage any of the devices connected to the headphones. The PXC 550 uses non-differentiating terminology like 'Phone 1' and 'Phone 2' to tell users what devices are connected.
There are a lot of reasons to own this headset. They are comfortable, the controls are designed for use without seeing them, and they are a unique way to turn the headphones off and on. Also, these headphones have several modes of noise cancellation. However, these headphones could have better voice feedback, a better design, and more color options.
One of the most noticeable things about these Sony headphones is the fact that they are pliable. The ear cups turn for easy storage. The fact that these headphones don't have any tension in their joins means the ear cups move around as they are worn.
This is probably not the ideal start to a review these headphones, but it does set the tone for how these headphones are experienced. The headphones are not horrible headphones, they just are not that great. The MDR-ZX770BN has good sound and the noise-cancellation feature is fine. However, the headphones feel frail and inexpensive when compared to the rest of the headphones on this list. As far as usability goes, the buttons are hard to figure out without taking the headphones off and reading the labels.
The positive highlights of these headphones that they deliver great sound quality for the price. Also, the noise cancellation and wireless capabilities make these headphones worth purchasing. On the other hand, these headphones could be of much better quality. Also, it's somewhat difficult to use the controls without taking off the headphones.
Released in 2016, these wireless headphones became a must-have model and this year's updated version is definitely worth recommending. The Bose QC35 headphones are very comfortable and deliver a good sound. The active noise-cancellation feature makes these headphones ideal for long flights.
One of the best features is the button that launches Google Assistant, a service that tells you the current weather forecast reads your messages and controls your phone. The companion app, Bose Connect, for Android and iPhone is one of the best companion apps available.
The Bose QC35 II has a lot to love. They are super comfortable and deliver high-quality sound. The controls are easy to find and the addition of the Google Assistant button is a great feature. The only issues with these headphones would be that they don't feel like premium headphones. Also, there are no touch control features.
These headphones are the perfect headphones for the person who is mostly concerned with sound. The WH-1000XM2's sound is so good, it will have listeners hearing things in their favorite track they have never heard before.
Similar to the Sennhesier PXC 550, these headphones have touch controls on the right eardrum. Most headphones don't have touch controls here. There is also a button the right side that lets users separate toggle, allowing them to hear ambient noise.
The headband may seem tight and uncomfortable to some. People who have tried these headphones have taken them off after a few hours due to how uncomfortable they are. However, comfort is subjective, so this experience may not be universal.
The WH-1000XM2 is worth considering because of its superb sound quality and touch controls. It also doesn't have a bulky design. The only cons to these headphones are the fact that the design is uninspiring and the headband can be tight.
Anyone who owns an iPhone may want to consider AirPods, Apple's wire-free headset.
The design is definitely different, but they are amazing headphones. Once they are set up, users can put them in their ears to start listening to their favorite songs. Using these AirPods is as easy as using 3.5mm headphones.
Apple's newest addition to the headphones market provides a decent quality sound, audiophile's may not appreciate these accessories. The AirPods have difficulty blocking out external noise. However, anyone who is deeply invested in Apple and their products, will more than likely love their AirPods.
The pros of Apple's AirPods is that they have a long battery life and require little effort when they are used with an iPhone. The headphones also have a decent sound quality. On the other hand, the design is something that everyone won't love and replacing a lost bud is expensive.
The number of over-the-ear options for wireless headphones may seem like it's endless. However, there are options for people who desire in-ear buds. The WI-1000X has several features that include a microphone for users to make a hands-free call, noise cancellation, and the headphones use Sony's signature adaptive sound technology.
The headphones, to let users enjoy all their features, are attached to a plastic neckband. Unfortunately, the neckband may not coordinate well with every outfit. The headphones' controls are located on the neckband, making using these headphones difficult. However, these headphones are still a worthwhile alternative to over-the-ear headphones.
These headphones do an excellent job of noise cancellation and they are comfortable with using over an extended period of time. Another benefit of using these headphones is the NFC pairing and hands-free call features. Unfortunately, everyone might not appreciate the neckband and the controls are hard to use.
Spending $500, or more, on headphones is not something everyone is willing to do. It's also not something anyone has to do considering they can buy the HD 4.50s at a much lower price.
Compared to their more expensive counterparts, the PXC 550s, these Sennheiser headphones lack an eye-catching design and they don't have touch controls. But what the headphones don't have in aesthetics and convenience, they make up for by having an amazing sound, hands-free calling features, wireless connectivity, and noise canceling. The headphones just don't come with any extra features, but people who own these headphones aren't spending more money on them.
It would great to see the next iteration of these headphones come with a better set of controls. Currently, the buttons are very close in size and it's hard to tell one from the other.
Owners of these headphones will appreciate hands-free calling and a good sound. Sennheiser's NoiseGard noise-canceling feature is highly-effective. What potential buyers may not like includes the lackluster design and controls that are hard to use.
These headphones are a great way to enjoy music without spending a ton of money. The on-ear headphones are comfortable and can be worn all day. The Jabra Move Wireless headphones come with Bluetooth connectivity, but not noise cancellation technology.
The headphones come with a cable and have a headphone jack, allowing users to enjoy the headphones even when the battery runs out. These are features that really expensive headphones don't offer. The headphones are also available in several colors.
The pros of the Jabra headphones are a great price, comfortable and the controls are easy to use. Unfortunately, the design means the user will hear a lot of external noise. Also, there's no built-in noise cancellation feature.
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