9 Best Wireless Headphones for iPhone: Your Buyer’s Guide

wireless headphones for iPhone

Apple ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack, limiting their out-of-the-box audio options to either proprietary Lightning headphones or their overpriced AirPods. Of course, AirPods aren’t the only wireless headphones for your iPhone. You’ve got options. Here are our favorite wireless headphones that absolutely crush AirPods in both audio quality and value.

What Are the Best Wireless Headphones for iPhone in 2021?

sennheiser wireless headphones for iPhone Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Wide frequency response
  • Active noise cancelling
  • 22 hour battery life
Price: $389.88 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
plantronics-pro wireless headphones for iPhone Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Intuitive control system
  • Active noise cancelling
  • 24 hour battery life
Price: $269.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
creative outlier air Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 30 hour battery life
  • Detailed sound
  • IPX5-rated
Price: $49.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
jaybird x4 wireless headphones for iPhone Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 8 hour battery life
  • Solid fit
  • IPX7-rated
Price: $181.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
jabra elite wireless headphones Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Balanced audio
  • Tracks workouts
  • IP56-rated
Price: $99.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bose qc35, bose noise cancelling headphones, bose headphones, best wireless headphones for iphone 7, best wireless headphones, bluetooth headphones, wireless earphones, best bluetooth headphones, wireless earbuds, iphone 7 headphones, airpods, alternative to airpods Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Fantastic noise cancellation
  • Volume-optimized EQ
  • 20 hour battery life
Price: $299.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
lg wireless headphones for iPhone Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Good value
  • Easy controls
  • Durable
Price: $48.49 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
jbl wireless headphones for iPhone Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Reflective cable
  • Clear sound
  • Lightweight
Price: $32.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
akg 7500 wireless headphones for iPhone Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Balanced studio sound
  • Comfy
  • High max volume
Price: $149.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Best Hi-Fi Wireless Headphones: Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

    • Wide frequency response and warm sound signature
    • Active noise cancelling
    • 22 hour battery life
    • Very high price tag
    • iOS phones cannot utilize aptX support
    • Over-ear form factor lacks portability

    While these plush over-ear headphones may be a bit bulky, they have a lot of quality features to offer.

    Sennheiser is one of the top audiophile headphone brands out there, and now with the Momentum 2.0 headphones, you have a taste at some of this audio in glorious sounding wireless — if you can afford it.

    The leather earpads are incredibly comfortable, and the headset is lightweight with minimal chance for listener’s fatigue. Unlike with earbuds, the Momentum’s earcups can make your ears awkwardly warm during prolonged listening, so there are still obvious benefits to a smaller pair.

    The battery life is about 22 hours, which is phenomenal because that is measured with the Noise Gard (sic) active noise canceling activated.

    Click here to watch a video review of these headphones by JimsReviewRoom.

    The noise canceling is not too harsh on this headset. There is no audio hiss, and the feature definitely helps when you want to just focus in on the music. Despite this solid noise canceling, the speakerphone feature of this device has an overly sensitive microphone and easily picks up background sound.

    Focusing in on the music reveals a very rich and full sound, playing on a wide frequency spectrum of 16Hz – 22kHz. The audio is clean with tight bass that does not get too boomy or spill into the mid-range sounds.

    It is, however, slightly EQ-boosted, which gives the sound just enough warmth at the cost of accuracy to the recording. Otherwise, highs are just right, neither too bright or too flat, and stand out fantastically for lyrical and acoustic music.

    Sadly, iOS devices lack aptX support to make higher-bitrate wireless streaming possible, so true hi-fi heads will be wanting to plug these headphones in via their optional 2.5mm mini jack to get the best effect. But there is still something to be said for a pair of headphones that doubles as your at-home listening option.

    The Momentum 2.0 is as close to a true OEM (on-ear monitor) as you can get with a wireless connection to your iPhone, so they are our pick for the best wireless earbuds for iPhone owners that identify as audiophiles.

  2. 2. Best Workhorse Wireless Headphones: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

    • Intuitive control system
    • Active noise cancelling
    • 24 hour battery life
    • Over-ear form factor lacks portability
    • Boomy low-end sounds
    • High price tag

    The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 is a truly diverse pair of headphones, offering solid noise cancellation, improved usability features, and an overall great sound in a sturdy over-ear package.

    Their versatility is unmatched, as they have an optional 3.5mm cable for wired listening, plus a Bluetooth dongle to connect to older PCs. The only situation that these headphones fall short in is when you want to stow them, as their somewhat bulky design does not fold up for storage.

    The BackBeat Pro 2 headphones have one full-size dial for volume on one ear cup and one for tracking on the other. These controls are so intuitive, that even a tech novice could figure them out.

    It also offers handy controls like a mute button, play/pause, a dedicated button to answer phone calls, and a built-in feature that pauses when you pull the headphones off your ears.

    There is also a button to enable the active noise canceling, which works quite well at blocking out loud environments. Even with this feature active, you can get about 24 hours of playback from one battery charge.

    The BackBeat Pro 2 keeps pace in terms of sound too, with 40mm drivers that deliver a clear and rounded sound signature. The mids and highs are accurate, bringing forward vocal subtleties and vivid percussion hits.

    The low end is nice and present too but somewhat muddled by a boomy mid-low frequency. It is a small hump in the waveform though, and the low sub otherwise packs a tight thump.

    The Bluetooth boasts an incredibly long range as well, not that you’re particularly likely to stray far from your iPhone. Altogether, the BackBeat PRO+ isn’t the best in any one category but offers a well-rounded listening experience that delivers on all fronts.

  3. 3. Best True Wireless Headphones: Creative Outlier Air

    • 30 hour battery life (10 hours without charge case)
    • Detailed sound
    • IPX5-rated
    • Controls are hard to use
    • No automatic shutoff
    • Tight seal may cause listener fatigue

    The Creative Outlier Air headphones are a versatile pair of true wireless earbuds that can handle any use. Their compact and sweatproof design makes them great for the gym, while their charging case and voice call compatibility make them equally well-suited for the office. Plus they sound good enough that you might pop them on at home for a focused listening session.

    To start, the audio from the Outlier Airs is quite solid. They are crisp and clear across the lows, mids, and highs. They have both AAC and aptX support, which allows them to send a higher bitrate signal to iPhones and compatible Android phones. The audio gets quite loud but the buttons on the earpieces themselves are too awkwardly positioned to press. They sit right over your ear canal so you’re better off controlling audio from your phone, lest you wedge your earbud permanently into your skull.

    To that point, the Outlier Airs are quite comfortable when you don’t have to push any buttons. The sample unit I received fit snugly in my ears, which was a surprise considering how small the ear tips were. These headphones have voice calling and work with Siri as well.

    The individual earbuds have about a 10 hour battery life on their own but they can last up to 30 hours on the go with their magnetic charging case. It is quite impressive just how much these headphones offer considering their price. If you are thinking about getting AirPods, just keep in mind that you can almost get two pairs of Creative Outlier Airs for the same price.

  4. 4. Best Wireless Sport Headphones: Jaybird X4 Sport

    • 8 hour battery life
    • Improved fit from Comply Foam and ear hooks
    • IPX7-rated
    • Audio quality is limited by size
    • Controls can be tricky to reach
    • Proprietary charging cable

    With the latest iOS release increasing its focus on personal fitness tracking, the Jaybird X4 headphones are an ideal workout companion because of their high-quality audio output and full waterproofing.

    These small and durable earbuds are excellently designed, and their IPX7-rating means they are fully sealed from intrusion by water. They offer a tight fight that can’t be jostled out of your ears easily either.

    The X4 has an adaptable fit, allowing you to choose between three sizes of either silicone or Comply Foam ear tips, plus several ear hooks with a new design to help lock in the perfect fit.

    The buds are connected via a tangle-free flat cable with inline controls for Bluetooth pairing power and volume. Because they are on the connecting cable, these controls end up somewhere behind your ear, but while slightly hard to reach, are still very useful.

    These earbuds have an impressive eight-hour battery life and are quickly charged through a proprietary charging clip. I would have preferred if Jaybird stuck with the microUSB port they used on the X3, but this is the price you pay for full waterproofing in a slim package.

    Although the X4 sees a fair amount of improvement in fit and ergonomics, the sound has remained about the same as the for original BlueBuds X. This is by no means bad news, as the BlueBuds are among the best sounding earbuds out there, with a rich and punchy sound that is clear at any volume.

    Because these in-ear headphones are powered by 6mm drivers, they will not beat the presence and volume of an over-ear pair of cans. Still, the X4s remain a contender for one of the best sounding fitness headphones out there.

    Bass is a bit of a weak point, but still does a solid job of driving the sound. Mids and highs are balanced and show no harshness at even the highest volumes.

    The X4’s combination of great form factor plus solid sound makes these an easy recommendation for runners, commuters, or any music aficionado who wants wireless music on the go.

    VideoVideo related to best wireless sport headphones: jaybird x4 sport2018-10-09T19:41:21-04:00
  5. 5. Best Wireless Earbuds: Jabra Elite Active 65t

    • Balanced audio
    • Tracks workouts with built-in accelerometer
    • IP56-rated
    • High price tag
    • Tight seal can cause listener fatigue
    • Battery life could be better

    If you are looking for a pair of sport earbuds that are as high-performing as you, then the Jabra Elite Active 65t Headphones are a smart choice. They combine clear and mellifluous audio with built-in fitness tracking all in a truly wireless package that matches AirPods in their portability.

    The Jabra Elite Active 65t sound about the same as the non-active version of their headphones, with the only difference being the built-in accelerometer. They are clear and balanced out of the box but you can use the free companion app to shape the EQ of your music as desired. They get decently loud but you don’t have to turn them up much at all since their in-ear design forms a tight seal.

    Many reviewers who complained about the comfort of these headphones must not be too experience with in-ear headphones, as this is a common source of listener fatigue that is not exclusive to the Elite Active 65ts. The earbuds have a 5-hour battery life on their own, which isn’t great, but the portable charge case ensures that you can get 15 hours from a day of use as long as you give the buds time to charge between sessions.

    All in all, these headphones aren’t perfect, but they meet a variety of needs that make them a standout candidate for any iPhone users looking for a new pair of daily drivers.

  6. 6. Best Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35

    • Fantastic noise cancellation
    • Volume-optimized EQ balances sound for different listening levels
    • 20 hour battery life
    • High price tag
    • Over-ear form factor lacks portability
    • ANC can block out conversations if left enabled

    While Bose faces aggressive competition in the arena of sound quality, its QuietComfort 35 headphones are widely considered some of the best noise canceling headphones ever.

    These headphones are lighter than the series I model and now support Alexa voice commands. Overall, both pairs are very comfortable. Their synthetic leather bands keep the QC35s in place without clamping down on your head too hard.

    The QC35s fold in to fit in its hard shell case which makes them great for plane and train rides, but because of their size, won’t be the best headphones to wear all day.

    You will, however, definitely still want to take these guys along wherever you need peace and quiet, as their noise cancellation outperforms other brands by a long shot. There is no tweaking on this noise cancellation, just set it and immediately escape to your musical happy place.

    The headphones eliminate virtually any background sound, be it the murmur of an office, the rumble of nearby traffic, or construction going on next door. There is no hiss or negative coloration of the audio.

    As for the actual audio, the QC35s sound great, with a slight low-mid EQ bump that makes the Bose Signature Sound. The mids drive the sound forward, but the bass has plenty of room for lower extension. You rarely get distortion in the low end.

    The highs are crisp as well and will vary in presence because of the headphones’ volume-optimized EQ, which cuts frequencies as you raise the volume to balance your sound. This obviously doesn’t lend well to making a track in Garage Band but works fine for just listening to some music.

    The right earcup has integrated controls for volume, play/pause, and tracking, and the headphones contain a battery that offers twenty hours of playtime from a single charge. All around, the Bose QC35s are best wireless earbuds for iPhone users in need of some peace and quiet.

    VideoVideo related to best noise-cancelling wireless headphones: bose quietcomfort 352018-10-09T19:42:51-04:00
  7. 7. Best Neckband Wireless Headphones: LG Tone Pro HBS-760 Wireless Headphones

    • Solid sound for the price
    • Easily accessible controls and mic
    • Durable and convenient form factor
    • Somewhat subdued low-end
    • Low maximum volume
    • Microphone lacks noise cancellation

    For many, the idea of putting any headphones into your pocket triggers PTSD-like memories of tangled cables and broken earbuds. But the all-day listener now has the option to wear a comfortable neckband to keep their headphones handy when you need them.

    The Tone Pro HBS-760 is one of the best value headphones that LG has to offer, providing great audio and usability at a great price. The unit is lightweight, and after wearing them a while, you can easily forget they are hanging on your neck.

    This form factor provides easy access to controls so you will have no trouble navigating between the power button, dedicated call button, tracking, and volume controls.

    The built-in microphone on these headphones is clear and well-positioned, making this a fantastic device for hands-free calling as long as you aren’t in a particularly windy area.

    The battery life offers about eleven hours of audio playback or about sixteen hours of talk time.

    Click here to watch a video review of these headphones by Lewis Beasley.

    If you pick the ear tips that give you the best seal of the three included, you will be quite pleased with the sound on these headphones. The lows, mids, and highs remain in balance across all different genres and listening volumes.

    The sound quality does not quite match that of LG’s Tone Infinim, which is a step up in power and price. Compared to other options, the bass of the HBS-760 falls a little short, but it is still a fine sound for what it’s worth.

    Likewise, the max volume is a little low, but what these headphones lack in volume, they certainly make up for in clarity.

    Unless you have massive cargo pockets or enjoy wearing over-ear headphones around your neck all day, the Tone Pro HBS-760 is a standout headphone option for the one who is always ready to take a call or play a new album on repeat.

  8. 8. Best Commuter Wireless Headphones: JBL Reflect Mini 2.0 Bluetooth In-Ear Sport Headphones

    • Reflective cable and water-resistant casing
    • Clean, balanced sound
    • Lightweight and durable
    • Battery life could be better
    • Somewhat subdued low-end
    • Telescoping sound

    JBL’s Reflect Mini 2.0 is a lightweight and low price alternative to more popular sports earbuds like the Jaybird X3s, yet they have lots of the same features. The Reflect Minis are a well thought out pair of headphones, offering a lightweight casing and a reflective wire that helps improve visibility when you are running at night.

    These earbuds are also water and sweat resistant, right down to the three different ear tips they include for a proper fit. Despite the Reflect Mini’s extra mini 5.8mm drivers, these headphones put out a fairly present sound with a high max volume. Their sound signature is balanced, but still fun to listen to. Highs are crisp, while the mids and low-end are prominent and clear.

    The bass is tight, though weaker than larger headphones. It still rounds the sound out without adding any muddiness to the mix. These headphones have inline volume controls and a built-in mic for answering phone calls. Their battery life is eight hours, which is decent but could be better. For their price, though, these easily compete with higher-end sports headphones and stand out as a great budget pick for any active user.

  9. 9. Best Studio Wireless Headphones: AKG Y500 On-Ear Headphones

    • Balanced studio sound
    • Plush, comfortable earcups
    • High max volume
    • No track skipping on media controls
    • Battery life could be better
    • Over-ear form factor lacks portability

    Though real studio engineers have an irrational disdain for digital equipment, that doesn’t stop companies like AKG from striving for that same transparent audio quality in both digital and analog formats.

    The AKG Y500 On-Ear Headphones headphones aren’t particularly lightweight, though they do fold in to minimize their bulk while stored. Their portability is further supported with a solid eight-hour battery life, but all things considered, could be better.

    They have functional controls for play/pause, answering calls, and volume, but sadly do not have a way to skip tracks or invoke Siri.

    This is not a big issue though, as the main focus of these headphones is their sound. And to that point, the Y500s sound fantastic.

    These headphones sound very open, with a vivid soundstage. The highs have plenty of room to breath atop the wide mids, and the bass rounds out the sound without overpowering it. The comfortable earcups isolate the audio from outside sound.

    With respect to the technical limitations of wireless streaming, the sound on the AKGs is about as good as wireless audio gets. If you are looking for a highly accurate option for portable listening, this is a great option.

    VideoVideo related to best studio wireless headphones: akg y500 on-ear headphones2018-10-09T19:52:35-04:00

Why Not Just Get Apple AirPods?

Ever since the release of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple has instigated the slow death of the headphone jack.

But while Apple has established their expensive AirPods Pro as the new benchmark for what a headphone should be, they curiously ship out their latest phone with a pair of Lightning headphones instead. Clearly, Apple wants you to shell out for their premium headphones.

And are the AirPods worth the price? Not really. Many reviews like this one from Wired show that AirPods fall flat in the department of audio quality and comfort, despite having an ultra-fast Bluetooth connection and a great form factor.

If you see yourself getting a new pair of wireless earbuds to go with the iPhone X, Xs, Xs Max, 8, or 8 Plus, you can save yourself some money by considering the wide variety of non-Apple wireless headphones out there.

Or you can just drop some bills and go for the best sound possible. That's why we've put together a list of our picks for the best wireless earbuds for iPhone across all price ranges and features.

Whether you are looking for a solid pair of budget earbuds, a durable sports pair for workouts, or just a plush pair of on-ear cans for hi-fi listening, you can consider this post your primer for all things wireless audio.

See Also

11 Best Reference Headphones for the Studio

11 Best Wireless Earbuds for Running

6 Best Bluetooth Receivers for Stereos and Headphones

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