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Best wireless headphones 2024, tried and tested by our editors

The Sony, Bose and Beats noise-cancelling headphones the Yahoo UK team highly recommend.

These are the wireless headphones our editors would recommend. (Yahoo Life UK)
These are the wireless headphones our editors would recommend. (Yahoo Life UK)

With a countless number of headphones on the market and new models from big-name brands like Apple, Bose, Sony and Beats coming out every year, landing on the right pair can be tricky. Especially when you're not sure exactly what you want.

There's a lot to consider before investing, so we asked our shopping editors to recommend their go-to wireless headphones, to help you make an informed decision before parting with a pretty hefty amount of money.

Best headphones at a glance, tried & tested by Yahoo UK

Whether you're after a new pair of headphones for running, or simply want to upgrade from your old cord earbuds to a wireless and more immersive sound experience, these are our most loved (and very well used) headphones that we think are absolutely worth splurging on.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones | Reviewed by Maz Gould, Assistant Shopping Editor

(Yahoo Life UK)
(Yahoo Life UK)

Tested for

Three months

💸 Reasons to buy

My first ever pair of wireless headphones were from Bose, and they were the brand's now discontinued on-ear headphones. Gifted to me by my parents, they lasted a whole eight years before showing any signs of wear, and even now they still work. But, you could say, they're a bit battered. So I figured it was about time I got myself a new pair, landing on Bose's QuietComfort Ultra Headphones — the latest over-ear model from the audio brand.

First off, this pair of headphone's biggest selling point has to be their outstanding sound quality. A truly first-class listening experience, you can switch between three impressive modes: quiet, aware and immersion. The quiet mode lets you block out distractions with the highest level of noise cancellation, while the aware mode lets you enjoy the best of both worlds, giving you full transparency into your surroundings and the music you're listening to. The best mode though, in my opinion, has to be the immersion mode, where it feels like you're in the same room as the music being played. Great for busy commutes or times where you don't want to be disturbed (AKA, 99.99% of time).

Battery life: 24 hours | Charge time: 3 hours | Charge method: USB-C | Microphone: Built-in microphone | Bluetooth range: Up to 9 metres 

Enjoy your playlist to the max with these immersive, noise-cancelling headphones from Bose, designed to provide impressive natural sound with limitless customisation. 

Pros
  • Foldable
  • Quality audio
  • Three listening modes
Cons
  • Expensive
  • You can find options with a longer battery life
  • They're quite big
£399 at Bose
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£449 at John Lewis £449 at Argos

There's even an app you can pair your headphones up to, where you can customise every aspect, from the bass to the pitch and level of immersive audio you want. So if you don't want to completely escape into the music, you don't have to.

They look great, too. Designed with a polished aluminium shell, soft headband and cushioned ear pads, they come in an all-over black, with the addition of charcoal metal arms. The perfect accessory to finish any outfit.

The long-lasting battery is another plus, with up to 24 hours of run-time on a single charge. I find myself charging them as little as once a week, leaving me with plenty of juice for daytime walks, phone calls or commuting to last an entire seven days.

It's also worth noting that these headphones are foldable, something that can't be said for lots of over-ear headphones, making them ideal for travelling.

Other bonuses include the easy-to-wear over-ear design, comfortable, warm ear cushions, fast charging and robust travel case.

Reasons to avoid

The most obvious thing to consider before buying this pick from Bose is, of course, the cost. As far as headphones go, they're very expensive.

Aside from the initial expense, my only other bugbear with these over-ear headphones are that, in my experience, they come up quite big. As someone with a pretty averagely-sized head, I found that they would occasionally fall down the back of my head ever so slightly when walking, especially in windy conditions. So I would maybe avoid using during instances of extreme weather.

💰 Best deal we've found:

Save £50 when you shop the headphones directly from Bose, now £399.95 down from £449.95. You can purchase them for full price from multiple retailers including John Lewis and Argos.


Sony WH-CH720 Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Wireless On-Ear Headphones | Reviewed by Sabrina Carder, E-Commerce Editor

(Yahoo Life UK)
(Yahoo Life UK)

Tested for

Two months

💸 Reasons to buy

I have been very loyal to corded headphones for decades, but after noticing half of London have now switched to wireless on-ear headphones I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so added a pair to my Christmas list.

For starters, I was on a budget (under £100) and having never tried on a pair of wireless headphones before I wanted to make sure they were comfortable. So, in true shopping editor fashion, I went to a John Lewis store and tried on every single pair of headphones in their tech section. After doing some research online I had been leaning towards the Marshall Major IV Fold Wireless Headphones. However after doing my try-on I discovered that the most comfortable pair within my budget was the Sony WH-CH720 Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Wireless On-Ear Headphones.

Battery life: 35 hours | Charge time: 3.5 hours | Charge method: USB-C | Microphone: Built-in microphone | Bluetooth range: Up to 10 metres  

These are a great purchase for someone who is new to wireless on-ear headphones. They may be one of the more affordable options, but still manage to pack in the punch when it comes to features and all-day comfort.

Pros
  • Lightweight, ergonomic design is super comfy
  • Budget-friendly
  • Great noise-cancelling capabilities
Cons
  • Don't fold
  • Doesn't have as many high-tech features as more expensive models
£90 at John Lewis
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£90 at Currys£100 at Argos

At £89.99, they are one of the cheapest options on the market. However, my biggest fear was that due to the more affordable price point, the sound quality (and most importantly, the soundproofing) was going to be subpar, but I couldn't of been more wrong. No sound escapes from them, so no-one on the tube can hear my 90s throwback tunes and the noise cancellation means you can get fully immersed in your music or a good podcast. So game-changing in fact, I now actually look forward to my morning commute.

Worried about having the charge the headphones constantly? Sony’s CH720 headphone battery lasts for up to a huge 35 hours and I have only charged them once since I got them.

Reasons to avoid

If you're after a foldable pair (which I agree is more practical), then these aren't for you as they don't fold in like other more expensive headphones. However, if you carry a tote bag with you most places you go, or don't mind having them around your neck, then they're still a great option.

I'm also yet to fully figure out all the features. I easily downloaded the Sony Headphones Connect app, which allows you to control the headphones. However, I haven't worked out how to use the buttons on the earcups. That said, I'm sure that by actually reading the instruction manual, you would have no problem.

💰 Best deal we've found

The price of the headphone currently varies depending on the retailer. Inflation seems to have got them at Argos, where they're currently £100. At Currys they have been reduced from £99.99 to £89.99, you can also find them for £89.99 at John Lewis.


Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 | Reviewed by Louise Whitbread, Shopping Contributor

(Yahoo Life UK)
(Yahoo Life UK)

⏰ Tested for

Three years

💸 Reasons to buy

One of the best things about my trusty Bose headphones is that they're super comfortable and never leave my ears feeling sore (like some options can), even after an 11-hour flight.

The long-lasting battery life is also a major perk. Ten minutes of charging provides me with three hours of juice, and when left on charge overnight, I can enjoy the full 20 hours without needing to plug them in again for well over a week, if used everyday. I've gone nearly three weeks before without needing to charge them.

The noise-cancelling ability is outstanding as well, with 11 levels to choose from. I particularly enjoy the highest setting, which effectively eliminates any background noise, whether I'm out in public or at home trying to concentrate on work.

I also love how easy the headphones are to use. Whether you're answering calls or skipping a song, you simply tap on the right headphone. It's especially convenient when you're on a crowded train and can't reach into your pocket for your phone

Battery life: 20 hours | Charge time: 2.5 hours | Charge method: USB-C | Microphone: Built-in microphone | Bluetooth range: Up to 10 metres

I've used my trusty Bose headphones for more than three years and love their noise-cancellation design, comfortable ear cushions, fast-charging and long battery life. 

Pros
  • Noise-cancelling
  • Comfortable to wear for hours at a time
  • Fast to charge and long battery life
Cons
  • They don't fold
  • They're very expensive
£225 at Amazon
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£249 at Currys£350 at Argos

✋ Reasons to avoid

I truly believe they're worth every penny and I use them everyday for walks, work calls, downtime and everything in between.

With these headphones, I do believe you get what you pay for and despite being expensive, they have all the luxury elements and comfort I would expect when spending nearly £300.

💰 Best deal we've found

The price of these headphones is dependent on which retailer you shop with. I bought mine on Amazon, where they are still currently at their cheapest, costing £224.99. At Currys they're slightly more expensive, retailing for £249, but significantly pricier at Argos, with a price tag of £349.95.

Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Bluetooth Sports Earphones | Reviewed by Louise Whitbread, Shopping Contributor

(Yahoo Life UK)
(Yahoo Life UK)

⏰ Tested for

Two months

💸 Reasons to buy

These headphones were a Christmas present, as I'd been on the hunt for wireless headphones that were best suited for running. After reading hundreds of reviews across many different designs and brands, these Beats Powerbeats Pro Earphones kept coming out on top.

Initially I'd be using the above Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 for all my runs but found the ear cushions were getting sweatier each time and were hard to clean as a result. Therefore I wanted a compact in-ear option that wouldn't fall out mid-jog. These tick every box.

They sit comfortably in my ear, and stay put thanks to the secure ear loops, without bouncing up and down when I'm exercising. Connecting to my iPhone the first time was a seamless experience, and while they're not totally noise-cancelling, they are noise-isolating, effectively drowning out the background noise of traffic and my feet pounding the pavement.

Battery life: 9 hours | Charge time: Charged via case (1.5 hours battery life from 5 minutes charging) | Charge method: USB-A | Microphone: Built-in | Bluetooth range: Up to 100 metres

This pair are perfect for exercise, they don't budge once in your ears, can be speedily charged in their case and are compact enough to fit into your handbag. 

Pros
  • They don't slide out of my ears during exercise
  • They're quick to charge and easy to keep clean
  • They're easy to use when on the go
Cons
  • They're not noise-cancelling, despite a big price tag
  • The battery life is only 9 hours
£269 at Currys
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£270 at John Lewis£269 at Amazon

The battery life isn't as long as Bose, but is still able to provide up to nine hours on a full charge - but believe me I've never ran for nine hours. Typically I find they can last me three to four long runs, which span anything from an hour to three, before they need charging. Similar to the way Apple AirPods work, the case charges the headphones and the accompany charging lead charges the case.

As someone who sweats the second they start working out, I can confirm they are sweat-resistant, don't hold any odour and can easily be wiped with a towel to keep them looking and feeling clean. There's four different in-ear silicone tips so you can play around with each to find the most comfortable fit for you.

Lastly, I love that I can operate the volume and track controls by touching the earbuds. It saves me having to get my phone out in the middle of a run, and they automatically turn on and connect when you put them in your ears. They're as fuss-free as it gets.

✋ Reasons to avoid

A wireless pair of earphones such as these do come down to personal preference when it comes to exercise.

There's definitely cheaper wireless and corded options on the market, from the likes of Jabra, Sony or JBL. A cheaper, wired pair would do the job just as well, I just don't like a cable swinging while I'm running, which is why I'm such a fan of this pair.

💰 Best deal we've found

They're currently cheapest to buy at Currys and Amazon, where they both retail for £269. You can also snap them up directly from Apple for £269.95 or at John Lewis for £1 more, as the price tag is £270.