The Best Wireless Headphones in 2022


I purchased the eight most popular noise-cancelling wireless headphones to find the best one. Sadly, there isn’t a single set that is clearly the “best,” but I can help you choose your next pair wisely. 

Seven of us tested all eight headphones, and I quickly learned that each person had totally different preferences. I’m afraid that I come away after three days of testing not even being totally happy with the headphones that are “best” for me personally. 

Instead of ranking each set of headphones, I’m going to write the pros and cons of each. Due to your listening preferences and the shape of your head and ears, you’re probably going to want to try a few of these yourself to find the best option. 

Soundcore by Anker Life Q30

Pros

  • By far the cheapest at just $79
  • Louder, deeper bass than any other headphones tested
  • Incredible sound quality overall, especially for the price
  • Very comfortable, even for big ears

Cons

  • Poor build quality
  • Poor noise cancelation
  • Horrible in windy environments

Bose QC 35 II

Pros

  • Simple physical buttons
  • Decent sound quality
  • Best performance in windy environments
  • Very comfortable even for big ears

Cons

  • Noise cancellation is much worse than newer Bose models

Bose QC 45

Pros

  • Simple physical buttons
  • Decent sound quality
  • Excellent noise cancelation
  • Very comfortable even for big ears

Cons

  • Horrible in windy environments

Bose 700

Pros

  • Decent sound quality
  • Excellent noise cancelation
  • Very comfortable even for big ears

Cons

  • Annoying touch controls that do not work with gloves
  • Acceptable performance in the wind but could be better

 Sony XM4

Pros

  • Decent sound quality
  • Excellent noise cancelation

Cons

  • Moderately uncomfortable for those with big ears
  • Annoying touch controls that do not work with gloves
  • Horrible in windy environments

Sony XM5

Pros

  • Decent sound quality, but most of us preferred the sound of the XM4
  • The best noise cancellation we tested
  • Second-best sound in windy environments

Cons

  • Moderately uncomfortable for those with big ears
  • Annoying touch controls that do not work with gloves

Beats Studio3

Pros

Cons

  • Worst-sounding headphones we tested
  • Worst noise cancellation
  • Most uncomfortable headphones
  • Do not buy these

AirPods Max

Pros

  • Most of us agreed these were the best sounding
  • Most premium materials
  • Excellent noise cancelation
  • Incredible transparency mode
  • Comfortable for those with big ears

Cons

  • Ugly
  • Heaviest headphones we tested
  • Automatic on/off is annoying
  • The strange “purse” carrying case is a monstrosity 
  • Acceptable but not great in windy environments

Conclusion

As someone who regularly uses my headphones outside while biking or skating, I chose to stick with my older Bose QC 35 II headphones because they perform the best in wind, and they have the biggest cups for my large ears. They don’t have the best sound quality or the best noise cancellation, but I had to choose the best option for me. And like me, you’re going to have to settle in some areas based on your use case. 

I’ll continue looking for the perfect set of wireless headphones, but as of 2022, I don’t think they exist. 



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