12 of the best on-ear and over-ear Bluetooth headphones
Buzz.ie regularly features reviews of all of the latest gadgets and gizmos, including Bluetooth headphones.
Here is our round-up of 12 of the best over-ear and on-ear Bluetooth headphones currently on the market to help you in your Christmas shopping quest.
Most of these are lifestyle accessories that you are buying for the convenience of wireless audio.
We are not recommending them as an audiophile experience but we were not disappointed by the sound quality offered by any of these cans.
Some do come with cables in case you want the option to go wired for sound.
Remember to shop local if you can. All of these prices were correct on the day of posting.
The top six Bluetooth headphones
Sony WH1000xM4, HarveyNorman.ie, €369
I’ve those reviewed a lot of ANC headphones and earbuds this year, but the Sony WH1000x M4 are by far the best. Sony has refined and enhanced what it already did superbly — ANC, sound quality and battery life — while adding missing features such as multi-device connectivity. Full review here.
Bose 700, Harvey Norman, €319
I actually rated these over-ear wireless ANC cans as superior to the Sony WH1000xM3. They score top marks for sound quality, noise cancellation and additional features. They are currently available for the lowest price I have seen them at in Ireland.
Apple AirPods Max, Apple.com, €618.75
There is a waiting time of up to 10 weeks on Apple’s first wireless over-ear ANC headphones – that’s how popular they are already. They certainly look the most luxurious but are they as good as the Bose or the Sony when it comes to audio quality and ANC? Full review follows in 2021.
Panasonic Technics EAH-F70N, Amazon, £229.99
Technics is a specialist audio company with an incredible heritage in top quality products. These premium over-ear headphones have almost 40 per cent off their price currently. Audio quality is a match for the Sony WH1000xM4, with support for higher quality codecs, and the ANC is not far behind (except when it’s windy).
Microsoft Surface Headphones, Amazon, £238
I was super impressed with the sound quality and the features (such as the earcup dial control) on the first iteration of Microsoft’s Surface Headphones. These have been reduced in price on Amazon. I’ve not yet been sent the newer Surface Headphones 2 to test, and one would assume they have improvements.
Beats Solo Pro, Harvey Norman, €235
There is an excellent deal on these wireless ANC headphones from Beats currently that make them something of a bargain. They feature decent sound quality and noise cancellation, not to mention seamless connectivity with your Apple devices thanks to the H1 chipset. Full review here.
The next six Bluetooth headphones
Huawei FreeBuds Studio, LittlewoodsIreland.ie, €289.99
Huawei’s first attempt at over-ear wireless ANC headphones do a good, if not great, job at sound quality and noise cancellation. Gorgeous design too.
AKG N700NCM2, Currys, €249
I loved the sound quality and the physical controls on these well-built and nicely-designed set of over-ear headphones with impressive 23-hour battery life. The ANC is fantastic too, but not quite on the level of Sony or Bose. On the downside, there is no aptX support and no digital assistant button. These are at a great value price currently.
Beats Solo3 Wireless, Harvey Norman, €159
This classic set of cans was the first team-up between Dr Dre and legendary Apple designer Jonny Ive, while the Apple R&D team has assisted with the under-the-hood wireless tech. There’s no ANC but they shut out a decent amount of noise. Apple’s W1 chip is onboard and this means they work like a dream with iPhones and iPads. Great price currently. Full review here.
Skullcandy Crusher Evo, Harveynorman.ie, €119
These mid-range cans from the always-reliable Skullcandy brand are currently budget-priced. You get incredible 40-hour battery life, Adjustable sensory bass, a personal sound test from Audiodo, different EQ modes for podcast, music and film and built-in Tile tech so you never lose them. Sound quality is super for the price point.
Kygo A11/800, Amazon, £99.99
These cost €249 on Kygo’s own X By Kygo website, but Amazon regularly sells them for less than half that price. Audio is loud, bright and in your face. Battery life is exceptional at 40 hours. The noise cancellation does a decent job but it’s not at the higher end of the scale.
Jabra 45h, Harvey Norman, €79
Budget-priced, well-made, headphones that have no ANC but give you an incredible 45 hours’ battery endurance. On the whole, they offer outstanding value and the audio quality is better than you might expect at this price point. Full review here.
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