The Best Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones for 2024, Tested & Reviewed

Headphones or headphones? If you can’t decide the best way to deliver audio to your earholes, let me make the case for cans: The best wireless headphones from Bose, Sony, Sonos, and more crush headphones when it comes to battery life and for many users. There’s also a comfort benefit with soft cups (aka “cans”) that cover your ears rather than silicone tips that sort of screw into them. And let’s not overlook sound quality: Headphones have much larger drivers (the actual speakers inside) than headphones, which means they produce a wider soundstage with greater range . If you like your music more concert hall than club, play with cans.


There is one downside, though, and that’s the physical size: the earbuds don’t exactly fit in your pocket. I would also say that modern wireless earbuds are a bit better when it comes to ANC (active noise cancellation). Still, the headphones are a great choice for listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks, as well as watching movies, TV shows, and YouTube videos.

Drawing on years of consumer technology expertise and a few billion hours testing these things, I’ve rounded up some of the best wireless earbuds you can buy right now. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly choice or world-class audio fidelity, you’ll find it below.

Still think you’d prefer headphones? Here are some related options:

Rick Broida/Yahoo News

Driver size: 40mm | Spatial audio: Yes | Foldable: No | Controls: Buttons/switch | Colors: Black, White | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.4, wired | Weight: 11 ounces | Carrying case: Zippered case | Maximum battery life: 30 hours

I tend to be a bit jaded when it comes to audio gear, as it’s rare that I have a “wow” moment. This all sounds pretty good to me, or at least pretty good. But, Wow, the Sonos Ace: the company’s first headphones bring a richness and fullness to music that my ears have not experienced elsewhere. Yes, the Bose QuietComfort Ultra and the Sony WH-1000XM5 are very close, but if you want to hear every detail, every nuance of your favorite playlists, these are the ones for you.

This probably means opening the piggy bank. At $449, the Aces are $100 less than Apple’s AirPods Max, but $20 more than the aforementioned Bose and $110 more than Sony’s XM5 (both of which are often discounted). This isn’t surprising – Sonos is a premium audio brand – but if you’re not in a hurry, consider waiting for a sale.

Sonos provides a nicely illustrated quick start guide, but oddly there’s no mention of charging the earbuds. While you don’t strictly need the Sonos app to use the Aces, you’ll definitely need it for things like equalizer settings and firmware updates. The app is overall pretty easy to use, with almost all of the headset status information and settings listed on a single page.

It’s hard to make the headphones stand out, but I like the matte finish and overall look of the Ace. The earphone hinges are hidden inside the earphones themselves, i.e. the ones with long…

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