Best high-end Bluetooth wireless headphones money can buy in 2021

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John C. Koss is one of the many people we have to thank for the advancement of headphones. In 1958, this fine gentleman gave the world the first stereophones, as they were called. They weren’t the first headphones ever made, but they were the first set of mass-market headphones made for music listening, capable of producing stereo sound and of good quality. Quite an innovation for a time when if you had a pair of headphones, you were most likely a telephone or radio operator. 

The headphones we’re focusing on today, however, are a bit different from the stereophones of Mr. Koss. We’ve put together a list of the best Bluetooth headphones – the models with the best sound, best battery life, best design, and best features money can buy right now.

Are you looking to get a pair of high-end Bluetooth headphones, but are struggling to pick from the countless available options out there? You’re in the right place!

Best high-end wireless headphones, a summarized list:

  • Jabra Elite 85H
  • Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9 3rd gen
  • Sony WH-1000XM4
  • Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
  • Master & Dynamic MW65
  • Shure AONIC 50
  • Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3
  • Bowers & Wilkins PX7
  • Apple AirPods Max
  • Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless

Jabra Elite 85H

Design: Around the ear, closed back, folds inward
Weight: 10.4 oz (295 grams)
Battery life: 36 hours (with ANC on)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, no aptX

Some might think that this pair doesn’t deserve to be here, as compared to others on this list it’s quite affordable. However, Jabra has managed to squeeze plenty of audio prowess into its Elite 85H and make them worth considering if you’re looking for great sound quality without spending half a grand. 

Of course, the Jabra Elite 85H comes with a few sacrifices compared to the competition around here. The design is rather dull and there aren’t any fancy materials used, so if you’re looking for a pair of headphones that compliment your dress to impress outfit, those aren’t it.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9 3rd gen

Design: Around the ear, closed back, folds flat
Weight: 10.0 oz (285 grams)
Battery life: 25 hours (with ANC on)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, no aptX

As most other audio products by the well-known brand, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9 stands out with its modern design and classy appearance. This set of earphones uses soft lambskin for the earcups and cowhide leather for the headband, in addition to having elements made out of metal. Touch controls let you change the volume or skip songs, and placing your whole palm over an earcup enables Transparency Mode, which turns off the active noise cancellation and lets ambient sound through.

The third generation comes with improved battery life and a dedicated Google Assistant button, but unfortunately still no Bluetooth 5.0. Despite that, if you have the money to splurge on these, you won’t be disappointed.

Sony WH1000XM4

Design: Around the ear, closed back, folds flat or inward
Weight: 9.0 oz (255 grams)
Battery life: 30 hours (with ANC on)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX HD and LDAC; NFC pairing

Sony’s high-end earphones are more of an upgrade of the previous generation. The design remains the same and so do most of the features, but there are some notable changes. The Bluetooth connectivity is now 5.0, the active noise cancelling is improved beyond what it already was, which is awesome, and you can now pair them to two devices for easier switching between your laptop and phone, for example.

The sound is, of course, also top notch and battery life remains the same, but it was already very good anyway. Owners of the XM3 shouldn’t consider these but for everyone else, these Sonys are definitely worth picking up. 

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Design: Around the ear, closed back, folds inward
Weight: 8.8 oz (250 grams)
Battery life: 20 hours (with ANC on)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, no aptX; NFC pairing

If great active noise cancellation is what you’re looking for in a pair of headphones, the Bose NC Headphones 700 is another option worth exploring. This pair is meant to directly compete with the Sony WH-1000XM3, but it looks better and is made out of more premium materials. Active noise cancelling is pretty much on par with the Sonys, which is quite a compliment in itself. The 700s come with support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, plus touch controls this time around. 

The 20-hour battery life is slightly disappointing for over-the-ear headphones but unless you travel across the world on a regular basis, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Master & Dynamic MW65

Design: Around the ear, closed back, folds flat or inward
Weight: 8.6 oz (245 grams)
Battery life: 24 hours (with ANC on)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX

The message these headphones send is pretty obvious: “I have a lot of money and I’m not afraid to spend it.” We must admit that the Master & Dynamic MW65 look outstanding, made using ample amounts of leather and metal. They’re a big improvement over the MW60s, adding 8 more hours of battery life and active noise cancellation, making the premium price much more justifiable. A lot of the weight has been shed as well, improving comfort during prolonged use.

Shure AONIC 50

Design: Around the ear, closed back, folds flat
Weight: 11.7 oz (331 grams)
Battery life: 20 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX

Shure also has its contender in the high-end wireless headphones space, as you might expect from a known brand like it. Unlike some other models around, however, the AONIC 50 don’t have active noise cancelling but rely solely on the passive one provided by the cups. They are quite bulky and have generous padding, so you should get a good amount of noise reduction anyway. They still have an “Environmental mode”, so you can safely wear them outside without being too separated from your surroundings. The sound of the AONIC 50 is excellent and you can enjoy it for up to 20 hours on one charge, which is okay but not amazing for over-the-ear headphones.

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

Design: Around the ear, closed back, folds inward
Weight: 10.7 oz (303 grams)
Battery life: 17 hours (with ANC on)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX

Another pair of headphones with design that makes a statement. The Momentum 3 Wireless look good and sound great. Sennheiser has packed them with the best tech it has available and the result is a pair of banging cans. Unfortunately, the minimalist design comes with a sacrifice: battery life. With barely 17 hours of playback time with ANC on, this pair lasts almost half the time some of the other headphones do. If sound is what matters most to you, however, these are some of the best-sounding wireless headphones out there right now.

Bowers & Wilkins PX7

Design: Around the ear, closed back, folds flat
Weight: 10.7 oz (304 grams)
Battery life: 30 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX

If there’s & in the name, you know it’s something high-end. Jokes aside, the PX7 are a worthy member of the premium wireless headphones club. The elegant design surrounds your ears without adding too much bulk, but still has enough soft padding for comfortable wear. As for the adaptive noise cancelling on board, B&W says that it will give you the best experience for your surroundings. The PX7 have large, 43mm drivers, so you can expect nice and full sound spanning across the frequency range. You can pair them to two devices at the same time for easy switching, which the headphones will even do automatically, if you get a call while watching a movie on your laptop, for example. 

Apple AirPods Max

Design: Around the ear, closed back, fold flat
Weight: 13.6 oz (384.8 grams)
Battery life: 20 hours (with ANC on)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, no aptX

The AirPods Max are definitely high-end. If you’re deep within the Apple ecosystem and have an iPhone, an iPad and a MacBook, the AirPods Max will seamlessly switch between the three. The design is extremely Apple-esque and it’s safe to say that people on the streets will recognize that you’re wearing a $550 pair of headphones. For better or worse.

Of course, for that price, they have active noise cancelling, which we found to be excellent in our AirPods Max review. They sound very well too, clean and detailed, with a good amount of bass.

Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless 

Design: Around the ear, closed back, don’t fold
Weight: 13.4 oz (380 grams)
Battery life: 30+ hours (no ANC)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX

With the Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless, we’re reaching peak audio quality. This pair is for those that put sound quality above all and want to get the best, no matter the price. Going beyond the superior sound, however, those are an odd pair of wireless headphones. The build quality is excellent but it seems that they aren’t meant to be used outside much. First, they’re very bulky, second, the carrying case is enormous because they don’t fold and third, they don’t have active noise cancelling.

They are, however, perfect for enjoying your favorite music all around your house, without worrying about disturbing the neighbors or other members of your household. The Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless are true audiophile Bluetooth headphones.



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