Bluetooth headsets are becoming more and more the norm since the abandonment of the jack by many manufacturers. Today, we can find excellent headphones at affordable prices that embody the best technologies on the market: noise reduction, USB C, fast charge, Google Assistant and others. Sony, Bose, Beats, JBL, and Marshall: who offers the best Bluetooth headset in 2019? Find our selection and our opinions.
Now that the jack is becoming increasingly rare, it may be time to turn forcing to buy a Bluetooth headset to listen to his favorite music. Luckily, today’s references have serious arguments like AptX or LDAC codecs and would almost forget our old wired headsets. If you are a music consumer and are looking for a new companion, this guide is for you.
The best references change quite infrequently in this product category. They are at most replaced by new models that provide some software improvements (Google Assistant, Alexa, better noise reduction) or hardware (USB C, Autonomy, etc.). You will find here the best Bluetooth headsets of the moment that will flatter your ears, and this, for a long time.
Sony WH-1000XM3: the latest Sony
The WH-1000XM3, which follows the 1000XM2, is Sony’s new headset. Compared with its predecessor: it is lighter, it delivers a better quality sound, it replaces the micro USB port with USB Type-C, and it integrates Google Assistant (since generation 2), just like the Bose QC 35 II. It is also one of the best headphones with active noise reduction.
It embeds touch controls that can turn on the headset, manage listening and active noise reduction. It also incorporates the Quick Attention feature to instantly reduce the volume of your music and be able to follow a conversation without removing the headphones from your head.
Its battery allows to use it for 30 hours, even with the noise reduction activated. It is also compatible with fast charging, which allows it to be used for 8 hours after 15 minutes of charging time.
Marketed since September, the Sony WH-1000XM3 headset is available at less than $300
Bose QuietComfort 35 II: the timeless reference
Latest Bose QuietComfort 35, the Bose QC 35 II now incorporates Google Assistant, with a dedicated button on the left atrium. For the rest, it is similar in every respect to the previous version. Its design is simple, in the line of Bose headphones, its arch allows great adaptability thanks to its resistance to tension or torsion and scalability. The helmet is also relatively compact with a circum-ear design, the atria can also pivot flat inwardly and back towards the bow, and is lightweight (243 grams).
It can connect to multiple devices simultaneously with its NFC chip and Bluetooth 4.1. A voice announcement indicating the battery level and receiving calls is available and its battery offers in 20 hours.
The Bose Connect mobile application (iOS / Android) allows you to set up the headset. On the sound side, the musical rendering is balanced, rich and detailed thanks to the automatic digital equalizer with very present bass and well defined treble.
It is found for less than $350.
Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2: the right price/quality ratio
The first Plantronics BackBeat Pro of the name had already laid the foundation for a complete solution despite some small defects thanks to very good performance for an affordable price. The brand, the leader in telecommunications headsets, has come back to the fore with a new and much more advanced version: the Pro 2.
The BackBeat Pro 2 is adorned with a much more compact design with circum-aural oval earphones more adapted to the shape of the ears and dimensions much less imposing with a weight of 290 grams. It is very functional with multiple controls available on the left earphone (noise reduction) and right (call pickup, smartphone voice assistant) which does not affect the autonomy of the device that remains 25 hours using noise reduction. As for Bluetooth it is compatible with aptX and AAC codex and it also has an NFC chip.
On the sound side, it remains clean and precise without distortion effects with well-present bass and detailed treble. We just regret that the noise reduction is not very effective and it does not have a dedicated application.
It is found today at less than 250.
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT: simple, effective and accessible
Sennheiser has entered the race for wireless headphones with this HD 4.40 BT. It offers a very honorable sound reproduction and excellent listening comfort with its huge pads . An easy to wear helmet!
It is also compatible with the major codecs of the moment such as aptX, SBC and AAC. There is also an efficient active noise reduction and an application to apply many audio filters. You can use it for 25 hours with a single charge, which is not bad. Finally, people who spend a lot of time on the phone will be heard by their friends through the double microphone. A very good value for those who want to enjoy a good sound quality without breaking the bank.
We find the Sennheisser HD 4.40 BT less than $70 on Amazon.
How to choose your wireless Bluetooth headset?
As for each purchase, you first need to think about what use you will make the helmet. A helmet with a consistent autonomy will be an interesting choice if you regularly make long trips. On the contrary, if you are more used to listening to music in noisy environments on an ad hoc basis (such as in the metro for example), a headset with active noise reduction will be more suited to your expectations. In general, the comfort and the quality of the sound are the priority criteria of our selection.
In terms of comfort Bluetooth headsets, there are circum-ear models where the earpieces will completely encompass the ears or supra-ear where the earpieces will be smaller and less comfortable, but the headphones will gain in weight and compactness.
As for sound, its signature will vary according to each model and each brand. It will be necessary to advice according to your musical genre or your preferences, to know that generally the dedicated applications will allow you to personalize your sound experience.
It should also be known that there are different Bluetooth transmission codecs, which deal with transmitting the audio numerically with more or less compression to provide a better sound quality than the standard Bluetooth A2DP. One of the most famous is the LDAC developed by Sony, which is based on the Bluetooth 4.0 standard. It allows a transfer with very little loss and up to 990 kb / s and is able to process signals in 24 Bits/96 kHz (which corresponds to Hi-Res audio standard).
In the best known, we also find the Qualcomm aptX codec which operates a bandwidth of 350 kb / s and its big brother, aptX HD which offers a maximum bandwidth of 576 kb / s. Do not worry, since Android 8.0 Oreo, Android smartphones are natively compatible with the LDAC codec and the majority of smartphones (with a Qualcomm SoC) are compatible with aptX HD and aptX codecs. In any case, monitor the devices compatible with the headset that interests you before going to the checkout.
Some headphones also have an NFC chip that allows them to connect to compatible devices just by bringing them closer together.
As far as features are concerned, the most important thing is active noise reduction. How it works? A very small microphone transmits the ambient sound whose signature it has recorded to the processor which will generate an opposite sound. Of course, this technology works better with a constant noise and will be less effective in case of sudden noises.
Of course, a wireless headset can cost a little more than a wired model, but Bluetooth headsets offer greater freedom of movement. This makes them perfect for your travels, your sports sessions, or simply a great companion for smartphones like the iPhone XS or Huawei P20 Pro that simply lack a 3.5 mm jack.