Bluetooth headphones allow you to listen to your music without physically being attached to a smartphone, tablet, laptop or any other device. While the connection to the music is made via Bluetooth, you might also see a wire connecting the right and left ear speakers. Some models hide the wires inside a headband.
These headphones also have internal, rechargeable batteries. That means, at some point, you'll need to connect them to a computer or other power source. More expensive Bluetooth headphone offer larger battery packs which means you'll listen a lot longer before you have to recharge.
While more convenient than headphones with long cables, Bluetooth models are restricted to connections approximately 30 feet away from the source. That's because Bluetooth is designed as a short-range system unlike Wi-Fi. Luckily, the most recent Bluetooth systems are the best sounding ever.
Here are the Bluetooth models we like, which are able to take full advantage of the latest technologies.
According to the user ratings on Amazon, you don't always have to spend a fortune to get a lot in return. For example, consider the AYL v4.1.
These $26 Bluetooth, "stereo, in-ear, noise-cancelling, sweatproof headphones" are highly rated and sell for only $26. The v4.1 in their name refers to the most recent release of Bluetooth technology boasting the best wireless sound to date. They should work with any Bluetooth device.
All controls are built-into the right side earpiece. Amazon especially recommends these for "running, sports, lifting weights & more!"
Both the headband and the ear cups are adjustable allowing you to customize the fit plus the soft ear cushions help make listening sessions a pleasant experience
These $50 headphones also fold flat for those times when you need to stop the music.
Plantronics Backbeat Fit
These are a "behind-the-head design are made for active users. They are the opposite of noise-cancelling. They have a special, safety "tip" that allows you to hear what's happening all around you.
Retail price is $130, but you can find them for sale at under $100 from online retailers.
Powerbeats2's in-ear speakers are connected with a colorful wire which can be worn either under your chin or behind your head. They're sweat and water resistant and can supply your tunes for up to 6 hours on a charge.
These Bluetooth Beats retail for $200.
These Sony (SNE) headphones are a little more technologically advanced when it comes to wireless connections.
The MDRZX770BN utilizes built-in NFC technology to make a quick connection to your music-playing device and then automatically streams your tunes to the headset, via Bluetooth.
These digital, noise-cancelling Sonys retail for $230.
In addition to its legacy of speakers and all-in-one music systems, Bose is now also known for its headphones.
The SoundLink over-the-ear model delivers great sound in a relatively lightweight design. Bose boasts that SoundLink can play for as long as 15 hours on a fully-charged battery pack.
Available in white or black, Bose SoundLink retails for $280.
Bowers & Wilkins P5 WIreless ($400)
Bowers & Wilkins, best-known as B&W, manufactures some of the best-sounding, super-high-end, luxury speaker systems on the planet. So, you would expect a pair of B&W headphones to sound great. The P5 Wireless do.
This lightweight, over-the-ear design features aptX/Bluetooth connectivity and up to 17 hours of music on a full charge. Plus, they sound heavenly.
The wireless P5's (there are wired B&W's too) retail for $400.
Sennheiser RS195 ($450)
Sennheiser is one of the world's leading manufacturers of premium microphones and headphones. They've been doing so for decades. So, there's no reason to think a Sennheiser Bluetooth headset wouldn't be among the best.
The top-of-the-line RS195 comes with its own transmitter/control box. It allows you to switch between speech and music modes as well as adjust the overall sound to your liking. Sennheiser says you should expect up to 18 hours when the two lithium-ion AAA batteries are fully charged.
The RS195 system has a retail price of $450.