Header Ads

BEST BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES OF 2016

The Best: Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

by Sennheiser – ($424.93) Amazon.com
It would be easy to point to our 9.2 score and Editor’s Choice pick for the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless and call it a day, but that wouldn’t be doing these headphones justice.
In terms of design the Momentum Wireless combine a bit of the old-school with the ultra-modern, and this results in a striking pair of headphones. You might have noticed that these headphones also make an appearance on our list of the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones, and for good reason. Combine that with the wireless connectivity and the great sound, and these are nearly impossible not to recommend.
Sennheiser briefly pulled the Momentum Wireless from sale and issued a voluntary recall due to issues with Bluetooth connectivity. This problem has since been fixed and the headphones are on sale once again.
These have a 4.1 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, but if you want to see all the details, read the full review.
BUY FROM AMAZON ($424)

Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphone II

by Bose – ($279.95) Amazon.com
While the company has gained a reputation for wired noise-canceling headphones like the QC25s, Bose hasn’t enjoyed the same popularity for Bluetooth headphones, and there’s a good reason for that. The Bose AE2W (now confusingly known as the SoundLink Headphones) required an awkward external dongle for Bluetooth connectivity.
With its follow-up, the SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphone II, Bose has a winner on its hands. The dongle is gone and the headphones now work like every other pair of wireless headphones out there. The look is classic Bose and the build is tough, but the sound is what really matters.
Bose products certainly have a signature sound, and love it or hate it, that sound is present here. Bass is strong though not as in the spotlight as various Beats headphones, highs are detailed, and while the mids are pulled back to give a boost to the bass and treble, it isn’t overdone. There is no ANC, but the passive noise isolation works well, even with music at lower volumes.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect here is the price. Bose is generally known for being pricey, but the SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphone II retails for $279, which is actually slightly cheaper than a lot of the competition. For the full rundown, check out our full review. They have a 4.4 out of 5 star rating in Amazon and come in both the blue color pictured above, and a white a tan variant a well.
BUY FROM AMAZON ($279)

Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless

by Sennheiser – ($198.89) Amazon.com
Yes, this is the second pair of Sennheiser headphones to make an appearance on this list, and no, it’s not a mistake. Considering the Parrot Zik 2.0 pioneered the touch-based controls that the Samsung Level Over used, we couldn’t leave that pair of headphones on the list as they are overly similar. That left a gap in the “fun” sound signature however.
Where the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless aim for a more accurate frequency curve, the Urbanite XL Wireless are essentially the fun cousin. Bass is exaggerated and highs are boosted, making for the “disco smile” profile that so many listeners of modern music are fond of.
This difference is mirrored in the build and design of the headphones as well. The Sennheiser Urbaite XL Wireless are entirely modern, unlike the hybrid design of the Momentum Wireless.
We didn’t give these quite the same high rating as the Momentums in our review, but they’re still absolutely worth a look, especially if you prefer a more hyped sound signature. These aren’t as popular as the MOMENTUMS, but that doesn’t mean they’re not good. They have a 4.2 out of 5 star rating with 50% of those reviews being a perfect 5.
BUY FROM AMAZON ($198)

Parrot Zik 3.0

by Parrot – ($394.24) Amazon.com

There isn’t much of a difference between the new Parrot Zik 3.0’s and the previous 2.0’s, but there a few a tweaks that help the Zik 3.0 earn a spot on this list. If you’re looking to upgrade your 2.0’s, it’s probably not worth it. But if you’re reading this list to find your first pair of great headphones these are worth your consideration.
The ear cups may not look like they have much going on, but they have a touch sensitive interface that makes it easy to control volume, change songs, pause/play music, and also answer phone calls with just a few simple taps and swipes. There’s s 3.5mm audio input for devices that don’t utilize Bluetooth and even active noise cancelling for those long rides when you want to block out the world.  The battery lasts about 7 hours, which isn’t amazing but it is one hour up from the previous versions. If you need a little more juice when it comes to your music, you can always turn off Bluetooth and use with only the audio cable. This is what Parrot calls “Flight mode” and it can extend battery to roughly 18 hours of constant playback. If you’re into a minimal look with not a lot of buttons, these are the way to go.
ne of the main new features the 3.0 has that sets it apart from its predecessor is the ability to plug it directly into your computer and listen to music. They have a built-in DAC that’s able to process 32-bit files for high quality lossless audio. If you’re not a fan of scrolling through Bluetooth settings to connect to headphones, these have NFC so you can  connect simply by tapping them to a comparable source device. On top of that, these also now have wireless charging so you can lay them on top of any Qi wireless charger in order too charge them back up from zero.
If you’re interested in picking these up for yourself, make are to check out our full reviewfor all the gritty details. It scored an 8.7 in our review and they have a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon so you don’t have to take our word for it.
BUY FROM AMAZON ($394)


 Plantronics BackBeat SENSE
by Plantronics – ($165.20) Amazon.com
The previous iteration of this list featured another Plantronics product — the BackBeat PRO — but we’ve already looked at two pairs of headphones that sell for around $300, so why add another pair? The BackBeat SENSE, released earlier this year, might not have the bells and whistles of their older brother, but they offer a lot for the price.
Unlike the above entries on this list, the BackBeat SENSE are of the on-ear variety instead of sitting over your ears. This is a matter of preference, but the smaller build eliminates once of the negative aspects of the PRO: the weight, which could often make keeping the headphones on your head somewhat of a chore.
The BackBeat SENSE headphones don’t feature the active noise cancellation featured in the BackBeat PRO, but that wasn’t all that effective anyway. What the headphones do keep is the sensor that automatically pauses and resumes playback when you take them off and put them back on.
Lows are reported to be a little lacking when compared to the PRO, but that’s fairly common when moving from over-ear to on-ear designs. Still, the sound is said to be well-balanced, and battery life is stated as 18 hours. Not bad for under $200. These have a 3.9 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, but you can find more info over at the Plantronics website.
BUY FROM AMAZON ($165)

Bang for your buck: Creative Sound Blaster Jam

by Creative – ($39.34) Amazon.com
With Bluetooth headphones, most of your better options aren’t going to be cheap. That’s a sad fact, but it’s currently a true one. That doesn’t, however, mean that there aren’t worthy options out there. The Motorola Pulse previously held this position on this list, but we decided to replace them with an even better value in the Creative Sound Blaster Jam.
ese sell for $39, which is only $10 less than the price they launched at, so there are some trade-offs. Compared to many other Bluetooth on-ears, the Jam feel much more in common with the small and light headphones of the 1990s and 2000s than today’s hulking giants. The look fits in with this too, right down to the font choice for the word “Jam” in the logo. There is an upside here aside from the price though: these are very light compared to most Bluetooth headphones out there.
It’s a bit surprising considering the price, but the Jams feature NFC connectivity, which is a feature we don’t often find on headphones that cost ten times the price. Sure, you won’t use it all that often, but it’s still nice to have. Another nice feature is the 12 hours of playback time. We’ve seen more to be sure, but again considering the size and price, this is nice to see. The bass is somewhat absent and highs can be harsh at higher volumes, but overall sound is fairly decent.
As we’ve mentioned before, this is not the kind of pair of headphones that will have you unable to believe the sound. Still, if you don’t want to spend much or you’re looking for a backup pair of wireless headphones, these are more than worth the asking price. If you don’t believe the 4.3 star rating on Amazon and would like to find out more, take a look at our full review.
BUY FROM AMAZON ($37)

No comments

Powered by Blogger.