Apple turned the tech industry on its head when it announced the iPhone 7 would be without a headphone port—and it sent headphone producers scrambling to come up with Bluetooth-enabled versions. As a result, the market is in the midst of a flood of new wireless options—this, despite Apple’s proprietary Air Buds (which are described as the new benchmark for headphones) being delayed.
While we were sad to see the ol’ jack bite the dust, we’re pretty darn excited about getting rid of those bothersome cords. Here we’ve rounded up 12 of the highest-performing and best-rated headphones out there so that you can be tangle-free by the holidays.
1. Beats By Dre
The newest evolution of the Solo2 headphones—which were the wireless equivalent of the classic Beats—this version has a game-changing battery life (40 hours!) when paired with the iPhone thanks to the embedded Apple W1 chip. Another perk? “Fast fuel” or, in non-Apple speak, that means a five minute charge renders three hours of playback.
2. Beats By Dre
Launched this week, this updated version of the fitness-focused Wireless series are now sweat- and water-resistant and also include the W1 chip, which means they have 12 hours of battery life. Fast Fuel, in this case, renders one hour of playback after five minutes of charge.
3. Doppler Labs
The team behind Here Active Listening is releasing a set of wireless smart earbuds this winter that are capable of reducing unwanted noise—or conversely amplifying speech in hard-to-hear environments—and playing music over real-world sound so that you can jam out while still being aware of your surroundings. Lucky for you, they’re available for pre-order.
The third generation of the brand’s X Series dropped this month with much improved bass, which this time around is even customizable via an app (regardless of what device you’re pairing with). Three earbud and earhook size options are included and the battery life is now 8 hours.
If you want to look fly, these are the headphones for you. A collaboration between Parrot and designer Phillipe Stark, the Zik 3 has an 18-hour battery life, noise control—meaning you can filter in and eliminate noise depending on where you are—and proximity detection feature that stops the music when you put the headphones around your neck. Oh, and you’ll be winning at life when you walk down the street with these green crocodile ear muffs.
Released this past summer, these around-ear headphones are the industry standard for noise cancellation, paired with the sound quality Bose is known for—and they come with 20 hours of battery life to boot.
Completely cord-free, these buds not only track your fitness (heart rate, speed, calories burnt, and more), but they can also hold up to 1,000 songs thanks to 4GB of memory. Meaning: you can leave your phone at home—or bring it and enable Bluetooth streaming.
Finding Bluetooth-enabled headphones under $100 is a feat, but this pair delivers in sound and durability. Easy-to-use, they also come in punchy red and blue hues.
The latest headphone from one of the founders of the game, these come out on November 9 and are available for pre-order. Highlights include 40 hours of battery life, an adjustable bass slider on the earpiece and built-in controls for taking calls and managing your music.
10. Bowers & Wilkins
One of the most luxurious on-ear headphones on the market, this pair just might be the most comfortable as well. Key selling points include the slick design and incredible sound.
Designed for the fitness enthusiast who doesn’t want to be encumbered by cords, these headphones come with four sets of silicone earbuds, since not all ear canals are alike. Another perk? They have a 100-feet range, so you can leave your phone on the floor or table while you workout.
12. JLab Audio
If you’re headed outdoors or to the gym, these headphones have got you covered, with their waterproof earbuds (yes, your read that right – they are splash- and sweat-proof and you can even wash them!) and a 12-hour battery.
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