Active noise cancellation switches on automatically. Adaptive sound to suit your surroundings. Offers ambient sound awareness for safety. Large 40mm drivers for audio quality. Excellent mic quality for calls. Notably comfortable headband and ear cups. Up to 36-hour battery life. Water-resistant.
A little pricey. Has issues connecting directly to computers.
Innovative open ring drivers allow you to hear your surroundings while listening to audio or calls. Multiple fit options. Advanced sensors allow facial touch control. Accurate voice pickup, 5.5-hour battery life, and USB-C rechargeable case. Works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
No noise cancellation. Volume and sound quality seem highly dependent on fit.
Fin stabilizers help ensure secure fit during activities. Offers noise cancellation with ambient sound awareness for keeping in touch with your surroundings. Allows Android fast pairing. Up to 6 hours of battery life with noise cancellation on. IPX7 waterproof.
A bit large for earbuds. Needs the case to reconnect in some circumstances.
On-ear design is breathable with notably soft pads that put minimal pressure on the ears. Large 40mm drivers provide excellent audio quality. Outstanding 50-hour battery life with fast charging capability. High-quality phone headset function. Weighs only 5.6 ounces.
No noise cancellation. May tend to slip off with some head movements.
Good audio quality. Excellent active noise cancellation. Transparency feature allows you to hear your surroundings even with noise cancellation on. Auto-pairs and auto-switches with various Apple computers and devices. Comes with multiple tips and software for a good fit.
Can be pricey. Some features don't work as well with non-Apple devices.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
This Mother’s Day, consider giving your parent a pair of wireless headphones to use for anything from working out to relaxing with a book. Wireless headphones come in a number of varieties for day-to-day use. Noise-canceling options work well for loud environments (or noisy families), while earbuds stay in place during intense workouts and are easy to take on the go. For listening to music or shows, over-ear headphones usually provide the best sound quality.
The price, quality, and battery life of wireless headphones can vary, but there are a wide number of models to consider to find the perfect pair to gift this Mother’s Day.
When comparing wireless headphones, consider what activities your parent likes to do while listening to music, audiobooks, or podcasts to find a model that suits their needs.
Compared to their wired counterparts, wireless headphones are almost always more expensive. In addition, they require batteries or charging, which can be a hassle.
However, these negatives are a trade-off for easy wireless listening, even quite far from the device the headphones are connected to via Bluetooth.
If your parent has a job or hobbies that require hands-free work or lots of moving around, a pair of wireless headphones is likely well worth the extra price. They are also easier to tuck into a bag, and most models feature excellent battery life if kept fully charged.
Many wireless headphones have built-in microphones for easy, hands-free phone calls. If your parent regularly takes phone calls or uses virtual assistants while their hands are busy, this feature may be a must.
However, headphones without a microphone can still be used for phone calls if the phone is kept within microphone range.
Consider lifestyle when weighing the features of available models.
Music lovers or anyone in a busy home may appreciate a pair of wireless noise-canceling headphones. Some headphones offer passive noise canceling using materials to block out external noise, but high-end models feature active noise cancellation, a superior system that counters external noise but usually requires batteries to operate.
Take note of the expected battery life and charge time for any wireless headphones you consider. Some models may even require batteries, which can become expensive over time.
Many wireless headphones have built-in controls for adjusting volume or skipping tracks. For working out, this feature is highly convenient.
Waterproof designs: If you’re shopping for a swimmer, a waterproof pair of earbuds is a must. Look for models with an IPX7 rating for complete waterproofing.
Ambient sound mode: Noise-canceling headphones may have an ambient sound mode to switch between blocking outside sounds and letting them in. This makes them well suited to anyone who needs to switch between focusing on an audiobook and listening to those nearby.
If you opt for a model that requires batteries, consider also including several rechargeable batteries with your gift.
A. There is no significant delay or drop in quality with wireless headphones due to the reliability of Bluetooth connectivity.
A. This depends on the airline and even what country you are flying to or from. In short, advise your parent to bring a spare pair of wired earbuds for air travel.
A. This depends on the model, but most wireless headphones last from four to 12 hours per charge.
A. Most models reach full charge in two to five hours. Some models offer a quick-charge feature, providing hours of listening after just a few minutes of charging.