Impossible to pass next, on the shelves of specialized resellers: bluetooth headsets now occupy most of the market, especially since a certain smartphone manufacturer decided to cut the cord. Exit the jack, it was necessary to find a solution: the wireless headsets quickly gained popularity and declined in multiple sizes, forms, maintain? And they become especially accessible all the purses!
Check out our guide to buying the best headphones
Whether you prefer sports use, immersive listening to isolate yourself from the outside world or even true audiophile quality, there is a bluetooth headset for each use. All the major manufacturers are already operating in this area and Bose, Sony, Sennheiser and Jabra are among the best references. The editor of Toms Guide has selected the best helmets of the moment, and gives you the advice to choose well.
Our selection of the best Bluetooth headsets
299.99 at Darty's
Design : Circum-aural | Weight : 255 g | Autonomy : 30 hrs | Active noise reduction : Yes | NFC compatible : Yes | Foldable helmet : Yes
With its very effective noise reduction, exceptional audio quality and great comfort, the Sony WH-1000XM3 simply stands out as one of the best headphones available today. It offers numerous customization options, ensures an autonomy of around thirty hours and benefits from a premium finish quality. A purchase that will please you for years.
99.99 at Darty's
Design : Supra-aural | Weight : 155 g | Autonomy : 8 p.m. | Active noise reduction : No | NFC compatible : Yes | Foldable helmet : No
Ideal for the most modest budgets, the Plantronics BackBeat 500 displays an excellent quality of finish. The isolation is obviously limited but the headphones return a very good audio quality, with mids and treble very well restored. A compact and elegant model, which also provides Bluetooth multi-point compatibility, and keeps up to eight devices in memory.
Elite Active 65t
149.99 at Darty's
Design : In-ear | Weight : 67 g | Autonomy : 3 p.m. | Active noise reduction : Yes | NFC compatible : Yes | Foldable helmet : No
With great care, the Jabra Elite Active 65t are among the best Bluetooth in-ear headphones on the market. They offer perfect insulation and fit comfortably in the ear, even for an extended cost. The audio quality is extremely convincing for such a compact design and the official application offers many unique features. Ideal for athletes.
Circum-aural, supra-aural, in-ear?
The main feature to look at when choosing a helmet is the shape of the headphones. There are three main types which have a distinct name. Supra-aural, or over-ear in English, designates the headsets whose earpieces are generally of reduced size and are posed directly on the ear, as do for example the Bose Soundlink where the Plantronics Backbeat 500. Conversely, over-ear, or over-ear, headphones designate larger earphones, the purpose of which is to completely cover the ear. The Sony WH-1000XM3 or Bose QuietComfort 35 II belong to this category. Finally, the earphones are directly housed in the pavilion, using silicone tips. They lend themselves particularly well to outdoor activities, such as Jabra Elite Active 65t or Sennheiser CX 6.00BT.
The three types of headphones have their own advantages and disadvantages. The supra-aural models have the advantage of being light and space-saving. Most easily slip into a handbag. They are no less efficient and complete: a supra-aural cutter may have a noise reduction system or controls placed on the earpiece. Be careful however, because the holding of the helmet on the head is only due to the pressure that the headband applies to the skull during use, which can be a nuisance in the event of intensive use, in particular in sport.
For their part, over-ear headsets have a larger size. The main difference obviously lies in the structure of the cutters, whose pads completely wrap around the ear. This allows better insulation from outside noise. These models are more comfortable in general, but also have their own disadvantages. Large pads can heat the ears, which can be unpleasant with prolonged use. Likewise, these large pads can be annoying for spectacle wearers, because of the pressure they can exert on the temples.
For in-ear, it's all about taste. If you are not afraid to insert the earpiece directly into your ear, they offer outstanding support and great comfort during prolonged use. It is this format that we will privilege to play sports, compact aspect required, especially since the audio quality of these miniature cutters continues to improve.
Definitely cut the cord
This is definitely the new trend in headphones: the 100% Bluetooth in-ear headphones. Also called zero-wire headphones, these new models range from 100 to 300 and are increasingly successful as the jack port disappears from the scene of smartphones. Their most iconic model, the Apple AirPods, was announced a few seconds after the iPhone 7 had kicked off the mini-jack audio output.
These cutters are currently swarming and bending to more and more diverse uses. We will also appreciate their strong capacity for listening to music, discreetly, on public transport, but also for playing sports or enjoying an effective hands-free kit. Their audio quality has greatly improved and some models adopt active noise reduction, to really immerse yourself in your music.
You will have understood, the uses are therefore multiple and you must first identify the criteria which are most dear to you in order to make the right choice. If you want to practice sport first, the Jaybird Run where the Bose SoundSport Free provide the best support. They are both offered for less than 200 euros and offer an excellent quality / price ratio, with great autonomy and good sound quality. If however you wish to privilege this last criterion, the Jabra Elite Active 65t and especially the B&O Beoplay E8 particularly draw their pin from the game. Finally, if you seek to isolate yourself from the outside world, Bose QuietComfort 20 provide particularly convincing active noise reduction for such a compact format.
The best alternatives to Apple's AirPods:
Bang & Olufsen
What autonomy for a Bluetooth headset?
A wireless headset incorporates its own power supply. All the models we tested include a rechargeable battery. There are almost no food helmets with concrete batteries. But what autonomy are we entitled to expect from a Bluetooth headset, and should we fear finding ourselves out of music in the middle of a metro train?
According to our tests, the autonomy reaches an average of ten hours. Concretely, this means that in the case of daily use, twice a day, during a journey by public transport of thirty minutes, one can expect to use the headset for almost five days without having to recharge it. Obviously, some models have greater autonomy, such as Sony WH-1000XM3 and Marshall Major III Bluetooth, with their 30 hour lifespan, closely followed by Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 and the U-Jays Wireless, and their 25 hours of listening time ensures. Sony and Bose have worked on this aspect in particular: their two active noise reduction headsets, a very energy-efficient feature, have made considerable progress in this area. No need to choose a minimalist entry-level headset, without additional features, to enjoy real good autonomy.
The best for autonomy:
Major III Bluetooth
BackBeat Pro 2
169.99 at Darty's
Noise reduction, to isolate outside sounds
More and more manufacturers are offering a model equipped with noise reduction technology, developed by Bose. Its operating principle is as simple as it is great. A tiny microphone records the ambient sound and transmits it to a processor that analyzes it and generates sound in the opposite phase. Result: the two signals are canceled and the original sound is greatly attenuated.
Check out our guide to buying ear muffs
If you are looking above all for a helmet to isolate yourself from the outside world, the Sony WH-1000XM3 is an unbeatable choice. This latest revision of the Japanese manufacturer's flagship headphones offers a particularly effective active noise reduction, which immerses you in your music. The official application allows you to refine the rendering, by choosing a profile capable of identifying announcements of stations or airports, for example, so as not to miss anything. To make matters worse, the audio quality is top notch.
He is closely followed by the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, which also offers very convincing audio quality and very effective noise reduction. The official application is less complete than that of Sony, a sign of the technological aspect that emerges from these noise-canceling headphones, but the headphones are however capable of pairing several devices simultaneously.
The best noise canceling headphones
299.99 at Darty's
QuietComfort 35 II
279.99 at Darty's
The sound quality, the main criterion
Difficult to talk about headphones without talking about the quality of the sound. This is obviously one of the dominant criteria in the choice of headphones, regardless of their favorite style of music. Headphones that are worn too much in the treble or bass can be as unpleasant in the long run as a model that does not offer enough.
The right balance is therefore difficult to find, and also greatly depends on user preferences. In this area, the Sony WH-1000XM3 is one of the most balanced in our comparison: powerful enough, it offers clear bass that does not suffocate the presence of treble, and ultimately gives a pleasant sound rendering. It is thus placed in the same category as the Bose SoundLink, which is just as effective in lyrical songs with high sounds as in more punchy songs which give more in the bass.
Compact and comfortable, Jabra Elite 65t also offer extremely convincing audio rendering. But beware: to really enjoy it, you will need to install the official Jabra Sound + app. It incorporates a very precise volume mixer, as well as a very practical graphic equalizer. The voices are particularly clear and audible, and the sound reproduction is well homogeneous. In all cases, be sure to systematically test the official application of your Bluetooth headset: you could have good surprises, and enjoy a tense control.
So if we could try headsets rather convincing by the quality of their sound, we also noted that some of them tended to do a little too much. This is the case for example of Skullcandy's Crusher Wireless, which would offer a sound that is nevertheless correct if it was not as much embedded in the ubiquitous bass. The headphones bass, already supplied by default, can be adjusted using a slide to accentuate them, which above all has the gift of transforming any title into an inaudible mush under the low frequencies.
Checks, to avoid taking out your smartphone
The main interest of a wireless headset is obviously to free yourself from a cable to enjoy your music in freedom. And for yet another, some headsets intelligently integrate the functions of a remote control: no need to take out your smartphone to control the volume or skip the next track, there are sometimes touch zones directly integrated into the earbuds. This is a non-negligible asset and the manufacturers have understood this, more and more headsets are adopting this type of architecture or incorporating buttons easily accessible on the headband or the headphones, to control the music and even the telephone.
Sony has mastered the subject for several years already and demonstrates it once again with the WH-1000XM3. By sliding a finger to the left or right, on one of the earbuds, you thus skip the previous or next track, and you directly control the volume through a vertical slide. Press twice in a row, double-click, to pause a song. A truly ergonomic solution, which we adopt quickly. In the same genre, the Urbanite XL from Sennheiser also offers tactile controls on the small surface offered on its straight cutter, which makes the process interesting but more tedious: it is now necessary to press twice in succession to pass a track, and three times in succession to come back , gymnastics that can be painful. For its part, the U-Jays Wireless offers a button to lock the helmet's touch controls to avoid accidentally activating them.
The prize for originality goes to Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 and its hoop system on the ear cups. With the main circle, you manage telephone calls. With the next level, you go between the songs and on its periphery, you find a notched wheel to adjust the sound volume. The system takes a little time to adapt, but it is daring and gives you total control over the main features.
The most innovative on controls and navigation:
BackBeat Pro 2
169.99 at Darty's
Play silently on a console
For two generations already, home consoles have been able to recognize and use devices Bluetooth. The PS4 and PS4 Pro or Xbox One S and X thus use standard wireless controllers and also offer wireless headsets. The opportunity was too good not to try to connect our various headsets to the console. Sony.
The good news is that the PS4 has recognized all the Bluetooth headsets that we presented to him as headsets, and we proposed to connect to them for use. The bad news is that we couldn't go any further: invariably, when pairing a Bluetooth headset with the console, the console returns an error message and as we suspect, it is impossible to use the wireless headset. Intrigued by what seems to be a restriction of the console, we learned about this impossibility of using a headset yet recognized by the console, and we found a beginning of answer: Sony has its own Bluetooth headset for PS4, and it bears the fairly generic name of Wireless Stereo Headset 2.0 for PS4. Officially, it is the only wireless headset to be compatible with the Sony console. In practice, we have actually been able to connect no other headphones, despite all our efforts. However, it is not necessary to invest in an official headset to play in silence at home: the controller of the PS4 offers a Jack plug which has the advantage of being compatible with any headset on the market, but you will have to agree to play wired. Note also that there are Bluetooth adapters, plug into a USB port on your console, but you will have to go through unknown manufacturers.
In reality, if you want to play in peace and without cables, you are better off turning to a specialized headset, which officially uses the signal from the Sony console to ensure wireless operation. With its very gaming oriented design, the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum is a sre value. It is PS4 / Xbox One compatible and offers excellent sound quality and comfort, with a very good level of finish. We also really liked the Razer Thresher and its 7.1 surround sound It stands out for its excellent support and especially its wireless communication box, which allows live voice chat.
G933 Artemis Spectrum
PS4 wireless stro headset
And for athletes?
There remains a use that we have not addressed in this comparison: helmets and other earphones for sports use. While they may be suitable for certain sporting activities, most of the helmets presented here are not suitable for running, for example, either because of their large size, or because of a too weak holding on the head to stay well wedged on the ears.
Check out our sports helmet buying guide
The market is growing, energized by that of connected watches. In the Apple AirPods line, the best headphones for sports are Bluetooth in-ear headphones. The manufacturers accompany them all with a generous collection of silicone tips, of different sizes, sometimes playing with the textures: you are thus guaranteed to find a profile that will perfectly fit in your pavilion. you choose your isolation level, depending on your preferences: some helmets, such as Jabra Elite Active 65, actually submerge you, while the Bose SoundSport Free allow more outside noise to filter, which can reassure on riskier routes.
If you're not afraid of regularly recharging your headphones, Jaybird Run are really suitable for intense sports. They provide excellent support and also stand out for the quality of the official application, rich in advanced features to customize the excellent sound rendering.
Our selection of the best Bluetooth headsets for sport
Elite Active 65t
149.99 at Darty's
162.00 at Amazon