Wireless headphones: the best bluetooth headphones to choose in 2021

Wireless headphones have a lot of advantages, to the point of becoming the norm today. Here are our recommendations for choosing your Bluetooth headphones.

The TOP 3 of the best wireless headphones

Gifted for everything 9/10

Jabra Elite 85T

  • Good noise reduction
  • Excellent comfort
  • Autonomy
The test 169 € Quite simply the best 9/10

Sony WF-1000XM4

  • The impressive active noise reduction
  • The very good sound
  • Excellent autonomy
The test 229 € A successful first draft 9/10

Nothing Ear 1

  • Very balanced sound
  • Effective active noise reduction
  • The overall excellent value for money
The test 95 €

Gone are the days when decent wireless headphones could be counted on the fingers of one hand. The releases have followed one another at a breakneck pace in recent months and all the major manufacturers are offering their vision of what a pair of Bluetooth headphones should be. Early problems such as connection concerns are behind us and we also notice the popularization of functions hitherto reserved for headsets, such as active noise reduction. To the point, moreover, that it was difficult for us to choose among the many models that we tested in recent months, most of them being of excellent quality.

A brief overview of the best models according to your priorities and your budget.

If you're on a budget, then read our review of the best cheap wireless headphones for that, and it's packed with great references. If you mainly plan to use your wireless headphones for sports, find our guide dedicated to this category. And if you end up leaning for a headset, head to our comparison of the best Bluetooth headsets and our guide to the best cheap headsets.

Our selection of Bluetooth headphones in video

If we have deliberately restricted our selection to the models that we consider the most interesting, we have split a video giving an overview of the best headphones in 2021.

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Sony WF-1000XM4 Simply the best

9 / 10 Product sheet See the Amazon test 229 €
  • The impressive active noise reduction
  • The very good sound
  • Excellent autonomy
Available at 229 € on Amazon

Released in 2017, the WF-1000X were the first truly convincing true wireless intras. Sony continues to develop them with a fourth version which adopts a more compact design especially for the case which is 40% smaller. The headphones themselves only lose 10% in volume, but they are more unobtrusive. They're generally comfortable, although Sony's ditching silicone tips in favor of more insulating foams won't appeal to everyone.

Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless headphones // Source: Idroid

Although IPX4 certified, they are not for all that sports intras, the maintenance is not ideal when you run for example. As for the audio, it is overall very satisfactory, the sound is precise and the spatialization is onions. The general rendering is not neutral, with very present bass and mids, but it is ultimately very pleasant. Another impressive point is the active noise reduction. This is by far the best in the field to date!

Battery life is good, with over six hours of use on one charge with active noise reduction and two full charges in the case. Finally we must salute the quality of the Sony app, for once very useful, because it allows you to adjust the rendering of the headphones as you wish.

Sony therefore delivers the best true wireless headphones of the moment, all at a high price, but more aggressive than many competitors. For more details, we refer you to our test of the Sony WH-1000XM4.

Where to buy the
Sony WF-1000XM4 at the best price?
  • Amazon € 229 Discover the offer
  • Amazon Marketplace 199 € Discover the offer
  • Fnac € 229 Discover the offer
  • Baker € 229 Discover the offer
  • Darty 229 € Discover the offer
  • Rakuten Marketplace 243 € Discover the offer
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Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Le summum du son

8 / 10 Product sheet See the Amazon test 199 €
  • Incredible sound
  • Good comfort
  • Solid autonomy
Available at 199 € on Amazon

After a first version which struggled against the competition, Sennheiser is reviewing its copy with a certain talent thanks to Momentum True Wireless 2. They bring as main novelty the active noise reduction to compete with Sony's WF-1000XM4 and AirPods Pro d 'Apple. Like what the firm offers on headphones, it has positioned itself as a real alternative to the tenors.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 // Source : Idroid

Unfortunately, this ANC is not yet really at the level of its two competitors. Quite clearly, Sony and Apple are doing better. On the other hand, they keep the dragee high on the sound with in particular an excellent bass rendering. This is a very good point for Bluetooth headphones which are not always excellent in these frequencies. We also appreciate the comfort of the ear cups and their very discreet design. Finally, the software part is particularly complete.

Note, however, the absence of multipoint Bluetooth, which is still practical for connecting several devices. Last fault, if the autonomy is average without noise reduction (6 am), it drops to approximately 30 am when activated. The charging box is also not compatible with wireless charging, you must pass the USB C connector. It can charge the headphones approximately 4 times. Finally, we therefore have very decent headphones for those who are looking for audio quality and comfort as a priority. Even if it means paying a heavy price.

You can find all the details in our review of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.

Where to buy the
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 at the best price?
  • Amazon € 199 Discover the offer
  • Rakuten Marketplace 197 € Discover the offer
  • Fnac € 199 Discover the offer
  • Darty 199 € Discover the offer
  • Son-Vidéo.com 199 € Discover the offer
  • Amazon Marketplace 218 € Discover the offer
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Jabra Elite 85T Gifted for everything

9 / 10 Product sheet See the Amazon test 169 €
  • Good noise reduction
  • Excellent comfort
  • Autonomy
Available at 169 € on Amazon

If you have a little trouble choosing or if you just want a model that is gifted in everything, then look to the side of the Jabra Elite 85T. The manufacturer returns with a pair of headphones and a particularly compact case that hide their game well.

The Jabra Elite 85T // Source: Idroid

In addition to their excellent comfort, we particularly appreciate the well-thought-out physical controls and the application very rich in settings. The active noise reduction is exemplary, in particular for deaf transport noises. The Bose QC Earbuds do a little better, but it's a photo-finish.

Having a tendency to put the mediums forward, the sound rendering is warm and pleasant, even if it is a little less detailed than on the Momentum True Wireless 2. The autonomy is excellent and exceeds 6 hours. Jabra offers wireless headphones here that, without being the best anywhere, are pretty good everywhere. So you can buy them with your eyes closed after reading our review.

Where to buy the
Jabra Elite 85T at the best price?
  • Amazon € 169 Discover the offer
  • Fnac Marketplace € 159 Discover the offer
  • Fnac € 169 Discover the offer
  • Darty 169 € Discover the offer
  • Son-Vidéo.com 169 € Discover the offer
  • Cdiscount 174 € Discover the offer
  • Rakuten Marketplace 232 € Discover the offer
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Beats Studio Buds The Excellent Surprise

9 / 10 Product sheet See the Amazon test 129 €
  • Apple integration
  • Sound quality
  • Tiny
Available at 129 € on Amazon

Beats will have taken its time to launch into the Bluetooth headphones market! After Powerbeats dedicated to sport, the manufacturer is finally launching a more classic model.

The Beats Studio Buds hold well in the ears // Source: Idroid

First observation: they are particularly compact, to the point where they hardly protrude from the ears when worn. Add to that a featherweight (5 grams only) and they are really forgotten. Their IPX4 certification and excellent support mean that you won't be afraid to take them for a jog.

Beats being Apple's property we find a very simple pairing with the brand's products, but also compatibility with Google Fast Pair. If the multipoint is absent subscribers, however, we welcome the solid connection and the possibility of using each of the headphones in mono mode.

Despite their small size, Studio Buds produce quite decent sound. The bass is very present, as always with the brand, but it does not drown the rest of the spectrum. We also welcome the good dynamic. Active noise reduction will not be remembered. It dampens ambient noise more than it cuts you off from the world. Note that the quality of the microphones is poor.

Finally, the autonomy is in the high average of the sector, with nearly 5 hours with active noise reduction. It will take 30 minutes for the case to refill the headphones.

If it does not revolutionize the true wireless market, Beats offers here a compact and particularly balanced mid-range model. Clearly one of the best value for money right now. We tell you about it in detail in our Beats Studio Buds review.

Where to buy the
Beats Studio Buds at the best price?
  • Amazon € 129 Discover the offer
  • Rakuten Marketplace 114 € Discover the offer
  • Cdiscount 129 € Discover the offer
  • Fnac € 129 Discover the offer
  • Baker € 129 Discover the offer
  • Darty 129 € Discover the offer
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Nothing Ear 1 A successful first draft

9 / 10 Product sheet See the Amazon test 95 €
  • Very balanced sound
  • Effective active noise reduction
  • The overall excellent value for money
Available at 95 € on Amazon

Still very young, Nothing is a startup launched by Carl Pei, one of the founders of OnePlus. Ear (1) are therefore the company's first product. If there is one thing that surprises, it is their design. They opt for a transparent plastic on part of the case and the headphones. The result is surprisingly successful. The build quality is decent and they are IPX4 certified (guaranteeing splash and sweat resistance), which opens the door to sporting use.

Nothing Ear 1 headphones are partly transparent // Source: Idroid

Pairing is quick and the Bluetooth 5.2 connection is solid. However, we regret the significant transmission latency which is particularly noticeable in games. Unsurprisingly given the price, Nothing skipped the multipoint.

On the sound side, the ear (1) do not try to impress and are content with an extremely balanced rendering, with all the frequency ranges well represented. The spatialization is impeccable with a very successful stereo image. They will be criticized for just a slight lack of precision, but nothing catastrophic. Where the headphones turn out to be impressive is in the level of active noise reduction which, if it doesn't reach the heights of the WF-1000XM4, crushes everything that is done at this price point.

Autonomy is in the low average of the sector, with nearly 5 hours with active noise reduction. The unit will take 1h25 to fully recharge them. Good surprise, it is compatible with Qi wireless charging.

The ear (1) are not trying to revolutionize the sector and that's good. Nothing offers here a model of a remarkable balance sold at a very interesting price. One of the best value for money on the market. Geoffroy tells you all about them in the Nothing ear test (1).

Where to buy the
Nothing Ear 1 at the best price?
  • Amazon € 95 Discover the offer
  • Rakuten Marketplace 141 € Discover the offer

Huawei FreeBuds 4i Cheap and versatile

8 / 10 Product sheet See the Amazon test 69 €
  • Warm sound
  • More than 7 hours of autonomy
  • The tariff
Available at 69 € on Amazon

Very discreet in the world of smartphones, Huawei continues to offer very interesting accessories. These FreeBuds 4i are a perfect example since they provide active noise reduction at a more than attractive price.

Adopting an in-ear construction, these headphones use the rod format, similar to AirPods. The finish is passable, but the comfort is on the other hand.

Les Huawei FreeBuds 4i // Source : Idroid

If they are not audiophiles, the FreeBuds 4i have the merit of offering a balanced and generally pleasant rendering. We would have liked a little more dynamic, but difficult to be choosy at this price. Active noise reduction isn't amazing: it dampens constant noise well, but barely a bit more for the rest. This remains a very pleasant bonus given the price.

The autonomy is however excellent, with nearly 7 hours with active noise reduction! Small flat however, the case only ensures a little more than a full charge. If they are obviously not the best technically, the FreeBuds 45i shine by their extremely attractive price in terms of their services. For more details, find our test of the Huawei FreeBuds 4i.

Where to buy the
Huawei FreeBuds 4i at the best price?
  • Amazon € 69 Discover the offer
  • Fnac Marketplace € 58 Discover the offer
  • Fnac € 69 Discover the offer
  • Baker € 69 Discover the offer
  • Darty 69 € Discover the offer
  • Amazon Marketplace 69 € Discover the offer
  • Huawei 69 € Discover the offer
  • Rakuten Marketplace 69 € Discover the offer
  • Rue du Commerce 76 € Discover the offer
  • Cdiscount 79 € Discover the offer
  • SFR 99 € Discover the offer
  • E.Leclerc 99 € Discover the offer
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Realme Buds Air 2 The small price that breaks the house

9 / 10 Product sheet See the Amazon test 49 €
  • Balanced sound
  • Correct active noise reduction
  • Have you seen this award ?!
Available at 49 € on Amazon

No sooner are decent affordable wireless headphones found than manufacturers give them a layer. And that's good ! Because with its Buds Air 2, Realme breaks the prices even more. Despite this, the headphones have a decent finish, are light and fit well in the ears. We also appreciate the small size of the case.

Given the price, Bluetooth is single point, but nothing to complain about the strength of the connection. What surprises us, however, is the presence of active noise reduction! The latter does not have to be ashamed, even in the face of much more expensive devices. Indoors, we are in a bubble, and the performance is quite passable in transport. A transparent mode is also part of the game to hear what you are told in the queue of the supermarket.

For its part, the sound rendering is balanced, with bass and mediums very present. The dynamics are very correct as long as we do not exceed 80% of volume. We end this overview with an autonomy of 4 hours, with 4 additional charges in the case.

We must admit that given their price, the Buds Air 2 is almost flawless. Realme delivers here a product without major defect which crushes the competition at this price level. To find out more, read the Realme Buds Air 2 review.

Where to buy the
Realme Buds Air 2 at the best price?
  • Amazon € 49 Discover the offer
  • Rakuten Marketplace 39 € Discover the offer
  • Amazon Marketplace 43 € Discover the offer
  • Fnac Marketplace € 47 Discover the offer

While we have intentionally kept this selection relatively exclusive, other models are of excellent quality and deserve your attention, especially if they are on sale:

  • Bose QC Earbuds: for their incredible active noise reduction
  • Apple AirPods 3: the best open fit and Apple integration
  • Galaxy Buds Pro: for their integration with Samsung devices

Some tips before buying your wireless headphones

Before you buy wireless headphones, there are many questions that may cross your mind. We have listed a few here with answers that we hope will light up your lantern.

Why choose wireless headphones (or true wireless)?

Wireless headphones are generally completely wireless in-ear headphones. They work the same way as Bluetooth headphones, with the difference that there is total freedom of movement, hence the term “true wireless”. This type of product is intended for the more nomadic - as well as the more athletic - looking for lightness and practicality. Usually delivered with a charging case, wireless headphones generally enjoy good battery life. In addition, some models even take advantage of additional features, including active noise reduction.

What criteria to take into account for sport?

If you like to indulge in sports activities while listening to music, know that some manufacturers have thought of you. First of all, you need a headphone model that sits well in the ears despite sudden and repeated movements (adding a support that goes around the hollow of the ear is usually a plus). Then, it is especially necessary to check the IP certification. Depending on its level, it will be more or less waterproof. If you don't plan on going to a swimming pool with it, IPX4 certified headphones are the union minimum to withstand rain and sweat. Fully submersible headphones are still quite rare on the market, although some smartphones today go up to IPX8.

What brands can you trust?

By browsing the Internet for a few minutes, one can quickly realize the plethora of brands that offer wireless headphones today. We should not generally be fooled by ultra-attractive prices, models often testifying to a quality that is unfortunately not at the rendezvous. In comparison with actors like Sony, Jabra, Samsung or Bose who have acquired undeniable know-how over the years, there is no photo with small brands without any reputation, they who often try to clumsily copy the references of 'Apple, in vain. There may indeed be exceptions, but turning to one of the brands mentioned above is still the assurance of having a quality product in your ears.

You can also turn to Bluetooth headsets if you prefer.

What are the best bluetooth (wireless) headsets in 2021?

Are you looking for the best bluetooth headset and don't know which one to choose based on your budget? Here are our recommendations for finding the right wireless headset for you.

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