July 2022

Wireless Headphones: Meta Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Headphones rankings posted by key online experts, as of July 2022.

Summary

As of 28 Jul 2022, Sony WH-1000XM5 takes the cake as the most critically-acclaimed headphones with 7 expert endorsements. 6 experts out of 7 recommended it as the '#1 headphones' this month. It is followed by Bose QuietComfort 45 and Sony WH-1000XM4 , with 6 and 5 expert endorsements respectively.

At a glance - July 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Price Headphones
Rtings.com
Tom's Guide
PCMag
What Hi-Fi
CNET
Wirecutter
Digital Trends
Old Time Music
IGN
T3
1
$398
Sony WH-1000XM5
-
1
5
1
1
-
1
-
1
1
2
$279
Bose QuietComfort 45
-
11
1
21
8
-
-
-
4
10
3
$348
Sony WH-1000XM4
1
-
-
2
10
3
-
-
-
8
4
$480
Apple AirPods Max
-
9
11
4
3
-
4
-
9
-
5
$299
Bose 700
7
3
-
-
-
-
3
-
3
4
6
$248
Sony WF-1000XM4
-
-
4
5
2
-
-
-
-
6
7
$97
Jabra Elite 45h
-
-
2
-
9
2
-
-
-
-
8
$180
Apple AirPods Pro
-
5
8
-
7
-
-
-
-
-
9
$267
Sennheiser Momentum 3
-
-
-
18
-
-
9
-
7
-
10
$198
Apple AirPods 3
-
7
-
20
-
-
-
-
-
12
13
$98
Sony WF-C500
-
-
-
11
-
-
-
-
-
3
14
$249
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
-
-
-
7
4
-
-
-
-
-
15
$199
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
-
-
-
16
-
-
-
-
-
2
16
$196
Urbanista Los Angeles
-
-
10
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
17
$80
Anker Soundcore Life Q30
4
-
-
-
13
-
-
-
-
-
18
$60
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus
-
-
-
9
-
-
-
-
-
9

We ranked Sony WH-1000XM5 #1 in July 2022 because:

  • 7 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
  • Out of those, 6 experts ranked Sony WH-1000XM5 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

The best wireless headphones overall

Pros
Articulate and engaging sound
Great control options
Impressive noise-cancelation

Cons
Redesign and eco credentials ups the price
Gets hot around the ears during longer listening

Go to ranking

PCMag

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Audiophiles / Editors' Choice

Pros
Excellent audio performance with robust bass depth and crisp highs
Top-notch active noise cancellation
Intuitive on-ear controls
App offers an adjustable EQ and other customization settings
Comfortable, stylish design

Cons
Expensive

Go to ranking

What Hi-Fi

New design, same result for Sony’s latest premium noise-cancelling headphones

Pros
Sensational sonic clarity
Nice to use
Punchy and precise, agile bass

Cons
Build seems a little less premium than before
Don’t fold away completely

Go to ranking

CNET

Best new noise-canceling headphones

Go to ranking

Digital Trends

The best wireless headphones overall

Pros
Excellent sound
Very good comfort
Ultra-clear call quality
Best-in-class noise canceling
Very good battery life
Hi-res compatible (wired/wireless)
Hands-free voice assistant access
Classy, modern design

Cons
Fold-flat, but don’t fold up

Go to ranking

IGN

Best Wireless Headphones

Go to ranking

T3

The best wireless over-ear headphones for most people

Pros
Very light and comfortable
Excellent sound quality
Fantastic noise cancellation

Cons
No aptX support

Go to ranking

We ranked Bose QuietComfort 45 #2 in July 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Bose QuietComfort 45 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

Inexpensive noise cancellation with lengthy playtime

Pros
Elite active noise cancellation
Refined sound signature
Increased battery life
Fantastic comfort and connectivity

Cons
Can’t disable ANC mode
Dip in call quality

Go to ranking

PCMag

Best Active Noise Cancellation / Editors' Choice

Pros
Best-in-class noise cancellation
Sculpted audio with rich bass and crisp highs
Exceptionally comfortable

Cons
ANC can’t be adjusted
Sound signature isn't accurate for true audiophiles

Go to ranking

What Hi-Fi

The QC45 have solid noise cancellation, but they're bettered in sound quality by the class leaders.

Pros
Effective noise cancellation
24-hour battery life
Comfortable build

Cons
Sparsely featured comparatively
Beaten for dynamics and timing
No aptX Bluetooth

Go to ranking

CNET

Latest Bose

Go to ranking

IGN

Best Closed-Back Wireless Headphones

Go to ranking

T3

Best wireless headphones for noise-cancelling

Pros
Impressive noise-cancelling
24 hours of battery life
Sound you can listen to for hours

Cons
Can’t turn off noise-cancelling entirely
No manual EQ settings

Go to ranking

Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Wireless Headphones.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Wireless Headphones, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for July 2022 ranking

We ranked Sony WH-1000XM4 #3 in July 2022 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Sony WH-1000XM4 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Rtings.com

Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Go to ranking

What Hi-Fi

Sony’s premium wireless headphones deliver a sonic masterclass

Pros
Dynamic, detail-rich sound
Sensational sense of timing
Lightweight, comfy and clever

Cons
No IP rating
No aptX support

Go to ranking

CNET

Still a favorite ANC headphone / Editors' Choice

Go to ranking

Wirecutter

Best wireless headphones for the office

Go to ranking

T3

The former best wireless over-ear headphones ever

Pros
Very light and comfortable
Excellent sound quality
Fantastic noise cancellation

Cons
No aptX support

Go to ranking

We ranked Apple AirPods Max #4 in July 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

The best over-ear wireless headphones for iOS users

Pros
Luxury design
Excellent noise cancellation
Spatial Audio sounds great

Cons
Expensive

Go to ranking

PCMag

Best Headphones for iPhone Users

Pros
Excellent audio performance with rich lows and crisp, detailed highs
High-quality active noise cancellation, especially for low-frequency rumble
Stunning, unique design
Adaptive EQ and Spatial audio
Hands-free Siri access

Cons
Expensive
Sound signature and Adaptive EQ/spatial audio aren't for purists
No user-adjustable EQ
Button placement makes it easy to misfire when adjusting fit
Smart Case does little to protect the headphones

Go to ranking

What Hi-Fi

These are hands-down the best wireless noise-cancellers you can buy (for Apple users, anyway)

Pros
Superb sound and noise-cancelling
Cinematic spatial audio
Exceptional build quality

Cons
Near-pointless case
Audio cable not included
Practically Apple-only

Go to ranking

CNET

High-end option

Go to ranking

Digital Trends

Best for iPhone users

Pros
Best-in-class ANC
Amazing transparency mode
Excellent build quality
Excellent sound quality
Top-notch call quality

Cons
Charges via Lightning cable
Heavy on head

Go to ranking

IGN

Best High-End Wireless Headphones for Apple Users

Go to ranking

We ranked Bose 700 #5 in July 2022 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Rtings.com

Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones For Calls

Go to ranking

Tom's Guide

The best wireless headphones for ANC

Pros
Slick, attractive design
Adjustable ANC levels
Precise, balanced audio
Smart, intuitive buttons and touch controls

Cons
Expensive

Go to ranking

Digital Trends

Best for comfort and call convenience

Pros
Excellent noise canceling
Extremely comfortable
Remarkable voice clarity for calls and voice assistants
Connect to multiple devices at once
USB-C brings convenient quick-charging

Cons
Boost to lower treble comes off as harsh
Requires Bose Music App to control many functions

Go to ranking

IGN

Best Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

Go to ranking

T3

The best noise cancelling headphones for call quality

Pros
Astonishing voice pick up
Top-tier noise cancelling
Very good sound quality

Cons
Battery life not great
Not as many features as Sony

Go to ranking

We ranked Sony WF-1000XM4 #6 in July 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
PCMag

Best True Wireless Noise Cancellation / Editors' Choice

Pros
Exceptional active noise cancellation
Powerful bass depth and crisp, defined highs
Adjustable EQ
Good battery life

Cons
Expensive

Go to ranking

What Hi-Fi

Sony's best true wireless earbuds to date.

Pros
Clear, detailed bass performance
Wonderful sense of musicality
Comfortable
Class-leading battery life

Cons
Missing Sony’s Multipoint feature
Lacking ear tip choices
No aptX HD

Go to ranking

CNET

Top Sony buds

Go to ranking

T3

The best in-ear wireless headphones overall

Pros
Excellent audio quality
Top-tier noise cancellation
Comfortable in-ear feel

Cons
Somewhat bulbous design
No aptX

Go to ranking

We ranked Jabra Elite 45h #7 in July 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
PCMag

Best Affordable On-Ear Headphones / Editors' Choice

Pros
Powerful, bass-forward audio performance
Useful app with adjustable EQ
Comfortable on-ear fit
Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
Strong mic clarity

Cons
Combined volume/track navigation controls make it easy to accidentally skip a track

Go to ranking

CNET

Best on-ear for the money

Go to ranking

Wirecutter

Best budget wireless headphones around $100

Go to ranking

We ranked Apple AirPods Pro #8 in July 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

Apple's best wireless headphones

Pros
Modern, functional design
Effective active noise cancellation
Expanded, easy to use controls
Seamless iOS connectivity

Cons
Battery life could be longer

Go to ranking

PCMag

Best Earphones for iPhone Users / Editors' Choice

Pros
Strong audio performance
Quality active noise cancellation
Secure in-ear fit
Hands-free Siri access
Wireless charging case
Splash-resistant build

Cons
Expensive
No on-ear volume controls
ANC and EQ aren't adjustable

Go to ranking

CNET

Still hard to beat / Editors' Choice

Go to ranking

We ranked Sennheiser Momentum 3 #9 in July 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
What Hi-Fi

Superb noise-cancellers that enhance Sennheiser’s reputation

Pros
Energetic, rhythmic presentation
Convenient usability features
Effective noise cancellation

Cons
Uncompetitive battery life

Go to ranking

Digital Trends

Best for sound quality

Pros
Gorgeous fidelity
Easy to use controls
Great passive noise isolation
App-based controls
Tile built-in

Cons
Noise reduction isn't as good as Sony and Bose
Headband still needs better padding
Middling battery life

Go to ranking

IGN

Best High-End Wireless Headphones

Go to ranking

We ranked Apple AirPods 3 #10 in July 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

The best standard AirPods for voice and FaceTime calls

Pros
Adaptive EQ with well-balanced sound
Spatial audio support
Improved battery life and ergonomics
H1 chip-powered features

Cons
No ANC or Transparency mode
Loose fit

Go to ranking

What Hi-Fi

AirPods advance closer to the Pro model with redesign and stand-out spatial audio

Pros
Spatial audio support is a real bonus
Balanced, clear and detailed sound
Strong battery life

Cons
Beaten for transparency
Still no on-bud volume adjustment
Fit won't be for everyone

Go to ranking

T3

The best ordinary AirPods

Pros
Great new design
Better battery life
Dynamic and detailed sound

Cons
Not everyone likes the fit

Go to ranking

We ranked Sony WF-C500 #11 in July 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
What Hi-Fi

Real competitors in the budget true wireless earbuds arena

Pros
Compact and comfortable design
Spirited, well-balanced sound
Fine control app

Cons
Ordinary battery life
Slightly small-scale sound

Go to ranking

T3

The best cheap wireless earbuds

Pros
Excellent sound quality
Manual equaliser settings
Comfortable fit

Cons
No noise-cancelling
Average battery life

Go to ranking

We ranked Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 #12 in July 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
What Hi-Fi

The True Wireless 3 keep the momentum going strong

Pros
Spacious, refined and insightful sound
aptX Adaptive Bluetooth support
Nicely priced

Cons
Earpieces slightly cheaper looking
Pick up wind noise

Go to ranking

CNET

New Sennheiser flagship earbuds

Go to ranking

We ranked Bose QuietComfort Earbuds #13 in July 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
What Hi-Fi

Fantastic true wireless earbuds with brilliant noise-cancelling tech.

Pros
Exciting, entertaining sound
Superb balance
Impressive noise-cancelling

Cons
No volume controls
Average battery life

Go to ranking

T3

The best in-ear wireless heapdhones

Pros
Fantastic ANC
Curved design
Excellent sound

Cons
Very expensive

Go to ranking

We ranked Urbanista Los Angeles #14 in July 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
PCMag

Best for Eco-Conscious Music Lovers / Editors' Choice

Pros
Solar-powered charging
Impressive audio performance with rich, deep bass and crisp highs
Quality noise cancellation for the price
Stylish design

Cons
No in-app EQ
Noise cancellation slightly impacts sound signature

Go to ranking

Digital Trends

Best for the eco-minded music fan

Pros
Solar charging really works
Secure fit
Real-time power meter in app
Huge 80-hour battery

Cons
Only works under optimal conditions
No EQ adjustments

Go to ranking

We ranked Anker Soundcore Life Q30 #15 in July 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Rtings.com

Best Budget Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Go to ranking

CNET

Best noise-canceling over-ear for under $100

Go to ranking

We ranked Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus #16 in July 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Wireless Headphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
What Hi-Fi

Cambridge’s Award-winning recipe has been refined to include app support and extra sonic clarity and detail

Pros
Extra ounce of dynamic expression
Great clarity for the level
Slick app support

Cons
No noise-cancelling

Go to ranking

T3

Best affordable in-ear wireless headphones

Pros
Gorgeous, detailed sound
Small case size
Excellent battery life

Cons
Button controls aren't ideal

Go to ranking