- Award Winner 2020
Since Bose invented noise-cancelling headphones, the pressure’s high for the brand to produce a creator of quiet. With 20-hours battery life and built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, the QuietComfort headphones sound appealingly convenient.
Price (RRP) A$499.95
- Build Quality4.6 (138)
- Value for Money4.2 (138)
- Sound Quality4.7 (134)
- Bass4.5 (127)
- Comfort4.8 (134)
- FeaturesMicrophone Included and Noise Cancelling
- Colour / FinishBlack, Silver, Rose Gold
- Build Quality4.5 (8)
- Value for Money4.8 (8)
- Sound Quality4.8 (8)
- Bass4.5 (8)
- Comfort4.6 (8)
- FeaturesGaming Headset
- Colour / FinishBlack, White
- Frequency Response15Hz - 28kHz
The popular Apple Airpods are a convenient and stylish way to listen to music on the go. Simply pop them back into their sleek and compact charging case, and slide them into your pocket when you’re done.
Price (RRP) A$229.00 to A$319.00
- Build Quality4.5 (126)
- Value for Money3.8 (125)
- Sound Quality4.4 (120)
- Bass4.1 (116)
- Comfort4.3 (121)
- FeaturesMicrophone Included, Charging Case and True Wireless (Earbuds Only)
- Colour / FinishWhite
- Build Quality4.2 (32)
- Value for Money4.7 (32)
- Sound Quality4.4 (32)
- Bass4.5 (30)
- Comfort4.1 (32)
- FeaturesMicrophone Included
- Colour / FinishBlack, Blue and White
- Frequency Response20 Hz - 20 kHz
Wireless vs wired headphones
Wired headphones physically connect to a device by plugging it into a headphone jack or charging port. These types of headphones don’t allow for a lot of movement - if you’re jogging on a treadmill, it can be easy to get caught up in a tangle of wires, interrupting your workout.
However, wired headphones are a stable and reliable way to listen to music. They're often cheaper than wireless headphones and generally have a superior sound quality too, as Bluetooth can only handle so much information across its signal. In fact, many renowned music producers are known to use wired headphones when working in the studio.
If you’re working in an office or studying for an exam, it’s worth buying a pair of wired headphones to avoid the disruption of your headphones disconnecting. Planning to wear your headphones for long periods of time? Consider wearing because continuous usage of or headphones may cause discomfort after a while.
Wireless headphones provide a cord-free connection between your headphones and your device. Most headphones establish this connection via Bluetooth.
Buying wireless headphones with Bluetooth means that you don’t have to worry about the physical specifications of the phone. Since the headphone jack doubles up as the charging port on many modern phones, it's impossible to listen to music while charging - if you’re using wired headphones. The main two phone charging ports are USB-C and micro-USB but wireless headphones can pair with a phone regardless of what type of physical port it has.
Although, it’s not always that simple. While praised for their convenience, Bluetooth headphones are also notorious for their unstable connectivity. It can be frustrating to have your music cut out suddenly if your Bluetooth connection drops. Plus, if you’ve forgotten to charge your headphones and don’t have your with you, your headphones are then rendered useless.
For risk-free late-night TV that won’t result in waking up your partner or the kids, you can hook up wireless headphones to the TV and crank up the volume as loud as you’d like. To ensure that no noise escapes from your headphones, it’s helpful to buy a pair of over-ear headphones. These headphones surround your ears, making it hard for noise to spill out. Plus, if your headphones have an , they can double up as a .
Choosing headphones for sports can be tricky. It’s all about finding the balance between a pair that feels comfortable but are not so loose that they’ll pop out of your ears while jogging.
Search for in-ear wireless headphones that are designed to sit securely in your ears during high-intensity training. Headphones with ear loops will act as an extra layer of protection to keep your headphones in.
is a prime example of wireless headphones made to endure fitness activities. These have a built-in heart rate and VO2 max monitor, along with ear wings which help to keep them in place. They’re also built to withstand moisture, so if you go for a run and sweat you won’t damage your headphones.
How do I use wireless headphones?
Connecting Bluetooth headphones to your device is a simple-enough process. Open Bluetooth on your phone and keep your headphones in close range to pair up the devices. There’s some concern about the low level of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) that Bluetooth headphones produce, just like mobile phones and microwaves.
However, although some scientists suggest that the proximity of Bluetooth headphones to the brain can cause concern, there’s currently no solid scientific evidence to prove that it’s unsafe. Other less common types of headphones which don’t connect via Bluetooth include infrared and radiofrequency headphones, however, there are limited models available on the market.
What are the best cheap wireless headphones?
If you’re seeking the convenience of wireless headphones but would prefer not to use up all your cash on a pair, there are plenty of high-quality yet affordable options to choose from. According to reviewers, here are the most popular headphones under $100.
There are two types of which also play music: passive and active.
Passive noise cancellation is like wearing earmuffs – a physical barrier blocking outside noise, whereas active noise cancellation is made up of sound waves that eliminate noise.
Most headphones on the market use passive noise-cancelling technology, which means you’re battling with outside noises. Although passive noise cancellation blocks environmental noise, it doesn’t cancel it out. Chances are it’s going to be hard to hear the music clearly if you don’t turn it up to a very high level. Listening to blaring music for sustained periods of time can, in the long run, cause damage to your ears.
Active noise-cancelling headphones
This is where active noise-cancelling headphones can help. Active noise-cancelling headphones eliminate noise, rather than just competing with it. So after the headphones erase this noise, you can then listen to music at a much lower volume, potentially preventing any future hearing damage.
Noise-cancelling headphones will be pricier but ultimately are worth it. Plus, a premium pair of noise-cancelling headphones can block out almost anything. If you’re interested in investing in a pair, and both have strong reputations for producing them.
Additionally, noise-cancelling headphones can be a lifesaver for flying. If you’ve been on an plane, chances are you’ll be familiar with the sounds of rowdy children in the row behind you or a fighting couple in the seats next to you.
All you need to do is pop on your headphones to block out environmental noise and shut out the world around you so you can focus on the music. Keep in mind that even if your noise-cancelling headphones are wired, you’ll still need to charge them as they’re battery operated.
Are any headphones better than Beats?
You might recognise from their high-profile ads featuring a plethora of celebrities. Known for their sleek design and streetwear style, Beats are a go-to brand. Although Beats produce a decent-enough sound quality, some commentators have complained that both their over-ear and on-ear headphones focus on bass and don’t provide a rounded-out experience. If you care more about function than fashion, there are superior brands to consider.
Apple: If you’re after a popular and convenient pair of headphones to pair with your iPhone, are a sought-after choice. Don’t expect studio-quality but they do produce a clear, vibrant sound. Their sleek and compact charging case makes it easy to slip into your pocket so you can charge on the go. Their Bluetooth connection enables them to connect to pretty much any device regardless of whether it’s Apple or Android.
However, some reviewers found the connection to be quite unstable and would cut out during calls or while listening to music. Others were frustrated by the short battery life.
Otherwise, if you just need a basic and affordable pair of headphones, the are a suitable alternative - but only if you have an Apple device. These headphones are incompatible with Android. Their low price is their main selling point, as they are only $30 or free with the purchase of an older iPhone. The iPhone 12 and onwards are no longer including headphones in the box, citing efforts to reduce waste.
They don’t produce a great sound quality, which at this price point is to be expected. However, they make a great pair of back-up headphones. Fun fact: Beats is now owned by Apple.
Bose: Bose has a wide range of headphones, from their classic wireless headphones to novelties such as the . was a ProductReview.com.au Award winner in both 2019 and 2020 for its superior sound quality and active noise cancellation.
Sony: Sony has an impressive line of headphones which rival the Quiet Comfort 35 II. If you’re after value for money, Sony is your best bet - plus it’s often available for a discounted price.
A cheaper pair of JBL headphones has useful features, such as an integrated microphone and Bluetooth connectivity but also has a lower battery life and a lower frequency rate than a more expensive option. Frequency rate determines the range of bass and treble you hear, so if you want a cleaner sound, it’s worth spending more. Premium JBL headphones are also noise cancelling.