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Huge Comparison of [almost] all the Best Bluetooth Headphones - post your own comparisons here

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by giogio, Dec 15, 2014.
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  1. Giogio
    Hello everybody. If you are in a hurry you find the lists of Best BT Headphones on the second half of this post

    CHANGE OF DIRECTION.
    As you may know, I am organising what will probably be the biggest side-by-side Comparison of Bluetooth Headphones ever made. More than 100 models, basically all the even slightly relevant ones on the market.
    Here a picture of a while ago (not complete):
    IMAG0673.jpg

    And I want to officially take distance from my list of "Best" Headphones.
    I lately had the chance to deepen my contact with some producers and designers of headphones, and I have developed a great respect for their work and for each headphone, even the cheap ones.
    I have also seen that for each headphone there always are happy owners.

    So I do not feel that picking a winner or making a numerical list in order of best/worse is either respectful for the producers or really useful for you all.
    The internet is already full enough of many lists of best this and that, and in this occasion I wish to make something which is kind of missing.
    And therefore instead of taking headphones I'll just describe them.
    No winner will be declared, no best.
    I will test each headphone with 66 different songs which covers many different genres, and I will describe how each headphone sounds with each song.
    I can anticipate, I myself am amazed by how no single headphone performs perfectly well with all of those songs, and am also amazed by how even the cheapest headphones perform wonderfully on some song.
    Well, I did to be true found a few which are always hopelessly bad, but very few.
    But if I can (I run out of time) I will do a second test with EQ to see how the lacks of the headphones can be compensated.
    It's anyway most probable that this second test will be done later and therefore only with the headphones which I'll be allowed to keep.

    I wanted to tell it now, because in the while people keep asking me for the best, and I still love the headphones which are on top of my list, and who can read would understand that he may like more a headphones with a lower ranking than my top one.
    But many people just look for the ranking, obsessed with "the best", without even reading my description of the headphones.
    I do not want to be part of this trend.
    I let my lists here till my new Comparison is ready, then I will delete them, and there will no more be any N°1.
    People will decide by themselves what is their own N°1.

    End of the EDIT.


    Old Text:

    I've started my quest for the best sounding Bluetooth Headphones back on 2014.
    In the shops you can only test wired headphones, so to try some and find the right one I had to buy online.
    I have read reviews, narrowed my choices, bought some, compared, sent back, till I have found one which has met my needs at least in big part.

    In this process I have learned a few things:
    • it is really incredible how different can Headphones sound.
    • no matter how many reviews you will read you can never be sure that you'll like those headphones.
    • the amount of positive ratings in Amazon does not mean that some headphones are very good. There are many budget headphones which are top rated because they are cheap and lot of people buy them, people who generally do not have a background nor an ambition of high end audio.
    • testing one headphone may be tricky because you can get used to its sound. Comparing two or more headphones side by side is easier to stay objective.
    • there is not such a thing as one absolute best headphone. There are many differently excellent ones. You must try a few and decide which one is the "best for you".


    So I kept trying even more Headphones, because I wanted to find "the best for me".
    I have actually changed my "favourite" a couple of times already, and I've found a few which were all so amazing that I wished I had the money to keep them all. But I hadn't.
    And most people don't.
    Besides, if everybody should have to compare 40 headphones to find the right one it would be a huge waste of time and money for buyers and sellers. But if one person does it and shares his experience, the next will have to compare just 4 and the next 2.
    So I have decided to open this Thread to help people narrow down their choices, and compare by themselves.

    Please take the time to read again the last sentence...

    Nobody here will tell you what to buy, nobody can know what's "best for you". You must "compare by yourself".
    By yourself.
    Compare, two or more side by side.
    Did I say "compare by yourself"? If not, let me say it: COMPARE BY YOURSELF.

    And once you've found your headphone, please come back here and write your comparison to help other people!
    This Thread is not meant to be my one-man-show. It is a group work, and YOUR comparisons will make it grow as much and more than mine.
    In fact the idea of this Thread is to offer the most objective ratings, neutral suggestions, and effective help possible. And this can only happen in a collectivity of people interested in high-end audio, where one can reach many people, read many opinions, and have more chances to find somebody with similar tastes and needs.
    To make this easier I will link your most relevant comparisons and comments at the bottom of this post, but due to serious time restrictions I cannot follow each single post, so I need volunteers who can read a few pages of this thread and send me via PM the links to the posts with the most relevant comparisons, reviews and informations.
    Please contact me via PM and tell me how many pages (5, 10, 20, etc) you are willing to take care of.

    There will be terms we use to describe sound and headphones, which you may not understand. Feel welcome to ask.
    You can read this basic glossary to start, and here you find a thread about what is low, low-mid, mid, upper-mid, etc.
    If you want to learn something about how to EQ your headphones, two users here have done an amazing job in these three threads:
    How to EQ 1
    How to EQ 2
    How to EQ 3
    There also are many other guides in Internet.
    Something which is very useful is to take a graphical Parametric EQ, one of those where you see how the EQ curve changes with your tweaks. This way you can see very easily what you are doing.
    There are many VST which let you do this and you can use them with Foobar and maybe other players too.

    For general conversation about High End BT Headphones you may also want to check this thread started by n00b2. He has been a Pioneer in this field here.

    EDIT Apr 2015: This thread will still include comparisons between ANC and non-ANC Bluetooth Headphones, because its aim is to find the best sounding BT Headphones overall.
    But comparisons between ANC models should now be posted in this new Thread.

    EDIT Dec 2015: For a misunderstanding with Amazon my account was closed globally rather than just in one Country as I had requested. Some of my reviews were automatically deleted and I cannot access and update the few remaining ones, nor answer to comments.
    I apologize sincerely to all those who wrote me (and write me!) there.
    I take this as an opportunity to edit my reviews with the better experience and less opinionated attitude I have now. It will require time though.
    I will also hopefully soon be able to open my own Blog and upload the reviews there, but in the while I will upload them in Head-Fi and link them in this Post.
    And I want to thank all the Companies which have already trusted me and sent me Test Units to make some of these Comparisons possible.

    Now, before you post your comparisons, and to better understand why you can trust mine and how you can use them for your needs:
    - explain if you tested with EQ or not
    - explain which kind of music you have used. You can provide a tracklist if you want. Explain also the format of the music.
    - explain which tastes you have about sound signature (if you are a basshead, if you like balanced neutral headphones, if you like warm sound, bright sound)
    - explain which background you have with headphones (if you are used to high end audio or to lower budget headphones).
    - explain the equipment used and all what can make a difference in how those headphones sounded in your tests (iPhone? Android? PC? Aptx? Which player?)
    - try separating objective from subjective.
    - read around, it's the best way to learn. I give you a couple of links to start:
    - have a look at my methodology below, it could give you a few inputs.

    I believe that people have different ears and psychoacoustic traits, and even a perfectly balanced headphone will not sound equally balanced to everybody.
    Besides two headphones may both have a flat response and still sound very different.
    And it is very difficult (if possible) to find headphones which out-of-the-box can sound perfect with every music.
    Therefore I take for granted that people must use EQ and eventually DSP if they want their headphone to be truly balanced for their ears, and to sound good with every music.
    People also have different tastes. And imo the tastes of who wants perfect balance are as important as the tastes of who wants a boost in the bass or whatever else.
    So for me the perfect headphone is the one which can meet the tastes and needs of the widest audience possible (audiophiles, bassheads, etc), without or with EQ/DSP.

    How does this affect my ratings and reviews?
    If out of the box A has a flat response but does not react to EQ and cannot be adapted to other tastes, while B has a less flat response but reacts well to EQ and can be adapted to any taste (including becoming flat) I rate higher B.
    If out of the box A is flat and can be adapted to other tastes, while B is flat but cannot be adapted to other tastes, I rate higher A.
    If out of the box A is flat and can be adapted to other tastes, while B is less flat and can too be adapted to other tastes (including balance), I still rate A a bit higher, because although with EQ both headphones would plase the same amount of people, some people who like flat do not use EQ and could not enjoy B.

    At same time in my reviews I always describe the sound out of the box and the potential which can be unleashed with EQ.
    Hence my ratings and reviews are useful to a large group of people.

    What's the difference with other reviewers?
    Many reviewers think that headphones should sound "good" without EQ. So they do not test them with EQ, loosing the chance to discover (and let you discover) some hidden gems.
    Besides most of them think that "good" means only "flat", and do not consider on the same level the other tastes.
    In few words, their ratings and reviews are mainly useful to those who like balance and do not use EQ.

    So am I better?
    No way. All is relative to what you want.
    If you are one of those people who like a totally flat frequency response AND do not use EQ, other reviewers may be more useful to you than I can.
    But if you use EQ my reviews may help you discovering some hidden gems out there, and if you do not necessarily look for a completely flat response, my ratings may be more helpful to you than those of some other reviewers.
    Anyway, although I am not aware of any other reviewer who share my ideology and method, there may be some.

    As said, I never test only one headphone. I always compare two or more headphones at a time. It is the best way to stay as much objective as possible and understand their real character.
    I take time (2-4 weeks) to get to know them better and overcome eventual instinctive rejections or premature love.
    In order to find their hidden virtues/faults I double test them without and with EQ, and I write both results in my reviews, as said before.
    To compare I switch as quickly as possible between them, again and again and again and again and again. Then I change track and I do it again. And so on, till I have understood where I need to go deeper. There I start applying some EQ and I do it all over again.
    When I am doing the final fine job I even use an Audio Editor to make a loop of just a part of a Track, so I can be more precise in hearing the differences.
    It is slow, and sometimes potentially boring, and hugely time-demanding, but as I am passionate and obsessive I actually have more problems stopping than going on (which is one of the reasons why for the sake of my personal and professional life I had to slow down from mid 2015 and I may not always be up to date with the latest releases).

    Beside what already explained above, I try to put my tastes aside, and I often rate higher something I like less, if it can pleases more audience than what I like more.
    And to be as much objective as possible I separate different aspects and I rate only those which are more or less objective. Of course in my reviews I describe also the subjective aspects.

    I consider more or less objective those aspects which everybody would like to have and can be rated in terms of "best/worse". They are all strictly related to sound and I collectively call them "Sound Quality". They are not always easy to distinguish from each other:
    -Detail: you can hear each detail of the original recording.
    -Instruments' separation: you can clearly distinguish what is being played by each instrument, like if each was played by a different part of the speaker.
    -Transparency: there is no veil, like if the music is being really played by little instruments near your ears, with nothing in between.
    -Soundstage: the sound seems to really come from the space around you like if you are in the same room with the musicians. I did not find it in any BT Headphone, but many have a good enough soundstage, sometimes wider, sometimes deeper, sometimes both.
    -Frequency Response: the range of frequencies headphones can play.
    -Dynamic: related to the impulse response, it could be explained as how well can each frequency (or each sound) be played, and so how rich and dynamic and true is the final overall sound.

    There are things which everybody wants, but depend in part on personal factors and cannot be always judged objectively. Or it may be potentially good to have them, but not everybody cares.
    I rate them when their lack/presence/excess is objectively positive or negative.
    Or when they would be the only difference between two similarly performing and priced headphones.
    Otherwise I just describe them:
    -Loudness: the min and max loudness which gives a good sound
    -Materials and Build: self explanatory.
    -Price: it varies with time and place, but we all know which headphones are immorally overpriced...
    -Accessories, Design and Extra Functions: who wants what?
    -Passive Noise Isolation: alone at home it does not matter, but in company or outside it may.
    -Call Quality: some people use BT Headphones only for music, some also to call. How to find a rating which considers both?
    -Customer Care: I care, you maybe not, but do they care about us?
    -Comfort: apart for masochists, who would not want comfortable headphones? But what is comfortable for whom?

    I consider subjective those aspects which are a matter of tastes and cannot be rated in terms of better/worse but just in term of more/less, or which cannot be rated at all and must be just described:
    -Sound Signature: the amount of Bass, Mids, Highs which the headphones have out of the box. If the headphone is really good this can be perfectly changed through EQ.
    -Colour: if the headphone tends to sound dark, warm, cold, bright, fresh. It can be influenced with EQ but not completely changed.
    -Impact: if the sound is more direct or more soft.
    -Look: whether you are into Beats or Parrot or B&O or Sennheiser, or you just don't care, Look is just a matter of tastes.

    But even with all the precautions one can take, a perfect objectivity and universality are not possible.
    It will still happen that somebody will like more the headphone 10 than the 1 in my list. Because a big part of sound is subjective. And while I as a reviewer must considers all tastes, you will just prefer things according to your own tastes.
    That's why I have added a description for every headphone in my list, and I write detailed reviews. So you can read between the lines and translate my review to your person and needs.
    At the end YOU are the one who must do the final job, and must, what did you say, yes, exactly, right, COMPARE BY YOURSELF!

    Once again for the saké sake of objectivity I use a very wide range of very different music from Classical to Dubstep. I actually have a tracklist, which evolves from time to time.
    The music is mostly encoded in MP3 of different qualities, some FLAC, and a couple of Wav or CD.
    I do not have any AAC enabled device, so I cannot promise that with the AAC Codec you will have the same quality. Anyway, Aptx and AAC should be quite similar.
    Devices I use:
    -HTC Desire Eye with Neutron as a player (imo the best you can find).
    -Dell Notebook with Win7 and Foobar2000 as a player, and the Avantree Priva2 BT Transmitter which is extremely practical as you can connect two Aptx headphones at same time, so I can switch much quicker between them.


    Now, my Huge Comparison!


    List of all tested Headphones.

    The list is in "order of overall excellence", meaning that all categories are mixed together and the overall (potentially) better sounding headphones are rated higher.
    Sometimes it was hard to decide which headphone should go up or down, because many were similarly good but with different personality and fields of excellence.
    And don't be fooled, a lower ranking does not mean a bad sound! I always choose only the best Headphones on the Market (apart for a couple of experiments at the very end).
    1. Audio Technica ATH-WS99BT
      When I have first tried them I thought "where is this Solid Bass of the advertising?". The second thing I have noticed is that they were incredibly detailed and clean, covering a very wide range of frequencies and performing very well in each one. With a nice warmth and presence and a good balance, they sound incredibly well with any music, something I was not expecting from a "Solid Bass" headphone. And after some EQ I thought "OMG, here is the Solid Bass!". I have then noticed some potential discomfort on long term due to the small and thin pads, but I have found that the Brainwavz HM5 eapads could dramatically improve the comfort, also positively affecting the sound in different ways depending on which version of the pads you use.
      With the time I have just loved these headphones so much that I doubt I will ever sell them, even if I find a "better" one. But we'll see!
    2. Sennheiser Momentum M2AEBT
      I have immediately loved their refined smooth elegant warm sound. The soundstage is quite wide, and the the overall sound and build quality is top. The bass is a bit boomy when pushed, but with very nice rumble and good punch. The mids were soft and warm like a kiss. The highs a bit rolled off, which contributes to their nice smoothness. Probably these are the cans which Sade would make if she would make cans. I admit that I had to lock elsewhere when giving the box to the Post Office.
    3. XTZ Headphone Divine
      I was curious how would the "World's first DSP Enhanced Headphone" sound. I had the feeling they would be ok. But I was not expecting them to sound THIS good.
      They sound already very good without DSP, which is a proof of the hardware quality. But with the Frequency and Impulse Response correction of Dirac, they sound like the N°3 of this list should sound, virtually perfectly balanced, nearly unveiled, extremely detailed, with unbelievably crispy highs, alive, dynamic, and good in the whole range of frequency.
      I still can't believe I have put them higher than my ex N°1, but they deserve it.
      One thing is worth noticing though: if you will use them with a portable music player, you will not have the extra benefits of the DSP software. So this rating is only if you will use them with iPhone, PC, Mac or Android phone. Without DSP they are still very good, but I would place them somewhere between the Sennheiser M2OEBT and the Harman Kardon BT.
    4. Philips Fidelio M2BT
      These were one of the first which I have tested. The ones I was referring above when I wrote "I kept trying headphones till I have found one which has met my needs at least in big part".
      It was love for a while, specially for their amazing dense deep bass, which I still miss from time to time. They perform well in the whole range, although their highs can have some sibilance on some music. If you are not looking for powerful bass but for perfect detail then the AKG would win, but overall I felt that the Fidelio can please a wider audience. Hence the higher rating.
    5. Plantronics Backbeat Pro
      They were placed higher in ranking a while ago, before the revolution caused by XTZ. There is quite a bit of bass boost there, and some hype in the highs. But nothing that the EQ cannot correct. On the other hand there is also a very good sound quality, good detail, a nice soundstage, an amazing bass potential, one of the best wireless range, and some very clever functions. They are a bit bulky and not so sexy, but are one of the very few Low Latency Aptx options out there, with BT Class 1 and 24hrs Battery life (using ANC). Somehow avant-garde, despite the look.
    6. Parrot Zik 2
      Finally I could test them. And I was more impressed than I though I would be, although maybe not as much as Parrot expects us to be with the advertising about the "World's most advanced Headphones". They do sound good. Actually very good with the ANC, which somehow increases their Dynamic and makes them sound more alive. And you may want to activate the Spatial Effect to improve the Soundstage. Then you have a very nice Full Parametric EQ to adjust their sound to your taste and music.
      The bass is full, punchy, vibrant, deep. The Mids are indeed a bit back in the soundstage but still there. The highs are much better than I expected from headphones without Aptx. The detail is good too although there is some veil which some people claim to be able to dissolve increasing the highs, but I couldn't. Overall excellent, and could be placed above the very similarly performing and featured Plantronics, if they would cost less and have a better battery life (6 hours vs 24).
    7. Philips Fidelio M1BT
      they sound almost identical to the M2BT, feel and look almost identical, and mostly differ in the absence of NFC, in a slightly less wide frequency response which in the M2 goes deeper, and supposedly a different DSP on the M2 which should improve the soundstage a bit. I could not made a side by side but I did not notice any big difference. I had the impression that the bass was a little bit deeper and the soundstage wider, but not that much. The guys at "whathifi" did a side to side and noticed no difference.
    8. AKG K845BT
      At first, I admit with some shame, I have relatively quickly rejected them, and I even was a bit harsh in my first review. I was less experienced and a bit opinionated then.
      I have later had the "chance to give them another chance". And I have loved them.
      Yes, they cannot get bassy, not even with EQ at max. Yes, they cannot get as loud as I would like when I listen to some music. Yes they sound a bit cold for my tastes.
      But they have such a good detail, such a clean sound, and a nice soundstage, and a splendid overall sound. I am happy to have met them again.
      If they only had more bass power to please a wider audience I would overlook the absolute absence of any extra function and due to the slightly better detail and transparency I would place them above Plantronics and Parrot. And if you do not need much bass, nor all those extra functions, consider the AKG first.
    9. Pendulumic Stance S1+
      Beside having an enthusiastic and competent team behind (with a designer who long worked for Sennheiser), the Stance S1+ also have now a wide number of fans who either liked or did not mind their brave retro look, but loved the elegance and balance, warmth and roundness of their sound. If their bass was more powerful they would deserve to be rated higher than the UE9000.
      For most people anyway they will be just perfect. And proof is the success they had at the Head-Fi CanJam among all those audiophiles used to high-end wired Headphones,
    10. Sennheiser Momentum M2OEBT
      Little brother of the M2AEBT which is above in the list. It sounds completely different in every single aspect. The bass is tight and punchy instead of rumpling and slightly boomy, the mids are quite flat (some may argue even slightly recessed) and the highs are in first line, sharp and bright although not harsh. Basically a premium V-Shape, with the detail and transparency of Sennheiser, but without the magic of the M2AEBT.
    11. Sennheiser Urbanite XLBT
      The first new BT Headphone of Sennheiser after a long long while. I was excited. Besides, in a time where I was listening lot of Techno, their advertised "Club Sound" had my attention.
      And I must say, they sound divine with Techno. German Techno with German Headphone, give me a couple of beers and I am happy.
      But then I have listened to Paco de Lucia. I do not know if the beer was already warm, but I was not happy anymore.
      The Urbanite XLBT look classy, are solid and use good materials. They were comfortable to me, maybe a bit lose fitting on my not too big head. The touch controls were nice. They sound overall very good, with punchy bass, warm mids, and clean highs. But there was that darkness in the low-mid region which I could not get rid of. It may be just me anyway.
      The detail was superb, as to be expected from this house. And they were quite transparent.
    12. Supertooth Freedom
      Nobody knows them. But they are one of the best surprises I had. They do not excel in anything, but they do more than well in everything.
      Their bass is full, good punch, good rumble, not too few, not too much. The mids are well balanced, with a little push in the upper mids which together with the clear highs gives them the kind of warmth of a sunny windy day on the beach. Nice soundstage, nice detail, just some veil. Big soft over ear pads, fair price.
      They look plasticky and are difficult to find and have a name which makes you say hmmm, but, if you see them for the right price, you should definitely give them a try.
    13. Logitech UE9000
      With the newest options which offer more or less the same and often cost less, the UE9000 are somehow outdated.
      Still, they are a very good sounding pair of BT Headphones which made history. Think of them as a sort of Over Ear version of the Fidelio. Wonderful isn't it? And they may be exactly what you are looking for, if you find them cheap and you do not mind the weight. And I repeat, weight. The price can drop, but the weight can not. It is a pity, otherwise they could be higher in the ranking.
    14. Harman Kardon BT
      One of the most odd looking headphones ever invented, I always thought they were horrible but I've loved them in the moment I had them in my hands. Real metal, but not heavy. Ingenious changeable headband to fit different heads. And a look which is just like having two ipods on your ears, it is ridiculous, I loved it.
      Besides, they did not sound too worse than the Fidelio which were my N°1 back then, but they had a much better wireless range. And they were now suddenly insanely cheap.
      Seriously, if you do not mind the look, do not put them aside from your round of comparisons. They may be a bit dull, and they lack the transparency of the higher rated ones, but with some EQ you may not notice it anymore.
    15. Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8
      I know that some people will be surprised to see the most expensive BT Headphones in History placed lower than the unknown Supertooth. It is not that they are "worse". It is that they are not imo worth costing more than the double, unless you really want they premium look and/or extra feature. But as you know, I give priority to sound. And the H8 do not sound like I expect some originally priced 500 Euro Headphones to sound.
      Their bass is potentially a delight for bassheads, but way too boosted out of the box (more than any other Headphone in this list). It also possess a dark colour which I could not get rid off even with EQ. The push the upper mids gives them a nice "fresh warmth" and some life, but the highs had some harshness which could not be corrected with EQ if not sacrificing a certain amount of them. There is some sound leakage which causes a bad distortion on bass-heavy tracks at max vol with ANC on (because the ANC considers the leaked sound as noise and tries to compensate it). The ANC itself is not that good either but not bad either. The look and build and materials are without any possible doubt premium, although some people may object the use of real leather, and the earpads are not so soft. The detail is good, the soundstage not so much. I sincerely consider them as a premium version of the Supertooth. Your choice.
    16. Akg Y45BT
      I must admit that it was hard to decide if I had to place them before or after the Bose Sounlink On Ear, which were for a time my preferred portable option. They sound similarly good even if with different personality. I ended keeping the AKG because a bit more portable than the Bose, with better sub-bass, and with Aptx. Although they fold differently, so the it may be a matter of tastes, where the AKG fold inside and flat, and the Bose fold inside and not flat. But I also liked the signature of the Bose, and their extra features.
      But given that you can find the AKG for less than the half of the Bose, I had no more doubts. They get a higher ranking. But you may like the Bose better if you like a brighter sound.
      If you do not use EQ, also, you may find the AKG a bit dark in the low range. But this is easily compensated with EQ. Therefore the higher rating.
      I also love their round soft carrying case.
    17. Bose Soundlink On-Ear
      There is really a lot which you can love in them. Apart for the price, of course. First of all, their size, flexibility, portability. Then the incredibly soft and pleasant earpads, which result very comfortable on long term also to people with sensitive ears. The punchy dry bass, the balanced mids, and the clean highs (a wonder, given the absence of Aptx). Then the extra functions, Multipoint, Voice Prompts, and the best Battery Level LED around.
      And do not forget the good carrying case, and the upgradable firmware. For this and their portability, they're one of the headphones I would have kept if I had more money.
    18. House of Marley Liberate XLBT
      This entrance may be another surprise to some. But there is much which can be liked, and even loved, in these headphones. First of all, they are mad by the son of Bob Marley. Not handmade, but, still cool. Then they look different, like it or not. And more importantly, they sound good. They are all but balanced. They actually some of the most unbalanced headphones I have ever tried. The bass is boosted, the mids are very warm and present, and the highs quite recessed. Horrible, right? Well, no. Somehow the result is like their look, unique, convincing, with personality. They do not fail being balanced, they just do not care about even trying. They want to sound like they sound. And their sound quality is not bad at all, there is good detail, few veil, some soundstage, and the potential to be adjusted with EQ if you want less bass and mids and more highs. IF you want. I just increased the highs and was happy with them a lot. Well done Marley.
    19. Samsung Lever Over
      There is nothing really "wrong" with them. But also nothing I could love.
      They are extremely comfortable on most if not all people, they are also quite big. They have a good soundstage, nice detail, slightly warm signature although the mids are not so pronounced, some rolled off highs, a bass comparable to the AKG K845BT, touchpad, nice look, nice rigid carrying case, and are a bit pricey.
      Objectively speaking, there are better options. Just to name one if you want ANC and touchpad: the Parrot.
    20. Avantree Audition Pro
      I am very proud of the huge progresses Avantree has made in their R&D. The old Audition were very muddy and boomy. These ones, although still kind of bassy and a littly bit boomy and muddy, have much better highs, better detail, better soundstage. Nothing is really excellent, but if you tweak around with EQ you will get a really really good sound, which is worth each single penny of their around 100 price, and can please a wide audience. The bass can be (when tweaked) clean and punchy with good rumble, you can get that little muddiness away, the highs can be increased to achieve a much more balanced and transparent sound. I was very pleasantly surprised! Well done. And they're Aptx Low Latency!
      And you can adapt on them VERY easily the Brainwavz HM5 earpads for an even better comfort. You may choose the leatherette version, which respect their warmth and their bass (just reducing the boominess and muddiness, which is good) or the Hybrid 3 materials version which makes them sound more bright by absorbing some bass and mids.
    21. Phiaton Chord MS530
      I was not impressed by any aspect of their sound, and I was disappointed by the weakness of the bass.
      I liked the incredibly comfortable soft large pads, big as over ear although technically on ear.
      I questioned the fancy look, attractive on picture, odd on head.
      They are quite balanced and one of the most gently sounding BT headphones I have ever tried. They were like a bath in water at same temperature of your skin. Neither warm nor cold. Just gentle. The detail was good but not excellent, the soundstage was not bad.
      Finally nothing was enough to made me feel that these pricey and peculiarly looking cans could please wide audiences.
      But now that they cost around 100, you should definitely give them a try if you like balanced neutral gentle sound.
    22. JBL Synchros S400 BT
      I had initially placed them lower because of the very high original price which according to my comparisons was not justified.
      Now I feel they deserve more attention. They may have a not perfect fit (depending on your head) and some hyper-sensitive touch controls, but they have a good sound with nice detail, decent soundstage, strong punchy bass, ok mids, and sharp but not harsh highs. They have the typical V Shaped signature, but well done. I still think they are overpriced. But it's your call.
    23. Beats Studio Wireless
      I am afraid I will not be able to place them higher in the ranking till they will cost as much as they're worth: the half.
      I can't understand why people are willing to pay them so much if with same or less money they can get much better.
      I also can't believe that CNET ever possibly called them the best.
      And I still ignore why Beats said that they support Aptx if they clearly don't.
      Anyway, they sound actually good. Not very good, and very far from being the best. But good. The bass is as to be expected strong but not so much as feared. It is anyway not of a remarkably good quality. Just ok. The mids are a bit lost in the V-Shaped signature which rather accentuates the highs which are unfortunately a bit harsh.
      The detail is ok, the soundstage rather poor, and there is quite some veil and muddiness around. Ah yes, they can get quite loud.
      They were very comfortable on my head, looked nicer than I will ever admit, and had one of the best wireless range in my tests, together with the Plantronics.
      The carrying case and cables were tip top like we expect from the "appearance over substance" style of Beats.
    24. Omni By Jlab
      They are not to be underestimated. They may lack the detail and transparency of the higher ranked headphones on this list, but they do not sound much different than the Harman Kardon BT with even some more warmth. They are also moderately priced and well built, and with a look which may seem familiar to those who know the Momentum.
    25. Jabra Revo Wireless
      They were one of the first two which I have compared. I sincerely loved they look, and in that moment also their sound. The bass is full, the mids are warm, the highs are ok for lacking Aptx. You can noticeably improve their sound with a Dolby effect (although the change is not so dramatic nor so remarkable as for the XTZ). But to do so you must use the player integrated in the provided App. And I was able to get a better sound with Neutron, so, what is the point? Anyway, they are indeed a good sounding headphones and if you find them at low price you could give them a try.
    26. Sennheiser MM550-X
      Apart for how they make your head look like Stewie of Family Guy, they do not have many more remarkable aspects. But they do sound good, with good detail, punchy dry bass, balanced mids, clear highs, and have a removable battery, noise cancelling, and a button to activate a "SRS WOW" surround effect which did not wow me at all and whose existence is still a mystery to me.
      In my opinion they are not worth that money. For the half of that they are worth and would deserve a higher rating.
    27. JBL E50 BT
      I remember being rather disappointed by them and their little brother 40, but with the experience of now I realize that they were actually not that bad. They were, yes, disappointing for my needs, and overpriced like almost anything JBL. But you can find them now cheaper and I think this makes them worth considering.
      They sound almost identical, with a relatively balanced signature and decent detail. They both have a poor fit which does not adjust so well to the head, and let some sound leak.
      The 50 is over ear and have some decent bass, while the 40 almost completely lack bass, like the Matrix 2 here below, but without their other advantages.
    28. Sony MDR-XB950BT
      Compared with the House of Marley they are somehow similar, and very different. Similar because they too boost the bass and the mids and have recessed highs. Different because here the final result is not so graceful and interesting. The bass is boomy and blurred, lot of air but little substance. The low-mids are muddy, the highs cannot be recovered with EQ so well as on the Marley. The look is definitely not so interesting as on the Marley imo, but that is tastes. What I find absolutely interesting is the Extra bass feature. With the push of a button you can have a boost on the lows without having to change EQ setting. It is badly executed because the quality of the bass is not so good, but the idea is great and I think that every headphone should have it.
      If you think you absolutely need this feature, you may want to search this forum for a Mod posted on the dedicated Thread, which is said to significantly improve the sound quality.
    29. Sony MDR-1RBT (old model, not MK2)
      It was a mistake. I thought they were the MK2, which have better sound and Aptx.
      I was not impressed at all. I would not say they are bad because they are not by any means. And if they would cost the half, I would place them a couple of positions above.
      But I sincerely think that for what they cost you can find much better options. Besides, apparently now you find the 1ABT at +or- same price. It is said to be one of the very best BT Headphones around, which I hope to be able to confirm as soon as possible.
    30. Sennheiser MM400-X
      Little brother of the 550, it sounds almost identical, with less mids, slightly less bass, and no fancy features. And a lower but proportionally equally exaggerated price.
    31. Sony MDR-10RBT
      They are not so bad like their position in this list can make you think. But I would not consider them high end by any means and I would only suggest them to people looking for a good entry level BT headphones with a decent overall performance and, one positive note, the absolute best carrying bag I have ever seen. They anyway cost way too much for what they offer.
    32. Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 Wireless
      They cost the double than the Bluedio T2 bout sound also twice as good. Specially if you are not willing to EQ, they sound better out of the box.
      They are basically one of the many decent sounding V-Shaped headphones around. With a good punchy bass which you cannot push too much with the EQ or it will soon distort.
    33. JBL E40 BT
      I do not see any reason why these headphones should still cost 100 Euro.
      And I do not see any reason why anybody should ever possibly want to buy them instead of the Matrix 2 or the Jlab, which cost the same and perform better. Or, if you have the luck I had, you can even find the Harman Kardon BT for the same price. Even the Skullcandy sound better and cost less.
      The only big thing here is the price and the JBL Logo. I am not saying they sound bad, they do not, but they also do not deserve costing 100 Euro.
    34. Panasonic RP-BTD5-K
      Entry level headphones, a bit muddy, but with an overall decent sound quality with a little push on the low region.
    35. Avantree Audition
      No matter how much I like the people at Avantree (I am beta tester and adviser for them), I cannot place these headphones higher.
      Their BT Adapters are avant-guard, but they still have a good piece of road to walk, to achieve a good sounding headphone.
      It is not a very bad sounding headphone, but it needs quite a lot of EQ to get rid of that boominess and muddiness, recover the some highs, and dissolve some veil. Then you have a decent pair. But out of the box you get a boomy muddy veiled headphone.
    36. Bluedio T2+
      Bluedio has got some fans, but mostly with the R model. So it may be strange that I rate higher an "inferior" model. The reason is, both sound not very clean without EQ. But you can tweak the T2 till they sound actually surprisingly good. While the R stay mostly as they are.
      The T2 can achieve a good punchy bass, good highs, ok mids, ok detail. They cost nothing and are not too fragile. They do not adapt much to your head but it is ok
    37. Bluedio R+ Legend
      Bigger than the T2, over ear, supposedly with many drivers which should give them a surround sound which in my experience is still to be improved (it was not really surround, and there are headphones with just 2 drivers and a better soundstage).
      They once had Aptx, but not anymore. So, if you read they have Aptx, do not believe it.
      I have found their bass boomy, the low mids muddy, the highs poor, the detail just ok, the soundstage ok, the veil more present than I would like.
      For the same price, the Omni by Jlab are imo better option.
    38. JBL J56BT
      I could not enjoy their sound enough. They're muddy in a way which could not be solved with EQ. The bass is somehow stronger than the Air-Fi Rumble, but way too
      The comfort is not brilliant because the cups do not swivel. But it is ok.
    39. Photive X-Bass PH-BTX6
      You can safely skip this one, if you are looking for high end audio. But if you want headphones with a boomy low end and do not mind the lack of detail and the muddiness and the veil, which cannot be solved with EQ, you may give them a try.


    The Best Bluetooth Headphones organized in Categories

    Over time I will add here more categories.
    In each category I will list only the headphones which for a reason or another excel in that field.
    Please consider that I can only list what I have tested. So, to be sure if the Headphone X is missing because I did not like it or because I did not test it, check the general "List in order of overall excellence" more above, where I have put all what I have tested.

    1. Audio Technica ATH-WS99BT
      When I have first tried them I thought "where is this Solid Bass of the advertising?". The second thing I have noticed is that they were incredibly detailed and clean, covering a very wide range of frequencies and performing very well in each one. With a nice warmth and presence and a good balance, they sound incredibly well with any music, something I was not expecting from a "Solid Bass" headphone. And after some EQ I thought "OMG, here is the Solid Bass!". I have then noticed some potential discomfort on long term due to the small and thin pads, but I have found that the Brainwavz HM5 eapads could dramatically improve the comfort, also positively affecting the sound in different ways depending on which version of the pads you use.
      With the time I have just loved these headphones so much that I doubt I will ever sell them, even if I find a "better" one. But we'll see!
    2. Sennheiser Momentum M2AEBT
      I have immediately loved their refined smooth elegant warm sound. The soundstage is quite wide, and the the overall sound and build quality is top. The bass is a bit boomy when pushed, but with very nice rumble and good punch. The mids were soft and warm like a kiss. The highs a bit rolled off, which contributes to their nice smoothness. Probably these are the cans which Sade would make if she would make cans. I admit that I had to lock elsewhere when giving the box to the Post Office.
    3. Plantronics Backbeat Pro
      They were placed higher in ranking a while ago, before the revolution caused by XTZ. There is quite a bit of bass boost there, and some hype in the highs. But nothing that the EQ cannot correct. On the other hand there is also a very good sound quality, good detail, a nice soundstage, an amazing bass potential, one of the best wireless range, and some very clever functions. They are a bit bulky and not so sexy, but are one of the very few Low Latency Aptx options out there, with BT Class 1 and 24hrs Battery life (using ANC). Somehow avant-garde, despite the look.
    4. Parrot Zik 2
      Finally I could test them. And I was more impressed than I though I would be, although maybe not as much as Parrot expects us to be with the advertising about the "World's most advanced Headphones". They do sound good. Actually very good with the ANC, which somehow increases their Dynamic and makes them sound more alive. And you may want to activate the Spatial Effect to improve the Soundstage. Then you have a very nice Full Parametric EQ to adjust their sound to your taste and music.
      The bass is full, punchy, vibrant, deep. The Mids are indeed a bit back in the soundstage but still there. The highs are much better than I expected from headphones without Aptx. The detail is good too although there is some veil which some people claim to be able to dissolve increasing the highs, but I couldn't. Overall excellent, and could be placed above the very similarly performing and featured Plantronics, if they would cost less and have a better battery life (6 hours vs 24).
    5. AKG K845BT
      At first, I admit with some shame, I have relatively quickly rejected them, and I even was a bit harsh in my first review. I was less experienced and a bit opinionated then.
      I have later had the "chance to give them another chance". And I have loved them.
      Yes, they cannot get bassy, not even with EQ at max. Yes, they cannot get as loud as I would like when I listen to some music. Yes they sound a bit cold for my tastes.
      But they have such a good detail, such a clean sound, and a nice soundstage, and a splendid overall sound. I am happy to have met them again.
      If they only had more bass power to please a wider audience I would overlook the absolute absence of any extra function and due to the slightly better detail and transparency I would place them above Plantronics and Parrot. And if you do not need much bass, nor all those extra functions, consider the AKG first.
    6. Pendulumic Stance S1+
      Beside having an enthusiastic and competent team behind (with a designer who long worked for Sennheiser), the Stance S1+ also have now a wide number of fans who either liked or did not mind their brave retro look, but loved the elegance and balance, warmth and roundness of their sound. If their bass was more powerful they would deserve to be rated higher than the UE9000.
      For most people anyway they will be just perfect. And proof is the success they had at the Head-Fi CanJam among all those audiophiles used to high-end wired Headphones,
    7. Sennheiser Urbanite XLBT
      The first new BT Headphone of Sennheiser after a long long while. I was excited. Besides, in a time where I was listening lot of Techno, their advertised "Club Sound" had my attention.
      And I must say, they sound divine with Techno. German Techno with German Headphone, give me a couple of beers and I am happy.
      But then I have listened to Paco de Lucia. I do not know if the beer was already warm, but I was not happy anymore.
      The Urbanite XLBT look classy, are solid and use good materials. They were comfortable to me, maybe a bit lose fitting on my not too big head. The touch controls were nice. They sound overall very good, with punchy bass, warm mids, and clean highs. But there was that darkness in the low-mid region which I could not get rid of. It may be just me anyway.
      The detail was superb, as to be expected from this house. And they were quite transparent.
    8. Supertooth Freedom
      Nobody knows them. But they are one of the best surprises I had. They do not excel in anything, but they do more than well in everything.
      Their bass is full, good punch, good rumble, not too few, not too much. The mids are well balanced, with a little push in the upper mids which together with the clear highs gives them the kind of warmth of a sunny windy day on the beach. Nice soundstage, nice detail, just some veil. Big soft over ear pads, fair price.
      They look plasticky and are difficult to find and have a name which makes you say hmmm, but, if you see them for the right price, you should definitely give them a try.
    9. Logitech UE9000
      With the newest options which offer more or less the same and often cost less, the UE9000 are somehow outdated.
      Still, they are a very good sounding pair of BT Headphones which made history. Think of them as a sort of Over Ear version of the Fidelio. Wonderful isn't it? And they may be exactly what you are looking for, if you find them cheap and you do not mind the weight. And I repeat, weight. The price can drop, but the weight can not. It is a pity, otherwise they could be higher in the ranking.
    10. Harman Kardon BT
      One of the most odd looking headphones ever invented, I always thought they were horrible but I've loved them in the moment I had them in my hands. Real metal, but not heavy. Ingenious changeable headband to fit different heads. And a look which is just like having two ipods on your ears, it is ridiculous, I loved it.
      Besides, they did not sound too worse than the Fidelio which were my N°1 back then, but they had a much better wireless range. And they were now suddenly insanely cheap.
      Seriously, if you do not mind the look, do not put them aside from your round of comparisons. They may be a bit dull, and they lack the transparency of the higher rated ones, but with some EQ you may not notice it anymore.
    11. House of Marley Liberate XLBT
      This entrance may be another surprise to some. But there is much which can be liked, and even loved, in these headphones. First of all, they are mad by the son of Bob Marley. Not handmade, but, still cool. Then they look different, like it or not. And more importantly, they sound good. They are all but balanced. They actually some of the most unbalanced headphones I have ever tried. The bass is boosted, the mids are very warm and present, and the highs quite recessed. Horrible, right? Well, no. Somehow the result is like their look, unique, convincing, with personality. They do not fail being balanced, they just do not care about even trying. They want to sound like they sound. And their sound quality is not bad at all, there is good detail, few veil, some soundstage, and the potential to be adjusted with EQ if you want less bass and mids and more highs. IF you want. I just increased the highs and was happy with them a lot. Well done Marley.
    12. Samsung Lever Over
      There is nothing really "wrong" with them. But also nothing I could love.
      They are extremely comfortable on most if not all people, they are also quite big. They have a good soundstage, nice detail, slightly warm signature although the mids are not so pronounced, some rolled off highs, a bass comparable to the AKG K845BT, touchpad, nice look, nice rigid carrying case, and are a bit pricey.
      Objectively speaking, there are better options. Just to name one if you want ANC and touchpad: the Parrot.
    13. Avantree Audition Pro
      I am very proud of the huge progresses Avantree has made in their R&D. The old Audition were very muddy and boomy. These ones, although still kind of bassy and a littly bit boomy and muddy, have much better highs, better detail, better soundstage. Nothing is really excellent, but if you tweak around with EQ you will get a really really good sound, which is worth each single penny of their around 100 price, and can please a wide audience. The bass can be (when tweaked) clean and punchy with good rumble, you can get that little muddiness away, the highs can be increased to achieve a much more balanced and transparent sound. I was very pleasantly surprised! Well done. And they're Aptx Low Latency!
      And you can adapt on them VERY easily the Brainwavz HM5 earpads for an even better comfort. You may choose the leatherette version, which respect their warmth and their bass (just reducing the boominess and muddiness, which is good) or the Hybrid 3 materials version which makes them sound more bright by absorbing some bass and mids.
    14. JBL Synchros S400 BT
      I had initially placed them lower because of the very high original price which according to my comparisons was not justified.
      Now I feel they deserve more attention. They may have a not perfect fit (depending on your head) and some hyper-sensitive touch controls, but they have a good sound with nice detail, decent soundstage, strong punchy bass, ok mids, and sharp but not harsh highs. They have the typical V Shaped signature, but well done. I still think they are overpriced. But it's your call.
    15. Beats Studio Wireless
      I am afraid I will not be able to place them higher in the ranking till they will cost as much as they're worth: the half.
      I can't understand why people are willing to pay them so much if with same or less money they can get much better.
      I also can't believe that CNET ever possibly called them the best.
      And I still ignore why Beats said that they support Aptx if they clearly don't.
      Anyway, they sound actually good. Not very good, and very far from being the best. But good. The bass is as to be expected strong but not so much as feared. It is anyway not of a remarkably good quality. Just ok. The mids are a bit lost in the V-Shaped signature which rather accentuates the highs which are unfortunately a bit harsh.
      The detail is ok, the soundstage rather poor, and there is quite some veil and muddiness around. Ah yes, they can get quite loud.
      They were very comfortable on my head, looked nicer than I will ever admit, and had one of the best wireless range in my tests, together with the Plantronics.
      The carrying case and cables were tip top like we expect from the "appearance over substance" style of Beats.
    16. Omni By Jlab
      They are not to be underestimated. They may lack the detail and transparency of the higher ranked headphones on this list, but they do not sound much different than the Harman Kardon BT with even some more warmth. They are also moderately priced and well built, and with a look which may seem familiar to those who know the Momentum.
    17. Sennheiser MM550-X
      Apart for how they make your head look like Stewie of Family Guy, they do not have many more remarkable aspects. But they do sound good, with good detail, punchy dry bass, balanced mids, clear highs, and have a removable battery, noise cancelling, and a button to activate a "SRS WOW" surround effect which did not wow me at all and whose existence is still a mystery to me.
      In my opinion they are not worth that money. For the half of that they are worth and would deserve a higher rating.
    18. JBL E50 BT
      I remember being rather disappointed by them and their little brother 40, but with the experience of now I realize that they were actually not that bad. They were, yes, disappointing for my needs, and overpriced like almost anything JBL. But you can find them now cheaper and I think this makes them worth considering.
      They sound almost identical, with a relatively balanced signature and decent detail. They both have a poor fit which does not adjust so well to the head, and let some sound leak.
      The 50 is over ear and have some decent bass, while the 40 almost completely lack bass, like the Matrix 2 here below, but without their other advantages.
    19. Sony MDR-XB950BT
      Compared with the House of Marley they are somehow similar, and very different. Similar because they too boost the bass and the mids and have recessed highs. Different because here the final result is not so graceful and interesting. The bass is boomy and blurred, lot of air but little substance. The low-mids are muddy, the highs cannot be recovered with EQ so well as on the Marley. The look is definitely not so interesting as on the Marley imo, but that is tastes. What I find absolutely interesting is the Extra bass feature. With the push of a button you can have a boost on the lows without having to change EQ setting. It is badly executed because the quality of the bass is not so good, but the idea is great and I think that every headphone should have it.
      If you think you absolutely need this feature, you may want to search this forum for a Mod posted on the dedicated Thread, which is said to significantly improve the sound quality.
    20. Sony MDR-10RBT
      They are not so bad like their position in this list can make you think. But I would not consider them high end by any means and I would only suggest them to people looking for a good entry level BT headphones with a decent overall performance and, one positive note, the absolute best carrying bag I have ever seen. They anyway cost way too much for what they offer.
    21. Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 Wireless
      They cost the double than the Bluedio T2 but sound also twice as good. Specially if you are not willing to EQ.
      They are basically one of the many decent sounding V-Shaped headphones around. With a good punchy bass which you cannot push too much with the EQ.

    1. XTZ Headphone Divine
      I was curious how would the "World's first DSP Enhanced Headphone" sound. I had the feeling they would be ok. But I was not expecting them to sound THIS good.
      They sound already very good without DSP, which is a proof of the hardware quality. But with the Frequency and Impulse Response correction of Dirac, they sound like the N°3 of this list should sound, virtually perfectly balanced, nearly unveiled, extremely detailed, with unbelievably crispy highs, alive, dynamic, and good in the whole range of frequency.
      I still can't believe I have put them higher than my ex overall N°1, but they deserve it.
      One thing is worth noticing though: if you will use them with a portable music player, you will not have the extra benefits of the DSP software. So this rating is only if you will use them with iPhone, PC, Mac or Android phone. Without DSP they are still very good, but I would place them just before the BeoPlay H8.
    2. Philips Fidelio M2BT
      These were one of the first which I have tested. The ones I was referring above when I wrote "I kept trying headphones till I have found one which has met my needs at least in big part".
      It was love for a while, specially for their amazing dense deep bass, which I still miss from time to time. They perform well in the whole range, although their highs can have some sibilance on some music. If you are not looking for powerful bass but for perfect detail then the AKG would win, but overall I felt that the Fidelio can please a wider audience. Hence the higher rating.
    3. Philips Fidelio M1BT
      they sound almost identical to the M2BT, feel and look almost identical, and mostly differ in the absence of NFC, in a slightly less wide frequency response which in the M2 goes deeper, and supposedly a different DSP on the M2 which should improve the soundstage a bit. I could not made a side by side but I did not notice any big difference. I had the impression that the bass was a little bit deeper and the soundstage wider, but not that much. The guys at "whathifi" did a side to side and noticed no difference.
    4. Sennheiser Momentum M2OEBT
      Little brother of the M2AEBT which is above in the list. It sounds completely different in every single aspect. The bass is tight and punchy instead of rumpling and slightly boomy, the mids are quite flat (some may argue even slightly recessed) and the highs are in first line, sharp and bright although not harsh. Basically a premium V-Shape, with the detail and transparency of Sennheiser, but without the magic of the M2AEBT.
    5. Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8
      I know that some people will be surprised to see the most expensive BT Headphones in History placed lower than the unknown Supertooth. It is not that they are "worse". It is that they are not imo worth costing more than the double, unless you really want they premium look and/or extra feature. But as you know, I give priority to sound. And the H8 do not sound like I expect some originally priced 500 Euro Headphones to sound.
      Their bass is potentially a delight for bassheads, but way too boosted out of the box (more than any other Headphone in this list). It also possess a dark colour which I could not get rid off even with EQ. The push the upper mids gives them a nice "fresh warmth" and some life, but the highs had some harshness which could not be corrected with EQ if not sacrificing a certain amount of them. There is some sound leakage which causes a bad distortion on bass-heavy tracks at max vol with ANC on (because the ANC considers the leaked sound as noise and tries to compensate it). The ANC itself is not that good either but not bad either. The look and build and materials are without any possible doubt premium, although some people may object the use of real leather, and the earpads are not so soft. The detail is good, the soundstage not so much. I sincerely consider them as a premium version of the Supertooth. Your choice.
    6. Akg Y45BT
      I must admit that it was hard to decide if I had to place them before or after the Bose Sounlink On Ear, which were for a time my preferred portable option. They sound similarly good even if with different personality. I ended keeping the AKG because a bit more portable than the Bose, with better sub-bass, and with Aptx. Although they fold differently, so the it may be a matter of tastes, where the AKG fold inside and flat, and the Bose fold inside and not flat. But I also liked the signature of the Bose, and their extra features.
      But given that you can find the AKG for less than the half of the Bose, I had no more doubts. They get a higher ranking. But you may like the Bose better if you like a brighter sound.
      If you do not use EQ, also, you may find the AKG a bit dark in the low range. But this is easily compensated with EQ. Therefore the higher rating.
      I also love their round soft carrying case.
    7. Bose Soundlink On-Ear
      There is really a lot which you can love in them. Apart for the price, of course. First of all, their size, flexibility, portability. Then the incredibly soft and pleasant earpads, which result very comfortable on long term also to people with sensitive ears. The punchy dry bass, the balanced mids, and the clean highs (a wonder, given the absence of Aptx). Then the extra functions, Multipoint, Voice Prompts, and the best Battery Level LED around.
      And do not forget the good carrying case, and the upgradable firmware. For this and their portability, they're one of the headphones I would have kept if I had more money.
    8. Phiaton Chord MS530
      I was not impressed by any aspect of their sound, and I was disappointed by the weakness of the bass.
      I liked the incredibly comfortable soft large pads, big as over ear although technically on ear.
      I questioned the fancy look, attractive on picture, odd on head.
      They are quite balanced and one of the most gently sounding BT headphones I have ever tried. They were like a bath in water at same temperature of your skin. Neither warm nor cold. Just gentle. The detail was good but not excellent, the soundstage was not bad.
      Finally nothing was enough to made me feel that these pricey and peculiarly looking cans could please wide audiences.
      But now that they cost around 100, you should definitely give them a try if you like balanced neutral gentle sound.
    9. Jabra Revo Wireless
      They were one of the first two which I have compared. I sincerely loved they look, and in that moment also their sound. The bass is full, the mids are warm, the highs are ok for lacking Aptx. You can noticeably improve their sound with a Dolby effect (although the change is not so dramatic nor so remarkable as for the XTZ). But to do so you must use the player integrated in the provided App. And I was able to get a better sound with Neutron, so, what is the point? Anyway, they are indeed a good sounding headphones and if you find them at low price you could give them a try.
    10. Sennheiser MM400-X
      Little brother of the 550, it sounds almost identical, with less mids, slightly less bass, and no fancy features. And a lower but proportionally equally exaggerated price.
    11. JBL E40 BT
      I do not see any reason why these headphones should still cost 100 Euro.
      And I do not see any reason why anybody should ever possibly want to buy them instead of the Matrix 2 or the Jlab, which cost the same and perform better. Or, if you have the luck I had, you can even find the Harman Kardon BT for the same price. Even the Skullcandy sound better and cost less.
      The only big thing here is the price and the JBL Logo. I am not saying they sound bad, they do not, but they also do not deserve costing 100 Euro.
    12. Panasonic RP-BTD5-K
      Entry level headphones, a bit muddy, but with an overall decent sound quality with a little push on the low region.
    13. Bluedio T2+
      They need EQ. Without EQ they sound quite muddy.
      But with EQ the T2 can achieve a good punchy bass, good highs, ok mids, ok detail. They cost nothing and are not too fragile. They do not adapt much to your head but it is ok

    There is not really too much choice here. Small and good does not come without a price. Here I will only list the really most portable ones, but you may want to give a look at the Best On Ear list, where you find some still quite portable options.
    1. Akg Y45BT
      I must admit that it was hard to decide if I had to place them before or after the Bose Sounlink On Ear, which were for a time my preferred portable option. They sound similarly good even if with different personality. I ended keeping the AKG because a bit more portable than the Bose, with better sub-bass, and with Aptx. Although they fold differently, so the it may be a matter of tastes, where the AKG fold inside and flat, and the Bose fold inside and not flat. But I also liked the signature of the Bose, and their extra features.
      But given that you can find the AKG for less than the half of the Bose, I had no more doubts. They get a higher ranking. But you may like the Bose better if you like a brighter sound.
      If you do not use EQ, also, you may find the AKG a bit dark in the low range. But this is easily compensated with EQ. Therefore the higher rating.
      I also love their round soft carrying case.
      There is a new version now, the Y50BT. No idea how they sound, but I am gonna find out as soon as possible!
    2. Bose Soundlink On-Ear
      There is really a lot which you can love in them. Apart for the price, of course. First of all, their size, flexibility, portability. Then the incredibly soft and pleasant earpads, which result very comfortable on long term also to people with sensitive ears. The punchy dry bass, the balanced mids, and the clean highs (a wonder, given the absence of Aptx). Then the extra functions, Multipoint, Voice Prompts, and the best Battery Level LED around.
      And do not forget the good carrying case, and the upgradable firmware. For this and their portability, they're one of the headphones I would have kept if I had more money.
    3. Sennheiser MM400-X
      Little brother of the 500-X, it sounds almost identical, with less mids, so an even colder (and to my ears rather unemotional) signature, slightly less bass, and no fancy features. And a lower but proportionally equally exaggerated price, as also the same strange form which makes your head look like a Rugby ball. But they sound very clean and precise. The bass is not powerful but it is tight, the highs are detailed. The Battery is removable, and they are very light and portable.

    1. Audio Technica ATH-WS99BT: not artificially boosted, out of the box they are actually more neutral than many (if not all) other headphones on this list, although still quite powerful on bass-heavy tracks, specially on loud volume. But as soon as you apply EQ the bass will reach levels which no other bt headphone in my list can reach, with an almost perfect balance of rumble and punch, a very nice detail, and you can push it very much before it starts affecting other frequencies. And if you upgrade the earpads to the Brainwavz HM5 leatherette, you will see the bassy side of heaven. Then add the Real Bass Exciter plugin in Foobar2000 and nobody will have seriously hard times trying not to dance.
      I still wish they had the solid rumble of the Fidelio, but I would not go back to the Fidelio.
    2. Fidelio M2BT and M1BT: a bit boosted out of the box, the bass is detailed, has very deep solid dense rumble, good punch, and it is one of the very very few headphones, and the first one, which made me really smile on bass heavy music and gave me wish to dance.
    3. Logitech UE9000: even better than the Fidelio on some parts of the bass, specially due to the over ear experience. Just a little less denser rumble, but a bit more punch, less boost out of the box, very good for movies (if they do not last too long, otherwise you may feel the weight).
    4. Plantronics Backbeat Pro: more boosted out of the box than the Fidelio, but still with a clean bass. There is enough SubBass for a deep rumble, even if with a bit less body than the Fidelio and UE. And there is a good punch for Techno and similar. Overall a very nice bass.
      You can EQ it to make it more impactful, but you cannot EQ it too much or the bass will eat everything else.
    5. Parrot Zik 2: I was pleasantly surprised by how good their bass was. Deep dense rumble, good punch. Nothing to complain about!
    6. XTZ Headphone Divine: although the Dirac makes them perfectly balanced, it does not take their bass potential away. You can apply EQ on your player or the Boost filters on Dirac, and you will enjoy a very powerful bass! Although it has got good punch it is not a dry bass. It has got a good rumble too, which could be a bit more dense and clean.
    7. B&O BeoPlay H8: a bit less impact than the Fidelio, and less rumble. More boosted out of the box than all the prevously listed ones, and with a slight dark tone which affects also some low-mids. WARNING: when boosted with EQ and if ANC active, the bass under 60hz distorts at max vol (and you are probably going to want the max vol because they do not get much loud). When wired it distorts more (even without EQ). When the ANC is off, the bass is ok, zero distortion.
      Good on almost any bassy music, but not brilliant on Dubstep. And, specially when wired, it may be too much out of the box on some music.
    8. Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless: good detail, great precision, lot of punch, decent rumble, but with a prominent dark tone which also affects the low mids (it improves with EQ). Excellent for Techno.
    9. Sennheiser Momentum M2AEBT: Their bassy may be a bit boomy and out of focus but it has got a nice rumble and a gentle punch which are driven with enough power to make you hmmm.
    10. Sennheiser Momentum M2OEBT: The little brother, completely different bass, more similar to the dry punchy one of the Urbanite. And a very good dry punchy bass...
    11. JBL Synchros S400BT: quite boosted out of the box, fast bass with good power but not much personality or WOW effect. Very good for Rock and Metal and Hip-Hop.
    12. Harman Kardon BT: just a little boost out of the box, warm, slightly dark bass, with ok rumble and nice punch, somehow similar to the UE9000 but with less body, less impact, and less detail.
    13. House of Marley Liberate XLBT: very nice punch, not much rumble, decent detail. Not a precise headphone, but good for Reggae, Hip-Hop, Rock. You will need to EQ the highs.
    14. Sony MDR-XB950BT: with a practical Bass Boost button. They can produce some serious vibration on Dubstep. But the bass is boomy, imprecise, without body, and the mids and highs are quite lacking. It improves with some EQ, but you need the Mod of @Bill-P to clean up the bass.
    15. Supertooth Freedom: nobody knows them. But they sound very good, and the bass is very nice, not boosted out of the box, but able to give some serious performances, specially with EQ.
    16. Avantree Audition Pro: a serious amount of bass of a good quality, which can become much better if you eq down some low-mids and the very upper-bass, and increase some central and low-bass (40-80hz). It is not very dense and it could have more punch but the rumble is nice and the power is there.
    17. Jlab Omni: Similar to the Harman Kardon BT, but a bit less detailed and a bit more boomy.
    18. Beats Studio Wireless: muddy, flat, intrusive, imprecise. Poor rumble, poor detail. Good punch. A bit boomy. It can be powerful enough with some EQ, and it is very clearly artificially boosted out of the box. Definitely not for all music. And no matter how you tweak it, the quality is still muddy.
    19. AKG Y45BT: I was almost shocked when I have tried them. This bass with these small drivers is amazing. It is a bit artificially boosted out of the box but it has got body and nice impact, and it goes deep, with a slightly warmly dark tone which also affect a bit the low mids.
    20. Bose Soundlink On Ear: another very small one with nice bass. Not as deep as the AKG, less rumble, but better punch and possibly more natural.
    21. Bluedio T2+: I would have never expected this bass from this inexpensive headphones. A bit boosted/boomy out of the box, but ok. Able to give some really serious bass when EQed, specially punch.
    (more categories coming as soon as possible)

    For the following two lists you have to thank some users who have read quite a few pages and sent me the links to the relevant posts:
    [@]kayandjohn[/@] for pages 21 to 40. Thank him by giving reputation to this post.
    • AKG K845BT: 1
    • Audio Technica ATH-WS99BT: 1, 2
    • Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8: 1
    • Bose Soundlink On Ear: 1
    • Definitive Technology Symphony: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    • Fidelio M2BT: 1
    • Harman Kardon BT: 1
    • Parrot Zik 2.0: 1, 2, 3
    • Pendulumic Stance S1+: 1, 2
    • Plantronics BackBeat PRO: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    • Sony MDR-1ABT: 1
    • Sony MDR-1RBTMK2: 1, 2



    Now, as I am often asked about this, here a few suggestions:
    I can only talk for Android and Windows.
    In Android I have found Neutron to be the quite clearly best sounding player. The better your equipment, the clearer the difference with other players. It is not the most user friendly interface but the slight higher learning curve is imo well worth. It is also (slowly but steady) constantly updated and improved.
    You have a full parametric EQ with up to 10 bands, normalization, replay gain, and sooooo much more. Have a look
    On Windows, well, it is more difficult.
    Some people swear on Jriver, some on Jplay, some on HQplayer.
    I have tried them all (and some more) and I prefer Foobar.
    I found it easier to use and to tweak, being able to host many VST.
    But you should probably download them all and, yes, exactly, compare by yourself :)

    About how to get Bluetooth, there are many adapters offering Aptx (I take for granted you want Aptx, but if you don't, there may be some other remarkable adapters without Aptx, which I ignore).
    With a notebook I would use USB rather than 3.5, because this would avoid a DAC/ADC conversion.
    The most remarkable Aptx Dongle are:
    - Azio BTD-V401: it needs the CSR Harmony software to be installed. Till Win 7 it works. On Win 8 mostly too. I will update when I try Win10.
    - Sennheiser BTD500: is is like a mini soundcard, it does not require software or drivers, and does not provide a user interface. It is proven to sound good and to be more tricky to connect to some devices. It is kind of outdated imo.
    - Creative BT-W2: the new of their line, it is offers Aptx Low Latency
    - Avantree (Leaf?): there is no name yet. I wrote Leaf because I have given the idea for this adapter (I am the main tester for Avantree) and they asked me for the name. I proposed Leaf. Let's see :)
    It will support Low Latency, and Class 1. It should be available soon. I may forget to update this post, so just visit their page!

    A good 3.5 adapter is the Avantree Priva 2: it offers Low Latency, and it also offer Dual Link, which give the possibility to connect two headphones at same time. Dual Link works with Aptx too, but not with Low Latency. Both headphones must be Aptx (no Low Latency) otherwise it will be used the SBC codec.
    It is less comfortable than a dongle and it does not support the profile to remote control your player (change track from the headphone), but if you like me like to compare headphones, you need this. Or if you like to listen or watch things with your girlfriend...


    I hope you will enjoy being here as much as I have enjoyed setting up this place.
    I'm sure you'll find here a warm community of enthusiast hi-fi lovers who will help you find what you are looking for.
    Consider thanking them with a "Like", the facebook style button which you find at the right bottom of each post.
    And do not forget coming back with your own comparison!
     
  2. WickedChicken
    You should pick up some Phiatons. I have the last gen of there  BT/Noise Canceling Ear buds and have been quite pleased with them.
     
  3. Giogio
    Hmmm. Quite expensive.
    They look very beautiful (the Chord MS 530. I am only interested in on and over ear, not in in-ear).
    I ordered them, thanks for the suggestion.
     
  4. AngusMcToon
    I'm looking for over ear bluetooth phones with noise canceling for flying, which I do a lot of. I don't like IEM's on planes. 
     
    I just got the Backbeat Pro and while I find the sound colored and bassy a bit (not a basshead and prefer a balanced, rich bass) they do sound good. The one real contender with both BT and wireless seems to be the Beats Studio. 
     
    So I'd be interested to hear what you think of them, and whether there are other over ear BT / wireless options worth considering?
     
    Thanks!
     
  5. Giogio


    Hi,

    what do you mean for "with both BT and wireless" talking of the Beats? BT is wireless.
    Anyway, if you find the Backbeats Pro bassy, you will HATE the Beats. They are more bassy, and BAD bassy, a dark, dull, muddy bass.

    The Beats have a "sort of" noise cancelling, which cannot be turned off. I did not notice any difference with them respect to "non noise cancelling" headphones. Apart for a huge hiss, which probably comes from both their Amp and the NC.

    I have received the Phiaton. They are On, not Over Ear, but have noise cancelling, which can be turned on and off.
    I think you could like them. But their NC is not as good as in the Backbeats.
    They have very soft pads, very comfortable, I would say they are as comfortable as the Bose Soundlink On Ear which are considered the most comfortable On Ear ever.
    They sound soft, delicate, clean, balanced, with a bit rolled off highs and no bass boost (even with EQ you cannot really get much bass out of them).
    The Phiaton seem to perform slightly better on mids, respect to the Plantronics. The Plantronics are more dynamic.

    Then there are here the Samsung Level Over. More bass than the Phiaton, less than the Plantronics. You may like them :)
    They sound somehow similar to the Phiaton but with more detail and soundstage and also more highs and a much better NC (on pair or slightly better than the Backbeats). To my ears they were warmer than the Phiaton, or "more intimate". Probably more low-mids.
    They are big and not foldable. But they come with a huge wonderful rigid case.
    They have very cool touch controls but an annoying thing: each time you connect them you must increase their volume. They do not remember.

    Cheers
     
    Yappadappadu likes this.
  6. Exoid
    Hey my budget is no more than 100 euros... And in my research I find out that Jabra Revo wireless might be in a sweet spot. Do you have any advice of a Bluetooth headphones (not in ear), with mic, nice battery life, confort and good sound quality, that cost less than 100€? What would you advice me?
    Thanks

    Sent from my LG-D855
     
  7. Exoid
    And what is your opinion about the Jabra? Thanks in advance

    Sent from my LG-D855
     
  8. Giogio
    Hmm, the Revo are nice, warm sound with beautiful punch in the bass.
    They do not excel in the highs, which i always needed to increase with an eq.
    And still even after the eq they did not sound open and fresh enough to me.
    But yes, they do sound very good and are very nice and comfortable. They have a wonderful cable with mic. With it you can call even in cable mode.
    The most headphones do not have this.

    A friend of mine just tried the Outdoor Tech Tuis.
    They are cheaper than the Revo and he says they sound quite good. You may want to give them a try.

    Ah, yes, the jbl j56bt sound decent and are in your budget. The bass is strong but a bit dull. Highs are ok. Mids could be better, but overall for the price they sound quite good. I just read reviews about problem with the battery dying and needing a replacement, so eventually buy them where you get more time of warranty. And, they look horrible once on the head.

    From the sennheiser outlet you can buy the m400x for 109. They sound very good. Clean and fresh.
    For me they lacked warmth in the mids and punch in the bass, do they sounded cold and not exciting to me and i preferred the Revo although the sennheiser had much better highs and detail. And are very portable too.
    For 149 you buy the m500x which should be better (surely more bass) but i didn't try them.
    They both look simularly ugly as the jbl j56bt.

    I bought the jbl e50 for 120 euro. Did not try yet but i tried the smaller e40 which lacked bass but were decent overall. The 50 should be better in the basses. I'll tell you tomorrow.


    Cheers
     
  9. luberconn
    i've watched videos on the UE9000 and hear they are pretty nice.  i wish they'd go on a huge discount like the UE6000 did.   i also saw some refurb Harman Kardon BT for $99 from Harman Kardon website but that was a couple of months ago.  not sure if that is still going on.  heard those sound good as well. 
     
  10. david8613
    I'm glad to see this thread, I'm currently using the Sony mdr xb950bt very bassy, and the logitec ue 9000 which is my favorite right now. I'm looking for an upgrade for the ue 9000 I have not found it yet, I would love to hear your thoughts on that, maybe the sony mdr1rbt mk2 would fill those shoes?
     
  11. Giogio
    I did not try them but I have read that although they were considered very good once upon a time, there are now better options.
    For example many people in this Forum say that the Sony MDR-1RBT MK2 are much better. I, unfortunately, did not try them either.
     
    The Harman Kardon do not appeal my aesthetic sense of beauty :) I my be tempted to try them just to be able to compare them (it is now a sort of hobby) but a friend of mine (who has got the same hobby) have tried them and said he was not impressed at all. But we do not always agree on Headphones, so, maybe I would like them.
    We'll see :)
     
    Hi David, as said, I did not try any of those. The Sony MK2 I cannot find them in EU (not with the possibility to send them back if I do not like them). And the Logitech are too big for me and have no APTX. I may eventually one day try them just to review them.
    As I wrote just here above to Luberconn, yes, apparantly many people talk good of the Sony MK2.
    I did not like the old Sony. Nor the MDR-10RBT. But apparently there were big improvements on the MK2.
    If you tell me which kind of music you like and what do you look for in an Headphone, and how you would describe the Ideal Headphones (sound, highs, mids, basses, soundstage, detail, comfort, on or around the ear, etc) I could tell you which ones of those I tried could fit your needs.
    Cheers
     
  12. david8613
    My music tastes are more for anything edm, house, club , R&B and hip hop, but I do like to listen to other styles of music. What I like about the ue 9000 to me is the sound sig it has smooth, sweet thick bass that goes very deep, clear mids, and highs that were a little rolled off but not hot. The ue 9000 has layers of sound, with texture and a wide sound stage. I'm also looking at the plantronics backbeat pro they might be a good upgrade.
     
  13. Giogio
    Good.
    I see you had the Phiaton Chord MS530 and the Sony MDR-10RBT.
    What were your impression about them?
    So I can understand something more of your tastes (because I had them too).

    In this moment I can only tell you: I love the Philips Fidelio M2BT. I loved the M1BT too. Same fat warm vibrant basses. Nice detail, and nice Soundstage for an On-Ear (I think Philips uses some DSP for this), nice balance of mids and highs.
    I EQ them to get some more warmth and presence in the mids and some more brightness in the highs.
    They have the best basses of ALL the Bluetooth Headphones I have tried, which is also a wonder if you consider how relatively little they are.
    When the bassline comes, only the Fidelio make me smile.
    They have Multipoint and NFC and APTX.

    The Plantronics backbeats Pro are very very sweet. Balanced sound with very good detail and soundstage. Good Bass and mid (i personally like to eq them both a bit), very good highs. Maybe the best highs of all the others.
    They are comfortable, but a bit bulky.
    And they are the only ones I know which pause the music when you pull them off.
    They have a nice ANC, and NFC and APTX.

    The JBL Synchros S400 surprised me. I had read lot of complaints about the supposedly hypersensitive Touch Controls, which are sensitive but did not give problems to me.
    And I had tried the E40 and the J56 which are nothing special, and then also the E50 (which are the same of the E40, just bigger and with a little bit more basses).
    So I had no expectations.
    But they sound quite good. They have a bit more bass and mid than the Plantronics, although less highs and detail and soundstage.
    in change they have more "presence" than the Plantronics on the vocals.
    Their pads are very soft and comfortable but they do not fit tight enough for me (especially on the lower part of the ears).
    They have a very nice carrying case.
    They have NFC and APTX.

    Of them three, the one which fits tighter (without being uncomfortable) is the Fidelio. Then the Plantronics (they do move and may eventually fall if you do fitness, push up, etc), then the JBL (they will very probably fall if you do fitness).

    If you want something very portable, you can try the Bose Soundlink On-Ear. They sound impressive for their dimensions.
    Of course, they cannot have the soundstage of bigger headphones, nor the vibrant basses. But they have a nice balanced sound which satisfy in all three main aspects, bass, mid, high.
    They sound clean and detailed enough too, specially considering that they are not APTX.
    And they have multipoint, better comfort, and voice prompts. They also fit tight enough to make fitness.

    Hope this helped.
     
  14. david8613
    The ms530 were very nice except that it sounded a little distorted at high volume and bass frequency would also lower normal listening level they were ok, nothing to make you say wow. The sony mdr10bt just didnt have very good bass and could not go low in frequency.
     
  15. Giogio
    So, i recommend you the Fidelio. Absolutely. Best bass ever. A pleasure.
    Second choice, if you want around the ear and more detail and soundstage, more highs but less bass, are the plantronics.
    Third the JBL if you do not find the Fidelio and want more bass (although a tiny bit darker) and more presence in vocals, plus more portability than the plantronics.
    Bose if you need much portability.
     
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