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The iPhone is an incredible device for audio – from listening to podcasts, to both consuming and making music. But despite its range of great apps for these purposes, the output sounds only as good as what you’re using to play it through. Headphones are big business, and getting the right set can depend on a number of parameters: Over-ear, bluetooth, price-points. It all matters.
In 2016, Apple removed the headphone jack from its iPhone which means wireless Bluetooth headphones are now more important than ever. Apple aimed to ship its new wireless AirPods by the end of 2016, but these come at a price, and that price doesn’t necessarily equal top quality sound playback.
Even if you don’t own the latest devices, a pair of wireless headphones will work across all Apple devices, so let’s take a look at what’s best on the market at three price points: Budget, mid-range, and high-end.
Note: all prices are accurate at the time of publishing, but may be subject to change – so make sure to double check before buying!
Best on a budget
August EP636 Bluetooth Wireless Stereo NFC Headphones (£27.95)
It’s rare that a set of headphones can do so much for so little, but August is one of those brands that’s cropped up in recent years that’s really pushing the limits of the technology. For a pretty low price you can get a set of Bluetooth over-head headphones which can also connect to a device using NFC – near-field communication, the same technology Apple Pay uses. You also get a built-in microphone all housed in the subtle ear panels. These are also super comfortable and lightweight and great for long-term use. These headphones have been out for awhile now but we’ve been using them for a year and believe they’re some of the best you can get at this price. As for sound quality – they can easily give many of the mid-range headsets a run for their money.
Jabra Move Wireless Stereo Headset (£55.27)
A great headset at the mid-range; ultra-lightweight, the stainless steel headband is housed in a dirt-resistant fabric to keep your headphones looking great for longer. There’s a respectable 8 hours of talk and music time (a mic is built-in) while even if they remain on standby there’s a good 12 days of power. Soundwise, these are great all-rounders with highs, mids and lows all coming out nice and balanced. They’re also easy to use – there are volume options for up and down which also control moving a track forward or back, while an off and on button comes in the form of a toggle, and easier method than the hold down for on/off, hold longer for pairing that many other headphones used. These Jabra’s often go for a much higher price meaning that while they stay at this price, you’re getting a bargain even for a mid-range set.
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless with Active Noise Cancellation (£369.99)
Okay, so this is a pretty big jump but Sennheiser is a hugely respectable brand and if you really want the best of the best and you’ve some cash burning a hole in your pocket then it’s worth having a look at the Momentum 2.0 with noise cancellation. Real instruments sound incredible rich in these headphones, while those that love a deep bass will also be satisfied. We also approve of the delightfully retro design and even better, these cans feel premium, covering the headband with a beautiful leather, leaving exposed steal as the band attaches to the headphones. The battery life on these is incredible – 22-hours even with Bluetooth and noise cancellation, while a cable can also be attached if that runs out turning these into a Bluetooth/wired hybrid. Elsewhere, there are two microphones for better voice quality on calls and they come with a two-year warranty.