Top 5 Around/Over-the-ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

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#1 Recommended Over-the-Ear Bluetooth Headphones

Sony MDR10RBT Bluetooth Headphones

  • The Sony MDR10RBT Around-the-ear Bluetooth headphones are our #1 rated model
  • Sony MDR10RBT over the ear Bluetooth Headphones40 mm neodymium magnet (high energy) drivers: ‘drivers’ are basically the unit responsible for sound production in headphones/earbuds. High-quality drivers are absolutely critical for accurate sound reproduction. Modern, dynamic drivers are made of 3 components: they are the magnet, the diaphragm that vibrates and the voice coil. Neodymium magnets are the strongest permanent magnets available today and they’re the #1 choice for headphones and speakers. On many low-quality over-the-ear headphones, the driver diameter can be as small as 30 mm (12-15 mm on earbuds). Only a handful, high-end headphones have 40 mm drivers. 40 mm and neodymium is an explosive combination and is one of the major secrets behind the balanced, accurate sounds of the Sony MDR10RBT.
  • Beat Response Control: reduces bass delay for accurate reproduction of audio signals
  • Comfy ear pads: these well cushioned ear pads are crucial for long hours of listening sessions. They also create a good seal between your ears and the ear cups producing great passive noise cancellation/isolation
  • NFC: just touch the NFC logos of the headphones and your Android Bluetooth device for easy pairing
  • Long battery life: the Sony MDR10RBTs can be used for up to 17 hours per charge. Battery life of most BT headphones is 15 hours or less.  This model has 30 hours of battery life though. In addition, they have a long standby time lasting up to 450 hours (~20 days). Charging only takes 2.5 hours.
  • 4′ long detachable cord included: Q: Why on earth would you need messy cords for cordless headphones? A: To use them as regular, wired headphones when your battery runs out of juice! Many BT headphones lack this very handy feature. These on-ear BT headphones also have this high-end feature.
  • Noise isolation: YES; as mentioned earlier, the well-cushioned ear pads prevent most noise from getting in or leaking out
  • Noise cancellation: No active noise-cancellation. However, due to the around-the-ear pattern, there’s very good passive isolation. If you’re looking for noise cancellation, check out our 10 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones’ Review.
  • Built-in mic: for use with cell phone calls
  • Bluetooth A2DP, AAC and apt-XCodec support: allows audio-signal compression during wireless streaming to maximize sound quality
  • Portable: swivel the ear cups, fold ’em flat, shove them in the included carrying pouch, take them with you!
  • Carrying pouch: a handy pouch included for easy transport and protection of the headset
  • Headband: flexible, yet tough enough to withstand basic day-to-day rough use
  • L-shaped mini plug: Gold-plated for high-quality audio transfer when using the detachable cord
  • Frequency response: 20 – 20,000 Hz on Bluetooth mode; 4 – 40,000 Hz on wired mode
  • Weight: 7.4 ounces (210 g)
  • Wireless range: 30 ft (10 m)
  • Check out the VERY GOOD customer reviews on Amazon here

Cons

  1. No active noise-cancellation: if you want to buy a pair of headphones with active noise cancellation, please check out our reviews of the Top 10 noise cancelling headphones or Top 5 noise cancelling earbuds here.
  2. Bluetooth 3.0: this is NOT a major problem. However, headphones like these with Bluetooth 4.0 have added benefits like an extended wireless range of up to 100m or 330 feet, which is ~10 times the wireless range of the Sony MDR10RBT.

Other Sony Bluetooth headphones worth checking out Amazon Image

  1. Sony MDRXB950BT/B Extra Bass Bluetooth Headset
  2. Sony Wireless Stereo Headset Silver MDR-1ABT / S

#2 Recommended Around/Over-the-Ear Bluetooth Headphones

Bose AE2w Bluetooth Headphones

  • Bose AE2w Bluetooth Over-the-ear HeadphonesTriPort technology: thanks to Bose’s proprietary TriPort technology, the Bose AE2w Bluetooth headphones are able to reproduce the full-range of sounds from clear highs (treble) to the undistorted lows (base). Not many headphones in the market can do it this well!
  • Multi-point connectivity: wirelessly connect two Bluetooth-enabled devices at the same time. This feature, again not seen on many BT headphones, allows you to easily switch from a video on your iPad to a phone call on your iphone. The headphones will automatically pause the video to answer an incoming call. Then, once the call is finished, the headphones will automatically switch back to the video. How convenient is that? Most Bluetooth headphones CANNOT connect to two devices simultaneously. To switch between a phone call and a movie on the iPad, you’ll have to manually disconnect one device and connect to the other device – this is a PAIN! But with the Bose AE2w Bluetooth Headphones, you don’t have to worry about that!
  • Battery life: 7 hours of play time and 200 hours of standby time with a single recharge
  • Wireless range: 30 ft (10 m)
  • Built-in mic: for phone calls
  • Comfortable: the combination of the adjustable headband and nicely cushioned ear cups let you wear them during long sessions of music listening
  • High portability: just like on the Sony MDR10RBT, earcups can be folded flat and conveniently placed in the provided pouch for easy transport
  • Dead battery?: No problem! Plug in the provided audio cable and use the Bose AE2ws as regular, wired headphones

CONS

Other Bose Around-the-ear headphones to check out

  1. Bose SoundTrue HeadphonesAmazon Image
  2. Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones
  3. Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones

#3 Recommended Bluetooth Headphones

Plantronics BackBeat PRO Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headphones

Plantronic Backbeat Pro Bluetooth Noise Cancelling headphones

Major features:

  • On-demand active noise cancellation: turn it on or off as you need it. Very decent noise cancellation, however, not as good as the noise cancelling prowess of the Bose QC25. Given that the QC25s are nearly twice the price of the Plantronics BackBeat Pro, this shouldn’t come as a surprise!
  • Open mic: this is an excellent feature we wish more manufacturers incorporated in to their headphones. Basically, this microphone allows you to hear outside noises to whatever level you desire (by increasing/decreasing volume) without having to take off the headphones. This feature allows you to be aware of your surroundings or be completely shut off, depending on the various circumstances.
  • Loooong wireless range: generally the wireless range of Bluetooth headphones is 33 feet or 10 meters. But with the Plantronics BackBeat Pro, you get 10 times the wireless range, that’s 100m or 330′. This is thanks to Bluetooth 4.0 technology. However, your device also needs to support BT 4.0 for this to work!
  • Loooong battery life: 24 hours of listening time for every single charge is a lot! If you just want ANC on without listening to any music (e.g. napping while flying); the battery will last up to 60 hours.
  • Smart sensor: automatically plays/pauses depending on your ‘wearing status’. Take off the headphones => music pauses; put them back on => music restarts! This way, you don’t miss any of your favorite music and it helps preserve battery life for maximum enjoyment!
  • Signature audio: pre-tuned to suit all genres of music
  • Bass tube technology: lows are delivered with minimal distortions
  • APTX: optimal, high-quality wireless streaming
  • Dual mics: so that your phone calls are crystal clear
  • NFC: Yes
  • Multi-point connectivity: connect to two BT-enabled devices simultaneously (2H2S). Watch a movie on your iPad and answer a call on your Samsung Galaxy S5  😆
  • Comfort: swiveling earcups that are soft and comfy; telescoping and adjustable cusioned headband; a great combination for long hours of music listening. Do they heat up your ears? Yes, they do, in fact, all over the ear designs do that when you wear them for long periods of time
  • On-ear controls: recall that these are BT headphones. You can’t have an in-line controller because there are no cables. What you can have are on-board/on-ear controls and that’s exactly what this has. Play/pause, skip tracks, volume controller, ANC on/off, open mic feature, answer/reject/end calls, all controls fashionably and conveniently placed on the two earcups. Well, actually, there is an additional in-line controller specifically made for Apple devices which gives some enhanced features like activating Siri!
  • Around or on-ear design? Around/over/circum-aural design. NOT a pair of on-ear/supra-aural headphones.
  • Product manual here

CONS

  • Rechargeable battery is NOT replaceable. Hopefully the battery doesn’t die; when it does, you’ll have to replace the headphones as well. In contrast, these BT headphones have a replaceable rechargeable battery. You can even purchase an extra battery and keep it as backup when you don’t have ~3 hours at your disposal to recharge it! However, hopefully, the rechargeable battery of the Plantronics BackBeat Pro will outlast the headphones.
  • 340g in weight: that’s a little on the heavy side especially when compared to the Bose QC 25s which are ~195g. But recall that the Bose QC25s are not wireless headphones. Bluetooth mechanics make wireless headphones generally more heavier than their wired counterparts.

Check prices at:

#4 Recommended Around/Over-the-Ear Bluetooth Headphones

Parrot Zik Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones with Touch Control

  • Parrot Zik BT headphonesActive Noise Cancellation: outside noises are picked up by four microphones (most noise cancelling headphones only use two microphones to detect background noises) and directed to the noise cancelling circuitry that generates a ‘reverse sound wave’. This sound wave with the exact opposite polarity cancels out the specific external noise. With such a mechanism, the Parrot Zik BT headphones are able to block out as much as 98% of background noises.
  • Touch-sensitive panel: it is this touch-sensitive panel conveniently placed on the right ear cup that has revolutionized these Parrot Zik BT headphones. Swiping up and down respectively increases and decreases the volume while swiping forward or backwards skips tracks forward and backwards, respectively. Can it be any simpler?
  • Head detection sensor: “What the @#!!? Why would you want to detect the head”? you ask!! This is so that it can automatically play or pause music when you put them on and take them off, respectively! How cool is that? This works for phone calls too. Let’s say you get a phone call while listening to music on the Zik. You decide to take the call on the phone rather than on the headphones. Simply remove your headphones and your call will be automatically switched to your phone. With most other BT headphones, you’d have to go to the phone settings and turn off Bluetooth, which can be a real hassle! Recall that the Plantronics BackBeat Pro also has this feature which the manufacturer calls the “smart sensor”.
  • Parrot Zik Gold collection

    Image credits: designboom.com

    Available in Black/Silver, Yellow Gold, and Rose Gold

  • “Parrot Concert Hall” effect: makes you feel like you’re inside a concert hall. With most headphones, the music comes from the two sides. However, with Parrot Zik headphones, it feels as if the music is coming from the front, just like in a live-concert hall.
  • Supports NFC: makes pairing with your NFC-compatible Android device a breeze
  • Battery out of juice? No problem, connect via the provided cable and you’re all set to using it as a regular wired pair of headphones

CONS

If you’d buy the Parrot Ziks, you may also want to consider the hard shell case

Amazon Image

Any other Parrot Zik headphones?

Yes, there is a newer model known as Parrot Zik 2.0 HD Voice Headphones, however, its customer reviews aren’t all that great 😥

#5 Recommended supra-aural (over-the-ear) wireless BT headphones

Photive BTH3 Bluetooth 4.0 Headphones

  • Photive BTH3 Bluetooth HeadphonesThe Photive BTH3 headphones come at a great price (Budget-friendly model)
  • 40 mm drivers: most high-quality headphones have 40mm drivers while a very few have drivers as big as 50mm. There are even a few 30mm driver headphones with pretty high-quality. So 40mm are good enough for 99% of us headphone users. What must be REALLY appreciated about the 40 mm drivers on the Photive BTH3 headphones is the fact that you get these for a <$50 price tag!
  • Battery life: Up to 12 – 15 hours per charge. Charging only takes ~3 hours
  • Lightweight, slim design: makes it an excellent travel companion. They come with their own hard travel case, so that you don’t need to bother your wallet again for a carrying case.
  • Wireless range: up to 33ft
  • On Board Controls: volume controls on one ear cup; skipping tracks/fast forward on the other ear cup. Absolutely no need to do these functions on your phone/iPad
  • Built-in-mic for phone conversations
  • Multi-point connectivity: pair the Photive BTH3 with up to 5 devices. However,  you can only connect to 2 devices simultaneously
  • 3.5 mm Aux input and detachable stereo cord: use this if your battery runs out or to connect with a device without BT
  • Pouch: a hard pouch is included. Can be handier than a ‘soft’ pouch, especially if you decide to pack them in a suitcase for transport

Check out the 2000+ Reviews on Amazon.com here…

CONS

  • No active noise cancellation

Most budget friendly BT HeadphonesKinivo BTH240

Kinivo Bluetooth Headphone Set

The BTH240 Kinivo headphones produce very good sound quality for an unbelievably low price

Check out the 3500+ Reviews on Amazon.com here…

Other recommended reads:

  1. Best on-ear Bluetooth headphones
  2. Best Bluetooth earbuds
  3. Best Noise-cancelling headphones
  4. Best Noise-cancelling earbuds
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