Good quality wireless headphones

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Good quality wireless headphones

Post by benevo » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:05 am

Hi all!

Not to get too audio geeky, but for anyone with the knowledge...

I'm looking for a new pair of good quality, wireless headphones for work and while traveling. (So, they need to be closed-back.) Active noise canceling is not required, but it's nice as long as it can be turned on/off.

I'm an amateur audio junkie, so something higher audio quality is preferred. I do realize this is very limited at the wireless/Bluetooth level.

Currently leading the pack are the following, in no particular order:

Audio Technica ATH M50XBT
Sony WH-1000XM3
Sennheiser PXC 550
JBL Everest ELITE 700

Anyone have the opportunity to test a few or all of those out to help compare?

I'd love to spend $200-$250 (USD), but am okay going up to $400. I really like a well-balanced mix, but do enjoy some emphasis on bass. I have a pretty eclectic taste - everything from classical, B.B. King, Linkin Park, Bob Dylan, Hootie and the Blowfish, and Daft Punk. 90s rock, modern blues and alt rock are the most listened to.

For some background on my current headphones, I have some beyerdynamic DT 770's at home and absolutely love them. I am a guitarist and find them incredible for jamming and monitoring what I record. I also have the Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds for jogging and really like those.

Would love to hear what any audiophiles on here think of my top thoughts (above) for wireless, over-ear, closed-back headphones; but also any new suggestions I'm not considering. Thanks for any and all advice!

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Re: Good quality wireless headphones

Post by Alexa9 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:17 am

I am not a fan of Bluetooth headphones or active noise cancelling headphones (unless on a plane), but Sony and Bose are supposedly the best.
I am a fan of Sennheiser open and closed back headphones for sound quality and comfort. Might get good advice on r/audiophile.

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Re: Good quality wireless headphones

Post by goblue100 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:31 am

I just got the Sony WH-CH700n for Christmas. They were on sale for $99. I think they sound great.
Financial planners are savers. They want us to be 95 percent confident we can finance a 30-year retirement even though there is an 82 percent probability of being dead by then. - Scott Burns

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Re: Good quality wireless headphones

Post by onourway » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:51 am

I have not listened to most of the headphones on your list, but did purchase the Sony 1000XM3 about a month and a half ago and have been listening to it regularly since then. I have an extensive collection of high-end headphones and associated gear that runs well into the 5 figures and have been listening for over 20 years. I have shunned active noise cancelling for many years and owned a number of high-end in-ear monitors. Etymotic ER4-p's have been my traveling companion for 15 years.

I only ended up the Sony's because I'm a bit of a Sony fan when it comes to headphones, and because I wanted the option of an over-ear headphone while traveling. I believe when Sony gets a set of headphones right they are going to be among the best in the business. I didn't give any of the other models on your list a look because I wanted the noise canceling for airplane use, and the reviews were consistent enough in their praise that I wanted to try for myself.

Despite the 1000xM3 being a considerably 'darker' sounding headphone than I typically choose, it is very well tuned. It has an extremely full mid-bass that makes them very agreeable to listen to. These will allow you to follow along with the bass line of any track easily, and will not fatigue you with a bright high end. Yet they still do an admirable job with a wide sound stage and good instrument separation. I can comfortably choose these even when my high-end gear is also within reach, and while the sound will be different it is no way less enjoyable. From my limited experience with your DT770's I would suspect you would prefer the sound of the Sony's.

That said, there is a caveat. While these can be used with a wire, or with noise cancelling turned off, you will want to leave it on. Sony uses DSP to make these sound the way they do and that DSP is at its best with the noise cancelling on. You will also want to use the Sony app to use the equalizer to change to the Bright setting (or a similar, custom EQ I or other sources on line could share with you). If you are using a PC or an Android device, you will get booted back to a lower bit-rate when using the EQ. If your source is an iPhone/iPad, you will retain the high-quality AAC codec even when using the app.

That should be a post good enough even for /r/audiophile. :D

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Re: Good quality wireless headphones

Post by OnceARunner » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:55 am



Here are two threads from the past month that have tons of discussion that you may find interesting and informative.

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Re: Good quality wireless headphones

Post by neilpilot » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:03 am

I'm certainly not an audiophile, but I'm happy with the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC I purchased. I've only had them a month, and so far only used them via Bluetooth linked to my android and iPad to watch video. They were bought primarily for my 1-2 annual flights to Europe, which I haven't yet flown in 2019.

They might not be quite up to your standards, since I paid slightly under $100 for them. :)

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Re: Good quality wireless headphones

Post by 02nz » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:41 am

I'd add the NAD Viso HP70 to the list. I haven't heard them, but owned the predecessor (HP50) which was very good. The HP70 adds noise canceling. The M4U 8 from sister company PSB is similar. If I had to buy one without being able to compare all of them properly, I'd go with the Sony.

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Re: Good quality wireless headphones

Post by shelanman » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:46 am

I've used a variety of inexpensive wireless headphones over the years, and have found Sony headphones to be the best wireless under $100. I know that's not what you're looking for, but it's a datapoint. (I am currently using a pair of the Sony 950N1s which cost me $80ish, which are pretty nice, though I liked the old 950BTs better -- but I broke my pair)

If you're seriously considering the Sony 1000XM3s, may I recommend popping over to They sell refurbished electronics from several brands -- but in particular seem to do a ton of business with Sony. They almost always have a large variety of Sony stuff in stock. They're currently selling those XM3s for $279.00 (refurbished, of course). I've ordered from them on several occasions, and so far I've always had good results. They do warn that some products have minor cosmetic damage. I've always gotten good results, but YMMV.

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Re: Good quality wireless headphones

Post by F150HD » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:41 am

huge thread on this exact topic just a few months ago. forum search is your friend

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Re: Good quality wireless headphones

Post by Rondo » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:54 am

I bought my wife a set of the Bose QC25 noise canceling over the ear headphones for Christmas. They weren’t wireless but she didn’t really care about that at the time. She liked them and Bose has always had a fairly good reputation but I did read that some people were having a problem with the left or right side cutting out on them. Sure enough less than two weeks after Christmas my wifes set started doing that exact same thing. I shipped those back and we ordered the Audio-Technica ath-anc700bt. These are wireless and noise canceling. They should arrive in the next day or two.

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Re: Good quality wireless headphones

Post by OnceARunner » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:47 am

F150HD wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:41 am
huge thread on this exact topic just a few months ago. forum search is your friend
I already linked to both of them in this thread. reading the thread is your friend.

/sarcasm off

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Re: Good quality wireless headphones

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:12 am

* What's your guys' opinions on some of the newer Bluetooth audio features like aptX and aptX-HD and LDAC? Some offer higher bitrates, and some offer lower latency, which is good if using the headphones to watch TV or movies.

* Do any of the recommendations here have built-in microphones for the occasional phone call? Not talking headset with a mic that folds down, but I've seen integrated mics in many modern headphones and earbuds.

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