Add up all of the minutes you’ve spent untangling earbud cables and you’d have enough time to listen to a few calming symphonies. But now, finally, wireless tech is fine-tuned enough that untethered headphones have gone from gimmicky to great. Sound quality is superb, Bluetooth syncing is seamless, battery life will last you through a flight to Cape Town, and — as added bonuses — many of the options we favour feature powerful noise-cancelling tech and microphones for taking phone calls, too. Even better, designers are finally thinking outside of the black plastic box and delivering leather- and metal-accented over-ear options that are seriously stylish. Thankfully, they’re also too big to accidentally run through the laundry machine.
Bang & Olufsen’s latest offering lets you activate a mute-the-world mode, advance tracks, and control volume, all via gestures on the touch-sensitive earcups.
Bowers and Wilkins PX
Three noise-cancellation settings programmed for flying, the city, and the office ensure you hear co-worker jokes and the bus coming around the corner, but not the roar of a 747.
Master and Dynamic MW60
Full-grain brown leather makes these a natural choice for those with sophisticated style, while memory foam–filled lambskin ear pads keep things comfy.
It turns out the inventor of the Walkman still knows a thing or two about music. Delivering 30 hours of listening time, these boast the biggest battery of this bunch.
With a retro-sleek design that folds up for easy packing, these ergonomic leather earmuffs integrate two different microphones to filter out ambient noise during business calls.