Reviews

Best Wireless Headphones under $400

Wireless_headphone

In the quest for the latest and trending entry level wireless affordable audiophile headphones of 2017 under $400 mark, we have tried to capture the best hifi headphones available in the market on which you can bet your money and feel awesome doing so. So, without further ado, let’s dig in.

  1. Bose QuietComfort 35
    Price:$349.oo
    Manufacturer: Bose

Buy here: Bose QuietComfort 35

Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Wireless Heaphones

                                      Bose-Quiet-Comfort-35-wireless-headphones 




Introduction:

Bose has moved a notch up with the introduction of QC35 over the already popular wired quiet comfort 25 headphones. These wireless cousins of QC25 are pure bliss in terms of the noise cancellation and better stability due to widened headband (which comes at a cost of slightly higher weight of 1.4 ounces or 40 grams). Although to make it wireless Bose has induced only $50 hike to the customers which is wonderful in our opinion. These are audiophile headphone at the brim.

Sound quality & Noise cancellation:

Even in the Bluetooth avatar the ever-famous active noise cancellation of Bose quiet comforts works incredibly well and doesn’t budge an inch towards deterioration. The sound quality is excellent if not of the world, it blocks the outside world entirely and let you enjoy the music to its core, there are better sounding headphones but then the price would be higher. The sound is not purely natural but then with the active noise cancellation and superior comfort, hassle-free wireless connection and Bose signature sound, the QC35 can easily top the list and comes highly recommended.

Battery: It boasts a good battery life of around 20 hours with a single charge and it’s incredible. The major change is that it comes with an integrated rechargeable battery and use cannot remove it.

Comfort: with the widened headband, the QC35 are more sturdier and sits better on the head and feel less fragile than before. Also, the earpads are comfortable for long listening sessions and as always the material used to build the device is top notch and doesn’t feel flimsy from any respect.

Control & Connectivity: comes equipped with proprietary Bluetooth and NFC for wireless connectivity. Integrated side buttons to take calls and controlling playback and adjusting volume. Works well with the iOS and android devices with Bose’s free Connect app which is currently not that feature rich.

Package: The package contains a carrying case, standard audio cable (to make it wired headphones if battery dies), an airline adapter

Also look at: Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones for Apple Devices

 

  1. Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless
    Price:$399.98
    Manufacturer: Bowers & Wilkins

Buy here: Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless

Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless headphones                                     Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless headphones

Introduction:

Slightly pricier Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless is another iteration from the classic British manufacturer and is worth paying attention to. Recently B&W has also opted the wireless way with the upcoming devices. As one would expect from B&W’s products the sound is always top notch and distortion free. P7 wireless is an extension to their P7 wired which hold a good customer base.

Sound quality & Noise cancellation:

The P7s are highly appreciated for their distortion free sound, the wireless P7 are better with the Low-frequency response with tighter bass even at the high volumes, the lows can get overpowering with few tracks but not always, although its good news of the bass heads. The high and mids sound brilliant. Overall the sound signature is excellent and headphones are naturally balanced. There is no active Noise cancellation like Bose QC35 and ambient noise can get into the way through the circumaural. However, the brilliant sound signature makes up for the not so good noise cancellation.

Battery: with 17 hours of battery life with a single charge and its livable. With the active listening, it should last you good day and a half.

Comfort: The earpads are incredibly comfortable and can be worn all day. The rectangular (slightly bigger) earpads are plush and high quality and doesn’t strain for long listening hours. As standard with B&Ws the magnetic pads can pop out and reattach. The headband can get slightly tighter to the lobes not too intimidating.

Control & Connectivity: comes equipped with aptx Bluetooth for wireless connectivity and provide audio feedback during pairing and switching on/off. Three buttoned panel is located on the right earpiece for easy access. Although there is a mic on the right earcup but the cable provided doesn’t have an in-line mic attached to it.

Package: The P7 Wireless comes with a cable for wired listening, a micro USB charging cable of 48 inches, a plush black leather carrying case with a quilted exterior and a magnetic flap.

Also look at: Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Headphone RC

 

  1. Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
    Price:$199.99 (Special Edition – $249.99)
    Manufacturer: Plantronics

Buy here: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 headphonesPlantronics BackBeat Pro 2 headphones

Introduction:

Plantronics has been killing the portable audio market since long. The latest upgrade Backbeat Pro 2 is worth mentioning here after all. Also, the black and tan, retro looking pair feels awesome to hold and wear.

Sound quality & Noise cancellation:

These bad boys can handle low frequency very well; deep bass is immaculately produced without distortion. The vocals are good too, highs and mids are well balanced and has a delightful punch of music to your ears as the rhythm and notes up and down. The noise cancellation, on the other hand is not that good unless you’re listening to them at higher volumes, the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 are the king of active noise cancellation and these cannot beat them, you can hear the ambient noise too. But then the Bose QC 35 are almost twice as pricey if not less, which pushes the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 into the great value for money segment. I guess these are the best affordable audiophile headphones you can get! sure they are not AKGs and Audeze but you are shelling out just 20% of Planar Magnetic Headphones cost.

Battery: Incredible….and I mean incredible battery life of 24 hours is sweet and with the noise cancellation switched off, it can further be extended. Can lay flat to carry in the case while traveling. It’s a perfect fit for travelers and people who hate to plug their devices every day.

Comfort: The latest PRO 2 is smaller and lighter by 50 grams in comparison to the previous version “Backbeat Pro”. They are extremely comfortable and it’s a big check in the comfort column without any doubt. The padding in the headband is also adequate to provide snug and comfortable fit for long hours.

Control & Connectivity: controls a rugged and feels durable, you will a set of 5 LEDs on the right earcup which will light during connection and to show the battery level. The left earcup carries a power switch which can also be used to pair the music source and a mute button. Earcups are equipped with sensors which pause the music when you take them off.

Package: They are shipped with a zip-up cloth carrying case (a hard case would have been good to carry it safely during travel), aux cable and a charging cable.

Also look at: Plantronics BackBeat PRO Wireless Noise Canceling Hi-Fi Headphones with Mic

 

  1. Sony MDR-1000X
    Price:$348.oo
    Manufacturer: Sony

Buy here: Sony MDR-1000X

Sony MDR-1000X wireless headphones                  Sony MDR-1000X wireless headphones

Introduction:

Sony is back with another top-notch adaptive noise canceling best hifi headphones. And YES, the noise cancellation is very much comparable to the gold standard for noise cancellation or I should say to the Bose standard, these are so good when it comes to muffling the outside noise. Initially sold $50 higher than that of Bose QC35 (which made the selling difficult IMO) now available for $348, still, it’s a tough battle in the consumer’s mind whether to choose Bose QC35 or the Sony MDR-1000X.

Sound quality & Noise cancellation:

Music quality is hands down – amazing in the $300-$500 wireless headphones segment and is comparable to Bose QC35 and B&Ws. They wear the same drivers from MDR-1A (and that’s not bad at all). These are solid sounding earphones with crystal clear highs and balanced mids, you will love to hear the vocals and instrumental on these. The lows are good but could have been better, I mean more fuller and tighter. Overall sound quality can be rated excellent without a doubt as Sony has produced a long timer with these. Hi-Res audio through LDAC is a good addition too and works well with the Hi-Res players if you own one.

Battery: Sony claims 20 hours with a single charge and its consistent across the segment. It comes with a cord for wired listening and sounds better in the wired mode (as is the case with most Bluetooth headphones, no wonder audiophiles hate wireless connectivity to the coreJ).

Comfort: As is the case with Bose and B&W these are equally comfortable and we will be nit picking if we try find any negative there. Earpad comfort is mostly dependent upon the inner diameter of the pad and human ear, if the pad can cover the ear entirely without leaving a hollow space it’s a good fit for comfort and isolation. The 1000x are appropriately sized for the general audience.

Control & Connectivity: Sony always put an extra feature or proprietary codec when it comes to the development of any its products and true is the case here, as the quick attention mode is a clever feature in this case. Sony also boasts the codecs like LDAC, AAC and aptX which help to raise the bar further to match the audio quality & connectivity solution at par with the best headphones available.

Package: The package contains a micro-USB charging cable, auxiliary cable, and airline adapter in an elegantly packed box.

Also look at: Sony Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones with App Control, Black (2017 model)

  

  1. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4
    Price:$299.oo
    Manufacturer: Bang & Olufsen

Buy here: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 wireless headphonesBang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 wireless headphones

Introduction:

The Danish beauty has struck again, with their new Beoplay H4 this time. The Beoplay over the ear lineup ranges from H9, H8, H7, H6 to the recently launched H4. Though the H4 is the cheapest of the lot and is being positioned as the entry level model in the Beoplay series, but doesn’t lose much on the legendary sound of the B&Os but does lose a few bits on the features front. H7 has been very popular before this and created a market for themselves.

Sound quality & Noise cancellation:

The sound quality of these dynamic headphones is excellent with natural sounding mids and good bass response and the highs are also fantastic. As they carry the same 40mm drivers from the favorite H7 and the same sound signature, you cannot go wrong. They do lack the touch sensitive panel available on the H7 though, but then they are $100 dearer.

NO active Noise cancellation in the H4 makes up for the price reduction, which is available with the snobbier cousins like H8 & H9. But no ANC doesn’t hurt much because of the refinement of the highs and lows, which will keep you engrossed in the music. The bass is tight and treble is balanced and doesn’t distort at high volumes.

Battery: These come with decent size battery which delivers 19 hours of playback time. And by the comparison we did, these fair well, if not the best. 

Comfort: As you expect the product coming out of Scandinavia, they are plush, gorgeous design and are topped with lambskin covered earpads, aluminum, stainless steel and braided textile cord. With a sturdy metal headband and at 236 grams or 8.32 ounces, these are very comfortable to wear and show off – (I was mesmerized to see the lineup at the B&O store at Copenhagen airport last year and wanted to feel the plushness of all the products available there J, gosh the kid in me comes out to play at times)

Control & Connectivity: the inline 3 buttoned remote is located on the right earcup along with the microphone for taking calls. The wireless works well with disconnections and no streaming issues. Surprisingly the audio quality remains same in both the wireless and wired mode and you will not feel a major change switching to wired mode unlike many of the above-mentioned headphones. Sadly, it doesn’t have support for the high-quality AptX audio codec that improves the sound streamed from the phone (that is the prime reason in the Sony MDR-1000X for better sound delivery with the mobile devices).

The pair can be used with the Beoplay app, which allows the user to change the settings and upgrade the firmware as well.

Package: The package contains NO Carrying case – what, at $299 I would expect at least a hardened case to secure these beauties. a micro-USB charging cable, 1.25m audio cable with 3.5 mm jack.

Also look at: B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H5 Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

We hope, you would go and try at least few of these wireless affordable audiophile headphones of 2017 and come out with a big smile!!

PS: I have not accrued anything while reviewing these earphones or being paid by the company to promote these. It’s my own true blue opinion.!

 

12 Comments on “Best Wireless Headphones under $400

  1. I like my gadgets to be plain, simple and beautiful and the sony mdr 1000x hit all the right notes. However spending couple o hundreds on a headphone is a pretty hefty investment. However, I think that it is a good investment if it can provide you with quality entertainment! Definitely gonna consider buying when the money allows!

    1. Thanks Leo and Sony MDR 1000x is definitely a good choice!! though its on the higher side in terms of the price and touches the Bose QC35 price mark but in terms of the sound quality it even surpasses the Bose to some extent, specially with the aptx codec support, 1000x is worth every penny spent for sure.

  2. I really wish to have one wireless headphone for some time, but until now I still couldn’t get one that can satisfy me. This is a great and informative post that might help me up in knowing more about some headphones. I would consider getting one soon. Thanks for your sharing!

    1. Appreciate Dino, you can definitely not go wrong with the headphones listed above. All cater to a broad spectrum of audience who know their music and love it.

  3. I really liked the looks of Bowers & Wilkins P7. And it is suitable my most important criteria which is the solid sound. It looks like Bowers & Wilkins offers great value in this price range. Do you agree or if it does not can you recommend a product according to my needs?

    1. for the looks, I would always go for B&W and B&O. Both of these are just elite when it comes to the design and on the sound front both of these produce balanced and more neutral sound as well. You can never go wrong with the European design. B&Ws detachable earpad is one clever feature. All the best choosing any of these two.

  4. Great headphones you have mentioned here. My favorite would have to be the Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless, for the simple fact that they are WIRELESS and distortion free. Even though they are just under $400, personally I like the features better than any of the other headphones here. Although the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 will be next on my list since they are much cheaper. Great products here my friend, thanks for the informative article!

  5. Hey there! I’ve been using my free apple headsets for a while now. Since that apple removes the headseat jack I’m looking for a best wireless headphones that I can buy. I’m looking for a headphones that will last me fora while. After I read your article the sony headphones got my attention. I liked your review about it and I’m thinking of buying it soon but I have a question. How does the sony headphones compare to beats headphones? I really appreciate your response.

    1. Thanks John, I have also used Apple earpods for almost 7 years now and i can say that they fair well if not brilliant for on the go listening or as an additional pair in the bag for SOS :). Regarding your question on Beats Vs Sony –

      a. If you are an audiophile- who gives equal importance to Highs, Mids and Lows: Please go for SONY

      b. If you like your stuff Bass heavy: Go for Beats

      c. I have never heard from an audiophile a full fledged praise about the tonality, neutral sound and good soundstage of Beats headphones, they always prefer SONY (specially Sony MDR-1000X)

      Beats are more Fab but Sony MDR-1000X is just amazing and check all the right box, They are well justified the price tag that they bear.

  6. Thank you for sharing this site Curiousparti. Those head phones look really and in the past Bose has made some great noise cancelling head phones. But for 400 that is a bit expensive for some head phones. I spent 70 dollars on some wireless Skull Candy head phones and for 70 dollars they work really well.

    1. Thanks for your comment Marcus! You are correct that they are on the expensive side, but they do deliver very good sound, Infact Sony MDR1000X is the very close to Bose QC in terms of sound quality and active noise cancellation. Skull candy is a good brand too, placed well within its segment of headphones.

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