Pour one out for the iPhone headphone jack, the latest feature to be taken out behind the barn in the spirit of innovation. Yes, that means our (sorta annoying) wireless future arrived earlier than anyone expected. (Thanks, Apple!) Luckily Bluetooth tech has gotten its act together—it sounds better, works (mostly) smoothly, and isn't outrageously expensive. Wireless headphones of the on- and over-ear variety are everywhere. But if you put a water gun emoji to our head, our favorite has to be the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless. No, they’re not the newest on the block. But in our testing they’re the pair we kept reaching for, whether to zen out on the train (Adele) or stew in our feelings at work (Adele). In the quadruple Venn diagram of specs that actually matter to GQ—comfort, great design, battery life, balanced sound—the P5 Wireless hit the sweet spot (even beating out the pricier, but cartoonishly big and head-crushing B&W P7 Wireless). Sure, they’re not perfect: the playskipvolume buttons are teensy and hard to find. But our best wireless headphones nail the important parts, and look good doing it.
Author: Chris Gayomaliwww.gq.com
1. They’re like wearing two pillows: Of all the headphones we tested, the Bowers & Wilkins P5 is far and away the cushiest to wear for hours on end—lightweight, with supple leather ear pads wrapped around the spongiest memory foam. (The lightly cushioned leather headband certainly helps, too.) Little Laz-E-Boys for your auricles, these things.
2. They live forever: It’s like the ancient proverb goes: The best wireless headphone batteries are the ones you don’t really have to think about. Bowers & Wilkins claims 17 hours of battery life. But even with heavy usage (six to eight hours a day, between work and home, volume on blast), we saw three days of use between charges.
3. Oh yeah, they sound amazing: Bowers & Wilkins has a reputation for clean, balanced dynamics—rich and complex mids; oomphy (but not eardrum-puncturing) bass—and the P5 Wireless deliver despite the compressed audio of Bluetooth. They hit the spot even if your taste jumps from Skrillex to Yo-Yo Ma to Dipset in a 20 minute span.
4. The Don Draper of headphones: Minimalism’s dirty secret is that it’s incredibly tricky to pull off well. But with lightweight branding and thoughtful design flourishes (like a subtle L and R engraved into the back hinges), there’s a reason GQ’s fashion department keeps returning to these things for photo shoots.
5. They’re durable: All leather-and-metal construction means the P5s are sturdy enough to throw in a briefcase or messenger bag without having to worry that they’re gonna snap in two. They even come with a slick quilted fabric stash case to fend off scrapes.
6. They'll straighten up and fly right: The iPhone went Bluetooth only, but you know what hasn't? Airlines. In the case for the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless you'll find a regular cord and one of those little plane adapters, too.
The All-Apple-Everything Pick: Beats Solo3 Wireless: If you crave an easy set up and all your gear is Apple, it’s hard to go wrong with the Beats Solo 3, which you can connect to your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook with one tap thanks to some new digital magic. (Hallelujah, no more digging through the Bluetooth device list buried in the settings app.) Not only are the Beats Solo 3 Wireless a strong choice if you like your bangers with extra thump, but design-wise they’ve come a long way from the cheap-feeling plastic cans the company used to make. One could almost call them understated. Almost. $299.99, available at bestbuy.com
The Step-Up Pick: Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless:Now the retro ham-radio-operator vibe might not be for everyone, but for anyone whose tastes lean a little more audiophile (i.e. you value sound quality above all and you don’t mind a few design tradeoffs), the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless are a beloved option, especially if money’s no object. For the money you get lush, intricate mids that will let you obsess over nuances and maintain a feeling of sonic superiority anywhere you go. $499.98, available at bestbuy.com