Best Bluetooth Headsets of 2018

Suzanne Humphries ·
Updated
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We meticulously researched and tested 10 Bluetooth headsets to discover the best for all needs and budgets. Our overall winner is the Plantronics Voyager Edge. It easily earned A’s in our tests for voice and audio quality, as well as an A-plus in voice isolation, making it a smart choice if you frequently take calls in public or in other loud areas. It yielded eight hours of playback time in our tests, along with six hours of talk time, and is compatible with Siri and Google Now voice assistants.

Best Overall

Plantronics Voyager Edge

The Plantronics Voyager Edge won out over the other Bluetooth headsets in our tests with its audio quality, plethora of useful features, battery capacity, earbud sizes and all-day comfortable fit.
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Best Value

Motorola Boom 2

With the Motorola Boom 2, you can enjoy hands-free calling without busting your budget. The Boom 2 has decent battery life, good features and compatibility, as well as a comfortable fit.
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Worth Considering

Jabra Stealth

The Jabra Stealth headset offers unbeatable audio quality. With its caller ID function, great fit, premium functionality and smartphone assistant compatibility, it’s an option worth your consideration.
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Product
Price
$73.00Amazon
$84.35Amazon
$54.57Amazon
$99.99Amazon
$82.99Amazon
$29.99Amazon
$24.25Amazon
$139.12Amazon
$80.75Amazon
$22.99Amazon
Overall Rating
9.8
9.8
9.1
9.1
8.9
8.8
8.7
8.4
8.3
7.9
Call Performance
9.8
9.8
10
9.8
9
9
8
8.5
9
8.8
Hands-Free Capabilities
10
10
8.8
8.8
8.8
7.5
10
8.8
6.3
6.8
Comfort
10
9.3
9.3
9.3
9
9
8
7.5
9.3
8.5
Battery
9.5
10
8
8.3
9
9
8.5
9.5
8.5
9
Help & Support
10
10
8.3
8.5
8.3
10
10
7.5
8.3
5
Standby Time (Days)
7
11
10
10
7
12
8
14
6.25
12
Tested Charge Time (Hours)
1.5
1.5
2
2
2
2
1.5
1.3
1.5
1
Talk Time (Hours)
6
7
6
6
10
7
6
10
7.5
7
Charging Case Included
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Tested Playback Time (Hours)
8
7.5
6
6.33
4.25
7.33
7
9.5
6.5
7
Voice Isolation Score
A+
A+
A+
A
B+
A-
B-
B+
B+
B+
Max Volume (dB)
52
59
58
44
45
41
49
45
68
50
Voice Quality
A
A
A
A
A-
A-
C
B
B+
B
Audio Quality
A
A
A+
A+
B+
A-
C+
B
B+
B
Live Chat
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Phone
N/A
Social Media
N/A
Email
Warranty
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
5 Years
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
2 Years
1 Year
1 Year
Wearing Style
Around-the-Ear
Around-the-Ear
In-Ear
In-Ear
In-Ear
In-Ear
Both
In-Ear
Around-the-Ear
In-Ear
Fit
A+
A+
A-
A-
A
A-
C+
D
A
C+
Extended Wear Comfort
A+
B
A-
B+
A
A
C-
C-
B+
C
Stability
A+
A-
A-
A-
C-
A
C
D
B
B+
Earbud Size Options
3
3
2
3
4
1
3
3
5
2
Weight (Ounces)
0.31
0.63
0.27
0.35
0.19
0.26
0.32
0.45
0.58
0.28
Caller ID
N/A
N/A
N/A
Text Message Support
Siri/Google Now
Siri/Google Now
Siri/Google Now
Siri/Google Now
Siri
Compatible with Apps
N/A
Best Overall

Plantronics Voyager Edge

No matter whether you’re a businessperson with a packed schedule or simply have a long daily commute, the Plantronics Voyager Edge can give you high-quality audio for phone calls and long sessions of listening to your favorite tunes. It boasts great battery life, quick charging times and massive compatibility.
The Voyager Edge tested extremely well for audio and voice quality in a variety of situations and locations. It also excels at isolating your voice and reducing background noise so your caller can hear you clearly. You can turn up the device’s volume to as high as 52 decibels. The device is compatible with smartphone assistants like Siri and Google Now, allowing you to perform additional tasks like dictating a text message. Built-in caller ID announces callers if their information is saved in your phonebook. It’s also compatible with smartphone apps, giving you additional functionality, such as the ability to listen to music. Whether you’re using the Voyager Edge for a brief time or you need to wear it all day, your ear won’t get sore, thanks to its comfortable around-the-ear design. It also comes with three earbud sizes so you can choose the one that fits best and feels stable in your ear.
Pros
  • It offers the longest playback time of any unit.
  • It’s compatible with Siri and Google Now.
  • It comes with three earbud options for optimal sizing.
Cons
  • Its standby time isn’t as lengthy as other devices.
  • Most other units have longer talk-time capacities.
  • It’s available only as an around-the-ear wearing style.
$72.29Amazon
Best Value

Motorola Boom 2

Though it doesn’t offer the best audio quality or comfortable fit, the Motorola Boom 2 offers basic Bluetooth headset functionality for a budget-friendly price.
It is better at isolating your voice and reducing pesky background noise than producing pristine audio, but it does decently in call performance overall. And if you’re stuck in a loud area, you can increase its volume up to 49 decibels, ensuring you can hear your caller. The Boom 2 has a feature that many other headsets don’t – it’s compatible with both Siri and Google Now smartphone assistants. This feature allows you to navigate through common tasks on your smartphone, such as dictating an outgoing text message. It also has a caller ID announce feature, which will tell you the name of an incoming caller if their information is logged in your phone’s contact list. It’s compatible with other mobile apps unrelated to calls and text and can easily play audio from apps like Spotify. In our tests, we didn’t find it extremely comfortable to wear, especially for extended periods. The around-the-ear plastic was thin and didn’t feel entirely secure. The ends of the headsets flip inward when not in use, which we found annoying. Despite this, the Boom 2’s battery life was on par with some of the best Bluetooth headsets, and it gains a full charge in a reasonably brief period.
Pros
  • It offers multiple wearing options.
  • It has a lengthy standby time.
  • It works with both Google Now and Siri.
Cons
  • It offers just two earbud sizes.
  • It doesn’t have great audio quality.
  • It doesn’t come with a charging case.
$30.50Amazon
Worth Considering

Jabra Stealth

The Jabra Stealth is a powerhouse Bluetooth headset when it comes to call performance and comfort.
In our tests, it outperformed our best overall pick by a small margin for audio quality, and earned excellent scores for voice quality and voice isolation. If you’re in a loud area, you can boost the volume to an impressive 58 decibels. You can identify the caller before you pick up and without pulling out your phone, thanks to the Stealth’s caller ID announce feature. It will announce who the incoming caller is, if it’s someone whose data you’ve saved in your phone’s contact list. It also allows you to dictate a text message and play audio from sources like Spotify. Our tests determined the Jabra Stealth to be a comfortable Bluetooth headset, even if you use it for an extended period. Weighing just 0.27 ounces, it’s extremely light. It comes with two earbud sizes, which makes for a comfortable yet stable fit. Expected battery life for the Jabra is six hours for talking or audio playback. It also boasts 10 days of standby time.
Pros
  • It’s comfortable to wear, even for extended periods of time.
  • You can amplify its volume up to 58 decibels.
  • It is compatible with a variety of smartphone apps.
Cons
  • It doesn’t include a charging case.
  • It takes a long time to charge.
  • It’s available only for in-ear wearing.
$49.99Amazon

Why Trust Us? 

We’ve tested Bluetooth headsets rigorously and passionately for over seven years. Our most recent evaluations took over 50 hours. We thoroughly researched and experimented with the headsets in multiple environments to test their quality and ease of use. We compared the manufacturer information for each headset with our own measurements, along with their features and functionality, to provide reliable reviews.

We found that, when it comes to Bluetooth headsets, most units offer comparable features. However, the most useful features for any budget and experience level included pristine voice and audio quality, solid volume control, comfortable fit, smartphone assistant compatibility and stellar battery life that can keep up with you all day. 

How We Tested 

Our reviewers evaluated each Bluetooth headset’s features, design and customer support. They pushed the headsets to their limits, seeing how they handled calls and maneuvered through smartphone-based programs and tasks. Across a variety of environments, we took and placed calls, dictated voice commands to the device, and played music and other audio, like podcasts, so we could evaluate both voice and music quality.

After testing the overall audio quality, we evaluated how well each headset could block out background noise in multiple environments. Paired to an Apple iPhone SE, we made and took calls in windy areas, with vacuums running, with a TV near us and with loud air conditioning units running to see how easy it was to hear our caller, and for our caller to hear us. We used each headset while inside our lab, as well as outside while taking a walk while it was windy, while driving, and while in a cement and steel parking garage to gauge audio quality and stability within a variety of environments.

We also tested talk time, playback capacity, charging time and how easy each unit was to set up and use. We found that the best ones have a combination of button and voice command functionality. With a simple on/off button and volume rocker, you can adjust other settings with your voice, rather than fumbling around with multiple buttons or having to flex the tip of the device to answer or hang up on a call. 

Key Features to Look for When Buying a Bluetooth Headset

Comfort & Fit
When it comes to Bluetooth headsets, one size doesn’t always fit all. The best headsets offer versatile wearing styles and come standard with multiple earbud sizes so you can get the perfect fit. It’s critical for a Bluetooth headset to feel stable in your ear, whether you’re headbanging to the latest tunes or taking a call while on your morning jog. And it’s a must for the headset to feel comfortable if you’ll be wearing it all day.

Call Performance
Whether you’re walking through a busy city or working in your home office, you should be able to enjoy solid audio quality from your Bluetooth headset. Overall, all of the units in our comparison had passable – if not stellar – quality. The best devices also did a great job of blocking out background noises and isolating audio, so you can take your call or listen to audio without being disturbed. Additionally, the best devices allow you to increase the volume when you’re using them in loud areas. Many can reach about 60 decibels.

Battery
The average battery expectancy from most Bluetooth headset manufacturers lies between six and 10 hours before needing to be recharged. Though most units require you to connect the headset to a wall charger, some come with a convenient charging case that allows you to charge the battery quickly while on the go.

Help & Support
Most manufacturers ship their Bluetooth headsets with a one-year warranty, which is considered the industry standard. Some units, however, have lengthier warranties of up to five years, so if you know you’re likely to need extended coverage for your headset, consider a device with a long warranty.

Additionally, it’s important for these companies to make their customer support representatives available. The best companies offer multiple ways for you to reach out for support, typically via live chat, email and telephone. Many manufacturers go beyond that, providing informational resources through their website, included FAQs pages, tutorials and downloadable user manuals that help you troubleshoot problems.

Should You Buy a Bluetooth Headset? 

If you’re always on the go, but somehow always find yourself on the phone, a Bluetooth headset may be of great assistance. These headsets are great for anyone needing access to their phone, especially to take calls and keep their hands free. Of course, there are also corded headphones with built-in microphones available, as well as cars that can pair with your smartphone to take a call through its system, but not everyone has or wants those options. 

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