The best Bluetooth headsets mean that you can enjoy taking calls without worrying about your hands being full. Ideally suited for working from home or in a busy office, they make life so much simpler. All you need to do is connect one to your phone and you're good to go.
In some cases, the best Bluetooth headsets also double up as headphones, so you can use them to listen to music or watch videos. That can make the best smartphones even more useful, all while giving you clearer call quality while on the move too. The same can be said for the best smartwatches , many of which now also stream audio over Bluetooth.
Whether you're looking to take calls while making dinner or staying connected on your commute, the best Bluetooth headsets are the best way to make that possible. As expected for Bluetooth technology, all these headsets are wireless so you won't have to worry about any tangles or aggravation.
Before you dive right in, it's important to think about how you plan on using a Bluetooth headset. Do you need one for taking calls while you work or do you want to be able to more easily communicate with your buddies in Fortnite? Both activities require slightly different Bluetooth headsets. It's a good idea to think about your budget too as Bluetooth headsets can be very cheap or very expensive, depending on the features you need most.
For the pick of the bunch, we've gone for the Jabra Stealth because it offers great audio quality as well as a high-quality mic. It's also very comfortable to wear. However, if you want the best noise cancelling Bluetooth headset, there's always the Jabra Steel. Alternatively, gamers will favor the Razer Hammerhead. There's something for everyone here so we'll take you through them.
1. Jabra Stealth: Best Bluetooth headset, overall
The Jabra Stealth earns our recommendation as the best Bluetooth headset because it combines great functionality with an excellent design. Beyond its stylish appearance, the Stealth’s design makes the headset comfortable enough for all-day wear and is simultaneously intuitive and simple to use. The biggest plus point the Jabra Stealth has over its competitors is a superior performance in audio quality and calls. It’s also easy to set up and pair, and its two buttons are simple to figure out after little use. The max volume level stays around 84dB, and its ear cushions block enough ambient noise that you can clearly hear notifications and calls even on the lower end of the volume range.
The Stealth is more likely to fit comfortably because it offers more options than others: included in the box are six earpiece size options and two separate, different ear hooks enabling you many options through which to find your ideal wearing style. At only eight grams, the Stealth is one of the lightest Bluetooth devices we tested, which is a good thing if you’re planning on wearing it all day. Its battery lasts for up to six hours of talk time and up to ten days on standby and once the battery is depleted, it only takes about two hours to get back to full. This area reveals one weakness of the Stealth however, as it doesn’t include a wall adapter or car charger upon purchase and the charging has to be done via USB.
Even though it still holds its value - you won't get it for bargain price - the amount of bang for buck you get with this headset means this is really tremendous value, and the best one you can currently spend your hard earned money on.
- Read our Jabra Stealth review
2. Plantronics Voyager 5200: Best around-ear headset
Even in such a recognisable field of products, if ever an item looked immediately like a bluetooth headset, the Plantronics Voyager 5200 is it. Not to be disparaging or stereotypical, of course, but its design is not shy about what it is. This bluetooth headset is a bulky unit but performs incredibly well. It uses its size well, incorporating a solid set of features and buttons: volume controls; a dedicated power switch; voice button; a call button; an NFC pairing zone; power and battery indicator lights; and a microUSB charging port. That’s already a lot of bang for buck.
It then backs these up with a solid performance and audio quality for all calls, enhanced by a particular feature. The four-microphone design of the 5200 ensures that an awful lot of environmental audio gets soaked up and doesn't interfere with your media or calls. Whereas most headsets only employ two microphones in such a design, the 5200s use of four is excellent and very much worth it, adding quality to an already very competent headset.
While it is on the bulky and heavy side, the Voyager 5200 is easily the best at that end of the spectrum. Good for outdoor use and great for business use (office or commutes particularly), its four-microphone setup is incredibly effective at ensuring environmental audio doesn't interfere with your calls and audio. Combine that with great volume, and this is one of the best bluetooth headsets generally, as well as being best in class for around-the-ear sets.
- Read our Plantronics Voyager 5200 review
3. Jabra Steel: Most durable bluetooth headset
This is one of our favorites across the board, but also for a specific use: outdoor calls. As the name suggests, the Steel is most at home for those who use their headset in loud, outdoor environments and its water, dust and shock-resistance are incredibly attractive features.
It has a rubberized black body, large buttons (that can be used while wearing gloves), several included earpieces and ear hooks, and a windsock to put over the boom mic to minimize environmental noise. It borders on being a little big, particularly for those with smaller ears, but the headset always stays in place successfully, especially with the ear hooks attached. The fit is versatile too as it can be worn with or without the hooks depending on your comfort and the situation. You can also use voice commands to accept or reject incoming calls.
The Steel puts out less overall volume than other products we tested, but it did very well at isolating voices and canceling out ambient noise on both ends of the call, making it a great choice for hectic environments. Its robustness, resistance and durability cannot be overstated however, and that's where its real strength lies.
- Read our Jabra Steel review
4. Razer Hammerhead True Wireless: Most versatile
If you're on the hunt for a Bluetooth headset that can do more than the basic required function then the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds should definitely be up for consideration. While made by a gaming peripheral company, and clearly gaming-focused, these earbuds perform very well as a Bluetooth headset in their own right - even discounting all of the excellence in other areas.
Channeling Razer's audio pedigree, the Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds have some of the best audio quality in all the products we've tested - the range, detail and depth is excellent. While this is designed for music and games primarily, it translates extraordinarily well for calls and notifications. The design is slick and modern, and nothing is overcomplicated in their form, making for easy to fit and comfy earbuds.
Despite suffering from occasional Bluetooth dropouts when using the earbuds for media, the performance is still easily good enough for us to recommend them as one of the most versatile and multi-faceted Bluetooth headsets going. It is their quality elsewhere, in sound quality, design and build, and decent feature set that really makes this headset successful. For those looking for a Bluetooth headset with more strings to its bow than usual, and for those who look to get more for their money, this is a great choice.
5. Sennheiser Presence: Best for battery life
A slightly curious beast, the Sennheiser Presence has both excellent and middling performing features in its small package. Getting the downsides out the way, the fit of this headset is not great on the whole. It really takes some work to be comfortable as well as to acquire that snug feeling, where one is confident the headset won't slip out.
However this is in total contrast with its excellence in battery life - ten hours of talk time or two weeks on standby - and audio quality. As a result, this headset borders on the mercurial, if the word can be applied to a Bluetooth headset. The Presence has sheer audio quality by the bagful, which is complemented by a great design and outstanding battery life, but its design and fit slightly jar with this. When you're on calls and have manipulated it into a comfortable position, it's one of the best out there, but because it's inconsistent in respect of the latter, and it has a high price tag, it falls a bit short of its true potential. Still, we don't mean to put potential buyers off, this is still a great headset.
The Sennheiser Presence is a great Bluetooth headset and the best for those who want a long and reliable battery life above all else. Putting its fit, low volume range, and price tag to one side, the Sennheiser headset performs well, with Sennheiser-quality audio, excellent battery life, and the good accessories included making it a very worthwhile purchase.
- Read our Sennheiser Presence review
6. New bee Bluetooth Earpiece: Best cheap Bluetooth headset
The New bee Bluetooth Earpiece is a great option for anyone that doesn't want to spend too much but still expects lots of features and good performance. This is primarily an earpiece designed for phone calls. That means it packs in tech like CVC 6.0 for active noise cancellation which means calls are super clear without interference. This also packs a powerful battery life with 60 days standby and 24 hours of chat time.
But the special skill here is an included earphone that lets you have both ears connected to audio. This means it can be used for listening to music, gaming and watching videos, all while connecting to more than two devices at once for calls – perfect for work phones. All that and a sub $20 price makes this a really compelling option even before you take into consideration the three year warranty.
- Read our New bee Bluetooth earpiece review.
How we tested
By testing these Bluetooth headsets for many hours, poring over manuals, online reviews and product specs in addition to hours of hands-on testing for each product, we are confident that we have thoroughly tested them out. We selected our top contenders by finding the best, most buzzworthy and highest-rated Bluetooth headsets – focusing on small, single-ear devices.
To set up each headset, we unboxed, charged and paired them sequentially to the same smartphone. We tried on all the included ear cushions and hook combinations to find the most comfortable configurations, and then used them in diverse environments to make sure they performed well in any circumstance. We made and received calls, tested out voice command features, pressed buttons and listened to the same YouTube videos multiple times.
How to choose a Bluetooth headset for you
Picking out the best Bluetooth headset for you isn't solely a matter of finding the best one and buying it. It's important to think about why you need a Bluetooth headset and what features are essential for you.
If you need a headset for work, you need to focus on call quality. Hearing difficulties can put a severe strain on a conversation so you want to make sure that your headset means both parties can hear the other end of the line clearly. Generally, headsets with two or more mics help to filter environmental noises like wind or traffic out of your call. If you plan on being on the move a lot, this is important. Also, the closer the mic is to your mic, the better so larger headsets can be more advantageous. Consider volume range and even how well the headset fits for you too.
In addition, you want the headset to be comfortable. If you need to wear it for a long time, you don't want any discomfort. Generally, the lighter the headset, the more comfortable it is. Also, consider the wearing style, and whether earbuds or ear hooks are an option. Over-ear hooks can help with stability but we often found headsets built specifically for over-ear wear aren't as comfortable as ones for in-ear.
Unified communication is important for business too with some Bluetooth headsets also offering a USB dongle so you get a wider range of connectivity for multiple platforms. Consider if you really need this or if Bluetooth alone will suffice. Unified communication increases the price substantially and that's the final important point - what's your budget? A Bluetooth headset can cost as little as $20 or as much as $100. Whether it's worth it mostly depends on the features you need. A cheap Bluetooth headset may be sufficient for some users.