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New wireless headphones for, help me choose!

So my trusty 10 year old pair of Sennheiser 558 finally broke and I need an replacement. I’ve been happy with them for sure but I would like to get something wireless to reduce clutter and making be a bit more free from the desk during meetings and such. Therefore I have started to look for a pair of wireless cans this time. However I feel that it is incredible difficult to find something without compromises! These are the features I’m looking for:

  1. Charging via USB C port is a must
  2. 2.5 or 3.5mm jack so I can still use a cable when gaming or when the battery dies.
  3. Although not an requirement, I would prefer a decent microphone
  4. ANC is nice but I can live without it if I must
  5. 20+ hours of playtime with ANC on, longer without.
  6. BT 5+ and Multipoint support so I can use my phone at the same time
  7. Wide codec support, like apt x
  8. Foldade or similar so its easy to pack in a bag
  9. Prefer buttons over touch pads
  10. Comfy for at least 4-5 hours at a time but maybe more. I also have glasses.
  11. Good sound, whatever that means :smiley: I’m no audiophile.
  12. Features such as auto off, proximity detection etc is nice.

These are models I have considered but they all have issues:
XM4: Bad mic, ANC is on by default when starting, touch pads, no apt x
Bose 35 II: Micro b and pretty old BT, maybe the 45 will change it.
Bose 700: Bad sound?
ATH-M50xBT2: No apt x or ANC
Shure Aonic 50: These tick a lot of boxes actually except that they are kinda big and the case is huge. Also the pads are real leather which might get sweaty.
Surface Headphones 2: low battery life, maybe not the best build quality

Any other models that I should consider here? Price doesn’t matter that much but I prefer it should be lower than 4-500 USD.

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I like the ANC of the bose 35, but my B&W p7 sounds a lot better. if you can spend that much money for some cans.

Those have LDAC, tough. Why do you need specifically Apt-X?

Because no windows laptop supports it.

Considering the premium price tags, make sure you research so there are replacement ear ‘pads’ for whatever product you’re considering incl where to get those.

I think I will go with the Shure AONIC 50.

It seems to check all my boxes. Except maybe that the ANC isn’t the best but honestly speaking, I will mostly use these indoors either at my home or the office. I still have the Sony WF in ears that has really good ANC to use on the bus or similar situation.

I did not know that. What a pity!

Out of what you listed, I would suggest the surface 2s if you are using MS Windows. You can also get the first gen at a steal right now.

I would recommend the Sony WH1000XM3 or Sony WH1000XM4 if you plan to use them with your phone as well.

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Sennheiser PXC550-II
Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT AD

Both do almost everything you’re asking for and apparently the sennheisers last up to 30 hours between charges. AFAIK neither have a 3.5mm jack, but can play while charging.
Hopefully they are worth looking at - and personally I’d go with the sennheisers out of the two. I’m in Aus though - so you may have better options than me.

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Yeah I was considering the Sennheisers but then I learned that they have micro b and that is a dealbreaker I’m afraid. Same with AT, they only have one model with USB C and that one does not support apt x.

The surface 2 has a lot of cool features for sure. Sadly there is no guarantee that I will only be using windows as I’m a consultant. Sometimes I use Ubuntu. Xm3 has a terrible mic. The Xm4 is ok but I recently learned that the ANC is on by default when you start them. Having to turn it off with the touch pads everyday will make me go insane. (The sony wf that I already have does it to and I hate it)

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Im starting to doubt my decision. These headphones are quite heavy and some say you get sweaty ears quite quickly. Also according to RTINGS they aren’t great at anything really: Shure AONIC 50 Wireless Review - RTINGS.com

might have a winner here for you…

Hmm they seem nice but I prefer fake leather over real animal skin. :see_no_evil: They are also a bit heavy maybe.

At this point I should just start my own headphone brand lol

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So I have the v-moda crossfade 2 wireless, I don’t use them anymore as I rarely go out, but I use to use the crossfade M-100 as primary headphones which then I replaced with the Crossfade 2 wireless (out & about) & sennheiser HD599 (indoor)

I do recommend getting the memory-foam ear replacement earpads if you do somehow end up buying these expensive ass headphones.


EDIT: If I had to buy new headphones today for my out & about pair, I’d probably look at getting Sony XM4s, but they don’t seem to match as many checks as you want.

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The Crossfade design isn’t the most pleasing :stuck_out_tongue:

Now I also discovered two other interesting but expensive headphones,

B&W PX7
And
Dali IO 6
And
Fiio eh3c

They also check a lot of boxes for me.

If you haven’t decided, I’d suggest you go try out a pair of the XM4s. Until this year I have always used “insert throw-away brand name here” headphones. Have 20-25% hearing loss depending on the ear in question and never thought the noise cancelling was very impressive. Finally said what the hell and bought the WH-1000XM4s. The second the WF models came out, bought them for biking/outdoors. I get jump scares on a regular basis since I can’t hear anything anyone says to me with the things on and suddenly there’s just another person in my face.

Not sure why you have bad mic next to the AM4s, use them driving on country gravel roads and out of curiosity have asked several people what the sound quality was like, and they thought I was sitting at home or something similar.

Can’t say much about the technical sound quality as that is where the hearing loss comes into play. Sounds good to me, but that’s not a good standard by any means.

Battery life with noise cancelling is about 7-7.5hrs.
Shocked at the WF models as well, but those are definitely a special use case type model.

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Yeah I have actually been thinking more about this…its so hard :smiley:

So my use case is actually mostly office work, I will use the headphones 95% at home office or at the real office. This means that I really don’t have that much use for ANC as that mostly helps filter out low freq sounds such as engine noise, I will still use my Sony WF on public transport or walking outside. And this also means that audio quality is not top priority for me. Sure I love good sound but I won’t sit in the sofa and drink wine and listen to music with these. I will mostly use them for meetings and playing background music and sometimes a little bit of gaming. They must be comfy and lightweight.

So I discovered that Audio Technica will soon release the ATH-M50xBT2 headphones. They should have around 50 hours of battery life, charge via USB C, 3.5 cable, bt multipoint and have decent sound. They don’t have ANC but that’s ok for me. They don’t support apt x either. But I figured its okay. They do support LDAC and so does my phone so if I ever wanted to listen to something better I can do that. However I still haven’t found a review with a mic test so I will hold off a little bit longer. I was also looking at the ANC900BT which seemed almost too good to be true at first but then they have micro b…what where they thinking…

I have XM4s. I’ve heard about the bad mic, but they’re not really what i use for Zoom, etc. anyway (have airpods for that). Wearing big cans for video calls = dork.

That said, i have used them for audio only calls and had no complaints?

The sound quality is great, the smarts in them are great.

I was so impressed with the ones i bought the GF for her birthday i went and bought another pair for me the next week.

I use mine primarily for music and also as active noise cancelling/music when i’m working in the datacenter.

  • Battery life on them is awesome
  • audio quality to my non-audiophile ears is great
  • multi-device pairing is nice
  • can set up proximity based profiles for ANC on/off
  • can have them go into passthrough (and pause music) when they detect speech nearby for you
  • passthrough support so you can hear things without taking them off if desired

A colleague has had XM3s that he uses at work pretty much all day every day for the past couple of years (he uses them to code with in a noisy office) and they still look pretty free of wear and tear.

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