The best iPhone 7 headphones for you
With the iPhone 7, Apple removed the trusty headphone jack – so where does that leave you when it comes to music on the go? We've been looking through the very best wireless headphones for your iPhone – from budget options to audiophile picks.
If, like me, you've recently bought a shiny new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, you'll want to get the best from it – particularly when it comes to music.
When the device was announced back in September, there was a lot of talk about the removal of the headphone jack. Had Apple pushed the boundaries of music, or had they just annoyed people?
In either case, while users were once spoiled for choice with wired headphones from top-end brands like Bose, Sennheiser and Sony, the new Lightning-only connection leaves those users needing to make use of what I find to be an annoying and fiddly adaptor.
But in fact, this gives you an opportunity to delve into the world of wireless headphones and get a whole new experience while listening to music. Ther are a load of great options out on the market – and today, we're going to take a look at some of the best choices that get along nicely with the iPhone 7.
For the audiophile
Key features: Bluetooth, noise cancellation, volume and playback controls, Siri integration, 20-hour battery life, support for multiple devices at the same time
Bose are synonymous with great sound quality across all the devices they make. These are the first pair of noise-cancelling wireless headphones they've made – and they more than live up to the company's great reputation.
I had the pleasure of listening to a few songs with them, they really are a treat to listen to. Lined with suede, they fit comfortably over your ears, immersing you in the smooth and detailed sounds – backed up with just the right amount of bass. They also come with a nice and sturdy case so they don’t get damaged when you travel, which is very handy and helps justify the price!
Bose have also given users the option to pair these headphones to two different devices using their app: a great way to seamlessly switch between your favourite gadgets without having to re-pair each time.
Key features: Bluetooth, memory foam earpads, volume and playback controls, Siri integration
With amazing sound quality and a premium design, these are a serious contender if your budget can stretch to over £300 – indeed, they're the most expensive headphones on this list. Several leading sound websites rate these phones extremely highly – and Bowers and Wilkins are well known for making top-quality speakers and headphones.
One interesting feature of these is that they come with 'Bluetooth AptX' – a sophisticated variant of Bluetooth technology that offers higher sound quality than standard Bluetooth headphones due to the way it compresses and sends the audio data.
These will also be amazingly comfortable thanks to the memory foam earpads – it’s just a shame they don’t feature active noise control like the Bose pair.
For the sports enthusiast
Key features: quick charge, sweat and rain resistance, Siri integration, volume and playback controls, 12-hour battery life
The Powerbeats 3 are a great option for anyone who loves listening to music while doing exercise. With their secure-fit ear hooks, they'll stay in place no matter what you’re doing – while also providing some of the best sound quality you can get from sports headphones.
One great improvement from the previous version is that the earbud post has been slightly extended. This is a very small change, but it makes a big difference: some Powerbeats 2 owners had said the phones didn’t quite stay in their ear – but this change has resolved that issue, and they now have a nice snug fit in your ear.
The newer model also uses Apple A1 processor chip, which gives them an impressive 12 hours of battery life – over four hours more than its predecessor. Quick charge is a great feature, too: after a five-minute charge through a microUSB cable they'll last up to an hour, so you'll never be without your favourite songs when you spontaneously decide to go for a run!
The new version is a clear improvement – but all the same, I can’t help but think that for £60 cheaper, the PowerBeats 2 might come out on top if you're on a tight budget.
£54.99 (save £15)
Key features: Bluetooth, rapid charging, volume and playback controlsd, over-ear hooks, Siri integration
At nearly a third of the price of the Powerbeats, these are a solid option. For the price, you get a lot of the same features: a similar over-ear hook, controls that support your music and a microphone to make and receive calls with.
Although you can put them on a rapid charge for 15 minutes to give you up to an hour's use, the battery life isn’t that great in general – even after being fully charged, they only seem to last around four or five hours.
They do provide good sound quality for a pair of sports headphones, however – so if you're looking for a pair for gym sessions or short runs, but don't want to compromise on sound, these could be perfect.
For the budget buyer
Key features: Bluetooth and NFC connections, noise cancellation, volume and playback controls, Siri integration
These are the wireless headphones I currently use, and I absolutely love them. While they're not actually the cheapest on this list, they offer outstanding value – with some really advanced features for a much lower price than comparable pairs. I was lucky enough to pick them up in a 'Cyber Monday' deal back in November, when they were reduced from £90 to £35 – although they're worth every penny even if you pay the full price.
Feature rich, these headphones offer noise cancellation that you can turn on or off, as well as up to 16 hours of battery life – or you can plug in a supplied cable to enjoy noise control for up to 33 hours!
For a pair of wireless headphones in this price range I have found them very comfortable, surprisingly good in terms of sound quality and great at cancelling out most of the surrounding noises – nothing to the scale of the Bose pair mentioned earlier, but still better than most.
£44.99 (save £25)
Key features: Bluetooth, automatic pairing, volume and playback controls
At this price, some people might overlook them if they want good music quality. After all, you’ve got to pay a lot to get that, right? Well, whatever they're doing in Skullcandy HQ is working – as these are a great little pair of headphones that definitely punch above their weight in terms of value.
With a simple but effective design, great price and features normally found on pairs twice the price have, they're well worth a look! Unfortunately, they seem to lack full Siri control – but you can still control your music and calls via the buttons on the earphones.
For the Apple obsessive
Key features: quick charge, charging case, one-tap setup, Siri integration, volume and playback controls
Let’s face it, we couldn’t do an article on the best headphones for the iPhone without featuring Apple's AirPods, could we!
These little beauties are one of my favourites, and I’ve not even been able to play around with them yet. They're simply gorgeous to behold – and as they're made by Apple, they're going to support all the iPhone's functions and Siri commands flawlessly.
Strangely, though, what I like most about them is the case. When you're finished listening, you just pop the AirPods back into the case and let them charge, for up to 24 hours battery life without connecting to the mains. Genius: safe storage and charging capabilities at the same time!
Like the Powerbeats 3 they also have quick charge: if you pop them into the case for 15 minutes, you'll get up to three hours of power from them, which is quite impressive. They also boast one-tap setup for all your Apple devices, easy access to Siri, high-quality audio – and they instantly turn on when you take them out of the case.
All things considered, if I had to choose my ultimate all-round pair it would probably be the Powerbeats 3 – sorry Apple!
I go snowboarding, running and take my dog on lots of walks – and simply feel that these would be the most durable. The secure ear-hooks in particular would mean I won’t be worrying about them falling out or off, like some other pairs.
But the fact is, it’s hard to choose a good pair of headphones – and to some extent it's always going to come down to personal preference. My best advice is to always test them if you can: you can’t beat hearing the sound quality for yourself, looking at the build quality and making sure they're comfortable to wear!
That's it for our pick of the best wireless headphones for your iPhone 7 – but if you've got any alternative suggestions, share them with our readers in the comments below! And for more great articles from our Agents straight to your inbox each month, get your name down below for the Geek Squad newsletter.