The Great Wireless Headphones Showdown: Which Should You Buy?

So you’re looking to cut the cord and go wireless with your headphones? Smart move! But with so many options out there, how do you decide which model is right for you?

As someone who tests out a lot of wireless headphones, let me try to make this decision easier for you. In this article, I’ll be comparing three top-rated wireless cans: the Beats Solo3, Bose QuietComfort 35 II, and Sony WH-1000XM3.

Based on my hands-on experience with each pair, I’ll give you the low-down on how they stack up for design, sound, noise cancellation, features, battery life, and overall value. My goal is to break it down in a real, relatable way so you can shop with confidence.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Which Look and Feel Best Wireless Headphones?

Starting with design and comfort, because who wants wireless headphones that hurt your head or ears?

The Beats Solo3 are an on-ear style, which some find comfortable but others think feel too tight. Bose and Sony both went over-ear, which most users find more comfortable over long listening sessions.

For travel, the Beats and Bose fold up nicely into a compact size. In terms of cushioning, Bose really nailed the comfy factor with ample padding on the headband and super soft ear cups.

The Sony XM3’s have these huge pillowy ear pads that feel like memory foam – so good!

If I had to rank them strictly for wearing comfort:

  1. Bose QC35 II Headphone
  2. Sony WH-1000XM3
  3. Beats Solo3

But comfort is subjective, so definitely try them on yourself if possible!

Solo3 WirelessSONY WH1000XM3 Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Ratings4.7 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars
Form-factorOver-ear Over-earOver Ear
Battery LifeUp to 40HUp to 30HUp to 20H 
Active Noise CancellingYesYesYes
Sweat & Water ResistantNoNoNo
Charging PortUSB-CUSB-CUSB-C

How’s the Sound Quality and Noise Cancellation?

Now onto what really matters – sound! Noise cancellation goes hand in hand with sound, so let’s take them together.

The Beats have that punchy, bass-heavy sound signature that a lot of people dig. But they lack advanced noise cancelling technology, which is a bummer in noisy environments.

Beats Solo3 Wireless

  • High-performance wireless Bluetooth headphones
  • Features the Apple W1 chip and Class 1 wireless Bluetooth connectivity
  • With up to 40 hours of battery life, Beats Solo3 wireless is your perfect everyday headphone

The isolation is decent but not on par with Bose and Sony’s active noise cancellation.

Speaking of which, Bose has been the noise cancelling leader for years. With the QC35 II’s, you can really fine-tune the ANC levels via their app.


  • This pre-owned product has been professionally inspected, tested and cleaned by Amazon qualified vendors.
  • – This product is in “Excellent condition”. The screen and body show no signs of cosmetic damage visible from 12 inches away.

It almost completely drowns out the world, so amazing for planes and offices. One nitpick is that the sound lacks a bit of excitement and bass oomph compared to the other two.

Sony’s WH-1000XM3’s have really caught up and surpassed Bose’s ANC in my opinion. It’s kind of crazy how it erases even loud noises like you’re in a sensory deprivation chamber.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

  • Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
  • Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
  • Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up

And the sound quality is delicious, with deep punchy bass and nice sparkly highs. Overall, Sony wins this category by a hair!

What About Features and Connectivity?

For features and wireless performance, here’s the skinny:

The Beats headphone integrate nicely with iOS devices thanks to Apple’s W1 chip. The on-ear controls are handy for music and calls. Big downside is no audible notifications for Android users.

Bose headphone lets you connect to two devices simultaneously, which is cool. The Alexa voice assistant integration is useful.

Their app gives you control over settings like auto-off timer and power modes. Oh, and they include a backup audio cable for wired use if needed. Nice touch!

Sony headphone takes the cake again here in my book. The touch controls on the ear cups are super convenient for controlling your tunes.

It also has wear sensors that auto pause when removing the headphones – great for saving battery life! The quick charge function is clutch, with just 10 minutes giving you 5 hours play time.

As you can see, all three bring useful features to the table. Sony just packs in the most smarts if you want the highest-tech experience. But something like the Bose audio cable could be a deciding factor for some buyers too.

Don’t Forget About Battery Life!

This one’s quick – Beats headphone give you a whopping 40 hours per charge, which is miles ahead of the competition.

Bose headphone clocks in around 20 hours with noise cancelling on. Sony falls in the middle with 30 hour battery life with ANC turned on.

If you travel a lot or just don’t want to charge frequently, the Beats Solo3 are power champs! For everyone else, 20-30 hours should suffice for a whole week of use no problem.

And What’s the Damage Price-Wise?

Lastly, let’s look at pricing and overall value:

  • Beats Solo3 – $$
  • Bose QC35 II – $$$
  • Sony WH-1000XM3 – $$

Considering everything we’ve covered, I think the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphone gives you the most bang for your buck. The noise cancelling and sound can stand up to headphones double the price.

The Beats Solo3 headphone also represent a terrific value if you’re on a budget. You get that smooth Apple pairing and the Beats sound signature for under $200. Battery life is unbeatable.

And while expensive, the Bose QC35 II headphone deliver amazing noise reduction and call quality. If that’s absolutely essential to you, they could be worth the investment.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with any of these wireless headphones. But if I had to crown a king, the Sony WH-1000XM3 stands out as my top overall pick. They check every box with stellar noise cancellation, dynamic sound, 30+ hour battery life, and useful features like quick charging.

For iOS users wanting Beats’ iconic bold sound on a budget, grab the Beats Solo3 and don’t look back. Call quality is excellent and 40 hours of battery life means less charging.

And if you want the most serene noise-free existence on the planet, the Bose QC35 II serve up pristine calls and the most custom noise cancellation experience money can buy.

Hope this rundown gave you some clarity on the key differences between these wireless heavy hitters. Let me know if you have any other questions! I’m always happy to help steer you toward the perfect headphones for your needs.

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