The rumors are true — Apple has decided to ditch the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 in favor of Bluetooth and Lightning-connecting headsets and earbuds. But don't despair. While the company's decision may seem like a death knell for your collection of tangled buds dating back to the Discman era, there are plenty of quality options that'll work with the new phone.
If you really want to use your old headphones with the iPhone 7, Apple is including an adapter that'll let you do that. But if you're interested in upgrading, there are plenty of great Bluetooth-enabled wireless headphones out there. These seven sets were selected as the best for each particular use case. (Apple is also releasing new wireless earbuds of its own called AirPods.)
People have a lot going on between their ears, and the Bragi Dash wireless earbuds are made for the most active of multitaskers. The cord-free earpieces fit perfectly within the ear canal, providing not only more than three hours of audio per charge, but also biometric data, activity coaching, and passive noise isolation — which means they listen to the world around you and mute out buzz-killing sounds.
The $300 sport buds are waterproof (great for swimmers), have an accompanying app that displays all your movement and activity data, and feature some heady audio-transparency tech that also let you hear your surroundings, if you want. Throw in a case that packs enough battery for five extra charges, and you've got a tireless workout bud. But if a $150 wireless, cordless earbud is more your speed, the just announced Bragi Headphone will ship in November, doubling the Dash's battery life to six hours but cutting out many of the fitness sensors and other capabilities. Buy here
Low profile, high performance
If you didn't hear the music pouring out of the Jaybird Freedom wireless earbuds, you might not even notice they're there. The micro-sized corded buds connect to smartphones via multipoint Bluetooth 4.1 technology, which also lets them perform some neat tricks, like connect to two devices simultaneously, or share audio from one device with another pair of Freedoms.
The eight-hour battery life is great considering the $200 earbuds' tiny size, though it's split between the headphones itself (four hours) and the charging clip (another four hours — think of it as a backup battery). The accompanying MySound app packs an equalizer that customizes the audio to your liking. Buy here
Music for your ears
Open up the case for the Sennheiser Momentum on-ear headphones, and you'll find a bag. That's right – these cans are so nice, they protect them twice. And for $400, that's the sort of treatment you'd expect. But the big surprise comes when you put them on and experience the textured sound they put out. Bass is powerful but not overbearing. The highs are crisp without sounding like tin. And the absence of wires is liberating. To keep the good sounds in and the bad ones out, the Momentums use four microphones to block outside noise. But if you need to use them for a phone conversation, rest assured your caller will hear you loud and clear: an integrated microphone lets you speak without dangling a mouthpiece in front of your face. Buy here
Wireless for less
Paying hundreds for upgraded sound isn't for everyone — especially when the $70 Jabra Move Wireless will get you there for much less. And these on-ear Bluetooth headphones pack much more than wireless value. The battery lasts for eight hours of audio or 12 days of standby; the memory foam-lined cups are like pillows for your ears; and the 5.6 ounce weight make them feel much more natural than some of the heavier cans out there. But the most important part is sound, and at this price you'll be challenged to find another pair that's more balanced. Buy here
Perfect travel companion
Looks can be deceiving. In photos, the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones appear to be big and bulky, but in person (and on your person) they are slender and solid, a design that's deserving of its premium $350 price tag. The QuietComfort's big, soft ear cups aren't just packed full of speakers, they're loaded with microphones to detect external sound and send out an equal, opposite signal in the other direction. That means engine noise is an afterthought and that wailing baby in seat 16D is not your problem. But in addition to sublime sound (and sound cancellation) these cans also come with some travel pro must-haves: a hardshell carrying case, an airline audio adapter matching planes' funky outlets, and a 20-hour battery to get you where you need to go. Buy here
Neckbuds might seem like a futuristic accessory to the unfamiliar, but because this variety of Bluetooth headphones are great for making calls, power networkers know them as an excellent way to get their message across. Boasting 16 hours of talk time and a pair of microphones, the LG Tone Infinim can connect with two devices simultaneously, and is very clear on both ends of the conversation. The $150 headset features retractable earbuds, making them convenient for a quick call and easy to carry around all day. A silent vibration alert collars the wearer when a call is incoming. And when the business is over, Harmon Kardon sound takes over, providing good balance and surprising bass for such little earpieces. Buy here
Change is scary, we get that. For people who don't want to dump their favorite wired headphones in favor of a new Bluetooth pair, the Griffin iTrip Clip is here for you. An iPod shuffle-sized clip that connects wirelessly to your iPhone via Bluetooth, the $20 Clip has a headphone jack that accepts standard 3.5mm plugs. It also sports a 6-hour battery for your wireless needs and a mini-USB port for recharging. A good accessory for audiophiles of all stripes, the Clip can perform double-duty in car stereos with standard audio jacks. Buy here