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No cords, no hassle: How to buy the best wireless headphones

Posted May 31, 2018 5:43 a.m. EDT
Updated May 31, 2018 7:29 a.m. EDT

In today’s "on-the-go" world, wireless headphones are the way to go, with no wires, no tangles and no hassle -- but how do you know what style is right for you?

If you haven't cut this cord yet, now may be the perfect time. Experts at Consumer Reports say you don't have to spend a lot of money to get pretty good sound.

Apple, Google, HTC and Motorola have all eliminated the headphone jack from their latest smartphones.

"JVC Gumy" wireless headphones sell for around $30. They appear basic, but the audio quality scored ‘Very Good’ in Consumer Reports’ tests.

A higher budget gets you more features, like noise cancelation.

“Noise canceling is a feature on headphones that blocks unwanted, external sounds -- and that may be useful any number of reasons, if you’re sitting at a cafe or if you’re in kind of a noisy, open office environment," said Nicholas Deleon, a tech editor.

Others allow you to control your music from the earpiece without ever taking your phone out of your pocket -- but this new feature can be a little tricky to master.

“In this particular model, you can swipe your finger up to increase the volume and down to decrease the volume," said Deleon. "That’s fine, that's easy to remember. But then you can also tap once to pause, tap twice to fast forward, tap three times to rewind. Now you have to remember how many taps does what thing.”

Style is another feature to consider. Bulkier, over-the-ear headphones may get you more battery life, but in-ear models are easier to stash and can be truly wireless.

Last but not least, when you can, try on wireless headphone before you buy them, because fit varies. If you can't test them first, experts say to make sure you can return them if they don't work for you.