Best wire­less head­phones for calls

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - BUSINESS - These Cnet staff mem­bers con­trib­uted to this story: David Carnoy and Laura K. Cu­cullu. For more re­views of per­sonal tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts, visit www.cnet.com.

Bose Qui­etCom­fort 35 II

Cnet rat­ing: 4.5 stars out of 5

The good: The Bose adds a ded­i­cated but­ton for Google As­sis­tant, but it can be pro­grammed for other func­tions, too. Re­tains its pre­de­ces­sor’s top-ofthe-line ac­tive-noise can­cel­ing, ex­cel­lent wire­less Blue­tooth sound and ex­tra-com­fort­able de­sign. Works in wired mode with in­cluded cord if bat­tery dies. The bad: Bat­tery isn’t re­place­able; same ap­par­ent de­sign and per­for­mance as pre­vi­ous model. The cost: $350 The bot­tom line: Ex­ist­ing QC35 own­ers don’t need to up­grade, but the ad­di­tion of a ded­i­cated Google As­sis­tant but­ton gives the al­ready ex­cel­lent wire­less noise-can­cel­ing head­phone an ex­tra bit of per­son­al­ity.

Plantron­ics Back­Beat Pro 2

Cnet rat­ing: 4 stars out of 5

The good: The Pro 2 sounds very good for a Blue­tooth head­phone, is com­fort­able to wear and offers de­cent noise can­cel­la­tion and strong bat­tery life. It per­forms very well as head­set for mak­ing cell phone calls, in­cludes a car­ry­ing pouch, and is an over­all ex­cel­lent value.

The bad: The head­phone is still a lit­tle heavy and its aes­thet­ics may not ap­peal to ev­ery­one; noise-can­cel­ing isn’t quite as ef­fec­tive as Bose’s.

The cost: $248

The bot­tom line: The Back­Beat Pro 2 is an ex­cel­lent full-size wire­less noise­can­celling head­phone that costs nearly half as much as com­pa­ra­ble mod­els from Bose, Sony or Sennheiser.

Ap­ple AirPods

Cnet rat­ing: 4 stars out of 5

The good: The ul­tra-lightweight AirPods of­fer a re­li­able con­nec­tion, ef­fort­less pair­ing with Ap­ple de­vices, de­cent son­ics and good call qual­ity. The in­cluded com­pact case quickly charges the buds. You can now con­trol play­back of your mu­sic with a dou­ble tap.

The bad: Will fit more se­curely in some ears than oth­ers. Their open de­sign al­lows for a lot of am­bi­ent noise to leak in. Sim­i­larly priced wire­less mod­els de­liver bet­ter sound. And, yes, they still look kind of dorky.

The cost: $159 to $190

The bot­tom line: Look past their off­beat de­sign and you’ll find that AirPods’ com­pact size and con­ve­nience are a win­ning com­bi­na­tion.

Jabra Elite 65t

Cnet rat­ing: 4 stars out of 5

The good: The Jabra are smaller and fit more com­fort­ably than their pre­de­ces­sors. They sound ex­cel­lent for truly wire­less head­phones, per­form re­li­ably and are great for mak­ing calls, with two mi­cro­phones in each ear­piece. Bat­tery life is de­cent at 5 hours and the in­cluded charg­ing case de­liv­ers two ex­tra charges.

The bad: The rel­a­tively tight, noi­seiso­lat­ing fit isn’t for ev­ery­one. You have to step up to the more ex­pen­sive Elite Ac­tive 65t to get a true sports model that offers en­hanced sweat-re­sis­tance.

The cost: $170 to $229

The bot­tom line: The well-de­signed Elite 65t ri­vals Ap­ple’s AirPods and are su­pe­rior in some ways.

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