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Best headphones for moms 2018

Here's a wide selection of top wireless -- and a few wired -- headphones that should make appealing gifts this Mother's Day.

David Carnoy
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
David Carnoy
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1 of 38 James Martin/CNET

Apple AirPods

Apple's totally wireless AirPods have taken the world by storm. They're designed to automatically pair with the iPhone X, 8, 8 Plus and other Apple devices running Apple's latest operating systems (they're Bluetooth headphones, but Apple devices get access to special features).

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2 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Marshall Mid ANC

The Marshall Mid ANC is the company's first headphone with noise-canceling. It sounds excellent for an on-ear wireless headphone.

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3 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose SoundSport Wireless

The Bose SoundSport Wireless is a great wireless sports headphone.

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4 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

AfterShokz Trekz Air

AfterShokz' bone-conduction wireless headphones continue to improve with each generation, and the Trekz Air is the company's best headphone yet.

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5 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

BeatsX

If you're looking for a more traditional wireless alternative to the AirPods, the BeatsX is a fresh take on the neckband-style Bluetooth headphone.

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6 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose has added a dedicated button for connecting Google Assistant to its excellent QuietComfort 35 wireless noise-canceling headphone. The headphone also doubles as an advanced headset for making calls, but otherwise hasn't changed from the original, which earned an Editors' Choice award from CNET.

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7 of 38 David Carnoy/CNET

Sony WH-1000XM2

Sony's WH-1000XM2 is Sony's answer to Bose's QuietComfort 35 II. It's an impressive sounding wireless Bluetooth headphone that also features active noise-cancellation technology on par with Bose's, as well as some nifty extra features geared toward frequent travelers.

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8 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Jabra Elite 65t

Jabra's Elite 65t are one of the top truly wireless earphones and superior to Apple's AirPods in some ways.

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9 of 38 Bose

Bose Soundsport Free

The Soundsport Free totally wireless earphones are Bose's answer to Apple's AirPods -- and have dropped in price since their launch. They sound richer and fit more securely in your ears.

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10 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Beats Solo 3 Wireless

Thanks to having been updated with Apple's new low-energy W1 custom Bluetooth chip, Beats' Solo 3 Wireless has much better battery life than its predecessor. Its impressive 40 hours of battery life is tops for a Bluetooth headphone.

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11 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Plantronics BackBeat 500

If you're looking for an affordable on-ear headphone not named Beats that's attractively designed and sounds very good, Plantronics' BackBeat 500 fits the bill.

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12 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Beats Studio3 WIreless

Although the design stayed the same, Beats upgraded its Studio Wireless headphone with new drivers and components, as well as much improved noise-canceling, battery life and slightly better sound.

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13 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

V-Moda XS

The V-Moda XS is the company's smaller on-ear model. They sound very good for on-ear headphones and the band is designed to hug your head and not stick out like a lot of headphones.

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14 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Jaybird Run

Jaybird's Run truly wireless sports earphones had some problems with dropouts at launch but have improved with subsequent software upgrades. They fit well and sound good.

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15 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

JBL Reflect Mini 2

JBL's Reflect Mini 2 is a lightweight, comfortable wireless sports headphone that also sounds pretty good and has a reflective cord.

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16 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Jaybird Freedom 2 Wireless

Jaybird's Freedom 2 wireless sports earphones feature new ear tips that offer a more secure, comfortable fit. There's also a new improved cord adjustment system. These seemingly small changes make a big difference.

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17 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

UA Sport Wireless Flex by JBL

While it costs more than some competitors, the UA Sport Wireless Flex by JBL fits well, sounds good and should please runners and players of other sports, especially if they exercise at night.

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18 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bowers and Wilkins PX

Bowers and Wilkins' PX wireless headphone is the first to include noise-canceling. While its noise-canceling isn't quite as strong as Bose's, its design and sound are top-notch.

AKG N60NC Wireless
19 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

AKG N60NC Wireless

The AKG N60NC is a wireless on-ear noise-cancelling headphone that sounds very good. It's come down in price since it launched, making it a better value.

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20 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Urbanears Hellas

Urbanears Hellas are sporty headphones with touch controls at a reasonable price.

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21 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Beats Powerbeats 3 Wireless

Beats' Powerbeats Wireless 3 improves slightly on the design of the popular Powerbeats 2 Wireless sports headphone and adds Apple's energy-efficient W1 custom Bluetooth chip, which makes connecting the headphones very easy (for Apple users) and significantly boosts battery life.

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22 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

Sennheiser's PXC 550 Wireless is a worthy competitor to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. Like that model, it's comfortable, features impressive noise-canceling and works well as a headset for making calls.

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23 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless

V-Moda's latest Bluetooth headphone is its best model yet, with improved sound, battery life and comfort. Featuring excellent build quality, it's one of the best premium over-ear wireless headphones, although it doesn't feature active noise-canceling.

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24 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

B&O Play by Bang and Olufsen Beoplay H4

The Beoplay H4, B&O Play's entry-level over-ear Bluetooth headphone, doesn't have much in the way of bells and whistles. However, it sounds very good and it's comfortable.

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25 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC Wireless Headphones

The Sennheiser 4.50BTNC may not be quite as good as Bose's QuietComfort 35 II, but it costs significantly less.

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26 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose QuietControl 30

Bose QuietControl 30 is essentially the wireless version of the company's QuietComfort 20 headphone -- an in-ear model that also features active noise-canceling.

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27 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony MDR-1A

Sony's MDR-1A is one of CNET's top-rated over-ear wired headphones and delivers excellent sound in a very comfortable design. Now that the updated Sony MDR-1AM2 is available, the original MDR-1A is bring discounted.

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28 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sennheiser HD1 Wireless

Sennheiser's Momentum Wireless -- now called the HD1 Wireless -- is arguably the best-sounding wireless Bluetooth headphone. It also features active noise-canceling, though it's not up to the level of Bose's noise-canceling. This headphone started out at $500, but has come down in price.

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29 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Urbanears Stadion

The Stadion is an interesting take on a wireless sports headphone, with a design that's reminiscent of a coiled telephone cord that creates a secure, comfortable fit.

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30 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 300

Plantronics' latest affordable in-ear headphone is lightweight and fits securely. It's meant to be a more everyday headphone that can be used at the gym. However, we didn't find it ideal for running due to the design of its inline remote.

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio
31 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Studio -- a full-sized wired headphone -- offers excellent sound quality and a comfortable fit, which helps elevate it from other pro-level headphones. It's priced pretty reasonably, too.

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32 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Audeze Sine

Audeze's Sine is the company's most affordable full-size planar-magnetic headphone. This type of driver technology is known for delivering impressively clean, distortion-free sound. The Sine's sound is superb for the price, although some people might wish it was a little more comfortable. It comes with two wired options: one that has a traditional miniplug, and one with Apple's Lightning connector which had a recent upgrade.

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33 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

JBL Everest Elite 750NC

The JBL's Everest Elite 750NC, JBL higher-end wireless noise-canceling headphone is significantly improved over the previous version, with a more comfortable fit and better sound.

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34 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

B&O Play BeoPlay H7

B&O Play's BeoPlay H7, an around-ear model, is stylish, comfortable and sounds very good.

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35 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Focal Listen Wireless

Focal's Listen Wireless headphone is the Bluetooth version of the French company's audiophile-grade wired headphone. It now comes in multiple color options.

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36 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

iFrogz Impulse Duo

This is one of iFrogz' higher-end in-ear headphones, but it's still quite affordable and sounds very good for its price point.

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37 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

JBL E55BT

JBL's E55BT isn't a total bargain, but it's a midpriced over-ear model that delivers solid performance and decent comfort.

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38 of 38 Sarah Tew/CNET

Beyerdynamic T51i

The Beyerdynamic T51i remains one of our favorite on-ear wired headphones.

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