It should come as no surprise that I get asked for buying advice on a regular basis. I've spent the best part of 20 years writing about consumer electronics and have tested hundreds of tech products, so it's quite literally my job to pass on that knowledge to my friends, family, and random people I meet at weddings (as happened last weekend).
It now acts as a bellwether for what the most popular products are each year; from 4K TVs to wireless speakers, soundbars to streamers, each category has had its moment in the sun over the years.
In previous years, I've tried to convince people to spend a little bit more than they might strictly want to. There have been cheap, five-star options on the market, but the top models were so strong that it was better to stretch your budget if you could. Last year, that meant almost £250 ($280/AU$450) on the Sony WF-1000XM4 and closer to £380 ($399/AU$550) on the Sony WH-100XM5. Not cheap.
Thankfully for 2023, there are five-star, award-winning recommendations in the wireless headphones and wireless earbuds categories, which I can not only heartily recommend but that also won't break the bank. Spoiler alert – it's still Sony that delivers the goods. Treating someone special or yourself? Here are the products I think should be on top of your Christmas gift list.
The best wireless headphones for most people
was £99 now £75 at Amazon (save £24)
If great sound and great value are what you want from your wireless earbuds, then look no further than the Sony WF-C700N. Already superb value, this saving makes them worthy of an impulse Christmas purchase for that special someone (or yourself). Available in a range of colours.
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 Product of the Year winner
was £99 now £78 at Amazon (save £21)
For a very reasonable price, the Sony WH-CH720N are a dependably made, enthusiastic-sounding pair of headphones that deliver good active noise-cancelling and a strong feature set for the mid-to-low price bracket of the wireless headphone market. Most definitely a job well done. What Hi-Fi? Award 2023 winner
Yes, Sony has had a great year.
Wireless earbuds are ideal for portable, compact music on the move and the Sony WF-C700N buds offer a jump in quality compared to the cheaper WF-C500 and a taste of the performance of the more expensive WF-1000XM4. This puts them in a very strong position and makes them an easy recommendation at the price. No wonder they won the wireless headphones Product of the Year title in the 2023 What Hi-Fi? Awards.
Prefer over-ear headphones? If you want proper isolation from ambient noise on your commute, then you should go for an over-ear model, and for most people, I'd look no further than the Sony WH-CH720N. Another award-winner, they’re solidly built and deliver a lively sound, plus offer impressive active noise-cancelling and all the features you could want. All for a relatively affordable price.
So, while there are other good options available - hello, super-cheap Earfun Air buds, and the heavily-reduced Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones - I am confident that the two Sony models on this page will do a fine job for anyone hunting for wireless sound on a relatively low budget. And that is my Christmas gift to you... Happy listening!