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Best Bluetooth headphones under $300

If you shell out the cash, you won't be disappointed with any of these headphones.
By
September 14, 2023
Best noise canceling
Bose QuietComfort 45
The Bose QuietComfort 45 in black against a white background.
7.9
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Positives
Top notch ANC
Comfortable
USB-C port
Wired and wireless playback
Negatives
Default frequency response
No aptX
The Bottom Line.
The Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones offer an unbeatable combination of superior noise-canceling, long-lasting comfort, and impressive battery life, making them a top pick for quality audio often found for under $300.Read full review...
Earphones
Apple AirPods (2nd Gen)
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) wireless earphones in white coming out of the MagSafe charging case which stands vertically.
7.8
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Positives
Active noise canceling and Adaptive Transparency modes
Great auto-wear detection
Water-resistant buds and case
Good fit with four ear tip options (XS-L)
Pressure-sensitive stems and sliding controls
MagSafe, Wireless, and Apple Watch compatible charging
Negatives
Charges via lightning cable
Many Apple-exclusive features
No way to customize the EQ without third-party app
The Bottom Line.
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) modestly improves upon the first-generation AirPods Pro and features the same iconic look. Apple's upgraded H2 chip begets better active noise canceling (ANC) and battery life, while the case's U1 chip and integrated speaker lets you precisely locate it from the Find My app. If you own an iPhone, the new AirPods Pro is an obvious choice but you do have others too! Read full review...
Best for most people
Sennheiser Momentum 4
Product image of Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless headphones on a white background
8.5
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Positives
Excellent battery life
Connectivity options
Price
SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX Low Latency support
Excellent sound quality
Negatives
Middling ANC
Mic noise rejection
The Bottom Line.
At just under $200, the Sennheiser PXC 550-II is value pair of ANC headphones that delivers great sound, thanks to its support for high-quality codecs.Read full review...
Best workout
Jabra Elite 85h
Jabra Elite 85h noise canceling headphones product image in black against a white background.
8
Check price
Positives
Noise canceling
Water-resistant coating
Bluetooth multipoint
Battery life and quick charging
Negatives
SBC and AAC only, no aptX
Average ANC
The Bottom Line.
The Elite 85h can withstand your sweat, making it a great option for athletes or those who live in unpredictable climates.Read full review...
Best value
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
Product shot of Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
7.8
Check price
Positives
Price
Sound quality
Fast pairing
Headphone jack option
Equalizer
Folds down for storage
Negatives
Heat build up
LDAC does not always work
Tight fit
The Bottom Line.
An old favorite gets some revitalization, allowing you to switch between your smartphone and the studio with the same headset. The sound quality and connectivity are great, and so is the 10-minute quick charge on the ATH-M50xBT2. This is an easy pick for most people, but it's not perfect. Read full review...

There are tons of wireless headphones to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and it can be more stressful than choosing your first starter Pokemon. We’ve already looked at some budget Bluetooth headphones, but today we will focus on the best Bluetooth headphones under $300 if you can invest in a higher-end set of cans. Each option is worth your consideration before you spend your hard-earned money.

  • This article was updated on September 14, 2023, to update our Top Picks to include the Bose QuietComfort 45 and the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless, given recent price drops, and refresh our Notable Mentions.
  • Note that the Bose QuietComfort 45 are soon to be replaced with the recently announced Bose QuietComfort Headphones. Although those will be $50 too expensive to make this list, expect QuietComfort 45 to see a significant price drop.

Most people should get the Bose QuietComfort 45

The Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones make a compelling case for inclusion in any list of top headphones under $300. Notably, they continue Bose’s tradition of excellent Active Noise Canceling (ANC) technology. Specifically engineered to cancel out mid and high-frequency noises, the headphones effectively reduce distractions from your environment, providing a quieter and more immersive listening experience. This makes them particularly useful in noisy settings like airplanes, though the absence of an airplane adapter in the box might be a drawback for some.

Bose QuietComfort 45
Bose QuietComfort 45
7.9
The ear pads of the Bose QuietComfort 45, which lay flat on a wood surface.The Bose QuietComfort 45 resting atop a plastic head.The 3.5mm headphone jack on the Bose QuietComfort 45The Bose QuietComfort 45 noise canceling wireless headphones in black against a wooden surface.A photo of the back of the Bose QuietComfort 45's ear cups, along with the control cluster.A man holds up a smartphone with the Bose Music app open, showing the controls for the Bose QuietComfort 45.A man uses the control cluster on the back of the Bose QuietComfort 45.
Bose QuietComfort 45
Bose QuietComfort 45
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Comfort is another area where the Bose QuietComfort 45 excels. Weighing in at a reasonable 240 grams and designed with synthetic leather ear pads, these headphones prioritize long-lasting comfort. The weight distribution ensures minimal fatigue, even during extended periods of use, which is invaluable for users planning to wear these headphones for long stretches.

Battery life is another strong suit for these headphones. The Bose QuietComfort 45 lasts a tested 24 hours and 49 minutes with noise canceling enabled, slightly exceeding Bose’s official claim of a 24-hour battery life. The fast-charge feature is a practical bonus, providing 180 minutes of playtime after a mere 15-minute charge via a USB-C cable. Speaking of USB-C, the transition from micro-USB to USB-C for charging is a welcome modern upgrade, eliminating the common issues people face when trying to plug in a micro-USB cable.

While the headphones may not be the best choice for specific music genres due to their high-end frequency emphasis, they do perform exceptionally well for vocal-heavy tracks and spoken-word content like podcasts. This makes them versatile for a broad range of listeners, and a firmware update could improve their overall sound profile.

At a frequently discounted price of $279, they offer a compelling balance of top-tier noise canceling, comfort, and battery life, making them a worthy contender in the sub-$300 category. Overall, the Bose QuietComfort 45’s blend of trusted ANC technology, comfort, and extended battery life make them a top pick for anyone seeking high-quality headphones without breaking the bank.

Bose QuietComfort 45Bose QuietComfort 45
SG recommended
Bose QuietComfort 45
Excellent ANC • EQ adjustable • Comfortable ear pads
MSRP: $329.00
An ANC headset that provides comfort and ease of use.
The Bose QuietComfort 45 does an excellent job cancelling outside noise, and it sounds great for podcast listening. It has a decent battery life, and the fast-charging USB-C adds another 180 minutes with only a 15-minute charge.

What should you know about the best Bluetooth headphones under $300

Money surrounded by wireless audio products like the Bose SoundLink Micro speaker, Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, 1More Colorbuds, Jabra Elite 45h, JBL True Wireless Flash X, and Shure AONIC 50.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
Audio products can cost quite a bit.

No matter your budget, when you’re buying a set of wireless headphones, there are a few features to consider, one of the most obvious of which is battery life. If your headset doesn’t last more than a few hours, it’s not very useful as a wireless option. Most Bluetooth headphones last at least 15 hours on a single charge, so that shouldn’t be an issue, but be aware that battery life degrades over time. Other things to consider are wireless audio and quality and general frequency response.

Who should buy Bluetooth headphones?

While Bluetooth audio has improved greatly in the last few years, wired audio is still the best option for lossless playback. Even still, Bluetooth headsets have their place and are extremely convenient during a morning commute or at the gym.

Bluetooth headphones have their drawbacks: they need to be charged every now and then. If you forget to charge them, you might be in for an annoying commute. That said, many headphones have adopted quick-charging technology so that plugging them in to charge for just a few minutes before you go out the door can give you enough juice for the day.

Bluetooth codecs determine wireless audio quality

SBC aptX aptX HD AAC LDAC bluetooth codecs profile audio
Represented is the max transfer rate (kbps) of each respective Bluetooth codec (greater is better). Each waveform depicts a transfer rate of 100 kbps.

One thing that’s important for all Bluetooth headphones is Bluetooth codec support. Your smartphone needs a way to communicate with your headset, and Bluetooth is the solution. Audio transfer rates need to be high in order to preserve the most amount of data, which is taxing; Bluetooth wasn’t developed with enough bandwidth to transfer lossless audio, so the codecs are an efficient way of packing data to send from your phone to the headset.

This is just a method of compressing and decompressing a file. Ideally, a great amount of data can transfer quickly, which yields better audio quality and connection stability. A good visual analogy for this is when you’re watching YouTube videos: when you have great service from your provider, the video appears crystal clear in 1080p. However, when you’re in a dead zone with a terrible signal, your video is downgraded to a low-quality setting (480p). You can still watch the video, but it’s blurry.

The Apple Music UI on iPhone X
iPhone owners need a headset with AAC support.

Every Bluetooth device supports SBC, and some high-end products support high-quality Bluetooth codecs that are capable of sending and receiving more data (AAC, aptX, and LDAC). As long as both your headphones and your source device are compatible, you’ll be able to use a higher-quality codec.

Some companies have even gone to great lengths to develop their own Bluetooth streaming codecs. Samsung’s Scalable Codec is the company’s proprietary technology that varies its data transfer rate in order to balance sound quality and connection performance. Unfortunately, the codec is only supported by Samsung Galaxy devices and is available in the company’s own line of audio products—including the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.

What is frequency response?

One of the most popular specifications that marketers and reviews reference is a headset’s frequency response. This refers to how accurately that pair of headphones can reproduce a signal. This doesn’t always tell you exactly how something sounds, it just gives you a rough idea of what frequencies the headphones tend to make louder than others. If you wanted the headphones to playback music exactly as it is in the original source file, then you’d want a pair of headphones with a neutral-leaning frequency response (one that closely follows the pink line on our studio headphones curve).

For earbuds, the conversation begins and ends with AirPods Pro (2nd Gen.)

As tempting as it is to list a bunch of other models in this slot, it’s very difficult to deny that the reason people like the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen.) isn’t because they’re the “best” but because they fit the needs and lifestyles of more people. The buds aren’t really the best at any one thing outside of software features, but the whole package is greater than the sum of its parts.

Apple AirPods (2nd Gen)
Apple AirPods (2nd Gen)
7.8
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) charging case lanyard loop while the case rests in a tech pouch.The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) case is open and laying at an angle to show the earbuds and their sensors.An iPhone 12 mini displays the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) spatial audio modes with the case and a smart watch next to it.A hand holds the right earbud of the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) to show off the stem.A chart depicts the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) and AirPods Pro (1st generation) frequency responses, revealing the newer pair has a louder bass response.A chart depicts the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) noise canceling and isolation performances; the former is very effective when you get a good seal.
Apple AirPods (2nd Gen)
Apple AirPods (2nd Gen)
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For iOS users, the AirPods Pro is arguably the best audio product you can get for an iPhone simply by virtue of the automatic equalization, software features, and the removal of common pain points for Bluetooth headphones. Conventional wisdom has more or less decided this to be the case anyways, but if you are going to get AirPods, please get the Pro version so you don’t get too frustrated with fit and feature issues. Apple seems to like giving all the cool features to the AirPods Pro over the original AirPods, so it’s entirely possible that picking up these particular earphones will get you features as time goes on.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
Impressive ANC • Comfortable fit • Wireless charging
MSRP: $249.00
One of the best true wireless earbuds for iOS users.
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) modestly improve upon the first-generation AirPods Pro and feature the same iconic look. Apple's upgraded H2 chip begets better noise canceling and battery life, while the case's U1 chip and integrated speaker let you precisely locate the case. If you own an iPhone, the AirPods Pro 2 are an obvious choice.

Drown out the world with the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless headphones stand as a reliable option for those looking for premium features without the premium price tag. The design of the headphones makes comfort one of its standout qualities. Lightweight and padded with plush ear cushions, they are engineered to provide long-lasting comfort, ideal for extended listening sessions. The build material also feels premium, giving you the sense of a well-crafted device in your hands.

Sennheiser Momentum 4
Sennheiser Momentum 4
8.5
A chart showing the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless' frequency response closely matching the SoundGuys Consumer Curve, with only minor deviations.The cloth-wrapped band of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless.The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless headphones lay on a wooden table with the USB-C charing port in focusThick pads dress the ear cups and band of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless.A man wears the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless around his neck while outside.A man wears the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless outdoors.The Sennheiser momentum 4 wireless sits on a headphone stand
Sennheiser Momentum 4
Sennheiser Momentum 4
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Connectivity is another area where these headphones shine. They offer support for multiple Bluetooth codecs, including aptX and AAC, ensuring high-quality audio streaming from various sources. The headphones also boast an intuitive mobile app that lets you customize sound profiles, among other settings. Smart Pause, a feature that pauses playback when you take off the headphones and resumes when you put them back on, adds a level of convenience that tech-savvy consumers will appreciate.

When it comes to Active Noise Cancelling, the MOMENTUM 4 Wireless performs admirably, though not quite at the level of some industry leaders. The ANC is more effective against high-frequency sounds like chattering and less so against low-frequency hums like those from an airplane engine. Nevertheless, they offer a sufficiently isolated audio experience for most environments.

Battery life is a significant advantage of these headphones. In tests, they lasted over 56 hours with ANC enabled, significantly outperforming many of its competitors in the same price range. The inclusion of a fast-charge feature, providing up to 6 hours of playtime from a 10-minute charge, is another practical bonus that users will find useful.

The audio profile leans slightly towards bass but maintains a balance that should please most listeners. While it may not be the ideal choice for audiophiles seeking a flat response, it offers a dynamic and engaging listening experience that is versatile enough for various musical genres.

Retailing now for just $257 ($120 off), the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless offers a comprehensive package of features and performance capabilities. It excels in comfort, offers robust connectivity options, and a remarkable battery life, making it a competitive alternative to higher-end models. Overall, it’s a strong contender for anyone in the market for a balanced combination of comfort, sound quality, and technological perks.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 WirelessSennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless
SoundGuys Editors Choice
Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless
App for EQ changes • Simple, elegant design • USB-C charging
MSRP: $349.95
High-end ANC over-ear headphones focus on style and comfort
If you need total immersion in your music, you need some ANC over-ears. The Sennheiser Momentum 4 focus on style and comfort while delivering the core features high-end shoppers need with their headphones.
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Sennheiser Momentum 4
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Sennheiser Momentum 4

Exercise with the Jabra Elite 85h

The Jabra Elite 85h has a water-repellent nano-coating that protects it from sweat droplets and moisture buildup. This headset checks all the boxes: it has a water-resistant coating, a multipoint connection for switching between devices, quick charging, and even decent active noise canceling. Not to mention the Elite 85h has a sleek design and folds at the hinges to help save space in your bag.

Jabra Elite 85h
Jabra Elite 85h
8
Angled image of the Jabra Elite 85h headphones folded in the case with the USB-C and aux cable in the internal pocket.Close-up image of the Jabra Elite 85h headphone's hinge mechanism.A photo of the Jabra Elite 85h headphones partly folded on a stack of blue, thin books with a vintage camera in the bottom left corner.Straight-on image of the Jabra Elite 85h headphones and the USB-C and 3.5mm inputs on the ear cup.Aerial image of the Jabra Elite 85h headphones folded flat on a table and surrounded by vintage cameras, a blue notebook, and a black carabiner.
Jabra Elite 85h

Plus, you get 35 hours of constant playback with ANC enabled, which is super impressive. And if the battery does give out, you can always just plug in an audio cable. Of course, nothing is perfect, and these support just two Bluetooth codecs: AAC and SBC. The AAC codec isn’t consistent across Android devices, but it works extremely well with iPhones.

Jabra Elite 85hJabra Elite 85h
Jabra Elite 85h
Good fit • Water-resistant nano-coating • Auto ear detection
MSRP: $249.99
Jabra's noise canceling headphones haven't dethroned Sony, but they're still good and support AAC.
The Jabra Elite 85h undercuts the competition with its sub-$250 price and active noise cancelling (ANC) functionality, but you get what you pay for: the ANC can't keep pace with top-tier, or even mid-tier competitors. If you want comfortable headphones with great battery life, however, the Elite 85h is a great bet.

The noise canceling leaves plenty to be desired, but midrange frequencies sound half to one-quarter as loud with ANC enabled compared to no ANC at all. Passive isolation is very good, so unpredictable background noises like sharp fits of laughter and the clang of dishware are rendered nearly imperceptible. These thick ear pads make it comfortable to wear the Elite 85h even with glasses.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 is an updated classic

Though it’s not one of the more well-known options in this day and age, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 updates the classic ATH-M50 design to accommodate Bluetooth users and throws in a few added perks. For example, LDAC connectivity, USB-C charging, and headphones that fold down quite far.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
7.8
The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x folded up sitting on a wood platform.Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 with pouch, USB cable, and headphone jack cable on a bench.A man wears the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 pressing the buttons on the left ear cup.Isolation measurement chart for Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2.A frequency response chart compares the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 to our target curve with the ATH-M50xBT2 mostly under-emphasizing each frequency.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
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Some may find the fit is a little tight, but the band fatigues a bit over time. Additionally, if you find the ear pads to be bothersome in any way, you can get aftermarket options that will alleviate your issues if you’re willing to shell out a few extra bucks. Anything that fits the Sony MDR-7506 will fit the ATH-M50xBT2.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
High-quality sound • Fast pairing • Long-life battery
MSRP: $199.00
An excellent-sounding and straightforward headset.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 headset offers excellent sound and the long battery life with an optional headphone jack promotes an uncomplicated music experience.

Best Bluetooth headphones under $300: Notable mentions

The Shure AONIC 40 bluetooth headphones lay on a wooden table next to a Google Pixel 4a running the Shure Plus Play app and a copy of volume 1 of Capital by Karl Marx.
The ShurePlus PLAY app is responsive and easy to use with the Shure AONIC series.
  • AKG N700NC M2 (on the product’s website): While the build quality isn’t great, the ANC performance, which adapts to your surroundings, is quite impressive.
  • Beats Solo Pro ($89 at Amazon): This isn’t the most comfortable headset you’ll wear, but the noise canceling is uniquely good for a pair of on-ear headphones. While Beats may have discontinued the Solo Pro, you can still find it secondhand.
  • Bose QuietComfort 35 II ($374 at Amazon): These may be harder to find now that they are a few years old, but if you can pick them up, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II have some of the best noise canceling in the business, and they’re regarded as one of the most comfortable headsets around. With a great default frequency response, travel-friendly design, and a solid mic system, there’s plenty to love about this legacy headset.
  • Monoprice BT-600ANC ($84.99 at Amazon): This headset costs well under $300 and boasts great sound and a host of premium features like aptX HD and very good noise cancelation.
  • Phiaton 900 Legacy ($229 at Amazon): Phiaton doesn’t carry the same clout as brands like Apple and Sennheiser, but the 900 Legacy is an excellent headset with SBC, AAC, and aptX HD support, Bluetooth multipoint, ANC, and solid battery life. It often goes on promotion for $199 USD, too.
  • Sennheiser PXC 550-II ($299.99 at Walmart): With the PXC 550-II, Sennheiser proves that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a great pair of active noise canceling headphones. This headset builds off the success of its predecessor with improved isolation, sound quality, active noise canceling, and expanded codec support.The PXC 550-II also supports a slew of Bluetooth codecs, including SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX Low Latency.
  • Shure AONIC 40 ($247 at Amazon): The Shure AONIC 40 costs less than the AONIC 50, which more directly competes with Sony and Bose. Still, for about $250 USD, you get a well-built headset with the AONIC 40, with high-quality codec support, wired listening, and a great companion app.
  • Under Armour Project Rock Over-Ear Training Headphones by JBL ($298 at Amazon): This set of workout headphones is perfect for listeners who want a rugged design and easy access to a bass-heavy sound. JBL also includes its noise canceling here, so you can take this headset on the train to the gym.
  • V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition ($349 at Amazon): If you’re rough with your gear, this headset is for you. It merits a MIL-STD-810 G rating and has a flexible steel headband that can withstand just about anything.

What can you get at other price points?

If you’re okay with spending a little more than $300 USD, then you’ll find yourself looking at headphones like the IPX4-rated Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 or the Sony WH-1000XM4. Both flagship headsets cost about $349 USD and are two of the best Bluetooth headphones you can get. They both have amazing battery life, top-of-class noise canceling, and sound great.

Bose Noise Canceling headphones 700 pictured from above on a Huawei Matebook X Pro
Bose’s flagship headset didn’t make the cut among the best Bluetooth headphones under $300, as it often retails above this price point.

If you have a bottomless pocket, then another pair of Bluetooth headphones you should check out is the Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless. For Apple device owners looking to burn some cash, the AirPods Max won’t disappoint—complete with great noise canceling performance, great sound quality, and seamless connectivity via the company’s H1 chip.

If you’re on a slightly thinner budget, you can still get some truly great options. We recommend checking out our lists for the best Bluetooth headphones in the $100 and $200 ranges as well. They’re all still great headphones, and with the money you save, you can go get a nice dinner with a loved one and gush over your new headphones. For example, the Monoprice BT-600 ANC features impressive noise cancelation, sound quality, and a comfortable design, all for under $100.


Frequently asked questions about Bluetooth headphones under $300

Although it works best with iOS, the Beats Solo Pro acts like any other pair of Bluetooth headphones on Android. In fact, Beats has an app for Android that allows you to manage and control your product. Unfortunately, using Beats on Android comes with a few limitations: such as the lack of instant pairing and variable AAC performance.

AirPods, especially the AirPods Pro, offer a more balanced sound profile and seamless integration with Apple devices. In contrast, Beats headphones often emphasize a bass-heavy sound and might offer a more secure fit for activities, especially models with ear hooks. The choice between them largely depends on individual sound preferences and intended use.

The Shure AONIC 50 is a bit beyond this list’s $300 USD budget, though it occasionally goes on sale for $299 USD. Still, we highly recommend this headset to listeners who are willing to save up a bit more. Its comfortable design, great app, excellent sound quality, and USB-C passthrough audio make for a solid Bluetooth headset.

The lifespan of Bluetooth headphones can vary based on factors like build quality, usage, and maintenance. On average, low-end models may last a few months to a couple of years, mid-range models around 3-5 years, and high-end models could last 5-10 years or more. Battery life tends to degrade over time and is usually the first component to wear out. Proper care and maintenance can help extend the lifespan.