If you’re in the market for a new set of headphones, you’d be crazy to not do a little internet research first on the best headphones (congratulations, you’re not crazy!). Whether you’re looking for the best wireless headphones, the best noise cancelling headphones, or you have a budget under $100, under $200, or under $500, there are an endless number of boxes you personally might want to tick off before making a purchase. I find that the best way to figure out what’s good is to take into account headphone reviews online. Luckily for you, I’ve been in the hunt a few times before before, and have some good input to give. This list is only sort of in order (the order depends on your needs), and the input is taken from Amazon reviews (click on the product picture to see them), personal experience, and reviews from Head-Fi.
Editor’s Recommendation: Top 3 Best Headphones for Your Budget
Top 10 Best Headphones Reviews
1. Grado Prestige Series SR80x
- 4th generation Grado tuned 44mm drivers, easy to drive 38ohm
- Upgraded braided cable eliminates twisting and kinking, 4 conductor super annealed copper wiring
- Upgraded adjustable padded headband made of synthetic, vegan-friendly material
- 4OurEars is the Exclusive Authorized US Amazon seller
- 1 year manufacturers warranty for sales within the United States
We’re early in the list, so get ready to be more impressed down the line. They may not look like much, but are serious rivals to the Sonys down the list for $100 bucks or less. The good reviews are spectacular, so let the people have their say! I think that this is your choice for headphones under 100 dollars.
It is easy to distinguish their aesthetically pleasing ear cups by their holey ear cups that indicate an open-back design. Despite retaining Grado’s well-known industrial aesthetic, looking at the SR80e and the SR80x side by side offers some clues to their different generations. Also included are a ‘x’ instead of an ‘e’ on the ear cup; a four-conductor cable with an updated braided jacket; and thicker padding under the pleather headband. When Spot The Difference is played, we would probably be able to tell the difference between the old and new headbands by the stitching.
In addition to covering most ears and resting comfortably against them, the circular foam earpads keep them firmly in place. As we have used the SR80e periodically over the last few years, the earpads have largely maintained their shape and padding, thus proving their durability.
Compared to the SR80e, the SR80x’s headband is padded, and helps maintain a more comfortable listening experience, especially during longer sessions. The SR80e’s headband isn’t padded, but that doesn’t mean the SR80x’s isn’t welcome; it certainly helps maintain a less burdensome listening experience. Besides, the headband slider is basic but works well enough for adjusting the head to a reasonable degree.
Astell & Kern’s A & norma SR15 music player, Naim’s Uniti Atom streaming system, and an Astell & Kern Galaxy S21 phone (using a USB-C-to-3.5mm adapter) created no problems for the SR80x, whether they are hooked up to the iFi Zen DAC, an Apple MacBook Pro laptop or an Astell & Kern A & norma SR15 phone. Although the SR80x headphones are budget-friendly, their class-leading transparency makes them excellent candidates for a more sophisticated setup.
In our review of the Prestige SR325x we experienced a similar ‘e’-to-‘x’ transformation, so we hope – and expect – to hear the same sonic magic from the new SR80x. Furthermore, the SR80x is easier to use, more detailed, and cleaner than their predecessor. The kick and space of Billie Eilish’s Lost Cause can be heard in the drum and bass loop of the SR80x. Meanwhile, the SR80x rustle up some extra texture that makes her vocal all the more palatable and, consequently, sensual for the heightened proximity.
2. Sennheiser HD 598
- Premium, audiophile-grade over-ear, open back headphones
- Padded leatherette headband and luxurious velour covered ear pads perfect for long listening sessions
- Compatible with virtually every audio device including phones, tablets, computers and stereo components
- Two cable options (3 meters and 1.2 meters) included along with 3.5mm adapter plug.Jack plug-6.3 mm
- Impedance: 50 Ω
Drool. Less expensive than the 650s, what they may lack in comparable quality, they more than make up for in aesthetics and price. The design is inspired by sports sedans, and if I had 250 bucks for any item on the list, this would be my spend. These headphones are for the shopper who wants the quality of Sennheiser and some sexy ears without totally breaking the bank. I pee a little every time I look at these.
A full-size (circumaural) headphone, the HD 598 is designed to fit over the ear. It weighs just 9.5 ounces, but it feels even lighter due to its mostly plastic construction. It was extremely comfortable to wear the velvet ear cushions for extended periods of time. Our tests of the HD 598 show it to be one of Sennheiser’s most comfortable headphones.
A subtle angle in the acoustic baffles enables the HD 598 to direct the sound directly to the ears, thanks to Sennheiser’s Eargonomic Acoustic Refinement technology. Sennheiser’s flagship HD 800 headphone appears to be the source of the technology. Besides powerful neodymium magnets, the HD 598 also comes with Duofol drivers and lightweight aluminum voice coils.
3. Denon AH-D7000
- Custom crafted real mahogany wood housings finished in piano grade satin sheen
- 50mm diameter free edge Microfiber diaphragms driven by high strength Neodymium magnets deliver efficiency
- Denon's exclusive Acoustic Optimizer technology equalizes the sound pressure in front and behind the Microfiber drivers improving detail and dynamics
- The lightweight tangle free cable features reference grade 7N OFC (7 Nines – 99.99999 percent Oxygen Free Copper)
- Luxurious soft leather ear pads and headband
If I had enough dough for a set of these, I’m not sure I’d buy them. That said… I really, really, really want to try them on before I die. So this is more of an entry for the “one day”. One day we’ll all have headphones like these, right? Mahogany casing… 99.99999% Oxygen Free Copper in the wire (could you even hear the difference of that much perfection?) Doesn’t matter. Check them out, just to dream.
4. AKG K702
- Over-ear design for maximum wearing comfort for long work sessions
- Sophisticated open technology for spacious and airy sound without compromise
- Patented Varimotion two-layer diaphragm for improved high-frequency range and better performance at low frequencies
- Unique flat-wire voice coil for higher sensitivity, better impluse and treble response
- Specially shaped 3D-foam ear pads for optimum fit and ease of use
I see these all over the place, they seem kind of like the dark horse headphones that are always there. I think that the people that have bought them know something we all don’t. Do they look a little like you have UFOs on your ears? Maybe. Does it matter? Nope. You’re getting top-notch sound with some nifty features, like a mini detachable XLR cord.
5. Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
- Neodymium magnets and 40 millimeter drivers for powerful, detailed sound
- Closed ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises
- 9.8 foot cord ends in gold plated plug and it is not detachable; 1/4 inch adapter included
- Folds up for storage or travel in provided soft case
- Frequency Response: 10 Hertz to 20 kilohertz
I’ve used these in live sound situations (like at the big board at a concert), and have been suitably impressed. Don’t get me wrong – just because they are rated higher than, say, the Sennheiser HD 650, does not mean that they are of superior quality. However, it is a great measure of value; and for under $100, these headphones definitely deserve a look if not only for their durability – they last years and years.
6. V-MODA Crossfade M-100
- Award-winning M-Class sound tuned by over 200 audiophile aficionados. Connectivity Technology: Wired
- Patented 50mm Dual Diaphragm Drivers to separate bass from mids and highs
- Compact design for easy transport
Check out these noise-cancelling headphones. In addition to being drop-dead gorgeous, they feature top-notch noise isolation brought to you by a metal casing and some comfy-lookin’ ear pads. I was at first concerned that the metal would alter the headphone sound, but after peeping the reviews, I’m convinced that they are the absolute best spend for your 300 bucks.
7. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
- Closed over-ear headphones for professional mixing in the studio
- Perfect for studio recordings thanks to their pure and high-resolution sound
- The soft, circumaural and repalceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort
- Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship Made in Germany
- Practical single-sided cable (3.0m coiled cable)
Similar in range to the ATH-M50 (up next), I’ve found these headphones have a much “smoother” sound. They are also a lot more comfortable if you’re going to wear them for a long period of time, but they don’t fold up as nicely or feel as durable (overall less portable). If you’re looking for the best headphones under 200 dollars, then I would definitely make the decision between these and the M50s, depending on your preferences.
8. Audio Technica ATH-M50
- Critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers
- Proprietary 45 millimeter large aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils
- Exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range with deep accurate bass response
- Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
- 90 degree swiveling earcups for easy one ear monitoring and professional grade earpad and headband material delivers more durability and comfort
If you’re looking for the best headphones under $200, these Audio Technicas have pretty much taken the title. Go absolutely anywhere and ask for the best all-purpose headphones on a budget, and someone will pipe up with these ones. I have had the pleasure of owning these for more than two years, and let me tell you – the hype is not misguided. They’re really that good, all the way across the frequency spectrum. The only one piece of criticism I’ve heard against them comes from my former Digital Audio Arts professor, who thought that they were a little too crisp. For most people that’s not an issue. (He recommended the previous item).
9. Sennheiser HD 650
- Specially designed acoustic silk ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range and helps to reduce THD to an incredible 0.05 percent
- Improved frequency response is 10 39,500 Hertz ( 10 dB)
- Hand selected matched driver elements; Highly optimized magnet systems for minimum harmonic and inter modulation distortion
- High power neodymium magnets deliver maximum efficiency; 3.5 millimetre jack plug. Frequency response (Headphones):10 41000 Hz
- Lightweight aluminum voice coils for very fast transient response
Now this is a step up. I’ve had the privilege of wearing these on two separate occasions, and I was completely blown away both times. The entire sound stage comes to life – you hear every detail of the music as if for the first time. Made by Sennheiser, one of the most well-reputed headphone brands out there, you’re guaranteed the most superior in design and engineering. Like the 598s, one thing to note about these headphones is that they are open-back. Most headphones of superior quality are open-back; what this unfortunately means is that more sound leaks in from the outside. If you’re in a quiet environment, this isn’t a problem. If you need noise-cancellation, then they aren’t for you.
10. Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphone
- Industry-leading noise canceling with Dual Noise Sensor technology
- Next-level music with Edge-AI, co-developed with Sony Music Studios Tokyo
- Up to 30-hour battery life with quick charging (10 min charge for 5 hours of playback)
- Touch Sensor controls to pause play skip tracks, control volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone calls
- Speak-to-chat technology automatically reduces volume during conversations
It measures 10 x 3.03 x 7.27 inches and weighs 9 ounces; its battery life (rated) is 30 hours with active noise cancellation and 38 hours without active noise cancellation; Bluetooth range is 40 feet (12 meters), and its special features include customizable EQ and multipoint technology.
The Sony Connect Headphones app offers a lot of features, including outstanding touch controls and multiple ways to connect the headphones. The call quality is below average.
We recommend you spend your Christmas money on the WH-1000XM4 if you’re determined to own the best headphones you can buy. Furthermore, Sony’s flagship headphones outperform every competitor in both sound and extra features, making them one of the best noise-canceling models at the moment.
Its loud and dynamic soundstage assures a full-bodied presence to songs with plenty of detail. The Sony Headphones Connect app also lets users adjust EQ as they please by selecting from several well-designed presets or by manually adjusting it to their tastes.
It has active noise cancellation that ranks right up there with Bose 700s, plus it has a superior touch control panel and a longer battery life (30 hours with ANC turned on). The design of these cans hasn’t changed much over the years, but the premium craftsmanship gives them a luxurious look.
11. Jabra Elite 85h Headphone
- BLOCK UNWANTED BACKGROUND NOISE: Jabra elite 85H wireless headphones are engineered for the best wireless calls and music experience with smartsound*. smart active noise cancellation responds to the environment, switching on if it detects background noise.
- SMARTSOUND AUDIO: the revolutionary smartsound audio technology in these Bluetooth headphones analyze your sound environment and automatically applies your personalized audio to give you the sound you need, when you need it.
- LONG BATTERY LIFE HEADPHONES: up to 36 hours of battery on a single charge (with ANC switched on), and fast charging of 5 battery hours in 15 minutes. Listen from the start of the day to the end with these noise canceling headphones.
- UNMATCHED CALL QUALITY: The advanced technology uses 6 of the 8 built-in microphones to enhance call quality and block out background and wind noise. This enables crystal clear sound, so you can make and receive calls in total confidence.
- WATER RESISTANT: no matter the elements, you’re prepared to go anywhere with certified water and rain resistant headphone technology and Nano-coating of the internal components. Plus, there are no pesky wires in these Bluetooth Wireless headphones!
The sound is great, and the design is fantastic It does most things better than similarly priced competitors than the Elite 85h over-ear headphones. If you want a wireless listening experience that is convenient and long lasting, then the Jabra Elite 85h is an excellent choice. It is not only easy-to-use, it has a comfortable fit and a great battery life.
The Jabra Elite 85h Bluetooth headphones sound fantastic right out of the box, and you can adjust the EQ to fit your personal preferences with the free Jabra Sound+ app.
The headphones can operate for 36 hours on a single charge (with active noise cancellation engaged), and after 15 minutes of plugged-in time, they are ready to be used for 5 hours. During a phone call, the microphone quality of the 85h is extraordinarily clear because it is compatible with Apple, Google, and Amazon digital assistants.
The 85h has a straightforward control system and a painless pairing process that works on all platforms, unlike many other Bluetooth headphones. Noise cancellation is a mild noise reduction technique that dims but does not eliminate low-frequency noises.
Nevertheless, if you experience eardrum sucking from intense ANC, you may prefer this milder form of ANC. A flaw, but not a dealbreaker: As mentioned, active noise cancellation reduces some lower frequencies a little, but not nearly as effectively as Bose’s Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.
We didn’t choose the 85h for its noise-canceling capabilities because of that fact. However, active noise cancellation (and even enjoyment of it) does not matter to everyone. The Jabra Elite 85h impressed us in every other way, so we overlooked this flaw.
- Batteries have a 36-hour life
- Two-year warranty
- The product is waterproof and dust proof
12. Bose 700 Headphone
- Powerful noise cancelling headphones: 11 levels of active noise cancelling let you enjoy music, podcasts, videos & calls without distractions
- Astonishing sound: Crisp, clear details. Deep, full bass. These wireless headphones produce exciting, lifelike sound that’s full and balanced at every volume level
- Unrivaled voice pickup: A revolutionary microphone system adapts to noisy and windy environments so your voice always sounds crystal clear on calls
- Keep your head up and hands free: With easy access to voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant for music, navigation, weather, and more, and intuitive touch control on the earcups — you can stay connected without reaching for your phone
- Premium design and comfort: With a lightweight stainless steel headband and earcups tilted for the perfect fit, you can comfortably wear these bluetooth headphones for hours
The headphones are 8 x 6.5 x 2 inches, 9 ounces in size and weight, and feature wireless connectivity with a Bluetooth range of 30 feet (9 meters). Excellent noise cancellation on calls and when listening to music adjustable ANC levelsCool design and intuitive buttonsExpensive
This Bose 700 headphone came in second place for best headphones, with a cool design and many features that come with a high price. Bose’s champion noise cancellation is delivered by six microphones on the headphones, which can be used to listen to music or talk on the phone.
There are 11 different ANC settings that are equally effective across a variety of frequencies to reduce noise. With the 700s, Bose has even improved the sound quality, as they produce balanced audio for crisp highs and solid bass. When using the ANC at maximum setting, the lows are more apparent.
Even though its battery life is the same as its predecessor, the QC35 II, it still offers a solid 20 hours of usage with ANC turned on. These are also among the most intuitive noise-canceling headphones for commuters and music lovers due to their integration of smart assistants, touch controls, and improved multipoint technology.
13. Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones
- Built from Legend drivers that push the sound forward The 43mm drivers in the Px7 are the largest in our headphone collection built and tuned by the same engineers behind the Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series diamond speakers used in Abbey road studios
- Cancels noise clean out adaptive noise cancelling that automatically Responds to your environment to keep the outside world out of the music
- 30 hours of possibility you can do a lot in 30 hours You could fly from California to London and back with some time to spare You could also Start a band or see every stage At The festival twice Listen uninterrupted on a single battery charge And if that’s not enough a 15 minute quick charge gets you 6 more hours
- Follow your lead the Px7 obeys your every move Lift an ear cup to hear what’s happening around you and the music automatically stops Put it back and the music plays on
- Inspired by race cars The carbon fiber composite arms of the Px7 mimic the strength and agility of the fastest vehicles in the world channeling pure sound to you and holding up against everyday wear and tear So Throw them in your overnight bag or your work bag and get ready to plunge into sound
Specification: The loudspeaker is closed-back. It weighs 310 grams and provides frequency response of 10 to 30,000 Hz with drivers that are 43.6 mm full range with battery life of 30 hours.
Featuring active noise cancellation, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones are well worth considering if you’re looking for wireless headphones. The Sony WH-1000XM4 still holds the top spot for best wireless headphones, but the Bowers & Wilkins headphones are not far behind.
We found the PX7 to be an incredibly enjoyable experience to test. They have a sophisticated noise cancellation system, improved sound quality, and an upscale aesthetic.
Moreover, they offer high-quality (24-bit) streaming thanks to aptX HD, as well as aptX Adaptive, which enhances stability and latency. It’s because of this that they’re one of the best all-rounders.
- The sound quality that’s best in class
- Long-lasting batteries
- Bluetooth connectivity that is robust
- Earcups don’t collapse
14. HyperX Cloud Alpha Headphone
- Frequency response 15Hz–25,000 H.Headphones fit type:Over-Ear
- HyperX Dual Chamber Drivers for more distinction and less distortion
- Signature award winning HyperX comfort
- Durable aluminum frame with expanded headband
- Detachable braided cable with convenient in line audio control
Aside from offering a high level of sound quality, a variety of earphones, and better build quality and durability, this headset offers long-lasting comfort and comfort during long gaming sessions.
Gaming headphones are ideal for PC-gaming enthusiasts who need a high-quality audio experience, comfort for long gaming sessions, and a crystal-clear microphone for coordinating with teammates.
Our favorite thing about the HyperX Cloud Alpha is that it offers the best combination of audio performance and comfort for its price. I wear this for hours without any cranial discomfort because it is so well made and comfortable.
Among the best headphones in its price range, the sound quality holds its own. Additionally, the bass sounds aren’t too loud, so it doesn’t disturb your gaming experience. A potential downside is a mediocre microphone.
You might sometimes hear a nasal tone in your voice. Despite its bulk, it’s not at all surprising that it acts like a gaming headset.
Supported platforms: PC, Xbox One (adapter sold separately; required for Xbox One controllers without a 3.5mm port), Xbox One S, PlayStation 4, PS4 Pro, Mac, mobile devices (with CTIA connectors), and VR (with headsets with 3.5mm ports).
15. Sony MDR-1RBT Premium Bluetooth
If you’re in need of the best wireless headphones or the best bluetooth headphones, these are the beasts you’re looking for. A little pricy (granted, I’ve never tried them), but they seem like the Cadillac of wireless headphones by looking at the reviews.
Besides. Remember, the convenience of shedding the cord without sacrificing quality can’t be understated!
A Guide To Choosing Headphones That Are Right For You
You should always keep the intended use of the headphones in mind when looking for the best headphones. To that end, before making a decision, we recommend considering the following factors.
In most cases, the design comes first. Which headphones do you prefer? In-ear headphones, over-ear headphones or on-ear headphones? Wireless or wired? Sporty or luxurious? When it comes to headphones, you want something that fits your lifestyle, since they are going to be used for multiple occasions.
You should choose headphones that are comfortable to wear for an hour to two hours each day, no matter what type you choose.
Quality of the Audio
Checking off the sound box is the next step. Various models offer different sounds, and since you’ll be using your headphones independently, it’s important to find a pair that matches your preferences, whether you prefer heavy bass or exceptionally clear sound where you can pick up on even the smallest details.
Users can create profiles and adjust EQ levels to their hearing preferences through some models’ companion apps.
Longevity of Batteries
A premium wireless headphone typically has a battery life of 15 hours or more. With the charging case bundled with wireless earbuds, their playtime can be extended to about 5 to 10 hours. Make certain there is one included.
It is equally important to add accessories, particularly for wired models (the manufacturer must include an aux cable). A good purchase is a pair of headphones that come with accessories including a carrying case, a charging cord, ear cups, and tips.
Wireless Headphones vs. Wired Headphones: Which Is Better?
The general consensus is that wired headphones provide better sound quality than wireless headphones. But with so many advancements in audio technology in recent years, you are unlikely to notice a difference with many of today’s top wireless headphones.
Wired headphones are usually preferred by audiophiles because of this. Other than that, personal tastes dictate which headphones you choose.
They’re a better choice for you if you are more comfortable and convenient with wireless headphones. With the right headphones, you will not be missing out on quality sound.
Test Methods For Headphones
In our tests, we put headphones and earbuds through their paces as if they were used by normal people.
Our pair-by-pair testing process lasts over a period of several days or weeks. The multimedia files can be played back in a wide array of situations – be it on a bus, in the office, or in the listening room – and from a variety of sources.
Almost everyone uses their headphones with smartphones, and often with low-quality MP3 recordings. So we do the same.
Furthermore, we have access to high-resolution audio files as well as a variety of input sources, such as plugging in directly to a PC or Mac, using USB DACs (digital-to-analog converters), and employing highly capable, dedicated portable players and amps.
To conclude, we compare the headphones to a few of our go-to models at the same price point and in the same class, and a few levels above to find out whether they can rise to the occasion.
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Headphones
Q: Where can I find the best headphones?
Ans: In the headphone world, there is no clear favorite; there are a number of major brands and boutique outfits making awesome headphones currently.
Q: Can you tell me where you can buy the best headphones?
Ans: Our recommendation is to buy from a major retailer such as Amazon, Best Buy, or Walmart. We suggest trying local audio retailers that are smaller and more specialized to see if you can actually try headphones.
Q: Is there a difference between over-ear/on-ear headphones and earbuds?
Ans: You have to consider what you want to use the cameras for and how much you can spend. Over-ear and in-ear headphones can both deliver fantastic performance at the high end.
In-ear headphones are more portable and convenient than over-ear headphones for those of us who do not want to spend thousands on headphones. They also deliver the most intimate sound because they are placed right up against (or even inside) your ear canals.
Q: Is there a particular type of headphones that is best for working out?
Ans: There is no doubt that true wireless headphones, such as the Sony WF-SP800N with sweat protection, are the best ones to use while working out because you’ll never have to deal with wires.
Q: How should I choose headphones for private listening?
Ans: The best solution for keeping your tunes from leaking out into the world is to use closed-back over-ear headphones or snugly fitting in-ear headphones.
Q: What are the advantages of active noise-canceling?
Ans: This feature allows you to listen to your surroundings through exterior microphones. Their phase-inverted output cancels out ambient noise by reproducing matching frequencies. In addition to software and hardware, how well the headphones fit impacts the way the system works.
Q: Is it possible to get headphones with Lightning connectors? What about USB-C?
Ans: Certainly, you can find USB-C and Lightning headphones in the market, but since your headphones may need to work with something other than a phone, we recommend you buy an adapter or wireless headphones rather than headphones with such a special plug.
Q: Is a microphone included with headphones?
Ans: Nowadays, virtually all wireless earphones and headphones come with a microphone. In addition, some wired models come with inline microphones, while others do not, so before you buy make sure that the phone features you need are included.
Q: Is audio lag present in headphones?
Ans: Most wireless devices do not have audio lag, but some lower-quality wireless models do experience lag when watching movies and YouTube videos on your mobile device.
If you experience lag and are able to adjust the EQ on your headphones through the companion app, then try disabling them. Audio lag is not noticeable on wired headphones, and it is almost imperceptible on Bluetooth models.
That’s it, my top ten is complete. So welcome to the club – once you go HQ, you never go back. It is possible to be an audio junky without being a millionaire!
Hopefully, you’ve found something that interests you enough to make a purchase, if not… then happy hunting. Visit www.dudepins.com and the Dudepins Shop now for more awesome gear that guys are pinning up.