When it comes to the best headphones, it's hard to narrow things down to the best of the best, especially since there is an endless range of incredible options available, and it's impossible to review every model on the planet. But I'll try anyway. We tend to focus on wireless headphones and true wireless in particular - yes, Apple's AirPods have been incredibly popular in recent yearss - but this list of the best headphones also includes circum-aural headphones, on-ear models , headphones with noise suppression , and even more affordable headphones as " budget"must-haves for those who don't want to waste a lot of money to get great sound and optimal comfort.
Here are our current favorites for the"best headphones " designation (with waterproof ratings included for in-ear models). Note that we will see many new models sooncome out, many of which will be previewed at CES 2021 . We will update this list regularly as these new models are released.
Find out more: The best true wireless headphones of 2021
Wireless noise reduction with best soundn
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
David Carnoy / March 2020
Water resistant : Yes (classiIPX4 fication - splash proof).
The second-gen Momentum True Wireless 2, available now for pre-order and shipping in April, isn't cheap at $ 300, but this wireless headphone option is better than the'original, with a slightly smaller and more comfortable design, active noise cancellation that rivals that of the AirPod Pro , improved battery life (up to 7 hours compared to the original 4) and better noise reduction during calls. And, if you don't like those Sennheiser Momentum Wireless headphones in black, a white version is expected to follow later this year. More importantly, the Momentum True Wireless 2 has the same stellar sound - for true wireless headphones, anyway - delivering significantly better sound quality than the AirPods Pro. This makes this wireless headset wirelessall the best true wireless earphone on the market today and win a Editors'Choice Award.
These use Bluetooth 5.1 with support for AAC and AptX codecs (for devices equipped with AptX, such as Samsung Galaxy smartphones). Read our review of Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 . $ 270 at Amazon 270 $ at Walmart $ 270 at Best Buy
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
Angela Lang /
Water resistant : Yes (IPX4 - splash proof ).
Samsung's Buds Plus look essentially the same as the original Galaxy Buds, but the battery life of these headphones is estimated at 11 hours for music playback (instead 6), and they contain two drivers for better sound and an extra microphone in each bud to help reduce external noise during calls.
These headphones sound great. It's detailed and smooth, with deep, well-defined bass. The sound is richer and more spacious than that of the original Galaxy Buds. Renowned Austrian audio company AKG , which Samsung acquired when he bought Harman , is derlaugh the audio. While the original headphones have also been 'tuned' by AKG, this is a nice upgrade from the originals - and right there with what you get with the Jabra Elite 75t, otherwise even a t ouch better. They use Bluetooth 5.0 and support AAC (there is now an app for iOS users) and Samsung's Scalable Codec, which is similar to aptX but is proprietary to Samsung Galaxy phones. Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus review . $ 60 at Amazon $ 110 at Walmart $ 110 at Best Buy
High noise canceling headphones
David Carnoy / December 2020
LSony's older WH-1000XM3 was excellent. But if it had one weakness it was voice calling, especially in noisier environments. The WH-1000XM4 model has improved in this area and adds also bluetoo multipoint e pairing so that you can connect to two devices, such as your phone and PC at the same time. This means if a call comes in while you are using the headset with your computer, the sound will go to your phone when you answer the call.
The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 probably still has a slight advantage for voice calls, but the 1000XM4 headphones are arguably a bit more comfortable and also feature aThere are also some other slight noise and sound cancellation improvements that make this model a great all-around choice. Even better: This model sold for $ 278 during the holiday sale, down from its list price of $ 350. link Read our Sony WH-1000XM4 review . $ 348 at Amazon $ 348 at Walmart $ 350 at Best Buy
Best headphones for true wireless noise cancellation
Apple AirPods Pro
Sarah Tew / November 2019
Resistant to water : Yes (IPX4 classification - splash proof).
While they don't seem as magical as you'd hope a $ 249 model would, the Apple AirPods Pro still manages to be a prime example of a true in-ear headset. wireless earpiece with noise cancellation. Much of this is due to their winning design and fit, improved bass performance, and effective noise cancellation. They are a great choice when you want to make a call or listen to music during your workout. Yeah, they cost $ 250, but the good news is you'll use them so much that you'll likely drain the battery - it degrades over time and isn't replaceable - and you need to buy a new pair in 18-24 months.s if you don't lose it first. Read our Apple AirPods Pro review . 249 $ at Apple 219 $ at Amazon $ 250 at Best Buy
Best headset for making calls
Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
Sarah Tew /
Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700, the long-awaited successor to its Quiet Comfort 35 II models, maybe not not be a leap forward, but these wireless headphones offer slightly better sound quality, call and noise canceling quality. Alas, these on-ear headphones cost $ 400, but this choice of noise canceling headphones is a great all-rounder with up to 20 hours of battery life for listening to podcasts, music, and more. I prefer the design and fit of the Sony WH-1000XM3 (and its lower price), and Although you can argue which pair of headphones sounds best, one thing is for sure: this noise canceling model works much better as a headset for making calls. For some people, that might be worth it.the additional cost of these Bose headphones. Read our review Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 . $ 379 at Amazon $ 379 at HP 380 $ at Bose
Excellent full wireless connection
Jabra Elite 75t
Water resistant : Yes (degree of protection IP55 - can withstandto strong water sprays).
At first glance, the Elite 75t, which was originally supposed to cost $ 200 but now sells for $ 180 (£ 170 or AU $ 299), seemed less like an upgrade. evolutionary level of the Elite 65t. But the updates turned out to be a bit more substantial than I initially thought. The smaller size of the Elite 75t (the pair of earphones and the case are 20% smaller than those of the Elite 65t), its increased battery life and USB charging- These are significant improvements. And then there are the small changes, like the new design of the charging case with magnets inside that make it easier to open and close and hold the earbuds inside. While the Elite 75t isn't as comfortable to wear as the AirPods Pro and doesn't have active noise cancellation, it sounds better for listening to your music, with clearer overall sound and better bass definition, both que get you a tight seal. Just note that the Jabra Elite Active 75t is coming in February, adding resistance to the Slightly better water for $ 20 more. Read our review of the Jabra Elite 75t . 130 $ at Amazon 130 $ at Walmart $ 130 at Best Buy
Best true wireless under $ 100
Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2
Sarah Tew / Nov 2019
Water resistant : Yes (IPX5 rating - can withstand heavy water spray).
If you can't afford them AirPods Pro, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 is a good alternative and a premium model for making calls or listening to your music playlist. Like the AirPods Pro, this wireless noise isolating and arbud option does a job. remarkably good at muffling ambient noise (callers said they could hear me well even with a lot of street noise and background noise around me). Although they didn't have any active noise cancellation, they sound almost as good, have a comfortable fit, and their noise isolation design passively eliminates a lot of ambient noise and white noise. They cost only 100 $ . Read our Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 review . $ 80 at Amazon 84 $ at Walmart $ 100 at Best Buy
True top-notch wireless sound
Sarah Tew /
Water resistant : No (without IPX certification).
Thanks to WF-1000XM3, Sony has finally become a player in the arena of wireless headphones (AirPod style). Although this pair of headphones does either not cheap, when it comes to sound quality, they are the best wireless headphones at this price, possibly matching and even exceeding the quality and performance of more expensive competitors from Sennheiser , Beats , Master & Dynamic and Bang & Olufsen . It also has a feature that these wireless headphones do not have : active noise cancellation technology to reduce ambient noise.
This is not perfect for making calls (theirnoise reduction should be better) and the headphones are not classified as sweat or water resistant. Having said that, I did use them for light workouts with a little sweat at the gym without a problem. They use Bluetooth 5.0 with AAC support but not aptX. Read our review of the Sony WF-1000XM3 . 228 $ sur Amazon 228 $ at Walmart 230 $ at Best Buy
Watch this: best true wireless earbuds available today 10:03
Best true wireless under $ 50
Sarah Tew /
Water resistant : Yes (IPX7 rating - fully waterproof).
What is most impressive about the EarFun Free are its features: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C and wireless charging, and fully waterproof (IPX7), to their specifications. Do they sound fantastic? No, but e These bluetooth headphones sound pretty good. They don't have the clarity of true top wireless headphones. range that cost $ 150 or more, but they have plump bass and enough detail to avoid sounding dull. They are also solid enough to make calls. Excellent value to me$ 50 ns. Read our EarFun Free review . 40 $ at Amazon 66 $ at Walmart
Best new audiophile headphones
Sarah Tew /
V-Moda's M-200 ($ 350) are wired-only headphones and currently the only wired headphones on this list. Released in late 2019, these clean, detailed sounding over-ear headphones have great bass response, and the plush ear cushions mean they are also comfortable to wear. Featuring 50mm drivers with neodymium magnets, CCAW voice coils and fine tuning by Roland engineers - yes, V-Moda now belongs to Roland - the M - 200 is Hi-Res certified Audio by the Japan Audio Society (JAS). Other headphonesV-Moda tend to push the bass a bit, but this set of headphones has the more neutral profile than you'd expect from studio headphones. It comes with two cords, one of which has a built-in microphone for making calls. It would be nice if V-Moda offered Lightning or USB-C headphone cables for phones without a headphone jack. 350 $ at Amazon
Best inexpensive noise reduction
Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Sarah Tew /
I'm not a fan of noise-canceling headphones. I actually struggled to compile a list of models for a better roundup ear muff because there are so few that I would recommend buying. But the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Canceling Headphones are an exception. They're quite decent for their list price of $ 60, and they're frequently on sale for $ 10 less.
No, the Life Q20 does not sound as good as high end models such as the Sony WH-1000XM3 , but it sounds pretty good, that's all you can ask for at this price. It's fairly well balanced with reasonable clarity and meaty bass that's not bloated or muddy (there's a Bass Boost or BassUp mode if you want extra bass help). It is also comfortable to wear, the noise canceling is effective enough, it is strong as a headset for making calls, and the length of life.The battery is good at 40 hours. A simple carrying pouch is included. 45 $ at Amazon
Best value for money for true premium wireless sound
Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro
Sarah Tew /
Water resistant : Yes (IPX4 rating - splash resistant).
Anker is best known for their value headphones, but he's trying to enter more premium territory with his Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro headphones, which carry a list price of $ 150. OfFrom a design perspective, they share some similarities with Sony's WF-1000XM3, although this model lacks active noise cancellation. Anker says they have large 11mm drivers combined with the Knowles balanced armature, with up to eight hours of battery life on a single charge (32 hours total of playback with case) and noise-canceling microphones to help reduce ambient sound so callers can hear you. better. They charge via USB-C and also support wireless charging.
They don't sound as good as the Sony WF-1000XM3, but they certainly sound like premium wireless headphones, with rich sound that includes powerful bass and lots of detail. Some people may have some concerns about the fit - I had to provide my own XL advice to get a tight seal and found the Soundcore Liberty Air 2a bit more comfortable - but the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is good value. Whether you want to use them as travel headphones or as workout headphones, they'll get the job done. They also work great for making calls (they reduce background noise well).
They use bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC and aptX. $ 150 at Amazon
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