These Are The Best Headphones You Can Buy

It’s never a bad time for music. Whether you’re commuting to work, working out, or just trying to shut out the world, there’s a pair of headphones that’s right for you.

This collection is based on reviews from critics like Consumer Reports and CNET, as well as our own hands-on experience. We’ve provided two quality options for each category and preference, whether you want something over your ears, in your ears, or something with a resounding bass.

We’ve also considered headphones across various price points, as well as a couple of options for those audiophiles with money to blow.

Best on-ear headphones: Audio Technica's ATH-M50

Standout features:

  • Collapsible design for space-saving portability and storage.
  • Ear pieces can swivel 180° so you can listen with one ear.
  • Comfortable padded ear cushions and adjustable padded headband.

  • Deep, accurate bass and clear highs.

Buy it here.

Runner-up: Bowers & Wilkins P7

Best earbuds/in-ear headphones: Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2

Standout features:

  • Three sizes of earbuds to optimise comfort and noise isolation.
  • Clear, powerful bass thanks to a unique filter filled with microscopic steel balls.
  • Cushioned loops fit securely around your ears.

Buy it here.

Runner-up: Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones

Best wireless headphones: Sennheiser MM 550-X

Standout features:

  • Active noise-cancelling technology cuts out the background noise.
  • Connects wirelessly to Bluetooth devices like phones, laptops, or tablets.
  • Includes a button that lets you hear your surroundings without needing to remove the headphones.
  • Ear cup includes integrated volume and playlist controls.

Buy it here.

Runner-up: Muzik headphones

Best in bass: Alpine Over-Ear Headphones

Standout features:

  • Simulates the feeling of a true concert experience with booming bass that reverberates through your body and never feels distorted.
  • Dedicated Alpine app can automatically scan, analyse, and organise your music library. Also lets you program the bass and EQ of the headphones via Bluetooth.
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with 10-hour capacity.

Buy it here.

Runner-up: Beats Pro

Best sports headphones: Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless

Standout features:

  • Includes a biometric built-in heart-rate monitor that works with most other health and fitness apps.
  • Dedicated mobile app can display your heart rate, offer fitness tests and training management.
  • Headphone controls let you handle music and calls directly.
  • Resistant against drops, dirt, temperature and humidity.

Buy it here.

Runner-up: SMS Audio BioSport Earbuds

Best headphones for noise reduction: Harman Kardon's NC headphones

Standout features:

  • Proprietary noise-cancellation technology analyses and optimizes the audio signal before it reaches the listener's ears to eliminate as much noise as possible.
  • Two different-sized bows can be easily swapped out for optimal comfort.
  • USB-rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts 40 hours, but headphones will still operate even after the battery dies.

Buy it here.

Runner-up: Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones

Best 'smart' headphones: Muzik headphones

Standout features:

  • Gesture-based controls for playback and volume right on the earcup.
  • Ear cup also has programmable hot keys to save your favourite tracks to playlists or share music that's playing to your favourite social network.
  • Works wirelessly thanks to Bluetooth, and it's rechargeable with USB.

Buy it here.

Runner-up: Bragi Dash

Best headphones under $50: Sony MDRXB50AP Extra Bass Earbuds

Standout features:

  • Silicon buds offer a secure fit.
  • Includes an integrated mic in case you want to take calls or ask questions to personal assistants like Siri or Google Now.
  • Playback controls built-in.

Buy it here.

Runner-up: Amazon Premium Headphones

Best headphones under $100: Sennheiser HD 449

Standout features:

  • Lightweight, ergonomic design.
  • Incredibly accurate stereo sound with crisp acoustics thanks to a powerful magnet system.
  • Closed design helps keep noise out.

Buy it here.

Runner-up: Grado SR80e

Best headphones you can buy period: Sennheiser HD 800

Standout features:

  • Incredibly realistic soundstage, from bass to mids to highs.
  • 'Reference-grade audio,' which means you should use the audio from these headphones as a reference point for judging all other headphones.
  • Cutting-edge industrial design that's hand-assembled in Germany using stainless steel and plush ear and headband padding.

Buy it here.

Runner-up: Grado PS1000

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