Best Headphones Review
There comes a time when you absolutely have to buy a new pair of headphones. You could probably be tired of those tiny plastic earphones that came with your phone or accidentally damaged your trusted pair of good headphones. You may even be venturing into DJing or music production and want the best headphones to handle the task. Whatever the reason, the most important thing to know is where to start your search for the best bass headphones.
Headphones come in all sizes, shapes, designs, sound output, features, and prices. Finding one that meets your needs and budget can be a confusing if not overwhelming task. There are plenty of factors to consider before you purchase a pair of headphones. That’s where this headphone buying guide comes in. Based on tests by our team, research, and reviews by actual users, we have come up with a list of the top 10 headphones for every budget on today’s market. Our goal is to help you find a good headphone product that’s right for your needs and budget. We’ll also cover some of the most important things to know when shopping for the best headphones.
So without much ado, let’s dive into our review of the top 10 headphones products.
|Headphones||Category||Our Rating||Check Price on Amazon|
|Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II||Over-the-Ear Wireless Headphone
|5 out 5 stars||Check Price On Amazon|
|Sony WH-1000XM2||Noise-Canceling Sony Extra Bass Headphones||5 out 5 stars|
|JVC HA-SZ2000||Best Headphones for Bass
|5 out of 5 stars|
|Beats Solo 3.0 Wireless Headphones||Best Wireless Headphones with Easy Compatibility||5 out of 5 stars|
|Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2||Budget Wireless Headphones with Long Battery Life
|4.5 stars out of 5|
|Bang & Olufsen Play BeoPlay H4||Best iPhone Bluetooth Headphones||5 out of 5 stars|
|Yamaha PRO 500||Best Headphones for Studio||5 out of 5 stars|
|Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Over-Ear||Best Portable Headphones
|4.5 out of 5 stars|
|Samson SR850||Best Bass Headphones Under 100||4.5 out of 5 stars|
|Audio Technica AUD ATHAD500X||Best Self-Adjustable Headphones||5 out of 5 stars|
The Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Series II tops our list of 10 best headphones for several reasons. For a start, this is a pair of headphones from a reputable brand, Bose, with cutting-edge active noise-canceling technology and the most comfortable design. It has a nice and convenient fold-up style for easy storage when not in use.
This also happens to be the first wireless over-the-ear headphone in the QuietComfort series. According to user reports on most of the Bose wireless headphones reviews we found online, the QC 35 is also comfortably lightweight. It weighs just 8.32 ounces and has retained the same look and style as its predecessor, the QuietComfort 25. One notable difference between the two models is that the QC 35 comes with additional technology such as the Bluetooth toggle conveniently located on the headphone’s power switch.
Another thing you’ll like about the QC35 is its headband adjustability for comfort. The headband has 12 different steps for maximum comfort. For additional comfort, the ear cups can rotate 90 degrees in one side and 5 degrees the other way. The ear cups have an oval-shaped design that comfortably fits around the whole ear.
In terms of performance, the QC 35 has Bluetooth wireless capability that allows multi-pairing with two devices through NFC. The headphone’s battery is strong enough to give you up to 20 hours from a single charge. An LED indicator shows you how much battery juice you still have while using the headphones. In case the battery runs out, you can still continue using the headphones with the included wired cable.
- It comes with adjustable noise-canceling features
- Great sound quality and impressive output
- The battery lasts long with a single charge
- It has a comfortable fit around the ears
- It’s lightweight
- Great overall performance
- It doesn’t come with a microphone
This is another great option if you’re looking for high-quality noise-canceling headphones. If you thought Bose reigned supreme in noise-canceling headphones, you probably haven’t heard of the Sony MDR 1000X and its successor the Sony WH-1000XM2, one of the best all-around wireless headphones.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 gives you the same active noise cancelation as the Bose QuietComfort 35II discussed above but with a more dynamic output and comes with additional features as well. Some of these extra features include Bluetooth connectivity via NFC and easy control of music output simply by flicking one ear cup. It also features a monitoring mode that allows you to hear what’s going on in your immediate environment.
One thing that you’ll like about the WH-1000XM2 is its great sound quality. This pair of headphones doesn’t splutter like most of the other cheap wireless headphones on the market today. It has a long-lasting battery too, with up to 20-hours service in a single charge. It has a comfortable lightweight design. These headphones are for you if you’re looking for one of the best clear-sounding Sony bass headphones with excellent noise-canceling features.
- It’s comfortable and lightweight
- High-quality sound
- Features cutting-edge noise-canceling technology
- It comes with adjustable superb quality ANC level
- It has a mic for your video conference calls or any form online communication
- Its battery lasts for as long as 20 hours after a single charge
- It features touch sound controls
- Excellent headphones from Sony, a world-renowned brand.
- Some users claim the hinges on the headphone’s arms are not quite strong but with proper handling it will definitely last long.
Now if you are a true bass head, this is the perfect pair of headphones to go for. It gives better bass than 99% of all the other headphones on the market today. It was even ranked the best bass headphone by Head-Fi.Org. These over-ear headphones have a closed back which helps to enhance the bass output. However, to get the best bass performance from these headphones, you need good sound amplification and the right EQ settings.
Made by JVC, in fact one of their flagship products, these headphones use JVC’s best technology to give quality bass sound, comfort, and an overall good design. Compared to Sony WH-100XM2, the only thing lacking in these headphones is wireless connectivity but they make up for it in bass output. They’ll give you regular smartphone or tablet sound output but wait until you connect them to a good amplifier and hear them come alive with a powerful bass output.
In terms of comfort, the JVC HA-SZ2000 headphones have large ear pads designed to fit heads of all sizes. Their weight and bulky style is something you may have to get used to at first given that these are serious headphones with awesome features and sound technology. The bulky strong design also helps to extend their durability.
You may also need to get an extension if you plan on using the headphones at home. They have a slightly shorter cord. They come at a good price too. Other models with the same technology and features cost more. They are a perfect choice for those who want high-end, comfortable headphones that provide good value for money.
- They give you the kind of bass that you’d hardly find in other headphones
- They are made of high-quality materials for strength and durability
- Can be used with equalizers and amplifiers for better bass output
- Have a comfortable fit
- Great value for money
- The cord is slightly shorter than that of other models
- They are a bit on the heavier side
- You need an amplifier to get the best results
According to a majority of wireless headphones reviews, the Beats Solo 3.0 is a great hit, especially among users of Apple products. Most users claim the pair of headphones delivers great sound quality that outdoes many of the high-end headphone brands. It is also available at a reasonable price. Out of the box, the set comes with everything you need for your listening pleasure including a charging cable, a 3.5mm Analog RemoteTalk cable, and a carrying case.
In terms of performance, the Beats Solo 3.0 doesn’t disappoint. It gives you plenty of strong punchy to make you feel right in the center of the music. The Mid is consistent enough to give you perfect vocal clarity, especially when watching movies and the highs are not too bright. It has a perfect balance between the highs and lows whether you are listening at high or low volume levels. However, sound quality when listening in wired mode is not as good as its wireless performance.
The headphones use a W1 chip that makes them compatible with most devices that support Bluetooth 4.2, aptX codecs, and AAC. If you have an Apple device, the pair of headphones will automatically sync with any device on your iCloud account.
Compared to other wireless options such as the Bose QuietComfort line or the Sony WH-1000X series, The Solo 3.0 is a smaller over-the-ear pair of headphones. It’s, therefore, more lightweight than most wireless models. The lightweight design also gives you a more secure fit although it may feel a bit uncomfortable for users with larger than average head sizes. Its leather trimmed soft ear buds feel comfortable around your ears. They have a simple but comfortable minimalistic design that follows the Beats brand style and tradition.
Another great thing we found in this pair of Beats headphones is its long-lasting battery. With just a 5 minute charge, you can get more than 40 hours of uninterrupted playback. Its standby power mode helps to extend the battery life even longer. This is a great choice if you are looking for a pair of Beats wireless headphones with robust performance, effortless compatibility, and solid value.
- High-quality sound in wireless mode
- Comfortable lightweight design
- Long battery life of 40+ hours
- Long range connectivity
- Compatible with many devices
- The leather-covered ear buds sometimes get warm after an hour of continuous use.
If you travel a lot then you certainly know the inconvenience of using wireless headphones that cannot hold a charge long enough to get you to the next charging port. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 solves this problem with a whopping 24-hour battery life.
Besides the long-lasting battery life, the BackBeat Pro 2 gives you high-quality sound, multi-point Bluetooth, and can even block out noise from the surroundings. The best thing is that you get all these benefits more at almost half the price you’d pay for a Sony, Bose, or Beats high-end pair of headphones.
To help you save battery juice, the BackBeat Pro 2 has a unique feature that automatically powers off the headphones when you are not wearing them. It also gives you excellent performance in making calls handsfree. At its budget-friendly price, the BackBeat Pro 2 is one of the best wireless headphones for the frequent traveler who loves carrying along his or her entertainment while traveling. It has an incredibly long-lasting battery, great comfort, can be paired with two devices at once, and has great sound quality too. It is almost at par with most high-end headphones except for its noise cancelation which sadly falls short but sufficiently compensated for in design, battery life, and other features, not to mention a low more affordable price.
- It is an affordable pair of wireless headphones with the same features found in high-end brands and models
- It has a long-lasting battery that can go for as long as 24 hours from a single charge.
- It gives great sound quality with a balanced bass and treble output.
- Performs excellently well in making hands-free calls
- It has a more improved design compared to previous models
- Comfortable to wear for long durations
- Automatically powers off when you are not wearing the headphones
- A high-quality budget-friendly headphones option
- Its noise cancelation is not as good as other high-end models such as Bose and Sony
- It’s a bit heavier than other wireless headphones but still comfortable to wear while relaxing at home or traveling.
If you love listening to music and watching movies using headphones, then you definitely know the importance of sound quality and comfort in a pair of headphones. These Bang & Olufsen headphones are designed with sound quality and comfort in mind. They never disappoint. Their 40mm electro dynamic drivers ensure that you get nothing less than well-balanced, deep, rich, and crystal clear sound quality. You’ll still get crisp mids and deep bass when you use the headphones over a Bluetooth wireless connection, unlike other models that tend to drop sound quality when you go wireless. The B&O BeoPly H4 has a long-lasting battery too. The battery gives you up to 19 hours of playtime after every full charge.
The headphone’s design follows the renowned Bang & Olufsen sleek and sturdy construction style. It is made of metal for strength and durability and lambskin leather for comfort and style. Its leather headband comes with memory foam ear buds that are extremely light and comfortable to wear over a long time. The overall design of the BeoPlay H4 helps to minimize sounds well despite the headphone’s lack of noise-cancelation features. These headphones also score high in comfort even when worn over a long period of time.
- They have a sleek attractive style
- Feel comfortable
- Great sound minimization
- Can be used wirelessly via Bluetooth or cable
- Long-lasting battery
- Strong and durable construction
- Compatible with all iPhone devices
- It doesn’t come with a case
The Pro 500 is one of the best over-ear headphones from Yamaha, the famous Japanese music instrument manufacturer. It is a high-end pair of headphones that truly delivers value for money. Talking of sound or bass, these headphones deliver full detailed, loud, and bold output. They deliver the right range of volume whether you are using the headphones on your phone or laptop.
The Yamaha Pro 500 may not have the same bass depth as other high-end models such as the JVC HA-SZ2000 but they give you a well-balanced deep lows, clear mids, and perfect trebles. You get a balanced bass from these headphones just as it was intended to be heard.
The headphones are a bit on the heavier side but still comfortable thanks to their design. They come in a perfect size that easily fits both big and small heads. With these headphones, you won’t suffer the problem of ill-fitting jiggling headphones common with many other models.
Their noise cancelation is rather passive and largely depends on your environment. You’ll, however, be able to listen to your music in perfect clarity inside a quiet room. They have a sleek design that is similar to Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. Yamaha was also kind enough to make the headphones sturdy enough to withstand daily use. They are extremely durable. If you can handle the weight issue, which you’ll definitely get used to after a short while, the Yamaha Pro 500 is another good high-end headphone set that delivers value for money.
- They have a sturdy durable design
- They deliver rich well-balanced bass, clear mids, and perfect highs
- They have a high volume range even when used without an amplifier
- They have a sleek attractive design similar to Beats
- Perfect fit for both small and bigger heads
- Heavier than similar models
The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 is rated by most users as the best portable pair of headphones on the market today. It is also a great pick within its price range. What most users like about this pair of headphones is its over-ear design that comes with a closed back for added comfort and perfect noise cancelation.
As one of the top-rated audiophile ear buds, it has a slightly higher price tag but gives great value for money. It delivers clear and crisp sound with a deep bass for every type of music. The headphones are designed for those who prefer a good balance of lows, mids, and highs rather than a flat response. They can be quite loud whether you are using them on your smartphone or iPad. You don’t need an amplifier to get a high volume on these headphones. They have an accurate well-detailed bass and are perfect headphones for working out at the gym.
We tested their comfort level and were not disappointed. The manufacturer made them big enough to fit heads of all sizes unlike their predecessor, the Momentum 1.0 which was a bit small for people with big heads. Despite their large size, the headphones are surprisingly lightweight. You can wear them for long durations without fatigue thanks to their soft leather-covered memory foam ear buds. The leather-covered pads enhance sound isolation too. You’ll also love their sleek premium look enhanced by the leather cover, metal headband, and the overall high-end design which includes a detachable cable and a foldable structure.
In terms of durability, the headphones can withstand plenty of physical stress without breaking thanks to their strong metal ear cups and an equally strong headband. With good care, the headphones will last long. The in-line remote and microphone are compatible with most smartphones although models for iOS and Android devices are sold separately. If you are looking or a dynamic pair of headphones with a strong bass, portable design, and comfort, then the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 is your best option.
- They deliver well-balanced crystal clear sound
- Good bass output
- Lightweight with a foldable design for easy portability
- You’ll wear them for hours without fatigue
- Strong durable construction using metal ear cups and headband
- A perfect sound isolation design
- Slightly higher price than the Momentum 1.0 but comes with additional features and benefits.
If you are looking for a high-quality pair of headphones with a good design, perfect sound quality, deep bass, and a pocket-friendly price, you could consider the Samson SR850. This is a studio-style pair of headphones with an open-back style that gives you clean audio music listening experience with a perfect balance of bass, mids, and highs.
These headphones make perfect traveling companions if you commute regularly or spend time in public places. However, the open-back tends to leak in a bit of the ambient sound from your surroundings into the headphones which might interfere with your music in noisy environments. The good thing with the open design is that it gives you a more expanded soundstage that enhances your music listening experience.
Given that you get the headphones at a bargain price below $50, you’ll not have a reason to complain about these headphones. Similarly priced headphones can never match the Samson SR850 in terms of performance, design, and comfort. They are the perfect choice for those in the market for budget-friendly open headphones with low impedance, a wide frequency response, simple comfortable construction, detachable adapter, and positive reviews by actual users.
- They deliver lively crisp sounds
- They have an open airy design with a perfect sense of depth
- They have a comfortable fit for both small and big heads. You’ll wear them for hours without the need to adjust or take them off.
- Perfect build quality that uses lightweight materials
- Designed for strength and durability. They’ll last long if you take good care of them.
- They tend to leak in noise from the environment in particularly noisy public places.
Any list of the top 10 headphones would be incomplete without an Audio Technica product. We chose the AUD ATHAD500X Open Air headphones as the best headphones from Audio Technica, for good reasons. The headphones are not only popular with top-tier DJs but are great for gamers and every day uses too.
Their sound quality is above par for an open-back pair of headphones. Their price more than reasonable and they are quite comfortable. The headphones have an extremely lightweight design featuring premium honeycomb aluminum casing, cushion ear pads, and a soft solid construction for comfort and durability. You could easily use the headphones for up to 10 hours in a studio session without getting fatigued. They are great for long mixing or recording sessions or even on long trips.
Another great thing about these headphones is their self-adjustability. They are designed for every head size. The headband self-adjusts to fit your head without the need for manual adjustment.
They have great sound quality too, despite their comparatively low price. They’ll give you sufficiently deep bass balanced perfectly with crisp highs. When it comes to clarity, the AUD ATHAD500X Open Air headphones are only rivaled by the high-priced models such as Bose, Sony, and JVC.
- High-quality headphones available at a reasonable price
- Great sound quality with deep bass and crisp highs
- Self-adjustability that automatically fits every head size without manual adjustments.
- Comfortable design that allows you to wear the headphones for hours without fatigue
- Great product from a reputable brand
- They have an attractive design but slightly overdone
- Great treble and highs but the bass doesn’t match that of other high-end headphones.
Best Headphones Buying Guide
When shopping for the best headphones, be prepared to be overwhelmed by the numerous product options out there. Getting the right pair of headphones that suits your needs and budget requires a little bit of knowledge about different types of headphones and what to look for in a good pair.
Common Types of Headphones
The first thing you need to be aware of is the different types of headphones available on the market as well as the pros and cons of each type. This will help you to determine which type of headphone suits your music listening, mixing, or recording needs. Here are some of the most common types of headphones today.
- In-Ear Headphones
Also known as ear buds, these are the smallest types of headphones. We are talking about the same type of headphones as the ones that came with your smartphone or MP3 player. The main advantage of ear buds is that they are portable thanks to their small size and provide reliable noise cancelation since they fit perfectly inside the ear. They are also light and perfect for listening to music while you jog or work out. However, they score extremely low in terms of sound quality. This is mainly because of their tiny size. Keep in mind, the bigger the headphones’ rivers, the better bass and overall sound quality. Low-end ear buds have the shortest lifespan and tend to give distorted sounds after long usage.
- On-Ear Headphones
The next type of headphones going by size is the on-ear headphones. These ones tend to fit over the top of your ear rather than go inside the ear as in-ear buds do. They come with a band that either fits behind or over your head. Their main advantages are portability, less bulky, and hinges that make them easily foldable. Most models can also accommodate bigger batteries for longer listening time. Compared to the smaller ear-buds, on-ear headphones have a better sound output. However, they are not as easily portable as in-ear buds and lack reliable noise cancelation because they sit on rather than in or around your ears.
- Over-the-Ear Headphones
These are the largest of the three types of headphones. They come with a headband and ear cups that fit around your ears. Over-ear headphones have many advantages over the smaller types, especially in sound quality and comfort. They feature large cups on the ear cups which deliver better sound quality. They are built more for sound quality than portability and come with additional enhancements depending on the model and brand.
If you are looking for the best bass headphones with a good treble and mids balance, then go for over-the-ear headphones. They are great for everyday use as well in music mixing, DJing, and recording activities. The wireless varieties come with long-lasting batteries and comfortable construction. The main disadvantage with this type of headphones is that they are bulky and hard to carry. Some models tend to be heavier too. They also have a significantly higher price tag than in-ear and on-ear headphones depending on the model and features you are looking for in a good over-ear headphone.
- Bluetooth Headphones
This is a type of wireless headphones that has become quite popular today. Both Apple and Android seem to be abandoning the cable due to the growing demand for wireless headphones. Bluetooth or wired connectivity is an important factor you may need to consider in your choice of headphones. Some of the key benefits of Bluetooth headphones is the convenience of listening to music wirelessly. No more tangled or damaged cables interfering with your listening pleasure. With advances in Bluetooth codecs technology, the sound quality of these wireless headphones has significantly improved.
Most Bluetooth models are also compatible with most devices. However, Make sure though that your phone is compatible with the headphones or that both support the same standards before you decide to purchase a pair. You may also need to check the battery life of the headphones. While most give you up to 24 hours listening time after a single full charge, some cheap varieties have batteries that require constant charging which can be quite annoying.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for the Best Headphones
Here are some of the important factors to consider when choosing a pair of headphones that will suit your needs.
- A Comfortable Fit
Comfort is a critical factor in your choice of headphones. While every headphone feels comfortable if worn briefly, you need to consider its comfort level when worn for several hours. If it doesn’t fit properly then it will soon become uncomfortable and cause fatigue or even become painful. The fit will depend on the size of your head. Headphones with large headbands tend to wear loose on small heads and may even allow in noise from the surroundings and interfere with sound quality. Small headphones, on the other hand, will definitely feel uncomfortable and tiring on a person with a big head.
If you choose a pair with a closed back, make sure that it has large ear cups that comfortably fit around your ears. Most importantly, as far as comfort goes, make sure the headphones have soft fabric padding or leather to soften the pressure around the ears.
Weight has a bearing on the long-term comfort of the headphones. The lighter the headphones are the more comfortable they’ll be when worn over a long duration. If you intend to use them for long periods such as while recording or mixing music all day long, then definitely go for super-light models with soft foam pads.
- Type of Headband
The comfort and ease of use of a headphone are also influenced by the type of headband it has. A majority of headphones today have an over-the-head type of headband while some come with a behind-the-neck style. Ear buds don’t have headbands. Whichever type of headband you prefer, make sure that it is adjustable enough to fit your head. Adjustability helps to increase comfort and reduce sound leakage from the ear cups.
If you plan to use the headphones while engaged in physical activities such as jogging or working out, then you’ll need to consider portability of the headphones. You need a lightweight compact pair of headphones that won’t exert undue pressure and weight on your head as you run or workout. For stationary studio work, portability is not a major issue but make sure you can wear the headphones comfortably for several hours. You could go for closed-back circumaural headphones if bulkiness is not an issue. If you travel a lot, a fold-up design helps to protect your headphones from damage while on transit. We recommend getting a case for your headphones and other music equipment whenever you travel.
- Cable Length
If you choose to go for a normal pair of headphones as opposed to a wireless design, make sure that its cable is long enough to suit your needs. However, don’t get an overly long cable that will not only get tangled everywhere but interfere with the sound quality too. Lon messy cables lower the headphones volume, create noise, and are hard to manage. Very short cables will definitely not serve you as they should. A good pair of headphones will come with a properly shielded cable for durability and to minimize noise interference.
If the cable is too short to suit your needs, you can always get an extension but make sure the extension provides the same level of clarity as the original cable that came with the headphones. Get the right extension length as multiple connections can adversely affect signal quality. You may also need to decide between single or double-sided cables. Most people prefer single sided designs because their internal circuits carry sound signals to each specific earpiece while double-sided designs tend to get tangled easily.
Buy Headphones That Last
Durability is an important factor to consider. You obviously want to buy a product that will serve you well for longer rather than buy a new headphone every few months. Heavier headphones tend to last longer than lightweight models that can easily snap in half or suffer irreparable damage if you accidentally dropped them. It is recommended to take good care of your headphones regardless of the materials they are made with to ensure that they last longer. Store them in a protective case when not in use. If you go for a foldable pair, check how strong the hinges are. Make sure the cables are strong enough to withstand constant usage without damage.
You have an endless range of options to choose from when shopping for the best bass headphones. However, like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. A cheap pair of ear buds will only deliver what a pair of ear buds can deliver but more powerful high-end headphones from a reputable company such as Beats by Dr. Dre, Bose, Sony, or JVC will give you the best performance. You may not need some features and specs such as frequency response, depending on your needs, but if you have the right budget, go for headphones that deliver great value for money. The products reviewed above are among the best headphones today. They were carefully selected based on different price points and features to suit your needs and budget.