When it comes to the world of headphones, then music lovers
know that not all headphones are created equal. In order for the headphones to
be worth, they need to tick several boxes: noise cancellation, comfort, bass,
proper fitting, durability, and of course sound quality. A lot of headphones
simply don’t check very many of the boxes.
With so many brands and promises out there, it can be
difficult to pick the right pair for your needs. And it’s also incredibly frustrating
when you find a pair you like in store just to take it home and realize it
works nothing like the demo product. Keep in mind too that the demos you try
out in store have been tested hundreds of times so they’re already very worn by
the time you put them on your own ears. This is to say that you won’t get an
accurate depiction of the quality, especially regarding comfort.
Another important thing to consider when purchasing
headphones is the quality. Just because the pair has an expensive price tag and
brand logo (we’re looking at you Beats) doesn’t mean that you’re getting a good
product. So don’t bypass some of the headphones on the list because they’re
from a company that isn’t plastered all over Facebook.
Below is our list of top headphones that we’ve personally
tried and loved. They’re all available through Amazon (score) so you can also
read what others have had to say about them. Now, onto the headphones!
1. Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II)
Bose is synonymous with sound quality and you can expect
nothing less from these headphones. Bose has combined best-in-class
active-noise canceling with an extremely ergonomic design that’s both
comfortable and convenient (think fold-up headphone design). Not to mention the
sound quality that Bose is known for is definitely evident in these.
One of the best things about these headphones is the fact
that they’re wireless. This means you don’t have to worry about tangling
yourself in cables or having to find a headphone jack adapter that pairs with
your phone case if it’s too thick for the standard plug. It’s also the first in
Bose’s QuietComfort line to be wireless. Don’t worry though, you can still use
them with the included cable should the battery run out. Expect to get an
average of 20 hours of playtime with the battery and an LED battery indicator
keeps you up to date with how much energy is left.
Now let’s talk comfort. The headband has 12 separate steps
that will ensure maximum comfort and you can rotate the ear cups a full 90
degrees one way and five degrees in the other. This means you’ll always have
the perfect fit. They’re also designed to fit over the whole ear, which means
you’ll have not only high quality sound, but also a whole new level of comfort
over traditional round ear cups.
You can expect to pay $349 for these babies. While they’re
definitely the most expensive on the list, they’re our top pick for headphones.
You can also find them at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Bose.com.
2. B&O PLAY Beoplay H4
We are big fans of the way these headphones look. They look
super stylish and make the perfect fashion accessory just hanging around your
neck. The sleek design just screams music as well as quality and we honestly
can’t get enough. The H4 features stylish metal paired with lambskin leather on
the headband and memory foam ear pads for the ultimate luxurious pair of
headphones. Now onto the specs!
If you’re a snob for sound quality (no judgments we want the
best sound quality from our headphones as well) then these are sure to one of your
favorites. 40mm electro-dynamic drivers produce deep, rich, and balanced sound
coupled with high clarity and crisp mids. And the best part? If you’re using
these wirelessly over Bluetooth, you won’t see a change in sound quality. Often
sound quality can be sketchy at best if it’s not wired directly into your
device but we’re happy to say they sound just as good wirelessly as they do
Battery life speaking, these headphones boast an impressive
19 hours of run time on a single charge. So if you’re looking for a pair that’s
going to outlast even the longest music binges, then these are the headphones
you’re looking for.
The only drawback is that they don’t have active noise
cancellation. It’s a bummer we know, but we found that the design minimizes
sound rather well. We even took a stroll down a busy street and hardly heard
any of the outside noise.
You’ll have to shell out $225 for these sleek headphones but
they’re definitely worth the price! Just check the tons of positive reviews
that they’ve garnered on Amazon if you don’t believe us.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Professional Monitor
If you’re familiar with headphone brands then you’ve likely
heard of Audio-Technica. The brand is infamous for crafting quality headphones
for a fraction of a price of their competitors. Of course audiophiles can tell
a difference between these and say the Bose, but for the standard listener the
sound quality is pretty much the same.
You can expect great sound with rich, full bass and
excellent midranges compliments of the 40mm drivers inside these headphones.
These same drivers are found in the higher end headphones we featured on this
list as well as other name brands that didn’t make it here. In other words,
Audio-Technica is delivering similar products for less than half of the price
of other major headphone companies.
While they’re definitely not the sleekest or most stylish
headphones out there, where they lack in style they’ve made up in practicality
and comfort. Both the headband and the ear cups are heavily cushioned making
them extremely comfort for extended periods of wear. The material is also
extremely soft and durable.
Unfortunately, don’t expect much in the way of noise
cancellation because Audio-Technica hasn’t included one in this pair. The
headphones however do fit rather snug around your ears so that helps block out
a lot of the outside world. We took them to the same busy street we visited
with the H4s and definitely heard a lot more outside noise in comparison.
However, it wasn’t unbearable.
You really can’t beat the price of these headphones
(especially given the quality). They’re $49 and are a great introduction into
the world of quality headphones if you’re just starting out.
4. Jaybird X4
We’re going to switch it up a bit and discuss one of our
favorite pairs of workout headphones. And if you’re anything like us, you’re
elated to see this on the list! After all, most headphone review articles and
blog posts focus solely on the hefty bad boys of the industry, which are great
for jamming out with but not necessarily practical for a trip to the gym.
Need a pair of headphones that adjusts to you and your
lifestyle? The Jaybird X4s have you covered. They allow you to customize your
music to fit your lifestyle and the sound as well. Using an app, you can adjust
the treble, bass, and other sound components of the headphones and even save
the settings for future use. In our opinion, that was one of the best features
of these headphones! After all, nothing slows your workout down more than
trying to find the perfect settings you had during your last session.
Adjustment wise, the H4s feature interchangeable ear fins,
adjustable Speech Cinch, and silicone Comply Ultra Foam tips, which means the
ear buds will fit comfortably inside your ear. The other parts mentioned work
to ensure both comfort and security by keeping them fitted to your ear shape.
So if you’re worried about losing the headphones on the go, don’t be. They’ll
sit snugly around your ears regardless of your activities.
Battery life isn’t the greatest, especially when compared to
the others on the list but it’s still pretty good considering the size. You can
get an eight-hour life out of one charge and if you need more, you can add
another hour in a ten-minute charge.
We should also mention that these headphones will allow you
to pause your music in order to call home or answer phone calls. You can also
control the volume, skip tracks, answer/end calls with the single press of a
button located on the headphone wires.
$119 is how much Amazon has them listed for, which is comparable
to other wireless workout headphones. However, these are much better than their
competitors in our opinion.
5. Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones
If you’re still in the market for fitness headphones and we
didn’t quite sell you on the Jaybird H4, then check out Bose’s answer to the
sport headphones game.
At first glance, these look incredibly uncomfortable and
like something that will get lost immediately. And for the price, you
definitely don’t want to lose them! However, we were pleasantly surprised that
they stayed in place, were comfortable, and lasted our entire workout session. They
even stood up to jogging and running so really don’t see a way to lose these,
so if that’s a concern (and it should be), you can rest assured that the
SoundSport Frees aren’t going anywhere.
The biggest drawback for us was the battery life. For the
price, we expected to get more than 5 hours of playtime on a single charge, but
it was definitely more than enough to get us through a workout session; which
in all fairness was what they were designed for.
Unfortunately, the noise-cancellation isn’t the greatest in
the world but we have yet to find a pair of workout headphones that are. Since they don’t “seal” in your ear canal to
block out the world, you’ll experience more noise around you. However, this
isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re looking to be more aware of your
surroundings in situations where you’re running outside or biking. In the gym,
they worked fine to block out the noise of others on machines.
Amazon has them listed for $199 but you can also purchase
them through Bose’s website if you prefer. You can also check out any of the
1,929 customer reviews if you’re curious about how well these function.
6. HyperX Cloud Revolver S
Once again, we’re going to shake the list up a bit by
throwing in our favorite gaming headset. And no, it’s surprisingly not a Razr! Not
that we have anything against Razr and its products, but there are much better
headphones out there that are both comparable in price and better in quality. Keep
in mind that even though they are designed to up your gaming experience, they
can definitely double as a pair of everyday headphones for music.
The HyperX Cloud Revolver S offers impressive 50mm
directional drivers in each headphone as well as the in-line Dolby digital
signal processor for 7.1-channel surround sound. In other words, you’ll be able
to hear the grass behind you move in Fortnite or hear the barely audible
breathing of a survivor in Dead by Daylight. If you’re using them for everyday
purposes, be prepared to have your mind blown when you can hear different
aspects of the song and its background mixers that you’ve probably never heard
Given the Dolby surround sound, 50mm directional drivers,
and the perfect fit cup design, you’ll find yourself completely immersed in the
moment. The music will sound as if it’s all around you and you’ll get a 360
degree hearing radius in your favorite games and movies.
Are you a raider in World of Warcraft who also needs voice
chat? Then these headphones will work overtime for you! A detachable mic and
the option to connect the headset via USB or 3.5 mm jacks means you’ll have a
great raid experience. And since the mic detaches, your headphones can go
anywhere with you without the bulk of the mic.
So what about the quality? Well, it’s definitely luxurious
and regardless of how many hours you’re investing in front of the screen,
you’ll have unbridled comfort. The memory foam in the ear pads is incredibly
soft and the wide over the ear covering means that even large ears can fit
comfortably. The headband also automatically adjusts and the weight is spread
evenly so you can wear them for hours.
Amazon has them for $120, which if you’re comparing them to
Razr or other gaming brand competitors you’ll notice is right on point.
I like my beats fast
and my bass down low
What did you think of our list? Do you feel like it’s
comprehensive enough or did we leave out some luxury brands that you feel like
definitely deserve a spot on our list? Let us know what you think! Also, feel
free to share your experiences if you’re tried any of the headphones on the
list; we’re curious to see if they’ve worked as well for you as they have for