There are literally thousands of headphones, earphones and listeners there to choose from – all in various shapes, sizes, styles and colors. They all have the same idea in mind: to provide you with audio without having to play it out loud for everyone to hear. But some achieve this result so much better – and with better style – than others.
You can just hunt for the cheapest pair, but in our experience, budget earphones are generally not a good idea, as they’ll almost certainly fail you when you need them most. They often lack many of the functional features and sleek styling that make the best headphones so great. And TBH, they’re not always the most comfortable to wear either.
Instead, you’ll want to get the best headphones for you, which means you’ll have to think about how you plan to use them after you buy them. Do you plan to listen at home? Take them on your travels? East noise cancellation a requirement? Want to avoid lousy battery life? Go completely wireless? Are weight and color important to you?
We’ve checked out many pairs of headphones and narrowed them down to our favorites to make your life easier when it comes to choosing the best headphones for your listening needs. Whatever your budget or requirements, there’s a perfect pair of headphones for you.
Earphones vs Headphones
One of the first things you’ll want to consider when it comes to selecting the best headphones for your unique sitch is whether you prefer headphones or headphones. The headphones go over or around your ears while the headphones go inside and have a much smaller profile. Choosing between the two mainly comes down to style, comfort and sound quality.
One thing to keep in mind is that headphones can squeeze your head and give you a headache if you wear them for too long, and while headphones don’t do the same thing, they can make your ears sore afterwards. prolonged wear. It’s a matter of personal preference as to what works best for you.
Some benefits of headphones are that they’re easier to carry around, and because they’re smaller, you don’t have many of the restrictions that headphones users often face when it comes to wearing them. You can also wear wireless headphones while wearing headphones or a hat, which isn’t so easy or comfortable with a pair of headphones.
That said, over-ear and over-ear headphones offer better sealing and have larger drivers than headphones, making them the winners in the sound quality department. There are some trade-offs when deciding between wireless earbuds and wireless headphones, depending on how you’ll be using them and what kind of sound quality you’re looking for.
Do noise canceling headphones really work?
There’s a big difference between blocked outside noise and just loud music. Just like all expensive pairs of glasses protects your eyes from blue lightan expensive pair of headphones does not guarantee that they have noise cancellation.
There are also varying degrees of noise canceling headphones, with active noise cancellation being the best. Active noise canceling headphones can electronically cancel sound from your surroundings. They work by using internal microphones that listen to what’s happening in the environment around you, then invert the noise and send it to the speaker. The idea is that the output and input will cancel each other out, leaving you with near silence – or whatever music you want to listen to. Over-ear headphones are also able to create a tight seal around your ear that adds another layer of sound blocking, so you can focus on what you want to listen to.
In the past, few headphones featured active noise cancellation, but now there are plenty of noise-canceling headphones for those who don’t like the bulk of headphones. Headphones can’t achieve the same level of waterproofing as headphones, so if you’re a noise-canceling snob, you better stick with headphones.
What to Consider When Buying a Pair of Headphones
The big thing before any purchase – including headphones – is to consider what you’ll be using them for. Are you going to use them to listen to music quietly at home? Then it doesn’t matter if it’s wired headphones or not, because you’re probably not going to be moving around much. If so, choosing the best headphones for this scenario really comes down to comfort and sound quality.
However, if you are go to the gym or go for a run and want to bring your tunes or a favorite podcast along for the ride, then you might want to consider a wireless option (or maybe bone conduction headphones). are wired together – means you won’t have to worry about wires getting tangled up when you’re working on beating your personal best.
The long battery life is great if you plan on using your headphones for hours, but how many of us really need to worry about that? As long as there’s enough battery to cover the daily commute or your average sweat session, most users will be fine. Most of the best wireless headphones have a quick charge option, which provides an hour or two of use with just a few minutes of charging.
Likewise, the noise canceling features will depend on your needs. Passive noise cancellation is good if you’re not too worried about zoning out at the gym. If you want to avoid all background noise on the train or subway on your way to work, active noise cancellation is a must.
Remember to try on a few pairs if you can to help determine the fit. As an added bonus, many headphones include different sized eartips to help you get the best fit and sound quality, as everyone’s ear is different.
Do you notice every fine nuance in the music you listen to? Or do you just know what you like? Musically minded people will hate budget offerings with weak bass, mids and highs, but many average users will be just fine with these. If you want the music to sound great, expect to pay more.
With the above information in mind, here are some of the best headphones and best headphones for those looking for great sound at home and on the go.