Headphone Review and Buying Guide


How to get started

At home, almost high quality headphones will do. They can enable you to enjoy a late-night movie without disturbing your sleeping spouse or hear music while the kids run amok from the background.

If you’ll be enjoying music or videos using a crowded plane, consider headphones that will reduce ambient noise. The physical design of some headphones might help block outside noise. That’s true of closed, over-the-ear headsets, as well as in-ear-style earphones which might be inserted into the headsets canal, forming a seal against outside sounds, just like an earplug. Active noise-canceling models use battery-powered electronic circuitry that will reduce extraneous noises for you to various degrees. Use this headphone guide to search for the right pair for people.



The type of headphones you buy depends mostly on your thoughts and somewhat on your finances. Some people buy unique variations of headphones for specific employs, such as a set to wear while doing exercises and another for enjoying high-fidelity music. Here are the types of headphones to think about.


Home/studio-style headphones

These headphones tend to be larger models that appear like earmuffs, with earpieces connected by way of headband. Most are corded, with wires that function from 3 feet for you to 8 feet long so as to be connected to an audio source for example a receiver or TV. Some can fold for storage and have carrying pouches. There will also be battery-powered wireless models that pick up radio frequency or infrared transmissions coming from a base unit that connects a great audio source.


Home/studio headphones come in a few basic styles:


Also called supra-aural, these headphones tend to be lighter than over-the-ear models , nor press on the sides of one’s head–they press on the actual ears. Many wearers locate them more comfortable for lengthy listening sessions, but they can allow more ambient appear to enter. On-ear headsets, like over-the-ear, also come in open and closed variants. Most of these designs use an adjustable straps that fits over, or maybe behind, your head to support them in place. (The behind-the-head models are now and again called “street style. “) Some can collapse for storage and have carrying pouches.

Over-the-ear, sealed

Also called circumaural, these models cup your hearing, sealing in sound and muffling ambient noise. But they might also block out some things you would like to hear, such as a doorbell or possibly a child’s cry.

Over-the-ear, open up

These headphones have openings from the ear cups. You’ll manage to hear more external sounds, but sound can in addition escape, perhaps enough for you to disturb someone nearby.

Portable headphones

Though all headphones are in reality portable, we use this particular term t describe little, lightweight models, some of and this can be folded and tucked away in the pocket or purse you should definitely in use. They come in a number of styles:

Earbuds (intra-concha)

These earphones rest from the bowl of the headsets, outside the ear channel, though a portion might extend into your canal. Earbuds are reasonably common, as they typically have iPods and other lightweight audio players.

Hanging on-ear designs

These are on-ear models without having head or neck music group. Each headphone hangs above the ear, held in place by way of clip that hooks around the not in the ear.

Headphones for smart phones

Designed for use with smart phones such as iPhone and BlackBerry and Android-based phones, these headphones have a very microphone and small controls about the cord that let you control basic ipod functions such as perform and pause and connect and disconnect telephone calls. So if you’re enjoying music and your phone rings, you can press a control about the cord and answer the call without taking the phone from the pocket or purse. You can receive the same capabilities with the headset that include the phone, but these replacement headsets might offer better sound quality that’s better suited for songs. Note that these headsets offer full functionality solely with specific phone designs, so be sure confirmed model will work using your phone. These headphones come in various styles, as described above, and some use noise-canceling technology.

Insert-style (intra-canal)

These earphones are inserted into your ear canal, forming a seal which will help keep out extraneous sounds. Many come with additional earpieces (canal tips) of varying sizes to make certain a secure fit.

Sports-style on-ear

Also called supra-concha, these models are a good solution for when you’ll be engaged in the strenuous activity or work out. Supported by a bracket that passes round the back of the scalp, they generally radiate appear forward toward the ear canal as opposed to sideways directly into the actual ear canal.

Wireless headsets

Wireless models, once rare, are now increasingly widespread, and typically use RF, infrared (IR), or maybe Bluetooth wireless technologies. Most home models have a very battery-powered headset and the AC-powered transmitter that connects in your audio or video gear. RF models can monitor signals through walls and floors, so you don’t have to be near your speakers, enabling you to rely on them in other rooms or maybe outdoors. But they will also be subject to interference coming from other devices, such seeing that cordless phones and microwave ranges, that operate on identical frequencies (often 900MHz or maybe 2. 4GHz). RF engineering include FM (analog) and digital spread spectrum.

Wireless headphones that use infrared technological innovation, much like a TELEVISION remote does, require a direct line of sight towards transmitter.

Bluetooth is a type of digital spread-spectrum technology, with a typical operating range of approximately 30 feet. Portable wireless headphones generally use Bluetooth to plug to a smart phone, such as an i phone or an Android phone, or to a Bluetooth-enabled lightweight media media player, for example a second- or later-generation ipod touch.

Active noise-reduction headphones

Noise-canceling headphones are a good solution for anyone who doesn’t wish to be disturbed by outside sound. Headphones that block noise by setting up a seal (either over or from the ears) provide what’s called passive noise reduction. Closed design over-the-ear and insert-style earphones are likely to block more noise compared to do open design, on-ear, and earbud-style headphones. Active noise-canceling designs go a step additional. These battery-powered headphones use tiny microphones to keep track of noise frequencies, and then produce individuals same frequencies out of phase to help cancel them.

The effectiveness of noise-reduction technology can consist of very good to weak. In general, we found the most efficient noise reduction in designs with both a design and style that physically blocks sound and active noise cancellation. Some models allow you to turn off noise decline, so you can still rely on them if the batteries die. Others work only along with noise canceling activated, so in the event the batteries die you can’t rely on them. And with some designs, you can use the noise-canceling feature no matter if you’re not listening for you to music, simply to lower outside noise.



Headbands | Earcups, earpads, and canal tips | Replaceable, extractible earpads and canal guidelines | Weight | Cables | Volume control | Cell-phone controls | iPod controls


Together with headphones, comfort is essential, so look for models that allows you to adjust or customize the actual fit. Ease of use and maintenance also make any difference, so look for the actual headphone features mentioned underneath.



Adjustable headbands provide a better fit on your head, while models with collapsible and collapsible bands are better to carry.


Earcups, earpads, and canal tips

Models that have earcups that pivot or that come with different-sized adapters, foam protections, or canal tips can assist you to achieve a right, comfortable fit. Some earcups will probably fold flat for take a trip and storage.


Replaceable, extractible earpads and canal guidelines

These can be replaced or washed, making it better to maintain the headphones.



Smaller, lighter headphones usually are more comfortable than bigger models, but you may possibly trade sound quality intended for comfort.



Compared with a Y-exit cord, models with a single-exit cord reduce tangling. Likewise, some models come along with asymmetrical cords, where one cord is usually longer or shorter as opposed to other. This may be useful if you need to place the cord round the back of your throat, or the audio layer off to one side. Some models come with detachable cords which can be removed or replaced.


Quantity control

A volume control is useful, especially if you’re sitting far from the source, such to be a TV. Some controls are about the headphone’s earpiece, while others are about the cord.


Cell-phone controls

These allow you to answer and disconnect calls without even touching the telephone. Some headsets offer an entire set of functions only with specific mobile devices, so be sure confirmed headphone will work using your phone model.


iPod controls

With the latest generations of iPods, controls about the headphones let you temporarily halt, play, and skip forward and back while enjoying music. You don’t have to consider the iPod from the pocket or purse to accomplish this.





AKG through Harman

AKG by Harman offers numerous headphones in a variety of styles, including in-ear, over-ear, and ear buds. The organization, which is well established from the pro audio world and recording studios, sells models in every price ranges.

Able Globe

Able Planet sells headphones from the mid-to-higher-price ranges. The company uses a patent-pending Linx Audio technological innovation, which purports to improve sound and speech clearness.


Apple sells low-cost headsets to accompany its ipod, iPad, and iPhone items. The company recently purchased Beats Electronics, which involves Beats headphones.


Audio-Technica manufactures a variety of styles and types regarding headphones, typically in the actual mid-to-higher-price ranges.


Audiofly entered the headphone sector in 2012 with a small offering of headsets.


Auvio is Stereo Shack’s house brand, between ear buds to more than ear.

Bell’O Digital

Primarily often known as a consumer electronics accessory company, Bell’O Digital launched low-end priced in-ear phones in 2012.


Even though Bose’s best-known headphones usually are noise-canceling models, it right now makes several types, which includes earphones. Products are usually from the higher price range.

Bowers & Wilkins

Bowers & Wilkins, a speaker company, entered the headphone market truly. Its headphones are higher-priced designs that target audiophiles.


Perhaps best known for the computer speakers and lightweight audio players, Creative manufactures headphones in every catagories, including noise-canceling models and Bluetooth wireless products–at all price ranges. It sells premium headphones under the Aurvana sub-brand.


Denon, portion of D&M Group (Boston Acoustics, Marantz, McIntosh), provides in-ear, over-ear, and lively noise-canceling headphones. Prices are usually in the mid-to-higher amounts.


EarHero earphones, new to our ratings in 2013, are made by an audiologist and billed since the “world’s safest earphones. inch


Etymotic offers in-ear headsets. With roots in the actual hearing-aid industry, this company is attentive to “safe listening. ”

Flips Sound recording

Flips Audio offers a novel undertake headphones with a model that converts into a portable powered speaker if the earcups are rotated external.


Grado is on the list of oldest family-owned companies from the audio industry. Prices are usually in the mid-to-high-end amounts, and new releases will not be as frequent as some other companies’ cycles.

Harman Kardon

Harman Kardon re-entered this market after an 8-year hiatus. Built by AKG, it currently incorporates a few models available in retail.


HiFiMan is usually a performance-driven brand that carries over-the-ear and in-ear designs, and outboard headphone amplifiers. The company uses planar magnetic drivers as opposed to the traditional dynamic ones utilized by most headphones.

House regarding Marley

House of Marley came into the headphone market in 2011 through an entire lineup of Bob-Marley-inspired in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear models. The company differentiates itself when you’re “earth friendly” and “cause oriented. ”

JBL by Harman

JBL through Harman—part of Harman Overseas, which also owns the actual AKG, Inifinity, JBL, Lexicon, Tag Levinson, and Yurbuds brands—makes midpriced for you to moderately-expensive ear buds, insert, and over-the-ear-style headphones.


JVC offers headphones from the low-to-midrange price categories. The business merged with Kenwood, and that is known for its auto and home audio items.

Kicker Audio

Kicker Sound recording, which got its start out making car audio products including speakers and subwoofers, now makes a type of in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear headsets that leverage its audio tracks technology.


Klipsch, as their parent company is Voxx Overseas, offers on-ear, in-ear, and noise-canceling headphones at a variety of prices.


Koss is surely an established headphone brand that has a complete line regarding products with prices coming from low to midprice.


Marshall, a brand best known for electric guitar amplifiers that helped shape rock history, entered the headphone market truly. The company offers a few lines: Major, Minor, and Monitor.


Known for HDMI cables and home entertainment system accessories, Monorpice offers a tiny variety of headphones in value prices.


Creature, best known for its type of Monster Cable cables and interconnects, helped to launch the actual celebrity headphone category with the Beats by Dr. Dre brand. Monster and Beats possess since parted ways, and Monster still offers numerous on-, in-, and over-ear designs.


Motorheadphones launched in 2013 since the headphone brand of the legendary rock-band Motorhead. It promises to produce true rock reproduction.


Munitio, a California-based brand, started truly. It focuses on cell lifestyle headphones, primarily distinctive earphones that have bullet-style casings.

NAD Consumer electronics

NAD Electronics, known for high-performance audio and video home entertainment system components, is new for you to headphones in 2014.


Onkyo, a veteran audio and home entertainment system brand, re-entered the headphone catagory in 2013 with in- and on-ear models.

PSB Speakers

PSB Speakers, new towards headphone catagory in 2012, incorporates a background in speakers and subwoofers. The company currently offers two headphones: the actual M4U2, an active noise-canceling over-the-ear model, and the M4U1, the over-ear model without noise-canceling technological innovation.


Panasonic headphones deal with all headphone catagories. They may be competitively priced and widely available.


The loudspeaker company Paradigm came into the headphone sector in 2013 which consists of Shift series of in- and on-ear models.


Not used to the catagory in 2014, Pendulumic targets wireless over-the-ear headphones.


Phiaton carries headphones, earphones, and songs docks. Some earphones have a very unique “half in-ear” design which allows them to be worn just away from ear canal.


Plantronics, an organization with heritage specializing in communications technology, offers ” cable ” and wireless audio headphones for professional and client applications.

Polk Audio

Polk Sound recording, an audio brand most common for speakers, entered the actual headphone catagory in 2011. The business currently offers sports-oriented and noise-canceling headphones.


Most commonly known in the gaming market, Razer has recently went into personal audio lifestyle entertainment with the Adaro series.

SMS Sound recording

SMS Audio markets headphones developed with the rapper 50 Cent. The business also offers “Star Wars”-themed designs, as well as sporting activities and wireless headphones.

SOL Republic

SOL Republic, unveiled in 2011, was co-founded through Kevin Lee, the kid of Noel Lee, the pinnacle of Monster. The organization makes on-ear and in-ear designs.

SOUL Electronics

Soul Electonics, which often launched in 2011, currently produces the Soul by Ludacris compilation of headphones and earbuds. Models include distinctive styles and colors and so are typically in the mid-to-higher-price amounts.


Samsung, a powerhouse electronics brand in a number of catagories, entered the headphone organization in 2012. The company’s initial offering includes in-ear models.


Scosche, most common for car audio items, offers in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear headphones at a variety of prices.


Sennheiser is usually a respected professional audio brand that offers a wide assortment regarding consumer headphones. Prices are usually in the mid-to-higher amounts. The company has partnered with Adidas to get a line of sports-oriented designs.


Shure is a specialist audio brand that offers a wide assortment regarding consumer headphones, typically from the mid-to-higher-price ranges.


Skullcandy acquired a following with headphone outlines that feature trendy styles targeting a younger market. The company’s models deal with all price segments.


Sony is usually a leading brand in the actual headphone market. It covers all kinds and styles, at all price ranges with wide distribution.

Tivoli Sound recording

This desktop audio organization introduced its first and only headphone, the Radio Silenz, in 2012. This active noise-canceling headphone continues to be tested and appears inside our Ratings.


UrbanEars is usually a headphone company created by way of collective in Scandinavia. This uses color, design, and social interaction (some designs have earcups that let someone plug in and hear identical music you’re listening to) for you to differentiate its products.


Regarded for guitar amplifiers, VOX unveiled headphones in 2012. This currently has several designs available with active built-in electric guitar amplifiers.


Primarily recognized for subwoofers and audio system, Velodyne joined the headphone catagory in late 2011. Different varieties of headphones were introduced in 2013.


Westone, brand-new in 2013, has specialized in custom earplugs/earpieces with the hearing healthcare industry along with the military. The company helps make custom-fit and standard in-ear designs.


Yamaha, a well-respected audio tracks and video brand, entered the headphone catagory truly. The company primarily sells earphones from the low-to-midprice range, but offers an on-ear model.

beats by dre

Beats through dre, which spun off into its company, Beats Electronics, following breaking ties with Creature Cable in 2011-2012, seemed to be purchased by Apple. Several models are currently available at a variety of prices to satisfy unique target markets.


iLuv is a mobile-lifestyle company offering a variety of headphones for all varieties of consumers.



Shopping tips

Review sound quality

Headphones need to feed you clear, precise sound with sufficient amount. Beyond that, you must decide what sounds good to you personally. Like speakers, headphones might emphasize various areas of the audio spectrum, therefore you might prefer one appear over another. If you can, try headphones before getting. If you buy on the web, check return policies to make certain purchases can be came back or exchanged for one more model.

For the ideal sound, stick with corded designs

For serious music tuning in, we recommend one with the better-rated corded models. For less-critical music tuning in and for use with a TV, most corded designs are fine. You must be more choosy with cellular headphones. While some may be good, many have background hissing and/or dynamic range compression that deadens the sound to some extent. We’ve found that digital wireless models provide better performance than analog, and 2. 4 gigahertz designs often beat 900 megahertz headsets. But all wireless headphones are susceptible to interference from other products, such as microwave ranges, cordless phones, and computer hard disks that operate in identical frequency ranges. Also, look for headphones that use several channels or spread spectrum technology including Bluetooth. They tend to either be less susceptible to interference or let you switch to another frequency should you encounter it.

Make confident they’re comfortable

Many headphones or headphones that seem fine to begin with could become quite uncomfortable during extended use. Comfort, of course, is very subjective, depending in part on the decoration of your head and ears and simply how much adjustment a headphone will allow. The pressure from the earphones along with the weight affect how a model feels. With any kind of headphones, prolonged listening might make your ears warm and sweaty. Many on-ear models give you a good trade-off between ease and quality. Some find earphones which might be wedged in the headsets become painful with continuous use. Insert-type earphones usually have different-sized tips to accommodate an array of ear sizes and patterns. Although less obtrusive than other styles, they can pop out at times.

Choose a design fitted to your expected use

Consider how you’ll use your headphones and acquire a model most right for that application. Closed, over-the-ear models are an excellent option for listening at home but may be too large to be easily stowed if you’re traveling. Portable models may possibly sacrifice some sound high quality for small size, however they are handy. Earbuds and insert models are an excellent option for listening to music away from home. If you’ll be doing lots of flying, or listening in the noisy environment, consider headsets with active noise-reduction technological innovation. Keep in mind that you must replace batteries with active-noise-reduction and wireless models.


Now you know everthing you have to know before buying Headphone. Let search which one you like at Walmart.com, kmart.com, target.com, tigerdirect.com or searching on our widget at the side of this page for product in amazon.com



Some more editor selectedclose