Welcome to our guide to all the best headphones you can buy right now. Our top list includes the best from all the different kinds of headphones from the hundreds we've reviewed.
While this round-up covers headphones broadly, be sure to check out our best headphones for running round-up if you're looking for a pair specifically for exercising. These will not only survive sweat and moisture, but will also be far more secure so you're not constantly dealing with earbuds falling out or headphones dropping off your head.
In-ear Headphones: Good if you want the most discreet headphones possible. Sometimes called IEM, which stands for inner-ear monitor. The only real downsides to in-ear headphones are some people don’t like the feel of the tips in their ear canals, and that most don’t sound quite as good as a full-size pair.
On-Ear Headphones: The most popular kind of portable pair at the moment. They don’t dig into your ears and can make much more of a style statement than in-ears. Tighter fitting sets can be uncomfortable, though, especially for glasses-wearers. This caveat aside, they’re great all-round portable headphones, particularly for a work commute or the gym.
Over-Ear Headphones: Often very large, and therefore a bit conspicuous, but generally more comfortable than on-ear headphones. They usually offer decent noise isolation and sound quality on good ones is a step above. Avoid open-back versions, which have perforated ear cups, if you want to use them outside the home.
Noise Cancelling Headphones: This clever tech actively gets rid of noise, rather than passively blocking it like a simple closed-back headphone. It does this with the help of at least one microphone. The mic is used to monitor ambient noise, an inverse wave of which is then piped-out by the headphone, negating the din. Noise-cancelling headphones are perfect partners for long haul flights as they block engine noise brilliantly.
Sony MDR-HW700 at Amazon.co.uk | Was £450 | Now £349
AKG Y50 at Amazon.com | Was $129 | Now $79
Sony MDR-HW700 at Amazon.com | Was $350 | Now $231
1 / 16
7 / 16