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Headphone Reviews

Updated: Jul 3, 2015 00:15
Brand
alaScore
Price
Type
Signal Connection
#1
alaScore 100

Bose QuietComfort 25 / QC 25

The QuietComfort 25 model takes Bose's already stellar noise-canceling headphones and levels them up to new heights.

27 expert reviews | 1070 user reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7

The DT Accessory Pack Up your game and the get the most out of your gear with the following extras, hand-picked by our editors:

8 expert reviews

#3
alaScore 99

Plantronics BackBeat PRO

The BackBeat Pro may be bulky and industrial looking, but what they lack in aesthetic panache, they make up for with fantastic features and great sound. And while Plantronics’ latest can’t beat the Bose QC25 at their own game of noise canceling, they...

27 expert reviews | 57 user reviews

#4
alaScore 98

Skullcandy Grind

Skullcandy's Grind headphones look the part, are packed with features and surprise with sound quality expected of on-ear cans that are twice as pricey. These are the perfect choice for budget listeners.

4 expert reviews

#5
alaScore 98

Bose QuietComfort QC20 / QC20i

. Three hundred bucks is a lot to spend on earbuds, but for frequent fliers or anyone who spends time in noisy environments, how much is too much to be able to turn off the outside world for a while and get lost in your favorite songs?

43 expert reviews | 1095 user reviews

#6
alaScore 98

Philips Fidelio X2

I had an idea of what to expect with the Fidelio X2 having previously owned the X1, both headphones output a smooth and fun sound. The X1 is slightly less refined though it makes up for that with slightly meatier bass. The sound output by both of them...

8 expert reviews | 16 user reviews

#7
alaScore 97

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

Quibbles aside, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are a modestly improved version of the already spectacular model they're based on, and among the best-sounding pairs you'll find for less than $200.

9 expert reviews | 66 user reviews

#8
alaScore 97

Oppo PM-1

Oppo’s PM-1 succeed on all levels – not bad for the first shot out of the gate. Perhaps just as exciting, the company’s forthcoming PM-2 is priced much more reasonably ($700), and promises comparable sound quality. For those who do a lot of listening...

20 expert reviews

#9
alaScore 97

Sony MDR-1A

Sony's latest addition to the MDR lineup is a thoughtfully designed, exceedingly comfortable headphone pair made with luxurious materials. At $299.99, the MDR-1A isn't cheap, and given the lack of Bluetooth or noise-canceling circuitry, that price...

7 expert reviews | 6 user reviews

#10
alaScore 97

Sennheiser Momentum (Over-Ear)

Sennheiser's latest addition to its classy Momentum line of headphones is the over-ear, active noise cancellation-equipped Momentum Wireless. (Sennheiser also recently released the Momentum Wireless On-Ear headphones, a separate product.) The Momentum...

65 expert reviews | 431 user reviews

#11
alaScore 97

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear

Sennheiser's Momentum In-Ear raise the bar for sound performance in sub-$100 earphones. The inline controls and microphone bolster the offering to make this almost too good a value to pass up.

7 expert reviews | 8 user reviews

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#12
alaScore 96

Bose Soundlink ON EAR

The Bose SoundLink on-ear Bluetooth headphones offer a great solution for those looking for good quality headphones to use on the move. Their folding nature, lightweight and compact design make them a pleasure to tote around.

6 expert reviews | 349 user reviews

#13
alaScore 96

ROCK JAW ALFA Genus

The Rock Jaw Alfa Genus is perfect for those who want more bang for their buck from in-ear headphones, but don’t want to break the bank with more premium cans. The design is classy, the sound is on point, and the filters – however fiddly – make them a...

2 expert reviews

#14
alaScore 96

Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear

The Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear may not fully match the larger Momentum's excellent sonics, but it gets you 80 percent of the way there.

31 expert reviews | 748 user reviews

#15
alaScore 96

Sennheiser Urbanite XL

The Sennheiser Urbanite XL is a well-designed Beats competitor that costs less and sounds as good or better.

8 expert reviews | 38 user reviews

#16
alaScore 96

Beats Solo2

By now, headphone enthusiasts should know the drill with Beats: If you love big, booming bass, read on, and if you want a flat-response, critical listening-appropriate headphone pair, move on past the Beats Solo 2 (maybe to the Editors' Choice...

13 expert reviews | 2145 user reviews

#17
alaScore 96

Samsung Level Over

The markets for both Bluetooth headphones and noise-canceling headphones are booming, yet few models manage to successfully combine both features without one of them suffering a bit. The Samsung Level Over is a $349.99 (direct) brings both Bluetooth...

14 expert reviews

#18
alaScore 96

Creative Sound Blaster Jam

Most of the Bluetooth headphones we test are intended to look cool or eye-catching in some way, sometimes to the (seemingly unintentional) detriment of the audio experience. No one can accuse the budget-friendly Creative Sound Blaster Jam of this...

4 expert reviews

#19
alaScore 96

Marshall Major II

Marshall headphones, from their inception, have defied the gimmicky concept of invoking the look of the iconic Marshall guitar amps. Fashioning headphones and speakers this way could have been a great chance to skimp on actual audio performance in the...

7 expert reviews

#20
alaScore 95

Shure SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back

Most headphones we test tend to have a moderate-to-intense bass response, so reviewing a pair like the Shure SRH1540 almost comes as a shock. Few headphones can extend down as low as 5Hz and yet deliver accurate bass response that doesn't boost the...

6 expert reviews | 6 user reviews

#21
alaScore 95

Sony MDR-Z7

Sony continues to release lots of new products bearing the “HI-Res Audio” logo. This review focuses on three of these products - the Sony MDR-Z7 Headphones, the Sony PHA-3 battery powered DAC/headphone amp and the Kimber Kable MUC-B20BL1 balanced...

5 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

#22
alaScore 95

Sennheiser URBANITE

Sennheiser’s Urbanite are a real party for your ears. And not just some sloppy frat house kegger kind of party (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but one of those ripping end-of-summer blowouts you have poolside at some classy joint up in the...

7 expert reviews | 69 user reviews

#23
alaScore 95

Bose SoundTrue In Ear

Fantastic sound quality, great price, and great customer service. Highly recommended.

4 expert reviews | 415 user reviews

#24
alaScore 95

SMS Audio Biosport

Sensors are everywhere—in our phones, watches, and shoes. And now our earphones, too. The SMS BioSport heart rate-sensing earbuds aim to be the audio companion of choice for all you marathon runners, mountain bikers, and other hardcore athlete types...

9 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

#25
alaScore 95

Beats Studio Wireless

Dr. Dre's Beats headphones lineup is found on the heads and around the necks of athletes giving press conferences and pop stars in music videos, and it would easy to write them off as overpriced, celebrity-endorsed plastic. That would be a mistake, as...

14 expert reviews | 1519 user reviews

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    Buying Guide

    Buying Guide - Headphones

    Most people already know this, but it bears repeating – without a set of good headphones, it does not matter how fancy your audio media device is, you just won't get a satisfactory listening experience. The headphones that come pre-packaged with audio devices are often not of high quality, and it may be to your benefit to purchase a new pair. Headphones come in a wide range of types that fit in with all lifestyles – although all types of headphones are versatile, be sure to choose a set that fits in with your needs. How you intend to use your headphones – for music, gaming, or home theater – and where you plan to do your listening – on the go or at home – will narrow the range of possible types you'll want to choose.



    Contents

    Types of Headphones

     

    • Earbud – Earbud headphones fit directly into the ears, are lightweight, compact, and discreet, allowing listening on the go in a portable package. Earbud headphones are perfect for those who value convenience and portability.
    • Over the Ear – This is the traditional style of headphone, and offers the greatest sound fidelity. Because many models cover the ears completely, over the ear headphones are likely to include noise reduction technology. Over the ear headphones are for music professionals and purists who demand the best in sound quality.
    • Behind the Neck – As the name suggests, behind the neck headphones fit behind the neck, instead of over the head. This is particularly useful for people who wear hats or other head coverings. The behind the neck style is also very secure, an added benefit for those on the go.
    • Sport – Generally made in the earbud style, sport headphones are water-resistant, lightweight, soft, and durable, and are able to withstand the pounding from jogging or a vigorous workout. They also feature a resilient grip, to reduce slippage during energetic use.
    • Wireless – Cordless headphones have been around for years, but they have only recently started to approach the sound-quality standards of the better corded phones. Wireless headphones use Bluetooth technology, radio frequency (RF) or infrared to provide the ultimate listening convenience. Your mobility is guaranteed, and with wireless headphones you no longer need to worry about wires becoming tangled, snagging on exposed edges, and headphones being ripped off your head or out of your device. But the wireless headphones generally don't sound quite as good as equivalently priced wired headphones. The audio gets processed by electronics in the base unit, gets transmitted via radio frequency (or in some cases infrared) and then is converted back to an audio signal by the headset. All this processing adds extra noise to the audio signal.

        Additional Headphones Features

        Noise Reduction – Noise reduction and canceling technology comes in a number of different forms. It may be design-centric, meaning the headphones are molded to fit snuggly over the ears, with no room for outside noise to enter. Or, they may have an active noise-reduction function, which creates interference along a number of different frequencies that can cancel out extraneous noise. Since you no longer have to turn up the volume to overcome background noise, you can listen at lower levels, hear more low-level detail in your music and reducing ear fatigue. Noise reduction is an absolute requirement for music purists and frequent commuters.

    • Bass – Even at its very best, headphone bass is never the sort of driving experience you literally feel from massive speakers or subwoofers. Those systems' bass is as much felt by your body as heard by your ears. Earbuds are tiny and portable, but – except for a couple of high-end models – they can't compete with full-size, over-the-ear headphones for deep bass response or visceral dynamic range. As with speakers, headphones need at least 10 hours of vigorous use before they sound their best.

        Connectivity Options – Headphones generally use different connectors, make sure your new headphones' plug fits the jack for your stereo or portable MP3 player. The 1/4-inch (6.33-mm) plug is still the professional audio standard and may be found in nonportable AV equipment such as receivers, home stereos, and DVD players. The minijack (3.5-mm) plug is the most common headphone connector, especially for portable audio devices. Small, 2.5-mm (0.1-inch) headphones are typically used in cell phones and other small devices. Of course, if you have a good pair of headphones that don't fit your audio equipment, you can always find an adapter.

        Popular Brands of Headphones

        Whimsically-named Skullcandy headphones are a popular choice for hipsters and the younger crowd. Philips and Sony have a wide selection of headphones of all types, featuring the most up-to-date audio technology available. Sennheiser specializes in wireless headphones and accessories, also they offer a full range of headphone types which will suit your need at different prices.

        Whenever shopping for new headphones, be certain that the model you select is completely compatible with your primary audio media device. Headphones are generally priced very reasonably, so you may want to purchase a different set for different occasions (one set for travel, another set for the home, etc.).

    Popular Headphone products

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    Headphones on alaTest

    alaTest.com has collected and analyzed millions of reviews from 2940 sources to help you choose the best Headphone from top brands like Sony, Philips, Sennheiser, Skullcandy, Panasonic and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase
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