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Headphone Reviews

Updated: Aug 30, 2015 23:48
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#1
alaScore 100

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:

17 expert reviews | 17 user reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Bose QuietComfort 25 / QC 25

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

33 expert reviews | 2919 user reviews

#3
alaScore 99

Oppo PM-3

The Oppo PM-3 is an impressive headphone -- both in terms of build and sound quality -- but just how impressive you think it is will depend on what music you feed it and from what source.

8 expert reviews | 9 user reviews

#4
alaScore 98

Sony MDR-1A

The supercomfortable Sony MDR-1A does a good job balancing clarity with just enough of laid-backness to make it a very versatile headphone that's well worth considering if you're looking for a full-size headphone in the $250-$300 range.

9 expert reviews | 13 user reviews

#5
alaScore 98

Plantronics BackBeat SENSE

At less than $200 USD, the well-designed Plantronics BackBeat Sense is one of the best on-ear wireless Bluetooth headphones currently available.

6 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

#6
alaScore 98

Parrot ZIK 2.0 Design BY Starck

Sporting impressive design and solid sound, Parrot's feature-packed and pricey Zik 2.0 wireless headphones will wow some users but intimidate others.

20 expert reviews | 94 user reviews

#7
alaScore 97

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...

11 expert reviews | 50 user reviews

#8
alaScore 97

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?

45 expert reviews | 1333 user reviews

#9
alaScore 97

Sennheiser Momentum (Over-Ear)

While it may be a bit overpriced, the Momentum 2.0 Wireless is an excellent and well-designed Bluetooth headphone with active noise-cancellation that also offers strong wired performance.

65 expert reviews | 1089 user reviews

#10
alaScore 97

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear

The Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear doesn't measure up to the high standard set by other more expensive headphones in the Momentum line, but it still has a lot going for it for the price.

11 expert reviews | 55 user reviews

#11
alaScore 97

Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless

The Sennheiser Urbanite XL is a well-designed, dynamic-sounding Bluetooth headphone that works well with a lot of music -- but not quite everything.

7 expert reviews

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#12
alaScore 96

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

The new ATH-M50x has the same sound as the previous version, but with a few added features.

11 expert reviews | 958 user reviews

#13
alaScore 96

SkullcandyGrind

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.

6 expert reviews

#14
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...

3 expert reviews | 24 user reviews

#15
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.

33 expert reviews | 1013 user reviews

#16
alaScore 96

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Over-Ear (M2) / Momentum G / Momentum i

While we'd like to see it cost a little less, Sennheiser has fixed the original Momentum's one weakness, making the new 2.0 Momentum not only sound slightly better but fit more comfortably.

5 expert reviews | 21 user reviews

#17
alaScore 96

Philips A5PRO

The Philips A5 Pro headphones might be tuned and marketed for DJs, but their incredibly detailed, balanced soundstage makes them well-suited for anyone.

8 expert reviews | 63 user 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...

8 expert reviews | 16 user reviews

#19
alaScore 96

B & O Beoplay H8

The $500 Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8 wireless on-ear headphone looks great, sounds very good and is loaded with features, including noise canceling, but a few small flaws take away some of its luster.

8 expert reviews | 13 user reviews

#20
alaScore 95

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.

7 expert reviews | 608 user reviews

#21
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...

9 expert reviews | 162 user reviews

#22
alaScore 95

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 | 4 user reviews

#23
alaScore 95

Koss PRO4S

Although we regret that Koss doesn't include a remote on the cable, the Pro4S is an excellent studio monitor headphone that audiophiles will appreciate for its neutral sound design, forward-thinking features and generous warranty that guarantees...

5 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

#24
alaScore 95

Denon AH-MM400

We’d put them roughly on par with the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0, so consider the differences in their approach to sound to see which might be best for you. For detail, we’d still pick the Oppo PM-3s over either the Denon or the Sennheiser, but it all...

4 expert reviews | 9 user reviews

#25
alaScore 95

Sennheiser Urbanite XL

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

10 expert reviews | 56 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 2963 sources to help you choose the best Headphone from top brands like Sony, Philips, Sennheiser, Panasonic, Skullcandy and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase
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