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Headphone Reviews

Updated: Aug 22, 2014 23:39
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#1
alaScore 100

Sennheiser MM 450

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.

84 expert reviews | 1127 user reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Oppo PM-1

Preview: OPPO's new PM-1 headphones aren't low budget cans at $1099. Boasting an advanced planar magnetic driver, click to see what else they bring to the table.

6 expert reviews

#3
alaScore 99

Bowers&Wilkins P7

The Bowers & Wilkins P7 may not the best headphone you can buy in its luxury price range, but it certainly is among the best, with excellent build quality and rich sound that works well with a wide range of music genres and sources.

12 expert reviews | 88 user reviews

#4
alaScore 98

Shure SE846

Bass rarely gets better than this. If you have the cash to spend and want audiophile earphones that can pump out the low end, you need to hear the Shure SE846.

4 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

#5
alaScore 98

beyerdynamic T 51 P

The Beyerdynamic T 51 p is one of the best on-ear headphones available, offering excellent sound quality and a comfortable fit.

4 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

#6
alaScore 98

Samsung Level Over

Frankly speaking, we’re really impressed with Samsung’s performance in the high-end mobile audio accessories arena. We all certainly know that they’re a top-tiered contender in the smartphone space, but they somehow came out of the gate with a bang...

5 expert 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.

2 expert reviews | 4 user reviews

#8
alaScore 97

KEF M500

The KEF M500 are an absolute win for the on-ear headphone segment; easily one of the finest sounding and indescribably comfortable on-ear headphones in recent memory.

21 expert reviews | 19 user reviews

#9
alaScore 97

Bose QuietComfort 20 / QuietComfort 20i

Bose's Quiet Comfort 15's are a great pair of 'phones if you can stomach the noise-cancelling sound waves--and the steep price.

81 expert reviews | 4399 user reviews

#10
alaScore 97

Philips Fidelio M1 / M1BO / M1WT

While they fall short of delivering truly excellent sound, the well-designed Philips Fidelio M1 on-ear headphones are comfortable to wear and well-suited for day-to-day use.

51 expert reviews | 421 user reviews

#11
alaScore 97

Klipsch R6i

Klipsch’s R6i blend comfort, style and convenience into an earbud with an approachable sound quality that anyone can recognize as excellent. Were it not for a noisy cable, we might be looking at a near perfect score. Still, we think the R6i are about...

4 expert reviews | 27 user reviews

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#12
alaScore 96

Sony MDR-10RBT

Sony adds MDR-10 series to its expanding premium headphone portfolio

6 expert reviews | 237 user reviews

#13
alaScore 96

V-Moda Crossfade M-100

V-Moda, with its True Blood-branded products and its serious focus on visual design and flair, could be mistaken for a headphone company that's all style and no substance. Underneath the attractive style of the V-Moda Crossfade M-100, though, there's...

16 expert reviews | 221 user reviews

#14
alaScore 96

SOL REPUBLIC Master Tracks

The Sol Republic Master Tracks have a distinct, eye-catching design and good performance, offering better, more refined sound than the original Tracks.

9 expert reviews | 104 user reviews

#15
alaScore 96

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...

7 expert reviews | 377 user reviews

#16
alaScore 96

Onkyo ES-HF300

Onkyo, a long time player in home theater electronics, has set its sights on the personal audio market with the new ES-HF300 headphone. The ES-HF300 is a closed-back headphone design featuring two 40 mm titanium drivers, sub-chambers for optimized...

14 expert reviews | 8 user reviews

#17
alaScore 96

beats SOLO 2

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...

4 expert reviews

#18
alaScore 96

Samsung Level On

Samsung is running on all cylinders in its new venture in the high-end mobile audio accessories space, where they recently introduced its Level series of accessories to compete against some of the more formidable and established names in the market –...

3 expert reviews

#19
alaScore 96

Bose SoundTrue Around Ear

The new Bose SoundTrue around-ear headphones are a no-nonsense, music-only pair with few bells or whistles—like many of Bose's other products, such as the Editors' Choice, noise-cancelling QuietComfort 20. The SoundTrue retails for $179.95, much less...

3 expert reviews

#20
alaScore 95

Philips Fidelio X1

It wasn't that long ago that Philips wasn't the first name that would come to mind for audiophile headphones. Things picked up early last year when the company totally revamped its headphone lineup, and the Fidelio Series turned a lot of heads. Philips...

18 expert reviews | 361 user reviews

#21
alaScore 95

Philips Fidelio L1

Philips is coming to CES with high-end and beautifully crafted headphones Fidelio L1 that that offer a crisp and clear sound delivered through very comfortable to wear large ear pads made of memory foam. The headband is made of aluminum covered with...

86 expert reviews | 411 user reviews

#22
alaScore 95

NAD VISO HP50

The NAD HP50 is the latest headphone design from Paul Barton, founder of PSB, a sister company of NAD, and features a new trademarked concept called RoomFeel. RoomFeel attempts to recreate the sound of listening to high-end speakers in a room. Most...

5 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

#23
alaScore 95

Sony MDR-1RNC

The world of noise-canceling headphones is littered with Bose wannabes, so it's refreshing to see a pair that has its own look. The Sony MDR1-RNC offers solid noise cancellation and excellent audio performance, but its $499.99 (direct) price is tough...

12 expert reviews | 112 user reviews

#24
alaScore 95

Beats Studio 2.0

They may not be a bargain at $300, but the new Beats Studio headphones are lighter and better-built, and sound significantly better than the original Beats Studio model.

7 expert reviews | 164 user reviews

#25
alaScore 95

JBL Synchros S400BT

If you're looking for flat response-style headphones that color the sound very little and offer an accurate frequency response, let me save you some time: No need to read this review. The JBL Synchros S400BT is aimed at those of you who live for...

6 expert 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 2730 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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