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Headphone Reviews

Updated: Apr 18, 2015 09:54
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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.

23 expert reviews | 258 user reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7

Overall, I am very impressed with what the Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 offers for its price. While $250 is not cheap, you could pay more and not get the build quality and performance of the ATH-MSR7. For me, I'd rather listen to a speaker that's overly...

4 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...

19 expert reviews | 40 user reviews

#4
alaScore 98

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 | 5 user reviews

#5
alaScore 98

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...

64 expert reviews | 382 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...

5 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.

8 expert reviews | 65 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

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

#10
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?

40 expert reviews | 415 user reviews

#11
alaScore 97

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

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#12
alaScore 96

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...

3 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

#13
alaScore 96

Bose Soundlink ON EAR

Bose has eliminated the cable with its new Soundlink on-ear headphones but it certainly hasn't had any impact on the company's trademark high sound quality.

5 expert reviews | 157 user 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 | 742 user reviews

#15
alaScore 96

Beats Solo2 Wireless

Far better than Studio wireless, have good playback time nearly 10 hours....

4 expert reviews | 150 user reviews

#16
alaScore 96

Bose SoundTrue In Ear

These headphones are great, I was looking for a replacement to my beats tour and these were a great alternative.

3 expert reviews | 238 user reviews

#17
alaScore 96

Turtle Beach Elite 800

Turtle Beach is aiming for a best-in-class kind of design with its Elite 800 wireless headset for PlayStation 4, and it very nearly delivers.

2 expert reviews

#18
alaScore 96

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear

The Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear headphones reproduce several of the most notable sound characteristics of the larger Momentum sets. They’re real ear-charmers.

6 expert reviews | 7 user reviews

#19
alaScore 96

Plantronics RIG Surround

Plantronics is generally known for Bluetooth headsets and other devices that connect to phones, but it's also reached into the world of gaming accessories. The Plantronics RIG is a functional, well-designed gaming headset that works with most game...

3 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

#20
alaScore 95

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.

13 expert reviews | 111 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...

5 expert reviews | 62 user reviews

#22
alaScore 95

AKG Y 50

If you're looking for deep bass in your headphones, you have no shortage of options in the current market, so it's worth doing a little research before you immediately settle on a pair from Beats. There are pairs, like the AKG Y50, that deliver some...

6 expert reviews

#23
alaScore 95

Jabra REVO

Often, the headphone brands that try to reproduce deep bass frequencies faithfully (say, Grado or Sennheiser) are overshadowed by those that tend to boost them a bit too much (say, Beats). And then you have the Jabra Revo ($199 list). I'm not sure I've...

40 expert reviews | 840 user reviews

#24
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...

10 expert reviews | 293 user reviews

#25
alaScore 95

Sony MDR-10RBT

The Sony MDR-10RBT gets you about 75 percent of the way to the Beats Studio Wireless for a lot less money.

12 expert reviews | 101 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 2919 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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