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Headphone Reviews

Updated: Apr 18, 2014 02:17
Brand
alaScore
Price
Type
Signal Connection
#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.

81 expert reviews | 950 user reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Bowers&Wilkins P7

Worth the $399? Our eyes say yes, and our ears wholeheartedly agree. Very few headphones compete with the P7 in looks or sound at this price. If you prefer a slightly mellower sound, the Sennheiser Momentum may be a better fit, and if you want bass...

9 expert reviews | 69 user reviews

#3
alaScore 99

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.

20 expert reviews | 4 user reviews

#4
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.

3 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

#5
alaScore 98

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.

80 expert reviews | 2845 user reviews

#6
alaScore 98

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.

47 expert reviews | 393 user reviews

#7
alaScore 97

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 | 319 user reviews

#8
alaScore 97

SOL REPUBLIC Master Tracks

Those in search of headphones as tough as a pair of overalls but as refined as a tuxedo need look no further than the Sol Republic Master Tracks.

6 expert reviews | 64 user reviews

#9
alaScore 97

V-Moda Crossfade M-100

V-Moda's M-100 will appease audiophiles and fashionistas alike - an impressive feat.

14 expert reviews | 187 user reviews

#10
alaScore 97

Sony MDR-10RBT

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

4 expert reviews | 95 user reviews

#11
alaScore 97

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...

13 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

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#12
alaScore 96

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 | 380 user reviews

#13
alaScore 96

beyerdynamic Custom ONE PRO

It's always refreshing to review a pair of headphones that appears to have a dubious gimmick, only to discover that the gimmick is actually a useful tool. Musicians, engineers, and home audio enthusiasts have plenty of reason to check out the...

16 expert reviews | 176 user reviews

#14
alaScore 96

PSB M4U 2

PSB’s M4U 2 is a superb example of a premium headphone that does almost everything right.

21 expert reviews | 68 user reviews

#15
alaScore 96

Sony MDR-1RBT

These headphones get our full recommendation. They're stylish and they play music the way it was meant to be heard.

9 expert reviews | 161 user reviews

#16
alaScore 96

Logitech UE 9000

The Logitech UE 9000, which can be used as a wired or a wireless Bluetooth headphone pair, is a high-quality, but very expensive, option.

12 expert reviews | 120 user reviews

#17
alaScore 96

Beats Studio

Audiophiles and lovers of booming bass alike often ask me what I think about Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, assuming I'll somehow slam the company. But I'm actually a fan of what Beats has accomplished—in 2008, virtually no one was paying money for...

42 expert reviews | 6415 user reviews

#18
alaScore 96

Griffin Woodtones In-Ear

If you are looking to stand out in a crowd (or from the crowd), the Griffin WoodTones Over-The-Ear headphones are for you. With hand-turned real wood enclosures, each pair will be unique. The 50 mm moving coil neodymium magnet drivers promise good...

5 expert reviews | 14 user reviews

#19
alaScore 96

Panasonic ErgoFit RP-TCM125

While the ErgoFit RP-TCM125 doesn't sound as good as the cheaper RP-HJE120, it still sounds respectable for its budget price tag and includes a one-button inline/remote microphone.

2 expert reviews

#20
alaScore 95

Philips Fidelio L2

First and foremost, these are great headphones at any price. At this price, they're stupendous. Great soundstage and depth, a wonderful sense of space, and good tonal balance. They're also very well made, and quite stylish. Small gripe that the earpads...

2 expert reviews | 120 user reviews

#21
alaScore 95

Philips Fidelio S2

The Fidelio S2s provide great sound, but the cheaper S1 is a better buy

2 expert reviews | 28 user reviews

#22
alaScore 95

Denon AH-D600

Denon's latest headphones are very expensive, but they're still an excellent choice for working at your desk, relaxing on the couch, or spending quality time with your tablet.

12 expert reviews | 127 user reviews

#23
alaScore 95

Sony MDR-1R

Sony's forays into headphones of late have often been focused on boosted bass, or even co-branding with television shows (like the X Factor), so it's refreshing to see a no-nonsense, high quality pair like the MDR-1R. At $299.99 (direct), it's priced...

14 expert reviews | 219 user reviews

#24
alaScore 95

Bowers&Wilkins P3

Crystal clear highs, spectacular attack and decay, uncongested midrange and bass response sufficient enough for most types of music pairs with sleek design and excellent comfort to make for a superb headphone offering worthy of a $200 price tag.

28 expert reviews | 193 user reviews

#25
alaScore 95

Scosche lobeDOPE

If you're venturing into sub-$35 territory for headphones, here are some reasonable expectations: They will distort at higher volumes, will likely feel uncomfortable, and, by definition, be cheaply made. It's not that the bizarrely named Scosche...

2 expert reviews

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 2663 sources to help you choose the best Headphone from top brands like Sony, Philips, Sennheiser, Skull Candy, Panasonic and more.

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