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Headphone & Headset Reviews

Updated: Jan 21, 2017 23:18
Brand
alaScore
Price
Type
Signal Connection
Headsets Only
#1
alaScore 100

Sony MDR-1000X

Conclusions The Sony MDR-1000X looks and feels luxurious, and delivers strong audio performance and solid noise cancellation. But the Bose QuietComfort 35 costs less, sounds better, and delivers the best noise cancellation you can get. If the MDR-1000X...

24 expert reviews | 18 user reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Bose QuietComfort 35

As headphones go, Bose guaranteed itself a hit earlier this month when the company unveiled the Quiet Comfort 35s. These new $350 headphones feature Bose's best-in-class noise cancelation and are...

28 expert reviews | 214 user reviews

#3
alaScore 99

Beats by Dr. Dre PowerBeats3 Wireless

When Apple made their big iPhone 7 announcement in September, they managed to carve out the smallest sliver of time to introduce three new Beats products — the first set to directly benefit from the Apple's acquisition of Beats. The Solo3 Wireless...

6 expert reviews

#4
alaScore 98

Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature

Like a supercar, the bass-ey P9 are fun to take out on the track, but they're not practical for most of us.

10 expert reviews

#5
alaScore 98

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

With impressive sound performance, a sleek and comfy design, and Sennheiser’s best noise cancellation yet, the new PXC 550 are primed to be your next set of travel cans.

11 expert reviews | 29 user reviews

#6
alaScore 98

Apple AirPods

Wireless headphones have been ripe for a reboot for years now, but no contenders for the crown have divided opinion quite like Apple's AirPods. Revealed alongside the iPhone 7, the fully-wireless earbuds were intended to salve the pain of losing the...

22 expert reviews

#7
alaScore 97

Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless

Conclusions For $400, the Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless sounds, looks, and feels like a luxury product. If you're shopping in this higher price tier, there are plenty of compelling wireless options, so it's worth reading up on the JBL Everest Elite 700...

9 expert reviews

#8
alaScore 97

Audeze Sine

The Audeze Sine On-Ear headphones deliver a bass-forward, but balanced, sound signature via a digital 24-bit Lightning cable.

13 expert reviews

#9
alaScore 97

Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2

Plantronics scores a win with the slimmed-down, feature-packed BackBeat Pro 2.

10 expert reviews

#10
alaScore 97

Beats by Dr. Dre Solo3 Wireless

Beats are back. It had been a while since we'd seen new products from Beats! Fortunately, there are a whole bunch of wireless headphones coming our way that were announced during the iPhone 7 launch. Now that Beats has been fully integrated into Apple,...

14 expert reviews | 9 user reviews

#11
alaScore 97

Jabra Elite Sport

Jabra's take on cord-free Bluetooth headphones are the Elite Sport. These earbuds handle music, phone calls, and fitness thanks to an included heart rate monitor and phone-based coaching software. The Elite Sport fare well in this nascent category of...

7 expert reviews

#12
alaScore 96

SoundMagic E10C

A great new remote, paired with the same top-quality SoundMagic E10 sound.

5 expert reviews | 4 user reviews

#13
alaScore 96

Focal Utopia

Assuming the rest of your signal path is looked after, does it matter if the final stage (your headphones) reaches above and below your hearing range? There are papers and papers that discuss this in depth with varying conclusions; but, in my...

2 expert reviews

#14
alaScore 96

AKG K92

They may not feel like a premium pair of cans, but the sound quality of the K92s more than make up for the plastic exterior.

3 expert reviews

#15
alaScore 96

Sennheiser HD 800 S

This might be one of the shortest reviews I ever write, because of how uncomplicated its conclusion is. The Sennheiser HD 800 S is a sterling, wonderful pair of headphones that strikes a...

8 expert reviews | 31 user reviews

#16
alaScore 96

NuForce BE Sport3

The Optoma NuForce BE Sport3 offer solid sound and a firm fit for a great price.

4 expert reviews

#17
alaScore 96

Skullcandy Grind Wireless

The Grind Wireless offers a comfortable fit and good sound for its relatively modest price point..

14 expert reviews | 8 user reviews

#18
alaScore 96

AKG N60 NC

Despite a few small downsides, AKG's $250 on-ear active noise-canceling headphone sounds great and is a worthy alternative to Bose's top-selling QuietComfort 25.

20 expert reviews | 67 user reviews

#19
alaScore 96

Plantronics BackBeat Sense

The well-designed Plantronics BackBeat Sense SE adds water resistance to one of the best on-ear wireless Bluetooth headphones in its price class.

31 expert reviews | 65 user reviews

#20
alaScore 96

JBL Reflect Aware

There's a lot to like about the JBL Reflect, particularly the fit, but some performance drawbacks hurt its value.

8 expert reviews | 8 user reviews

#21
alaScore 95

AfterShokz Trekz

Thumbs up for a really good mic, and for eliminating the problems that persist with wired headphones – no cord to get caught and rip out is always worth a mention with sport headphones. But the Trekz Titanium AS600’s aren’t easy to store without the...

6 expert reviews | 14 user reviews

#22
alaScore 95

Sony h.ear on Wireless NC MDR-100ABN

Priced to compete with Bose's QuietComfort 35, the comfortable H.ear On Wireless NC offers impressive sound and noise canceling that make it a strong contender in the category.

9 expert reviews | 72 user reviews

#23
alaScore 95

V-Moda Crossfade Wireless

V-Moda's costly but luxurious-feeling Crossfade Wireless headphones deliver a powerful Bluetooth audio experience with dialed-up bass response.

13 expert reviews | 246 user reviews

#24
alaScore 95

V-Moda Forza

V-Moda's Forza are the most comfortable headphones you can buy for $100.

2 expert reviews

#25
alaScore 95

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless / Sennheiser Momentum 2 Wireless

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.

32 expert reviews | 381 user reviews

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    Buying Guide

    Buying Guide - Headphones & Headsets

    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 & Headset products

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    Headphones & Headsets on alaTest

    alaTest.com has collected and analyzed millions of reviews from 3023 sources to help you choose the best Headphone & Headset from top brands like Sennheiser, Beats, Akg Acoustics, Plantronics, B & W and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase

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