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Headphone & Headset Reviews

Updated: Nov 23, 2015 23:42
Signal Connection
Headsets Only
alaScore 100

Plantronics BackBeat SENSE

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:

16 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

alaScore 99

Bose QuietComfort 25 / QC25

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

41 expert reviews | 3818 user reviews

alaScore 99

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless

If the Bowers & Wilkins P5 look like an Aston Martin, they sound like a muscled up Mustang. While the low end can get a little pushy for our ears, those seeking powerful, musical bass without sacrificing lucidity in the midrange and treble will...

22 expert reviews | 8 user reviews

alaScore 98

Oppo PM-3

The OPPO PM-3 headphones are a rather remarkable accomplishment. Using a driver technology that, until recently, was reserved exclusively for the most expensive audiophile headphones out there, OPPO has brought to market an exceptionally great sounding...

17 expert reviews | 21 user reviews

alaScore 98

Focal Sphear

The Focal Sphear is a relatively affordable audiophile-grade in-ear headphone that's easy to listen to for long stretches.

6 expert reviews

alaScore 98

Plantronics BackBeat PRO

Class 1 Bluetooth 4.0 is gilding the lily a bit, but they sound terrific and their battery lasts a good long time.

34 expert reviews | 794 user reviews

alaScore 97


RHA has gradually morphed from a boutique manufacturer of quality, budget earphones to a purveyor of much higher-end gear, and the new T20 ($239.95) represents the company's current top-of-the-line offering. Audiophiles keen on being able to tweak...

7 expert reviews | 18 user reviews

alaScore 97

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:

23 expert reviews | 56 user reviews

alaScore 97

Kingston HyperX Cloud II

Gaming headsets don't have to be just for gaming. Any good set can also work well as regular stereo headphones, as long as they have a 3.5mm connection and sound good, and the boom mic doesn't get in the way. However, most gaming headsets embrace...

21 expert reviews | 411 user reviews

alaScore 97

Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II

Bose may be king of the mountain when it comes to noise-canceling headphones, but the company has yet to extend the unrivaled success of its QuietComfort line into the wireless headphone realm. The Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II is the follow-up to last...

9 expert reviews | 175 user reviews

alaScore 97

Skullcandy Grind WITH TAP TECH

When I first saw the Skullcandy Grind, it appeared the company had done the unthinkable: design a pair of headphones very clearly targeted at young consumers, without including phone controls. But it turns out this $59.99 on-ear headphone pair is a bit...

16 expert reviews | 29 user reviews

alaScore 97

Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless

We listed the lack of active noise cancellation as a "con," but given the audio performance of these wireless cans, some audio fanatics will actually consider that a "pro."

15 expert reviews | 29 user reviews

alaScore 96

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.

14 expert reviews | 63 user reviews

alaScore 96

Bose QuietComfort 20 / 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?

57 expert reviews | 2983 user reviews

alaScore 96

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

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.

11 expert reviews | 146 user reviews

alaScore 96

Bose Soundtrue In-Ear

As the very comfortable Bose SoundTrue In-Ear nears retirement, it's become a better value with some nice price chops on certain colors.

9 expert reviews | 1381 user reviews

alaScore 96

Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones

In the last year, Bose has released two pairs of wireless headphones worth your consideration: the SoundLink On-Ear, reviewed here, and the Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II. The headphones are similar in terms of performance, but the on-ear version at...

19 expert reviews | 1196 user reviews

alaScore 96

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless M2 (Around-Ear / 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.

17 expert reviews | 11 user reviews

alaScore 96

Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Analog

This headset does one thing, and it does it well

9 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

alaScore 96

Parrot Zik 2.0

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

26 expert reviews | 142 user reviews

alaScore 96

Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450

When Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party won the most recent election in Canada, my colleague Brian Cheung told me a punny joke. "Why does Justin make the best bread? Because he uses Trudeau". Obviously I am not the only one around here that likes puns, but...

4 expert reviews | 35 user reviews

alaScore 96

Jabra Sport Coach Wireless

The Jabra Sport Coach is essentially the same as its predecessor with a slightly different tack. The motion sensor arguably offers greater flexibility than the heart rate monitor of the Pulse, except Jabra has yet to fully utilize its capabilities....

12 expert reviews | 82 user reviews

alaScore 95

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

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

13 expert reviews | 3520 user reviews

alaScore 95

Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus

The sound quality and performance are nearly enough to seal the deal for the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus. But with fully customizable components and a bass response switch to boot, listeners are treated with something truly sweet here.

5 expert reviews | 18 user reviews

alaScore 95

Sennheiser RS 175

Sennheiser's new RF-based wireless headphone system is easy to set up and delivers strong performance for both movie watching and music listening.

6 expert reviews | 178 user reviews


    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.


    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 has collected and analyzed millions of reviews from 2998 sources to help you choose the best Headphone & Headset from top brands like Bose, Sennheiser, Plantronics, Audio Technica, Jabra and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase

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