The goal of buying the best headphones is pretty simple (shooting sound into our ears), but choosing the right pair for you isn’t necessarily an easy task, especially when you consider how many options there are. To help you out, we’ve done all the research, keeping in mind the different types, styles, and features available. We asked important questions, like: “Do we want portability?” Are we going to work on it? Is wireless important? After this initial research, we picked up the 25 best headphones you can buy today and got our ears ready for the biggest listening party ever.
While exposing our ears to hours and hours of great music, we focused on sound quality, comfort, battery life and noise cancellation. With these features in mind, we quickly concluded that the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones are the best of the best. With their extra comfortable design and superior sound quality, these headphones offer the best experience in their class. Keep reading to learn more about Bose headphones and our other top 4 picks for the best headphones so your ears can enjoy the same experience ours had.
Top 5 Best Headphones in 2022
#1 QuietComfort 35 II by Bose
Bose has long been considered one of the top players in the audio game, and that feeling is evident in the QuietComfort 35 II headphones. With powerful sound and premium noise cancellation, these headphones were an easy gadget. Review’s top pick for the best over-ear headphones?
- extremely comfortable design.
- Excellent active noise cancellation.
- Balanced sound quality drawbacks
- Expensive battery
- is not replaceable.
- There is no in-line remote on the cable.
Bose’s superior sound quality radiates clarity in the QuietComfort 35 II headphones. These over-ear headphones offer balanced sound, with well-rounded bass and sculpted highs for a great audio experience. Of course, you can expect to pay for such high sound quality, and that is true with these Bose headphones. They’re one of the two most expensive options on our list, but trust us when we say it’s worth it. They are very comfortable, and you can even use an app on your phone to change the sound.
The other area where the QC35 II headphones excel is their active noise cancelling (ANC) capabilities. You can choose from three different noise-cancelling modes (High, Low, and Off/On) to give you more control over different scenarios. We were pleasantly surprised that all of these modes worked exactly as they should, but were particularly impressed with the effectiveness of the High mode, which was able to suppress most of the noise in a crowded and loud room. If you’re looking for premium over-the-ear headphones, the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II headphones are the best on the market. For Apple fans, check out the best lightning cable headphones.
#2 Sony WH-1000XM3
Consider the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones as Bose’s biggest competitor today. These great noise-cancelling headphones offer the best active noise cancellation we’ve experienced yet without sacrificing sound quality. That’s why this is our honourable mention and the best noise-cancelling model.
- Clear and accurate sound quality.
- The best noise cancellation on our list
- It’s fantastic to have callcons.
- Ears get a little warm after prolonged use.
- touch controls can be hit or miss.
Most high-end headphones these days offer some sort of noise cancellation, but none of them even comes close to the level of quality that Sony’s WH-1000XM3 headphones offer. In fact, the headphones have a chip solely for noise cancellation, and that little chip does its job almost too well. If good noise cancelling is the top feature you’re looking for, then do yourself a favour and get these headphones. The best kids’ headphones may not need noise cancellation, but adults do.
Of course, that’s not to say that these Sony headphones aren’t excellent in other areas, because they certainly are. The sound quality is as excellent as the price of these headphones suggests, although some may find the bass too deep. You also get exceptional comfort with these over-ear headphones. The cups have a cushion-soft filling, but your ears may warm up a little too quickly for comfort during extended use. All in all, you can’t go wrong with buying a pair of WH-1000XM3s, especially if you’re after noise cancellation.
#3 MPOW H10
MPOW It may not be a household name when it comes to headphones, but the H10 over-ear headphones were good enough to make it into our top 5. With an excellent noise-cancelling microphone and a comfortable design, these headphones are perfect for the office or school. This is our pick for the best microphone.
- Excellent noise-cancelling microphone
- long battery life.
- Design is foldable for easier storage.
- Mediocre noise cancellation performance
- The design feels a bit flimsy.
- Occasional problems with the Bluetooth connection
The MPOW H10 headphones are some of the most affordable noise-cancelling headphones on our list (and on the market today), but that doesn’t mean they sacrifice too much on sound or build quality. We were pleasantly surprised at how good the headphones sounded, but only with the noise cancelling turned on. The bass sounded pretty good, but the headphones struggled with higher frequencies at higher volumes. We also noticed a lot of sound leakage at high volumes, so if you’re around people, keep that in mind. And speaking of people around you, check out the best headphones for running.
The H10s take a hybrid approach to noise cancellation. While most ANC headphones have microphones on the inside or outside to identify and suppress noise, hybrid ANC headphones have microphones on both the inside and outside to suppress a wider range of sound. Unfortunately, you’ll hear a faint hissing sound while the noise cancelling is on, but that goes away once you’re listening to music. Perhaps the best feature of the MPOW H10s is the noise-cancelling microphone you can use for calls. When you talk to someone who uses these headphones, they won’t hear all the ambient noise on your end, making this the perfect choice for people who make a lot of phone calls in many different places. If you want a gaming headset, read about the best Xbox One headset.
#4 Headphones Cowin E7
Extra affordable and super comfortable, the Cowin E7 headphones are a great choice for anyone looking for comfort on a budget. They are our picks for the best budget and the best for comfort. With good noise cancellation and sound quality, these headphones are sure to spoil your ears (and wallet).
- Minimal sound leakage
- Excellent comfort
- Wireless range extenders
- Comprehensive design
- Cheaper build quality.
- The sound quality is not the best.
It’s safe to say that the Cowin E7 headphones are an excellent addition to anyone’s collection of audio gear. And at under $50, these are hard to pass up. Of course, ratings and price are just two pieces of the puzzle. Fortunately, the E7s generally sound pretty good. They will never be able to reach the Bose level of sound quality, but they hold their own well enough to make it onto our list. With these headphones, you get powerful and clear audio.
You also get good noise cancellation on the E7s. If you have noise cancellation enabled, you can cancel almost everything around you. Check out the best noise-cancelling headphones. We were also pleased with how comfortable these over-ear headphones were, even during extended use. The ear cups moulded perfectly to our ears and stayed in place. Unfortunately, the overall build quality of the E7s felt a bit flimsy, but that’s almost to be expected with headphones at this price.
#5 Cowin E7 Pro
The Cowin E7 Pro headphones are the successors to the ever-popular Cowin E7, and the updated version is quickly catching up with reviews on Amazon. With more comfortable ear cups and updated noise-cancelling functionality at a more affordable price, these headphones offer the best value on our list. These are not only the best value, but also the best for comfort.
- Good battery life.
- Minimal sound leakage
- It comes with a hard carrying case.
- Microphone performance is below average.
- Comprehensive design
- Microphone of poor quality
While the E7 Pros don’t have nearly as many reviews on Amazon as their predecessors, they’re still excellent headphones worthy of being put on our list. They have an excellent 30-hour battery life and pretty decent sound quality with minimal sound leakage. The Pro version of Cowin’s headphones now have a better build quality, which we liked.
When it comes to noise cancellation, the E7 pros really excel. The ANC here is powerful and can effectively pick up even the loudest sounds while on the move. Unfortunately, this quality does not apply to the microphone of the headphones, so don’t expect the best quality when talking to your friends while wearing these headphones. Overall, if you’re looking for super affordable headphones that still offer premium ANC and sound quality, you’d do well to check out the Cowin E7 Pro headphones. You may also like the best Bluetooth headphones for sports.
Finding Key Factors in the Best Headphones
Comfort/Fit: Headphones are an accessory we wear, so how well they fit and feel is just as important as how they sound. You see many different approaches to ergonomics and materials. Over/on-ears use ear pads differently. With over-ears, the pads go around the ear, so the opening of the auricle must be suitable. The best over-ear headphones are very popular. With on-ears, there shouldn’t be too much clamping force and the material should be soft, or it won’t be long before your ears start to hurt. And with in-ears, the fit in the ear canal is crucial. If the earbuds don’t stay in place, sound will leak out. lightweight:
Manufacturers need to be aware of the weight of the headphones when packing all these features. The experience is ruined if you get a sore point on your head after a while, or if gravity pulls your ears out. This is especially important if you plan to work with them. Always check that the weight sounds reasonable on the headphone spec sheet. After all, they are not the same as the best earplugs for your head.
Isolation: It’s not easy to prevent external noise from ruining your listening session. Manufacturers approach the problem in different ways. With over-ears and on-ears, thicker leather-wrapped cushions work well, as they are also comfortable. In-ears can be trickier because the earplug has to fit snugly in the ear canal (we all have different ear shapes). If a proper seal is not made, noise will leak in and out and ruin the quality. Most manufacturers use silicone tips because they are flexible and long-lasting, but if insulation is paramount, then foam tips are the answer (they expand and fill the space).
Wireless: Bluetooth or wireless headphones are the new wave these days. However, it does require some thought, and wireless headphones are not all equally well-made. For example, battery life may be annoyingly short, or ergonomics, comfort, and fit may be compromised to make way for the wireless components. A manufacturer has a lot more engineering to do to make it all come together properly. And then there’s the sound quality. Bluetooth streaming includes compression, so if you value high-quality acoustics, the wireless convenience may not be worth it.
Don’t go too cheap: We all like to save some money, but sometimes that phrase “you get what you pay for” comes back to bite us. Headphones that are too cheap probably have to compromise on something important (ergonomics, comfort, sound quality, etc.). However, there are some hidden treasures out there. If you’re on a strict budget, look for alternatives that agree that they’re the best budget headphones and value for money.
Impedance Impedance is the electrical resistance of the headphones, which affects the amount of current required to drive them. Or in other words, how much volume do you need to hear them? Usually, this is not a problem. Most headphones have an impedance of less than 100 ohms and can be easily driven by mobile devices. But if you’re starting to get into high-end over-ears (impedances of 300 ohms or higher), your source may be too weak. You will then have to spend even more money on a special amplifier. Check the spec sheet and make sure the impedance is reasonable for the source you want to use.
Remote compatibility When purchasing headphones with the incorrect in-line remote, it is easy to make a mistake. Many headphones these days come with a 3-button remote on the standard cable. However, because the two most popular mobile operating systems work differently, manufacturers have to create two versions of the remote. Make sure to buy the correct iOS or Android headphone model.
The most important features:
- The competence of the headphones’ audio reproduction is a huge factor, but isolation can be just as important. We often use our headphones on the go, which allows external noise to seep in.
- Over-ears handle insulation better than on-ears because the ear cushions enclose more of the ear. Manufacturers are trying to make more substantial or thicker ear cushions to stop sound from getting out.
- With in-ears, foam tips insulate much better than silicone tips because they can expand to fill the space in the ear canal. Most manufacturers use silicone tips, but there are third-party options like Comply foam tips that can be used instead.
- You will have to think about which features are most important to you. For example, wireless headphones are useful, but there is a trade-off in sound quality (compared to wired headphones of the same price).
- If portability is at the top of your list, you’ll want an over-the-ear with a foldable design, or go for in-ear headphones.
- Some headphones allow you to remove the cable, which can be useful for replacing it with a longer one or replacing it if it doesn’t work.
- Certain headphones have noise-cancelling technology. If external noise is often a problem, it narrows your search. The best wireless gaming headsets should have this feature.
Which headset is right for you?
The headphone market is a very exciting space these days. There is so much going on in terms of design and features, and so many choices are fighting for our money. When choosing, think about how you will use the headphones and which features are most important. And, of course, the budget plays a big role. Headphones can range from a few dollars to thousands. But you don’t necessarily have to spend an arm and a leg to become a great all-rounder. Unfortunately, most of the headphones out there aren’t available for us to try before we buy, so trust user feedback and reviews.