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The 15 Best Headphone Brands - Winter 2023 Reviews

Updated
Best Headphone Brands

If you're in the market for a new pair of headphones, it can be hard to know where to start. Even if you've narrowed down your needs to something fairly specific, like earbuds for sports, how do you know what the best earbuds brand is? While the biggest brands tend to make something for everyone, some focus on specific groups, like athletes or professional musicians. While you can get a decent pair of headphones from most brands these days, there's no hard and fast answer as to what the best headphones brand for you is. Each company has its unique way of doing things, even when they cater to similar needs. That said, some brands stand out among the rest.

We’ve tested headphones from over 100 brands, and below are our recommendations for the 15 best headphone brands. The brands aren’t ordered by rank or position; the first brand listed isn’t necessarily our top pick overall, and the last brand isn’t the worst. Instead, we’ve listed the brands by use or specialty, keeping brands with similar audiences together to make it easier to find what best suits your needs.


  1. Bose

    If you care about noise isolation, you've probably already heard of Bose. They're well-known for their powerful noise cancelling technology and made their mark by producing the first commercial acoustic noise cancelling headset for pilots. Since then, they've updated and expanded their active noise cancelling (ANC) systems for consumer use and even widened their offerings to include home audio systems and speakers. Their headphones have powerful noise isolation performances with fairly neutral and balanced sound profiles. They even produce a lineup of audio sunglasses, which are sunglasses that have speakers built into the arms, so you can still listen to audio without blocking your ears.

    The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are the best Bose headphones we've tested. These earbuds are the next generation of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless. They're more comfortable and their fit is more personalizable than their predecessor thanks to swappable ear tips and fins, but their ANC is even better than their larger over-ear siblings, like the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. Due to their in-ear fit, they can easily block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines as well as office chatter. They have a u-shaped default sound that compliments modern pop and rock, but you can customize using their companion app's graphic EQ if you want. They last over six hours continuously, which may not get you through the workday without needing to use one of the carrying case's three additional charges. Overall, these compact and comfy buds have the best ANC performance currently on the market and deliver a powerful sound as well.

    See our review

  2. Sony

    Sony is one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world and makes everything from cameras and TVs, to a broad line of headphones suited to diverse needs. Whether you're looking for noise cancelling over-ears to help cut down ambient sound during your commute or sports-oriented earbuds with great stability, there's a variety of products available to meet your needs. Many Sony headphones are also compatible with the Sony | Headphones Connect app, which offers customization features like an EQ or button mapping. However, their large selection can be overwhelming, especially as there's a lot of overlap between models. Still, their high-end Bluetooth models are among the best we've tested, and they offer versatile performance for most users.

    The Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless are the best Sony earbuds that we've tested. Their ANC feature can block out a wider range of noise than their over-ear counterpart, The Sony WH-1000XM4, like from the low rumble of passing traffic during a commute to office chit-chat and the hum of an A/C unit. This also helps boost their already bass-rich sound profile, meaning that genres like EDM and hip-hop have extra thump and rumble. The mix can also be customized with the EQ and presets in their companion app. They support multi-device pairing, so you can easily switch between using your laptop and phone, and they last just over seven hours continuously. They're also very comfortable and are made from recycled plastic, which makes them lighter overall.

    See our review

  3. Apple

    Apple is an iconic American company that produces consumer electronics like speakers, smartphones, and computers. Although their headphones lineup is a lot smaller than their competitors, their easily recognizable products have made an impact on the retail landscape. Their in-ears have a distinct, glossy white look that's been imitated by other manufacturers. Apple is also the best earbuds brand if you're already integrated into the Apple ecosystem, as their products also boast a couple of extra features unique to iOS. Their wireless headphones have H1 chips so that you can seamlessly pair them with iOS devices and newer products support Spatial Audio on iOS/iPadOS 14 or later, which reorients sound as you move your head. Unfortunately, their products lack sound customization features to adjust the mix to your liking.

     The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are the best Apple headphones we've tested. These in-ears are the followup to the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless and have an even better ANC system than the original. They can easily cut out noise from passing traffic and noisy coworkers. Their default sound profile is warm, with more bass than the original Pro and a balanced overall mix that's versatile enough for most genres of music. While their nearly six-hour continuous battery life is a little short, their carrying case holds four additional charges, and the buds go into standby mode when not in use. If you prefer over-ear headphones, you may want to consider the Apple AirPods Max Wireless, premium noise cancelling headphones with a sleek aluminum design. However, they're heavy and can be fatiguing to wear for long listening sessions.

    See our review

  4. Sennheiser

    Sennheiser is a reputed brand among audiophiles for their wide range of open-back headphones at various price points. They also make Bluetooth models for more casual listening and dedicated TV headphones so you can enjoy your favorite shows wirelessly without sync issues. They make both over-ears and in-ears but don't have many truly wireless models. Also, like Sony, it can be hard to know which of their headphones provide the best value since they have so many overlapping models with only minor differences. That said, they're still a reliable brand with a good reputation that makes many different products worth recommending.

    The best Sennheiser headphones we've tested are the Sennheiser HD 800 S. These reference-class over-ears have a spacious, open soundstage and an expertly-tuned sound signature, making listening to your favorite high-fidelity tracks a memorable experience in a quiet room. They're quite the investment, so audiophiles on a budget will want to consider the more affordable Sennheiser HD 560S, which don't sound as immersive but provide better value for the price. If you prefer the versatility of a wireless noise cancelling design, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless have a bass-rich sound, are stylish, and have a comfortable fit for everyday use, but they offer a less immersive listening experience due to their closed-back design.

    See our review

  5. Audio-Technica

    Audio-Technica is a Japanese brand that makes a range of different headphones. They may be best known for their M-Series headphones, a lineup of closed-back studio headphones for professional use. This lineup includes many options, and it's not always obvious which model provides the best value for the price. However, their best products are go-tos for audiophiles and audio professionals, who laud them for their build and sound quality. They also make headphones with active noise cancelling and Bluetooth models for when you're out and about, but we haven't tested as many of them.

    The best Audio-Technica headphones we've tested are the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. These closed-back headphones have a wired design and a very well-balanced sound profile. There's a bit of overemphasis in the bass range that adds extra punch and warmth to the audio, but they're still suitable for a variety of genres. If you're an audiophile or just looking for studio headphones, these will be sure to please. They're impressively well-built and have a comfortable fit, although their big ear cups and wide headband make them a bit bulkier than other models from this manufacturer. If you're looking for a cheaper option, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are worth considering in the budget range, although they aren't as well-built, and their sound isn't as well-balanced as the M50x. For an open-back option, consider the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x. While they lack a lot of low-bass, they make up for it with a lightweight build and a wide passive soundstage.

    See our review

  6. Beyerdynamic

    Beyerdynamic is one of the oldest headphone manufacturers and invented the first dynamic transducer headphones. They mainly focus on hi-fi headphones with a neutral sound profile and a high build quality. Their open-back over-ear headphones also tend to have a more extended bass response than many other open-backs we've tested. However, some users may find their sound quite bright and that sibilants like cymbals can sound piercing. It can vary from person to person, though. Still, you may want to check this brand out if you're looking for critical listening or studio headphones.

    The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are the best Beyerdynamic headphones we've tested. These wired over-ear headphones have an open-back design that helps them create a reasonably immersive and open passive soundstage. They also have a neutral sound profile that ensures vocals and instruments reproduce clearly and accurately. They're impressively well-built, with a sturdy metal headband and comfortable, well-padded ear cups. If you're looking for headphones for purposes like recording and want a closed-back design, you may prefer the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, which leak less audio and block out more ambient sound. The Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless are also a decent option if you want Βluetooth headphones. However, their sound profile is much more dependent on their fit, seal, and positioning on your head.

    See our review

  7. JBL

    JBL is an American manufacturer that offers a wide variety of audio equipment like speakers and headphones. A subsidiary of Harman, most of their extensive lineup of headphones feature a very neutral and accurate default sound profile, which will please most listeners. Some of these headphones are compatible with the JBL Headphones app, offering a parametric EQ and presets so that you can customize them to your liking.

    The JBL CLUB PRO+ TWS True Wireless are the best JBL headphones we've tested. These truly wireless headphones have an ANC feature that does a decent job of isolating you from ambient noise like rumbling engines and ambient chatter. Like most JΒL headphones we've tested, they have a very neutral, versatile default sound profile that can be customized with a parametric EQ and presets in their companion app. They're comfortable, very well-built, and will be stable enough to stay in place during workouts. They offer a 'Video Mode' that provides a low latency connection with PCs and iOS and Android devices, so you can use them to watch videos without audio syncing issues. If you don't like in-ear headphones, the JBL CLUB 950NC Wireless are over-ears with a well-balanced default sound profile and an app with customization features. However, their ANC struggles to block out bass-range ambient noise.

    See our review

  8. Beats

    Beats, or Beats By Dre, is an American audio company founded by rapper and record producer Dr. Dre. Their over-ear headphones are easy to spot in a crowd, thanks to their eye-catching colorways and iconic designs that prominently display the brand's logo. When they first emerged in the market, they had the reputation of producing plasticky headphones that were overly bass-heavy. However, since being acquired by Apple Inc. in 2014, Beats have made several strides to improve their products. Most of their headphones now have an H1 or W1 chip, making it easy to pair your headphones with Apple devices seamlessly. Newer headphones have a more neutral sound profile, though they still lack sound customization features to help you adjust their sound to your tastes.

    The Beats Fit Pro True Wireless are the best Beats headphones we've tested. These headphones have an impressive adaptive noise cancelling system that blocks out a lot of ambient noise from commutes and loud offices. Their sound profile is fairly neutral, which will suit most types of audio, and they support Apple Music's Spatial Audio - a feature that reorients audio to follow your head movements. They last roughly a bit over five hours continuously, and their carrying case supplies an additional three charges. Unfortunately, some users find their fit uncomfortable as the buds' plastic body and stability fins can be bulky, depending on your ear shape. They stay in place during a run or workout, but you may still want to check out the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless if you prefer an ear hook design.

    See our review

  9. Jabra

    Jabra has been producing call center and office-oriented headphones for a long time. But over the last few years, they've diversified their lineup to offer more casual and sports-oriented truly wireless headphones, many of which have solid microphone performances, which is good if you take a lot of calls throughout the day. Most of their products are also compatible with the Jabra Sound+ app, which offers customization features like EQ presets to help you adjust them to your liking. However, Jabra's noise cancelling technology isn't their strong suit, and the ANC tends to offer only a marginal improvement over passive noise isolation.

    The Jabra Elite 7 Pro True Wireless are the best Jabra headphones we've tested. These in-ear headphones have a well-balanced default sound profile that's versatile enough for different types of content. Their companion app includes a graphic EQ and presets to fine-tune your mix. The app lets you remap most onboard controls, perform a fit test, and adjust the mic's sidetone during calls. They're comfortable, stable enough to stay in place during workouts, and rated IP57 for resistance against dust and brief immersion in water. Their battery provides more than eight hours of continuous use, and they come with a case that holds about three extra charges. However, like many other Jabra earbuds, their ANC doesn't improve much on their passive noise isolation capabilities. They still do a good job isolating you from mid-range noise, like conversations.

    See our review

  10. Anker

    Anker is a Chinese company known for their affordable electronic accessories like power banks and charging cables. This brand also makes audio products like speakers and headphones under the 'Soundcore' label. Overall, their headphones offer a good price-to-performance ratio and come in many different styles. Some headphones are also compatible with the Soundcore app, which has a graphic EQ and presets to help you customize their sound. Others have an active noise cancelling system that, at times, can nearly rival that of other big brands like Bose and Sony.

    The best Anker headphones we've tested are the Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless. These in-ears have a warm sound profile, with extra high-bass that will please folk and jazz fans. If you prefer a different sound, you can also tweak the sound with a graphic EQ and presets in the companion app. They have a comfortable and stable fit and easily stay in place during workouts. Their ANC feature does an excellent job of blocking out ambient sound across the range, so they can help reduce noise during your commute or at the office. You can also set it to three levels in the app to suit different situations. Unfortunately, their battery performance is just okay, and their latency with PCs and iOS and Android devices is high, so they aren't ideal for watching movies or gaming. If you're looking for over-ear headphones, the Anker Soundcore Life Q45 Wireless have the same noise isolation performance and longer continuous battery life. However, they're not as well-suited for sports or fitness.

    See our review

  11. Razer

    If you're a gamer, you've most likely heard of Razer. This brand produces a lot of gaming peripherals like micekeyboards, computer chairs, and laptops. Their headphones stand out from many of their competitors due to their unique looks (sometimes in Razer's trademark lime green color) and customizable RGB lighting, allowing you to customize their look to fit your style. They're primarily known for their gaming headphones, which are usually compatible with Razer Synapse software, which offers customization features. However, more recently, they've expanded their lineup to casual-use in-ears and hybrid casual-use/gaming headphones. Their in-ears tend to perform worse than their competitors.

    The best Razer headphones we've tested are the Razer Barracuda Pro Wireless. They're hybrid casual-use and gaming headphones and offer very versatile performance. They have a touch of extra boom, which is great for genres like EDM and hip-hop or emphasizing sound effects in gameplay. They're also compatible with Razer's mobile app and desktop software, which offer a graphic EQ and presets if you want to customize their sound. Unlike other gaming headsets, they use an integrated mic, which performs decently if you want to take a call or chat with teammates. They also have an ANC system to help block out a great amount of background noise, and last over 34 hours continuously with the ANC on. They're not compatible with Xbox consoles, so if this is important to you, you'll want to consider the Razer Kaira Pro Wireless for Xbox, as they're fully compatible with this console. However, the Kaira Pro Wireless' uneven default sound profile muddies mixes while dialogue and instruments are harsh.

    See our review

  12. Skullcandy

    Do you like colorful headphones? Then Skullcandy may be the brand for you. They're an American electronic company that mostly focuses on low to mid-range headphones that come in several colors and limited edition prints. Their sound also tends to be bass-heavy and boomy, which is great if you're a fan of EDM and hip-hop. Unfortunately, many of their affordable products feel plasticky and lack durability over time. These same products tend to be quite simple in design, but luckily, the brand also produces a few higher-end models with features like ANC and app support.

    The Skullcandy Push Active True Wireless are the best Skullcandy headphones we've tested. These wallet-friendly in-ears are certified IP55 for dust and water resistance and are stable enough to wear during workouts or jogs in the park. They have a slightly bass-rich sound profile that adds a touch of warmth to your audio but doesn't overwhelm vocals and lead instruments. If you want to adjust their sound, the companion app features a graphic EQ and presets for optimal personalization. They also last 9.5 hours continuously, meaning they won't need a recharge until the end of the day. However, these budget buds don't have ANC, meaning you'll only get slight passive noise isolation of higher frequencies, like noisy roommates or buzzing appliances. If you're looking for an over-ear option, consider the Skullcandy Venue Wireless. Their v-shaped sound profile has a lot more bass than the Push Active, and their battery lasts 24 hours on a single charge. Unfortunately, their integrated mic isn't as good and makes your voice sound more muffled.

    See our review

  13. SteelSeries

    SteelSeries is a Danish company that specializes in gaming accessories like headphones, mice, and keyboards. They make a variety of gaming headsets that are distinct from their competitors, thanks to the shared ski-band headband design. However, this shared design can make it hard to discern between units. To further complicate things, they have separate lineups for PlayStation and Xbox, and each lineup has several products with similar names and different features. For example, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless aren't wirelessly compatible with Xbox consoles, but the SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless are. However, if you also want Bluetooth support, you'll need to check out the SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless instead. The upside of this is that they offer headphones at a variety of different price points and features, so you can find a model that best suits your needs.

    The best SteelSeries headphones we've tested are the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for Xbox. These over-ears are the next iteration of the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless and are jam-packed with tons of extra features like Bluetooth support and ANC. They come with a DAC that ensures low gaming latency and allows you to adjust settings like the EQ, volume, and chat mix on the fly. Their boom mic offers very good overall performance, so your teammates and enemies hear you clearly, even in moderately noisy environments. Thanks to their two swappable battery packs, you don't have to worry about running out of juice while gaming, as each battery supplies about 25 hours of continuous playback time. The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro are worth checking out if you prefer a wired design. They have a similar design with virtually no latency, but they don't have ANC.

    See our review

  14. Logitech

    Logitech may be better known as the makers of computer mice and keyboards, but they also make gaming headsets worth considering. They own Astro Gaming, a company focusing on console-oriented gaming headphones, while Logitech gaming headphones are more geared toward PC gamers. However, their wireless headsets are also compatible with PS4, and their wired models usually work with any console they can plug into. Their companion software is some of the best we've tested, with the most premium models offering tons of customization options. However, these headsets tend to be bulky and quite heavy, and their gamer-oriented design isn't for everyone. The newer G Pro lineup offers products with a sleeker, more versatile design.

    The best Logitech headphones we've tested are the Logitech G PRO X WIRELESS LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset. These well-built gaming headphones have a boom microphone that you can detach for a more casual look. Out-of-the-box, their default sound profile is neutral, with a bit of extra boom that helps bring out sound effects in action-packed games. You can customize it with a graphic EQ and presets in the fantastic Logitech G HUB app. The mic has great recording quality and does a decent job separating your voice from background sound, so your teammates will hear you clearly, even if you're gaming in a noisy place. However, they may not be ideal for use outside a quiet room because they don't isolate you from ambient sound. Some users have also reported that their unit's hinges broke over time, which is disappointing. They have a continuous battery life of about 23 hours, which is great. If you're looking for a wired gaming headset, you may want to check out the Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset, which offers similar overall performance, but you can't use them wirelessly.

    See our review

  15. HyperX

    HyperX is a division of Kingston Technology that specializes in gaming peripherals, including headsets, mousepads, and microphones. Their headphones are well-built, have a balanced sound, and have solid-performing boom mics. Most of their offerings are wired, though they do offer a couple of wireless headsets. Unfortunately, for many of their headsets, their companion software doesn't provide much functionality. However, you may still find a lot of value in this design if you're looking for plug-and-play headphones.

    The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless are the best HyperX headphones we've tested. These well-built and comfortable headphones stand out from the pack as their battery delivers over 300 hours of continuous playback time, so you can use them for multiple days before recharging. They also have an auto-off timer, and you can use them while charging in a pinch. They have low latency, ensuring that your audio and visuals stay in sync, and their boom mic does a very good job recording your voice. Their slight v-shaped sound profile adds a touch of extra thump, punch, and boom to gameplay, but unlike other HyperX headsets, you can customize their sound to your liking using their companion software's graphic EQ and presets. However, some users have reported latency issues when using these headphones with their companion software. If you're looking for a more reliable connection and don't mind sacrificing some customization features, check out the HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II Wireless. Their battery doesn't last as long, but their boom mic makes your voice sound fuller and easier to understand.

    See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 27, 2023: We've overhauled our picks to better reflect changes in the marker. Additionally, some headphone brands have significantly changed their product lineup, which has moved them to our Notable Mentions section.

  2. Oct 14, 2022: We've added the following headphones to this list: the Razer Barracuda Pro Wireless, SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for Xbox, and the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless.

  3. May 02, 2022: We've added the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless as the 'Best Apple' pick. We've also replaced the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 with the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless, the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless with the Beats Fit Pro True Wireless, and the Skullcandy Dime True Wireless with the Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless.

  4. Feb 28, 2022: Updated text and checked that product picks represent the best recommendations.

  5. Dec 21, 2021: Replaced the Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless with the Jabra Elite 7 Pro True Wireless as the Elite 7 Pro offer better overall performance. Also replaced the Razer Opus Wireless with the Razer BlackShark V2 as we haven't yet tested the new variant of the Opus. Replaced the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016 with the Plantronics Voyager 5200 Bluetooth Headset as the BackBeat Pro 2 seem to have been discontinued.

Notable Mentions

  • Bang & Olufsen: Make high-end, fashion-forward headphones that look great but come at a premium price. Products generally perform decently but may not provide the best value for everyone.
  • Bowers & Wilkins: Make sturdy, premium headphones that feel exceptionally well-crafted but are expensive and generally don’t perform as well as our top picks.
  • Shure: Known for their studio headphones, they make decent closed-backs and high-end IEMs. Worth considering if you’re an audio producer, but Audio-Technica or Beyerdynamic may provide better value for some people.
  • Koss: Make unique headphones with a retro flair that generally sound decently well-balanced. Unfortunately, they tend to feel plasticky, even considering their budget price.
  • Grado: Make open-back on-ear headphones that have a unique old-school look. They have a distinct sound profile that some enjoy but can feel sharp and lacking in bass.
  • HiFiMan: Make open-back audiophile headphones that generally sound great at a lower cost than bigger-name brands like Sennheiser. However, their quality control isn’t the best, and some units tend to have manufacturing defects.
  • AKG: Known for their variety of open-back models, their headphones tend to sound very balanced. They’re not as diverse a brand as Sennheiser and don’t have the same great build quality as Beyerdynamic, but they’re a solid choice for critical listeners.
  • Focal: Make premium audiophile headphones that are remarkably well-crafted. They tend to have a warm, smooth sound that some listeners prefer, but they lack a fair bit of detail.
  • Samsung: They don't make many headphones, and their older models had limited compatibility with Apple devices, but their most recent offerings provide great value. See the best Samsung headphones.
  • Corsair: Make entry-level gaming headsets that sound quite well-balanced and are very well-built. Their microphone quality isn’t quite as good as HyperX’s, but they're worth considering overall.
  • Astro: Make decent gaming headphones at various price points. Their more premium models are great and worth looking at, especially for Xbox gamers. See the best Astro headphones.
  • Turtle Beach: Have a variety of gaming headphones, many of which are good overall but tend to feel relatively cheaply made, especially compared to HyperX. See the best Turtle Beach headphones.
  • Jaybird: They've been on the market since 2006 and specialize in sports-oriented headphones, and some of their models are among the best headphones for running and working out that we've tested. 
  • Plantronics: Historically, this company made headsets for the aviation and space industry (their headsets went to the moon!), and mainly still focus on call-oriented headphones, some of which come with dedicated docks and boom mics.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphone brands and the best headphones available to buy for most people in various price ranges, from 15 different headphone manufacturers.

If you'd like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our headphone reviews. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.

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