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The 7 Best Headphones - Spring 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Headphones

A great pair of headphones shouldn't only sound rich and balanced but should also be comfortable, versatile, well-built, and feature-packed. While you can get some surprisingly decent budget models, the best headphones tend to come packed with more features, like active noise cancelling (ANC), dedicated companion apps for customization, multi-device pairing, and NFC compatibility. While less expensive pairs of headphones tend to miss out on some of these premium features, you can still find some well-rounded and versatile options that provide great value.

We've tested over 670 pairs of headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best headphones you can buy. See our picks for the best Bluetooth earbuds, the best wireless headphones, and the best noise cancelling headphones.


  1. Best Wireless Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless

    The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are the best headphones with a wireless connection that we've tested. These premium over-ears are packed with features like active noise cancelling (ANC) and companion app support. Their ANC especially offers outstanding performance, blocking out background noise like the low rumble of bus and plane engines as well as office chatter.

    Out of the box, they have a bass-heavy sound profile that's well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop. You can adjust their sound to your liking using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. Their battery lasts over 37 hours continuously, which is great for many long days at the office or on the go. They also support multi-device pairing, meaning you can stay connected to your PC and smartphone at the same time. 

    Unfortunately, their integrated mic struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise, which can be frustrating if you take a lot of calls from a busy office. However, these high-end over-ears offer a lot of versatility and customizability. Their powerful ANC, comfortable fit, and great build quality make them some of the best travel headphones we've tested.

    See our review

  2. More Comfortable Alternative: Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless

    If you're looking for even more comfortable wireless headphones, check out the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. While they don't feel as well-built or premium as the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless, they clamp less tightly on your head, which is great if you're listening to audio for long periods. Like their predecessor, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018, they have an excellent ANC system that can block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines as well as office chatter. Their fairly neutral sound profile is also suitable for a variety of audio content. If you like to customize your headphones to suit your tastes, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets. They also support multi-device pairing, and they last over 21 hours continuously, which is great for a few long days at the office.

    Take a look at the Sony if you value better build quality and longer continuous battery life from your headphones. However, if comfort is a bigger concern, try the Bose instead.

    See our review

  3. Best Wireless Earbuds: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless

    If you're looking for something smaller and more portable than over-ears, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless are the best wireless earbuds we've tested. Like most headphones from this manufacturer, they have a powerful ANC system. When using its highest mode, they can block out a wide range of background noise, though you also can adjust the level of noise isolation using the ANC presets in their companion app.

    These well-built buds have a very flat and neutral default sound profile, making them a versatile choice for most kinds of audio content. Still, if you want some control over their sound, their app also offers a graphic EQ and presets so that you can tweak them to suit your tastes. If you want to use them at work or during a long commute, they have over seven hours of continuous playback time, and their carrying case supplies an additional two charges.

    Although they have a decently comfortable fit, the buds have a bulkier design than most truly wireless headphones, and they stick out of your ears. Their integrated mic has a hard time separating your voice from moderate ambient noise, and speech can be drowned out. However, if you prefer earbuds, their powerful noise isolation performance and customizable sound are worth checking out.

    See our review

  4. Alternative For iPhone: Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

    If you're looking for truly wireless earbuds to use with your iPhone, you may prefer the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. These earbuds have a shorter continuous battery life than the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless, but they offer some extra features for iOS users. Their Η1 chip allows you to easily pair them with devices in the Apple ecosystem, and they support 'Spatial Audio' (a surround sound feature) with compatible iOS devices. It includes settings like head tracking, which reorients the soundstage based on the position of your head and device. They also have a similarly great ANC performance, meaning they can block out a wide range of ambient sound, and they feel very sturdy. Their sound profile is neutral but lacks low bass, making them less suitable for genres like EDM and hip-hop. They also don't come with any sound customization features.

    If you want earbuds with a longer continuous battery life or more customization options, go for the Βose, but try the Apple instead if you're an iOS user interested in features like virtual surround sound and easier pairing.

    See our review

  5. Best Audiophile Headphones: Sennheiser HD 800 S

    The Sennheiser HD 800 S are the best audiophile headphones we've tested. If you're looking for an immersive audio experience, these over-ears have an open-back design. This enclosure allows audio to escape the ear cups and bounce off the walls around you, creating a spacious and open passive soundstage.

    Their sound is well-balanced and neutral. Although they have some trouble reproducing a thumpy low-bass, which is common among open-back headphones, they have a touch of extra high-bass to add warmth to audio. Their mid range is also flat, so vocals and lead instruments are clear and accurately reproduced. These headphones have excellent build quality, too, and their fit is comfortable enough for long listening sessions.

    Unfortunately, their open-back design leaks a lot of audio and won't block out background noise by design. While this may not be a problem if you're listening to tracks in a quiet room like a studio, audio bleed can ruin a recording, while ambient sound can make it more difficult to properly monitor a live session. However, you may want to check out the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO for noise isolation instead, as they're closed-back headphones.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Headphones: Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless

    The best budget headphones we've tested are the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless. These wallet-friendly earbuds come with a few different sizes of ear tips and stability fins, meaning you can find a good fit for you. They have a decent seven-hour continuous battery life and come with a case that holds about 12.5 extra charges, so their total battery life is more than 100 hours.

    They're comfortable, stable, and rated IPX5 for water resistance, making them a great choice for workouts. Their sound profile is fairly well-balanced, with a bit of extra thump and rumble in the bass range, making them well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop. They also do a good job of passively isolating you from noise like ambient chatter or the hum of an A/C unit.

    Unfortunately, they lack app support and don't have sound customization features like a graphic EQ or presets. They also have a limited onboard control scheme that lacks a volume function. Otherwise, if you're looking for budget-friendly earbuds, these offer versatile performance and a very long total battery life.

    See our review

  7. Best Cheap Earbuds: JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless

    The best cheap earbuds we've tested are the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless. Unlike many headphones at this price point, they have three EQ presets built-in so that you can adjust their sound to suit your tastes. Using their 'JLab Signature' EQ, their flattest EQ, they have a bass-rich sound profile that delivers extra thump, punch, and boom to audio.

    These headphones have a decently comfortable fit and good build quality and are certified IPX4 for resistance against water splashes. Although they struggle to block out the low rumble of bus engines, they do a better job of cutting down office chatter and the high-pitched hum of an AC unit. They also have a continuous battery life of over nine hours, which should last through long days at work, and their carrying case holds roughly three extra charges.

    Unfortunately, their charging cable is integrated into the case, and since you can't detach it, you'll need to purchase another pair of buds if it gets damaged. Using the touch-sensitive controls can also put pressure on your ear canal, which some users may find uncomfortable. If you're looking for a cheap pair of headphones, they offer a solid performance that should please most users.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless: The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are sleek headphones with a great noise isolation performance, thanks to their ANC system. However, they last for under five hours when used continuously and lack robust sound customization features like a graphic EQ. See our review
  • Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless: The Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless are in-ears with an excellent noise isolation performance, thanks to their ANC system. However, they lack power-saving features and have high latency on iOS, Android, and PCs. See our review
  • Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO: The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO are closed-back audiophile headphones worth considering if you want to block out some background noise and reduce audio leakage. While they produce an out-of-head audio experience, their passive soundstage doesn't sound very natural, open, or spacious. See our review
  • Bose 700 Headphones Wireless: The Bose 700 Headphones Wireless are a viable alternative to the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. They're well-built noise cancelling headphones that are designed with traveling and taking calls in mind. However, the QC45 are more comfortable. See our review
  • Jabra Evolve2 85 Wireless: The Jabra Evolve2 85 Wireless are professional headphones with good noise isolation and many sound customization options. However, they don't block out as much background noise as the Sony WH-1000XM4 or the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. See our review
  • Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless: The Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless are versatile over-ear headphones packed with features. They're a more stable-fitting alternative to the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless but not as comfortable. See our review
  • Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless: The Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless are semi-open, truly wireless in-ears with a neutral sound profile and many sound customization features. However, their noise isolation performance isn't as impressive as some other in-ears we've tested. See our review
  • Sennheiser HD 600: The Sennheiser HD 600 are well-balanced open-back critical listening headphones but are more expensive than others that perform similarly. See our review
  • SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless: The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless are surprisingly versatile and remarkably feature-packed gaming headphones, but they still have a bulky design that makes them limited for more casual use. See our review
  • Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless: The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless are over-ear headphones with an adjustable ANC. They isolate you from an outstanding amount of background noise, but they leak some audio at high volumes. See our review
  • Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless: The Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless are cheap earbuds with a more neutral default sound profile than the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless. However, they lack sound customization features and have a much shorter continuous battery life. See our review
  • Sony WI-C310 Wireless: The Sony WI-C310 Wireless are cheap headphones with a more comfortable fit and a longer continuous battery life than the JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless, but they aren't as well-built or as stable in your ear. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 28, 2022: Added the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO to Notable Mentions. Minor updates to the text for accuracy.

  2. Mar 29, 2022: Replaced the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless with the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless as the QC35 II have been discontinued.

  3. Feb 17, 2022: Replaced the HiFiMan Arya with the Sennheiser HD 800 S because the variant of the Arya that we tested isn't available.

  4. Jan 14, 2022: Removed the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless as they have been discontinued and are getting harder to find in stock. Added the Bose QuietComfort 45/CQ45 Wireless to the Notable Mentions.

  5. Dec 15, 2021: Replaced the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless with the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless as the 'Best Wireless Earbuds' because they now have a better ANC performance. Made the Apple the 'Alternative For iPhone'.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best earbuds and headphones for most people to buy. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would 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 ideal headphones. Personal tastes, preferences, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.

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