Updated

Test Benches and Ratings
Headphones

The price is not a factor in the scores.

Our score is automatically calculated based on a formula. We simply enter all our measurements and the score is generated. It is a weighted average. You can drill down the tests via the box to the right

Changelogs

02/16/2018: Test bench 1.2

08/10/2017: Test bench 1.1

02/28/2017: Test bench 1.0

How to interpret the scores

10 to 7.5

This pair of headphones is great for this usage or test. You will be satisfied with it.

7.4 to 6.0

It is good enough for most people, but if you care about this usage or test, it will bother you.

5.9 to 0.0

This headphone is below average at this usage or test. It could be an issue even if you aren't particularly picky about this aspect.

Usage

Mixed Usage
Critical Listening
Commute/Travel
Sports/Fitness
Office
Home Theater
Gaming

Test Results

Design
Controls
Ease of use
Feedback
Call/Music Control
Volume Control
Microphone Control
Channel Mixing
Noise Canceling Control
Talk-Through
Stability
Build Quality
Comfort
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference
Portability
Volume
Stand required
Sound
Treble
Std. Err.
Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
Weighted THD @ 100
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
PRTF Size (Avg.)
PRTF Distance
Openness
Acoustic Space Excitation
Correlated Crosstalk
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
Mid
Std. Err.
Bass
Std. Err.
Low-Frequency Extension
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
Weighted Phase Mismatch
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Bass
Mid
Treble
Self-Noise
Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
Microphone
Recording Quality
LFE
FR Std. Dev.
HFE
Weighted THD
Gain
Noise Handling
SpNR
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
Charge Time
Power Saving Feature
Audio while charging
App Support
Connectivity
Latency
Default Latency
aptX Latency
aptX(LL) Latency
Base/Dock
Optical Input
Line In
Line Out
USB Input
RCA Input
PS4 Compatible
Xbox One Compatible
PC Compatible
Power Supply
Dock Charging
Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
Line of Sight Range
Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
NFC
PS4 Compatible
Xbox One Compatible
Wired
Analog
USB
PS4 Compatible
Xbox One Compatible
PC Compatible

Additional information

Hover over any usage ratings in a review or recommendation page to see the components. Changes in scores due to firmware updates are noted in a yellow banner at the top of a review, and any changes to overall weightings or scoring are listed below. The test bench version each product was tested in is listed on the review, next to the ratings.

Questions Found an error?

Let us know what is wrong in this question or in the answer.

Email:

Questions & Answers

5 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
6
Could you please include _RAW_ frequency response graphs in your reviews, as well as the Compensated FR plots. Or, post the target/compensation curve that you're using for the Compensated FR plots in the FR reference section, so we can see how the raw data is being corrected. Thank sincerely. This site was very helpful in the purchase of my last TV btw. I ended up getting a Samsung 40J5200, and am very satisfied with my purchase (in spite of its somewhat poor angle of view).
Rtings.com Headphones Compensation Curve

We are planning on including raw measurements on the website in the near future, but that requires us to upgrade our charts from JPG to dynamic ones. With that, we could even provide a number of compensation curves (flat, bass-heavy, treble-heavy, etc.) for you to choose from, so that the recommendations would be tailored towards your taste.

In the meantime, here is our current compensation curve.

3
Could you please provide a way to view a table of headphones with Bluetooth capability?
We will add a dedicated Bluetooth page in the future, but in the meantime, you can sort the headphones based on their wireless capabilities here. At the moment all of our wireless headphones are Bluetooth.
1
I would like to know why you guys haven't review any Beats by Dre headphones lately? I'm deciding on which headphones to buy out of the Beats studio wireless or the Bose quietcomfort 25. Thanks and by the way you guys are amazing I love your website it has helped me a lot on tvs and now headphones!
We have a couple of in-ear Beats reviews scheduled for the summer, however, more Beats reviews would probably have to wait until sometime in the fall. We have a lot of other headphones in the queue already.
0
What is the criteria for "Limited Availability Products". I don't understand why the Sony MDR7506 is marked as one.
The criteria for "Limited Availability Products" is usually, if they're out-of-stock or unavailable through the affiliate links. However, thanks to your question, we noticed that some headphones would display as unavailable because of the "hidden price" feature of several Amazon links. We have since pushed a fix for this issue, and all test result tables should now be displaying the correct list of available headphones.
0
Why does the mixed usage score, not give more ( or equal ) weight to 'home theater'?
We've decided that the Home Theater use case is more niche than the other score sets. Therefore, most headphones shouldn't be heavily penalized, for mixed usage, due to a below-average score for home theater use.
Questions Have a question?

Before asking a question, make sure you use the search function of our website. The majority of the answers are already here.

Current estimated response time, based on # of pending questions: 3.9 business days.

:
:
A valid email is required. We answer most questions directly by email to prevent cluttering the site.