11 Best Wireless Headphones of 2023 — Audiophile ON
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Written By Audiophile On
This article discusses the best wireless headphones you can buy in 2023. We offer suggestions and comparisons for every budget.
Since almost no flagship smartphones in 2023 come with headphone jacks, the rise in wireless headphones has consequently exploded. There are many options on the market, some good and some bad, and we wanted to put together this list of the best wireless headphones we have reviewed on this site.
This list will include options for all buyers at different price points and include Bluetooth wireless headphones. There will be many options for different use cases and a range of features and style options you might prefer. For a long time, these headphones just weren’t good enough to compete with wired options, but now, this year, I think we see a maturity in the design language.
Best Wireless Headphones 2023 List
1. Sony WH-1000XM5
Type: Over-Ear (Circumaural)
Battery Life: 30-hour battery life plus Quickcharge
High-Resolution Audio Codecs: SBC, AAC, and LDAC
Class Leading Noise Canceling
Passive mode for awareness
Excellent sound quality and great bass
Sony made their first radical design change to their top-of-the-line wireless headphone in many years with the release of the WH-1000XM5. Its new flagship looked radically different from the outside, but internally things were more an evolution of a product than a revolution.
That’s a good thing because the XM4 (also on this list of the best wireless headphones) is still generally considered one of the best.
With the XM5 available in two colors, you get Sony’s class-leading ANC noise cancelation technology which is great for use when traveling or in areas with a lot of noise pollution.
The fit is fantastic, with the new design matched with new ergonomics, making it easy to wear for long hours. Despite being low profile, the earcups are wide and spacious, and the headband has a lot of generous padding.
The sound quality is excellent, the best we have heard on ANC headphones, with good clarity and bass performance. Its slightly warm tone makes it work well with many genres, making it a versatile headphone to listen to. We also like that the listening experience can be refined further using the Sony headphone app.
Only two negatives exist: firstly, the price is relatively high but trending in line with the rest of the market. Secondly, the headphone only folds flat and doesn’t have a hinge at the earcups, so the packed footprint is slightly larger than the previous model.
Click here to read our full Sony WH-1000XM5 Review.
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2. Sony WH-1000XM4
Class Leading Noise Canceling technology
30-hour battery life with quick-charge technology
Discounted online since XM5 release makes it better value than ever
Sony seems to be trying to dominate every tech area in recent years, and when they got a series with wireless headphones, people started to take notice. Just a few short years later and we have the outstanding WH-1000XM4, which in my mind, is the best wireless headphone by a long way.
Despite the release of the WH-1000XM5, the XM4 is still so popular that Sony has continued to sell them, which looks to continue through 2023 and beyond. It’s a testament to how good a headphone was on release, and its outstanding value with the new lower pricing.
The Wh2000XM4 is the third generation of the XM headphone line, and they improve with each model. They are packed with all the features you could ever want, from headphones with class-leading ANC, Outstanding battery life, and built-in touch controls.
If you want to learn more about the XM3, read our review. They are excellent, and even though they are not the cheapest wireless headphone on this list, they are worth every penny.
Click here to read our full review of the Sony WH-100XM4.
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3. Bower & Wilkins PX8
Type: Over-Ear (Circumaural)
Battery Life: 30-hour battery life plus 7 hours from Quickcharge
Driver Technology: Carbon coated diaphram
A classy design with top-notch materials and build quality
Great sound quality derived from new drivers
Materials are high quality
Extremely expensive RRP Prohibitive to many buyers
Mainly available online and in airports only
Materials make the slightly heavy
Gone are the days when Bower & Wilkins headphones fell short of their asking price. The PX8 is a luxurious and well-crafted audio gear that delivers on the sound quality front and style.
The sound is a step above the Sony XM5, with crystalline highs, excellent separation, and imaging on display in the midrange. The bass impressed me most with the way it delivers good depth levels in the sub-bass region, yet it remains fast and controlled to portray the mid-bass correctly.
It’s also incredibly well-built. It uses a combination of crafted aluminum and genuine Nappa leather to give you a wireless headphone that looks great on the head and feels premium in hand.
The cherry on top of all this is that B&W has gone to work by creating new 40mm carbon drivers, especially for this headphone, and matched it with a well-polished app with custom EQ to further refine your music.
Negatives are few, but there is one glaring one: the price won’t be for everyone. Still, when you have them in front of you, you realize they are on a different level to the consumer focussed Sony and Bose products.
It’s luxury, but it backs it up with performance.
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4. Bose QuietComfort 45 (QC45)
Update to the most popular wireless headphone of all time Bose QC35
Controls: Physical Buttons
Battery: 24 hours plus 3 hours via quickcharge
Somewhat dated looking
Battery life lags behind Sony
Often Mistaken for QC35
You can no longer buy the QC35 in 2023, but Bose has done a tasteful refresh for fans of the original design. When the 700 series were released, it was quite divisive, and many people moved over to Sony, so to counter that, Bose made some changes to the 35 and improved the sound and noise cancelation.
While not the most exciting design on the planet, the new QuietComfort retains what made the 35 so famous, and that’s the comfort. It’s a light headphone that sits on the head with beautiful ergonomics. The earpads are wide and deep, so ears can breathe and be free from surface contact.
The sound is more refined, with better-quality bass and extension into the treble, allowing for more air and soundstage presence. It also lessens the sucked-out feel often associated with wireless ANC headphones.
They fold down small and include a carry case in the box, making them one of the better-traveling headphones on the list.
Bose has increased functionality on the software side with most of their headphones. The QC45 also gets the treatment and can use excellent adaptive ANC control and EQ to customize the listening experience.
Battery life is only 24 hours per charge which puts them on the lower end of performance scales and the quick charge was the worst on our test, with only three hours of playback achieved from a 15-minute charge from flat.
Available in 2 different colors, the white picks up fewer stains than the Sony XM5, and general durability is excellent.
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5. Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless
Wireless headphones for TV and Movies
Driver: Dynamic with Tesla Driver technology
Battery: Lithium Polymer
Immersive presentation of sound
Large comfortable pads
APTX HD and Apple AAC for high res audio plus LL-Aptx for low latency
Somewhat bulky design
App less suited for customization
Looks more tool than fashion forward
If we are talking about true audiophile wireless headphones, we must mention the Beyerdynamic Amiron.
Beyerdynamic is a legendary headphone company, and its products have been used in music production for years. They have a robust lineup of professional and consumer headphones, and the Amiron straddles that line with top-grade sound in professional-style housing.
The good thing is that Beyerdynamic has taken what has made their wired headphones so popular and put them into a wireless model with almost no compromise on sound quality.
They are a full-size set of circumaural headphones, so the Amiron is best suited for home use connected to a Hifi system. Of course, you could also get away with taking them to work, but most will find them too bulky to travel with.
They support high-resolution codecs like APTX HD for better sound quality and do so with a meager latency response time. The sound is very accurate and lifelike, and they pick up a lot of micro details in your music when paired with correctly mastered tracks. They are fairly balanced, but they have a huge soundstage and a presence that will leave you wanting more.
The only downside of the Amiron is the price which, with an RRP of well over $500, makes them the most expensive headphone on this list. However, these are a step above the headphones on this list as they are the best sounding and most suited to people who care about fidelity.
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6. Focal Bathys
Drivers: Magnesium Dynamic
Noise Cancelling (ANC): Yes
Battery: 30 hours plus 5 from Quickcharge
One of the most beautiful headphones we have ever tested
Materials, fit, finish are outstanding
Focal is widely considered to be one of the best headphone brands when it comes to forward-thinking design and sound quality. So what if that brand was to take on the segment for wireless headphones? We knew it wouldn’t be cheap but it would probably be good. Focal released the Bathys to much acclaim, and now competitors have to try and play catch up.
A wireless headphone with a focus on quality and performance. The Bathys look stunning in our hands and even better on our heads. I had thought it would be too big and bulky for traveling, but I was wrong; they impose no more than the new designs from Sony and Bose.
Sound is class-leading; it’s a real audiophile-grade experience that competes with wired headphones around the 5-600 dollar mark. The Bathys has all this extra tech crammed in, such as ANC that is on Sony’s level, 30 hours of battery life, and real physical button and switch controls.
There’s a lot to like, and given how it performs and looks; it can be worth the price. It really is a large jump in sound quality over the already very good Sony XM5 and even so over the Bower and Wilkins PX8 listed above.
Buy on Amazon
7. Bose 700
Simple Sync Enabled: Yes
Noise Cancelling (ANC): Yes
Battery: 20 hours (worst on test)
Modern Redesign looks great
Improves sound quality and noise cancelation strength
Lightweight, comfortable and durable
No longer full folds for a small storage footprint
Battery life is below average
Lacks fidelity found on audiophile wireless headphones
Bose had the best wireless headphones for years in the minds of the average consumer.
Audiophiles and purists weren’t always as impressed, but the QC35ii was their best headphones to date, and if it weren’t for the release of the Sony WH-1000XM3, it would likely be sat at the top of this list.
Most people know the Bose flagships, so we won’t bore you with the details, but you are essentially getting a good-sounding set of headphones with state-of-the-art noise cancelation and excellent battery life.
There is one area where Bose has yet to be beaten, which is why I still use a set to this day. They are, without a doubt, the comfiest headphones I have ever used. This is thanks to the lightweight body and generous, airy pad that clamps your head at just the right pressure.
Sony has them beat on features right now, but the Bose is still the headphone you will most likely see on travelers’ heads in airports worldwide.
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8. V-moda Crossfade 3 Wireless
30 hour battery life and USB-C
Excellent sound quality for EDM and bass-heavy music
You can customize the body.
No-noise cancelling technology
Limited availability in stores
Divisive looks on some designs but can be customized heavily
V-Moda is another company that has evolved an existing popular headphone for wireless use. The Crossfade 3 Wireless is one of V-Moda’s flagship headphones because it sounds good, has fantastic build quality, and has some of the best looks on the market.
They decided to build on the popularity of the Crossfade 2 and make them wireless; the result is one fantastic headphone. The build quality is excellent, and they are one headphone you are sure can take a beating. The sound is punchy and controlled, and the bass can hit hard when needed, making them an excellent choice for electronic, rap, and pop genres.
Battery life is greatly improved now, standing at 30 hours from a full charge, and we like that it includes USB-C charging with support for quick charging standards.
The Crossfade 3 Wireless is available to customize on the V-Moda website, so that’s great if you are looking for headphones with a personal touch.
They can also be used wired if you run out of battery, and they can connect to 2 devices at once, which is great if you switch between listening on phones, tablets, and laptops.
Sound quality further boosted through V-Modas inclusion of APTX HD and AAC codecs.
If you are looking for wireless headphones with noise cancelling however, you will have to look elsewhere, as these are only standard Bluetooth headphones
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9. Sony WH-XB910N EXTRA BASS
Noise Cancelling: Yes
Digital Assistant: Google, Alexa, Siri
Android App: Sony Headphone Connect
The Sony WH-H900 are wireless headphones with many features you will find on the more expensive XM3 headphones, but they are far more affordable. Sony released them as a replacement for the Hear On 2, and they are already proving to be quite the hit amongst buyers.
I wasn’t expecting much, but I was blown away during our review.
They are a beautiful set of headphones in a few different color options. They look so good because they have a tapered look, meaning they don’t sit too far from the head despite the large pads. The pads are fantastic, extremely comfortable for long listening sessions, and leave a lot of air inside the cup that helps dissipate heat build-up.
They use LDAC to transmit the music, which is said to give a higher level of fidelity, and DSEE HX can restore any sound lost during file compression to wireless.
Again they have Sony’s excellent touch control system on the right ear cups, and you also have a range of options to fine-tune the headphones using the official Sony headphone app.
Did I mention they have amazing ANC tech, making them perfect for travel?
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Noise Cancelling: Yes
Type: Dynamic driver over ear
Battery: 35 hours plus Quickcharge
The iJoy Hypnotic is a cheap and cheerful option to put on this list. They are one of the few budget headphones that performed well in my testing. Even when I got them out of the box, I loved how they looked streamlined and sat close to the head.
The sound was what you would expect from a consumer focussed product, a little bassy and with some warmth, but overall, I was impressed as it displayed good clarity and relatively little distortion.
The headphone has noise cancelation that works, although obviously, for the price, you shouldn’t expect them to be on Sony’s level. Still it was good to have and reduced noise levels on our commutes.
Finally, the inclusion of touch controls, massive battery life and Bluetooth 5. 0 is welcome and makes them the cheap wireless headphone to beat this year.
Buy on Amazon
11. Status Core
Noise Cancelling: Yes
Driver: Dynamic diaphram
Touch Controls: No (Physical Buttons)
The Status Core from Status Audio has an RRP of under $100, making it a good value. It looks a lot like the older Sony XM3, especially in the headband and I think that’s a good thing.
It’s an understated headphone with no branding, so if you appreciate a clean aesthetic, this is for you.
The focus here is on sound quality. It’s great. They have a balanced and mature sound that works well with many genres and displays good detail retrieval.
The ANC performance was the best we tested under $100, and we like the inclusion of physical buttons on the earcups and a hinge folding mechanism to make them super portable.
Buy on Amazon
Wireless Headphones Buyers Guide
Each headphone listed here has its distinct advantages. We have tried to include various options with different features and price points, but remember, there is no universally perfect headphone.
What is best for you might not be the best headphone for someone else, so before getting into the list, we want to give you some points to consider before your next purchase. Similarly, just because someone likes a headphone and recommends it to you, it might not necessarily be the best option for your lifestyle.
This list is designed to give you options, but you will still need to decide which is best for your needs.
Wireless Headphones vs. Wireless Earbuds
The big question for many people is whether to buy headphones or earphones. Again it simply comes down to how you intend to listen to music. Due to increased mobility, I can only imagine running or working out with earphones. Conversely, for long listening sessions at my office, I much prefer the comfort of a set of full-size headphones with nice soft earpads.
There will be scenarios where one works better than the other, but battery life is my most significant factor in this category. Due to headphones being physically larger, they can usually accommodate bigger batteries. In wired earphones and headphones, this will be the determining factor as to how long you can listen between charges.
This is one of the reasons I use the Sony-Wh2000XM4 for long-haul flights. I want the headphones to be working for the duration of the flight. I could look at as little as 8 hours of playback if I used earphones.
For commuters, this could also be a factor when buying headphones. Most people commuting will spend 1-2 hours on public transport a day, so in theory, you could get away with using earphones, but you may have to charge them more than once a week, where some headphones could go as long as two weeks without requiring charging.
Other factors like mobility, storage, and style are worth weighing up before deciding.
For those who would prefer to buy earphones, you can check our recommendations for the best true wireless earbuds for 2023.
Wireless vs. Wired – Are No Cables Better?
The biggest difference is obvious when choosing between these two types of headphones. One will have a cable, and the other will not. The advantage of going wireless is the freedom of not being directly tethered to your device. You can leave your phone on a desk or in a bag and listen to your music without getting in a tangled mess.
However, it would help if you considered how this affects the sound quality. Wired headphones generally, dollar for dollar, sound far better than wireless headphones.
This is because the design complication opens up different weaknesses in Fidelity. In wired headphones, the setup is usually just a cable to a driver. In a wireless headphone, you are introducing DACs, Amplifiers, and Bluetooth chipsets inside the headphone. If these are not optimized, you will have sound quality degradation.
The good news is that we have recently shifted away from standard wireless technology. Headphone companies are introducing better Bluetooth (5.0) and APTX lossless codecs, which make your music sound better.
If you want to buy a set of wireless headphones, look out for those features.
Battery Life and Wireless Headphones
Of course, going wireless is going to mean that you have to charge your headphones. It’s an added hassle, but like the codec improvements mentioned above, battery technology has significantly advanced, meaning Bluetooth headphones last longer than ever.
Nowadays, it is not unreasonable to expect over 20 hours of playback from a single charge, and the amount of run time you get from each set should certainly be considered when making a purchase.
In addition to the battery life, maybe you want to consider headphones with a quick charge feature. Many headphones can give a substantial battery percentage in charges lasting just 10-30 minutes. This is extremely handy if you are traveling, and top them up if they run out of juice.
Types of Wireless Headphones
You will find wireless models in different styles and sizes, like traditional wired headphones. So again, think about how you are going to use them.
If you use them at home, in an office, or at a desk, you might be best with a set of over-the-ear large, comfy, well-paced headphones. If you use them for travel or commuting, you will probably want to consider smaller over-ear headphones or even on ears.
There are noise-canceling wireless headphones, headphones with touch controls, and headphones with inbuilt microphones for taking calls. The industry is getting crowded with options, and as a consumer, there is indeed something on the market that will meet your needs or at least come close to some compromises.
If ultimate portability is of primary concern, then you might want to look into wireless earbuds, of which we have listed our favorites below. There is something for every scenario.
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Audiophile On is dedicated to bringing reviews of high-end portable audio products with an easy-to-understand format. If you want better-sounding headphones, earphones, amps, and DACs we are sure to have something to suit your tastes and price points.
AKG Y500 Wireless review | What Hi-Fi?
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Another hugely appealing pair of wireless headphones from AKG
Tested at £129
What Hi-Fi? Verdict
Fantastic design, good audio performance and clever features ensure these Y500s are a crowd-pleasing hit
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When we reviewed the AKG Y50BTs back in 2015, we were just as impressed by the superb wireless on-ears as by their wired AKG Y50 counterparts. “What you have here is a rare example of headphones that are equally excellent across audio performance, features, design and build quality,” we said.
Three years on and the Y50BT’s successor, the AKG Y500 Wireless, ups the game once more, thanks to a smarter design and a hugely listenable sound.
The new Y500s remain on-ear designs, with a cushioned, adjustable headphone band and memory foam ear cups.
- AKG Y500 (Black) at Amazon for £80.52
Gone is the large-lettered branding on the brightly coloured earcups; instead, the new Y500s come in shimmery green, blue, pink and black metallic finishes that look appealing.
The AKG logo is much smaller and subtler, and a much smarter design than before. The mix of aluminium and plastic leave the Y500s feeling sturdy yet lightweight, and the polished metal edges around the ear cups give the cans a touch of class.
The earcups themselves are soft, but clamp down on your ears a bit too tightly for our liking. It’s possible that they will loosen off over time and use. It’s not so bad that we want to take them off, but it’s something to keep in mind if you wear glasses. You can also fold up the headphones flat, bundling them up small enough to fit into your bag or a large pocket.
- AKG Y50BT review
The controls under each ear cup have been redesigned, too. The power switch has a small blue LED to indicate when the Y500s are switched on and Bluetooth-connected to your smartphone. Subtle beeps indicate when your headphones are paired.
There’s also a button for AKG’s ‘Ambient Aware’ feature, which makes you aware of your surroundings while keeping your headphones on, so you don’t get run over in traffic or miss that train announcement. It works effectively, with music subdued and outside noise seeping in naturally.
AKG Y500 Wireless tech specs
Type On-ear, closed-back
Battery life 33 hours
Charging time 2. 5 hours
Finishes Black, blue, pink, green
On the other earcup, there’s a small button for playing and pausing music (double-tapping it summons your smartphone’s voice assistant) and a neat volume switch that you slide up or down. The controls are responsive, and it takes mere seconds to get used to these controls.
With a standard 3.5mm-ended cable included in the box, and a simple in-line remote for controlling playback, there’s the option to go wired. The Y500s can be charged via the supplied microUSB and battery life is a claimed 33 hours. That’s a big jump up from the previous Y50BT’s 20-hour lifespan – we didn’t need to charge the Y500s up during our week of testing.
Another extra feature is that the Y500s automatically pause music when you take them off. Put them back on, and music starts playing again. It’s a neat feature when it works, but we find it a bit hit and miss.
What’s clear right from the start is that AKG has opted for a more refined and grown-up sound with the Y500 Wireless headphones. There’s plenty of detail here, and every bit of it is composed and clear.
We play PJ Harvey’s Good Fortune and are met with a bold, solid delivery in a pleasingly spacious presentation. There’s ample heft and punch to the low end, edges of notes are crisply laid out, and her raw vocals are projected with excellent clarity. The Y500s go comfortably loud, too – they never sound rowdy or unruly even when pushed to high volumes. If you want headphones that you can just put on, listen to and enjoy with minimum fuss, these are ideal.
Taut basslines and a confident handling of timing make Massive Attack’s Angels an enjoyable, if not overly demanding, listen, and the Y500s’ silky, crowd-pleasing character make them a more long-lasting listen – they’ll keep you bopping along to songs for hours.
AKG has opted for a more composed and polished presentation that sacrifices a touch of its previous dramatic and energetic flair, but that doesn’t mean these cans aren’t an exciting, involving proposition.
The Y500 Wirelesses are a bit more reined in than their predecessors in the way they handle subtle dynamics and rhythms, but they are well put together, with a level of clarity and organisation you won’t get in rival Bluetooth headphones of this kind and price.
Juggling good sound quality, clever features, durable build quality and attractive design in equal measure is no mean feat, but AKG pulls it off while making it look easy.
The Y500 Wireless headphones are hugely appealing to use and listen to – you won’t find a similar wireless headphone experience that wraps every element together so neatly at this price.
- Sound 5
- Comfort 5
- Build 5
AKG unveils four new wireless headphones at IFA 2018
Best wireless headphones 2018
See all our AKG reviews
AKG Y500: Price Comparison
24 Amazon customer reviews
What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world’s leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.
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Audiophile headphones Astell&Kern AK ZERO1 Color: silver, Purpose Headphones : Classic
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11 Audiophile Headphones – From Cheap to Expensive
An audiophile is someone who loves to listen to music in the highest quality and is willing to pay for the equipment that makes it possible. Hobbies are not cheap, but novice audiophiles can get by with quite modest amounts.
For example, you can pay $200-$400 for quite decent headphones and an amplifier for them (you can’t do without an amplifier!) after which you can consider yourself an amateur audiophile. On the other hand, those who can afford it spend five or even six figures on top-end headphones and audio systems.
It is worth noting that the best sound from the point of view of audiophiles are those headphones that reproduce the music most accurately – as it was heard by the producer. No one forbids lovers of deep bass to be audiophiles, but this should be borne in mind.
What are audiophile headphones? Firstly, these are speakers and acoustics of the highest quality. Secondly, it is strong, durable and pleasant to the touch materials. Thirdly, it is (usually) austere, timeless design.
The best way to choose headphones is to test several models in the same conditions in person. But only the best of the best got into our selection, so if you are too lazy to go to the store in person, then you can trust her.
acoustics: open | frequencies: 4-51000 Hz | impedance: 300 ohm | weight: 330 g | cable: 3 m
One of the most expensive and most advanced headphones on the market. They were included in the selection due to their comfort, structural strength and incredibly accurate reproduction of any sounds. Even after several hours of listening to music, you will not feel tired, and with proper care, this model will serve you for the rest of your life.
If you want to instantly become a “serious” audiophile, then buying the HD 800S will do just that. All other similar headphones are compared by audio industry professionals with them.
The sound of the HD 800S is amazingly balanced: punchy bass, fantastic mids and crystal-clear highs combine to create an unforgettable picture in your head. They are subject to any genre!
Naturally, some may not like the bulkiness of this pair. In addition, they will not be able to enjoy music in noisy rooms due to the open acoustic design.
acoustics: open | frequencies: 12-39000 Hz | impedance: 300 ohm | weight: 260 g | cable: 3 m
Another Sennheiser model, this time for those who want to find something with a more attractive price-performance ratio, but still appreciate sound balance and comfort. Velor ear cushions, not too heavy weight and thoughtful design allow you to listen to music without any problems for several hours.
Compared to the HD 800S, of course, they lose, but with proper care they will still serve you faithfully for many years – the materials here are cheaper, but still strong and durable.
The sound of the HD 600 is still amazing – the bass is consistent and punchy, while the mids and highs are simply superbly balanced and have minimal distortion at any volume. Perfect for jazz, rock, electronics, and classical music.
It is worth noting that this model also has an open acoustic design, so you should buy them only for listening to music at home or in the studio.
acoustics: closed | frequency: 5-35000 Hz | impedance: 80 ohm | weight: 270 g | cable: 3 m
This is one of the inexpensive audiophile models: just over $200 for this hobby is a penny. But that doesn’t mean the DT 770 Pro are bad: they sound good and have a solid metal frame that will keep them in “new” condition for years. In addition, they can be used without problems in the office – these are closed headphones.
The ear cushions here are also made of velour, so your ears will not feel discomfort even after a few hours of use. However, at first it may seem that the DT 770 Pro are too hard on them – at first you will have to be patient, and then they will loosen their grip a little.
The sound of these headphones is not perfectly balanced – thanks to the protruding bass and closed acoustics, they are best suited for popular music. Very popular DT 770 Pro among DJs and radio hosts. If you want to work with music in the studio, it’s better to choose something else.
acoustics: closed | frequencies: 15-28000 Hz | impedance: 38 ohm | weight: 285 g | cable: 3 m
The ATH-M50x is a well-known mid-budget model, which is very popular among both ordinary music lovers and recording studios. They too have a very durable construction, but for relatively little money they also offer a neat, balanced sound that can compete with the sound of much more expensive headphones.
Naturally, there is very little metal in the ATH-M50x case, but their hard plastic will also be a reliable protection against chips and breakages. In addition, they are easy to transport thanks to the detachable cable and detachable ear cushions.
The sound of the ATH-M50x can be described as deep and persistent bass, neutral mids and crisp highs without noticeable distortion. Suitable for almost any genre of music.
All in all, if you want to become an audiophile but don’t want to spend too much money on it, then this Audio-Technica model is almost the perfect choice.
acoustics: closed | frequencies: 16-22000 Hz | impedance: 70 ohm | weight: 140 g | cable: 1.5 m
These headphones are especially popular with DJs and quality music lovers on the go. Precise balanced sound, low weight and a very compact design are the main advantages of the HD 25.
The HD 25 case is made of plastic – it is better to handle them with care, but they should survive a few drops without any problems. It is worth noting the excellent sound insulation – nothing will interfere with listening to music on a noisy street.
The sound is well balanced: the bass is pronounced but not too strong, the mids are neutral, and the highs are full of detail and without distortion. Again, suitable for any genre of music.
However, there are also disadvantages here. First, the HD 25 doesn’t feel “expensive” in the hands and has a boring design. Secondly, their not too long cable can be inconvenient in some cases. In any case, this is one of the best models in this form factor.
acoustics: closed | frequency: 10-20000 Hz | impedance: 20 ohm | weight: 335 g | cable: 1.2 m
wireless: Bluetooth 4.1 (battery 22 hours)
Here is one of the few wireless models that can be called “audiophile”. B&W PX combines almost incompatible – balanced (as far as possible, taking into account the limitations of Bluetooth) sound and an effective adaptive active noise cancellation system.
In addition, the PX looks very attractive and has a body made of aluminum and very durable plastic. You don’t have to worry about durability, and the battery, with not too much weight, will last for as much as 22 hours. Charging is via a modern USB-C port.
Control music playback, connection and calls with three buttons. Sound – with powerful bass, good mids and bright highs.
Some find the PX not very comfortable – stiff and heavy. It’s best to try them out before shelling out nearly $500. In addition, with the noise reduction system turned on, the sound quality still drops noticeably.
acoustics: closed | frequencies: 6-48000 Hz | impedance: 300 ohm | weight: 360 g | cable: 3 m
Another incredibly expensive model for those who are not ready to concede anything and have enough money for this. Sennheiser is a leading headphone maker for a reason – the company produces models in a wide range of price segments, and almost all of them stand out from the competition.
The sound of the HD 820 is full, highly detailed and powerful. Closed headphones often have problems with sound distortion, but not in this case – the engineers equipped the HD 820 with Gorilla Glass and absorption chambers to avoid it. The case is stylish, heavy-duty and unusually comfortable to use.
This model simply has no cons. Unless, of course, you count the exorbitant price and bulky body, which is unlikely to be comfortable on the move. But thanks to the closed acoustic design, the HD 820 can be used in the office!
acoustics: closed | frequency: 4-40000 Hz | impedance: 16 ohm | weight: 255 g | cable: 1.
wireless: Bluetooth 4.2 (38 hours battery)
Another wireless model, Sony is famous for its Bluetooth headphones, which stand out from others with unusually high sound quality and endurance. There is also an active noise cancellation system. 9The 0003
WH-1000XM3 have a natural, detailed and bright sound that is hard to fault, as well as an elegant and very comfortable design. Due to their low weight and low rigidity, you can wear them on your head at least all day, and the battery for as long as 38 hours will not become a sudden problem. The perfect companion for a long flight or a day of work in an office chair!
The only real downside to these headphones is the touch controls, which take some getting used to. It’s not that it doesn’t work the way it should, but you can’t call it intuitive.
plug-in | acoustics: closed | frequency: 20-20000 Hz | weight: 77 g
wireless: Bluetooth 5 (battery for 6 hours)
This may come as a surprise to some, but top ear plugs in terms of sound quality can compete with full-size headphones. Sony releases these too! WF-1000XM3 have a special chip for flawless synchronization with each other – these are some of the best “plugs” on the market, and their “musical” sound is noticeably clearer and brighter than AirPods.
This model also features excellent active noise cancellation and excellent batteries. In addition, the shell design keeps them firmly in your ears even during moving workouts.
Among the disadvantages of the WF-1000XM3 is the lack of volume control (you need to adjust it on a smartphone or other device to which the headphones are connected) and the lack of support for the aptX HD codec.
plug-in | frequencies: 20-19000 Hz | impedance: 22 ohm | weight: 29.5g | cable: 1.62 m
This model appeared on the market a few years ago, but still remains one of the best in terms of sound. If you consider yourself a “serious” audiophile and want to purchase wired “plugs”, it will be difficult to find something better than the Shure SE425.
The sound of these headphones is nothing short of superbly balanced (maybe even too balanced – bass might be enough for some). Every detail of your favorite recording will be easy to distinguish, and some you will even discover for yourself for the first time!
Yes, wired plugs don’t look modern at all in 2019, but remember that Bluetooth is still seriously inferior in quality to a wired connection. If you’re looking for top-of-the-line headphones for sports or just outings, the SE425 is a great choice, especially at this price point.
acoustics: closed | frequencies: 16-20000 Hz | impedance: 32 ohm | weight: 200 g | cable: 3 m
The most budget option for those who want to hear more or less high-quality sound in full-size headphones. You can even start with a model that costs about $65, and the K 72 has almost no worthy rivals in this price category.
This model not only features a solid body, comfortable ear pads and a long cable, but also quite a neutral sound with not too much protruding bass. However, the mids may seem a little more insistent than necessary. The
AKG K 72 is for those music lovers who don’t want to spend too much money on a purchase, as well as for those who need spare headphones. Even numerous Sennheisers with about the same price will not give such a sound.
Bonus: a pair of inexpensive headphones for office and home
acoustics: closed | frequency: 20-20000 Hz | impedance: 32 ohm | weight: 430 g
wireless: Bluetooth 4.2 (8 hours battery)
Very cheap Bluetooth headphones for budget buyers. Good sound, comfortable design, foldability and a fairly durable battery make the FreeMotion B530 a good choice at this price point.
Naturally, you should not expect a balanced sound from them – the basses are very prominent here and there are not enough high frequencies. But it is possible to receive calls from the phone and connect another headphone via a 3.5 mm audio output if you want to listen to music with a friend or girlfriend.