The Best Headphones for Gaming, Traveling, and Music 2023


The world’s first-ever headphones were invented in the 1880s, weighed over 11 pounds, and had no padding. Needless to say – they didn’t make our list. But the ones that did are, by any standards, amazing. And to the question: are 2023’s best headphones really that much better than, say, the best from just 3 to 5 years ago? In almost every case, yes.

Two reasons why:

1) With a headphone market expected to top $15 billion by 2025, the world’s premier headphone makers are wrestling for dominance. Along the way, every incremental improvement, whether by giants like Sony and JBL – or audio purists like Focal Audio and Audeze– is a win/win for consumers.

2) A few years ago, wireless headphones were mostly a novelty with often spotty, subpar results. (If you're looking for wireless earbuds, our Best Wireless Earbuds of 2023 buying guide is a must-read.) Today, it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference in sound quality between wired and wireless and even true wireless (for a list of headphone style variations, see our Headphone Buying Guide.), and hearing is believing.

So, with that in mind, we asked our World Wide Stereo audio experts to answer some of the most asked questions and apply their combined decades of experience with the goal of picking today’s best headphones, by category, no holds barred. And yes, it was hard work (no it wasn’t), but we stuck with it (more like “loved every second”) and now we’re proud to present (after some fairly spirited discussions) the “Best Headphones of 2023.”

Here Are Our Picks for the Best Headphones of 2023:

The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones

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Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Over-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones (Silver)

Regular price $328.00
Sale price $328.00 Regular price
$399.99 Save $71.99 (18%)
  • Dimensions: 8.85" x 10.36" x 3.03" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.55 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 30 Hours
  • Cable Length: 3.94 ft

The WH-1000XM5s (“XM” for short) are over-ear, closed-back and wireless. They’re comfortable, not too tight, mushy in all the right spots, and the touch-sensitive buttons and voice control (Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant) are as good as it gets. This model replaces Sony's best-selling WH-1000XM4 and the WH-1000XM5 boasts a handful of upgraded features. They have a slightly larger carrying case, with a storage case inside for cables or a portable headphone amplifier. The XM5s come with a USB-C to USB-A for charging and a 1/8" analog audio cable. They've got a different form factor - a lay-flat design, more soft material of the top of the band to go further down and the band is thinner, while weighing slightly less than the XM4s. Sony improved the touch reaction and controls with the XM5s, too.

The WH-1000XM5s last around 30 hours with noise-cancelling switched on, or around 40 hours with the tech switched off. The USB-C port is for charging only, and a 3-minute quick-charge will give you three hours of playtime - that alone makes these headphones worth a look. The new WH-1000XM5s feature 4 noise-cancelling sensors on each earcup, which means more environmental data Sony can use to increase performance. The WH-1000XM5 come equipped with Bluetooth 5.2 and aptX HD for processing hi-resolution audio up to 24bit/96kHz – Sony’s own best-in-category proprietary format.

But the biggest two reasons they made our “best” list: they sound absolutely incredible – and after years of incremental progress, Sony’s noise-cancelling tech now rivals their competitors. So yes, it’s a tough choice, but easily solved with a coin toss.

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Under $100

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JBL Tune 660NC Wireless On-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones (White)

Regular price $49.95
Sale price $49.95 Regular price
$99.95 Save $50.00 (50%)
  • Dimensions: 8.15" x 9.72" x 2.17" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.37 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: On-Ear, Closed Back, Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 44 Hours
  • Cable Length: 3.94 ft (1.2m)

These headphones aren’t just designed for music. They’re built to increase your enjoyment of music. Fitting over your ears and with active noise cancellation, the Tune 660NCs do as much to help you tune out distractions as they do to give you fantastic sound. At one-third of a pound, they’re light enough on your noggin' to encourage you to wear them for hours — and the 44-hour battery life will let you do so. When you do need to recharge, you can do it in less time than it takes to brew a good cup of coffee and get back to your tunes.

Between the Voice Assistant and the mic and buttons on the ear cup (not too ugly to view and not too hidden to use), you can go from Lady Gaga to gossiping and back again without breaking stride — and with low impedance, these cans are optimized to work with your smart phone. When it’s time to give your ears a rest, the Tune 660NCs fold up and won’t hog space in your pocket or bag. If on-ears fit with your listening lifestyle — and even more so if you have outfits that need to be matched — don’t miss out on these and their four-color options.

Best Hi-Res Headphones Under $300

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Sony MDR1AM2B Wired High-Resolution Audio Over-Ear Headphones with Built-In Remote and Microphone (Black)

Regular price $198.00
Sale price $198.00 Regular price
$299.99 Save $101.99 (34%)
  • Dimensions: 9.19" x 10.25" x 4.38" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.41 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Hi-Res, Wired
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Cable Length: 3.94' (1.2m)

For those who want a pair of no-frills headphones that support high-resolution audio files — without dropping the big bucks — look to Sony’s MDR-1AM2. Featuring massive custom 40mm HD drivers, Sony ensured these over-ears deliver a clear and powerful soundstage. From the aluminum-coated LCP diaphragm to the silver-coated copper cables, it’s the finer details that work in tandem to deliver an audio experience that is precise, accurate, and as close to the artist’s original recording as possible. These cans were built for long listening sessions, thanks to its lightweight frame and pressure-relieving ear pads.

The MDR-1AMs feature a "swivel" design that allows them to lay flat and be tucked away in the included pouch. If you look closely, you’ll notice the grills have a Fibonacci-inspired pattern, which Sony says “ensures no frequency is boosted or cut.” Pretty cool.

Best Hi-Res Bluetooth Headphones

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Focal Bathys Over-Ear Hi-Fi Bluetooth Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancelation

Regular price $699.00
Sale price $699.00 Regular price
Save $-699.00 (%)
  • Type: Circum-aural, closed-back headphones
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz – 22kHz
  • Speaker Driver: 15/86" (40mm) Aluminum-Magnesium ‘M’-shaped dome
  • Weight: .77lbs

Focal headphones are a statement piece; they stand out visually just as much as they do audibly. And the Bathys are no exception. They are both fashionable and functional. Making the Bathys travel-friendly was a primary concern for Focal. They had a target weight of 350g, so components were designed and decided on specifically for that point. The Bathys are made with a Black/Silver aluminum and magnesium construction and have been designed to share the same aesthetics as their fellow Focal closed-ear headphones, like the Celestee or Stellia.

For the sound, they chose to invest in magnesium for the driver and then use aluminum mechanical construction. The Bathys are tuned to the Focal sound so the naturally are dynamic. They reproduce a nice full sound and when the bass hits it’s present but not too boomy. You can listen to them for hours at end without feeling ear fatigue. However, you don’t have to listen to them loud to enjoy them.

Technologically, the Bathys are Bluetooth 5.1 with multipoint (meaning it can connect to multiple devices so you can pick up a call from your phone and listen to music from your computer) and they’ve moved to some of the latest Bluetooth Codecs. The Bathys have the standard SBC connection (which is universal among Bluetooth headphones), AAC for iPhone connectivity, and AptX as well as AptX Adaptive for Android devices (with AptX Adaptive being capable of up to 24bit/96kHz sources). The Bathys have 8 microphones for their Active Noise Canceling and they can be used for phone calls or virtual meetings. There (4) mics per ear cup. (1) for Bluetooth. (1) for ANC and (2) set inside to monitor the output of headphones to reduce total harmonic distortion per ear cup.

The Bathys are an exceptional set of Bluetooth headphones and sound great wirelessly. But if you want to be extra, Focal created a DAC mode. Just connect the Bathys to your phone or computer via a USB-C cable, and you can listen to music up to 24bit/192kHz. Focal wanted to make sure they weren’t just making one of the best Bluetooth headphones on the market, but they wanted to make sure the Bathys didn’t disappoint if you went deep into listening to them.

The Best Wireless Headphones

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Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Wireless Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headphones (Black)

Regular price $399.00
Sale price $399.00 Regular price
Save $-399.00 (%)
  • Weight: 0.68 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Style: Over-Ear, Closed Back, Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 30 Hours, 7 hours with 15 min charge

We’ve said it before: Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) is the luxurious, beautifully crafted, music-is-your-life alternative to industry mass producers like Sony. And though a pair of B&W Px7 S2s is typically a little more expensive than Sony – and not as good at noise cancelation (though still excellent) – they soar, musically, by comparison. Some B&W fans claim their Px7 S2s are on par with headphones that cost three and four times as much, and they may have a case.

The Px7 S2’s ear-cups are made with memory foam and do a good job of walling-off noise from the outside world. The buttons are easy to find by feel, and they’re tactile as opposed to “touch,” which many customers prefer. Also, according to B&W, Px7 S2s are the first headphones to support Qualcomm's aptxHD Adaptive codec, which is designed to deliver robust, low latency, high resolution wireless technology. Meaning: higher fidelity music overall (compared to Bluetooth) and no stalling when gaming or streaming hi-res, 4K video. (See the complete spec list on our Px7 S2 product page.)

Though it’s hard to describe how music sounds under different headphones, we listened to Cody Fry’s “Want Me Back" on B&W’s Px7 S2s and they were so clear, rich, and spacious – there’s no going back.

Also check out our B&W Px7 comparison review.

The Best Headphones for Phone Calls

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Bose QuietComfort 45 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones (White)

Regular price $229.00
Sale price $229.00 Regular price
$329.00 Save $100.00 (30%)
  • Dimensions: 6.18" x 7.68" x 3.15" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.98 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Closed-Back Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 24 Hours
  • Cable Length: 42"

We don’t give out the award for best headphones for phone calls lightly. But the new Bose Quiet Comfort 45s have quite a few compelling features that make this a pretty clear choice. When it’s time to pack for a trip, you’ll love how flat and tight they fold, thanks to the double-hinged ear cup holders. They’re extremely comfortable and easy on the ol’ cranium, due to improvements in the material used for the padding on the ear cups and they’re light weight — you won’t mind wearing them for hours at a time. Which is a good thing, since the whopping 24-hour battery life means that not only will you get through any cross-country flight in one charge, but also the layover and the cross Atlantic flight as well. If you need even more time on a single charge, connect them directly to your computer or media player with the included cable, and get even more time out of a single charge. A quick charge mode will give you an additional two and a half hours after plugging them into a power outlet for just 15 minutes. You can read more about the QC45 in our Best Noise Canceling Headphones of 2023 guide.

The new four-microphone system improves the clarity of your voice dramatically when you’re on a call, compared to other headphones in this class. And the upgraded noise cancelling system has been configured to target not only the annoying low-range rumble of airplane noise but also the midrange of the audio spectrum, which is where all the chatter lives. In other words, these cans will go a long way to making the rest of the world disappear when you’re in a crowded terminal or busy cafe. Plus, they sound fantastic, with a wide soundstage. Multi-point Bluetooth pairing means that you can have your laptop and your cell phone linked; when a call comes in, the Quiet Comfort 45s will automatically prioritize your phone call. They’re ready for the road!

Best Truly Wireless Headphones

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Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 Earbuds (White)

Regular price $169.95
Sale price $169.95 Regular price
$279.95 Save $110.00 (39%)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 2.75" x 1.75" x 1.37"
  • Weight: 0.20 oz (single earbud)
  • Warranty: 2 year
  • Style: In-Ear, True Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 hrs music playtime with earbuds (ANC off), Up to 6.5 hrs music playtime with earbuds (ANC on), Up to 28 hrs overall music playtime with charging case

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 earbuds stand out as the best true wireless earbuds in the market right now due to their exceptional sound quality, advanced noise cancellation, comfortable fit, intuitive controls, long battery life, and smart assistant compatibility.

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 true wireless earbuds have some of the best noise cancelling that our experts have experienced, yet they don’t isolate you from the world when you need to be aware of what’s happening around you. These earbuds combine Sennheiser's renowned audio expertise with cutting-edge technology, delivering unparalleled sound quality, comfort, and convenience.

The Momentum 3 earbuds offer seamless connectivity with Bluetooth 5.0, ensuring a stable and reliable wireless connection. They also support aptX and AAC codecs, enabling high-quality audio streaming with minimal latency. The earbuds have intuitive touch controls, allowing you to manage music playback, adjust volume, and answer calls effortlessly.

Another standout feature is the impressive battery life. With up to 7 hours of continuous playback on a single charge, the Momentum 3 earbuds last long enough for extended listening sessions. The included charging case provides an additional three full charges, extending the total listening time to a remarkable 28 hours. Furthermore, quick charging capabilities allow you to gain 1.5 hours of playtime with just a 10-minute charge.

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 earbuds also offer a companion mobile app, which enables you to personalize your listening experience. The app provides access to an equalizer, allowing you to fine-tune the audio to your preferences. It also includes additional features such as firmware updates and customization of touch controls.

With exceptional sound quality, comfortable fit, effective noise cancellation, and advanced features, these earbuds deliver an immersive listening experience that is hard to match. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, the Momentum 3 earbuds offer a premium and versatile solution for all your audio needs.

The Best Closed-Back Headphones

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Focal Celestee High-End Closed-Back Over-Ear Wired Headphones

Regular price $999.00
Sale price $999.00 Regular price
Save $-999.00 (%)
  • Dimensions: 7.5" x 12.5" x 12" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.95 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Style: Over-Ear, Closed Back, Wired
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Cable Length: 3.94' (1.2m)

Made for music, the Focal Celestees have a sound that is on par with headphones that cost much more. The closed-back cups are lined with soft leather, so they’re comfortable yet secure on your ears, and won’t leak your music to the person at the next table in the café — though you’ll meet them anyway, because they’ll ask you what is up with these gorgeous navy blue cans with copper highlights.

Focal’s driver design is innovative and brings out the detail in your tunes with a generous 40mm driver with a unique shape and made from top-end materials. Low impedance means you’ll enjoy full performance from these headphones whether you’re listening though your home theater amplifier or your smart phone on the go. And they do like being out and about, with a rigid case that’s made for traveling. You don’t have to learn a new voice assistant or worry about re-charging the Celestees: Just enjoy the music.

Best Open Back Headphones

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Focal Clear MG Open-Back High-Fidelity Over-Ear Headphones

Regular price $1,499.00
Sale price $1,499.00 Regular price
Save $-1,499.00 (%)
  • Impedance: 55 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 104dB SPL / 1mW @ 1kHz
  • THD: 0.25% @ 1kHz / 100dB SPL
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz - 28kHz
  • Speaker Driver: 1-5/8" (40mm) 'M'-shaped magnesium dome
  • Weight: 0.99lbs (450g)
  • Carry Case Dimensions: 9-7/8" x 9-1/2" x 4-3/4"

Focal. The industry expert. The leader in clear sound… the most perfect sound. Ok. Enough about Focal the manufacturer and let’s talk about the Focal Clear MG Open-Back headphones.

Where do we start? Let’s start with the fact that the MG Open-Back headphones deliver just plain and simple the most outstanding sound performance using the most sophisticated design-led features. Those features? If you’ve made it this far, you know that Focal’s manufacturing process is unrivaled in the audio industry and these headphones are no exception. The MG open-back headphone drivers are composed of a unique magnesium cone, a material that enables sharp, precise impactful playback that results in the most impressive sound.

If you’re just entering the conversation and you want to talk about comfort, well the MG Open-back headphones are designed with a chestnut and mixed metal design, combined with the precision comfort of a leather headband and microfiber ear cushions. The yoke is made of a solid aluminum, that flawlessly wraps around the contour of the listener, and follows a smooth curve regardless of the head size of the user. The aesthetic mixed with the astounding comfort and superior sound quality is what makes the Clear MG the best high fidelity headphones we’ve found.

You know you’re dealing with a top-notch pair of headphones when the manufacturer lets you know that the headphones themselves require a break-in period in order to reach their maximum operational potential. This break-in period will stabilize the speaker drivers and allow the user to get the very best out of their purchase.

These ultra-stylish headphones are a sure-fire winner and should not be passed up when considering an open-back headphone purchase.

Pros: Weighing in at under 1 pound, these lightweight headphones provide super-heavyweight sound.

Cons: I honestly can’t find one.

The Best Travel Headphones

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Mark Levinson No. 5909 Premium High-Resolution Wireless Adaptive ANC Noise Cancelling Headphone (Radiant Red)

Regular price $999.00
Sale price $999.00 Regular price
Save $-999.00 (%)
  • Dimensions: 7.9" x 8.1" x 2.6" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.75 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Style: Over-Ear, Closed-Back Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 30 Hours
  • Cable Length: 4.1'

For the avid traveler, it’s important to have a pair of headphones that can make your trip more enjoyable. We deemed the Mark Levinson No. 5909 headphones as our choice for travel headphones because of their versatility. Crafted from premium materials, the No. 5909s offer up to 34 hours of playback, a nice selection of adaptors (including an airplane audio adaptor), and a hard-shell case.

These headphones are durable; the No. 5909s are constructed with core aluminum components and the earcup pads are replaceable. If you’ve ever owned and loved a pair of headphones for years, you know that the earcups will eventually start to show signs of wear, and this is a great way to keep up with your investment.

Another determining factor for travel headphones is how they feel, especially on longer trips. The No. 5909s’ soft, black leather headband and leather earcups feel luxurious and are comfortable in all the right places, plus the earcups provide plenty of room for your ears to breathe and stay cool.

And now for the most important feature for traveling: noise cancellation. The No. 5909s have an array of (4) microphones to allow for adaptive active noise cancelling. They have three different settings of Active Noise Cancellation (depending on the level of noise in your environment) and an Ambient Aware mode that lets you easily talk to those around you without having to remove your headphones (which comes in handy when flight attendants stop by your row).

As expected with any pair of premium headphones, Mark Levinson did not skimp on materials or design, with a serious focus on comfort - making the No. 5909s a great packable travel companion for music lovers on the move that will appreciate the incredible level of audio reproduction.

Want to know more? Check out our full review of the Mark Levinson No. 5909 headphones.

Best Headphones for Music Production

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Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones with Adaptive Noise Cancellation (Black)

Regular price $240.58
Sale price $240.58 Regular price
$379.95 Save $139.37 (37%)

Sennheiser is practically synonymous with pro audio and music production. They’ve been creating audio gear for the professional world for decades and there’s hardly a Grammy given to a project that didn’t involve their stuff.

So, it’s almost no surprise that the Momentum 4 headphones sound completely clear, transparent, and natural. Sometimes, headphones that offer Bluetooth connectivity and noise cancellation can sometimes have bass that’s boosted and vocals that are emphasized, the Momentum 4 delivers music the way it was intended by its producers and engineers. Highs and lows are perfectly balanced. Center elements such as guitar solos and vocals are right where they should be: Comfortably nestled in the mix. That right there is why we’re calling the Momentum 4 the Best Headphones for Music Production.

You’re not going to want to take them off when you leave your studio, however. The adaptive hybrid circuitry and four-mic noise cancelling system deliver a new level of quiet, analyzing your surroundings and quite literally making the world go away. Your commute will turn into an opportunity for close listening, rather than simply rocking out. The latest Bluetooth technology makes the Momentum 4’s wireless connection unbelievably clear, especially when you’re making phone calls. It also lets you stream high-definition audio in aptX and AAC formats — something pro mixers, audiophiles, and YouTube addicts alike will appreciate.

The sleek industrial design isn’t just attractive, it also facilitates some advanced touch technology for controlling settings and accessing features. Like a multi-touch tablet, the right ear cup has a touch pad that responds to single- and two-finger gestures to control volume, noise cancelling vs. transparency ratios, playback controls, phone controls, and other handy functions. The touch pad is pretty cool, but it may take a bit of practice to get just the right swipe distance or double-tap strength. Sennheiser’s Smart Control app gives you a very powerful set of controls to adjust the sound to your liking, though you may fall in love with the sound you get the moment you first put the Momentum 4s on.

Pros: Classic Sennheiser pro audio sound. Superior noise cancellation. Smart Control app very thorough and useful.

Cons: Touch control is very clever, but can take time to master.

The Best Sounding Earbuds

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Sennheiser IE 900 Wired In-Ear Monitor Headphones

Regular price $999.95
Sale price $999.95 Regular price
$1,499.95 Save $500.00 (33%)
  • Transducer principle: Single Dynamic Driver, Pressure Chamber
  • Frequency response: 4 – 46,500 Hz
  • Ear coupling: Ear Canal
  • Sound pressure level (SPL): 118 dB at 1 kHz, 1 Vrms
  • Total harmonic distortion (THD): <0.06% (1 kHz, 94 dB)
  • Cable length: 125 cm
  • Connector: Fidelity (+) MMCX
  • Impedance: 18 Ω system impedance
  • Attenuation: 25dB
  • Article number (SKU): 508948

Have you just spent all morning getting ready for work and getting every single detail of your hair looking just perfect? Do you want to fire up some tunes on the commute in to work, but don’t want your time preening to go to waste by throwing a pair of over the ear headphones on? Sennheiser has a couple of options for in-ear headphones that sound, feel and perform just as great as a traditional set of headphones.

Introducing the IE 600 and IE 900 headphones. We’ll start off with chatting about the IE 600’s and then make our way up the mountain to the IE 900’s.

The IE600 Wired In-Ear Monitor Headphones are comprised of an Ultra-Resilient ZR01 amorphous metal housing and utilize two 7mm TrueResponse transducers. These transducers are assembled by Sennheiser and they are built for the long haul. The production of the amorphous metal housing is completed by both machine and manual steps in a plant in Germany. The result of the careful manufacturing is a pair of IE 600 headphones that will remain in near perfect condition year after year of use. The IE 600 headphones have a robust protection against corrosion and scuffs and dings from wear. These headphones are designed to keep delivering amazing sonic – and visual – joy for many, many years.

We’ve tried these out and not only do they sound incredible, but their comfort is off the charts. Included with the IE 600’s are two different styles of ear bud tips, both silicone and memory foam, and they are provided in three different styles to make a comfortable seal in the ear. The ear hooks themselves are flexible and have some adjustments to ensure long-lasting comfort. The IE600 is quite possibly the best audiophile in-ear headphones we’ve seen, and we have seen A LOT.

Included in the box with the IE 600’s are both a balanced and unbalanced para-aramid reinforced cable with a 4.4mm and 3.5mm connector, respectively. There is also a balanced para-aramid reinforced cable with a 4.4mm connector. Another nice touch by Sennheiser is a serial numbered carrying case and a presentation box with a signed customer certificate as well as user manuals.

Next, let’s look at the IE 900’s. The IE 900’s physical characteristics are that unlike the IE 600’s these are made of a precision-milled and anodized aluminum housing. A five-axis CNC machine precision cuts each housing individually out of a solid block of aluminum. Once the aluminum is anodized the housing of the IE900’s are super resistant to showing signs of wear and corrosion. On top of that, the drivers in every pair of IE 900’s sold are matched during the manufacturing process to eliminate variance, which provides a totally accurate soundstage.

A huge point of separation between the IE 600’s and the IE 900’s is that the IE 900’s utilize what is referred to as and Acoustic Back Volume. What is that, you’re asking? It’s a small chamber within a chamber that Sennheiser has tuned to separate the low frequency and the mid-range frequency. The back volume helps to achieve a clear and natural sound signature by controlling the direction of the overall volume as it flows through the transducer system. The result of this is a very consistent and disciplined bass and mid-range listening experience.

Comfortable? Comfortable. Included with the IE 900 headphones are silicone ear adapters as well as three different elastic ear adapter sets in three different sizes. The “what’s in the box” for the IE 900’s is almost exactly the same as the IE 600’s except for one BIG difference. There is a balanced 4.4mm (quarter-inch) cable included for a connection to a hi-fi system in the home. Why have the best headphones in your ears and not be able to utilize them in your home system? Yeah, Sennheiser thought of that too.

Pros: Carefully designed headphones priced for all audiences.

Cons: Wired headphones are looked down on in favor of Bluetooth.

Best Headphones Under $400

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Technics EAH-A800-S Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (Silver)

Regular price $299.00
Sale price $299.00 Regular price
$349.00 Save $50.00 (14%)
  • Dimensions: 6-11/16" x 7-11/16" x 3-3/8" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.657 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Closed Back, Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Playback Time with Battery (AAC): Approx. 50 Hours (NC ON) or 60 Hours (NC OFF)
  • Playback Time with Battery (LDAC): Approx. 40 Hours (NC ON) or 50 Hours (NC OFF)
  • Cable Length: 1m

As far as over ear headphones go, there are a few essential factors to look for: battery life, sound quality, active noise cancelling abilities, mic quality, and comfort. The Technics EAH-A800 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones quickly earned their spot as the Best Headphones Under $400 because they excel in all of those categories.

Let's talk about battery life. The most you can get out of these headphones is an impressive 60 hours without noise cancellation. With noise cancelling on, you can expect 40-50 hours of use depending on if you take advantage of the EAH-A800s LDAC compatibilities. As far as quick charging goes, you can expect to get an extra 10 hours of listening with noise cancelling on just a 15 minute charge.

Technics are renowned for their excellent sound quality, and the EAH-A800 headphones are certainly no exception. The PEEK/Polyurethane 3-Layer Diaphragm 40mm driver paired, LDAC™ high-resolution wireless audio, and industry-leading Dual Hybrid feedforward and feedback noise cancelling with analog and digital processing create an impressive soundscape and immersive listening experience.

Every pair of EAH-A800 headphones comes with 8 different mics and advanced wind noise reduction technology to isolate and enhance your voice while blocking any unwanted excess noise.

Most importantly, they're a comfortable fit. You're going to be spending hours a day on your computer, listening to music, or in calls using these; you want to be comfortable in them. The faux-leather earpads and comfortable headband are soft and breathable and work in tandem to evenly distribute pressure across your entire head to ensure long-term comfort.

Best Headphones Under $100 for Kids

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JBL JR460NC Wireless Over-Ear Noise Canceling Kids Headphones (White)

Regular price $64.95
Sale price $64.95 Regular price
$79.95 Save $15.00 (19%)
  • Weight: 0.44 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Closed Back, Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Music playtime with BT on and ANC off: up to 30 hours
  • Music playtime with BT on and ANC on: up to 20 hours
  • Cable Length: 1m

There are two certainties in life: taxes and kids not listening when their parents tell them to turn their music down. The JBL JR460NC Wireless Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Kids Headphones have a max volume set under 85dB to ensure that kids can use these and enjoy JBL sound quality safely.

These headphones were designed with kids in mind from the ground up. In addition to the max dB level, there’s Active Noise Cancelling to help them stay focused whether they’re learning online or listening to their favorite music. Google Fast Pair, a detachable audio cable, and Bluetooth capabilities make switching between devices a breeze. The built-in mic makes communicating with friends, classmates, or family easy. The controls are easy to use, and the battery has up to 20 hours of playtime with Active Noise Cancelling and 30 hours without.

These features are wrapped in child-friendly, safe materials that won’t damage or break. For parents and kids alike, these headphones are a clear winner for the best headphones under $100 for kids. As JBL says, “It’s never too early to appreciate JBL Safe Sound: quality sound has no age.”

Still not sure? We got this.

If you’re still not sure which headphones are best for you, give us a call or send us an email. Tell us a little about how you will use them, e.g., for listening to music at home, watching TV on a device, drowning out crying babies on airplanes – whatever. Plus what kind of music do you like, what’s your budget, and/or anything else you think we should know. Just think of us as your own personal audio gear shopping concierge, on-call to help you pick the perfect pair of headphones for you.

One more thing:

A last word of advice: buy your new headphones from a trusted dealer. And the more experience and longer the track record, the better. A good dealer will take care of you in the event anything happens.

Speaking of trusted dealers...

World Wide Stereo is home to some 90+ industry-leading audio/video professionals who love what they do and talking about it, too. We opened our doors in 1979, gained a small yet die-hard following, won a slew of national awards for everything from killer car audio installations to customer service, grew the business online… and today we enjoy a faithful following of like-minded TV-watching, music-listening, gear-loving defenders of fun for the whole family. Our only rule: no one leaves unhappy.

Plus, shopping with us means you get our guarantee, which includes perks like free shipping, 60-day returns, award-winning support, and service long after the sale — always. Hence our rule: "no one leaves unhappy."

2023 Headphone Deals

We’ve made it easy to find the best deals on headphones from brands like Sony, JBL, Audeze and more. Our deals update daily so you don’t miss a beat, and we’ve got your back through with our price match guarantee, 60-day returns, easy financing, and free shipping. Don’t see what you want on sale? Give us at 1.866.961.7781 or chat with an expert.

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