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Whether you’re looking for sleek AirPods or big over-ear models, these are the best headphones and earbuds we’ve tested, with advice for finding just the right pair for you.

Headphones to Buy

1. Sony WH-1000XM4

The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones have it all. A lightweight design, comfort, Bluetooth, and arguably the best noise cancelling currently on the market. Oh, and they sound fantastic too. Therefore, it’s no wonder we think they’re the best headphones you can buy right now.

Specifications

Bluetooth: Yes 

Noise cancelling: Yes 

Battery life: 30hr 

Charging: USB-C 

Built-in mic & controls: Yes

2. Apple AirPods Max

The unexpectedly huge price of the Apple AirPods Max makes them considerably dearer than the great majority of premium wireless noise-cancelling headphones, but they do justify that extra outlay.

Specifications

Bluetooth: Yes

Noise-cancelling: Yes

Battery life: 20hr

Charging: USB-C

Built-in mic & controls: Yes

3. Panasonic RZ-S500W

Panasonic isn’t a brand that immediately springs to mind when you think of cheap wireless earbuds. But perhaps it should be. The RZ-S500W are the company’s first foray into wireless noise-cancelling earbuds, and they’re sensational performers for their outlay.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.0

Noise-cancelling: Yes

Battery life: 6.5 hours (+ 13 hours from charging case)

Charging: USB-C

Built-in mic-controls: Yes

4. Sony WF-1000XM3

Meet the apex of truly wireless in-ear headphones right now. Building on the success of the Sony WF-1000X (some of the first true wireless earbuds to get five stars from us), the Sony WF-1000XM3 have an all-new Bluetooth chip that sharpens up music synchronization and a noise-cancelling processor, which Sony claims offers a 40 per cent improvement on its predecessor, which is not to be sniffed at.

Specifications

OS support: Android/iOS

Bluetooth: Yes

Noise cancelling: Yes

Battery life: 6 hours (24 hours with charging case)

5. Austrian Audio Hi-X55

We’re impressed with the wired Austrian Audio Hi-X55. They are nicely built and relay a track faithfully. However, they won’t be for everyone – they aren’t as easy a listen as some rivals and will certainly be unforgiving with some recordings. This character trait is where the fine Austrian Audios differ from their most obvious rivals, the Sennheiser Momentum or Philips Fidelio X3. Those other pairs provide warm, comfortable listen, where the Austrian Audios are far more analytical and more ‘professional’ in their presentation.

Specifications

Connector: 3.5mm (6.3mm adapter included)

Cable length: 3m (1m optional)

In-line remote and mic: No

Bluetooth: No

Noise cancelling: No

Sensitivity: 115Db

Weight: 305g

6. Shure AONIC 3

Shure has plenty of experience with wired in-ear headphones, and it shines through in the AONIC 3s. They’re comfy and lightweight, for starters. The headphone cable hooks over the top of your ears and keeps them secure at all times; there is a slight knack to getting the swivelling buds in place, though. Nine different ear tip choices allow for excellent isolation, while an in-line remote and mic can control your tunes and answer calls. Yet the Shure AONIC 3s nail it.

Specifications

Connector: 3.5mm

Cable length: 1.27m

In-line remote and mic: Yes

Bluetooth: No

Noise cancelling: No

Sensitivity: 108Db

Weight: 20.4g

7. Bose 700

The Bose 700 are the runner-up for best headphones and have a sexy new design and cool features with its high price tag. They’re equipped with a whopping eight microphones, six of which are employed to deliver Bose’s champion noise cancellation when listening to music or talking on the phone. In addition, it offers up to 11 levels of adjustable ANC that work equally well to neutralize noise across different frequencies.

Specifications

Size and weight: 8 x 6.5 x 2 inches, 9 ounces

Battery life (rated): 20 hours (NC on)

Bluetooth range: 30 feet (9 meters)

Special features: Adjustable active noise cancellation, customizable EQ, charging case (optional)

8. Jabra Elite Active 75t

Jabra found a way to improve our favourite wireless earbuds, packing a hell of a lot of performance into a tinier waterproof design. The Elite Active 75t boasts better battery life and sound than the AirPods Pro, plus its charging case holds more portable power and feels sturdier. Fitness fanatics will love the reliable comfort and fit they provide; sweat absorption is one of many unsung features.

Specifications

Size and weight: 0.8 x 0.7 x 0.6 inches, 0.2 ounces (per bud)

Battery life (rated): 7.5 hours; 28 hours (with charging case)

Bluetooth range: 30 feet (10 meters) 

Special features: Active and passive noise cancellation, customizable EQ, fully waterproof

9. Master & Dynamic MW08

Master & Dynamic’s MW08 joins the AirPods Pro among the best headphones with a true wireless earbud form factor. The MW08 is more expensive than Apple’s pair of buds, which is saying something, but you won’t be worrying about the price too much when you’re enjoying deep, impactful sound with adjustable active noise cancellation.

Specifications

Size and weight: 0.8 x 0.8 x 1 inch, 0.2 ounces (per bud)

Battery life (rated): 10 hours (ANC on), 12 hours (ANC off), 42 hours (with charging case)

Bluetooth range: 30 feet (9 meters)

Special features: Hybrid active noise cancellation, two-level ambient listening mode, Bluetooth 5.2, customizable fit, smart controls

10. Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Carbon Edition

They’re expensive, but as with the Apple AirPods Max, you’re paying for quality. Bowers & Wilkins has made sure the PX7 sound even better than the look and feel, with a dramatically wide soundstage and intricate detailing. We also love the Soundscapes feature, which can help you relax by mixing gentle nature sounds to your music playback.

Specifications

Size and weight: 3.1 x 6.9 x 8.7 inches, 10.9 ounces 

Battery life (rated): 30 hours (ANC on), 33 hours (ANC off) 

Bluetooth range: 33 feet (10 meters) 

Special features: ANC, Ambient mode, Soundscapes profiles

Conclusion

Some pure, precise listening of your favourite tunes, wherever you go – headphones are a truly beautiful and relatively inexpensive way of making a huge step up in audio quality, so long as you buy the right ones. There are many types of headphones to choose from: in-ears, on-ears, over-ears, wired, wireless or wired, Bluetooth and noise-cancelling. We have provided you with the best headphones you can choose for your requirements the best headphones from the given above list.

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