Our lives revolve around different gadgets that highly impact how we live in a society. Headphones have become one of the most important gadgets people own today. Wherever you go, you will see people around you using headphones for various purposes. Whether it is for official use, listening to music during workout, playing high setting games, you need an upgrade to good-quality headphones. This will let you get a feel for the great sound that you are listening to.
Finding the best headphone has become really difficult today. There are plenty of models with different specifications and sound quality that it gets tricky to choose the one that suits your style and listening habit. The type of best headphones is quite vast. Different headphones will be better for different situations, choosing the right tool that fits your need is essential. Like many other things, you get what you pay for. The higher the price is the better specs and features a headphone will offer. Therefore, you need to look into your need and budget first while going through the options available.
To make it easy for you, we have compiled the best headphones in general that include wireless headphones, bass headphones, noise-canceling headphones, and in-ear or over-ear headphones of different styles and budgets.
Best Headphones 2021:
- Sony WH – 1000XM3 Headphones – Best Over-Ear 2021
- Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II – Best Noise Cancelling
- Bose Noise-Cancelling 700 – Best Wireless
- Sony MDRZX 110 Headphones – Best for Gamers
- Audio Technica ATH-M50x – Best In-Ear
- Steelseries Arctic Pro – Best Wired 2021
- Beat Powerbeats Pro – Best for Gym
- Cowin E7 Active Headphones – Best for Travel
- Skull Candy Crusher Headphones – Best Budget
- Sennheiser Mommentum 2.0 – Best Bass Headphones
Top 3 Picks
Best Headphones 2021
1. Sony WH – 1000XM3
Sony WH 1000XM3 is a perfect blend of the best features. Sony WH-1000XM3 is the best headphones one can own in 2021. With its long-lasting battery, outstanding wireless sound, and superb noise-canceling feature, Sony has proven itself best in the market. It delivers a beautiful and dynamic sound.
The new processor of HD’s Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 helps to reduce the noise of surroundings. It takes you to the next level of quietness. Wherever you are it gives the feel of an empty room. Its voice-only mode lets you filter through all other sounds and lets you enjoy the feel of the music you are listening to.
It comes in a very design in two colors, Black and Champagne Gold. The frames are very convenient to wear as it does not fall off. With its 9- ounces weight it’s quite light and comfortable. The ear cup’s padding is relatively thick and soft. It fits well on your ears not causing any insignificant pressure on your head. The general touch controls are pretty smooth and accurate to manage commands easily. The sound and audio quality is great. They are suitable for the bass lover and grant listeners. Hence, if you are a music lover who enjoys being isolated from the outside world and is a long listener then this is the best you will get.
2. Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II
Bose is a market leader in the headphones industry for years coming up with the most premium, innovative and high-quality headphones. The best headphones on noise cancellation and wireless feature are the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II. It has a very sleeker design filled with a leather cushion at the outer cup that makes it very comfortable to wear. You can easily wear it for long sessions and won’t get tired because of its light weight. It comes in black and silver in color. Further, the Google Assistance button helps you to give commands easily e.g., asking about the weather, location of a certain place, etc.
It gives you an edge to manage your tasks without even looking at your phone/tab. The sound quality Quiet Comfort deliver is clear, crisp and wide. Microphones work really well that you never get to hear a complaint from another side of a call regarding voice disturbance.
Moreover, it is best with its advanced technology of noise – cancellation to block the rest of the world around you. Whether you are roaming around in the streets, attending an official meeting or working out in a crowded gym you wouldn’t hear anything other than the sound you are listening to. The battery life is great. You can easily use it for a longer period without any issue. Quiet Comfort is best for the ones who need Google Assistance feature and want to avoid outside noise.
3. Bose Noise-Cancelling 700
Bose has headphones have redefined the Noise-Cancelling feature. It is the king. They have expanded noise-canceling to phone calls as well which makes it the best in market. The sound quality is excellent and clear to the other side of the call. As for music, it is ranked as best bass headphones as the sound gives a high beat to instruments. From sound management to music management, the Bose Music app gives you even more control and ensures your Bose smart products work together for a better listening experience
One thing on which it took an edge over QC 35II is the design. It is crafted around stainless steel headband and is in a cylindrical shape. It comes in two colors as well, black and silver. The ear cups have been improved too, they are super soft and comfortable which gives a much lightweight feel. Enclosed ear cups are super soft and comfortable. As for touch controls, they are very intuitive. And it also comes with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa so that you can give voice-over commands. If you are looking for Sony and Bose 700, then go for the former for its best noise-cancellation feature, better battery life and comparatively low price.
4. Sony MDRZX 110
Sony MDRZX110 is one of the best on-ear headphones for entry level that have great sounding quality. 30mm driver units deliver full, balanced sound for a complete listening experience. It delivers punchy and crisp sound to all the tracks with good bass. It also comes with a great microphone and that works really well when listening and responding to phone calls. This also works great with gaming on your PC/Playstation/Laptops etc. The sound in gaming is real-time hence giving a great experience.
Apart from the sound quality, they are very comfortable to wear. Fit perfectly on your ears, the headband is self-adjusting and the ear cups have a soft cushion so you don’t feel uncomfortable while using it. The swivel design makes it easier for you to hear music from different angles and ways as you can turn your headphones. Moreover, the closed –design make you feel isolated from outside distractions and let you lost in the feel of music. Also, this comes with tangle free wires which are of great benefit, you do not have to untie the knots frequently and enjoy the music fully. Overall if you are looking for reasonable headphone with best sound quality and a great look, the SONY MDRZX110 is the right product for you.
5. Audio Technica ATH-M50x
Audio Technica ATH-M50x is an excellent headphone for people who love heavy bass. They are designed by keeping in mind Beats to provide the best sound and strong bass. They are known for brilliant sound quality through an extended frequency range. Bass is clearer and punchy which makes it fun for listening to music. This headphone does not have a mic which is a major drawback. While working with it you will need to buy a microphone separately. Moreover, Bluetooth 5 wireless connectivity and battery life are extraordinary for the money you pay.
As of design, it is well built and has a solid look. The quality used for building is good but not premium. The ear cups are of plush padding that gives comfort to your ears making them easy for you to wear for long sessions. The feel of over-ear headphone is very comfortable as well. The headband can be adjusted as per your need. Even when you are not using the headphones then you can rotate it to 180 degree to have a rest. The sizes of ear cups are decent and are soft. They also work well to make you feel isolated from the world with zero leakage of sound from the ear cups. Overall the design is very attractive and it works well for music lovers.
6. Steelseries Arctic Pro
SteelSeries has fueled the gaming industry for over 15 years by creating innovative new products, designed specifically for sports and passionate gamers everywhere. It has evolved the gaming headphones from bassy to more of an audiophile. The sound quality is extraordinary that makes you lost in the gaming experience. The Arctis Pro Wireless has the visible metal headband and the matte finish which feel more delicate. Its design is very sleek and comfortable made with luxurious steel and aluminum alloy. The ear cups are comfortable and are shaped naturally around your ears. You easily enjoy the gaming experience in your comfort zone.
The best feature of the Arctis Pro is GameDac, a digital to analog audio converter giving high sound quality to the gamers. Another feature is the Amplifier circuit that also helps in removing distortions to a minimum and gives the best gaming experience. Steel-series Arctis Pro is widely recognized as the best mic in gaming and is specifically made for the gamer who looks for high-quality audio to enjoy ultimate gaming experience. If you are a robust gamer and looking for great headphones then this one is for you. It will meet your expectation of heavy sound quality complementing the graphics.
7. Beat Powerbeats Pro
The newest addition in Powerbeats family that keeps you moving with its best wireless headphones. It is specifically designed for athletes to take out workouts and sport to next level. Its built is lightweight along with sweat & water resistance. Your music never stops with its long-lasting battery and balanced sound from each earbud. It keeps you occupied and motivated towards your workout. Each earbud has a microphone, full volume, and track control so that you get the maximum benefit from using it.
Powerbeats pro is highly compatible with iPhone and Android devices with its Apple H1 chip installed. It delivers a powerful and stable wireless connection without any dropouts to give you a premium experience. The voice controls are very strong. “Hey, Siri” on iOS devices and voice capability with the push of the b button on a variety of compatible devices let you manage your gadget. Overall, powerbeats pro is the best wireless headphone for athletes who enjoy and live music to fullest.
8. Cowin E7 Active
Cowin E7 Active is the best budget for noise-canceling headphones. With significant noise-canceling technology, you get to enjoy whatever you are listening to whether you are at work, train or crowded road. They make quiet sound quieter and music sound better. You get to hear the musical instruments in a way that you have never experienced. It gives amazing sound to beats; precise guitars, clear vocals, and clean bass everything sounds better to your ears. Bluetooth and NFC connections are quick and easy Overall, you get to experience world-class performance and superior comfort without any wires in your way.
As far as design is concerned, it is quite stylish and lightweight to wear for a longer period without any issue. Built with professional protein earpads are comfortable and soft that gives a relaxed feel to your ears. The built is quite robust and strong. But they fit tight on some heads due to which not quite practical for running and working out as your head feels heavier. They have responsive and click buttons for volume control, call/music, and skipping tracks. Not to forget, the battery life is the best thing you can use it for 16+ hours without being worried for its charging. Overall, you get what you paid for and in this case, some faithful excellent headphones.
9. Skull Candy Crusher
Skull Candy Crusher is all the bass that you need in life. It is built for the people who are heavy bass lovers and want to have a feel of Music Shows or Concerts anywhere they want. The sound is incredibly great and gives a great bass that you can feel vibration. It perfectly fits for gaming, movies, and music purpose where the sound quality and heavy bass is everything you look for. Moreover, the microphones are of excellent quality and when on call both sides can hear very well.
The design is of a white and black matte finish. The material used for ear cups or headband looks a little cheap as it gets marks on it easily. The headphones are very heavy and sturdy. However, the ear cups are very comfortable and the head strap is of soft silicon which really balances out the weight. Skullcandy’s Crusher Wireless headphones offer an excellent battery life for a reasonable price. The biggest problem you will see is that they don’t have noise-cancellation and there is a good amount of sound bleed. Wherever you are, people around you can hear very clear what you are listening to. Other issue with this is the cut-off point for the bass slider. Sliding it any more than halfway up made most songs hard to listen to. In conclusion, this bass headphone is exclusively for people who enjoy and look for heavy bass.
10. Sennheiser Mommentum 2.0
Sennheiser is creating a new world of audio. They are continuously working on innovation putting in the effort to set new trend and benchmarks for their rivals in the market. The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 is a second attempt at full-size, style-driven headphones from Sennheiser. The design is similar to the previous one however; ear cup size has increased this time to make it fit for big ears too. Memory foam cushions provide extreme comfort for long listening sessions. It does not weigh heavier on the head hence, you can use it easily for workouts. Further, It is built with premium stainless steel and original leather.
One of the most impressive elements of the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 is quite how deep the bass goes without sounding forced. Also, Noise Guard Hybrid active noise cancellation makes your audio sounds much clear and crisp by eliminating ambient sounds. Overall, the sound quality is quite warm and relaxed for your ears. But they are not good at the soundstage. It feels a bit narrow. On top of that Momentum, 2 Wireless has a remarkable 22hrs battery life, a choice of wired or wireless connection, USB DAC support to connect to your smartphone or PC/laptop. In conclusion, it is a good pair of headphones but not great for its price and a compromise on comfort.
Buyers Guide – Choosing the best Headphone
Which Headphone is best for you? In order to evaluate the best headphone in the market, you need to listen to them to know the quality of sound. Headphones are not cheap, thus you cannot blindly spend money and then, later on, feel disappointed. There are some tiny details that you should consider before getting your hand on headphones. We have listed down some guides that may help you.
How you plan to use your headphone? If you don’t have any idea how will you be using your headphones and the kind of features you look for to satisfy the need then you may end up spending a lot of money on the wrong pair of headphones? And you will be dissatisfied. Whether it’s for listening music at gym, or for travelling, there is a different headphone for different situation. Therefore, before looking into type and brand to go for you need to identify the purpose or need first.
Wider the frequency range is the better sound quality is. For headphones, 10 Hz to 25,000 Hz is recommended. Also look into sound curve, frequency response curve, and sound signature. This signifies the quality of headphones and how much they are worth paying for. There are headphones that are really cheap under $100 that gives flat sound to any music you hear. Moreover, the heavy bass doesn’t always mean that it is of good quality too. There are many headphones that give bass but it sounds muddy and of low quality.
Referring to blocking outside noise and enjoying the feel of the music to self only. Increasing volume is not a solution to avoid outside noise as it just results in sound leakage. Other people can hear whatever you are listening to which you do not want obviously. Sound Isolation is very important for you to concentrate and don’t feel distracted whether you are working out or traveling on a plane/train. It let you focus and enjoy what are you listening to. So, it is a very important feature that you should look for.
How many headphones will cost? The features and specification it is showing are they worth the price you are paying? This is one of the most important questions you ask yourself when evaluating different brands and models in the market. You need to accept the fact that the better the quality, the more features and specs, and the higher the price will be. You can buy a less costly headphone but then you have to compromise on many factors like; comfort, battery life, sound quality, etc. Brands like Sony and Beats offer the best in the market to come up with premium headphones in terms of design, comfortable ear cups, great bass, sound isolation etc. You need to decide your budget and what options you have. Headphones are believed to be a one-time investment for long years as no one changes them frequently until there is a big flaw. Then why not spend it on a good headphone that is a complete package.
It refers to the amount of power needed to drive headphones. Low Impedance needs less power to drive and is compatible with smartphones, media players, tab, etc. They cannot absorb heavy amplification. High Impedance requires high power and strong amplification. They are less likely to blow out. Impedance is shown as ‘hms’ in specification description so you need to have a look into it and choose the headphone based on the device you will be using your headphone on.
On-Ear or Over-Ear Headphones
You need to identify what type you want. On-ear rests on your ear while over-ear covers your entire ear. The on-ear style has a headband that keeps the ear cups in place securely in your ears but they are not comfortable for long sessions due to the heavy pressure they put in. On other hand, over-ear styles are large but comfortable for long sessions as the cups fit perfectly on ears. The ear cups are usually soft and headband weight light hence relatively better than on-ear.
Open or Closed Headphones
Open Headphone does have a hole at the back of the drive enclosure. They allow the sound to escape outside. It has an open sound that gives the realistic experience of listening music and playing games. It is really comfortable and is soft to your ears and head. On the other hand, closed headphone does not have any hole and is designed to give privacy in listening to music while headphones are on. It is practical for public places as there is no sound leakage and all the sounds are restricted to your ears. This headphone is specifically targeted to people who live by the feel of the music and do not want others to get an idea of what they are listening to.
Wired or Wireless
With the advancement in technology over the years, wireless headphone has gained a lot of importance. People are moving from wired to wireless. These are fee of chords and wires and work well through Bluetooth, infrared, and radiofrequency. Wireless headphones has increased portability and freed people of wires so that they can use them outdoor. Moreover, the overall quality and battery life have increased too in wireless headphones. Wired headphones are not the choice of many people due to portability issue. But they have a better quality of sound and you do not need to worry about charging batteries.