Are you looking for the absolute best headphones or earbuds to pair with your favorite mobile devices? It’s a crowded market, which makes ratings and reviews even more important – especially if you want high-quality earbuds that won’t fall apart after a few weeks or the best headset for gaming and web conferencing. Here are our top picks to help make those decisions a bit easier.
Noise-canceling, over-ear headphones can have a ton of features, which makes it even more impressive that every feature on these Sony headphones is done so incredibly well. The design is simple and comfortable, the noise-canceling with active dual sensors is impeccable, and the headphones are rated for up to 30 hours of battery life with fast charging features included.
The headphones also sport some truly advanced touch sensor controls to play music or take calls. A chat mode also helps keep conversation volume automatically optimized so no one gets annoyed. And there’s also built-in Alexa compatibility so you can give voice commands and queries whenever you want, even without an Echo device. It’s pretty much the full package unless you are looking for very specific gaming or surround sound features.
Sony doesn’t just make a great pair of over-ear headphones – they have also mastered “true” (no cables connecting them, in-ear only) wireless earbuds with these excellent models. They are the earbud version of the WH-1000XM4, with digital noise-canceling technology, 24-bit audio processing for top sound quality, and “smart listening” that shifts between modes based on what you are doing and if it looks like you need to hear your environment.
Hands-free calling and built-in Alexa compatibility are also included in these models. The battery is rated for up to 24 hours, which is great for wireless earbuds.
Of course, not everyone has a few hundred bucks to throw at headphones, no matter how amazing they are. These Cambridge Audio earbuds offer premium sound, strong battery life, and great audio technology while staying firmly at just $100. They’re also specially designed to work with iOS devices, so Apple fans shouldn’t have a problem connecting and switching between devices.
Battery life lasts for around nine hours on one charge, and the case can hold four more charges on its own. We also like the Bluetooth 5.0 technology which helps guarantee the latest Bluetooth connections that should remain strong no matter where you are in your house. These make a great Apple AirPods alternative.
Sennheiser traditionally makes excellent gaming headsets. While these headphones are a bit more mainstream and have features for music listeners, they’re still an excellent pick for gamers and come with sturdy, full ear pads that are durable enough to last while keeping your ears comfy for longer sessions. They also come with active noise cancellation and transparent hearing modes to choose from. Audio settings are controlled via app or three buttons, and smart pausing makes it easy to disengage and resume effortlessly. They’re also Alexa compatible, and battery life is rated at an impressive 17 hours.
These slim Bose headphones are a nice alternative for people looking for a lightweight headset they can wear for long periods of time without discomfort. Bose also took a unique approach to its noise-canceling, with 11 different stages of canceling, so you can adjust it up and down based on how much ambient noise you want to hear. These headphones also come with Alexa and Google Assistant support with the touch of a button, and last for up to 20 hours on a battery charge. They make a great pick for the office or other situations where you need to stay focused.
Powerbeats Pro provide excellent sound with an ear loop for stability, making them a great fit for workouts and athletes. They also have separate audio control options for each earbud, allowing you to adjust them separately or only play one at a time. The earbuds last for up to nine hours on a single charge, and fast charging is enabled so you can get a couple of hours of charge with just a few minutes of downtime. And since it’s Powerbeats, Siri support is included and everything is guaranteed to work with your Apple devices.
Many workout earbuds suffer from a poor fit or a design that slips out when you’re active, which can be aggravating. AfterShokz has a totally different approach, earbuds that fit beside your ear and vibrate audio through your cranial bones – and yes, that approach really does work. It also helps that the Aeropex have been updated with a more comfortable fit that will still stay while you workout or run – but also leave your ears open to hear everything around you. The battery lasts for around eight hours, and the earbuds are sweat and waterproof. It’s a great pick for urban living if you spend a lot of time jogging or biking in the city.
It really is impressive what Apple has done with the AirPods Pro, some of the smartest earbuds you’ll ever find. The Active Noise Cancellation and adaptive EQ deliver some great sounding music, with a transparency mode for letting in ambient sound. But it’s the force sensors that really impress, with the ability to activate features with just a touch of the earbuds, or program the earbuds for customized tasks based on what you want to do and the gestures you make. We also like Audio Sharing, which allows you to listen to audio with a friend without disturbing anyone else. Oh, and it’s nice that Apple includes three sets of ear tips with this AirPods upgrade, so you can be more assured of the right fit.
This popular headset from Audio-Technica is highly recommended for studio work, and yes, it does come in a wired version! Using proprietary 45mm drivers with excellent sensitivity and earcup design, these headphones are made for professional editing and creation projects. The battery life is rated at an excellent 40 hours to help ensure they won’t let you down, either. It’s the ideal choice for professionals who have to switch between a lot of different devices or instruments while they’re working, or editing studios where someone is overseeing several workspaces at once.