10 Best Headphones | April 2017

We spent 26 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you are determined to hear your music at the best possible quality, are looking for a comfortable set of cans for long gaming sessions, or simply want to escape from outside noise distractions, one of the headphones from this selection will be perfect for you. Skip to the best headphone on Amazon.
10 Best Headphones | April 2017
Overall Rank: 2
Best Mid-Range
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 10
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The Edifier H840 are a high quality, but affordable, set of headphones that let you pay less for a brand and more for fidelity and features. They include real working noise isolation, lifelike sound with deep bass, and they are very comfortable to wear.
  • will not break when bent
  • ergonomic for extended listening
  • thin cable probably will not last
Brand Edifier
Model H840
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
9
For teenagers, this Mixcder ShareMe 7 not only allows them to rapidly share their music, but they can use it to make calls, and it offers 20 hours of battery life. In other words, they will keep in touch, but it also has extremely good sound quality.
  • long-range bluetooth connectivity
  • micro usb or line-in
  • only available in red
Brand Mixcder
Model LYSB0179MTCX2-ELECTRNCS
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
8
The Avantree Audition offer a simple and compelling reason for you to choose them: they have NFC. If you didn't know, NFC allows you to simply tap your phone against these headphones and they will begin to play audio from your phone.
  • bluetooth connectivity
  • extremely long 40 hour battery life
  • make calls on 2 different phones
Brand Avantree
Model Audition
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
7
The Sony MDRXB950 are the latest studio offering from this top brand, suitable for DJs or real music aficionados. They have the same high quality audio as Sony's previous generation, but now with long-lasting Japanese batteries and modern Bluetooth and NFC connectivity.
  • amazing 40mm drivers
  • clean styles in 3 colors
  • solid metal and quality plastic
Brand Sony
Model MDRXB950BT/B
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
6
Designed for comfort, the huge NVX Audio XPT100 headphones feature a flexible headband, ComfortMax cushion earpads, and reliable neodymium drivers for extra depth. The large size, cushions that practically hug you, and the deep sound allow you to escape into your music.
  • parts are easy to replace
  • quarter-inch adapter
  • somewhat difficult to store
Brand NVX
Model XPT100
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
5
Crafted with pro-grade materials and swiveling earcups for one-ear monitoring, the Audio-Technica M40x headphones are a decent choice for studio tracking and DJ activities. The audio is crisp and clear, and the bass far from weak, but not too heavy.
  • rugged and robust construction
  • headband has thick padding
  • 90-degree range of motion
Brand Audio-Technica
Model ATH-M40x
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
4
If you want a circumaural model for at-home use, then research the Sennheiser RS 175, which are built for home entertainment and offer unsurpassed quality. Their virtual surround sound is just as good, if not better, than the real thing, at a fraction of the cost.
  • 18-hour battery life
  • easy to access and use controls
  • base can pair with multiple units
Brand Sennheiser
Model RS 175
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
3
The best-selling Bose QC25 have been upgraded with the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 to take advantage of NFC and wireless connectivity, while using a long-lasting lithium ion battery. The wireless is easy to use thanks to friendly voice prompts.
  • ideal for any audiophile
  • factory optimized equalizing
  • convenient carrying case is included
Brand Bose
Model 759944-0010
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
2
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x have been praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers alike. Their circumaural design contours around your ears for superior comfort, and delivers effective sound isolation in loud environments.
  • 90-degree swiveling earcups
  • cables are detachable
  • 45-millimeter large aperture drivers
Brand Audio-Technica
Model ATH-M50x
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
1
If you are prepared to make a real investment, then get a pair of Sony MDX1000s, which have better sound quality and better looks than any other set of headphones. They set the standard for all other models, but come at a high price.
  • takes just one tap to take calls
  • best noise cancelling available
  • ambient sound mode for safety
Brand Sony
Model MDR1000X/B
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

How Do Headphones Work?

Headphones operate by either connecting to an audio source (e.g., a CD player, an iPod, or a laptop, etc.), or converting sound that has been delivered through the air waves. In every case, some type of signal is received. That signal is, in turn, converted through an ear piece with varying levels of fidelity. Each headphone’s precision is based upon a number of factors, all of which are ultimately connected to what is known as a frequency response (for more on this, please see “Headphone Terminology 101” above).

One of the key aspects that affects a headphone’s performance is known as “impedance” (see above). Impedance refers to resistance, or how much voltage a pair of headphones requires in order to convert a piece of audio that’s being fed to it from an outside source. If the source requires an extreme amount of voltage, then the converted audio will probably sound extremely poor.

One other key factor is "sensitivity," which refers to how loudly an earphone can reproduce an incoming signal. Sensitivity is complicated (it is actually measured by a unit which is known as "decibels of sound pressure level per milliwatt"), but the bottom line is that it determines incoming volume based on the quality and compatibility of a source (e.g., a turntable, or a stereo, etc.). If you've got low impedance, high sensitivity, and a pair of headphones with top-notch frequency response, chances are you're dealing with some pretty gnarly noise.

What Do I Need To Know About Headphones Before I Buy?

Buying a pair of headphones generally comes down to a tug-of-war between quality and price. You want the best value, but you don't want to go broke. The problem becomes that of differentiating one pair of headphones from another. Assuming you have access to an electronics store, maybe you can stop by and test a few models out. Otherwise, you need to rely a few major selling points. These points can help you navigate which set of phones will fit you best.

If you're looking for something that you can plug into your computer, perhaps use in the office, the first thing you'll want to research is whether the phones are CPU compatible. The same applies to any headphones that you plan on hooking up to mobile devices, gaming consoles, or tablets. The majority of online product descriptions will make it clear whether a set of headphones can be used in conjunction with Apple products, or even, say, Bluetooth devices. These descriptions should also make it clear whether a set of headphones comes with a speaker (for communicating via a cell phone). If anything in the description remains unclear, it’s best to call the manufacturer. A live operator can help you make sense of what all that marketing gibberish means.

The most important function of any set of headphones is to deliver good sound. Sound is a relative term when it comes to headphones, as there is a world of difference between the trained and untrained ear. Studio professionals can tell you how a stereo driver operates, and how to measure good acoustics. And the coolest part about that is, there's a very vocal community of these professionals online.

A Brief History of the Headphone in America

Do you know what a pair of electroacoustic transducers are? I'll give you a hint: these are the reason that you visited this page. Electro-acoustic transducing is an antiquated way of describing the early science behind headphones. What it refers to is the conversion of incoming waves into a corresponding sound. Headphones operate by either connecting to an audio source (e.g., a record player or an amplifier), or "transducing" radio waves that have been transmitted through the air.

Early headphones were an extension of the ear piece. Headphones were largely preferable because of their ability to isolate sound while cancelling outside noise. The first pair of headphones were developed in 1910 by a Mormon named Nathaniel Baldwin. Baldwin designed his earphones in the kitchen. He never patented them, which was unfortunate, given he sold his innovation to the U.S. Navy for a song.

In the 1920s headphones were used by the U.S. military and AM radio operators. They expanded to the consumer market in the 1940s, when a Jazz musician named John C. Koss invented the first pair that could be plugged into a stereo. From there the headphone market shifted, surging upward until it reached a point where at least one pair of headphones could be found in almost every American home.

Today's headphones are somewhat similar in appearance to what the originals looked like during the early 1900s. The primary difference being that technology has allowed for stronger acoustic conversion, along with wireless compatibility, and an entire range of innovations that weren't even possible before.



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Last updated on April 22 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

Our professional staff of writers and researchers have been creating authoritative product recommendations and reviews since 2011. Many of our wikis require expert maintenance, and are authored by individual members of our editorial staff. However, this wiki is currently maintained by multiple members of the ezvid wiki team.