The Best Headphones for 2023

Enjoy phenomenal audio quality with these top-of-the-line headphones.

A great pair of headphones should be cozy, adaptable, and have a premium feel, in addition to having a rich, well-balanced sound. Active noise cancellation, dedicated companion apps for customization, and multi-device pairing are common features of the best headphones.

Despite the fact that less expensive headphones typically lack all of the bells and whistles, there are some well-rounded, multipurpose variants that provide excellent value. We put several pairs of headphones through their paces and came up with our top picks for the best headphones money can buy.

How We Picked

  • Audio Quality

    Good headphones need to have drivers and speakers that reproduce good audio quality. Besides the joy of listening, balanced audio ensures that your eardrums are safe.

  • Comfortable + Fit

    Every pair of over-the-ear headphones need to nicely encapsulate the ears without causing any discomfort, while in-ear headphones should fit without any pain. It is also important that they have a comfortable adjustable headband for a secure fit over your head.

  • Durability

    Headphones, especially wireless ones can last you long enough. Headphones can only be as durable as the material and quality of construction. It’s important to avoid flimsy choices and invest in premium ones for a lasting and enjoyable listening experience.

  • Price

    While it’s common knowledge that pricier headphones are of better quality, this is not always the case. Our list strikes a fair balance between price and the features offered by each pair.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Headphones

These headphones come with an instant pause/instant play feature whenever they are taken off and put back on.

These headphones have an ANC system that can block out ambient chatter. However, as soon as you start talking, the headphones enter 'Speak-to-Chat' mode, allowing you to hear conversations without having to remove your headphones.

Buy Now for $348.00

These are one of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market Today.

Runner Up

SENNHEISER Momentum 4 Wireless Headphones

The Momentum 4 has a lightweight, foldable design with a padded headband and deeply cushioned ear pads.

They have a very neutral sound profile that provides ample thud, rumble, and boom with its High-End Fine Tuning function. They are great for listening to your favorite tunes while you're on the go and are adaptable to a wide range of musical genres.

Buy Now for $277.00

This pair of headphones can concurrently connect to two devices, which is very convenient.

Most cost-effective

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

You get to enjoy a decent battery life, which is ideal for longer trips.

The Life Q20 active noise canceling headphones recreate music with extended high frequencies for exceptional clarity and detail.

Buy Now for $59.96

It comes with an exciting, V-shaped sound profile.

Almost Made The Cut

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Over-Ear Headphones (2022 Model)

These headphones effectively muffle the background noises.

The PX7 S2 looks and feels great thanks to a combination of soft, pliable, memory foam-filled leather at the contact points. They also have flawlessly applied fabric on the outer parts of the headband and ear cups, high-quality and silent plastics for the arms and hinges, and an exceptionally high overall build quality.

Buy Now for $399.00

They have a well-structured design that ensures maximum comfort even when worn for a long time.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Headphones

These headphones come with an instant pause/instant play feature whenever they are taken off and put back on.

$348.00

Buy Now

Runner Up

SENNHEISER Momentum 4 Wireless Headphones

The Momentum 4 has a lightweight, foldable design with a padded headband and deeply cushioned ear pads.

$277.00

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

You get to enjoy a decent battery life, which is ideal for longer trips.

$59.96

Buy Now

Almost Made The Cut

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Over-Ear Headphones (2022 Model)

These headphones effectively muffle the background noises.

$399.00

Buy Now

Who This Is For

This research is meant for people who work in offices and are looking for headphones for making calls or escaping the noisy office environment. Additionally, it is great for people who love listening to music while jogging and also for computer gamers.

Over-the-head earphones vs. earbuds
Over-the-head earphones outperform earbuds at the same price point in terms of audio quality. Earbuds have much less space for internal components, so the design is important. Earbuds can also be uncomfortable for some people, depending on how they fit in their ears.

Is it worth splurging on?
You will need to spend more money if you want headphones that can withstand your abuse. Quality and reliability mean a lot of things, and people frequently forget that a good build will get you more than just durability. A good build quality usually means more comfortable materials, fewer annoyances, and design features that make the headphones easier to use and thus completely worth your money.

Can you work out with them?
For people who love listening to music while working out, you need to purchase comfortable and well-fit headphones. The headphones also need to be waterproof to handle occurrences like sweating. This will ensure that the headphones remain over your head even when doing complex exercises, and with this, you will be able to enjoy your workout session.

Wired vs wireless
There is no hardwired answer to the debate between wired and wireless headphones. The best option is still highly dependent on your lifestyle and the activities for which you will most likely use your headphones. Different lifestyles necessitate different characteristics. Wired headphones, for example, do not require charging. This means that office workers can simply plug it in and begin working immediately. This is far more convenient than wasting their time while the headphones charge, as would be the case with wireless headphones.

Why You Should Trust Us

Our goal is to help you find the best products while also making the most of what you already have. There are numerous headphones on the market right now. To help you navigate the confusion and find what you’re looking for, our team of product specialists carefully evaluates each product we recommend to ensure you get the most out of what you buy.

How We Picked

We scoured the Internet for information on different headphones and read customer reviews from real users; we sought advice from gamers who use headphones regularly; and, of course, we relied on our own accumulated expertise. For quality audio, we looked for headphones that have good quality speakers. This is because the user needs to enjoy their music without causing harm to their eardrums while also giving them maximum comfort.

 

We also looked for headphones that are smaller in size and hence lightweight. This will ensure that they can be used for tasks such as workouts and traveling. This design is therefore very efficient in providing comfort when used for long hours. We also picked products that are well-built yet durable. We tried to find headphones that are made of hard materials, thus enabling them to withstand even some minor falls. Additionally, we picked headphones that come with warranties. Lastly, we considered the prices of the headphones and looked for those with average prices considering the features that they offer and their battery lives.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Headphones

Best Pick

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Headphones

These headphones come with an instant pause/instant play feature whenever they are taken off and put back on.

These headphones have an ANC system that can block out ambient chatter. However, as soon as you start talking, the headphones enter 'Speak-to-Chat' mode, allowing you to hear conversations without having to remove your headphones.

Buy Now for $348.00

Who It’s For

This pair of headphones is suitable for people who jog frequently while listening to music. Additionally, it is suitable for office work and for people who travel because it holds a charge for a long time.

Why It’s Great

The Sony WH-1000XM5 has a playback time of approximately 27 hours, which is decent for long trips. They're also well-made and come with a sturdy carrying case to keep them safe when you're on the go. They support LDAC, which is useful for streaming high-resolution content over Bluetooth. The Sony WH-1000XM5 provides adequate neutral sound. Furthermore, due to their closed-back design, they don't provide a very immersive experience, and their out-of-the-box sound profile is quite bass-heavy. You can customize the sound of these headphones using the companion app, which includes presets and a graphic EQ.

Potential Flaws

Their fit puts pressure on the top of the head, making long trips uncomfortable. While they have excellent overall noise isolation, their ANC does a poor job of reducing the low rumble of bus engines. They do not have an IP rating for water resistance, and they can move around on your head if worn during vigorous physical activity.

Other Features

Instant pause/instant play is a feature of the Sony WH-1000XM5 which enables them to pause or continue playing music once you take them off or put them on, respectively. Along with crystal clear hands-free calling with 4 beamforming microphones, accurate speech pickup, and sophisticated audio signal processing, it also includes intuitive touch control settings to pause play, skip tracks, change volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone calls. Last but not least, the Sony WH-1000XM5 boasts unmatched noise cancellation thanks to two processors controlling eight microphones. Noise-canceling is automatically improved with the Auto NC Optimizer based on your wearing circumstances and surroundings.

Product Specifications

Battery Charge Method: USB
Battery Charge Time: About 4 hours
Battery Life (continuous music playback time): Max. 30 hrs (NC ON), Max. 40 hrs (NC OFF)
Bluetooth version: Bluetooth Specification Version 5.2
Frequency Range: 2.4000–2.4835 GHz
Supported Audio Formats: SBC, AAC, LDAC

Runner Up - SENNHEISER Momentum 4 Wireless Headphones

Runner Up

SENNHEISER Momentum 4 Wireless Headphones

The Momentum 4 has a lightweight, foldable design with a padded headband and deeply cushioned ear pads.

They have a very neutral sound profile that provides ample thud, rumble, and boom with its High-End Fine Tuning function. They are great for listening to your favorite tunes while you're on the go and are adaptable to a wide range of musical genres.

Buy Now for $277.00

Who It’s For

These headphones are great for people looking for headphones that they can use when traveling or in the office.

Why It’s Great

The SENNHEISER Momentum 4 Wireless Headphones are quite comfy and work reasonably well in terms of noise isolation. Additionally, they are excellent at eliminating low-frequency sounds like the rumble of a bus engine. They feature a substantial battery life that will last you for an entire workday, your daily commute, and even long flights. They are excellent at isolating against office noises including background chatter and air conditioning systems. For neutral sound, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 is excellent. These represent a much-appreciated advancement over the prior design.

Potential Flaws

The cups of these somewhat large headphones don't allow for airflow and trap a lot of heat, especially with the leather padding. They aren't the most stable alternative and will cause you to perspire more than usual. They weren't made for this purpose.

Other Features

Because of its audiophile-inspired 42mm transducer system and aptX Adaptive, the SENNHEISER Momentum 4 Wireless Headphones allow you to enjoy premium music quality all day long. Its four digital beamforming microphones ensure high-quality voice pick-up and automatically suppress wind noise for optimized calls and easier access to the voice assistant. You can stay distraction-free thanks to the headphone's Adaptive Noise Cancellation, and you can stay in touch with the world around you thanks to the Adjustable Transparency Mode. Finally, the integrated equalizer, presets, and sound modes allow you to tailor the sound to your personal listening preferences for a truly unique sound experience.

Product Specifications

Battery Charge Method: USB
Battery Charge Time: About 2 hours
Battery Life (continuous music playback time): Max. 60 hrs
Bluetooth version: Bluetooth Specification Version 5.2
Speaker Frequency Range: 6 Hz to 22 kHz
Speaker type: Dynamic

Most cost-effective - Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Most cost-effective

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

You get to enjoy a decent battery life, which is ideal for longer trips.

The Life Q20 active noise canceling headphones recreate music with extended high frequencies for exceptional clarity and detail.

Buy Now for $59.96

Who It’s For

These headphones are great for people who work in offices and are looking for ways of making calls in a rather noisy office or looking for an escape from rumbling trains. Additionally, it is suitable for people with low budgets to work.

Why It’s Great

The memory foam earcups on the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones gently mold to your ears, and the headband's rotating joints automatically change the earcups' angle to conform to the shape of your head. This guarantees that the headphones offer the greatest level of comfort and a reliable seal. Additionally, they contain an ANC feature that has been slightly improved, which works significantly better at filtering out speech and marginally better at isolating the low rumbling of bus or airplane engines. Additionally, they sound highly excited due to their V-shaped sound profile, which makes them a fantastic fit for pop or rock music. They also include a basic pouch that provides them with some minimal protection when you throw them into a bag, and they are fairly comfy.

Potential Flaws

Like most closed-back over-ear headphones, they'll probably make your ears warm and perspire a little more than usual, but they're reasonably stable and shouldn't fall off during a light jog or sprint.

Other Features

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones include a wireless active noise canceling playback length of up to 40 hours and a huge 60 hours of conventional audio playback time. Over 600 songs can be played on a single charge, and you can use the Life Q20 active noise canceling headphones to obtain four hours of listening time when you charge them for five minutes. A decrease in background noise A greater variety of low and mid-frequency noises, such as those made by vehicles and jet engines, can be detected and eliminated via hybrid active noise cancellation by up to 90%.

Product Specifications

Battery Charge Method: Micro-USB
Battery Charge Time: About 4 hours
Battery Life (continuous music playback time): 60H (ANC off), 40H (ANC on)
Bluetooth version: Bluetooth Specification Version 5
Sound: Hi-Res, BassUp, dual EQ modes

Almost Made The Cut - Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Over-Ear Headphones (2022 Model)

Almost Made The Cut

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Over-Ear Headphones (2022 Model)

These headphones effectively muffle the background noises.

The PX7 S2 looks and feels great thanks to a combination of soft, pliable, memory foam-filled leather at the contact points. They also have flawlessly applied fabric on the outer parts of the headband and ear cups, high-quality and silent plastics for the arms and hinges, and an exceptionally high overall build quality.

Buy Now for $399.00

Who It’s For

These headphones are excellent for office workers who need to make calls in a noisy environment or who want to get away from rumbling classrooms. It is also appropriate for those looking for headphones to use while traveling.

Why It’s Great

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 headphones are extremely well-designed and have a dark sound profile. They feature a modern look and are cozy to wear for extended periods. You can wear the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 for hours because of how well it fits. They have fantastic battery life and are aptX(HD) and aptX Adaptive compatible, though we are unable to test for them at this time. They also have very long battery lives, which is wonderful because it means you won't have to charge them every day. Because of their construction, they are fairly stable on the skull.

Potential Flaws

They don't have any audio adjustment choices in their app, and their microphone is poor enough that it shouldn't be utilized for calls. Additionally, they have closed-back over-ears, which will cause you to perspire more while exercising. Despite how cozy the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is to wear, audiophiles who value clarity over bass may be dissatisfied with their warm, bass-heavy sound. They lack a lot of treble-range brightness and detail.

Other Features

A music app is included with the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Over-Ear Headphones for simple setup and fine-tuning, featuring user-adjustable EQ. With a reworked, larger voice coil for less distortion, it has a new, more potent motor system. Additionally, each earcup's drivers are meticulously oriented inside each other so that the soundstage is uniform, more realistic, and immersive. Finally, a single charge will last 30 hours, allowing you to use the device continuously.

Product Specifications

Battery Charge Method: USB-C
Battery Charge Time: About 4 hours
Battery Life (continuous music playback time): 30 hours
Bluetooth version: Bluetooth Specification Version 5.2
Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX adaptive, aptX HD

Care and maintenance

How to keep clean

When cleaning the outside of the headphones, take off the ear pads and use a small cloth dipped in warm soapy water. Wipe dry with paper towels and allow to dry completely. Dampen a small cloth with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer and gently wipe the ear pads’ exterior. Then, using a cotton bud soaked in alcohol/hand sanitizer, clean the nooks and crevices of the ear pads. Apply some alcohol/hand sanitizer to the surface of the foam mesh and rub the right and left sides together gently. This will aid in the killing of bacteria in the earpads. The gentle rubbing should also aid in the removal of any dirt or gunk.

 

Where and how to store when not in use

Keeping your headphones safe when not in use is key. This ensures that they are not stepped on or played with by children. You can always use a box or a casing to store your headphones. These will keep them safe from dust and dampness, hence keeping them safe. Additionally, storing them in a drawer is preferred.