10 of the Best Headphones for Sound Quality 2018

Last Updated: December 1, 2018

Headphones are a modern essential, enabling us to enjoy music or podcasts in privacy and insulated from outer-sound. They help us pass the time, or during exercise and recreation, and for all these purposes we require optimum quality and comfort. Here are 10 of the best.

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Despite the relative convenience of earphones and earbuds, the more substantial on-ear headphone has made a big comeback in recent years. This is due in part to millennials-driven retro fashion trends, but also has a lot to do with music-lovers seeking the best headphones for sound quality and privacy. The introduction of rechargeable wireless headphones has made these retro-style headsets more travel and exercise friendly.
 

 

AGENT Guide – Best Headphones for Sound Quality

To help you make your decision on the best headphones for sound quality, allow this list of 10 stand-out products to be your guide. This list has been compiled with the average listener in mind. If you are looking for higher standards in noise isolation than that offered by the products on this list, you may need to consider something more specialist, such as the best noise cancelling headphones.

 

 

 

1. Best Headphones Review – Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless

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As arguably the trendiest audio brand of the moment, Beats by Dr. Dre deliver incredible sound, as well as sleek aesthetics and marketing. The Solo3 Wireless model makes on-ear quality sound easier to bring on the go, with Bluetooth technology that reaches up to 9 metres. These headphones are available in a variety of colour options, including shades designed to coordinate perfectly with specific iPhone models.

 
Number of Customer Reviews: 3,154
Average Customer Rating: 4/5 stars

 
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Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless – Design

Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless are generally well made and comfortable to wear. They’re pretty well padded which is good, as the clamping movement of the headphones might otherwise feel very tight on the head. They weigh just 0.47lbs and have a clamping force of 1.1lbs.

Measuring 4.3in (l) x 6.13in (w) x 2.63in (h), these are reasonably compact, but they’re still a bit awkward for carrying anywhere other than around your neck or on your head. They do come with a carry pouch, a soft case, which will be handy if you need to place them in a larger briefcase or backpack.

Controls are pretty easy to use. You’ll be able to listen to music or take calls, skip tracks on albums or playlists, and control volume. Compared with their larger studio counterparts, however, the controls feel a bit fiddly and small.

Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless can also be used with a cable, and there is a detachable cable of 4ft 4in length and a 1/8in TRS audio connection supplied, in addition to a USB charging cable.

They have a solid, sturdy feel, and so you’ll use them for working out with confidence. Beware, however, if you’re a product freak and like to keep things sleek and ‘new look’ for as long as possible, that it won’t take long before the glossy plastic coating on the headband becomes a bit scratched. And be careful also not to put the headband under too much pressure, as the plastic may crack.

 

Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless – Sound

The sound on Beats by Dre Solo2 is well above average, with a very good bass and mid-range and a well balanced treble. However, some listeners may find the bass a little muddy, and the mid-range is another area where these headphones receive mixed reviews.

 

Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless – Isolation

Because the ear cups on Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless Headphones are relatively small, the level of isolation from ambient noise is only passive at best. This makes them less than ideal for usage on public transport, for two main reasons—the passive seal means a fair bit of noise leakage which will be heard by those closest to you; and also quite a bit of background noise will seep into your audio as well.

 

Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless – Standout Features

The battery life of Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless is very good, around 18 hours, and can be fully charged in little over 90 minutes. One difficulty is the lack of an auto-shutdown feature, so they will run out of power more quickly if you forget to turn them off when not in use.

Wireless connectivity is very good and ‘press and hold’ simple. The headphones are very easy to pair, and they do recall the device last synced to them. However, some users report frustration with the ‘press and hold’ connection process if you’re attempting to switch between Bluetooth sources.

However, once connected, the range of the Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless is well above average. They have a stable connection range of up to 40ft, allowing for movement around the house or office even if the audio source is in another room. There is a total ‘line of sight’ range of up to 118ft. Please note that if you have a home or office with a lot of solid walls, that these headphones might be less than ideal.

 

 

2. Best Headphones Review – Harman/Kardon Soho Wireless

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Harman/Kardon is an audio brand renowned for its refined, perfectly balanced sound, so it should come as no surprise that the Soho Wireless headphones sound immaculate. They feature 30mm drivers and high-performance neo-transducers for peerless audio quality, and look sleek with stitched leather and stainless steel exterior, in a selection of three colors.

 
Number of Customer Reviews: 26
Average Customer Rating: 3.4/5 stars

 
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Harman/Kardon Soho Wireless – Design

Where Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless actually falls down a little on design, the Harman/Kardon Soho Wireless Headphones have benefited from some tweaks on the design front (using the best points of their wired sister products the Soho-I and Soho-A.

For one thing, the designers have gone for comfort up front, opting to move from cloth to leather covers for the earpads, which not only is more comfortable for long term use. Despite the amount of visible stainless steel in the build, Harman/Kardon Soho Wireless Headphones have an extremely prestige feel.

But here is where we start to get critical. The relatively small, square earcup design not only looks a little awkward and angular, it’s not as stable as it could be either. This will probably rule them out for use while working out—they shift in movement if you’re moving your head a lot.

The headband padding on these headphones is a little bit on the stiff side, although there are no fewer than six adjustable notch positions on the stainless steel sidearms. Overall though, while the earcups are reasonably comfortable, the same could not be said about the headband by any stretch of the imagination.

Measuring 2.7in x 7.6in x 6.4in, and weighing 1.82lbs, these make for a reasonably comfortable pair of headphones. They come with a soft carrying case, into which they fold completely flat for easier carriage than some of the other headphones on this post.

The touch controls in the right earcup are incredibly responsive, enabling you to take and make calls and listen to music with ease, and with a relatively high level of control. We’re mystified however, that when you use the product as ‘wired’ headphones to save your battery, the touch controls and microphone deactivate

 

Harman/Kardon Soho Wireless – Sound

As one would expect from an expert audio brand like Harman/Kardon, the sound delivered by these wireless headphones is very good, via specially-selected 30mm drivers and high performance neo-transducers for crisp highs and enhanced bass response.

 

Harman/Kardon Soho Wireless – Isolation

Noise isolation is reasonably good for earcups of the size of those on these headphones, but it’s about on a part with Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless, which are not large or sufficiently sealed to prevent outside noise leaking in, or your audio from seeping out at high volumes, which probably make these less than ideal for use in public place.

 

Harman/Kardon Soho Wireless – Standout Features

The battery life of Harman/Kardon Soho Wireless headphones is pretty decent, well in excess of 10 hours, and they can be fully charged in about 90 minutes to two hours. They can be used as wired headphones, but please do note that when used in this configuration, that the inline controls or microphone are not available for use.

Wireless connectivity is very simple, and the Bluetooth discovery button doubles as a power button for convenience. Once connected, these have a strong, clear connection that never falters if you remain within 20-30ft of your source. However, as with all wireless headphones, you’d be wise to note that these are less than ideal if you have a house or office with solid walls and want to move through those rooms without taking your audio source with you as well.

 

 

3. Best Headphones Review – Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless

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Audiophiles have long considered Bowers & Wilkins P5 on-ear headphones an industry leader, so adding wireless aptX Bluetooth technology to the model only adds to the appeal. These headphones feature the exact same drivers and audio materials that made the classic P5 model so well-loved, adding universal Bluetooth compatibility with a 17 hour battery life. On the right ear, there are three discreet controls that enable you to control music and take phone calls.

 
Number of Customer Reviews: 135
Average Customer Rating: 4.1/5 stars

 
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Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless – Design

Bowers & Wilkins are one of the monarchs of the audio world, and these headphones have a design appearance that truly does justice to the preeminence of this brand. These have a premium feel thanks to the top quality materials in the build. The only letdowns here are that these are only sufficiently stable for moderate physical movement.

And although they’re pretty compact—7.5in x 5.6in x 1.64in—and lie flat, they don’t fold which makes them a little bit awkward to take anywhere, unless you’re wearing them around the neck or on the head (which some users find a little tight for long-term use). There’s a stylish pouch, which will be handy if you plan to carry the headphones in a briefcase or bag.

These are durable and long lasting, and the stylish leather and metal frame combo makes for an eye-catching appearance. And the controls for the P5 Wireless are very simple and efficient, providing, for most users (although people with larger hands may quibble somewhat) easy button access to call/music, track skipping and volume controls.

 

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless – Sound

The closed-back on-ear headphones deliver pretty decent sound for wireless headphones. The bass is deep, the mid-range very satisfying and a treble that does the job.

 

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless – Isolation

In terms of noise isolation, these are a bit of mixed bag for such a prestige brand. Another pair of passively isolating headphones, these will only block noise depending on whether you can achieve a tight seal with the earpads. However, the P5 Wireless earpads are a little small. And while they don’t leak much of your audio, they don’t really isolate you from the environment, which is not ideal for public transport and commuting.

Noise isolation is reasonably good for earcups of the size of those on these headphones, but it’s about on a part with Beats by Dre Solo2 Wireless, which are not large or sufficiently sealed to prevent outside noise leaking in, or your audio from seeping out at high volumes, which probably make these less than ideal for use in public place.

 

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless – Standout Features

The rechargeable battery of the P5 Wireless has a lifespan of some 16 hours, with a charge time of little over ninety minutes. One bonus of the P5 Wireless over some of its competitors is the battery-saving features, including an auto shutdown that switches off the headphones after 10 minutes of inactivity. Another great feature, if you’re near a power source is that they deliver audio whilst charging, making them absolutely perfect for long commutes.

Wireless connectivity is very simple, and the P5 Wireless headphones have a decent obstructed range of up to 30ft. However, one of the surprising things about reviewing these was the fitfulness of connectivity in direct line of sight.

 

 

4. Best Headphones Review – Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Wireless

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Another great option in wireless headphones is the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth model. A unique feature of these headphones is the voice prompts for users when pairing a device or receiving a phone call, making them especially user-friendly. They also have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that has up to 15 hours of play time and a two-way microphone system that delivers clear sound on phone calls, even in windy or noisy conditions.

 
Number of Customer Reviews: 897
Average Customer Rating: 4.4/5 stars

 
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Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Wireless – Design

With very decent sound quality, comfortable aesthetics, highly functional audio controls and stable connectivity, the Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Wireless headphones are an above average audio accessory. However, to cast a critical eye over them, we must take into consideration relatively poor noise isolation at high volumes, which makes them less than ideal for use on a public transport commute.

The design feel of the Bose Soundlink is the first thing that makes an impression on the user. They’re well crafted and look good, made from quality materials, with audio controls that are accessible and responsive. While they’re probably not stable enough for high intensity workouts, they’ll be perfect for walking and use in the office.

Weight just 0.35lbs, these are very comfortable for an on-ear design. The padding on the earcups and on the headband ensure a reasonable degree of comfort. However, the earcups themselves are relatively small, which makes total comfort a bit elusive.

The controls, which are incorporated onto the right ear cup, and deliver calls & music, track-skipping and volume, are responsive. However, some users have reported that the layout and configuration a little bit on the cramped side.

Measuring 4.72in x 4.92in x 2.6in, they fold up into a compact bundle that will not take up to much room in a standard jacket pocket. However (and this is a minor quibble) they still won’t be suitable for carrying in your pants, as an in-ear headphones would be.

 

Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Wireless – Sound

As you would expect from a brand like Bose, the sound of the SoundLink Wireless is well above average for a close-back on-ear unit. The bass is very good, as is the mid-range, and the treble is excellent—clear and warm.

 

Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Wireless – Isolation

Once again, passive isolation means that these headphones cannot completely cancel outside noise from seeping into the earcups. And if you use them at higher volumes, they will leak and likely irritate those around you if you’re using them on public transport or in an office setting.

 

Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Wireless – Standout Features

Battery life of the Bose SoundLink is an outstanding 21 hours, on a charge of 2.43 hours. They have a power-saving feature which is great news. However, they cannot be used while charging which is a bit of a drawback.

Bluetooth connectivity is pretty decent. It will deliver a consistent connection of around 40ft if the Bluetooth source is in another room, and have an average connectivity of about 30ft in line of sight. The actual connection process too is commendably simple, a lot more so than some of the other headphones featured on this review post.

 

 

5. Best Headphones Review – Jabra Move Wireless Headphones

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While considerably less expensive than most of the other wireless headphones on this list, the Jabra Move Wireless Headphones delivers excellent sound, with convenient controls for music and call selection. They have slightly less battery time than others—about eight hours of play time—but are well designed and come in three great color choices.

 
Number of Customer Reviews: 875
Average Customer Rating: 3.9/5 stars

 
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Jabra Move Wireless Headphones – Design

Jabra Move Wireless headphones are graced with a simple, classy design, with earpads that do a particularly good job of making the headphones possible for long-term news—great news for commuters, office workers or gamers; anyone, in fact, who uses headphones for protected periods of time.

They’re available black, blue and red, and are made with simple, elegant and minimalist design accents, including a discreet Jabra logo, sized so small that it blends into the matte finish and from a distance resembles a very cool decorative border.

The controls are situated on the left earcup, including a button for play/pause, call/answer/end call and two buttons for volume and track navigation. On the right earcup, you have the power/Bluetooth connection switch, and next to that there is a micro USB port for the supplied charging cable.

The Jabra Move Wireless can be used either wirelessly or, to save battery, with a detachable 3.5mm audio cable (supplied). They’re not the most compact set of headphones, and don’t come with a carrying pouch, but this is unsurprising, given that they cost less than half the price of models like Beats by Dre Solo2, for example.

 

Jabra Move Wireless Headphones – Sound

These are pretty amazing for their deep bass response and clear, crisp highs. Even for tracks that don’t have intensely loud or punchy bass, these headphones will provide a resonant, rich, roomy low-end that is kept from muddiness by their excellence in the medium to high frequency range.

 

Jabra Move Wireless Headphones – Isolation

Like many of the headphones we reviewed, Jabra Move Wireless headphones offer only passive isolation, and so noise leakage might be an issue if you use public transport and don’t want others to hear your audio. Neither are they particularly effective at isolating you from noise. But this is truly the only negative point we can make about these great all-rounders.

 

Jabra Move Wireless Headphones – Standout Features

According to Jabra, the battery life of the Move Wireless is around 8 hours, with up to 288 hours of standby battery life. Obviously this will depend on how loudly you play music. Altogether, it can take between 90 minutes and two hours to fully charge the battery when depleted.

Bluetooth connectivity is great, and strong enough to remain tethered up to around 25 feet before you would encounter even the slightest degree of interference on a phone call.

 

 

6. Best Headphones Review – Sony H.ear On Wireless NC

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For those of whom aesthetics are important, the beautiful H.ear On Wireless NC Headphones from Sony are a dream come true. With their sleek, one-color design and brushed aluminum coating, these headphones are available in five vibrant colours and really stand out from all other headphones on the market. Their sound quality is superb, with a maximum data transfer rate of 990 kbps, well above the average Bluetooth headphones.

 
Number of Customer Reviews: 293
Average Customer Rating: 4.1/5 stars

 
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Sony H.ear On Wireless NC – Design

The design is one of the most notable things about Sony’s H.ear On Wireless NC headphones. They have a lightweight feel, due to the lack of metal in the build, yet the hard plastic headband and padded leather earcups make them robust to the touch yet comfortable worn on the head. The earcups are pretty rigid but otherwise you will get a snug, comfortable fit.

These are pretty sleek and compact, with dimensions of 7in x 4.8in x 9.2in and weigh just 0.7lbs, and they neatly fold at hinges for easy carrying either in a bag or a jacket pocket. Worn around the neck instead of carried, they are light enough not to be a nuisance, although some users find that the lack of earcup rotation means this is not really an option.

All buttons and ports are on the bottom of both earcups, and some users have taken issue with the number of options available here. There are no fewer than seven buttons, two ports and two microphones, which is a little bit on the cramped side for some tastes, although they are all responsive and work perfectly well.

When wireless use is not an option, you can use the 3.5mm cable (supplied) for wireless listening, and you also get a micro USB cable for convenient charging of the headphones

 

Sony H.ear On Wireless NC – Sound

These headphones deliver a lovely sound picture. The bass and low-end is punchy without overwhelming the crisp, well defined mid-range. The most disappointing element of the sound is at the very highest end, but that might be a sacrifice that you’re willing to make in return for the excellence of the mid to low end. They have a comparable, some would say superior, sound to the Bose unit reviewed here.

 

Sony H.ear On Wireless NC – Isolation

The Active Noise Cancelling function in these headphones is another standout feature. It does very well at reducing the level of background noise. However, there is quite a lot of sound-leakage, which make them less than suitable for public transport if you don’t want to cause annoyance to your fellow passengers.

 

Sony H.ear On Wireless NC – Standout Features

Ease of connection is a standout feature of H.ear On Wireless NC headphones. Connection to iOS devices takes seconds, while the internal NFC (near field communication) means instantaneous connection with Android devices.

But the big news for these headphones is their incredible battery life. This can deliver some 20 hours of constant playback, even at the highest volumes, while charging time for a dead battery is the standard 90 minutes to two hours. There’s a quick charge function, and 10 minutes will give you just over an hour of playback.

 

 

7. Best Headphones Review – JBL Synchros E40BT

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Fans of bass-heavy audio should definitely check out JBL’s Synchros E40BT wireless headphones. With their expansive frequency response of 10hz to 24KHz, they are easily among the best headphones for sound quality. Unique ShareMe technology allows you to wirelessly stream music to other ShareMe-enabled headsets, allowing for a great group listening experience. Available in five color combinations with ergonomic leatherette ear-cushions and headband for ultimate comfort.

 
Number of Customer Reviews: 478
Average Customer Rating: 3.6/5 stars

 
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JBL Synchros E40BT – Design

These are a budget level entry in the wireless headphones market by JBL and in terms of their success, it’s in the area of sound that they excel to the greatest extent. The design and overall style of the Synchros E40BT is also very good, with a number of stylish color options. but it’s in the actual build that lets these down most. It’s a bit on the fiddly, even flimsy, side, and the prominent branding on the outer earcups will definitely not be to everyone’s taste.

They do fold down nicely, however, for convenient portability. But they are a little bit rigid when worn, with little give in the design to accommodate the individual shapes of heads or ears. Many users report that these were less comfortable than they hoped for when used for long periods of time. To be scrupulously fair to JBL, however, we’d have to enquire as to which pair of on-ear headphones this could NOT be said. Discomfort tends to come with the territory of long-term use.

On the plus side, the button controls on are all on the right cup, with a multi-function button allowing you to skip tracks or manage calls, one button for volume control, and another for JBL’s ShareMe feature, allowing you to share signals from a paired device with another compatible JBL headset.

These are easily charged via USB cable (supplied) and a full charge takes about three hours, and the same port can be used for wired play when battery life is running low.

 

JBL Synchros E40BT – Sound

These deliver some of the most impressive audio you could reasonably expect at this low end budget range. It’s clear and punchy overall, with a fine mid-range. The only thing that would let them down for serious audiophiles would be the bass, which is a little bit on the weak side. So if you’re a hip hop fan, perhaps these won’t do justice to your favourite tunes.

 

JBL Synchros E40BT – Isolation

These will leak a bit at high volumes, which might not make them ideal in circumstances if you don’t want to disturb people around you, e.g., in an office or on a public transport commute.

 

JBL Synchros E40BT – Standout Features

Aside form the sound, other standout features on the JBL Synchros E40BT include battery life, which is a very impressive 16 hours of listening (and up to 24 hours of talk time). ShareMe is another really cool feature that helps to set these headphones apart from the crowd at the budget end of the market.

 

 

8. Best Headphones Review – Oppo PM-3

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Although the price of Oppo PM-3 Headphones may seem excessive, audio experts will know that for planar-magnetic headphone technology, they’re remarkably cheap. Also impressive is their lightweight design, at only 320g. Previously, planar-magnetic closed back headphones had been reserved for use at home or the studio due to their restrictive weight and price, so Oppo have truly revolutionized the tech with this model, bringing it to the masses.

 
Number of Customer Reviews: 147
Average Customer Rating: 4.6/5 stars

 
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Oppo PM-3 – Design

These wired, closed-back over-ear headphones from Oppo boast a very well crafted, stylish and substantial looking design. Build quality is very good generally, with a classy looking brushed aluminium frame, although the top of the unit’s plastic casing drags the overall effect towards cheapness somewhat. But that would have made the headphones heavier that they are already, which is quite heavy enough—and may be too heavy for some.

It’s almost guaranteed that you wouldn’t use these headphones for sport. Yes they are comfortable with their padding on the headband and the sizeable ear cups, but the faux leather padding does tend to make the ears feel a little bit on the warm. And overall, they’re probably too heavy for comfort in a workout situation. So, with their wired only operation, these are probably built for comfort, static listening, rather than speed.

The control system is efficient and well designed, for taking/making calls and music, as well as volume control or track-skipping / call-management. The earcups will swivel lie flat but the headband does not fold into a small shape, so they’re not really ideal headphones for carrying around with you. However, there is a durable hard case supplied that will protect your headphones from falls and water damage, and scratches and scuffs if carried in a larger bag.

These are wired headphones only, without any Bluetooth capabilities, but they’re supplied with a regular 1/8in TRS audio cable (with no inline remote), and a 1/8in TRRS audio cable for Android or iOS.

 

Oppo PM-3 – Sound

The sound of these headphones is very good. The bass is responsively punchy, there’s a superb mid-range, although the top range is rather ordinary by comparison.

 

Oppo PM-3 – Isolation

These lack active noise cancellation technology. They’re passive, but because of the decent seal that these sizeable earcups create, will block a certain amount of high-frequently noise. By contrast, noise leakage is very low indeed, and they won’t annoy people around you on public transport or in an office if you are using the headphones at moderate volume.

 

 

9. Best Headphones Review – Skullcandy Grind Wireless

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These headphones, as the cheapest on our list, are ideal for those who want wireless Bluetooth connection without breaking the bank. They are still among the best headphones for sound quality. Skullcandy’s Grind Wireless Headphones also feature long-range Bluetooth technology that reaches up to 33 feet and 12 hours of battery time, so they’re perfectly suited for traveling. Looks-wise, their metal and vegan-leather exterior is simple but classic and the six different color options provide users with plenty of choice.

Number of Customer Reviews: 180
Average Customer Rating: 4.1/5 stars

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Skullcandy Grind Wireless – Design

Design of these pretty decent wireless headphones from Skullcandy is a little bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, they are lightweight yet durable, due to their lack of folding joints. And yet it’s exactly the lack of folding joints that makes them less attractive for take-anywhere convenience, as they are less compact and can’t be easily carried in a coat pocket.

Available in a number of discreet color variations, these headphones have a thin, sizeable metal frame with small, circular earcups. Weighing just 0.4lbs with a clamping force of only 0.7lbs, these are among the most comfortable headphones that we reviewed for this post. They can be worn for hours without any significant degree of discomfort.

While these headphones would be absolutely fine for use while walking, they’re unlikely to find favour among people who like to listen to music while working out. The more high intensity movements associated with gym work would probably make them slip from the ears.

The three buttons—for track-skipping, calls & music, and volume—are well laid out and easy to operate. They are responsive and don’t take too long to familiarise yourself with, having been given distinctive shapes by the manufacturer.

Recharging is simple, using the USB cable supplied with the headphones, and the package also comes complete with a 1/8in TRS audio cable, and a 1/8in TRRS audio cable for wired listening when battery life runs down.

Overall, with the Grind Wireless, Skullcandy have provided users a very high quality build and set of features for the price point.

 

Skullcandy Grind Wireless – Sound

Send quality is very good for a pair of closed-back on-ear headphones at the budget end of the market. The bass and medium ranges are absolutely outstanding, but treble is a little bit disappointing, if more consistent overall than the bass, which can vary.

 

Skullcandy Grind Wireless – Isolation

Isolation is quite poor with the Skullcandy Grind Wireless. Passive noise isolation and small earcups do not keep the outside noise out, nor to prevent leakage, which will mean that if you want to listen to music at high volume, these will probably cause annoyance to those sat next to you in environments such as public transport or an office.

 

Skullcandy Grind Wireless – Standout Features

Although these are no-frills across the board, these are a well above average pair of wireless headphones. They are quite excellent for listening to audio, and their battery life is pretty incredible for headphones at the budget end of the market. They take about 90 minutes to fully charge and can deliver in excess of 15 hours’ playback. The lack of an auto shutdown means you should be careful to turn these off when they’re not in use.
 

 

10. Best Headphones Review – Creative Aurvana Platinum

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Designed as Creative’s flagship headset, no expense has been spared in making the Aurvana Platinums one of the best headphones for sound quality. From the 50mm Neodymium drivers to the ShareMe streaming technology, these headphones truly master sound craftsmanship and convenience. The rechargeable battery allows up to 15 hours of playback time, while on-ear music and phone controls make functions quicker and easier.

 
Number of Customer Reviews: 72
Average Customer Rating: 3.2/5 stars

 
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Creative Aurvana Platinum – Design

These are very stylish in appearance and robust in their build quality, with well situated and responsive controls for ease of use. However, they’re somewhat let down by a rigid headband that places a lot of clamping pressure on the skull, making them exceedingly uncomfortable for listening sessions over protracted periods of time. Again, to be fair, this is hardly a problem that’s unique to Creative, but it just happens to be particularly marked with this headset.

They have a beautiful color scheme of silver and brown, which make them stylish for wear anywhere in public. Controls over an above average degree of functionality, including call/music activation, track skipping, volume, and noise cancelling modes. These are all situated on the bottom of the right ear cup. They may take a little getting used to, but they do the job well when you’re accustomed to them.

These headphones are quite bulky, and unfortunately don’t fold up to make carrying them around easier when they’re not in use. They’re much too large, even for larger pockets in jackets, and will be a challenge to carry in a handbag. The soft pouch supplied with them does not add much bulk, but won’t guarantee any damage protection if they’re dropped.

They can be used wired or wirelessly, and are supplied with a USB charger cable, an audio cable, and a flight adapter, in addition to the carrying pouch.

 

Creative Aurvana Platinum – Sound

If you’re a fan of bass, you will love the Aurvana Platinum. However, this is a little bit negated by a muddy middle range, and a high range that is not as well defined as you might expect. However, they are among the most consistent performers on the market.

 

Creative Aurvana Platinum – Isolation

The Aurvana Platinum has active noise isolation, which is a big point in its favour. The different cancelling modes available will cancel the noise of an office space, although they will have more difficulty with the noise in public transport. However, please note that at high volumes, these will leak noise quite a bit more than you might like.

 

Creative Aurvana Platinum – Standout Features

Active noise cancellation is one standout of the Aurvana Platinum, and wireless performance too is pretty good. They deliver an obstructed range of 26 feet, and a line of sight range of up to 79 feet. NFC is included, and the headphones also offer dual device pairing, making them not only easy to pair, but also to switch between devices.

Battery life is also a pretty decent 14.5 hours, and the charge time—during which you can continue streaming audio to them—is just short of two hours. Like many of the headphones on our review however, they don’t have an automatic shutdown so you’ll have to be mindful to switch them off when not in use, to maximise battery life.

 

 

Best Headphones Review – FAQs

Feeling a little lost finding the perfect pair of headphones to suit your needs? Fear not, because we at Agent have prepared this handy and easy to follow FAQs section that will help you hone in on exactly what it is that you need from your headphones.

 

Are good headphones expensive?

There is an idea commonly held nowadays that decent headphones are, by definition, going to be very expensive. However, this is simply not the case, with high quality headphones available on the market for as little as $100, or even lower when there is a sale on. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for the absolute best of the best, you will need to spend quite a bit more cash, however, not all good headphones are going to put a hole in your wallet.

 

How do I budget for my headphones?

Our advice when budgeting for a pair of headphones is to reflect on how exactly you intend on using your headphones. Are they going to be coming with you on your daily commute, or do you intend to use them exclusively at home?

If you’re going to be listening to music on the bus, we would suggest looking at headphones that are lightweight, and more portable in design. However, if you’re going to be at home, you can, if your budget permits, go all out on some studio quality headphones.

Ideally, once you know what it is that you’re looking for in a pair of headphones, you can then you can begin thinking about how much your comfortable spending on them, taking into account the general price-range of the market.

 

Is comfort an important aspect of headphones?

Absolutely, comfort is a design aspect that needs your full scrutiny. Often people test out the comfort of a pair of headphones by simply trying them on. No pair of headphones is going to hurt instantly, however you need to consider how comfortable your headphones will be after several hours of use.

The best headphones on the market will not leave your ears feeling pinched, or achey after a long period of usage.

 

What are the different types of headphones?

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the different types of headphones, as they tend to differ substantially in price. The three main types of headphones are earbuds, circumaural headphones, and supra-aural headphones.

As there are no earbuds or earphones on our list, we will not be going into detail on this variant of headphones.

Circumaural Headphones: This variant of headphones covers the entire ear, often coming with ample cushioning/padding for a more comfortable, sound cancelling audio experience. These are commonly the type of headphones that audiophiles would go for, however they do suffer from being less portable than their counterparts, and are often the most expensive headphones on the market.

Supra-aural Headphones: Supra-aural headphones are headphones that only partially cover the ‘top’ or ‘outside’ of the ear. You could almost say that these headphones serve as a half-way point of sorts between the circumaural headphones and earbuds. These are usually somewhat more affordable than circumaural headphones too, although they do lack some of the sound quality as a result. On the plus side, these headphones are far more portable, usually being quite light weight and compact in design. One negative aspect to look out for in supra-aural headphones is the ‘pinch’ that users often experience with this type of headphones. This is when the headphones grip your ears too tightly, ending in aches after long periods of use.

 

Summary

Wrapping up our review of the best headphones on the market, our parting words of advice for you are to take a look at our FAQs above, where we provide you with all of the basic information you need to know, before you begin browsing. By taking in this information, you’ll be able to formulate an idea of what it is exactly that you want out of your headphones, essentially bypassing hours of repetitive blind-browsing. Happy listening!

 

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