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Best Headphones – May 2022

Our list of the best headphones updated May 2022

  • Sony MDR-ZX110
  • Marshall Mode EQ
  • AKG K240
  • LG Tone Free FN4
  • Nothing ear (1)
  • Jabra Elite 85t
  • Sony WF-1000XM4
  • AirPods Pro
  • Sony WH-CH510
  • Anker Soundcore Life Q30
  • Marshall Major IV
  • Sony WH-1000XM4

What are the best headphones you can buy in May 2022? There is not a single answer and, as a first step, you have to think if you are looking for bluetooth or wired headphones , in ear headphones (ie earphones), on ear headphones or over ear headphones, noise canceling headphones (noise canceling, ANC), gaming headphones or sports headphones.

There are many factors to consider and each of the categories listed above has its pros and cons: for this reason, to help you choose which headphones are best for you, we have divided this buying guide, selecting the best models for each type.

Index

  • Wireless vs wired headphones
  • Best in ear headphones
  • Best on ear headphones
  • Best over ear headphones
  • Best noise canceling headphones
  • Best gaming headphones
  • Best budget headphones
  • Best price-quality headphones
  • Best sports headphones
  • How do we choose the best headphones?

The first and most important distinction to consider is whether you are looking for wireless headphones or wired headphones . Due to the audio compression that occurs to transfer the signal via Bluetooth, in general and at the same price it is very likely that headphones with cable sound better than Bluetooth headphones. If you want the best headphones for listening to music and you want to save as much as possible, then, consider buying some headphones with cable.

On the other hand, the advantages of wireless headphones are undeniable: not having the clutter of wires is a great convenience, often they are equipped with advanced functions such as noise cancellation or the ability to adjust equalization and, to date, technology has made great strides, so excellent audio quality can also be found in Bluetooth headphones, especially high-end ones. In addition, more and more smartphone manufacturers are removing the audio jack, thus forcing us to use wireless headphones.

Best wired headphones (best headphones for music)

Below is a list of some of the best headphones with cable: we point out both headphones with in-ear cable (the classic earphones), and headphones with a pavilion cable (on ear or over ear). As already mentioned, although there are also excellent wireless models, for the same price the models with cable are the best headphones for music , because the audio signal does not is compressed for Bluetooth transmission.

All the models listed below work with wired connection only and are all equipped with a microphone .

Among the models we recommend, the cheapest of all is Blukar : it costs very little and has a microphone, keys to adjust the volume and even a pouch for transport. In the field of earphones, it is impossible not to mention the Marshall Mode EQ , which stand out for their excellent sound quality in relation to the price (if you prefer, there is also the Bluetooth version). And if you are looking above all for headphones to listen to music and focus on sound quality, do not miss the Sennheiser HD 599 , among the best models available on Amazon in that price range.

Best Bluetooth headphones

The Bluetooth headphones sector is in a phase of great expansion: for this reason, to learn more about the individual models, we refer you to our in-depth page on the best wireless headphones. However, below you will find a selection of some of the best Bluetooth headphones, selected for audio quality, smart features and microphones and sorted by increasing price.

If you are also interested in noise cancellation, the Soundcore Q30 by Anker (review) cost the right amount and offer excellent overall quality, even if in this sense the non plus ultra of the sector remains the Sony WH-1000XM4 (review), which also have excellent sound quality.

On the front of on ear headphones, however, the Marshall Major IV (review) are a guarantee and have a really interesting function: if connected via Bluetooth, they can act as an “audio bridge” to another A pair of headphones connected via jack to the Marshalls, ideal for watching movies with another person on the train.

What are the in-ear headphones that we recommend, which is the best earphones to buy? Since most smartphones no longer have the audio jack, companies focus mainly on Bluetooth models: for this reason, after recommending some wired solutions in the previous section, we now recommend you wireless in-ear headphones.

Among the cheapest models that we recommend, the LG Tone Free FN4 (review) certainly stand out, which while maintaining a low cost have excellent audio quality and excellent microphones. Also noteworthy are the Nothing ear (1) (review), truly complete earphones with a unique design, the inevitable AirPods Pro / AirPods 3 (review) for those who have an iPhone and obviously the Sony WF-1000XM4 (review), absolute leader when it comes to noise cancellation.

If the models proposed below are not enough for you, we suggest you also take a look at our page dedicated to the best Blueooth earphones, where you will find more information on the various models.

When we talk about on ear, we refer to those headphones where the pavilion rests on the ears , without completely surrounding them.

Compared to over-ear headphones, they tend to isolate a little less from external noise, but they are also less heavy and, also for this reason, many find them more comfortable . Unfortunately there are not many models available, but we definitely recommend Sony's on-ear headphones with cable ( Sony MDR-ZX110AP ) and wireless ( Sony WH-CH510 ), both of which are quite cheap.

In the mid-range there are great Bluetooth products like Jabra Elite 45H , but also wired like the AKG K175 . Finally, for the high range we can only recommend the Marshall Major IV (review), which stand out for incredible drums and great audio quality.

Below you can find the list of the best on ear headphones to buy in our opinion.

Over-ear headphones are those that surround the ears: they are heavier than on-ear headphones, but also more insulating. Also, depending on the shape of your ears, you may find them more or less comfortable than in ears.

Among the cheaper models we recommend the AKG K52 , headphones with cable and 40 mm drivers, but going up in price there are excellent wireless models that you should consider. There are over ear headphones from the always excellent Sennheiser (both cheaper, like the HD 350BT , which more expensive with ANC, such as the HD 450SE), obviously the best Bose headphones (such as the SoundLink Around Ear II or the NC 700, but we also remember the excellent QuietComfort 45) and the inevitable Sony WH-1000XM4 (review).

Also in this case for our list of the best over ear headphones , we offer both wired and Bluetooth models.

Noise canceling headphones, i.e. with active noise cancellation (ANC, Active Noise Canceling ) are eliminate or significantly reduce external noise, allowing us to focus above all on listening to music. They use microphones to pick up outside sounds and produce opposite frequencies, which can actually cancel out noise.

Usually noise canceling works best with constant noises (subway, plane, vacuum cleaner …), but technology has made great strides in the sector and today noise canceling headphones are also useful for isolating yourself and working in crowded contexts.

The virtually undisputed king of the industry is Sony , whose noise-canceling technology stands out for both the WH-1000XM4 and earphones, with the WF-1000XM4 .

However, over the years the competition has stood out and today there are very valid alternatives to Sony, and we are not just talking about the excellent AirPods Pro , which remain the recommended choice for anyone with iPhones and Apple devices, because the choice has expanded a lot.

Among the overhead headphones it is worth mentioning the Bose NC700 , among the best Bose headphones ever and one of the few models that can compete with Sony for the level of noise cancellation, while in the panorama of earphones definitely stand out the Jabra Elite 85t and the Galaxy Buds Pro .

Finally, there is no shortage of cheaper alternatives, such as the Nothing ear (1) for earphones or the Sony Wh-Ch710N for overhead headphones.

When we talk about gaming headphones , we are referring to headphones that are designed for video games. They are almost always over-ear headphones, often with extendable microphones to better communicate with your team. Among the useful functions that we find most often there is the surround sound , the possibility of connecting headphones not only via cable but also with a WiFi dongle and specific support for consoles, such as PS4 , Xbox and Nintendo Switch.

In the sector one of the most established names is Logitech , which with the G PRO series stands out both in the wired variant ( Logitech G PRO X wired, here the review) than with the wireless version ( Logitech G PRO X wireless ), but there is no lack of cheaper alternatives: among the best models in value for money we suggest the ASTRO A10 Gen 2 (review).

Below is a list of some of the best models for sale; if you want to know more, we suggest you consult our dedicated page best gaming headsets .

If you don't have a lot of money to invest in headphones, don't worry: there are interesting models even without spending too much money, even without wires.

Over the years, the cost of Bluetooth headphones has dropped a lot and it is now possible to buy true wireless headphones by spending only a few tens of euros: obviously there are some sacrifices, but it is possible to be satisfied. For example, the Xiaomi Redmi AirDots 2 are small and very light, have Bluetooth 5 and resistance to liquids but cost very little.

In the field of wired headphones, on the other hand, one of the best solutions are certainly the historic Sony MDR-ZX110 , which with a price of just ten euros or a little more offer a decent listening experience. For those who prefer wireless connection, however, we recommend the Sony WH-CH510 which have an autonomy of 35 hours.

So here's a selection of the best budget headphones to buy.

If you want to spend relatively little, but still make a thoughtful purchase that lasts as long as possible, we try to suggest the best headphones for value for money . As always, costs vary a lot and the brand also influences the price. For this reason, do not worry if you do not know the companies that produce the headphones that you find below: they are all models that we have tested and that we recommend.

In the list below we have tried to propose the best quality-price headphones of various types: for example, if you are looking for true wireless earphones with noise cancellation, we will we omit the 1MORE PistonBuds Pro (review), the Nothing ear (1) (review) and above all the Anker Soundcore Life P3 (review).

For the hip headphones, on the other hand, an excellent model with Bluetooth and ANC are the Soundcore Life Q30 (review); instead, if you are looking for maximum audio quality at the right price, we suggest a wired model, namely the Audio-Technica M20x .

When we talk about sports headphones , we mainly refer to in-ear headphones (earphones): among the features that a best sports headphones should have there is certainly a certain level of resistance to liquids (to prevent them from being damaged by sweat), but also a good hooking system to the ears, to ensure that they remain firm even during workouts.

One of the most famous companies that produces almost exclusively sports earphones is Jaybird , which also has a dedicated app with many sports-oriented features. From the company we recommend the Jaybird Tarah (review) or, if you prefer true wireless, the Jaybird Vista 2.

Then there is the Active line by Jabra , which has a high resistance to liquids (IP57 certification) and stands out for the plastic material that adheres to the ear and prevents the earphones from slipping off: the latest model in the range is the Jabra Active 7.

Apple users should keep an eye on the Beats instead, which has two recommended true wireless models: the Powerbeats Pro and the Beats Fit Pro (review).

Finally, for those who want to run around town, bone conduction headphones are worth a look, such as the AfterShokz Aeropex .

There are various aspects to consider when buying a pair of headphones: audio quality certainly matters, but that's not the only factor. Below you can find a list of features we take into consideration for recommended models and reviews:

Construction : i.e. form factor (on ear, over ear and in ear), but also quality of materials, solidity and resistance to dust and liquids (IP certification).

Audio quality : sound is obviously one of the fundamental factors to consider. We evaluate both the numerical data (frequency response, impedance, etc) and the actual performance of the various frequencies (bass depth, clarity of mids and highs, and so on).

Microphones : number and quality of microphones present, any call noise reduction technologies and any technology that can improve telephone calls.

Functionality : especially in the case of wireless headphones, there are many technological aspects to consider. Bluetooth version and range, presence of ANC (active noise cancellation), any companion app, proximity sensors for automatic Play / Pause, the ability to adjust the equalization and any other kind of smart functionality.

Autonomy : in the case of wireless headphones, an important factor is certainly the autonomy, i.e. the battery life, with or without ANC.

All the products described may undergo changes in price and availability over time, so we always advise you to check these parameters before purchasing.

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