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At a Glance: The Best Headphones on Amazon

Headphones are a music listener’s best friend, but finding a pair that has all of your must-have features at an affordable price can be tough.

If you’re shopping for headphones online, Amazon is one of the best places to pick up a new set of cans. The online store has thousands of models in stock at excellent prices, and Prime Members can get two-day delivery on most of them.

The store’s single-click buy button makes purchasing painless, and its generous return policy on items sold and shipped by Amazon is very helpful if something doesn’t work out. The only disadvantage of getting a pair of headphones on Amazon is that you won’t be able to try them before you purchase them.

What Are the Best Headphones on Amazon?

We’ve done research and hands-on testing to find the best headphones available on Amazon right now — here are our top picks.

1. Sony WH-1000XM5

Sony

Designing excellent headphones is a tall order for any brand, but with the WH-1000XM5s, Sony delivers the best ones in the game. The headphones one-up their predecessor with intuitive features that make for a more seamless — and yes, whisper quiet — listening experience. The same noise-cancelling technology is in place here, with a whopping eight microphones running ambient noise through the new Integrated Processor V1.

New to these headphones is Sony’s “Auto NC Optimizer,” which automatically adjusts and customizes noise cancellation based on the environment you’re in (I.e. a relatively quiet office vs. a busy freeway with traffic). The WH-1000XM5’s also filter out more mid and high frequencies, compared to the previous model. We tested the headphones out while listening to a number of genres, from hip-hop to classical, and audio was crisp and well-balanced — never overbearing. On top of their balanced, enveloping tone, they boast a 30-hour battery life per charge.

Volume and settings are easy to control on the headphones or through the easy-to-use app.Nowhere was that more evident than when we took these headphones onto a recent flight. In addition to blocking out the din of airplane noise, the headphones also blocked out the chatter of people around us, and the noise of dinner service being distributed in the aisles. Better yet, in our tests, we found them lightweight and comfortable enough to wear all day long. With the release of the WH-1000XM5 headphones, Sony proves its still top of the class when it comes to the audio game.

2. Bose QuietComfort Ultra

BEST NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONES

Bose

As Bose’s new flagship headphones, the QuietComfort Ultras offer the same noise-cancelling technology in a sleeker, minimalist design. The headphones use Bluetooth 5.3 technology for faster, easier pairing, and battery life is strong at up to 24 hours of playtime on a single charge.

The QuietComfort Headphones feature the same high-end audio that Bose is known for, with one notable upgrade: their new “Immersive Audio” feature (essentially their version of spatial audio), which creates a wider, fuller soundstage so that music “floats” around you rather than being blasted directly at you.

Choose from two listening options: still or motion. The former is great for listening to music at your desk or on the couch, while the “motion” feature keeps the tunes sounding consistent, no matter which way your head is tilted or moving. We tested both modes at a Bose preview event and found the motion setting kept the music in sync and perfectly centered around us at all times, even as we were looking around the room and simulating a light jog.

The headphones are great for music and gaming of course, but they’re also great for the office, with improved microphones and voice-pickup. Bose’s “Aware Mode with ActiveSense” works to differentiate your voice from environmental noises, so your calls come through with better clarity and accuracy.

For a life-like and connected listening experience, without getting bogged down by unwanted noise, there’s no other headphones like Bose’s right now.

3. Sennheiser HD560

Amazon

Sennheiser’s HD560s are the best wired headphones we’ve tested this year thanks to their impressive audio quality.

The HD560s never skipped a beat, whether we were listening to hip hop released last year, or classic rock tracks that were recently remastered as part of super deluxe boxed set. We were especially impressed at the headphones could handle deep bass without distorting.

While we heartily recommend these headphones to serious music listeners, they do come with a couple of caveats. The felt-like padding on the earcups is sufficient for shorter listening sessions, think two or so hours, but doesn’t match up to the comfort of plush leather or memory foam.

The HD560s are also rather large, and their open-back design, which is integral to their incredible sound, means they’re not suited for office use. None of these potential drawbacks were deal breakers in our experience, but they’re important to think about.

If you want to hear every note of your favorite tracks the way an artist intended you to, Sennheiser’s HD560s are the way to go.

4. Beats Solo3

Amazon

The Beats Solo3 is the best on-ear headphones for iPhone, iPad, and Macs because it features Apple’s custom W1 chip.

This allows them to instantly pair with any Apple device using a proprietary wireless connectivity standard that’s more consistent and power efficient than Bluetooth. That’s one of the reasons the Solo3s can get up to 40 hours of battery life per charge.

Don’t worry, non-Apple devices can still connect to the Solo3 over Bluetooth, and they’ll sound exactly the same, which is to say a little bass-heavy without overdoing it. If you predominantly listen to music with a lot of low end, you’re going to like the way the Solo3s present your favorite music.

On-ear headphones are always smaller than over-ear headphones, but Beats took things one step further by giving the Solo3s a folding design, which makes them even easier to store. If portability is important to you, this is a very important design choice.

If you predominantly listen to music on Apple devices, and want a pair of great-sounding on-ear headphones that can be quickly packed in a bag, the Solo3s are your best choice.

5. Soundcore Life Q30

BEST HEADPHONES UNDER $100

Amazon

Soundcore’s Life Q30s have raised our expectations when recommending wireless, over-ear headphones under $100.

Their most impressive feature is their 40 hours of battery life, which is possible despite the fact that the Q30s support hybrid active noise cancellation. Instead of adapting to sounds around you automatically, you can switch the headphones between three preset modes designed to reduce office noise, street noise, and the sound of an airplane engine.

If you listen to music without noise cancellation turned on, you can get up to 60 hours of music playback per charge. These headphones support fast charging, which allows you to listen to music for up to four hours after a five minute charge.

Soundcore said it paid attention to the Q30’s comfort, from using memory foam earpads, to reducing the overall weight of the headphones to prevent neck strain. You won’t find this level of care in most budget headphones. Soundcore focused on optimizing their headphones instead of cutting corners.

If you’re in the market for a pair of over-ear headphones under $100, this should be your first choice.

6. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX

Amazon

Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay HX headphones were designed to be extremely comfortable, and the company succeeded (and then some) based on our testing.

All over-ear headphones have plush earpads and a padded headband for maximize comfort, but B&O took things one step further by considering the HX’s clamping force, which is how tightly they press against your head. If the clamping force is too high, you’ll get an ear ache shortly after putting them on; if the clamping force is too low, the headphones will fall off your head easily.

The HXs found the perfect middle ground between those extremes, which allowed us to listen to music far longer than we’d have been able to with the average pair of over-ear headphones. It doesn’t hurt that music, from Laura Nyro to Lorde sounds excellent when listening through them. B&O even managed to balance powerful active noise cancellation and all-day battery life with these headphones.

If you’ve traditionally shied away from using over-ear headphones because of the way they feel, Bang & Olufsen’s HX headphones may change your mind.

7. Grado SR80x

Grado

Grado’s SR80x’s are the latest version of the company’s lauded entry-level on-ear headphones.

Handmade in Brooklyn, the SR80x stays a step ahead of similar headphones due to its all new drivers, which Grado says improves their efficiency while reducing their distortion. In our tests, Grado’s headphones have always excelled in audio quality, so this is quite the feat.

Grado also improved the SR80x by adding more cushioning to its headband, and using a more durable cable with a better copper wire inside. All of these little tweaks add up to make a big difference.

It’s important to note that the SR80x isn’t wireless, and its cable terminates into a 1/4-inch connector as opposed to the smaller, more standard 1/8-inch connector. Plugging this pair of headphones into your laptop will require an adapter.

If you work in a shared space like an office or classroom, the SR80x’s open-back design may be an issue. The headphones are designed to leak a lot of sound, which means people around you will be able to hear what you’re listening to quite clearly.

Still, the SR80x’s are the best on-ear headphones to wear if you want to do some serious music listening without spending hundreds of dollars.

8. Technics EAH-A800

Panasonic/Technics

These EAH-A800 headphones from Technics offer one of the most tranquil listening experiences of any headphones — especially without having to pause for a charge.

The EAH-A800’s top-notch active noise-cancellation (ANC) comes from an eight-microphone system and dual hybrid setup. The eight-mic system is also important for calls: by picking up your voice with four mics and listening to environment noise with the other four, the EAH-A800s ensure clear call quality on both ends. Plus, the headphones last an impressive 50 hours with noise-cancellation on, or 60 hours with it turned off. So far in our testing we’ve found this to be accurate, and we’ve made it through multiple international flights with without having to plug them in.

You can also customize the cans’ noise-cancellation by switching on “transparent mode,” which picks up all external noise, or “attention mode,” which filters out low clamor but still lets you hear louder frequencies (say, airport announcements).

Even if you take away their excellent noise-cancellation, the EAH-A800s are a fantastic pair of headphones. 40mm drivers, an air-management Acoustic Control Chamber to manage air flow, and distortion control combine for crisp, deep sound and HiFi capability.

9. Master & Dynamic MW75

Master & Dynamic

Master & Dynamic has long produced some of the most elegant audio products on the market, but they truly outdid themselves on the MW75 Wireless Headphones.

Luxe and sophisticated, every inch of the lambskin and aluminum-draped headphones is carefully considered, from the plush memory foam ear cups, down to the felted travel case.

But any pair of headphones worth its weight has to deliver on the audio front, and the MW75 delivers in spades, thanks to finely-tuned 40mm Beryllium-coated drivers that pick up on every nuance and beat of your music. The resonant acoustic housing offers incredibly well-balanced audio that sounds richer and more true to life than anything else we’ve tested.

Putting these headphones on was truly like stepping into a concert hall every single time, with the performers seemingly right next to you. If you love music, these are the headphones to get.

Buying Guide: How We Picked the Best Headphones on Amazon

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best headphones on Amazon; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.

Style: This guide features a mix of over-ear headphone and on-ear headphones that are currently available on Amazon. Over-ear headphones are larger and bulkier, but generally have better sound because their earcup completely surrounds your ear. On-ear headphones have smaller ear cups, which means they can’t create as good of an on-the-go listening environment, but they aren’t as cumbersome to wear.

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Wired vs. Wireless: We’re recommending a selection of both wired and wireless (Bluetooth) headphones below. Wired headphones are necessary if you want to listen to music through a DAC (Digital Analog Converter) or want the purest possible sound. Wireless headphones are more convenient, and allow you to listen to music on all of your devices from anywhere you go.

Noise Cancellation: Some of the wireless headphones below support active noise cancellation, a feature which uses microphones to block unwanted sounds like office noise from bothering you. This feature allows you to listen to music at a lower volume (which is better for your ears), but eats up battery life more quickly.

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