Headphones provide a sanctuary away from the world around us. They allow us to immerse ourselves in music, movies, podcasts and games whether at home, at work or on the go. Headphones are also a fashion statement, a fitness companion and a godsend on aeroplanes. But which pair is for you? When it comes to headphones finding the best of the best is no easy task since there’s an endless array of amazing options available. My round focuses on the best true wireless, wireless and wired headphones to provide you with the best options
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Apple AirPods Max
The Apple AirPods Max is a bit pricier than most of the competition but it’s a bit more unique package. It comes equipped with various audio technologies which enhances the quality to a more detailed and richer sound experience when compared to its contemporaries from Sony and Bose. It delivers crisp highs, natural mids with tight bass.
It also boasts arguably the best active noise cancelling on the market and Apple’s virtual surround spatial audio feature with dynamic head tracking to deliver a theatre-like experience when watching videos. Additionally, the included accelerometer within these headphones will track your head movements to keep the sound anchored to the device.
Furthermore, the AirPods Max offers a generous 20-hour battery life on a single charge, plus all the comfort you need for both long- and short-term use.
If you’re familiar with ANC headphones then you would have heard of Sony’s WH-1000XM series of active noise-cancelling headphones. Year after year these headphones are at the forefront constantly improving and pushing the barrier in wireless audio technology while also being the benchmark for all the noise-cancelling headphones on the market.
The latest Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are the best around. They are super comfortable with excellent noise-cancelling technology. It blocks out a ton of outside noise so you can create your very own listening sanctuary. Plus, you get top of the line specs and features, including voice assistant support, passthrough features, touch controls, and customizable sound performance.
Unlike the AirPods Max above this ANC headphone will provide up to 30 hours of battery life with quick charging technology. So just 10 minutes of charging will give you 5 hours of playtime. The Sony WH-1000MX4 also includes Chat-to-Speak, which pauses your media when you are speaking to someone and resumes playback 30 seconds after so you don’t miss the person’s response.
We recommend the WH-1000XM4 for over-ear fans and the WF-1000XM3 for true wireless fans. You can’t go wrong with either option.
This list wouldn’t be complete without a pair of true wireless earbuds. The Sony WF-1000XM4 true wireless earbuds are still hands down some of the best noise-cancelling truly wireless earbuds on the market today. These powerful earbuds have a dedicated app that gives you the ability to control how much outside noise you hear. Sony has also included an Adaptive Sound Control feature, which uses gyroscopes that are located inside the earphones to work out if you are stationary, walking, running or on transit and automatically adjust the noise-cancelling to that particular surroundings. Read Full Review
Monoprice Monolith M1060
When it comes to sound quality the monoprice Monolith M1060 open-back headphones should be at the top of your list. It features an open-back design with a wooden enclosure which provide an exceptional sound experience that’s perfect for those trying to break into the world of high-end audio.
Monoprice is known for making top-notch products, and the Monolith M1060 is no expectation. It’s a planar-magnetic headphone that performs on-par with significantly more expensive models with just how clear everything sounds with little to no distortion. Plus the fact that they are open-back headphones means they prevent tiny echoes from bouncing off the ear cups behind the drivers.
Finally, the Monolith M1060 has a standard 3.5mm cable while on the base of each earcup lives a 2.5mm single-channel jack, which makes replacing the cable easy should something happen. If you are looking for one of the best pairs of wooden headphones, the Monolith M1060 is the one to get.
Meze 99 Classics Wood Headphones
The Meze 99 Classic Wood Headphone is a truly elegant and tough built wooden headphone. It’s been around for a few years now but it’s still one of the best around when it comes to craftsmanship and sound quality. This is a headphone that exquisitely blends wood and metal.
Meze used very high-end materials that include: “CNC carved wood ear cups, cast zinc alloy hardware with an electroplated coating, stamped manganese spring steel headband, memory foam, and soft PU leather”. The PU leather on the earcups is designed to be like a pillow around the ears with excellent comfort. And due to the easy fit and soft leather pads, the Meze 99 Classics can form quite a nice seal. That seal in return leads to 99 Classic being a really nice isolating headphone.
Sound quality is more than just a musical experience with a lot of warmth and fullness down low with the bass having a prominent role in the sound signature. The 99 Classic is the best-wired headphone13xw on this list, it delivers a very entertaining and detailed musical experience.
This list wouldn’t be complete without the tried and tested Sony MDR-7506. For decades, these classic headphones have been crushing it by delivering quality at an affordable price and has been the go option for TV crews, students and even aspiring musicians.
When it comes to sound quality on these Sony headphones, clarity is what you get. Both the high and midrange frequencies are super clear with a lot of detail. The bass is also well pronounced but lacks depth, so it’s not very strong or punchy. If you’re the kind of person who likes bass-rich audio these headphones aren’t for you.
Sony’s MDR-7506 are an impressive pair of wired headphones that is a great option for those who are looking for studio-quality on a budget. Finally, with these wired headphones you can enjoy listening on the go, at home or even while enjoying a cup of joe at the coffee shop.