Headphones Buying Guide: How to Find the Perfect Pair for Your Needs

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Headphones for Your Personal Preferences and Needs

Multiple headphones on a wooden surface

Finding the perfect pair of headphones can be challenging, with multiple options and technical specifications to consider. Our detailed headphones buying guide aims to simplify this process for you. It describes various factors crucial for making an informed purchase decision. 

We will start by discussing the fundamental form factors you should consider when choosing headphones. Then we will help you discover the pros and cons of wired vs. wireless headphones and discuss the nitty-gritty of noise canceling headphones and the important role of headphones’ design and sound quality. 

We will also touch upon comfort, durability against sweat and water, microphone type and tailoring your choice based on usage and budget. With a quick peek into our review process, you will be all prepped to make an effective decision. 

What Are the Factors You Should Consider While Choosing Headphones?

There are 11 key considerations you should factor in while looking for suitable headphones. These include:

What Role Does Form Factor Play in Picking the Right Headphones?

The form factor of headphones isn’t only about aesthetic or style; it’s an important determinant of comfort, functionality, and sound quality. Based on form factor, headphones can be categorized as over-ear, on-ear, in-ear, ear-hook style and bone conduction.

1. Over-Ear

Over-ear headphones (also known as circumaural headphones; circum meaning around and aural referring to the ear) are among the largest headphones on the market. True to their name, they cover the ears completely, providing an immersive listening experience and excellent noise isolation. 

Moreover, their large size allows them to house bigger drivers, translating into a full sound profile and richer bass. 

Therefore, they are commonly used for critical listening, mixing, mastering and studio recordings. They are also popular among audiophiles. 

Some of the most popular over-ear headphones on the market are Sony WH-1000XM5, Bose QuietComfort 45 and Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro. 

A pair of white Bose headphones on the ground
Bose QuietComfort 45 II Headphones are popular in the over-ear headphones category.

Pros and Cons of Over-Ear Headphones

  • Deliver a more comprehensive sound profile and richer bass as they are large and can accommodate bigger drivers
  • Provide excellent noise isolation as they completely cover your ears; some models also come with active noise cancelation (ANC)
  • Are more comfortable than on-ear headphones as their cushions completely cover your ears rather than sitting on them
  • Have a longer battery life due to a larger space for batteries
  • Are bulkier than in-ear and on-ear headphones; this makes them less convenient for travel
  • Open-back models can leak sound

What Are the Best Over-Ear Headphones?

2. On-Ear

On-ear headphones (also known as supra aural; supra meaning above and aural referring to the ear) sit on your ears rather than covering them completely. This design makes them lightweight and portable. Therefore, they make an ideal choice for on-the-go listeners. 

Due to their design, they do not provide the same level of noise isolation as over-ear headphones. Also, they deliver decent sound quality; however, their bass response is less pronounced as they do not provide a seal around the ears. 

Some popular on-ear headphones on the market are Beats Solo Pro, Sennheiser HD 25 and Grado SR80x.

A pair of white on-ear headphones on a blue background
An example of on-ear headphones.

Pros and Cons of On-Ear Headphones

  • More compact and lightweight than over-ear headphones; suitable for travel
  • Deliver good sound quality suitable for casual/everyday listening
  • Are less bulky and more stylish than over-ear headphones
  • Come with a decent battery life
  • Can cause discomfort or pressure upon continuous use as they sit on the ears
  • Do not isolate sound as well as over-ear headphones; allow ambient noise to get in and are unsuitable for noisy environments 
  • Might not offer as immersive a listening experience as over-ear headphones due to their design

What Are the Best On-Ear Headphones?

3. In Ear 

Instead of over and on the ear, in-ear headphones are worn inside the ear. There are four types of in-ear headphones on the market: Standard earbuds, in-ear monitors (IEMs), wireless earbuds, and truly wireless earbuds (TWEs).

Standard Earbuds

Standard earbuds are the most basic type of wired in-ear headphones. They sit at the entrance of your ear instead of going deep inside. A classic example of standard earbuds is Apple’s original Earpods. 

In-Ear Monitors (IEMs)

IEMs are also wired in-ear headphones that snugly fit inside your ears and deliver excellent sound isolation. They typically come with ear tips of different sizes to ensure an accurate and comfortable fit. Shure SE846 and Sennheiser IE 800 S are some of the most popular IEMs on the market. 

An in-ear monitor earbud inside the ear
Example of in-ear monitors; designed for optimal sound quality and comfort.

Wireless Earbuds

Wireless earbuds are in-ear headphones that connect wirelessly (using Bluetooth or other wireless technology) with devices, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc. However, they comprise a wire connecting both the earbuds. 

Neckband earbuds are an example of wireless earbuds. They comprise a wire or flexible band that connects both earbuds and rests around the neck. 

One of the most popular examples of wireless earbuds is Jaybird X3.

A wireless earbuds inside the ear
The Jaybird X3 stands out as a popular choice among wireless earbuds enthusiasts.

Truly Wireless Earbuds (TWEs)

Just like wireless earbuds, TWEs connect to different devices wirelessly. However, they have no wires connecting the earbuds. Each earbud operates independently. They come with charging cases to keep them powered on-the-go and store them. 

Some of the more popular examples of TWEs are Sony WF-1000XM5 and Apple AirPods Pro. 

White true wireless earbud inside the ear
The Apple AirPods Pro are indeed popular truly wireless earbuds (TWEs).

Pros and Cons of In-Ear Headphones

  • Are easy to carry due to their compact size
  • Provide passive noise isolation as they sit inside your ears
  • Deliver clear and detailed sound
  • Feel more comfortable to wear for extended used compared to over-ear and on-ear headphones
  • Suitable for workouts
  • Come with replaceable ear tips in most case to ensure an accurate fit and hygiene
  • Are often less durable than over-ear and on-ear headphones owing to their thin cables and small size

What Are the Best In-Ear Headphones?

4. Ear-Hook Style

Earhook audio devices, whether earbuds or headphones, are designed for stability. They comprise a hook that wraps around your outer ear and ensures the device stays in place. 

Koss KSC75 Portable Stereophone Headphones and Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds are popular examples of earhook headphones and earbuds respectively. 

An ear-hook style black earbud inside the ear
The Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds are a favored pick for those seeking top-tier earhook-style earbuds..

What Are the Best Ear-Hook Style Headphones and Earbuds?

Pros and Cons of Ear-Hook Style Headphones

  • Provide a secure fit
  • Come with reduced risk of falling out
  • Comfortable for extended use
  • Exert less pressure on the ear canal
  • May not be comfortable for glasses wearers as the hooks can interfere with the temples of the glasses

5. Bone Conduction

Bone conduction headphones are uniquely designed headphones that work by transmitting sound through vibrations, directly to the bones of the skull. They bypass your eardrums entirely. 

Aftershockz Aeropex and Trekz Air are popular examples of some of the best bone conduction headphones

A pair of red bone conduction headphones
The Aftershokz Aeropex stands out as a leading choice among bone conduction headphones enthusiasts.

Pros and Cons of Bone Conduction Headphones

  • Allow you to hear your surroundings; great for situational awareness
  • Useful for those with hearing impairments
  • Comfortable for prolonged use
  • Safe for the ear as they completely bypass your eardrums
  • Do not provide a rich bass response as regular headphones
  • Depend on batteries and require charging
  • Can be more expensive than regular headphones

Read Also: Are Bone Conduction Headphones Safe?

How Do Wired and Wireless Options Shape Your Headphone Experience?

Beyond their physical form factor, the way headphones connect to devices, whether through wires or wirelessly, can drastically impact user convenience, experience, and functionality. 

Based on connectivity, headphones can be categorized as wired vs. wireless. 

1. Wired

Wired headphones can connect to your device in two ways, using:


Wired headphones can connect to your device using a cable attached to a 3.5 mm jack for most modern devices or 1/4 -inch jack for professional equipment.


Wired headphones can also connect to your device using a cable attached to a Type-A or Type-C port. These headphones are typically professional headphones or gaming headsets.

Pros and Cons of Wired Headphones

  • Provide better sound quality as there is no data loss or signal lag
  • Do not require charging
  • Are typically less expensive than their wireless counterparts
  • Can lead to tangling issues
  • Decrease mobility due to the presence of cables/wires

2. Wireless

Wireless headphones can connect to your device using:

Read more details about each type in our blog on: How Do Wireless Headphones Work?

Pros and Cons of Wireless Headphones

  • Suitable for use during physical activities
  • No wire tangling issues
  • Come with advanced features, such as intuitive touch controls, voice assistants, and so on
  • Require charging
  • Wireless transmission can lead to minor sound quality issues
  • Can be more expensive than wired headphones

How Does Noise Canceling Impact Your Listening Experience in Headphones?

Noise canceling headphones minimize external sounds, providing an immersive listening experience. They are designed to cancel out unwanted ambient sounds, ensuring the sound output is clear and crisp. 

You will find two types of noise canceling headphones on the market: active and passive.

While both aim to minimize external disturbances, they use different mechanisms to do so. 

1. Active Noise Canceling (ANC)

Active noise cancelation (ANC) uses electronics to cancel out external sounds. 

They use advanced technology to detect ambient sounds and generate sound waves that are the exact opposite. When these two sound waves interact, they cancel each other out and reduce the volume of unwanted noise. 

ANC headphones are typically used by frequent flyers, daily commuters who travel by public transport, students, and for office work. Some popular examples of these headphones are Bose QuietComfort 45 II and Sony WH-1000XM5. 

Pros and Cons of ANC Headphones

  • Enhanced listening experience
  • Adaptive noise canceling; many modern ANC headphones can adjust the noise cancelation level based on the environment
  • Effective noise reduction, especially low-frequency sounds 
  • Depend on power (battery or USB charging) to work
  • Are typically more expensive
  • May alter original sound quality

2. Passive Noise Canceling (PNC)

PNC headphones are also known as noise isolating headphones. Unlike ANC headphones, they do not depend on electronic mechanisms to reduce external noise. Instead, they rely on the ear cups’/ear tips’ design and materials to block external disturbances. 

For example, dense foam in over-ear/on-ear headphones or tight-fitting ear tips in in-ear monitors/TWS earbuds. 

PNC headphones are typically used by professionals for studio recording and monitoring, and musicians (e.g., drummers). Some popular examples of PMC headphones are Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and Shure SE215.

Pros and Cons of PNC Headphones

  • Do not require power to work
  • Produce natural sound
  • Are generally more affordable than ANC headphones
  • Suitable for blocking out high-frequency sounds 
  • Are less effective against low-frequency sounds 
  • Do not allow you to adjust the noise isolation levels

Read Also: Noise Isolating vs Noise Canceling – What’s the Difference?

Why Is the Design of Headphones Pivotal in the Selection Process?

The design of headphones can play a critical role in determining sound quality and isolation levels, and soundstage. They also influence the headphones’ overall aesthetic appeal.

Based on design, you can categorize headphones as open-back, closed-back and semi-open back.

1. Open-Back

Open-back headphones comprise ear cups that are deliberately open at the back to allow sound to flow in and out. The open-back design contributes to a more airy and natural sound. 

Since the sound waves don’t reflect back toward the ear due to the absence of a closed ear cup design, the audio is typically clearer. Open-back headphones are often praised for their accurate and detailed sound production. Moreover, they prevent issues such as resonance and echo that are found in some closed-back headphones. 

Owing to their expansive soundstage, open-back headphones are favored for classical music, studio mixing, gaming, and audiophile listening.

Pros and Cons of Open-Back Headphones

  • Offer a more expansive and natural soundstage
  • Make audio sound more “live” or as if you are in the same space where it’s being played
  • Minimize resonances and reflections, leading to clear and crisp audio
  • Allow for better air circulation due to their open-back design and provide a more comfortable listening experience
  • Can be lighter than their closed-back counterparts as they use less material
  • Leak audio; do not provide sound isolation
  • Less ideal for noisy environments
  • Exposed design can make the ear cups more vulnerable to dirt, dust, moisture, or other potential hazards

2. Closed-Back

Closed-back headphones come with sealed ear cups. These ear cups confine sound within them and act like a sound chamber. As a result, they isolate the listener from external disturbances.

The sealed design of closed ear cups amplifies bass due to contained sound reflections. While this differs from the expansive, airy quality of open-back headphones, closed-back ones deliver a more intimate, “in-head” auditory experience.

Owing to their sound isolation properties, closed-back headphones are popular for podcasting, gaming, casual listening, and studio recordings. 

Pros and Cons of Closed-Back Headphones

  • Block ambient noise and deliver excellent sound isolation
  • Are suitable for noisy environments
  • Prevent sound leakage
  • Deliver a more pronounced bass response
  • Provide a narrow soundstage
  • Sealed ear cups can produce echoes or resonances in the sound

3. Semi-Open Back

Semi-open back headphones are a hybrid of open-back and closed-back headphones. They deliver balanced sound, allowing external noise to enter and some sound to escape. However, the sound leakage is lesser compared to open-back headphones. 

Therefore, the semi-open design provides the best of both worlds — a certain degree of sound isolation and an immersive feel of a spacious soundstage. They are typically used for casual listening or studio tasks that don’t require a wide soundstage or extreme sound isolation. 

Some popular examples of semi-open back headphones are Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro and AKG K240 Studio. 

Pros and Cons of Semi-Open Headphones

  • Provide a balanced soundstage with the spaciousness of open-back headphones and isolation of closed-back headphones
  • Versatile; suitable for a variety of listening environments
  • Suitable for extended usage due to their semi-open design; allow for some air circulation
  • Provide limited noise isolation
  • Allow some degree of sound leakage
Please note that over-ear and on-ear headphones can feature an open-back, closed-back or semi-open design.

How Crucial Is Sound Quality When Choosing the Right Pair of Headphones?

Sound quality is important when selecting the right headphones as it determines the clarity, depth, and richness of your listening experience. 

You must consider the following factors when choosing headphones based on sound quality: Frequency response, driver size and type, impedance, sensitivity, and soundstage.

1. Frequency Response

Frequency response in headphones denotes the range of frequencies a pair of headphones can produce. It’s typically represented as a range (e.g., 20 Hz to 20 kHz; the audible range for humans).

Based on frequency response, headphones can be categorized as low, midrange, high and flat frequency.

Low-frequency headphones cover frequency ranges from 20 Hz to 60 Hz (sub-bass) and 60 Hz to 160 Hz (bass). These headphones are typically used for listening to metal and rock music and watching movies.

Read Also: Best Bass Headphones

Midrange-frequency headphones cover a frequency range from 160 Hz to 1.28 kHz. Most instruments such as guitars, horns, and pianos lie in this range. Also, human ears are most sensitive to this range. They are most suitable for listening to classical and pop music where vocals and instruments are central. Examples of mid-frequency headphones are guitar headphones and piano headphones.

High-frequency headphones cover a frequency range from 1.28 kHz 20 kHz. This range focuses on the clarity and brightness of sound. These headphones are suitable for any genre that requires a focus on every detail of the sound.

Headphones with a flat frequency response reproduce all audio frequencies evenly. Therefore, no frequency (bass, mid, or treble) stands out, giving an accurate representation of the original sound recording. 

These headphones are highly preferred by audio professionals as they reproduce sound as it was recorded, allowing them to make informed decisions about effect, EQ, balance, etc. 

2. Driver Size and Type 

Both size and type of the headphones’ driver plays a crucial role in determining the sound quality. 

Based on size, headphone drivers can be categorized as small and large. Smaller drivers are typically found in on- and in-ear headphones. They are precise in reproducing higher frequencies; however, their bass performance is average. On the other hand, larger drivers are found in over-headphones. They deliver more pronounced bass than over- and in-ear headphones. 

Based on type, headphone driver can be categorized as dynamic, planar magnetic, electrostatic, balanced armature and bone conduction. Dynamic drivers are known for deep bass and overall loudness. Planar magnetic drivers provide a detailed sound profile and wide soundstage, commonly found in high-end headphones. 

Electrostatic drivers often have next-level clarity and detail. However, electrostatic headphones are most expensive. Balanced armature drivers are found in high-end IEMs for precise and detailed sound. 

3. Impedance

The impedance of headphones plays a critical role in determining the compatibility of your headphones with different audio sources. Checking the impedance ensures you pair your headphones with a suitable source, protecting them from damage and maximizing sound quality. 

Low impedance headphones (below 50 Ohm) require less power to deliver high audio levels. Therefore, they are compatible with MP3 players and smartphones. 

High impedance headphones (above 150 Ohm) can handle more power and produce clearer, more detailed sound. Therefore, they are suitable for use with dedicated amplifiers and studio setups. However, without adequate power, they may sound dull.

4. Sensitivity

Sensitivity of headphones indicates how efficiently they convert electrical signals into sound. In simpler words, sensitivity determines how loud your headphones will sound at a given volume level from the audio source. 

Headphones with high sensitivity can deliver louder sound with less power, making them suitable for devices with lower amplification, such as MP3 players and smartphones. Some of the loudest headphones on the market have higher sensitivities.

Headphones with lower sensitivity may require more power to achieve the same volume levels.

Read Also: Does Max Volume Damage Headphones?

5. Soundstage

Soundstage refers to a spatial representation of your headphones’ sound, creating a sense of depth, directionality and width. A good or expansive soundstage provides the experience of a live performance, where you can sense the positioning of each instrument. 

Open-back headphones typically have a wider soundstage. Other factors that can affect your headphones’ soundstage include type, size and positioning of their drivers and acoustic tuning.

How Essential Is the Comfort and Fit in Selecting the Perfect Headphones?

An important, yet overlooked aspect of finding the right headphones is determining how comfortable they feel for extended usage. Sometimes, even the best-sounding headphones can become a pain if they don’t fit properly or exert pressure on your head. 

Factors influencing comfort for headphones include ear cup cushioning, headband adjustability, headphones’ weight, and the material used. For example, memory foam cushioning may feel more comfortable on the ears than standard foam. Similarly, a lightweight design can be a great feature for extended usage. 

Fit, on the other hand, is crucial for in-ear headphones, workout headphones, running headphones, etc. A poor fit can lead to poor sound quality and constant adjustments.

Read Also: Most Comfortable Headphones

How Does Durability Impact Your Choice of Headphones?

Durability should be a critical consideration while buying headphones as you must invest in a product that can withstand daily wear and tear. Several factors influence the durability of headphones. These include:

  • Materials used: Headphones made from premium-quality materials such as durable plastics, metal headbands, reinforced cables, etc., last longer. For example, headphones made from aluminum parts or stainless steel offer better durability.
  • Build quality: In addition to headphones’ materials, the way they are constructed and designed also determines their durability. Those with thick cables, well-secured cups, and robust joints are more equipped to handle physical stress.
  • Storage: Foldable headphones or those that come with protective cases can be safely.

What Are the Most Durable Headphones?

How Important Is Sweat and Water Resistance for Your Headphones?

Sweat- and water-resistant headphones are designed to withstand moisture. Therefore, they are suitable for outdoor activities and workouts. 

IPX rating is a critical metric when assessing the water and sweat resistance of headphones. It’s an international standard that specifies the level of protection against liquids (like water) and solids (like dirt dust).

Jaybird Vista and Plantronics BackBeat FIT 6100 are popular water-/sweat-resistant headphones. 

What Are the Best Sweat- and Water-Resistant Headphones?

Pros and Cons of Sweat- and Water-Resistant Headphones

  • Can withstand exposure to moisture, sweat, and even rain
  • Durable for diverse weather conditions and environments
  • Ideal for users with an active lifestyle
  • May cost more than regular headphones
  • May not be waterproof or sweatproof
  • Some users might overestimate the level of protection and end up misusing the headphones in conditions not supported by their IPX rating

How Does the Microphone Type Impact Your Headphone Experience?

The type of microphone integrated into a pair of headphones can significantly impact the audio clarity and quality during calls, gaming, etc. 

The below table shows different types of microphones found in headphones and their applications:

Type of MicrophoneWhat Is ItUsagePopular example(s)
Boom micAn adjustable and long arm that extends from the headphonesGaming headsets, headsets for streaming, professional communication headphonesHyperX Cloud II and Sennheiser Game One headsets
Inline micLocated on the headphones’ cable/wire; often comprises playback or volume controlsWireless earbuds, in-ear monitorsApple EarPods
Built-in micIntegrated into the earcups or earbuds; no external attachmentOver-ear/on-ear headphones and modern wireless earbudsBose QuietComfort 45 Headphones
Noise-canceling micUses advanced technology to isolate your voice from background noisesGaming headsets, professional headsets, high-end wireless earbudsLogitech G Pro X Headset

How Does the Intended Usage Shape Your Headphone Selection?

Categorizing headphones based on the following usage scenario can help you find the right headphones to suit your requirements:

1. Everyday Listening

These headphones are suitable for everyday listening, be it listening to podcasts, streaming your favorite songs, or watching movies. They are versatile, and provide a balance between comfort, price, and sound quality. 

Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort 45 II are popular examples of headphones for everyday listening. 

A pair of white Bose headphones on a grey background
The Bose QuietComfort 45 II is a favorite among audiophiles and casual listeners alike, setting the standard for everyday listening.

Pros and Cons of Headphones for Everyday Listening

  • Versatile
  • Often more affordable; available in a broad price range
  • User-friendly
  • Provide a balanced sound
  • May not come with advanced features and functionalities
  • May lack specialized sound profiles

What Are the Best Headphones for Everyday Listening?

2. Gaming

Gaming headphones often come with features such as microphones, surround sound, RGB lighting, and precise audio cues for an immersive gaming experience. 

HyperX Cloud II and Razer Kraken X are popular gaming headsets.

A pair of parrot green Razer Kraken X gaming headphones on a white surface
The Razer Kraken X stands out as a top choice for gamers, delivering immersive audio for a competitive edge.

Pros and Cons of Headphones for Gaming

  • Enhanced spatial audio for in-game advantage
  • Microphone for in-game communication
  • Come with virtual or true surround sound for a 360-degree audio environment
  • Comfortable for extended sessions
  • Come with customizable sound profiles and RGB lighting
  • High-end headphones can be expensive
  • May be bulkier due to larger drivers
  • Gaming headphones with customizable controls/lights may require specialized software

What Are the Best Headphones for Gaming?

3. Studio/Monitoring

Studio or monitoring headphones are essential tools for audio professionals. They provide a flat sound profile, ensuring audio recordings and mixes sound consistent and clear on different audio devices. Their design is often focused on comfort for extended use and durability.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO are popular headphones in this domain.

A pair of black Audio-Technica wired headphones on a white surface
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is revered by studio professionals for its precise sound reproduction and comfort during extended sessions.

Pros and Cons of Headphones for Studio/Monitoring

  • Flat frequency response ensures precise audio representation
  • Durable for studio use
  • Emphasize clarity and details; suitable for mixing and mastering
  • Comfortable for extended use
  • Come with excellent passive noise isolation
  • Can be expensive
  • Not always portable; mostly bulky
  • Flat sound profile may not be suitable for everyday listeners
  • Some high impedance studio/monitoring headphones may require external amplifiers

What Are the Best Headphones for Studio/Monitoring?

4. DJ Headphones

DJ headphones deliver powerful bass and clear mids to allow DJs to mix tracks seamlessly. They typically comprise a flexible design (swiveling earcups), allowing DJs to listen with one ear and cueing up the next track in the other. 

Pioneer HDJ-2000MK2 and Sennheiser HD25 are some of the best DJ headphones on the market.

A pair of black wired headphones on a white surface
The Sennheiser HD25 stands out as a top choice among DJs for its clear sound separation and robust build, perfect for live performances.

Pros and Cons of Headphones for DJ Headphones

  • Flexible design for single-ear monitoring
  • Enhanced bass performance for accurate beat matching
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Can handle loud volumes without distortion
  • Provide excellent passive noise isolation
  • Can be bulkier and heavier due to their robust construction
  • Professional-grade DJ headphones can be expensive

5. Workout/Sports

These headphones ensure a snug fit during intense movements and are typically water-/sweat-resistant. They are designed for active individuals.

JayBird Vista and Bose SoundSport Wireless are popular examples of workout/sports headphones. 

A pair of greyish blue Jaybird Vista earbuds on a wooden surface
JayBird Vista earbuds, known for their secure fit and water-resistant design, are a favorite pick for those engaging in intense workouts and sports activities.

Pros and Cons of Headphones for Workout/Sports Headphones

  • Often comprise ear hooks, neckbands, and wingtips to ensure they stay in place during rigorous activities
  • Are typically water- and sweat-resistant
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Are typically wireless
  • May not offer the same audio quality as high-end headphones

6. Office Work, Remote Work and Call Centers

These headphones are optimized for a working environment and remote work. They often prioritize features such as clear voice quality, long-wearing comfort, and noise isolation to suit professional needs. They also come with high-quality, noise-canceling microphones to ensure background disturbances do not interrupt critical meetings. 

Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC, Bose Noise-Canceling Wireless 700 and Jabra Evolve 75 are popular examples of headphones for office work, remote work and call center use respectively. 

Pros and Cons of Office Work, Remote Work and Call Center Headphones

  • Come with ANC to focus in noisy environments
  • Comprise high-quality microphone for clear communication 
  • Comfortable for continuous use
  • Decent battery life
  • Easy to connect and use
  • Mostly available as wireless headphones for mobility
  • Are compatible with platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, and Zoom
  • Require regular charging

What Are the Best Headphones for Office Work, Remote Work and Call Center Headphones?

7. Travel

Travel headphones prioritize features, such as ANC, long battery life, portability, etc., for uninterrupted entertainment on long journeys and vacations. 

Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort 45 II also serve as popular travel headphones. 

A pair of white wireless headphones on a blue surface
Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones, renowned for their top-tier noise cancellation and comfort, are a traveler’s preferred choice for long journeys and flights.

Pros and Cons of Travel Headphones

  • Come with ANC for use in noisy environments
  • Foldable and portable 
  • Excellent battery life
  • Comfortable fit for extended use
  • Multi-device connectivity
  • Comprise built-in microphones for making/receiving calls while you are on the go
  • Require charging now and then

What Are the Best Travel Headphones?

8. Audiophile

Audiophile headphones provide stellar clarity, precision, and sound quality. They are made from high-quality materials and deliver a wide soundstage.

Focal Utopia, Audeze LCD-X and Sennheiser HD 800 are popular examples of audiophile headphones.  

Pros and Cons of Audiophile Headphones

  • Deliver superior sound quality; emphasize clarity, detail, tonal balance and soundstage
  • Made from premium-quality materials
  • May employ specialized drivers, such as electrostatic, planar magnetic, etc.
  • Some high-end models come with customizable sound signatures
  • Comfortable for continuous listening
  • Wide frequency response
  • Are mostly expensive
  • May need an amplifier or DAC for enhanced audio output
  • Can be bulkier to accommodate larger drivers
  • Can be less portable than regular headphones

What Are the Best Audiophile Headphones?

9. Kids

Kids’ headphones prioritize safety for kids and often come with volume-limiting features and a durable build. 

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 and LilGadgets Untangled Pro are popular examples of kids’ headphones. 

Pros and Cons of Kids’ Headphones

  • Come with hearing protection features, such as volume limits (up to 85 dB)
  • Available in eye-catching colors and designs
  • Are durable and sturdy to withstand rough handling
  • Are reasonably priced
  • Sound quality might not be as high as regular headphones

What Are the Best Headphones for Kids?

How Does Your Budget Influence Your Headphone Choice?

When it comes to buying headphones, budget is also a key consideration. Please note that while higher-priced headphones often have better build, features, and sound quality, you can also find affordable options that deliver exceptional performance. 

Therefore, you must strike a balance between cost and quality. 

How We Recommend the Top Picks for Each Category

When it comes to finding the best headphones for each category discussed above, we focus beyond the brand name or price tag. We ensure our readers find a product that best suits their requirements and get the most value for their money. 

Our evaluation process comprises the following stages:

  • Thorough Research: We perform 360-degree research on every category by deep diving into the market, analyzing established popular picks and newcomers. This helps us create a comprehensive list of potential picks. 
  • First-Hand Testing: Then we test the potential picks in real-world scenarios. During this process, we evaluate them on a variety of factors, such as audio quality, comfort, performance and overall comfort. 
  • Evaluation of Technical Specifications: We thoroughly assess and evaluate the technical specifications of headphones to ensure performance per the brands’ claims. We check driver size, driver performance, frequency response, battery life, connectivity options, etc. 
  • Quick Scan of User Reviews and Ratings: We skim through customer feedback for different headphones to understand common issues and identify strengths. 
  • Solicitation of Feedback From Professionals: For special categories such as studio and DJ headphones, we gather valuable feedback from professionals. 


Choosing the right headphones is a personal journey, one that revolves around specific needs, individual preferences, and budget requirements. However, with the right knowledge and understanding of what to look for, you can make an informed choice. 

We’ve done most of the work for you, but remember that comfort and sound can vary across individuals. Therefore, we urge you to explore reviews before making your final choice. Your ears deserve the best!