top best headphones 2024


 top best headphones 2024

We've tested the best headphones and earbuds that balance performance, functionality, and price.
The greatest headphones give you the most bang for your buck, but that doesn't imply they're all cheap. While we've included some of our favourite headphone deals, the finest headphones on our list are often chosen for their exceptional feature set, effective and adaptable active noise cancellation, or the most elegant style and comfy design. One thing you can count on is that, regardless of price, they all deliver excellent sound quality.

What are the best headphones?

The new over-ear Sony WH-1000XM5 takes the top spot in our best headphones list. These headphones build on the success of their predecessor, the XM4, by combining exceptional sound quality with advanced active noise cancellation and a comfortable design. Meanwhile, Sony's companion app is the finest we've seen, and we love the headphones' environmental credentials.

The Bose 700 is a close second, with unequalled ANC performance and user-friendly tech features. When listening to music or making phone calls, the sound is extremely clear. We particularly like the sleek, modern design, which includes plush ear pads and touch controls.

The Apple AirPods Max come in third; they're pricy, but their exceptional sound quality and functionality make them well worth the money, especially if you have an iPhone. Don't forget to look through our selection of the best AirPods Max cases and covers to preserve your Apple headphones.

Because of their robust appearance, long battery life, and lively sound, the Jabra Elite 75t Active are presently our best wireless earbuds.

The best headphones you can buy today

1. Sony WH-1000XM5

Sony's new flagship headphones are the ultimate all-rounders, with excellent noise-cancellation, amazing sound performance, a tonne of comfort, straightforward controls, and a slew of unique features. So, very much the same as the prior XM4s.

In every way, these Sonys are assured, convincing, and pleasurable to listen to: the bass frequencies are powerful but agile, the highs are nicely controlled, and there's lots of clarity throughout the spectrum. Noise cancelling, which has always been an XM-series strength, blocks out almost all external noise, and the superb Sony Headphones Connect software lets you customise your audio to your preferences.

2. Bose 700

The Bose 700 on-ear headphones, which have a smart design and great functions, are still the runner-up in our best headphones list. They include eight microphones in total, six of which are used to give Bose's award-winning noise suppression when listening to music or talking on the phone. It has up to 11 levels of customizable noise cancellation that perform equally well at different frequencies. The 700s deliver clear, balanced audio with sharp highs and powerful bass; when using the maximum ANC setting, the lows are amplified.

3. Apple AirPods Max

It's a shame the AirPods Max are so much more expensive than their noise-canceling competitors, but once you try them on, you'll find it difficult to take them off. The plush design and comfy fit give off an immediate sense of luxury, which only develops as you begin to listen to music.

The active noise cancellation is fantastic, the overall sound quality is clear and powerful, and the 3D Spatial Audio function is a game-changer if you've never used it before. This creates a surround sound experience using head-tracking technology, which can provide movie playback a distinct advantage over other headphones. The battery life is also respectable, with Apple's claim of 20 hours matching our own testing.

4. Jabra Elite Active 75t

Jabra has discovered a way to improve our favourite wireless earphones by cramming a lot of power into a smaller, waterproof package. The Elite Active 75t outperforms the AirPods Pro in terms of battery life and sound, and its charging case contains more portable power and feels more durable. Fitness enthusiasts will appreciate the dependable comfort and fit they provide; sweat absorption is one of several underappreciated qualities on this product.

Any flaws in the Elite 75t, including as call quality and digital assistant support, have been addressed. The buds deliver dependably crisp clarity and warm, vibrant instrumentals and vocals, which can be modified for personalised sound using special features in the companion app (e.g. built-in EQ, music presets).

5. Apple AirPods Pro

Apple's noise-cancelling earbuds have been on store shelves for a year and are still arguably the best in their class. The AirPods Pro's level of engineering is impossible to overestimate. Six sensors, a strong three-mic array, and Apple's acclaimed H1 CPU are hidden beneath the thinner, redesigned chassis, boosting performance on all fronts. The audio quality has increased dramatically since the AirPods 2, with the buds providing clear, balanced sound that allows you to relax while listening to music, podcasts, or watching movies. New features like spatial audio, which were introduced with iOS 14, enhance its auditory capabilities by creating a theater-like ambience that makes watching movies even more immersive.

The outward- and inward-facing mics manage to negate a substantial amount of ambient sound, making low-humming noises and neighbourly talk virtually disappear. The addition of ear tips improves sound isolation while also giving a comfortable and customizable fit, which can be tuned for optimal audio output with the all-new Ear Tip Fit Test. Hands-free Siri continues to improve, while unique features like Announce Messages, Audio Sharing, and auto switching highlight the AirPods Pro's versatility.

6. Grado GT220

Grado's GT220 true wireless earbuds aren't weighed down by features like active noise cancellation (ANC) or a control app for tweaking the sound output. In comparison to the competitors featured here, these are a relatively simple design that just connects you to your favourite music and, as a result, are one of the best-sounding earbud designs we've heard.

They're well-suited for music listening on the go, with a respectable battery life and recharge time, and the sound quality will also appeal to people who wish to enjoy more serious listening at home from a compact earbud. At this price, the lack of further features shouldn't be considered as a deal breaker for audiophiles eager to hear Grado's characteristic sound in a truly wireless product with excellent audio quality as a priority over everything else.

7. Master & Dynamic MW08

The MW08 from Master & Dynamic joins the AirPods Pro as one of the greatest true wireless earbuds. The MW08 is more pricey than Apple's earbuds, but you won't mind when you're listening to deep, dramatic music with customizable active noise cancellation.

The MW08 has excellent battery life and comfort, but it's the design sense that truly jumps out. The D-shaped outer panels, which are made entirely of polished ceramic and precision machined stainless steel, look fantastic, and the IPX5 water resistance keeps rain and perspiration at bay. Instead of faulty touch sensors, you get genuine buttons as onboard controls.

8. Bose QuietComfort 45

Bose has again another ANC victory under its belt. The QuietComfort 45's noise cancelling is on par with the 700's, removing a large amount of ambient noise across the frequency spectrum. These cans deliver strong audio performance with a well-rounded frequency spectrum for a nice blend of lows, mids, and highs thanks to proprietary TriPort acoustic architecture and a volume-optimized Active EQ. Support for the Bose Music app is advantageous for customisation and connectivity with other Bose devices (check out ). Most crucially, the QC45 now boasts a battery life of 24 hours, making it the brand's longest-lasting ANC model to date.

It's difficult not to note problems like the inability to switch off ANC and the lack of functionality seen on other Bose headphones, but the overall performance more than compensates for these shortcomings.

9. Technics EAH-A800

The Technics EAH-A800 is an on-ear headphone with a traditional style that is built for comfort and performance. They're as comprehensive and convincing a sonic offering as any sub-$400 headphones of this design in certain ways, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a pair that's more expressive on the finer details in your favourite records. The EAH-A800 are well judged from the bottom to the top of the frequency spectrum — they're never less than authentic and convincing, and they expose masses of detail in terms of instrument texture and timbre, making it easy to relate to your music.

When it comes to ANC, they don't deal with as much external sound as their finest competitors — and that doesn't just include Bose. With hi-res LDAC and noise-cancelling turned on, the battery life is even better, with up to 30 hours of listening time. With noise-cancelling turned off, this increases to 60 hours of listening time using AAC. Overall, they are a well-balanced pair of headphones, although they're not without rivals at this price point.

10. Technics EAH-AZ60

The Technics EAH-AZ60 is a great value for money, offering high-end sound that can be modified with EQ or LDAC support, as well as dynamic noise neutralisation and a feature set that few luxury models have. The incorporation of Bluetooth 5.2 and comprehensible controls for quick operation round out the buds' impressive list of features.

However, not all of the functions were successful. The lack of wireless charging feels like a significant omission given the price, and the call quality is rather low given how effectively the mics and ANC perform.

These flaws are understandable, especially given Technics' audio expertise, which is where these earbuds shine. For music fans, this alone makes it well worth the money.

11. Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus has a long name and a long number of reasons to purchase it. This pair of truly wireless earbuds is less expensive than Apple's AirPods, but they sound better, last longer, and are more resistant to water.

Although there is no ANC, the Melomania 1 Plus comes with plenty of features to compensate. Take the High Performance mode, for example, which triggers the same hi-fi-grade amplification found in Cambridge Audio's CX stereo amplifiers. Alternatively, there's the mobile app, which offers a variety of well-balanced sound profiles as well as the possibility to adjust the EQ yourself.

12. Cleer Enduro ANC

The Cleer Enduro ANC doesn't offer the best sound quality, and Sony and Bose have stronger noise cancelling technology. But what's impressive about this specific pair is how it manages to be decent at both while also including a slew of extra features and traits for such a low price.

The Enduro ANC not only provides inexpensive noise cancellation, but it also features a fully folding design, Hi-Res Audio support through the detachable 3.5mm wire, and NFC pairing. The battery life, on the other hand, is the show-stopper: no other set of headphones we've tried has come close to matching its 50+ hours of ANC listening.

13. Apple AirPods 3

The AirPods 3 inherits the majority of the AirPods Pro's best features, adds new ones, and keeps the majority of the series' hallmarks, resulting in a well-rounded pair of wireless earbuds. Adaptive EQ, which adjusts frequencies in real time for more detailed sound, and Spatial Audio, which produces 3D-like effects, are key proprietary technology. The battery life has been extended to 6 hours, making it the longest-lasting AirPods model available. Even new capabilities introduced with the iOS 15 update, such as Enhanced Find My, which tracks misplaced AirPods when they are within close proximity of iDevices or a MacBook, are included in this third-generation device.

Although the new ergonomic design is welcome, it does not provide much on-ear stability. The lack of ANC and a transparency mode may potentially tempt you to upgrade to the Pro version. If you're just a few bucks short of purchasing Apple's flagship buds, the AirPods 3 is a fantastic backup option.

14. Beats Fit Pro

We thought the Beats Studio Buds were a wonderful deal, but their sportier counterpart is even better. Apart from the AirPods Pro, the Fit Pro is the only other set of Apple-related wireless earbuds with Spatial Audio, which provides listeners with 3D immersive sound and dynamic head-tracking technology to precisely hear sounds no matter where their heads turn. Similar to the AirPods Pro, active noise cancellation silences most ambient noises for quiet listening periods. For optimal fit, the redesigned design with integrated eartips is greatly appreciated. The buds are also protected from moisture harm because to their IPX4 water resistance.

All of the software benefits associated with the H1 chip are included, including automatic switching between Apple devices, "Hey Siri" voice activation, and FindMy support for quickly locating missing buds. Unfortunately, Android users will not be able to use these functions, but they will be able to use ANC and Spatial Audio.

15. OnePlus Buds Z2

For its pricing, the OnePlus Buds Z2 accomplishes quite a feat. In a wonderfully crafted design, these buds combine acceptable ANC, great sound, and extremely powerful charging. Noise cancellation is good enough to block out most frequencies and keep your concentration on whatever your mobile device is playing. Music, movies, and video games sound loud and well-rounded, and noise cancellation is good enough to block out most frequencies and keep your concentration on whatever your mobile device is playing. When it comes to gadgets, Google Fast Pair makes pairing the Buds Z2 with any Android smartphone a breeze. The company's Warp Charge technology, on the other hand, is the star of the show, generating a full charge in just 10 minutes.

How to choose the best headphones for you

When looking for the best headphones, there are many aspects to consider, but the most important factor is the intended application. That being stated, before deciding on a pair, consider the following factors.


Typically, design takes precedence above all other considerations. Are you looking for headphones that are in-ear, on-ear, or over-ear? Is it better to be wired or wireless? Sporty or opulent? You want something that fits your lifestyle because they are headphones that will be worn for various occasions. Whatever you choose, make sure the headphones are well-made, portable, and comfortable to use for 1 to 2 hours each day.

Audio quality

The second box to cross off is sound. Different models produce different sounds, and since you're buying a pair to listen to music separately, it's critical to choose headphones that match your sound preferences, whether you favour deep bass or crisp clarity so you can hear the tiniest details in recordings. Some models include a companion app that allows users to create their own profiles and adjust EQ levels to suit their hearing.

Battery life

The majority of premium wireless headphones have a battery life of 15 hours or more. Wireless earbuds can last up to 10 hours and come with charging cases, which can enhance runtime. Always make sure one is included.


Accessories, especially for wired models, are just as significant (the manufacturer must include the aux cable). Any headphones that include a carrying case, charging cable, user manual, and extra ear cups or tips are a good investment.

How we test the best headphones

When choosing the best headphones, we consider a variety of factors like as design and comfort, as well as sound quality and overall value. Furthermore, Tom's Guide uses a thorough evaluation process to assess goods with similar fit, features, and cost.

Over the course of a week, each pair of headphones and earbuds is worn for two hours at a time. Reviewers assess comfort and fit, ease of usage, and audio during this period. We listen to tracks from many music genres, including hip-hop, rock, jazz, classical, and pop, to test sound. Our evaluations take into account the volume, clarity, and fullness of sound. When appropriate, movies, podcasts, and video games are considered.

When it comes to functionality, we put wireless and wired headphones to the test to see how effective active noise cancellation, Bluetooth range, and battery life are. Additional functionalities, as well as ease of setup, are examined for app-enabled headphones. For all headphone kinds, build quality, controls, and fit are taken into account. We put fitness-focused headphones through rigorous workouts to see how well they fit and manage ambient sound in loud surroundings.


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