the best headphones

Best Headphones 2021: (Top Rated Wired & Wireless Headphones)

If there is anything important enough to keep with you all the time, it’s a pair of best headphones. They accompany you anytime and anywhere if you are working, driving back to home or traveling. After hours of research, we’ve come up with 11 best headphones 2021. They are of different types and for different usage as well.

Moreover, you will be able to find yourself a pair of good headphones in all price ranges, no matter what your budget is, this round-up of top headphones 2021 has got you covered.

Best Headphones 2021:

  1. Best Noise Cancelling Headphones – Sony WH1000XM3
  2. Best Headphones for Travel – Bose Noise Cancelling 700
  3. Best True Wireless Earbuds – Sony WF-1000XM3
  4. Best Value Headphones 2021 – Sennheiser HD 4.40
  5. Best Wireless Headphones – Powerbeats Pro Wireless
  6. Best Over-Ear Headphones – Bose QuietComfort 35 II
  7. Best Studio Headphones- Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
  8. Best Bass Headphones – Beats Studio3
  9. Best ANR Earbuds – Amazon Echo Buds
  10. Best Bluetooth Headphones – Bose QuietControl 30
  11. Best Sound Cancellation Headphones – Anker Soundcore Life Q20

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Quick Tips Towards Best Headphones

Before you start with the reviews of the best headphones below, it’s good to have a look at these quick tips and avoid committing any blunder on the way. There’s a detailed buyer’s guide at the end as well, but for now, you can enlighten yourself with these quick tips for getting yourself a pair of nice headphones in 2021.

  • Your Usage: Besides quality sound and music, the form factor of headphones matter as well. This is why you need to think about how you will be using your headphones. There are several types of headphones like earbuds, on-ear, over-ear, wireless and wired etc. Each has its own advantage and disadvantage as well. In short, the type of headphones you choose should suit your use of them.
  • Earbuds or Headphones: Before thinking about anything else, you need to decide between earphones or headphones. Earbuds are easy to carry around, they are usually low in price but the sound quality could not reach as that of proper headphones. And headphones on the other side are big, you should have no problem carrying them around your neck. Also, their noise cancellation and sound is amazing, they can actually make you enjoy good music.
  • Wired or Wireless: This is a constant debate, wired headphones are always the best sound quality headphones, but you will be attached to the device at all times and the cable of it can become a mess at times. Wireless on the other side will free you of any problems and you can move around freely in your home or working space. However, the wireless type can have weak signal at times and you will also have to take care of its charge.
  • You get what you pay for: Higher price of headphones is not just because of the brand of it. Popular manufacturers use high-quality material in the build and they use innovative mechanisms for high-quality sound. And remember, you may pay a big sum once but then these headphones will work for a very long time. On the contrary, low price headphones or earbuds which cost below $50 will produce good sound but they are not durable for long use of time.
  • Additional Stuff: Other things like noise cancellation and isolation are important. They are explained in buyer’s guide below. Noise cancellation is an important feature, but it takes the price up and not all manufacturers offer good noise cancellation. Brands like Sony, Bose and Sennheiser etc are well-know for it. Besides, you should also consider if the headphones you are buying are closed or open back.

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Best Headphones Reviews

1. Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3 – (Best Noise Cancelling Headphones)

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3 Wireless

GOOD
  • ANC
  • Battery
  • NFC Pairing
BAD
  • No Multiple Connectivity
  • Price
Tech Specs
  • Type: Over-Ear
  • Medium: Wireless
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes (ANC)
  • Battery Life: 20+ Hours
  • Weight: 0.56 lbs

Speaking of best wireless headphones, there are three things which are enough to call a pair of headphones good or bad. First, of course is the sound quality, second is the battery life and third is comfort. The Sony WH1000XM3 have covered these three things in such a way that there simply is no other competitor to get with it head on. The sound quality of these wireless over-ear headphones is top-notch and so is the battery life which gives you a backup of over 20 hours. More interesting is the fact that this long battery life is with ANC, not without it. And if your skip ANC, the battery life almost hit 30 Hours which is massive.

The noise cancellation of these Sony headphones is stunning as well, subway, plane or a walk in public, nothing will be heard once your turn these headphones ON. Bose was one of the top players in the game of noise cancellation, but this year Sony has truly done an amazing job and the noise cancellation is second to none. Additionally, you get a Type-C port in it now, so you can charge your headphones using your phone charging cable. Also, the right ear-cup from the outer side is a touch pad that lets you play/pause, change track and alter the volume. By adding this touchpad, there are only two buttons left, one of which is for power and the other one for switching ANC.

These best headphones 2021 come with a hard case which pretty nicely takes the headphones in. Also you get to pair using NFC, this makes things a lot easier. The comfort factor has been nicely addressed by Sony as well, these headphones are pretty flexible and you won’t feel tired even on long flights. Besides, the earpads this time are bigger than what they were previously. So, these Sony headphones are not aimed at a specific group, they are for everyone. But for business people or frequent travelers, this is the best option.

2. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 – (Best Travel Headphones)

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

GOOD
  • Superb Battery
  • Lightweight
  • Touchpad Control
BAD
  • Not for Everyone
  • Price
Tech Specs
  • Type: Over-Ear
  • Medium: Wireless
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes (ANC)
  • Battery Life: 40 Hours
  • Weight: 0.56 lbs

Bose has always surprised us with their flagship headphones. For the past 10 years or so, the Bose QC35 were their flagship headphones which have one of the best ANC and are designed in a way everyone can use. The QC35 still beat a lot of headphones and are included in our top headphones list. However, with the release of their new flagship headphones, the Bose 700 have taken over. They are totally different in design compared to QC35 or any other headphones on the market. This is because of the way the headband on these headphones flows through the earcups, it’s rather odd but works pretty fine when adjusting them to your head size. Anyway, they have got good positive feedback from the users and for this reason they have made it here among the best headphones.

The Bose 700 are still unable to beat the Sony WH1000XM3 which reside at the top here, this pair of cans from Sony simply moves ahead in all factors and leave Bose 700 at the second place. OK now, speaking of performance, the 700 headphones got a huge leap in battery timing, they give you a battery backup of around 40 hours with ANC turned OFF, but when turned ON then the battery comes down to 20 hours. For charging them, it takes around 3.5 hours. But a 15 minutes quick charge will give you another 3 hours for quick use. Anyway, now that we know that noise cancellation brings down the battery to almost half, this must be pretty decent AND. And as a matter of fact it is, the ANC here is far better than its competitors because it’s from Bose. But when compared to QC35, it’s not a very big leap, rather small.

These best headphones come with 4 microphones on each cup and for this reason, Bose is marketing these as the best headphones for making calls. And so they become some of the best headphones for travel, its design, battery life, ANC and call quality put together, make them the best for traveling purposes or business trips. Speaking of controls, these headphones have a very limited number of buttons. On the left comes the ANC control button and the right earcup is home to Bluetooth and Voice Assistant button. And there is touchpad on the right earcup, using which you can alter the tracks or change the volume. This is becoming sort of a trend in headphones and eventually all headphones will come with a touchpad for controls. Anyway, if you’ve got a decent amount on you and you want the best headphones to be you partner for your next business trip, there is nothing better than the Bose 700 Headphones.

3. Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless Earbuds – (Best True Wireless Earbuds)

Sony WF-1000XM3 Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds

GOOD
  • Price
  • Sound Quality
  • Battery
BAD
  • Loose Design
Tech Specs
  • Type: In-Ear
  • Medium: Wireless
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes (ANC)
  • Battery Life: 24 Hours
  • Weight: 0.01875 lbs each

Every couple of months a new pair of true wireless earbuds is seen in competition with other manufacturers. Well, Sony has been trying to come up with a real pair of true wireless headphones which will be good enough to be called AirPods killer. Well, with the release of Sony WF-1000XM3 noise cancellation earbuds, Sony has managed to actually come up with a competitive pair of headphones. The wireless earbuds are excellent in all aspects like battery, noise cancellation and sound quality. And besides, the price of these is of course lower than that of the Airpods Pro. However, the competition is toe-to-toe apart from the fact that the noise cancellation on these Sony earbuds is superb.

As for the design, unlike other earbuds, Sony has made it slim and flat. This gives it a minimal and attractive look. Some may complaint about how they feel when you put them on, there is no doubt about the fact that you may feel as if the earbuds will fall-off easily. However, these earbuds are not intended to be used for sports or workout and apart from that, there is a very little chance of just falling off themselves. About the battery backup, these little beasts can go for 24 hours battery backup using the charging case. And not to forget, the charging case itself seems an elegant gadget in your hand. It takes a USB-C for charging and is designed for attractive looks. Besides, when in need, a quick charge of 10 minutes will get you 90 minutes playtime.

For controls, you get to use gestures such as tap and they also come with auto detection which is a thing of the present. However, the touch gestures are only for things like play/pause, accept/decline calls and forward/backward track. You won’t be able to adjust the volume on-board, for which you will have to consult the music source itself. And finally, speaking of the sound quality of these best headphones, there isn’t anyone who won’t like the way they produce sound. Every part of what you hear is balanced, especially the bass.

4. Sennheiser HD 4.40 Wireless – (Best Value Headphones)

Sennheiser HD 4.40

GOOD
  • Battery
  • Durable
BAD
  • Noise Cancellation
  • No NFC
Tech Specs
  • Type: Around Ear
  • Medium: Wireless & Wire
  • Noise Cancellation: No
  • Battery Life: 25 Hours
  • Weight: 225g

Sennheiser being a reputable brand for manufacturing quality audio accessories, has come up with one hell of a headphone set that can be used both with wire and wirelessly. The Sennheiser HD 4.40 has been brought to the market keeping out of the box portability and battery life that can give you opportunity to use the headphones for non-stop several hours. The Sennheiser HD 4.40 provides amazing sound quality with a perfectly well managed bass, the headphones while connected with mobile phones, its Bluetooth wireless ensure reliable transmission.

Sennheiser since decades, is being known for providing reliable, durable, and audio components with amazing battery backup life. For a purpose, the Sennheiser’s audio components can be used on long university, college, or business trips witnessing good sound quality. The Sennheiser HD 4.40 is being manufactured with great materials ensuring high durability to bear low shocks while traveling etc. The overall design is compact with foldable headband and swiveling ear cups, it can be folded easily in its protective case in order carry alongside.

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 produces great sounds with perfectly balanced dynamic bass. The headphone are equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 to offer you the wireless freedom moving and listening what ever you want. Most of the time headphones lacks to provide you the comfort for long listening sessions, the case here is totally different – Sennheiser HD 4.40 with its delicate leatherette feeling pretty much comfortable. You can instantly connect via NFC with any device to use Sennheiser HD 4.40 accordingly.

5. Powerbeats Pro Wireless – (Best Wireless Earbuds)

Powerbeats Pro Wireless

GOOD
  • Design
  • Sweatproof
BAD
  • Price
  • Big Case
Tech Specs
  • Type: In-Ear
  • Medium: Wireless
  • Noise Cancellation: No
  • Battery Life: 8+ Hours
  • Weight: 0.04 lbs

Just in case you don’t know, Apple owns Beats now and for this reason these wireless earbuds are the best match for iPhone users. Also worth mentioning, they are way better than Airpods in many ways. But then again, Apple always takes up the prices and same is the case here. These wireless in-ear headphones are amazing at everything from design to performance but the $250 price is too much, come on Apple, gives us a break.

OK, the Powerbeats Pro are an amazing pair of best wireless earbuds, they are lightweight, very easy to hook into your ear because of the cool hook in it and the sound of them is exceptional. There is a lot of bass in the sound which is of course is because the brand is Beats. You get 4 sizes of ear tips for a perfect fit in your ears. Interestingly enough, once you put them into your ears, you eventually forget you are wearing them. These can also prove to be the best headphones for workout because of their steady design and sweat-proof nature.

On the right earbud, the Beast logo is a button that can be used for play/pause, changing track and connecting to smart voice assistants. And then there are volume rockers on both the earbuds, also they sense when you wear them or take them off and auto play/pause work good. You get around 8 hours of playback time which is good enough for such earbuds, but you can always put them back into the case and charge them. The case however, is a big one and not suitable for your pockets at all. It is always better to slide the case into your backpack if you carry one.

6. Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless – (Best Over-Ear Headphones)

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Headphones

GOOD
  • Build Quality
  • Sound Quality
BAD
  • Price
  • Fingerprint Prone
Tech Specs
  • Type: Over-Ear
  • Medium: Wireless
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes (ANC)
  • Battery Life: 20+ Hours
  • Weight: 0.44 lbs

Bose QC35 were top Bluetooth headphones for a couple of years until Sony and Jabra beat them. But they still are in the race, although an older model but still up in the game. The 35 II is a successor to the QC35 I. The only difference is the extra two buttons you get on them, one for connecting directly to any smart assistant and the other one is for turning ON or OFF the ANC. So the previous model had ANC always ON which obviously sucks battery fast and more importantly, you may not want to use it all the time.

So the Bose QC35 II allows you to turn OFF ANC in case you do not want to use it. The noise cancelling in these headphones is super amazing and so is the sound quality. These are best for traveling long distances, especially on flights because they come with a connector for that as well. You get hard case in the package and they very easily fit into them. Speaking of design, the build of it is premium, no doubts about this. But it’s a fingerprint magnet, you would be able to see your fingerprints all over.

The buttons on it are tactile, they really are good quality. Also, the headband and earpads are super comfortable. They come with NFC pairing as well which makes pairing very easy. You also get an audio cable in the package which can be handy at times. About the battery life, they give you a battery backup of over 20 hours with ANC turned ON, some new models from other brands can go beyond this, but we can not call it bad because it is an older model. Finally, they are one of the lightest over-ear headphones you will come across. So do not skip these if comfort matters a lot to you.

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7. Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 2019 – (Best Studio Grade Headphones)

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2019

GOOD
  • Sound Quality
  • Location Tracker
BAD
  • Battery
  • Price
Tech Specs
  • Type: Over-Ear
  • Medium: Wireless
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes (ANC)
  • Battery Life: 17+ Hours
  • Weight: 0.66 lbs

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 outperforms many headphones when it comes to sound quality. The reason they are dragged down to a lower position is the price and comparatively lower battery life. Apart from that, this pair of best new headphones has an amazing sound, it nears as that of some top studio headphones. Since it is a new model, it packs a whole lot of features. It switches OFF/ON with folding/unfolding and then immediately connects to your smartphones if it is around. Also it has this ear sensor which plays/pauses the music if you put them on or remove them. More, it even has a location tracker and so you will never lose your headphones from now on.

About the design, these headphones are very comfortable. They’ve got genuine leather at the headband and earpads. Then on the sides and hinges are stainless-steel which gives a premium look and also makes them durable. As mentioned, the sound quality of these headphones is exceptional but there is more to it, you can further fine-tune the sound using a dedicated app, this really makes them worth it. The ANC on these headphones is pretty awesome as well, there is no chance that you will be hearing any noise with the ANC ON.

However, despite all the good things, the downside to these headphones is battery life and a huge price. You get a battery backup of around 17 hours which truly is good but side by side with new headphones this year, it seems rather low. And the price, these headphones are worth $400 around 50 bucks higher than Sony WH1000XM3 which we have listed at the top and are editor’s choice as well. But again, a look at all the super cool features and an exceptional sound really pays off for the price you pay, because good things are not cheap.

8. Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Canceling – (Best Bass Headphones)

Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Canceling

GOOD
  • Bass Heavy
  • ANC
BAD
  • Build Quality
  • Price
Tech Specs
  • Type: Over-Ear
  • Medium: Wireless
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes (ANC)
  • Battery Life: 20+ Hours
  • Weight: 0.57 lbs

Nothing can beat the bass heavy sound of Beats headphones. There is huge fan base of this bass heavy headphones and this is the reason people love going for Beats headphones. This time, Beats has come up with a stunning pair of headphones which is compared to big names like Bose QC35 and Jabra 85H etc. They have given it a nice try to develop a pair of best noise cancelling headphones and by doing so these headphones have made it to that list. However, among that list they stay in last position. You might see these headphones being compared with the best headphones like the SonyWH1000XM3 but honestly they lack many things.

About the design and build quality, it is all plastic and feels like a cheap one. Although the headphones are flexible but they feel like a tad more force would break them off. Same is the case with buttons, they are clicky and feel cheap. Then comes the headband which is comfortable but at times can trap your hair which is annoying. But the plush earpads are amazing and comfortable throughout. One interesting thing though is the range of colors, you can get a pair of these best headphones in red, pink, blue, red, black and God knows whatnot.

An important thing which actually makes these headphones worth it is noise cancellation and good battery life. ANC performance is superb and it goes above 20 hours with ANC which is cool. You can listen to your favorite songs on the entire flight and the battery won’t go down. You get hard case with it and it’s an important one to carry along. Finally, the controls lie of the left side, the “B” logo you see is actually a button for play/pause, altering songs and connecting to Google or other voice assistants. About the price, the headphones themselves and all its competitors lie in $350 range but this one should have been cheaper.

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9. Amazon Echo Buds – (Best ANR Earbuds)

Amazon Echo Buds

GOOD
  • Noise Reduction
  • Price
BAD
  • Battery
  • Sound
Tech Specs
  • Type: True Wireless
  • Medium: Wireless
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes (ANR)
  • Battery Life: 5+ Hours
  • Weight: 0.016 lbs

True Wireless is taking over and people are loving this new tech. But there is a major obstacle between you and good quality true wireless headphones, it’s the price. Apple Airpods and Samsung Buds are some of the best in this type but you will not like the price of them, they are pretty expensive. However, now you can go for Amazon Echo Buds, they are fantastic with battery, design, sound quality and overall performance. And their price is way below many other true wireless earbuds, they are worth $130 only. But how does Amazon manages to come up with something cheap as this, well certain trade-offs have been made like relevantly low battery life and not the best of sounds.

Speaking of is battery life, it might be less compared to the competition but it’s not bad at all, considering the price. The Echo Buds last for 5 hours and if you have fully charged your charging case, they will accompany you for the next 20 hours. This isn’t bad, however, its competitors are way above this. The sound quality of these best value headphones falls in the good range. It is not the superb sound out there, but it is good enough to make you feel good while listening to songs. It’s a bass-heavy sound in case you like such, but you can always change that using the Alexa App. The best part of all this is the ANR (Active Noise Reduction) from Bose, they literally cancel out everything from the outside, better than Apple Airpods.

More, the case of it is regular shape and size, not too big and not so small either. It comes with a MicroUSB port for charging, no idea what happened to a USB-C, Amazon should have considered that. You get 3 pairs of ear tips and earwings, each. This is for adjusting the best fit to your ears, and for sure the buds do not fall from ears even while running. For controlling these best headphones, they come with touch control. There are only two things which the buds will understand, one is double-tap and the other is a long press. Both of these can be customized and you can set them to any functionality that you want to bring up.

10. Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless – (Best Bluetooth Headphones)

Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless

GOOD
  • Battery
  • ANC
BAD
  • Price
  • Design
Tech Specs
  • Type: In-Ear
  • Medium: Wireless
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes (ANC)
  • Battery Life: 10+ Hours
  • Weight: 0.13 lbs

Bose headphones are well-known for their design, sound and especially noise cancellation. Here, they have managed to bring that superb ANC to a pair of in-ear headphones in the form of a neckband. The neckband makes them look cool and are supportive to some extent, but they move around a bit and you have to align them every time you notice the movement. Apart from this, everything else is awesome, they come with a couple of extra ear tips to fit your ear and hard shell case for carrying them around, making them one of the best Bluetooth headphones.

The neckband design is minimal, you would not be annoyed at all unless you start running or working out. All the controls lie on the control unit which is placed on the right wire to the earphones. Because of the design and easy access to all controls, these headphones are good enough for taking with you anywhere and hence, these are the best portable headphones. An amazing addition here on the control unit is a pair of extra buttons that lets you control the ANC level. So you can take it high and separate yourself from the outer world totally, or you can bring it a bit lower and keep in touch with some important things like announcements on the train.

Another exceptional thing this pair of Bose headphones do is this amazing battery life despite the use of ANC. You get a backup of over 10 hours which is exceptional because this includes the use of ANC as well. You simply do not get such good battery life on in-ear headphones with ANC. One thing which you or many others may not like is the high price tag, they cost around $300 which is high. But for sure, there is nothing near to it in this form of neckband with ANC and such good battery support.

11. Anker Soundcore Life Q20 – (Best Sound Cancellation Headphones)

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid

GOOD
  • Battery life
  • Comfortable
BAD
  • Charge & Use
Tech Specs
  • Type: On-Ear
  • Medium: Wireless
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes
  • Battery Life: 4 Hours
  • Weight: 0.85 lbs

If you are on a budget, Anker’s Soundcore Life Q20 headphones are an absolute delight and perfect entry-level ANX cans. The soundcore Q20 comes with inbuilt microphones, which allows you to make and receive phone calls, as well as speak with your voice assistant of choice. The Anker’s Life Q20 has a compact design, on the sides of earcups, you will find a smattering of buttons. Some of these allow you to adjust the volume and control playback. Others let you turn the ANC. Another serves as the power button and enables you to pair the headphones to a smartphone or a tablet. At the bottom, there is a MicroUSB port for charging and a 3.5mm socket. The earcups are rimmed with soft memory foam, and they are comfortable to wear for prolonged periods.

Anker’s Soundcore Life Q20 has an amazing quick charging function, these bluetooth headphones can be used for a full four hours after a mere five minutes of charging. To enjoy maximum performance, a full charge cycle of two hours is required via the USB cable supplied. The ANC (Active noise canceling) on the Soundcore Life Q20 is adequate enough to drown out the most incessant blare from road traffic. They are comfortable and well constructed, sounds good. ANC mode is far more convincing in its delivery. This feature can be switched on and off via a switch on the left side of the device. The ANC system, with no less than four microphones utilized, significantly reduces distracting everyday background noise, proving particularly effective when listening in public spaces like a heavily congested commuter train carriage. In short, noise cancelling is reasonably performant. The sound quality is excellent. The microphone is good enough for calls. Its battery is exceptionally enduring. And, perhaps most crucially, they are comfortable to wear.

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Choosing the Best Headphones

Headphones are not about sound and music only, there’s a lot more involved in buying the top headphones 2021. You should feel comfortable and fulfilled with your headphones when you use them. Here’s what you need to look for and think about before deciding what type of headphones you need or wish to have.

Identify Your Usage

One of the very first things is to identify your usage for headphones. What is it that you want headphones for? Do you want to buy a pair of earbuds just to keep in backpack all the time or do you need them for some specific purpose. Below, we have covered some of the most prominent uses for headphones, you will get to know what type will prove to be the best headphones for you.

  • General: You may want to buy a pair of headphones which are not aimed for a specific use, rather having them on you all the time. You might use them at home, on the way while driving or for a call. For this type of usage, earbuds or in-ear are the most recommended headphones. They are easy to carry around, you do not need big space for them and you can easily connect them to your smartphone or any other device like an MP3 for quick music.
  • Work: If your work involves using headphones a lot, then you should go for on-ear headphones. They stay on your head firm and do not annoy you at all because of their not so heavyweight. Besides, the main advantage of this type is that you do not hear any noise from the outside and people in your surroundings do not hear anything either, provided they are closed back.
  • Workout: Some people only need headphones for running or working out. For such usage, a neckband or wireless earbuds are the best type. They free you from the mess of cable and are fixed to your ear at all times, no matter you jump or run.
  • Music: For all the music lovers out there, over-ear headphones are best for you. They produce next level sweet sound, there is good enough noise cancellation and the way they rest over your ear simply take you to the world of music. Furthermore, for a better experience, it is always good to invest a good amount in such headphones. Anything above $200 is good.
  • Travel: Headphones for travel can be of any type, some argue that earbuds are good because of their minimal nature, while other say that proper headphones are preferable because of their good sound, noise cancellation and higher battery life in case they are wireless. It is better to keep both the types if you have space for them because you never know you might need both of them at different times.

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Types of Headphones

Based on the shape and how headphones connect to the human ear, they are mainly of three types. Each of these come with their own pros and cons. Also, there is a price difference between them.

  • In-Ear: This is the smallest and most portable type of headphones, you may have them in your pocket already because almost all smartphones pack a pair in the package. The good thing about these is their minimal nature, low price and suitable usage for workout etc. However, on the other side, their cable gets tangled which is a mess and their sound quality can not beat that of on-ear or over-ear headphones.
  • On-Ear: This type is a proper headphone which goes all the way through the top of your head, but at the ears, it does not cover them, rather rests upon your ears. These are most suitable for work purposes or routine use like hearing to music on the way to home or office. You only need to get used to this type because you might feel a slight pain in the neck if the are new to you.
  • Over-Ear: These are those big size headphones which you see in music studios or with DJs. They cover your ears and are heavy most of the time. But their sound quality is second to none. This type is most preferable for studio use, music enthusiasts and gamers.

Noise Cancellation

You may have heard a lot about noise cancellation, but to many people it is still not clear in minds. Let’s try an easy explanation to this feature. In simple words, it means that while hearing music on your headphones, you will not hear any noise from your outside surroundings. Good noise cancellation technology is even capable of getting rid of loud noises like a train passing by, a crowded hall, machinery working distantly and the public in the market etc. It is done using two methods, one of which is active and the other one passive.

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is a modern technology where noise from the outside is dealt with by producing signals or waves from the headphones.

Passive Noise Cancellation, on the other hand, does not deal with noise technically rather design. The headphones are designed in a way through which unwanted noise from your surroundings does not enter your ears. This method is not as effective as ANC and headphones with this type of noise cancellation are lower in price compared to those having ANC.

Close vs Open Back

Simply put, closed back headphones do not have any opening or holes on the outer cup covering your ear. Whereas, open back headphones have vents on the outer cup and whatever you hear can also be heard on the outside but the sound is faint.

But why do these two types exist and does this change even matter? Yes, the change in open or closed back matters a lot. With closed back, you are totally in your own world, nothing is heard outside and with noise cancellation you won’t hear anything from the outside as well. But, open back allows air in and out, this creates a more natural sound as if you heard it from a proper stereo system. Professionals in music studios and gamers prefer this type. And of course, everything you hear will also be heard on the outside, people sitting next to you.

Wired vs Wireless

Now comes the cord part, you know this very well, some headphones have wires permanently attached to it and some work wireless. And then there is another type which you can use both ways. For ease of use and getting yourself free from all the wire mess, the wireless type is awesome. Charge them, turn them ON, connect them to the device in use and you are good to go. But they are expensive and the battery goes down, so you must remember charging them before you go to sleep. Also, the sound quality of wireless headphones do not and will never reach as that of wired. Some best wireless headphones will definitely give you amazing sound but headphones of the same caliber connected via wire are still unbeatable.

Wired headphones, on the other hand, come with long cables which annoy you at times and you can not go far from the device to which they are connected. But they are cheap compared to wireless and the sound quality of course is second to none.

How much to Invest

The higher the price goes, better is the material and techniques used on the inside. Headphones from big names are not costly for no reason. They use premium build material and they spend months or even years before a perfectly engineered model is developed. Some of the most famous headphones in the market right now were rolled out after months and years of engineering trial, this obviously means they have that X-factor inside. If you go for low cost earbuds or headphones, they will work good for a while and with time the material will start wearing off, maybe the sound performance gets disturbed as well.

Expensive headphones on the other side are made for long use and they do not degrade easily unless you throw them and then step over them.

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Accessories

Apart from other things, you should check what accessories you will be getting with the headphones you buy. Among accessories, a pouch or carry case is an important thing. Most headphones or earbuds which cost over $50 will come with a nice travel pouch. Also, charging cable is an important thing for wireless headphones. Besides, some earbuds come with extra ear tips which gives you the freedom to choose the best size for your ears. That’s all, even a faint idea of these factors will get you close to a pair of best headphones 2021. Good Luck!

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