You might be listening to your MP3 player or a high end stereo but regardless, choosing one of the top 5 best headphones reviewed here will make a difference.
If you are experiencing your music in the proper way, you should feel it in your soul. The passion, the expression, it should make you feel something. It should move you. Each of these highest rated sets of over-ear or on-ear headphones do exactly what they should: provide a studio level, professional audio experience.
Some are studio headphones, some are DJ style. There are over-the-ear kinds and of course on-ear varieties. Headphones for sports, kids, drums, and working out. There are literally thousands of different sets from hundreds of manufacturers. But exactly what is the best set of headphones out there?
Best All Around: Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones Review
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50 gets the nod as the number one, and my favorite, of the top 5 best headphones. Technically designed for professional monitoring and mixing, these circumaural luxurious headphones are so damn comfortable and sound so good that its hard to believe you can get them for around 100 bucks. The superior components this set is made of handles bass very well, as well as doing an outstanding job with high-frequency extension.
Everything is padded and fits just right. I can wear these things for hours and hours and never feel uncomfortable or feel any pressure. I have used a lot of headphones, especially in the under $200 category, but these are simply the best over all. Bar none. You can pay more for branding and celebrity endorsements, but I can only tell you this: Unless you’re considering spending upwards of $300 on a set of top rated headphones, then do yourself a favor and buy the ATH-M50’s.
Here are a few solid reasons that make the ATH-M50 stand out:
- They work extremely well even with a lower grade music source. If a mouse farted during the recording of whatever you are listening too, you will hear it.
- After burn-in (about 40 hours of use) the quality increases. The bass will shake your eyeballs right out of your sockets!
- Sound isolation is really good. That means you can wear these on an airplane and not bother anyone else with your tunes.
- At around $100 you simply will not find anything better in this price range.
Here is a great video review of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones. It’s over at Amazon and is only 3 minutes long or so. I bet after you watch it you’ll skip the rest of this article and just buy a set (which you really should do right now).
My Favorite Stylish Headphones: SOUL by Ludacris SL150BW High-Definition On-Ear Headphones Review
Hey, the ATH-M50’s above are simply superior in so many ways to the SL150BW High-Definition On-Ear Headphones here. But one way they are not is style. This entry in the top 5 best headphones is sleek and comfortable, and of course look awesome.
These are on-ear headphones, and for me personally I think that kind isn’t as comfortable as over-the-ear kinds. I wear glasses more often than contacts, so both kinds can get annoying, and that is factored in the list. With that said, these are some really good fitting, great feeling headphones. Never any pain, just generally comfortable. They are in my opinion, the best headphones for traveling as they are ultra portable. As far as other brands go, I can safely say these are better than other Souls or Beats hands down. They aren’t great for an active lifestyle, so don’t wear them while running or working out.
Some of the selling points and features of the SOUL by Ludacris SL150BW High-Definition On-Ear Headphones are:
- They don’t let you down in any category of music. Hip-hop, country, metal it doesn’t matter. The sounds are great for any variety.
- The design is an eye-catcher for sure. You’ll look pretty damn sweet wearing these cans.
- The added accessories (2 different cables, case etc.) makes these affordable headphones come off across as more high end.
- The price is ultra-affordable for what you get (celebrity endorsed product!)
Now, I will say that these sit in the same price range as the ATH-M50’s, and that for the price there are still a few better products, however if you’re paying for the name and the looks then these are the sweetest deal by far because the audio quality is stunning (Not sure you believe me? Check out these reviews!)
Best Noise Canceling Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones Review
I travel a fair bit, and I wanted to find some decent noise-canceling headphones to wear when on the plane. The sound of flying doesn’t bother me, but sometimes it can be disruptive when I’m listening to music and snoozing. In the end I selected the Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones because of all the other great reviews I read.
These are the most expensive set of headphones I own. They cost me just over $300 when I bought them, but now they are available at a cheaper price, around $270 or so. Obviously the most important feature is how well these cans reduce a wide range of noises at all kinds of frequencies. When they say they reduce noise, they really mean it. It was amazing. So, if you’re purchasing based on NR, look no further! With light music playing you won’t even hear the people beside you talking, and there is no leakage so they won’t hear your tunes.
These are really comfortable, and I can wear them for long flights. The downside to that is you may get a bit sweaty! They are snug so it gets a bit warm. Here are a few other highlights on the Bose QuietComfort 15’s:
- Noise canceling runs on a battery. The battery lasts an astonishing 35 hours though, so don’t worry about it.
- It’s acoustic, so the bass isn’t earth shattering which is great as it doesn’t ruin your music.
- Has a microphone too, so if plugged into your iPhone or whatever, you can take calls etc.
I seriously would buy this exact set again if I needed a new pair of noise-canceling headphones. I would know what I’m getting and it’s a great quality set. Bose is no slouch in the sound department either! If you want to read more reviews, here are nearly 1000 5 star reviews you can look at 🙂
Ultimate Headphones For Under 100 Dollars: Sennheiser HD-280 PRO Headphones Review
The very first set of headphones I ever purchased for myself for everyday use was the Sennheiser HD-280 PRO Headphones. I actually bought them to wear while gaming on my computer so I didn’t disturb anyone. Eventually I needed a mic, so I bought a different pair of Sennheisers, but when I wanted to just listen, I always came back these. Now you can get them for under $100! You can certainly buy more expensive headphones, but I doubt it is worth it.
Remember one important fact while reading the top 5 best headphones article…sound is truly subjective (much like beauty). Point is, everyone is different so you have to be careful. However, for jazz fans, for those who love classical and even for some of the rockers or metal-heads out there, this set is simply fantastic. Very clear treble, amazing and accurate bass. The sound quality matches pretty much any other of the headphones reviewed here, barring perhaps the ATH-M50’s.
The best points about the Sennheiser HD-280 PRO Headphones are:
- Sennheiser is synonymous with sound quality. You really can’t go wrong here. And the background noise attenuation is brilliant as well, making them seem like they are noise-canceling!
- You can get factory replacements from lots of sources for most of the parts. If something is getting old or worn out, don’t worry. You can fix it for cheap.
- Very light and yet durable. Great build quality.
- Average human hearing covers the range 20 – 20,000 Hz, but for a bit more headroom these cans cover 8 – 25,000 Hz and you can certainly tell the difference.
Go ahead and try these especially if it is your first set of decent quality headphones. For the price point, you’ll never go back to the cheap earphones you get with most audio devices!
Another Stylish Offering: SOL REPUBLIC Tracks HD On-Ear Headphones Review
I got this set as a gift at my birthday. For some reason the person thought it was a gaming headset so bought it for me, however they are clearly not! Nonetheless, for a Beats by Dre replacement or even killer, these are some awesome cans.
The sound is great, the EQ is balanced quite well so the treble isn’t drowned out by the big bass. The mids are equally awesome, and the sound is never muddy. Vocals don’t get screechy either. Of course some of the other headphones we’ve just reviewed do have better sound quality, but for on-ear cans these are great. Also, they have some killer looks. A sweet feature is the nearly indestructible headband.
You can stuff these in your backpack or whatever with no fear of the headband snapping or warping, and even cooler, you can remove the ear piece completely and swap out the headband for a different look! Already visually appealing, the ability to swap out bands on a whim is pretty cool. You can buy a wide variety of colors and designs for pretty cheap (like $20).
This is a great set of headphones for the average person. They aren’t studio monitors like the ATH-M50’s or Sennheiser HD-280’s, but definitely represent well in the stylish market. I don’t really use them that often as they are a bit more uncomfortable when I wear my glasses.
Take a look right here at the current price, more reviews, and whole selection of replacement bands for the SOL REPUBLIC Tracks HD On-Ear Headphones.
That is it for this list. If you want more information on noise-canceling or how headphones work visit that link to our informative article.
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