Whether you want to silently boogie down to disco tracks, listen to a movie you're watching on your computer or just want to have better sound for a video game, good headphones are a necessity. Several types of headphones are available today, starting from full-sized headphones which are great in blocking external noise, supra-aural which are more lightweight but less effective when it comes to noise isolation, and lastly in-ear headphones which are smaller and more popular these days. Here at IntelliReview, we understand that aside from sound quality, you also need to take into account other essential factors like comfort, durability and cord length in order to make the most out of your audio experience. With that said, we formulate our list of the best headphones by collecting reviews and ranking products based on the amount of positive and negative reviews. This method is very reliable and effective considering that people only write reviews when they are really happy or really upset with a certain product. It also ensures that only the best models make it to the top our list. Browse below to find our easy to read and useful headphone reviews.
Pros: Easy to use, Great sound quality, Affordable price, Durable construction
Cons: Not that comfortable to wear
Review: If you demand quality audio, the Sony MDR-V6 Studio Monitor Headphones are a wise choice for many reasons. For starters, the quality and clarity of the sound is pretty amazing. The 40 MM drivers offer rich bass. Even though it is not exactly noise-canceling, noise isolation is pretty impressive due to its Closed Circum-Aural Design and Oval Earpads. With regards to portability and comfort, the folding design makes it easy to pack and store and the padded headband provides average listening comfort. It may not be as comfortable as we would have liked it to be but when it comes to price, there are not many headphones that can stand in line with this model. And when you consider that you're getting a trusted brand name like Sony, the price is even more incredible in some ways. These headphones have been out in the market for several years already. It has been continuously getting positive feedback from different types of users and is in fact, one of the best we've ever seen in this price range. Although they are studio quality, they are also great for listening to music or viewing movies. You can use it along with your iPod or any other mp3 player or connect it to your computer, laptop or even to your Hi-Fi system. Furthermore, it has a Sony UniMatch Plug and a 10-foot Oxygen-Free Copper Cord. With an amazing price for such superior quality, there are many good reasons why you should take a closer look at the Sony MDR-V6 Studio Monitor Headphones.
Pros: Excellent sound quality, Affordable price, Comfortable padding, Sound Isolation effect creates dimension, Long cord
Cons: Headphone parts may need burn-in time, Metal band requires loosening up
Review: For superior audio performance, you could always go for headsets costing hundreds of dollars or more, or you could consider Audio-Technica's ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones. These headphones provide excellent sound quality, comparable to models from other brands, at a bargain price. Whether for professional sound work or simply for listening to your music player, it delivers exceptional sound quality through 45 mm aperture drivers, equipped with neodymium magnet systems inside both of its circumaural earpieces. The M50s are capable of rendering the entire range of details of every piece of music that you listen to; in fact, its detail retrieval powers are one of its best attributes, especially with its handling of low end sounds. It's as if Audio Technica somehow managed to fit in two full-size subwoofers into the M50's earpieces. The best thing is, these earphones are able to perform all of these without ever being needed to be plugged into an amplifier. Although the ATH-M50s are not expressly described as having noise-cancelling attributes, the closed back design does a nice job of cupping the ears of the wearer and promotes a nice isolation from outside noise, aside from controlling noise leaks from within. As a bonus, the closed backs of the M50s do not decrease the "soundstage" effect that creates a sense of depth and dimension to the sound. Another notable feature that sets these headphones apart from the rest of the pack is the ample, comfortable padding around the earpieces and headband that allow these headphones to be worn for extended periods. The padded ring around the earpieces also helps with the noise cancellation effect that was previously mentioned. The premium construction of the ATH-M50 earphones earns it serious points. The metal band that holds both sides of the earphones together is strong yet flexible, in addition to being padded and covered with leather. The earpieces themselves can rotate 180 degrees for easy single-ear monitoring and storage, and the cord has a generous 4-foot length, tipped with a mini stereo plug. Finally, it comes with a carrying pouch for storage. Audio-Technica's ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones are a great investment to make if you love listening to music or producing it. The solid performance that these headphones effortlessly produce is above par in every respect, as well as its construction. A minor complaint, however, is that the M50s require some time to be sufficiently burned in to get the best sound possible. It's a good idea to stretch out the metal frame on the head band as well, since it is a little tight coming out of the box.
Pros: Great fit, Amazing sound quality, Unique design, Includes 3 sizes of earbud tips and a nice carrying case
Cons: Pricey, Twisted cord, Not noise-cancelling
Review: The IE2, successor to Bose's first generation in-ear headphones, carries the same dynamic sound that Bose is known for. The secret lies in the TriPort acoustic headphone structure that produces natural, powerful sound. Whether you want to use it primarily for calling or together with your Apple devices, there are several options you can choose from that will enhance usability and bring more convenience to your daily activities. The MIE2 cable has an answer/end button and a mic, while the MIE2i includes all the features that the MIE2 has, with the addition of a volume control solidly planted in the inline remote. A carrying case, a clothing clip and an adjustment slider are also provided. The Bose IE2's one-of-a-kind styling perfectly fits your fashionable lifestyle, but the good thing is that it is not just good looks. It can also be every exercise junkie's best friend as it provides all day comfort. It uses an angled plug to match various types of MP3 players and mobile devices, while the exclusive, removable silicone StayHear tips come in three different sizes (S, M and L) for maximum comfort. The black and white twisted cord can be a little fragile, though. It is tangle-free but for the price, we expected a sturdier flat cord. If needed, you can even purchase a 20' extension cable and different sizes of stay-hear tips and original tips. At first, the price of the Bose IE2 may seem pretty steep but when you do the math, you're probably saving yourself a couple dollars since you won't have to buy cheap ones and replace your headphones from time to time. If you liked the previous Bose in-ear headphones, there's a big chance that you'll love this one even more. Sound quality has greatly improved. You can expect rich sound and enough bass. It may not rock the house down but it suits most genres and good enough for private listening.
Pros: Great audio output, Versatile, Sleek, Includes iSoniTalk iPhone enable headphone cable
Cons: Too expensive
Review: Notwithstanding the fact that its price is a little stiff, the Monster Cable Beats by Dr. Dre are definitely worth the extra cost if you want to be blown away and move to the beat of your music. Unlike standard headphones that deliver humdrum performance, these studio headphones put the fun back in listening. No matter what the purpose, whether for casual home use or for more professional purposes like mixing and studio recording, the pristine sound and comfort make sure that you're entirely satisfied with the experience. The folding design makes it great for those who are always on the move and the Monster iSoniTalk iPhone-enabled headphone cable puts you in complete control. It has an answer button and a built-in microphone with an embedded mute button so that you can easily engage in conversations. Audiophiles who demand the top of the line for their equipment will be amazed with the audio quality and the new level of comfort that the plush ear cushions bring to your ears. The Beats define quality and comfort, and are fine tuned to ensure that the voice of the singer or band is loud and clear and that every instrument is heard. Extra-large speaker drivers are used as well as an Advanced Monster Cable headphone cable and a Micro Minijack for excellent noise isolation and durability. The Rigid Tour case makes it easy to carry around and the supplied Monster CleanCloth with AEGIS microbe shield not only keeps your beats sleek-looking but also germ-free. The headphones weigh a total of 260 grams and 270 grams with batteries. It utilizes two AAA batteries and is covered with a One Year Limited Warranty for added peace of mind. The Monster Cable Beats by Dr. Dre provides a perfect balance between style and substance. Money may be a part of the equation but it shines among other high-end headphones with its Scratch-Resistant Gloss Finish and its excellent ability to seal out noise and deliver ultimate audio precision.
Pros: Durable construction, Comfortable to wear, Great noise cancellation, Roomy case, Modest price
Cons: Slight leakage, Bulky
Review: A wallet- and travel-friendly solution for long flights or for simply enjoying music without interruption, the Audio-Technica QuietPoint ATH-ANC7b is every bit as good as the original but significantly improves on comfort and sound quality, characterized by better audio and more effective noise cancellation. It can even function as passive headphones when noise cancellation is not activated or when there's no battery inserted. Large-aperture 40 mm drivers with neodymium magnets promise high quality sound and impressive bass. Battery life is also excellent, offering 40 hours of operation. The headphones require a single AAA battery for the noise cancellation feature and there's an indicator light that signals when the particular function is turned on or active. Given its battery life, you won't need to carry a lot of cells when travelling. You'll probably need just one if you intend on using it for long hours. The ATH-ANC7b is slightly beefier than the ATH-ANC7. Its ear cups are thicker, offering a higher level of comfort. Moreover, it folds flat and it comes with a nice, convenient carrying case that can hold both your headphones and your mp3 player or iPod. Other accessories include an airline adapter, 3.5 mm mini-plugs and a ¼ adapter. Some reported leakage issues when listening at high volume thus, causing a little distraction to those around you. On the other hand, it shouldn't be a problem if you don't plan on putting the volume on the highest possible setting. The cost of these headphones is also very good and reasonable at almost half the price of more expensive models. So if you're only buying for personal purposes or for use during flights, we don't see any reason why you should not give this one a try. By today's standards, the Audio-Technica QuietPoint ATH-ANC7b serves as a great alternative to more popular brands and a nice improvement over the original. It can block and reduce external noise by 90%, allowing music to be heard more clearly, especially when you're in a noisy environment.
Pros: Large, comfortable size with great dynamics, Perfect for music use and even for gaming
Cons: Bass is a little soft
Review: The great thing about the Audio-Technica Import ATH-AD700 Headphones - and there are a lot - is how crisp and brilliant the sound coming from the unit is. Paired with the proper equipment and music, the 53mm large aperture drivers powered by neodymium magnet systems and CCAW voice coils inside each earpiece hold the capacity to pour out sheer auditory magic. Judging by the sound quality of the unit alone, you could actually say that it is coming from a pair of high-end headphones, but that is not the case. High-fidelity sound at a fraction of the price makes it a prize catch not just for audiophiles but for ordinary people who just happen to appreciate great sound. The large earpieces of these headphones house the magnet systems made of aluminum and the headband frame from magnesium. The housings are honeycombed to reduce the weight of the unit which comes in at 1.25 pounds. The cups are lined with velour pads for comfortable use without muffling the sound. While it covers the ears, the honeycomb exterior makes them open-air and produces no pressure against the ears. You can wear them for hours and still not experience any discomfort, something even certain high-end models cannot claim to do. Although they are not noise canceling, you can carry on a conversation and still understand what the other person is talking about. On the other hand, as some of the sound leaks outside and is somewhat audible, people near you can hear what you are listening to as well. The large frame of the AD700 is more suited to people with large heads but the self-adjusting support wings on top of the ear cups should provide a comfortable lean against the sides of your head. The 3.5mm stereo jack makes it compatible with most MP3 players on the market, and in any case, adapters for larger stereo jacks can be bought cheap. The cord for the unit comes out of the left ear cup and is made from thick rubber. It does not have memory retention so there's no danger of having it bend permanently at an angle and sever the wires inside. As mentioned, channels sound out of the neodymium magnet drivers. The trebles are excellent, with every note nuanced to full clarity especially when playing high-bitrate or uncompressed music files. On the other end of the spectrum, the bass, like the treble is very good but has a little hollowing to it in a good way. It doesn't sound muffled or cut-off, instead, it remains full, dynamic and clean. Some equalization tweaking does the trick to even it out, fortunately. Using it with a good sound card on a gaming PC is a phenomenal experience that needs to be sampled and using it alongside an amplifier (although not required) enhances the sound to an almost atmospheric level. A little time to break in the speakers with a little extended play is recommended though, especially when fresh out of the box.
Pros: Excellent Sound Quality, Comfortable fit and padding, Compatible with some specific Apple products
Cons: No noise cancellation feature
Review: For casual personal listening, a good pair of headphones will sound much better than earbuds. However, this advantage of improved sound quality comes at the expense of comfort; headphones are typically much heavier because of the much larger sound drivers and the padding around the speaker cup, resulting in your ears getting warm and sweaty faster. With its superior performance combined with an incredible level of comfort, the Bose AE2i audio headphones finds the perfect balance between earphone and headphone. This pair of premium headphones uses an exclusive design inside the cups, with tiny vents creating a sound environment that defines every note in your music from the high ends to the low ones. From grand classical music, to smooth jazz, to rip-roaring rock and roll, the AE2is delivers exceptional clarity with none of the muddy bass output that is a common fault of cheap headphones. At the same time, the Bose AE2i headphones are surprisingly comfortable for circumaural headphones. The entire unit weighs only a little over 5 ounces, with the inside of each cup being slightly angled to accommodate the shape of your ears. The padding material around them have also been improved to give a longer listening duration. The headband on the AE2is is adjustable, and has ample padding that also conforms to the shape of your head. The Bose AE2i headphones make use of a standard 3.5mm connector, making them instantly compatible with a whole host of devices. However, the AE2is add more functionality by having inline controls as well as a microphone built into the cable itself. This is because these headphones are also compatible with some Apple devices such as the iPhone 3GS and later models, iPod Touch (2nd Generation or later) and even the iPad. The Bose AE2is may also work with some legacy iPod models like the Nano, Classic, and the 3rd generation Shuffle, as well as with the MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. To keep things well-organized, the AE2i headphones' cable only connects to the left cup instead of both the left and right ones. The cable also detaches from the cup, preventing damage to the AE2is should the cord get caught on something and get yanked back when you move, along with letting the cord be stored easily. Finally, speaking of storage, the ear cups on the Bose AE2i headphones folds flat to 90 degrees, allowing them to be stored easier with the supplied fabric drawstring pouch. Especially when compared to other headphones, it's easy to think of the Bose AE2 Audio Headphones as the ultimate in personal audio equipment. From its performance to the build quality, there's nothing much to ask from this device â not even its lack of noise cancellation. The output coming from the speakers of the AE2is is enough to block most exterior sounds; on the flip side, there's almost no sound leak so you wonât be likely to annoy other people once you crank the volume to the maximum.
Pros: Very good noise isolation, Superb sound quality, Replaceable cable, Solid bass, Includes an earwax cleaning tool and three sizes (S, M, L) of the flex and black foam sleeves
Cons: Over-the-ear style, Long cable
Review: The Shure SE215 has the same clear or translucent black housing you'd come to expect from Shure earphones, embellished with the usual Shure logo and model number, which in this case, is SE215. Also, it gives auditory bliss through its Dynamic MicroDriver, just like any other Shure earbuds. Perhaps, one of its step-up features over standard earphones is its 64-inch replaceable cable with wireform fit. Although it is too long for some, the cord is of higher quality, made of thick rubber, and it makes the earbuds longer lasting and less prone to breaking compared to those with non-removable cables. You can even replace it with matching clear or black cables or with Earphone Accessory Cables which go well with your Apple devices and selected phones and allow the SE215 to turn into a mobile headset with its own built-in mic and volume control. We admit, the over-the-ear style doesn't provide the best comfort as it is slightly difficult to put correctly. If you're not terribly concerned with the fit though, it is worth the try. The formable wire makes sure that its out of the way until you need it and the earbuds are comfortable to wear when you are in bed and trying to sleep. The Gold plated MMCX Connector even permits 360-degree rotation. The Shure SE215 not only seeks to provide the best fit with its included Fit Kit, which gives you the freedom to choose from three sizes (S, M, L) of the flex and black foam sleeves, it effectively reduces noise up to 37 dB for truly personal listening. Available at a remarkable price, the sound quality of the SE215 comes as a surprise for many users, with enveloping sound and ample bass. Extra accessories like an earwax cleaning tool for easy cleaning and a compact carrying case for neat storage also come with the package.