Best Headphones: 18 Brands Ranked from Worst to First | Time

Full-time rapper and part-time headphone brand dr. Dre likes to say that “people don’t listen to all the music.” a more accurate assessment: people are not buying the right headphones.

Today, the audio industry is saturated with marketing. Clueless consumers shop for well-known brands at over $300 price points while gleefully scrolling through cheaper and better pairs. the problem? we are conditioned to buy by brand, rather than by a true audio experience.

Reading: Is jvc a good headphone brand

It’s time to change. we set out to separate sound from non-sound. Which brands deserve our attention and which should customers avoid?

After collecting the specs, review scores, and features of nearly 3,000 headphones, from budget headphones to full-featured DJ pairs, we rate each product out of 100, based on the following factors:

  • 75% – Expert reviews (cnet, cable, techcrunch, what hifi, good gear guide, pc magazine)
  • 25% – Specs and features (frequency, sensitivity, cancellation noise, etc.) .)

The results may surprise you. in the words of dr. dre, “sit back, relax and fasten your seat belt, you’ve never been on a ride like this before.” [compare_card]



(average score in parentheses)

18. plantronics (57)

17. beats by dre (58)

16. sweet skull (62)

With our apologies to celebrities, nba players, and extreme sports athletes around the world, our review was not kind to beats by dre or skullcandy. yes, each brand has a handful of decent products (eg only beats hds, skullcandy browsers), but the average mid-range product from either company is probably not worth your money.

tone deaf

15. koss (68)

14. creative (68)

See also: 9 Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming [2022] – Headphonesty

13. philips (72)

If you know exactly what to look for, these three brands offer solid options at reasonable prices (eg, some from Philips’s fidelio line; Aurvana, Creative’s over-ear headphones). The problem: They also offer dozens and dozens of less solid products, at less reasonable prices. If you’re a gamer, you might get a cheap thrill when you pull one of these off the shelf, like ordering rare fish at an alley diner or betting on the Dallas Cowboys. for the rest of us, it’s not worth the risk.

lack of sound

12. bose (73)

11. apple (74)

10. panasonic (74)

unlike philips and creative, bose and apple have a “less is more” strategy for hearing aids, marketing only three or four flagship products at inflated prices. If you want a comfortable fit with top-tier noise cancellation, the Bose QuietComfort 15 stands up to most expectations. Unfortunately, many of their other products have received mixed reviews, and you’ll end up paying a premium for anything that comes in a box labeled “bose” anyway.

then there’s the apple. they’ve been something of a joke in the headphone industry until recently, when pundits politely nodded to the new headphones and some decent review scores. while it doesn’t quite make up for years of busted ipod buttons, it was enough for a middle ground.

sounds good

9. audio-technique (74)

8. jvc (75)

7. sennheiser (78)

if buying philips or creative is a reckless gamble, buying one of these brands is a responsible risk, like investing in an index fund or predicting another justin bieber arrest. Although none of these brands is safe, each has a different strength. audio-technica produces some of the best studio headphones on the market, and often at prices under $150. Meanwhile, JVC makes many of the best cheap headphones available – good for couch potatoes and scavengers on the loose. Ultimately, Sennheiser’s best products are universally praised by audiophiles and DJs alike.

sounds great

6. kg (79)

See also: Beats Service & Repair – Apple Support (IE)

5. sony(80)

4. pioneer (83)

both akg and pioneer make consistently stellar headphones for djs and audio technicians. Better yet, they don’t charge an unnecessary $100 just because the box says “studio” on the side.

that leaves sony, perhaps the most amazing high performance product, especially next to all these headphone industry stalwarts. With hundreds of products in almost every price range, color and style, Sony’s greatest achievement is consistency of quality.


3. klipsch (84)

2. degree (89)

1. clear (90)

Three of the most expensive brands, but Klipsch, Grado and Shure headphones are the most reliable buys on this list, with outstanding performance and consistently rave reviews from experts. if you’re strapped for cash, a cheap pair of sony or jvc will be fine, but those looking to take a new step in audio enjoyment should start here.

This article was written by Ben Taylor of findthebest.

read next: how to make your in-ear headphones fit better

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See also: 5 Best Headphones that are both Wired and Wireless – Ear Rockers

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