When choosing headphones, you must make sure they tick several boxes: design, sound quality, battery life, connectivity, and additional features.

Finding those that perform outstandingly well across all five boxes might be tricky, but we're here to help you with the decision!

Read on to find the list of the 9 best headphones - with short but sweet descriptions.

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The 9 best headphones to excel your sound experience

Sony WH-100XM4

1. Sony WH-1000XM4

Being comfortable and lightweight, the Sony WH-1000XM4 delivers outstanding noise cancellation and sound quality.

These headphones also feature multipoint pairing, conversational awareness, and auto play/pause through a built-in sensor.

Key features:

  • Drivers: 40mm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 with multipoint, 3.5mm, USB-C charging, NFC
  • Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC
  • Battery life: 30 hours ANC on
  • Ambient sound mode
  • Noise-canceling on/off switch
  • Weight: 253g
  • Type: closed, dynamic


  • Great noise canceling and sound quality
  • Convenient Bluetooth multipoint
  • Comfortable to wear, with hinges for folding
  • Auto-pauses when you take them off


  • Battery life is down from the previous version
  • Custom button controls either the Assistant or noise canceling
  • Pricey
Sony WH-1000-XM5

2. Sony WH-1000XM5

The next model of this generation of Sony headphones, XM5, is an upgrade from the XM4 - it brings excellent sound quality, improved noise cancellation, and a credible eco proposition.

In addition, these headphones come with dual processors, twice as many microphones as their predecessor, and access to many more features via the brand's Connect app.

Key features:

  • Drivers: 30mm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, USB charging
  • Bluetooth codec: SBC, AAC, LDAC
  • Battery life: 30 hours ANC on
  • Auto NC optimizer
  • Ambient sound mode
  • Weight: 250g
  • Type: closed, dynamic


  • Superb noise canceling
  • Excellent audio performance
  • Useful ambient features


  • Don't fold

3. Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones

Although this pair comes at a premium price tag, don't be discouraged just yet.

The Bowers & Wilkins' latest flagship headphones bring sophisticated noise canceling, superb sound quality, and aesthetic design, making them one of the most desirable headphones for the money.

Key features:

  • Drivers: 2 x ø 43.6mm full range
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm stereo jack, USB-C audio
  • Bluetooth codec: AAC, SBC, aptX Adaptive, HD, Classic
  • Battery life: 30 hrs Bluetooth with ANC, 5hrs with 15min charge
  • Adaptive noise cancellation
  • Ambient pass-through
  • Wear-detection sensor
  • Weight: 310g
  • Type: closed, dynamic


  • Best-in-class sound quality
  • Competitive battery life
  • Robust Bluetooth connection
  • Neat design


  • Bettered for ANC
  • Choppy signal in busy areas
Bose headphones

4. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

If you were to compare the Bose 700 to Sony XM4, the latter would take the winner's seat.

However, this Bose pair significantly upgraded from its predecessor to take its rightful place on the market.

Finely controlled noise canceling, seamless switching between devices, and a touch-sensitive control pad are here to seduce you.

Key features:

  • Drivers: 42 in. audio cable, 20 in. USB cable
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C on the headphone side, USB-A on the source side
  • Bluetooth codec: SBC, AAC
  • Battery life: 20 hours with charging time up to 2.5 hours
  • 6 microphones for ANC, 4 microphones for voice pickup
  • Weight: 254g
  • Type: closed, dynamic


  • Great active noise canceling
  • Sleek design
  • Crystal-clear, upfront sound
  • Intuitive touch controls


  • No folding hinges
  • Battery life could be better
Beyerdynamic headphones

5. Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

The Beyerdynamic 1990 Pro are practical headphones perfect for work and everyday life.

This pair's build quality is top-notch and super comfortable to wear for several hours.

These headphones might not be the most neutral sounding, but their resolution makes up for that.

Key features:

  • 250-Ohm, 45-mm dynamic Tesla neodymium driver
  • Single-sided, detachable cable with mini-XLR connector
  • No noise control
  • XLR connector
  • In-line control panel
  • Weight: 367g
  • Type: open, dynamic


  • Exceptionally accurate audio performance
  • Comfortable fit with removable earpads
  • two detachable cables included


  • Ear pads are hard to swap
  • Bulky, not for portable use
Apple AirPods max

6. Apple AirPods Max

Apple fans, this is your cue.

The AirPods Max is one of the top performers on the headphones market, despite their somewhat luxurious price.

Equipped with smart features like auto-pause and transparency mode, along with a sleek build and solid battery life, this pair is undoubtedly one of the best wireless headphones you can get.

Key features:

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C
  • Bluetooth codec: AAC, SBC
  • Battery life: up to 20 hours
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Transparency Mode
  • Adaptive EQ
  • Weight: 386g
  • Type: closed-back, dynamic


  • Excellent design and solid build quality
  • Incredible active noise canceling and transparency mode
  • Comfortable ear pads and fabric headband
  • Decent battery life


  • No 3.5mm headphone jack becomes a pain
  • It uses a Lightning connector instead of USB-C
  • Proximity sensors and voice assistant activation don't work on Android or Windows
  • No aptX or LDAC high-quality codec support
Master and Dynamic MW08

7. Master & Dynamic MW08

The hybrid active noise canceling earbuds by Master & Dynamic comes in a beautiful build, are easy to use, and offer impeccable sound quality.

Although these headphones lack some top features their competitors have, this pair is still perfectly capable of providing you with a great user experience with good sound and tactile feel.

Key features:

  • Drivers: 11mm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 with aptX, AAC, and SBC
  • Battery life: Up to 12 hours of playtime / 10 hours with ANC
  • Charging case: 30 additional hours of charge, Up to 42 hours of total playtime
  • 3 microphones in each earphone
  • 2 ambient modes
  • Weight: 9.0g each
  • Type: Wireless


  • Excellent battery life
  • Design and build are sublime
  • Fantastic sound
  • Easy-to-use physical controls


  • Active Noise-Cancellation (ANC) could be better
  • No EQ management in the app
Bose headphones

8. Bose QuietComfort 45

The QuietComfort 45 is a net-generation headphone pair by Bose, an upgrade from the 2018 model.

The unique active noise canceling system does a great job of blocking the background noise.

In addition, the pair comes with 21 hours of continuous playback time, a comfortable fit, and a neutral sound profile.

Key features:

  • Drivers: 3.5 mm to 2.5 mm audio cable
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1 with multipoint, 3.5mm, USB-C
  • Bluetooth codec: SBC, AAC
  • Battery life: 24 hours, with 2.5 hours of charging time
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Bose music app
  • Weight: 240g
  • Type: closed-back, dynamic


  • Outstanding noise canceling
  • Wired and wireless playback
  • In-app EQ


  • ANC can't be adjusted
  • Voice mic lets in background noise
  • No variable noise canceling levels
Shure headphones

9. Shure Aonic Free

The Shure Aonic Free headphones offer a fresh way to enjoy music without being too expensive.

Priced similarly to AirPods 3, they outperform their Apple competitor in sound quality - they're sharper and clearer!

The availability of a tweakable equalizer, meanwhile, gives you much room for sound customization.

Key features:

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5, with aptX, SBC, AAC
  • Battery life: 7 hours (buds), 21 hours total
  • Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri support
  • No active noise cancellation
  • Customizable EQ in the Shure app
  • Weight: 13.4g
  • Type: Wireless, dynamic


  • Clear, detailed, and dynamic sound
  • Excellent range of in-app customization
  • Outstanding call quality


  • Average battery
  • Bulky case
  • Getting them to fit can be a struggle

3 things to consider in headphones

Best headphone features

1. Design

  • the features on offer
  • type - in-ear, over-ear, wireless, wired, etc
  • how they feel when you wear them
  • how you'll use them day-to-day
  • level of portability

2. Audio quality

  • check if they match your sound preference
  • consider recording features
  • option to tweak the EQ
  • availability of noise canceling

3. Purpose

  • Consider what you need the headphones for
  • See if the offered features match your needs

Rent sound equipment on Wedio

Quality headphones can be an investment, so having a chance to test them out before spending a little fortune on the sound gear always comes in handy.

With Wedio, you can rent the headphones of your choice to give them a test drive and decide which ones are the perfect fit!

What are the best headphones?

1. Sony WH-100XM4
2. Sony WH-1000XM5
4. Bowers and Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones
5. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
6. Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro
7. Apple AirPods Max Master and Dynamic MW08
8. Bose QuietComfort 45
9. Shure Aonic Free.

What are the best noise canceling headphones?

These headphones offer the best noise canceling capabilities: Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700.

What are the best wireless headphones?

Apple AirPods Max, Shure Aonic Free, and Master and Dynamic MW08.

Which brand of headphones are best?

2. Bose
3. Apple
4. Shure
5. Beyerdynamic
6. Master and Dynamic
7. Bowers and Wilkins.

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