You can have the most high-tech music player on the market but if your headphones aren’t up to par, all of that tech is wasted. We’ve weeded through the endless and ever-changing styles to find five of the best ones to satisfy all your listening needs.
1. Philips Fidelio NC1 ($299.99)
These on-ear ones have feed-backward microphones for serious noise cancelling technology. They’ve got optimized 40mm neodymium drivers for superior sound and are fine-tuned to provide the best audio whether your environment is loud or quiet. You can switch off the noise cancelling and they’ve also got an inline mic for phone calls. They fold into a compact package so you can take them anywhere.
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2. Beats PowerBeats 2 ($199.95)
Leave it to Beats by Dre to bring us the best headphones for the gym. PowerBeats 2 have flexible ear hooks keep them comfortably in place through your entire workout and Bluetooth technology means no wires to get in your way. Best part — they’re sweat and water resistant.
3. Bose QuietComfort 20i ($299.95)
These noise-cancelling ones let you totally escape into your tunes for those times when you just need to chill. Of course being a dad means you don’t always have the luxury of tuning out the world so what’s really awesome about these headphones is that you can easily switch off noise cancelling mode. They also come with an inline microphone so you can use them with your phone and a remote that also lets you access voice controlled apps like Google. All that and incredible sound, too.
4. OwnPhones ($249)
If you want the best fit and comfort, OwnPhones uses 3D printing to custom fit each pair. And you don’t need to leave the house; just use their mobile app to scan your ears, choose your style and done. No wires and because of the fit, they stay in your ear through any activity. Rather than an on/off switch, Smart Fit allows you to control how much noise cancelling you want. You can even program it to selectively allow in specific sounds like your kid’s voice, a train announcement or whatever you need to be able to hear. They’ve also got a light that lets people know if you don’t want to be disturbed.
5. Grado SR80e ($99)
These are the best for ultimate sound quality. Each one is handmade in Brooklyn and every component is carefully chosen to deliver the purest audio possible. If you don’t mind a higher price tag, their Reference model costs $495 but they’re made with Mahogany wood that’s been specially cured to enhance its tone properties.