7 Best Headphones Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

Most of us are tethered to our devices for at least part of the day, listening to music on the go or watching videos on a tablet, laptop, or phone. Our headphones have become more than merely an accessory—they are practically an extension of ourselves. The right pair will let you listen to music at a crowded coffee shop or enjoy a late-night movie without disturbing your sleeping partner.

If you’re still using the earbuds that came with your phone or another gadget, you may want to consider an upgrade. You have a lot of choices these days: from tiny, in-ear models that will slip into a shirt pocket to big, over-the-ear models that can help immerse you in the music and make you look (and maybe even feel!) like a DJ. And some models skip wires altogether, leaving nothing but air between you and your music.

Top 7 Headphones

SaleBestseller No. 1
Apple AirPods with Charging Case (Previous Model)
3601 Reviews
Apple AirPods with Charging Case (Previous Model)
  • Amazingly easy to use, AirPods combine intelligent design with breakthrough technology and...
  • Get up to 5 hours of listening time on one charge.
SaleBestseller No. 2
TOZO T10 TWS Bluetooth 5.0 Earbuds【True Wireless Stereo】 with Wireless Charging Case Headphones IPX8 Waterproof in-Ear Built-in Mic Headset Premium Sound with Deep Bass for Sport
2405 Reviews
TOZO T10 TWS Bluetooth 5.0 Earbuds【True Wireless Stereo】 with Wireless Charging Case Headphones IPX8 Waterproof in-Ear Built-in Mic Headset Premium Sound with Deep Bass for Sport
  • [TWS & BLUETOOTH 5.0] - Adopt the most advanced Bluetooth 5.0 technology. TOZO T10 Support...
  • [Hi-Fi Stereo Sound Quality] - TOZO T10 Offers a Truly Natural, Authentic Sound and...
SaleBestseller No. 3
Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector - White
1156 Reviews
Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector - White
  • Unlike traditional, circular earbuds, the design of the EarPods is defined by the geometry...
  • The speakers inside the EarPods have been engineered to maximize sound output and minimize...
SaleBestseller No. 4
Samsung Galaxy Buds, Bluetooth True Wireless Earbuds (Wireless Charging Case Included), Black - US Version with Warranty
479 Reviews
Samsung Galaxy Buds, Bluetooth True Wireless Earbuds (Wireless Charging Case Included), Black - US Version with Warranty
  • Power up to power on - Get up to six hours of battery life with an additional seven hours...
  • Premium sound Tuned by AKG, an optimized driver offers substantial bass, while a volume...
SaleBestseller No. 5
Apple EarPods with 3.5mm Headphone Plug - White
319 Reviews
Apple EarPods with 3.5mm Headphone Plug - White
  • Unlike traditional, circular earbuds, the design of the EarPods is defined by the geometry...
  • The speakers inside the EarPods have been engineered to maximize sound output and minimize...
Bestseller No. 6
Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones Waterproof IPX7, Wireless Earbuds Sport, Richer Bass HiFi Stereo in-Ear Earphones w/Mic, Case, 7-9 Hrs Playback Noise Cancelling Headsets (Comfy & Fast Pairing)
13983 Reviews
Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones Waterproof IPX7, Wireless Earbuds Sport, Richer Bass HiFi Stereo in-Ear Earphones w/Mic, Case, 7-9 Hrs Playback Noise Cancelling Headsets (Comfy & Fast Pairing)
  • IPX7 Sweatproof earphones: Mpow IPX7 water-resistant Nano-coating efficiently protects...
  • Redefine YOUR ears in richer range: you may not get used to this earbuds with richer bass...
Bestseller No. 7
LETSCOM Bluetooth Headphones IPX7 Waterproof, Wireless Sport Earphones Bluetooth 4.1, HiFi Bass Stereo Sweatproof Earbuds w/Mic, Noise Cancelling Headset for Workout, Running, Gym, 8 Hours Play Time
2802 Reviews
LETSCOM Bluetooth Headphones IPX7 Waterproof, Wireless Sport Earphones Bluetooth 4.1, HiFi Bass Stereo Sweatproof Earbuds w/Mic, Noise Cancelling Headset for Workout, Running, Gym, 8 Hours Play Time
  • High Fidelity sound: 11mm vibrating diaphragm, CSR chip and technology deliver...
  • IPX7 waterproof: sports earbuds design, internal Nano-coating protects the headphones from...

Tips on Finding the Right Pair for You

Evaluate Sound Quality
Like speakers, headphones can emphasize different parts of the audio spectrum, and you might prefer one sound over another. If you can, try headphones before buying. If you buy online, check return policies to make sure that your purchase can be returned or exchanged for another model.

Choose a Design Suited to Your Expected Use
Over-the-ear models are great for listening at home but could be too large to be easily stowed while you’re traveling. Sometimes smaller, more portable models sacrifice some sound quality, but they are definitely handy, and in-ear headphones are great for listening on the go. If you’ll be doing a lot of flying or you want to block out some sound from your environment, consider buying headphones with active noise-reduction technology.

For the Best Sound, Stick With Wired Models
For serious music listening, we recommend one of the better-rated wired models. We find that many wireless headphones work well, too, and some are quite good, but so far we haven’t found any that provide the sonic clarity of the best-corded models.

Types: A Model to Fit Every Ear

Picking the right type of headphones is a highly personal decision. Many listeners are comfortable wearing insert-style earphones that fit in the ear canal or earbuds that rest in the bowl of the ear, but others find them irritating. Some users prefer on-ear or over-ear headphones, while others balk at their size or complain that they interfere with eyeglasses or earrings. Depending on what you plan to use them for, you may also want to consider buying wireless and/or noise-canceling models. Use this guide to help you find the type that suits your specific needs.

Over-Ear

These come in two types. The “closed back” models have sealed ear cups, which keep in more sound and muffle ambient noise. But they might also block out some things you want to hear, such as a doorbell or a ringing phone.

On-Ear

These are typically lighter than over-ear models, and they press on the ears instead of the sides of your head. Some users find them to be more comfortable than over-ear models and less likely to make their earshot during long listening sessions.

In-Ear

Earbuds rest in the bowl of the ear, outside the ear canal, though a portion might extend into the canal itself. Earbuds are fairly common because they often come with smartphones and portable audio players.

Wireless

Wireless models are common and typically use Bluetooth, which has a range of up to 30 feet or so, to connect to smartphones; laptops; portable media players, such as iPods; and even some TVs. Over the past few years, some companies have released  “true wireless” models, which don’t have a cable or headband that connects the earpieces. True wireless earphones are especially portable, but they often have fairly short battery life.

Noise-Canceling

Many headphones have an isolating design that physically muffles ambient noise, often referred to as “passive noise-canceling.” Active noise-canceling models go further. These battery-powered headphones use tiny microphones to monitor the frequencies of outside noise, then produce those same frequencies out of phase in an effort to cancel them. Some work with noise reduction turned off, so you can still use them if the batteries die, while others work only with noise cancellation on.

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