9 Best Headphones You Can Buy (PICTURES)

08/05/2013 14:01 | Updated 08 July 2013
  • Huffington Post UK

Buying headphones is tricky, and for most people usually a case of trial and error, after error, after error.

First you have to find a form factor that fits into your life. That could be anything from high-tech battery-powered Bluetooth cans or audiophile-quality home stereo headphones to cheap and cheerful (and replaceable) earbuds, and everything in between.

Then you have to pick your style. Are you a rock 'n' roll roadie unloading apps, a hip-hop mogul making business deals in neon boardrooms, or (more usually) a regular commuter trying to look like either of the above?

And even once you know where you want to fall on the style-features matrix, you still have to figure out which of your options is going to actually, you know, sound decent.

To help sort through this confusion we've pulled together a buyer's guide (above) and a list of our 9 favourite headphones, regardless of price or form factor. Hopefully it will give you some inspiration to find the audible companion you've been looking for.

  • 1 Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless
  • Bowers & Wilkins know a thing or two about making headphones. You'll be hard pressed to find a single commuter journey where there isn't someone wearing a pair of their P3 headphones. Well the P5's are the bigger wire-free sibling and trust us, they're worth the upgrade. With two days of commuting battery, the same incredible sound and all the style of a Tom Ford suit the P5's are the headphones to buy this year. Best For: The Secret Agent
  • 2 BeoPlay H8 Wireless Headphones
  • B&O Play's rise to audiophile royalty has been swift, and it's no wonder. Aimed at a younger clientele, Bang and Olufsen's ultra-premium brand has placed stunning levels of focus on usable design. The H8's are indeed stunning to look at but they're packed with tech including touch-sensitive controls, Bluetooth 4.0 and over a day's wireless battery life. They're not cheap, but then that's the point. Best For: The Designer
  • 3 Parrot Zik 3
  • When Parrot aren't making drones they're also making some of the best headphones money can buy. Leaning heavily on the technology these come with a wish list of features: touch sensitive controls, iPhone app control, noise cancelling, wireless charging, USB playback support and a removable battery. It's hard to think of a pair that can tick as many boxes. Best For: You 2.0
  • 4 Sennheiser Momentum 2.0
  • Sennheiser have always been known for quality, but what their headphones have sometimes lacked is the style to make them truly iconic. The Momentum 2.0 rather handily solves this problem by not only looking stunning but also sounding pretty amazing too. Want great high's and mids with a firm but not imposing bass then these are the cans for you. Best For: The Audiophile
  • 5 Sennheiser Urbanite
  • Subjectively the Sennheiser Urbanites are among our favourite-looking headphones on the market, they sound great in most situations and they're clearly built to last. They aren't Beats-flashy, and they're not quite "a sea of white Zinfandel". They're more like a mature, tasty bottled craft beer with a cool label.
    Best For: The Hipster
  • 6 RHA T10i
  • The RHA T10i headphones are ruthless, or at least they would be if they were a human being. They're cold, calculated metal design make them an imposing first sight when you open the box but then, you haven't bought a pair of RHA headphones just for the looks. They sound utterly precise (and excellent).
    Best For: The Perfectionist
  • 7 Bose QuietComfort 20i
  • These in-ear headphones are among the best we've ever tested - and you'd hope so, because at £259 they aren't cheap. What you get for your money is a combination of great, rich basic sound, brilliant noise-cancelling tech and the most comfortable fit you can find without involving a custom-made solution.
    Best For: The Frequent Flyer
  • 8 AKG K451
  • These headphones have won fans all around the world for one simple reason: for this price (£50) you can't do better. They sound excellent, fold up neatly to stow away in a bag, come with a basic cable and a cable with a built-in three-button remote and won't leave you bereft if you lose or break them.
    Best For: The Student
  • 9 Sony MDR-HW700DS
  • Look past their ludicrously long name and you'll find the world's first 9.1ch surround sound headphones. Connecting via HDMI these are the audiophile's headphones of choice for home entertainment thanks to uncompressed audio and compatibility with 4K video and sound files. Plug these into your 4K TV and you'll be presented with nine channels of crystal clear sound using Sony's VirtualPhones Technology.
    Best For: The Film Buff
  • 10 Jaybird Freedom Sprint
  • These resilient, water-resistant Bluetooth headphones are designed for exercise, and come with a set of neat ear-moulding foam inserts to keep them tightly in place when you're running. For £105 it's hard to find a better pair of sport earbuds.
    Best For: The Jogger