What’s the best pair of headphones you can buy in 2016?
Thanks to huge advances in both wireless and battery technologies headphones are a long way from the cans that we’d carelessly throw around in the bottom of our bags a few years ago.
Noise-cancelling is now paramount for the commuter, while waterproofing and smart features are critical for the sports enthusiast.
Then of course there’s the wider industry to consider as well, the iPhone 7’s removal of the headphone jack will not be the last phone to do it and will almost certainly kickstart the industry into producing more wireless headphones.
That entirely depends on both your requirements and your budget but fear not, both are catered for here.
Whether you’re after a great pair of wireless running headphones like the Powerbeats3 Wireless or something that’ll turn heads like the Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature we’ve got you covered.
Of course style plays a key role here too, so it doesn’t matter if you’re after something eye-catching or just looking for a pair that’ll quietly blend into the background.
Best Headphones Of 2016:
Bowers Wilkins P9 Signature
The Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature
is for anyone who wants an industry-leading sound but without the usually eye-watering price tag. Boasting astonishing clarity across all ranges these are best enjoyed through a home-based HiFi system. They’re B&W’s best headphones ever and they’re quite frankly one of the best pairs of headphones we’ve ever used.Price: £699
Best For: The Audiophile
Sennheiser's flagship noise-cancelling headphones are quite simply a masterclass in technical know-how. With best-in-class noice-cancelling (as far as we're concerned), some nifty smart features that allow you to tune the sound via a smartphone app and a touch-sensitive interface on the side they're everything you could want with a 12-hour flight ahead of you. Battery life is truly excellent too both in wireless and wired modes.
Best for: The Traveller
Onkyo's H500BT headphones offer a lot of substance but without a price tag to match. They're capable of playing Hi-Res Audio, feature touch-sensitive controls and great wireless playback. What's really good about them though is that they pack all this in without weighing a tonne. They're super-light, sturdy and sure to become a University staple thanks to their winning blend of specs and price.
Best for: Students
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
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 Commuter
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.
The Secret Agent
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). Price: £149.95Best For:
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.
The Frequent Flyer
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.