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Best Headphones Of 2016: In Ear, Over Ear, Wireless And Fitness Headphones

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22/11/2016 17:17 | Updated 23 November 2016

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.

Sennheiser
Sennheiser's superb PXC 550's are the ultimate noise-cancelling long-haul headphones.

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:

  • 1 Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature
    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
  • 2 Sennheiser PXC 550
    Sennheiser
    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.
    Price: £329
    Best for: The Traveller
  • 3 Onkyo H500BT
    Onkyo
    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.
    Price: £169.99
    Best for: Students
  • 4 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.
    Price: £279.99
    Best For: You 2.0
  • 5 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.
    Price: £269.99
    Best For: The Commuter
  • 6 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
  • 7 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).
    Price: £149.95
    Best For: The Perfectionist
  • 8 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
  • 9 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
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