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 2017:
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.
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
£499 is a hefty sum of money for a pair of headphones, there's no denying that. However if you’re looking for cans which combine rich audio with great design and faultless wireless listening, you won’t be disappointed. See these Master & Dynamic headphones as an investment; they’re bound to outlive your next iPhone.
Beats often have the unfair judgement of being perceived as having all the price tag but none of the performance to back it up. The new Solo3s should answer that claim, and then some. They blend great looks, even better sound and an incredible battery life upgrade over the previous pair. That last one is thanks to Apple's W1 audio chip which also makes pairing them with an iPhone a complete dream. Consider us impressed.
These headphones have almost no subtlety, they're big, plastic and sound like a herd of elephants who have just discovered there's an army of mice approaching. They boast a frankly ludicrous BASS button which turns them from regular wireless headphones into a sweaty night at Fabric. If loud, booming electronic music is your cup of tea then this is an entire teapot of joy.
The P7 Wireless
are B&W's flagship pair of headphones. They're expensive but not critically so and yet they boast some of the best sound you'll find on a pair of headphones. With a simple premium design and simple Bluetooth controls these are no-fuss, all style. If you want a pair that are slightly more portable we'd equally recommend the P5 Wireless
Headphones too.Price: £319.99
Sony's wireless in-ear headphones are the ultimate all-rounders for people that need music during the commute and during their activities. They boast LDAC high-quality streaming so if you've got a hi-res smartphone they're going to sound great. They're also water-resistant so you can wear them rain or shine and even rinse them off after a big session at the gym. They'll connect via NFC and have around 7 hours of battery life.
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.
Finding a pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones for under £250 used to be an impossible task, especially if you actually wanted them to be any good. Thankfully Philips are here with these, and while they have the least inspiring name we've ever encountered they're in every other regard a triumph. Breathtakingly comfy to wear, these headphones boast good balanced sound although they lack a little in the bass department. Ultimately though these are your perfect commuter headphones, capable of shutting out the ghastly journey you've inflicted upon yourself and all for the absurd price of £79.99.