The biggest advice I give anyone when buying headphones (or other audio equipment) is to do the research first. Read as much as you can about the different products and options you have. Try and understand what problem you want to solve (comfort, sound, portability, look, etc.) and then search for the product that best hits all these marks. And lastly, you need to listen to the music you’re actually going to be listening to through them when you test them. If you listen to a certain kind of genre more than another — test using that music or a playlist of your favorites. The bass in your favorite punk album is going to sound different than the Top 40 test music they have at the store.
Before buying headphones guide to read
As the Wirecutter’s resident headphone tester and an audio engineer by training, I hear a lot of the same questions over and over again. Like: “How much should I spend on headphones?” and “Are Beats By Dre good?” and “What’s the difference between in-ear and over-ear headphones?” Let me answer these questions for you.
Spend some time learning if you want open or closed headphones (good video about difference
) and on ear or over ear or in ear.
Here are my favorites:
Klipsch Image S4-II
-- Super portable, great sound to price ratio.
(Love all Klipsch earbuds
beyerdynamic DT 990
Closed Headphones (Under $150):
Sennheiser HD-280 PRO
Little more expensive:
Closed Headphones (Around $300):
PSB's M4U 1s