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The Best Headphones of 2019

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Headphones are pretty much essential for modern media consumers like us. First thoughts are obviously about listening to music, and modern headphones have made old tunes fresh again with the latest tech. But with more of us getting our news, radio, podcasts, and audiobooks when we’re on the move, a decent set of earbuds or over-ear headphones are basically essential. Imagine commuting or working out having to listen to the outside world? Sounds like hell? We’ve got fifteen of the best headphones for you, no matter your budget, that are going to keep your ears happy.

Sony WH-1000XM3

SONY WH-1000XM3  – THE NOISE CANCELERS TO BEAT

Since headphones come everywhere with us nowadays, being lightweight is a big plus and the Sony WH-1000XM3 is 20% lighter than the older version. There’s been no compromise for the weight loss, with the sound still coming through extremely well, the noise-cancelling feature seeing improvements, and even its ability to be a headset for phone calls has got better. They’re more comfortable than the last model and the battery life is decent. These are the noise-cancelling headphones to beat on the market at the moment and you can get them for  $278 on Amazon, now.

Sony WH-1000XM3. Photo: David Carnoy/CNET

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

BOSE’S NEXT-GEN HEADPHONES HAS SMALL BUT SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS

Bose is a top name in the audio equipment world, and their Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 don’t let the side down, with great noise-cancelling, superb comfort, and effective functionality for making phone calls. They come with hands-free Amazon Alexa capabilities, adjustable noise cancelling levels, and use USB-C for charging, plus the overall sound is definitely better than the Quiet Comfort 35 II. They’re pricy, but worth it for the quality tech that you get, $399 gets you a set on Amazon.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

Jabra Elite Active 65t

ALTERNATIVE AIRPODS, AND PROBABLY BETTER

If you want truly wireless headphones and aren’t a fan of Apple AirPods, The Jabra Active Elite 65t are where you should be spending your money. If you want to be kind to your wallet you can take the non-Elite model and not lose too much on quality, too. The fit of these headphones is comfortable and secure and you don’t need to worry about your sweat ruining your sound investment. The sound is great and they work perfectly well for making calls with dual microphones on either side. Fully juiced, they’re going to last you up to five hours and the charging case carries two extra charges before you need to reach for the wires. A nifty quick charge will give you 1.5 hours of life after just 15 minutes on charge. Like the sound of them? They’re yours for $99.99 on Amazon.  

Jabra Elite Active 65t. Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple AirPods 2019

THE ORIGINAL TRULY WIRELESS EARPHONES GET SUPER AND SUBTLE IMPROVEMENTS

This year’s AirPods haven’t given us any huge improvements in sound or design, but there have been subtle changes to these truly wireless headphones. This second generation of AirPods give you always-on voice recognition and you can get a wireless charging case, which is a definite improvement. Since they’re designed for use with iPhones, it’s great to hear that they’re decent for making indoor and outdoor phone calls and the new H1 chip from Apple is included so you can connect to all your Apple devices more smoothly and have high-quality wireless connectivity. The updated version of the AirPods are available on Amazon now for $179.

Apple AirPods 2019. Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

BOSE’S UPGRADE IS ON THE BUTTON

There’s a nifty new button on the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones, perfect for connecting to Google Assistant, or programmable or any other function you might need. Just like the model before, you get amazing active noise cancelling, great sound through the Bluetooth wireless connection, and a super comfy piece of kit, as the name suggests. If you’re useless at remembering to charge, these still work in a wired mode so you can charge and listen at the same time.
This handy set of headphones comes in at $279 on Amazon.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II. Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

Jabra Elite 65t

DECENT OPTION WITHOUT NOISE CANCELLING

The quality is still there to rival Apple AirPods with these Jabra Elite 65t truly wireless earphones, but without the noise-cancelling function. They’ve been made smaller than the last set so they fit better and have the two microphones in each earpiece, like their more expensive bigger brother. You still get the same 5 hours of battery life and a charging case with two extra juices as well, and they come in cheaper at $73 on Amazon.  

Jabra Elite 65t. Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

Jabra Elite 85h

FOR WHEN CALLS ALWAYS INTERRUPT YOUR LISTENING

Sitting atop the Jabra headphone rankings are the Elite 85h. The sound is impressive and the noise-cancelling very impressive, plus they work really well as a headset, too. They conveniently charge through USB-C and have very good battery life. There’s a special button that will connect you to your assistant of choice, be it Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant, and they have a really nice fit to boot. If you need to be using your headphones to be making calls too, these are the headphones for you and they’re on Amazon for $199.  

Jabra Elite 85h. Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

Beats Powerbeats Pro

RIVALLING THE AIRPODS, INCLUDING GREAT BATTERY LIFE

If you’re looking to spend good money on some good, truly wireless, earphones then go for the Beats Powerbeats Pro. Compared to the AirPods, they fit more securely and the battery life, and importantly, the sound is definitely better. All the convenient details of the AirPods are there, with fast pairing, always-on Siri for iOS users, and the amazing wireless connectivity thanks to the H1 chip. There are even actual buttons included to control playback, which will keep Android users happy, and the call quality they deliver is excellent. Hit up Amazon with $250 and they’re yours

Beats Powerbeats Pro. Photo: Mark Licea/CNET

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air

GREAT SOUND AND PRICE COMPARED TO AIRPODS

From the perspective of sound quality, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air earphones are loads better than AirPOds and cash in at half the price. The charging case gives two full charges when your five hours of playback runs out and the wireless performance is solid, too. Get your hands on these earphones for just $70 on Amazon

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air. Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless

BIG PRICE AND GREAT SOUND FOR TRULY WIRELESS EARPHONES

When the price is no object and you want to hear the best fully wireless headphones, you need to get the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless. The comfortable fit and great sound make this a standout buy; the wireless tech gives very few dropouts. There are touch controls for playback and phone calls, which have good quality, and the charging case works with USB-C. You can turn off the noise-cancelling and play about with sound settings with a companion app, and you get all of this for $210 off Amazon

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless. Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless

V-MODA BRING YOU MUCH IMPROVED SOUND

The sound profile of these earphones has been improved with a sculpted bass and better overall detail. The V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless are generally well designed and sturdy, with big earpads that make them a lot more comfortable to wear. There’s a protective case that you can fold them up into, and the case now has air vents to avoid sweat festering. Walmart is selling them for $249.99

V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless. Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

Beats Studio3 Wireless

THESE BEATS LOOK STANDARD, SOUNDS LOADS BETTER

Things don’t always need to look different to sound better, as proved by the flagship headphones from Beats. They’re at the higher end of the price scale, but for that, you get better sound, improved noise-cancelling, and a longer battery life whilst not forgoing to sturdy design. Also included is the Apple W1 chip so you won’t have any pairing issues with your Apple devices. They work fine for making phone calls too, and the sound is comparable to other earphones at the price point. For $280.00 they’re yours on Amazon

Beats Studio3 Wireless. Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose SoundSport Wireless

SWEATPROOF, SECURE AND SOUNDING GOOD

When you need a sports headphone that’s not going to be bothered by your profuse sweating and doesn’t compromise on sound, you need the SoundSport Wireless. These in-ear, wireless, Bluetooth headphones give you a secure fit due to their winged tips and they will work well for phone calls as well as music, There’s a handy auto-off feature that’s going to keep your battery life from draining too quickly too. $99 and they’re yours from Amazon

Bose SoundSport Wireless. Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

Tribit XFree Tune Bluetooth Headphones

PACKS A PUNCH FOR A WALLET FRIENDLY PRICE

For the price you’re paying, this Bluetooth headphone set sounds great. It wears comfortably and the build quality is decent for the money. There’s a carry case you can add on to your purchase to fold your headphones up into and you get an impressive 24 hours of playtime when used at a moderate volume. They’re yours for just $39.99 on Amazon, now. 

Tribit XFree Tune Bluetooth Headphones. Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless

QUALITY TO RIVAL BOSE WITH A MUCH BETTER PRICE

Hold up the Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC next to the Bose QC35 II and you won’t have a more comfortable set of headphones, but you’ll have a better performing set for sure. The noise-canceling is very effective and the price is also a lot lower than Bose. The battery life is decent and there’s a simple and stylish canvas carry bag for them. You can get your set off Amazon for $102. 

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless. Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET

You can really change your listening experience with a simple investment in some decent headphones. There are loads of types to choose from, whether you want them in, on, or over your ears and including Bluetooth and noise-cancelling functions. To find your way through the busy market, we hope our rundown of the best buys has been some help. As always, make sure you follow us for more tech updates.

Anna Dovbysh
With 7 years of writing experience and a deep interest in tech, innovations, and all things trending, Anna’s here to shine a light on the most interesting tech stories. Need to know which gadget to choose for your sports activities? Wondering how technology can improve your lifestyle? Want to know what to expect from Apple this year? She’s got all the answers. Subscribe to her posts and share your opinion on the matter!

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