Whether you’re buying headphones for yourself or someone else, picking the perfect pair can be tricky. The following are my favorite headphones by functional category. I’ve listed some of the standout features of each pair as well.
Focal, a French company best known for making speakers, released the Clear in 2017. They were the company’s third set of headphones after the Utopia ($3,990) and Elear ($1,000).
The Clear sound the best when connected to a good DAC/amp, but because they have an impedance of 55 Ohms (compared to 80, 250 or 300 Ohms) you can get good sound even when connected directly to a smartphone or laptop.
With the LCD-GX Audeze has combined the excellent sound quality of its LCD headphones with a flexible boom microphone to create a pair of wired headphones perfect for listening to music or jumping on voice chat with friends while gaming.
The LCD-GX headphones will sound best when connected to a quality DAC/amplifier, but with their impedance of 20 Ohms, you’ll still get good sound connected directly to your computer or console.
It’s hard to beat Apple Airpods(159$) each day.
Both in-ear headphones provide good sound quality, decent battery life and the AirPods Pro offer active noice cancellation (ANC).
It’s also easy for iPhone, iPad and Mac owners to integrate them into their existing Apple ecosystem.
Released in 2020, the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are the follow-up to the company’s previous noise-cancelling headset the WH-1000XM3.
The nearest competitors to the WH-1000XM4 ($348) are the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 ($379.95) and Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless ($399.95).
They feature Sony’s HD Noise-Canceling Processor QN1 and a Bluetooth Audio SoC (system-on-chip). Each ear cup has a 1.57″ speaker driver with a liquid crystal polymer diaphragm.