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Headphones are a music listener’s best friend, but finding a pair that has all of your must-have features at an affordable price can be tough.
If you’re shopping for headphones online, Amazon is one of the best places to pick up a new set of cans. The online store has thousands of models in stock at excellent prices, and Prime Members can get two-day delivery on most of them.
The store’s single-click buy button makes purchasing painless, and its generous return policy on items sold and shipped by Amazon is very helpful if something doesn’t work out. The only disadvantage of getting a pair of headphones on Amazon is that you won’t be able to try them before you purchase them.
We’ve done research and hands-on testing to find the best headphones available on Amazon right now.
What Are the Best Headphones on Amazon?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best headphones on Amazon; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Style: This guide features a mix of over-ear headphone and on-ear headphones that are currently available on Amazon.
Over-ear headphones are larger and bulkier, but generally have better sound because their earcup completely surrounds your ear. On-ear headphones have smaller ear cups, which means they can’t create as good of an on-the-go listening environment, but they aren’t as cumbersome to wear.
Wired vs. Wireless: We’re recommending a selection of both wired and wireless (Bluetooth) headphones below. Wired headphones are necessary if you want to listen to music through a DAC (Digital Analog Converter) or want the purest possible sound. Wireless headphones are more convenient, and allow you to listen to music on all of your devices from anywhere you go.
Noise Cancellation: Some of the wireless headphones below support active noise cancellation, a feature which uses microphones to block unwanted sounds like office noise from bothering you. This feature allows you to listen to music at a lower volume (which is better for your ears), but eats up battery life more quickly.
1. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX
Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay HX headphones were designed to be extremely comfortable, and the company succeeded (and then some) based on our testing.
All over-ear headphones have plush earpads and a padded headband for maximize comfort, but B&O took things one step further by considering the HX’s clamping force, which is how tightly they press against your head. If the clamping force is too high, you’ll get an ear ache shortly after putting them on; if the clamping force is too low, the headphones will fall off your head easily.
The HXs found the perfect middle ground between those extremes, which allowed us to listen to music far longer than we’d have been able to with the average pair of over-ear headphones. It doesn’t hurt that music, from Laura Nyro to Lorde sounds excellent when listening through them. B&O even managed to balance powerful active noise cancellation and all-day battery life with these headphones.
If you’ve traditionally shied away from using over-ear headphones because of the way they feel, Bang & Olufsen’s HX headphones may change your mind.
2. Beats Solo3
The Beats Solo3 is the best on-ear headphones for iPhone, iPad, and Macs because it features Apple’s custom W1 chip.
This allows them to instantly pair with any Apple device using a proprietary wireless connectivity standard that’s more consistent and power efficient than Bluetooth. That’s one of the reasons the Solo3s can get up to 40 hours of battery life per charge.
Don’t worry, non-Apple devices can still connect to the Solo3 over Bluetooth, and they’ll sound exactly the same, which is to say a little bass-heavy without overdoing it. If you predominantly listen to music with a lot of low end, you’re going to like the way the Solo3s present your favorite music.
On-ear headphones are always smaller than over-ear headphones, but Beats took things one step further by giving the Solo3s a folding design, which makes them even easier to store. If portability is important to you, this is a very important design choice.
If you predominantly listen to music on Apple devices, and want a pair of great-sounding on-ear headphones that can be quickly packed in a bag, the Solo3s are your best choice.
3. Grado SR80x
Grado’s SR80x’s are the latest version of the company’s lauded entry-level on-ear headphones.
Handmade in Brooklyn, the SR80x stays a step ahead of similar headphones due to its all new drivers, which Grado says improves their efficiency while reducing their distortion. In our tests, Grado’s headphones have always excelled in audio quality, so this is quite the feat.
Grado also improved the SR80x by adding more cushioning to its headband, and using a more durable cable with a better copper wire inside. All of these little tweaks add up to make a big difference.
It’s important to note that he SR80x isn’t wireless, and its cable terminates into a 1/4-inch connector as opposed to the smaller, more standard 1/8-inch connector. Plugging this pair of headphones into your laptop will require an adapter.
If you work in a shared space like an office or classroom, the SR80x’s open-back design may be an issue. The headphones are designed to leak a lot of sound, which means people around you will be able to hear what you’re listening to quite clearly.
Still, the SR80x’s are the best on-ear headphones to wear if you want to do some serious music listening without spending hundreds of dollars.
4. Soundcore Q30
Soundcore’s Q30s have raised our expectations when recommending wireless, over-ear headphones under $100.
Their most impressive feature is their 40 hours of battery life, which is possible despite the fact that the Q30s support hybrid active noise cancellation. Instead of adapting to sounds around you automatically, you can switch the headphones between three preset modes designed to reduce office noise, street noise, and the sound of an airplane engine.
If you listen to music without noise cancellation turned on, you can get up to 60 hours of music playback per charge. These headphones support fast charging, which allows you to listen to music for up to four hours after a five minute charge.
Soundcore said it paid attention to the Q30’s comfort, from using memory foam earpads, to reducing the overall weight of the headphones to prevent neck strain. You won’t find this level of care in most budget headphones. Soundcore focused on optimizing their headphones instead of cutting corners.
If you’re in the market for a pair of over-ear headphones under $100, this should be your first choice.
5. Sennheiser HD560
Sennheiser’s HD560s are the best wired headphones we’ve tested this year thanks to their impressive audio quality.
The HD560s never skipped a beat, whether we were listening to hip hop released last year, or classic rock tracks that were recently remastered as part of super deluxe boxed set. We were especially impressed at the headphones could handle deep bass without distorting.
While we heartily recommend these headphones to serious music listeners, they do come with a couple of caveats. The felt-like padding on the earcups is sufficient for shorter listening sessions, think two or so hours, but doesn’t match up to the comfort of plush leather or memory foam.
The HD560s are also rather large, and their open-back design, which is integral to their incredible sound, means they’re not suited for office use. None of these potential drawbacks were deal breakers in our experience, but they’re important to think about.
If you want to hear every note of your favorite tracks the way an artist intended you to, Sennheiser’s HD560s are the way to go.