The Best Headphones 2021

The Best Headphones 2021

Last updated on September 17, 2021

The world’s first-ever headphones were invented in the 1880s, weighed over 11 pounds, and had no padding. Needless to say – they didn’t make our list. But the ones that did are, by any standards, amazing. And to the question: are 2021’s best headphones really that much better than, say, the best from just 3 to 5 years ago? In almost every case, yes.

Two reasons why: 1) With a headphone market expected to top $15 billion by 2025, the world’s premier headphone makers are wrestling for dominance. Along the way, every incremental improvement, whether by giants like Sony and Bose – or audio purists like Focal and Audeze – is a win/win for consumers. 2) A few years ago, wireless headphones were mostly a novelty with often spotty, subpar results. (If you're looking for wireless earbuds, our Best Wireless Earbuds of 2021 buying guide is a must-read.) Today, it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference in sound quality between wired and wireless and even true wireless (for a list of headphone style variations, see our Headphone Buying Guide.), and hearing is believing.

So, with that in mind, we asked our World Wide Stereo audio experts to apply their combined decades of experience with the goal of picking today’s best headphones, by category, no holds barred. And yes, it was hard work (no it wasn’t), but we stuck with it (more like “loved every second”) and now we’re proud to present (after some fairly spirited discussions) the “Best Headphones of 2021.”

2021 Headphone Deals

We’ve made it easy to find the best deals on headphones from brands like  Sony, Bose, JBL and more. Our deals update daily so you don’t miss a beat, and we’ve got your back through with our price match guarantee, 60-day returns, easy financing, and free shipping. Don’t see what you want on sale? Give us at 1.866.961.7781 or chat with an expert.

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1a. The Best Noise-Canceling Headphones (A tie):  

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

$379.00

Regular Price: $399.00

Save: $20.00 (5%)

Bose – the people who invented noise-canceling technology in the first place. And, arguably the first to perfect it, too, via the company’s brand new over-ear, closed-back, wireless headphones: the Bose 700s. (For a list of headphone style variations, see our Headphone Buying Guide.)

The 700s replace the Bose QC 35s that every NFL coach wears during games to block out thousands of screaming fans, and they represent Bose’s newest flagship model. They’re sleeker, lighter, smarter and come with a better mic for better voice clarity during phone calls. The touch controls are new, and more intuitive, and there are now 11 levels of noise-canceling. All that, and the Bose 700s may just be the most comfortable over-ear headphones yet. For the whole story, see our Bose 700 product page.

Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 with Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Dimensions: 6.5" x 8" x 2" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.56 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 20 Hours
  • Cable Length: 42"
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1b. The Best Noise-Canceling Headphones (A tie):  

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Canceling Over-Ear Headphones

$348.00

The WH-1000XM4s (“XM” for short) are over-ear, closed-back and wireless. They’re comfortable, not too tight, mushy in all the right spots, and the touch-sensitive buttons and voice control (Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant) are as good as it gets. This model replaces Sony's best-selling WH-1000XM3 and, while they look similar, the WH-1000XM4 boast a handful of upgraded features. They're a tad lighter, the earcups are a little cushier and about 10% larger. They've got a host of "smarter" technology built-in that can better tune and optimize for adaptive sound control. They can connect to two devices – such as your laptop and phone – simultaneously. And, they feature Sony's brand new audio processor – the DSEE Extreme.

Both the WH-1000XM3s and WH-1000XM4s last around 30 hours with noise-cancelling switched on, or around 38 hours with the tech switched off. Both have USB-C charging too. A 10-minute quick-charge will give you five hours of playtime - that alone makes these headphones worth a look. The new WH-1000XM4s feature Wearing Detection, which automatically pauses the music when you take them off - extending the battery life even further than the XM3.

The WH-1000XM4 come equipped with aptX HD for processing hi-resolution audio up to 24bit/96kHz – Sony’s own best-in-category proprietary format. And this is pretty cool: the WH-1000XM4’s Ambient Sound feature keeps you aware of outside sounds, while an Optimizer feature scans your head to gauge headphone seal – taking into account things like atmospheric pressure, which varies from sea level to 40K feet in the air. As a result, the WH-1000XM4’s noise cancelation adapts to real-time conditions on the fly. 

But the biggest two reasons they made our “best” list: they sound absolutely incredible – and after years of incremental progress, Sony’s noise-canceling tech now rivals Bose. So yes, it’s a tough choice, but easily solved with a coin toss.

WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones

  • Dimensions: 7.31" x 10.44" x 2.94" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.56 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 30 Hours
  • Cable Length: 47.25"
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2. Best Truly Wireless Headphones: 

Sony WF-1000XM3 Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds

$168.00

Regular Price: $229.99

Save: $61.99 (27%)

Savings include $30 instant rebate. Offer ends 9/26/2021.

If the only earbuds you ever tried were the earbuds that came with your phone, or a cheap pair of earbuds you found in a clearance bin – you have no idea what you’re missing. We can pretty much guarantee: spend two minutes with a quality pair of earbuds and there’s no going back – especially if those earbuds are Sony’s new XM3s true wireless earbuds. 

For one, the XM3s are truly wireless. (Some earbuds that say “wireless” actually have a wire connecting the two ear modules, but “truly wireless” or "true wireless" means no wires anywhere.) The XM3s come with Sony’s noise-canceling tech, which is outstanding and some say equal to Bose. Inside: Sony’s new Bluetooth chip, a 0.24 driver that’s tiny yet powers surprisingly big sound, an HD noise-canceling processor, a digital sound enhancement engine, 24-bit Audio Signal Processing and an excellent digital-to-analog converter. For you non-techy types, those features = excellent sound.

As for the outside, the XM3s are both ergonomical and comfortable – you may even forget you’re wearing them. They’re great for TV-watching, gaming, jogging, cooking and shutting out the world. And with Sony’s noise cancelling tech turned on, the XM3s are ideal for travel – especially in row 74, Seat H in economy with a long flight ahead. So do yourself a favor – toss those free earbuds in favor of something 1000 times better. (You’re welcome!)

More details – right here.

WF-1000XM3 Industry Leading Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds

  • Dimensions: 4.72" x 5.6" x 2.5" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.18 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: In-Ear, True Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes 
  • Battery Life: Up to 6 Hours
  • Cable Length: N/A
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3. Best True Wireless Earbuds for Battery Life: 

Devialet Gemini True Wireless Earbuds - Matte Black

$300.00

These buds do it all. The Geminis are our earphone expert’s choice for true wireless earbuds that offer premium audio and music quality with full smartphone integration. Devialet has put some serious tech skills into solving two issues that affect the sound and comfort of in-ear devices that almost no one else has dared to tackle: Ear canal variations and air pressure. The Geminis sense the size of your ear canal and adjust the drivers to give you the best sound possible. The ear bud cases have a series of baffles that serve to eliminate outside noise yet mitigate the pressure differential between your inner ear and the outside, due to the seal of the ear buds.

Then there’s the sound. Full spectrum audio from any track will delight your ears. Voice calls without ambient noise and enhanced voice sound. Three selectable levels of astonishingly effective noise cancellation. Intelligent talk-through so you can have a conversation without having to take the earbuds out. And 24 hours of battery operation. What’d we tell you? The Geminis offer a superior all-around in-ear experience.

Gemini True Wireless Earbuds (Matte Black)

  • Dimensions: .7" x .6" x 1.3" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.02 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: In-Ear, Closed-Back, True Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 24 Hours
  • Cable Length: N/A
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4. Best Earbuds for Working Out: 

Bose Sport True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

$179.00

If you want a little more bass in your workout, the Bose Sport Earbuds bring it big time without sacrificing mid and/or high range tones in the process. And we’re talking vibrant, natural bass, not the artificially boosted bass prominent in so many sports headphones. Bose patented acoustic ports and premium drivers work to make your music sound clear and balanced regardless of your volume settings.  And the StayHear™ Max ear tips don't just create an impressive acoustic seal, they keep your earbuds secure and comfortable, so they stay put no matter how intense your workout is. 

Also key to a great pair of workout earbuds: they're sweat and weather resistant - so they're super durable. Take calls easily with a click double-tap of the right earbud, or press and hold to reject it (perhaps our favorite feature when we're in the zone!). The simple and intuitive touch controls and 5 hours of playtime round out the features that secure this pair of true wireless earbuds in our top spot. Get caught without any battery power? Don’t worry. Just a quick 15-minute charge gives you up to two hours of playback time.

Sport True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

  • Dimensions: 1.05" x .74" x .83" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.02 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: In-Ear, True Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 Hours
  • Cable Length: 12" (USB)
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5. The Best Wireless Headphones: 

Bowers & Wilkins PX7

$399.00

We’ve said it before: Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) is the luxurious, beautifully crafted, music-is-your-life alternative to industry mass producers like Sony and Bose. And though a pair of B&W PX7s is typically a little more expensive than Bose or Sony – and not as good at noise cancelation (though still excellent) – they soar, musically, by comparison. Some B&W fans claim their PX7s are on par with headphones that cost three and four times as much, and they may have a case.

The PX7’s ear-cups are made with memory foam and do a good job of walling-off noise from the outside world. The buttons are easy to find by feel, and they’re tactile as opposed to “touch,” which many customers prefer. Also, according to B&W, PX7s are the first headphones to support Qualcomm's aptxHD Adaptive codec, which is designed to deliver robust, low latency, high resolution wireless technology. Meaning: higher fidelity music overall (compared to Bluetooth) and no stalling when gaming or streaming hi-res, 4K video. (See the complete spec list on our PX7 product page.)

Though it’s hard to describe how music sounds under different headphones, we listened to Cody Fry’s “Want Me Back" on B&W’s PX7s and they were so clear, rich, and spacious – there’s no going back.

PX7 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones

  • Dimensions: 6.89" x 8.66" x 3.15" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.67 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Style: Over-Ear, Closed Back, Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 30 Hours
  • Cable Length: N/A
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6. Best Hi-Res Headphones Under $300: 

Sony MDR-1AM2

$248.00

Regular Price: $299.99

Save: $51.99 (17%)

Savings include $50 instant rebate. Offer ends 9/26/2021.

For those who want a pair of no-frills headphones that support high-resolution audio files — without dropping the big bucks — look to Sony’s MDR-1AM2. Featuring massive custom 40mm HD drivers, Sony ensured these over-ears deliver a clear and powerful soundstage. From the aluminum-coated LCP diaphragm to the silver-coated copper cables, it’s the finer details that work in tandem to deliver an audio experience that is precise, accurate, and as close to the artist’s original recording as possible. These cans were built for long listening sessions, thanks to its lightweight frame and pressure-relieving ear pads.

The MDR-1AMs feature a "swivel" design that allows them to lay flat and be tucked away in the included pouch. If you look closely, you’ll notice the grills have a Fibonacci-inspired pattern, which Sony says “ensures no frequency is boosted or cut.” Pretty cool.

MDR-1AM2 Wired High-Resolution Audio Over-Ear Headphones with Built-In Remote and Microphone (Black)

  • Dimensions: 9.19" x 10.25" x 4.38" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.41 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Hi-Res, Wired
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Cable Length: 3.94' (1.2m)
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$990.00

Made for music, the Focal Celestees have a sound that is on par with headphones that cost much more. The closed-back cups are lined with soft leather, so they’re comfortable yet secure on your ears, and won’t leak your music to the person at the next table in the café — though you’ll meet them anyway, because they’ll ask you what is up with these gorgeous navy blue cans with copper highlights.

Focal’s driver design is innovative and brings out the detail in your tunes with a generous 40mm driver with a unique shape and made from top-end materials. Low impedance means you’ll enjoy full performance from these headphones whether you’re listening though your home theater amplifier or your smart phone on the go. And they do like being out and about, with a rigid case that’s made for traveling. You don’t have to learn a new voice assistant or worry about re-charging the Celestees: Just enjoy the music.

Celestee High-End Closed-Back Over-Ear Wired Headphones

  • Dimensions: 7.5" x 12.5" x 12" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.95 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Style: Over-Ear, Closed Back, Wired
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Cable Length: 3.94' (1.2m)
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8. The Best Headphones for Gaming and Music: 

Audeze Mobius

$399.00

There’s a night scene in Battlefield I, a solo recon mission in a sleepy French village filled with enemy soldiers. Alone, you crawl head-down through a backyard, hoping to make it to that old red barn before anyone sees… wait. STOP. Is that a dog growling… behind you?  

If you’re a gamer, you know how tense things get – and how life and death can depend on what you do, or don’t, hear. Clearly, the folks at Audeze not only get it, they bring it to life with a phenomenal pair of fully immersive, head-tracking, 3D wireless headphones made for today’s top games. And by “immersive,” we’re talking integrated head tracking that tracks even your tiniest head movements – 1000 times a second. Warning: highly addictive– and worth every nickel.

Pretty cool feature: With Audeze HQ software, you can adjust HRTF (Head-Related-Transfer Function) personalization which combines A) the circumference of your head, B) the circumference from one ear canal to the other, and C) how big the virtual space is. In doing so, your virtual head mimics actual head movements, in real time, adding yet another mind-blowing dimension to the experience.

Planar magnetic drivers deliver big, cinematic, audiophile-grade sound, with full 3D emulation and support for popular surround sound modes (7.1, 5.1, 5.0, 2.1, 2.0). Equipped with a detachable microphone and both wired and wireless Bluetooth connections, Mobius pinpoints sound localization and anatomy calibration tailors the sound to you. And full room emulation puts you in the center of the action.

Mobius Audiophile Wireless Over-Ear Gaming Headphones with Detachable Microphone

  • Dimensions: 13" x 13" x 8" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.77 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Wireless, Closed-Back, Gaming
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 Hours
  • Cable Length: 50" (USB)
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9. The Best Premium Gaming Headphones: 

Audeze Penrose Premium Gaming Headset

$299.00

If you’re a gamer, you know how tense things get – and how life and death can depend on what you do, or don’t, hear. Clearly, the folks at Audeze not only get it, they bring it to life with a phenomenal pair of wireless headphones made for today’s top games. The Penrose wireless gaming headset is designed with console gaming in mind, serving up premium, audiophile-level sound. It's lightweight and the ear cups are generously sized and padded, which is a must for long gaming sessions. 

As for the audio and connectivity: Audeze’s high-end patented planar magnetic driver technology increases dynamic range, clarity, and detail, while reducing distortion to “near zero.” Nothing new from Audeze, but it makes the audio and immersive experience of these headphones pure magic. In terms of convenience, dual connectivity lets you connect wirelessly via the USB dongle and Bluetooth at the same time so you can connect through your console and an additional device like your phone. This lets you take calls while gaming or participate in gaming chats outside of your console. The Penrose microphone is “broadcast quality,” developed in partnership with mic experts Shure, so you'll certainly come through loud and clear!

Penrose Premium Gaming Headset for Playstation 4 & 5, Mac, or Windows

  • Dimensions: 9" x 9" x 5" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.71 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Wireless, Closed-Back, Gaming
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Battery Life: Up to 15 Hours
  • Cable Length: 50" (USB)
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10. The Best Travel Headphones: 

Bose QuietComfort 35 II (QC35II)

$299.00

Regular Price: $349.00

Save: $50.00 (14%)

You’re looking at our most popular wireless headphones across the board – by far. The QC35IIs represent Bose’s flagship product, and the company’s attempt to perfect the active noise canceling technology they alone invented in the first place. Meaning: If your #1 goal is shutting off the outside world, stop reading, put a pair in your cart, and call it a day. The QC35IIs are wireless and extremely comfortable. And, like most wireless headphones, they do still come with a wire so you can continue listening even after the battery has been depleted, albeit sans noise cancelling. You can read more about the QC35II in our Best Noise Canceling Headphones of 2021 guide.

The QC35IIs come with Google Assistant built-in, easily accessible with a dedicated button, and battery life is excellent at up to 20 hours. However, Bose doesn’t include any way to quickly mute volume (the way others do), so keep your eyes open when they call your number at the deli counter.

Are they the absolute best-sounding headphones on the planet? No. But then again, true audiophile-level headphones cost 4 - 5Xs as much and the sound quality of the QC35IIs are still pretty amazing.

QuietComfort 35 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones II

  • Dimensions: 6.7" x 7.1" x 3.2" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.52 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Closed-Back Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes 
  • Battery Life: Up to 20 Hours
  • Cable Length: 47.2" (Audio); 12" (USB)
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11. Best Budget Bluetooth Headphones: 

JBL Tune 700 BT Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

$79.95

Regular Price: $96.00

Save: $16.05 (17%)

JBL Tune 700 wireless Bluetooth Headphones punch out impressively deep and powerful bass at a less than $100 price point and with up to 24 hours of playtime. An included audio cable ensures you never miss a beat and can keep listening without interruption if the battery runs out. Buttons on the earcup let you easily manage calls and voice-assistant technology and multi-[point technology lets you easily switch Bluetooth devices without hassle. 

These headphones are lightweight, foldable, and super cushy for long wear comfort, also making them one of our top travel headphone picks.

Tune 700 BT Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

  • Dimensions: 2.36" x 3.15" x 1.18" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.48 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Battery Life: Up to 24 Hours
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12. Best Planar Magnetic Headphones: 

Audeze LCD1 Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones

$399.00

Audeze's LCD-1 delivers premium audio in a comfortable and travel-friendly package, perfect for mixing, mastering and audiophile listening. These were designed for home and studio listening. The LCD-1 over ear headphones feature Audeze’s renowned planar magnetic technology within an open-circumaural (open back), foldable and light-weight design. The memory foam ear pads and headband ensure incredible comfort during long listening sessions. 

And speaking of long listening sessions... the audio quality on these headphones is, of course, outstanding. With a wide dynamic range, deep rich bass with low audible distortion... these headphones were designed for those that enjoy pure, accurate sound.

LCD-1 Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones

  • Dimensions: 7.17" x 8.54" x 1.61" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.25 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Over-Ear, Open Back, Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Cable Length: 2m
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13. Best Noise-Canceling Headphones Under $100: 

JBL Tune 660NC Wireless On-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

$99.95

Regular Price: $120.00

Save: $20.05 (17%)

These headphones aren’t just designed for music. They’re built to increase your enjoyment of music. Fitting over your ears and with active noise cancellation, the Tune 660NCs do as much to help you tune out distractions as they do to give you fantastic sound. At one-third of a pound, they’re light enough on your noggin' to encourage you to wear them for hours — and the 44-hour battery life will let you do so. When you do need to recharge, you can do it in less time than it takes to brew a good cup of coffee and get back to your tunes.

Between the Voice Assistant and the mic and buttons on the ear cup (not too ugly to view and not too hidden to use), you can go from Lady Gaga to gossiping and back again without breaking stride — and with low impedance, these cans are optimized to work with your smart phone. When it’s time to give your ears a rest, the Tune 660NCs fold up and won’t hog space in your pocket or bag. If on-ears fit with your listening lifestyle — and even more so if you have outfits that need to be matched — don’t miss out on these and their four-color options.

Tune 660NC Wireless On-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

  • Dimensions: 8.15" x 9.72" x 2.17" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.37 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: On-Ear, Closed Back, Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 44 Hours
  • Cable Length: 3.94 ft (1.2m)
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$1,490.00

Who wouldn’t like to have a concert hall around their ears? How about a front-row seat while you’re at it? Here you go. Focal Clear headphones are all about giving your ears not only the music, but space and detail as well. Open-back headphones let the music surround you without claustrophobic containment, and the intent of the Clear is to deliver a premier experience along with that design. Large magnesium electro-dynamic drivers are part of the reason these headphones sound so good (and why they’re at the pricier end of the spectrum), and since they have a slightly higher impedance level than most of the headphones in this guide, our experts would recommend you consider a headphone amplifier as well, which will really let you hear every detail these headphones have to offer.

You’ll be wired to your device with these — that’s key to the high quality of the sound — but even so, you’ll likely turn heads when you wear them in public, as their design is as striking as they are comfortable.

Clear MG Open-Back High-Fidelity Over-Ear Headphones

  • Dimensions: 12.1" x 12.5" x 9.4" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: .99 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Style: Over-Ear, Open Back, Wired
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Cable Length: 3.94 ft (1.2m)
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$1,299.00

You don’t often see the words “audiophile” and “earbuds” in the same sentence, but they sure apply to the Audeze Euclids. Designed to create a soundstage that gets close to that of closed-back on-ear headphones, these buds are aimed at music aficionados with the most discerning ears. Certainly, the specs support this goal, with closed-back enclosures, super-high efficiency delivery, no crossover, and a large driver size compared to just about any other in-ear device.

But are they comfortable enough to make you feel like being immersed in your favorite music for hours? Yep. You won’t have to worry about re-charging, either, since these are wired devices, which contributes to the excellent sound quality. Not just any wire, though: The Euclids have gold-plated micro-miniature coaxial connectors (MMCX), which in the audio geek world is a dog-whistle that means these are serious high-quality music reproduction devices. It also means that you can’t plug just any mini-jack cable in, but no worries, the Euclids come with a robust, braided cable that is equal to the task.

Euclid Closed-Back Planar Magnetic In-Ear Headphones

  • Dimensions: 7.28" x 9.25" x 3.66" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.03 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: In-Ear, Wired
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Cable Length: 4.4mm
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16. Best Rectangular Audio Sunglasses: 

Bose Tenor Rectangular Bluetooth Audio Sunglass Frames

$224.00

Regular Price: $249.00

Save: $25.00 (10%)

Savings include $25 instant rebate. Offer ends 10/2/2021.

When you use Bose Frames, no one’s going to ask you how they sound. That’s because a) your ears won’t be covered, and b) no one will recognize you, because you’ll be wearing these totally cool shades. Yes, you’ll look hip, but in fact you’ll also be having an amazing listening experience, using your favorite voice assistant to control your smartphone, and having phone conversations that are close to being in person. If sunglasses for a variety of athletic activities and lighting conditions are your thing, you’ll be delighted to know that not only do these amazing eyewear/personal listening devices have interchangeable polarized lens options for every situation, but the frames themselves come in four absolutely gorgeous models, too. Need prescription lenses? Bose has that covered as well.

Whatever happened to ear buds, you wonder? These innovative open-ear devices put the sound directly into your temple, so you feel the music as well as hear it, but your ears remain open to the sounds of your environment — enhancing your safety as you ride, run, or hike. Simple controls on the right temple access calls, volume, and your voice assistant via Bluetooth. And from the other end, the Bose Audio App gives you control over the Frames from your smartphone. And the sound? If you’ve ever heard a Bose device, suffice it to say that the Frames fit in to the Bose legacy as well as they fit your head.

Tenor Rectangular Bluetooth Audio Sunglass Frames (Black)

  • Dimensions: 2" x 5.35" x .7" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.11 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: Off-ear, Sunglasses
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Battery Life: Up to 5.5 hours
  • Cable Length: N/A
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$179.95

Regular Price: $216.00

Save: $36.05 (17%)

Hate headphone hair? True wireless earbuds are a great way to keep your sonic experience — and your ’do —unencumbered. The Live Pro+ earbuds offer active noise canceling for moments that require your concentration (or when you just need to appear to be concentrating), and also a Smart Ambient mode that lets you keep tabs on the world outside your head, or even have a conversation while the buds are in your ears in TalkThru mode. A three-mic system helps make your voice calls clear while minimizing wind noise and other background sound interference.

The Live Pro+ smartphone app lets you make all of these selections easily — and you can change your audio balance settings with the graphic EQ display. Configure the gesture and tap controls to suit your needs, or just use the built-in OK Google or Alexa voice assistants to handle the controls. You’ve got plenty of battery charge to last through several study sessions or long walks, and recharging is only two hours with the included cable, or about three hours if you’re using the Qi-compatible wireless charging feature. The combination of sound quality, flexible features, and price make the Live Pro+ a serious contender in the earbud market.

Live Pro+ TWS True Wireless In-Ear Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

  • Dimensions: 3.94" x 6.3" x 1.73" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.01 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Style: In-Ear, True Wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 28 Hours
  • Cable Length: N/A
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18. Best Open Ear Headphones Under $100: 

AfterShokz OpenMove Open-Ear Lifestyle Wireless Headphone

$99.95

There’s nothing like exercising in the great outdoors — especially when you can take your endorphin-inducing tunes with you and still hear the outside sounds you need to keep tabs on. The Aftershokz OpenMove is a great way to get started in this wonderful new world of safe, comfortable, and sweatproof audio gear. Lightweight and with a comfortable yet snug form that wraps around the back of your head, the OpenMoves will stay with you during all your moves, from warm-up to cool-down.

Using bone-conductive transducers rather than in-ear speakers, the OpenMoves project clear, full range audio into your temples so you can keep your ears open to hear your comments from your coach, colleagues, or barista. Dual microphones make your calls and voice commands heard clearly, even at a full trot. Forget about earbuds that slip out when you sweat or constricting headsets that rattle your brain; the OpenMoves help you get into your groove and into the zone, almost without you knowing you’re wearing them.

OpenMove Open-Ear Lifestyle Wireless Headphone

  • Dimensions: 4.8" x 3.94" x 1.81" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.06 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Style: Off-ear, full wraparound wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 6 Hours
  • Cable Length: N/A
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$159.95

Aftershokz has made it their business to understand what athletes need in their audio gear. Their bone-conductive transducer technology brings the digital world into your head while you work out, while leaving your ears open to the real world. Comfort and confidence that a device isn’t going to bounce off or slide out while in full stride is critical. And the open-ear Aeropex is the apex of the Aftershokz R&D team’s efforts.

With superb sound, easy controls, a dedicated back-a-track button, the lightest weight in its class, and dual mics that transmit voice calls and commands clearly while screening out wind and background noise, the Aeropex is the athlete’s perfect workout companion. Eight hours of battery operation give the Aeropex enough power to stay with you all day. If your bike race takes you into a downpour, the IP64 waterproof design will keep your tunes playing, and your calls coming.

Aeropex Open-Ear Endurance Headphones

  • Dimensions: 4.89" x 3.92" x 1.74" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.06 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Style: Off-ear, full wraparound wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes, on voice calls
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 Hours
  • Cable Length: N/A
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$119.95

Featuring an updated design, the latest driver technology, and a full titanium frame, the Aftershokz Airs offer a premium audio experience for athletes, without the high price tag. Four color options give this striking yet unobtrusive open-ear headset a serious shot at matching your outfit or man-bun hairband. Looking great is awesome, but it’s really about keeping your headset from bouncing off during parkour or grabbing air on a halfpipe, as well as keeping your head in your tunes when running, or taking a call while on the Peloton.

The Airs deliver this, and more. Sweat-resistant, snug, yet comfortable, the Airs fill your head with amazingly clear and dynamic sound with massive bass, while leaving your ears open to connect to your surroundings. Your voice commands and phone conversations will be clearly received with the noise-canceling dual microphones. Buttons for quick volume control, pause, skip, and back-a-track are easy to feel without breaking stride.

Air Open-Ear Lifestyle & Sport Wireless Headphones

  • Dimensions: 4.92" x 3.94" x 1.89" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 0.07 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Style: Off-ear, full wraparound wireless
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Battery Life: Up to 6 Hours
  • Cable Length: N/A
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Still not sure? We got this.

If you’re still not sure which headphones are best for you, give us a call or send us an email. Tell us a little about how you will use them, e.g., for listening to music at home, watching TV on a device, drowning out crying babies on airplanes – whatever. Plus what kind of music do you like, what’s your budget, and/or anything else you think we should know. Just think of us as your own personal audio gear shopping concierge, on-call to help you pick the perfect pair of headphones for you.

One more thing:

A last word of advice: buy your new headphones from a trusted dealer. And the more experience and longer the track record, the better. A good dealer will take care of you in the event anything happens.

Speaking of trusted dealers...

World Wide Stereo is home to some 90+ industry-leading audio/video professionals who love what they do and talking about it, too. We opened our doors in 1979, gained a small yet die-hard following, won a slew of national awards for everything from killer car audio installations to customer service, grew the business online… and today we enjoy a faithful following of like-minded TV-watching, music-listening, gear-loving defenders of fun for the whole family. Our only rule: no one leaves unhappy.

Plus, shopping with us means you get our guarantee, which includes perks like free shipping, 60-day returns, award-winning support, and service long after the sale — always. Hence our rule: "no one leaves unhappy."

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