Learn how to choose among headphones of all shapes and sizes – and find out which pairs we loved listening to.
Hearing is subjective, so our headphones testing is conducted by a panel of 5 experts with a variety of ages and musical tastes.
Overall score is based on:
For our test, we get 5 expert testers to wear each pair of headphones for an extended period while listening to a range of content from various audio sources.
Each set’s sound quality was also tested using a reference ear, a device with an acoustic input impedance resembling that of an average human ear.
This was also done for noise-cancelling if applicable. The scores from the testers and reference ear are then averaged into the final sound quality score.
We also measure how well the headphones prevent sound from escaping into the outside world, although this doesn't contribute to the overall score.
The same 5 testers allocate the comfort score. Finding the headphone type that’s most comfortable for you can take time, because everyone’s ears are different.
Earbuds often come with different-sized rubber nibs to help fit into your ear. Over-ear headphones tend to be bigger and heavier, so you may need to adjust the headband to get the fit right.
To test durability we stress test the headphones focusing on the joint between the cable and the speaker housing. We also assess the construction materials and any areas of obvious concern.
We've tested 138 headphones.
Find the right one for you.
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