Best headphones available today

There is a set of headphones for just about every occasion. Be it running a marathon, sitting at home listening to your stereo or even taking a swim, there are headphones for every need.

At Pocket-lint, we want to make sure that you buy the best, so we're keeping this is an updating list of what we consider to be the finest pairs around. The rules are that we have to seen - or in this case, heard - them, either in a review, waiting to be reviewed or as a hands-on. What's more, we should stress that if you're looking for pro, studio-grade equipment, then look elsewhere.

As we say, we'll be updating this page each time we review another pair of headphones that we think deserves a place on the list. That way you can rest assured that whenever you're looking here, what you see before you are the best headphones around today.

Best in-ear headphones

Phonak Audeo PFE 232, £399

Phonak's high-end Audeo PFE 232 headphones might have a fairly substantial price tag, but they more than justify it. Included in the box is everything you would ever want from a set of top quality in-ear headphones, from replacement cables to new passive filters.

A bit of tweaking on your music player's EQ and you should have a truly incredible sounding set of in-ear headphones. Throw in some great noise isolation and a top notch build quality and what you have is one of our favourites.

Best on-ear headphones

For the money, we haven't heard a much better set of headphones than the B&W P3s this year. Combining comfort, isolation and sound quality near perfectly, these are some of our favourite headphones.

The real trick of the P3s is that they are more portable than headphones that sound this good. Folding right and left earphones keep them compact and the included plastic storage box stops them being damaged. The P3s are also very comfortable, allowing for long periods of listening without causing issues.

Best headphones for home listening

Philips Fidelio X1

We love the X1s. Everything we listened to sounded great. From pop to electronic, from action films to serious TV drama, it all hit the exact spot we wanted. Of course, headphones are personal, so we suggest you try to get ears-on with these before splashing out, but if the price is right for you, then we think these are a truly great performers.

They're the best of the Philips range so far, and we've been smitten with all of them up to now. They're certainly the most comfortable, although the slight looseness of the headband might be a problem for a small number of people. But build-quality, design, sound quality are all fabulous. The only possible downside is that they are home headphones only, wearing them out and about is just not practical because of the size, and noise leakage.

Best headphones for gaming

Turtle Beach Ear Force Sierra, £279

Over the top in nearly every way, these specially made Call of Duty: Black Ops II-inspired headphones come with every single possible tweak a gamer could want.

An included headphone EQ with specially pre-loaded gaming setting is attached to the headphone cable. You can choose special audio settings that give the illusion of super human hearing in games, letting you hear every footstep or gunshot.

Best headphones for sound isolation

ACS/Etymotic custom earbuds

Not a set of headphones, but more a set of earbuds to go on your chosen in-ear setup. ACS will inject a sort of goo into your earlobes, take a mold of them, then come back to you with a headphone that perfectly fits your ear.

We have had it done and hooked up to the right set of headphones, it can create incredible sound isolation. Expect not to be able to hear a single thing other than your music.

Best headphones for noise cancelling

Bose QC-15

A bit of a classic of the noise cancelling world, the Bose QC-15s are still the go to for travelling and for all round cancellation quality. Every set of noise cancellers we test come up agains the QC15s and none have really surpassed them.

They perform extremely well in environments where you would most want to use them, say on an airplane or the tube. Great build quality also. Given their age, it is possible to grab a pair at great value off eBay.

Best budget headphones

Apple EarPod

Apple redesigned its bundled headphones with the new iPhone, producing the Earbuds. Having lived with them for a long while now as our day to day headphones, we have been really impressed.

At £25 a set you get decent treble and a fairly balanced sound. A great replacement budget set of headphones.

Best Luxury headphones

Denon D600

Not cheap, but with stellar build quality, lovely sound and lots of bass to play with, these Denons are the go to luxury headphones.

Most will be thinking of using them as a replacement to an expensive set of speakers. For this, they will do just fine. £500 a pop though, so get saving.

Best headphones for sport

Sony XBA-S65

Strong, rugged and securely fitting, the Sony XBA-S65s are ideally suited to sports and running. The real party trick is that they are washable and sweat proof, so you can perspire all over them without issue.

For the £89 price tag they are also quite good value. Audio quality is good, as is the all round fit and finish of the headphones. They fit very securely and shouldn't cause any issue when exercising.

Best headphones for kids

Griffin MyPhones

You want to make absolutely sure with headphones that those noise levels won't be doing any damage to your little one's ears. Griffin has ensured just that, with the MyPhones. They might be a bit long in the tooth now, but they have stood the test of time.

Having volume limiting hardwired in means there is no chance of any hearing damage being done. Then there is the customisation possibilities for kids. A great well thought out set of headphones.




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