12 Best Headphones of 2024

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Whether we're at the gym, in the studio, or just playing music, headphones are essential. The best headphones are lightweight and portable, allowing you to listen to your favorite hits on the go.

In this article, we're going over the best headphones and earbuds of 2024 for all types of listeners - from casual to absolute audiophiles.

We also threw in a buyer's guide to give you all the information you'll need to buy headphones with confidence.

Our #1 overall pair of headphones is the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless for their reasonable price, reliable build quality, and excellent sound quality.

Keep reading to see our other top picks and maybe find the right pair of headphones for you.

Quick Summary of the Best Headphones

  1. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless (Best Overall Headphones)
  2. Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation (Best Overall Earbuds)
  3. Yamaha YH-WL500 (Best Wireless Headphones)
  4. Sony WH-1000XM5 (Best Quick Charge Headphones)
  5. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x (Best Headphones for Studio Monitoring)
  6. Sennheiser HD 800 S (Best Headphones for Audiophiles)
  7. Sennheiser HD 600 (Best Entry Sennheiser Headphones)
  8. Focal Stellia (Best Expensive Headphones)
  9. Sony WH-CH720N (Best Budget Headphones)
  10. Apple AirPods Max (Best Headphones for Apple Fans)
  11. Sennheiser IE100 PRO (Best In-Ear Monitors)
  12. Bose QuietComfort 45 (Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones)

Best Headphones

1. Best Overall Headphones – Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless


  • Noise Canceling: Yes
  • Weight: 0.64 lbs.
  • Frequency Response: 6Hz - 22kHz
  • Open/Closed: Closed

Sennheiser is known for its quality audio equipment, and the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless is no exception. They're premium headphones that don't cost an arm and a leg, priced at only $299 at the time of writing.

As wireless headphones go, these have an insanely long battery life of 60 hours, meaning you could play your favorite music for two days straight and still have 12 hours left in the tank. The headphones will even turn off by themselves while you're not using them to preserve battery life.

The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless comes with another automatic feature as well: whenever you take them off, they'll pause whatever you're listening to, resuming it as soon as your headphones are back on.

They're noise-canceling wireless headphones, perfect for tuning out the outside world on your daily commute to work or at the gym.

The collapsible design, carrying case, and under 1 lb. build ensure that these headphones are easy to take with you without sacrificing any of that great sound that brought you to Sennheiser in the first place.

If you want the pound-for-pound best pair of headphones on the market without breaking the bank, check out the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Headphones. You might find a better pair of headphones on this list, but it won't be for this price.

2. Best Overall Earbuds - Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)


  • Noise Canceling: Yes
  • Weight: 0.13 lbs. (2.17 oz)
  • Frequency Response: 21Hz - 20kHz
  • Open/Closed: N/A

The Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation is the best overall earbuds on this list for a reason. Apple took everything that made the first generation great and improved on it immensely, leaving us with a top-of-the-line pair of earbuds.

These earbuds can be controlled by either of the buds themselves. You can pause what you're playing, skip to the next track, and turn noise-canceling on and off by touching the AirPods.

The AirPods themselves come with a 6-hour battery life, not the worst for some of the smallest earbuds around. The charging case it comes with has a 30-hour battery life, though, so even if your AirPods run out of juice, you'll have 5 more full battery cycles through by recharging them.

They charge quickly, too; 5 minutes in the charging case will give you up to an hour of powerful audio performance.

Apple's Personalized Spatial Audio makes it feel like you're in the middle of whatever you're playing, no matter where you are.

It also comes with a custom high-excursion Apple driver and a custom high dynamic range amplifier, making these earbuds feel as powerful as some of the on-ear headphones on this list.

If you want the best wireless earbuds you can find on the market, look no further than the Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation.

3. Best Wireless Headphones – Yamaha YH-WL500

Yamaha YH-WL500


  • Noise Canceling: No
  • Weight: 0.69 lbs.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Open/Closed: Open

When we decided to make a list of the best headphones and earbuds of 2024, we had a hard time deciding the number one spot, as the Yamaha YH-WL500 is excellent.

As you can tell, it didn't quite make the number one spot due to its lack of noise-canceling technology. Its great sound quality and comfortable ear cup design certainly earn it a spot on this list, however.

It won the spot of best wireless headphones due to its incredibly short response time. These headphones have less than 4ms of latency, meaning you can get near-instant feedback from whatever you're playing.

It also comes with a weaker 7 hours of battery life, almost a 10th of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless, and it takes 3 hours to charge as well.

The Yamaha YH-WL500 is tuned specifically for musical instruments, making these headphones a good pick to have while you're in the studio. They also have 40mm dynamic drivers to emit balanced and distinguishable sound.

The Yamaha YH-WL500 are a great pair of headphones for anyone who wants to monitor their studio sessions comfortably, even for the longest of periods.

4. Best Quick-Charge Headphones – Sony WH-1000XM5

Sony WH-1000XM5


  • Noise Canceling: Yes
  • Weight: 0.55 lbs.
  • Frequency Response: 4Hz - 40kHz
  • Open/Closed: Closed

The Sony WH-1000XM5 has the best quick-charge capability of any pair of headphones on this list by far. Not only does it come with an astounding 30-hour battery life, but you can get up to 3 hours of playback off of just a 3-minute charge!

With the Sony WH-1000XM5, you'll never have to worry about how much charge you have again. Simply plug it into its charger for less than 5 minutes, and you're good to go.

A great charging system isn't the only thing the Sony WH-1000XM5 is bringing to the table; they also come with active noise cancellation and plenty of hands-free features.

Spatial audio sounds great coming from the XM5's new Integrated Processor V1 chip too. Sony's active noise cancellation ensures a premium sound quality from the XM5 as well.

Speaking of noise canceling features, the Sony WH-1000XM5 comes with 8 separate microphones working to pick up the ambient noise around you before making sure it never reaches your ear canal.

These headphones can connect to up to two different Bluetooth devices at once and can differentiate between the two of them on their own. If you want the best wireless noise-canceling headphones available, consider the Sony WH-1000XM5.

5. Best Headphones for Studio Monitoring – Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Closed-back Studio Monitoring Headphones


  • Noise Canceling: Passive Noise Isolation
  • Weight: 0.625 lbs. (10 oz)
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz - 28kHz
  • Open/Closed: Closed

Audio-Technica is another company known for its excellent audio products, and their ATH-M50x is no exception - they're the perfect pair of headphones to monitor studio recording with.

As over-ear headphones that have a closed-back design, they come with a passive noise isolation you won't find in many other headphones. They even come with a 90-degree swivel design so you can listen to your headphones with one ear and whatever else you need to with the other.

Audio-Technica's ATH-M50x is made for people who plan to be in the studio for a while, so the audio giants made sure to include one of the most comfortable headbands on the market.

They're critically acclaimed for their sonic performance, having an audio quality head and shoulders above other headphones.

These headphones are a go-to for audio engineers and producers for a good reason. They're powerful, reliable, and can playback even the smallest of sounds within your recording.

If you're looking for a new pair of headphones to take with you to the recording studio, take Audio-Technica's quality ATH-M50x. At less than $200, you won't get a better deal from another headphone.

6. Best Headphones for Audiophiles – Sennheiser HD 800 S

Sennheiser HD 800 S


  • Noise Canceling: No
  • Weight: 0.73 lbs.
  • Frequency Response: 4Hz - 51kHz
  • Closed/Open: Open

Audiophiles aren't just fans of music; they're obsessed with recreating their favorite sounds with quality so clear you'd think you were at the studio.

If you want the best audiophile headphones available for purchase, the Sennheiser HD 800 S is the choice for you.

Another one of Sennheiser's amazing headphones, the HD 800 S was made almost solely for the most passionate music lovers among us.

At $1,499, these headphones aren't cheap, but when you see the incredible features boasted by Sennheiser, you'll understand.

The HD 800 S is more than comfortable; with open earcups and a circumaural design, you can wear these headphones all day without the slightest discomfort.

While they aren't noise-canceling headphones, these on-ear headphones work to isolate sound through their design.

Wired headphones usually have the best sound quality, and the Sennheiser HD 800 S comes with two sturdy cables at 6.3mm and 4.4mm to support a wide range of audiophile headphone amps.

If you love hearing your favorite songs with supreme quality and are willing to spend a little bit of money, you should consider buying the Sennheiser HD 800 S. They are the standard audiophile headphones for a reason.

7. Best Entry Sennheiser Headphones – Sennheiser HD 600

Sennheiser HD 600


  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Weight: 0.58 lbs.
  • Frequency Response: 12Hz - 39Khz
  • Closed/Open: Open

As Sennheiser is one of the best manufacturers of audio equipment around, we wanted to include an entry-level Sennheiser headphone that anyone could get their hands on.

Enter the Sennheiser HD 600, a cheaper alternative to the +$1,000 HD 800 S. At less than $300, these might be the perfect pair of entry audiophile headphones you can find on the market.

Sennheiser's HD 600 comes with an open-back design built to let sound waves expand and contract freely, giving you the clearest playback of whatever you're listening to. It also comes with detachable cables, which make transportation much easier.

High-quality mesh ear covers also ensure that you're getting good sound while avoiding active noise, even if they don't have active noise cancelation.

While they aren't ANC headphones, they can give you a precise sound even after long listening sessions. They're wired headphones, too, benefiting from the direct connection to give you great audio quality.

If you consider yourself to be an audiophile but don't have the budget for the 800 HD S, check out the Sennheiser 600 HD. You can still get a quality pair of over-ear headphones for a fifth of the price.

8. Best Expensive Headphones – Focal Stellia

Focal Stellia


  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Weight: 0.96 lbs.
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz - 40kHz
  • Closed/Open: Closed

We'll be honest, the first thing that caught our attention about these headphones was the price tag. The Focal Stellia is priced at $3,000 - the same amount could buy you a small used car.

Looking into the Stellia, there certainly are a couple of features that make this product worth more than an old Camry. The first thing we need to mention is the M-shaped pure Beryllium dome.

Beryllium is a great, expensive metal for transporting sound, and you won't find it used anywhere else. The inside of the headphones also includes a 100% copper voice coil that is frameless and free to expand and contract with audio waves as they come.

While the internal mechanics of these headphones are astounding, the external beauty is something to note as well. The Focal Stellia comes in a Cognac/Mocha finish, maybe the most expensive-sounding color combination we've ever heard.

The Focal Stellia comes in a cognac and mocha faux leather carrying case that looks like it came straight from your favorite designer brand. It also comes with two high-quality cables, one at 1.2m in length and the other at 3m.

If you want a pair of the best headphones that provide you with better sound quality than you could find almost anywhere else (and you have the budget to back it up), take a look at the Focal Stellia.

9. Best Budget Headphones – Sony WH-CH720N

Sony WH-CH720N


  • Noise Canceling: Yes
  • Weight: 0.21 lbs. (3.5 oz)
  • Frequency Response: 7Hz - 20kHz
  • Closed/Open: Closed

While you're reading this list, the last thing we want you to think is that it costs a small fortune to get your hands on a good pair of headphones. That's why we're more than happy to introduce the Sony WH-CH720N.

They're a great pair of closed-back headphones that cost less than $150, much less than most of the other choices on this list.

The WH-CH720N is great at blocking background noise and giving you that detailed sound you want out of your headphones.

The Sony WH-CH720N give you a great wireless sound through their dynamic 30mm drivers. They're also known as Sony's lightest pair of headphones at less than a quarter of a pound, meaning they won't weigh too much on your head even if you use them all day.

Sony products are known for their incredible battery life, and the WH-CH720N has one of the best. It comes standard with 35 hours of battery life (with noise cancellation on, 50 hours without), and it takes only 3 minutes to get a full hour of playback time.

Battery life isn't the only thing special about these active noise-canceling headphones. You can connect your headphones to Sony's Adaptive EQ app, where you can customize your listening experience all from your phone.

If you want a lightweight, cheap in cost but not in quality pair of headphones, Sony's WH-CH720N is the perfect pair of noise-canceling headphones for you.

10. Best Headphones for Apple Fans – Apple AirPods Max

Apple AirPods Max


  • Noise Canceling: Yes
  • Weight: 0.85 lbs.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Closed/Open: Closed

If you're a fan of Apple products, or more specifically, Apple's Airpods, you'll love their over-ear AirPods Max. They took everything that made their audio products great and turned it into a great pair of headphones.

These Bluetooth-capable headphones can connect with your iPhone easily. Unfortunately, Android users won't be able to use these headphones with their devices.

Apple has a lot of fun features included in their AirPods Max, including a unique spatial audio feature that comes with dynamic head tracking. No matter where you're facing on what you're hearing, these over-ear headphones will use their adaptive sound control to quiet all background noise.

Apple headphones are known for their quality and reliability. The AirPod Max comes with a solid 20 hours of battery life, even when using the noise cancelation feature.

It also comes with a comfy mesh canopy headband that will allow you to use these headphones for hours on end without needing to adjust them.

If you want a great product from a reliable company, Apple's AirPod Max may be the headphones you're looking for.

11. Best In-Ear Monitors – Sennheiser IE100 PRO

Sennheiser IE100 PRO


  • Noise Cancelation: Passive Noise Cancellation
  • Weight: 0.33 lbs.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 18kHz
  • Closed/Open: N/A

When you're performing live, you need to be able to hear your own sound just as well as the sound coming from your bandmates or other performers. The Sennheiser IE100 Pro is perfect for just this, giving you the ability to monitor your sound even at the loudest of stages.

These in-ear headphones don't have active noise canceling, but they do have passive noise cancellation, meaning you can still focus on your performance without having to press a button.

You can get the Sennheiser IE100 PRO both wirelessly and wired, depending on your preference. No matter which version you get, the IE100 PRO is built to fit perfectly in your inner ear, giving you superb noise cancellation passively.

The advanced driver system makes sure you can hear every part of your audio performance without any ambient sound making its way in.

At $100, the Sennheiser IE100 PRO is reasonably priced for the quality it brings. They boast a wide frequency range too, so you're not missing out on highs or lows.

If you need a great pair of in-ear headphones made to improve your overall performance, the Sennheiser IE100 PRO may just be the in-ear headphones you're looking for.

12. Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones - Bose QuietComfort 45

Bose QuietComfort 45


  • Noise Canceling: Yes
  • Weight: 0.53 lbs.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Closed/Open: Closed

The Bose QuietComfort 45 has one of the most apt names on this list. Using tiny mics, Bose makes sure to pick up even the faintest sounds to make sure you don't.

These headphones also come with 22 hours of battery life from just a single charge and can even get you 3 hours of playback from just 15 minutes of charge time.

One of the best features of any Bose product is its integration with the Bose Music App. You can personalize your settings, get tips, and read through instructive guides all from the app.

The QuietComfort's Bluetooth range is impressive as well at 30 feet. Synthetic leather on the earcups and headband makes for a reliable fit no matter how long you wear the headphones.

The Bose QuietComfort 45 comes with foldable ear cups to make transportation easy. The ear cups sit on custom cast-metal hinges that are built to last. If you don't have the Bose Music App, no problem.

The headphones come with plenty of buttons so you can control your device without needing anything else. If noise cancellation is one of your top priorities, there isn't a better pick than the Bose QuietComfort 45.

Best Headphones Buyer's Guide

If you want a solid pair of headphones or earbuds, there are a couple of key factors you should consider before making your purchase.

Before you buy a pair of headphones, you first need to decide if you prefer them wired or wireless, how good the build quality is, and whether they're open-backed or closed-backed.

Wired or Wireless

Decide whether you prefer the convenience of wireless connectivity or don't mind dealing with a wired connection.

Wireless headphones offer more freedom of movement, but they come with considerations like battery life and potential audio latency.

Wired options, on the other hand, may provide better sound quality and a more reliable connection, but they restrict your movement.

Build Quality

Durable build quality and materials are essential for long-lasting headphones. Look for headphones or earbuds made from high-quality materials such as metal, sturdy plastics, or reinforced cables. Pay attention to the hinges, joints, and connection points, as these areas are more prone to wear and tear.

If you plan to use them on the go or for workouts, consider options with sweat-resistant or water-resistant features to protect them from potential damage.

Open-Back vs. Closed-Back

This distinction is more applicable to over-ear headphones. Open-back headphones have a design with vents or openings in the ear cups, allowing air and sound to pass through.

This design creates a more open and natural sound but provides less noise isolation, making them better suited for quiet environments.

Closed-back headphones, on the other hand, have a sealed design that isolates sound and provides better noise isolation, making them ideal for use in noisy environments or when you don't want sound leakage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How comfortable are headphones to wear?

This depends on the headphones in question, but the two things to consider are the earcups and headband. If they are made of lightweight, durable, comfortable material, you should be in the clear to listen to your favorite music through them for hours.

Can I make phone calls with headphones?

Yes, some headphones even allow you to make phone calls without having to press a button. If a pair of headphones is connected to your phone and has a microphone installed in it, it should be capable of making a call through a simple voice request.

Can I use headphones for sports and workouts?

Absolutely. Most headphones will let you know if they are sweat or water-resistant, which is what you'll need to ensure they still work after your most grueling workouts.


Headphones and earbuds have become intertwined with our everyday life. Whether you're at the gym or just at home listening to music, the right pair of headphones can get the most out of your playlist.

If you want the best pair of headphones around without breaking the bank, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless is our number one pick.

Unleash the power of superior sound! Explore our range of the best Audio-Technica over-ear headphones and redefine your listening pleasure.

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