Top 10 Best Headphones of 2020

When looking for a new headphone, it’s easy to get lost in an ocean of different brands, models and types. From wired in-ears that can be bought for a few quid to huge headphones with the most luxurious features: there’s an enormous amount of choice out there. In this article, we’ll help you find the headphone that fits your needs. These are the ten best headphones currently available.

Top picks

1. Sony WH-1000XM3

SONY WH1000XM3 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones, Black...
  • HD Noise-Canceling Processor QN1
  • Smart Listening by Adaptive Sound Control / SENSE ENGINE for virtual surround sound
  • Hi-Res audio / 1. 57" LCP drivers for up to 40kHz frequency

The Sony WH-1000XM3 is a jack of all trades. The wireless headphone isn’t just known for its neutral and stylish design, it also has the best noise reduction currently available. The sound quality is also great, with a slight emphasis on low frequencies. There have been numerous price cuts since launch, so the headset is a pretty sweet deal at this time.

2. Sennheiser HD 660 S

SENNHEISER HD 660 S - HiRes Audiophile Open Back Headphone
  • Reference class open back, dynamic headphone employing new and improved transducers delivering low harmonic distortion
  • Transducers are hand selected for precise (1 dB) left / right matching tolerance insure exceptional accuracy and presentation of stereo spatial...
  • 150 ohm nominal impedance allows direct connection to home and mobile Hires audio devices. Contact pressure: 6.0 N - 1 N

When looking for a headphone without needless bells and whistles, instead of focusing on pure sound quality, the Sennheiser HD 660 S should be on your list. The price of $445.55 is steep, but it nets you a headphone that can last a lifetime. It has a fairly high impedance of 150 ohms, which means an amplifier is preferable – your phone or laptop might not have enough power to get the best out of the HD 660 S. Also keep in mind it has an open design, meaning everyone around you can hear what you are listening to.

3. Jabra Elite 85h

Jabra Elite 85h Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones, Titanium Black –...
  • Block unwanted background noise: Jabra Elite 85h Wireless Headphones are engineered for the best wireless calls and music experience with SmartSound;...
  • SmartSound audio: The revolutionary SmartSound Audio technology in these Bluetooth headphones analyzes your sound environment and automatically...
  • Long battery life headphones: Up to 36 hours of battery on a single charge (with ANC switched on), and fast charging of 5 battery hours in 15 minutes;...

Jabra proves that you don’t have to shelve out 400 dollars for a great ANC headphone. Both the quality of the sound and the noise reduction are surprisingly high quality for its price. The noise reduction can cancel the sounds in a train, airplane or even the sound of voices. The Elite 85h is pretty much the only model under 250 dollars that can do this. The same goes for the sound quality. Lower tones are powerful without fading and middle tones are detailed.

4. Apple Airpods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro
  • Active noise cancellation for immersive sound
  • Transparency mode for hearing and connecting with the world around you
  • Three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for a customizable fit

The Apple Airpods Pro are the third generation official Airpods and come with quite a few improvements. Now that the legs have been made smaller, the ears aren’t much larger than wired in-ear headphones. That means there is less weight hanging on your ears. As a result, the Airpods Pro are even more comfortable than its predecessors, but this is depending on the three silicon inserts Apple provides with your purchase. There isn’t a fitting version for everyone, and only three inserts are a bit bare-bones when paying $249. The most important improvements are active noise canceling and much better sound quality.

5. Sony WF-1000XM3

Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Bluetooth Noise Canceling in-Ear Headphones...
  • 24bit Audio signal processing delivers dramatically improved sound quality
  • Battery life up to 24 hours with carrying case (with 10min quick charge for 90min of play time)
  • Truly wireless design with uninterrupted L/R simultaneous Bluetooth transmission

The choice between Apple Airpods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM3 is dependent on which device you use with it. The Airpods Pro are mainly perfect for Apple products, while the WF-1000XM3 works best with Android and Windows equipment. The in-ear headphone from Apple is both more compact and more comfortable, while the Sony WF-1000XM3 has better quality of both sound and ANC. Purely looking at price, Sony’s headphones come out on top.

6. Bowers & Wilkins PX5

Bowers & Wilkins PX5 On Ear Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones - Blue
  • A modern sound The Px5 is light and compact while delivering sound quality built on Bowers & Wilkins’ exacting standards Custom designed 35mm...
  • Farewell to noise from a library to grand Central station adaptive noise cancelling automatically adjusts to keep impurities out of the sound
  • Play 25 hours at a time one battery charge and just over a full day of music If for some reason you need more power a 15 minute quick charge provides...

Bowers & Wilkins is the perfect fit for anyone looking for a stylish on-ear ANC headphone. The outside of the PX5 is made with aluminum and fabric, which results in quite a spectacular model. The materials used for the headphone are of high quality, while the lack of bright colors and noticeable logos keep it low profile. The excellent building quality and modest clamping force makes it a comfortable wear. The modest clamping force is also perfect for people who wear glasses, as the headphone won’t push the spectacles legs against the skull. The sound consists of a great balance between high and low, making the PX5 suited for all genres. The deep bass is a noticeable plus. Even though it won’t cancel out sounds as good as on-ear headphones, the high-quality ANC is perfect for usage while exercising.

7. Steelseries Arctis Pro Wireless

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headset - Lossless High Fidelity...
  • Dual-Wireless technology provides rock solid, 2.4G wireless lossless audio for gaming, combined with Bluetooth connectivity for mobile devices
  • Premium Hi-Res speakers with high-density neodymium magnets reproduce a full, expansive frequency range from 10 – 40,000 Hz with stunning realism...
  • Luxurious lightweight steel and aluminum alloy construction offers maximum durability and a consistent fit

Comfort, great sound and lots of features: a combination that isn’t common with gaming headsets, but the Steelseries Arctis Pro Wireless is the exception to the rule. You can’t miss virtual footsteps anymore and music sounds great as well. The headset comes with two batteries that each last about ten hours, so you’ll never be without battery power as long as you power up the extra battery.

8. Jabra Elite Active 75t

Jabra Elite 75t Earbuds – True Wireless Earbuds with Charging Case,...
  • WIRELESS EARBUDS – Jabra Elite 75t is engineered to fit; Making and taking calls is always a great experience, wherever you are, thanks to enhanced...
  • COMPACT COMFORT – Designed and tested for a secure fit, the Jabra Elite 75t features a new smaller design that provides an ideal fit for every type...
  • NO AUDIO DROPOUTS – With Jabra 4th generation true wireless connection, your music and calls will be stable, with no wires to get in the way;With...

The Jabra Elite Active 75t is one of the most comfortable true-wireless in-ear headphones available. It’s light and fits comfortably, which means you can use the ears all day long. The sound is great if you’re looking for powerful bass or want to experiment with the equalizer. We’ve noticed the bass can cancel out other detailed sounds. The price of $129.99 is a bit high, but the quality is top-notch and the headphone is waterproof as well.

9. HyperX Cloud II

HyperX Cloud II - Gaming Headset, 7.1 Surround Sound, Memory Foam Ear Pads,...
  • Designed for comfort: Exceptionally comfortable memory foam ear cushions and padded leatherette headband help keep you focused on gaming
  • Supreme audio quality: Large 53 millimeter drivers provide high-quality audio. Hear in-game details better and get the in-game advantage on your...
  • 7.1 virtual surround sound: Truly immerse yourself in your games with hardware-driven virtual 7.1 surround sound for precisely located audio

Gaming headsets aren’t known for their high sound quality, but the HyperX is the exception to the rule. This also goes for the microphone: it offers a clear quality for voices and little background noise. The headset isn’t made from cheap plastic like most of the other gaming headsets and has a firm feeling. The biggest drawback is the short analog cable when you’re not using the USB-DAC it comes with.

10. Sennheiser HD 820

SENNHEISER HD 820 Over-the-Ear Audiophile Reference Headphones - Ring...
  • The HD 820 delivers an unparalleled, reference-grade audiophile listening experience in a closed headphone
  • Innovative glass reflectors and frequency absorber systems replicate the wide open characteristics of audiophile speakers in a sealed earcup design
  • 56mm Ring Radiator transducers and Glass Reflectors provide total immersion in your music with absolute detail and a breathtaking soundstage

Some folks only want the best of the best, and as far as headphones go, there’s no better option than the Sennheiser HD 820. This headphone will cost you over 2000 dollars but has such good sound quality that you can hear even the smallest recording mistakes. Don’t forget to also buy an amplifier in the same price range, because you won’t get the required quality from a regular laptop or smartphone.

Looking for some true gamer-style headgear? Check our article on Wireless gaming headsets. More into in-ear stuff? Here's our Top 12 gaming earbuds

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