Best Headphone Brands 2017

Best Headphone Brands
Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone

In today’s crowded headphone market, it’s not easy to find which headphone brands are the best. There are literally thousands of brands out there competing to be on top.

Despite the competitive landscape, several brands have carved out niches for themselves by building loyal, almost fanatic, customer bases.

Which brands are these?

Let’s discover the best headphone brands by looking at the best headphones on the market at the moment.

If you’re running short of time or simply don’t like reading detailed descriptions, feel free to peruse our “Features at a Glance” sections to get the broad details for each pair of headphones.

Best Headphone Brands Reviewed

1. Sennheiser HD 650 Open-Back Professional Headphones

Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones

Sennheiser pioneered a truly unique trend in the music industry when they introduced open-back headphones. The Sennheiser HD 650s are lovingly crafted headphones that continue that trend while adding a few improvements. They’re also the most expensive headphones on our list, and you’ll soon see why.

Design

The HD 650s are high-end audiophile-oriented headphones which simply don’t compromise when it comes to design. These headphones look incredible with their elegant titanium-silver finish.

They are also extremely comfortable – you’ll easily be able to listen to hours-long concerts with these cans on.

Sound

We could go into all the technical details that make the HD 650s sound so ethereal, or we could just try to describe how they sound.

Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones

First of all, these headphones aren’t meant to be used with a laptop or a phone. Sure, you could use them with such a device, but that’d be like using a katana to scratch an itch. You’d rather connect them to an amp and enjoy the best listening experience possible.

Second, the sound is simply beautiful. Even if you’ve listened to a song a million times, these headphones will take you deeper and deeper into the song – each time you listen!

The open back nature of the headphones significantly improves the soundstage, but also subjects people around you to the annoyance of noise leakage so make sure you consider that when making your final decision.

Features at a Glance

  • Acoustic silk dampening reduces THD to negligible levels
  • Efficient high-powered neodymium magnets
  • ​Lightweight aluminium voice coils improve response times
  • ​Detachable Kevlar-reinforced cable increase durability
  • 2-year international warranty

2. Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

 Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose is a name that invariably comes up whenever someone discusses high-quality audio equipment. The Bose QC25s are classic Bose headphones that don’t fail to deliver.

Comfort and Convenience

The Bose QC25s are very comfortable. They’re lightweight and don’t put too much pressure on your ears. They truly live up to the Comfort part of their name.

The headphones also fold in on themselves and can be transported in a carry case that comes with the headphones.

One of the best parts of using these headphones is that they are powered by a single AAA battery. No proprietary battery or Micro USB ports – just buy a battery and pop it in when you need to. If you’re planning to go on a long trip, you could even stock up – just in case.

There are also two different versions of the QC25s, one for iOS devices and one for Android devices. However, you can use any version with any device – you just won’t be able to control your music using the included cable.

 Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Sound Quality

The QC25’s sound quality doesn’t disappoint. It’s clear, precise, and tight. In short, it’s perfect. A number of people seem to agree that the headphones become better once they’re broken in – play around a hundred hours of music and you’ll notice the change.

Noise Cancellation

We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again. Bose owns noise cancellation. The active noise cancellation on these headphones is close to perfect and will easily reduce even the loudest noises to mere whispers. Once you have the headphones on, it’s just you and your music.

Features at a Glance

  • Excellent noise reduction
  • Deep and powerful sound
  • ​Inline mic/remote allows you to take calls
  • Lightweight and comfortable over-ear fit

3. Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones

 Beats Solo3 Wireless On Ear Headphones

Why does Beats get so much flak? Admittedly, their initial attempts at making headphones were disastrous, but the company has come a long way from its roots. The Beats Solo3 headphones may not be the best headphones in the world, but they definitely aren’t bad.

Connectivity

The Solo3s are Bluetooth headphones that are incredibly easy to connect to your devices. If you’re an iOS fan, they really take the hassle out of what can otherwise be a painful and time-consuming task.

The on-ear controls can be used to control music, take calls, or even activate Siri (if you’re using an iOS device, of course).

The 40-hour battery life is insane and will easily allow you to listen to music on and off for at least a week. If you’re a light user, they may last you even longer than that.

Build Quality

If you love metal components, you’re out of luck. There’s a lot of plastic on these headphones. Admittedly, this does keep them light, but it also reduces their durability.

 Beats Solo3 Wireless On Ear Headphones

Comfort

The Solo3s are on-ear headphones, meaning you’ll not get the same level of comfort that you would out of over-ear headphones.

While they are comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time, the firm hold on your ears will cause heat to build up and create discomfort and you may quickly find yourself having to remove them in order to cool down.

Sound Quality

Beats has a reputation for being the headphones for bassheads. However, the Solo3s may surprise you – in a good way. Yes, the bass is boosted, but they’re also much more balanced than earlier versions.

Spatial separation is also excellent, and you’ll really feel the music coming from around you.

Features at a Glance

  • 40 hours of battery life
  • Fast Fuel technology gives you 3 hours of playback on a five-minute charge
  • ​Multifunctional on-ear controls for greater convenience
  • Good sound quality

4. Panasonic RP-HD10C-K Premium Hi-Res Stereo Over-the-Ear Headphones

Panasonic RP HD10C K Premium Hi Res Stereo Over The Ear Headphones

When you hear Panasonic, you know you’re getting a high-quality product. The Panasonic RP-HD10C-Ks are incredibly good headphones. In what ways, you ask? Read on and find out!

Comfort and Convenience

The headphones come with ergonomically cushioned earpads. Once you start using these babies, you can forget about ear fatigue. The earpads can also be adjusted horizontally for the perfect fit.

The headband is wide and soft and easily adjusts to accommodate any head size.

In fact, the headphones are so well designed that Panasonic won a 2015 iF Design Award for them.

The headphones come with two different cords of varying lengths and with slightly different 3.5mm connectors for use at home or when traveling. Panasonic also bundles in a gold-plated adapter that turns both jacks into full-size 6.3mm plugs, which is a plus for any audiophile.

The earpads fold inwards and can be stored in a convenient soft-textured carry pouch that comes with the headphones.

You can also use the microphone on the detachable cord to take calls.

Sound Quality

Panasonic RP HD10C K Premium Hi Res Stereo Over The Ear Headphones

These headphones sound fantastic. The 50mm drivers are gargantuan when compared to most headphones and really help improve sound quality.

The 18 Ohm impedance means the headphones can be used optimally with most mobile devices, which is rarely the case with other high-end headphones.

The headphones also have an anti-vibration driver unit frame to further improve sound quality.

The sound output is balanced, although the highs sometimes get a bit too energetic – which you’ll notice when listening to vocals.

Features at a Glance

  • oldable design and include travel case for increased portability
  • Outstanding comfort and ergonomic fit
  • ​50mm drivers deliver excellent sound
  • ​Detachable cord with integrated mic
  • Award-winning design

5. Monster DNA On-Ear Headphones

Meet Monster, the company behind the rapid rise of Beats by Dre. Obviously, the company has a long and storied history. But history counts for nothing if their present-day products aren’t worth their salt.

 Monster DNA On Ear Headphones

Noise Isolation

The Monster DNAs come with pillow-soft ear cushions that serve dual purposes of comfort and noise isolation. They also reduce noise leakage and ensure that your music won’t disturb the people around you.

MusicShare

Why do these headphones have dual audio input jacks?

The reason behind this is a feature that Monster calls MusicShare. This allows you to link MusicShare enabled headphones and listen to music or movies with friends.

 Monster DNA On Ear Headphones

Build Quality

Unfortunately, the Monster DNAs aren’t too good in this regard. They’re made of plastic that feels cheap. Take care if you’re using these headphones – they won’t stand up to much abuse.

Sound Quality

With these headphones, you don’t have to make a choice between deep bass or crystal details. You can get both! With these headphones on, you’ll feel just like you’re experiencing live music.

Features at a Glance

  • Two tangle-free cables included
  • Advanced noise-isolating technology
  • ​MusicShare lets you share audio with others
  • Comfortable ear cushions

Final Verdict

Keep in mind that audio is a highly subjective topic, and you may not agree completely with our choices. That’s completely fine!

As always, it’s really hard to choose between the headphones on our list. They’re all incredible! However, if we did have to make a choice, we’d go with the Sennheiser HD 650s.

The HD 650s are true audiophile-quality headphones and will never let you down in terms of sound quality. However, they are a bit pricey and won’t work that well with mobile devices, so keep that in mind when making your choice.

All you have to do is make a list of what you’d prefer in your ideal pair of headphones and find the ones that most closely match your criteria.

Need noise cancelling? Go for Bose. Prefer headphones that work really well with mobile devices? Go for Panasonic. It really all comes down to what you’re looking for.

Choose wisely!

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