In 2023, the world of headphones is thriving with innovation, and the best headphones on the market are redefining the way we experience audio. From over-ear headphones that deliver unparalleled sound quality to wireless earbuds that combine convenience with exceptional performance, these headphones represent the pinnacle of audio technology. Our comprehensive guide is your ultimate source for navigating this auditory landscape, offering a meticulously curated selection of the best headphones available in 2023.

Whether you’re an athlete looking to get in the zone for a game or workouts, an audiophile in search of pristine sound, a traveler seeking noise-canceling perfection, or simply someone who values versatility and style, our guide simplifies the selection process. We’ve conducted in-depth research to identify headphones that cater to different preferences and budgets, ensuring that you find the perfect pair to match your unique needs. Let our guide be your audiophile ally, leading you to the best headphones that elevate your listening experience to new heights. With these top-notch headphones, you’ll immerse yourself in a world of unparalleled sound quality and immerse yourself in music, podcasts, and more like never before.

Things to be aware of when shopping

Here are a couple of things you should be aware of when shopping for the best headphones in 2023.

  1. Sound Quality: Pay close attention to the sound quality. Look for headphones that offer clear, balanced, and immersive audio with good bass, mid-range frequencies, and treble (high-frequency sounds).
  2. Type of Headphones: Decide on the type of headphones you want, such as over-ear, on-ear, or in-ear. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of comfort and sound isolation.
  3. Wireless vs. Wired: Consider whether you want wireless Bluetooth headphones or wired ones. Wireless headphones offer more freedom, but wired headphones may provide better sound quality.
  4. Battery Life: If you opt for wireless headphones, check the battery life. Longer battery life means fewer interruptions for recharging.
  5. Noise-Cancellation: If noise isolation is important, look for headphones with active noise-cancellation (ANC) technology. This is great for blocking out background noise during travel or in noisy environments.
  6. Comfort and Fit: Ensure that the headphones are comfortable to wear for extended periods. Adjustable headbands and cushioned ear cups contribute to comfort.
  7. Durability: Check the build quality and materials used. Durable headphones will last longer and withstand wear and tear.
  8. Price: Set a budget and compare headphones within your price range. Remember that the most expensive option isn’t always the best for your needs.
  9. Reviews and User Feedback: Read reviews and user feedback online to get a sense of real-world experiences with the headphones you’re considering.
  10. Try Before You Buy: If possible, try the headphones on in a store to ensure they fit comfortably and meet your expectations for sound quality.

Best overall headphones: Sony WH-1000XM5 Bluetooth Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones – Black

Sony WH-1000XM5 Bluetooth Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones - Black colored on a white background.

When it comes to best overall headphones, you want a pair that does it all — this one from Sony does that and then some. Immerse yourself in a world of pristine sound and uninterrupted listening with the Sony WH-1000XM5 Bluetooth Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones in Black. These headphones redefine audio excellence, boasting industry-leading noise cancellation. Powered by two processors and equipped with eight microphones, they offer unparalleled noise cancellation, adapting to your surroundings through the Auto NC Optimizer. Engineered with the new Integrated Processor V1, they deliver magnificent sound quality, while four beamforming microphones ensure crystal-clear hands-free calls. With a remarkable battery life of up to 30 hours and quick charging, you can enjoy your music uninterrupted. Plus, the lightweight, ultra-comfortable design with soft-fit leather guarantees extended listening pleasure. Truly the best headphones available on the market.

Top Reason to Buy: Their industry-leading noise cancellation immerses you in pure, undisturbed sound. These headphones, equipped with the new Integrated Processor V1 and four beamforming microphones, deliver superior sound quality and crystal-clear hands-free calls. With a remarkable 30-hour battery life and quick charging, your music accompanies you all day.

Best budget headphones: Beats Solo3 Wireless – Matte Black

Beats Solo3 Wireless - Matte Black colored on a white background.

You don’t need to spend over half a grand just to have high-quality sounding headphones, and these Beats prove just that. The Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones featuring fine-tuned acoustics, deliver remarkable clarity and depth while providing noise isolation. These headphones immerse you in your music with spatial audio, offering an immersive listening experience. Powered by Class 1 Bluetooth through the Apple W1 chip, they ensure seamless setup and effortless switching between your Apple devices, all while extending the wireless range and minimizing dropouts. The Beats Solo3 Wireless also supports Audio Sharing, allowing you to wirelessly share audio like songs, podcasts, or movies with another pair of Beats headphones or AirPods. With an impressive battery life of up to 40 hours and the convenience of Fast Fuel (a 5-minute charge provides 3 hours of playback), you can enjoy your music for extended periods. The LED fuel gauge displays the charge level whether plugged in or not, ensuring you stay in control of your listening experience.

Top Reason to Buy: With spatial audio, these headphones immerse you in your music, creating a captivating listening environment, while the Class 1 Bluetooth connectivity via the Apple W1 chip ensures hassle-free setup and seamless device switching, all while extending the wireless range and reducing dropouts. Beats Solo3 Wireless supports Audio Sharing, enabling you to share audio wirelessly with another pair of Beats headphones or AirPods, and the 40 hours of battery life and the convenience of Fast Fuel provide 3 hours of playback with just a 5-minute charge.

Best luxury buy: Bowers & Wilkins Px8 – Black

Bowers & Wilkins Px8 - Black colored on a white background.

Few names resonate as well with luxury as the Bowers & Wilkins brand does when it comes to headphones. The Bowers & Wilkins PX8 are the flagship wireless headphones that offer exceptional performance, premium craftsmanship, intelligent technology, and smart features. These headphones feature Carbon Cone drive units, delivering outstanding sound quality that captures the nuances in your music that other headphones often miss. The design incorporates cast aluminum arms, fine Nappa leather trim, and diamond-cut bright detailing, resulting in a stunning premium aesthetic. The PX8 headphones combine a high-resolution 24-bit DSP with all-new 40mm Carbon Cones for exceptional clarity and realism. They feature active noise cancellation with six microphones for a superior listening experience while preserving call quality.

Top Reason to Buy: Featuring cutting-edge technology, including Carbon Cone drive units for exceptional sound quality and active noise cancellation with six microphones. The premium design with cast aluminum arms and fine Nappa leather trim adds a touch of luxury to your listening experience. The PX8 headphones support high-resolution audio streaming with aptXTM Adaptive wireless technology and powerful DSP, ensuring superior sound quality from compatible streaming services.

Best in-ear headphones: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 Earbuds – White

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 Earbuds - White colored on a white background.

When it comes to in-ear earbuds, none do it quite as well as Sennheiser. These earbuds are designed to deliver high-fidelity sound with impactful bass, thanks to Sennheiser’s TrueResponse technology and 7 mm drivers. Enjoy high-resolution wireless audio with the aptX Adaptive codec, ensuring you hear every detail. Personalize your sound with a choice of presets and an equalizer feature, giving you control over your audio experience. Stay focused and distraction-free with Adaptive Noise Cancellation, which automatically adjusts noise canceling levels as your environment changes. You can also switch to Transparency Mode to stay aware of your surroundings with a touch. The earbuds feature three advanced noise-canceling microphones on each earbud, ensuring crystal-clear communication while minimizing background noise. Their compact and ergonomic design comes with ear adapters and optional silicon fins in various sizes, guaranteeing a comfortable and personalized fit. These earbuds are built to keep up with your active lifestyle, with IPX4 splash resistance to handle wet conditions. Enjoy up to 7 hours of battery life, and extend your playtime to 28 hours with the included charging case, which supports QI wireless charging for convenience.

Top Reason to Buy: The aptX Adaptive codec ensures you don’t miss any audio detail, and you can customize your sound with presets and an equalizer. Adaptive Noise Cancellation adjusts to your surroundings and Transparency Mode allows users to stay aware of their environment. These earbuds feature advanced noise-canceling microphones for clear communication and come with a range of ear adapters and silicon fins for a comfortable fit. They are designed to withstand your active lifestyle with IPX4 splash resistance, and the included charging case provides up to 28 hours of playtime with wireless charging support.

Best for Apple users: Apple AirPods Max – Silver

Apple AirPods Max - Silver colored on a white background.

Minimalist look with a clean modern feel, Apple does it again with their AirPods Max. These headphones redefine audio excellence with an Apple-designed dynamic driver that delivers immersive high-fidelity audio. Every element, from the knit-mesh canopy to the memory foam ear cushions, has been meticulously crafted for an exceptional and comfortable fit. Experience industry-leading Active Noise Cancellation that effectively blocks out external distractions, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your music. For moments when you need to stay aware of your surroundings, Transparency mode lets the outside world in. With spatial audio and dynamic head tracking, you’ll enjoy a theater-like sound experience that envelops you. Computational audio, driven by the Apple H1 chip and software, takes your listening experiences to new heights. These headphones offer a magical experience with effortless setup, on-head detection, and seamless device switching. You can even share audio between two sets of AirPods on your Apple devices. With up to 20 hours of listening, movie watching, or talk time, along with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled, your entertainment knows no bounds. When not in use, the slim Smart Case ensures ultra-low-power storage.

Top Reason to Buy: Feature an Apple-designed dynamic driver that delivers high-fidelity audio while industry-leading Active Noise Cancellation ensures an immersive listening experience. Transparency mode allows users to enjoy theater-like sound with spatial audio and dynamic head tracking. The Apple H1 chip and software, combined with computational audio, provide breakthrough listening experiences. Effortless setup, on-head detection, and seamless device switching make using these headphones a breeze, all neatly completed with up to 20 hours of battery life.

Best noise cancelling: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 – Black

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 - Black colored on a white background.

When it comes to peace and quiet, one name comes to mind in terms of noise-canceling headphones, and that’s Bose. The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 Over-Ear Wireless Earphones redefine your audio experience. These Bluetooth headphones put you in control of your environment with customizable noise cancellation, ranging from complete isolation to ambient sound blending seamlessly with your music. With features like Conversation Mode, you can quickly pause your music to engage in conversations while wearing these over-the-ear headphones. A sophisticated microphone system adapts to noisy and windy surroundings, ensuring clear calls for both you and the person on the other end. Designed for comfort, the Bose Headphones 700 feature a stainless steel headband and soft over-the-ear cushions, making them ideal for all-day listening. Plus, they offer up to 20 hours of wireless battery life on a single charge, with a quick 15-minute charge providing up to 2 hours of use. These headphones can also create a full sound experience without disturbing others by pairing them with select Bose smart soundbars using Bose SimpleSync.

Top Reason to Buy: Whether you want to fully immerse yourself in your music or stay aware of your surroundings, you can tailor your cancellation levels. With Conversation Mode, you can effortlessly switch between the two. The headphones feature a top-tier microphone system for clear calls in noisy conditions, and they’re designed for all-day comfort with a lightweight stainless steel headband and soft cushions. Enjoy up to 20 hours of wireless battery life and quick charging.

Best for athletes: Jaybird Sport Vista 2 – Black

Jaybird Vista 2 - Black colored on a white background.

 

The Vista 2 by Jaybird redefines the true wireless audio experience for athletes. These earbuds feature SurroundSense and Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), allowing you to choose between amplifying ambient sounds for safety or staying focused with ANC to cut out background noise and perform at your best. With Jaybird’s signature fit, functionality, and Earthproof durability, the Vista 2 is designed to meet the demands of active individuals. The SurroundSense feature keeps you connected and aware of your surroundings, using wind-guarded microphones to monitor ambient noise without missing a beat. These earbuds are built to withstand the toughest conditions with waterproof, sweatproof, and dustproof ratings, as well as freeze, shock, and impact resistance. Enjoy premium sound quality with 6mm milled drivers, customizable EQ profiles, and the power of Active Noise Cancellation to tailor your audio experience to your liking.

Top Reason to Buy: With Active Noise Cancellation, you can block out distractions and stay focused on your performance and workouts, while SurroundSense keeps you aware of your surroundings for safety — a need-to-have function for those running or biking on public vehicle-driven roads. These earbuds are built to withstand the elements with their Earthproof durability.

Best of the rest: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II – Soapstone

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II - Soapstone colored on a white background.

Experience your favorite tunes on the move with the QuietComfort Earbuds II by Bose. These earbuds provide a secure and comfortable fit, making them suitable for use anytime, anywhere, even in challenging weather conditions, thanks to their sweat and weather-resistant design. Simple touch controls allow you to effortlessly skip songs, answer calls, and more with a quick tap of your finger. With a robust and dependable wireless Bluetooth 5.3 connection, you can enjoy uninterrupted audio without skips or dropouts.

Top Reason to Buy: Customizable noise-canceling, allowing you to tailor your listening experience to your needs, from full transparency with Aware mode to complete noise cancellation with Quiet mode and an impressive 6 hours of battery life and an additional 18 hours from the convenient wireless charging case.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Wireless Headphones – Silver Metal/Black Leather

Master and Dynamic MW75 - Silver Metal/Black Leather colored on a white background.

Master and Dynamic presents the MW75 Headphones, a fusion of cutting-edge technology and luxury design. These headphones combine Bluetooth 5.1 with aptX Adaptive technology, ensuring a stable wireless high-resolution audio experience with a remarkable range. The 40mm Beryllium drivers deliver detailed acoustic quality, while the headphones themselves are meticulously crafted using lightweight anodized aluminum, tempered glass, and silky-soft lambskin leather. The MW75 headphones exude luxury and durability, and they come with a felted hard shell travel case for added protection during your travels. With a 28-hour battery life and rapid charging, they are perfect for those who seek both quality and longevity in their everyday headphones.

Top Reason to Buy: With four beamforming microphones and acoustically tuned mesh, these headphones provide two modes of ambient listening, improving outdoor awareness while maintaining crystal-clear talk clarity. Users can personalize their sound by adjusting the EQ with in-app sound profiles and accessing various ANC modes through the M&D Connect app, ensuring that every listening experience is tailored to individual preferences — these MW75 are designed to deliver top-tier performance.

Music to your ears

No matter what acoustics you seek, elevate your auditory experience in 2023 with our comprehensive guide to the best headphones on the market. From cutting-edge technology to sleek designs, our curated selection ensures that you’ll find the perfect headphones to match your unique preferences and needs.