Headphones are a great way to tune out the world and get lost in your favorite song or podcast. The best thing about headphones is that you can find them at virtually any price point, from dirt cheap to high-end luxury models that cost upwards of $1,000. There are many different types of headphones for every occasion. Whether you’re looking for noise-canceling headphones, in-ear headsets with a mic for gaming, or something more basic like an inexpensive pair of wired earbuds – there’s something out there for everyone! Let’s check out the 15 best headphone brands available today.
How do we rate the best headphone brands?
The best headphone brands are ranked based on a combination of the following factors.
First, we look at reviews from real-life customers who have used each brand. We also consider what professionals have to say about specific products and companies and any industry awards or recognition they may have received over the years. Other aspects considered include value for money, sound quality performance, reliability, and overall reputation within the audio community.
What are the top best headphone brands?
Without further ado, here are the top best headphone brands available today, in no particular order, except for general popularity.
Sony is a huge Japanese electronics company in business for over a century. They produce various products but are best known for their audio equipment, including laptops, speakers, and headphones. Sony’s expertise when it comes to sound quality is unquestionable, as demonstrated by the sheer number of industry awards and recognition that they have received over the years, such as being voted #77 on Interbrand’s 100 Best Global Brands 2014 (as well as holding an impressive 26 other brand rankings).
In addition to having excellent customer support and reliability ratings from customers who use Sony headphones, they also have a solid selection of top-notch headsets. Their MDR line is one of the best in its price range and includes everything from wireless Bluetooth models to high-end noise-canceling headphones.
Bose is another huge American consumer electronics company that has been around for decades. Bose specializes in noise-canceling headphones, portable speakers, and vehicle audio systems. They are best known for being one of the first companies to produce noise-canceling headphones, which quickly became so popular (have you ever tried them on a plane?) they now make up a large part of their business – along with wireless sports earbuds (SoundSport).
In addition to having top-quality products overall, Bose holds over 100 patents on unique sound technologies such as TriPort acoustic headphone structure and Direct/Reflecting speaker technology found in home theater systems. Their QuietComfort models have long been titled “most recommended headphones” by Consumer Reports magazine due to their superior active noise-canceling performance and comfortable design.
Bose also has a great selection of wireless Bluetooth headsets, including the SoundLink On-Ear Wireless Headphones, which offer up to 15 hours of battery life, top-notch sound quality, and plenty of convenient features like NFC pairing (near-field communication) or voice prompts for easy operation on the go.
Sennheiser is a German company that has been around since 1945. They are best known for its high-end studio headphones, but they also produce all different products, including wireless Bluetooth headsets and in-ear models with built-in mics for mobile devices.
In addition to being well respected by both professional audio engineers as well as music enthusiasts who use Sennheiser headphones themselves (over 13 million people are using them), they have received multiple industry awards and recognition, such as the Entertainment Technology Review’s Best Headphones Award or HiFiMAN Readers’ Choice Awards – plus they were voted #17 on Interbrand’s 100 Best Global Brands 2014 list.
Their top gaming headset model is the PC 373D which offers fantastic sound quality and top-notch comfort with its padded leatherette earcups and headband cushion (for hours of use) and convenient features like a noise-dampening microphone boom for in-game chat.
Audio-Technica is a top-rated Japanese audio equipment manufacturer that has been in business for over 50 years since 1962. They specialize in studio, sports, and consumer headphones marketed toward professional musicians and the average person looking to use them while working out or commuting.
In addition to having a great selection of mid-range headsets with features like noise-canceling technology or wireless Bluetooth streaming, they also have some lovely high-end models such as the QuietPoint active noise-canceling headphone, which uses internal microphone array technology combined with phase cancellation circuitry specifically designed not only to reduce ambient background noises but even harmonics and other sounds produced by the speakers themselves this allows users to focus more on their music while still being aware of their surroundings and the best part is you can even connect to two devices simultaneously.
5. AKG Acoustics
AKG Acoustics is a Vienna-based audio equipment company specializing in microphones, headphones, wireless systems, and acoustic instruments. AKG has been around for over 70 years since 1947. It was purchased by the Harman International Group in 1994, which also owns other major audio brands such as JBL or Mark Levinson (the reason behind their current slogan, “Real Sound Made By Real People”).
Their most popular headphone model is the K701 reference class open-back studio monitor, which offers fantastic sound quality with its semi-open design – this means it provides you with more spaciousness to your music, giving you a genuinely natural listening experience while still not letting too much outside noise interfering. Hence, it’s perfect if you enjoy being aware of your surroundings.
Beyerdynamic is a German company specializing in audio equipment such as microphones, wireless systems, headphones, and other popular products. They have been around since 1924, which means they are one of the oldest companies on this list (they were even awarded an Emmy for their contributions to advancing television technology during its early days).
Their top-rated gaming headset model would be the MMX 300 premium which offers some truly immersive surround sound quality with up to four different EQ settings, including bass boost or voice emphasis – it also comes equipped with a noise-canceling microphone boom so that you can enjoy all these great features while playing your favorite games online without any distractions from background noises.
JBL is an American audio equipment manufacturer owned by Harman International that specializes in studio, consumer, and professional speakers and headphones. They were founded in 1946, but they started making home speaker systems a few years later (1949) – this was the first time such technology had been introduced to consumers, which quickly became extremely popular due to their excellent sound quality.
Their top-notch gaming headset model would be the JBL E55BT wireless Bluetooth over-ear headphone which offers some pretty cool features like a built-in microphone with DSP for crystal clear voice chat while playing games online or listening to music through your favorite streaming service plus, it also has NFC capabilities allowing you to easily connect it with any device that supports Bluetooth (tap and go!).
8. Bang and Olufsen
Bang and Olufsen (or simply B&O) is a high-end Danish consumer electronics company specializing in sound systems, speakers, headphones, and other products. They are considered one of the most prestigious audio equipment brands out there, with prohibitive prices on their devices and some pretty advanced features which justify their premium price tags – they produce almost everything by hand so that you can expect nothing less than the best from them.
Their top series model would be the BeoPlay H-series (it comes in two different models), which offers some genuinely premium sound quality with a lot of advanced features like active noise cancellation, touch controls for your music playback or volume, USB type C support as well as tactile leather ear cushions.
Grado is an American company specializing in designing and manufacturing headphones, phono cartridges, and headphone amplifiers – they were founded back in 1953, which means they have over sixty years of experience in creating audio equipment.
Their top model would be the Grado Prestige Series SR125e Headphones, along with a wooden body instead of a plastic one making them lightweight without compromising durability (they also come with some pretty advanced drivers; their frequency response ranges from 20Hz up to 45kHz). Their only downside would be their high price tag, but you get what you pay for!
10. Bowers & Wilkins
Bowers & Wilkins is a British company that specializes in making premium speakers and earphones for consumers or professional users – they were founded back in 1966, which means they have over fifty years of experience when it comes to designing audio equipment.
Their top model would be the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones which offer some pretty advanced features like wireless Bluetooth connectivity and active noise cancellation (which allows you to focus on your favorite music without any distractions completely) thanks to their 42mm drivers. Their frequency response ranges from 16Hz up to 22kHz. Although these are not Hi-Res certified headphones, they provide a fantastic listening experience!
11. Beats by Dre.
Beats by Dre is an American consumer electronics company specializing in products such as headphones, earphones, and speakers but also other technologies such as audio devices for sports or mobile phones – they are one of Apple’s leading suppliers when it comes to their line-up of Beats branded audio equipment.
Their top-rated model would be the Studio Wireless over-ear Bluetooth headphone which offers some pretty advanced features like fast fuel technology (up to twelve hours of battery life). Apple acquired the Beats company in early 2014, and they are now one of the biggest headphone manufacturers on this list.
Pioneer is a Japanese multinational corporation that deals with consumer electronics and professional audio equipment – they offer everything from CD players to high-end home theater systems. They were founded back in 1938, which means they are one of the top headphone manufacturers on this list (they also have over eighty years of experience when it comes to designing sound technologies).
Their premium model would be the Pioneer Hi-Res Dynamic Audiophile grade headphones which offer some pretty impressive features like full-sized high-resolution 47mm drivers that can deliver the deepest bass and a frequency of up to 40kHz. They also have an impedance of 32 ohms and sensitivity levels of 103dB/mW.
SteelSeries is an American gaming hardware company specializing in designing and manufacturing video game accessories such as headsets (not headphones), keyboards, mice, or other related products – they are mostly known for their high-quality mouse pads, which were always considered to be the best on the market.
Their top model would have to be SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC Headset (GameDAC standing for the digital audio controller) – it offers some pretty advanced features like a built-in OLED display with RGB color spectrum support along with enhanced clarity thanks to its Hi-Res certified 40mm, neodymium drivers. Its frequency response ranges from 12Hz up to 48kHz, making this one of the highest-quality headphones available today!
Skullcandy is an American consumer electronics company specializing in designing and manufacturing headphones, earphones, and other related products – they are mostly known for their unique designs with bright colors and eye-catching aesthetics.
Their top-line model would have to be the Skullcandy Grind Wireless Headphones, which offer impressive features like wireless Bluetooth connectivity and active noise cancellation (which allows you to focus on your favorite music without distractions entirely). Its frequency response ranges from 20Hz up to 22kHz, making this one of the highest-quality headphones available today!
Focal is a French speaker manufacturing company that specializes in building premium hi-fi speakers and headphone systems for home users, musicians, or even gamers – they were founded back in 1979, which means they have over forty years of experience when it comes to designing audio equipment.
Their top model would be the Focal Spark Headphones (they also offer some earbuds). They offer some pretty impressive features like full metal housing, making them lightweight without compromising durability and enhanced clarity, thanks to their 40mm drivers. Its frequency response ranges from 20Hz up to 20kHz.
How to choose the best headphones brand for your needs?
Now that you have a few available examples, it might be worth mentioning some factors to consider when choosing the best headphone brand for your needs. There are many different models and brands on this list, so remember that even though one model is superior to another (for example, if we were to compare Beats vs. Pioneer), both would still fall under the same category.
Price: As always with any electronics product or accessory, price plays an important role when it comes to making such decisions – however, at times, cheaper products can also mean lower quality which means you should look into how much each headphone costs before buying them.
Type: depending on whether you prefer over-ear headphones (more comfortable) or earbuds (easier to carry around and more portable), you should consider what type best fits your needs.
Comfort: another factor worth considering is how comfortable the headphones are. As mentioned, some models might seem cheap but offer pretty good features like noise cancellation or wireless connectivity. Do not forget to check if they have a premium quality build that will help them last for years without breaking down on you.
Durability: yet another essential aspect of any headphone is its durability – whether it’s built using high-quality materials (like aluminum) to ensure their stability/durability even after extended use, along with ensuring they can handle regular wear and tear from being carried around all the time.
Sound clarity: as you may have noticed, most of these best headphone brands offer some pretty impressive sound clarity primarily due to their Hi-Res certified drivers, which means they can maintain top quality across all frequencies for the best possible audio experience and performance.
Noise Cancellation: depending on your lifestyle or preferences, noise cancellation might be worth considering when choosing your next pair of headphones (whether earbuds or over-ear) – keep in mind that it’s important not to confuse active with passive noise cancellation since the latter only works if you play music whereas active ones can do both.
Connectivity: wireless connectivity is a feature that has been gaining popularity thanks to its convenience – although it’s not always available on all models, it makes life easier for those who do not like the hassle of constantly untangling their headphones cables every time they want to use them.
Battery Life: Wireless headphones become even more important since products with longer battery lives will last much longer before needing another charge, making them perfect if you plan on using your new pair outside or while traveling.
Best headphone brands – Final words
Now that you know a few things to consider when choosing your next pair of headphones, you should be able to decide on the best headphone brand for your needs. Which one is your favorite? Leave a comment below!