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Save Up To $129 on Headphones View Today's Best Deals
Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Bluetooth
Weight
Speaker Size
Type
Release Date
#1

90

Marshall Monitor

244 Reviews
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$18.00

Info
271g
Info
40mm
Info
Over-Ear
Info
Jan 2016
The highest rated earphone under $50, with multiple awards and a great spec.
#2

90

Sony MDR‑XB50

84 Reviews
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$13.01

Info
8g
Info
12mm
Info
In-Ear
Info
Nov 2015
A best selling and excellent value for money 12mm driver In-ear style earphone, with fantastic user reviews and a remarkably light 8g weight.
#3

90

Sony MDR‑E9LP

190 Reviews
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$6.77

Info
6g
Info
13.5mm
Info
In-Ear
Info
Jul 2011
A best selling and impressive value for money 13.5mm driver In-ear style earphone, with a very good spec and an spectacularly light 6g weight.
#4

89

Bose SoundSport

899 Reviews
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$32.99

Info
22.7g
Info
10mm
Info
In-Ear
Info
Aug 2016
An affordable and best selling 22.7g, 10mm driver earphone, with an industry award and a very good spec.
#5

88

AKG K72

4 Reviews
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$40.00

Info
200g
Info
40mm
Info
Over-Ear
Info
Jun 2016
A critically acclaimed and best selling 200g, 40mm driver pair of headphones, with a very low price and a very good spec.
#6

88

Sony XB550AP

4 Reviews
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$16.99

Info
180g
Info
40mm
Info
Over-Ear
Info
Nov 2017
A low cost and very popular 180g, 40mm driver pair of headphones, with a very good spec and an industry award.
#7

87

AKG K92

10 Reviews
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$59.00

Info
200g
Info
40mm
Info
Over-Ear
Info
Jun 2016
The best scoring earphone under $100, with an affordable price and a very good spec.
#8

87

Tascam TH‑02

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$15.00

Info
544g
Info
50mm
Info
Over-Ear
Info
Jan 2016
A giant speaker size and best selling 544g Head-band style earphone, with a very good spec and a remarkably cheap price.
#9

87

KRK KNS 6400

32 Reviews
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$83.94

Info
202g
Info
40mm
Info
Over-Ear
Info
Feb 2016
An award winning and best selling 202g, 40mm driver pair of headphones, with a very good spec and a low price.
#10

87

ifrogz Plugz

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$8.00

Info
59g
Info
9mm
Info
In-Ear
Info
Sep 2016
A great value for money and best selling 59g, 9mm driver pair of headphones, with a very good spec.
#11

87

Klipsch R6

224 Reviews
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$34.99

Info
13.3g
Info
6.5mm
Info
In-Ear
Info
Sep 2014
A very popular and classic 13.3g, 6.5mm driver earphone, with a great spec and a reasonable price.
#12

86

Plantronics BackBeat Go

1,396 Reviews
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$9.95

Info
24g
Info
13mm
Info
In-Ear
Info
Aug 2017
A multi award winning and top-value 24g, 13mm driver earphone, with a very good spec.
#13

86

Sony MDR‑ZX310

2,130 Reviews
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$20.29

Info
125g
Info
30mm
Info
On-Ear
Info
Feb 2014
A very cheap and very popular 125g, 30mm driver earphone, with a great spec.
#14

86

YURBUDS Focus

4 Reviews
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$6.99

Info
15g
Info
14.2mm
Info
In-Ear
Info
Aug 2016
A very popular and top-value 15g, 14.2mm driver earphone, with a very good spec and very good user reviews.
Save $35
#15

86

Bragi The Leash

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$23.90

Info
13g
Info
10mm
Info
In-Ear
Info
Jan 2017
A best selling and low cost 13g, 10mm driver pair of headphones, with a very good spec.
#16

86

Shure SE215

712 Reviews
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$50.00

Info
30g
Info
10mm
Info
In-Ear
Info
Sep 2011
A very popular and award winning 30g, 10mm driver earphone, with a very good spec and a reasonable price.
#17

86

Plantronics BackBeat FIT 305

11 Reviews
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$39.95

Info
14g
Info
6mm
Info
In-Ear
Info
Aug 2017
A very popular and award winning 14g, 6mm driver pair of headphones, with a very good spec and a low price.
#18

85

Sony WI‑C400

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$57.49

Info
35g
Info
13.5mm
Info
In-Ear
Info
Sep 2017
A best selling and bargain price 35g, 13.5mm driver pair of headphones, with a great spec.
#19

85

Bose SoundLink II

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$129.00

Info
200g
Info
40mm
Info
Over-Ear
Info
Jun 2016
A best selling and top-value 200g, 40mm driver pair of headphones, with a very good spec.
#20

85

Klipsch AS‑5i

15 Reviews
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$49.00

Info
19g
Info
6.5mm
Info
In-Ear
Info
Dec 2015
An extremely highly rated and affordable 19g, 6.5mm driver earphone, with a very good spec.

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What Are The Best Headphones Brands?

We looked at the reviews for every pair of headphones and used this to calculate the average overall rating of each brand. The top rated pair of headphones brand is Audio-Technica with an average rating of 92%. Compare all award winning headphones.

Rank Brand Number of Headphones Price Range Average Rating
#1
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Audio-Technica Headphones 29 $14 - $465
92%
1,186 reviews
#2
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Sony Headphones 42 $6 - $1,699
89%
6,150 reviews
#3
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Sennheiser Headphones 23 $27 - $1,357
88%
532 reviews
#4
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JVC Headphones 25 $10 - $63
82%
1,922 reviews
#5
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Philips Headphones 76 $6 - $210
79%
3,129 reviews

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat is the difference between earphones and headphones?
AWhile they can be used interchangeably, earphones are used to describe small in-ear models, while headphones cover the larger models that sit over the ear.
QCan headphones be used with any device?
AAlmost all devices use a standard 3.5mm audio jack, which is the industry standard for audio output, so a set of headphones should work in nearly every device capable of playing audio. The exception to this is certain newer models of mobile phone, which have dropped the audio jack, and will need to use an adapter.
QWhat is a 3-button control?
AThis is terminology you'll see on some headphones meant for use with mobile phones and mp3 players - it means the headphones have a set of 3 buttons, usually on the lead or attached to the ear cups themselves. These control play/pause, volume up and volume down.

Headphone Buying Guide

Headphones are a crucial part of everyday life, and your choice of headphone is a deeply personal one. From tiny in-ear monitors to enormous studio-quality cans, headphones come in all shapes, sizes, weights and colours. For someone not sure what they should get - or what they want - it can be a daunting issue. Our guide will attempt to answer some of the most common questions about headphones and give you an good overall knowledge of them.

Types Of Headphones

Let’s start with the different types of headphones. There are many different designs, but they all boil down to 2 different types: in-ear and on-ear. In-ear headphones are normally smaller, cheaper and with lessened sound quality - they are good for travel and easy to shove in a pocket when not in use. On-ear headphones tend to be larger and more chunky, but have a far superior sound quality (and normally, a far higher price to match). Let’s take a look at the difference between them:

In-ear headphones: These are smaller headphones, means to be placed into your ear. They usually have no band, and are designed to hang down from your ears. They are two main sub-categories of in-ear headphone:

  • earbuds (which are placed in the entrance to the ear)
  • in-ear monitors (which have rubber or foam caps, and are pushed directly into the ear canal. When inserted, the the rubber expands to create a tight seal inside the ear canal, meaning outside noise is blocked out)

Earbuds are the easiest headphones to wear, though let in a lot of noise and aren’t very stable - they can easily fall out of your ears while moving (especially jogging). Monitors, on the other hand, block out a lot of noise and provide a louder overall volume - making them best for public places or loud backgrounds. However, the act of pushing the foam caps into your ears can feel awkward, and requires some trial-and-error to find the best size/shape of caps. The end result may well be worth the perseverance - monitors allow for a far better overall sound quality, with less invasive noise to ruin your music.

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On-ear headphones: These types of headphones are bigger than in-ear models, and are designed with 2 speakers linked by a headband to keep them in place on your head. They are two main sub-categories of on-ear headphone:

  • on-ear headphones: these headphones sit over the entrance to the ear, directing sound into your ears. They normally have limited cushioning, but are normally light, so easy to wear for long periods. These are normally the cheapest style of large headphones, but you sacrifice the noise insulation and superior quality of over-ear models.
  • over-ear headphones: these types of headphones are larger, and actually encompass the entire ear - covering the whole ear so as to block out all other noise. This gives them excellent sound quality, but they are normally the most expensive type of headphone, due to their size and the amount of padding used to keep them comfortable pressing against your ears and head. Also, because they encompass the whole ear, many people find their ears can get uncomfortably hot and sweaty after wearing for a long time - meaning a break might be necessary every once in a while.

Over-ear headphones generally have the better sound quality, due to larger drivers and better noise insulation. However they are bulkier, more expensive, and may simply be more heavy-duty than many people need, especially if you’re just going to listen to music while you commute or at your desk. On ear headphones are lighter, and provide a good mid-point between the power of large cans, and the simple light ease of earbuds. Their quality isn’t the best though - they are very much the jack-of-all-trades of headphones. Which may be all you need!

Driver Units

Once you’ve decided the type of headphone you want, things get a bit more technical - next you want to think about driver unitss and power. Driver units are simply the part of the headphone that generates noise - they convert the audio signal into actual sound. Larger drivers mean the headphones are capable of generating more sound, making them louder. Crucially, this doesn’t mean the sound they generate will be a better quality, just that it’ll be louder. However it’s a good starting point for a pair of headphones - generally speaking better quality headphones will have larger drivers, so they have more volume and range to play with.

Unsurprisingly, on-ear headphones tend to have larger driver units, since they have a lot more space available to fill. In-ear phones generally don’t need particularly big driver units though - pushing the sound directly into your ear canal means a little goes a long way, and if you’re not careful a very loud volume can cause serious damage to your hearing.

Closed Ear vs. Open Ear

One important nuance of on-ear headphones is the choice between closed ear and open ear designs. This refers to how the cups of the headphones are designed, and how much noise insulation they give, as well as how they effect the sound of your music. Here is the main difference between the two;

Closed ear cups are solid cups that fully encompass the ear, letting no noise in or out. This makes them excellent for noise insulation, and they will not only block outside noise from disturbing your music, but will stop your music from leaking out and disturbing everyone around you. The downside is that the sound quality is slightly lessened by closed cup - it gains an echoey quality and some people feel that music sounds more dead and flat.

Open ear cups have perforated cups surrounding the driver unit, meaning that air can freely flow in and our of the headphones. This helps give the music from the cans a more natural feel - it doesn’t feel projected right into your eardrums, but instead as if it is more naturally coming from around you. However the main disadvantage is that you will have little insulation from all the noise around you - meaning loud surroundings will interfere with your music. This goes both ways - your music will also ‘leak’ more, and will be heard by people around you. Depending on your surroundings and who is around you, this might not be a beneficial thing - not everyone wants to listen to atonal screamcore death metal at 10am in a library!

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Noise Cancelling

Noise cancelling technology is an important addition of on-ear headphones, and one that has improved drastically in recent years. First off, it’s important to note the difference between active noise cancelling, and passive noise insulation. Closed-cup on-ear headphones and well-fitting monitors provide noise insulation - i.e. they block external noise from reaching your ears and disturbing your music. This is passive, and depends largely on the fit of your headphones.

Active noise cancelling is far more interesting and complicated, but here’s a brief rundown. At it’s most basic, sound is a pressure wave with peaks and troughs - the exact makeup of this wave denotes both the sound and the loudness of the noise. Noise cancelling headphones use a tech known as ‘active noise control’ - they monitor the external noise coming into the headphones, and generate a pressure wave with exactly the same volume, but completely opposite peaks and troughs (known as ‘antiphase’). When these two waves combine, they effectively cancel each other out, leading to silence - a process called interference. This allows noise cancelling headphones to entirely block out all external noise, leaving you to enjoy music free of absolutely all external distractions.

While an excellent addition, there are a couple of caveats to noise cancelling headphones. First off - because of the microphones and extra tech required, it is only found in larger on-ear headphones, not earbuds or in-ear monitors. Secondly, the tech requires a sizeable power draw, meaning that noise-cancelling headphones normally require batteries (or a recharging internal battery) to function. Finally, the tech is still relatively new, and thus confined to the top-tier headphones, meaning you’re going to be paying a premium for it. However if you frequently struggle to listen to music in high-noise areas (such as the Tube or on planes), this expenditure may well be worth it to be able to hear your music again!

Wired vs. Wireless

A quick note on wired and wireless headphones. Traditionally headphones have been entirely wired - meaning the audio signal was sent from the music source to the headphones via a wire. However in recent years the rise of bluetooth and improvements in battery technology have meant wireless headphones are becoming more and more common. These headphones have an internal rechargeable battery (some still use AAs, but these are blessedly rare) and connect to the music source via bluetooth. This allows them to stream music from a phone, computer or hifi without the need for wires - meaning no getting tangled up in cables, no trapping/breaking cables and the freedom to roam away from your computer when listening to music!

There are some negatives to wireless headphones - first off, they usually come at a premium price when compared to standard wired headphones. Moreover, they need power to function - most use a rechargeable battery - which means that if the battery runs dry, you will either have to plug in a wire, or use a different pair of headphones. Battery life varies massively with wireless headphones - some will only get 5-6 hours of life before needing a recharge, while others boast a full 24 hours of use before they die. Pay close attention to the battery life, especially if you use your headphones for long journeys. Finally, wireless headphones can experience some latency - the lag between the signal being sent to the headphones, and it being heard by your ears. When listening to music, this isn’t a massive issue - a few milliseconds of lag isn’t noticeable at all. However if you are watching a movie or playing a video game, larger amounts of latency may cause the audio in your headphones to run out of sync with the video, leading to a sub-par experience. Generally though, the tech for wireless headphones has progressed enough that a good £150-200 pair of wireless headphones will serve you very well indeed!

Extra Features

Headphones come in many different shapes and sizes, and with a lot of different extra bells and whistles. Here are some of the more common additions:

Sports Headphones: these are a special subset of in-ear headphones, designed to be worn while running or working out. They push into the ear like in-ear headphones, but have a headband to keep them stable while you move. Many have extra water-resistance to protect against lots of sweat - some are even fully waterproof, meaning they can be used while swimming!

Bone Conduction: this is a very different type of headphone - in fact they don’t actually make any sound at all. Instead they conduct sound from the device to the inner ear via vibrations sent through the bones in the skull - meaning sound in heard ‘inside’ your head without any external sound actually being made. Bone conduction headphones are very rare, but used with specialist underwater headphones (such as those used for divers) or military earpieces, where it’s a benefit to make no external noise. They are also of a benefit for people with limited hearing, since they bypass much of the ear completely, and deliver sound direct to the inner ear.

Integrated Microphone: these headphones have a microphone built into the frame of the headset, meaning you can talk while wearing the headphones. This is useful for taking phonecalls while wearing your headphones, or for voice chat while playing multiplayer video games, which means you don’t need a separate microphone to pick up your voice.

Headphones Retailers, Prices and Features

Pair of Headphones Prices

We currently list 448 earphones ranging from $5 to $3,500. A new pair of headphones costs on average $140 and 80% of headphones are priced between $10 and $284. The ifrogz EarPollution Plugz + Mic is the cheapest pair of headphones at only $6, and Marshall Mid is the most expensive at $3,500.

Earphone Brands - Price Range

The highest average earphone price out of all brands is HiFiMAN earphones with an average price of $2,699. HiFiMAN earphones range in price from $2,699 to $2,699.

Audeze earphones range in price from $799 to $1,945, and the average price of Audeze earphones is $1,311 which is the second highest average price of all pair of headphones brands.

The average price of Ultrasone earphones is $926 which is the third highest average price of all pair of headphones brands. Ultrasone earphones start at $651 and their most expensive pair of headphones costs $1,200.

Pair of Headphones Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 2,806 expert reviews and 39,331 user reviews for earphones available online and used this information to determine the average rating for each brand of pair of headphones. The top three earphone brands are Audio-Technica, Sony and Sennheiser. Audio-Technica has an average rating of 92%, Sony has an average rating of 89% and Sennheiser has an average rating of 88%.

Biggest Pair of Headphones Retailers

We found 490 current offers for headphones from eBay making it the biggest pair of headphones retailer. That is slightly bigger than the second biggest retailer, Amazon US for whom we found 458 current offers for headphones. The third biggest retailer is Adorama with 105 current pair of headphones offers.

When Are Most New Earphones Released?

Most new earphones tend to be released between October and December. That means that most of the latest pair of headphones technology was released in within the last 3 months, and now is good time to buy. In 2017 most new earphones were released in October, with 59 new earphones released that month. In December 2016 54 new headphones were released making it the biggest month that year for new earphone releases. The biggest month in 2015 for new earphone releases was February, with 191 new earphones released that month.

How Fast Do Earphone Prices Drop After Release?

On average headphones drop in price by 3% in the first 6 months after release. On a typical new pair of headphones costing $140, by waiting 6 months before buying you could save on average $4.

Weights

'Weight' denotes how heavy the headphones are, measured in grams (g).

Comparing all headphones, the weights range from 0.012g to 6.3kg. The weights of most earphones range from 0g to 40g. The Koss PRO4AAT, which is on sale for $109.00, has the heaviest weight and is a 785g pair of headphones. The Philips SHE3905, which can be purchased for $7.99, has the lightest weight and is a 0.012g earphone.

Lighter headphones will be more comfortable to wear for long periods.

Speaker Sizes

The driver unit is the part of the headphone that converts the audio signal into actual sound. This attribute denotes the physical size of this driver unit, measured in millimetres.

Across the range of headphones, the speaker sizes range from 5.8mm to 106mm. The speaker sizes of most earphones range from 40mm to 45mm. The pair of headphones with the biggest speaker size is the Audeze LCD-X, which is a 106mm driver earphone and is priced at $1,199.00. The pair of headphones with the smallest speaker size is the JBL REFLECT MINI 2, which is a 5.8mm driver earphone and is on sale for $59.95.

A bigger driver unit means that the headphones will be capable of generating more sound, making them louder. It doesn't necessarily mean the sound will be better quality, just louder. However it's a good starting point if you're looking for a powerful pair of headphones.

Bluetooth

The denotes whether the headphones support wireless Bluetooth communication or not.

Of the 767 new headphones currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are headphones which do not support Bluetooth. 557 out of 767 are headphones which do not support Bluetooth and only 26% of headphones are earphones which support Bluetooth.

Bluetooth allows you to stream music and audio directly to the headphones without the need for wires. This makes the headphones far more convenient and easy to use, and frees you from the restriction of an audio cable.

Style

The way in which the device is worn.

We found 425 headphones that are earphones that have a Head-band style, which makes Head-band the most common style amongst new headphones. We found 263 headphones that are headphones that have an In-ear style, making this the second most popular style amongst new headphones.

Type

Ear coupling describes the way in which headphones or earphones stay attached to, or inside, the ear. There are three common types of ear coupling: circumaural, supra-aural and intra-aural. Circumaural headphones enclose your ears with large pads that suppress external noise. Supra-aural headphones are typically more lightweight and sit on top of the ears with small pads. Intra-aural headphones come in two basic designs and neither style sits on the head itself. The first are ear buds, which sit just outside of the ear canal, on top of your ear lobes. The second type is actually inserted directly into the ear canal and offers some external noise suppression.

Amongst new earphones, the most popular type is In-ear. We found 318 earphones that are In-ear earphones. The second most frequently found type amongst new headphones is Over-ear. We found 265 headphones that are Over-ear earphones.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Earphones?

The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying headphones. For each retailer it shows the total number of headphones where they currently have a market leading price. The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying headphones. For each retailer we took all of their prices and looked at what proportion of those prices where the cheapest on the market. The cheapest retailer that we found was eBay. 379 of their earphone prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of Earphones for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Assessing how cheap each retailer is for earphones by counting the number of cheapest prices for that retailer, makes the retailers that offer the greatest number of pair of headphones prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's pair of headphones prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers. The cheapest retailer that we found using this approach was eBay. 77.3% of their pair of headphones prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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