Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Best Headphones 2015

Best Headphones 2015
By

Your music, movies and games deserve better than those hard, standard-issue plastic earbuds. And we're not just talking about audio quality. Some headphones are great at blocking out noise, while others have Bluetooth built in for rocking out sans wires. You'll even find some models with an integrated heart-rate monitor to make the most of your workout. Whatever style you're looking for, Tom's Guide has the perfect set of buds or cans for your budget.

How We Evaluate Headphones

In order to help you make the right choice when shopping for headphones, Tom's Guide evaluates the following criteria: design, comfort, features, performance and value. We compare headphones with other products that have similar features and are in the same price range, so you can make the most informed shopping decision.

Using several sample tracks across a number of genres (hip-hop, rock, jazz and R&B), we listen for volume, clarity and fullness. We test the effectiveness of three features: active noise-cancelling, Bluetooth range and battery life. Once we've completed our testing, we then rate headphones based on our 5-star system (1 = worst, 5 = best). If a product is truly exemplary, it will earn an Editor's Choice.

To help you get the most out of your entertainment, here are the best options available, from $30 earbuds to $1,000 audiophile-grade headphones.

Related Buying Guides:
Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Best Bluetooth Speakers
Best Soundbar Speakers
Add a comment
Ask a Category Expert
React To This Article

Create a new thread in the Audio forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 14 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    brisssou , December 24, 2013 12:15 AM
    hey, the picture used for id America New Metropolitan is one of sennheiser CX serie

    ;-)
  • 0 Hide
    natcparis , December 24, 2013 1:25 AM
    @brisssou well spotted
  • 0 Hide
    xyzzy1 , January 15, 2014 10:36 AM
    Wow, what a vacuous list that does not include good sounding headphones!Where is Grado? Where is B&W? Where is NuForce?This is like list of best beers that are limited Budweiser, Miler, and coors. Jeezzz.....
  • 0 Hide
    K2N hater , February 12, 2014 3:40 PM
    Gosh a pair of se535 are pretty good yet much more affordable. Westones are also excellent (I own them personally) and they're made in the US.
  • 0 Hide
    Allan Hundeboll , March 23, 2014 6:04 AM
    What about Creative aureal Live! and Grado ??Tom doesn't seem to know how real hi fi is supposed to sound like. Please go to head-fi.org if you want serious info about headphones...
  • 1 Hide
    markbanang , August 14, 2014 7:07 AM
    How can we trust an article about headphones which puts Bose headphones right at the top and doesn't mention a single option from Etymotic Research!

    The awesome ER-4 series may be 20 years old, but they are still are amongst the most transparent reference-quality earphones you can buy at any price. Meanwhile the amazing hf2's bring close to the same reference-quality transparency to your smartphone headset! When passive noise isolation is as good as it is with the Ety's you rarely need active noise cancellation.

    Even if their neutral, transparent sound is not to your liking, they should at least be mentioned as an option.
  • 0 Hide
    bobbybluz , November 13, 2014 4:25 AM
    I'm both old and old-fashioned. I've been using the Sony MDR- V6 and 7506 headphones since they came on the market and my originals are still in daily use after a few ear pad foam replacements. I've listened to several consumer and professional headphone offerings over the years and none of them have been compelling enough to switch from my Sony's. I was talking with a friend the other day who was the head audio engineer for Miramax before he retired about our old professional gear compared to what's on the market today. We both own small recording studios and have a collection of vintage pro equipment. We agreed that not only is 99% of what's marketed today sold on hype not actual performance none of it is going to last 30+ years or longer like our personal favorite equipment that we still have in use has. Add to that the highly compressed audio and formats such as mp3 that only give a fraction of the original audio signal and the end result is few people today really have experienced true high-end audio sound reproduction. As a radio station broadcast engineer and recording engineer I do have a bit of experience in this field.
  • 0 Hide
    Sir Joe , December 31, 2014 12:32 AM
    why only over ear bt and not a on ear bt?
    This way you cut out the Fidelio M2BT which are as good if not better than the Plantronics (I have tested both and kept the Fidelio for having more punch and more warmth even if less soundstage).
  • 0 Hide
    flippadollars , December 31, 2014 4:14 PM
    Got the Parrot Ziks for much cheaper than $400 on Amazon using Amon Deal Finder (just google it). They have a gold widget on the homepage that will spit out the top discounts for any item that can be found on Amazon. I never shop on Amazon without using this tool. They always have discounts on any item that I look for.
  • 1 Hide
    jonrhunt , February 9, 2015 11:42 AM
    I'm very excited to see the sennheisers as best DJ headphones. That happens to be my main occupation and the first headphones I used for DJing. I eventually bought the Amperiors (Which at times can be cheaper [$] then the HD25s which are a model below), which have a flatter response. A great go to for referencing a production within any DAW.

    At any rate keep the 25's for djing as they are a bit lighter than the Amperiors.

    Thank you for the information!
  • 0 Hide
    Danelle Evans , February 12, 2015 8:00 PM
    If you want headphones for running, the ACTIVE X headphones by REVERB are by far the best I have ever used. Well worth the money, I bought them at a marathon expo and threw away the 10 other pairs I bought before them. 1) they will NOT fall out, I am a gymnastics teacher and I can do anything in these headphones. Give me a plane I will jump out, but my headphones will stay on :)  Super comfortable, and LOUD. Small company, super cool guys that own it, ones a country artist in nashville and the others a song writer. rockreverb.com
  • 1 Hide
    hmmmisthatright , April 23, 2015 4:17 AM
    Yet another person who has no clue about what is good in audio and is able to write a article and post it to the world. I guess it's nothing new. People this is bad information on headphones, consult The Absolute Sound or Stereophile for good headphone recommendations.
  • 0 Hide
    RazerZ , April 23, 2015 7:02 AM
    As a member of the community known for their slogan " the authority on tech" this couldn't be farther from it honestly. Sites like head-fi, headphonia,inner fidelity,what hifi, etc. provide quality reviews compared to the headphone buying guides we see on Tom's Guide. The products mentioned from this guide are for the most part subpar compared to offerings by REAL audio companies like Audio Technica, Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser, Denon, Audeze, Fostex, Hifiman, Grado, Shure, so on so forth rather than companies who use their marketing tactics to sell overpriced products to the average consumer that doesn't know any better. When decent headphones like the Sennheiser HD 25 and Shure SE 846 are mentioned they are given a brief one paragraph summary which doesn't give much information at all. Words can't express my disappointment in these guides.

  • 0 Hide
    voxoa , May 14, 2015 4:25 PM
    You can make the wired headphones wireless with the BTunes.
React To This Article

Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter
  • add to twitter
  • add to facebook
  • ajouter un flux RSS