If you're looking to find the best headphones this Cyber Monday, then you've come to the right place. As audio editor at Tom's Guide, I've carried out extensive testing to help you find the right headphones or earbuds for your budget.
Right now there are some spectacular savings to be had in the best Cyber Monday headphone deals on many of the models listed here. Some of the most popular models have seen prices drop sharply against rivals, making this a great time to be shopping for the best headphones and wireless earbuds.
All of the models listed here offer outstanding performance and features, along with effective and flexible active noise cancelation, as well as great styling and high levels of comfort. And with some great discounts on many top models, I'll help you get the best for less.
These headphones and earbuds are the best models we've found out of the dozens that get tested by Tom's Guide's audio experts. During the review process, we evaluate everything from design and fit to sound quality and features that help you customize the listening experience. We also test each pair of headphones for battery life to see if the claimed endurance lives up to everyday usage.
When buying a new pair of headphones, it can be helpful to think about where you want to wear them. If you're going to use them on a run, for example, you should probably gravitate towards earbuds. Commuting to work or traveling a lot? Then you'll probably want noise-canceling headphones to keep the sound out.
At Tom's Guide we're continuously testing new models as they're released. Read on for our pick of the best headphones to undergo our rigorous review routine.
Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring. As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s.
The quick list
Already know what type of headphone you’re looking for? Here’s a quick list of our over-ear and in-ear winners, so you can save time and jump right into the reviews. Still not sure? Just scroll on to see all our full recommendations.
Best headphones overall
The Sony WH-1000XM5 improve upon their predecessors with upgraded active noise cancelation, better call quality, intuitive controls and enhanced connectivity. The category-leading sound and hefty 30-hour battery life are also as far ahead of the competition as ever.
💰 Incredible Cyber Monday deal: down to $328 @ Walmart
Premium over-ears with great sound
These over-ears feel good, are beautifully constructed, have active noise-cancelation, and a control app. Extended functionality is not their thing as they're designed to deliver the best wireless sound this sort of money can buy.
The best headphones with ANC
The Bose 700 have unrivaled noise canceling performance and intuitive tech features. Sound is crystal clear when listening to music and taking calls. We also love the svelte, contemporary design with comforting ear pads and intuitive touch controls.
💰Lowest price ever: down to $259 @ Amazon for Cyber Monday
Luxe design meets high-end sound
Bowers & Wilkins' most advanced noise-canceling headphones to date, are a confident addition to the luxury market. Despite the sound quality gains these new flagship brings, the higher price compared to their fellow Px7 S2 means they rank slight lower in terms of overall value.
💰Down to $659 @ Amazon
Best-ever battery life with ANC
Although the revamped design of Sennheiser's fourth generation Momentum Wireless headphones don't stand out quite like their classic-looking predecessor, the 60-hour battery life is a real crowd pleaser and make these the one to beat.
💰Lowest price ever: down to $257 @ Amazon
Luxury audio at an attainable price
The Focal Bathys are a superb, high-performance headphone that's perfectly suited to critical audiophile listening at home, while also practical and conveniently wireless to enable owners to enjoy them on the go. The onboard DAC is awesome for 24-bit sound.
💰10% OFF: down to $629 @ Amazon
Load the next 3 products...
Best iOS cans
The best Apple headphones
The AirPods Max are more expensive than their noise-canceling rivals, but the plush design and comfortable fit present an immediate feeling of luxury which only grows once you start playing music, making it hard to take them off.
💰SAVE $100: down to $449 @ Amazon
Best iOS buds
Next-gen earbuds perform better than ever
Apple's AirPods Pro 2 bring significant upgrades to the popular original to take performance to the next level. Noise cancellation is double what the last pair of AirPods Pro offered, and it is among the best we’ve yet to see, period.
💰Lowest-ever price: down to $189 @ Amazon
Best ANC buds
The best-ever wireless earbuds for noise cancelation
Bose’s newest flagship wireless earbuds introduce several upgrades such as adaptive active noise cancellation (ANC) and carry the QuietComfort Earbuds 2 to the top echelon of our best wireless earbuds list.
💰SAVE $100: down to $199 @ Amazon
The best headphones you can buy right now
Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.
Best headphones overall
✅ You want the best sound: Balanced and smooth sound from the bottom of the frequency range to the very top, with good rhythmic expression to liberate the music.
✅ You want effective ANC: There's no trace of the ANC circuitry working away and banishes pretty much all external sound to allow your music to do its thing.
✅ You want good battery life: They're good for 30 hours between charges with ANC switched on, and that will rise to as much as 40 hours if you turn it off. Recharges take around 3.5 hours via the USB-C input on the right earcup.
❌ You want foldability: The revamped styling has done away with the popular foldable design of it's predecessor, and is slightly less practical as a result.
❌ You like big and bold styling: Branding is understated on the XM5 with just a little ‘Sony’ logo on each hinge, and the earcups and headband are virtually featureless and entirely anonymous.
❌ You don't like the price increase: Sony has added $50 to the price of its latest XM series headphones. This seems steep given that Sony's exceedingly capable WH-1000XM4 predecessor is readily available, and can even be found discounted for considerably less.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 noise-canceling headphones demonstrate across-the-board expertise with great-sound, exceptional ANC performance and eco credentials.
What you need to know
The Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless active noise-canceling, over-ear headphones pick up where the popular Sony WH-1000XM4 left off. You get excellent sound quality in every respect, improved noise-cancellation and a very credible eco proposition that means they can be recycled at the end of their life. These cans are just as compelling as the model they replace.
Design: Sony has had a bit of a re-think where the XM5 design is concerned. They're a more streamlined shape than their predecessor, with an aero dynamic design that improves the flow of air across the headphone frame to reduce wind noise. Branding is minimal, and are available in black or ecru (for which read ‘uninspiring beige’). The XM5 are a touch lighter than the model they replace, and are supplied with a usefully compact and collapsible carry-case.
Performance: In every respect, the XM5s are a confident, convincing and enjoyable listen. Throughout our review, tonality was neutral and natural, with only the slightest suggestion of the highs being rolled off. Low frequencies were muscular but agile, loaded with detail and texture, and delivered an ordered foundation without over shadowing the presentation further up the frequency range. And when it comes to ANC, the XM5 banish pretty much all external sound and deliver exceptional call quality, too.
Battery life: You'll get 30 hours between charges if you keep active noise-cancelation switched on, and that will rise to as much as 40 hours if you turn it off. It takes a leisurely 3.5 hours to go from ‘flat’ to full when charging via the USB-C input on the right earcup, but can retain an hour’s-worth of power after 10 minutes or so, or you can get three hours of power after just three minutes via USB-PD (Power Delivery).
Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM5
|Price||$50 more than WH-1000XM4||★★★★☆|
|Design||Anonymous aesthetic but impressive eco credentials||★★★★★|
|Performance||Articulate and engaging sound||★★★★★|
|Battery life||Long battery life but not the market leader||★★★★☆|
The best headphones for audiophiles
✅ You want the very best wireless sound quality: The Px7 S2 headphones are designed to deliver the best wireless sound this sort of money can buy, and they do.
✅ You're looking for understated styling: They feel good, are beautifully constructed and are either good-looking in an understated way or a bit too understated for their own good — it depends on your taste.
✅ You like luxury sensibilities: Impeccably put together from a combination of textured fabric, memory-foam filled leather, the Px7 S2 are sophisticated headphones that exude a feeling of luxury.
❌ You want the very best ANC: The active noise-cancelation proves ‘good’ rather than 'great’ — that’s to say, it will be perfectly acceptable to anyone who doesn’t insist on absolute silence.
❌ You like stacks of features: The Bowers & Wilkins Music control app may feel underpowered compared to some. It’s pretty useful as far as it goes, but just doesn’t go as far as some tour de force control apps.
❌ You want touch controls: No tapping an earcup to pause your music here. Instead, there's a selection of physical ‘push/push’ control buttons.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 are designed to deliver the best wireless sound money can buy, and they do. The entire frequency range hangs together well, with nothing overstated and nothing struggling for representation. Just don't expect tons of features.
What you need to know
The Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 over-ear headphones are priced the same as the Sony WH-1000XM5. They feel good, are beautifully constructed and have active noise-cancelation and a control app — but ‘extended functionality’ is not their thing.
Design: Impeccably put together from a combination of textured fabric, memory-foam filled leather, flex-free plastic, with a discreetly logo-d section on the earcups, the Px7 S2 are understated and sophisticated lookers.
Performance: Detail levels are sky-high and treble sounds are bright but not coarse. In our review, vocals had complete expression, are thoroughly engrossing and easy to understand. The soundstage the Bowers & Wilkins generate is sizable, and superbly defined. ANC deals with external sounds decisively unless they’re very loud. There's never any suggestion of the ANC at work, and it doesn’t alter the sonic characteristics of the headphones either.
Battery life: Best-case battery life runs to 30 hours — which is about average these days. Charging time runs from ‘flat’ to full’ in just 2 hours, which is better than the 3 hours the old model needed. A 15-minute charge is good for 7 hours of playback. Charging is via the USB port on the right earcup.
Read the full review: Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2
|Price||Worthwhile price for out-and-out sound quality||★★★★☆|
|Design||Understated and sophisticated||★★★★★|
|Performance||Top-notch wireless audio||★★★★★|
|Battery life||Good but not the best||★★★★☆|
The best ANC headphones overall
✅ You want the very best noise canceling: The Bose 700 have unrivaled ANC performance with up to 11 levels of adjustable ANC that work equally well to neutralize noise across different frequencies.
✅ You want great audio quality on calls: The eight mics effectively silence outside noise while simultaneously allowing you to clearly be heard, whether you're talking to someone on the phone or cueing up a digital assistant.
✅ You want high levels of comfort: Comfort levels are so good that our reviewer fell asleep wearing them. The headband and ear pads are made of memory foam wrapped in black leatherette and the earpads create a good seal.
❌ You want top-end features: We'd like to see Bose add a find-my-headphones function as well as a few equalizer presets for people who prefer to tune their own listening experience.
❌ You need better than 20-hours battery life: At just 20-hours of battery life, the Bose 700 are lagging behind the latest generations of ANC models like the Sony WH-1000XM5s.
❌ You listen for longer periods: During our testing, the earpads had a tendency to get a bit hot sticky when placed on the head for longer periods. You may wish to consider a design that uses a breathable material on the earpads.
The Bose 700 have been around for a while but continue to be the best active noise-canceling headphones out there. They don't skimp on audio quality either, offering clean, balanced sound while the adjustable noise cancelation keeps things nice and quiet.
What you need to know
Although they've been around for a while, the Bose 700 continue to be the best noise-canceling headphones on ANC performance. Plus, you get a sexy design (compared to the QC45) and balanced, precise audio performance, 20 hours of battery life and support for both Alexa and Google Assistant.
Design: The 700s have a less utilitarian style than some Bose models, and are available in black or silver. The headband is made of sturdy stainless steel that bisects the middle of the plastic ear cups. The top and bottom of the band are made of a soft-touch plastic and is designed to evenly distribute weight, and results in a very comfortable fit.
Performance: The noise canceling is great on the Bose 700s, and sound quality is decent, too. The Bose don't appear to be as loud as some, but they are precise and delivered a wide soundstage, with balanced highs, mids and lows during our testing. But the star of the show is Full Transparency mode, which essentially sounds like you're not wearing headphones at all.
Battery life: Playback runs to 20 hours with ANC, which isn't as great as the latest models but should be enough for a week or so of playback between top-ups. Charging is via USB-C and delivers an estimated 3.5 hours of charge in 15 minutes.
Read the full review: Bose 700
|Price||Worthwhile for the best noise cancelling||★★★★★|
|Design||Neat styling and controls||★★★★☆|
|Performance||Most flexible ANC out there||★★★★★|
|Battery life||Lags behind latest rivals||★★★★☆|
The best luxury headphones
✅ You want specialist know-how: The Px8 are Bowers & Wilkins' most advanced noise-canceling headphones to date, and are a confident addition to the luxury headphone market and use high quality material for the best sound.
✅ You want versatile connectivity: Wireless audio is via Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC, aptX HD and aptX Adaptive codec support when connected to compatible playback devices, and cables are supplied for wired headphone jack connections too.
✅ You enjoy hi-fi sound: A new driver material means bass is fast and agile, but it's the mid frequencies where these flagship headphones excel, delivering an abundance of natural detail and midrange clarity to make every voice syllable sound convincingly realistic.
❌ You want adjustable ANC: Noise-canceling runs to 'on'/'off'/'pass through' modes, but that's as far as it goes.
❌ You want touch controls on the earcups: The Px8 use a selection of physical control buttons to navigate playback and pairing instead of touch controls.
❌ You want EQ customization: There's no multi-band EQ adjustment for personal customization, but there are bass and treble controls available.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 headphones balance design with audiophile credentials to impressive effect. ANC performance is satisfactory although not the market leader, but in terms of sound quality these are some of the most agile and engaging wireless headphones we’ve heard.
What you need to know
With bespoke 40mm Carbon Cone drive units for an even more detailed sound across all parts of the frequency range, and sumptuous materials to further aid comfort, the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 flagship go up against the top noise-canceling headphones from the likes of Sennheiser and Sony.
Design: The frame looks similar to the company's Px7 S2 headphones, but earcups, memory-foam cushions and headband are all trimmed in Nappa leather to assert the Px8 as a premium product. The overall weight of the Px8 is a few ounces more than the Px7 S2, but it's evenly distributed and lighter than some wireless rivals.
Performance: Bass sounds natural and rich without feeling overly emphasized. They have an agile performance and it's easy to follow individual elements within the music and pick out different strands of the mix with ease. Mid frequencies deliver an abundance of natural detail and midrange clarity to make every syllable sound convincingly realistic.
Battery life: The Px8 runs to 30 hours of battery life and matches the Px7 S2, as well as its closest rival the Sony WH-1000XM5, but has some way to go to beat the 60-hour playback with ANC capabilities of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless. A 15-minute quick recharge is sufficient for up to 7 hours listening time.
Read the full review: Bowers & Wilkins Px8
|Price||Expensive compared to rivals||★★★★☆|
|Design||Luxury build and finish||★★★★★|
|Performance||Agile and insightful sound||★★★★★|
|Battery life||Good but not the best||★★★★☆|