FINDING the perfect pair of headphones can depend on lots of different factors. Do you prefer earbuds or over-ear? Do you use them professionally or just for your morning commute? The right pair can set you up for years of listening, so it’s important to know you’re making the right choice.
Headphone technology and sound quality have never been better, so to help you narrow your search, we’ve compiled a list of the five best headphones on the market in 2022.
Widely regarded as the best on the market right now, the Sony WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones boast high levels of comfort, a built-in mic and controls, Bluetooth, and industry-leading noise-cancelling technology that does a fantastic job at blocking bassy background noises like jet engines.
The battery life of 30 hours and a lightweight design make them perfect for journeys of any length, while the sound quality is difficult to match in any other pair of headphones. What’s more, just $300 for a pair of sleek, comfortable headphones with incredible quality is a very fair price. Voted Best Headphones of 2022 by What Hi-Fi?.
Battery life: 30 hours
Price: $299.99 (£279)
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro
German audio company Beyerdynamic have created a pair of wired headphones that many professionals regard as the best studio-quality you can buy. These open-back headphones allow air to pass through their ear cups from the rear of the speaker driver, which gives the sound a more natural and clear feeling. It also allows sound to escape the cup, so noise-cancelling doesn’t work with this pair.
However, the DT 1990 Pro headphones really come into their own when studiously listening to music, as the breath-taking resolution allows for a much more analytical approach. Perfect if you’re a sound engineer, but maybe a little much if you just want to listen to Ye on the way home from work.
Battery life: N/A (wired)
Price: $599 (£589)
Sony may be industry titans when it comes to headphone technology, but they also love giving their headphones really long unremarkable names. The Sony WF-1000XM4 are the next generation of the WF-1000XM3, which were regarded as the best in the business when they were released.
The upgraded WF-1000XM4 are a sensational pair of earbuds with a built-in mic making it incredibly easy to talk on the phone with them in. Tap-touch controls on each bud allow for song skip on the right, and effortlessly switching between noise-cancelling and ambient sounds on the left. A range of bud attachments also caters to each ear type.
Battery life: 8 hours (24 with charging case)
Price: $249.99 (£229)
1MORE Quad Driver
The 1MORE Quad Driver wired in-ear headphones deliver beautifully balanced sound and impress with their solid aluminium design. The professional sound-tuning adds real flair to the quality, with the headphones more than capable of providing high-quality sound across any genre of music.
They are some of the best wired in-ear headphones on the market in 2022 and in-line controls add that touch of simplicity and reliability when on the move.
Battery life: N/A (wired)
Price: $169.99 (£100)
Apple AirPods Max
Most industry buffs and tech experts are calling the AirPods Max the best wireless headphones you can buy, but only if you are a keen Apple user. The compatibility with iPhones and iPads is a huge reason to go for the AirPods Max as there are many features that only apply to Apple hardware, but the authenticity, crispness and spaciousness that is delivered by these headphones make them a solid option for android users as well.
Battery life: 20 hours
Price: $549 (£549)