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Top 10 Best Noise-canceling Wireless Earbuds and In-ear Headphones Reviews and buyers guide

Noise-canceling wireless earbuds and in-ear headphones are significantly more compact and easier to carry for everyday use than their over-ear and on-ear counterparts. They are more breathable and have a more secure fit, which also makes them more suitable for blocking out ambient noise while running and working out.

Moreover, their passive noise isolation is usually better, with their earbud or in-ear design providing a tight seal, making them useful even when the active noise cancellation (ANC) is disabled. If you are in the market for the best noise-canceling wireless earbuds and in-ear headphones – whether for commuting, travel, office use, or sports use – the following products are the best options.

Table of Contents

Top List

  • Best Truly Wireless Earbuds: Sony WF-1000XM3
  • Best Earbuds for iOS: Apple AirPods Pro
  • Best Earbuds Under $200: Amazon Echo Buds
  • Best Neckband Headphones: Bose QuietControl 30
  • Best for Sports: Sony WI-SP600N
  • Best Cheap Headphones: TaoTronics TT-BH042

 

1: Best Truly Wireless Earbuds: Sony WF-1000XM3

Sony WF-1000XM3

If you want noise-canceling headphones in a truly wireless format, the two best options currently out are the Sony WF-1000XM3 and the Apple AirPods Pro. Both sell for more than $200 and have their own strengths and weaknesses. If you are not using an iOS device, the Sony WF-1000XM3 are the better option overall. Their single-charge battery life, app support, and sound quality are all better than the slightly more expensive Apple AirPods Pro.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 are well-crafted truly wireless headphones with a typical in-ear fit. While they are a bit bulky, they are lightweight and comfortable to use. Their overall build quality is good and feels premium. The same thing goes for the included charging case, which holds additional charges for extended playback. There are different sizes of silicone and foam ear tips included in the box, allowing you to choose the most comfortable fit for your ears.

Due to their extremely compact design, the Sony WF-1000XM3 are much more portable than regular over-ear and on-ear headphones and are easy to carry in your pocket. They are not as sweat-resistant as some sports-oriented models, though, but this shouldn’t be an issue for casual everyday use, especially if you are mostly going to use them at the office.

For controls, the Sony WF-1000XM3 feature a responsive and user-friendly touch control scheme on both earbuds. Using the touch controls, you can easily manage your calls and music and activate your voice assistant while on the move. Similar to the Sony WH-1000XM3, you can quickly turn down the volume and disable the ANC by covering the left earbud’s touch surface This allows you to monitor your surroundings or listen to a conversation without taking the earbuds out of your ears.

As mentioned, the charging case’s build quality is just as good as that of the earbuds. It is sturdy and protects the earbuds from scratches when not in use. It is similarly compact and easy to carry for everyday use, but compared to the Apple AirPods Pro’s case, the Sony WF-1000XM3’s case takes up more space. The case connects using a USB-C charging cable.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 are good-sounding truly wireless headphones, which is notable considering similarly designed headphones are not particularly known for their sound quality. You can modify the sound profile using the dedicated companion app, which also offers plenty of other customization options. Compared to Apple’s new AirPods Pro, these Sony headphones are more customizable, which is a big plus for many people.

On the other hand, the Sony WF-1000XM3 are inferior to the Apple AirPods Pro regarding noise isolation performance. Still, they block a decent amount of background noise and are suitable for commuting, travel, and office use. And with their minimal sound leakage, you can turn up the music volume to further mask ambient noise without disturbing people around you.

With their six-hour battery life per charge, the Sony WF-1000XM3 can last through a typical commute for most people. But for long road trips and extended hours at the office, you’ll need to pop them into the case for a recharge at least once. The case holds three additional charges, which translates to a total battery life of 24 hours. The earbuds charge fast, with 10 minutes of charging already providing 90 minutes of playback.

Overall, the Sony WF-1000XM3 are versatile truly wireless noise-canceling headphones that are suitable for everyday use. Their build quality, sound quality, touch controls, app support, and charging case are all good, while their battery life per charge and mic performance are both decent. They are the best among Sony’s current lineup of truly wireless headphones.

2: Best Earbuds for iOS: Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro

If you are using an Apple device and prefer to stay within the Apple ecosystem, the Apple AirPods Pro are a better option than the Sony WF-1000XM3. They are more versatile than the AirPods 2, with their ANC technology making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Their $249 pricing is not the most wallet-friendly, though, but that’s not surprising for an Apple product.

At first glance, the Apple AirPods Pro look similar to the AirPods 2, especially with the familiar stem extending out from the earbuds, but their overall design is different. Unlike the AirPods 2, they are closed-back headphones with a typical in-ear fit. You can change the ear tips, with the option to choose between three sizes, which contrasts with the universal fit of the AirPods 2.

The Apple AirPods Pro are well-built truly wireless headphones featuring soft silicone ear tips and an IPX4 rating for sweat protection. They are extremely compact, which makes them easy to carry with or without the charging case. Although they lack ear hooks and stability fins, they are very stable, staying securely in your ears even when doing physical activities. This makes them suitable for running and working out, especially considering their supremely breathable design.

With the force sensor on each earbud, managing your calls and music is easy. You can use the earbud controls to pause/play music, skip tracks, and answer calls. Activating Siri and disabling the ANC feature are also possible through the earbud controls. While not as generous in functions as with other truly wireless headphones, the control scheme is responsive, effective, and easy to use.

The included charging case looks just as premium as the earbuds themselves. It is more compact than the charging docks of most truly wireless headphones, measuring around 2.4 inches wide, 1.8 inches tall, and 0.9 inches thin. It supports Qi wireless charging and holds additional charges for extended playback, with the latter being the more important considering the Apple AirPods Pro’s single-charge battery life is rather short.

Unsurprisingly, the Apple AirPods Pro can seamlessly pair with Apple devices. However, they don’t have a dedicated companion app for customization. Their app support is significantly inferior compared with many other truly wireless headphones – including the Sony WF-1000XM3, the Jaybird Vista, and the Jabra Elite 65t. If you want more customizable headphones, there are far better options on the market, especially if you are using an Android device.

Compared to the Sony WF-1000XM3, the Apple AirPods Pro have much better noise isolation. Their in-ear design provides an effective seal for passive noise isolation, while their actual ANC feature is excellent at blocking out ambient noise in loud environments like public transport hubs and noisy offices. They are some of the best noise-canceling headphones currently out, capable of going toe to toe with some of Bose’s best noise-canceling headphones.

Whether you are commuting, traveling, or working out in a lively gym, you can count on the Apple AirPods Pro to block out unwanted noise. Their single-charge battery life with ANC enabled is rather short, though. They can run up to four hours and 30 minutes with both ANC enabled and the volume set to 50 percent, and up to five hours with ANC disabled. On the bright side, you get more than 24 hours of total battery life with the charging case.

On the whole, the Apple AirPods Pro are well-designed in-ear headphones that are suitable for different usages. Their build quality, stability, total battery life, noise isolation performance, and wireless range are all great, while their sound quality and controls are both decent. Although they are flawed in some areas, they are the best truly wireless noise-canceling headphones for Apple devices.

3: Best Earbuds Under $200: Amazon Echo Buds

Amazon Echo Buds

Selling for around $130, the Amazon Echo Buds are some of the more affordable noise-canceling headphones on the market. Like the Sony and Apple headphones above, they are completely wireless in-ear headphones that are suitable for different usages. Their overall build quality and performance are both good, making them a solid contender in the truly wireless category.

The Amazon Echo Buds are IPX4-rated headphones with closed-back earbuds featuring customizable touch controls on the backplates. They are lightweight, compact, and breathable and include stability fins for a more secure fit. There are different sizes of ear tips and stability fins in the box, allowing you to mix and match units for the best fit for your ears.

With their good sweat resistance and stable design, the Amazon Echo Buds are good for running and training both indoors and outdoors. Their totally wireless design means there are no cables that might get caught into something while working out. The included hard case, which serves as a secure container and charging dock, is compact and easy to store in your gym bag or waist pack.

The Amazon Echo Buds have a decent control scheme that is responsive and easy to use. Both earbuds include a glossy touch surface that allows you to manage your calls and music, activate your voice assistant, and switch between ANC and talk-through modes. Additionally, the earbuds automatically pause the music playback if you remove them from your ears. You can’t adjust the volume through the earbud controls, though, which can be inconvenient sometimes.

Capable of operating up to five hours per charge, with additional charges in the case, the Amazon Echo Buds are decent-sounding in-ear headphones with a balanced audio reproduction. They are suitable for different music genres, but they are not going to impress serious audiophiles. Unlike the Apple AirPods Pro, they are supported by a dedicated app that allows for a decent amount of customization, including options to tweak the sound profile and modify the earbud controls.

Equipped with Bose’s proprietary ANC technology, the Amazon Echo Buds are great at blocking out background noise in loud environments. Even with ANC disabled, they still block a good amount of ambient noise due to their excellent passive seal. The sound leakage is also minimal even at higher volumes, allowing you to turn up the music volume to further mask background noise without disturbing people around you.

For a company not exactly known for noise-canceling headphones, Amazon did an impressive job with the Amazon Echo Buds. The headphones are either decent or good in many aspects – including build quality, sound quality, noise isolation, app support, and battery life. They are suitable for all-around use and offer good value for the money.

4: Best Neckband Headphones: Bose QuietControl 30

Bose QuietControl 30

Totally wireless headphones are extremely portable and convenient to use every day. But they usually have a short battery life per charge and are more prone to being lost due to their small size and cable-free design. If you prefer wireless earbuds or in-ear headphones that last longer per charge and are not as easy to lose or misplace, check out the Bose QuietControl 30.

Unlike the previous three products in this guide, they are wireless neckband headphones, which means they are not completely cable-free. They are lightweight headphones with a comfortable earbud design, a sturdy neckband, and an easily accessible inline remote. Their closed-back earbuds feature silicone ear tips with stability fins for a more secure fit, while their all-black color scheme allows for a more low-profile look suitable for casual everyday use.

Although they are not as compact and portable as truly wireless headphones, the Bose QuietControl 30 are still more portable than regular over-ear and on-ear headphones. You don’t necessarily need to carry the included travel case for everyday use. You can simply wear the neckband and let the earbuds hang around your neck when you are not using them, which makes it easier to access them again if needed.

The Bose QuietControl 30 are suitable for sports due to their breathable and stable design, with their “StayHear+” ear tips allowing for a more secure fit. However, their sweat resistance is not as good as that of more sports-oriented headphones. In addition, their neckband design is not for everyone and can be cumbersome for some workouts.

For controls, there is a small inline remote integrated into the right earbud’s cable. You can use the remote’s main buttons for call and music management and volume adjustment. There are also smaller buttons on the remote’s side that are used for adjusting the ANC level, which is convenient. Overall, the inline controls are well implemented and easy to use despite the rather stiff buttons.

Featuring NFC technology for faster pairing, the Bose QuietControl 30 are decent-sounding neckband headphones that are suitable for listening to music, audiobooks, and podcasts. They have a solid 10-hour battery life, which allows them to last through a typical workday on a single charge. Compared to most truly wireless headphones, they are much more suitable for continuous use during long flights and road trips.

The Bose QuietControl 30’s noise isolation performance is great. Their passive ear seal and ANC technology allow them to block a good amount of ambient noise in loud environments. Their sound leakage is also minimal at higher volumes, which is beneficial for people around you, especially in the office. You can easily adjust the ANC level based on your current location, as some situations require you to have some level of awareness.

While they are very expensive, the Bose QuietControl 30 are the best headphones if you prefer to use noise-canceling headphones with a neckband design. Their noise isolation performance is one of the best among neckband headphones, while their overall build quality is good. There are three different pairs of ear tips included in the box, along with a hard case and a USB charging cable.

5: Best for Sports: Sony WI-SP600N

Sony WI-SP600N

The Sony WI-SP600N are noise-canceling headphones designed specifically for sports use. They are wireless headphones with a behind-the-neck cable and a typical in-ear fit. They are available in different colors, including yellow and pink. While they normally sell for around $150, their price often drops to under $100, which makes them a good option if you have a tight budget.

Equipped with stability fins for a more secure fit, the Sony WI-SP600N are IPX4-rated headphones with closed-back earbuds and an inline remote. Their cable and earbuds are durable, while their inline remote doesn’t feel cheaply built. With their breathable design, they are comfortable to use for long hours at the gym. There are four pairs of ear tips and two pairs of stability fins included in the box, allowing you to experiment with different units to get the best fit.

The Sony WI-SP600N are great for running and working out, whether indoors or outdoors. Their sweat resistant is good while their adjustable fins increase their stability, which is especially beneficial during more intense workouts. They are compact and portable, but they don’t come with a carrying case, which is disappointing for headphones normally selling for around $150.

While the inline remote is bulkier than usual, it’s easy to use and offers the essential functions, with the buttons offering good tactile feedback. You can manage your calls and music using the multi-function button and adjust the volume using the small volume rocker. Moreover, there are separate buttons for switching between ambient and ANC modes and for the power and Bluetooth pairing.

With the separate ANC/ambient mode button, you can easily adjust the headphones depending on your current situation. You can either engage ANC mode to block out noise when working out in a crowded gym or switch to the ambient mode for better situational awareness when running outdoors.

The Sony WI-SP600N are fairly decent-sounding in-ear headphones, but their bass-heavy sound is not for everyone. They support NFC for faster pairing and have a companion app for customization, which is a common perk among Sony headphones. Their battery life is around six hours per charge with ANC turned on, which should be good enough for a couple of trips to the gym for most people. There are other similarly designed sports headphones with better battery life, but most of them are just regular headphones with no ANC.

Even when ANC is disabled, the Sony WI-SP600N block a good amount of background noise, with their closed-back earbuds providing an effective seal for passive noise isolation. Their sound isolation works both ways; in addition to their good noise isolation, their sound leakage is also minimal even at higher volumes. You can turn up the music volume to further mask ambient noise without disturbing the people around you.

All things considered, the Sony WI-SP600N are some of the best noise-canceling wireless in-ear headphones currently out. While they are made for sports use, they are also decent headphones for commuting and office use due to their compact design, easy controls, convenient wireless connectivity, and good noise isolation performance. This makes them an appealing option for those who are looking for a solid all-rounder for everyday use.

6: Best Cheap Headphones: TaoTronics TT-BH042

TaoTronics TT-BH042

The TaoTronics TT-BH042 are the best option if you are limited to a $50 budget for noise-canceling in-ear headphones. They are some of the most affordable noise-canceling headphones on the market, selling for less than $50. They are best used for reducing ambient noise in coffee shops and busy offices, among other similar locations.

A pair of neckband headphones, the TaoTronics TT-BH042 are decently built budget headphones with an IPX5 rating for water resistance. Their slim neckband is flexible while their earbuds include stability fins for a more secure fit. There are multiple pairs of ear tips and stability fins included in the box, allowing you to mix and match units for the best fit for your ears.

The TaoTronics TT-BH042 are compact and easy to carry for everyday use. Their small earbuds are magnetic. You can snap them together when not in use for better cable management – which is especially useful since the cables connecting to the two earbuds are longer than usual, as seen in some of the product images. On the other hand, the headphones don’t come with a carrying case, which hurts their overall portability.

Like in-ear headphones with a behind-the-neck cable, the TaoTronics TT-BH042 have an inline remote for controls, easily accessible on the right earbud’s cable. The inline remote is straightforward, with not many bells and whistles. You can use it for call and music management and volume adjustment and for enabling or disabling the ANC feature.

The TaoTronics TT-BH042 are surprisingly decent-sounding budget headphones that are suitable for listening to music, audiobooks, and podcasts. They can run up to eight hours on a single charge with ANC enabled and up to 16 hours with ANC disabled. Their eight-hour battery with ANC enabled is one of the better ones among noise-canceling earbuds and in-ear headphones. Unfortunately, their noise isolation performance is mediocre. They are decent enough for office use, but for commuting and flights, they are not recommended.

Due to their breathable and stable design and good sweat resistance, the TaoTronics TT-BH042 are also suitable for sports use. Their magnetic earbuds keep them secure around your neck while you are taking a break. However, their long cable can be annoying sometimes and might get caught into something when you are working out.

While they are not as versatile as our other top picks above, the TaoTronics TT-BH042 are the best option if you have an extremely limited budget for noise-canceling in-ear headphones. Their build quality and sound quality are both decent for budget headphones under $50, while their inline controls are user-friendly. You should keep your expectations at a reasonable level regarding noise isolation performance, though.

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More Options

The following products are also good options if you are looking for the best noise-canceling wireless earbuds and in-ear headphones, whether for sports use, commuting, or office use. Some are good alternatives to our top picks, while others are simply more budget-friendly options.

7: Sony WF-1000X

Sony WF-1000X

The Sony WF-1000X are truly wireless headphones with a comfortable in-ear design and stability fins for a more secure fit. They are premium-looking headphones that feel durable, but they are a bit bulkier than other truly wireless headphones. Their control scheme is decent, with the option to quickly switch to ambient mode, allowing you to strike up a conversation or monitor your surroundings without taking off your headphones.

Suitable for both commuting and office use, the Sony WF-1000X block a decent amount of background noise with their ANC and passive in-ear seal. And since their sound leakage is minimal even at higher volumes, you can turn up the volume to further mask background noise. On the other hand, these Sony headphones have a short three-hour battery life per charge, which means they are not suitable for extended continuous playback. The compact charging case includes additional charges, increasing the total battery life to nine hours.

8: Sony WI-C600N

Sony WI-C600N

If your budget is limited to around $100, the Sony WI-C600N are another pair of noise-canceling headphones that are worth checking out. But unlike the Sony WF-1000X, they are in-ear headphones with a neckband design, which means they are not completely wireless. They come with four different pairs of ear tips to allow you to choose the most comfortable fit for your ears. However, they don’t include a carrying case, which hurts their overall portability.

The Sony WI-C600N are decent-sounding headphones with good noise isolation performance. Their build quality is satisfactory, while their control scheme – which has controls for call and music management, volume, and ANC – is good. The app support is also good, with the option to customize the sound profile. Regarding battery life, these Sony neckband headphones are more suitable for extended usage than the Sony WF-1000X, offering double the battery life per charge.

9: 1More Dual Driver BT ANC (E1004BA)

1More Dual Driver BT ANC (E1004BA)

The 1More Dual Driver BT ANC are wireless headphones with a flexible neckband, a comfortable in-ear fit, and decent noise isolation performance. Their earpieces are magnetic, allowing you to snap them together for better security and better cable management when they are inactive and simply hanging around your neck. Like most other neckband headphones, the controls are on the neckband itself. You can easily manage your calls and music and adjust the volume using the control scheme on the neckband’s left side.

Unlike most neckband headphones, the 1More Dual Driver BT ANC can be used in both wireless mode and wired mode. They connect wirelessly using Bluetooth, with a wireless range of 30 feet, and include an audio cable for switching to a wired connection when the battery is low. And speaking of which, their battery life is seven hours per charge, which is good enough for a typical commute. They also charge fast, with 10 minutes of charging providing three hours of playback.

10: Plantronics BackBeat Go 410

Plantronics BackBeat Go 410

Compact and portable, the Plantronics BackBeat Go 410 are wireless neckband headphones that are easy to carry for daily commute and travel. They have a discreet, low-profile design, featuring small earpieces that don’t protrude too much and a slim neckband. Their controls are integrated into the audio cable itself, instead of on the neckband, with the simple inline remote allowing for easy call and music management while on the move.

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 410 can run up to eight hours with ANC enabled and up to 10 hours with ANC disabled. You can also use them in wired mode using the included USB charging cable that can be converted into an analog audio cable. This makes them suitable noise-canceling headphones for long road trips and flights. When not in use, you can simply snap the two magnetic earpieces together to automatically disable ANC and disconnect from your device, therefore activating the power-saving mode.

11: Sony WF-SP700N

Sony WF-SP700N

Available in five different colors, the Sony WF-SP700N are truly wireless headphones with a typical in-ear design that some might find awkward at first. They are sports-oriented headphones, featuring stability fins for a more secure fit and an IPX4 rating for water resistance. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor runs or workouts, with their ambient mode allowing for better situational awareness when running outdoors.

While they are bulkier than other truly wireless headphones, the Sony WF-SP700N are lightweight and comfortable to use. There are different ear tips and stability fins included in the box, allowing you to mix and match different units for the best fit for your ears. If you can get a good passive seal with the ear tips, the overall noise isolation is decent. You can also increase the music volume to further reduce background noise, as the headphones have low sound leakage. The battery life is only three hours per charge, though, which is disappointing.

12: Sony WI-1000X

 

Sony WI-1000X

The Sony WI-1000X are premium-looking neckband headphones featuring an in-ear design, a sturdy neckband, and an effective control scheme. They are recommended for commuting, office use, and flights, with their ANC and passive seal blocking a good amount of background noise. They can run up to 10 hours on a single charge while in wireless mode with ANC, which is good enough for a typical workday and daily commute. You can also use the headphones in wired mode with the included audio cable, which is notable for neckband headphones.

Optimized for Google Assistant, the Sony WI-1000X can easily pair with compatible Bluetooth devices and support NFC for faster pairing. Their build quality is good, but their neckband is not as slim and flexible compared with some neckband headphones. They have simple but effective cable management in the form of a thin cable slot running along the neckband. An airplane adapter and a carrying pouch are included in the box, along with different pairs of ear tips.

13: Jabra Elite 65e

Jabra Elite 65e

The Jabra Elite 65e are versatile neckband headphones for different usages. Their good noise isolation, easy controls, and decent eight-hour battery life (with ANC enabled) make them suitable for office use, travel, and commutes. Their mic performance is better than that of most neckband headphones, allowing for better call quality even in a moderately noisy environment. And unlike most non-gaming headphones, these Jabra headphones include a mic mute button, easily accessible on the neckband.

A pair of IP54-rated wireless headphones, the Jabra Elite 65e have a comfortable earbud design with a short stem extending out from each earbud similar to the Apple AirPods Pro. They are well-crafted headphones featuring a flexible and durable neckband. While they are not specifically marketed for sports use, they are also good for training and exercising indoors – their stability fins allow for a more secure fit while their IP54 rating means they are protected against both dust and sweat.

14: Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus

Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus

The Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus are truly wireless headphones with a stylish design, featuring a handcrafted acetate body and a stainless-steel charging case. They have silicone ear tips and stability fins for a more secure fit. There are different ear tip and stability fin sizes included in the box, giving you more freedom to get the right fit for your ears. The included charging case is just as premium-looking as the earbuds themselves and holds additional charges for extended playback.

With their 10-hour battery life per charge, the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus are more suitable for long listening sessions than most truly wireless headphones. Their 10-hour battery should be good enough for a typical workday and longer commutes. You get three additional charges in the charging case, which translates to a total battery life of 40 hours.

15: Bose Hearphones

Bose Hearphones

The Bose Hearphones are wireless neckband headphones that are similar to the Bose QuietControl 30 in terms of design and build quality. They are unique among the best noise-canceling wireless earbuds and in-ear headphones listed in this guide. You can use them to either block out ambient noise or hear better in loud environments with their conversation-enhancing feature. Their convenient inline remote includes buttons for the noise cancellation, along with the usual call and music management controls.

Featuring NFC technology for faster pairing, the Bose Hearphones are lightweight and compact and include a hard case, which adds to their overall portability. Their discreet all-black design is suitable for casual everyday use, while their stability fins make for a more secure fit. They have an excellent wireless range and can run up to 10 hours on a single charge. Unfortunately, these Bose conversation-enhancing and noise-canceling headphones are some of the most expensive neckband headphones, normally selling for around $400-500.

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The post The 15 Best Noise-canceling Wireless Earbuds and In-ear Headphones appeared first on Improb.

The 15 Best Headphones for Office Use in 2020 Reviews

 

Most headphones are usable in an office environment, even those designed for audiophiles and professional use. However, the best ones are those that are comfortable to use for long hours, block a good amount of ambient noise in a crowded office, and are not too cumbersome to carry every day. It is also a plus if the headphones do not leak too much sound so that your loud music won’t disturb or annoy people around you.

If you are looking for the best headphones for office use, the products listed in this guide are the best options on the market. The list includes different types of headphones, including truly wireless headphones and over-ear headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC).

Table Of Contents

Top List

  • Best Wireless Over-ear Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM3
  • Best Truly Wireless Earphones: Samsung Galaxy Buds
  • Best Neckband Headphones: Bose QuietControl 30
  • Best Wired Earbuds: Bose QuietComfort 20
  • Best Audiophile Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Sony WH-1000XM3Best Wireless Over-ear Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM3

Selling for $350, the Sony WH-1000XM3 are the best over-ear headphones for office use. They are some of the best noise-canceling headphones currently out on the market, with their outstanding noise isolation making them ideal for blocking out ambient noise in the office. They are more customizable and have a longer battery life than the popular Bose QuietComfort 35 II, not to mention their sound leakage is lower.

The WH-1000XM3 are wireless headphones with closed-back ear cups, which automatically means they also provide passive noise isolation. While they are bulky and not as breathable as typical in-ear headphones, they are comfortable to use continuously for hours. Their well-padded headband is sturdy and flexible, while their earpads are soft and don’t feel too warm after just a couple of hours of use.

With their foldable design and included hard case, the WH-1000XM3 are easy to carry for daily office use. They are lightweight and take up less space in your bag when folded, though their foldable design does add more moving parts vulnerable to wear and tear. Their build quality is great and feels more premium than the similarly priced QuietComfort 35 II, but they are not on the same level as some high-end audiophile headphones.

You can manage your calls and music and adjust the volume using the on-cup controls. You can also activate your voice assistant and switch between ANC and ambient modes. If you want to converse with someone without taking your headphones off, you can simply cover the right ear cup’s touch surface with your hand to instantly turn the volume down and disable ANC, which is very convenient.

An airplane adapter and an audio cable are included in the box, along with the hard case and the USB charging cable. While the airplane adapter is convenient if you are a frequent traveler, the included audio cable is definitely more useful, as it allows you to switch to a wired connection when the battery is low. The audio cable ends with a 3.5 mm analog plug, making for universal compatibility with most smartphones and computers.

The WH-1000XM3 are good-sounding headphones that are suitable for listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks, with their user-friendly Sony companion app allowing you to modify their sound profile, among other aspects. They support NFC technology for faster pairing and boast an excellent wireless range. The integrated mic is also decent and allows for clear phone calls even in a moderately noisy office environment.

With their well-implemented ANC and closed-back design, the WH-1000XM3 are excellent at blocking out background noise in the office like the sound of air conditioners, printers, and chatter. This makes them especially useful in a crowded office. Their sound leakage is also low at higher volumes, which is beneficial for the people around you.

The WH-1000XM3 can run up to 30 hours on a single charge while in wireless mode and with ANC enabled. If they run out of battery in the middle of your work shift, you can easily switch to wired mode with the provided audio cable. Alternatively, you can go for a quick charge, as the headphones charge fast, allowing for five hours of playback after just 10 minutes of charging.

Overall, the WH-1000XM3 are outstanding wireless headphones for office use. Their comfort level, battery life, on-cup controls, noise isolation, and build quality are all great, while their foldable ear cups and lightweight frame make them easy to carry every day. Their companion app is one of the best, with options for button mapping and ANC adjustment. You can also use the headphones for travel and commute, especially considering their superb noise isolation.

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Samsung Galaxy BudsBest Truly Wireless Earphones: Samsung Galaxy Buds

If you prefer more compact and more portable headphones than regular over-ear headphones, check out the Samsung Galaxy Buds. They are truly wireless headphones with a comfortable in-ear fit and a longer battery life per charge compared to most other headphones of the same type, which makes them more suitable for continuous use at the office. While they are best paired with Android devices, they are also compatible with iOS devices, but some features are not available on iOS.

The Galaxy Buds are well-designed earphones that are extremely lightweight and compact and come with a separate charging case. Unlike some truly wireless earphones, they don’t protrude too much, translating to a more discreet profile, especially for the black model. They have stability sleeves for a more secure fit. There are multiple stability sleeves and ear tips included in the box, allowing you to experiment with different combinations.

Compared to over-ear and on-ear headphones, the Galaxy Buds are more suitable for running and working out due to their better stability and more breathable design. Their overall build quality is good, but their IPX2 rating for water resistance is inferior compared with some of the best sports in-ear headphones like the Jaybird Tarah Pro and the Jabra Elite Active 65t.

Like with the Sony WH-1000XM3, the control system comes in the form of touch controls, with both earpieces featuring a glossy touch surface on their backplate. You can manage your calls and music and activate your voice assistant using the touch controls, with the option to customize the controls with the companion app. Unfortunately, the app, as of this writing, is not available for iOS devices, which bars iPhone owners from using the earphones to their full potential.

The charging case is just as compact and portable as the earphones themselves, making it easy to carry in your pocket. In addition to serving as a secure container for the small earphones, the case also carries one additional charge. Its single additional charge is disappointing, though, with many other truly wireless earphones featuring a charging case with at least three additional charges for longer total battery life.

Regarding overall performance, the Galaxy Buds are solid. Their audio reproduction is good for truly wireless earphones, which are not exactly known for their sound quality. Their integrated mic sounds decent in a quiet environment but struggles in noisy places. You get a decent amount of customization options with the Android-only companion app, including the option to modify the sound profile.

While they lack ANC technology, the Galaxy Buds are good at blocking out background noise in the office. Their overall passive noise isolation is decent, while their sound leakage at higher volumes is minimal, allowing you to turn the music volume up to further mask ambient noise. You can easily switch to ambient mode if you want to converse with a co-worker but don’t want to remove the earphones from your ears.

Truly wireless earphones usually have a mediocre single-charge battery life, with many products limited to around three to four hours per charge. The Galaxy Buds, however, are some of the better ones in this department. Their advertised battery life is six hours per charge, but according to several hands-on tests, they can easily beat that mark and run for more than seven hours on a single charge.

Their longer battery life per charge allows them to last longer than most truly wireless earphones during a typical workday. But on the other hand, their total battery life is shorter compared to others since their charging case only holds one additional charge. Their advertised 13-hour total battery life should be good enough for most people, though.

On the whole, the Galaxy Buds are highly recommended truly wireless earphones for office use. They have a comfortable design and a good battery life per charge. Their passive noise isolation is good enough for office use while their sound leakage is minimal, which prevents your loud music from disturbing nearby co-workers. If you are using an Android phone and don’t really need ANC, they offer better value for the money than both the Apple AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM3.

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Bose QuietControl 30Best Neckband Headphones: Bose QuietControl 30

The Bose QuietControl 30 are some of the best neckband headphones on the market, featuring ANC for superior noise isolation, which is beneficial in a busy office. They are easy to use and offer better battery life per charge than truly wireless earphones, easily lasting through a typical workday. They are very expensive, though, selling for around $300.

Featuring ear tips with stability fins, the QuietControl 30 are wireless headphones with a comfortable earbud design. Their black color scheme and compact design allow for a more low-profile look. They are breathable and stay securely in your ears. Their overall build quality is good, but they are not as ruggedly built and as water-resistant as sports-oriented behind-the-neck headphones.

There are three different pairs of ear tips included in the box, allowing you to choose the most stable and most comfortable fit for your ears. Unfortunately, the stability fins are merged with the ear tips, preventing you from combining different ear tip and stability fin sizes, which is possible for some earbuds and in-ear headphones.

While the QuietControl 30 are not as compact and portable as truly wireless earphones, they are still more portable than over-ear and on-ear headphones. You can either put them in the included travel case or simply wear them around your neck when not in use, with their lightweight design making them easy to carry. The included case is a hard case type, which offers better protection against physical damage than a soft pouch.

You can easily adjust the volume level and manage your calls and music using the small inline remote, which is positioned on the right side. You also get additional buttons for adjusting the ANC, which are smaller than the main buttons. Although the buttons are slightly stiff, the control scheme is easy to use even while you are on the move.

The QuietControl 30 are decent-sounding neckband headphones that are suitable for all-around usage, including listening to podcasts and audiobooks. They support NFC technology for faster pairing and boast an excellent wireless range. Their companion app is user-friendly but limited, with no option to freely modify the sound profile.

For phone calls, the QuietControl 30 are not recommended, especially in a noisy environment, whether indoors or outdoors. Even in a quiet room, their mic performance is mediocre, which makes them unsuitable for important business calls in the office. If you take a lot of calls at the office and want headphones with good mic performance, there are better options out there.

With their ANC feature and closed-back design, the QuietControl 30 are great at blocking out ambient noise in a crowded office. Their sound leakage is also minimal at higher volumes, allowing you to blast your music without worrying about disturbing people around you. They can run up to 10 hours on a single charge, which is good enough for a typical workday. Unfortunately, they can’t be used in wired mode when the battery is low since they lack a backup audio cable.

If you prefer wireless neckband headphones for office use, get the QuietControl 30. Their overall performance and build quality are both good, with their comfortable earbud fit, 10-hour battery, and very effective noise isolation being especially beneficial for office use. However, as mentioned earlier, they are very expensive neckband headphones, which isn’t really surprising for a Bose product.

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Bose QuietComfort 20Best Wired Earbuds: Bose QuietComfort 20

Most wired earbuds and earphones are usable for listening to music at the office. But there are certain products that are more suitable for office use than others – and the Bose QuietComfort 20 are the best among them. They are wired earbuds with excellent noise isolation due to their ANC, which is useful in a noisy office setting. They sell for around $250, with Bose offering separate models for Apple devices and Android devices.

The QuietComfort 20 are well-built earbuds with a more comfortable fit compared to typical in-ear headphones. They are compact and breathable and feature stability fins for a more secure fit. There are three different ear tip sizes included in the box, allowing you to choose the most comfortable and most stable fit for your ears. The earbuds connect to a non-detachable cable that ends with a regular 3.5 mm analog plug, which is compatible with most smartphones.

While their long audio cable can be annoying to deal with sometimes, the QuietComfort 20 are very portable and easy to carry in your pocket. They are extremely lightweight and come with a handy travel case for protection against scratches and minor drops. The included case is similarly compact and portable and will take up minimal space in your bag.

Like most other wired earbud and earphones, the QuietComfort 20 include an inline remote with a built-in microphone. The small remote – which has a blue accent like the audio cable – allows for call and music management and volume adjustment, with the buttons providing decent feedback. A control module for the ANC is also integrated into the audio cable. The rectangular control module is easy to use and has a battery indicator.

The QuietComfort 20 have excellent noise isolation performance due to their ANC technology and passive seal. They block a great deal of ambient noise in the office, including chatter and the sound of office equipment. You can easily switch to Aware mode, allowing you to converse with co-workers without removing the earbuds from your ears. Furthermore, the earbuds have minimal sound leakage even at higher volumes, which is beneficial for the people around you.

With their 16-hour battery life per charge, the QuietComfort 20 will easily last through a typical workday and extended hours at the office. If their battery runs out in the middle of your work shift because you forgot to charge them overnight, you can still use them passively, but their noise isolation without ANC obviously won’t be as good. They require around two hours of charging time.

Regarding sound quality, the QuietComfort 20 are disappointing, with many Bose earbuds offering better audio reproduction. They sound mediocre, with an overpowering bass and inconsistent treble performance. This shouldn’t be a big issue for most non-audiophiles, but if you want good-sounding wired earbuds for office use, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Although they are much more expensive than regular wired earbuds, the QuietComfort 20 are some of the best headphones for office use. Their build quality, controls, comfort level, noise isolation, sound leakage, and battery life are all great, while their inline microphone is decent. They are easy to use and can easily connect with most smartphones due to their analog audio cable.

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Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBest Audiophile Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

If you want to use audiophile headphones in the office, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are the most suitable headphones. They are wired over-ear headphones with excellent sound quality and a foldable design that makes them more portable. While their noise isolation is mediocre, their sound leakage is quite low, which is beneficial in an office environment. They are some of the best over-ear headphones under $200, offering great value for the money.

Available in different colors, the ATH-M50x are closed-back headphones with a simple aesthetic that allows for a more discreet look – which is great if you don’t want a lot of people staring at your audio equipment at the office. Their overall build quality is great but not as premium as some high-end audiophile headphones; their headband is sturdy and flexible while their large ear cups feel durable.

The ATH-M50x are lightweight headphones that weigh less than a pound, though their bulky design might suggest otherwise. They are comfortable to use for long listening sessions and can accommodate larger ears due to their spacious ear cups. They are well-padded and don’t feel too tight, but on the other hand, they are not as breathable as on-ear and in-ear headphones.

Over-ear headphones are not the most portable type of headphones because of their bulky design. The ATH-M50x, however, are a bit more portable since they fold into a more compact form. They take up less space in your bag compared to non-foldable over-ear headphones, making them easier to carry for office use. They also come with a pouch that protects them from scratches while stored in your bag.

There are multiple audio cables in the box, including a coiled cable and a regular straight cable that ends with a 3.5 mm analog plug. None of the audio cables include an inline remote for volume and music control, though, which isn’t surprising for headphones designed for professional use. The lack of an inline remote means you’ll need to control everything from your smartphone or computer, which can be inconvenient sometimes.

The ATH-M50x are some of the best-sounding headphones selling for around $150 or less. They have a balanced audio reproduction and are suitable for different music genres, including classical, punk rock, and heavy metal. Their treble, mid-range, bass, and imaging are all great, but their soundstage is subpar, which isn’t really surprising for closed-back headphones.

Since they are wired headphones, you don’t need to worry about battery life, wireless range, and the sometimes problematic Bluetooth pairing process. You can simply plug their audio cable to any device that includes a compatible analog port and then listen to music without worrying about running out of headphones battery in the middle of your work shift.

With their closed-back design, the ATH-M50x provide passive noise isolation. But they are mediocre at blocking out ambient noise in a very noisy office. The good news is that their sound leakage, as mentioned earlier, is quite low. This means you can turn the music volume up to mask ambient noise without worrying about disturbing your co-workers with your loud music.

Overall, the ATH-M50x are recommended headphones for office use if you care more about sound quality than features like wireless connectivity and ANC technology. They are suitable for masking ambient noise in a moderately noisy office. They are comfortable to use continuously for long periods and are decently portable for over-ear headphones due to their foldable design.

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More Options

The products in this section are also great options if you are looking for the best headphones for office use and include more budget-friendly alternatives to our top picks.

Aukey LatitudeAukey Latitude

The Aukey Latitude are wireless in-ear headphones with a behind-the-neck design, which places them in the same category as the Bose QuietControl 30. But compared to the Bose neckband headphones, they are much more affordable, selling for just around $30. Their build quality is decent for budget earphones; their IPX4 rating means they are protected against sweat and rain. They have stability fins for a more secure fit and include an inline remote for call and music management and volume control.

While they lack ANC technology, the Latitude provide excellent noise isolation. They passively block an incredible amount of ambient noise in the office and are even better than some noise-canceling headphones. Their sound leakage is also minimal, which is beneficial for the people around you. They can last up to eight hours on a single charge and are surprisingly decent-sounding for budget wireless in-ear headphones.

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TaoTronics TT-BH060TaoTronics TT-BH060

If you are looking for a significantly cheaper alternative to the premium Sony WH-1000XM3, check out the TaoTronics TT-BH060. They are wireless over-ear headphones featuring ANC for better noise isolation in a crowded office and while commuting. Their closed-back design also provides passive noise isolation. They are comfortable to use for hours and can be folded into a more compact form, which adds to their portability. Their on-cup controls are good and include essential functions such as call and music management.

The TT-BH060 have a multi-day battery capable of running up to 30 hours on a single charge while in wireless mode and with ANC enabled. This allows them to last through multiple work shifts – and they charge fast too, allowing up to two hours of playback after just five minutes of charging. If they run out of battery in the middle of your work shift, you can simply switch to a wired connection using the provided audio cable.

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Anker SoundCore Life P2Anker SoundCore Life P2

A pair of IPX7-rated earphones, the Anker SoundCore Life P2 are recommended if you want more budget-friendly truly wireless earphones for office use. They are extremely lightweight and compact, making them easy to carry in your pocket. The same thing is also true for the included charging case, which holds additional charges. You get seven hours of playback per charge, according to the official specs, with the charging case providing additional charges for a total battery life of 40 hours.

The Life P2 are surprisingly good-sounding budget headphones with a balanced audio reproduction and are suitable for different music genres. Their passive noise isolation is good enough for office use, while their sound leakage is minimal even at higher volumes. Unlike more expensive truly wireless earphones like the Sony WF-1000XM3, they don’t have a dedicated app for customizing the sound profile and the control scheme, which isn’t really surprising for a budget product.

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Shure SE215Shure SE215

Selling for less than $100, the Shure SE215 are a cheaper and better-sounding alternative to the Bose QuietComfort 20. They are wired earphones featuring a detachable cable that ends with a 3.5 mm analog plug for universal compatibility. Their build quality is great and better than some earphones selling for a higher price. They are compact and portable, with the included travel case protecting them from scratches and physical impact while stored in your bag.

The SE215 are comfortable to use for long periods. There are different ear tips included in the box, allowing you to choose the best fit. While they lack ANC technology, their noise isolation is excellent, which makes them suitable for blocking out ambient noise in the office. Moreover, their sound leakage is minimal even at higher volumes, making for a very effective two-way sound isolation performance.

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Jabra Elite 65eJabra Elite 65e

The Jabra Elite 65e are wireless neckband headphones that are suitable for all-around use, with their good noise isolation, minimal sound leakage, solid battery life, and portable design all making them especially suitable for office use. They are more ruggedly built than the Bose QuietControl 30, boasting a better IP rating of IP54, which means they are better protected against dust and water. Their efficient control scheme includes the usual buttons for call and music management and volume control, along with separate buttons for the ANC and mic mute.

Compared to most wireless earbuds and in-ear headphones, the Elite 65e have better mic performance, which is especially beneficial if you make a lot of phone calls while at the office. Their app support is good, with the option to modify the sound profile. They can run up to eight hours per charge with ANC enabled and up to 13 hours with ANC disabled.

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Sony WI-1000XSony WI-1000X

Featuring ANC technology for better noise isolation, the Sony WI-1000X are neckband headphones with a typical in-ear fit, a responsive control scheme, and good app support. They support NFC for faster pairing and are compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Their build quality is good, but their thin cables feel less durable compared to the neckband. There are different ear tips included in the box, allowing you to choose ear tips that offer the best seal and most comfortable fit.

The WI-1000X are good at both blocking out ambient noise and preventing sound from leaking out too much at higher volumes, which are beneficial in an office environment. They can last up to 10 hours on a single charge with ANC enabled. Unlike the Bose and Jabra neckband headphones above, they come with a backup audio cable, allowing you to switch to wired mode when the battery is low.

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Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are some of the best wireless over-ear headphones under $200 for office use. While their bulky design might suggest otherwise, they are lightweight and are comfortable to use for long listening sessions. They have well-padded ear cups and a flexible headband that feels durable. Their on-cup controls are responsive and easy to use and allow for basic functions like call and music management and volume adjustment.

With their multi-pairing feature, the BackBeat Pro 2 can connect with up to two devices at the same time, allowing you to connect them to your smartphone and office computer. Their wireless range and sound quality are both good while their noise isolation with ANC enabled is decent enough for office use. They can run up to 24 hours per charge, allowing them to last through multiple work shifts on just a single charge.

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Sony WF-1000XM3Sony WF-1000XM3

The Sony WF-1000XM3 are noise-canceling earphones that are more customizable than all the other truly wireless earphones on this list. Their companion app allows for a good amount of customization, including the option to modify the sound profile. Their touch controls are easy to use and allow for call and music management and voice assistant activation. You can also cover the left earbud’s touch panel to instantly turn the volume down and disable ANC, which makes it easy to talk to a co-worker without removing the earphones from your ears.

While their overall noise isolation performance is not as good as that of some of the very best noise-canceling headphones, the WF-1000XM3 block a good amount of ambient noise in the office. You can increase the music volume to further mask background noise. You don’t need to worry about disturbing your co-workers with your loud music, as the earphones have low sound leakage. They can run up to six hours per charge, with the included charging case providing additional charges for a total battery life of 24 hours.

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Apple AirPods ProApple AirPods Pro

The recently released Apple AirPods Pro are more suitable for office use than the AirPods 2, mainly due to their significantly better noise isolation performance. Unlike the relatively more affordable AirPods 2, they are truly wireless earphones with a closed-back design and ANC technology. You can also change their ear tips, with Apple including three different pairs in the box.

Out of all the truly wireless headphones listed here, the AirPods Pro are the best when it comes to noise isolation. They block a great amount of ambient noise, allowing you to work in peace in a crowded office with lots of chatter. Their sound leakage is also low at higher volumes. However, they won’t last through a typical workday on a single charge; they can only run up to four hours and 30 minutes per charge with ANC enabled and the volume set to 50 percent.

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Bose QuietComfort 35 IIBose QuietComfort 35 II

A pair of wireless over-ear headphones, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II are noise-canceling headphones that are extremely comfortable to use for hours. They are lightweight, well-padded, and don’t feel too tight on the head. With their ANC and closed-back design, they are excellent at blocking out ambient noise, not only in a crowded office but also during commutes. They can be folded into a more compact form and include a hard case, making them easy to carry for everyday use.

Compared to the similarly priced Sony WH-1000XM3, the QuietComfort 35 II are better-sounding out of the box and more comfortable and have a simpler on-cup control scheme. But on the other hand, their app support and battery life are both inferior. In addition, they leak more sound at higher volumes, which means you might disturb nearby co-workers with your very loud music.

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The post The 15 Best Headphones for Office Use appeared first on Improb.

The 15 Best Sports Headphones for Running, Workouts or the Gym 2020 Reviews and Buyers Guides

 

There are headphones that are simply better than others for running, working out, training, and other sports activities, whether outdoors or in the gym. While they are not necessarily built like a tank with impeccable water and sweat protection, the best sports headphones have a more breathable and more stable fit. They are also comfortable to use for hours and are portable enough for easy carrying.

Whether you are a professional athlete or simply a fitness enthusiast, the following products are the best options if you are shopping for sports headphones. Almost all of the products listed here are earbuds and in-ear headphones – they are the most suitable for sports use due to their breathable, stable, and portable design. Some of the products are also good for commuting and office use, specifically those with good noise isolation performance.

Table of Contents

Top List

  • Best Wireless In-ear Headphones: Jaybird Tarah Pro
  • Best Truly Wireless Headphones: Beats Powerbeats Pro
  • Best Noise-canceling Headphones: Apple AirPods Pro
  • Best Open Headphones: AfterShokz Trekz Air
  • Best Wireless Over-ear Headphones: Beats Studio3
  • Best Budget Headphones Under $50: Anker SoundCore Spirit X

Jaybird Tarah ProBest Wireless In-ear Headphones: Jaybird Tarah Pro

The Jaybird Tarah Pro are versatile headphones that are not only great for sports use but are also good for casual everyday use. They are wireless in-ear headphones featuring rugged earpieces and a durable braided cable. With their excellent battery life, they can last an entire week if you usually run or work out for just a couple of hours per day. While they are some of the more expensive sports headphones on the market, they are worth every penny.

Available in different colors, the Jaybird Tarah Pro are ruggedly built headphones that are sturdy and durable enough to survive minor drops. Their IPX7 rating means they have excellent sweat protection, which is important for sports use. Unlike some sports headphones, their ear tips and stability fins are a single unit. This means you can’t mix and match different ear tips and stability fins for a more stable and more comfortable fit.

Lightweight and highly portable, the Jaybird Tarah Pro are stable headphones that stay securely in your ears even during intense workouts. With their rotating design, you can wear them either over or under your ears – their stability is equally great in both setups. They are comfortable to use continuously for several hours due to their breathable design. If you need to take a break, you can simply snap the two magnetic earpieces together around your neck for better security.

For controls, the Jaybird Tarah Pro have a curved inline remote with a built-in mic, a multi-function button, and volume buttons. The buttons are well-spaced and have good tactile feedback, while the remote itself is easy to access. You can use the inline remote for managing your calls and music, adjusting the volume, and activating your voice assistant. The headphones also automatically go to power saving mode when you snap them together.

Unlike some sports headphones, the Jaybird Tarah Pro only come with a soft pouch, which protects them against scratches. There are three ear tip sizes included in the box, along with a shirt clip and the proprietary USB charging cable, which has a cradle that makes it more cumbersome to carry in person than other charging cables.

The Jaybird Tarah Pro are decent-sounding in-ear headphones with a good companion app for sound customization. Their wireless range is excellent, but they lack NFC technology and don’t support multi-device pairing. Of the wireless in-ear headphones in this guide, they have the best battery life, capable of running up to 14 hours on a single charge, which is great for marathons. Furthermore, they charge really fast, with five minutes of charging already providing two hours of playback.

In addition to running and workouts, the Jaybird Tarah Pro are also good for commuting, travel, and office use, making them some of the more versatile sports headphones. While they lack active noise-canceling technology, they block a good amount of ambient noise. Their sound leakage is also minimal at higher volumes, allowing you to turn up the volume to further reduce background noise.

Overall, the Jaybird Tarah Pro are outstanding sports headphones with few flaws outside of their subpar mic performance. They are ruggedly built headphones that sound decent and are stable and comfortable to use for running and working out at the gym. Their battery life is excellent while their control scheme is user-friendly.

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Beats Powerbeats ProBest Truly Wireless Headphones: Beats Powerbeats Pro

The Beats Powerbeats Pro are recommended for those who still find in-ear headphones like the Jaybird Tarah Pro too cumbersome due to their cable. They are truly wireless headphones that work great even for the most rigorous workouts. Available in four different colors, they are well-built headphones with great battery life, good sound quality, and user-friendly controls.

Featuring ear hooks for better stability, the Beats Powerbeats Pro are stylish headphones with a secure and comfortable in-ear fit. While they are made of plastic and don’t feel as premium as their expensive price suggests, their overall build quality is good. Compared to the Jaybird Tarah Pro, their IP rating – IPX4 – is inferior, but their sweat resistance is good enough for sports use.

With their secure and breathable design, the Beats Powerbeats Pro are excellent for running and working out. They will stay securely in your ears even when doing intense physical activities with a lot of head movement. There are four ear tip sizes included in the box, allowing you to choose the most comfortable fit. On the other hand, their ear hook design might not be the best or most secure fit for those who wear glasses.

The Beats Powerbeats Pro are easy to carry due to their extremely compact design, with their hard case providing better protection against damage than a soft pouch. They are lightweight and take up minimal space in your gym bag or waist pack. The included case also doubles as a charging dock and holds an additional charge for extended playback. Outside of the case, the charging cable, and the extra pairs of ear tips, there are no other accessories included in the package.

With their responsive and easily accessible controls, the Beats Powerbeats Pro allow for easy call and music management and voice assistant activation while on the move. They also automatically pause when you take them out of your ears, conserving power. You can access the controls with either hand, as both earpieces have a multi-function button and a small volume rocker, which is convenient.

Regarding sound quality, the Beats Powerbeats Pro are good, with their great bass and mid-range performance being some of their high points. On the other hand, their integrated mic is decent at best and is not the most suitable for business calls, especially in a noisy environment. Their noise isolation is also subpar, but if you prefer to be more aware of your surroundings when running or working out, then this shouldn’t be an issue.

As mentioned, the Beats Powerbeats Pro have a great battery life that makes them suitable for extended physical activities, either outside or at the gym. They can run up to nine hours on a single charge, with their charging case providing an additional 15 hours of battery. Moreover, they charge fast, offering around one hour and 30 minutes of playback after just five minutes of charge time.

On the whole, the Beats Powerbeats Pro are an excellent pair of truly wireless headphones that are ideal for professional athletes, gym rats, and fitness enthusiasts. They are good-sounding headphones with better stability than other similar products due to their ear hooks. While their companion app doesn’t offer a lot of customization options, they are very easy to use.

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Apple AirPods ProBest Noise-canceling Headphones: Apple AirPods Pro

A pair of truly wireless headphones, the Apple AirPods Pro are recommended for those who prefer noise-canceling headphones for sports use. They are better than previous AirPods models, with their active noise cancellation feature being their most notable upgrade. They are great not only for sports use but also for commuting and office use.

The Apple AirPods Pro look similar to previous AirPods models, but they have an in-ear design, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your preferences. They are premium headphones with a closed-back design, featuring silicone ear tips that provide a good seal. With their lightweight design and snug in-ear fit, you’ll barely feel them in your ears, making them comfortable to use for hours. You can choose between three pairs of ear tips for the best fit for your years.

Although they lack ear hooks and stability fins for better stability, the Apple AirPods Pro are suitable for sports use. They stay securely in your ears and don’t easily pop out during intense workouts with a lot of head movement. They are IPX4-rated headphones, which means they are protected against sweat and water, though not as much as the Jaybird Tarah Pro.

The included case feels just as premium and is just as portable as the headphones. It’s a hard case type, which means it offers better protection than a soft pouch. It supports Qi wireless charging and holds additional charges for extended playback. Considering its small footprint, the case takes up minimal space in your bag, making it easy to carry for everyday use.

Featuring a force sensor on each earpiece, the Apple AirPods Pro have a decent control scheme that is limited but easy to use. With the controls, you can pause/play music, skip tracks, answer calls, activate Siri, and enable the active noise cancellation feature. You can’t adjust the volume, though, which is disappointing but hardly a deal-breaker.

The Apple AirPods Pro are decent-sounding truly wireless in-ear headphones that are suitable for casual everyday use. With their active noise-canceling technology and effective in-ear seal, they are excellent at blocking out background noise. This is especially beneficial for commuting, travel, and office use and for working out in gyms with poor taste in music. The sound leakage is also minimal at higher volumes, allowing you to blast your music in full volume to further mask ambient noise.

You can easily pair the Apple AirPods Pro with iOS devices, but they don’t come with a dedicated companion app for customization. They can run up to four hours and 30 minutes per charge with active noise cancellation enabled and the volume set to 50 percent. You get more than 24 hours of total battery life with the additional charges in the charging case.

While they are quite expensive – which is hardly surprising for an Apple product – the Apple AirPods Pro are great headphones for both sports use and everyday use. They are comfortable to use and have decent single-charge battery life. They have a stable and secure in-ear fit and block a lot of background noise with their great active noise cancellation feature.

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AfterShokz Trekz AirBest Open Headphones: AfterShokz Trekz Air

If you prefer better situational awareness when doing outdoor physical activities, the AfterShokz Trekz Air are the most suitable sports headphones. Unlike all the other products in this guide, they are bone conduction headphones, which means they leave your ear canals completely uncovered, making them even better than regular open-back headphones. They are great for sports use, but for other usages, they are not good, especially considering their non-existent noise isolation.

Selling for around $120, the AfterShokz Trekz Air are unique-looking headphones that are available in four different colors: midnight blue, canyon red, forest green, and slate gray. They have ear hooks that connect to a thinner headband that goes around your head, making them distinctly different from headphones like the Beats Powerbeats3 and the Bose QuietControl 30. Their build quality is good, with an IP55 rating for sweat and dust protection.

With their lightweight and completely breathable design, the AfterShokz Trekz Air are comfortable to use for extended outdoor physical activities. They are 20 percent lighter than the popular Titanium model, which is more affordable. They are suitable sports headphones for those who find earbuds and in-ear headphones generally uncomfortable – especially the latter.

Composed of small buttons, the control scheme is decent and easy to use once you get accustomed to the button placement. While a bit cramped, the control buttons have good tactile feedback and don’t feel cheaply implemented. With the controls, you can manage your calls and music and switch between the EQ presets, which is nice since there is no companion app for sound customization.

For accessories, the AfterShokz Trekz Air include a USB charging cable, a pair of earplugs, and a silicone carrying case for basic protection when the headphones are not in use. If you buy them from some Amazon sellers, you also get stick-on reflective strips for making drivers aware of your presence when running or cycling at night.

The AfterShokz Trekz Air are compatible with both iOS and Android devices. They support multi-point pairing and can connect with up to two devices at the same time. While they lack NFC technology for quicker setup, they easily pair with compatible devices. They are great for outdoor sports use, with their ear hooks making for a more secure fit, which is especially important for more intense physical activities. Their single-charge battery life is six hours, which is decent and should be good enough for daily workouts for most people.

Considering their sports-oriented open design, it’s not surprising that the AfterShokz Trekz Air are mediocre for other usages. While they are very portable, they are not good for commuting, travel, and office use due to their non-existent noise isolation. Their sound quality is also unremarkable, so if you want good-sounding headphones for running and working out, these headphones are not for you.

With their completely open design, the AfterShokz Trekz Air are the best headphones if you prefer sports headphones that allow you to monitor your surroundings. They have a stable and secure design and are comfortable to use for long runs. Although they are not as versatile as some sports headphones, they are great at their intended purpose.

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Beats Studio3Best Wireless Over-ear Headphones: Beats Studio3

Over-ear headphones are not usually recommended for sports use due to their bulkier and less stable design compared to earbuds and in-ear headphones. But there are some models that are fairly decent for jogging and light workouts. If you prefer over-ear headphones for sports use, the popular Beats Studio3 are recommended headphones.

The Beats Studio3 are wireless over-ear headphones with closed-back ear cups and noise-canceling technology for better noise isolation. They are stylish headphones that are easily recognizable due to their branding. They are available in a variety of colors, including blue, gray, and black. There are also designs featuring NBA team colors and logos, with options for fans of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Golden State Warriors, and the Toronto Raptors, among others.

Lightweight and foldable, the Beats Studio3 are comfortable to use for jogging and light workouts, but since they cover your ears, they are not as breathable as in-ear headphones. While they are not as bulky as some full-sized over-ear headphones, they are still bulky and are not the most portable. They have well-padded ear cups and a sturdy, metal-reinforced headband.

Compared to most other over-ear headphones, the Beats Studio3 are more stable due to their tighter clamp. They don’t easily slide off when jogging and doing light workouts. This is the chief reason they are decent enough for sports use. However, for more intense physical activities, especially those with a lot of head movement, they are not suitable.

The Beats Studio3 have a discreet on-cup control scheme that is easy to use and offers call and music management. You can answer calls, pause/play music, skip tracks, and adjust the volume with the on-cup controls. You can also disable the active noise cancellation, which is a common function for wireless noise-canceling headphones.

Although they won’t impress serious audiophiles, the Beats Studio3 are decent-sounding headphones with good bass performance. In addition to being decent headphones for sports, they are suitable for casual everyday use. Their good noise isolation makes them suitable for commuting and office use, especially for the latter, as their sound leakage is also low at higher volumes.

With active noise cancellation enabled, the Beats Studio3 can run up to 22 hours on a single charge, which is good enough for all-day use. Without active noise cancellation, the battery life jumps to an incredible 40 hours. The headphones charge really fast, offering three hours of playback after just 10 minutes of charging. You can also switch to a wired connection with the included audio cable, which has an inline mic and remote.

The Beats Studio3 are very expensive, though. They sell for the same price as the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II – both of which are better noise-canceling headphones. But if you prefer to use over-ear headphones for sports, look no further than the Beats Studio3. You can also check out the more affordable Beats Solo3 if you prefer on-ear headphones due to their relatively more breathable and more compact design.

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Anker SoundCore Spirit XBest Budget Headphones Under $50: Anker SoundCore Spirit X

If you have a tight budget and can’t spend too much on sports headphones, check out the Anker SoundCore Spirit X. They are some of the best budget headphones under $50, especially for running and sports use in general. You can get them for less than $40, making them significantly cheaper than all our top picks above.

The Anker SoundCore Spirit X are wireless in-ear headphones with a behind-the-neck cable and an inline control scheme. They are lightweight and extremely compact headphones that are easy to carry for daily workouts, either in person or in your gym bag. They have ear hooks and soft silicone ear tips with stability fins. There are multiple pairs of ear tips and stability fins included in the box, allowing you to mix and match to get the most comfortable fit.

Although they are budget headphones, the Anker SoundCore Spirit X don’t feel as cheaply built as some products in the same price range. Their build quality is decent; their IPX7 rating means they are well-protected against water and sweat. They are durable headphones that are suitable even for the most intense workouts – but their thin cable’s build quality feels cheaper than the earpieces.

With their breathable and comfortable in-ear fit, the Anker SoundCore Spirit X are great for running and working out. Their flexible ear hooks and stability fins allow for better stability and a more secure in-ear fit, which are especially beneficial for workouts with a lot of head movement. They also include a cable clip for keeping the cable organized.

Like other similarly designed headphones, the controls are integrated into the cable. The inline remote has well-spaced and responsive buttons with good tactile feedback. You can easily manage your calls and music and adjust the volume with the inline controls. The inline remote also has a built-in mic, but it’s not good for taking calls while running outdoors.

Unlike some budget headphones, the Anker SoundCore Spirit X don’t sound like complete trash. They are actually decent-sounding in-ear headphones, but they are more suitable for those who prefer a more bass-heavy sound. At around 12 hours per charge, the battery life is also great and should be good enough for several days, assuming you only run or work out for a few hours per day.

The Anker SoundCore Spirit X have subpar noise isolation, though. This makes them unsuitable if you want to completely tune out your surroundings when running or working out, either outdoors or at the gym. But on the other hand, their sound leakage is minimal even at higher volumes, allowing you to reduce ambient noise by turning the volume up.

Overall, the Anker SoundCore Spirit X are a great pair of budget sports headphones. They are well-designed headphones that sound decent and are comfortable to use for hours. They are most suitable for those who prefer to be more aware of their surroundings when running and working out, especially in an outdoor setting.

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More Options

The following products are recommended options if you are looking for good alternatives to our top picks. Some are better-built alternatives, while others are simply cheaper options for those who have a tighter budget.

Aukey LatitudeAukey Latitude

A pair of IPX4-rated in-ear headphones, the Aukey Latitude are budget sports headphones that are even more affordable than the Anker SoundCore Spirit X. They are wireless in-ear headphones equipped with stability fins for a more secure and more stable fit when running and working out. They are highly portable due to their small size and have a good inline control scheme for call and music management.

Compared to the slightly more expensive Anker headphones, the Aukey Latitude have significantly better noise isolation, with their in-ear fit providing an incredibly effective seal for passively blocking out background noise. Because of this, they are more versatile sports headphones that are also good for commuting and office use. They have a shorter battery life, though, but their eight-hour battery should be good enough for daily workouts and running for most people.

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SoundPeats TrueFreeSoundPeats TrueFree

If you are looking for budget-friendly truly wireless headphones for sports use, check out the SoundPeats TrueFree. Selling for just around $30, they are much more affordable than the Beats and Apple truly wireless headphones in our top picks. They are great budget headphones that sound decent and are surprisingly well-built, though the included charging case feels less durable than the headphones themselves.

The SoundPeats TrueFree are extremely lightweight and compact headphones that are stable enough for sports use despite not having ear hooks and stability fins. They have a discreet profile and don’t protrude too much like some truly wireless headphones. They have a comfortable in-ear fit and are quite versatile for casual everyday use, with their good passive noise isolation making them suitable for commuting and office use. On the other hand, their single-charge battery life of 3-4 hours is rather short, but you do get additional charges from the case to bring the total battery life to a solid 15 hours.

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JBL Endurance SprintJBL Endurance Sprint

Featuring touch controls for call and music management, the JBL Endurance Sprint are sports-oriented headphones that are available in flashier colors. They are wireless in-ear headphones with a behind-the-neck cable and thick ear hooks for better stability when running and working out. They are IPX7-rated headphones, which means they are well-protected against sweat and rain, making them ideal for running outdoors. Due to their lightweight and compact design, they are easy to pack, but they don’t come with a travel case, which is disappointing but not a deal-breaker.

The JBL Endurance Sprint are decent-sounding headphones, with their punchy bass being their most notable aspect. They are great at passively blocking out background noise, which makes them suitable for those who prefer to shut out their surroundings while running and working out. They can run up to eight hours on a single charge – and they charge fast, too, with 10 minutes of charging already providing one hour of playback.

Purchase

Bose SoundSport In-earBose SoundSport In-ear

If you prefer to use wired earbuds for running, go for the Bose SoundSport In-ear. They are good for running due to their supremely breathable and stable design, with their stability fins making for a more secure fit. Their build quality and sound quality are both decent, with their open-back earbuds allowing for better situational awareness when running outdoors, especially at night. There are three pairs of ear tips included in the box, along with a compact carrying case.

For controls, the Bose SoundSport In-ear have an inline remote with a built-in mic. The inline remote is decent and allows for easy call and music management. The built-in mic is also surprisingly good, but it doesn’t fare well in a noisy environment. Since these Bose headphones use a wired connection, you don’t need to worry about running out of battery during particularly long runs. But on the other hand, their wired connection can be cumbersome for some workouts.

Purchase

JBL Reflect Mini 2JBL Reflect Mini 2

The JBL Reflect Mini 2 are some of the best sports headphones under $100. They are decent-sounding wireless in-ear headphones with stability fins for a more stable and more secure fit during more intense physical activities. They are available in different colors, including black and green, and have a simple three-button inline remote for call and music management. A carry case is included in the box, which keeps the headphones more secure when packed.

Capable of running up to 10 hours on a single charge, the JBL Reflect Mini 2 are recommended for marathons and long hours in the gym. They are IPX5-rated headphones with good water and sweat resistance. While they are obviously designed for sports use, they are also versatile enough for casual everyday use, with their good passive noise isolation making them especially suitable for commuting and office use.

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Jabra Elite Active 45eJabra Elite Active 45e

While the AfterShokz Trekz Air are excellent for situational awareness when running outdoors, their bone conduction design is not for everyone. If you find regular earbuds more comfortable, check out the Jabra Elite Active 45e instead. They are wireless earbuds with open earpieces, allowing you to monitor your surroundings when running outdoors, especially at night. They can run up to nine hours on a single charge. They charge fast as well, offering one hour of playback after just 15 minutes of charging, which is great if you forgot to charge them overnight.

The Jabra Elite Active 45e have excellent stability and stay securely in your ears while running and working out, courtesy of their stability fins and ear hooks. They are well-protected against dust and sweat, with their IP67 rating being one of the best among the best sports headphones in this guide. Unfortunately, they don’t come with a carry case, which is disappointing considering their price.

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Jabra Elite Active 65tJabra Elite Active 65t

If you prefer headphones with excellent noise isolation but can’t afford the Apple AirPods Pro, go for the relatively more affordable Jabra Elite Active 65t. They are truly wireless headphones with a more rugged design, featuring an IP56 rating for dust and sweat protection. While they lack active noise cancellation technology, they block an incredible amount of background noise and are even better than many noise-canceling headphones.

The Jabra Elite Active 65t are well-built truly wireless headphones, with their matte finish making for a more premium look. They are stable enough for running despite not having ear hooks and stability fins and are extremely portable due to their small size. With their capability to effectively reduce the sound of vehicles and office chatter, they are also suitable for commuting and office use. They can run up to five hours per charge, with their durable and secure charging case providing additional charges for a total battery life of 15 hours.

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Jaybird VistaJaybird Vista

The Jaybird Vista are fantastic headphones for sports use. They are truly wireless in-ear headphones with rugged construction, featuring an IPX7 rating for impeccable sweat and rain protection. They have a comfortable in-ear fit and include stability fins for a more secure fit, which is especially beneficial for more intense workouts. There are three pairs of ear tips included in the box, allowing you to choose the best fit for your ears.

Available in a few color options, the Jaybird Vista are decent-sounding in-ear headphones, with the option to customize the sound profile through the companion app. They come with a compact and durable charging case that easily fits in your pocket or waist pack. With their six-hour single-charge battery life, these headphones are good for long runs. You get an additional 10 hours of battery from the charging case, which is great.

Purchase

Bose SoundSport FreeBose SoundSport Free

Many truly wireless headphones are only decent at best regarding sound quality. If you want a better-sounding option, look no further than the Bose SoundSport Free. They are great-sounding earbuds suitable for different music genres. They are capable of reproducing clean vocals, and their bass is deep and balanced. Due to their more open earbud design, they are more suitable for those who prefer to be more aware of their surroundings, especially when running outdoors.

Featuring stability fins for a more secure fit for sports use, the Bose SoundSport Free are IPX4-rated headphones that are comfortable to use for hours. They are extremely compact and easy to carry, with their companion app allowing you to track their last known location if you lose them. At five hours, their single-charge battery life is also decent, with the included charging case providing an additional 10 hours of battery. There are three different pairs of ear tips – called “StayHear+” tips by Bose – included in the box, along with a USB charging cable.

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The post The 15 Best Sports Headphones for Running, Workouts or the Gym appeared first on Improb.

The 15 Best Budget Headphones Under $50 Buyers Guide & Reviews

 

You don’t need to spend over $100 on a good pair of headphones. There are a lot of good budget headphones under $50, from gaming headphones to wireless headphones. Sure, they are usually limited in features and are not as well-built as more expensive products, but that doesn’t mean they are not worth the money. Some of them are even better-sounding and more versatile than some headphones selling for a much higher price. If you are in the market for the best budget headphones under $50, the following products are the best options currently out.

Table of Contents

Top List

  • Best Audiophile Headphones Under $50: Superlux HD 681
  • Best Noise-canceling Headphones Under $50: Mpow H5
  • Best Gaming Headphones Under $50: Logitech G433
  • Best Wireless On-ear Headphones Under $50: Skullcandy Grind Wireless
  • Best Wireless Earphones Under $50: Anker SoundCore Spirit X
  • Best Truly Wireless Headphones Under $50: SoundPeats TrueFree

Superlux HD 681Best Audiophile Headphones Under $50: Superlux HD 681

The Superlux HD 681 are the best cheap headphones for audiophiles. They are semi-open headphones with great audio reproduction, performing even better than some headphones selling for a much higher price. They are comfortable to use for long listening sessions, but their poor noise isolation limits them to indoor use. You can get these headphones for just around $35, which makes their sound quality even more impressive.

Featuring an over-ear design, the Superlux HD 681 are wired headphones with an unappealing aesthetic with red accents on the headband and ear cups. They have a dual headband, with the inner headband strap allowing for easy adjustment. Their circular ear cups are large and well-padded, but the padding is not that soft. The non-detachable audio cable, which terminates with a standard 3.5-millimeter plug, connects to the left ear cup. There are no inline controls for call and music management and volume adjustment.

The Superlux HD 681 are made of plastic and are not very durable. Their build quality is mediocre, but on the plus side, their plastic construction makes them lightweight. While they are cheaply built, these budget headphones are comfortable to wear for long listening sessions despite their rather stiff ear cup padding. They don’t feel too tight on the head and are decently breathable for over-ear headphones, with their self-adjusting headband allowing them to easily accommodate larger heads.

Unlike some over-ear headphones, the Superlux HD 681 don’t fold into a more compact format for easy storage, which hurts their portability. However, their non-folding design means there are fewer moving parts susceptible to wear and tear, which is a good thing because as mentioned, their build quality is mediocre. They come with a carry pouch for protection against scratches. And speaking of the included accessories, these headphones don’t offer a lot. Outside of the carry pouch, the only thing included in the box is a stereo jack adapter.

The Superlux HD 681 are some of the best-sounding cheap headphones on the market and are better-sounding than some headphones selling for double and triple the price. Their bass and mid-range are both excellent while their imaging is good. Their soundstage is also decent, but it’s not as wide compared with some of the best open-back headphones. In addition to listening to music, these cheap headphones are also good for gaming, but only if you mostly play single-player games and don’t need a built-in mic for voice chat.

Considering their semi-open design, the Superlux HD 681 are not recommended for commuting, travel, and outdoor use in general. Their noise isolation is poor, limiting them to indoor use. They are best used in a quiet room, whether you are listening to music or gaming. Their sound leakage is also quite high, which can be distracting for people around you.

If you are in the market for great-sounding budget headphones under $50, check out the Superlux HD 681. Of the products in this guide, they have the best overall sound quality and are the most suitable for critical listening. You can even use them as backup studio headphones, with their comfortable design making them suitable for long hours in the studio.

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Mpow H5Best Noise-canceling Headphones Under $50: Mpow H5

The Mpow H5 are the best budget noise-canceling headphones under $50. They are decent-sounding headphones with adequate active noise cancellation for reducing background noise. You can use them for commuting and at the office, with their wireless connectivity making them more convenient to use. While they are mainly made of plastic, their build quality is good for budget headphones.

A pair of over-ear headphones, the Mpow H5 have a straightforward design with minimal branding on the ear cups and headband for a cleaner look. They have a wide headband and closed-back ear cups with an artificial leather cover on the padding. Their ear cup backplates have a glossy finish, which makes for a unique but cheaper look – a matte finish would have been better, especially on the black model.

Compared to most over-ear headphones, the Mpow H5 are a bit more compact due to their smaller and less bulky ear cups. They can be folded into a more compact form, which adds to their overall portability and makes them easier to pack for travel. Unlike most budget headphones, they come with a hard case, which offers better protection against physical impact and water damage than a soft pouch.

The Mpow H5 are comfortable to wear despite their tighter clamp and shallower ear cups, with their mostly plastic build making them lighter. They are decently breathable for over-ear headphones and have good padding on the headband and ear cups. They don’t feel too hot after just a couple of hours of continuous use, which is great for those who sweat a lot.

For controls, the Mpow H5 feature an on-cup control scheme that is easy to use and has decent tactile feedback. With the on-cup buttons, you can easily manage your calls and music and adjust the volume while on the move. You can also enable or disable the active noise cancellation with the dedicated switch. While the main buttons are a bit cramped, the on-cup control scheme is well implemented and easy to get used to.

If you prefer a more bass-heavy sound, you’ll love the Mpow H5. They have a punchy bass and sound decent overall for budget headphones. Their bass performance is great while their treble and mid-range are both good. Their soundstage is unremarkable, though, which isn’t surprising considering they are a pair of sealed headphones. The built-in mic is also not that great and doesn’t fare well in a noisy environment, which makes it unsuitable for taking calls while commuting.

Regarding noise isolation, the Mpow H5 are not on the same level as some of the best noise-canceling headphones, such as the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. They are only good for reducing background noise to a certain extent. They are not capable of completely blocking out background noise in public transport hubs and noisy offices, even with music playing. On the bright side, their battery life is great with both active noise cancellation and Bluetooth enabled.

For those limited to a $50 budget, the Mpow H5 are the best noise-canceling headphones currently out on the market. They have a decent sound quality, a good on-cup control scheme, an excellent wireless range, and a great battery life. While their noise isolation is unimpressive overall, they are decent enough for reducing background noise at the office and while commuting.

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Logitech G433Best Gaming Headphones Under $50: Logitech G433

Of the best headphones under $50, the Logitech G433 are the best for gaming, offering excellent value for the money. They are some of the most versatile gaming headphones in this price range. While they are clearly built for gaming, they are also suitable for casual everyday use and work great for listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks.

Available in black, red, and blue, the Logitech G433 are wired over-ear headphones with a closed-back design. Compared to other gaming headphones, their design doesn’t scream “gaming,” especially when the boom mic is not attached. They are decently built budget gaming headphones with a metal-reinforced headband and non-foldable ear cups with more breathable mesh fabric.

While their ear cups are a bit shallow, the Logitech G433 are comfortable to use for long gaming sessions. They are lightweight and don’t feel too tight on the head, though their clamp is a bit tighter than usual out of the box. Their headband has good padding while their ear cups are decently breathable for closed-back over-ear headphones. With the included extra pair of ear cup pads, you can easily replace the ear cup pads when they are worn out or damaged.

Cheaper headphones don’t usually come with a lot of accessories, with most products simply including a single audio cable and a carry pouch. The Logitech G433 are not in the same boat. Of the products in this guide, they are some of the most generous regarding accessories. In addition to the aforementioned extra microfiber ear cup pads, they come with an extra audio cable for mobile devices and a soft pouch, along with a USB adapter and a Y splitter for PC.

The Logitech G433 have a good inline control scheme, but it’s limited in features, so don’t expect too much. The default audio cable is designed for PC and console gaming and includes a volume dial and a simple mic switch. The extra mobile cable is designed for those who mainly game on smartphones and tablets and includes an inline mic and a multi-function button for call and music control. Both cables are on the short side, though, which can be a limiting factor in some situations.

Suitable for different kinds of games – including first-person shooters, story-based RPGs, and rhythm games – the Logitech G433 are all-around gaming headphones with great sound quality. You can use them for gaming on a PC, mobile devices, and pretty much all consoles currently out, including handheld consoles. Their boom mic performance is also great even when gaming in a noisy environment, which is especially beneficial if you want to use the headphones for local tournaments. If you game on a PC, you can use the included USB adapter and the Logitech desktop app for customizing the sound and the mic.

Although they are much more versatile and look more practical for everyday use than most gaming headphones under $50, the Logitech G433 are not good for outdoor use. They have subpar noise isolation, which makes them unsuitable for gaming and listening to music in public transport hubs and noisy offices. Their sound leakage is also quite high at higher volume levels, which can be distracting for people around you.

Whether you game on PC, home consoles, or mobile devices, the Logitech G433 are the best budget headphones currently out. Their sound quality and mic performance are both great, while their build quality is decent for a budget product. They are comfortable to use for long gaming sessions and include a wide range of accessories.

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Skullcandy Grind WirelessBest Wireless On-ear Headphones Under $50: Skullcandy Grind Wireless

If you prefer the more breathable and more compact design of on-ear headphones, check out the Skullcandy Grind Wireless. They are some of the best on-ear headphones on the market, featuring good on-cup controls and excellent wireless range. They are suitable for casual everyday use, with their wireless connectivity adding more convenience.

The Skullcandy Grind Wireless are available in different colors, including white and blue. They are closed-back headphones with a straightforward design and minimal branding. They have small, circular ear cups with soft padding. The ear cups don’t fold into the frame, which hurts their overall portability, but on the other hand, the non-folding design means there are fewer moving parts susceptible to wear and tear.

Although their headband is not as well-padded as the ear cups, the Skullcandy Grind Wireless are comfortable to use for long listening sessions. They are lightweight and don’t press too hard on the ears, unlike some on-ear headphones. They are more breathable due to their on-ear design and don’t feel too warm after just a couple of hours, which is great for those who sweat a lot.

Compared to the Logitech G433, the Skullcandy Grind Wireless have significantly fewer accessories included in the box. Outside of the USB charging cable, there is only a backup audio cable included in the box for switching to a wired connection. There is no carry case included, which is disappointing since there are many similarly priced headphones that include at least a soft pouch for basic protection.

Regarding controls, the Skullcandy Grind Wireless are good. They have an efficient on-cup control scheme composed of physical buttons with decent tactile feedback. You can easily access the buttons to adjust the volume and manage your calls and music while on the move. Unlike some on-cup controls, the buttons are easy to identify due to their different shapes, lowering your chances of pressing the wrong button.

The Skullcandy Grind Wireless are decent-sounding on-ear headphones with great bass and mid-range performance. You can use them for listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks and for watching movies and Netflix shows on your computer. They easily pair with compatible devices and have a good battery life, running up to around 12 hours on a single charge. Their built-in mic is also adequate enough for calls, but it doesn’t fare well in a noisy environment.

Unsurprisingly for on-ear headphones with no active noise cancellation, the Skullcandy Grind Wireless have mediocre noise isolation. They are not recommended for blocking out background noise in a very noisy office and while commuting. This can also be said for most other on-ear headphones, though, as their design is not really geared toward passive noise isolation.

Overall, the Skullcandy Grind Wireless are great wireless on-ear headphones despite their usage limitations. They are decently built headphones that look good with their minimalist design and sound decent for budget on-ear headphones. You can also use them in wired mode when the battery is depleted or if you prefer a zero-latency connection.

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Anker SoundCore Spirit XBest Wireless Earphones Under $50: Anker SoundCore Spirit X

The Anker SoundCore Spirit X are recommended wireless earphones for running and gym use, with their ear hooks and stability fins allowing for a much more stable fit. They are decent-sounding earphones with great battery life and good controls. They are not truly wireless headphones, though, as they still come with a cable that connects to both earpieces.

Lightweight and compact, the Anker SoundCore Spirit X are well-designed earphones with excellent sweat protection, which is important for sports use. They have flexible ear hooks and soft silicone ear tips. There are five ear tip sizes included in the box, along with three pairs of stability fins in different sizes.

While their thin cable feels a bit cheaper than the rest of the earphones, the Anker SoundCore Spirit X are decently built earphones. They are better-built than most budget wireless earphones and feel durable overall. Due to their design, they are more stable, more breathable, and more suitable for sports use than all the other headphones mentioned so far in this guide. With the multiple ear tip and stability fin options, you can choose the most comfortable fit for your ears.

The Anker SoundCore Spirit X are also much more portable than over-ear and on-ear headphones due to their design. Their compact design makes them easy to store in your bag or pocket, with the included travel case making them more protected against scratches and physical impact. You can also keep the cable neat with the included cable clip.

For controls, the Anker SoundCore Spirit X feature an inline remote with physical buttons. The buttons are responsive and well-spaced and have good tactile feedback. While limited in functions, the control scheme is easy to use and doesn’t feel cheaply implemented. You can use the inline controls for volume adjustment and call and music management.

Recommended for those who prefer a bass-heavy sound, the Anker SoundCore Spirit X are decent-sounding wireless earphones. They are great for running and workouts, with their excellent stability allowing them to stay securely in your ears when doing intense physical activities. They have a great battery life as well, running up to around 12 hours on a single charge. On the other hand, their mic is not that great, especially in a noisy environment.

On a related note, the Anker SoundCore Spirit X have subpar noise isolation, which makes them unsuitable for commuting. There are other wired and wireless in-ear headphones that offer much better noise isolation, either passively or with active noise cancellation technology. But on the bright side, these earphones are great at keeping audio from leaking out, allowing you to listen to your music at higher volumes without distracting or annoying people around you.

If you are in the market for budget wireless earphones for running and gym use, check out the Anker SoundCore Spirit X. Their sound quality is decent while their build quality is good for cheap wireless earphones. They don’t block a lot of background noise, though, but if you prefer to still be aware of your surroundings when running and working out, their subpar noise isolation shouldn’t be an issue.

Purchase

SoundPeats TrueFreeBest Truly Wireless Headphones Under $50: SoundPeats TrueFree

Selling for less than $30, the SoundPeats TrueFree are the best budget truly wireless headphones and are better for commuting than the Anker SoundCore Spirit X. They have a decent sound quality and good passive noise isolation. Their wireless range is great, but unfortunately, their battery life is inferior compared to other truly wireless headphones.

The SoundPeats TrueFree have a discreet profile with a black color scheme that looks nice. They are not as bulky and don’t protrude as much as other truly wireless headphones. Their build quality is good for a budget product and might surprise some people. They have an IPX4 rating, which means their water protection is inferior compared to the Anker SoundCore Spirit X and other headphones designed for sports use.

With their lightweight and breathable design, the SoundPeats TrueFree are comfortable to use, though some might find their in-ear design awkward at first. Although they don’t have ear hooks or stability fins, they are stable headphones that stay securely in your ears while moving around. They are stable enough for running and gym use, with their multiple ear tip sizes allowing you to get a more comfortable and more secure fit for your ears.

Unlike some wireless headphones, the SoundPeats TrueFree have a more limited control scheme composed of a single button on both earpieces. The control scheme allows for easy call and music management and voice assistant activation. The buttons are responsive, but on the other hand, pressing on them causes the ear tips to go deeper in your ears, which can be uncomfortable.

The included case, which has the same black color scheme as the headphones, holds additional charges for longer playback. However, the case’s construction feels cheaper compared to the headphones themselves. Moreover, the case doesn’t have a lid, making the headphones more exposed to dust and other elements when docked.

Featuring a powerful bass, the SoundPeats TrueFree are decent-sounding budget headphones that should be good enough for casual use for most non-audiophiles. They have a great wireless range and can easily pair with compatible devices. On the other hand, they don’t come with a companion app for customization. And at around three hours per charge, their battery life is also inferior compared to other truly wireless headphones. You do get additional charges with the case, though, with SoundPeats claiming up to 15 hours of total battery life, which is more than good enough for all-day use for most people.

As mentioned, the SoundPeats TrueFree are more suitable for commuting than the slightly more expensive Anker SoundCore Spirit X. They are good at blocking out background noise even though they lack active noise cancellation technology. This makes them suitable for office use, especially since their sound leakage is also minimal, which means you won’t disturb or annoy people around you with your loud music.

On the whole, the SoundPeats TrueFree are some of the best truly wireless headphones under $50 and offer great value for the money. They are surprisingly versatile headphones that are good for running and workouts and are decent for commuting and office use. While their case is rather mediocre, their overall build quality is good, especially for budget headphones.

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More Options

There are many other good headphones under $50. Here are a few more products that are worth looking into. Some of them are good alternatives to our top picks, while some are recommended options for those who have an extremely limited budget and can’t spend more than $20 on headphones.

Koss KSC75Koss KSC75

Selling for just around $15, the Koss KSC75 are recommended budget headphones if you value portability more than anything else. They are wired on-ear headphones with a compact and lightweight design that makes them easy to carry in your bag. Unlike most on-ear headphones, they have a clip-on design, with both earpieces featuring ear hooks for a stable and secure fit. They are supremely breathable due to their on-ear, open-back design and are comfortable to use.

The Koss KSC75 are also decent-sounding on-ear headphones with good imaging and mid-range performance, but their bass is lacking. They are decent enough for casual everyday use, but their poor noise isolation means they are not suitable in a noisy environment. They also lack inline controls for music management and are not the most durable headphones due to their mediocre build quality.

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Koss UR20Koss UR20

The Koss UR20 are wired over-ear headphones that are decent for listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks while indoors. They are some of the best closed-back headphones under $20, with their comfortable design making them ideal for long listening sessions. Their sound quality is surprisingly decent for cheap headphones, with good bass performance and decent soundstage for closed-back headphones, but they are not recommended for professional use.

Regarding design, the Koss UR20 are the opposite of the similarly priced Koss KSC75. They are big and bulky and are not very portable, especially considering their non-folding design. They are also not the most stable headphones, easily sliding off when the non-detachable audio cable gets caught into something. While limited in features and usefulness, these cheap Koss headphones are some of the best wired over-ear headphones under $20, with their decent audio reproduction and great comfort level being their biggest selling points.

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Monoprice 8323Monoprice 8323

If you like wired over-ear headphones but prefer headphones that are a bit more portable and flexible than the Koss UR20, check out the Monoprice 8323, which sell for about the same price. They are marketed as budget DJ headphones, and they certainly look the part. They have a flexible headband with adequate padding on the underside and feature large ear cups. Their ear cups can lay flat, allowing them to take less space when stored.

Unlike the Koss UR20, the Monoprice 8323 have a detachable audio cable. This means you can simply replace the cable when it gets damaged instead of replacing the headphones altogether. In addition, these Monoprice headphones come with an additional audio cable that includes an inline mic and remote for call and music management. Although they are not really ideal for professional use, they are decent-sounding budget headphones that are good enough for casual listening. However, they are not as comfortable to use for long listening sessions as the Koss UR20 due to their subpar ear cup padding.

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Aukey LatitudeAukey Latitude

The Aukey Latitude are a good alternative to the Anker SoundCore Spirit X if noise isolation is more important to you than comfort level, build quality, and stability. They are wireless in-ear headphones that provide excellent passive noise isolation, making them ideal for blocking out background noise in a noisy environment. They are also decent-sounding budget headphones with punchy bass, and they have a good battery life with around eight hours per charge.

Suitable for commuting, travel, office use, running, and gym use, the Aukey Latitude are decently built budget headphones with stability fins for a more stable and more secure fit. There are three pairs of ear tips and stability fins included in the box, allowing you to choose the most comfortable fit for your ears. Their inline remote offers volume adjustment and call and music management. You can also use the multi-function button to switch between the three EQ presets.

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Koss Porta ProKoss Porta Pro

Easily recognizable due to their unique design, the Koss Porta Pro are some of the most popular budget headphones on the market. They are wired on-ear headphones that sound decent and are comfortable to use for hours. They are more portable than the Skullcandy Grind Wireless: they are more compact, lighter, and can be folded into an even more compact form. However, they feel less durable with their mediocre build quality.

A pair of open-back headphones, the Koss Porta Pro have a thin, non-padded metal headband and small earpieces. While their padding is rather sparse, the earpieces are comfortable and don’t feel too warm after just a couple of hours of continuous use. Unfortunately, their open-back design means they have poor sound isolation. If you like the Koss Porta Pro but want the convenience of wireless connectivity, check out the Koss Porta Pro Wireless instead. They are more expensive, though, normally selling for more than double the price.

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HyperX Cloud StingerHyperX Cloud Stinger

The HyperX Cloud Stinger are a good alternative to the Logitech G433. They are usually cheaper, selling for around $10 less. They are wired over-ear headphones with a closed-back design, featuring spacious ear cups that can lay flat. They have memory foam pads and a non-detachable boom mic with a convenient swivel-to-mute function. While these budget gaming headphones are mostly made of plastic, their overall build quality is decent for the price. You can use them for PC and console gaming and for gaming on mobile devices.

Compared to the more expensive Logitech G433, the HyperX Cloud Stinger have the same build quality and are just as comfortable to use for long gaming sessions. Their boom mic is also just as good, with similar performance in a noisy environment. However, the Logitech headphones have better sound quality and controls and are more customizable with their desktop app. But on the other hand, the HyperX headphones have better passive noise isolation.

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Audio-Technica ATH-M20xAudio-Technica ATH-M20x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are wired over-ear headphones designed for studio use. They look similar to the more expensive and more popular Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. But their sound quality and build quality are both inferior. They are decent headphones for listening to music in a quiet room, with their closed-back design allowing for more powerful bass and reduced sound leakage.

Featuring rotating ear cups that allow for easy one-ear monitoring, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x have a minimalist design. They have an all-black color scheme with subdued branding on the headband and ear cups. They are lightweight and don’t feel too tight on the head out of the box, making them comfortable to use for long listening sessions. Their audio cable is non-detachable and lacks an inline remote for music management, which is common for professional headphones.

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Beats urBeats3Beats urBeats3

If you prefer the simplicity and straightforward design of regular wired earphones, check out the Beats urBeats3. They are decent-sounding earphones with a good inline microphone and a good control scheme for the essential controls. Although they lack active noise-canceling technology, their noise isolation is excellent, making them suitable for commuting and office use. Their sound leakage is also minimal even at higher volumes, which is beneficial for people around you.

Available in different colors – including black, yellow, and blue – the Beats urBeats3 are decently built earphones with small ear tips. They have a breathable and stable design that makes them suitable for running and workouts, though their wired connection can be cumbersome. There are four pairs of ear tips included in the box. The non-detachable audio cable has a tangle-free flat design and includes an inline remote for call and music management.

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Corsair HS60Corsair HS60

The Corsair HS60 are budget gaming headphones that are better-built than the HyperX Cloud Stinger and the Logitech G433. They are wired over-ear headphones with a generously padded, metal-reinforced headband and memory foam pads. While the metal grille design on their ear cup outer shells might suggest otherwise, these are closed-back headphones. They have a good boom mic and feature a simple on-cup control scheme composed of a volume dial and a mic mute switch.

Suitable for both PC and console gaming, the Corsair HS60 are good-sounding headphones that are comfortable to use for gaming marathons. You can use them for different kinds of games, including multiplayer first-person shooters, rhythm games, and racing games. If you game on a PC, you can also customize the sound with the included USB adapter and the Corsair desktop app, similar to the Logitech G433.

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