The 19 Best Headphone Brands (2023)
Whether for casual music listening or studio recording and monitoring, headphones are crucial gear for any musician, audiophile, or casual listener. For any music lover, a great pair of headphones is a must-have, enhancing the listening experience while facilitating recording sessions in the studio.
One of the most recurrent questions when buying a new pair of headphones is which headphone brand is the best. As there are many brands and models on the market today, it can get confusing and overwhelming to choose the ideal headphones.
Depending on your budget, area of use, features you need, look and fitting preferences, you can choose a brand to go with with the help of this article.
Although all the brands listed here are specialized in different types of headphones, they all offer comfortable designs, industry-leading audio performances, and great extra features to satisfy their users.
When talking about headphones, one of the first brands to come to mind is Sennheiser. Established in 1945 in Germany by Fritz Sennheiser, Sennheiser Electronic became an industry-leading brand in the professional audio industry.
High-end Sennheiser headphones are the primary choices for musicians, music producers, DJs, audiophiles, and any serious music professional, while the medium and low-end Sennheiser products are popular among casual music listeners; thanks to their well-known sonic performance.
Sennheiser products are mainly famous for their fantastic sound quality. However, they are slightly more pricey than their competitors.
Notable Sennheiser Headphones: Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is the model that stands out with its all-rounder style design and features that can be used for gaming, mixing, mastering, video or audio production, as well as casual music listening.
As with most Sennheiser models, it has an extended frequency response range along with a warm and natural sound reproduction. Furthermore, it has a good noise isolation level as well as a comfortable and foldable design.
Famous for their products with excellent quality audio, Bose is a top-notch audio systems producer from the U.S.A. Founded in 1964, Bose Corporation is a pioneer of home audio systems and noise-canceling headphones.
Since the beginning, Bose has impressed its users with its great R&D team, which gained the respect of everyone with its innovative solutions. Bose was the first brand to offer active noise-canceling headphones with the Bose Aviation Headset in 1989.
Besides the innovative audio solutions, Bose headphones also feature high-quality parts and excellent sonic performance. They are slightly more expensive than the other brands, yet the construction and performance are worth the extra bucks.
Notable Bose Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
One of the most popular models, Bose QuietComfort 35 II, is an excellent example of Bose-style headphones with world-class noise cancellation, great audio quality, and handy features like Bluetooth pairing, Alexa-enabled voice control, and noise-rejecting dual-microphone system.
The over-ear headphones are also quite comfortable, as the name suggests. The versatility and quality of these headphones demonstrate Bose’s excellent approach.
One of the most recognized technology companies globally is the Japan-based brand Sony Corporation. The brand was founded in 1946, during World War II, and is known for much great audio equipment as well as other technological products, from laptops to smart devices.
Sony is one of the most comprehensive media companies, offering great musical products, including headphones. The brand offers a comprehensive range of models, including top-notch quality professional models as well as casual consumer headphones.
The overall quality, attentive customer support, and reliability ratings make Sony headphones some of the best choices in the market today.
Notable Sony Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4
One of the best models among Sony headphones is the WH-1000XM4 model, which shines with its versatility and high-quality design. It is equipped with its excellent noise cancellation with Dual Noise Sensor technology, Bluetooth connectivity, long battery life, and great sound quality.
Another Japanese-based audio technology giant, Audio-Technica, is one of the best-known headphones producers in the market today. The brand specializes in professional headphones, microphones, monitors, and many other audio products.
The brand is one of the primary choices of professionals in music studios, stages, movie and TV sets, and music enthusiasts who are after the best sonic quality possible. Although the brand offers highly affordable models, the show’s stars are high-end professional models.
The reason behind this is the excellent audio quality Audio-Technica gear provides, like the popular over-ear open-back headphones, which feature a significantly better soundstage than its competitors.
Notable Audio-Technica Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-M50X
One of the most popular models is the ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, which shine with their high-quality clear sound with an extended frequency range and bass response.
They are highly rated by audio engineers and music producers for use in the studio.
The German audio equipment brand Beyerdynamic, founded in 1924, is one of the oldest audio equipment brands today. The brand offers high-quality headphones, especially for musicians, audio engineers, and broadcasters.
Beyerdynamic range of models is limited compared to others and is more aimed towards professional use instead of casual use. They do not offer many low-end models as all of them are pro or audiophile-grade products.
Beyerdynamic headphones look pretty classy and feel comfortable with large ear cups. They are also appreciated for their wide soundstage and Hi-Fi sound.
Notable Beyerdynamic Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
The most popular Beyerdynamic headphone model is DT 990 Pro, an open over-ear headphones model ideal for professional mixing, mastering, and editing, due to its transparent and spacious sound.
6. Beats by Dre
Beats by Dre is a well-known brand from the U.S.A. purchased by Apple in 2014. The brand is famous for its wired and wireless bass-heavy headphones and speakers for casual use. Although they are not one of the top respected names in the headphones market, they are one of the biggest suppliers.
Another factor that makes Beats headphones so popular is their fancy, elegant design. With the fashionable, attractive looks and solid bass implementation, Beats became a trendy brand among young music enthusiasts who especially enjoy electronic music.
However, for professional use, these headphones are not popular choices.
Notable Beats by Dre Headphones: Beats Solo3
One of the popular models is Beats Solo3, good everyday wireless headphones with Apple technology inside. The model offers extended battery life, great wireless connection, seamless integration with Apple devices, and decent sound quality with a bass emphasis.
Vienna-based Austrian company AKG is another trusted and well-known audio equipment brand founded in 1947. Harman International Group purchased the company in 1994, which is owned by Samsung.
AKG is mainly known for its great studio microphones and headphones. The brand’s selections are relatively bulky and sturdy, made from top-quality materials. They are regularly used in professional and home studios due to their great audio quality, sturdy construction, and relatively affordable prices.
Significantly, the open-back headphones of AKG are some of the best on the market. The company was the first producer to offer supra-aural, open-back pairs of headphones in 1950.
Notable AKG Headphones: AKG Pro Audio K240
AKG Pro Audio K240 is one of the brand’s popular open-back over-ear models designed for production environments. Used mainly in home studios, the headphones provide a wide dynamic range with excellent accuracy for the price offered.
The semi-open back design also allows for solid bass and clear highs. With no bells and whistles, these headphones are designed for studio monitoring, and they do the job well.
One of the elite names in the audio equipment sector is the U.S.A.-based brand Shure. Founded in 1925, it is one of the oldest and most high-grade companies. With the experience, it delivers top-tier audio products, highly respected for their superb audio quality.
Shure is known for its top-quality audio equipment like mixers, microphones, audio systems, and many more. However, it started producing over-ear headphones recently in 2009.
Since then, they have produced top-quality headphones with excellent audio quality that impress audiophiles, professional musicians, sound engineers, DJs, and music enthusiasts. Shure headphones have some of the highest price tags, but it is worth every penny as the audio quality of the products is second to none.
Notable Shure Headphones: Shure SRH440
Shure SRH440 is a popular model among home studios due to its accurate audio across an extended range. The closed-back headphones have enhanced frequency response along with optimized impedance and sensitivity to use with professional audio devices like mixers and headphone amps.
Skullcandy, another U.S.-based electronics company, is mainly known for its headphones and earphones in bright colors and eye-catching aesthetics. The company mainly aims at casual music listening instead of professional studio use.
Skullcandy’s unique headphone designs are trendy among younger music enthusiasts due to their bright colors and elegant looks, as well as handy features like Bluetooth connectivity and active noise cancellation.
The sound quality is average, and the prices are more than reasonable compared to other everyday headphones brands.
Notable Skullcandy Headphones: Skullcandy Crusher
Skullcandy Crusher is one of the popular models of the brand, which reflects the company’s approach perfectly. The headphones come in various colors with eye-catching designs, wireless connection, long battery life of 40 hours, and fast charging and adjustable bass.
The price point is also reasonable, making the headphones ideal for everyday use.
Founded in 1938 in Tokyo, Japan, Pioneer is a pioneer brand when it comes to speakers, car stereo, and home theater systems. During the ’60s, the company started to put that experience into producing high-quality headphones.
All Pioneer products, from car stereo systems to headphones, provide high-fidelity sound reproduction and a distortion-free listening experience.
Pioneer offers a variety of headphones for casual and professional use. Their top-quality DJ headphone designs are worth looking at due to their comfort, excellent sound isolation, extended frequency range with warm bass, and clear highs.
Notable Pioneer Headphones: Pioneer SE-MS7BT-S
Pioneer SE-MS7BT-S is one of the models for casual use, which shines with its comfortable design with a wide headband and large ear cups, Bluetooth connectivity, remote control, high-resolution sound, and decent battery life.
11. Bang & Olufsen
One of the most prestigious audio gear brands out there is Bang & Olufsen or B&O. The Danish luxury consumer electronics company was founded in 1925, and today it is one of the best high-end and professional audio gear manufacturers in the market.
The premium quality B&O designs shine with their innovative and progressive audio technologies. They mainly offer sound systems and speakers, but they also have a small range of headphones with top-quality features available for high-end consumer and professional markets.
As expected, Bang & Olufsen products have some of the highest price tags.
Notable Bang & Olufsen Headphones: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95
One of the best-selling Bang & Olufsen models is Beoplay H95 which has almost every premium you’d expect from top-quality headphones.
It features excellent sound quality with 40mm titanium drivers and neodymium magnets, active noise cancellation, Bluetooth, long battery life of 38 hours, and an app for customizations like EQ.
The New York-based pioneer audio brand Grado is one of the leading headphone producers with almost 70 years of experience. The brand specializes in dynamic open-back, on-ear, high-fidelity headphones.
Grado headphones are known for their impressive distortion-free, clean and accurate audio. The brand is not as popular as other brands among everyday users, as they do not advertise themselves, letting the products speak for themselves. That is why Grado is mainly preferred by true audiophiles, who give great importance to sound quality before anything.
Grado headphones are on the high-end side of the spectrum, but in the last few years, the brand started offering budget-friendly models, too.
Notable GRADO Headphones: GRADO SR80x
GRADO SR80x is one of the most famous models of the brand. The wired open-back stereo headphones provide great quality balanced sound, great for rock, blues, jazz, and instrumental genres.
V-Moda is a relatively new audio products company founded in 2004. The brand produces headphones, earphones, portable amplifiers, and related products. The V-Moda headphones are considered some of the “fashion” products due to their stylish designs.
Besides the looks, V-Moda headphones provide a bass-emphasized V-shaped sound, which is especially great for EDM and bass-focused genres.
The headphones are feature-packed and are slightly more pricey than similar ones in the market.
Notable V-MODA Headphones: V-MODA Crossfade LP2
V-MODA Crossfade LP2 is one of the best-selling headphones of the brand, thanks to its elegant look and great audio with vibrant bass and vivid highs. The over-ear noise-isolating metal headphones also feature hexagon-shaped ear cups increasing the comfort significantly.
Established in 1891, the Dutch company Philips is one of the first brands to come to mind when talking about electronics. Although Philips is not mainly associated with headphones, they offer decent quality products with more focus on function than style.
The company offers an extended range of solid-quality headphones for every use. They are well-known for their great value-for-price ratios.
Notable Philips Headphones: Philips Audio SHP9500
Philips Audio SHP9500 is a great example of Philips headphones with its affordable price and good sound without many extra features. The headphones combine comfort and durable construction with decent audio quality for a reasonable price.
15. Bowers & Wilkins
Bowers & Wilkins is a British company founded in 1966, which is well-known for its high-quality loudspeakers for home and studio use. The brand also offers a range of headphones and earphones with innovative technologies and excellent sound quality.
Bowers & Wilkins speakers and headphones feature premium quality construction, innovative features, and fantastic sound quality, which are why they are regularly used in world-class music studios such as Abbey Road.
Their prices are relatively high compared to the market.
Notable Bowers & Wilkins Headphones: Bowers & Wilkins PX7
Bowers & Wilkins PX Series Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones are the most popular among B&W offerings. The PX7 headphones feature Bluetooth connectivity, active noise cancellation, and an extended frequency range.
OneOdio is a relatively new Chinese-based headphones brand that offers quite impressive headphones with affordable price tags for everyday use. The brand has a wide range of headphones for different uses, from gaming to studio use.
The brand shines with great-value-for-price products with decent sound quality, average looks, and different extra features depending on the model.
Notable OneOdio Headphones: OneOdio Pro-10
OneOdio Pro-10 is one of the most popular over-ear headphones of the brand, which features decent sound quality with 50mm Neodymium Drivers, comfort with soft padded ear cushions, and versatility with different adapter options.
Another China-based brand Soundcore owned by the electronics giants Anker Innovations. The brand offers many innovative products, including headphones, earbuds, speakers, and Soundcore frames, which are audio glasses with interchangeable frames and surround sound.
The brand has a small selection of decently priced headphones with decent sound quality and handy extra features. The headphones are aimed at casual music listeners who want versatile, nice-looking headphones with some innovative features.
Notable Soundcore Headphones: Soundcore Life Q20
The best-selling Soundcore headphones are Life Q20, an all-rounder headphone with an affordable price.
The headphones combine great features, including active noise cancellation, Bluetooth connectivity, long battery life of 40 hours, memory foam ear cups, and above-average sound quality.
Another budget-friendly headphones producer is iJoy which produces some of the most affordable headphones on the market. The brand offers many different models, all with very affordable prices and extra features, giving the headphones a nice versatility.
As these headphones are pretty low-end, they do not deliver the best sound or build quality or the most comfortable listening experience. However, they are great choices for casual listeners who want an affordable and versatile pair of headphones for everyday use.
Notable iJoy Headphones: iJoy FBA_FGE-PRE
The model, iJoy FBA_FGE-PRE, is a good example of iJoy-style headphones. It is equipped with a microphone, micro SD, built-in radio receiver, Bluetooth connectivity, and onboard equalizer. Plus, the versatile headphones have an extremely affordable price tag.
The last brand on the list is Zihnic, a popular choice among people looking for budget headphones for everyday use. The brand has a small range of low-cost headphones with handy features like wireless connectivity, long battery life, relatively stylish design, and good sound quality for the price.
Zihnic headphones receive some of the highest ratings on Amazon, which shows that the products feature great value for the price.
Notable ZIHNIC Headphones: ZIHNIC Bluetooth
One of the best-selling models is the Zihnic Bluetooth, which comes in various colors, with a wired or wireless connection option, SD card slot for MP3 mode, FM radio, decent battery life, and a foldable design.
The sound quality is average, and the construction is not the greatest, but for the price, it is a great pair of headphones for casual use.
Purchasing a decent pair of headphones can be a challenging task. However, choosing the ideal one gets easier when you are familiar with the strong and weak points of the brands.
Depending on your needs and budget, there are many brands and models on the market, some of which are mentioned in the article. I hope this article helps you to navigate better and easier in the world of headphones.