In this review we feature the best headphone brands that top the list of 2020 for acoustic sound performance and high-fidelity sound. These top brands are known for making headphones that can really bring out the finer details in the music – with crystal clear highs, midranges and vocals with deep bass output. We also enjoyed the fact that these headphones are very comfortable to wear – you can practically wear these headphones for hours on end without feeling ear fatigue. These headphones can also take on a wide variety of music genres including rock, pop, EDM and classical music while making the details in the music shine. The bass output on these headphones hits nice and hard, and really adds a layer of depth to the overall music quality. Furthermore, these headphones are very comfortable to wear and provide a superb listening experience. If you are looking for the best headphone brands and what they are known for, be sure to read our guide below!
Which are the best headphone brands?
There are many headphone brands out there, but which ones are the best? In reality, different headphone brands are known for different musical qualities they have in their headphones. For example, Bose is well known for making noise cancelling headphones while Sennheiser headphones have a more well-balanced sound signature. Other headphone brands such as Ultrasone are known for making bass-heavy headphones. To sum up, here are the best headphone brands below for 2019 and what they are known for:
Sennheiser: Sennheiser is a well-known headphone brand and they specialize in making quality headphones with a well-balance sound signature to bring out the finer details in the music. The Sennheiser HD 800s, for example, are known for their immersive soundstage, detailed vocal reproduction and pristine clarity. The Sennheiser brand is also known for making some of the most comfortable headphones on the market, such as the HD 8s which are relatively lightweight and easy on the ears.
Audio-Technica: Audio-Technica headphones are known for their MX series of headphones built for DJs. These headphones have a fun V-shaped sound signature that emphasizes the lows and highs, allowing you to pick up minor details in the music. Their flagship MX50 headphone is one of the best DJ headphones around that delivers clean and natural sound frequency range with good level of separation. The bass performance on the Audio-Technica headphones is also pretty good, which makes these headphones ideal for bass-heavy genres such as EDM, Rock, Pop and electronic jazz.
Marshall: The Marshall brand is relatively new to the market but the brand is known for making vintage headphones with premium materials. The Marshall Major III headphones are designed with a vintage aesthetic and made of premium leather to ensure maximum comfort – they are some of the best headphones in the Marshall line of headphones and also provide high-fidelity sound performance. The Marshall headphones also have a square can design that fits nicely over the ears and delivers good bass performance. If you are looking for retro-vintage style headphones that are aesthetically appealing, the Marshall headphones are a good choice.
Sony: The Sony brand has been around for years, but they are known for headphones as well. Sony headphones tend to emphasize the bass performance and are equipped with wireless Bluetooth features for music. One of the most reputable headphones in the Sony brand is the Sony XB950N1 extra bass headphones, which are equipped to deliver deep bass performance and enhanced sound performance.
Bose: The Bose line of headphones is well-known among fans, and they are famous for noise cancellation technology. The Bose QC35s and QC25s are legendary among fans for their noise cancellation which can reduce up to 95% of background ambient noise. The bass output of these headphones is very good and clean, and you can pick up finer details in the music with these headphones.
Skullcandy: Skullcandy headphones are a relatively new entrant on the market, but are known for making some of the best bass headphones you can find. The Skullcandy Crushers in particular are among the best headphones that deliver deep bass with earth shattering lows and are a safe haven for bass heads who enjoy pop, rock and EDM music genres. The Skullcandy headphones also feature Bluetooth streaming which makes it convenient to use and adds to the overall listening experience.
V-Moda: The V-Moda headphones are known for one particular outstanding headphone – the V-Moda Crossfade which is the in-house favorite for gamers and audiophiles. These headphones have a sleek black polished design and deliver crystal clear sound with crisp highs and deep bass. Furthermore, the headphones are pretty comfortable to wear and can reproduce details in the music such as surround sound effects really well. They are a favorite for gaming and watching movies.
What are the best headphones for each brand?
We pick the best headphones from these top brands that provide a good combination of sound quality and comfort. Our experts have run multiple tests on these headphones to determine which ones provide the best value for money and depth in sound performance. Each headphone brand has different characteristics, so it is important to remember that when you choose a brand, you are essentially choosing the headphone with unique specs that can reproduce sound according to your preferences. If you are looking for headphones that are generally good value for money, we recommend the Audio-Technica headphones and Skullcandy Crushers for bass heads.
- Extremely rich and dynamic sound performance
- 56mm acoustic drivers deliver depth and quality
- Distortion-free sound at high volume levels
- Immersive soundstage with precision details
- Requires a headphone amplifier due to high impedance
- Headphones are on the steep range
- Bulky headphones with large circumference cans
The Sennheiser HD 800s are no doubt some of the best headphones in the market delivering rich and full sound quality with its massive 56mm drivers. We would say that the HD 800s are best suited for those looking for depth and sound clarity – the spatial imaging and separation that you get with the HD 800s are simply on another level. The highs and midranges are fully reproduced without any distortion at maximum volume levels and you get really clean and distortion-free sound. The soundstage feels extremely realistic as though you are transported into a live concert hall. The headphones are open-back headphones and do suffer from some of the downsides of an open-back design such as less bass response, although they do arguably well on the lower-midrange frequencies. The HD 800s definitely require a good headphone amplifier to drive them, as well as good quality audio source to really allow these headphones to shine and pick up the subtle details in the music which you might not have noticed before. Overall, the HD 800s are definitely one of our top favorites built specially for audiophiles who enjoy high-fidelity sound performance.
- Balanced mix of bass, midrange and highs
- Fun sound signature
- Comfortable to wear with ear pads
- High impedance – 95 ohms
- Requires a headphone amplifier
The Sennheiser HD 8s are without a doubt one of the best headphones for DJs that produce phenomenal music and sound quality. The mixture of bass and highs that you get with these headphones is simply off the charts punchy and crisp. They have a really fun sound signature which makes electronic dance music and bass-heavy music gernes really shine and come to live. They are also great for professional DJ monitoring and will be able to pick up most details in the music without sounding neutral. These cans can produce plenty of volume without any distortion and provide great sound isolation so you can DJ even in noisy environments. It is built for durability and even comes with a resonance-absorbing frame and circumaural ear pads that feel very smooth and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The acoustic drivers on these cans have an impedance of 95 ohms which requires dedicated amplification for optimal sound. The HD 8s are hands down some of the best headphones you can find now selling at a very good price, so don’t forget to check them out!
- Very comfortable headphones with lightweight design
- Rich, crisp bass response with dynamic sound
- Good sound isolation
- Lacks wide soundstage as compared to the HD800s
- Slightly bass heavy
The Sennheiser HD201 are best headphones with a lightweight and comfortable design. The HD201 headphones are built to deliver superb stereo sound performance with crisp bass response. They are very comfortable to wear and light on the ears – it also comes with high-quality leatherette ear pads which make them feel soft over the ears. It comes with an attachable cord with a length of 9.8 feet or 3m. In terms of sound performance, the Sennheiser HD201 provides rich, crisp bass response with dynamic audio reproduction. It has a sealed ear-cup design which prevents bleed into adjacent microphones when recording. We liked the fact that the acoustic drivers on the HD201 headphones have bass-driven sound performance with increased signal levels for modern rhythm-driven music. The headphones have hypo-allergenic leatherette ear padding which feels comfortable when worn the entire day, so you will feel less fatigued over extended periods of listening. We particularly liked how lightweight the Sennheiser HD201 headphones feel over the ears – they do not cause any ear fatigue and practically disappear on your ears. The headphone cans provide good bass response and the padding helps to isolate sound within the ear cans without any bleed. These headphones come with a 1/8” plug (3.5mm) and 1/4″ (6.3mm) adapter for easy setup.
- Crystal clear, dynamic sound signature
- Great bass output, deep impact
- Foldable design with one-ear listening capability
- Low impedance
- Headphones can feel uncomfortable after long periods
- Plastic frame construction
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are some of the best headphones that produce pristine sound quality for a decent price. They have a very good balance between the highs and mids, and produce deep low ends making them especially good to listen to for electronica, pop or rock genres. These best bass headphones perform best when combined with a portable headphone amp for extra power – they are highly sensitive to the music source and will expose any flaws in bad recordings, so be sure to feed these headphones with high quality soundtracks. We were blown away by the audio quality and fidelity to the original sound recording of the ATH-50x, making our music come alive with great precision and sound separation. If you like a good balance between a bass-leaning headphone and clarity and detail in the highs and mids, these are some of the best headphones to get.
- Essentially the same dynamic as the M50x
- Crisp highs, detailed midranges, good bass
- Good value for money
- Headphones have above average clamping force
- Plastic frame construction
The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are some of the best Audio-Technica headphones you can find on a budget. They are intended for studio use due to their superior sound monitoring capabilities which can pick up details in the music with enhanced low-frequency performance. Their closed back design performs very well at blocking out external sound, allowing the user to concentrate solely on the audio coming from the headphones, and also prevent any spill from the headphones to the outside world. The ATH-M20x headphones produce high quality sound using large, 40mm drivers which contain rare neodymium magnets and feature copper coils aluminium wire voice coils. This setup allows the M20x to produce clear audio with a very fast transient response, creating a high fidelity rendition of the sound. The headphones also feature a very good bass response as the design was tuned for low-end frequency enhancement. They feature a wired connection using a 3.5 mm TRS jack which can be adapted to a 6.3 mm for usage with professional equipment. The headphones have a single-side exit cable which makes them easy to manoeuvre and wear. The design of the M20x is comfortable, having adjustable and padded earcups and headband, enabling users to have long listening sessions free of discomfort.
- Aesthetic vintage design with premium leather
- Crisp , dynamic sound performance with deep bass
- Supports wireless Bluetooth
- Smaller ear cans may cause discomfort
- Slightly on the steep range
The Marshall Major III headphones have a very aesthetic vintage design and acoustic drivers that provide full-range sound performance. The designers from Marshall have definitely put in a lot of work in creating a very well-balanced, well-performing pair of wireless headphones. With their experience in creating high quality amplifiers, the sound of the Major III is of very high quality, satisfying both audio connoisseurs and amateurs. They have a very good response across the frequency spectrum, bringing out details in music with a lot of clarity. Another strong point of the Marshall Major III is the extremely long lasting battery life of up to 30 hours of audio playback. This feature would make them a favourite across travellers and people who need to use headphones for long periods of time without too many opportunities of recharging. The Bluetooth technology used by the headphones is very well implemented, having no latency or signal loss issues. This makes them ideal for watching videos as there will be no audio/video synchronization issues. The Major III are very comfortable and also feature a convenient collapsible design with only makes them easier to transport and store. Overall, the Marshall Major III are headphones with a vintage aesthetic and high-quality sound performance.
- Solid bass output; great for bass heads
- Wireless Bluetooth with NFC
- Good sound isolation
- Plastic construction feels flimsy
- Slightly heavy headphones
The Sony XB950N1s are built for solid bass performance and deliver really good noise cancellation. It comes with Bluetooth 4.0 for you to stream music wirelessly to the headphones directly from your mobile device, and supports NFC connectivity for automatic connectivity. The active noise cancellation works like a charm and can block out most ambient background noises and reduce conversational sounds – this makes them really good if you need a set of headphones to focus on your work. The headphones are very comfortable to wear with soft, thick padding that goes around the ear. It also comes with nice buttons on the side for you to pause, play or change soundtracks which makes it convenient to adjust the sound settings. The sound quality that you get with these headphones is crisp and detailed – music performances sounded crystal clear, with great attention to detail. It also emphasizes the bass and lower-midrange frequencies which makes listening to bass-heavy music genres an enjoyable experience. Overall, it’s one of the best headphones that deliver really good sound performance for bass lovers and we highly recommend them.
- High-definition audio performance, true sound quality
- Good soundstage with wider dispersion
- Plenty of bass output
- Headphones exert some clamping force
- Slightly on the steep price range
The Sony H900N are a pair of well-designed, high quality headphones that deliver high definition audio and a comfortable listening experience. The design of the headphones is sleek and stylish which is further emphasised by the touch sensor control panel, offering a holistic modern experience. The H900N deliver a high quality audio using complex processes such as DSEE HX which upscales compressed music to recreate an authentic and natural musical experience. In terms of sound quality, the Sony H900N headphones provide crisp and clear sound quality that stays true to the audio recording. The headphones deliver sound exactly as the artist intended it to be heard without any distortion at high volume levels. The H900N has an interesting sound signature – it feels V-shaped but with great vocal clarity and emphasis on the highs and treble ranges. They are great for a variety of music genres including EDM as well as instrumental and classical genres. The headphones have a very well designed noise cancellation system that lowers the perceived volume of the environmental noise such as traffic, office noise or machinery noises. Users have the ability to shape their sonic experience using Sony’s Headphones Connect application which offers numerous sound configuration features. The battery life of the headphones lasts an impressive of 28 hours of continuous audio playback, which delivers more than a full day of constant streaming. The H900N also features a quick charge feature which provides 65 minutes of playback for 10 minutes of recharge. The headphones come with a carrying pouch, a connection cable, and a USB cable, so no additional purchases need to be made.
- Noise cancellation blocks up to 95% ambient noise
- Clear sound quality, crisp highs and detailed midrange
- Closed-back design with comfortable ear pads
- Degradation in sound quality when noise cancellation is turned off
- Slightly on the steep price range
The Bose QuietComfort 35 is a pair of wireless headphones with many features that create a great listening experience. It has a well-designed and well-integrated noise cancellation system that allows users to choose between three levels of cancellation so that it is suitable for the surrounding environment. This features works very well because of the built-in microphone which pickups up on all the details the surrounding sounds and passes them over to an algorithm that inverts the polarity of the microphone’s output that results in the cancellation process. In terms of sound performance, the Bose QC35 delivers exceptionally clear sound quality with crystal clear highs, crisp midranges and deep bass performance. These headphones sound great for a variety of music genres including rock, pop and hip-hop. The noise cancellation technology works great to block up to 95% of ambient background noises and is great for study or listening to audiobooks. In terms of sound quality alone, the Bose QC35 has some of the best sound we have heard and tested. A separate microphone is dedicated for picking up the voice so that it enables a hands-free calling experience and interaction with Alexa that can enable voice control of music and information. The headphones have a closed back, which means that there is little to no spill from the drivers onto the outside world, and also keep a focused and precise sound that is projected directly into the listeners’ ears. The Bluetooth connectivity is reliable and easy to manage through the Bose Connect application. The application also provides additional functionality such as personalized settings and access to system updates.
- Crisp highs, distinct treble ranges, smooth midrange
- Extraordinary level of clarity and detail
- Wireless Bluetooth connectivity
- Takes a slightly long time to reach a full charge
- Noise cancellation does not work on microphone
The Bose SoundLink Around-Ear IIs are some of the best wireless headphones you can find that delivers superb sound quality and crystal clear notes. We were really impressed with how good these headphones sounded straight out of the box with crisp highs and treble ranges, smooth midranges and deep bass performance. The bass on these headphones hits hard but does not sound overwhelming – it makes these headphones very enjoyable to listen to without pounding your ears. The level of detail and clarity that you get with these headphones is excellent – you can literally re-listen to your favorite music soundtracks and pick up details in the music that you might have never heard before. The battery life on the headphone delivers up to 15 hours of continuous music playtime which is great – you can also switch between two Bluetooth devices while listening to this headphone for convenience. The headphone uses Bluetooth 4.1 for consistent high quality music streaming and also comes with an advanced microphone system for high-definition voice calls. Overall, these are some of the best wireless headphones we have tested and come highly recommended.
- Extremely good noise cancellation technology
- Detailed sound clarity with superb bass output
- Comfortable headphone cans
- Works only with either Apple iOS or Android devices
- Predecessor to the Bose QC35s
The Bose QC25 are some of the best wireless headphones produced by Bose to date, with an active noise cancellation that’s at the top of the line of industry standards. If you are looking for a set of bluetooth headphones that are super comfortable, sound great for bass heavy soundtracks and are portable for travel, the Bose QC25s are the clear choice. Do note that at the time of writing, the Bose QC25s models are designed specifically either for Apple iOS devices or android/Samsung devices so you have to choose which model better suits your listening needs. Overall, the Bose QC25s exceeds expectations in terms of its quality sound performance and active noise cancellation, and we definitely recommend them.
- Absolute bass cannons with deep bass reproduction
- 40 hours of battery life
- Wireless Bluetooth streaming
- Headphones exert some slight clamping force
- Lacks some clarity on the highs and vocals
The Skullcandy Crushers are absolutely one of the best wireless headphones you can find that delivers crisp highs, very clean midranges and a stunning amount of bass performance. It comes with a unique haptic bass feature that allows you to fine tune your bass experience according to your preferences. These headphones are definitely an improvement over the original Skullcandy headphones and deliver way more bass output than we expected – the bass hits hard and goes so low and deep that it can literally rattle your head. The bass feels tight with plenty of depth, and stays where it should be as bass without muddying into the midrange frequencies. The Crushers produce very clean sound overall with crisp vocals and detailed midranges – music genres such as electronic dance music and rock will really shine with these headphones. The Crushers also feature Bluetooth wireless streaming with a 40 hour battery life and a built-in microphone for hands free calls. They also feature soft memory foam ear cups which feel really comfortable and provide a good noise isolating seal to block out external noises. If you are a bass head looking for one of best wireless headphones to get for ear thumping sound, the Skullcandy Crushers might be your best bet.
- Dynamic sound performance, good bass output
- 22 hours of battery life, 40mm drivers
- Memory foam ear padding
- Integrated amplifier
- Plastic frame design
- Plain design
The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are Bluetooth wireless over-ear headphones with a microphone that deliver high-quality audio performance. They feature an integrated analog amplifier that pushes a pair of high-quality 40 mm audio drivers that produce great volume output and a wide dynamic range.The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are easy to use and to set up, featuring voice notifications assist in pairing your device. They also allow you to take calls, change tracks, and adjust volume with the built-in easy-to-use controls and microphone. The sound quality of the Skullcandy Hesh 3 is superb, with crisp highs, detailed midranges and great bass performance. The 40mm audio drivers provide rich and dynamic sound quality across music genres, and electronic dance music and rock sounded especially good. We liked the crystal clear sound performance and bass output from the Hesh 3 headphones. The Skullcandy Hesh 3 headphones have up to 22 hours of battery life with a single charge, and with the help of their rapid charge technology, you can get several hours of use out of a 15 minute charge. They are very easy to carry wherever you go as they feature foldable design, memory foam ear cushions as well as a padded band at the top that make them both comfortable and very portable. Their design is sleek and modern looking and they come in plain black color. The package includes both a charge cable and 3.5 mm aux cable. You can use the latter when the battery is off to keep the headphones running and the microphone will also work in this case.
- Natural sound reproduction with good bass and mids
- Wireless Bluetooth streaming
- Very comfortable design
- Sleek polished design
- Some clamping force on the headband
- Bass may be too overwhelming
The V-MODA Crossfade are a stunning set of headphones that deliver musical, detailed, natural and excellent sound that any audiophile will enjoy. The fact that these headphones are wireless is incredible icing on the cake. These headphones do not compromise on sound quality even on NFC bluetooth pairing, so you enjoy the best of your soundtracks at the convenience of your mobile device. Most importantly, these best over ear bluetooth headphones are selling at a good price point – V-MODA did not boost up the price for its additional bluetooth capabilities. The over ear design is extremely comfortable and you can use the XL earcups for more comfort if needed. In sum, these are easily among the best wireless headphones we have listened and tested and work great for every kind of music you can throw at it, although they sound even better for modern, rock, rap, hip hop, electronic types of music.