Which headphones beat the competition?

The number of headphones on the market today is truly astounding. This can make the process of buying a pair quite overwhelming.

07 Nov 2013


The number of headphones on the market today is truly astounding. This can make the process of buying a pair quite overwhelming.

The secret lies in knowing exactly what you're looking to get from a pair of headphones, as well as how much you are willing to spend.

Here, we'll take a look at each corner of the market and delve into the matter of which headphones beat the rest in their area.

Budget headphones

Whether you're buying for your kids, are on a budget, or are simply prone to losing headphones, there's a lot on offer at the entry level. You're unlikely to get the whole package with a small price tag, but you may well be pleasantly surprised by the quality which you find on offer.

The trick with cheaper headphones is generally to side with a well known brand. Both Sennheiser and Sony have a number of options which sit below the £15 mark, all of which are likely to out-perform the competition in terms of the quality of both sound and build.

At this price, you're likely to get more from your money from in ear Sony headphones, rather than on-ear headphones, which require a greater investment.

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Mid-level headphones

Of course, the rule of sticking to the well known brands will work well for you no matter how much you're looking to spend, but there are a few wild cards out there when you pay a little bit more.

Mid-level headphones will promise a slightly longer life, as well as greater responsiveness and range.

Philips produce a number of great headphones for listening to music on the go, while Sennheiser have some wireless options for those who are keen to get great sound at home.

Skullcandy are a great wild card option for those looking to spend not too much or too little.

High-end headphones

You probably won't be surprised to read about Beats By Dr Dre in the high-end section and the truth is that they offer outstanding quality for those who are willing to foot the bill.

While Bose remains untouchable with their QuietComfort range for the home, Beats provide astounding quality for those on the move, not to mention the style with which they are designed.

High-end in-ear headphones aren't always easy to find but there are a number of options out there. One of the strongest choices is from KLIPSCH - the S5i Rugged headphones tick all the boxes. They are stylish, great for sports and have surprising clarity and bass.

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Monster DNA headphones provide another strong wild card option, with particular emphasis placed on the matter of style. The design from Monster divides opinion but there's no denying that they offer something different.

As you'd expect from the price, the sound quality is pretty impressive as well.

In this part of the market, it's also possible to pick up a high quality pair of wireless headphones. SMS Audio from 50 Cent, Beats by Dr Dre and Sennheiser all offer great options here.