The best headphones 2022: the finest audio options compared

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The best headphones are always evolving with new innovations in new active noise cancellation technology, personalized EQ settings, enhanced mic quality and smart features. That means big-name brands like Sony, Bose, Apple, and even Razer are on top of their game right now – if you need music quality that even the best gaming headsets can’t provide. .

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The best audio you can buy right now will cost between $250 and $300 (around £270) for the money, which may seem like a tall order considering sub-$100/£100 headphones, Can still tout features like ANC and Bluetooth 5.0. However, if you’re shopping for quality, you’ll notice that the best headphones not only enhance these features with their own streamlined implementation and raw power, but also offer the longer duration of use you’d expect from a premium purchase. expect from. After all, you can buy three pairs of headphones for $100 or so in three years or just spend that time with the best.

And these headphones truly represent the industry’s most advanced audio offerings. From the raw power of the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones to the gorgeous design of the Bose 700, to the effortlessly streamlined AirPods Pro, you’ll find ear candy suited to every need here.

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Editors' Choice Awards

(image credit: Sony)

1. Sony WH-1000XM4

The best headphones get even better

Specifications
battery life: 30 hours
Connection: Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm
noise Cancelling: Yes
Weight: 8.95 oz (253 g)
bluetooth range: 30 feet
reasons to buy
,noise-canceling improved,Connects to two devices simultaneously,Auto-pause when deleted
reason to escape
,Touch controls aren’t always better than buttons

The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are the best headphones you can buy right now. The improvements are minor compared to the previous winner (Sony WH-1000XM3), but it’s worth keeping in mind if the current price works for you.

The noise-canceling is even better and will be suited to frequently visited places. Already impressive audio is improved once again, with improved upgrades to lower quality tracks getting you closer to lossless FLAC quality without the more expensive format or paying extra for a service like Tidal. The bass is also more powerful.

Other improvements over the older model include a neat feature where the headphones will stop automatically when you remove them, which is great for quick interruptions at home/office and saves your battery as well. You can also get this feature on the cheapest Razer Opus listed below. Now you can connect up to two devices at once, so you can listen on your phone on the way to work, then switch straight to your laptop’s audio without having to fiddle with Bluetooth settings.

Visually, these are almost identical to the older model, which is far from a bad thing as the reduced design is still a great look. We’ve seen some discounts for the XM4 recently, but you’ll still find the XM3 headphones a lot cheaper. The XM4 has some great extras to tempt that extra expense, though not enough of a difference to upgrade if you already own an XM3 model.

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Best Headphones: Razer Opus

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Best Headphones: Razer Opus

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Best Headphones: Razer Opus

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Best Headphones: Razer Opus

2. Razer Opus

A wonderfully balanced pair of headphones at a reasonable price

Specifications
battery life: 25+ hours
Connection: Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm
noise Cancelling: Yes
Weight : 9.17 oz (260 g)
bluetooth range: 60 feet
reasons to buy
,excellent noise cancellation,unreliable battery,super comfortable
reason to escape
,a slight decrease in bass

Razer is famous for us here at GamesRadar thanks to the range of quality gaming headsets it produces – our best Razer headsets page is packed with top gaming picks. But we were still taken aback when the move to regular headphones came out of nowhere for the likes of Sony and Bose. And with a fairly low price tag, the Razer Opus is a real contender among the best headphones out there.

The Opus’ noise-canceling technology is excellent, even without music I found loud noises like the extractor fan or washing machine faded into very few distracting levels. The razor strikes the tunes of the Opus’ ANC even more because I didn’t even notice the gas-powered hedge trimmer my neighbor was beating around his garden from about 10 feet away. And check out that price comparison to the top Sony and Bose models on this page!

The audio quality comes with that THX Seal of Approval and with great crisp sound across the range as well. There is ever such a slight lack in bass and I feel like the volume is turned up a bit, but the audio output is far from intimidating and I should probably stop trying to damage my hearing so much in complete fairness.

Special mention of the battery as well. Listed at 25 hours, I’ve regularly gone over 30 with volume high and active noise cancellation technology turned on. The Razer Opus are also incredibly comfortable to wear, there’s no headband pinch at the crown, and the over-ear cups are soft while doing a good job of keeping out outside noise and not overheating the ears in any way. want more? How about auto-pausing when you take off the headphones and auto-resume when you pop them back? very quiet.

Sony WH-1000XM3

(image credit: Sony)

3. Sony WH-1000XM3

Best Sony Headphones for Noise Canceling

Specifications
battery life: 30 hours
Connection: Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm
noise Cancelling: Yes
Weight: 8.99 oz (254 g)
bluetooth range: 30 feet
reasons to buy
,great active noise cancellation,impressive battery life,excellent sound quality
reason to escape
,The WH-1000XM4 Has Some Great Improvements

The Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones sat at the top of many such lists for a while and were recently superseded by the new Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones. The XM3 is still well worth considering, although it is significantly cheaper and regularly goes on sale nowadays and is still one of the best in the audio biz. Industry-leading active noise cancellation, deep bass paired with clarity in the mid and high ranges, and an impressive battery life all support the technology – there’s no reason not to recommend Sony’s famous headphones.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones still stand above many new rivals, even providing functionality for 3D soundscapes via Sony’s 360 Reality Audio. If you’re not bothered about intelligent surround sound, though, these headphones are still packed with all the latest features you’d expect from a premium pair of headphones. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are ready-and-wait to provide a hands-free experience, and intuitive touch controls on the edge allow for quick gestures to play, pause, and skip tracks.

All that, and you can charge these headphones for up to 30 hours before they charge. That’s pretty cool and an advantage that gives the WH-1000XM3 headphones an even greater edge over competitors. The recognizable form factor somewhat gets in the way of portability, though the cups on this latest release are noticeably smaller than those of the XM2s. However, the soft-touch pads inside provide a nice cushion that keeps extended listening sessions comfortable.

Nuraphone Headphones

(image credits: nuraphone)

4. Nuraphone

Stunning personalization makes for unmatched audio quality

Specifications
battery life: 20 hours
Connection: Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5mm . ownership of
noise Cancelling : Yes
Weight: 10.5 oz / 300 g
bluetooth range: 32 feet
reasons to buy
,unparalleled audio quality,Personalized Sound Profile,40mm on-ear driver plus 15mm in-ear driver
reason to escape
,costly

The Nuraphone headphones are probably one of the few recent products to deliver on its promise to innovate. We’re used to the marketing realm by now and rarely do these ad beats actually make a particularly meaningful change to how we use a product or how that product functions. The Nuraphone lives up to its promise to give you ‘music in full color’ – it’s just disappointing that the palette is still so expensive.

Honestly, you are getting your money’s worth here. It’s just that the $399 / £349 price tag can’t be ignored. If you are looking for one of the best listening experiences money can buy, however, you could end up spending a lot with diminishing returns.

The Nuraphone starts by tuning your personal sound profile—measuring what ranges your hearing is particularly sensitive to and which vocals will need a bit of beefing up to realistically represent high-quality audio. The result, when switching between ‘Normal’ mode and your custom profile, will have you questioning why you’ve ever bought any other headphones all these years.

Bold, rich and powerful audio comes out instantly from the unique pair of earbuds and over-ear 40mm dynamic drivers. It’s an incredible experience, with a crystal clear bass that manages to get your noggin moving while saving space to allow those more delicate melodic lines to slide into the soundtrack.

Best Headphones: Bose 700

(image credits: future)

5. Bose 700

Best Headphones for Luxury Design

Specifications
battery life: 20 hours
Connection: Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm
noise Cancelling: Yes
Weight: 9 oz (255 g)
bluetooth range: 33 feet
reasons to buy
,Distinctive design with intuitive touch and voice control features,excellent noise cancellation,Impressive Call Quality
reason to escape
,short battery life

If you’re looking for luxury, you’ll find a lot extra with the Bose 700 headphones that ship. The 2019 noise-canceling headphones offer a sleek and sophisticated design that blends smooth curves with a stainless steel headband for a solid fit. This…

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