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How to choose the best headphones

How to choose the best headphones
Ratz Attila | Dreamstime.com

Technology is always evolving. Faster processors, larger storage space, and sleeker gadgets are just a few of the things we've seen change for the better.

It's not just your smartphone or desktop computer that has gotten serious upgrades over the years. Peripheral devices like headphones are even higher quality than days of old.

Most everyone uses headphones daily. Whether you're listening to music for entertainment or a presentation for work, you've probably got a pair of headphones at the ready.

If you've been using the same headphones for years, it might be time to look into a new pair. But you might struggle with knowing which ones to buy.

That's why we're going to tell you what to look for in new headphones as well as a few of our favorite options.

Finding the right headphones for you

There are typically three important factors that go into selecting your headphones: affordability, sound quality, and portability.

One of the first things you need to ask yourself is, "what will I be using these headphones for?"

Are you going to take them to the gym and listen to music while working out? Will you leave them at the office and just use them for work? Are you only going to have one set of headphones to take with you and use for everything?

The answer to those questions helps answer the important, how much do you want to spend? Your best move is to set a budget and stick to it. If you're planning on using them for work and play you might be able to justify spending a little more than normal.

Next, you need to decide what type of headphones you want.

  • In-ear monitors (IEMs) - headphones that fit inside each ear canal. The majority of sports headphones will fall into this category.
  • Earbuds - feature small drivers that rest on the ridge of your outer ear. They typically provide lesser fidelity and isolation than other types of headphones but are more affordable. These are the type of headphones that come with many portable music players.
  • Over-ear - also known as 'around-ear,' have cushioned earcups that enclose the ears. These are normally considered the best headphones for sound quality, most over-ear models also do a great job isolating the user from outside sound, known as "noise-canceling headphones."
  • On-ear - these are similar in design to over-ear models, though the cushions sit on the outer ear instead of enclosing the ears. Most on-ear models deliver good sound quality, but with less bass response than over-ear models. These are not good for noise canceling and others around you might be able to hear your music.

Now that you know the types of headphones that are available, let's look at some of the best options out there.

Listen to your favorite shows or music in peace without the dangling cords

These wireless TV headphones can be used with any audio device and TV that has an AUX jack or stereo adapter.

The comfortable headphones allow you to listen to your shows or music (or the Kim Komando Show Podcast) at any volume without disturbing others. Being cordless you don't have to take them off to move about, with 100-foot transmission range you can keep them on.

With breathable knit earmuffs and a comfortable padded headband, they are comfortable to use for long periods of time. The transmitter is also the charging dock so you don't even need cords to charge them. Rechargeable batteries are included.

You can easily purchase these wireless TV headphones from Kim's Shop for $58. Simply click on the button below to get yours today.

These sporty earbuds are a runner's best friend

With flexible around the ear clips, you can bend these around the ear sport earbuds to fit your ear for an adjustment-free workout. Featuring a remote and mic so you can easily change the music or answer a call.

These earbuds will keep up with you. With non-tangling 3.5 feet audio cables and flex fit ear clips, you won't have to stop to fuss with these during your work out. The award-winning design of these earbuds fit securely over your ear with a flexible clip, bendable to the shape of your ear.

You can purchase these around the ear sport earbuds in Kim's Shop for under $30 on sale. Simply click the button below to buy yours today.

Noise canceling headphones eliminates distracting background noise

If you're looking to spend a little more for some high-quality headphones, these are for you. The Sony WH1000XM2 are over-ear, wireless Bluetooth noise canceling headphones.

These headphones are smart listening, which means they detect your activity to automatically adjust the ambient sounds you hear. You can also adjust the volume by placing your hand over the right ear cup to have a conversation with someone.

Another great feature is its Hi-Res Audio. Hear music that stays true to the original recording with Hi-Res Audio. It reduces distortion and allows you to enjoy all the subtleties in your music.

You can pick these up on Amazon for under $350 by clicking the button below. It might be a little more than you'd like to spend but you'll definitely notice the higher sound quality.

Buy from Amazon

Reasonably priced professional monitor headphones

These Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are a top pick for audio engineers and pro audio reviewers.

They have exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range, with deep, accurate bass response. Its design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments, with 90-degree swiveling earcups for easy, one-ear monitoring, professional-grade earpad and headband material deliver more durability and comfort.

Buy it today from Amazon for under $150 by clicking the button below.

Buy from Amazon
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