A Headphone Buying Guide For The Holidays


We love helping you get it Right Between Your Ears and want to make it easy to share the gift of great sound with your friends and family. Below is an easy to follow guide to the best headphones available at any budget. We have chosen just one headphone for each application and price range to keep your gift giving easy.

Best over ear headphones under $100 – Shure SRH440

Shure SRH 440

While our long standing entry level recommendation for any card carrying audiophile is the Grado SR60, they are an open headphone so they don’t block any noise so those close by will hear everything you do. The Shure SRH440 is a closed headphone providing more than adequate isolation for a great personal listening experience. With a balanced sound, detachable cable, and circumaural ear pads, the 440’s are guaranteed to provide years of comfortable audio bliss.

Best Over-Ear Headphone Under $200 – Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X
With the best sound quality in their class, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x provides superior sound, solid construction, and a detachable cable system all while maintaining comfort for longer listening sessions. The closed back design is great for students or anyone needing isolation from the surrounding world.

Best Over-Ear Headphone Under $500 – Oppo PM-3

It’s hard to find a closed headphone that checks all the boxes but the Oppo PM-3 deliver with flying colors. With a great mix of audiophile sound, luxurious comfort, and impeccable build quality, the PM-3’s deliver personal audio bliss when plugged into nearly any audio device.

Best Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones – Bose Quiet Comfort 25

Bose QC25
Some of the best Noise Cancelling headphones on the planet!  The Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling headphones are re-engineered to sound better, be more comfortable and are easier to take with you.  The perfect solution for the busy traveler or commuter.  

Best Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphone – Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Headphones
Not surprisingly, the best sounding wireless Bluetooth headphone comes from Sennheiser, but they come at a cost. At $500, they’re also the most expensive Bluetooth headphones we carry but if you’re looking for convenience AND sound quality, they’re worth every penny. With the addition of Active Noise Cancellation, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless delivers a portable sanctuary.

Best In-Ear Headphones Under $100 – Shure SE215

Easily one of the best in-ear headphones at this price range for it’s super durable design, rock solid fit for just about any activity, great sound quality, plenty of ear tip sizes and options, plus a detachable cable that can be swapped out should anything go wrong.  Also a 2 year warranty of protection from Shure for complete piece of mind.

Best In-Ear Headphones under $200 – Westone W10

Great fit, style, sound, and features are what make the W10 the best option at this price.  Plenty of eartip sizes and types to choose from allow for a comfortable, secure fit. Includes 3-button control cable, standard cable, plus a great carrying case.

Best In-Ear Headphones under $500 – Westone W40

Musician approved and a favorite among audiophiles, the Westone W40 has it all.  Great clarity, punchy bass, excellent fit and design, plus a plethora of accessories included.

Best in-ear Noise Cancelling Headphone – Bose Quiet Comfort 20i

Bose QC20i
By far the best noise cancelling of any in-ear we’ve tested, period! A combination of passive isolation and active noise cancellation, coupled with super comfortable in-ear tip design make the QC20i’s a great choice for travel or commuting.  

Best Bluetooth In-Ear Headphone for Exercise – Jaybird X2

Jaybird X2 Wireless Headphones
How nice would it be to workout or do any other activity without wires getting in the way?  The Jaybird X2 provides a secure fit for active use, sweat proof warranty, killer sound quality, and excellent battery life.  

Best Wireless Headphones for TV – Sennheiser RS 175

Sennheiser RS175
Tired of listening to Grandpa’s old western re-runs? The Sennheiser RS 175 can connect to virtually any TV with both analog and digital inputs making setup a breeze. The closed back design means you won’t hear any sound coming out of the earcups, so Grandpa won’t have to turn them up so loud to hear his program. This is really a great gift for you or anyone having trouble hearing the TV, but will make any Grandparent happy as well. 

Best Audiophile Headphones – Sennheiser HD 800

While there are many new competitors in the race for “Worlds Best Headphones” you can’t go wrong with the Sennheiser HD800. For any budding audiophile entering the realm of top-tier headphones, the Sennheiser HD800 should be first on the list. If we could choose only one headphone to buy, the HD800 would be it. Sure, some may argue with us but we stand by our choice of the Sennheiser HD800 as the World’s Best Headphone.