Listen up! Are you looking for a pair of over-ear headphones? Perhaps a set of earbuds to soundtrack your daily workout? Whatever you’re in the market for, we’ve handpicked and tested a selection of quality headphones and earbuds, from top tier titans to wallet-friendly winners.
This is the first pair of Yamaha headphones we’ve had in our hands-on (and on our heads) and we’re not disappointed. The larger than usual ear cups lead to a comfortable fit; we had these on for the best part of six hours without any fatigue at all. Eschewing touch control for a more traditional button configuration, the controls on either cup include Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), power, play/pause and volume. Where the E700As excel is on the audio front with warm, spacious sound that hits the mark across multiple genres of music; these compete with some of the best headphones we’ve tested. The ANC here is good, too, offering options for both full cancellation and ambient noise. As an all-rounder sitting in the top-tier category of headphones, the E700As are scoring runs for fun.
What we love: A great build, excellent sound and comfort. The E700As are the industry’s best kept secret.
At a glance: Colour: Black Type: Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: Over-Ear
Noise-Cancelling? Active Noise Cancelation Battery life: 30 hours + Wired option: Yes Charging: USB-C
Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700
These state-of-the-art over-ear headphones employ a range of Bose advancements to astonishing effect. A microphone array inside and outside the earcups monitor ambient sound and process an opposite signal for noise cancellation. It’s sophisticated enough to deliver 11 levels of sound control, from full transparency though to full noise cancellation. To build a sound stage for the ears, proprietary TriPort acoustic headphone structure vents the earcups, creating an acoustic space for maximum depth and clarity. If the audio credentials aren’t enough, the Bose 700 voice pickup system uses four microphones that work in tandem with noise cancellation, for clear calls and talk even in busy surroundings. All these impressive features are housed in a stylish form factor; an artfully contoured steel headband fits securely, while an underside of generously portioned foam-covered silicone provides comfort. The right earcup features capacitive touch for volume, calls and music, with voice assistant accessed via a push button.
What we love: This is a seriously advanced headset, with an expansive audio field that makes listening anywhere an absolute pleasure.
At a glance: Colour: Black, Triple Midnight Type: Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: Over-ear Noise-Cancelling: Active Noise Cancellation Battery life: Up to 20 hours Wired option? Yes Charging: USB-C
Marshall Major IV
Unlike many brands that apply the company badge and rely on it to sell product, Marshall’s forays outside of its traditional amplifier bent have consistently delivered quality results. Leaning into a 55-year music heritage, these headphones boast custom-tuned drivers to bring the best out of your rock faves, and they don’t disappoint. The rugged Marshall aesthetics have been a mainstay in the industry, and these are thoughtfully incorporated into the design of the Major IVs; improved ergonomics provide comfort for longer. The usual USB-C charger comes inclusive, but this set can also get juiced wirelessly (charging pad not included). Another nice feature is the ability to share your music with a friend via the Major IV’s 3.5 mm socket. This is a distinguished looking set that performs as well as you’d hope.
What we love: Fast charging plus 80 hours of Bluetooth playtime means you’ll be rocking out non-stop for days on end.
At a glance: Colour: Black Type: Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: On-Ear Battery life: 80 hours plus Wired option: Yes Charging: USB-C
The PXC550-IIs are not only gorgeous-looking, they’re also ergonomic, and you’re going to want them to be comfy because they’re designed with travelling in mind. Exceptional battery life means they can be glued to your melon for 30+ hours, and if you do happen to take them off, your music will pause until you put them back on again. The entire outer pad of the right earcup is an intuitive touchpad to adjust volume, activate transparent noise, or accept calls – and speaking of calls, the triple mic array makes for crisp-as-an-autumn-morning quality. With the ability to set different sound modes (including full noise-cancellation of course), Sennheiser are delivering total confidence for on-the-move users.
What we love: These noisemakers exceed expectations in the most important two tiers in the Hierarchy of Headphone Needs pyramid: super-comfortable earcups and impressively long battery life.
At a glance: Colour: Black Type: Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: Over-Ear – ideal travelling headphones Noise-Cancelling: ANC Battery life: 30 hours Wired option: Yes Charging: Micro USB
JBL Club 950NC
The ‘Club’ in JBL Club 950 does not refer to your ho-hum chess, glee or golf varieties – it concerns the vibrant night kind, where cutting-edge sound systems rule. And that’s precisely the vibe JBL are delivering here, in both comfortable and durable wireless over-ear fashion: expect clear, powerful, hi-res sound that makes you feel as if you’re right in front of the DJ booth. Bass is deep but also accurate to the track – though you can also turn it turbo with the Bass Boost function. Noise-cancelling-wise, get that proper transcendental dancefloor experience by blocking out the world entirely, or switch to Ambient Aware mode and let a little of the outside in.
What we love: Easy Bass Boost function and incredibly crisp, powerful sound mean these babies are your leading silent disco option.
At a glance: Colour: Black Type: Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: Over-Ear Noise Cancelling: ANC Battery life: 55 hours plus (22 with ANC on) Wired option: Yes Charging: USB-C
Marley Positive Vibration XL
Marley products epitomise thoughtful material use with a focus on sustainability. The Positive Vibration XL is no exception. It incorporates certified sustainable wood, recyclable aluminium, and fabric. While you can find these in the budget range of headphones, you’re getting good quality balanced sound here that belies the cost. The ear cups are fashioned from memory foam that not only gives a comfy fit, but they will also block out the noise. Well-built and reliable, and featuring a quick charge function, the Positive Vibration XLs are a good buy at this price point.
What we love: Make an environmental statement with these eye-catching headphones, without sacrificing on sound quality.
At a glance: Colour: Black Type: Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: Over-Ear Battery life: 24 hours Wired option: Yes Charging: USB-C
Audio-Technica are the go-to when you want quality build and features at an attractive price point, and this over-ear unit fits the bill. Decent 40mm drivers deliver outstanding bass, with Active Noise Cancellation processed via Audio-Technica’s own proprietary technology. The memory foam earpads add another layer of sound insulation. Intuitive controls for calls, playback and volume are on the earcup.
What we love: If you’re looking for your first pair of over-ear wireless, the ATH-ANC500BT will do the trick, thanks to the rich sound and feature set that includes Active Noise Cancellation.
At a glance: Colour: Black Type: Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1 Style: Over-Ear – Ideal for travelling Noise-Cancelling: ANC Battery life: Up to 20 hours Wired option: Yes Charging: USB-C
Jlab Studio ANC
Long battery life and comfort are at the forefront of the light Studio ANCs, headphones with a price tag that you won’t have to lie about. With ANC deactivated, you’re looking at an impressive 34 hours of battery life (which will still extend to 28 hours with ANC on). The ANC features one setting, activated with a single button, that will sufficiently dampen traffic sounds or noisy households.
What we love: The battery life is seriously impressive for budget headphones.
At a glance: Colour: Black Type: Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: On-Ear Noise Cancelling: ANC Battery life: 34 hours
Sony WF-1000 XM4
Whoa! If excellent noise cancellation is at the top of your list of must-haves (we’re looking at you, working from home parents), then you simply won’t find a better pair of ANC earbuds currently on the market – they even make a barking dog all but disappear! Touch-controls on the side will activate ambient noise, so you’re aware of what’s going on around you. And a neat feature, Speak-to-Chat, when activated, will automatically cut out music when it detects your voice. An exceptional fit will endure the most intense workouts, and protection with an IPX4 rating means you’re good for both sweat and inclement weather – and voice assist is included. When it comes to audio quality, these earbuds are superb, rivalling over-ear headphones, with the default balance right on the money. While they’re at the high-end of the price range, they stand peerless in class.
What we love: Everything!
At a glance: Colour: Black and silver Type: True Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: In-ear Battery life: Eight hours plus two full charges in the case Noise-Cancelling: ANC IPX Rating: 4 Charging: In Case – USB-C
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
The word that immediately springs to mind when we open the TW2s is classy. Right down to the fabric charging case, these second-generation earbuds are stylish and score points right across the board. Complete with four interchangeable tip sizes to compensate for all ear sizes, the intuitive touch controls are among the most responsive we’ve tested. They sat comfortably in ear for over six hours without any issues, and the call quality is excellent. The sound doesn’t disappoint either – clean, clear, and detailed, the balance, including the bass, is exceptional. Rounded out with good ANC functionality, the TW2s belong right at the top of the shelf.
What we love: The sound quality is flawless.
At a glance: Colour: Triple Black, Glacier White and Baltic Blue Type: True Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: In-Ear Sports Battery life: Seven hours (less with ANC on) and an additional 21 hours with the case Noise-Cancelling: ANC IPX Rating: 4 Charging: In Case – USB-C
Bose Sports True Wireless Earbuds
Designed specifically (but not exclusively) for sports, these snug-fitting earbuds would survive a Metallica mosh pit and not fall out. Extremely comfortable to wear, even over long periods of time, all the controls here are on the touch panel, including smart assist should you need to know the weather report before going on a run. Talking of which, these are rated IPX4, so you’re good for sweat and rain. Most sports earbuds lean heavily into the bass, but that’s not the case here – these deliver a well-balanced performance that kick just as well with The Strokes as they do with Dua Lipa. The Bose Sports are an ideal fitness companion that will safely see you through any workout.
What we love: A perfect fit for active folk, with great sound to boot.
At a glance: Colour: Triple Black, Glacier White and Baltic Blue Type: True Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: In-Ear Sports Battery life: Five hours – a 15-minute charge from the case will restore two hours of play IPX Rating: 4 Charging: In Case – USB-C
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Another entry in the illustrious camp of in-ear ANC earbuds, there’s a lot to love about the sterling Galaxy Buds Pro beginning with a comfortable fit. We ran with these in and the earbuds remained firmly in place throughout. Intuitive touch controls are on point with accurate response and Samsung’s proprietary voice assistant, Bixby, is on hand to take care of any requests with a simple, “Hey Bixby”. Prepare yourself for rich, detailed, studio-quality sound with a goosebump-inducing bass tone – you certainly know you’re in premium territory. Finally, intelligent noise cancellation is designed to switch between full music immersion and ambient sound by monitoring internal and external noise without having to adjust the volume. They also feature voice detect technology and will automatically switch from full ANC to ambient noise when triggered by voice.
What we love: Amplified ambient sound is such a blessing, but the best part about these earbuds is how vivid, warm and bright the sound quality truly is.
At a glance: Colour: Black, Violet and Silver Type: True Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: In-Ear Battery life: Five hours with ANC on with an additional 2.6 charges from the case Noise-Cancelling: ANC IPX Rating: 7 Charging: In Case – USB-C
Jabra Elite 85T
Light in weight, the 85T in-ears feature an easy-to-use slider in the Jabra app, offering several levels of noise cancellation. To achieve this, there are two dedicated ANC mics in each bud: one to catch outside noise (traffic, loud voices, other people’s music), and one to catch the noise from inside your ear (the sound of you chewing pistachios, or your own breath as you sprint up a hill). Calls are a cinch, with three mics guarded by excellent wind protection, and they’re sweat- and rain-proof too. Thanks to a pair of 12mm speakers, the 85Ts offer a rich, well-defined sound with finely balanced bass that won’t rattle your eardrums like its predecessor did. Overall, the 85Ts are outstanding earbuds that will compete with the big hitters at the top of the tree.
What we love: Tiny but mighty, there’s so much going on in this compact design – and the dedicated ANC chip means noise-cancellation power doesn’t suffer for size.
At a glance: Colour: Titanium Black, Dark Grey and Gold Beige Type: True Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1 Style: In-Ear Battery life: 5.5 hours with an additional 25 hours in the case Noise-Cancelling: ANC IPX Rating: 4 Charging: In Case – USB-C
To ensure a perfect fit, these Yamaha in-earbuds ship with four different eartips – XS/S/M/L. There’s further personalisation via two sizes of silicone sleeves. The TW-E3As boast Listening Care, a unique Yamaha feature to enhance the experience. When on soft volume it often feels like the high and low ends aren’t as audible. That’s why we tend to crank it up. Listening Care draws on Yamaha’s enormous experience and the proprietary process goes beyond EQ, creating an expansive and rewarding audio palette even when the volume is down.
What we love: Generous accessory set for customisation, and Listening Care makes the TW-E3As perfect for an intimate listening experience, whether you’re at home or out and about.
At a glance: Colour: Black, White and Blue Type: True Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: In-Ear Battery life: Six hours and an additional 18 hours with the case IPX Rating: 5 Charging: In Case – USB-C
Marley Redemption ANC
Consistent with its focus on sustainability, the housing for these Marley earbuds is made from bamboo, recycled wood fibres and recycled silicone. It’s IPX4 rated, which is the benchmark for sweat resistance, making the Redemption ANCs perfect for workouts and the great outdoors. The bamboo trimming is not just for looks, it also provides intuitive tap control for playing music, taking calls and voice command. A smaller price tag doesn’t mean a compromise on sound quality – the Redemptions are solid performers with active noise-cancelling and ambient noise as part of the package.
What we love: Perfect for a workout in the great outdoors, thanks to IPX4 sweat resistance and Active Noise Cancellation.
At a glance: Colour: Black Type: True Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: In-Ear Battery life: 5 hours with ANC/7 hours ANC off. 15 – 20 hours total with charging case Noise Cancelling: ANC IPX Rating: 4 Charging: In Case – USB-C
JBL Endurance Peak II TWS
The JBL Pure Bass signature sound brings out the bottom end from your favourite workout tunes. It’s teamed with their trademarked Powerhook form factor for a secure fit, even at your most active. All this adds up to buds that will stay on and keep you fired up when the workout gets intense. The Endurance Peak II is not just a one trick pony though, calls and voice assistant can be accessed hands free, and furthermore Dual Connect provides touch control on either buds.
What we love: Adjustable Powerhook design provides an ergonomic and personal fit, so you can do just about anything with the Endurance Peak IIs, all with full bass pumping! IPX7 rating means you can even go a meter deep in water.
At a glance: Colour: Black and White Type: True Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: In-Ear Battery life: 6 hours/ 24 additional hours with charging case IPX Rating: 7 Charging: In Case – USB-C
Melbourne-based Nura approaches the entire audio experience in a unique way by using technology to totally personalise sound to the user. Last year we reviewed the brilliant NuraPhone earphones, and this year we’ve got out hands on the earbud variant, NuraLoop. NuraLoop delivers its Personalised Sound feature, an intelligent self-learning engine that adapts to your listening preferences over time. With just 10 minutes of charging you’ll get two hours playback, while a full charge gives you 16-plus and your charge is cleverly preserved whenever you take the earbuds off, because they’ll automatically power down. Controls are accessed via a touchpad on the earbuds, and in terms of comfort, the earhooks are malleable and provide a supportive fit for heads of all sizes. If you’re serious about getting the best-suited audio playback personalised to your own ears, these warrant closer inspection.
What we love: These earbuds will learn your preferred levels of noise cancellation and bass immersion, plus the TouchDial controls on each bud are a breeze to use.
At a glance: Colour: Black Type: Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: In-Ear Battery life: 16 hours Noise-Cancelling: ANC IPX Rating: 3 Charging: In Case – USB-A
JLab JBuds Air ANC
Lighter than most earbuds, the JBuds Air ANC come with three different silicone tips for the perfect fit. The point of difference here is the three EQ settings – JLab Signature, Balanced, and Bass Boost offer complete versatility for every taste. There are also three settings for the ANC, too, with Off, On and Be Aware for when you need a little ambient noise such as in high traffic areas. Stylish and comfortable, the long battery life is a big plus.
What we love: The custom EQ settings provide a scope of sound for all users.
At a glance: Colour: Black Type: Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Style: In-Ear Noise Cancelling: ANC Battery life: 8.5 with an additional two charges in the case IP Rating: IP55 Charging: USB-C