The Best Headphones for 2022
Headphones come in all shapes and sizes, and let’s face it, choosing the right one can be a big decision for sound-lovers of all kinds. Whether you’re hoping to jam out to your favorite songs, block out the busy city life on your commute, or curl up with a scary movie at night, the quality of your headphones can end up shaping your whole experience. That’s why it’s important to find the right one for you.
We created this list to narrow down your options and give you some recommendations of our favorites. One of the overarching decisions is headphones vs earphones, as they will look, feel and produce a totally different auditory experience. So take a read-through and see which ones stand out to you.
Are headphones or earphones better?
The decision to buy a device that will allow you to enjoy your favorite music and movies, while also being versatile to accommodate working from home or working out, can be a tough one. There are pros and cons to different styles, and the right option is dependent on what the primary use of them will be. When shopping for the most versatile option, earphones tend to be the most accessible.
They have a minimalist design to look slick on video calls and are sure to stay in your ears during strenuous workouts. With noise-canceling features akin to those in headphones, these are probably the best option for anyone who wants a multi-purpose device for an active lifestyle. For a more work-heavy, stay-at-home use, headphones could be the way to go.
The Best from Beats: Beats Studio Buds
- Price: $149.95
- Best Features: Great sound quality, Active Noise Cancellation, Comfortable, Lightweight, Multiple Color Options, USB-C charging
- Reasons to avoid: Mediocre call quality, No H1 or W1 Wireless Chip to facilitate rapid pairing with Apple devices
These earbuds are a great option for anyone looking to have a lot of the features that come with the AirPod Pro’s, at the price of standard AirPods. The buds are lightweight and stemless, making them even smaller than Apple’s parallel. They are compatible with Apple’s Siri, though Android users will have to use the phone’s native voice assistant by tapping and holding the buds.
The Best from Bose: Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
- Price: $379
- Best Features: Great Active Noise Cancellation, Strong Battery Life, Slick Design
- Reasons to avoid: Pricey, No Folding Hinges
The price of these headphones is pretty steep compared to others on the market, but it certainly delivers the highest quality sound of all Bose alternatives. While the headphones themselves don’t fold, the ear cups can still be rotated so the headset can be worn comfortably around your neck. And they offer about 20 hours of constant playback.
The Best from Sony: WH-1000XM4
- Price: $348
- Best Features: Industry-Leading Noise Cancelation, Excellent Sound Quality, USB-C, 360 Reality Audio
- Reasons to avoid: Pricey
These top-notch Sony headphones bring just about everything you’d want to have in a set of headphones. Between some of the best noise-canceling features and sound quality on the market, these over-the-ear headphones are at the top of the headphone pyramid. They’re perfectly made for commuters and working from home, but less so for outdoor activities since they’re bulkier and more fragile.
The Best from JBL: JBL Live Pro+
- Price: $129.95
- Best Features: Adaptive Noise Cancellation, Ambient Aware and TalkThru modes, Clear Microphone For Great Call Quality, Access to Hey Google and Amazon Alexa
- Reasons to avoid: Subpar app experience, noise cancellation not as effective as other brands
These earbuds offer a similar experience to Apple AirPods, with a slightly longer battery life at 7 hours, and a case that is compatible with wireless charging. Comparable to AirPods in style and quality, these buds offer a comfortable fit, compact style, and high-quality sound.
The Best on a budget: JBL Tune 500
- Price: $24.95
- Best Features: Comfortable, Foldable, Access to Google Assistant and Siri
- Reasons to avoid: No volume controls, Significantly Lower Quality Than Pricier Counterparts
For budget headphones that still give you a robust auditory experience, the JBL Tune 500’s are a great option. The brand is known for its budget headphones, and are designed to be a comfortable fit with a bold sound. Of course, they’re not going to compare to the sound of the more expensive alternatives, but they certainly give you a bang for your buck.
The Best of the best: SONY WF-1000XM4
- Price: $278
- Best Features: Active Noise Cancelation, Built-in Alexa, Excellent sound quality, 8 hours battery, IPX4 Water Resistant
- Reasons to avoid: Price
These earbuds come with memory foam tips to maximize the noise-canceling features and offer the most comfortable experience earbuds could give. Pair that with the lengthy battery life, solid microphone quality, and water resistance, and these little earbuds turn out to be the best option on the market. If you’re willing to drop the dollars on them, they will be well worth it.
Not the best, but still impressive: AirPods
- Price: $175
- Best Features: Spatial audio, 30 Hour Battery Life With Case, Quality Active Noise Cancellation, Wireless Charging, Ease Of Use
- Reasons to avoid: No On-ear Volume Controls
We would be remiss not to include the infamous Apple AirPods on this list. And with the brand new model that just hit the stores, these earbuds are equipped with 30 hours of total charging time with the case and bring a new technology to the table: spatial audio.
Which is the best set of headphones in 2022?
Buying a set of headphones is a big commitment. Not only can they be a financial investment, but choosing the best quality and most fitting pair for your needs is important as they will likely be a part of your everyday life. That’s why it’s so important to narrow down what exactly you’ll be using them for, and do research based on that list. Hopefully, with the help of this list you’ve gleaned some insight for the best headphones for you. Happy headphone shopping!