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Headphones and earphones review

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Last updated: 22 March 2023


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Our expert audio testers thoroughly assess wired and wireless, in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphones to find the ones that:

  • have the best sound
  • are the most comfortable
  • are best at passive noise cancelling.

We've also partnered with Shop Ethical on this update to show the ratings the Ethical Consumer Group gives to each company.

Need to reduce distractions? Check out our noise-cancelling headphones review instead. 

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Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which headphones are foldable, and which have built-in remote controls for iOS and Android.

Our Recommended list will quickly show you which models come out on top.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    Recommended retail price at the time of testing. You may find better deals if you shop around.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 16 and 649

    Recommended products

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    Member only

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    Type of fit

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    In ear headphones are often called "buds". On ear headphones, which sit against your ear, and over ear headphones, which surround your ear, are often called "cans".

      Wired or wireless

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      Wired headphones connect to your device or stereo via a cable. Wireless headphones connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but have a band or cable connecting each can/bud. True wireless headphones connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and do not have a cable connecting each earbud (such as the Apple AirPods).

        Sound quality score

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        This accounts for 50% of the overall score and includes scores for speech, jazz, rock, pop and classical music.

        enter value/s in increments of i between 0 and 100

        Shop Ethical rating

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        Shop Ethical rates the environmental and social impact of the company (not the product) using independent sources. This rating is not included in our total score. N/A means there is no rating for that company.

          Included in this review

          Members-only access
          • CHOICE Expert Rating
          • Recommended
          • Sound quality score
          • Comfort and durability score
          • Audio enhancements score
          • Good points
          • Bad points
          • Price
          • Shop Ethical rating
          • Type of fit
          • Wired or wireless
          • Bluetooth support
          • Powered by battery
          • Takes phone calls
          • Digital assistant support
          • Controls on headphone or cable
          • Controls
          • Foldable
          • Travel case
          • Left/right inscription
          • Braille left/right inscription
          • Cable length (cm)
          • Weight (g)

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