BrandExpand to view more details.
List of brands we tested in this review.
PriceExpand to view more details.
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 99 and 899
Type of fit
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". The design can also have an effect on noise reduction/cancellation.
Wired or wireless
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
This score is an assessment by a listening panel of the audio quality of the headphones when reproducing music, regardless of the noise-cancelling or isolation effectiveness.
enter value/s in increments of i between 14 and 96
Battery life (hours)
This is measured in hours. Note: turning off noise cancellation can increase battery life in some models.
enter value/s in increments of i between 2 and 80
Shop Ethical rating
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.
Listening score with noise cancelling on
We test the headphones' sound isolation effect with noise cancelling feature turned on.
enter value/s in increments of i between 0 and 100
This takes into account placing in or on ear, removing from ear, potential to accidentally fall out of ear, restrictiveness of the wire, suitability for left-handed users as well as those with weak grip, limited sight, limited hearing and colour-blindness.
enter value/s in increments of i between 35 and 80
Can be used to take phone calls
Whether the models on test can take a phone call, either through wireless Bluetooth or via a cable connection.
Digital assistant support
Do the headphones have built-in support for a digital assistant such as Google Assistant or Alexa? Some models use their microphones to activate the assistant on your phone but this is not the same as having the assistant built into the headphones. Models without this feature get a red cross. This data is a recent addition to the test which is why older models are listed as "Not tested".
A similar model is identical in most aspects except for a few. This means that a majority of its test results are identical so you can reasonably expect to get the same results from the model we tested, but for those aspects which aren't identical, we'll note these as 'Not tested' in the 'Compare all' table.
'Tested model' refers to models that are still current and available in the Australian market. You should be able to order this model through your local retailer, or find it online.
These models can't be found in retailers or online or are no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second-hand websites, or in second-hand shops. Test methods may change over time, so criteria that can't be directly compared will contain an N/A.
An identical model is exactly that. Performance characteristics will be identical and the only difference will be something trivial such as colour, which won't have an impact on performance.
These are models we haven't yet tested but that are available.
Included in this review
- CHOICE Expert Rating
- Listening quality score
- Listening score with noise cancelling on
- Listening score with noise cancelling off
- Comfort score
- Durability score
- Battery life
- Good points
- Bad points
- Shop Ethical rating
- Type of fit
- Wired or wireless
- Detachable cable
- Has controls on headphone or cable
- Type of controls
- Can be used to take phone calls
- Digital assistant support
- USB charging cable supplied
- Adapter for airplane use
- Transport bag
- Battery type
- Cable length (cm)
- Weight (g)