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Latest Which? headphones test uncovers 11 Don’t Buys to avoid

Plus one new Best Buy pair revealed


Our recent headphones testing uncovered 11 Don’t Buy models you’ll want to avoid

Our latest headphones test uncovered a surprising number of Don’t Buy models, including some from brands you’d expect far better from. There was only one Best Buy model out of a batch including Sennheiser, Bose, Beats and Sony headphones. 

We tested a variety of in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphones so you can be sure you’re putting the right model on your Christmas shopping list. 

There are models from all the big brands, including the new Solo3 Wireless headphones from Beats and the Bose QuietControl 30 in-ear headphones, which allow you to customise the level of noise cancelling they do. There are also top-of-the-range wireless noise-cancelling models from Sennheiser (PXC 550) and Sony (MDR-1000X). 

Despite all the big-brand talent on display, we only found one model good enough to call a Best Buy, and there were 11 that we thought were so bad that they had to be Don’t Buys. 

To find out which models these were, take a look at our headphone reviews.

How we test headphones

We examine everything that you demand from your headphones, including sound quality, comfort and how well they work in real-life situations – so you’ll know exactly what to expect when you buy. 

We listen to a variety of music, including spoken word, pop, jazz and classical, and give ratings for each genre. We also measure sound leakage by using a test head and dummy torso. This helps us find out how much of your music people around you can hear. 

Any additional features, such as active noise cancelling and in-line remote controls, are also tested where appropriate. Only models that pass our tests with flying colours are awarded Best Buy status.

New headphone reviews

Here is the list in full of the latest models we’ve tested and reviewed. Click on the links to find out how they fared in the lab: 

In-ear headphones

On-ear headphones

Over-ear headphones

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