October was a stellar month in our headphones lab. We tested 10 pairs and half of them were good enough to be Best Buys.
Our exhaustive tests use an expert listening panel to pick out exemplary headphones that will impress even the most discerning listener.
Whatever style you prefer, we’ve got you covered with in-ear, on-ear, over-ear and wireless headphones running our testing gauntlet. And Sony fans will have lots of options to pore over, with no less than six new reviews. Read on to see which ones came out on top and which ones you should leave alone even if you spy them with a reduced sticker on Black Friday.
Best Buy headphones – see which models we recommend.
A flagship Sony pair of over-ear headphones packed to the brim with features, these aim to provide the ultimate wireless headphone experience. In the search for perfection, they even sense the atmospheric pressure around you and optimise their sound settings accordingly, whether you’re on a plane or in your living room.
Sporting noise cancelling, microphone, NFC (near-field communication) and the ability to tweak the soundscape through a smartphone app, these headphones desire to please even the most demanding audiophile. Can’t hear the announcement at the train station? Just hold your hand to one of the touch-sensitive cups to let in sound from around you.
Can Sony really pull all this off and send you to audio heaven? Find out in our Sony WH-1000XM2 review.
Sony WH-H800 h.ear on 2 Mini
For those who don’t want the bulk of over-ear headphones, Sony’s also got you covered with this on-ear pair. Part of the h.ear 2 range with great looks, you’ll be able to fit these in your bag more easily.
They also have the same ability to tweak the sound profile through a smartphone app, so there’s no need to worry about whether they will be too bassy out of the box. NFC support and a built-in microphone are here too, plus the claim of a highly respectable 24-hour battery life.
But do they have a good seal to block out background noise? Our experts give their verdict in the Sony WH-H800 h.ear on 2 Mini review.
Sony WI-H700 h.ear in 2 Wireless
If you want a listening experience on the move, Sony gives you this feature-packed in-ear experience. Available in a wide range of vibrant colours, the WI-H700’s neckband packs in the electronics.
But Sony has aimed not to compromise on flexibility with the lightweight design. This model has the ability to play high-end digital music files, NFC and, again, it can adjust the sound profile via Sony’s smartphone app for headphones.
Sony says the battery lasts seven hours but this is nowhere near the impressive 24 hours it claims for its WI-C400 headphones, also just tested.
The WI-H700 is just one of six new Sony headphones in our latest tests. Can Sony maintain a high standard across so many different sets? Check out the Sony WI-H700 h.ear in 2 Wireless review to find out.
At only £10, these are one of the cheapest pairs of earbuds we’ve ever tested. They have a simple, lightweight design for those who just want to plug in and listen. JVC claims the earbuds are like a ‘spongy marshmallow’ for maximum comfort.
They’re aimed at anyone on a tight budget who wants a pair to carry around all day without having to worry about charging a battery.
There’s no microphone or in-line controls, but if you only listen rarely or frequently lose your headphones, could this be the way to go? See what we thought in our JVC HA-FX38M review.
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless
Skullcandy typically aims at the lower end of the market, but at £100 this pair is priced at the serious end. Brimming with bass, this over-ear pair claims to have a battery life to last throughout the day, with fast-charging technology to minimise any downtime.
Is this pair a good alternative to more expensive headphones from bigger brands? The Hesh 3 Wireless has some strong competition in this price bracket.
See how it measures up in our Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless review.
Aiming to please audiophiles, Audio-Technica has the ambition to provide crystal-clear sound to even the most discerning ear. This wireless Bluetooth pair’s signature feature is sending the digital music directly to its speakers without converting it to an analogue signal first. Audio-Technica says this gives the pair pure sound that is a cut above the rest.
With a top-end price of £295 and a surprisingly middling 15-hour battery life, does this pair deliver a new level of audio design?
Read what we found when we put it through its paces in our Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT review.
Even more headphones tested
As well as the models featured above, you can also read new reviews of the following: