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Don't Buy headphones

by Lewis Skinner

Which? Don't Buy headphones sound awful, offer little comfort and are particularly light on features. Our reviews reveal the in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphones to avoid.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Our expert lab tests separate the headphones with terrible sound that you should avoid from those recommended as Best Buy headphones.

Log-in or join Which? to unlock our full list of Don’t Buy products on this page.

What makes a Don't Buy set of headphones?

Which? has reviewed the latest headphones, including models by Apple, Beats, Bose and Sony, to help find the best headphones for you. Our in-depth testing means we can recommend those headphones that offer excellent sound quality and comfort and tell you which ones will mangle your music.

  • Our lab experts put every pair of headphones through the same set of tests, including sound quality, comfort, sound leakage and durability – so you'll know exactly what to expect.
  • We give every pair of headphones a Which? test score so you can immediately see at a glance, which are the best and worst, plus how each model compares to each other in features and specifications.
  • Our tests cover a range of brands, prices and headphone types; including in-ear, on-ear, over-ear, Bluetooth and noise cancelling.

Our Best Buy headphones sound great no matter what you are listening to. But we also find plenty of headphones that fall short in our tests - from big brand headphones with small sound to good looking sets that are literally a pain to wear.

Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We're not influenced by third parties and we don't accept freebies from product manufacturers or retailers. We buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

Find out which headphones are Don’t Buys and which are Best Buys and join Which? today.