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Focal Headphones

As someone who's written about and tried lots of headphones, I can help you narrow down your choices.
Focal Headphones
Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Focal wireless Bluetooth headphones

Pair your mobile device and listen to your favorite music while you move around, without being tethered by a headphone cord.Go to products
Over-the-ear Headphones
Focal over-the-ear headphones

These headphones have large earcups that go around your ears, helping to seal out external sounds.Go to products
Headphone Amps
Focal headphone amps

These amplifiers send clean, robust signals to your high-performance headphones for lots of accurate detail. You'll get way better performance than you would if you just used the headphone jack on your computer or home receiver.Go to products
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How to shop for headphones

How do you plan to use your headphones? For travel or commuting? Workouts? Gaming? To block out distractions at the office? Or simply to relax and enjoy your favorite music at a thrilling level of sound quality?

Which form factor suits you best? Over-ear headphones surround the ears completely. On-ear headphones rest on them. In-ear headphones/earbuds fit securely inside the ear opening or canal.

Open-back headphones let air flow through the earcups. Their sound is spacious and natural, but some of it leaks out. And that can annoy the folks around you. Closed-back headphones keep sound from leaking in or out. 

Below you'll find tips on how to choose. To learn more, read our buying guides.

Bluetooth headphones

Bluetooth headphones let you listen without connecting a wire to your phone, tablet, music player, or computer. If your phone lacks a headphone jack, don't despair. The quality and reliability of wireless headphones have greatly improved. You'll find a wide range of models in all of the same styles as traditional wired headphones. True wireless earbuds (in-ear models that don't have a cord between the two buds) are the latest trend.

Noise-canceling headphones

Noise-canceling headphones contain circuitry that counteracts exterior sound. You'll enjoy clear sound, even at lower volumes, no matter how loud the world around you gets. Frequent flyers love noise-canceling headphones.

Sports headphones

Sports headphones are durable, sweat-proof in-ear Bluetooth models. Good ones are comfortable, yet fit snugly enough to stay put while you exercise. They have remote controls for your smartphone. Some are also noise-canceling. Look for models that let you mix in some ambient sound with your audio program. Sometimes it's not safe to block all awareness of the sounds around you.

Gaming headsets

Want better sound than your game console's stock headset can provide? Gaming headsets help you hear game soundtracks clearly and react to the subtle cues they present. A boom microphone lets you talk to other online players. Some models have a noise-canceling circuit built into the microphone. 

Every device with a headphone jack has a headphone amp inside. So why would you need a separate one? Because the amp inside your phone or computer is weak and can't bring out the best in a good set of headphones. A good headphone amp is an option that will make an average set of headphones sound above average. If you're going to invest in expensive audiophile headphones (especially a model that has high impedance), a headphone amp is a must. To learn more, read our headphone amp buying guide.