How do you plan to use your headphones? For travel or commuting? Workouts? Gaming? To block out distractions the office? Or simply to relax and enjoy your favorite music at a thrilling level of sound quality?
Popular headphone types
Wireless Bluetooth headphones let you listen to music from your phone or other Bluetooth equipped device without a connecting cable between the headphones and your device. True wireless earbuds are in-ear models that don't have a cord between the two buds.
Noise-canceling headphones contain special circuitry that counteracts exterior sound. You'll enjoy clear sound, even at lower volumes, no matter how loud the world around you gets.
Sports headphones are durable, sweat-proof, and wireless. They fit comforatbly, but are snug enough to stay put while you exercise. Some are also noise-canceling. If you're a runner, look for models with adjustable noise cancellation that allow you to let in some ambient sound so you can stay aware of your surroundings.
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.
Over-ear headphones surround the ears completely. On-ear headphones rest on them. In-ear headphones 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.
For more detailed information, read our headphone buying guides.