Best headphoneWhen everyone in your family has their own digital entertainment preference, it can lead to a very noisy room. If Netflix is battling an audiobook battling the soundtrack to Hamilton at your house, the perfect solution to spending time together as a family is headphones for all! If you want to give the family a set of headphones, here are the best headphones for every budget.

Best headphone gifts for kids

Best headphone

I wanted to include this special category, to make sure there’s a kid-focused option for everyone. My criteria for a good pair of kid’s headphones are price, durability, and how comfortable they are.

Another important feature to look for is a built-in volume limiter, which will help keep their hearing safe. If you choose a pair with noise-cancelling you can have a conversation with your spouse without a million interrupting questions from your inquisitive child. That will make it easier to discuss dinner plans or birthday gift suggestions with your child none the wiser.

Best budget headphone gifts

You’ll be surprised at the variety of budget headphones available, but not all affordable headphones are equal. You might be tempted to go for a pair with a wide array of features, but resist that urge. As an example, it’s very hard for a budget pair of headphones to effectively deliver truly wireless sound with noise cancellation.

Instead, focus on the primary use for the headphones you’re giving. I’ve always been very happy with Skullcandy headphones as cost-effective and good-quality devices.

Best mid-price headphone gifts

For this category, you’re balancing features, appearance and affordability. Every good headphone maker knows there’s a market for mid-range devices, so start with a brand you trust like Beats or Sony. Keep in mind that the more features you want in a device, the more pressure you’re putting on your budget.


Best high-end headphone gifts

You’ll have access to the best features at the best quality with this tier of headphone pricing. These are some of the features you should consider.

Truly wireless

Regular wireless headphones are connected to each other by a wire that serves as an antenna. Truly wireless, on the other hand, has no wires at all. The variable to look for is battery life: the best truly wireless headphones will offer up to 20 hours of battery life.

Noise cancellation

In an improvement over passive noise cancellation, high-end headphones can offer active noise cancellation. They use software built into the headphones themselves to compensate for the noise around you, modifying the headphone sound to counteract the noise.

Smart assistant integration

When your headphones have smart assistant integration, they are compatible with the various virtual assistants like Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. A good pair of headphones will integrate with your existing digital setup and make the experience seamless.

Best headphone gifts for every budget

The simple trick to picking the right gift is knowledge. When you start with an understanding of what activities and scenarios your gift recipient will use the headphones in, you can narrow your choices down to the best options in your price range. And as always, the more research you do, the better prepared you’ll be.

You can find the best headphones for every budget on Best Buy.


  1. I can recommend the Jabra Elite Active 65t wireless headphones, which I got as a Christmas gift last year (there are 2 updated versions now, so it’s probably worth upgrading if you can afford it). The sound quality is more than sufficient for my needs, and the call quality was surprising – my mum said it was the clearest I’d ever sounded on a cell (Apple iPhone 6s). My husband bought them for me because I don’t like the look of airpods.
    Truly sweat- and rain-proof, and they have a hear-through setting that makes it safer to exercise outside. They also still work with only one earbud in (which is what I do if I’ll be crossing streets, etc). I previously had a pair of “wireless” headphones that were wired to each other and I hated running with them – they bounced on me constantly.

  2. Audio nut hear, nice article Chris, clearly intelligently targeted at the 90%. I second your recommendation on the Sennheiser’s, I love their headphones.

    Audio is a huge part of my life, and if anyone is ok with over ear wireless headphones (I know, the 10%, most people are looking for buds like this article highlights), I’d also recommend Sennheiser’s Momentum 3 Wireless cans, for a bluetooth headphone they are GREAT (bluetooth audio quality isn’t the same as a wired connection imo, or a truely balanced wired connection, but the Momentum’s are exceptional). But, I also have a pair of HD600’s that I refuse to give up on, so I’m clearly Sennheiser biased, I love their sound (they tend to be natural/balanced – no push/pull in the low, mid or high frequencies) you hear the audio as it was recorded and intended to be heard during original mix).

    A novelist eh, now I need to search for you to see if I can find something you’ve written.


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