In this day and age, everyone needs a pair of headphones. They are a natural extension to all our mobile devices—smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Thankfully, there are a lot of different styles of headphones to choose from for every budget. Deciding which pair is right for you depends on how you plan to use them, and how much you want to spend. Let’s help you find the best headphones for every budget.
What to consider to pick the right headphones
With so many headphone choices, there are several factors to consider. Some may be more important to you than others. Let’s break down those factors to narrow down your choices.
Do you consider yourself an audiophile? If you answer yes, look for headphones with a corresponding app. You’ll be able to adjust the sound quality using their built-in EQ and effects like Bass Boost. If you’re not an audiophile, the sound quality might not matter as much. Most headphones today sound great out of the box. However, some people prefer more bass whereas others may want a more neutral soundscape.
Comfort and fit
In my opinion, this is the most important factor to consider. You should be able to wear headphones or earbuds without any discomfort. They also need to stay securely on or in your ear. You should be able to wear any pair of headphones for at least 30 minutes without any discomfort. Weight and fit are very important considerations for a positive listening experience.
Wired vs. wireless
If you’re connecting to a smartphone, it’s probably best to go wireless. Many smartphone manufacturers are ditching the headphone jack. Wired headphones are a good option if you’re connecting to a laptop. Some models offer both wired and wireless options. This gives you the best of both worlds.
How many hours do you expect to use the headphones per day? Do they come in a charging carrying case? These are some things to consider to determine the battery life you require. I also recommend you create a dedicated charging station, preferably beside your smartphone. With good, consistent charging habits, battery life is never an issue.
Noise cancellation is a popular feature in many headphones. Determine beforehand if you need to be able to cancel out noise. For runners and cyclists, I recommend avoiding noise cancellation since you want to be able to hear your surroundings. Noise cancellation is best used indoors. Still, be mindful of when and where you use this feature.
There are some additional features that people should consider. One is the touch controls or tactile buttons. It really comes down to personal preference. I’ve tried both and I prefer a physical button. I find touch controls to be a hit-or-miss. A physical button never lets me down. Water resistance is another feature worth considering. Check the IP rating, especially if you plan to use them during workouts or outdoors.
Best headphones for every budget in 2023
Best budget headphones (under $100)
You don’t have to break the bank to get a reliable pair of headphones. Let’s look at two headphones with different designs that are both under $100.
The JBL Tune 500BT is a reliable pair of over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones. It features a foldable design with soft ear cushions. With 16 hours of playtime, it’s perfect for all-day use. Under the hood, you’ll have 40mm drivers with JBL Pure Bass Sound, a mic to take calls, and a multi-function button for access to Siri and Google Assistant.
The Jabra Elite 3 is perfect for people looking for a good value pair of earbuds. It’s perfect for the gym, running, or riding a bike. Using Jabra’s HearThrough function, you’ll be aware of your surroundings. With 7 hours of battery life, it will last through a solid workout session with 21 hours of more power with the case.
Best mid-range headphones ($150-$250)
There are a lot of great mid-range headphones for people looking for more features and performance. Here are two that are worth considering.
If you’re into bass and want a pair of over-ear Bluetooth headphones, the Skullcandy Crusher Evo is for you. It features an Adjustable Sensory Bass and 40 hours of life on a single charge. You can also track it with the Tile app if and when you misplace it.
Audiophiles looking for superior sound quality inside earbuds should consider the Samsung Galaxy Buds2. They feature a slim, lightweight design that fits comfortably inside your ear. You might forget you’re wearing them at all. The Buds2 also feature voice detection. If you receive a call, the Buds2 will automatically switch from ANC to your call.
Best premium headphones (above $300)
Some people want the best of the best. If you’re looking for a pair of premium pair of headphones, you’ve come to the right place. Here are two that you should check out.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 is made for audiophiles. The ear cushions are made from leather and use a powerful new driver to provide that quintessential Sony sound. With 30 hours of wireless talk time, you can take calls, listen to music, or watch movies from your mobile devices. It’s for people who take audio seriously.
If you prefer earbuds and want the best sound possible, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II will be sure to impress. They feature high-performance drivers, digital signal processing, and ActiveSense technology to provide the best possible listening experience. Furthermore, voice prompts alert you when batteries are running low. The Bose Music app provides endless customization to create the perfect sound profile for you.
Find the right headphones for you at Best Buy
No matter the budget, there is a pair of headphones out there for you. First, decide on the type of headphone style you want. Earbuds are great for the gym while over-the-ear headphones are great for home and office use. No matter your budget, there is a pair of wireless headphones for you.