Monoprice 8323

The Monoprice 8323 Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style Over-the-Ear Pro Headphones are, hands-down, the best full-size, over-the-ear headphones you can buy on the cheap. I doubt anyone will think the mostly black-plastic pair of headphones has a luxury design, but the 8323s aren't the least bit flimsy or poorly made.
Updated:
Photo by: MonoPrice / Caption by:

RHA MA450

I haven't covered too many inexpensive earphones in this blog, mostly because I prioritize sound quality, and precious few under-$50 models cut it. The RHA MA450 really stands out in this crowded market, not just because it actually sounds pretty decent; the look and feel are outstanding, and RHA sells the MA450 with a three-year warranty. Reid and Heath Acoustics products are designed at its research and development center in Glasgow, Scotland.
Updated:
Photo by: RHA / Caption by:

Velodyne vPulse

Velodyne makes subwoofers -- great ones, in fact -- and the brand is now following a string of speaker manufacturers venturing into the headphone market: Klipsch, Polk, PSB speakers. The vPulse is the best-sounding under $100 pair of in-ear headphones I know.
Updated:
Photo by: Velodyne / Caption by:

Noontec Zoro

It's impossible to keep up with all of the new headphones crowding the market, but great-sounding headphones are still pretty rare. The Noontec Zoro is the rarest of the rare, an audiophile-oriented design that's affordably priced. It's one of the best-sounding full-size $100 headphones you can buy.
Updated:
Photo by: Noontec / Caption by:

Phonak Audeo PFE 132

Headphone manufacturers are hip to the fact that most people prefer headphones with pumped-up bass, so they rarely make truly accurate-sounding headphones. But what if you could buy a pair that gives you accuracy and extra bass when you want it? The Phonak Audeo PFE 132 ($239) is such a pair of headphones.
Updated:
Photo by: Phonak / Caption by:

HiFiMan HE-400

Though the $399 price tag exceeds the reach of audiophiles on a budget, the HiFiMan HE-400s are the best-sounding full-size, home headphones I've ever tested.
Updated:
Photo by: Hifiman / Caption by:

Beyerdynamic T-70

I usually prefer open-back, full-size headphones, but I really loved the closed-back Beyerdynamic T-70 ($595). The clarity is addicting, and closed-back headphones are what you need if you want to block environmental noise. The T-70 is an awesome set of headphones, and it's one of the most comfortable over-the-ear models I've ever had the pleasure of testing.
Updated:
Photo by: Beyerdynamic / Caption by:

Sennheiser RS 220 wireless headphone

The Sennheiser RS 220 headphones ($595) are the best-sounding, audiophile-grade wireless headphones you can buy; a full review is in the works.
Updated:
Photo by: Sennheiser / Caption by:

FitEar ToGo 334

Priced at $1,349 this handmade-in-Japan in-ear pair of headphones is the most expensive of its type I've heard, but it's worth it. The FitEar ToGo 334's clarity is off-the-charts amazing, and the stereo imaging is the best ever from an in-ear pair of headphones (review to come).
Updated:
Photo by: FitEar / Caption by:

JH Audio JH-3A amplifier/headphone system

The JH-3A ($1,748) is a complete amplifier/headphone system from Jerry Harvey Audio. The system includes a pair of JH 16 headphones that are custom-molded to your ears. Each earpiece has eight drivers (bass, midrange, and treble drivers). The amplifier sports analog and digital inputs with up to 24-bit resolution and 96kHz sampling rates. The sound is extraordinary.
Updated:
Photo by: JH Audio / Caption by:

Audeze LCD-3 headphones

During the course of writing the Audeze LCD-3 headphone ($1,945) review I brought them to a recording session to use as monitors, and they blew my mind. As impressive as the LCD-3s were at home -- and they were exceptional -- it was great to have the opportunity to hear the sound of a blues band playing live in the studio, and then hear their music over the LCD-3s. I have never heard a set of headphones that got even remotely close to the sound of live music the way this one does. Audeze's LCD-2 headphone ($995) delivers 80 percent of the LCD-3's sound. Both models are made in the U.S.A.
Updated:
Photo by: Steve Guttenberg / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

CNET Magazine

The Spring smart home issue is here

Find out what Sofia Vergara wants from her modern smart home. Get your copy today for big savings off newsstand prices.

Hot Products