Headphones are available in a zillion styles, sizes, and price ranges. To help you cut through the clutter, we've assembled a list of top headphones by type and price.
While they may not be quite as comfortable as Bose's ultrapopular QC 15 headphones, the Harman Kardon NCs offer slightly better sound and have a built-in rechargeable battery to power the active noise-cancellation circuitry.
Monoprice's Noise Canceling Headphones are about 70 percent as good as the Bose QC15s for a little more than a third of the price.
Bose says Beats' Studio and Studio Wireless headphones, soon to be owned by Apple, copy five of its patents.
They're refurbished, but also backed by a one-year warranty. You'd pay at least $100 for them elsewhere.
Despite some downsides, including a high price tag, the Bose QuietComfort 20 offers the best noise cancellation in an in-ear headphone and should tempt frequent travelers looking for a more compact alternative to full-size noise-canceling headphones, such as the Bose QuietComfort 15.
This popular pair of cans lists for twice the price. It features inline controls and can fold up to ride inside the included carrying case.
With the freshly redesigned QC25 ($299.95), Bose has not only enhanced the sound and noise reduction of its flagship NC headpone, but made other small design improvements.
Bose filed suit against Beats in July, accusing the rival headphone and speaker maker of infringing five patents related to noise-canceling headphones.
Despite some downsides, including a high price tag, the Bose QuietComfort 20 offers the best noise-cancelling in an in-ear headphone.
The Sony XBA-NC85D is marginally effective at canceling noise and its disappointing sound quality does nothing to offset the exorbitant price.