Bose QuietComfort 20
Despite some downsides, including a high price, the Bose QuietComfort 20 offers the best noise-canceling in an in-ear headphone and should tempt frequent travelers looking for a more compact alternative to a full-size NC headphone, such as the Bose QuietComfort 15.
Beats Studio 2013 ( Red)
They may not be a bargain at $300, but the new Beats Studio headphones are lighter and better-built, and sound significantly better than the original Beats Studio model.
They're fairly pricey, but the combination of very good sound and a sleek, comfortable design, make the KEF M500s contenders in the $300 price class.
Despite atrocious cosmetic qualities, the insanely cheap Superlux HD681 headphones have a sound that aspires to greatness and only narrowly misses the mark.
The KEF M200s sound excellent, with clean, accurate sound, but they just won't fit some ears.
Plantronics Backbeat Go 2 ( Black)
While its short battery life keeps it from true greatness, the Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 is a superior wireless Bluetooth in-ear headphone.
They've been around since 1991, but the Sony MDR-7506s are still great sounding -- and fitting -- headphones for less than $100.
They may be close to 30 years old, but the comfortable fitting Sony MDR-V6s are arguably the best-sounding headphones for under $100.
Bose AE2w Bluetooth Headphones ( Black)
Despite a few question marks and a high price, the AE2w headphones are a very good-sounding Bluetooth pair that's lightweight and very comfortable to wear.
iLuv iEP322BLK City Lights ( Black)
For around $7, the iLuv City Lights are well-designed budget earphones, but they push the bass a little too hard at the expense of clarity.
JVC Gumy Plus ( Black)
At around $7, the surprisingly good-sounding and comfortable JVC Gumy Plus is a bargain.
PSB M4U 1
The PSB M4U 1 delivers first-class audiophile sound at home or on-the-go with your mobile device.
Audio-Technica ATH-CKP500 SonicSport ( Black)
Offering a comfortable, secure fit and strong sound for a reasonable price, Audio-Technica's ATH-CKP500 earphones are one of the better in-ear sports headphone models available.
Philips Fidelio M1 ( White)
While they fall short of delivering truly excellent sound, the well-designed Philips Fidelio M1 on-ear headphones are comfortable to wear and well-suited for day-to-day use.
Noontec Zoro HD True Sound ( White)
While their build quality is nothing special, the Noontec Zoro HD headphones improve on the original Zoros, offering audiophile-grade sound in a $100 pair of headphones.
While they're light on extras, the well-priced HiFiMan RE-400s offer excellent, accurate sound that's aimed at audiophiles on a budget.
Moshi Mythro ( Jet Silver)
The well-designed Moshi Mythro earbuds feature quality sound at an affordable price.
Pro-Ject Audio Systems Hear It One
Pro-Ject Audio Systems' first headphones sound decent, but their $129 price tag is out of line given the nothing-special build quality.
Harman Kardon NC
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.
Sure, the Beyerdynamic T90 is pricey, but no other less-expensive headphone can match the T90's combination of comfort, sound, and build quality.