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Headphones

Best headphones for the holidays

Here's a selection of the most giftworthy wireless -- and a few wired -- headphones this holiday season.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're looking for a new set of headphones to give as a gift this holiday season, the first thing you'll notice is that you're faced with a multitude of options. There's no shortage of headphones, which is why our "Best headphones for the holidays" round-up has so many products in it. 

You can check out that full round up, but I've also cobbled together this list of top picks for those who prefer brevity -- and fewer options.

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Best headphone for deal seekers: Tribit XFree Tune

Sarah Tew/CNET

You'd be hard pressed to find a better-sounding -- and better built -- full-size Bluetooth headphone for under $50 than the Tribit XFree Tune, which retails for $50 at Amazon (with case).

See it at Amazon

Best headphone for the road warrior: Sony WH-1000XM3

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Sony's WH-1000XM3, the third generation of Sony's excellent wireless noise-canceling headphones is more comfortable and has even better performance. It's currently our top-rated noise-canceling headphone.

See it at Amazon

Best headphone for someone who doesn't want any wires: Jabra Elite Active 65t

Sarah Tew/CNET

Jabra's Elite Active 65t are among the top truly wireless earphones and are superior to Apple's AirPods in some ways. The step-down Elite 65t earphones aren't quite as durable, but there isn't a huge difference in quality and they sometimes go on sale.

See it at Amazon

Best headphone for commuters who don't want full-size cans: Plantronics BackBeat Go 410

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Plantronics' new premium-sounding neckband-style BackBeat Go 410 features active noise canceling at a moderate price with one feature missing from Bose's QuietControl 30.

See it at Amazon

Best headphone for serious runners: AfterShokz Trekz Air

Sarah Tew/CNET

AfterShokz' bone-conduction wireless headphones gets better with each generation, and the Trekz Air is the company's best headphone yet.

The big benefit of the technology is that thanks to its open design, you can hear what's going on around you while listening to music or speaking on the phone. That openness allows runners and bikers to hear traffic, an important safety feature. And some race coordinators don't allow you to wear anything in your ears, so a headphone like the Trekz Air ($150 at Amazon) comes in particularly handy for people who need to listen to music while they run.

See it at Amazon

Looking for more picks? Check out our complete list below.

CNET's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Gift recommendations at all price points

Black Friday 2018: All of the best deals so far