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Best headphones for the holidays 2017

Here's a wide selection of top wireless -- and a few wired -- headphones to choose from this holiday season.

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David Carnoy
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1 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bowers and Wilkins PX

Bowers and Wilkins' PX wireless headphone is the first to include noise-canceling. While its noise-canceling isn't quite as strong as Bose's, its design and sound are top notch.

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2 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose has added a dedicated button for connecting to Google Assistant to its excellent QuietComfort 35 wireless noise-canceling headphone that doubles as an advanced headset for making calls. Otherwise the headphone hasn't changed. The original earned an Editors' Choice award from CNET.

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3 of 40 David Carnoy/CNET

Sony WH-1000XM2

Sony's WH-1000XM2 is Sony's answer to Bose's QuietComfort 35 II. It's an impressive sounding wireless Bluetooth headphone that also features active noise-cancellation technology that's on par with Bose's, as well as some nifty extra features geared toward frequent travelers.

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4 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless

V-Moda's latest Bluetooth headphone is its best model yet, with improved sound, battery life and comfort. Featuring excellent build quality, it's one of the best premium over-ear wireless headphones, although it doesn't feature active noise-canceling.

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5 of 40 Bose

Bose Soundsport Free

The Soundsport Free totally wireless earphones are Bose's answer to Apple's AirPods. They're more expensive but sound richer and fit more securely in your ears.  

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6 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Beats Studio3 WIreless

Although the design stayed the same, Beats upgraded its Studio Wireless headphone with new drivers and components, as well as much improved noise-canceling, battery life and slightly better sound. 

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7 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose SoundSport Wireless

The Bose SoundSport Wireless is a great wireless sports headphone; the company has just updated it in September to account for a small flaw that impacted a small percentage of units.

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8 of 40 James Martin/CNET

Apple AirPods

Apple's totally wireless AirPods may look a little strange, but they're designed to automatically pair with the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, and other Apple devices running iOS 10, WatchOS 3 or MacOS Sierra (they're Bluetooth headphones, but Apple devices get access to special features).

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9 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

Sennheiser's PXC 550 WirelessSennheiser PXC 550 Wireless is a worthy competitor to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. Like that model, it's very comfortable and features impressive noise cancellation and works very well as a headset for making calls.

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10 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Jaybird Freedom 2 Wireless

Jaybird's Freedom 2 wireless sports earphones feature new ear tips that offer a more secure, comfortable fit. There's also a new improved cord adjustment system. These seemingly small changes make a big difference.

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11 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

AfterShokz Trekz Air

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

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12 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony MDR-1A

Sony's MDR-1A is one of CNET's top-rated over-ear wired headphones and delivers excellent sound in a very comfortable design.

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13 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

BeatsX

If you're looking for a more traditional wireless alternative to the AirPods, the BeatsX is a fresh take on the neckband-style Bluetooth headphone.

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14 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

B&O Play by Bang and Olufsen Beoplay H4

The Beoplay H4, B&O Play's entry-level over-ear Bluetooth headphone, doesn't have much in the way of bells and whistles. However, it sounds very good and it's comfortable.

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15 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose QuietControl 30

Bose QuietControl 30 is essentially the wireless version of the company's QuietComfort 20 headphone -- an in-ear model that also features active noise-cancellation.

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16 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Beats Solo 3 Wireless

Thanks to having been updated with Apple's new low-energy W1 custom Bluetooth chip, Beats' Solo 3 Wireless has much better battery life than its predecessor. Its impressive 40 hours of battery life is tops for a Bluetooth headphone.

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17 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

Sennheiser's Momentum Wireless is arguably the best-sounding wireless Bluetooth headphone. It also features active noise-canceling, though it's not up to the level of Bose's noise-canceling. This headphone started out at $500, but has come down to a bit less in some places.

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18 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Jaybird X3

With the X3, Jaybird fixed some of the small issues that bothered owners of the X2. Jaybird sometimes discounts it 25 percent, making it a better value.

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19 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose SoundTrue Ultra

Bose's SoundTrue Ultra may be the most comfortable in-ear noise-isolating headphone ever made. It also sounds excellent.

Plantronics BackBeat Fit
20 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Plantronics BackBeat Fit

Plantronics BackBeat Fit has been out for almost two years, but it remains a top wireless sports headphone and has proven to be durable. It started out at $130 but can now be had for less online in the US.

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21 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Plantronics BackBeat 500

If you're looking for an affordable on-ear headphone not named Beats that's attractively designed and sounds very good, Plantronics' BackBeat 500 fits the bill.

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22 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Urbanears Stadion

The Stadion is an interesting take on a wireless sports headphone, with a design that's reminiscent of a coiled telephone cord that creates a secure, comfortable fit.

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23 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Jabra Elite Sport

Jabra's Elite Sport is a totally wireless earphone with an integrated heart-rate sensor.

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24 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 300

Plantronics' latest affordable in-ear headphone is lightweight and fits securely. It's meant to be a more everyday headphone that can be used at the gym. However, we didn't find it ideal for running due to the design of its inline remote.

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25 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Skullcandy Grind Wireless

The Skullcandy Grind Wireless is an on-ear model and one of the better values in Bluetooth headphones.

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26 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

iFrogz Impulse Duo

This is one of iFrogz' higher-end in-ear headphones but it's still quite affordable and sounds very good for its price point.

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27 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 is one of the best values in noise-canceling wireless headphones.

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28 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Beats Powerbeats 3 Wireless

Beats' Powerbeats Wireless 3 improves slightly on the design of the popular Powerbeats 2 Wireless sports headphone and adds Apple's energy-efficient W1 custom Bluetooth chip, which makes connecting the headphones very easy (for Apple users) and significantly boosts battery life.

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29 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

JBL Everest Elite 750NC

The JBL's Everest Elite 750NC, JBL higher-end wireless noise-canceling headphone is significantly improved over the previous version, with a more comfortable fit and better sound.

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30 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

B&O Play BeoPlay H7

B&O Play's BeoPlay H7, an around-ear model, is stylish, comfortable and sounds very good.

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31 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Urbanears Hellas

Urbanears Hellas are sporty headphones with touch controls at a reasonable price.

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32 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

JBL E55BT

JBL's E55BT isn't a total bargain, but it's a midpriced over-ear model that delivers solid performance and decent comfort.

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33 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Jabra Halo Smart

Jabra's Halo Smart is a neckband-style wireless headphone that performs very well as a headset for making cell phone calls, has good battery life, and delivers decent sound quality for music so long as you can get a tight seal from the included ear buds.

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34 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Focal Listen Wireless

Focal's Listen Wireless headphone is the Bluetooth version of the French company's audiophile-grade wired headphone.

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35 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Audeze Sine

Audeze's Sine is the company's most affordable full-size planar-magnetic headphone. This type of driver technology is known for delivering impressively clean, distortion-free sound. The Sine's sound is superb for the price, although some people might wish the comfortable were a little more comfortable. It comes come with two wired options: one with a traditional miniplug, and one with Apple's Lightning connector.

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36 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony H.ear On Wireless

Sony's new H.ear On Wireless NC comes in several eye-catching colors and features wireless Bluetooth streaming, as well as active noise-cancellation. It's not quite as impressive as Sony's MDR-1000, which costs more, but it does deliver excellent performance for Bluetooth.

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37 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Plantronics BackBeat Sense

Plantronics' BackBeat Sense is one of our favorite on-ear wireless headphones, and it also performs very well as a wireless headset.

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38 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Beyerdynamic T51i

The Beyerdynamic T51i remains one of our favorite on-ear wired headphones.

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39 of 40 Sarah Tew/CNET

Skullcandy Ink'd Wireless

Skullcandy's Ink'd Wireless is an affordable, lightweight neckband-style headphone that sounds surprisingly good.

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Video: Best headphones for holiday 2017

These headphones will warm your ears this holiday season.

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