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Choosing the right headphones can be a tricky business. Most people simply head to the store and pick up the first pair they find that are cheap and look like they sound halfway decent. Ideally, though, it's better to invest a little more and walk away with a pair that'll look good, sound even better, and last for the long haul.
We've tested hundreds of headphones here at Reviewed and found the absolute best for every occasion.
1. The best earbuds: 1More E1001 Triple Driver
These in-ears have the looks and sound of earbuds that cost twice as much. They really make a point to emphasize the bass notes, which really help bring your music to life. If you're worried about durability, the cord is reinforced with nylon and kevlar, so you're not going to find them jumbled up in a big knot at the bottom of your bag (the included case will also help with that). These earbuds are especially comfortable with 6 sets of silicon ear-tips and 3 sets of memory-foam ear-tips.
2. The best wireless headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Bose has a devoted following, and with a pair of headphones like the QuietComfort 35 Series II, that's not surprising. The active noise cancellation (ANC) cuts out a wide range of noises from deep train rumbling to higher-pitched A/C humming. The headphones are light and comfortable enough that they can be worn for hours at a time, although you may notice some heat or sweat build-up from where the cushy leather pads meet the sides of your head. The 20-hour battery life is also a huge selling point and you can also activate and command Google Assistant. The price is steep; if you have a little bit more disposable income and want an outstanding pair of headphones, this is the pair for you.
3. The best true wireless earbuds: Apple AirPods
If you’ve ever bought an iPod or an iPhone and used the iconic white earbuds that were included, you pretty much know what to expect when it comes to look, feel, and fit of Apple's AirPods. What might surprise you, however, is just how much better the AirPods sound than their wired counterparts. They sound great, they're super convenient, and they run rings around the other true wireless earbuds we tested despite being relatively affordable.
4. The best noise-canceling headphones: Sony WH-1000XM3
Sony’s WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones are expensive, but you won’t be disappointed with your purchase. The active noise-cancellation technology blocks out a variety of sounds at varying decibel levels. Sony allows the headphones’ users to customize the level of noise-cancellation they experience: This lets you hear as much—or as little—of the world around you as you desire. They're incredibly user-friendly, they sound great, and fit well.
5. The best headphones for running or the gym: JLab Audio Epic Sport Wireless
The Epic Sport comes with JLab's signature bendable earhooks, multiple eartip sizes, and three types of cush fins to help the buds stay in place. With an IP66 rating (able to withstand both dust and "powerful water jets"), the Epic Sport should be able to withstand rigorous workouts. Another high point is the satisfyingly long battery life which, in our experience, clocks in at over 12 hours.
6. The best gaming headphones: SteelSeries Arctis Pro
One of the more comfortable gaming headsets on the market, the Arctis Pro uses a flexible suspension band to customize size, with super soft ear cups that stay comfortable even for hours—even while wearing glasses. Sure, comfort alone isn't enough of a reason to buy such an expensive headset, but both music and games sound fantastic using the Arctis Pro, too.
7. The best kids headphones: Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet Kids Headphones
If you're looking for the best volume-limited headphones for kids, the Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet Kids Headphones are the best that we've tested. These are a bit pricy, but they offer a killer feature: noise cancellation. Though it may seem like a luxury feature for many children, it's an awesome addition for kids who have sensory issues. For other children, the noise-cancellation helps reduce the urge to crank the volume to the absolute max which is critical in protecting your child's hearing.
8. The best headphones under $200: Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7
When headphones are able to balance form and function, we stand up and take notice. Audio-Technica’s ATH-MSR7 do just that by combining thick memory foam padding, an aluminum/magnesium housing, and rich, consumer-friendly sound to create a fantastic overall value. At this price point, consumers expect to be wowed by the headphones' comfort, sound, and features; the Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 headphones check all of the right boxes.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed.com: The best headphones of 2019