Which headphones are the best 1

Headphones: tests & test winners

Whether over-ear, on-ear or in-ear, whether completely wireless or suitable for sports: the choice of the right headphones is always based on the purpose. We'll show you each best headphones from 7,191 tests. We evaluated the last one on. Our sources:

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Find the right headphones

Key facts at a glance:
  1. A distinction is made according to type, purpose and construction principle
  2. Closed headphones provide good shielding, practical for outdoor use
  3. Open headphones sound natural, but are less effective at shielding
  4. Best to try with shell headphones: on-ear or over-ear more comfortable?
  5. Bluetooth wireless headphones offer the greatest possible freedom of movement

Speakers, whether classic, connected via WLAN or Bluetooth, are sometimes too thick. With headphones, you get a more discreet transducer that is worn directly on or even in the ear. You hear and enjoy, no one else hears anything. The only question is: which headphones do I choose? Which type suits me, which model is the best? Not an easy decision, because the selection is huge. First of all, you should consider where, how and with which signal source the headphones will be used.

The NuForce BE Sport3 in-ear headphones sit securely in the ear even when jogging. You also save a connection cable - and you can move around freely. (Image source: amazon.de)

Inside, outside or doing sports? Headphone types and areas of application

Basically, a distinction is made between the range of compact earphones, which either sit in the ear cups or are pushed directly into the ear canal, and large and comparatively bulky shell headphones. A distinction is also made between hi-fi headphones for normal users, DJ headphones and studio headphones for sound professionals, noise-suppressing ANC headphones and gaming headsets for game fans. Headphones for the outer ear, including the increasingly popular in-ear headphones, are particularly suitable for mobile use on smartphones or portable audio players and on top of that for sporting activities because of their compact shape, while shell headphones are more comfortable to wear and so also in the Ensure relaxed music enjoyment in the living room. The construction principle of the padded shell headphones is also important.

A "reliable workhorse" for DJs that also puts a lot of pressure on in private: the closed Ultrasone Signature DXP headphones. (Image source: ultrasone.com)

Construction principle: closed, open and half-open headphones

A closed system completely shields the ear. Closed headphones are not air-permeable to the outside. No or only very little sound pressure can escape - this is probably one of the reasons why closed headphones are particularly popular these days. Tests show: The closed system ensures a powerful bass reproduction, conversely, ambient noises only reach the ear at a muffled level. This is important for the disc jockey, for outdoor recordings and generally whenever you want to enjoy your music as undisturbed as possible. However, wearing comfort is not for everyone, as there is no pressure equalization between the transducer and the environment. With prolonged use, this leads to uncomfortable pressure on the ears, and with over-ear and on-ear headphones, heat can build up under the shells.

Sounds airy, detailed and homogeneous - just not on the smartphone: the Hifiman Sundara open magnetostat headphones. (Image source: amazon.de)

At a open system the headphone cup is air-permeable. The sound pressure can escape to a greater or lesser extent to the outside and disturb the person sitting next to you, on the other hand the ear is not isolated from noises from the environment. An open system is not suitable for disc jockey, for outdoor use or for playing and recording in the recording studio. On the other hand, the more loosely fitting models are more comfortable to wear because, compared to a closed system, there is no heat build-up under the mussels. In addition, open headphones guarantee a spatial and transparent sound image. In short: you should use headphones based on the open construction principle if you want to enjoy your music in a quiet environment and cannot disturb anyone else. In the recording studio, open headphones are mainly used for monitoring and mixing.

The Beyerdynamic T1 sounds very precise and natural, also in the bass range, but is only partially suitable for outdoor use due to its semi-open construction. (Image source: amazon.de)

Also a semi-open system Can be worn comfortably for a long time, but better shields the ear from outside noise than an open system. In contrast to the high frequencies, the low frequencies can penetrate the outside, so the bass reproduction is more natural than with a closed system and the overall sound is a bit more "airy". This construction principle is also not really suitable for live use or for outdoor recordings.

Wearing comfort: supra-aural or circumaural?

Regardless of the construction principle, shell headphones are divided into supra-aural and circumaural systems. Of course, this also has an impact on wearing comfort: On-ear headphones are shaped in such a way that they sit directly and - depending on the size or weight of the model - relatively close to your ear. Place over-ear systems completely around the auricles. Usually the fit of a circumaural model is perceived as more comfortable; Ultimately, however, this is an individual decision and probably a matter of getting used to - it is best to test it yourself. Fit and fit are even more important with supra-aural headphones than with circumaural headphones, because supra-aural headphones can only develop their full sound potential if they are is optimally aligned. On-ear headphones are practical, they simply fit better in your pocket.

The Sennheiser HD 800 S is connected via a 6.3 millimeter jack or, rather unusual, symmetrically via a Pentaconn socket with a 4.4 millimeter jack. (Image source: sennheiser.com)

Connecting headphones: fixed, detachable or no cable at all?

Last but not least, the cable is important. So you have to ask yourself whether the cable - in addition to the smooth version there are spiral or reversible cables - should be connected on one or both sides, whether it is attached to the headphones or - useful in the event of a defect - can be easily replaced. A model with a 6.3 millimeter jack plug is suitable for use on a home stereo system, while a plug with a 3.5 millimeter diameter is required for portable playback devices. If you want to do without cables completely, you can use wireless headphones, but you have to accept interfering noises or hissing here from time to time. The range and battery life of the wireless models are also limited. Depending on the transmission technology, wireless headphones are divided into infrared, analog or digital wireless headphones. The latter group also includes, in principle, Bluetooth headphones and Bluetooth headsets.

Wireless headphones with a particularly long battery life


No pressure on the ears: with the AirPods Pro true wireless Bluetooth headphones, ventilation channels ensure pressure compensation. (Image source: apple.com)

What are the pros and cons of bluetooth headphones?

No annoying stripping: If you travel a lot, Bluetooth headphones definitely have advantages. The smartphone connects wirelessly, your freedom of movement is not restricted. In return, you are dependent on long-lasting batteries. If the battery drops to its knees, the music stops and you can no longer make calls. In many cases, but by no means always, a cable can then be connected. True wireless headphones are particularly short of breath, which is due to the tiny batteries. Conveniently, these models come with a charging case so that you can refuel the miniature batteries on the go. According to tests, Bluetooth headphones are also at a disadvantage when it comes to sound, at least they tend to. Good models come with aptX or AAC support, which compensates for the loss of sound compared to the (high-quality) cable connection. Current models, on the other hand, hardly have any problems with connection stability.

Headphones with active noise canceling and transparency mode

While closed headphones mechanically dampen the sound, i.e. passively, ANC headphones use