There are hundreds of headphones in the market, manufactured by companies both big and small. Which brand is really worth your time and money? In this list, we rank 10 of the best headphone brands in the world, based on customer feedback, expert reviews, and overall product quality.
Founded in 1945 by Fritz Sennheiser, Sennheiser is a German manufacturer of audio equipment, which includes headphones and microphones. Because it offers a wide range of headphones catering to different kinds of people, Sennheiser is one of the most popular and accessible brands.
Recording artists, disc jockeys, musicians, and gamers all know about Sennheiser, a testament to the unparalleled quality of the headphones the company produces. From low-end headphones to high-end headphones, Sennheiser keeps the quality remarkably consistent, ensuring that customers always get their money’s value.
Audio-Technica is one of the most well-known audio equipment manufacturers in the world. It was founded by Hideo Matsushita in 1962, making it one of the relatively younger brands on this list. It is an award-winning company with an impressive track record when it comes to headphones.
Audio-Technica offers a selection of budget-friendly, mid-range, and high-end headphones. The Japanese company makes it a point to produce nothing but the best-sounding and most comfortable pair of cans for both professionals and consumers. It’s impossible to truly single out one particular model, but the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is a strong candidate for the best of the bunch.
Many would argue that Beyerdynamic should have been at the top of the list – and we can’t really blame them because Beyerdynamic really makes a hard case as the best of them all. Founded in 1942 in Berlin, Germany, Beyerdynamic specializes in different kinds of headphones, which include high fidelity headphones, in-ear headphones, studio headphones, and mobile headphones.
Beyerdynamic offers an impressive selection of headphones for both professional and personal use, with the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro sitting pretty as the cream of the crop. All Beyerdynamic headphones boast superb sound quality and build, which soundly justify the expensive price tags they come with.
Shure is a popular brand among professionals, offering an outstanding roster of premium quality headphones that can easily impress sound engineers, disc jockeys, and music lovers. It was founded in Chicago, Illinois by Sidney Shure in 1925. However, the company only dabbled in over-ear headphones in 2009.
Shure is one of the best in the business when it comes to sound quality, making it a popular choice among audiophiles who want nothing but the best for their ears. However, the 92-year-old brand is also known for being one of the most expensive, with some in-ear headphone models easily sailing past $100. But with Shure, you definitely get what you pay for.
Sometimes, a company is so good at creating products that it rarely needs big-budget marketing campaigns to get the word out, simply allowing the actual product to do all the talking. Grado is one such company, regularly eschewing traditional advertising methods in favor of word-of-mouth marketing.
Grado is an American audio equipment manufacturer based in Brooklyn, New York, founded by master watchmaker Joseph Grado in 1953. Grado is known for producing some of the more high-end (read: expensive) headphones in the market, though the company also has a good lineup of models under $100.
Founded in 1964 by Amar Bose, Bose is one of the first brands people think of when talking about expensive or overpriced headphones. And make no mistake, Bose products can be ridiculously expensive, discouraging many consumers from even picking up a box with “Bose” slapped on it.
Bose is highly regarded when it comes to noise-canceling headphones, making the company the go-to brand for those working in aviation or aeronautics. That’s probably all you need to know about the company’s reputation in the noise-canceling headphones department. The Bose QuietComfort 35 comfortably sits as one of the top three noise-canceling headphones available in the market.
Based in Vienna, Austria, AKG is a manufacturer of audio equipment for both professional and personal use. It is now owned by Samsung after the South Korean electronics giant bought Harman, AKG’s parent company, in 2016.
AKG is best known for producing top-notch open-back headphones, which is unsurprising considering the company created the AKG K50, the world’s first ever supra-aural and open-back pair of cans, way back in 1959. AKG is a well-respected company, boasting a solid selection of headphones ranging from budget-friendly to bank-breaking, with the AKG K702 being the perfect example of what the company brings to the table.
Sony is easily the most recognizable name here. Founded in 1946, Sony offers a wide selection of headphones, many of which sit on the affordable side. Led by notable models such as the Sony MDR7506 and Sony MDRZX110, the Japanese company caters to both audiophiles and casuals.
Sony gets excellent marks when it comes to sound quality, though not on the same level as the top-tier brands above. It also offers a nice range of stylish headphones. But what really sets it apart from most of the competition is being consistent with the product quality.
Founded in Osaka, Japan in 1918, Panasonic is one of the biggest electronics manufacturing company in the world. It is a chief rival to other Japanese companies in the same business such as Sony and Toshiba.
Panasonic isn’t exactly the most popular brand when it comes to headphones. Most people hardly even mention it. Panasonic is best known for producing high-quality and affordable in-ear headphones, which typically come in colorful variations to appeal to a wider audience. Heck, even the Panasonic RP-HTX7, arguably the company’s best representative in the over-ear category, comes in seven different colors.
Capping off the list is Philips, another easily recognized brand. Founded in 1891 by father-and-son duo Frederik and Gerard Philips, Philips is a Dutch company with a reputation for having produced innovative and groundbreaking electronics for over 100 years. People don’t immediately think of Philips when talking about headphones, mainly because it is more represented in home appliances and lighting.
Philips prefers to keep it simple, focusing more on function over style. The Dutch company offers a solid lineup of cans aimed at both audiophiles and non-audiophiles, with the Philips SHP9500 right there at the top when it comes to offering the best value.