In spite of those improvements – which includes a longer battery life and a more comfortable design – the Surface Headphones 2 are considerably cheaper than their predecessors, making them the obvious choice if you’re trying to choose between the two. That lower price also makes them a great alternative to the Sony WH-1000XM5, especially as they’ve retained the winning design features of the original Surface Headphones, with built-in dials on each earcup to control your music and the active noise cancellation. That makes these a great alternative to pricier models like the Sony WH-1000XM5 or the Apple AirPods Max, especially if you’re keen on some bass heavy sounds. During our testing we found that charging from flat to full took between two and two and a half hours, which is fairly quick for such a large battery. Secondly, these headphones are comfortable and durable. The large ear cups feel comfortable on the ears.
However, some of your decision making process needs to come down to what you feel more comfortable with. Extensive codec support including AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD and aptX LL is ideal for streaming from multiple sources at the best possible quality, and with about 25 hours of battery life in our tests they’ll last you a fair while too. But their specifications, which includes aptX Low Latency Bluetooth, a long battery life, and active noise cancellation, are very good for the price. However, it no longer supports aptX or aptX HD, so your hi-res audio support mileage may vary. The M-200 are certified for Hi-Res Audio and have a sufficiently wide frequency response to play very high bitrate audio tracks. The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones also support Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format, which delivers spatial audio on stereo headphones, plus the LDAC codec that can send a bitrate of up to 990 kbps. However, we also appreciate that budget is important too, so we compare like for like, picking out budget headphones that perform admirably for the price.
They’re also more sober in appearance and smaller too, but they still deliver an impressive and sophisticated performance. It’s also important to consider the soundstage as a whole; if you love a wide, open sound, try a pair of open-back headphones. Whether it’s Bluetooth speakers or headphones, you know what to expect from JBL: decent sound quality for a decent price. What you get for the price, then, is vivid, lively sound and the feel and look of a premium product. That said, you wouldn’t be making a mistake if you opted for these Bose cans instead (and we wouldn’t blame you if you did) – they sound great, look stunning, and we found the noise cancellation to be out of this world. By their very nature, they tend to provide better noise cancellation too as they cover your ears more comprehensively than earbuds. They comprise massive ear cups that are asymmetrical and follow the natural shape of human ears. They may not wow you with artificially big bass or overly sparkling highs but they offer consistently clear audio that feels like going from 1080p to 4K resolution for your ears.
Battery life also doesn’t compete with the Sony WH-1000XM4 or 5, and they’re more expensive to boot. Headphones are also essential if you travel a lot or like listening to music when you work or when you work out. While major brands like Sony and Bose may stand out most, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t rule out the others, with something for everyone out there. The build, battery life, and sound quality of the Sennheiser PXC 550-II are all very impressive, improving upon the previous PXC 550 model with the latest Bluetooth standard and enhanced audio and smart capabilities. Even some audio enthusiasts and gamers prefer a wired headphone for its reliability. In this guide, we’ll review the top 15 audiophile headphones in detail, list their pros and cons, discuss how to find the right audiophile headphones, and answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about audiophile headphones. The design of the M-200 is classic V-Moda: the earcups retain the brand’s signature hexagonal, angular design and the build quality is excellent with a mix of plastic, aluminum, and comfortable, sweat-resistant PU leather. Try a pair of closed-back cans with a secure fit to stop your tunes bothering the people around you.