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Business News/ Technology / Gadgets/  Comprehensive buying guide to help you choose the best headphones for every need

Comprehensive buying guide to help you choose the best headphones for every need

Choosing the right headphones involves considering their primary use, such as music, gaming, or work calls. Decide between wired and wireless options and look for features like noise cancellation and sound quality. Our guide helps you find the best headphones for your needs.

Discover your perfect sound companion with our comprehensive headphone buying guide.Premium
Discover your perfect sound companion with our comprehensive headphone buying guide.

Headphones today have been evolved from being just an accessory to listen to music or watching videos. We now have headphones for specific usage like gaming and video calls. With new features and technologies like noise cancellation and Dolby Atmos, it becomes even confusing for someone to decide the right headphones for your needs and usage. Our comprehensive guide will help you pick the best headphones according to your requirements and budget. By the time you're done reading this guide, you will be ready to decide for the best audio companion without wasting your precious time and money.

How to pick the best headphones?

Headphones are a significant investment, as they greatly impact your listening experience. To choose the best pair, first determine their primary use: entertainment, gaming, or work-related calls. Decide between wired and wireless options, as this choice affects overall convenience and experience. Additionally, consider the importance of noise cancellation features. Once you have a clear understanding of these factors, you can then focus on your budget and identify which headphone brand provides the best value for your money. This approach ensures you find the perfect headphones to suit your needs without compromising on quality or spending unnecessarily.

Why do you need Noise Cancellation in headphones?

Noise cancellation is a premium feature that greatly enhances your listening experience. Previously reserved for high-end headphones, this feature is now available in mid-range options as well. Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Environmental Noise Cancellation (ENC) are similar technologies but serve different purposes. ANC is ideal for blocking out ambient noise, making it perfect for quiet environments or travel, while ENC focuses on reducing background noise during calls, ensuring clearer communication. Understanding the differences between these technologies can help you choose the right headphones for your specific needs, whether it's for immersive listening or professional use.

Environmental Noise Cancellation

The ENC or Environmental Noise Cancellation is a feature that kicks in when you are on call with someone. It removes the background noise from the audio picked up by the microphone to make sure that the person on the other side hears you clearly. This feature requires a microphone array to capture your voice and removes the background noise.

Active Noise Cancellation

ANC or Active Noise Cancellation on the other hand benefits you by remove the background noise. This removes all the distractions from the environment and helps you focus on the most important things. This feature is best for when you are travelling and there's a lot of background noise to remove while you are enjoying your favourite shows.

Best headphones with Active Noise Cancellation

1. JBL Tune 770NC Wireless Over Ear ANC Headphones with Mic, Upto 70 Hrs Playtime, Speedcharge, Google Fast Pair, Dual Pairing, BT 5.3 LE Audio, Customize on Headphones App (Black)

The JBL Tune 770NC Wireless Over Ear ANC Headphones offer up to 70 hours of playtime, adaptive noise cancelling with Smart Ambient, and customizable sound via the JBL Headphones App. Featuring Bluetooth 5.3 with LE Audio, they provide high-quality JBL Pure Bass Sound. Additional features include Google Fast Pair, dual pairing, and hands-free calls with Voice Aware. These headphones are designed for an immersive audio experience, whether you're studying, gaming, or listening to music, with easy control and optimization options.

2. Sony WH-CH720N, Wireless Over-Ear Active Noise Cancellation Headphones with Mic, up to 35 Hours Playtime, Multi-Point Connection, App Support, AUX & Voice Assistant Support for Mobile Phones (Black)

The Sony WH-CH720N Wireless Over-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Headphones feature up to 35 hours of playtime and quick charging. They offer multi-point connection, allowing pairing with two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, and boast Sony's Integrated Processor V1 for advanced noise cancellation. Weighing just 192 grams, they are lightweight and comfortable, with adjustable ambient sound modes and adaptive sound control. High sound quality, crystal-clear hands-free calling, and voice assistant support enhance user experience, making them ideal for immersive music listening and calls.

Also read: Elevate your audio experience with the best noise cancelling headphones

What is Dolby Atmos and do you care?

Dolby Atmos is a surround sound technology developed by Dolby Labs that significantly enhances the listening experience by placing each sound in a three-dimensional space. This technology creates a more immersive audio experience by allowing sounds to move around you in a three-dimensional space, making it feel as though you are part of the action. Widely used in movie theatres, Dolby Atmos provides an enveloping sound experience, with audio coming from above and all around, adding depth and realism. A widely used competitor to Dolby Atmos is DTS-X and if you are a movie enthusiast, we recommend you to go for a headphone with Dolby Atmos or DTS-X.

How gaming headphones are different?

The gaming headphones are designed while considering a bunch of different factors which helps in making the gaming experience better. When gaming, any kind of latency can create a big difference in winning or losing a match. To overcome this, most headphones comes with a wired connection but to cater everyone, wireless headphones uses a 2.4Ghz wireless connection.

Gaming headphones also comes with a built-in microphone to chat with the teammates in co-op or multiplayer games. Most headphones come with a detachable microphone, making it a versatile option for when you are watching movies or listening to music. To customize the sound quality, brands often provide a software which lets you tweak different settings and features. Gaming headphones typically comes with deep ear cups in order to make it more comfortable for an extended usage.

Here are the best gaming headphones

3. HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core Essential PC Gaming Wired Headset, Lightweight Over-Ear Headset with mic, Swivel-to-Mute Function, 40mm Drivers (683L9AA, Black)

The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Core Essential PC Gaming Wired Headset offers an immersive audio experience with DTS Headphone:X Spatial Audio and 40mm directional drivers for enhanced bass. This lightweight, over-ear headset features a swivel-to-mute microphone for easy in-game chat management and on-headset audio controls for quick volume adjustments. Designed for comfort and functionality, it includes a two-year activation code for DTS Headphone:X, ensuring precise 3D audio specialization and localization for an enhanced gaming experience.

4. Razer BlackShark V2 X Wired Gaming On Ear Headset - Black|7.1 Surround Sound-50mm Drivers-Memory Foam Cushion-for PC,PS4,PS5,Switch,Xbox One,Xbox Series X|S,Mobile-3.5mm Audio Jack-RZ04-03240100-R3M1

Razer BlackShark V2 is a wired gaming headphones for PC and consoles. It features large 50 mm drivers for crisp and loud sound experience. Designed for comfort, it features lightweight construction with memory foam ear cushions that prevent overheating and pressure build-up. The noise-isolating microphone ensures crystal-clear communication by reducing background noise. Compatible with mobile devices, this headset delivers an enhanced gaming experience on the go.

Also read: Change the way you play and dominate virtual battlefields with gaming headphones: Top 10 picks

How to pick the right headphones for music production?

Studio headphones is a headphone category that creative professionals and musicians commonly uses. The drivers of these headphones are specifically crafted to provide an extremely wide frequency range so you can listen to all the instruments how they sound in real life. To pick the best headphones for music production, we recommend going for brands like Audio Technica, Sennheiser and Sony. These headphones comes with a better construction to give you a premium feel and also to remove any noise.

Here are the best headphones music production

5. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Over Ear Headphones Designed in Germany - Bluetooth Adaptive Noise Cancelling-ANC,4 Digital Mics for Crystal-Clear Calls,60h Battery, 2 Yr Warranty, Black/Copper

The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Over Ear Headphones deliver maximum audio resolution with Sennheiser Signature Sound and a 42mm transducer system. Featuring Adaptive Noise Cancellation and adjustable transparency mode, they provide an immersive music experience while keeping you connected to your surroundings. The Sennheiser Smart Control App allows personalized sound adjustments. With up to 60 hours of playback and a lightweight, foldable design, these headphones offer exceptional comfort. Four digital microphones ensure crystal-clear calls and optimized voice assistant access.

6. Audio-Technica Ath-M30X Wired On Ear Headphones Without Mic (Black)

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Wired Over Ear Headphones feature advanced build quality and engineering, with 40mm drivers and rare earth magnets for enhanced detail and excellent mid-range definition. Their circumlunar design contours around the ears, providing exceptional sound isolation in loud environments. These headphones come with a 3.5mm jack and offer a 1-year warranty. Ideal for professional monitoring and casual listening alike, they deliver reliable performance and comfortable fit for extended use.

How to choose the best headphones for professionals?

If you are on work calls all day and need a good quality headphone for better sound quality, then there are a lot of options in the market for that particular usage. You get a better built in microphone so the people on the other side of the call can understand you well. Look for the ENC feature when picking the best headphones for work calls, this ensures crystal clear call by removing environmental noise. Most of these headphones are wireless so you can connect them with any device including smartphone and laptop.

Also read: Best boAt Bluetooth headphones: Check out our top picks for music, entertainment and more

Here are the best headphones for professionals

7. Poly-Voyager Focus 2 Uc USB-A Headset (Plantronics)-Bluetooth Dual-Ear (Stereo) Headset with Boom Mic-USB-A Pc/Mac Compatible-Active Noise Canceling-Works with Teams (Certified), Zoom & More-On Ear

The Poly Voyager Focus 2 UC USB-A Headset offers a premium audio experience with three levels of Advanced Digital Hybrid active noise canceling (ANC). Its Poly Acoustic Fence technology ensures clear calls by minimizing background noise. Smart features like Dynamic Mute Alert enhance usability. The headset is designed for all-day comfort, with a lightweight headband and plush ear cushions. It provides up to 19 hours of talk time and can connect to multiple devices, including computers and mobile phones.

8. Jabra Evolve2 40 UC Wired On Ear Headphones, USB-C, Stereo, Black Telework for Calls and Music, Enhanced All-Day Comfort, Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones, UC-Optimized with USB-C Connection

The Jabra Evolve2 40 UC Wired On Ear Headphones offer superior passive noise cancellation with enhanced memory foam padding, canceling 48% more noise. It features powerful 40mm speakers for rich, high-definition audio, and 3-microphone call technology for 35% less background noise. The headset includes a more visible busylight, ensuring interruptions are minimized. With soft memory foam cushions, it provides all-day comfort. It works with leading Unified Communications platforms and has a USB-C connection for easy connectivity.

Disclaimer: At Livemint, we help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and products. Mint has an affiliate partnership, so we may get a part of the revenue when you make a purchase. We shall not be liable for any claim under applicable laws, including but not limited to the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, with respect to the products. The products listed in this article are in no particular order of priority.

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Amit Rahi
I have immersed myself in the tech world for more than five years, focussing my efforts in providing readers with in-depth reviews about gadgets. Exploring the ins and outs of the latest tech has been quite a journey. My goal as a storyteller is to make tech understandable and exciting for people like me who love gadgets.
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Published: 21 May 2024, 05:55 PM IST
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