Top 10 Headphone and Earbud Brands - 2023

Are you on the hunt for a new pair of headphones or earbuds? In today's saturated market, finding the perfect audio companion to suit your needs can be daunting. Whether you're an athlete in need of workout earbuds, a music enthusiast looking for the best sound quality, or a frequent traveller seeking noise-cancelling headphones, you'll want to know which brands are leading the pack in 2023.

With so many options available, it's crucial to have a guide that highlights the top players in the headphone and earbud industry. That's why we've put together this comprehensive list of the ten best headphone and earbud brands for summer 2023. These brands have been carefully selected based on their unique strengths, features, and the specific needs they cater to.

Top 10 Headphone and Earbud Brands

1. Bose

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless

When it comes to noise isolation, Bose is a name that needs no introduction. Known for its groundbreaking noise-cancelling technology, Bose has made its mark by producing some of the most effective noise-cancelling headphones on the market. They first made waves with the release of the first commercial acoustic noise-cancelling headset for pilots. Since then, they've continually updated and expanded their active noise-cancelling (ANC) systems for consumer use.

One of their standout offerings is the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless. These earbuds represent the next generation of Bose's Truly Wireless lineup, offering enhanced comfort and a more adjustable fit compared to their predecessors. The ANC capabilities are top-notch, effectively blocking out low-frequency sounds like bus and plane engines. While the sound profile leans towards bass-heavy, it can be customized to your liking using the companion app's graphic equalizer. With a battery life of over six hours and three additional charges from the carrying case, they are a solid choice for all-day use.

Key Features:

  • Industry-Leading Noise Cancellation: Bose is renowned for its cutting-edge noise-cancelling technology, which effectively reduces external distractions.
  • Comfortable Fit: The QuietComfort Earbuds II offers enhanced comfort and a secure fit, perfect for extended use.
  • Customizable Sound: The companion app includes a graphic equalizer for personalized sound adjustments.
  • Long Battery Life: With over six hours of playback and multiple charges from the case, 
  • Impressive ANC: Effective at blocking low-frequency sounds like engines for an immersive audio experience.

2. Sony

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless

Sony is a powerhouse in the electronics industry, known for their diverse range of products, including cameras, TVs, and a wide variety of headphones. Whether you're seeking noise-cancelling over-ear headphones for your daily commute or sport-oriented earbuds with stability, Sony has you covered. Many Sony headphones are compatible with the Sony | Headphones Connect app, offering customization features like an EQ and button mapping.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless headphones are an excellent choice if you prefer an over-ear fit. These headphones provide exceptional noise isolation with their powerful ANC system, making them ideal for blocking out the hustle and bustle of the outside world. They are comfortable for extended listening sessions and boast a remarkable battery life of over 37 hours. The companion app allows you to fine-tune their sound profile to your preferences. For those who prefer an in-ear fit, Sony's best earbuds are the Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless, offering great sound isolation and stability.

Key Features:

  • Superior Noise Isolation: Sony's ANC technology excels at eliminating external noise, ideal for travellers and commuters.
  • Extended Battery Life: Offering over 37 hours of playback on a single charge.
  • Custom Sound: The Sony | Headphones Connect app allows users to fine-tune their sound profile.
  • Over-Ear Comfort: Designed for extended wear, these headphones are comfortable even during long listening sessions.
  • Stable Connectivity: Reliable Bluetooth performance for seamless device pairing.

3. Apple

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless

Apple, the iconic American tech company, is renowned for its lineup of consumer electronics, including speakers, smartphones, and computers. Although Apple's headphone lineup is smaller compared to some competitors, their products are easily recognizable with their glossy white design. What sets Apple apart is its integration with the Apple ecosystem. Products like the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless come equipped with H1/H2 chips, enabling seamless pairing with iOS devices and support for Spatial Audio on iOS/iPadOS 14 or later.

The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are Apple's top-performing headphones. They feature an impressive ANC system that excels at blocking out noise from various sources. The sound profile is warm with a balanced mix suitable for different music genres. While the battery life is around six hours, the carrying case provides four additional charges. For those seeking over-ear headphones, the Apple AirPods Max Wireless offers premium noise-cancelling capabilities in a sleek aluminium design.

Key Features:

  • Seamless Integration: Designed to work seamlessly with Apple devices, they offer quick pairing and access to Siri.
  • Spatial Audio: Supports Spatial Audio on iOS/iPadOS 14 or later for a more immersive listening experience.
  • Top-Notch ANC: Active noise cancellation ensures clear sound even in noisy environments.
  • Comfortable Fit: Ergonomically designed for a secure and comfortable fit.
  • Apple Ecosystem: Easily switch between your Apple devices, making them versatile for daily use.

4. Sennheiser

Sennheiser HD 800 S

Sennheiser is a revered brand among audiophiles, known for its extensive range of open-back headphones across various price points. They also offer Bluetooth models for casual listening and dedicated TV headphones to enjoy wireless TV shows without sync issues. While their lineup includes over-ear and in-ear headphones, they don't have many truly wireless models.

The best Sennheiser headphones we've tested are the Sennheiser HD 800 S. These reference-class over-ears deliver a spacious, open soundstage and an expertly tuned sound signature, making them a top choice for high-fidelity music enthusiasts. They are a significant investment, but audiophiles on a budget may consider the more affordable Sennheiser HD 560S, which offers excellent value for the price. For those who prefer the flexibility of wireless noise-cancelling headphones, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless provides a bass-rich sound profile, stylish design, and comfortable fit for everyday use.

Key Features:

  • High-Fidelity Sound: Offers a spacious, open soundstage and an expertly tuned sound signature for audiophiles.
  • Reference-Class Quality: Sennheiser's flagship headphones provide an unparalleled audio experience.
  • Premium Build: Crafted with high-quality materials and attention to detail.
  • Open-Back Design: Delivers a vast and immersive passive soundstage for a natural listening experience.
  • Value Options: Sennheiser offers a range of headphones, including more affordable models like the HD 560S.

5. Audio-Technica

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Audio-Technica, a Japanese brand, is known for its wide range of headphones. They are particularly renowned for their M-Series headphones, closed-back studio headphones designed for professional use. These headphones come in various options, and determining the best value can sometimes be challenging due to model overlap. Nevertheless, Audio-Technica's products are highly regarded by audiophiles and audio professionals for their build quality and sound.

The best Audio-Technica headphones we've tested are the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. These closed-back headphones offer a well-balanced sound profile with a slight emphasis on bass, making them suitable for various music genres. They are favoured by audiophiles and are particularly well-suited for studio use. These headphones are impressively built and comfortable, though they are bulkier than some other brand models. For those on a budget, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x offers a cost-effective option, albeit with some trade-offs in build and sound quality. If you prefer an open-back design, consider the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x, which provides a wide passive soundstage.

Key Features:

  • Balanced Sound: These closed-back headphones provide a well-balanced sound profile, suitable for various genres.
  • Studio-Quality: Preferred by audio professionals and studio musicians for their accurate sound reproduction.
  • Sturdy Build: Built to last with a durable design.
  • Comfortable Wear: While slightly bulkier, they offer comfort during long listening or monitoring sessions.
  • Affordable Options: Audio-Technica offers budget-friendly models like the ATH-M20x.

6. JBL

JBL Live Pro 2 TWS True Wireless

JBL, an American manufacturer and subsidiary of Harman, is known for its lineup of headphones and speakers. JBL headphones are characterized by their very neutral and accurate sound profile, pleasing most listeners. Many of their headphones are compatible with the JBL Headphones app, offering parametric EQ and presets for customization.

The JBL Live Pro 2 TWS True Wireless headphones are the best JBL headphones we've tested. These well-built earbuds offer versatile performance and feature an excellent active noise cancelling (ANC) system, effectively reducing noise from various sources. They provide over eight hours of continuous playback with ANC enabled, and their carrying case offers three additional charges. The sound profile leans towards a V-shape, making them suitable for genres like rock and pop. Customization options are available through the companion app's parametric EQ and presets. Additionally, they support multi-device pairing, allowing you to stay connected to both your PC and smartphone simultaneously.

Key Features:

  • Versatile Performance: JBL's Live Pro 2 offers an excellent ANC system, adaptable for various listening scenarios.
  • Long Battery Life: Provides over eight hours of playback with ANC enabled and additional charges from the case.
  • Custom Sound: The JBL Headphones app allows you to personalize the sound with parametric EQ and presets.
  • Multi-Device Pairing: Conveniently switch between devices, ideal for multitasking.
  • Neutral Sound Profile: JBL headphones typically feature a neutral and accurate sound profile.

7. Beats

Beats Fit Pro True Wireless

Beats, also known as Beats By Dre, is an American audio brand. It is known for its stylish and bass-heavy headphones. They are a subsidiary of Apple, which has influenced their design and integration with Apple's ecosystem. While the brand started with wired headphones, they have since expanded into the wireless and true wireless earbud market.

The Beats Fit Pro True Wireless is one of the standout models in their lineup. These earbuds offer a bass-forward sound profile, appealing to bass enthusiasts and those who enjoy a more energetic sound signature. Active noise cancellation (ANC) is effective at reducing ambient noise, making them suitable for noisy environments. They are comfortable and offer a secure fit, making them suitable for workouts. With an impressive battery life of up to eight hours and an additional two charges from the carrying case, they are a reliable choice for all-day use.

Key Features:

  • Stylish Design: Recognizable for its sleek and modern aesthetics.
  • Bass-Heavy Sound: Beats headphones are known for their energetic sound with a focus on bass.
  • Adequate ANC: The Beats Fit Pro offers sound noise isolation, ideal for urban environments.
  • Secure Fit: Comfortable for workouts and active lifestyles.
  • Seamless Integration: Easily connects with Apple devices for a smooth user experience.

8. Jabra

Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless

Jabra, a Danish brand, specializes in audio and communication solutions, including headsets, earbuds, and conference speakerphones. They are known for their strong focus on call quality and noise-cancelling technology, making them a popular choice for professionals who require clear audio during meetings.

The Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless earbuds are among the best options for consumers. These earbuds provide excellent noise isolation, with adjustable ANC settings that allow you to find the right balance between noise cancellation and awareness of your surroundings. The sound profile is well-balanced and suitable for a variety of genres. Jabra's HearThrough feature enables you to hear your surroundings without removing the earbuds, which can be useful for staying aware in busy environments. They offer a comfortable fit and impressive battery life, making them a solid choice for daily use.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable ANC: Customize noise cancellation settings for the perfect balance of awareness and isolation.
  • Balanced Sound: Offers a well-balanced sound profile suitable for various music genres.
  • HearThrough Feature: Stay aware of your surroundings without removing the earbuds.
  • Comfortable Fit: Designed for all-day use without discomfort.
  • Strong Call Quality: Known for clear call audio, ideal for professionals.

9. Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro True Wireless

Samsung, the South Korean tech giant, is well-known for its extensive range of electronics, including smartphones, tablets, and audio products. Their Galaxy Buds lineup is designed to complement their mobile devices, offering seamless connectivity and integration with Samsung smartphones and tablets.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro True Wireless earbuds are a strong contender in the true wireless earbud market. They offer an effective active noise-cancelling (ANC) system that works well in reducing ambient noise. The sound profile is well-balanced and suitable for various music genres. One of their standout features is the IPX7 water resistance, making them suitable for workouts and outdoor activities. The battery life is decent, with over five hours of continuous playback and an additional 13 hours from the charging case. Samsung's integration with their mobile devices enhances the user experience, allowing for quick and easy pairing.

Key Features:

Effective ANC: Samsung's ANC technology reduces ambient noise for immersive listening.

IPX7 Water Resistance: Suitable for workouts and outdoor activities.

Balanced Sound: Offers a well-balanced sound profile for versatile listening.

Seamless Integration: Easily pairs with Samsung devices for a hassle-free experience.

Extended Battery Life: Over five hours of playback and 13 additional hours from the case.

10. Anker SoundCore

Anker SoundCore Life Q35 Wireless

Anker SoundCore, a subsidiary of Anker Innovations, is known for its budget-friendly audio products. While they may not have the same level of recognition as some of the other brands on this list, Anker SoundCore has made a name for itself by providing affordable headphones and earbuds that offer good value for the price.

The Anker SoundCore Life Q35 Wireless headphones are an excellent choice for those on a budget. These over-ear headphones offer decent noise isolation, making them suitable for daily commuting or work. They have a bass-rich sound profile that should satisfy bass enthusiasts. While they may not offer the same level of sound quality and noise cancellation as higher-end models, they provide good value for the price. The battery life is impressive, with up to 60 hours of continuous playback on a single charge. Additionally, they support multi-device pairing, allowing you to switch between devices seamlessly.

Key Features:

  • Budget-Friendly: Anker SoundCore offers affordable options without compromising on quality.
  • Decent Noise Isolation: Provides adequate noise isolation for daily use and commuting.
  • Long Battery Life: Impressive 60 hours of continuous playback on a single charge.
  • Multi-Device Pairing: Seamlessly switch between devices.
  • Bass-Rich Sound: Suitable for users who enjoy a more pronounced bass response.


Choosing the right headphone or earbud brand in 2023 largely depends on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize noise cancellation, sound quality, design, or seamless integration with your devices, a brand on this list can cater to your requirements. Keep in mind that the best headphones or earbuds for you may not necessarily be the most expensive ones; it's all about finding the right balance of features and performance that align with your lifestyle and preferences. 

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