Still using those lousy in-ear buds that come free with your phone or MP3 player? You need to stop listening to your favourite music with more high frequencies than a dog can hear and less bottom end than Metallica’s …And Justice For All. Rediscover the beauty of bass.
Over-ear headphones may be back in vogue, but fashions come and go and like us, you are no doubt more interested in the best quality output for your buck rather than wearing something on your head so large you could be mistaken for an Apollo astronaut. Cans in the studio, buds on the road.
Amazon Prime Day is coming up soon, and there may well be bargains to be had. Until then, here's the best deals right now.
This Black Friday weekend saw the cheapest ever price for Apple Airpods, the sought-after wireless earphones that work with your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad or Mac, lasting up to five hours on one charge.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H5 Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
Say our experts on TechRadar: "Certainly worth their money. Their high-end wireless technology means you can listen to anything, anywhere on any device without compromising on an immersive sound experience." They've got a frequency range of 20 to 20,000Hz – and not only can you customise the headphones to your listening preferences through seven different ear tips, you can download the corresponding Beoplay app to further customise your the sound.
Bose SoundSport In-Ear Earphones
If you need your power song to give even more umph, then the Bose SoundSport might give you exactly that extra push you’re looking for. With the unmistakable sound signature of the US audio heavyweight, these lightweight earbuds feature a comfortable and secure fit thanks to the StayHear+ tips.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 truly wireless Bluetooth earphones
And if Bang and Olufsen is your thing, then these much raved about earbuds could be right up your alley. At 23% off, they're high-quality kit with a big saving.
Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
Our in-house experts at TechRadar said that these headphones were "easily some of the best sounding in-ear noise canceling headphones we've ever put through their paces. Of course, for £250, they better be". Now they're a massive £120 off for the Apple ones, and £100 off for Samsung/Android.
Sony WF-SP700N Truly Wireless Sports Headphones
Sony’s WF-SP700N are a mid-range pair of true wireless headphones. They don't have the best sound quality or noise cancelling, but they’re comfortably to wear for extended periods and don’t fall out easily. A decent sophomore attempt made even better by the significant saving.
Beats UrBeats3 earphones
HMV had these Beats earphones in their Black Friday sale at almost half price. Available with Apple Lightning Connector and with regular headphone connector, you can save £45!
Sony WI-SP600N wireless sports headphones
These Sony WI-SP600Ns pack cutting-edge tech into a wireless in-ear headphone. The sporty and active theme behind these is obvious, given the IPX4-rated sweat resistance, but throw in noise-cancellation and an ambient sound mode, and you should get a pretty versatile pair of wireless earbuds here.
RHA T10i noise isolating headphones
Excellently-built wired in-ears. Amazing bass, with mic, no need to worry about charge. TechRadar gave them 4.5/5: "The RHA T10i headphones offer amazing sound quality, tuneable audio and stunning build quality."
Skullcandy Smokin Buds 2 Bluetooth
Skullcandy’s products can tend towards the garish but, with the ultra chunky neckband removed, the Smokin Buds 2 are fairly unimposing. Battery life could be better and wireless signal isn’t always as reliable as you’ll find elsewhere, but for this price you get a full, fun sound that doesn’t disappoint.
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 In-Ear Headphones
These won a 2017 Product of the Year Award from What Hi-Fi and our buddies on TechRadar say: "The stunning design - with tangle-free cables and inline controls - will get you in the door, but the sound quality will keep you in the Sennheiser house."
Yep, you read that correctly. Less than a tenspot for these phenomenally good in-ear phones with more sub-bass rumbling than a night in with the SunnO))) lads round for a vindaloo while Master Of Reality plays on surround sound. An absolute bargain price for the audio quality.
Betron B25 Noise Isolating
Another veritable bargain with a crisp sound and impressive bass for the price and superior to big brand over-ear headphones at a higher price point. Compatible with both android, iOS and any MP3 player with a 3.5mm gold-plated jack and durable design.
Beats X Powerbeats 3 Wireless
Oh no! We forgot about Dre! How could we? Available in five different colours, these wireless in-ears have an impressive five-minute charge time for an hour of playback, a 12-hour battery life, and you can get that fashionable Dre look without resorting to a pair of over-sized studio cans.
Jam Contour ANC bluetooth wireless headphones
A collar-style pair of bluetooth wireless (10m range) in-ears with a 7-hour battery life. With impressive noise cancellation and water resistance, they’re very popular with gym bunnies and joggers. The play/pause/skip inline controls and built-in microphone mean you can make and receive calls hands-free.
Sony WF1000X bluetooth wireless headphones
These fancy-schmancy wireless in-ears don’t come cheap but you can get them at a bargain price and they were scored a solid but rarely awarded 5/5 by What HiFi for balanced and detailed sound, good timing and dynamics, decent noise cancelling. The carry case doubles as a charger.
Maxell HPS20 headphones
These are under a fiver so don’t expect the best quality high-fidelity audio in the world… but they would be ideal if you’re the kind of person who always leaves your headphones on the bus! They are also a good choice for using while working out or running too with an earpiece that locks neatly is place and is difficult to dislodge even with a lot of keep-fit exertion.
Sony MDREX750BT bluetooth wireless headphones
A very sleek and stylish collar type Bluetooth wireless set of in-ears. What Hifi described them as perfect for enjoying high quality digital files and audio, even when streaming wirelessly with LDAC Bluetooth streaming, they can manage an impressively wide range of clarity for even the most sludgiest of doom metal.
They’re inexpensive and have thin wires but they will work well on a commute or when travelling. Durable with a reasonable amount of bass and decent clarity throughout a variety of rock ‘n’ metal genres. At this price, you could do a lot worse.
Symphonized NRG 2.0 Premium Genuine Wood
Is there any benefit to a wooden in-ear unit? The manufacturer claims these handcrafted headphones are light and provide natural acoustics and powerful bass so well suited for rock music. In fact with the background noise cancelling, they will be ideal for listening to black metal in the Norwegian forests.