SAN ANTONIO – It seems everywhere you go , people are wearing headphones, whether it’s the gym, the airport, even the grocery store. But with so many different types and styles, it can be confusing to choose some that fit your lifestyle and budget.
“I own many styles of headphones, on-ear, over-ear, in-ear, earbuds, and I use what works for the activity that I’m doing,” said Elias Arias, Consumer Reports’ veteran audio equipment tester.
Consumer Reports has trained listeners who listen to hundreds of models, and then compare them to references. They judge the sound quality, noise-canceling performance, fit and how easy they are to use.
The good news is they found great choices at every price point.
For people who like to listen to music or podcasts while they exercise, Arias recommends something lightweight, fits securely and is moisture resistant. He recommends the $150 Sennheiser SPORT True Wireless, which has very good sound quality and scored excellent for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction.
“If you’re someone who really is critical about the quality of the sound, then you’ll want a headphone that gives you the finest detail. And those are the models at the top of our ratings that produce excellent sound quality,” Arias said. One recommendation is the Grado SR80x for $125.
If you’re someone who likes to travel a bit and commute, consider a noise canceling model, like the Soundcore life Q20 for $50.
CR’s labs are seeing more models with excellent noise-canceling performance than ever before.
If you’re prone to losing your earbuds, a budget-friendly option to consider is the Skullcandy Dime2 for about $23.
Arias recommends trying headphones out before buying them. If not, make sure you check the return policy.