Best headphones on Amazon 2023

Best headphones on Amazon 2023
(Image credit: Sony)

There's no doubt that Amazon is a fantastic place to shop when it comes to audio products such as headphones. No matter what kind you're looking to get your hands on, there's very little you can't find in its inventory.

The only problem is, there are a lot of headphones to choose from, and sometimes it's hard to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Thankfully, some of our best-rated headphones are available directly from the online retailer, and if you're a Prime member, most of them can be ordered today and be on, in or over your ears tomorrow... and at a competitive price to boot.

If you've been thinking of picking up a new pair of headphones, be it wired, wireless, in-ear or over-ear, read on for some of our favourites that you can pick up on Amazon.

Check out the best headphones: all styles, all budgets

How to choose the best headphones on Amazon for you

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

True wireless buds are the ultimate in convenience – there are no wires whatsoever, they're literally two buds you pop in your ears. If you're looking for no tangles, or don't like the idea of a neckband slapping your nape while you run, you should consider a true wireless pair.

Wireless headphones come in on-ear and over-ear designs – the latter usually have a neckband or cable joining the two earbuds. Some people really don't mind this, so they're still worth considering. And they're usually cheaper than a true wireless pair. On-ear wireless headphones usually come with a cable so you can plug them in if you don't want to drain the battery (while listening at home, for example).

Noise-cancellers block out background noise, which is handy for getting some shut-eye on a long plane journey, or just drowning out the office hubbub. They come in both on-ear and in-ear versions.

Whichever you choose, check they have a healthy battery life and which version of Bluetooth (if any) they support, so you know what kind of range and features you'll get. If you'll be using them for sport, or just listening in a downpour, a waterproof rating will be handy, too. 

That's what to look out for. Now let's get to our pick of the best headphones on Amazon. Credit card at the ready...

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Sony WH-1000XM5

The best-value premium wireless headphones on the market. (Image credit: Sony)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winner. New design, same result for Sony’s latest premium noise-cancelling headphones.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.2
Noise-canxcelling: Yes
Battery life: 30hr
Waterproofing: No
Weight: 250g

Reasons to buy

+
Sensational sonic clarity
+
Nice to use
+
Punchy and precise, agile bass

Reasons to avoid

-
Build seems a little less premium than before
-
Don’t fold away completely

It can be tricky for a manufacturer to push the sound performance of a product consistently from generation to generation, but that is what Sony has managed to do with the WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones. Not only that, it has been achieved while executing a major redesign. All of which was enough to earn a 2022 What Hi-Fi? Award.

When we saw the official pictures of the Sony WH-1000XM5, we were more than a bit surprised. We wondered whether it was a wise move to give one of Sony’s biggest success stories in recent memory a major redesign. But it's paid off.

The Sony XM5 headphones might feel a little less premium than before, but the jump in sound quality from the previous generation is a big one, and rivals once again have their work cut out. If you are looking for a new pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones, your auditioning should start here. The older XM4 were already the best around, but the XM5 are undoubtedly better for those who can afford to pay the premium.

Read the full Sony WH-1000XM5 review

Best Sony headphones 2023

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Sony WF-C500

The WF-C500 don't cut many corners to offer Sony style and substance in a more affordable package. (Image credit: Sony)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winner. Genuine contenders that don't cut too many corners.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.0
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: 20hrs (buds: 10hrs; case: 10hrs)
Waterproofing: IPX4
Weight: 5.4g each

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and comfortable design
+
Spirited, well-balanced sound
+
Fine control app

Reasons to avoid

-
Ordinary battery life
-
Slightly small-scale sound
-
Numerous serious rivals

When it comes to wireless earbuds, Sony has sewn up the high end with the WF-1000XM4. But can it do the same at the budget end of the market with the WF-C500?

These won a 2022 What Hi-Fi? Award, so we would have to say the answer is yes indeed. The C500 handle the basics very well, with Bluetooth 5.0, and compatibility with SBC and AAC codecs. Battery life is a healthy 10 hours from the earbuds themselves, and another 10 from the charging case, making a total of 20.

They pair with Sony's consummate Headphones Connect app for sublime controls, and numerous extra features (like the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine, which upscales audio files to something approaching ‘hi-res’ quality). Voice controls come via Google Assistant and Siri, and the IPX4 rating means they're resistant to water splashes. 

Sonically, they're even-handed and nicely balanced, with well-shaped bass notes. In short, they offer a lot of what makes Sony's high-end buds so compelling, without cutting too many corners. Definitely one for the shortlist.

Read the full Sony WF-C500 review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony is the king not only of premium wireless headphones but of premium wireless earbuds too. (Image credit: Sony)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winner. Sony's best true wireless 'buds to date.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.2
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 24hrs (buds: 8hrs; case: 16hrs)
Waterproofing: IPX4
Weight: 7.3g each

Reasons to buy

+
Clear, detailed bass performance
+
Wonderful sense of musicality
+
Comfortable
+
Class-leading battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Missing Sony’s Multipoint feature
-
Lacking ear tip choices
-
No aptX HD

Another Sony, another 2021/22 What Hi-Fi? Award winner. With the new WF-1000XM4, Sony's managed to build on the huge success of the WF-1000XM3 and produce a sensational pair of wireless 'buds.

There's dynamics and detail in spades and it's a balanced performance, with taut, precise bass notes and refined, sophisticated vocals. You can't help but be carried away by their sense of musicality.

Those who prioritise battery life in their AirPods alternatives should find the eight hours promised by the Sonys more than sufficient. The wireless charging case also extends this by a further 16 hours.

The Sonys are comfortable to wear too, with touch-sensitive controls and ear tips that provide excellent noise isolation. Combine this with brilliant noise cancelling courtesy of Sony's Integrated Processor V1 and the WF-1000XM4 are difficult to fault.

IPX4 water resistance is included, as are clever features such as Quick Attention and Speak-To-Chat which both allow you to have a conversation without removing the earbuds. If you're looking for some of the best headphones on Amazon, and want a true wireless pair, the WF-1000XM4 should be top of your list.

Read the full Sony WF-1000XM4 review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Sennheiser HD 250BT

These aren't the flashiest looking pair of headphones, but they've got it where it counts. (Image credit: Sennheiser)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winner. Sennheiser succeeds in the supremely affordable wireless headphones market.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.0
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: 25hrs
Waterproofing: No
Weight: 125g

Reasons to buy

+
Open, detailed presentation
+
In-app EQ optimisation
+
Rock-solid budget build

Reasons to avoid

-
Nothing at this price

Sennheiser doesn't tend to release too many pairs of wireless headphones at this more affordable end of the market so we're happy to report that these Bluetooth headphones are excellent value for money. So excellent, they won a 2022 What Hi-Fi? Award.

The appearance might be functional, but these are far from basic. There's a Smart Control app for one, which brings with it an equaliser and EQ settings, plus battery life notifications and firmware updates.

Sonically, Sennheiser’s ultra-affordable and durable headphones do not disappoint for the price. The HD 250BT sound a good deal more musically detailed, agile and rhythmically gifted across the frequencies than you might expect.

Read the full Sennheiser HD 250BT review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

Bose's flagship wireless earbuds are the real deal and deserved Award winners. (Image credit: Bose)

5. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winner. Bose's flagship noise-cancelling earbuds have never sounded better.

Specifications

Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 6hrs (24hrs with charging case)
Charging: USB-C
Built-in mic and controls: Yes
Weight: 6.2g each

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional noise-cancelling
+
Fantastic sense of refinement
+
Beautifully balanced sound
+
Excellent detail levels

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life can be bettered
-
Call quality is nothing special
-
No Bluetooth multipoint
-
No wireless charging

Bose's latest buds – winners of the 'Best wireless earbuds over £200' at the 2022 What Hi-Fi? Awards – are wonderfully refined and set a new benchmark for noise-cancelling wireless earbuds.

Smaller and lighter than the original QC Earbuds, the Earbuds II provide a comfortable fit and lots of features. Bluetooth 5.3 is a big bonus, and the Bose app is excellent. 

Noise-cancelling is very good, and capable of automatically adjusting the amount of ANC so your music isn’t drowned out by particularly loud noises. As for sound, it's balanced and neutral to the point that you feel you can almost touch the instruments. 

Downsides? It's a shame there's no support for high-quality wireless audio codecs such as LDAC or aptX HD, but that's small beer when you consider that these classy buds ooze sophistication and deliver everything you’d expect from a high-end Bose product.

Read the full Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II review 

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Sony WF-C700N

Sony's new midrange wireless earbuds are a great middle ground between its high-end and budget models. (Image credit: Future)
Sony’s wireless earbuds combine comfort, ANC and sensational sound quality.

Specifications

Type: In-ear
Bluetooth version: 5.2
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Built-in mic and controls: Yes
Connector: N/A
Waterproofing: IPX4
Battery life: 15hrs (buds: 7.5hrs; case: 7.5hrs)
Weight: 4.6g each

Reasons to buy

+
Very comfortable fit
+
Refined presentation for the money
+
Detailed, dynamic and musical sound

Reasons to avoid

-
No Multipoint Bluetooth (yet)
-
Less battery than rivals
-
No aptX or LDAC support

Sony's newest wireless earbuds sit between the brand's budget WF-C500 and high-end WF-1000XM4. Both of those models are Award winners, so the C700N have a lot to live up to. But we're happy to report they don't let the family down.

They're impressively small (thanks in part to their smaller driver), and their light weight helps make them even more comfortable than Sony's flagship WF-1000XM4. They feel more expensive than they are, thanks to little additions like magnets on the charging case that snap the buds into place. And they come in a range of finishes, including lavender and sage green, both of which are a bit more adventurous than the more staid colourways of the XM4.

They lack aptX HD and LDAC – reserved for Sony's higher-end buds – but still pack noise-cancelling tech, which is a step up from Sony's budget model. Adaptive Sound Control automatically switches listening modes depending on your location, and Sony's DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) upscales low-res digital audio files to higher quality.

The sound quality is excellent across the frequency range, from rumbling bass to the soaring highs (and plenty in between).

Downsides? The lack of support for aptX HD and LDAC is disappointing, while Multipoint – which lets you switch seamlessly between devices – won't arrive until later in the summer. But the superb sound and great feature set make these easy to recommend as some of the best headphones on Amazon.

Read the full Sony WF-C700N review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Panasonic RZ-S500W

Panasonic's first pair of true wireless earbuds are a stunner. Beginner's luck? Hardly. (Image credit: Panasonic)
A hugely talented pair of affordable wireless earbuds.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.0
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 19.5hrs (buds: 6.5hrs; case: 13hrs)
Waterproofing: IPX4
Weight: 7g each

Reasons to buy

+
Expansive detailed presentation
+
Excellent noise cancelling
+
Superb touch controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Fit could be an issue for some

Panasonic doesn't spring to mind when you think of the best headphones on Amazon. But perhaps it should. The 2021 What Hi-Fi? Award-winning RZ-S500W are the company's first foray into wireless noise-cancelling 'buds and they're sensational performers, especially at this price.

Specs are thorough, with noise-cancelling tech, an Ambient Mode, twin mics for voice calls, and battery life that totals 19.5 hours (6.5hrs from the buds and 13hrs from the charging case). A 15-minute USB-C quick-charge can deliver 70 minutes of playback. The touch controls on each bud are responsive and intuitive, allowing you to control your music and switch between noise-cancelling modes with zero fuss. 

You also get five sizes of ear tips to help with fit. We found this a little hit and miss, so we'd definitely experiment and consider mixing the sizes if it means getting a more secure fit.

Both noise cancelling and sound quality are excellent. There's plenty of agility through the low end and loads of texture across frequencies. Music sounds clear and there's a great deal of refinement on show, which is to be welcomed at this price level. To sum up, these Panasonic earbuds are superb for the money.

Read the full Panasonic RZ-S500W review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Beyerdynamic Amiron

A pair of headphones you can (and will want to) wear for hours on end.
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winner. High-end headphones that sound as good as they feel.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: N/A
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: N/A
Waterproofing: No
Weight: 340g

Reasons to buy

+
Nice bass detail
+
Clear and organised
+
Handles treble well

Reasons to avoid

-
Nothing of note

When it comes to Beyerdynamic’s Amiron headphones, one word springs to mind: comfort. (OK, and award-winning too, seeing as they won a What Hi-Fi Award in both 2021 and 2022.) The earcups and headband are made of alcantara microfibres (which have a texture similar to suede) and microvelour, which is as luxurious as it sounds. The result is a pair of headphones you can wear for hours on end. And despite their bulk, they don't feel heavy at all, which is quite amazing.

But they're not just comfortable. They sound fantastic too.

What's most impressive is the way they take the whole frequency range in their stride. We like their clear midrange vocals, their tight timing, and the way that they can handle challengingly messy songs without breaking a sweat.

On the whole, the ability of the Amiron will keep you happy no matter what they’re playing. But be warned: they're open-backed, and hence leak sound like a sieve, so the usual disclaimer about not listening on public transport applies.

Read the full Beyerdynamic Amiron review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Shure Aonic 3

Shure's in-ear monitor legacy continues with the neutral, detailed and entertaining Aonic 3. (Image credit: Shure)
You'll struggle to find a better pair of in-ear headphones at this price.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: N/A
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: N/A
Waterproofing: No
Weight: 20.4g

Reasons to buy

+
Awesome dynamics and musicality
+
Insightful and balanced sound
+
Lightweight and comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
Understated sound

Shure has plenty of experience with wired in-ear headphones, and it shines through in the 2021 What Hi-Fi? Award-winning Aonic 3. They're comfy and lightweight for starters. The headphone cable hooks over the top of your ears and keeps them secure at all times – there is a slight knack to getting the swivelling buds in place, though.

Nine different eartip choices allow for excellent isolation, while an in-line remote and mic can control your tunes and answer calls.

And they absolutely nail sound quality. They're dynamic, detailed and their sense of rhythm and timing needs to be heard. We can't think of any pair of in-ear headphones at this price that comes close.

Read the full Shure Aonic 3 review

Best headphones on Amazon: Røde NTH-100

If you can live with a long cable (and, eventually, warm ears), the Røde NTH-100 are outstanding value.  (Image credit: Røde)
These wired over-ears outperform most rivals.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: N/A
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: N/A
Waterproofing: No
Weight: 350g

Reasons to buy

+
Eloquent, revealing sound
+
Well made and almost good-looking
+
Comfortable for hours at a time

Reasons to avoid

-
May sound analytical to some ears
-
Wired configuration isn’t fashionable
-
Will heat your ears eventually

Røde is big in the world of pro recording equipment, and the NTH-100 are its first headphones. So can the Australian brand cut it in the world of consumer audio?

It's made this list, so yes. The NTH-100 are wired – something of an anomaly in this day and age – and fairly unremarkable to look at. They're heavy too, but very comfortable thanks to the soft headband and hanger arrangement. The earpads do tend to cook your ears during long listening sessions, however.

But that's a minor gripe, given the quality of these cans. The 40mm full-range drivers kick out plenty of insight, making for a revealing listen. They're punchy, with a great sense of rhythmic expression, and pack a treble with bags of substance. And that midrange – it's the real star of the show, picking up even the slightest variations in tone or timbre.

You can look the headband in place too, so when you've found the perfect position it won't budge. Genius.

Read the full Røde NTH-100 review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: JBL Live Pro 2 TWS

TWS by name, TWS by nature, these budget true wireless earbuds excel in the sound department. (Image credit: Future)
Awesome true wireless earbuds that don't break the bank.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.2 (AAC, SBC)
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 8hrs (+22hrs from charging case)
Waterproofing: IPX5 water resistance
Weight: 4.8g each

Reasons to buy

+
Punchy, lively sound
+
Solid, meaty bass
+
User-friendly app and set-up

Reasons to avoid

-
No aptX HD or LDAC
-
Control customisation could be better
-
Only three ear tip choices

If you've got a decent-sized budget to play with but can't stretch to more premium options like the Sony WF-1000XM4 or the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, then these JBL earbuds could be right up your street.

For the money, you get all the features you could wish for, including ANC, IPX5 water resistance, a thorough control app which offers some customisation, a good user experience, and a comfortable enough design. A few more ear tip options to help get the perfect fit wouldn't go amiss, though.

Battery life is good at eight hours with Bluetooth and noise-cancelling on, while the wireless charging case will top the total combined time to 30 hours. Touch controls are included at the top of each stem and you also have Multipoint Bluetooth so you can connect two sources simultaneously.

The excellent sound quality is the icing on this cake, with the JBLs favouring a lively and entertaining sound. Bass weight is nicely judged and there's good extension there too. Detail levels are excellent at this level as are the dynamics on offer. If you're looking to make the step up from a cheap pair of earbuds and want an entertaining sound these JBLs have to be on your list.

Read the full JBL Live Pro 2 TWS review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

It's hard to believe these were Bose's first pair of true wireless earbuds – they're that good. (Image credit: Bose)
Fantastic wireless 'buds with some brilliant built-in tech.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.1
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 18hrs (buds: 6hrs; case: 12hrs)
Waterproofing: No
Weight: 8.5g each

Reasons to buy

+
Exciting, entertaining sound
+
Superb balance
+
Impressive noise-cancelling

Reasons to avoid

-
No volume controls
-
Average battery life

Bose's first-ever pair of noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds are a huge success. They feel lightweight enough for the average commute or exercise session (the QuietComfort are both sweat and weather-resistant) and they're great to live with. Battery life is a claimed six hours from a single charge, with the charging case supplying an extra two charges, making 18 hours in total – a decent reserve, but by no means class-leading. You can customise some features and controls, and adjust the excellent noise cancellation, in Bose's handy companion app.

The sense of enthusiasm and excitement conveyed by the Bose buds is highly infectious. There’s power, poise and a fantastic sense of dynamism. Bass notes sound full-bodied, go deep and the QuietComfort Earbuds squeeze out lots of detail.

All in all, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are sensational all-rounders, capable of impressive musicality and topped off with excellent noise cancelling. These wireless wonders are more than a match for any rival at this level, and some of the best headphones on Amazon.

Read the full Bose QuietComfort Earbuds review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Grado SR80x

These open-backed headphones might be entry-level, but they don't feel like a compromise. (Image credit: Grado)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winner. These open-backed headphones are the ones to beat at this level

Specifications

Bluetooth version: N/A
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: N/A
Waterproofing: No
Weight: 220g

Reasons to buy

+
Punchy, musical performers
+
Class-leading insight
+
Light and comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
Very leaky

The SR80 have spawned many variants within the company’s Prestige Series in the three decades since launching, and the fact that they are still a part of the all-new Prestige X Series makes them the longest-running Grado model. The all-new SR80x succeeds the 2014-released, multi-What Hi-Fi? Award-winning SR80e from the previous Prestige E Series, and won a 2022 What Hi-Fi? Award for themselves.

Everything we like about their predecessors – their nimble-footedness, expressive, rolling dynamics, and insight across well-defined frequencies – has been inherited, and the punch and panache that have made the Prestige models such born entertainers are very much also part of the SR80x’s sonic signature. These are far from rich or even warm in tone, but an extra generous sprinkling of refinement this time round has made their forward, clinical presentation all the more palpable. 

Grado hasn’t torn up its own rulebook and revolutionised its legendary headphones, because it hasn’t needed to. But the tweaks made to the SR80x have certainly added value in the right direction. At this money, they're some of the best headphones on Amazon, hands down.

Read the full Grado SR80x review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus

One of the leading lights in the budget true wireless earbuds market, though ANC isn't on the menu here. (Image credit: Cambridge Audio)
Plus-suffixed sequels with new features and big shoes to fill.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.0
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: 45hrs (buds: 9hrs; case: 36hrs)
Waterproofing: IPX5
Weight: 5.6g each

Reasons to buy

+
Extra dynamic expression
+
Great clarity
+
Slick app support

Reasons to avoid

-
No noise cancelling

The Melomania 1 were already some of the best wireless 'buds that you could buy, so the 1 Plus have big shoes to fill. But we're glad to say that they do so admirably.

What's new? The 1 Plus come with additional app support, customisable EQ settings and the British audio firm's innovative High-Performance Audio Mode. There’s a new colourway, too – gone is the ‘stone’ grey hue we lovingly dubbed ‘NHS Grey’.

Again, the real selling point is battery life. Like their predecessors, the 1 Plus last nine hours from the earbuds, plus an additional four charges from the carry case. That gives a staggering 45 hours of total run time. Though it's worth mentioning they're not a noise-cancelling model, which explains the marathon battery life (noise cancelling is a real battery drain).

They perform well for voice calls, and the musical performance is impactful and expansive. Whether you're using them for tunes or calls, you won't be disappointed.

Read the full Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Sony WH-1000XM4

No longer the latest and greatest Sony offerings, but now available for an even more tempting price. (Image credit: Sony)
What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winner. Some of the best headphones on Amazon for fantastic all-round ability.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.0
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 30hrs
Waterproofing: No
Weight: 254g

Reasons to buy

+
Dynamic, detail-rich sound
+
Sensational sense of timing
+
Lightweight, comfy and clever

Reasons to avoid

-
No IP rating
-
No aptX support

The 2021/22 What Hi-Fi Award-winning Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones have it all: a lightweight design, comfort, the convenience of Bluetooth and arguably the best noise-cancelling currently on the market. Oh, and they sound fantastic too. It's no wonder we think they're some of the best headphones on Amazon.

They replace the WH-1000XM3, which were fantastic headphones in their own right. But the XM4 take performance to a whole new level. They sound more detailed, more open, and clearer in their delivery. Low frequencies hit with even greater precision.

They’re super-comfortable too and offer useful new features such as Speak to Chat which allows you to hold a conversation without removing or touching the headphones. A premium pair of headphones, no doubt, but there should be some deals around now that their successors (the WH-1000XM5) have landed.

Read the full Sony WH-1000XM4 review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2

B&W's wireless over-ears combine competitive sound quality with best-in-class features and a stylish design. (Image credit: Future)
Wireless noise-cancelling headphones that supply style with substance.

Specifications

Bluetooth: aptX Adaptive, aptX HD, AAC, SBC
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 30hr
Charging: USB-C
Built-in mic and controls: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Insightful, clean, focused sound
+
Taut bass
+
Premium build

Reasons to avoid

-
Not class leaders
-
No mini jack input

The Px7 S2 are a clear step forward for B&W, offering a more sophisticated, neutral and detailed sound compared to the 2020-released PX7. These are headphones that really prompt the listener to dig in and analyse their music. Some of the best wireless headphones competition, such as the leaderboard-topping Sony WH-1000XM5, are arguably more engaging, but the Px7 S2 are still an excellent and stylish alternative for those who enjoy attentive listening.

Generally, the Px7 S2 put in a strong noise-cancelling performance, too, with consistency and minimal sound colouration across the different settings. The 30-hour battery life is welcome, as is fast charging. And support for aptX Adaptive and aptX HD are big ticks in the box for those who own sources that also support these higher-quality Bluetooth codecs. 

Note that the Px7 S2 don’t support passive audio, though, so must be charged up and powered on even for cabled listening. 

Read the full B&W Px7 S2 review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Lindy BNX-60

The BNX-60 are comfortable enough for all-day wear, and much better value than their pricier siblings. (Image credit: Lindy)
Great-value Bluetooth on-ears that sound splendid for the money.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 4.1
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 15hrs
Waterproofing: No
Weight: 600g

Reasons to buy

+
Great value
+
Detailed, solid sound
+
Noise cancelling and Bluetooth

Reasons to avoid

-
Treble a little muffled in standard mode

Amazon is full of budget Bluetooth headphones, but the Lindy BNX-60 stand out from the crowd for a number of reasons. 

They aren’t the prettiest headphones going, but they are lightweight and comfortable, with on-ear controls for power, track control and volume, and around 15 hours of playback from a full charge. 

At this price, you might worry about a bright treble or wallowing bass, but the Lindy BNX-60 actually produce a balanced sound that’s easy to listen to. They do a decent job with timing too, and vocals are expressive – though they could be a touch cleaner.

The most discerning audiophiles might do better looking elsewhere, but for this money, the functionality and performance is hard to fault.

Read the full Lindy BNX-60 review

Best headphones on Amazon: Bowers & Wilkins Px8

The Px8 are luxury all the way: design, feature set, comfort and sound quality are all first rate. (Image credit: Future)
Excellent ANC headphones push price and performance levels.

Specifications

Bluetooth: aptX Adaptive, aptX HD, AAC, SBC
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 30hr
Charging: USB-C
Built-in mic and controls: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Outstanding clarity
+
Fast and punchy sonic presentation
+
Lovely build and impressive comfort

Reasons to avoid

-
Limp sound at lower volume levels
-
Erratic Wear on/off function
-
Limited USB listening controls

The Px8 cost more than the Apple AirPods Max, which is a bold strategy. But these cans have the audio chops to back it up.

Not only that, they look the part, too. The Nappa leather is soft and suitably luxurious, while build quality is second to none. They're a proper premium pair, without ever tipping over into flashy – it's a delicate balance to strike.

They're packed with features too, thanks to the redesigned B&W app which now brings together streaming services without you having to leave the app, and lets you tweak your EQ controls. And the sound? Beautifully open and spacious, with a good sense of rhythm and drive. First class in every sense of the word.

Read the full Bowers & Wilkins Px8 review

Best headphones on Amazon 2023: Apple AirPods Max

The number one wireless choice for Apple users... who can afford them.  (Image credit: Apple)
Apple’s first on-ear headphones justify their huge price tag.

Specifications

Bluetooth version: 5.0
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 20hrs
Waterproofing: No
Weight: 385g

Reasons to buy

+
Superb sound and noise cancelling
+
Cinematic spatial audio
+
Exceptional build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Near-pointless case
-
Audio cable not included
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Practically Apple-only

The unexpectedly huge price of the Apple AirPods Max makes them considerably dearer than the great majority of premium wireless noise-cancellers. But they really do justify that extra outlay – so much so, we gave them a 2021 What Hi-Fi? Award.

You need an iPhone or iPad to get the most out of them. They will work with non-Apple products using standard Bluetooth 5.0, but you’ll miss out on many of their unique features.

Assuming you are a keen Apple user, the AirPods Max are some of the best headphones on Amazon – and not by a small margin. Their authenticity, detail, crispness and spaciousness elevate them so far above the previous best noise-cancellers that the comparison starts to become a little redundant and you instead begin to consider them alongside proper hi-fi products.

They also play nice with Apple Music's Spatial Audio feature, though they can't play tracks in the streaming service's highest quality.

There’s no denying that they cost a lot more than typical products in this class but, if sound quality is king, there’s equally no denying that they’re worth it.

Read the full Apple AirPods Max review

How we test headphones

We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London, Reading and Bath, where our team of experienced, in-house reviewers test the majority of hi-fi and AV kit that passes through our door.

Of course, testing headphones don't often require such facilities (though we do often try audiophile headphones in our reference hi-fi system). What is important in our headphones reviewing process is that each pair is compared to the best in its price and style class – whether that's one standout pair or a few we favour the highest among the 100+ pairs we listen to each year for reviews and What Hi-Fi? Awards judging. What Hi-Fi? is all about comparative testing, and we keep class-leading products in our stockrooms so we can always compare new products to ones we know and love.

We are always impartial and do our best to make sure we're hearing every product at their very best, so we'll try plenty of different types of music and give them plenty of listening time (and time to run in), while the wired headphones that might warrant being used with a DAC are tested with a suitable one. It's not just about sound quality, of course. If a pair has active noise cancellation – increasingly the case these days – we'll ensure part of our testing involves using them in different environments. 

All review verdicts are agreed upon by the team rather than an individual reviewer to eliminate any personal preference and to make sure we're being as thorough as possible, too. There's no input from PR companies or our sales team when it comes to the verdict, with What Hi-Fi? proud of having delivered honest, unbiased reviews for decades.

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