This buyer’s guide is brought to you in partnership with ExpertReviews.
Headphones are a must-have in London. Look around you on the tube, on the street, in your office — everyone’s got them. And there’s bound to be someone you know who needs a new pair for Christmas. But where to start? Read this buying guide from the evidence-based testers at ExpertReviews, check out their top recommendations below, and find the perfect headphones.
Rock Jaw Alfa Genus
The Rock Jaw Alfa Genus comes with three different tuning filters that have a tangible effect on the sound produced. The Reference and Neutral filters produce sound quality far beyond what you’d expect for earphones at this price. The build quality for an inexpensive pair of headphones is also very respectable and there’s an integrated remote that works with iOS and Android devices. These in-ear headphones are great value for money.
Price when reviewed: £43 Read the full Rock Jaw Alfa Genus review for details.
Headphones subtype: In-ear headset, Plug type: 3.5mm headset jack plug, Weight: Not disclosed, Cable length: 1.2m
Philips Fidelio M2BT
These closed, Bluetooth wireless headphones are not only supremely comfortable but they also sound fantastic, and have a very decent battery life. Integrated controls in the earcup make changing volume and tracks super convenient, and there’s an excellent microphone built-in for convenient hands-free calling.
Price when reviewed: £194. Read the full Philips Fidelio M2BT review for details.
Headphones subtype: On-ear Bluetooth, Plug type: 3.5mm headset jack plug, Weight: 190g, Cable length: 1.2m
Blue Microphones Mo-Fi
As Blue Microphones’ debut pair of cans, the Mo-Fi sounds fantastic and the built-in amplifier really makes your music shine. They will, however, bring out the distortion in any low-quality encoded tracks you might have in your collection. Still, they sound far superior to the Beats By Dr. Dre Studio headphones, which are available for the same price.
Price when reviewed: £299. Read the full Blue Microphones Mo-Fi review for details.
Headphones subtype: On-ear, Plug type: 3.5mm headset jack plug, Weight: 466g, Cable length: 1.2m/3m
BlueAnt Pump HD Sportbuds
If you’re fitness-inclined, you can trust the Pump HD Sportbuds’ extremely secure fit, and great bass response to really get your heartrate racing. They’re sweat and water resistant so there’s no worries about them getting damaged after a strenuous exercise session. An excellent choice for anyone looking to soundtrack an active lifestyle.
Price when reviewed: £100. Read the full BlueAnt Pump HD Sportbuds review for details.
Headphones subtype: Neckband Bluetooth, Plug type: N/A, Weight: 32g, Cable length: N/A
Now that you can pick up a pair of these for less than £30, there’s literally no reason to use the bundled earphones that came with your smartphone. The E10s are fantastic earphones for the money, particularly if you add a set of sound-isolating ear foams that would increase their ability to block noise. They ship with standard silicone tips, which generally do a good job, but for around £15 more you can turn them into superb isolating in-ears.
Price when reviewed: £30. Read the full Soundmagic E10 review for details.
Headphones subtype: In-ear, Plug type: 3.5mm jack plug, Weight: 11g, Cable length: 1.2m
Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear
The Sennheiser Momentum On-ear sound fantastic, much like their bigger siblings the Sennheiser Momentum. The Momentum On-ear are reasonably old now but are still a fantastic choice and can be had for a bargain price of £129. The design is incredibly classy and comes in various shades and the sound quality match the stunning looks.
Price when reviewed: £179. Read the full Sennheiser Momentum On-ear review for details.
Headphones subtype: On-ear, Plug type: 3.5mm headset jack plug, Weight: Not disclosed, Cable length: 1.4
Plantronics BackBeat Sense
At £130, the Plantronics BackBeat Sense are great value for its performance and feature set. Sound quality is good for the money and the headphones are solidly constructed, with a thoughtful travel pouch. You get plenty of useful features for the money, too, with the headphones pausing your music when they’re taken off your ears.
Price when reviewed: £139. Read the full Plantronics BackBeat Sense review for details.
Headphones subtype: On-ear Bluetooth, Plug type: 3.5mm headset jack plug, Weight: 140g, Cable length: 1.2m