Let me start this review by saying that first of all I am a huge (hardcore) fan of Apple ever since the iPhone 4, where I still think that is the best phone they ever made. As of late, they haven’t been stepping it up their game in terms of innovation.
Whether it’s on public transport, at the office, or kicking back for a round of Fortnite at home, there’s a pretty good chance I’m wearing headphones. And as someone who wears glasses, finding the right mix of comfort, style and sound can be a bit of a hurdle. Luckily, here at ABDZ, we get to test out quite a few gadgets. And out of all of them, there are a few headphones that stood out.
Here’s my list of the best headphones to get you through your day, workout, flight, or family dinner.
Daily Driver: Bowers & Wilkins PX
Wireless when you need them to be. Wired when you don’t. Active noise cancellation. USB-C charging. Premium materials. 20+ hour battery life. Stupidly fantastic audio quality. When you add up the sum of its parts, the Bowers & Wilkins PX makes for an unbeatable combination.
Well, for me anyway.
The PX’s boast a finish of sturdy metal & soft leather, which is comfortable to wear all day or on long flights (even on top of glasses!) Their sound signature produces crystal clear highs & lows — with a bit more emphasis on mid tones. It’s a very “warm” sound, but not overly bass-heavy like a pair of Beats might run you. And I’m not sure what sort of wizardry Bowers & Wilkins have done, but the ANC feels completely natural. Bose’s QC line often leaves me feeling a bit nauseous after heavy use.
But I’ll admit, aesthetically they’re not my first pick. Bang & Olufsen has done some seriously impressive work with their Beoplay line (more on that in a minute.) But when it comes to a pair of headphones you want to get you through a busy day or a cross-country flight, I’d recommend these to anybody.
Runner-up: Bang & Olufsen H9i
Oh God they’re so pretty.
But here’s the thing about B&O. I just don’t love the sound. At least in my experience, he H9’s tended to emphasize highs, which felt really exhausting after prolonged listening. It’s definitely a personal preference, but it dampened my experience — particularly after using a pair of the PX’s.
The other little nitpick I had about these was the touch controls on the right ear. They’re finicky ... and a little clumsy to navigate. The lack of physical buttons really tripped me up a few times when I wanted to navigate between songs. But that’s not to say that overall these aren’t fantastic headphones. Build quality is excellent, and I’ve yet to see a pair of headphones I prefer looking at.
At $499 though, they pack a bit of a wallop to your wallet. Luckily B&O makes a slightly reduced pair of over-ear headphones in the H4’s, which happen to come in an array of fancy colors as well. (Coral!)
Top Wireless Earbuds: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8
Ok, I gave B&W my top spot for my daily driver, but B&O takes the cake when it comes to buds. The E8’s sport huge sound for their tiny package, and look much, much sleeker than their white plastic competition over in Cupertino. More finicky touch controls aside, (I’m sensing a trend with B&O) there’s just no comparison to these in terms of sound and build quality. I also love the carrying/charging case they come with. It’s sturdy with a leather exterior, and an elastic strap for easy carrying when you don’t have pockets.
They come in two colors, black, and sand, and sell for $249 on Amazon.