While it can feel like there’s a general trend to move towards wireless headphones, a wired design offers many benefits for a variety of users. A wired connection eliminates lag for gamers and movie-streamers alike, while their cable also can be used to instantly connect with devices that have a 1/8″ audio input. You don’t have to worry about charging most wired headphones, as they work passively, and although some use batteries for active noise cancellation, they tend to last longer than similarly designed wireless headphones. We’ve tested over 500 pairs of headphones and below are our recommendations for the best-wired earphones to buy. The picks in this article are intended to showcase a broad range of headsets for various uses that would benefit from a wired link, from gaming to critical listening to casual use.
Best Wired Headphones In 2021:
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is the best wired over-ear headphones we’ve tested so far. They feature a sturdy if the conservative, design and are quite comfortable thanks to their spacious ear cups. They also include a selection of three different detachable audio cables, which means that even if one gets damaged, you won’t have to replace the whole unit or even purchase a new cable. Also, they’re available from most merchants since they’ve been on the market for quite some time.
That said, their true strength lies in their well-balanced sound profile. Treble accuracy is very good, with very actually bass and mids, making them versatile enough for a wide range of genres and content material. Thanks to their closed-back style, audio leakage is better than comparable audiophile-oriented headsets (at the cost of the less expansive passive soundstage), making them a marginally better choice for taking a trip.
However, commuting isn’t necessarily their perfect use. Since they lack any sort of exterior control scheme or external microphone, they can’t be used to answer phone calls or make on-the-fly volume modifications. Also, background noise isn’t blocked especially well. Nevertheless, they remain a very good choice for vital listening and studio work because of their faithful audio reproduction and good value, making them among the best audiophile headphones we’ve tested.
2. 1More Triple Driver
The best-wired earphones we’ve tested up to now are the 1More Triple Driver. These in-ears combine understated, slightly superior looks, easy-to-use handles, and decent build quality in a highly portable package. Thanks to the included assortment of nine differently-sized ear canal tips, finding a comfortable suit should be pretty easy. They deliver a well-balanced sound profile that makes them a good fit for essential listening, with good bass and impressive mid accuracy. Despite their lack of stability fins, they’re not a bad selection for sports, either: with their very lightweight, they’re unlikely to fall out of your ears even when exercising. They also create a restricted seal inside the ear, which means commuting neighbours and coworkers won’t be bothered even if you’re the type to crank the volume up. Sadly, the everyday commute might prove to be more disruptive to you, as their noise isolation overall performance is only mediocre. Also, the audio cables aren’t detachable, which means that the whole unit has to be replaced if they split. All that said, they’re still among the best-wired earphones we’ve tested thanks to their accurate, punchy audio efficiency.
3. Sennheiser HD 800 S
The very best audiophile headphones that we’ve tested up to now will be the Sennheiser HD 800 S. Although their higher price maybe fixed for these headphones out of grab most individuals, they will have stunning sound fidelity that audiophiles will adore.
Their good profile is outstanding. Although they’re impressive lighting on the bass and also have a little bit of muddiness in top of the bass to lessen mids, they’re well-appropriate for several genres which include jazz and pop. Their premium metal and plastic material construct plus their suede-like ear padding create these earphones very comfortable, even for long listening sessions. Because of their open-back hearing cups, there is also a spacious soundstage that immerses you in your audio.
On the downside, these headphones are prohibitively costly and when you desire to encounter them with their fullest possible, you may need a good amplifier that may further enhance the price. Nevertheless, these headphones develop a unique, music for just about any audio lover.
4. Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019
The best-wired headsets for gaming we’ve tested up to now are the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019. These gaming headphones present lag-free performance, sturdy construction, all-day convenience, and a high level of customizability, thanks to the integrated MixAmp Pro controller. The latter provides physical handles for volume, channel blending, EQ presets (which can be modified via a companion app), and Dolby Surround Sound.
Communicating with teammates won’t end up being an issue even in the rowdiest of gaming tournaments, as the boom mic delivers great recording quality and excellent noise handling. They also deliver very good bass and mid accuracy, giving even the most explosive in-game occasions a bit of extra punch. That’s further enhanced by their open-back design, which allows for an expansive, natural soundstage.
Unfortunately, that same open-back design also means that these headphones knowledge a high degree of leakage and poor noise isolation. Combined with their bulky size and lack of a carrying case, this makes them a poor choice for travelling, as not only will you hear everything getting mentioned by your fellow commuters, they’ll hear everything you’re listening to. If this represents a significant concern for you, a kit is available for purchase from Astro that can be used to transfer them to a set of closed-back headphones.
5. Logitech G433 Gaming Headset
The Logitech G433 is a good gaming headset, with a well-balanced sound, and a versatile design for everyday use. They have a detachable mic, a regular aux cable, as well as a USB/headset dongle for PCs. They’re a lot more practical to use outdoors than other gaming headsets, and the boom mic is great for video gaming and making calls. They’re comfortable and decently well built but are not the most portable since they don’t fold. They also do not block lots of noise. They will have a remarkably well-balanced audio reproduction and they’re decently comfy to put on for extended listening classes. They cater nicely to instruments and vocals with a good representation of the mid-range and a relatively balanced treble. They also have good bass but it’s dependent on the match and seal they create around your ears. Some listeners who wear glasses will have some consistency issues with the bass variety. Their soundstage is also not ideal given that they possess a closed-back design.
6. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO is sturdy critical listening headphones. They deliver an excellent audio reproduction but their open-back design is not ideal for everyday casual use. They will leak a lot, also at low volumes and don’t block any ambient noise. They’re also a bit restricted on the head. The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Professional are excellent neutral listing headsets. They reproduce plenty of details in high-resolution tracks and have a very clear and crisp sound quality with a spacious soundstage. They may sound a bit sharp at times, as the treble range is slightly too emphasized, but bass, instruments, and vocals are well-balanced and reproduced with high-fidelity.
7. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Headphones Review
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Professional are well-built, durable and great-sounding closed-back headphones. They’re a little more versatile and also have a somewhat better Bass compared to the DT 990 PRO or DT 880 thanks to their closed-back design. However, they nevertheless leak a little too very much for quieter conditions, and they’re relatively cumbersome to transport on you unless you have a handbag. The DT 770 has become good, closed-back again, neutral listening earphones. They deliver a sensible sound reproduction with a near-ideal mid-range and an excellent bass it doesn’t drown instruments and vocals. They don’t possess the spacious Soundstage of the DT 990 PRO or the DT 880, however, they have an improved bass because of the closed style. Nevertheless, the bass variety was a little inconsistent inside our dimensions and depended considerably on the form of the listener’s head. Besides, they tend to sound just a little razor-sharp with some tracks because of the emphasized Treble variety.
8. HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II
The HyperX Cloud II is an above-average gaming headset with a decently balanced sound and a casual design you can use outdoors. They easily pass for regular earphones, once you remove the mic, although they do not have a control scheme that’s ideal for mobile devices. They’re well-built, sturdy and comfortable with a wired design that suitable for video gaming and watching movies thanks to its low latency. However, they won’t be perfect for commuting or sports. The HyperX Cloud II gaming headset has good bass and a balanced mid-range but a poor treble reproduction. They lack a bit of detail while sounding slightly sharpened on some tracks due to the inconsistent treble range. They also don’t have the most spacious soundstage since their closed-back headsets. On the upside, they’re comfortable and sound good enough for casual listening.
9. Grado SR325E
Though they are more costly than a large number of people would consider shelling out for headphones, their cost is a drop in the ocean with regards to true audiophile quality. So when you factor precisely how good they sound, instantly they turn into a major bargain. They’re open-backed headphones, and they’re on the list of leakiest we’ve attempted, so they’re quite definitely no good with other folks around, or for travelling. However, in a calm room, they good as earphones that price five times even more. Their audio is natural, however, not flat, expansive but focused, effective but never overwhelming… the quantity of detail they enable tracks to provide is eye-opening.
The style is nearly hilariously simple – the essential leather mind band and milled aluminium earcups actually appearance pretty wonderful (and feel top quality) within their sparseness, and the basic-seeming foam earpads are chosen for their low effect on the sound quality.
No matter that the look is Spartan if you are wearing them, though – you will be engrossed inside tracks from the initial notes. These could be powered by mobile phone or hi-fi (and the thick, high-quality cable includes 3.5mm and 6.35mm connectors), so it is also an easy task to fire something upward whether you’re lying during intercourse or sitting down by your amp. Because of the basic comforts and open-back style, these might not be for everybody, but we’ve in no way heard this degree of audio opulence as of this sort of brilliant price.
10. Flare Audio Flare Pro 2HD
Flare Audio has been getting quirky headphones for a few yrs now, but this – the third iteration of its ‘Pro’ line in as many years – is where they’ve truly blown the doors off. We love everything about these in-ear buds, even though the whole idea of them is a little mad.
The first and maddest element is that, while these are wired earphones, they are also wireless ones, because included in their large and alien packaging is a little DAC that can be added to the buds in the place of the usual wired 3.5mm connection. The Pro 2HD sound incredibly impressive through this slightly shonky-looking device – quickly the best Bluetooth headsets I’ve heard. However, the sound is upgraded to genuinely mind-blowing when used wired through a Chord Mojo or iFi xDSD or plugged directly into your music participant/s of choice. They’re not hugely demanding about amplification.
The Flare Professional 2HD give an almost holographic sound at times; a huge and delightful sound stage, swirling around your head, pulling out details and nuances you’d never thought existed. Instruments sit specifically in this aural room, tootling at you. With specific rock amounts the effect can border on hallucinogenic, but it’s just as capable of making quieter, more stripped-down tunes sing. Although they are expensive enough, and of high sufficient quality to be considered an in-ear monitor, Pro 2HD is very easy and comfortable to put in your lugs, without the need to run them over the top of your ears and down the back of one’s jacket (although you will have to attach the DAC to a lapel if you use it, due to the stupidly short connector).
11. Audio Technica ATH-A1000Z
Again not properly expensive within headphone conditions, the ATH-A1000Z nonetheless does an excellent impact of a challenging couple of high-finish cans. So very much so, that when you’re interested in enjoying MP3 tracks during your iPhone you may as well forget it. This business requires a good running in, a good amplifier or DAC, then one similar to CD high quality before they reveal their genuine colours. Behind the large matte crimson aluminium cups are usually two 53mm dynamic drivers, hands assembled in Japan, held admirably set up with a straightforward but efficient magnesium alloy frame and cushioned wings that keep everything in place. It isn’t probably the most flawless program, but unless you’re a genuine Conehead you shouldn’t are having issues. Being truly a closed-back again design it doesn’t offer quite the same expansive soundstage as some, but on the plus side, it generally does not leak just as much audio either, producing them an improved choice unless you live on your own, or desire to go out sometimes. Sonically the ATH-A1000Z is incredibly detailed, and regardless of the marginally smaller sized stage, instruments have their location and it’s a pleasure to choose unheard detail, and bum information in tracks. Acoustic guitars, string sections and vocals all soar, even though the bass is serious and specific, it doesn’t thump. That could disappoint EDM supporters, nonetheless, it should delight classical songs lovers.
12. AKG K52
The over-ear design is surprisingly light. Despite its low price, no area of the headphones’ construction feels poorly made. They experience durable, too, that is a rare thing for such a budget price. The AKG K52 earphones have a steel frame that’s sturdy but remains lightweight. The headband isn’t adjustable; instead, there’s a flexible, cushioned band that springs into place around your head. The AKG’s earcups enclose the ears fully. The ample padding around them is usually soft, and it doesn’t make your ears hot over long periods of listening. They clamp down on your head firmly, but not too much – just enough to make sure the headsets don’t fall off. There’s a 2.5m cable that ends in a 3.5mm plug, but don’t worry about being restricted to using the headphones with your notebook or smartphone, they come with a 6.3mm adapter so you can plug them straight into your hi-fi system as well.
13. Focal Stellia
Focal is normally known for its extraordinarily good headphones at equally extraordinary prices, but they’ve tended to be open-backed, and so limited to listening in only ideal circumstances. The Stellia is its attempt to bring its popular audio quality to headphones you can listen to wherever, and they’re phenomenal. Properly engineered to still give you the kind of big soundscape people expect from high-end headphones, the audio quality is fairly stunning. There’s a closeness to the bass and mid-range that’s a sign of them being closed, but powerful drums and synths are usually smooth rather than booming or overpowering – like obtaining a therapeutic massage from Dwayne Johnson.
Fine detail and expansiveness on the high-end are really impressive, and they do get close to the live feeling of a pair of great open headphones for making the little breaths and croaks in the voice of a singer feel organic – but with the added advantage that you can hear what’s going on when the TV’s on.
The design is ultra-enveloping, with deep soft earpads forming an effective seal. And despite becoming quite hefty, the earphones stayed comfortable for long listening periods. And they forgiving when it comes to sensitivity: it’s no problem to drive them from a phone, so they really can be listened to whenever and wherever.
These are the best-sounding closed-back headphones on this listing, and probably on the planet. But we have to say that the quality difference between the Grado at number one and there isn’t that pronounced, yet the price is, which is why they sleep a little further down.
14. Sennheiser HD 660 S: High-Res Audio Headphones
If you prefer a pair of open-back headsets designed for long periods of sinking into your LPs alone, Sennheiser feels you. One look at the HD 660 S tells you everything you need to know about them: clear and open earcups for atmosphere movement; huge plush pads that wrap around your ears for comfortable listening. The sound is a little warmer than neutral, but that’s just fine with us – rich mids balance nicely against the vivid and obvious treble, and the bass is controlled and mellow, simply as you’d expect from a great pair of open up cans. They are open, so are no good for outdoor use or noisy environments, but they’re so enjoyable to listen to – and you will listen over and over without any soreness.
15. Sennheiser HD599
Big, plush and superbly comfortable, these open-backed earphones have huge earpads made of super-soft velour – yes, really, so 70s. They engulf also the largest lobes, with a squishy buckskin headband that offers plenty of adjustment. The HD599 isn’t specifically cheap, and we’d expect decent sound quality at this price, but the effortlessly clean performance reminds us of significantly more expensive headsets. It’s wonderful to listen, with tight, indulgent bass response, a well-positioned mid-range that likes a vocal, and the sort of room that’s virtually impossible to attain with closed-back cans, especially as of this price. Sennheiser provides pitched the HD599 as an all-rounder, suitable for gaming and movies, and watching something loud and crashy. Fast & Furious 7 offered a hugely pleasurable, with a wide sound stage, surround sound effects and rumbling subwoofer efficiency.
Now, as the HD599 looks like a lower price DFS sofa – seriously Sennheiser, who signed away from in the ivory and dark brown colourway? – if it was designed for use in open public, we just couldn’t recommend it. Since it will never depart the lounge or man cave and offers a glimpse into the planet of serious audiophile quality, we’ll overlook simple aesthetics this time.
16. Philips Fidelio X2HR Headphones Review
The Philips Fidelio X2HR are great headphones for neutral sound listening. Their sound user profile is very well-balanced, though some may find they sound a bit dull with some frequencies and piercing with others. They also lack a bit of low-bass, though this is common with open-back headphones. Their weighted harmonic distortion can be very good, and even vital listeners shouldn’t notice much distortion. Thanks to their open-back design, their soundstage is quite open and natural, and they’re very consistent between various users or reseats. The Philips Fidelio X2HR are excellent earphones for neutral sound listening. Their audio profile is very well-balanced, while some could find they sound a bit boring with some frequencies and piercing with others. Also, they lack a little bit of low-bass, though that is normal with open-back headsets. Their weighted harmonic distortion is certainly very good, and also critical listeners shouldn’t see much distortion. Because of their open-back style, their soundstage is fairly open and organic, and they are very constant between various customers or reseats.
17. Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear / Momentum In-Ear Headphones Review
The Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear are average mixed usage wired in-ears, with a portable design. They will have an excellent case and effortlessly match your pockets. They’re stable, plus they don’t leak, so you won’t distract anyone around you. Nevertheless, their sound high quality is not the very best for even more important listeners, and the in-ear fit could be uncomfortable for some. The Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear is well-mixed usage headphones. They prosper in loud conditions for passive earphones, they’re convenient to carry around on your person and have a great situation. Besides they feel durable sufficient to final a comparatively long time. However, their poorly balanced, bass-heavy sound may be an offer breaker for a few. The tiny and closed-back again in-ear style means they don’t have probably the most spacious soundstage. That coupled with their badly balanced audio that favours a serious bass over instruments and vocals can make them ill-appropriate for natural neutral listening.
18. Sennheiser IE 40 PRO Headphones Review
The Sennheiser IE 40 PRO are well-designed in-ear headphones that have an acceptable sound signature. They don’t have the same comfortable fit as some other similarly designed headphones, but they still block a good amount of ambient noise, especially work environment noise. They’re also well-built, though their detachable cable is fairly loose and comes off simply. The IE 40 PRO is decent wired earphones but won’t be the best option if you can’t find a good match. The Sennheiser IE 40 PRO possess good bass, a well-balanced and even mid-range, and a fairly flat treble. However, they might feel light on thump and rumble and their bass can be slightly boomy. Also, sibilants (S and T sounds) may sense overly razor-sharp and piercing on particular bright tracks. Overall, they won’t function as the ideal option for bass-heavy music with lots of sub-bass like dubstep and EDM but can be a good option for vocal-centric songs. These headphones are very easy to carry around to the gym and they are stable enough for you to work out with thanks to their ear-hook design. They don’t move around too much with head movement if you can look for a good fit. Additionally, you shouldn’t sweat more than typical if you workout with these headphones.
19. Sony MDRZX110NC Noise Cancelling Headphones
The Sony MDR-ZX110NC are mediocre combined usage headphones that have decent audio reproduction and don’t leak much. Sadly, they sense cheaply made and poorly isolate listeners from ambient noise. They don’t fare properly in loud, noisy environments and also have no control options when connected to your telephone which is disappointing. The Sony MDR-ZX110NC deliver a decent sound but a mediocre blended usage knowledge. They experience cheaply built and badly isolate listeners from ambient sound. They’re a low budget pair for casual listening or recording thanks to their low leakage but lack too many features to be versatile enough for all use situations. They’re lightweight and relatively portable but too unstable to use while jogging. They also don’t have a decent control scheme, and the non-detachable cable connection could bothersome during strenuous exercise.
20. Sony MDR-7506 Headphones Review (2021)
The Sony MDR-7506 is comfortable, closed-back critical listening headphones with a good sound. They’re a little cheaply built but they don’t leak much, which makes them a good option for recording. However, they’re not the most versatile earphones, sot they won’t stay on your head if you run with them and poorly isolate you from the ambient noise of your environment. The Sony MDR-7506 have a well-balanced sound with a punchy bass that doesn’t drown the excellent mid-range. Instruments and vocals sounded good if a little lacking in detail and clarity compared to some other neutral hearing models like the DT 770 and the ATH-M50x. Nevertheless, they have a decent soundstage, for closed-back headsets, and their sound quality is good enough to please nearly all listeners.
21. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphone
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is above-average critical listening headphones, with durable build quality but a somewhat uncomfortable fit. They have a good audio reproduction that packs a lot of basses, and although they are mostly made out of plastic, they feel durable enough to handle multiple drops without damage. Unfortunately, they’re rather tight on the head and make your ears very warm after a couple of hours of listening. They also won’t be the most versatile headphones to use outdoors. They will have a well-balanced sound with good bass, mid and treble range. Instruments and vocals sounded sufficiently forward if a little lacking in detail and clarity compared to some other neutral hearing models like the DT 770 and the ATH-M50x. Unfortunately, they have a poor soundstage that won’t be ideal for more neutral listeners but overall their sound quality is good enough for most.
22. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x
The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x are decent headphones with outstanding, studio-quality sound. They experience sturdy and are fairly comfortable but present no control options for your audio. They also only supply passive isolation, which might not be enough to block the noise of some listeners’ commutes. The Audio-Technica M40X has a very understated studio design that might look a little bland for some. They have an all-black colour scheme with silver highlights on the back of the oval hearing cups. Their design is very similar to the ATH-M50x. They look good but offer nothing remarkable with their style. The large ear cups of the ATH-M40x fully encompass the ears, nor apply too much pressure to the head. They also swivel, which makes them easy to adjust. They are more comfortable than the Beyerdynamic DT 770 but the padding used for the headband and ear canal cups is a little rigid and squeak when relocating or adjusting the headsets on your head.
23. AKG K371 Headphones
The AKG K371 has become well-balanced over-ear wired headphones. They will have a remarkably accurate sound reproduction that’s well-suited for an array of songs genres and content. Unfortunately, they will have an extremely unstable fit, and can likely drop of one’s ears with a good fairly little bit of head motion. They’re decently comfy, though, and feel pretty well-made with the reduced look because of their faux-leather finish on the headband. General, if you prefer a pair of headphones for hearing music in the home, they are a good choice. The AKG K371 possess a well-well balanced and neutral audio user profile. Their bass and mid ranges are usually both remarkably precise, and their treble variety only includes a few minor peaks and dips which most likely will not be audible to many people. However, they aren’t probably the most constant between reseats on your mind, as their hearing cups are inclined to making gaps. Which means that you might notice various bass and treble reaction concerning the match you obtain, and the ones with eyeglasses will probably have trouble obtaining a proper seal.
24. Sony XB550AP Extra Bass On-Ear Headset
The Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass is average mixed usage in-ears having a focus on bass. They’re portable, stable and block an above-average amount of noise which makes them a decent choice for commuting. Sadly, they aren’t the most balanced-sounding headphones. They must be alright for informal listening however the surplus bass will not be ideal for more important listeners. They’re also much less stable as a number of the various other in-ears and also have a limited control scheme. The Sony MDR-XB50AP More Bass are typically mixed usage headphones. They perform decently well in loud conditions and they are easy-to-carry around on your person making them a good option for commuting. They’re not probably the most steady in-ear however they won’t fall out of one’s ears effortlessly and because of their compact dimension, they’re furthermore a decent choice for sports. However, their badly balanced, bass-heavy audio won’t be perfect for all listeners and their 1 button handle scheme feels just a little lacking.
25. Sony MDR-1A
The Sony MDR-1A are comfortable, critical listening over-ears that deliver a satisfying and well-balanced sound quality. They have a sleek-looking style, and they are surprisingly lightweight for their sturdy and long-lasting construction. Unfortunately, they don’t block ambient sound perfectly, so they will not be ideal to utilize in loud conditions or for commuting. The Sony MDR-1A are excellent headphones for neutral hearing. They will have a well-well balanced frequency reaction that packs sufficient bass without drowning the instruments and vocals on any monitor. They’re also light-weight and super comfy so that you can keep these things on all night and not have the exhaustion that various other earphones induce following a lengthy listening session. Nevertheless, they will have a closed-back again design, so that they won’t possess the same atmosphere as open headsets, which some neutral listeners are searching for