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Samsung, Bose & More Top Consumer Ratings Best Headphones List

Source: Nagina Lane / @PhotosByNae

In the market for a new pair of headphones or earbuds? With so many styles and brands to choose from, it can be a bit difficult to narrow down your choice. Consumer Reports hopes to alleviate that stress by breaking down the best headphones by category in their headphone ratings report.

There is a style of headphone for everyone it seems. If you like bulky overhead style, there is a brand for you. Can’t stand wires? There are a pair of truly wireless earbuds you might want to consider. Consumer Reports took 40 pairs of headphones and earphones and rated them on comfort, noise-canceling, and ease of use. In the article, CR highlighted the brands that took top billing in each category.

In the truly wireless department, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds were given top honors. CR states in the article that Samsung’s latest peripheral is the “best-scoring portable Bluetooth headphones,” the publication has ever tested. CR hails the Galaxy Buds’ easy to use touch controls, 6-hour battery life, the charging case, and most importantly, audio quality. You get all of that for under $150.

Samsung Galaxy Buds

Source: Nagina Lane / @PhotosByNae

I can personally attest to that, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are one of my favorite peripherals on my daily travels through the concrete jungle that is NYC.

In the High-Performance Bluetooth department, Marshall’s Monitor Bluetooth headphones standout according to CR. Marshall is well known for its guitar amps, but according to Consumer Reports makes “impressive” headphones as well.

Marhall Monitor Bluetooth

Source: Marshall / Marshall Monitor Bluetooth Headphones

“They’re among the best-performing wireless home/studio-style headphones in our tests, and you can often find them for well under $200, less than half of what you’d pay for some comparable models. If you want over-ear headphones with the convenience of Bluetooth, this pair is a steal.”

When it comes to “Uncompromised Audiophile Listening” or in lamens terms those who want to totally be immersed in their music without being bothered, Grado’s Prestige SR325e owns this department. According to CR, the brand’s flagship model not only delivers impressive sound but are the perfect headphone for those who like a retro aesthetic when it comes to their headphones.

Grado Prestige SR325e

Source: Grado / Grado Headphones

“You probably won’t be showing them off in public, though. The open-back ear cups—an intentional design choice meant to add clarity to the sound—aren’t intended to block sound from bleeding in or out, so they may not be suited for noisy environments or when you don’t want to bother a neighbor. The SR325e are best for the listener who wants to plunk down in a dimly lit room and bask in the glory of hi-fidelity sound.”

In the Portable Hi-Fidelity category,  1MORE’s E1001 Triple Driver earbuds are the best at a very affordable price under $100. CR lauds the earbud’s design, integrated microphone, isolating design, and more.

“These headphones have a sleek design and come with extras including a removable shirt clip, a carrying case, and nine sets of earpieces of varying shapes and sizes to help you find a good fit. The integrated microphone, call/connect, playback, and volume controls will play nicely with your iPhone, but you may want to check compatibility with other smartphone models.” 

“The isolating design also muffles ambient noise and blocks some sound from bleeding out and bothering your neighbors.”

Last but certainly not least, the Premium Noise-Canceling department. Bose’s successors to its popular flagship QuietComfort 35 series, the noise-canceling 700 take top honors according to CR. The company is widely respected for its noise-canceling technology, and the 700s keep that tradition going. While still hailing the previous model, the publication loves the new additions to the headphones on top of the features from older models.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Source: Bose / Bose Headphones

“The Bose 700 has a much slimmer profile when you fold it up for storage or transport, and it has a few updated elements, including more integration with digital assistants and integrated touch controls and sensors for Bose’s “augmented reality” apps.”

“It still has many of the best-loved features from Bose’s older models as well, such as adjustable levels of noise cancellation and a monitoring mode to let in sound from your environment.”

While some of these brands are not well known to the casual headphone and earbud user, CR’s rating report definitely puts them on peoples radars. To see the Consumer Ratings entire list, you can head here.

Photo: Nagina Lane / @PhotosByNae