It’s that time again and we’re back with another edition of Phandroid’s Holiday Gift Guide. Yesterday, it was all about home security and today we’re taking a look at some of the best headphones you can buy, no matter the budget. Whatever type of media content you consume on your Android device — be it video games, music, or movies — sometimes the best way to enjoy it is with a good set of cans. Here are 8 of our favorites that should fit into just about anyone’s budget.
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Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphone ($350)
There are few wireless headphones as revered as the Bose QuietComfort 35. Offering what Bose calls “world-class” noise cancellation, the QuietComfort 35s will help you tune out the outside world, while enjoying your music, movies, or other media. The headphones can even optimize the EQ at different volumes, so you don’t have to worry about distortion at any volume.
When making/receiving calls, the dual-microphones give you noise cancellation even in windy environments and NFC makes pairing with your smartphone a breeze. As for stamina, the QuietComfort 35s offer 20 hours of wireless battery life, and a full 40 hours using an aux cable. The Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones come with a USB charging cable, audio cable, airline adapter, and handy carrying case to keep them safe.
Bose SoundLink On-Ear Wireless Headphones ($220)
Not everyone likes having their ears completely covered with big, bulky headphones. For those, the Bose SoundLink on-ear wireless headphones could be the perfect fit. With 15 hours of wireless playback, they also accept a wired cable to extend battery life, or listen passively indefinitely.
Like the QuietComfort 35s, there’s an app for configuring voice prompts, dual-microphones for noise cancellation during phone calls or when listening to music. The headphones also fold up for easy portability, and the included carrying case will keep your investment safe. They’re a little on the pricey side, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a more well reviewed — or better sounding — pair of wireless headphones.
Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones ($250)
Beats takes a lot of flak for their headphones, mainly from audiophiles who find it hard to justify their premium pricing. But there’s no denying the previous generation Solo2’s 70% 5-star rating from happy customers. It’s these folks who fell in love with the headphones high-quality build, and actually find the extra bass the headphones produce more pleasing to the ear.
With the Solo3, Beats is taking the previous gen’s already great battery life and bumping it up to whopping 40 full hours of wireless playback. There’s also an aux-in port for adding a wired connection. Another added benefit is the increased distance of the Solo3, with the ability to take the headphones into different rooms and not have them miss a beat. The Beats Solo3 includes a charging cable, 3.5mm headphone cable with remote, and carry case to keep them safe.
Skull Candy Uproar on-ear wireless ($40)
Okay, now we’re dropping into the more affordable wireless headphone segment. With that, Skull Candy wireless headphones are one of my personal picks for a fantastic sounding on-ear headphone. Priced at $40, they wont break the bank and although they miss out on the option wired input like some of these headphones have, they’re still great for what’s being offered.
You can expect around 10 hours of playback and the headphones charge via micro USB input. They’re super light and comfortable for all-day use, with enough bass to keep Beats fans happy. The included microphone allows you to make/receive calls though the headphones. They don’t feel super expensive, but they also don’t feel cheap either. A nice mix of performance for those looking for great sounding wireless headphones on a budget.
AmazonBasics Lightweight On-Ear Headphones ($15)
Here we’re ditching Bluetooth in favor of a traditional wired connection, and it’s really hard to go wrong with the AmazonBasics on-ear headphones. Priced at $15, they’re a great mix of affordability and quality.
Whether you need a spare to keep in your luggage for those long flights, or something to gift during the holidays, these are pretty much a no brainer. The best part is they’re extremely well-reviewed on Amazon, so you don’t have to worry about these being a dud.
Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds ($10)
Sticking to the line of affordable headphones, we’re now moving into the earbud category. Don’t let the looks fool you, the Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds may look bargain bin headphones, but they’re easily the best sounding earbuds you can buy for the price — even beating out name-brand options for over 5 times the price. Yes, they’re that good.
Without a doubt, these are the best headphones you can buy to replace those buds that came included with your smartphone and at $10, you can grab some for the whole family. Easily one of the best gifts you can use to stuff those stockings this year. Buy ’em.
Tenore ZH-DX200-CT ($46)
If you’re looking to splurge on a great pair of earbuds, the Tenore ZH-DX200-CT could very well be the best you’ll ever get your ears on. The Verge absolutely raved about these headphones, calling them some of the “greatest headphones ever made,” mentioning how the quality of output at this price is “borderline illegal” — that’s how good these sound.
So, if you really want to blow your mind this holiday, you simply can’t go wrong with the Tenore earbuds. Sure they’re wired, but that’s probably for the better. Do yourself and buy a pair via the link below.
TaoTronics TT-BH07U Wireless Earbuds ($40)
Now that we’ve got most bases covered for our earbud category, it’s time to move into wireless. Well, mostly wireless. The TaoTronics wireless headphones connect to your phone via Bluetooth 4.1, but connect to themselves using a cable you can hand behind your head. They’re also magnetic, which helps them keep from getting tangled, feature noise isolating technology for clearer calls using the built-in microphone.
Don’t go expecting incredible battery life, these are earbuds after all. But at 5 hours of playback (and 175 hours in standby), they should get you through an entire workout routine without any worries. In fact, they’re great for working out thanks to the ear hook that helps keep them in place no matter what your activity.
Priced at $40, they’re extremely well-reviewed on Amazon, something that can’t be said for the vast majority of Bluetooth earbuds on the market.
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