Whether you’re working from home, hitting up the gym, or you just want some good headphones, there are a lot of options available today. The influx of truly wireless earbuds has taken over the audio world, with more and more companies releasing options on a semi-regular basis. With earbuds taking the world by storm, it’s easy to forget that there are different types of headphones, but regardless of what you’re looking for, we’ve rounded up the best headphones for you to consider in 2020 and into 2021.
For more amazing gift ideas, make sure you check our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide.
Best Over-the-ear Headphones
While much of the world is fascinated with in-ear, or truly-wireless earbuds, there are still those of us who love a set of traditional cans. And even though Sony and Bose lead the way for many, there are a few other great options from some familiar companies.
Following in the footsteps of the WH-1000XM3, Sony has come back with another fantastic set of headphones with the WH-1000XM4. You'll get the same design you've come to know and love, along with the best noise cancellation in the business.
Bose NC 700
Coming right behind the WH-1000XM4 for best headphones is the Bose NC 700. These headphones are a departure in design from the QuietComfort 35 IIs, but are now more premium than previous iterations. Up to 20 hours of battery life paired with fantastic sound and quick access to your favorite voice assistant are just some of the key features of the NC 700s.
Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless
There is some stiff competition for the best over-ear ANC headphones, but the Momentum 3 Wireless from Sennheiser should not be ignored. These headphones have all of the features you could want, including ANC, auto on/off, and a simplistic three-button interface for easy operation. The leather earcups and headband provide as much comfort as possible, and automatic pairing mode makes sure you're connected whenever its time to press play.
Microsoft Surface Headphones 2
Microsoft took everything it learned from the first generation, tweaked some things, and lowered the price for the Surface Headphones 2. The unique design has remained unchanged, but noise cancellation has been improved, and is much cheaper than the competition.
Best In-ear Headphones
As someone who is in love with in-ear and truly wireless earbuds, there are so many great options out there. There’s something for everyone, regardless of what kind of phone, tablet, or computer you are using. And while some may be specifically tuned to one series of devices, these all will work with your favorite smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
The Galaxy Buds Live (Beans) offer a unique take on the wave of truly wireless earbuds. Samsung opted for an open-ear design, which somewhat negates the Active Noise Cancellation, but these are much more comfortable than you may think, and also sound great.
AUKEY EP-N5 True Wireless Earbuds
Instead of spending a boatload of money for some ANC earbuds, the EP-N5 Earbuds from AUKEY do a great job at providing good sound, along with ANC. Battery life comes in around 35 hours, including the case, along with IPX5 water resistance and fast charging.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
When you think about high-quality headphones, Sennheiser is likely one of the first companies to be mentioned. With the Momentum True Wireless 2 headphones, you're getting up to seven hours of juice on a single charge and up to 28 hours when including the case. Active Noise Cancellation is onboard, to go along with a customizable EQ and some of the best sound that you can find on any headphones.
If you're looking for the best active noise cancellation in the form of truly wireless earbuds, there's nothing better than the AirPods Pro. Even without the added features that come along with owning an iOS or macOS device, the AirPods Pro works quite well with Android devices. The case is lightweight and pocketable while offering interchangeable ear tips, and more than 24 hours of battery life.
Best Earbuds with no Active Noise Cancellation
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
Before there were Beans, the Galaxy Buds Plus reigned supreme as some of the best in-ear headphones. With touch-sensitive gesture pads on the outside and up to 22 hours of battery life, the Buds Plus are perfect for every situation. While you do miss out on noise cancellation, the Buds Plus are water-resistant for those sessions at the gym.
- Totally wireless high-performance earphones in black
- Up to 9 hours of listening time (more than 24 hours with charging case)
- Adjustable, secure-fit ear hooks for lightweight comfort and stability
Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones
There are a lot of folks who want to cut the cable and get rid of headphone wires, but you may reconsider that with the Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones. A single cable connects both earbuds, while the Flame offer up to 9 hours of playback, IPX7 water resistance, and even a noise-canceling microphone if you need to take a call or two.
Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2
Anker's primarily known for its charging accessories, but the company's Soundcore division is taking on the headphone market by storm. The Soundcore Liberty Air 2 offer up to 28 hours of battery life, along with allowing you to create a custom set of EQ levels to fit whatever kind of content you are listening to.
Huawei FreeBuds 3
Despite looking like AirPods, the Freebuds 3 from Huawei offer a bit more than what you'll get from Apple's entry-level offering. There's built-in active noise cancellation, along with a comfortable fit. These hit the sweet spot fo those looking for an AirPods-like experience on Android, and won't break the bank.
Anker Zolo Liberty
Anker may be more well-known for its charging accessories, but the Zolo Liberty headphones helped to put the headphone division on the map. These truly wireless earbuds offer up to 48-hours of battery life, while ensuring that the earbuds stay where they belong, and not on the ground.
Similarly to the AirPods Pro and Powerbeats Pro, the standard AirPods offer a more seamless integration with iOS, but still work great with Android. There's no noise cancellation on board, but you will get more than 24 hours of battery life with these bad boys.
Phandroid’s 2020 Holiday gift guide
While the list above highlights a few of our favorite gadgets of 2020, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of 250 products in 19 different categories to make it easy for you to find the best gifts for your family members, friends (or yourself) this holiday season. We’d also like to thank MediaTek for sponsoring the Chromebooks, Smart Home, and Smart Speakers & Displays sections of our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide.
Note: the article contains affiliate links that help support Phandroid and its writers.