Best Headphones of 2010


Today’s selection of headphones is positively dizzying: At this point, there are more flavors than there are drink options at Starbucks. So, to help guide you in the right direction, we’ve compiled a list of the best-performing headphone sets that span a wide range of categories and price points. Some are classics, some are newcomers and some aren’t even available yet. No matter your choice, we know you will find a solid sounding choice from our top 10 headphone picks for 2010.

Best Earbud Headphones:

Klipsch-Image-S4 Klipsch Image S4$79.99

It may be that Klipsch is better known as a speaker maker than a manufacturer of headphones, but in our opinion, the Klipsch Image S4 earbud models are the best in-ear headphone option available under $100.00. These units offer stunningly clean sound, great comfort and are available for about $79.99.

Check out our Klipsch Image S4 Review.

Shure-SE310Shure SE310$299.99

Shure’s SE310 earbuds are firmly established as one of the best in-ear headphones available. The company’s in-ear monitors are built on the same technology that professional musicians have been using on stage for years. As such, they sound incredible and block out a surprising amount of noise. $299.00 -available in black or white.

Check out our Shure SE310 Review.

Beats-by-dr.-dre-Miles-DaviMonster Miles Davis Tribute$399.95

We’ve been impressed with some of the other headphone products from the Monster/Dre duo. Now, we’re eager to check out this new set of in-ear monitors that promise studio-grade sound and swingin’ style endorsed by the Miles Davis name. If these are any reflection of past product offerings from Monster and Dr. Dre, then we’re all in store for a treat.

Best On-Ear Headphones:

Koss-Porta-ProKoss Porta-Pro$50.00

The Koss Porta-Pro headphones are an established favorite among headphone lovers in the know. Over 20 years of satisfied fans can’t be wrong. There’s no doubt that their look is old-school, and that the headband could use an update. But at a $50.00 asking price, these units’ value is as relevant now as it was in the ‘80s. One of the best kept secrets in headphones.

Check out CNET’s Koss PortaPro Headphones Review.

Grado-SR60 Grado SR60$100.00

Another classic favorite! For decades, headphone enthusiasts have raved that Grado’s retro-styled headphones are the best on-ear options you can get for under $100.00. We agree. Their open-backed design doesn’t block much noise, but makes for an incredible private listening session.

Check out CNET’s Grado SR60 Review.

Monster-Beats-by-dr.-dre-SOMonster Beats by Dr. Dre Solo$199.99

The Solo, offers contemporary style, supreme comfort and plenty of bass in an extremely well- constructed headphone model that also doubles as an iPhone talking device. $199.99

Check out our Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Review.

Vizio-LCD-Bluetooth-HeadphoVizio LCD Bluetooth Headphones$TBA

Details are scant on Vizio’s venture into personal audio, but we look forward to checking out this revolution in headgear that features dual 1.4-inch circular LCD screens and Bluetooth wireless capability. We have a feeling that these will grab a lot of attention when the general public sees them.

You can look forward to a detailed review from shortly.

Best Over-Ear Headphones:

Sennheiser-HD800Sennheiser HD800$1400.00

Without a doubt, the best sounding headphones we’ve tested yet. Sennheiser’s massive HD800s use the largest transducers ever put into a headphone and it pays off. Sound this good comes at a premium, though: You’ll have to shell out over $1400.00 to enjoy these cans. However, serious headphone lovers take note: They’re worth every penny.

Check out our Sennheiser HD800 Review.

Best Gaming Headphones:

Sennheiser-PC-166Sennheiser PC-166$100.00

For gamers that want to use their headphones for music, movies and games, the PC-166 units are a solid choice. Premium audio, a clear microphone and a handy USB dongle make these headphones extremely versatile and a great value overall at around $100.00.

Check out CNET’s Sennheiser PC 166 Review.

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones:

ATH-ANC7b Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b$219.95

We found these noise-canceling models from Audio-Technica offered more effective noise cancellation, better audio quality and better build quality than their more expensive competitors. Those who travel frequently or just prefer to enjoy a little privacy along with their superior sound will appreciate this excellent pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

Check out our Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b Review.

Editors' Recommendations