Anyone who enjoys rocking out their favorite tunes wherever they are would most probably deem a pair of headphones a basic necessity. There are undoubtedly countless options but if one thing is for sure, you can bank on Sony’s undeniable sonic performance. It was Sony after all who brought us the WH-1000XM3 which is not only the best wireless headphone but also the best noise-canceling cans in our roundup.
Going wireless would save you from getting entangled in pesky cables and it is more futureproof as smartphones are slowly making the headphone jack obsolete. On the other hand, those with a feature for active noise cancellation assure that nothing muffles your jam. While a decent headset would normally cost you more or less a couple of hundred dollars, Walmart and Best Buy merely put the cherry on top with $187 on Sony’s WF-1000X/BM1 true wireless earbuds and MDR-XB950B1 Extra Bass wireless over-the-ear headphones.
— $90 ($187 off)
Sony’s WF-1000X may not look out of the ordinary but it is lightweight, comfortable, and delivers high-quality sound in a compact package. Weighing only seven grams, these in-ear headphones don’t protrude all that much from your ears and with four varying sizes of silicone tips along with two sizes of wings, you are assured of a tight seal.
The WF-1000X packs tricks under the hood with 6-millimeter dynamic drivers, a built-in mic for taking calls or to activate your compatible voice assistant, and a feature for noise-cancellation on each earbud. For starters, dynamic drivers do a lot in terms of ensuring a deep, resounding bass and in achieving the right sound pressure without consuming a whole lot of power. Noise-cancelling being its main draw, it does a good job at keeping out unwanted ambient sound, you can even count on it to automatically detect your activity and adjust its settings for you. Sony’s Headphones Connect app is likewise accessible to give you the utmost control of its settings.
Freedom of movement is possible with both Bluetooth and NFC in place, a seamless pair allows you to control everything wirelessly through the multifunction button on each earbud. A series of clicks and long presses will immediately enable you to spark the WF-1000X to life, playback, volume, and toggle through its modes of noise cancellation.
While these diminutive pair of earbuds has a battery life of only three hours, you can bank on its charging case for two more charges which would yield you a total of nine hours. You’ll always be saving battery though as it is smart enough to switch itself off when not in use while Sense Engine gives you the power to tune in and out of your music as you please. Usually ringing in at $277, Walmart’s $187 discount plummets its price to just $90.
— $108 ($72 off)
Bass heads would find themselves at home with Sony’s MDR-XB950B1. Like most headphones from Sony, you’re given a certain level of customization on the Headphones Connect app as you toggle through its equalizer settings or as you select among its preset sound profiles for stereo, arena or outdoor stage. And now, you’ll also have the option to boost the low-end of the spectrum. The great thing is, even without turning on its extra bass feature, you’ll be able to hear the bass above anything else with a frequency response of 20-20,000 Hz. Rest assured, it won’t falter through the mids and highs with 40-millimeter drivers to ensure a powerful sound
These headphones are well-built with a metal and plastic frame and are decently comfortable with ample padding on its earcups and an adjustable headband. To save you some space in your bag or so it won’t feel awkward around your neck, its earcups swivel 90 degrees downward which would also shield it from elements such as water or dust. It is also lightweight at just 0.6 pounds. It may not have a feature for ANC but the MDR-XB950B1’s over-the-ear design does offer some passive noise isolation.
A faultless connection with your compatible device is ensured with NFC, Bluetooth, and support for Bluetooth codec LDAC to deliver high-res sound straight to your ears. With all the necessary controls present on the right earcup, you’ll hardly have any reason to remain tethered to your device, especially with a wireless range of up to 30 meters. You’re simply in store for 18 hours of portable playtime and the means to take calls completely hands-free with the built-in mic. You are still provided the 3.5-millimeter audio cable for a nonstop listening experience when you’re untimely running low on juice and you have no other choice but to conserve its battery.
Usually ringing in at $180, you can sport the Sony MDR-XB950B1 Extra Bass Wireless Over-the-Ear Headphones for just $108 at Best Buy.
Looking for more ways to take your music on the go? Browse through our curated deals page for more wireless options, Apple Airpods and their Windows/ Android alternatives, running headphones, Bluetooth and waterproof speakers, and more.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
- The best headphones for 2020
- The best noise-canceling earbuds for 2020
- The best wireless headphones for 2020
- The best headphones under $100
- The best earbuds for 2020