Headphones can be a completely bewildering topic. Do you go on-ear or over-ear? Is there a difference between in-ear and earbud? Is it actually possible to have noise-canceling headphones that actually work as advertised? And just how ridiculous does that pair of high-impedance headphones you've been eyeing actually look in real life?

At The Master Switch, we love headphones. A good pair can send us into paroxysms of joy. And one of the consequences of the headphone market exploding in the past few years is that there are a lot of good headphones available. We've rounded up the best ones right here. We've also included a breakdown of the best headphone amps, so that you can supercharge your sound.

High-End Headphones

Best High-End Headphones of 2017

Sometimes, you need to take a step back, look at how you’re listening to music, and improve it. Sometimes, you just need to break the bank, go deep, and invest in something that will last you that years and deliver the best sound you’ve ever heard.
Headphone Amps

Best Headphone Amps of 2017

You wouldn't expect headphones to need any special equipment to work. They are just about as simple as audio equipment gets. You plug them in, turn your device on, and music comes through. But what if you don’t just want to listen to your music?

How To: Buy Headphones

Welcome to From Scratch, where we break down the absolute basics of a particular A/V topic. Here, we’re going to take you through the ins and outs of headphones.

Review: Audio-Technica ATH-CKX5iS SonicFuel In-Ear

Over the past few years, Audio-Technica have made a concerted effort to dominate the budget headphones space. They’ve had a lot of success, particularly with all the ear models like the excellent ATH-M50x.

Review Audio-Technica ATH-M30X

Audio-Technica’s ATH series is an excellent starting point if you’re looking to pick up a pair of over-ear headphones, particularly if you’re on a budget. They have a reputation for being solidly-made, with good sound quality across the range...

Review: Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

The ATH-M50 is a legendary pair of headphones. Audio-Technica’s flagship model rapidly became a favourite, both among the DJs who valued its clear sound and among music lovers who got a kick out of its lightweight build and portability.
Audio-Technica ATH-Sport3

Review: Audio-Technica ATH-Sport3

Sports earbuds are tricky. They’ve got to be comfortable, have a tight fit, and have sound quality and isolation good enough to compete with pounding music in the gym. To stand out, Audio-Technica’s ATH-Sport3 have to be pretty extraordinary. 

Review: Audiofly AF140

Meet AudioFly. This Australian company is not as well-known as perhaps they should be. They’ve been making fantastic audio products since 2011, geared towards both the audiophile and high-end listeners.
Audiofly AF1120

Review: Audiofly AF1120

If it weren’t for the fact that the Audiofly AF1120 in-ear monitors are in the conversation for the best we’ve ever listened to, we would have chucked it in long ago. Because there are so. Many. Tangles.
HiFiMan Edition S

Review: HiFiMan Edition S

The HiFiMan Edition S. You might call them Schrodinger’s Headphones: they’re both closed and open back until you decide which one you want. They are also, just in case you were wondering, bloody brilliant.
Jaybird Freedom Wireless

Review: Jaybird Freedom Wireless

Although they can initially be bewildering, they’re a real gem, and it’s clear that Jaybird put a lot of thought into the way they work. 
MEE Audio Pinnacle P1

Review: MEE Audio Pinnacle P1

Reviewing the MEE Audio Pinnacle P1 earbuds is quite a challenge. They are both an almost reference-grade high-end set of monitors, which all but demand you plug them into a decent headphone amp, and a regular, everyday pair of buds that you can...
MEZE 99 Classics

Review: MEZE 99 Classics

Exquisite. That’s the word that came to mind when we first pulled the Romanian-made MEZE 99 Classics out of their carrier case. It’s not a reaction that most audio equipment inspires, and definitely not a reaction inspired by most headphones.
MEZE 11 Neo

Review: MEZE 11 Neo

We make no bones about being huge fans of MEZE Headphones here at The Master Switch. Why wouldn’t we be? The Romanian company blew our minds with the gorgeous 99 Classics over-ear model, which is probably our favorite pair of this year.
 Optoma Nuforce BE Sport3

Review: Optoma Nuforce BE Sport3

We’ll admit: it was a little bit surprising when we got a pair of sports earbuds from Optoma. It may have even been a bit of a “Wait, what?” moment. Optoma? The really good but slightly square company who make projectors, DACs, professional-grade...
Parrot Zik 3

Review: Parrot Zik 3

Never before has one pair of cans offered so much. It’s as if the designers of Parrot’s new Zik 3 headphones decided to see just how many things they could pack into its slender frame.
RHA T20i

Review: RHA T20i

Through its precision engineering and already acclaimed audio performance, RHA - a Glasgow-based company specialising in in-ear tech - has already managed to attract plenty of attention...
Sennheiser HD630VB

Review: Sennheiser HD630VB

Whether you’re just getting into the world of audiophile headphones, or you’re an established geek looking for something new, you need to hear these.
Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

Review: Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

Some things in this world just work.  Bacon sandwiches. Very cold beer. Dre and Pac on California Love. The relationship between Supergirl and The Flash. Steph Curry’s regular-season jump shot. The ending of Whiplash...
Sennheiser PXC 550

Review: Sennheiser PXC 550

The Sennheiser PXC 550s are simultaneously one of the most convenient, enjoyable pairs of headphones we’ve ever used, and also the most infuriating. They do so many things right, and yet are subject to many, many bizarre design choices and glitches. 
Sol Republic Master Tracks

Review: Sol Republic Master Tracks

Most headphone companies probably wouldn’t dare attempt what Sol Republic does with their Master Tracks. Put a pair of Sony headphones out the box, and all you have to do is plug them in and put them on. With the Master Tracks, you have to do some DIY...