The 5 best noise-cancelling headphones in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Great noise-cancelling headphones don’t just block noise – they also sound good and are comfortable.
  • Sony’s WH-1000XM4 are our top pick thanks to their excellent performance and features.
  • For more headphone recommendations, read our roundup of the best headphone deals.

Headphones with active noise cancellation are a little different from normal headphones that physically block out noise with padding. Instead, they have a microphone that picks up noise around you, and the headphones play a sound opposite to that noise to block it out. It’s a pretty neat concept that has given rise to tons of noise-cancelling headphones that are great for travel or simply getting a bit of peace and quiet.

There are a number of things to keep in mind when buying a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. For starters, you’ll want to consider whether you want over-ear, on-ear, or in-ear headphones. You’ll also want to decide on a budget. After all, adding noise cancellation to a pair of headphones also generally adds to the price tag. We’d also suggest you consider whether you want a wireless or wired pair, but the trend in noise-cancelling headphones is almost entirely based on wireless Bluetooth technology.

There’s also the fact that not all noise cancellation is created equal. With that in mind, we’ve researched and tested several noise-cancelling headphones in order to pick the very best models.

Here are the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy:

The best noise-cancelling headphones overall

sony wh1000xm4

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 headphones offer the best balance of sound quality, noise cancellation, and comfort for the money.

Pros: Comfortable, long battery life, excellent noise cancellation, great audio quality, incredibly effective sound customization

Cons: Default sound is muffled and lacks highs and clarity, app is utilitarian and not super intuitive

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are meant to be a high-quality pair of headphones for “most people” to enjoy their music rather than audiophiles. With that in mind, they handily produce clear and detailed sound. Out of the box, the XM4s favor powerful sound with strong bass at the cost of brightness. However, the sound can be customized via the app, and the XM4s are highly adaptable to your tastes. 

Sony touts an impressive 30 hours of battery life and five hours of listening time from a quick 10-minute charge. Battery life in real life is great — it never feels as if I constantly need to charge the XM4. Comfort isn’t an issue, either, but that’s still a crown that’s held by the Bose 700, albeit by a thin margin.

Noise-cancelling performance is among the best you can find. The XM4s easily quiet home and office environments with mild background noises, and they make travel and commuting significantly more tolerable. They’re especially effective at cancelling out lower frequencies, and they do a better job than most headphones of this type with higher frequencies. 

The XM4s have a few advantages over the other biggest name in the noise-cancelling headphones space — the Bose 700. For one, the XM4s can fold up for better portability. Additionally, the XM4s have longer battery life, and Sony doesn’t use an uncommon cable for wired mode like Bose does. The XM4s are also cheaper at full price, and can often be found with additional deals. 

The best noise-cancelling headphones for calls

Bose 700 headphones in use

The Bose 700 headphones offer impressive phone call quality and upgraded noise cancellation. 

Pros: Unrivalled noise cancellation for phone and video calls, solid audio performance, simple setup, comfortable fit, customizable sound

Cons: Expensive, can’t fold up for more compact storage, uncommon 2.5mm jack for wired mode

For years, the Bose QC 35 II headphones have been widely regarded as one of the best pairs of noise-cancelling headphones you can buy, and while they’re still strong performers, Bose has an even better model on the market. The Bose 700 headphones carry over much of what made their predecessor great, while offering an updated design and improved noise cancellation.

When it comes to noise cancellation, the headphones have 11 levels to choose from. At the max level, the effect is among the best the industry has to offer. During commutes in NYC, the Bose 700s effectively block out all of the subway’s unwanted clatter. The upgraded tech even improves call quality, allowing the headphones to isolate your voice when you speak while blocking unwanted ambient noise. The Bose 700 outperform any other wireless noise-cancelling headphones we’ve tried in this area. 

The Bose 700s offer pleasing performance when listening to music. Bass is a bit subdued and the extreme highs can sound just a little harsh, but for a pair of Bluetooth headphones, the Bose 700s do a great job right out of the box. Bose also offers a customizable EQ option in the Bose Music app that lets you tweak the sound to your desired taste. 

The Bose 700 do have a few weaknesses here and there. The headphones can’t fold up for more compact storage. Additionally, the included cable for wired mode uses the uncommon 2.5mm plug. If you lose the included cable, replacements are more expensive than cables with 3.5mm plugs on both ends.

The best on-ear noise-cancelling headphones

Beats Solo Pro headphones

The Beats Solo Pro headphones look great, have a comfortable fit, and they offer excellent noise cancellation.

Pros: Nice design, more balanced sound compared to previous models, H1 chip for Siri support and easy connectivity with Apple devices

Cons: No USB-C connector

Beats has long built great on-ear headphones in the Solo line, and the Beats Solo Pro are no exception to that rule. They’re well-designed, look stylish, and they offer excellent noise cancellation to help cut down on outside noise.

The Solo Pro headphones provide a slightly different design than previous generations, and it’s a good look. They offer nice rounded lines and a strong build, so with the carry case, they should be more than capable of lasting at least a few years. They work intelligently too — the headphones turn on automatically when you unfold them, and they feature Apple’s H1 chip to work with Siri and connect to all your Apple devices.

The Beats Solo Pro headphones sound pretty great as well. While Beats headphones of years ago largely catered to bass fans, the Solo Pro headphones offer a more refined sound with balanced mids and a decent amount of clarity in the higher frequencies.

The headphones aren’t perfect. Notably, they’re a bit pricey, and they have a Lightning connector instead of a USB-C connector. Still, they’ve gotten great reviews — Tom’s Guide gave them 4.5/5, while MacWorld gave them a still impressive 4/5.

The best in-ear noise-cancelling headphones

Bose Original Photo

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are among the best true wireless earbuds you can buy with near-unrivalled noise cancellation and a comfortable fit.

Pros: Comfortable fit, amazing noise cancellation, great sound, discreet design, long battery life, case supports wireless charging

Cons: Sound isn’t as good as the cheaper WF-1000XM3, bulky charging case, expensive, poor phone call performance in noisy environments

If noise-cancelling is your priority, then the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds should be at the top of your true wireless earbuds shopping list. 

The QC earbuds come with the reliably excellent sound quality that Bose is known for, but they don’t quite carry the full richness and clarity you’d find on the company’s larger headphones. Still, you get a good balance of bass, mids, and highs. 

As for noise cancellation, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are hard to beat in the wireless earbud world. The QC Earbuds did extremely well in our noise-cancelling test under a noisy highway overpass with a drone that measured 75 decibels. They almost removed the sound entirely, but they’re still susceptible to letting in some higher frequencies. 

The fit is incredibly lightweight and soft, as the rubber tips lay in your ear canal’s opening rather than fitting inside your ear like an earplug. Be warned, however, that they’re not especially secure and not the best for sporty activities. 

Battery life for the QC Earbuds is rated at six hours for the buds themselves. Including two full charges with the case, you can get a total of 18 hours. That’s not the best battery life we’ve seen, but it’s not bad, either. Fifteen minutes of charging in the case adds two hours of listening time. I have no reason to think that Bose is off with its statement.

The best-sounding noise-cancelling headphones

Sennheiser Momentum 3 headphones

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless headphones are well-designed and have noise cancellation – plus they’re some of the best-sounding wireless headphones around.  

Pros: Great design, high-end sound quality, comfortable fit

Cons: Expensive, noise cancellation isn’t on par with Bose and Sony

The original Sennheiser Momentum Wireless headphones were some of the best on the market, and now Sennheiser is back with another follow-up. The Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless headphones offer a stunning design with premium materials, and they sound fantastic.

The Momentum 3 Wireless feature leather over the headband and plenty of padding in the ear cups. They’re black-and-silver, which helps make them look nice and professional, and they’re easy to use thanks to the on-ear controls.

Perhaps the best thing about these headphones is how awesome they sound. The headphones offer plenty of bass, a well-tuned mid range, and a ton of clarity and detail in the high end. These are consistently rated as some of the best-sounding wireless headphones, period. The fact that they also have noise cancellation makes them even better. Battery life is rated for about 17 hours, and the headphones use Bluetooth 5.0.

So what are the downsides? Well, namely the headphones are pretty expensive. On top of that, while the noise cancellation tech is good, Sony and Bose headphones are better in that department.

Check out our other headphone buying guides

Vmoda

The best over-ear headphones


The best true wireless earbuds


The best cheap headphones

How to shop for headphones

Apple Airpods

Headphones come in all shapes and sizes with different types designed to fit different needs. A big pair of over-ear headphones, for example, can provide high-end audio quality for listening at home, but they’re not great for exercise.

Below, we’ve explained some common headphone styles, detailing the key advantages and disadvantages of each type. Wired and wireless options are available for all of the headphone styles we’ve listed.

Over-ear headphones: This kind of headphone has large ear cups that are meant to cover your ears to create a seal around them. Over-ear headphones are known for offering better sound performance and noise cancellation than other headphone styles. On the downside, they’re bigger and less suited for on-the-go listening. 

On-ear headphones:  This type of headphone also features ear cups, but instead of covering your ear with a seal, they simply rest on top of your ears. Though they can still provide good audio, this design makes them less ideal for isolating noise. However, on-ear models can be more compact than over-ear headphones.

Earbuds:  These are compact headphones with individual left and right buds that can either rest just outside your ear canal or be inserted inside. In-ear buds can feature different size tips to better fit different ear shapes, enabling them to create a tight in-ear seal for better sound and isolation. Some earbuds have a wire to connect the left and right buds together, while true wireless models are completely free of cables. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best headphone deals – save $50 on Sony’s flagship noise-cancelling earbuds

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Headphones
  • Good-quality headphones can be expensive, but they often go on sale.
  • We’ve rounded up the best headphone deals for April 2021.
  • Right now, the Sony WF-1000XM3 are on sale for $178 – that’s $52 off their full price.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

A great pair of headphones can change the way you listen to music. Sure, the random earbuds you have in your bottom drawer may do the job just fine for some, but if you want to hear nuanced details, well-rounded bass, or a sparkling high-end, you’ll need something a little more versatile.

Of course, quality headphone can get pricey, but there are plenty of good discounts out there if you know where to look. And that’s exactly why we put together this guide for the best headphone deals you can take advantage of right now. We update this list regularly, so be sure to check back for all the latest deals.

Here are the best headphone deals in April 2021

WF1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)AirPods Pro (small, Preferred: Amazon)Powerbeats Pro (medium, Preferred: Woot)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)

Over-ear headphone deals

sennheiser pxc 550 2

Over-ear headphones may not be the most portable headphones out there, but they generally sound a whole lot better than in-ear headphones, thanks to their larger drivers. They also boast long battery lives and plenty of padding for a comfortable fit. Some models even include smart features — like integration with your digital assistant, noise cancellation, and more.

PXC 550-II Wireless Bluetooth Headphone (small)
On-ear headphone deals

Beats Solo 3 headphones

On-ear headphones are a good compromise between portability and sound-quality. Sure, you won’t be able to fit them in your pocket, but they’re light-weight enough to easily carry around in a bag or backpack without noticing much of a difference. Unlike over-ear headphones, on-ear headphones rest on your outer ear, but good ones don’t do so uncomfortably.

Product Card (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)
In-ear headphone deals

powerbeats earphones

Looking for something portable that you can easily put into your pocket? In-ear headphones are the way to go. We have technically split the in-ear headphones into two categories — so if you’re looking for modern true wireless headphones, skip ahead to the next section. 

The deals below are for wired in-ear headphones, which connect through a cable to your listening device, and wireless in-ear headphones which connect via Bluetooth to your listening device. Unlike true wireless headphones, however, regular wireless in-ear headphones still feature wires to connect each earbud together.

Product Card (small, Preferred: Amazon)
True wireless headphone deals

Apple Airpods

Perhaps you want to avoid wires all together with a pair of true wireless headphones. These headphones feature separate earbuds that connect wirelessly to each other and to your listening device. A good example of true wireless headphones are Apple’s AirPods Pro — which are on sale right now for $197.

AirPods Pro (small, Preferred: Amazon)WF1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)Powerbeats Pro (medium, Preferred: Woot)Momentum True Wireless 2 Earbuds (medium)AirPods with Charging Case (small, Preferred: Micro Center)Product Card (medium)Soundcore Liberty True Wireless In-Ear Headphones (small)
How to shop for headphones

Bose 700 headphones lifestyle in office

If you are in the market for a new pair of headphones, it’s worth figuring out exactly what kind of headphones you want. The first step is to determine whether you want in-ear headphones, on-ear headphones, or over-ear headphones.

In-ear headphones are more portable than any other headphones, while over-ear headphones are the most comfortable and deep-sounding. On-ear headphones are often considered a good compromise between the two. If you hate wires, you could also get true wireless in-ear headphones, like AirPods, which cut the cables completely. 

It’s also worth looking into a few headphone brands. If you’re an audiophile who wants the best-sounding headphones, companies like Sennheiser, Klipsch, and Shure are worth considering. If you want incredible noise-cancelling headphones or those that work great for day-to-day use, consider those from Sony or Bose. And, if you want plenty of bass and tight integration with your Apple products, look into headphones from Beats or Apple itself.

Once you’ve determined the type of headphones you want, you’ll want to figure out what your budget is. These days, you can get solid headphones for under $100, but as with anything, you get what you pay for — and the more you’re willing to spend, the better headphones you’ll be able to get. 

Check out our headphone buying guides:

Read the original article on Business Insider

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro put Apple’s AirPods Pro to shame with better sound and noise cancellation

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

airpods pro vs galaxy buds pro comparison

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyProduct Card (small, Preferred: Amazon)AirPods Pro (small)

Apple’s AirPods Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro represent the best that these mobile behemoths have to offer in the wireless earbuds space.

Both models feature premium sound, noise cancellation, good battery life, and wireless charging cases. They’re ideal alternatives for larger headphones, like over-ear models, that aren’t nearly as portable.

While both sets of wireless earbuds are specifically designed for their respective mobile platforms, they can be used with any Bluetooth phone, tablet, or computer.

That said, neither of these earbuds offer their full functionality if you use them outside the ecosystem they were designed for. You’ll lose the ability to control certain key features, like noise cancellation, built-in controls, and voice assistants. That’s because, unsurprisingly, neither Apple nor Samsung have made the necessary apps for finer controls on their rival platforms.

As a result, iPhone users shouldn’t really consider the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, and likewise, Android users shouldn’t buy the Apple AirPods Pro. Still, it’s worth comparing these flagship earbuds to see how headphones from two of the biggest names in tech stack up. Here’s how the AirPods Pro and Galaxy Buds Pro compare across several key categories.

Specifications

Apple AirPods Pro Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Drivers: Custom high-excursion Apple driver 11mm woofer, 6.5mm tweeter
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Codecs: AAC SBC, AAC, Samsung proprietary Scalable
Battery life: Four and a half hours with noise cancellation on, five with noise cancellation and Transparency mode off, 24 hours total with wireless charging case included Five hours for earbuds, 13 hours for the charging case, 18 hours total including battery from charging case
Charging: Five-minute quick charge for an hour of playback; Qi wireless charging support; Lightning cable Three-minute quick-charge for 30 minutes of music playback, two hours for full earbud charge; wireless charging support; USB-C charging
App: Built-in settings in iOS Galaxy Wear for Android
Water resistance: IPX4 IPX7

Design and comfort

The stem design of the white AirPods Pro is now iconic and immediately recognizable. Even with their stem, the AirPods Pro are incredibly compact and lightweight.

They’re also supremely comfortable, even for users who don’t typically like the in-ear fit the AirPods Pro employ. Instead of fitting like a pair of earplugs, like many in-ear earphones, the AirPods Pro rest comfortably and securely in your ear canal’s opening.

Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro have a more discreet design that few would recognize, and they’re available in silver, black, and violet colors. They’re equally compact as the AirPods Pro, and they’re barely visible when you’re wearing them.

The Galaxy Buds Pro are almost as comfortable as the AirPods Pro, except they feel more like earplugs with a deeper fit and a bit more pressure. As a result, they’re very secure in your ear.

AirPods Pro vs Galaxy Buds Pro 4x3

Sound quality

There’s no competition here – Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro sound noticeably better than the AirPods Pro. It’s not that the AirPods Pro sound bad, it’s just that Samsung really demonstrates what’s possible at the $200 price point.

The Galaxy Buds Pro have a rich, full, clear, and dynamic sound that makes the AirPods Pro seem thin and flat by comparison. I enjoy my music far more with the Galaxy Buds Pro than I do with AirPods Pro.

I tried all the different ear tips that come included with the AirPods Pro to make sure it wasn’t a fit issue, and I ensured that I had a good fit using the built-in Ear Tip Test in the iOS settings.

Apple doesn’t include an equalizer for the AirPods Pro, but it does implement its own Adaptive EQ feature that “automatically tunes music to the shape of your ear for a rich, consistent listening experience.” Consistent it is, rich it is not. Unfortunately, there’s no option to disable Adaptive EQ to see if it could make any difference. Spotify has its own built-in equalizer settings, but no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the AirPods Pro to sound any better.

Noise cancellation

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro also outdo the AirPods Pro with their noise-cancelling performance. Again, it’s not that the AirPods Pro have poor noise cancellation, it’s just that Samsung shows that it’s possible to get better performance at $200.

To be sure, the AirPods Pro work just fine in an office/home office environment, where low hums and minor ambient sound are well muffled. Once you bring them to a noisier environment, however, like on a plane or outside in a city, the Galaxy Buds Pro show the AirPods Pro how it’s done.

Battery life

Both sets of wireless earbuds deliver similar battery life, with the AirPods Pro edging out the Galaxy Buds Pro in the wireless charging case capacity.

The Galaxy Buds Pro themselves can play music for up to five hours with active noise cancellation enabled, and eight hours with noise cancellation off, per Samsung’s claim. The wireless charging case can hold up to 13 hours of charge, which sums up to a total of 18 hours of music playback. A quick three-minute charge in the case will give 30 minutes of battery life – something we tested and proved when the buds were accidentally left out of their case to discharge.

Apple claims the AirPods Pro can last four and a half hours with noise cancellation turned on, and five hours with it turned off. With a full charge on the buds and a full battery in the case, the AirPods Pro are capable of up to 24 hours of playback. A five-minute charge gives an extra hour of battery life to the buds themselves.

AirPods Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Pro cases

Apps, features, and controls

Apple offers minimalist options for the AirPods Pro in the built-in iOS settings, at least when compared with the Galaxy Buds Pro and the Galaxy Wear Android app.

AirPods Pro app

For the AirPods Pro, you get noise control that lets you choose between noise cancellation enabled or disabled, and a transparency mode that amplifies ambient noise for awareness and quick conversations.

You can customize whether pressing and holding the AirPods Pro stems activates Siri or toggles through the noise control settings. You also get Apple’s “Spatial Audio” feature, which is basically Apple’s version of surround sound. The built-in demo in the iOS settings is impressive, but it only works with compatible videos, and I’ve never encountered a video that supports Spatial Audio yet.

Galaxy Buds Pro app

For the Galaxy Buds Pro, you get significantly more control and options. Like the AirPods Pro, you get noise controls that enable/disable noise cancellation and toggle an Ambient Sound mode.

The Galaxy Buds Pro also have a Voice Detect feature that automatically enables Ambient Sound mode and pauses your music when you start talking. It works surprisingly well for engaging in quick conversations while you’re listening to music, and it’s nice that it’s automatic.

You can also manage what touching and holding the sensors on the buds do, whether it’s switching through noise controls, enabling Bixby (Samsung’s version of Siri), adjusting volume, or opening the Spotify app on your phone.

There’s also a built-in equalizer and an option for 360 audio, which is surround sound for video. Unlike Apple’s Spatial Audio, this feature isn’t dependent on whether a video supports 360 or not.

Multiple device connections

Both earbuds can connect to multiple devices simultaneously within their respective ecosystems. For example, you can listen to music or watch a video on your Mac and pick up a phone call on your iPhone, and the AirPods Pro connection will switch automatically. Likewise, the Galaxy Buds Pro automatically switch between other Samsung Galaxy products, but this feature doesn’t work with all Android devices.

It’s unfortunate that this feature is restricted to specific ecosystems, as some over-ear headphones can maintain multiple device connections across platforms with Multipoint Bluetooth technology. That said, there are a few wireless earbuds that don’t even come with automatic switching at all.

Water resistance

Another important feature is water resistance, which mostly applies for sweat during workouts, or rain. The Galaxy Buds Pro are rated at an IPX7 water resistance, while the AirPods Pro are rated at IPX4. Technically, IPX7 is better, but IPX4 shouldn’t pose a problem for rain splashes or sweat.

Which should you buy?

iPhone owners who value a compact design, wireless charging case, Siri capabilities, and support for connecting to other Apple devices with automatic switching, should go for the AirPods Pro.

But if you’re not in a rush, it might be worth waiting since Apple is expected to release new versions of the AirPods and AirPods Pro this year, according to Bloomberg.

Both models will reportedly come with a new Apple wireless chip, and the Pro earbuds are expected to feature a sleeker design. The entry-level AirPods will also get a slimmer look, longer battery life, and swappable ear tips, according to the report, but no noise cancellation.

It’s unclear exactly when the new AirPods Pro will launch, but the report says the cheaper version could debut in the first half of 2021.

For Android users, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are among the best wireless earbuds you can get. The best alternative in the $200 range is the Sony WF-1000XM3, but you’d be missing out on a wireless charging case, and the Sony case is rather large compared to the Galaxy Buds Pro’s.

Product Card (small, Preferred: Amazon)AirPods Pro (small)

Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple’s $549 AirPods Max sound incredible, but most buyers are better off with cheaper headphones from Sony or Bose

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

AirPods Max being worn

  • Apple’s AirPods Max offer excellent audio and noise cancellation packaged in a classy, premium design.
  • They offer crisp audio that sounds clearer than competing headphones in the $300-$400 price range.
  • But they’re still too expensive for most people, making them hard to recommend.
  • Check out our guide to the best iPhone accessories.

Apple’s AirPods have grown up, evolving from white, Q-tip-shaped earbuds that people once mocked to full-blown, over-ear headphones.

Apple released its much-anticipated AirPods Max in December after years of speculation that the iPhone giant had broader ambitions for its audio lineup. The AirPods Max, as the name suggests, offer many of the features that have made AirPods so popular, like quick pairing with Apple devices and the ability to tell when you’re wearing them to play or pause music accordingly.

And of course, Apple is also making some pretty big claims about the headphones’ audio quality, highlighting features like a custom-designed driver for delivering rich bass and Adaptive EQ, which optimizes sound depending on how the headphones fit.

But the AirPods Max come at a sky-high price of $549, making them leagues more expensive than well-received rivals from companies like Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser.

Apple had a hit on its hands with the standard AirPods and AirPods Pro. But can Apple make a similar impact on the market for wireless noise-cancelling headphones?

I’m not convinced just yet. The AirPods Max are the definition of luxury headphones. They’re top-notch when it comes to noise cancellation, comfort, and sound quality, but you don’t need to spend $549 to get a great experience elsewhere.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Apple AirPods Max specifications

Apple AirPods Max Specifications
Dimensions 6.64 inches x 3.28 inches x 7.37 inches
Weight 13.6 ounces
Audio features Apple-designed dynamic driver, active noise cancellation, transparency mode, adaptive EQ, spatial audio with dynamic head tracking
Sensors Optical sensor, position sensor, case-detect sensor, and accelerometer in each ear cup; gyroscope in left ear cup
Microphones Nine microphones total: eight for active noise cancellation, three for voice pickup (two are shared with ANC and one additional mic)
Chip Apple H1 chip
Battery life Estimated up to 20 hours
Buttons and ports Digital crown, noise control button, Lightning port for charging
In the box Smart Case and Lightning to USB cable

Setup

AirPods Max setup

If you’ve ever used a pair of AirPods, you already know how to get started with the AirPods Max. After taking the AirPods Max out of their case and holding them near your phone, you’ll see the familiar setup animation guiding you through the quick pairing process.

Once you press the “Connect” button, you’ll see a few instructions in that same dialog box telling you about certain features, like how to use the noise control button to switch between noise cancellation and transparency modes. And that’s all there is to it.

The setup process is part of what has made Apple’s AirPods lineup such a hit. Pairing other noise-cancelling headphones is also simple, but not quite as frictionless. To set up the Sony WH-1000XM4, for example, I need to download Sony’s app to register the headphones and follow the prompt to select them from my iPhone’s Bluetooth menu.

Design and comfort

AirPods Max 1

If there’s any indication that the AirPods Max are an Apple product, it’s their design. They may not have a visible Apple logo, but the aesthetic details give it away.

Everything, from the sturdy aluminum and steel finish to the way the left and right symbols denoting which ear each cup belongs on are stitched into the fabric, screams Apple. The AirPods Max even have the same rotating digital crown found on the Apple Watch for controlling the volume.

AirPods Max inside ear cushion

Apple’s headphones make the Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700 and Sony WH-1000XM4 feel cheap and plasticky in comparison, and they should considering the AirPods Max come at an unusually high price for consumer-grade wireless headphones. Bose’s headphones cost $379, while Sony’s are priced at $350, making them about $170 and $200 cheaper than Apple’s headphones respectively.

That being said, the AirPods Max do have a very specific look given their large, oval-shaped ear cups and soft colors, which may not be for everyone. These headphones definitely stand out.

Overall, the AirPods Max feel more sturdy, durable, and premium than less expensive yet still very good headphones from Sony and Bose. I don’t share that same enthusiasm, unfortunately, for the AirPods Max case. The case only covers the ear cups and leaves the headband completely exposed, not to mention it has an unconventional look that inspired some jokes at launch.

AirPods Max case

It’s disappointing that such an expensive product doesn’t come with a more protective case. Although the AirPods Max seem durable, I’d feel uneasy tossing them in my backpack for a flight or even in my purse while commuting to work without fully concealing them.

The thick, soft cushions and large-sized cups make the AirPods Max a pleasure to wear throughout the workday, never leaving my ears feeling sore or uncomfortable.

However, these aren’t the right headphones to wear during a workout. They’re not rated for water or sweat resistance, and I noticed that the fabric ear cushions looked and felt a bit damp after a 25-minute run. To be sure, Apple isn’t marketing these for workouts, and most people probably prefer smaller, lighter earbuds for a run.

Some reports have also suggested that a few AirPods Max owners have noticed condensation collecting inside the ear cups, but I haven’t experienced this with my own review unit.

Noise cancellation

AirPods Max 3

The AirPods Max will surely do a great job of drowning out the world around you. They have nine microphones total, eight of which are used for active noise cancellation.

I sat underneath an elevated subway that runs above a very busy street near my apartment to see whether the AirPods Max were able to sufficiently drown out the noise, and they worked impressively well.

The rumble and screeching of the train above me was still audible of course, but the AirPods Max significantly dulled the shrill sound of the train grinding to a halt as it pulled into the station, and I was still able to hear music playing at half volume. Traffic was also barely audible when wearing the AirPods Max.

Apple’s headphones were noticeably better at blocking out the sounds of cars buzzing by and the trains pulling in and out of the station than the Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700, which use six microphones for active noise cancellation and four for voice pickup.

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 were a close contender, as they were able to pump out loud tunes that were still very audible over the train, much like the AirPods Max. Sony’s headphones use two microphones in each ear cup to capture ambient noise, which it then passes through Sony’s HD noise-cancelling processor. But Apple’s headphones were slightly better at muting the sounds of nearby street traffic.

You can turn on Transparency Mode, which debuted on the AirPods Pro, to hear what’s happening in your surroundings. I’ve found it to be useful at times when I essentially want to listen to background music through my headphones without completely tuning out the world around me. During a walk with my husband, I was adequately able to hold a conversation while listening to music with Transparency Mode turned on.

Sound quality

AirPods Max being worn 2

Regardless of whether you’re trying to block out surrounding noise, top-notch audio quality is a must for any pair of over-ear headphones, especially at this price. The AirPods Max deliver on this front by pumping out crystal clear audio with sharp vocals, deep bass, and plenty of punch across genres.

The AirPods Max come with an Apple-designed driver and 10 audio cores for delivering computational audio, according to the company. This enables features such as adaptive EQ and spatial audio. Adaptive EQ adjusts the headphones’ sound to the fit of the ear cups and measures the audio delivered to the wearer to optimize it in real time.

I’ve spent nearly a week using the AirPods Max for listening to music and taking calls, and also spent more than an hour and a half conducting side-by-side tests against the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose Noise Cancelling 700 headphones.

The verdict? The AirPods Max blow the Bose headphones out of the water in just about every scenario, whether I’m listening to pop, rap, heavy metal, rock, or electropop on Spotify. In each test, I listened to music with the volume turned up about halfway. And each time, the AirPods Max sounded much louder than the Bose headphones, with much more depth, detail, and color as well.

The AirPods Max sound more open, clear, and generally have a bit more definition and energy than the Sony WH-1000XM4, especially when listening to heavy metal or rap. But there are some instances where it’s a close call, which is significant because – in case you forgot – the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are so much cheaper.

Audio can be subjective, but I find that the AirPods Max sound smoother and crisper than headphones from Sony and Bose, particularly when it comes to vocals and when listening at high volumes. Although Sony sometimes does a better job at isolating certain elements of a song, like the bass, Apple’s audio sounds more balanced, open, and defined. It almost feels like you can hear more of a song thanks to the increased clarity.

The AirPods Max also work well for calls and video conferences; I used them throughout the course of the workday for two half-hour-long calls, and the audio connection remained clear and consistent the entire time.

The bottom line: the AirPods Max offer top-notch audio, as they should for their price. But you can also get an impressive audio experience that’s probably enough for many listeners with the more affordable Sony WH-1000XM4.

Smart features

AirPods Max Connectivity

Apple’s high-end headphones come with all of the features you’d expect from AirPods, such as the ability to quickly pair when held near your iOS device, automatic playing and pausing when placed on or taken off your ears, and hands-free Siri access. They’re powered by Apple’s H1 chip just like the AirPods Pro.

I only wish Apple would develop a similarly useful AirPods interface for the Mac. Connecting your AirPods Max to a Mac computer requires pretty much the same process as pairing any other Bluetooth accessory.

That may have been fine when Apple was only selling earbuds, but most people who own noise-cancelling over-ear headphones probably use them with their laptop throughout the workday.

If you’re an Android phone owner, you’ll still be able to use the AirPods Max as a regular pair of Bluetooth headphones. But you’ll be missing out on the signature AirPods-specific features, like spatial audio and hands-free voice assistant access.

Headphones from Sony and Bose don’t offer the same helpful pop-up box confirming that they’re connected to your iPhone and showing the battery percentage. That’s because they don’t have the same level of integration with the iPhone’s software as AirPods.

But you’d be mistaken to think that AirPods are the only noise-cancelling headphones that come with convenient features. After pairing them for the first time, both the Bose Noise-Cancelling 700 and Sony WH-1000XM4 usually – but not always – connect to my iPhone with ease whenever I bring them within range.

Sony also supports some convenient features like the optional Speak-to-Chat function, which uses the headset’s microphones to detect when you’re speaking and pauses music to let in ambient sound. You can also place your hand over one cup to automatically turn the music down if you need to hear something quickly.

Bose, on the other hand, also offers compatibility with its soundbars so that you can watch TV loudly without disturbing others. Both headphones allow you to access voice assistants as well, with Bose offering hands-free Alexa compatibility. So each pair of headphones provides its own selection of features that may be right for you depending on your usage and preferences.

Touch controls and input

AirPods Max digital crown

Bose and Sony also have touch sensors built into their headphones for controlling music playback and other functions, unlike the AirPods Max.

Apple, however, has what in my opinion is a much better solution: the Apple Watch’s digital crown. You can twist the crown to control the volume, and press it to play and pause music or answer phone calls among other functions, which I find to be much more intuitive than the touch sensors found on other headphones.

It’s a lot easier to tell precisely where the digital crown is on the AirPods Max compared to the invisible touch sensors on other headphones, which often result in a lot of tapping and swiping around the outside of the ear cup as I get accustomed to where the controls are.

Where other headphones excel over Apple in terms of convenience is in the accessories they include in the box and their available input options.

Sony’s headphones come with an adapter so that you can use them to listen to in-flight entertainment systems, as well as a headphone cable, a USB-C cable, and a stereo mini jack located for using them in wired mode. Bose also includes an audio and charging cable with its Noise-Cancelling 700 headphones, which have a 2.5mm audio jack.

Apple’s AirPods Max, meanwhile, only come with a Lightning to USB cable for charging and don’t include any other input options.

Battery life

AirPods Max 2

Apple claims that the AirPods Max should last for 20 hours on a single charge. While I didn’t wear them for 20 hours straight, I can certainly tell that they should be more than capable of getting through a full day or a long flight with ease.

After wearing the AirPods Max pretty consistently to stream audio from my MacBook Pro and, in some cases, my iPhone during the workday, I still had 70% of the battery left after roughly 6.2 hours of use.

However, I did encounter some issues when it comes to power management, both of which have since been resolved. In one instance, the AirPods Max wouldn’t charge when plugged in until I reset them by holding the noise cancellation button and digital crown. In one other instance, I found that the AirPods Max’s battery had mysteriously drained from about 70% to 13% overnight when I left them outside of their case. I’ve reached out to Apple for clarity on both of these issues and will update this story accordingly.

While it’s great that the included Smart Case puts the AirPods Max in ultra-low power mode to preserve battery life, it’s a let down that they don’t actually charge the headphones themselves. The charging case that comes with Apple’s AirPods earbuds is hugely convenient, and it’s a shame that Apple couldn’t find a solution that translates to the AirPods Max in this regard, which would have helped justify their higher price.

Should you buy them?

The AirPods Max are well-designed headphones with impressive noise cancellation and superb audio. But their high price means they’re only worth buying if you’re an Apple loyalist that doesn’t mind paying a premium for high-end sound quality and a design that’s significantly more polished than similar headphones in the $300-$400 price range.

If you’re an Android phone owner, or are considering switching to Android, you’re better off looking elsewhere since you won’t get the full benefits that AirPods have to offer. If having flexibility when it comes to input and output options is a priority, the AirPods Max also probably aren’t for you.

What are your alternatives?

The $350 Sony WH-1000XM4 and $379 Bose Noise-Cancelling 700 are both excellent options. They work well across iPhone and Android, meaning you won’t have to remain tied to one ecosystem, and they cost significantly less than the AirPods Max.

They both offer excellent audio quality and noise cancellation that’s probably sufficient for most people, although I prefer Sony’s headphones over Bose’s based on my testing.

If you’re looking for professional grade audiophile headphones and don’t mind plugging them in, the $599 Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro are our current pick for the best over-ear headphones. They’ve gotten high marks in reviews from PCMag, TechRadar, and SoundGuys for their exceptional audio quality and comfortable fit.

The bottom line

AirPods Max 4

While the AirPods Max are well-built headphones that deliver first-rate performance, the benefits they offer may not justify the exceedingly high cost for most people.

The AirPods Max feel like a middle ground between wired audiophile headphones and less expensive wireless noise-cancelling headphones meant for casual buyers. Apple succeeds in that regard with the AirPods Max, but what remains to be seen is whether there’s a market for an in-between product like this. Apple has struggled in the luxury audio market before with its original HomePod, so we’ll have to see if things will be different for the AirPods Max.

Pros: Top-notch audio quality, excellent noise cancellation, premium design that feels more substantial than cheaper rivals, comfortable fit with thick but breathable ear cushions

Cons: Expensive, no charging case, included case doesn’t protect entire headset, no input options or included cables for other audio connections, AirPods pairing mechanism still exclusive to iOS, some battery-related bugs

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 5 best over-ear headphones in 2021 for audiophiles, wireless users, and budget shoppers

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Over-ear headphones tend to offer better sound performance than earbuds.
  • The perfect pair of over-ear headphones blend impressive audio quality with a comfortable design.
  • That’s why we think the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro are the best over-ear headphones you can buy.

Over-ear headphones are the ultimate in comfort and sound quality, but they aren’t always very portable like wireless earbuds.

If you decide that over-ear headphones are the right choice for you, then there are a few key things you should look for before you buy any old pair. For starters, you’ll want to think about whether you want a wired or wireless pair. Wired headphones generally sound better, though the difference might not be noticeable for most people, while wireless headphones are more convenient, because you cut the cord out of the equation.

You’ll also want to consider the type of driver inside the headphones. This won’t matter for most people, but audiophiles who want a ton of clarity and detail might want to consider a pair of planar magnetic or electrostatic headphones for the best performance.

Perhaps the most important thing to think about when looking for a new pair of headphones is budget. Audiophiles will be the first to tell you that it’s easy to spend thousands on a great pair of headphones, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a quality model for much less. With all this in mind, we’ve rounded up the best over-ear headphones for a variety of price points.

Here are the best over-ear headphones you can buy:

The best over-ear headphones overall

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO

The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO headphones may not be cheap, but the sound quality of these cans makes them absolutely worth the price.

Pros: Amazing sound quality, extremely comfortable

Cons: Expensive, bulky, not wireless, open-back design lets in outside sound

If you’re simply looking for the best over-ear headphones out there and don’t care too much about anything else, then the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO headphones are the way to go. These headphones may be a little pricey, but they’re built with the recording studio in mind, and they’re made specifically to deliver a powerful yet natural sound.

There are a few reasons these headphones sound so good. For starters, unlike most headphones these days, the DT 1990 PRO feature an open-back design. That means outside noise can get in, and your music can be easily heard by those around you, but it also helps create a much more natural sound with a wide soundstage. Open-back headphones are perfect for those who plan on listening to music at home by themselves.

On top of the open-back design, the headphones feature plenty of padding, replaceable and removable cables, and more. The sound-quality on these headphones, however, is where they really shine. They’re slightly bass-forward with plenty of midrange support and a ton of detail in the high-end. With more detail, instruments sound defined and separate, which makes for an awesome listening experience.

So what’s the downside? Well, the main one is price. They’re also a little bulky, though considering they’re really built for home use, that may not be an issue.

The best wireless over-ear headphones

sennhesier momentum 3

The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 headphones are the complete package, offering excellent sound quality, a comfortable fit, and wireless support.

Pros: Excellent design, wireless, great sound quality, comfortable, noise cancellation

Cons: Expensive, noise cancellation isn’t on par with models from Sony and Bose

Sennheiser is known for building some of the best headphones on the market, and the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 headphones are no exception to that rule. The headphones are beautifully designed, super comfortable, sound great, and even offer noise cancellation.

There are a ton of reasons to love these headphones, but the biggest reason is how great they sound. The headphones may not be the most accurate sounding headphones in the world, but they offer a fun listening experience.

For example, while there’s a little extra bass, it’s not too over-the-top. The mids are well-tuned, and the highs offer plenty of detail and clarity. They may not be as detailed as a pair of high-end wired headphones, but when it comes to wireless headphones in this price range, these are the best for audio performance. 

The headphones offer some great smart features too. They have noise cancellation, and while it’s not quite as good as Bose’s or Sony’s, it’s still effective. They even have Tile tracking built into them, so you shouldn’t ever lose them.

The best noise-cancelling over-ear headphones

Sony wh-1000xm4

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 are our go-to pair of headphones when we look for a balance of sound quality and noise-cancelling performance. 

Pros: Impressive sound quality, customizable sound, excellent noise cancellation, comfortable, long battery life, wireless

Cons: Expensive at full price

We picked the Sony WH-1000XM4 over the Bose 700 in this category because, while both headphones have similar noise-cancelling performance, the XM4s have a few advantages when it comes to portability. Most notably, the XM4s can fold up to make them easier to transport and they have longer battery life.

Don’t expect studio-grade accuracy here — the XM4s are meant to be a high-quality pair of headphones for “most people” to enjoy their music rather than audiophiles. With that in mind, they have a great range for bass, mids, and highs, and they handily produce clear and detailed sound. They’re also highly adaptable to your tastes thanks to adjustable settings via the app. 

Noise-cancelling performance is among the best you can find. The XM4s easily cancel unwanted noises in home and office settings, and they’re perfect for travel and commuting. 

With great quality and noise cancellation, however, comes a pretty high price tag for Bluetooth headphones. That said, the XM4s often get price cuts that bring them down closer to the $300 mark, and sometimes even lower. If you’re looking for a great pair of noise-cancelling headphones that won’t disappoint with audio quality, go for the Sony WH-1000XM4.

The best mid-range over-ear headphones

beyerdynamic

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO headphones may not be the prettiest around, but their sound quality is unrivaled in this price range.

Pros: Excellent sound quality, good value for money

Cons: Bulky, no removable cable, no wireless support

Beyerdynamic may claim the top spot on our list with the expensive Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO headphones, but it turns out the company makes some pretty great budget headphones, too. Case in point: The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO headphones. This model features an affordable price and offers excellent value for the money.

While these headphones may not be wireless or have noise cancellation, they do offer fantastic sound quality. The DT 770 PRO boast plenty of bass without going too far over the top, a well-tuned midrange, and a good amount of clarity and detail in the high-end.

Of course, the headphones aren’t perfect. They’re largely suited for home listening rather than anything else, and they’re a bit bulky because of that. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s still something to keep in mind. The headphones also don’t have a removable cable, which is a little frustrating for some.

Still, despite those issues, most reviewers love the headphones. PCMag gave them 4.5/5 stars, while CNET gave them 8/10.

The best affordable over-ear headphones

Audi Technica headphones

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are an ideal choice for buyers who want a budget-friendly pair of over-ear headphones that still sound great.

Pros: Comfortable, 40mm drivers with excellent sound for the price

Cons: Bass response is lacking, no wireless support

Though they are a step down from our other picks, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x over-ear headphones perform remarkably well for their price.

The entry-level pair of studio headphones use an over-ear design with 40mm drivers. Bass isn’t particularly impactful, but the headphones offer impressive audio performance for their class, with pleasing high- and mid-range sound quality. Again, these aren’t audiophile level, but they get the job done very well for everyday listening.

Comfort and build are also strong thanks to the cushioned headband and padded ear cups. While the headphones don’t feature wireless connectivity or active noise cancellation, the cups actually provide solid noise isolation so outside sounds won’t bother you as much while listening.

As a brand, Audio-Technica is known for higher end headphone models, like the M50x and M70x, but for such a budget-friendly price, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x provide a very nice value.

Check out our other headphone buying guides

Apple AirPods Pro

The best noise-cancelling headphones


The best earbuds


The best true wireless earbuds


The best cheap headphones

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best AirPods in 2021 for casual listeners, budget buyers, and audiophiles

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Apple’s AirPods lineup includes the $159 standard AirPods, $249 AirPods Pro, and $549 AirPods Max.
  • The AirPods Pro are our top pick because of their wide variety of features and great sound quality.
  • Don’t forget to check out our guide to the best AirPods deals for savings and discounts.

AirPods have become synonymous with wireless earbuds, but Apple expanded its popular audio lineup in December to include the AirPods Max, its first pair of over-ear headphones.

Now, with three different AirPods options, there’s more choice than ever for Apple fans in need of a new pair of wireless headphones. Each pair of AirPods comes with its own benefits and features, and which model is right for you will largely depend on how you intend to use them.

Those who just want the basics and are looking for the most affordable pair of AirPods should consider Apple’s standard AirPods. But Apple’s $249 AirPods Pro are our top pick because they offer a wider range of features that make them much more versatile.

And finally there’s the $549 AirPods Max, Apple’s top-of-the-line wireless headphones that come with a premium over-ear design, active noise cancellation, and high-quality audio. These headphones are best for Apple fans that don’t mind paying top dollar for exceptional audio and prefer an over-ear design.

Here’s how to decide which AirPods are right for you.

The best AirPods overall

apple air pod pro

The AirPods Pro offer the best balance of sound quality, customization, and features, making them the most versatile headphones in Apple’s lineup. 

Pros: Great noise cancellation, customizable and durable design, good sound quality

Cons: Sony’s WF-1000XM3 are better when it comes to sound quality and noise cancellation

Apple’s AirPods Pro are our top pick because they offer the best experience with the least compromise. 

The AirPods Pro address many of our complaints about Apple’s original AirPods since they offer adjustable ear tips, active noise cancellation, better sound quality, and sweat and water resistance. That makes them a great choice whether you’re looking for a reliable pair of wireless earbuds for working out or drowning out distractions.

The biggest benefit that the AirPods Pro offer over the standard AirPods are active noise cancellation. During my time using them, I’ve found that the AirPods Pro are able to successfully dull the sound of the treadmill humming during my run, the noisiness of the New York City subway, and chatty coworkers. They don’t seal out sound as efficiently as the AirPods Max given the latter model’s over-ear design, but they do a great job for earbuds.

In addition to bringing active noise cancellation and swappable ear tips for a more customized fit, the AirPods Pro also sound better than their cheaper siblings. 

Unlike the regular AirPods, the AirPods Pro have a custom Apple driver and high dynamic range amplifier, which results in sound that feels more boisterous and rich compared to the standard AirPods. They also support spatial audio, a surround sound effect that adjusts as you move your head. The standard AirPods don’t have this feature.

While the AirPods Pro’s active noise cancellation and wide selection of features make them the best choice for most people, especially since you can often find them at a discount, that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. 

Anyone who isn’t partial to Apple should strongly consider Sony’s WF-1000XM3 wireless earbuds, which offer better noise cancellation, sound, and battery life compared to the AirPods Pro.

The best AirPods on a budget

Apple Airpods

Apple’s standard AirPods nail the basics when it comes to truly wireless earbuds, such as quick connectivity, decent sound quality, and plenty of other features that pair nicely with the iPhone.

Pros: Convenient pairing features, lightweight design, hands-free Siri access, quick device switching

Cons: Wireless charging case adds a lot to the price

Apple’s regular AirPods package all the core features — like quick pairing with iOS devices and automatic playing and pausing — in a more affordable pair of wireless headphones. They’re the right choice if convenience is your top priority in a pair of wireless earbuds, and if you’d rather sacrifice features like noise cancellation to save a few bucks.

Apple updated its standard AirPods in 2019, adding new features like the ability to use Siri hands-free and faster switching between devices. You also have the option to purchase AirPods with a wireless charging case, but that brings the price up to $199. 

Unless you really hate plugging your AirPods in with a Lightning cable and already own a wireless charger, we’d recommend either saving money by opting for the standard $159 pair or extending your budget to get the $249 AirPods Pro.

The AirPods that Apple launched in 2019 have the same design as the original model. That’s to say they have a simple, white aesthetic with stems protruding from the bottom that essentially makes them look like Apple just snipped the wires off its wired EarPods headphones. 

The standard AirPods are slightly lighter than the AirPods Pro (4 grams versus 5.6 grams), and unlike the AirPods Pro they rest on the ear rather than inside it. That means the regular AirPods might be a better choice for those who prefer a less obtrusive fit. 

All told, the standard AirPods are the best choice if convenience and affordability take priority over sound quality and noise cancellation when it comes to shopping for wireless earbuds. 

Read our full Apple AirPods review

The best AirPods for audiophiles

AirPods Max 3

At $549, the AirPods Max are the definition of luxury audio, offering superb sound quality, a premium and comfortable build, and top-notch noise cancellation.

Pros: Top-notch audio quality noise cancellation, premium design, comfortable fit 

Cons: Expensive, no charging case, included case doesn’t protect entire headset, no input options or included cables for other audio connections

The AirPods Max deliver first-rate audio performance and noise cancellation, all wrapped in an elegant design that outclasses rivals from Bose and Sony. 

The biggest difference you’ll notice between the AirPods Max and Apple’s other AirPods is its over-ear design. That alone suggests these headphones are designed for people that care more about audio quality than the average person, and also want a pair of headphones that make a statement when worn in public. 

The AirPods Max come with an Apple-designed driver and 10 audio cores for delivering computational audio and adaptive EQ, which allows the headphones to adjust their sound based on the fit of the ear cups. Like the AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max also support spatial audio and other features like quick-pairing. 

During my testing, I found that the AirPods Max sound significantly crisper, bolder, and louder than the $379 Bose Noise Cancelling 700 headphones. They also outperformed the $350 Sony WH-1000XM4, although Sony’s headphones came impressively close. 

The AirPods Max also deliver when it comes to noise cancellation. When I sat underneath an elevated subway that runs above a very busy street near my apartment, the AirPods Max were able to significantly dull the sound of the train screeching to a halt and nearby traffic.  

The downside, however, is that the included case doesn’t charge the AirPods Pro.  Instead, it puts them in low power mode.

There’s no doubt that the AirPods Max are excellent, but their price probably makes them inaccessible to most people. If you’re an Apple loyalist that cares about having top notch audio and prefers over-ear designs — and are willing to splurge for it  — the AirPods Max are the AirPods to get. 

But most people should check out the significantly cheaper Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones instead.

When will Apple release new AirPods?

Apple Airpods

Apple’s standard AirPods are now in their second generation, while the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max are in their first generation. The release cycle for AirPods isn’t as easy to predict as the iPhone’s, but here’s what we know based on reliable reports. 

  • AirPods: Apple’s second-generation AirPods launched in March 2019, and the company is said to be preparing a new pair of its least expensive wireless earbuds for launch in 2021. The new earbuds will have a new design with a shorter stem, longer battery life, and replaceable ear tips, according to Bloomberg. That report says Apple had discussed launching the new AirPods in the first half of 2021. But TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reported that they won’t go into mass production until the third quarter of 2021.
  • AirPods Pro: Apple launched the AirPods Pro in October 2019. The company is working on a new redesigned version with a shorter stem that more closely resembles other wireless earbuds from brands like Samsung, according to Bloomberg. But it’s unclear when this new model would launch.
  • AirPods Max: Apple just released the AirPods Max in December, and we have not heard any details about when a successor could launch.
Read the original article on Business Insider

The best headphone deals – save $50 on Apple’s AirPods Pro noise-cancelling earbuds

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

airpods pro
  • Good-quality headphones can be expensive, but they often go on sale.
  • We’ve rounded up the best headphone deals for April 2021.
  • Right now, the Apple AirPods Pro are on sale for $199 – that’s $50 off their full price.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

A great pair of headphones can change the way you listen to music. Sure, the random earbuds that you have in your bottom drawer may do the job just fine for some, but if you want to hear nuanced details, well-rounded bass, or a sparkling high-end, you’ll need something a little more versatile.

Of course, quality headphone can get pricey, but there are plenty of good discounts out there if you know where to look. And that’s exactly why we put together this guide for the best headphone deals that you can take advantage of right now. We update this list regularly, so be sure to check back for all the latest deals.

Here are the best headphone deals in April 2021

AirPods Pro (small, Preferred: Staples)Powerbeats Pro (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Studio 3 Wireless Headphones (small, Preferred: Amazon)Solo3 Wireless Headphones (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Over-ear headphone deals

sony wh1000 xm4 man at cafe

Over-ear headphones may not be the most portable headphones out there, but they generally sound a whole lot better than in-ear headphones, thanks to their larger drivers. They also boast long battery lives and plenty of padding for a comfortable fit. Some models even include smart features — like integration with your digital assistant, noise cancellation, and more.

Studio 3 Wireless Headphones (medium, Preferred: Amazon)PXC 550-II Wireless Bluetooth Headphone (small)

 

On-ear headphone deals

Beats Solo 3 headphones

On-ear headphones are a good compromise between portability and sound-quality. Sure, you won’t be able to fit them in your pocket, but they’re light-weight enough to easily carry around in a bag or backpack without noticing much of a difference. Unlike over-ear headphones, on-ear headphones rest on your outer ear, but good ones don’t do so uncomfortably.

Product Card (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)
In-ear headphone deals

powerbeats earphones

Looking for something portable that you can easily put into your pocket? In-ear headphones are the way to go. We have technically split the in-ear headphones into two categories — so if you’re looking for modern true wireless headphones, skip ahead to the next section. 

The deals below are for wired in-ear headphones, which connect through a cable to your listening device, and wireless in-ear headphones which connect via Bluetooth to your listening device. Unlike true wireless headphones, however, regular wireless in-ear headphones still feature wires to connect each earbud together.

Product Card (small, Preferred: Amazon)
True wireless headphone deals

Apple Airpods

Perhaps you want to avoid wires all together with a pair of true wireless headphones. These headphones feature separate earbuds that connect wirelessly to each other and to your listening device. A good example of true wireless headphones are Apple’s AirPods Pro — which are on sale right now for $199.

AirPods Pro (small, Preferred: Staples)Powerbeats Pro (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Momentum True Wireless 2 Earbuds (medium)AirPods with Charging Case (small, Preferred: Micro Center)Product Card (medium)Soundcore Liberty True Wireless In-Ear Headphones (small)
How to shop for headphones

Bose 700 headphones lifestyle in office

If you are in the market for a new pair of headphones, it’s worth figuring out exactly what kind of headphones you want. The first step is to determine whether you want in-ear headphones, on-ear headphones, or over-ear headphones.

In-ear headphones are more portable than any other headphones, while over-ear headphones are the most comfortable and deep-sounding. On-ear headphones are often considered a good compromise between the two. If you hate wires, you could also get true wireless in-ear headphones, like AirPods, which cut the cables completely. 

It’s also worth looking into a few headphone brands. If you’re an audiophile who wants the best-sounding headphones, companies like Sennheiser, Klipsch, and Shure are worth considering. If you want incredible noise-cancelling headphones or those that work great for day-to-day use, consider those from Sony or Bose. And, if you want plenty of bass and tight integration with your Apple products, look into headphones from Beats or Apple itself.

Once you’ve determined the type of headphones you want, you’ll want to figure out what your budget is. These days, you can get solid headphones for under $100, but as with anything, you get what you pay for — and the more you’re willing to spend, the better headphones you’ll be able to get. 

Check out our headphone buying guides:

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best headphone deals – save $70 on Sony’s flagship noise-cancelling headphones

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Sony wh-1000xm4
  • Good-quality headphones can be expensive, but they often go on sale.
  • We’ve rounded up the best headphone deals for March 2021.
  • Right now, the Sony XM4 are on sale for $278 – that’s $70 off their full price.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

A great pair of headphones can change the way you listen to music. Sure, the random earbuds that you have in your bottom drawer may do the job just fine for some, but if you want to hear nuanced details, well-rounded bass, or a sparkling high-end, you’ll need something a little more versatile.

If you are in the market for a new pair of headphones, it’s worth figuring out exactly what kind of headphones you want. The first step is to determine whether you want in-ear headphones, on-ear headphones, or over-ear headphones.

In-ear headphones are more portable than any other headphones, while over-ear headphones are the most comfortable and deep-sounding. On-ear headphones are often considered a good compromise between the two. If you hate wires, you could also get true wireless in-ear headphones, like AirPods, which cut the cables completely.

It’s also worth looking into a few headphone brands. If you’re an audiophile who wants the best-sounding headphones, companies like Sennheiser, Klipsch, and Shure are worth considering. If you want incredible noise-cancelling headphones or those that work great for day-to-day use, consider those from Sony or Bose. And, if you want plenty of bass and tight integration with your Apple products, look into headphones from Beats or Apple itself.

Once you’ve determined the type of headphones you want, you’ll want to figure out what your budget is. These days, you can get solid headphones for under $100, but as with anything, you get what you pay for – and the more you’re willing to spend, the better headphones you’ll be able to get.

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to spend as much as you normally would if you can find a great deal. And that’s exactly why we put together this guide for the best headphone deals that you can take advantage of right now.

Here are the best headphone deals in March 2021

WH-1000XM4 Wireless Headphones (medium, Preferred: Adorama)WF-SP800N Wireless Earbuds (medium)Solo3 Wireless Headphones (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Soundcore Life P2 Earbuds (medium, Preferred: Amazon)700 Headphones (small, Preferred: Best Buy)

Over-ear headphone deals

sony wh1000 xm4 man at cafe

Over-ear headphones may not be the most portable headphones out there, but they generally sound a whole lot better than in-ear headphones, thanks to their larger drivers. They also boast long battery lives and plenty of padding for a comfortable fit. Some models even include smart features — like integration with your digital assistant, noise cancellation, and more.

WH-1000XM4 Wireless Headphones (medium, Preferred: Adorama)700 Headphones (small, Preferred: Best Buy)SoundLink Headphones (small)
On-ear headphone deals

Beats Solo 3 headphones

On-ear headphones are a good compromise between portability and sound-quality. Sure, you won’t be able to fit them in your pocket, but they’re light-weight enough to easily carry around in a bag or backpack without noticing much of a difference. Unlike over-ear headphones, on-ear headphones rest on your outer ear, but good ones don’t do so uncomfortably.

WH-XB700 Wireless On-Ear Headphones (small)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)
In-ear headphone deals

powerbeats earphones

Looking for something portable that you can easily put into your pocket? In-ear headphones are the way to go. We have technically split the in-ear headphones into two categories — so if you’re looking for modern true wireless headphones, skip ahead to the next section. 

The deals below are for wired in-ear headphones, which connect through a cable to your listening device, and wireless in-ear headphones which connect via Bluetooth to your listening device. Unlike true wireless headphones, however, regular wireless in-ear headphones still feature wires to connect each earbud together.

Product Card (small, Preferred: Amazon)
True wireless headphone deals

Apple Airpods

Perhaps you want to avoid wires all together with a pair of true wireless headphones. These headphones feature separate earbuds that connect wirelessly to each other and to your listening device. A good example of true wireless headphones are Apple’s AirPods Pro — which are on sale right now for $219.

Momentum True Wireless 2 Earbuds (medium)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Product Card (small, Preferred: Amazon)Product Card (small, Preferred: Amazon)Elite Active 75t (small, Preferred: Best Buy)Product Card (medium)Soundcore Liberty True Wireless In-Ear Headphones (small)
Check out our headphone buying guides:

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best headphone deals – save $50 on the Bose 700 noise-cancelling headphones

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Bose 700 headphones Soapstone deal
  • Good-quality headphones can be expensive, but they often go on sale.
  • We’ve rounded up the best headphone deals for March 2021.
  • Right now, the Bose 700 are on sale for $329 – that’s $50 off their full price.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

A great pair of headphones can change the way you listen to music. Sure, the random earbuds that you have in your bottom drawer may do the job just fine for some, but if you want to hear nuanced details, well-rounded bass, or a sparkling high-end, you’ll need something a little more versatile.

If you are in the market for a new pair of headphones, it’s worth figuring out exactly what kind of headphones you want. The first step is to determine whether you want in-ear headphones, on-ear headphones, or over-ear headphones.

In-ear headphones are more portable than any other headphones, while over-ear headphones are the most comfortable and deep-sounding. On-ear headphones are often considered a good compromise between the two. If you hate wires, you could also get true wireless in-ear headphones, like AirPods, which cut the cables completely.

It’s also worth looking into a few headphone brands. If you’re an audiophile who wants the best-sounding headphones, companies like Sennheiser, Klipsch, and Shure are worth considering. If you want incredible noise-cancelling headphones or those that work great for day-to-day use, consider those from Sony or Bose. And, if you want plenty of bass and tight integration with your Apple products, look into headphones from Beats or Apple itself.

Once you’ve determined the type of headphones you want, you’ll want to figure out what your budget is. These days, you can get solid headphones for under $100, but as with anything, you get what you pay for – and the more you’re willing to spend, the better headphones you’ll be able to get.

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to spend as much as you normally would if you can find a great deal. And that’s exactly why we put together this guide for the best headphone deals that you can take advantage of right now.

Here are the best headphone deals in March 2021

WH-1000XM3 Headphones (medium, Preferred: Focus Camera)Elite 65t Earbuds (medium, Preferred: Woot)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Amazon)700 Headphones (small, Preferred: Best Buy)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Over-ear headphone deals

Bose 700 headphones lifestyle in office

Over-ear headphones may not be the most portable headphones out there, but they generally sound a whole lot better than in-ear headphones, thanks to their larger drivers. They also boast long battery lives and plenty of padding for a comfortable fit. Some models even include smart features — like integration with your digital assistant, noise cancellation, and more.

WH-1000XM3 Headphones (medium, Preferred: Focus Camera)700 Headphones (small, Preferred: Best Buy)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Amazon)SoundLink Headphones (small)
On-ear headphone deals

Beats Solo 3 headphones

On-ear headphones are a good compromise between portability and sound-quality. Sure, you won’t be able to fit them in your pocket, but they’re light-weight enough to easily carry around in a bag or backpack without noticing much of a difference. Unlike over-ear headphones, on-ear headphones rest on your outer ear, but good ones don’t do so uncomfortably.

Product Card (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)
In-ear headphone deals

powerbeats earphones

Looking for something portable that you can easily put into your pocket? In-ear headphones are the way to go. We have technically split the in-ear headphones into two categories — so if you’re looking for modern true wireless headphones, skip ahead to the next section. 

The deals below are for wired in-ear headphones, which connect through a cable to your listening device, and wireless in-ear headphones which connect via Bluetooth to your listening device. Unlike true wireless headphones, however, regular wireless in-ear headphones still feature wires to connect each earbud together.

Product Card (small, Preferred: Amazon)
True wireless in-ear headphone deals

Apple Airpods

Perhaps you want to avoid wires all together with a pair of true wireless headphones. These headphones feature separate earbuds that connect wirelessly to each other and to your listening device. A good example of true wireless headphones are Apple’s AirPods Pro — which are on sale right now for $199.

Momentum True Wireless 2 Earbuds (medium)Elite 65t Earbuds (medium, Preferred: Woot)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Product Card (small, Preferred: Amazon)Product Card (small, Preferred: Amazon)Product Card (medium)Soundcore Liberty True Wireless In-Ear Headphones (small)
Check out our various headphone buying guides:

Read the original article on Business Insider

37 gift ideas for him on Amazon for under $100

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Hand holding up Speks Geode

  • Finding the right gifts for the men in your life can be tough. We rounded up a helpful list of gifts they’re sure to enjoy. 
  • Each gift is available on Amazon for less than $100 and with two-day shipping for Prime members.
  • Need more gift ideas? Check out all Insider Reviews gift guides here.

Trying to find the right gift when none seem ideal tends to make procrastinators out of the best of us. That’s when most of us turn to the convenient, fast, reliable perks of shopping on Amazon and its mountain of options. 

To make your last-minute shopping easier, we found 35 gifts for him that won’t cost you more than $100, but that he’s still sure to like.

Most of these items are available with free one-day or two-day shipping if you have Amazon Prime, so you don’t have to stress over whether it’ll arrive on time. 

The top 5 best Amazon gifts for him under $100:

  1. A minimalist leather wallet from Bellroy ($75)
  2. A Philips Norelco beard and body trimmer for a comfortable shave ($39.95)
  3. A versatile iPhone case from Scooch ($49.99)
  4. An Echo Show 5 from Amazon ($89.99)
  5. A fun fidget toy from Speks ($19.95)

See more Amazon gifts for him:

A fun pair of socks

Amazon gifts for him under $100 Hot Sox

Hot Sox Men’s Travel Series, from $5.40

Whether these socks remind him of his favorite travel destination or a special trip you shared, they’re sure to be a great addition to his wardrobe. Each pair features a unique design inspired by 20 scenic sites around the world. 

A warm fleece vest

The North Face Gordon Lyons Vest

The North Face Gordon Lyons Vest, from $53.35

The North Face’s Gordon Lyons Vest is a warm and comfortable layer that any guy can work into an outfit. It’s available in a bunch of colors, so you can pick out his favorite.

A fast USB-C charger

Anker Fast Charger

Anker Nano 20W USB-C Charger, $16.99

This year’s iPhones won’t come with a charging adaptor in the box, so if you’re gifting a new iPhone, you’ll want to include an Anker Nano as a stocking stuffer. It charges three times faster than the typical Apple charger and is physically the same size.

A warm beanie

Carhartt Acrylic Watch Hat

Carhartt Men’s Acrylic Watch Hat, $16.99

Grab a warm, comfortable hat from a trusted outdoor brand for less than $20 and in 30+ colors.

A high-quality leather band for his Apple Watch

Bullstrap Apple Watch Band

Bullstrap Full-Grain Italian Leather Watch Band, $89.95

Bullstrap’s Italian Leather Watch Bands are the perfect way to add some elegance to his Apple Watch. They come in several colors of leather and are compatible with all generations of the Apple Watch.

A reliable and affordable cast-iron skillet

Amazon gifts under $50 Lodge

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet with Handle Holder, $34.48

A quality cast iron skillet is a gift that will get plenty of use and last a lifetime. Lodge’s Cast Iron Skill is affordable, durable, and comes with a silicone handle cover for heat protection.

A mug he’ll get plenty of use from

Gifts for him under $100 Amazon Yeti

Yeti Rambler, $18.74

This ever-reliable mug is well equipped for outdoor adventures and morning coffees alike. The vacuum insulation, dishwasher safety, and wide-grip handle all make this mug a standout.

A minimalist leather wallet

Bellroy wallet

Bellroy Low Slim Leather Wallet, $75

Replace his tired and tattered wallet with this slim leather billfold from Insider Reviews’ favorite wallet brand Bellroy. It’s made with ethically sourced leather that will age wonderfully and last many years.

A timesaving pizza cutter

Amazon gifts for him under $100 pizza cutte

Kitchy Pizza Cutter Wheel, $11.85

Whether he prefers homemade, takeout, or frozen, this pizza cutter will serve as a real timesaver in the kitchen.

A beard and body trimmer for a comfortable shave

OneBlade

Philips Norelco OneBlade Face + Body Trimmer, $49.95

What separates the Philips Norelco OneBlade from other trimmers and shavers is the unique blade. It uses a fast-moving OneBlade cutter with a dual-protection system on both ends. The base of the blade will contour to his face, allowing for a comfortable shave or trim without irritation — and it works for wet or dry shaving.

An affordable pair of headphones

Amazon gifts under $50 Panasonic

Panasonic Ergofit in Ear Earbuds, from $9.49

These headphones come with an under $10 price tag and a 4.3 rating on Amazon across nearly 90,000 reviews. They’re well-equipped for everyday use, the gym, or whenever Bluetooth isn’t applicable.

A versatile iPhone case

Scooch Wingman iPhone 11 Pro Max case

Scooch Wingman case, $39.99: iPhone 12/12 Pro and 12 Pro Max

A durable case is always an essential accessory. The Scooch Wingman is a military-grade case that has a built-in grip, kickstand, and car dash mount. To learn why it’s the only case I’ll use on my phone, read my full review on the iPhone 11 version.

A portable waterproof Bluetooth speaker

JBL Flip 4

JBL Flip 4, $79.95

Perfect for the adventure seeker, the JBL Flip 4 is rugged, portable, and waterproof. He can use it while camping in the backcountry, fishing at the lake, or even while he’s swimming. A newer version of the speaker — the Flip 5 — is also available, though it sells for over $100. 

A fun fidget toy

Speks Geode with under $25 tag

Speks Geode, $19.95

If he likes to fidget and play with things throughout the day, Speks magnets are an extremely satisfying option. We’re partial to the classic set, but this geode is intended to create a striking sphere in one of four bright colors. 

A few big bricks of soap

Amazon gifts for him under $100 Duke Cannon

Duke Cannon Big Brick of Soap WWII Era Collection, from $10

Duke Cannon is a military-inspired men’s grooming brand that helps support veterans and active service members by donating a portion of all proceeds. Even if the man you’re shopping for isn’t a serviceman, he’ll appreciate the smell and massive size of these soap bars.

A charging dock for his iPhone and Apple Watch

Belkin

Belkin Powerhouse Charge Dock for Apple Watch and iPhone, $99.99

Sure, you could give him a regular charging cord to juice up his phone, but a charging dock is often more convenient and definitely cooler. This one in particular also comes with a convenient place to charge his Apple Watch. 

*This gift is unavailable to ship until December 29, but it’s still available to purchase.

An 8-inch tablet for surfing the internet and streaming

Fire HD 8 Tablet

Fire HD 8 32GB Tablet with Alexa, $89.99

With an 8-inch 1080p full HD screen, the Fire HD Tablet is the perfect size for surfing the web, checking emails, and streaming videos. He’ll get lots of use out of it whether he’s at home or on the go.

An Alexa-enabled smart display

echo show 5

Echo Show 5, $89.99

Help him stay connected to the world by gifting him the new Echo Show 5. This smart display is good for video chatting with friends and family, checking the news, and controlling smart home devices like robot vacuums, security systems, and more. 

A cold-brew maker

Amazon gifts under $50 cold brew

Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, $19.99

Save him hundreds of dollars per year with this cold brew maker that lives up to coffee shop quality. It easily fits into most refrigerator doors, is simple to use, and makes a good amount of cold brew at once.

A smart speaker

echo dot with clock

Echo Dot 4th Gen with Clock, $59.99

The newest Echo Dot is more convenient than ever. The all-new design features a larger speaker for better audio, a digital clock to display the time and timer countdowns, and all of Alexa’s other skills.

A lavender-scented shaving kit

Gifts for him on Amazon under $100 Art of Shaving

Art of Shaving Men’s Lavender Mini Kit, $30

This four-piece shaving set is great for any guy trying to manage his five o’clock shadow; he just needs to supply his favorite razor. If he’s on the fence about scented shaving products, know that the lavender scent isn’t too strong.

A set of whiskey rocks

Amazon gifts for him under $100 Lords Rocks

Lord’s Rocks 11 Piece Whiskey Stones Gift Set, $19.99

Gone are the days of thinned-out drinks with these whiskey stones made of pure granite. Plus, it comes in a box set for easy gifting. 

A Tile Mate that will help him never lose his phone or wallet again

Amazon gifts for him under $100 Tile

Tile Mate, $24.99

He can place this tracker in his wallet, bag, or phone case to make sure he never loses his things, because if he does, the Tile app makes it easy to retrace.

A popular multitool

1

Leatherman Wingman Multitool, $59.95

Leatherman is a well-respected company, and they’re especially well-known for making multi-tools like this one. It has 14 tools including a knife, pliers, screwdrivers, a ruler, and both bottle and can openers hidden inside it.

A voice-enabled TV streaming stick

Fire TV Stick 4K with all new Alexa Voice Remote   Right_5

Fire TV Stick, Alexa-Enabled Voice Remote, $39.99

The all-new Fire TV Stick has a new Wi-Fi antenna design optimized for HD streaming and more storage for apps and games. Essentially, though, it’s still your standard media streaming stick, and can convert a dumb TV into a smart one that can stream Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and more. It’s Alexa-enabled, too, so you can control it by voice.

A specialty beer-making kit

Mr. Beer Craft Kit

Mr. Beer Premium Craft Making Kit, $47.40

If he’s one of those guys that either is or will one day be holed up in the garage making specialty beers, he’s going to love this DIY kit. It includes everything he’ll need to get started, including bottles.

A handy money clip

Amazon gifts for him under $100 money clip

Travelambo Carbon Fiber Money Clip, $9.99

This sleek money clip is durable, affordable, and lightweight. Whether he’s constantly on the go or simply prone to losing his wallet, this money clip will likely eliminate some pain points.

A durable 6-foot iPhone cable

Amazon gifts for him under $100 Anker

Anker 6-foot Charging Cable, $19.99

It’s something every one of us will feel grateful for a couple of times per day, but always put off buying for ourselves: a durable, 6-foot-long charging cable.

A turntable for his growing record collection

victrola

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player, from $47.99

Help him rediscover his favorite classic records with this affordable, portable turntable. If you’re feeling extra generous, pick up a record he doesn’t have or sign him up for a subscription to Vnyl.

A beard grooming kit to keep him looking neat

Rapid Beard kit

Rapid Beard Grooming & Trimming Kit, $29.97

This bestselling beard grooming kit isn’t messing around, and it’s reliant upon 100% natural and organic ingredients like argan oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E. It makes grooming, trimming, shaping, and taming easier.

Some of the best headphones you can find for $100

Status Audio BT One Wireless On-Ear Headphones

Status Audio BT One Wireless On-Ear Headphones, $79

The perfect pair of over-ear headphones is one that’s both highly comfortable and sounds great. This pair from Status Audio is among the best you’ll find at this price point. 

The most comfortable travel pillow

trtl travel pillow

Trtl Pillow, $29.99

It looks gimmicky, but it’s not. This is the best travel pillow on the internet in our opinion, and while it won’t convince you that you’re sleeping on a feather bed, it will make sleeping in an upright position far more enjoyable. If he travels, this is a thoughtful gift idea.

A hilarious coffee table book

Amazon gifts for him under $100 F In Exams

“F in Exams,” $6.29

This is a great gift for the person who can laugh at the little things in life, or for anyone who works as a teacher. It’s a collection of hilarious wrong test answers that is sure to keep them laughing.

A smart outlet for upgrading his smart home

Amazon gifts for him under $100 Wemo

Wemo Mini WiFi-Enabled Smart Plug, $23.98

Isn’t controlling everything in your house by voice so you never have to get up kind of the dream? These Wi-Fi- and Alexa-enabled outlets make that a reality. Plug them in, download the app, and you can control your lights and appliances from your phone and your voice.

A dry box for waterproof protection outdoors

OtterBox DRYBOX 3250

OtterBox DRYBOX 3250 Series, $49.99

This rugged case is basically like a tiny storage box, protecting not only their phone but also their keys, wallet, and other small essentials. It’s even waterproof up to 90 feet for 30 minutes, making it perfect for outdoor adventures.

The internet’s most popular cooker

Instant Pot

Instant Pot DUO80, $99

The Instant Pot is one of the most versatile appliances you can add to your kitchen for under $100. Help him make delicious home-cooked meals a cinch, even when he has to work late.

A soap bar that can bring dingy clothes back to life

Amazon gifts for him under $100 Laundress

The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar, $6.50

Add this stain remover bar as an additional gift. It’s a longtime Insider Reviews favorite — it’s relatively cheap and works exceptionally well. The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar is one of the only things that can bring white clothes back from the brink of donation piles, as we’ve attested in our roundup of the best things we bought on Amazon under $25.

Read the original article on Business Insider