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Slick Picks: 8 Headphones Worth Setting Up a Deal Alert For
Nothing beats a great pair of headphones, but for every good pair, there's also a poorly made pair. In fact, the market is flooded with both great and awful headphones, so it can be tough to figure out which ones are right for you. The best way to find the headphones is to decide what features matter most for your needs. Is comfort most important? Or maybe you just want a wireless pair that will stay out of your way when you work out?
We're here to help you, Slickdealers. We've put together a list of the best headphones in eight different categories, so you can find the ones that meet your specific needs. When you've narrowed down the one or two you want, go set up a Deal Alert here and we'll email you when a matching deal is posted.
Monoprice Noise Canceling
For Noise Canceling
If you're looking for a pair of Bose QuietComfort 15s (which have been discontinued by their manufacturer in favor of the QuietComfort 20s and QuietComfort 25s), but don't want to pay the $200 plus price tag, check for deals on the Monoprice Noise Canceling headphones. These noise canceling headphones actively block out up to 22dB on top of the passive 35dB reduction from the large, over-ear headphone cups. This means that if someone were having a normal conversation around you (a noise rated at ~50 to 60dB), you wouldn't be able to hear them. They'll block out your noisy open office environment, so you won't be able to hear Bob's conference call in the next cubicle. Plus, noises in the lower spectrum, like air conditioners, idling motors and speech, are also nearly entirely gone. They're powered by a single AAA battery and will last for up to 50 hours. While the Monoprice Noise Canceling can't quite stand up the the quality of the Bose QC15s, (which have long been considered the best noise canceling headphones on the market before being discontinued), they do offer good quality at a fraction of the price. And, they have good audio reproduction, offering a frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz with less than 1 percent distortion. Any frequency below 20Hz is felt more than it's heard, and frequencies higher 20,000Hz are not always audible anyway, so 20Hz to 20KHz is the ideal frequency response range. The Monoprice Noise Canceling headphones have an average rating of 4.1 out of 5.0 from 88 users on Amazon.
Current Price: $89.99*
All-Time Low: $89.99
*All current and all-time low prices are based on the Slickdeals Price Tracker as of 12/8/15.
Audio Technica ATH-M50X
For Great Sound
If it's crystal clear audio you seek, the Audio Technica ATH-M50X are the best bang for your buck. These studio monitor headphones provide a deep, accurate bass, with a frequency range of 15 to 28,000 Hz. With the ATH-M50X, consumers get studio quality sound for roughly $158. These headphones come highly recommended by many Slickdeals users, with user Gratisfied calling them the "best sounding headphones under $500." The Audio Technica ATH-M50X headphones have an average user rating of 4.7 out of 5.0 from over 1600 users on Amazon. You can't go wrong.
Current Price: $129.99 (Groupon)
All-Time Low: $115.00
Plantronics BackBeat Fit
For Workout Headphones
The Backbeat Fit by Plantronics are a wireless pair of headphones designed specifically for working out. They have a whopping 8 hours of wireless listening time per charge, and, best of all, the earbuds remain stable in your ear during even the most intense workouts. They also don't drown out surround noise in your environment, meaning you'll always be able to hear if a car is coming while running outdoors. Slickdeals user yamps called the BackBeat Fit the "best Bluetooth headphones [he's] tried." These are rated 4.3 out of 5.0 on Amazon from over 1,000 users.
Current Price: $69.99 (eBay Deals)
All-Time Low: $69.99
HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset
For Gaming Headphones
Undoubtedly, the most impressive and versatile gaming headphones are the HyperX Cloud II by Kingston, which work with PC, mobile and PS4 out of the box (and Xbox One with a connector sold separately). This headset has a frequency response of 15 to 25Khz, so you're able to hear those footsteps sneaking up behind you in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The HyperX Cloud IIs sound and look great, and they come in at under $100. Using these for PC Gaming brings 7.1 surround sound right into your ears, and the mic quality is rivaled by no other headset on the market, which is why they're TeamSpeak Certified and Voice Chat Optimized. If you can get them at the right price, the HyperX Cloud IIs are one sweet set of headphones you shouldn't pass up. More than 300 Amazon users give it an average rating of 4.2 out of 5.0.
Current Price: $99.99
All-Time Low: $83.69
RHA MA 750i
For Noise Isolation
Noise isolation differs from noise cancelation. What's the difference? Well, basically, noise cancelation headphones use microphones to listen to the sound of your music, and then use an algorithm to inverse the waves and feed them back into the headphones. These reversed waves cancel out the ambient sound. Noise isolation headphones, on the other hand, use a physical barrier between your ear and the noise around you to create a muffled level of noise. Usually, noise isolation headphones need to be crammed into your ears for best results, which can result in a sort of underwater, muffled effect. The choice between the two styles is really about personal preference and what your needs are, although noise canceling headphones tend to be a bit more expensive. If you decide on noise isolating headphones, the RHA MA750i headphones are the best choice. Their small size, numerous silicone attachments for the perfect fit, and great dynamic sound make them a good pick for your daily commute. The RHA MA750i provides no distortion on bass-heavy tracks, and even at top, unsafe listening levels, they don't distort. The cable is sturdy, which is especially important for headphones that are going to be handled frequently while traveling. They also come with a small travel case for storage. Amazon users gave it an average rating of 4.2 out of 5.0.
Current Price: $129.95
All-Time Low: $112.21
Plantronics BackBeat Go 2
For Best In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones
The Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 earbuds are the best in-ear Bluetooth earbuds available, and because they're not bulky like over-the-ear headphones, they get a big plus one for portability. The BackBeat Go 2s are also lightweight and connect via Bluetooth to your devices. They usually float around the $60 to $70 range, making them a great, affordable pair of headphones. As far as sound is concerned, bass response is better than their predecessor. Although they only last for roughly 4.5 hours, a 20 minute charge gives them an hour of extra listening time. Just be aware that they're not waterproof, just water and sweat resistant. So, you know, don't go swimming or anything with them on. The average Amazon rating for these is 3.6 out of 5.0 from over 1,300 users.
Current Price: $69.95
All-Time Low: $38
Samsung Level Over-Ear
For Best Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphones
If you're not fond of sticking things into your ears, there are plenty of great over-the-ear options that are still wireless and connected via Bluetooth. The best over-ear bluetooth headphones are Samsung's Level Over-Ears with active noise cancelation and a whopping 15 hours of talk/listening time. They're a bit more expensive than any in-ear Bluetooth headphones currently on the market, but their sound quality is significantly better, too. The Samsung Level Overs feature a 50mm bio-cellulose driver with a neodymium magnet for clear sound with deep, rich bass response at all volumes. These 50mm bio-cellulose drivers are most commonly used in professional studio reference headphones for mixing because they're 30 percent stronger than regular magnets, meaning that sound is sharper and clearer. These Bluetooth over-ear headphones currently hold a 4.5 out of 5.0 rating from Amazon buyers.
Current Price: $329.47
All-Time Low: $215.87
For the Cheap Option
Panasonic's RPHJE120K headphones are super cheap, with a current MSRP of just $9.99. These little guys are the best-sounding low budget headphones on the market. They're especially great for kids, since you won't be out much cash if they get lost of broken. You can find them on Amazon and other retailers now for roughly $6, and with that entry price, you really don't have much to lose. Even though they certainly look cheap, they're the number one best-selling headphones on Amazon, with over 20,000 users giving them an average rating of 4.4 out of 5.0.
Current Price: $5.50
All-Time Low: $5.38
Images courtesy of Amazon.com.
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