When it comes to finding the best headphones, it can be hard to find the perfect pair for your style and needs - especially when there are so many models to choose from! We saw a lot of amazing releases in 2022, and to help make things easy for you as you shop for your next pair, we tried the best of them and chose our favourites for each category.
We have sorted our top picks for the best headphones of 2022 into six categories each with a runner-up: best noise-cancelling headphones, best true wireless earphones, best sports & fitness earphones, best home & office headphones, and best bass headphones.
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones
Sony WH-1000MX5 (Winner)
Sony's latest flagship, the WH-1000MX5, takes the crown as the best noise-cancelling headphones of 2022. Sony managed to improve on the last generation WH-1000XM4, which was already a fan favourite.
The WH-1000XM4’s already featured industry-leading noise cancellation, yet Sony went ahead and improved on the best. The WH-1000XM5 feature an Auto NC Optimizer that automatically will optimise the headphone's noise-cancelling based on your environment and the wearing conditions. This option from Sony also boasts two processors that control 8 microphones, and a specially designed driver unit.
Sony WF-1000XM4 (Runner Up)
If you’re after more portability, but still want killer noise-cancellation and premium sound, Sony has got you covered. When we say Sony has industry-leading noise cancellation, we mean it. That’s why we had to put the WF-1000XM4 into our runner-up spot. These in-ear headphones combine the best of true wireless technology with ultra-effective noise cancelling. In fact, with the Sony WF-1000XM4, you can pretty much block out the entire outside world when they’re securely fitted in your ear. These headphones from Sony are made to fit every ear, they offer you a personalised experience that adjusts to every situation. Being True Wireless, you’re also getting all of the advantages such as wirelessly charging, and touch controls.
Best True Wireless Earphones
Samsung Galaxy Buds2 (Winner)
Taking up our top position for the best true wireless earphones are the Samsung Galaxy Buds2. This wasn’t a big surprise to us here at PB Tech considering its predecessor - the Samsung Galaxy Buds - came out on top in our True Wireless Showdown video.
The Galaxy Buds2 had to take out our top spot because of their all-around performance in comfort, design, and premium sound specially tuned by AKG! You also get wireless charging and a heap of fun colours to choose from at a very accessible price point.
Apple Airpods Pro (Runner Up)
The AirPods Pro have managed to hold their runner-up spot from our previous writeup! They are straight up the best choice for Apple users too, thanks to Apple’s ecosystem. Since we last mentioned the AirPods Pro, software updates have added a slew of new features, and in late 2021, a new version was released that allowed for Apple MagSafe compatibility!
These have great sound thanks to Adaptive EQ, and a remarkably efficient high-dynamic-range amplifier that produces pure, incredibly clear sound while also extending battery life. They also have awesome squeeze controls, good active noise cancellation, and even come with a special new audio feature which provides an immersive directional surround-sound-like experience.
Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 (Special Mention)
The True Wireless space is hotly contested right now, that's why we felt the need to add a Special Mention. Sennheiser's MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 are a fantastic pair of in-ear headphones. You'll be enjoying the full extent of that Sennheiser premium sound, thanks to their innovative aptX Adaptive codec, and TrueResponse technology.
The quality of your listening experience will not be inhibited by a bad connection either, thanks to Bluetooth 5.2. Your audio will also withstand unpleasant background noises, as the MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 boasts Adaptive Noise Cancellation, that will automatically adjust to changes in the noise level of your environment. Exceptional battery life and Qi Wireless Charging round out a very premium product.
Best Sports & Fitness Earphones
Shokz OpenRun Pro (Winner)
Music is so important for getting you in the zone, so of course, finding a good pair of sports & fitness earphones is just as important! The Shokz OpenRun Pro takes out our top spot for this category. The OpenRun Pros utilise a pretty exciting way to deliver your audio, bone conduction.
These headphones are open-ear, allowing you to keep safe and aware of your environment while you exercise. The OpenRun Pros are super lightweight and very comfortable, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing them! Some lightweight headphones have trouble staying on your head or feel flimsy to the touch, we can confidently assure you these are durable and we’d be shocked if you managed to shake them off.
They have an IP55 rating, meaning they’re capable of withstanding rainy runs, sweaty rides, or any other gritty conditions you might face. Learn more about these headphones and their bone conduction technology here >
Sennheiser SPORT TWS (Runner Up)
We’ve given the runner-up spot on this list to Sennheiser, with their new SPORT TWS in-ear headphones. If you need some thumping bass to get you fired up for your workouts, these might be the better option for you!
The SPORT TWS bring that premium Sennheiser sound on the go in a comfortable, durable, and stylish package. The beauty of these headphones is that you can really tailor your experience to your liking. They have special EQ modes that you can choose from, and an adapter to switch between open-ear and close-ear listening.
Best Home & Office Headphones
Bose QC45 Headphones (Winner)
The Bose QC45 Headphones are our winner for the home and office! They have a super slick design, premium noise-cancelling, and amazing sound; but what makes them our top pick for the home and office is the killer microphone array.
The QC45’s reliable sound and exceptional all-day comfort make them a hard package to pass up for office jockeys and business travellers alike. Bose also has added an additional fourth external microphone, which gives the QC45’s improved and unrivalled voice pickup.
The QC45s also have multi-point Bluetooth connectivity so you can connect with more than one device at once. This means you can quickly go from listening to a playlist on your phone to taking a conference call on your laptop.
Shokz OpenComm (Runner Up)
The runner-up for the home and office is Shokz’s OpenComm. Another addition from Shokz on our list, this time with a slightly different focus. Surprisingly, what makes for great sports headphones has some overlap with what you’d want in-home/office headphones.
This is a totally different form factor from what you’re used to, it leaves your ears completely open. This makes the OpenComm a great option, they’re perfect if you’re on the road and need to keep all your senses, or if you’re ears and head get fatigued from other headphones in all-day meetings.
Best Bass Headphones
Skullcandy Crusher Evo (Winner)
If you’re all about the bass, check out the Skullcandy Crusher Evo - our skull-thumping winner for our bass category. The earcups on these actually vibrate on your head in sync with the bass of your music. You can control your immersive sensory bass experience with a slider that ranges from Bone Rattling bass to Mellow. Plus, the audio quality improvements over the original Crushers let you experience an even broader range of deeper, richer, bass.
You can also use the personalised sound feature in the Skullcandy app to adjust the audio levels for your specific hearing. They’re also rugged, durable, and have up to 40 hours of battery life to keep up with you wherever you go.
Panasonic M500 or M700 (Runner Up)
The runner up in our bass category for 2020 is the Panasonic M500 Deep Bass Headphones. These combine Panasonic’s XBS Deep and Bass Reactor technologies to deliver a thumping bass that you’ll also feel vibrating through the earcups. The Deep Bass sound profile is delivered via a huge 400mm Free Edge Driver which generates a serious bass response with maximum precision, and minimal distortion. They are less tunable than the Skullcandy crushers though which is what leaves them behind in second place. The M700’s are also worth mentioning alongside the M500s. Both are very similar, but we recommend heading into a PB Tech store to try them both on and see which vibration experience you like the most.