Since 1910 when the first headphones were developed by Nathaniel Baldwin, countless headphones brands and way too many headphone models flooded the hi-fi market. Now with many options available, it can be quite a challenge to distinguish the best one.
A turning point in the headphones industry was 2008 when Dr. Dre came out with Beats. Together with Jimmy Iovine, he released a product of superior sound quality with such rich bass. While some would claim that Beats are overrated, it is undeniable that the brand has paved the way for headphones which have become gadgets on their own.
Every music lover desires something distinct in headphones to match their personality and style. In praise of the hi-fi technology and headphones prominent features, here’s the list of the brands you need to know about.
Beats by Dre
Beats by Dr. Dre (Beats) is a leading audio brand founded in 2006 by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Through its family of premium consumer headphones, earphones and speakers, Beats has introduced an entirely new generation to the possibilities of premium sound entertainment.
In 1958, John C. Koss teamed up with engineer Martin Lange, Jr. to develop a portable stereo phonograph player with side-wing speakers. The pair demonstrated their new stereo record player at a Wisconsin audio show. One of the product’s unique features was a privacy switch, which allowed listeners to hear music by plugging in the world’s first SP/3 Stereophone.
The company was founded in 1964 by Amar Bose. Eight years earlier, Bose, then a graduate student at MIT, had purchased a stereo system and was disappointed with its performance. This led him to research the importance of reverberant (indirect) sound on perceived audio quality.
Established in 1962, Audio-Technica is a worldwide group of companies devoted to the design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of problem-solving audio equipment. Initially known for state-of-the-art phonograph cartridges, A-T now creates high-performance microphones, headphones, wireless systems, mixers and electronic products for home and professional use.
The company was founded in 1945 by Fritz Sennheiser and seven fellow engineers of the University of Hannover. Its first product was a voltmeter. In 1968, Sennheiser released the world’s first open headphones. The introduction of open headphones affected the headphone market as they were able to produce a more natural sound that many users preferred.
AKG, founded in Vienna by Dr. Rudolf Goerike and Ernst Pless, soon became one of the biggest players in the world of sound. The company was founded in 1947 and within months, the first AKG microphones were being used in radio stations, theatres and Jazz-Clubs. In 1949, the first AKG headphones came on the market. One of the first customers of the famous C 12 microphone was the BBC in London.
Klipsch is an American loudspeaker company based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Founded in Hope, Arkansas in 1946 by Paul W. Klipsch, the company produces loudspeaker drivers and enclosures, as well as complete loudspeakers for high end, high fidelity sound systems, public address applications, and personal computers.
Grado Labs is a Brooklyn based company that hand makes headphones and cartridges. Family run since 1953, Grado has seen three generations: Joseph, John, and Jonathan Grado. As Ars Technica says, “…on a quiet street in south Brooklyn is a manufacturing operation that produces some of the most renowned headphones… it’s just the Grados in their narrow townhouse making the little-known, well-loved line of headphones.”
With a history of audio innovation that began in 1925, Shure has turned a passion for making great microphones and audio electronics into an obsession. No wonder Shure continues to set the worldwide industry standard for superior microphones and audio electronics.
It all began in a garage in 1961 when two airline pilots set out to invent an alternative to the conventional headsets of commercial aviation. The product Courtney Graham and Keith Larkin created in that tiny garage in Santa Cruz, California was more than just the world’s first lightweight headset. It was the birth of a company called Plantronics, and the first of a half-century of breakthroughs in communications.
Skullcandy came screaming into this world as the brainchild of notorious non-conformer and action sports product mastermind Rick Alden. One day as he was hauling to the top of a Park City peak for another powder run, he had to yank out his earbuds from his music player and use them to answer his phone. That’s when a simple but powerful idea hit him.
Pioneer was founded in 1938 in Tokyo, Japan by Nozomu Matsumoto – a man with a passion for music that he hoped to share with the world through high-quality audio speakers. That passion began with a small operation to repair and manufacture speakers in Matsumoto’s garage. It has since grown to international stature as a manufacturer of audio and video products for use at home, in the car and in business environments.
It all started with the talkie: electrical engineer Eugen Beyer started his own company in Berlin in 1924 to build cinema speakers. The forefather of all beyerdynamic headphones, the DT48, emerged in 1937. As the first dynamic headphone, it has accompanied generations of sound engineers and reporters.
V‑MODA, the award-winning maker of world-class high-fidelity headphones and audio devices, partnered with Roland to work hand-in-hand to develop breakthrough music products. The merger provided V‑MODA the resources to accelerate product development, push the boundaries of audio innovation and reach a global audience of music aficionados.
Ultrasone AG was founded as German GmbH in December 1990 by Florian M. König with the stated objective to manufacture advanced headphones with an emphasis on the professional audio sector. A feature of many Ultrasone headphones is a proprietary surround-sound simulacrum technology called S-Logic.
Monster is now the world’s leading manufacturer of high performance cables that connect audio/video components for home, car and professional use as well as computers and computer games. Monster Cable is an indispensable component for music lovers, audiophiles, recording studios, sound professionals, musicians, custom-installers and home theatre enthusiasts.
With its unique acoustical properties, wood has always played a crucial role in music, giving life to instruments and concert halls that have inspired music-lovers for centuries. Today, Symphonized continues this legacy through handcrafted, all-natural wood headphones and speakers, with each style offering listeners a unique experience unmatched by many of the modern materials used today.
House of Marley
House of Marley is built on the principles of superior quality, sustainability and a commitment to charitable causes. We are driven to enhance lives through great product experiences as well as using proceeds from product sales to support global forestry through our foundation.
Bowers & Wilkins
Bowers & Wilkins began as a radio and electronics shop in Worthing. Research and development has been a core activity within B&W, stimulated and exercised by its founder John Bowers. From the start of the company, earnings were invested in new product development. Bowers & Wilkins have a range of high quality headphones and earphones.
Firmly grounded in our 90 year history in Bang & Olufsen, we interpret the same core values for a new type of contemporary products. We don’t just make headphones. We’re not simply in the business of electronics. We’re in the business of goosebumps. The ultimate test for our sound engineers. That’s where our design department is graded. And how our craftsmanship is measured.
Since 1959, Westone has specialized in custom earpieces, earphones, and many other products to protect and enhance hearing, facilitate communication, and support Hearing Health Care professionals. Our dedication to absolute quality, uncompromising service, and The Golden Rule have made us a world leader in our industry.
Founded in Singapore in 1981, Creative started with the vision that multimedia would revolutionise the way people interact with their PCs. Famous for its Sound Blaster sound cards and for launching the multimedia revolution, Creative is now driving digital entertainment with cutting-edge audio solutions, premium wireless speakers, high-performance earphone products and portable media devices.
MEE is home to a group of audio enthusiasts who enjoy hearing music at its absolute best. Where others see a pair of headphones, we see the final step in experiencing music as it was meant to be. This is why we obsess over every detail of how our products look, feel, and sound, bringing you the ultimate listening experience.
Founded in 2005 by acoustic design engineer Tony Xu, SoundMAGIC design and manufacture award-winning headphones and earphones. By utilising the latest technology and best materials, SoundMAGIC are continuously improving and updating these products based on customer feedback.
We are music lovers, committed to changing the world… one listener at a time. We are Saviors of Sound, ready to rid the world of hollow-sounding headphones and speakers. We believe music has the power to touch you, move you and inspire you.
JBL was founded in 1927 in Los Angeles by James Bullough Lansing who was a pioneering American audio engineer and loudspeaker designer. In 1946, JBL produced their first product, the model D101 15-inch loudspeaker and the model D175 high-frequency driver. The D175 remained in the JBL catalog through the 1970s.
Marshall is a brand mostly known for their great guitar amps, but they also make modern and fashion-forward headphones. They offer the full range of headphones, earbuds, and speakers as well as the loudest smartphone on earth.
The concept Urbanears is spawned out of a number of ideas. Some that formed the project but just as many that came along the way. Primarily, there seemed to be no manufacturer of headphones out there that shared our belief in what headphones are and how they are used. Our passion is to make headphones with a profound understanding of how they are used, worn and why.
While every headphone company was content making wired headphones, we released the first ever athlete driven and designed wireless buds in 2006. We made one pair of buds that cut the cord and we kept innovating from there. Working with professional runners helped us design a seamless fit that anyone could tailor to the shape of their ear and actually forget they were wearing them.
AIAIAI is an audio design company with headquarters in Copenhagen dedicated to developing high quality audio products for everyday use. AIAIAI’s modern, minimalist headphones and earphones deliver clear, amplified sound. Informed by a heritage of Scandinavian design, AIAIAI strives to create high quality, accessible audio products.
HiFiMAN Electronics is a designer and manufacturer of audio products including headphones, amplifiers, and portable audio players. Founded by Dr. Fang Bian in late 2005 while he was living in New York City, Bian started Head-Direct, both a web-store and Head-Fi sponsor.
JLab Audio is an award-winning designer of personal audio including Bluetooth earbuds, headphones and speakers. Founded in 2005, our mission is to enhance how you GO through life with incredible sound, inspired design, and innovative technology without the rock star price. No matter your passion, we keep you GOing with high-quality gear, inspired designs, and world-class, hassle free customer support.
Since 2008 Brainwavz provides high-end earphones specifically designed for high-quality sound and tailor-made to provide the user with a solution that can be used across a wide range of audio genres and styles at affordable prices. Brainwavz believes in the idea that sound is a deeply personal experience.
PSB Speakers gets up close and personal with your hi-fi. We’ve taken our 40 years of bringing real sound to real people and packed it into our exciting new series of high-performance headphones. You’re listening to music more than ever before, but now you can do it in comfort and style with PSB.
SOS1 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones. Highest quality at the most affordable prices. Open-backed headphones are generally considered to offer superior sound compared with their closed-back cousins.
FIIL was established to provide an audio solution for the creative consumer that has a passion for the arts, but is tired of the status quo. The brand was founded by headphone pioneers and music professionals, each with more than 20 years of experience in music, design, and consumer electronics.
Focal-JMlab is a French company, which has been designing and selling high-fidelity audio systems since 1979. This Saint-Étienne based company manufactures loudspeakers for the home, speaker drivers for automobiles, headphones and professional monitoring loudspeakers.
Gripped Fitness Audio
Our mission is to bring you a product that boasts premium sound quality, with the functionality and styling required for an active lifestyle at a price that won’t break the bank. Music is a powerful thing, it unites people, inspires and energizes our body and spirit, it enriches any space it fills, and in doing so, brings out the best in us.
We believe in the beauty of sound—in music that takes us back, sustains, and draws us closer. Knowing this, our team hopes to deliver innovations in design and audio that make the listening experience as personal as your own narrative. The core of our existence as an audio company is grounded in the notion that all sound is unique. You’re obviously no different, and we want to return the control back to you.
Mymanu is an innovative manufacturer and designer of smart consumer electronics that enrich people’s experience through the power of sound. We’ve combined our passion for innovation, music, communication, and technology to develop unique and truly wireless solutions with the finest sound quality that will empower people to celebrate and create new experiences whilst connecting with others.
As a former All-American and NFL Wide Receiver, I know what it means to play hard. One day at practice, while running drills, I cut a sharp 90-degree out route, and “SNAP!” – my music fell victim to decades of inferior, poorly designed headphones unable to keep up with the active lifestyle of a true athlete. I created LIVV Headphones.
Here at Noble, we craft some of the finest universal-fit and custom-fit in-ear monitors available today. Offering universal-fit and bespoke custom-fit in-ear monitors, Noble is revered internationally for its design aesthetic, craftsmanship, and exceptional sound quality.
We build high-end headphones, so we obsess about sound quality. Every aspect counts. The engineering, choice of materials, the precision of craftsmanship, the reliability are all equally important.
We also make parts easily replaceable. All of these to ensure that a feeling of trust will accompany your every interaction with a Meze.
At iT7 Audio we manufacture a growing range of high-quality music devices, including headphones and portable speakers. These premium acoustic products fuse sophisticated design with the latest Bluetooth® technology offering superior sound quality and portability, whilst providing consumers with the freedom to make and receive calls on the move.
Everything about that special year (1964) was life changing, and it left an indelible mark on everyone who lived it or later learned of it. 64 Audio’s sole focus is making that same mark when it comes to personal audio. It was Syd Moore who once said, “disregard for the past will never do us any good. Without it we cannot know truly who we are”.
Kyle Kirkpatrick is an extreme athlete and a nerd for tech. But he was fed up with headphones because they wouldn’t stay in, sounded awful or hurt his ears. Decibullz are the first thermo-fit custom molded earbuds. They are also the only custom earphones that can be remolded.
TUNES Earphones has an astonishing speaker design that directs sound into the ear for deep bass and extended frequency response. Equipped with dual-driver acoustics that power music through each earbud delivering a wave of 360 degrees of listening experience.
Phiaton is redefining the listening experience for music lovers everywhere, creating a better way to enjoy total audio. Through innovation, continuous research and the ongoing development and refining of new technologies, Phiaton produces premium-class audio devices that blend superior, authentic sound reproduction with stylish looks and luxurious comfort.
Our story begins back in 2006. We had a simple idea and a big vision — to create great music experiences that everyone could enjoy and love. Today, we’re based in an old brewery in central Stockholm/Sweden, and the heartbeat that continues to drive us forward is a relentless focus on engineering and design innovation.
Zipbuds was born in 2009 out of our passion for music and love of creating solutions to problems that had gone unaddressed in the earbud industry. At the time, tangled earbuds were unanimously the greatest frustration for earbud users, to combat this issue, we developed and patented the zipper earbud.
Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, OPPO Digital designs and markets high quality digital electronics that deliver style, performance, innovation, and value to A/V enthusiasts and savvy consumers alike.
Mpow specializes in consumer electronics and accessories, and we offer innovative products to our customers. Our products range from Bluetooth receiver to iPhone headsets. At Mpow, we work passionately to create products with simplicity and usability. We talk & listen to our customers and value every constructive feedback to improve our products and services.
Launched in 2011, iDeaUSA is a technology company focused on bringing innovative solutions to children and adults. The team strives to bring quality and affordable products to the everyday user without any limitations of proprietary technology.
Starting out in 2006 as a research & development centre to produce the worlds first vibration driven wireless speaker, the Cowin vibration powerful Bluetooth speaker line-up was launched in 2007 to help people who, like our company founder, enjoy listening to music wireless with good and precise sound quality.
1MORE was born with a profound mission: Music lovers, young or old, frugal or affluent, deserve to hear music as it was meant to be heard, as the artist intended it to be heard. Music lovers deserve to HEAR MORE. 1MORE offers MORE by transcending industry standards through revolutionary innovation, design and quality.
Ailihen, Born in 2006,constantly trying to catch up the goal of providing high quality products with affordable price to benefit our valued customers.With the support of a professional engineering team and skilled staff who has been dedicating in this field for nearly two decades, every piece of the item we made is trustworthy and to your best experiences.
The Denon brand came from a merger of Denki Onkyo and others in 1939. Today, the company specializes in professional and consumer home cinema and audio equipment including A/V receivers, Blu-ray players, tuners, headphones, and wireless music systems.
SoundWhiz was founded in early 2015 with a simple objective. Having experienced the power of audio to provide motivation, we recognized a significant gap in the market for aptly designed headphones that met the fitness enthusiast’s need for wireless stable, sweat-proof, high sound quality in-ear headphones.
Exceptional audio should be available to everyone, everywhere. We understand our customers. We know that sometimes they want to watch their must-see tv show, play their latest video game or groove to their favorite music without disturbing others or being bothered by other noise around them.
MrSpeakers was founded with a simple goal in mind: make great headphone products and have fun doing it. At MrSpeakers, we believe audiophile performance can be delivered at a variety of prices and we strive to deliver incredible performance and high value for each and every product.
Campfire Audio began much in the same way as ALO audio. Experimenting with materials and techniques to create something special for the people who care most about it. And with the same determination the early prototype earphones eventually got great.
The Fostex Company was founded in July 1973. In 1978 Fostex started to developed speakers units for professional use. Fostex Company now has distribution in more than fifty territories and continues to be a major name in recording from the home musician to the television station.
Audeze’s origins go back to 2008 when founders Sankar Thiagasamudram and Alexander Rosson met engineer Pete Uka who developed specialized flexible circuit materials for NASA. They quickly realized the material might be perfect for headphones.
In 1980, in the hills near Vicenza, Italy, a small audio research team began working on a new concept. Their goal was to match the best Italian craftsmanship with the purest high fidelity technology. The result was Sonus faber, the audio brand whose “handmade sound” revolutionized the way the world listens: by pairing world-class sound quality with Italy’s unparalleled design heritage.
Meizu Technology was founded in 2003 by high-school dropout Jack Wong and now is the 11th largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. The Meizu M8 was highly praised for its sound quality, performance and attractive price.
At Sony, our mission is to be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity. Our unlimited passion for technology, content, and services and relentless pursuit of innovation drives us to deliver ground-breaking new excitement and entertainment in ways that only Sony can.Creating unique new cultures and experiences.
Philips headphones bring together the impossible – ultra light design and big, powerful sound. Created with feather-light materials and smooth lines for natural comfort.
In 1958, LG Electronics was founded as GoldStar. In 1978, LG Electronics earned US$100 million in revenue from exports for the first time in its history. LG Electronics plays a large role in the global consumer electronics industry.
Since the founding of our company in 1918, we at Panasonic have been providing better living for our customers, always making “people” central to our activities, and thus focusing on “people’s lives.”
Samsung was founded by Lee Byung-chul in 1938 as a trading company. Samsung entered the electronics industry in the late 1960s. As of 2017, Samsung has the 6th highest global brand value.
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