Top 15 Cool Headphones in 2019
We are all geeks at heart when it comes to our daily wear gear. We know how popular phone and watch brands thrive on this instinct. Much like these gadgets, our headphones have become parts of our identity. It’s only natural to look for the most stylish headphones with forward-looking features. Through our constant research in this area, we have been able to identify the latest features and create a list of the 15 coolest headphones in the market right now. These span the budget spectrum and represent the best features and styles in their price range. Whatever be your budget, these headphones are guaranteed to grab eyeballs everywhere you go.
Read our latest guide about the best noise cancelling headphones for sleeping.
What are the coolest headphones doing different?
It takes a certain X-factor for headphones to count as cool. Ever since headphones have become integral parts of user personas, manufacturers have stepped up their game. They now focus greatly on combining innovative under-the-hood technology with killer aesthetics.
Our team, being deeply involved in the headphones arena, value both form and function. Music is our first love, but we have come to appreciate comfort, convenience and a bit of vanity. Based on our user research, we found the following aspects that put headphones on the “cool” map:
There’s something about a well-made headphone that immediately draws the user in. We are fairly visual creatures, so any stab at style will not go unnoticed. Lately more and more headphones are focusing on wood veneers, metallic finishes, chrome highlights and leather earcups. They go from subtly elegant to outrageously ostentatious.
This reflects a key shift in the way we perceive the value of headphones. It’s more than just about good audio for casual music listeners. Headphones are akin to jewelry given their prominent position on the neck, so they must look good and go with your personality. Fortunately many major brands have picked up on this trend and tried to work their superb audio engines into the most artful designs. The relatively showoff-shy Sony has also resorted to muted glam in their current lineup of headphones. The most stylish headphones we selected have made an extra effort to work the charisma, subtle or otherwise, into their architecture.
Features are the buzzword when it comes shopping online. We are hungry for our devices to accomplish more with a small footprint. The coolest headphones of 2019 are more than just music players. They are noise-cancelers, they are wireless, they are literally independent of the playback devices.
The playback experience itself could be augmented by the features of these headphones. For example: AptX compatibility improves the quality of Bluetooth audio, so many modern headphones integrate Apt-X into their work. Similarly, there are convenience features like foldable arms, detachable cable, and partner Android/Apple app. Not only do they make your life easier, they help you connect with more devices and people.
The cool headphones have something to offer that their peers don’t. It could be a simple design tweak that gives them a more comfortable hold on the ears. Planar magnetic headphones have been all the rage for their low total harmonic distortion. They fall conveniently under the definition of cool for now. Touch-sensitive surfaces have been around for a while, but the recent headphones have managed to run touch controls glitch-free.
Stalwarts like Sony and Sennheiser have built more adaptive sound technology into their headphones. These adjust the volume and direction of the audio based on the atmospheric pressure and how the earcups sit on the ears. Such features take the onus off the user to maintain consistently good audio response.
More and more casual listeners now understand the nuances of neutral, detailed music. Even bassy headphones in the cool headphones category have a better handle on the maintaining clarity in the audio. The paradigm shift has prompted the brands to have a more neutral audio profile. Neutral sound signature can be tweaked with the equalizer easily. It difficult to mask the bass/treble of a bass/treble-heavy headphone.
Bluetooth headphones have improved their ability to relay the music with minimal compression and loss of details, a feature we covet in the coolest headphones. Active Noise Cancelling capability comes with its own set of supporting features that propel any headphone into the “cool” category.
Vanity is never greater than comfort when it comes to headphone. Fortunately, the newer headphones try to integrate comfort with the design while balancing good aesthetics. The cool headphones often carry features like velour earpads which are super comfortable and breathable. Some feature leather or foam padding on the headband to apply softer pressure on the sides. Cables that plug into a single earpad and lends more mobility to the head movement are a feature of many of these cool headphones.
Some of them feature metal joints reinforcing the critical areas.
Read our complete guide about the best waterproof headphones.
Which are the coolest headphones in the market right now?
We sorted through a whole horde of headphones to find the ones with that X factor. We ranked them based on the following factors:
The cool headphones definitely had to cut it in the design department. We checked for headphones the seamlessly combine style with comfort. Apart from the usual design considerations, we noticed the button placement and the choice of colors. We also paid special attention to how good the headphones looked when worn and whether they stick out from the ears.
Sound is our priority. No matter how stylish headphones were, they didn’t make it to the list, if they didn’t deliver on the audio quality. We preferred a neutral sound signature and appreciated any option to dial up the bass, which is a popular choice. We also favored headphone with a slightly warm sound over those that sounded clinically clean.
When headphones become a style statement, users like to wear it everywhere. As such, they expect them to be comfortable for long hours of use and portability. The headphones which could integrate comfort with style and didn’t stick out awkwardly in the process got brownie points.
The “cool” quotient of these headphones comes from a gamut of cool features which give them an edge in the market. These range from a well-built Bluetooth functionality to advanced adaptive sound technology. As the features scale up, so does the price point.
The cool headphone span over a moderate to expensive budget range. We have compared them based on their value for money. Whatever be your budget, we’ve picked the best cool headphones you can get in the price range.
Top 15 Cool Headphones In 2019
|1. Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones||up to 30hrs of battery lif||$$$||4.5|
|2. Bose QuietComfort 35 II ANC Headphones||Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system||$$$||4.4|
|3. Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless ANC headphones||Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology||$$$||4.4|
|4. Bose SoundLink II around-ear wireless (AeW II) headphones||Up to 15 hours play time||$$$||4.3|
|5. Meze 99 Classics headphone||Real walnut wood earcups||$$$||4.2|
|6. Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7GM SonicPro Hi-res headphones||Three detachable cables||$$$||4.2|
|7. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 Bluetooth Headphones||Connectivity technology: wireless. Bluetooth||$$$||4.2|
|8. Bowers & Wilkins PX ANC headphones||22-hour battery life||$$$||4.2|
|9. Audio-Technica ATH-M70x Professional Headphones||45 mm large-aperture drivers||$$$||4.0|
|10. AKG Y50BT Wireless Headphone||Legendary AKG sound.Connectivity Technology: Wireless||$$$||4.0|
|11. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation||Frequency Response – 16 Hz – 22000 Hz||$$$||3.9|
|12. Koss Pro4S Headphones||Aluminum Construction||$$$||3.9|
|13. Symphonized Wraith 2.0 Over-Ear Headphones||BUILT IN MIC AND REMOTE||$$||3.9|
|14. SIVGA SV006 Premium Wood Headphones||standard 3.5mm cable||$$||3.9|
|15. COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones||18-month warranty||$$||3.9|
Whether you are an audiophile, a tech geek or a style freak – the Sony WH1000XM3 is THE stuff that dreams are made of. Packed with the most advanced feature, a fun and detailed audio and the strongest ANC in the market (yes, Bose!), these things sizzle in their sultry silver glam. Sony has outdone itself in the race to dethrone Bose from their long-held “best ANC headphone” mantle.
Design and Features
The Sony WH1000XM2 headphones captured our imagination when they debuted- they gave the QC35 II a run for their money. The WH1000XM3 headphones are lighter and more comfy. Sony has also managed to shave off 20g from their previous model. Although they still aren’t as light as the QC35 II (8.29 ounces) at 8.96 ounces, they remain super comfortable for long hours of use.
The headband in the older model used to stick out from the curves of the side of the head. Here, the headband is more aligned to the sides of the head, lending the headphones a sleeker profile when worn. Sony has also made significant changes to the earcups. Though they are racetrack oval same as before, they are more oblong now and fit the exact profile of the ears. The earpads are deeper and offer better cushioning than the previous model. Overall, the lighter and contoured fitment helps these cool headphones harmonize style and comfort well. The earcups fold sidewise at the hinges for easy storage in their flat case.
We tested the muted silver model of WH1000XM3 and we fell for them hard. The metallic finish is now highly resolved and has a luxurious finish. It also helps that the controls are by touch. The right earcup holds the touchpad and it turned out to be uber-responsive compared to the previous models. Swiping horizontal changes tracks, vertical changes volume and tapping controls music.
WH1000XM3 is jam-packed with a bunch of features – all but the kitchen sink. There’s active noise cancelling which can be switched off when not in use. To momentarily dull the ANC, you can cover the right earcup which allows you to have conversations without removing the headphones. These super cool headphones also adapt the sound and ANC based on the atmospheric pressure and your activity/surrounding. Sony has made substantial improvement to the mic quality. The calls are now much clearer and prioritize the vocals over the background noise. It also has a voice assistant summoning button and a partner mobile app. And these are only the highlight features.
These Sony headphones charge via a USB-C cable and survived 30 hours per charge. The fast-charging option lends them a 5-hour life through 10 mins of charging. They are Bluetooth-enabled via Bluetooth 4.2 and connect via ANC too.
As soon as we got out hands on the Sony WH1000XM3 headphones, we tested their ANC. A quick comparison with the QC35 II brought us the delightful realization that they have possibly surpassed the Bose ANC. The noise cancellation is strong and measured. Sony theorizes that the atmospheric pressure affects ANC, hence the Optimizer function. The adaptive noise cancelling seemed to respond well to the change in activity and the ambient/wind noise levels.
The audio experience was serendipitous. Although warm and engaging. Bose often slips when it comes to detailing and resolution of audio. These stylish headphones from Sony have managed a cleaner and more resolved signature. The audio sounds bolder and better defined compared to the QC35 II. The bass is agile and tight. The quick bass attack pumps great energy into the sound. The Sony cans just sound more vibrant and present without any overt frequency boosting. Their dynamic impact combines with rhythmic balance makes for a very entertaining listen.
The WH1000XM3 stages the instruments in a wide and deep space, a characteristic that’s rare in closed-back and especially ANC headphones. Consequently, the instrument play switches smoothly between delicate, detailed audio and strong, punchy tracks. The instrument separation rests just right at the point where they are highly-resolved but not cold and clinical. As fun and warm as they sound, they are also clean and natural.
- Natural, defined, dynamic audio
- Best ANC in the market
- Bluetooth 4.2 + NFC
- Adaptive sound
- Mic performance
- Fast charge and 30-hour battery life
- Quick Attention Mode
- Functionality can be overwhelming
The Bose QC35 II follows close on the heels of the Sony WH1000XM3 for a top place in the coolest headphones list. Simple and suave, the QC35 II has a higher cool quotient in the sense that they are very well-known. The clean-cut Bose architecture easily reminds an onlooker of the legendary ANC and the lightweight comfort. It also helps that these Bose headphones fit with just about anybody’s style and personality, unless you are Nicky Minaj.
Design and Features
Bose headphones pride themselves for the simple, elegant and lightweight design. At 235g, the QC35 II are the lightest headphones we have used with so many features. As with the Sony cans, we prefer the silver design over the plain black and the ostentatious rose gold option. Bose saves weight on the light and slim headband which is padded along the arch. The earcups are oval and fit in ears of any size nicely. The earcups swing forward in their brackets to hug the ears of the user and provide a tight seal. The headband contours close to the curve of the head making them look sleek and low-profile when worn. For this reason, they look great with any professional attire, especially the black model. And they blend in nicely with a pair of casuals too.
The coolest feature of these headphones is the additional “Action” button which can summon up the voice assistant on your phone. So you can operate the phone audio hands-free most of the time. This is the first Bluetooth headphone to integrate this feature. You can use them to conduct Google searches, change audio volume and alter playback. The coolest part is that you can program the “Action” button for another function too. Also Alexa-compatibility is now built-in, so you can talk to Alexa directly though the QC 35II. With a new firmware update, you can enable these headphones to use Bose AR- an audio model of augmented reality. The option for update is available in the Bose Connect app in Apple devices.
ANC remains a key-selling feature of these Bose headphones. They offer three ANC modes which the user can choose based on the ambient noise level. The simplicity of manual ANC level switch is something we prefer over adaptive ANC for now. They chug out 20 hours of playback with ANC on, on a single charge. They can be used in the wired mode too.
The earcup fold flat and sidewise for portability within a flat carry case. The right earcup carries the button controls: volume and playback. The “Action” button is on the left one. While WH1000XM3 dazzles with features, Bose has a simple and highly functional user interface and unparalleled comfort.
The Active Noise Cancellation functions of Bose headphones have always been impressive. The QC35 II is the best in their line manages dull down the engine roar to adlib in the background. These are THE headphones for airplane travel. They have often freaked people out with the eerie silence that comes with the ANC. The low frequencies are completely dulled out by the noise cancellation. High frequency noises like ambulance sirens may get through and that makes sense. The noise cancellation extends to the mic function as well. Multiple mics effectively pick up and sort through the sounds to relay only the vocals.
Bass goes for a safe sound signature with most of the headphones. They ring clear with punchy bass, nuanced midrange and crisp treble. The one word that describes all Bose sound aptly is “smooth”. You can listen to them for hours together without any fatigue. The bass has definition and punch although the attack is not as tight as the WH1000XM3. Overall the Sony headphones sound more dynamic although the QC35 II are just as open-sounding.
- Impressive ANC – 3 levels
- Bose AR
- Voice Assistant summon
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Smooth, fatigue-free sound
- 20-hour battery life
- Lacks dynamics compared to competition
The Sennheiser PXC550 ANC headphones are also pitted against the industry stalwart- Bose QC 35 II. They miss the second place only by hair and because of a higher price tag. Even so, they have created a unique piece with the typical Sennheiser sound which, unlike its brethren, is portable and closed-back. These travel-ready headphones take a top spot on the cooled headphones list.
Design and Features
Upon unboxing, we were immediately struck by the suave and modern style of the Sennheiser PXC550 headphones. This firm generally favors retro design and wooden flourishes. But with the PXC550, they have opted for a look that goes with every ensemble and is especially cool for professional travel. These are exceptionally lightweight at 8 ounces, a far cry from their bulky audiophile headphones. They are even lighter than the Bose QC35 IIs and lack only the “Action” button.
Instead of Bose’s monochrome design, the cool PXC550 headphones go for a black design with metal highlights. The headband is slim but padded optimally. The earcups are oval and about the same size as the Bose QC35 IIs. But these are mounted with thicker earpads which may sit on parts of the ears rather than around them. That being said the Bose headphones are only marginally more comfortable. The plush pads of PXC550 manage the weight and clamp effortlessly.
The earcups fold flat and up for portable storage. The power modes are very intuitive- the headphones activate when unfolded and power off when the earcups are folded flat. Cool, right? The music playback can be managed with the capacitive touch controls on one earcup – just like the WH1000XM2. The touch and automatic controls are implemented well, they are intuitive in their operation.
Understanding the business reasons behind frequent travel, Sennheiser has outfitted these stylish headphones with a triple microphone array. This picks up and cancels ambient noise from the user’s speech. Consequently, these make a superb headset. Combine that with the Active noise cancellation and you get a travel-ready unit. But these are Sennheisers after all. So they bring some innovation into the music part too with a Captune mobile app. This powerful app has some highly functional music modes and effects. You can toggle through these presets via an inconspicuous button on the right earcup. The Captune app also offers custom equalizations settings for audio stored on the playback device or Tidal.
The battery of these headphones lasts through 30 hours of ANC and wireless function. It can also function passively in a wired mode. They offer wireless connectivity through both Bluetooth v4.2 and NFC, which connects in an instant.
The Sennheiser PXC550 headphones give the QC35 II headphones a close run in terms of the ANC function. The low frequencies are relegated to whispers in the background. There are different levels of noise cancellation too which can be activated via the Captune app. Though things don’t get as eerie and quiet as the QC35 IIs, the difference is barely noticeable. Additionally, the ANC circuit is fairly quiet and we didn’t hear any hiss no matter which level of ANC we chose.
These super cool headphones have more to them than the clean sound they offer on the first go. With usual tracks they sound natural and balanced with just the right hint of warmth. The mids are intricate, the bass is oomphy and the highs are crisp. But give them some bass-heavy material and they bring out the big guns. They have a capacity for deep, well-defined bass with an agile attack. The soundstage is substantial and the instrument spacing makes them sound as open as their open-back headphones. The similarly-priced headphones Momentum Wireless are slightly meatier and more dynamic. But they don’t offer the ANC PXC550 does.
An interesting feature that these cool headphones offer is mic monitoring. If activated, your voice is played back to you so that you don’t get too loud over calls through these headphones- a useful feature since they are ANC. You might lose complete sense of how loud you are talking in public otherwise.
- Lightweight and travel-ready
- Defined bass
- Natural and balanced sound
- 30-hour battery life
- Bluetooth + NFC
- Captune App
- Could be more dynamic
Bose has never tried to be flamboyant as a brand. But their headphones have the perfect balance of style: they look cool without attracting negative attention. Like with their music, their cool and classy exteriors are Bose’s safe bet too. If you want a comfy Bluetooth headphone without ANC, these would be one of our top picks. Given their form factor and color options, they make a great fit for the most stylish headphones list too.
Design and Features
The Bose Soundlink AeW II headphones are perhaps the lightest of our test bunch at 7 ounces. These are ear nirvana in terms of comfort. The headband is only slim and lightly padded. There’s no need for padding since their weight doesn’t require a strong clamp or substantial cushioning. The earcups are oval and sit around the ears, even those of large sizes. The cushions on the earcups are deep and plush. The snug design also provides excellent passive noise isolation which helps keep ambient noise on the low down.
These headphones sport wireless connectivity through Bluetooth. This is a multipoint connection where you can simultaneously connect to two playback devices and switch based on priority. For example, if you are connected to both your phone and PC, it will play the movie from the PC until your phone rings. Bose has also integrated NFC into the equation for rapid pairing. The buttons for playback control are placed on the right earcup. These are engraved with makings which help you recognize the controls in the blind. Bose has set up a sophisticated mic system on these really cool headphones. They automatically level the volume based on speech volume and the ambient noise.
The battery of the AeW II headphones lasts for 15 hours on a single charge. It also has a fast charge mode where 15 minutes of charging end it 2 hours of playback life. They can be plugged into the playback device when the battery runs out. The wired mode performs no differently. The earcups fold flat and fit them right into their flat carry case.
Bose has always been straight-up smooth with their audio. The Soundlink II headphones are no different. They are easy on the ears, both physically and sonically. The audio signature is just plain pleasing to the casual listener and doesn’t fatigue the ears even after ling hours of listening. In their particular price range, they have the most balanced and dynamic audio. However, if you were to scale up by another $100, you’d find noticeably more dynamic picks like Sennheiser Momentum II.
The bass is punchy and extended. The mids are natural and warm. The treble has just enough sparkle as to sound interesting. We loved the Bluetooth performance for the smooth ride. There were barely any connection hiccups. The unit paired and unpaired with devices intuitively in the multilink mode.
- Extremely lightweight and comfy
- Multipoint Bluetooth and NFC
- 15-hour battery
- Fatigue-free sound
- Natural and warm audio
- No AptX compatibility
Retro is always in style. That’s why Meze 99 Classics gets a top spot on the coolest headphones list. Retro becomes it with a wood-based design and the warm, delicious audio that oozes character. They will get your feet tapping. The classic architecture and sound have many useful portable features- closed-back earcups included. They define what fund and joy sound like and they couldn’t have come in a better package.
Design and Features
The Meze 99 Classics headphones are classic closed-back headphones with a suspension headband design. The earcups are mounted on two slim metal bars. These only hold the earcups together. The actual headband is a thin layer of fabric which self-adjusts to the shape and size of the head. The dark black headband structure is complemented by the walnut brown earcups. The overall look is unconventional but elegant. They would look beautiful with any look: casual or professional. Most of the critical parts are reinforced in metal.
The earcups are round and mounted with plush pads. Their cavities have plenty of space and depth to rest comfortable on the ears. They sit a little shallow but stay comfortable because of the optimal clamp and relatively low weight. The cushions are sheathed in quality synthetic leather instead of the real deal which would have shot up the price. Meze claims that almost all the parts can be disassembled for repair at any time. At 9.17 ounce, they aren’t as bulky as we expected from a retro headphone.
The cables of these super cool headphones are detachable- one is a 4-foot long cable and another is a 10-foot long one. They are Kevlar-reinforced and connect to both sides. Although they don’t fold for portability, they come with a rather handsome case. An adapter and a small cable case is also included. All accessories have some or other kind of gold highlight which adds a luxe touch.
The Meze 99 Classics headphones make the cool list majorly for their upbeat audio. Instead of going for a cold and clinical signature that’s characteristic of older/retro headphone, they go for the 70’s exuberance. They are vibrant, bold and decadent. They have a certain character which matters more than the accuracy of attack of the audio. Bass has a small push which makes the audio meaty and deep. They extend petty deep and stop short of hitting the lowest rung. The tonality of the mids in beautiful. These are intricately detailed and the instruments in the soundstage play very coherently.
The treble works amicably with the bass and mids. The sound imaging is its strong suit. The image is neither too intimate nor too far but it’s projected with a harmony between height, depth and detailing. They are dynamic and they are all set to get you dancing to your music. We’d call that cool, wouldn’t you?
- Retro design
- Immensely fun
- Detachable cables
- Sound Imaging
- Double-sided cable
The Audio Technica ATHMSR7 captured our imagination as the most affordable truly high-res headphones. More than just that, they have broken the vicious circle of fashionably industrial-looking AT headphones. These are cooler, more portable and sound like a party. They add fun to the usual detailed ATH mix and end up creating a comfortable and cool headphone in the process.
Design and Features
The Audio Technica MSR7GM headphones are the M50x made cooler. They have an unabashedly plastic structure with some brushed aluminum on the earcups. There are subtle metal highlights which set them apart from the other stark black headphones on their lineup. The earcups are racetrack oval. They are mounted with really plush memory foam earpads. It takes some time for them to adapt to the shape of your ears. But once they do, they remains comfortable for long comfortable hours of music listening. At 10.22 ounces, these foam pads shoulder the weight of the headphones honestly and without any clamping pressure. The headbands have similar memory foam padding as well.
A really cool feature of these headphones is their detachable cables. ATH packs them with three- one with an inline control and two straight cables of 1.2m and 3m lengths. They can be easily replaced, though with so many spares, you won’t feel the need. The earcups of the headphone fold flat. With 90-degree revolving, these are a lot easier to carry around in their cloth pouch.
Unlike the M50x, these are available in two colors, your trusty black and a brown/gunmetal grey combination. Of course, the latter is the more stylish pick.
The Audio Technical MSR7GM headphones are from a truly hi-res breed. They manage to bring out the intricacies of audio without ever getting clinical. They are highly musical and bring out the beauty and the beast of the music. They are harsh when the recordings are low quality or have imperfections. But they highlight the delicate intricacies well and bring out the best.
The sonic response is balanced and natural with a hint of bass push. It never tips the balance but it does make the sound a lot more interesting. The bass has good extension if not the same as certain more expensive Sennheisers. The lower registers are very tight and agile. In spite of the relatively flat sound signature, they pack the dynamic punch that puts them in the same performance bracket as the M50x but with better resolution and balance. They tread a precarious but rare position of being high-fidelity and an audiophile’s dream.
- Cooler sleeker than M50x
- Hi-res audio
- Highly musical and resolved
- Fun and energetic
- 3 detachable cables
- Less comfortable until memory foam adapts
The B&O Beoplay H4 headphones are a surprise entry in the list. But once we tested them, we couldn’t help but put them on the coolest headphones lineup. They have an uber-casual smart design that’s unbelievably comfortable, given the generous use of metal in the design. Add that to a rich and detailed audio performance and we have a winner on our hands.
Design and Features
The B&O Beoplay H4 headphones have a strong core. Their headband is made of metal. It is covered by a soft padding sheathed in fabric on one side and leather on the top. They feature large round over-ear earcups which are supremely comfortable for long durations of use. We found ourselves turning to them often for mindless music perusing. They are definitely comfier than the MSR7. The earcups are finished in anodized aluminum. Even with so much metal in the equation, the total weight is only 8.3 ounces. The earcups are mounted with soft foam that give the ears good seal and distribute the weight of the headphone uniformly.
These headphones are so cool, they operate seamlessly in the Bluetooth mode. They are intuitive with the pairing/repairing actions with multiple paired devices. The playback is controlled by the three buttons on the right earcup. Out of these, the center button can also summon up the voice assistant on your connected playback device. The battery lasts through 19 hours of playback per charge. They can be used in wired mode too when the juice runs out.
While the earcups fold flat, these don’t fold inwards for portability. And neither do they provide a carry case with these headphones. We wonder if B&O thinks these are durable enough without any case protection. Still, at their price point, there’s a glaring lack of accessories to go with the headphones.
The B&O Beoplay H4 headphones have worked a lot of energy and entertainment into their sound. They dynamic range ultimately puts them at par with the top Bluetooth headphones in their price range and these are moderately expensive. They sound very open for their closed-back design. This lent them a sense of naturality which is otherwise difficult to spot in a Bluetooth headphone. In fact, we found no difference between the wired and Bluetooth mode of these headphones, a cool feat in itself.
We noticed that as a byproduct of the comfy closed-back design, these headphones also provide excellent noise isolation. This enhances their measured approach to fun and makes the details pop. The soundstage and spacing are immaculate, the bass is deep and defined and the mids are warm. What more do we need to call these headphones cool.
- Natural warm sound
- Sounds same in the wired mode
- Cool, elegant design
- 19-hour battery life
- Companion mobile app for firmware update
- No accessories
The Bowers & Wilkins PX is definitely a category-defining headphone. Not only are we swooning over their black/gold model, we are also wowed by their highly dynamic audio. The adjustable ANC is just the cherry on the cake of these really cool headphones.
Design and Features
B&W knows how to do style and the PX headphones reflect. The elliptical earcups are a perfect blend of style and comfort. The narrow earcups look sleek on the head but they also cover the ears without resting on the edges. The headphones have a lightweight aluminum backbone and ballistic nylon earcups. B&W hasn’t spared any research to make them durable and light. Like their other headphones, the earpads of the PX are detachable. The cable snakes through a channel here and attaches to the port.
These headphones are Bluetooth and ANC-enabled. They support AptX HD too. They are made travel-ready with their earcups that fold flat. The operation is also very intuitive. They pause music if the earcups are removed or folded flat. Just as smoothly, they restart music when placed back on the ears. The levels of ANC can be controlled by the companion mobile app. The rest of the functions can be controlled by buttons running along the bottom of the earcups. These are bundled with necessary cables and a padded carry case. The battery lasts anywhere between 22 to 33 hours based on whether you have ANC, Bluetooth or both on.
The B&W PX combine ANC with a great tonality and dynamic range. They are consistent with their balanced and natural approach. The drivers are angled to fire the audio right into the listener’s ears. They are highly resolving and bring out the details of the audio- both appealing and unappealing. They demand good source material.
The bass is tight and incredibly punchy. The bass attack is quick and keeps up with the most sophisticated tracks. The instruments gets plenty of space to be placed. But the sound image is more intimate which brings you the joy of a very personal and very realistic performance. Cool, wouldn’t it be?!
- Suave design
- Bluetooth and ANC
- Solid Construction
- Intuitive playback options
- Attack and dynamism
- Glasses can impact bass punch
Succeeding a legend isn’t easy. And ATH M70x had its job cut out stepping into the shoes of M50x. But it has proved itself with a noticeable upgrade in style, performance and comfort. We like this snazzier piece even more because they are truly more natural, balanced and undoubtedly a cool headphone amongst the peers.
Design and Features
The ATH M70x headphones stand distinguished with their subtle metal gleam. Audio Technica has extended the metal highlights to the yoke and the back of the earcups. This brings their weight up to 9.9 ounces. Fortunately the plush earpads offset the weight and the headband helps them rest comfortably. The clamp is optimal for studio use and it also isolates well because of the racetrack oval earcups. The earcups do fold flat for easy storage or hanging around the neck.
These cool headphones come with three detachable cables. Since these are professional cans, AT has packaged only regular audio cables. None of these have a mic and inline controls. There are two straight cables: one is 1.2m long and another is 3m long. The third is a coiled cable that extends to 3m when fully stretched. The cables attach via a secure locking plug. A ¼ inch adapter is provided for studio use. In short, they are self- sufficient and avoid the luxuries to keep the cost reasonable.
The M70x headphones are clear improvement on the M50x sound given that this line is meant for professional monitoring. They have toned down the somewhat bloated bass of M50x. Although they made M50x fun, the M70x are more accurate. The M70x still maintain their energy with a warm midrange and some crisp treble. The bass of the M70x is better extended and thus can be boosted more effectively, should you want a bass-heavy EQ setting. The midrange spectrum is flat and offers up great detailing and a smooth presentation. The treble again has excellent reach into the high frequencies.
The soundstage is wide enough for clear, high quality recordings. They aren’t as open sounding as their hi-res cousins, MSR7.
- Accurate and warm
- Extension in bass and treble
- 3 Detachable cables
- Earcups fold flat
- Soundstage could be better
The AKG Y50 debuted the market as an entry-level market and hit the ground running. Now their Bluetooth version, the AKG Y50BT are wowing the audience with sound and aesthetics way beyond expectations from 2x the price. We delved a little deeper into why these are one of the coolest headphones today.
Design and Features
The AKG Y50BT are on-ear headphones. This automatically brings down their form factor to a more compact structure. The earcups are still larger than the usual supra-aural earcups. But they spread the weight and give you a better seal than most on-ear headphones. The round earcups have snazzy metal caps, a detour from AKG’s usual serious demeanor. The earpads are thick and coated in high-quality synthetic leather. The earcups can swivel forward to hug your ears for a snug fitment.
The headband is lightweight. Altogether, these look really cool for use on the go. AKG has also prioritized portability. The earcups can fold flat and the arms can be folded inwards. This reduces the actual footprint of the headphones to mere half. These AKG cans support Bluetooth with AptX. The Bluetooth controls are on the rim of the earcups. . They offer up to 20 hours of battery life per charge. These can be used in wired mode when the battery runs out. They also double as headsets.
The AKG Y50BT headphone strike a balance for both audiophiles and casual listeners. They have a healthy low end with just a calculated bass push to spice things up. The sub-bass extension helps with a well-defined low-end response as well. The midrange is clear and warm. The bass doesn’t muddy or muffle the mids. Instead it lends richness and texture to the mix. The treble is smooth. They offer up a better soundstage than we expect of on-ears.
- Affordable and stylish
- Warm and engaging
- Great bass extension
- Folds inwards
- AptX compatibility
- On-ear design is not for everyone
The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 wireless headphones have been putting pretty headphones to shame with their unique and impressive looks. They also complement the aesthetics with great comfort and industry-defining audio. These are a no-brainer for the coolest headphones list.
Design and Features
The Momentum 2.0 ANC headphones carry a distinctive look. The headband is very slim and sheathed on just a thick layer of leather with highlighted contrast stitch. This genuine leather gives it a touch of luxury. The earcups are racetrack oval and carry deep memory foam earpads. These are sheathed in leather too. There are hinges in the headband that fold the earcups inwards and reduce them to a super compact form.
What’s cool is that they offer both Bluetooth and Active Noise Cancellation on top of their killer audio chops. The controls are manual and there aren’t any automatic features like the B&W PX or Sony WH1000XM2. Although these Sennheisers are much more gorgeous in their making, they lose out to the competition that offer more advanced features. But since they debuted much earlier than the rest, we can cut them some slack. They are bundled with a semi hard carry case, cables and airplane adapter. The battery life with both Bluetooth and ANC on is an appreciable 22 hours.
The Momentum 2.0 utilize the NoiseGard technology to clear the low-frequency and midrange noises. They might be no Bose but they are highly effective.
But none of the competition beats the dynamism and energy of the sound of the Momentums. Their timing is spot-on and they attack fast and agile. The warm and rich midrange blends naturally with deep and tight bass. The treble has just the right amount of sparkle. The soundstage is wide open. They are just too insightful and bold to be ignored.
- Exceptionally stylish
- Bluetooth + ANC
- Rich, textured audio
- Very entertaining
- micro USB charging
Koss has taken on the Goliath(s) by introducing a professional monitoring headphone in this price range. But the Pro4S bring a fresh perspective to both the classic style and audio. They are a worthy upgrade from the studio favorites and attractive enough to be on the coolest headphones list.
Design and Features
The Koss Pro4S headphones are a breath of fresh air in this space. While they look every bit functional as studio headphones, they still carry those cool metal highlights. These are subtle effects that emphasize the branding on the earcups. The ear pieces are shaped like the ear and are loaded with memory foam padding. They can swivel forward and hug the head of the user. The frame of the headband is sturdy and weighs only 7 ounces. And more fashionably the arms fold and reduce the packing size of these cans. The earcups can also rotate for DJ-style single-sided monitoring.
Unlike many professional monitors in the same range, these come with a detachable cable. The cable can be plugged into the left earcup. The accessories include a case and a studio adapter.
Koss sticks with a neutral and clean signature in the Pro4S headphones. They are studio version of cool. The response is flat and doesn’t add any of its character to the audio. While this may not be huge fun, the certainly serve the main purpose of their design. The tight and close seal gives them good passive noise cancellation. This prevents any leakage of audio from the headphones into the mixes.
- Neutral sound signature
- Detachable cable
- Highly comfortable
- Can be uninteresting to casual listeners
The Symphonized Wraith 2.0 headphones combine cold metal and the warm tones of wood for a winning design. They are comfortable, stylish and chug out an entertaining sound signature. Their compact form factor and performance land them in coolest headphones list.
Design and Features
The Wraith 2.0 headphones look like the ultimate accessory with their metallic headband. They have nailed the aesthetic with bold branding which doesn’t turn out to be an eyesore. The headband has padding along the arch and the side of the head. The earcups are mounting via an adjustment mechanism. This has marked grooves which makes equal adjustment from both sides easy and also augments the looks. The earcups are smaller and more low-profile than we expected. This gives them a better look on people with medium-sized heads. However, for jumbo ears, the earcups may rest on the edges of the ears.
As promised, the back of the earcups have actual wood finish and not veneers. Between the wood and the glossy aluminum, these are solidly built. The cables are detachable and connects to earcups on both sides. There’s a straight audio cable and another with inline mic and controls. These headphones are available in a choice of three wood finishes: red wood, maple and walnut.
For an affordable headphone, the Wraith 2.0 show remarkable maturity in their sonic signature. They have a clear and natural output with punchy bass. The wood lends its own sense of warmth to the reverberations. The highs have a bit less sparkle than we expected. Some users have suggested a modification where you remove the earpads(removable) and pull of the piece of foam that covers the speaker grill. We haven’t tried that it but the general consensus is that this opens us the audio presentation. Overall, these performed well with all genres.
- Metal and wood design
- Detachable cables
- Warm, fun audio
- Compact and low-profile fit
- Need a small mod to open up
The SIVGA SV006 were a surprise entry in our possible selection pool for the coolest headphones of the date. However, they surpassed audio expectations when tested. They take the classic route with a flat frequency response and wooden earcups. We enjoyed them enough to put them on the list.
Design and Features
The design of SIVGA SV006 headphones is oddly reminiscent of the Bower and Wilkins P7 headphones. It’s the rectangular earcups, except in the case of SV006, these are finished in handcrafted wood. Unlike Wraith 2.0, the rest of the design id mostly black with aluminum alloy yoke. The earcups can turn 90 and 180 degrees to fold flat or single-sided listening. The protein earpads are spacious and deep. They can easily fit large ears. In fact some people with smaller heads/ears have complained that the earcups are too big for their taste.
These super cool headphones come with two detachable cables: one with a 3-button inline control and one without. Both cables are braided and have their jacks enclosed in a metal holder. The straight jack also has a spring extension which lends it stress-relief when bent. An airplane and a studio adapter are also enclosed. The earcups fold flat and fit snugly into their flat carry case.
The SIVGA SV006 headphones do justice to the music with a balanced audio signature. They play the audio as it was recorded without adding any flavor of their own. Casual listeners who are conditioned to bass cannons may find the audio a little tame. However, these work wonderfully with classical, orchestral and jazz music. This in itself proves that they maintain the perfect harmony between musicality and neutrality. Being neutral, they can be equalized to boost the bass or the treble. The extension is decent on both ends.
- Handcrafted wood earcups
- Highly neutral audio
- Balanced and natural
- Detachable cables
- Sturdy and affordable
- Earcups may be too large for some
The Cowin E7 headphones are one of those pieces that are full of features and manage to stay affordable. They have everything a casual customer can ask for and they deliver it all in a handsome package. The fact that they execute every feature well lands them right in the coolest headphones list.
Design and Features
The Cowin E7 has a solid frame of brushed aluminum. The earcups are made of glossy plastic and the yoke retains the brushed metal design. The headphones carry some measure chrome touches that further help with the design aesthetic. The earcups are large and round. They are mounted with plush earpads sheathed in protein leather which feel comfortable over long periods of wear. The earcups fold flat for quick storage. They can swivel forward on their yoke and adapt to the shape of the head.
These super cool headphones support both Bluetooth and NFC for wireless connectivity. They also offer Active Noise cancelling. The battery lasts through 30 hours over a single charge. The controls are located on a quaint triangular panel that rests on the right earcup.
We noticed that the ANC of the Cowin E7 headphones is pretty effective. These immediately dulled down the noise of the airplane engine. However, the effect is not as strong as the Bose of Sony headphones. That being said, E7 are highly effective for the price.
The music came away sounding fun and balanced. Bass, mids and treble worked together for an entertaining performance. With ANC there was some DSP at play which made them sound more dynamic. Although that could also have been the effect of low background noise. The volume range is huge so you can turn them high and get a respite from the world around you.
- Highly durable
- Bluetooth and NFC-enabled
- 30-hour battery life
- Engaging audio