An overview of the audio technology in headphones. CONTENTS (show more) Headphones and earphones are becoming a big market, estimated to reach 36 billion in the coming years. For this reason, a lot of companies are investing steadily into new audio technologies to stay on top of the competition. And, it all benefits you. Latest Audio Technology in Over-Ear Headphones Over-ear headphones are still the standard. What are the New Developments in the Consumer Over-Ear Headphone Market? The biggest trend is that over-ear headphones are becoming wireless. While Bluetooth was looked down upon just a few years ago, today is a different day. Most new over-ear headphones for the consumer market are using Bluetooth technology. Even some older wired models are becoming wireless like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50X that got a wireless sibling in 2018/2019. Sound engineers really figured out how to make the most out of wireless connection. With the advent of efficient Bluetooth codecs, wireless sound transmission is better than ever before. Plus, there’s a new understanding that most people can’t hear the difference of lower bit-rate sound due to sub-optimal audio equipment, lossy music formats, and imperfect listening conditions. Sure, an audiophile of many years with uncompressed music formats, thousands of dollars of audio equipment, and years of listening experience will tell you otherwise, but that’s not a modern consumer. You can test your hearing on this website. Check your own hearing and see if it actually matters for you. New and more efficient Bluetooth codecs are making Bluetooth headphones more attractive and convenient. If you’re not an audiophile and just want a pair of headphones with good sound, then wireless is the way to go. What Brands Have the Most Innovative Consumer Over-Ear Headphones? The companies most successful in the over-ear headphones market are the usual suspects. Bose Sennheiser Beats by Dre Sony Audio-Technica JBL These are the most popular and well-known brands you’ve probably heard about. But there are also a couple of established brands with a proven track record that might not be as popular but still make fantastic headphones. Shure Beyerdynamic Bang & Olufsen AKG Beyerdynamic is an established brand among audiophiles but less known by an average consumer. What are the Most Cutting-Edge Over-Ear Headphones on the Market? It’s hard to determine the undisputed #1 winner. Different models are best for different needs. Check our best guides/lists, where you’ll find the latest recommendations. Here are some of the most popular guides: The top active noise cancelling headphones: If you’re looking for the best active noise cancellation, then you should check the flagship models from Bose, Sony, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, and Jabra. The most comfortable headphones: For long-term comfort, even if you wear them all day and have funny ears. Latest Audio Technology in Wireless Headphones Wireless Bluetooth headphones have successfully seized a portion of the higher-end market. What new developments are there in the consumer wireless headphone market? Wireless Bluetooth headphones are slowly becoming the norm for many people, and here are the reasons why: Better audio quality thanks to Bluetooth codecs. A lot of people were staying away from wireless because it impacted the sound dramatically. This isn’t the case anymore. An average consumer won’t hear the difference thanks to better compression by codecs like aptX, LDAC, AAC, and the newest LC3. Longer battery life. Battery capacity was a huge limitation in the past. Nobody likes charging the battery every couple of hours. Modern headphones can last over 20 hours per charge—up to 10 hours for in-ear headphones—which is plenty of time even for most demanding users. New smartphones come without 3.5mm (AUX) output. It started with the iPhone, and now most phone manufacturers are following the lead. You can’t use wired headphones with the latest iOS and Android phones without additional dongles—and everybody hater dongles. Wireless is the only option. More efficient power consumption and longer Bluetooth range. Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy comes with upgraded—lowered—power usage and better wireless range. This means you can keep your music device further away, and it will use less energy. It’s a perfect upgrade that improves the headphone experience. Read more about the latest version: Bluetooth 5.2. Related: There are other types of wireless technologies. Here’s a Bluetooth vs other wireless comparison. Latest Audio Technology for In-Ear Headphones Apple AirPods took the market by storm and made TWS (true wireless) earbuds a prominent category. Check the interesting AirPods facts. What new developments are there in the consumer in-ear headphone market? Technology development in in-ear headphones or earbuds is no different from their bigger siblings. Wireless earphones are the most popular category. Even more so than with over-ear headphones. The reason is that a lot of people are using them for working out, running, and other activity. And big over-ears aren’t suitable for this. So, there is plenty of demand for Bluetooth earbuds, and headphone companies have answered. You can find wireless earbuds from reputable brands easily costing over $100 or get cheaper ones from less known brands for around $30. True wireless earbuds/headphones are a prominent new class. Getting rid of the wires completely created a new segment of premium-priced in-ear headphones. All the big brands developed their models a while ago, and today even mid-tier companies are releasing theirs. We can expect future development of true wireless earbuds and steady market growth. TWS (true wireless stereo) headphones are an exciting new product for a consumer wanting convenience. What Brands are the Most Innovative in the Consumer In-Ear Headphone Market? When it comes to true wireless earbuds, Apple was one of the first big brands to capitalize on the new audio technology. Followed by Jabra, which created a name for themselves by being one of the best alternatives. Today you can find TWS earbuds from many brands, including Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, 1MORE Audio, Monoprice, etc. What are the Most Cutting-Edge In-Ear Headphones? Check the best earbuds by the category below: Best bass earbuds Most durable earbuds Best cheap earbuds The Headphones with the Most Advanced Audio Technology Most advanced technology might sound fancy, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best for every occasion. Below we take a look at different technology and what you can expect. Read about cloud computing. What is Bone Conduction Technology? Bone conducting is an old method of “hearing with bones” instead of ears. While the technology is quite old, the headphones with the technology are not. This new tech works great for sports and the hearing impaired. Bone conduction headphones are mostly used for working out and running due to fantastic awareness and even for swimming because it’s easy to make them fully waterproof. Plus, people with outer ear hearing impairment can listen to them, which isn’t the case for regular headphones. Check the best bone conduction headphones. What are the Most Advanced Headphones for Traveling and Work? Noise canceling headphones are a popular commuting accessory. Traveling is often tiresome, and people appreciate it when they can “block” the outside world to relax or focus on something else. Offices are often full of distractions as well, and for this purpose, noise cancellation technology is a godsend. Effective noise cancelling headphones can greatly diminish the noise and distractions you perceive, so you can better focus on your work or relaxing. See the best noise cancelling headphones of today Or best noise cancelling earbuds What are the Most Advanced Headphones under $100? If you’re looking for a good pair of headphones but don’t want to spend too much money, you can still find great options. Many headphone brands offer affordable headphones that are very similar to their flagships. You can find great wireless headphones for commuting, for running marathons and other sports, or just casual listening at home. Don’t pay more than you want to. Check the under 100-dollar guides: Best headphones under $100 Best earbuds under $100 Best wireless earbuds under $100 What to expect in the future? Closed-back headphones will stay the norm but you can expect better and more realistic surround sound, especially from gaming headphones. Spatial audio will become more important with the development of virtual reality. Also, we predict true wireless earbuds will slowly gain a larger market share, especially among the best workout headphones category. Matija FerjanMatija Ferjan is a seasoned audio enthusiast reviewing headphones since 2015. He has personally tested hundreds of headphones and earbuds. He’s an active member of the Headphone Audio community and a true nitpicker, always looking for the “best-value-for-money” headphones.