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31 Best Headphone Brands (Survey Rankings Revealed)

Last updated: 4 months ago
6 min read

We asked over 1000 people from 72 countries: what is the best headphone brand?

These are the results:

  • Bose is the 3. best headphone brand
  • Sony is 2.
  • The 1. according to popular vote is… find below.
Best Headphone Brands

Did you ever wonder what the best headphone brands are according to the popular vote?

We did, and because we couldn’t find a good source or poll done by others, we created one ourselves.

Quick Results: The Best Headphone Brand Survey

Best headphone brand survey results

The survey includes the votes of 1130 people from 72 countries—one vote per person. Most of the votes, 43.9%, come from the United States.

We asked one simple question: What do you think is the best headphone brand?

It wasn’t a question of which brand you like the most or which brand you use the most. We wanted to see what brand people think is the best at making headphones.

  • We listed 63 headphone brands in random order as answers.
  • We listed all the well-known and even some less-known brands to vote on. Remember that these are not all the headphone brands since there are many more. But we made our best effort to put in the more popular ones.

While on the topic, you might be interested in what headphone brands are best for bass.

Jump to links:

The 10 Best Headphone Brands

The Full Rankings: Top Headphone Brands

Best Headphone Brands by Sold Headphones

Conclusion: What’s the Best Headphones Brand for You?

The 10 Best Headphone Brands

(According to the survey)

Here’s more info on the top 10 best headphone brands:

Sennheiser logo

#1 Sennheiser

According to the popular vote, Sennheiser is the best headphone brand. This German company, founded in 1945 with headquarters in Wedemark, offers a wide range of audio products.

You can find affordable headphones that offer great value for money, consumer wireless headphones but also the most expensive headphones ever created; the Sennheiser Orpheus (priced at $55.000).

Additionally, they offer different headphones for all tastes and price points. Compared to other companies, their products usually have a slightly higher price and relatively balanced sound quality.

You can check the best Sennheiser headphones here.

Sony logo

#2 Sony

Sony Corporation is the #2 best headphone brand. Not surprisingly, it’s probably the biggest company voted on in this list (according to revenue). They are the best-known Japanese company, headquartered in Konan, Minato, Tokyo. It was founded in 1946.

They create many products, from video games, consumer electronics (including headphones), and movies, to financial services. Sony is known for many great headphones and is globally popular. They are the ones who introduced portable cassette players and Sony Walkman to the masses.

You can find affordable and more expensive premium Sony headphones. And overall, they offer well-made products with a good user experience and sound quality. PlayStation gaming is also a big part of the company. For PlayStation wireless headsets, go here.

Bose logo

 #3 Bose

Bose is the #3 top headphone brand. Bose Corporation is probably the best-known American audio company. It was founded in 1964 and has its headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts. They are the best at making active noise cancelling headphones (great at removing background noise).

Their noise canceling technology is the best in class, as demonstrated by their popular QuietComfort headphones. They don’t offer as many different models as some of the more prominent companies but are well-known and liked by many. Bose revenue numbers prove that.

Most models cost more due to their unique design and features. The price range of Bose headphones is higher than average but worth it to many happy users.

JBL logo

#4 JBL

JBL was an American company founded in 1946. It got acquired by Harman International Industries, which Samsung bought. Technically, it’s in Korean hands today.

While it’s not a big headphones maker, they offer competitive wireless headphones. At the same time, they dominate the Bluetooth speaker market and are one of the biggest players.

See the JBL Flip review.

They offer products for all prices. From very low, budget-oriented products ($10-$20) to more expensive products for 100s of dollars.

Audio-Technica logo

#5 Audio-Technica

Audio-Technica is a well-known Japanese company founded in 1962. Their headquarters are in Machida, Tokyo. They offer a wide range of headphones (over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear) and other audio equipment like microphones and turntables.

One of their most popular models is Audio-Technica ATH-M50X, professional monitor headphones with great sound under $200. They’re most known for over-ear open-back headphones with substantially better soundstage than the competition.

Generally, you can get Audio-Technica headphones for as low as $10 though most of their models range in the $30-$300 range. Here’s the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x review. They also make reference headphones like the ADX5000 with the superb sound quality for experts.

Skullcandy logo

#6 Skullcandy

Skullcandy is one of the youngest players on the market. It was established in 2003 in Utah, United States. Its headquarters are in Park City, Utah. While new to making headphones, they have created some great products.

They are best known for making cheap, affordable bass headphones with lots of volume. It makes them popular with younger generations.

Additionally, they are very competitively priced. You could get a pair of headphones for under $20. But today, Skullcandy headphones cost a little bit more. Yet they’re still cheaper than average. This makes it easy to understand how they’ve become so popular in such a short time.

Jabra Elite 75t

#7 Jabra

Jabra is a well-known Danish company that makes excellent true wireless earbuds, like the Jabra Elite Pro 7.

They mainly focus on premium and mid-tier headphones with the latest technology and many extra app features.

Nowadays, they are getting a lot of competition from other brands who offer similar technology for less. But their brand recognition keeps them popular among many.

Beats by Dre logo

#8 Beats by Dre

Beats by Dre is a highly globally-recognized brand. It’s now in the hands of Apple and offers popular wired and wireless headphones with emphasized bass. They specialize in bass-heavy earbuds and headphones that provide a lot of heavy low-end.

Their price range is in the higher brackets, and the top Beats by Dre headphones easily reach over $200 or even $300. Also, many consider them a fashion statement due to their sleek and unmistakable design.

Beyerdynamic logo

#9 Beyerdynamic

Beyerdynamic is a small German company established in 1924. It has been family owned since its inception. The headquarters are currently in Heilbronn, a small town in the south.

Nonetheless, they are most known for professional high-end headphones with excellent audio quality. The most popular models come from the DT PRO family, which are great over-ear headphones.

Generally, the price range is above average, starting at $50 for their in-ear headphones, followed by more expensive headphones up to around $1000 (T1 model).

#10 Edifier

Edifier is a popular audio brand founded in 1996 with headquarters in Beijing, China.

With over 20 years of developing experience, Edifier headphones are known for their award-winning design and features. Most of their models offer a good balance of technology, audio quality, and price.

But in reality, they’re most popular for their speakers, their main segment, and their expertise.

The Full Rankings: Top Headphone Brands

RankBrand# of votes
#8Beats by Dre27
#11Bang & Olufsen22
#20Bowers & Wilkins16
#24Harman Kardon9
#26Klipsch Audio Technology8
#27Grado Labs8
#30Sol Republic6
#31JLab Audio6
Excluded brands that got 5 votes or less. Survey N=1130

Headphone brands that got 5 votes or less (excluded) are:

  • SoundMAGIC
  • Jaybird
  • Westone
  • V-MODA
  • Pioneer
  • Monster
  • Koss
  • Creative
  • TaoTronics
  • House of Marley
  • PSB
  • Monoprice
  • Etymotic
  • SteelSeries
  • Poly (Plantronics)
  • Parrot SA
  • Panasonic
  • LG
  • JVC
  • Asus
  • RHA Technologies
  • Turtle Beach
  • Thinksound
  • OPPO Digital
  • Fostex
  • Denon
  • Urbanears
  • Ultrasone
  • Ultimate Ears
  • Onkyo
  • KRK

Did you know: The first stereo headphones were invented by John Koss in 1937 which created the Koss brand and company. While the brand is known among audiophiles today it isn’t among the most popular.

Best Headphone Brands by Most Sold Headphones

What if we change the criteria? Let’s assume the best headphone brands are the ones that sell the most headphones.

Sure, you can have reasonable objections to this thinking:

  • Quantity doesn’t equal quality: The brand that sells the most units doesn’t mean it has the best headphones.
  • Low price: It’s easier to sell lots of cheap earbuds than expensive high-end headphones.
  • Advertising: The top brands might sell more headphones because of heavy marketing and not due to product quality.
  • Popularity: A popular brand will sell more headphones without the customers evaluating the product quality.
  • Distribution: A brand might sell more headphones only because they are available in more stores.

But if we assume this new criterion, here are the results:

RankBrandMarket share
#1Apple (AirPods)34.4%
#2Beats by Dre15.3%
#8LG Electronics7%
Source: Statista US survey N= 4,220

Disclaimer: The Statista survey was done in the United States only, so global results might differ.

You can find more data about headphones here.

It changes the rankings quite a bit, though Bose is still #3. What’s interesting is that Sennheiser isn’t even in the top 8, which might indicate that they don’t care about the popularity and instead focus on making quality headphones. And people recognize the quality (if we look at our survey data).

Last update: Added more information about brands.

Conclusion: What’s the Best Headphones Brand for You?

Sennheiser is a clear winner in the best headphone brand contest. But with over 60 brands included in the survey, there are plenty of choices. And as these are the popular vote rankings, you will likely think differently.

Do you think our readers got it right? What headphone brand do you think is the best right now? Let us know in the comments.