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Best headphones from Best Buy

The best buys from Best Buy.
By
June 20, 2022
Sony WH-1000XM5
By Sony
Product shot of the Sony WH-1000XM5 in black on a white background.
8.6
Check price
Positives
Great ANC
Sound quality
Battery life
Comprehensive app
Comfort
USB-C charging
Microphone
Negatives
Price
No IP rating
No aptX
The Bottom Line.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 brings fantastic ANC and big microphone improvements, along with significant visual refresh to make for a truly compelling, albeit expensive package.Read full review...
Plantronics BackBeat Fit 505
By Plantronics
7.6
Check price
Positives
Lightweight
Affordable
Easy controls
Water-repellant coating
Negatives
Poor isolation
Cheap materials
The Bottom Line.
This is a great pair of budget cans that are durable and reliable. If exercising is your main use-case, then these are an appropriate pick.Read full review...
Sony WF-1000XM4
By Sony
The Sony WF-1000XM4 noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds in black against a white background.
8.2
Check price
Positives
Battery life
Secure fit
Sweat Resistant
Noise cancelling
Bluetooth 5.2
Negatives
Expensive
Sound might need a little tinkering
The Bottom Line.
If you're looking for a good switch hitter, the Sony WF-1000XM4 is pretty much the best one around. These true wireless earbuds are a great addition to anybody's tech complement.Read full review...
Apple AirPods Max
By Apple
The Apple AirPods Max noise cancelling headphones in white against an off-white background.
8.9
Check price
Positives
Reliable connectivity
Battery life
Fantastic transparency mode
Hands-free Siri access; H1 chip
Best noise cancelling on the market
Negatives
Price
Heavy
Case is awful
Inconvenient off iOS
The Bottom Line.
Apple first over-ear headphones are very expensive, but excellent. The AirPods Max is comfortable, sounds great, has the best noise cancelling around, and it's pretty stylish—basically it's a no-brainer, as long as you're not concerned about your budget.Read full review...

It seems more and more that we’re living in a world owned and operated by Amazon. However, Best Buy still has one thing over Amazon: as of 2019, it has 1,238 storefronts worldwide. Sure, these days it’s a lot more complicated to just walk into a Best Buy and pick something up, but there’s always delivery. If you can wait two days for the delivery of your newest gadget, stick around to learn about some great Best Buy headphones.

Editor’s note: this list was updated on June 20, 2022 to include the Sony WH-1000XM5 noise cancelling headphones, and move the WH-1000XM4 into the notable mentions.

For the best Best Buy headphones, pick up a pair of the Sony WH-1000xM5

The noise cancelling Sony WH-1000XM5 had large shoes to fill after the seemingly endless praise received by the WH-1000XM4. This fifth iteration in Sony’s flagship noise cancelling headphone line revamps the form, without compromising any of the function. The headphones sport an all-new look, all-new drivers, and a new microphone array. And even with all those changes, these are still among the best noise cancelling headphones you can get—but this time a lot of the gains come from improvements in passive attenuation.

Sony WH-1000XM5
8.6
Top-down view of the Sony-WH1000XM5 with the ear cups folded flat and upwardsAngled view of the Sony WH-1000XM5 power and noise cancelling buttonsWe tested the Sony WH-1000XM5 in the lab with state-of-the-art equipment.The Sony WH-1000XM5 boosts sounds up to 300Hz by about 5dB.

Just like the previous generation, you can get by using the WH-1000XM5 without ever removing your phone from your jeans pocket, thanks to the touch controls. Additionally, these cans effectively insulate you from the environment, making them great for commuting, office work, and general zoning out. Because the noise cancellation is so effective, you’re less likely to increase the volume and potentially damage your hearing.

The microphone situation is pretty vastly improved, as well. While this won’t sound like a podcasting mic at any point, what’s really notable here is what you won’t hear. The headphones new eight-microphone array intelligently rejects a truly impressive degree of a background noise—whether that’s wind or the clicks and clacks of keyboards. It’s a fantastic upgrade for someone on a Zoom call in less-than-ideal conditions.

Low-end reproduction is a tad more emphasized than the previous model, but the WH-1000XM5 features a consumer-friendly sound that will please a wide array of listeners. Oddly enough, LDAC is impressive, but only when using the 660Kbps or 990Kbps modes. If there’s any one disappointing aspect, it’s that the leap to a fourth generation left support for aptX behind.

Sony WH-1000XM5 microphone sample (ideal):

Sony WH-1000XM5 microphone sample (office):

Sony WH-1000XM5 microphone sample (wind):

Things to know before purchasing Best Buy headphones

  • A proper fit and seal are both incredibly important and—quite frankly—necessary to produce optimal sound quality. Even something as innocuous as wearing glasses can drastically degrade sound quality by allowing for environmental noise to permeate the headphones.
  • Burn-in isn’t a thing. If you’re unfamiliar with this variety of pseudo-science, just know that the philosophy of burn-in posits that—much like a new pair of work boots—your headphones need to be broken in. Really, it’s all of the “delayed” in “delayed gratification” without the actual gratification.
  • Bluetooth quality can’t stick it to wired audio quality, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for aptX and aptX HD support, or AAC support if you’re an iPhone user. As far as LDAC is concerned, well, unfortunately, it’s not actually hi-res.
  • Finally, since we’re not focusing on studio headphones with this list, none of these products require an amp or DAC.

The Beats Solo Pro brings the audio quality without sacrificing style

Built for the fashion-forward audiophile, the Beats Solo Pro brings tons of features and rock solid audio in a premium package. These wireless on-ear headphones are great options for anyone on the go, especially if you’re an iPhone user.

Beats Solo Pro
A photo of the Beats Solo Pro on-ear noise cancelling headphones lying on a black surface with the Lightning input in focus.The Beats Solo Pro on-ear noise cancelling headphones folded inward on a black surface and surrounded by sunglasses and keys.The Beats Solo Pro on-ear noise cancelling headphones in profile against a wooden background.A photo of the Beats Solo Pro on-ear noise cancelling headphones being worn by a woman using the right ear cup controls.

The Beats Solo Pro aren’t just pretty—they also bring ANC, accurate audio reproduction, and they last for just shy of 22 hours on a single charge. Unlike a lot of their previous headphones, Beats really nailed the noise cancelling with the Solo Pro, so these compact cans are great for noisy commutes.

If you’re using an iPhone, this supports Bluetooth 5.0 and high quality AAC streaming, so you’ll have access to the great wireless audio. Additionally the Beats Solo Pro contains Apple’s new H1 chip, which allows for hands-free access to Siri, fast pairing, greater power efficiency. The experience on Android isn’t quite so optimal, as AAC is a little unreliable on non-Apple devices and Google Assistant integration isn’t as streamlined.

If you have an Android phone, something like the Marshall Major III is probably a better bet, with its myriad supported codecs. They’re more reasonably priced, too.

The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 505 is a great value

The Plantronics BackBeat 505 FIT are essentially the same pair of headphones as the BackBeat 500—but approach sound from an athlete’s perspective, rather than that of a lay-person. So what’s new? The BackBeat 500 FIT include a P2i-rated sweat-repellent nano-coating and that might be it.

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 505
7.6
A picture of the Plantronics BackBeat 500 FIT look identical to the BackBeat 500 but feature a P2i water-repellent nano-coating. Pictured: The Plantronics BackBeat 500 FIT hanging on a brick wall.An aerial photo of the Plantronics BackBeat 500 FIT are a great value for on-ear workout headphones and connect quickly to your device. Pictured: The Plantronics BackBeat 500 FIT headphones on a wood surface.The rubberized controls are easy to understand and navigate. While running, pressing the buttons is a thoughtless action. Pictured: The Plantronics BackBeat 500 FIT left ear cup with water droplets.The P2i water-repellent coating isn't as good as an official IP rating, but after soaking the ear cups, the headphones held up without any issues. Pictured: The Plantronics BackBeat 500 FIT lying flat on a wood surface with water on the ear cups.
Plantronics BackBeat Fit 505
Buy now
See review
See review

Like their twin, the BackBeat Fit 505 is supported by anodized aluminum rails that buttress the headband. Unfortunately, they feel cheap in the hand and look cheap on the shelf.

On the flip side, functionality makes up for appearances: that P2i nano-coating works wonders. I managed to drench the BackBeat Fit 505 in a downpour; yet, even after water seeped into the ear cup interior, they continue to work flawlessly. Aside from being durable, the controls are practical as well. The raised buttons on the rubberized panel are spaced far enough apart that using them is easy—absolutely crucial for running.

Additionally, these headphones pair quickly and reconnect immediately. Switching back and forth is simple with the multi-function button on the bottom of the right ear cup, and the connection is hardly interrupted as long as you’re within the 10-meter range. These may lack high-quality codec support, but they sound fine for workout headphones.

You might like: Best workout earbuds

If you want the best noise cancelling earbuds, look no further than Sony WF-1000XM4

Looking for earbuds that can do it all, regardless of what device you use? The Sony WF-1000XM4 is pretty much the best pair of noise cancelling true wireless earbuds on the market right now, with solid sound, a fantastic fit, and best-in-class noise cancelling.

Sony WF-1000XM4
8.2
A photo of the Sony WF-1000XM4's case open, revealing the earphones sitting within.A photo showing someone using the touch controls of the Sony WF-1000XM4.A photo showing the Sony WF-1000XM4 in its case, with the lid open.

These earbuds aren’t waterproof, but they are IPX4 rated for sweat and water resistance. Coupled with the secure fit offered by the foam ear tips of various and the ear tip fit test the Sony Headphones Connect app offers, these will be great for workouts of most time—just don’t take them swimming.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 also offers solid battery life, lasting 7 hours, 43 minutes in our testing—not the absolutely best out there, but better than most. The included charging case also holds enough juice for two additional charging cycle, bringing total life up to around 24 hours. The earbuds support SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs, so both Apple and Android users will have access to high quality streaming.

Overall, these earbuds are definitely on the expensive side, but they don’t struggle to justify it. The inclusion of Bluetooth 5.2 also means these could be among the first audio product to support LC3 audio when it comes out.

Sony WF-1000XM4 microphone sample (ideal):

iPhone users looking for simplicity should get the new AirPods Max

If you want the best possible iOS-compatible pair of Best Buy headphones, the Apple AirPods Max are it. The company’s first over-ear attempt, these are some of the best headphones on the market, and among the most expensive, too. The AirPods Max cost more than just about any high end consumer-oriented headphones, but it’s Bluetooth nature holds it back from being an Audiophile’s dream.

Apple AirPods Max
8.9
The white Apple AirPods Max lying flat so you can see inside the ear cups as they rest on a coffee table.Close-up of the digital crown at the top of the Apple AirPods Max right ear cup.The Apple AirPods Max and its smart case on a white desk.

Nevertheless, if you’re hooked into Apple’s ecosystem, nothing offers as well-tailored an audio experience. The built-in H1 chip makes the headphones pair with your macOS or iOS device extremely quickly, and from the Bluetooth menu or Settings app respectively, you can toggle between noise cancelling and transparency mode, or just turn off ANC entirely—it also gives you an accurate battery readout. This stuff may seem a little basic, but outside of the Apple ecosystem, most of it isn’t possible.

Speaking of noise cancelling, the AirPods Max offers better active noise cancelling than anything else on the market, full stop. Its thick and deep ear cups also bring fantastic isolation, making for a significant degree of attenuation. There are a still a few inconveniences, even on iOS—the lack of a power button first and foremost—but the AirPods Max are by far your best option if you’re searching for audio excellence in Apple’s walled garden.

Apple AirPods Max microphone sample (Ideal):

See: Best AirPods alternatives

Picking up the Best Buy headphones

Best Buy headphones: Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless on the quilted carrying pouch.
Bowers & Wilkins’ P5 Wireless used to be available through Best Buy and was one of the best Best Buy headphones you can get.

Now that you’ve decided on the headphones that you want there are a few ways to go about picking them up. The option that I’m most inclined to do is to just walk in, hope the Best Buy headphones are in stock and buy them then and there. If you have better foresight, you’ll benefit from reserving ahead of time. To do so, select your town next to “store pickup.” If the item’s already in-stock, it only takes Best Buy one hour to have it ready for pickup. Additionally, purchases that are $35 and up are eligible for free shipping directly to your house.

Best Buy headphones price match

So long as you refer your local Best Buy to an authorized dealer, say if Target has the Sony WH-1000xM3 for $20 less, Best Buy will match it. If you show the cashier a dubious Amazon vendor, though, you won’t receive a price match.

Out-of-stock items

Unfortunately, this tends to happen with new releases that receive a lot of hype. If that’s the case, you can still reserve for in-store pickup or have it shipped directly to your house when the item is available. Sure, it’s not the most immediate approach, but there’s not much anyone can do when something’s out of stock. At least Best Buy occasionally provides customers with exclusive deals and promotions.

Best Buy return policy

You can certainly do that. Most products have a 15-day return window, as long as the product functions like new, shows no signs of wear, and is returned with all included parts. Certain devices, like cell phones, have a 14-day return policy though.

Best Buy headphones policy screenshot.
Best Buy’s return and restocking policies apply to the best headphones from Best Buy.

Notable mentions

Close-up shot of the Apple Airpods and the Powerbeats Pro on a synth.
The actual earbuds themselves take a very different approach to how they stay in your ears.
  • Sony WH-1000XM4These headphones are just as good as they were a year ago, and they’re easy to find at a discount these days.
  • Jabra Elite 65tIf you want to get true wireless Best Buy headphones, these IP67 ‘buds are a great choice. They can be fully submerged for 30 minutes in up to 1 meter.
  • Bose QC 35 II: These are one of the best pairs of active noise canceling headphones available. If you’re already invested in the Bose ecosystem, these probably make more sense than the Sony WH-100xM2.
  • Beats Solo3: Beats appeals to the fashion conscious, and if that’s what you’re looking for, these will appeal to you. That said, they don’t have the best sound or build quality for the price.
  • AfterShokz Trekz Air: Have you ever heard of bone conduction technology? Well, that’s how the Trekz Titanium operates, they transmit sound from the skull to the inner ear, making these a safe option if you favor outdoor exercise.
  • Sennheiser HD1: These are an excellent pair of over-ear, active noise canceling headphones, but don’t quite keep pace with the Sony WH-1000xM2. They’re also $100 more expensive.
  • JLab Flex Sport Wireless: If you’re drawn to the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 505 but want something with more versatility and a more comfortable fit, these sub-$80 cans are a great choice.
  • Marshall Major II: Guitar enthusiasts and trendy listeners alike should pay attention to these on-ear headphones. They provide around 30 hours of playback and fold up to a compact size for storage.
  • Beats Powerbeats Pro: These earbuds outperform the AirPods in every way, save for price. Isolation is great and the bass-centric sound is manageable. The ear hooks promote a stable, secure fit for athletes and casual listeners alike.
  • Apple AirPods ProIf you’re turned off by the AirPods Max price, or you’re just more interested in earbuds than over-ear headphones, the AirPods Pro are still fantastic. These true wireless earbuds bring solid ANC, good sound, and that stylish form factor that’s become nearly ubiquitous in the last couple years. They’re also half the price of the AirPods Max.

How we chose what Best Buy headphones are worth it

Being that we’ve been covering the audio industry for some time, we’re acutely aware of what the top of the market is. It’s not exactly a huge mystery which companies are great at this sort of thing, and which ones… aren’t as much. However, we give everyone their fair shot because we’re not all-knowing gods of consumer audio or anything, and there are always some surprises out there.

It’s also important to check our ideas about what people want at the door because we’re not the ones buying: you are. So from time to time, we take to Twitter to see just how people are actually buying these headphones. Like good journalists, we posted the question, and the results were a little surprising:

Though battery life seems to be the biggest draw for wireless consumers, sound quality reigns supreme when it comes to users of ANC, and wired headsets.

Why you should trust us regarding Best Buy headphones

We’re each dedicated to SoundGuys as our nine-to-fives, and have tested plenty of headphones and earbuds because of it. In doing so, we’re well equipped to tell the gimmicks from the high-quality products and want you to enjoy what you’re listening through. We have years keeping an eye out on the audio industry and understand the frustrations that come with being a general consumer. We’re here to streamline the research process for you, so you can get straight to listening to your Best Buy headphones.

None of us may benefit from nudging customers toward or away from a given product. If you’re so compelled our ethics policy is available here.


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