8 Best Wired Headphones: Expert Reviews & Top Picks

Table of Contents

Last Updated on February 7, 2024 by Muisc Pro Editorial Team

Wired headphones, including over ear headphones and wired audiophile headphones, have stood the test of time, offering unparalleled sound quality, reliability, and a direct connection to your favorite audio devices. In an era where wireless technology dominates, wired headphones still hold a special place for audiophiles and casual listeners alike. 

This review delves into the world of the best wired headphones, including studio headphones and best audiophile headphones, exploring a variety of models that cater to different needs. Whether you’re looking for studio-grade sound, comfort during long listening sessions, or durable designs for on-the-go use, our comprehensive guide will help you find the perfect pair. We’ve tested and analyzed several top contenders, considering factors like sound quality, build, comfort, and value for money.

Our Choice for:

Sony ZX Series Wired On-Ear Headphones

Sony ZX Series Wired On-Ear Headphones

Audio Performance

The Sony ZX Series excels with its 1.38 in neodymium dynamic drivers, delivering a robust and rhythmic audio experience. Its broad frequency range from 12 Hz to 22 kHz ensures deep bass, rich midrange, and crisp highs, making it suitable for a variety of music genres.

Design and Comfort

These headphones feature a swiveling earcup design, enhancing both storage convenience and portability – ideal for travelers. The cushioned earpads offer extended comfort, crucial for long listening sessions, and the closed-back design effectively seals in sound for an immersive experience.

Build and Durability

Weighing only 135 grams, these headphones are remarkably lightweight, reducing strain during prolonged use. The L-shaped stereo mini plug and a cord length of 3.94 ft provide sufficient flexibility without compromising durability.

User Experience

The ease of use is evident in the simple yet effective design. The 24 ohm impedance at 1KHz is optimal for various devices, ensuring consistent sound quality across different platforms.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable, ideal for extended wear.
  • Swiveling earcups and foldable design make them travel-friendly.
  • Wide frequency range caters to diverse musical tastes.
  • Enfolding design for enhanced sound isolation.

Cons:

  • Limited features for professional audio work.
  • Non-detachable cord may limit mobility for some users.
  • No active noise cancelling feature.

Evolution and Comparison: Compared to its predecessors and competitors, the Sony ZX Series stands out for its balance of sound quality, comfort, and portability. While it lacks advanced features like noise cancellation, its focus on fundamental qualities makes it a reliable choice for casual listeners, especially those who travel frequently.

Check Price: Check Price

Beats EP Wired On-Ear Headphones

Beats EP Wired On-Ear Headphones

Sound Quality

The Beats EP offers masterfully tuned sound, striking a balance between deep bass and clear highs. This tuning caters to a range of musical genres, particularly those that benefit from the signature Beats sound profile.

Design and Build

The design is both durable and lightweight, reinforced with stainless steel, making them robust for everyday use. The adjustable vertical sliders enhance the personalized fit, essential for comfort during extended listening sessions.

Functionality

These headphones come with a RemoteTalk cable, which is particularly convenient for iOS and Android users. It allows for easy control of music and handling calls without needing to access the device directly.

User Experience

The battery-free design ensures uninterrupted playback, a significant advantage over wireless counterparts. This feature makes them a reliable choice for users who prioritize continuous use without the need for recharging.

Pros:

  • Robust build quality with stainless steel reinforcement.
  • Excellent sound quality with a focus on bass.
  • RemoteTalk cable adds functionality for call handling and music control.
  • Battery-free design eliminates the need for charging.

Cons:

  • Sound profile might not suit all listeners, especially those preferring a more balanced or neutral sound.
  • Limited features compared to more advanced or professional headphones.

Evolution and Comparison: The Beats EP represents a solid entry in the Beats headphone lineup, focusing on fundamental qualities like sound and build quality. While they might not boast the advanced features of higher-end models, their straightforward design and functionality make them a top choice for users looking for quality sound and ease of use in a wired format. Their durability and user-friendly features set them apart from many competitors in the same category.

Check Price: Check Price

Panasonic Headphones RP-HT161-K

Panasonic Headphones RP-HT161-K

Audio Quality

The Panasonic RP-HT161-K excels in delivering a balanced sound profile, with its dual 30mm neodymium drivers handling up to 1000Mw power input. This results in powerful bass, clear mid-range, and high-frequency trebles, ideal for an immersive experience in music, movies, and gaming.

Comfort and Design

Comfort is a significant highlight, with plush padded earpads that envelop the ears, minimizing external background noise and distractions. The quick adjust headband conforms to various head sizes, ensuring a comfortable fit for extended periods.

Build and Practicality

The headphones sport a sleek, matte black finish, combining style with functionality. They are lightweight and durable, suitable for both home and on-the-go use. The extended 6.6 feet audio cord is particularly advantageous for users who need mobility while engaged in activities like gaming or watching TV.

User Experience

These headphones offer a blend of quality and convenience, ideal for users seeking a balance between performance and comfort. The lengthy cord provides ample freedom of movement, which is a boon for gamers and those who prefer not to sit close to their devices.

Pros:

  • Balanced sound quality suitable for various media.
  • Comfortable design with padded earpads and adjustable headband.
  • Extended cord length enhances user mobility.
  • Lightweight and stylish design.

Cons:

  • Lack of advanced features like noise cancellation or wireless connectivity.
  • Might not satisfy users looking for a more premium audio experience.

Evolution and Comparison: The Panasonic RP-HT161-K represents an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable, no-frills wired headphone experience. It stands out in its price category by offering features typically found in more expensive models, such as powerful drivers and comfortable design. Its focus on fundamental qualities like sound, comfort, and practicality makes it a strong contender against other headphones in its class, particularly for users who prioritize simplicity and effectiveness over high-end features.

Check Price: Check Price

Apple EarPods Headphones

Apple EarPods Headphones

Ergonomic Design and Comfort

The Apple EarPods stand out with their unique design, shaped according to the geometry of the ear. This design is not just aesthetic but functional, making them more comfortable for a wider range of users compared to traditional earbuds.

Sound Quality

The EarPods are engineered to maximize sound output while minimizing loss, resulting in high-quality audio performance. This feature is particularly notable for users who value clarity and depth in their audio experience.

Functionality

The built-in remote is a convenient addition, allowing users to adjust volume, control music and video playback, and answer calls effortlessly. This functionality is integrated smoothly, maintaining the sleek design of the EarPods.

Compatibility and Microphone Quality

These headphones are versatile, compatible with any device with a 3.5mm headphone jack. The integrated microphone provides clear voice capture, enhancing the experience during phone or FaceTime calls, and when interacting with voice assistants like Siri.

Pros:

  • Ergonomically designed for increased comfort.
  • High-quality audio with efficient sound output.
  • Convenient built-in remote for easy control.
  • Wide compatibility with 3.5mm jack devices.
  • Clear microphone for calls and voice commands.

Cons:

  • May not fit securely in all ear types, potentially affecting sound isolation.
  • Lacks advanced features like active noise cancelling.

Unique Selling Points: Apple’s EarPods differentiate themselves with their unique ergonomic design, tailored for comfort and ease of use. Their integration of a remote and microphone into a sleek, user-friendly design sets them apart in the wired headphones category. While they might not cater to the high-end audiophile market, they excel in providing a balanced, functional, and comfortable listening experience for everyday use.

Check Price: Check Price

PHILIPS Over Ear Wired Stereo Headphones

PHILIPS Over Ear Wired Stereo Headphones

Sound Quality

The 40mm neodymium drivers in these Philips headphones deliver a well-balanced sound, offering impactful bass without overwhelming the highs, which are clear but not piercing. This results in a nuanced audio experience, suitable for a wide range of music genres.

Design and Convenience

These headphones feature built-in volume control, allowing for easy adjustment right at your fingertips. This is particularly convenient for users who prefer not to repeatedly reach for their audio source to adjust the volume.

Comfort and Fit

The ear cushions are designed to perfectly align with the area around the ear, providing a comfortable fit and minimizing audio leakage. This design enhances the bass performance and ensures comfort during long listening sessions.

Cable Length and Compatibility

An extended 6m cable is ideal for users who want to connect their headphones to a TV or any audio equipment from a distance. The headphones come with a standard 3.5 mm jack and an additional 6.3 mm adapter, making them widely compatible with various devices.

Pros:

  • Balanced sound with clear highs and deep bass.
  • Convenient built-in volume control.
  • Comfortable ear cushions for extended wear.
  • Extra-long cable for versatile use.
  • Wide compatibility with included adapters.

Cons:

  • Bulky design may not be ideal for portable use.
  • Lacks advanced features like noise cancellation.

Unique Aspects and User Experience: These Philips headphones are a solid choice for those seeking a combination of comfort, sound quality, and practicality. The extended cable length and volume control are thoughtful additions that enhance the user experience, particularly for home entertainment purposes. While they may not be the top choice for users seeking compact, travel-friendly headphones, their design and features make them an excellent option for home or studio use.

Check Price: Check Price

JBL Endurance Run 2 Wired

JBL Endurance Run 2 Wired

Design and Fit

The JBL Endurance Run 2 stands out with its innovative FlipHook design, offering flexibility to wear the headphones either in-ear or behind-the-ear. This, coupled with TwistLock and FlexSoft technologies, ensures they are lightweight and remain securely in place, a crucial factor for active users.

Durability and Performance

These headphones are IPX5 rated, making them sweatproof and suitable for intense outdoor or indoor workouts in various weather conditions. The rugged build is specifically designed to withstand the rigors of a high-intensity exercise regimen.

Functionality

The in-line one-button remote with a microphone facilitates hands-free calling, which is convenient for users who need to stay connected even during their workouts. The integration of Google Now and Siri activation adds to the functional aspect, allowing voice control without interrupting the exercise.

User Experience

The magnetic buds provide practical cable management when the headphones are not in use, enhancing the overall user experience and convenience.

Pros:

  • Versatile wearing styles with FlipHook design.
  • Secure fit and stability with TwistLock and FlexSoft technologies.
  • Sweatproof and durable, ideal for rigorous workouts.
  • Hands-free calling with an in-line remote and integrated microphone.
  • Practical magnetic buds for easy cable management.

Cons:

  • Sound quality may not match audiophile expectations.
  • Wired design, while stable, may not be as convenient as wireless alternatives for some activities.

Unique Aspects: The JBL Endurance Run 2 Wired headphones are tailored for fitness enthusiasts. The combination of their flexible wearing styles, sweatproof design, and stability features sets them apart in the sports headphones category. They are an excellent choice for users who prioritize a secure fit and durability in their workout headphones.

Check Price: Check Price

Sony MDR-ZX310AP ZX Series Wired On Ear Headphones

Sony MDR-ZX310AP ZX Series Wired On Ear Headphones

Audio Quality

Equipped with powerful 30mm dome-type driver units, the Sony MDR-ZX310AP headphones provide clear and solid audio performance. This makes them suitable for a variety of audio experiences, from music to podcasts.

Design and Portability

These headphones feature a lightweight and adjustable design, ensuring comfort during prolonged use. The swivel folding mechanism enhances portability, making them a convenient choice for on-the-go users.

Durability

The construction of the MDR-ZX310AP emphasizes rugged durability, making them resilient for everyday use.

Functionality

An integrated microphone adds to the headphones’ versatility, allowing for hands-free calls and voice commands, which is particularly beneficial for multitasking users.

Cable and Connectivity

The Y-type cable with a 4-conductor gold plated, L-shaped plug ensures a stable connection and is designed to reduce tangling, which is a common annoyance with wired headphones.

Pros:

  • Clear sound quality with powerful drivers.
  • Lightweight and adjustable for comfortable wear.
  • Swivel design for easy portability.
  • Integrated microphone for added functionality.
  • Durable build suitable for daily use.

Cons:

  • Basic feature set may not appeal to audiophiles.
  • No advanced features like active noise cancellation.

Overall Experience: The Sony MDR-ZX310AP stands out for its combination of sound quality, portability, and practicality. While it may not have the advanced features of higher-end models, its straightforward design and functionality make it a strong contender for everyday use, especially for those who prioritize durability and portability in their wired headphones.

Check Price: Check Price

JBL TUNE 500 – Wired On-Ear Headphones

JBL TUNE 500 - Wired On-Ear Headphones

Audio Performance

The JBL TUNE 500 headphones are equipped with JBL Pure Bass sound and 32mm drivers, offering a powerful and engaging audio experience. This makes them ideal for users who enjoy a bass-heavy sound profile.

Design and Comfort

These headphones boast a lightweight and foldable design, enhancing portability and convenience for on-the-go use. The soft ear cushions and padded headband contribute to comfortable wear, even during prolonged listening sessions.

Functionality

The 1-button remote with a microphone is compatible with most smartphones, providing easy access to control music and handle calls. The ability to activate Siri or Google Now directly from the headphones adds a layer of convenience, especially for smartphone users.

Cable Design

The tangle-free flat cable is a thoughtful addition, addressing the common issue of tangled wires, which enhances the overall user experience.

Pros:

  • JBL Pure Bass sound offers a rich, powerful audio experience.
  • Comfortable design with soft ear cushions and padded headband.
  • Convenient foldable design for easy portability.
  • User-friendly 1-button remote with microphone.
  • Tangle-free flat cable minimizes wire hassles.

Cons:

  • The sound profile may not suit listeners who prefer a more balanced audio.
  • Lacks advanced features like active noise cancellation.

Overall Experience: The JBL TUNE 500 headphones stand out in their category for offering a robust bass experience combined with user-friendly features and comfortable design. They are a solid choice for users looking for reliable, bass-centric wired headphones that are both portable and convenient for daily use.

Check Price: Check Price

Introduction to Wired Headphones

Despite the rise of wireless headphones and Bluetooth headphones, wired headphones remain a staple in the audio world, favored for their reliability and uncompromised sound quality. They offer a direct, lossless connection to audio sources, ensuring no latency or compression issues that can sometimes affect wireless models. Additionally, wired headphones eliminate the need for battery charging, making them a go-to option for audiophiles, professionals in the music industry, and everyday users who seek consistent audio performance without the hassle of charging.

Sound Quality Analysis

When it comes to audio performance, wired headphones, particularly those designed as headphones for recording, often provide a superior listening experience. Their direct connection ensures a stable, uninterrupted audio signal, which is crucial for high-fidelity sound, especially important in recording settings. The bass response in these headphones is typically more accurate and less prone to distortion, while the treble remains crisp and clear. In recording scenarios, the midrange, where most vocal tracks lie, is often well-balanced in these headphones, allowing for a rich and immersive sound experience. This section would delve into the specific sound signatures of various models, comparing how they handle different genres of music and audio content, and emphasizing their suitability as headphone for recording.

Build Quality and Durability

The construction of wired headphones is a critical factor in their longevity and performance. High-quality materials like reinforced cables, sturdy connectors, and durable headbands can significantly extend the life of the headphones or any studio recording bundle. This section would explore the materials used in various wired headphone models, assessing their robustness and ability to withstand daily wear and tear. It would also discuss the warranty and repair options available for these headphones, providing insight into the manufacturer’s confidence in their product’s durability.

Comfort and Fit

Comfort is paramount in headphones, especially in over ear headphones and closed back headphones, especially for those who wear them for extended periods. This segment would evaluate the ergonomics of different wired headphone models, focusing on factors like the adjustability of headbands, the softness of ear cushions, and the overall weight distribution. It would also consider how well they accommodate different head sizes and shapes, and whether they can be worn comfortably with glasses. The breathability of ear pads and the pressure exerted on the ears and head would be discussed, as these are crucial aspects that affect the overall comfort of headphones.

FAQ Section for Choosing the Best Wired Headphones

Q1: What are the advantages of wired headphones over wireless?

A1: Wired headphones often provide better sound quality as they don’t rely on Bluetooth compression. They also don’t require batteries, eliminating the need for frequent charging.

Q2: How important is the impedance of wired headphones?

A2: Impedance affects the power required for headphones to work optimally. Lower impedance headphones are better for devices with lower power output, like smartphones, while higher impedance headphones are suited for professional equipment.

Q3: Can wired headphones be used with smartphones that don’t have a headphone jack?

A3: Yes, you can use an adapter to connect wired headphones to smartphones without a headphone jack.

Q4: Are there wired headphones with noise-canceling features?

A4: Yes, some wired headphones come with active noise-canceling technology, although they are less common than in wireless models.

Q5: How do I ensure comfort when wearing wired headphones for long periods?

A5: Look for headphones with padded ear cups, an adjustable headband, and a lightweight design to ensure comfort during prolonged use.

Q6: What should I look for in terms of durability?

A6: Check for sturdy construction materials, quality cable build, and the availability of replaceable parts like ear pads and cables.

Q7: Is sound leakage a concern with wired headphones?

A7: Yes, some models may leak sound, especially at higher volumes. Over-ear closed-back headphones typically offer better sound isolation.

Q8: Do wired headphones come with a warranty?

A8: Most reputable brands offer a warranty, but the terms and duration can vary, so it’s important to check this before purchasing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, selecting the best wired headphones, from wired earbuds to over ears, depends on a balance of sound quality, comfort, durability, and specific user needs. Whether you’re an audiophile seeking pristine audio, a professional requiring reliable equipment, or simply someone who enjoys listening to music or podcasts, there’s a wired headphone out there for you. Remember to consider the device compatibility, especially with the diminishing headphone jacks in modern smartphones, and the type of content you’ll be consuming. While the market seems to be shifting towards wireless technology, the enduring appeal of wired headphones in delivering unadulterated sound quality and reliability ensures they remain a vital component in the world of personal audio. Choose wisely and enjoy the clear, uninterrupted soundscape that wired headphones provide.

FEATURED ARTICLES

Best Portable PA Systems
Best Studio Monitor Speakers
Best Home Theatre Systems
Best Bass Headphones
Best Close Back Headphones


PAGES
About
Ethics Policy

Our team independently selects all featured products, but Pro MusicShop may earn a commission on purchases through our links. See our ethics policy for more.

COPYRIGHT 2024 © PRO.MUSICSHOP.ORG. PROFESSIONAL AUDIO, VIDEO & TECH GEARS REVIEWS.