Best Wired Headphones To Consider in 2020

Between wired and wireless headphones, the latter may offer you a little more convenience but wired ones have many advantages on their side. Wired headphones may be preferred over wireless ones due to a number of factors.

Firstly, you’ll not experience the problem of lagging between what you get to see and what you hear while watching a film or playing your favorite video game. They are bereft of all those irritating pairing procedures plus work instantly with devices providing support for 1/8” audio inputs.

For most wired headphones, keeping an eye on the battery levels is not a necessity. Though some of them with features like noise-canceling do require batteries, they tend to last longer than similar featured wireless options. Here’s a collection of headphones for multiple purposes that would benefit from a wired connection.

best wired headphones

Our Pick for Best Wired Headphones in 2020

Sennheiser HD 800 S

Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Noise Cancellation: No
Microphone No
Transducer Dynamic

Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones come with a combination of some of the best features available in the market. Though this one isn’t a very pocket-friendly option, if you are willing to invest this much on headphones, go for this one to avail amazing audio fidelity.

Their metal and plastic build and the well-padded ear cups match the money you spend.  Though there’s a bit of muddiness in the upper bass and lower mids, these come with an excellent sound signature.  These headphones work fine with different genres and are well-suited for instrumental and vocal-centric music.

Being open-backed, they’ll give you a great soundstage, you are going to feel like your sound source is a loudspeaker. But if you want to make the most out of them, you’ll require the aid of a good amplifier. If you have the required budget and want to add to your listening experience let this be your pick.

SENNHEISER HD 58X JUBILEE

Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Noise Cancellation No
Microphone No
Transducer Dynamic

If the previous one doesn’t fit into your budget, this one is a good affordable alternative. Despite being lower on the cost scale, they manage to maintain a standard build and offer good quality in terms of sound.

These well-balanced headphones are pretty much neutral, but there’s a bit of sharpness in the treble, which becomes noticeable only if the track is already bright. As SENNHEISER HD 58X JUBILEE headphones have an open-back design they can’t cut off a lot of external sound and are not very suitable for very noisy surroundings.

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-M50X

Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Noise Cancellation No
Microphone No
Transducer Dynamic

If you’re looking for a headphone which focuses more on noise cancellation give Audio-Technica M50x a try. They offer moderate noise isolation and hence are better for noisy backgrounds.

You’ll have to compromise with the spacious soundstage effect that open-back headphones offer but the sound is still great. Being out in the market for a considerable period, they’re widely available and comparatively less expensive. The accompanying cables don’t come with an in-line remote or mic for making calls, but they’re detachable, thus facilitating replacement.

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro

Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Noise Cancellation No
Microphone Yes
Transducer Dynamic

Astro A40 TR is a great option in wired headphones for gamers looking forward to an option with long battery life.  With these comfortable, well-built headphones you can do away with your worries about latency.

So, quickly grab them for your Xbox One or PS4, and if you want something to go with your PC, these will cover that as well.

Users get them along with a control box called MixAmp Pro that aids in making your gaming journey more customizable.  You can create custom EQ presets and assign them to the MixAmp by connecting the headphones to the Astro Command Center on your computer.

As they’re open-backed sound isolation is not one of their specialties.  Some users may like the openness, but this can be quite annoying if you’re playing an online multiplayer game with voice chat enabled as your teammates will be able to hear your game sound and may prove to be distracting if the people around you are working while you’re gaming.

Want to avoid these troubles? You can buy a kit from Astro to transform these into closed-back headphones.

LOGITECH G433 GAMING HEADSET

Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Noise Cancellation No
Microphone Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The LOGITECH G433 gaming headset may not be as comfortable as Astro A40 TR but they are more versatile when it comes to design.

The boom detachable microphone that comes with the headphones has quite an impressive performance. These are on the bulkier side and don’t isolate noise that well, but you have several cable options and adapters to choose from, including a cable with an in-line mic and remote for taking calls over the phone.

You can opt for Astro in case you don’t plan on using your headphones while you’re outside, but if you want something that works both while you’re gaming indoors or listening to your playlist to kill the boredom while traveling, go for the one from Logitech.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancellation No
Microphone No
Transducer Dynamic

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are sturdy headphones that offer excellent audio quality to users. However, their open-back design is not very suitable for casual regular use. Chances of sound leakage are quite high even if you keep the volume low and unwanted sounds don’t get blocked that much.

Some people may find them to be a bit tight on the head. While you’re listening to high-resolution tracks you’ll find detailed audio reproduction with these.

Along with a spacious soundstage impact, you’ll get clarity in sound. As the treble range is a bit more emphasized than the ideal case these may occasionally sound a bit sharp, but bass, instruments, and vocals are quite balanced and reproduced well.

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Noise Cancellation No
Microphone No
Transducer Dynamic

These well-built, closed-back headphones are highly durable and attempt at providing excellent sound standard to listeners.

They offer well balanced audio reproduction with an almost perfect mid-range and a great bass owing to its closed design. As a result, instruments or vocals don’t get drowned.

However, the bass range depends on the shape of the listener’s head to a certain extent, so, there may be variations from user to user. Due to their emphasized treble range, these too have a tendency to sound a little sharp for certain tracks. They’re more suitable for quieter environments, and once you drop them into your bag, you can easily carry them around.

Philips SHP9500 Headphones

Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Noise Cancellation No
Microphone No
Transducer Dynamic

These headphones from Phillips SHP9500 don’t put much pressure on your pocket and yet provide a great service. You’ll get a combo of sturdiness and lightweight build which if you go for this one. Apart from being quite durable, they are really comfortable to use.

They’re not very suitable for stepping out of your home with, but these offer good, well-balanced sound deliverability, almost at par with other more expensive open-back options.

The SHP9500 headphones reproduce tracks with an above-average fidelity and offer a well-balanced bass, mid, and treble range. The large, open ear cups they come with help in creating a spacious soundstage.

HiFiMan Ananda

Type Over-the-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Noise Cancellation No
Microphone No
Transducer Planar Magnetic

Popular brand HiFiMan’s decision to redesign the Edition X brings us the HiFiMan Ananda, a well-designed pair of headphones for critical listeners. The expressiveness of the midtones has been improved, along with beneficial tweaks to the harmonic distortion.

The minimal design of the metal yokes and the headband are clearly inspired by the Sundara, which should lend it the Sundara’s durability. Durability has never been HiFiMan’s strong suit and like other over-the-ear type headphones with open-back designs, they are more geared towards critical listening.

For the versatile listeners, the balanced sound will prove pleasing for a variety of genres with both vocals sounding crisp and clear and instruments being represented accurately in the mid-range.

The large soundstage offers a very open feel. Comfort is a major issue with the larger, over-the-ear style headphones, and that’s one department in which this pair excels.

Long hours of listening feel effortless. To conclude, if you’re a neutral listener who does not lean towards either bass or treble and prefers a clean, balanced sound, this pair is for you. Add to that the premium feel and the comfort and you have a serious contender in the critical listening department for great headphones

Superlux HD 681

Type Over-the-ear
Enclosure Semi-Open
Noise Cancellation No
Microphone No
Transducer Dynamic

Similar to its cousin, the HD668B, in many ways but with a much more comfortable design, the Superlux HD 681 features a sound and build that reminds us of previous models.

The headband design is largely responsible for the snug fit which is just tight enough to feel right. The sound quality and listening experience are better than some headphones which are much above this one’s price segment. Aiming at the budget segment of the market, Superlux had to cut quite a few corners too.

They can prove to be troublesome since the basic features like noise cancellation are missing and the design does not do a good job of passively blocking external noise.

Versatility is questionable because of the enhanced bass and overcompensated mid-tones. Thus, this one is not for all genres and vocals often sound too sharp and unnatural.

The soundstage, although not entirely bad, with the other options available, falls short of a recommendation. It just is not open enough. This is only for the casual and neutral listeners, a hard-core music enthusiast or audiophile will not be satisfied with the experience this pair can provide.

Polk Audio Buckle Headphones

Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Noise Cancellation No
Microphone Yes
Transducer Dynamic

If a little dark sound and bass-heavy music is the music of your choice then here are the best headphones to light up your mood: the Polk Buckle.

They rank high when it comes to manufacturing and longevity. And as far as the looks and feels are considered they won’t make you feel alienated than any other top-class brand and one cannot complain about comfort either. However, every good story has to have a perfect villain.

Likewise, here the Polk Buckle loses out when it comes to design, for it’s quite rigid and that makes portability an issue. Not much can be appreciated about its noise blocking capacities either, which makes it an unfavorable choice while commuting. On the other hand, they provide leakproof music even at considerably high volumes.

It can be said that it’s decent neutral listening but definitely not the ideal choice. With a bass, that’s slightly elevated, their sound ends up being a little muddy and boomy.

Coupled with the tapered high frequencies as well as limited soundstage, which is because of their closed-back design, the Polk Buckle sound is overall somewhat dark.

Despite this, they are able to satisfy most casual listeners, especially those who are fond of deep rumbling bass-range and this makes them balanced and comfortable.

In the end, it can be concluded that such is the build of this headphone, that it becomes a suitable option when it comes to office use and they have a good enough sound for one to classify them as average when it comes to critical listening.

Beats EP Headphones

Type On-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Noise Cancellation No
Microphone Yes
Transducer Dynamic

These decent well-rounded headphones are impressive when it comes to critical listening, but can feel a bit tight on the head if you intend to use them for long stretches of time.

But this factor works in your favor if you wish to listen to some good music while jogging in the morning, its tight fit ensures that it won’t fall down.

Though Beats EP headphones are not as portable as some of the other on-ear headphone options, they’re quite lightweight and well-padded. These have a promising performance for multiple usage cases apart from when you’re traveling or in very loud surroundings since they won’t be able to block a lot of unwanted sounds.

HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II Headphones

Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Noise Cancellation No
Microphone Yes
Transducer Dynamic

This gaming headset provides a decently balanced sound and above-average performance.  They come with a casual design, so, go-ahead if you want to use it outdoors.

Once the mic gets removed, they pass for regular headphones. However, their control scheme is not ideal for mobile phones. They come with well-built wired design and have a low latency rate that makes them suitable for gaming and movie watching.

HyperX Cloud II headphones are both sturdy and comfortable. Their closed-back ear cups don’t leak a lot and do block some external noises.

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