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The best wired headphones you can buy – updated September 2021

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The best wired headphones you can buy – updated September 2021
Most of us are numb to it by now – you buy an expensive flagship smartphone and it doesn't have a headphone jack. You buy a cheap smartphone – it has a headphone jack… Many Android tablets still have it, but the iPad Air and iPad Pro don't either.

So in many cases you're either supposed to buy an adapter, or alternatively, just cave in and buy Bluetooth wireless earbuds or wireless headphones.

Well, for those who went with the adapter or are still rocking phones with a headphone jack, or alternatively simply want wired headphones to use with a PC or dedicated music player – you've come to the right place. Here we'll take a look at the best wired headphones you can buy in 2021, both premium and affordable ones. Because it's no secret that nothing beats a wired connection when it comes to latency, reliability and audio quality, even if Bluetooth seems more convenient.

Best wired headphones, summarized:


Sennheiser HD 600



Sennheiser Pro Audio HD 600

Open back professional headphones. Sophisticated design, elegantly finished in black and gray.

Buy at Amazon


These legendary headphones have been around for decades and are still many professional music producers' favorite choice to this day. Unlike most other headphones on this list, these are open back, meaning they have zero isolation and your music will bleed out, so they're not suitable for on-the-go music listening, but for enjoying or even making music in the comfort of your home or studio.

These headphones deliver clear, flat sound, meaning you can enjoy jazz, classical music and other such genres without distortion or a heavy, artificial emphasis on bass. If you're looking for strong bass or more casual headphones for electronic dance music and hip-hop, you'll be better off with one of the other options on this list.

Audio Technica ATH-M50X



Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

Professional studio monitor headphones, black, with detachable cable.

Buy at Amazon


Like the HD 600 above, these headphones by Audio Technica are well regarded by professionals, but are closed back, so they can be enjoyed on the go and among people just as well as in the comfort of your home.

They come with three detachable cables, which are in different lengths, ending with a 3.5mm jack that can plug into your phone, tablet or PC. You also get a 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter, should you need it.

They're somewhat flat-sounding, meaning great for production and monitoring, but do have a mild emphasis on bass and mids also, so they should also satisfy most casual listeners.

Pioneer HDJ-CUE1BT



Pioneer HDJ-CUE1BT-KPDJ

DJ headphones, can be used both wirelessly via Bluetooth or wired with the included 3.5mm cable.

Buy at Amazon


What if you can have the best of both worlds – a pair of fun headphones that can connect wirelessly with your no-headphone-jack phone, but also come with a 3.5mm cable you can attach to them at any time for use with your other devices?

These headphones by respected DJ gear brand Pioneer are affordable, have good sound with solid bass, and can switch between a Bluetooth connection and a 3.5mm connection on the fly. You can choose to completely ignore their Bluetooth functionality if you wish, just attach the pack-in cable they come with right away.

Who knows, maybe these will help transition you into wireless? In any case, for that price, these headphones are a great choice, so long as you're not looking for the cleanest and flat sound out there.

Sony MDRXB800 Extra Bass



Sony MDRXB800 Extra Bass

With pressure relieving foam ear pads for long-term comfort. Dual folding design makes them compact for easy storage.

Buy at Amazon


As the name so subtly suggests, these are the "fun" type of headphones, meaning they don't aim to offer flat or ultra-clear sound, but punchy one for modern music such as EDM, trap, hip-hop and the likes.

Also, these are very affordable for what they are – fairly portable, wired headphones for casual music listening on your phone.

AKG Pro Audio K92



AKG Pro Audio K92

Closed-back headphones, matte black and gold. Self-adjusting headband ensures perfect fit.

Buy at Amazon


AKG is known for making some fantastic studio headphones, but the company also offers super affordable ones for casual listening, and the K92 are one of those.

They're not quite flat-sounding, top quality audio equipment, but for enjoying some modern music on your phone, and especially for that price, the K92 are worth considering. Their design allows for some good noise isolation, meaning your music shouldn't bleed and annoy others around you.

Sennheiser HD 300



Sennheiser HD 300

Secure over-ear fit, lightweight foldable design allows for easy storage and carrying.

$49 95
Buy at BestBuy


Speaking of affordable wired headphones from beloved brands, we can't overlook the HD 300 by Sennheiser. These headphones are super affordable, lightweight, have good noise isolation and are perfect for use with a phone, on the go. Thanks to their design, they can fold up to save space in your backpack, and their cable is even detachable.

Found what you were after?


Hopefully this article helped you find the best wired headphones for your needs! Whether you just want an affordable, lightweight pair of wired headphones to use with your smartphone on the go, or are looking for some high quality, studio-grade wired headphones for not just listening to music, but producing it too, one of the options above should suffice.

If you're on the fence on whether you should move on to wireless or not, the Pioneer HDJ-CUE1BT are a great and affordable option to try out first, as those can be used both wirelessly and wired. They may serve as an introduction to the world of wireless headphones or as the perfect pair for anyone who wants to have both options at hand – wired and wireless.

In any case, if you're still on the lookout for the right pair of headphones, you may also find useful our other headphones and earbuds picks based on different criteria:


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