Music is incredibly personal and everyone prefers a different genre.

Which is why it's not surprising that when it comes to headphones there almost as many preferences to choose from. Some people like the convenience of wireless while others prefer the reliability and audio quality of wired headphones. There are those who want the portability of in-ear headphones, meanwhile the rest go for the comfort of over-.

Upgrading your headphones is a personal choice, but it's an essential step if you want to step away from the cheap earbuds that they probably came bundled with.

A better pair of headphones will bring a new dimension to your music, whether it's more detail, additional functionality or just more bass.

And while you could spend hundreds or thousands to get audiophile-grade gear, we're the kind of people that like stellar performance for a good price.

The headphones that you'll find here have tons of features to help you get the most out of your music, no matter how you like to listen to it.These features range from wireless connectivity to noise-cancellation, and come in the three major form-factors: in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphones.

It sounds like a lot. But that's where our guide to the best headphones steps in.

We've selected the best headphones for each form-factor, and we've even picked out a budget option for each so that you should be able to find an excellent pair, no matter where your price point holds.

Here's a quick look at the best headphones this year:

Best in-ear headphones: 1More Triple Driver In-Ear HeadphoneBest budget in-ear headphones: Sennheiser CX213Best on-ear headphones: Grado SR60eBest over-ear headphones: Oppo PM-3Best budget over-ear headphones: AKG K92Best noise-cancelling headphones: Sony WH-1000XM2Best budget noise-cancelling headphones: Philips Fidelio NC1Best wireless headphones: Sennheiser Momentum WirelessBest wireless earbuds: Optoma NuForce BE6iBest true wireless earbuds: Jabra Elite Sport

If you already know which kind of headphones you're looking for, then you can browse through our , more specific, collections:

The best in-ear headphonesThe best over-ear headphonesThe best on-ear headphones
What headphones does TechRadar recommend?

We think the two most important things to consider when buying a pair of headphones are form-factor and price, and so that’s exactly how we’ve organised our guide.

Below you’ll find our top picks for the best in-ear headphones, the best on-ear headphones, the best over-ear headphones, the best noise-cancelling headphones and finally the best wireless headphones.

As well as a top pick for each form-factor we’ve also included a budget pick which manages to offer great sound at a much more competitive price point.

After spending a few weeks with the 1MORE Triple Driver in-ear headphones we were blown away at just how much value they give in this price range.

It’s hard to think of a better sounding pair of headphones that are as durable than them. There’s very little with which we can find fault with but it's worth mentioned that the rubber cable is an unnecessary struggle and the remote control feels cheap because it's made of plastic without a metallic finish. But this is honestly just nitpicking.

Instead, it's better to highlight the 1More Triple Driver's have a warm tonal balance. Even the bass sounds good with extension and impact. It gives you the right amount of boost without completely taking over.

Read the full review: 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone

The Sennheiser CX 213's build upon the legendary budget in-ears, the CX 180, which have been around quite some time. Although it's minimal upgrade when it comes to the CX 213's, the is balanced with a slight mid-bass . Bass is slightly emphasized and features good impact while maintaining good control. It also brings better passive noise cancellation to the table over the CX180.

Bang and Olufsen H2

For your money, you can't do any better than Grado's SR60e. The third-generation of the Prestige Series is its best and most refined yet.

The SR60e is a particularly smart choice if you're looking for an entry-level set of headphones that sounds like they should cost you way more than they do. Its open-backed ear cup design gives you a more breathable experience than what most on-ear headphones can deliver.

In our candid opinion, it's the gold-standard when it comes to on-ears.

The Oppo PM-3 truly deserve to be called as the best over-ear headphones.

The build of these headphones is comparable to other big brand names like Sony and Philips, who are experts at putting together their own contraptions. The synthetic ear pads may be a little off putting to a few users but not, they're soft, comfortable and don't overheat your ears.

Their compact design makes them easy to travel with and their durability with hold up against heavy wear and tear. They deliver incredible sound across the entire soundscape with clear and natural high paired with a balance bass. In other words, Oppo PM-3 never fails to provide crisp sound quality to the users.

Read the full review: Oppo PM-3

Want more options? Check out our guide to the best over-ear headphones.

Even though they have a plastic body, but AKG K92 stands as a very good competitor when it comes to audio quality. In most cases, you get what you pay for but these headphones deliver above and beyond their price range. They're dynamic, expressive and let you clearly listen to individual instruments without them meshing into a whole mess of sound.

Most users prefer them for in-house use due to their size but being lightweight, portability is feasible. Their size is an asset rather than a drawback because their fit wouldn't be an comfortable otherwise.

All in all, their performance is amazing and they definitely give other brands a run for their money.

Read the full review: AKG K92

When you buy a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, you're often trading sound quality for the ability to block out outside noise. It's a trade that we've been willing to make for years because, honestly, we just hadn't been able to find a pair of headphones that could do both noise-cancellation and Hi-Res audio.

Until now.

The Sony WH-1000XM2 is the follow-up to the surprisingly great MDR-1000X. They might have a slightly shorter battery life than Bose’s flagship over-ear headphones, the QuietComfort 35, but Sony’s WH-1000XM2 outclass the QC35 in terms of both performance for the price and overall feature-set.

Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM2

The Philips Fidelio NC1 replaces the Sony WH-H900N in our list. They come with two 1.5″ Neodymium drivers and have a 3.9 ft cable.

If you're looking for travel headphones, they fit the bill with a hard case while folding in comfortably keeping them from being ruined when you throw them into your bag. The aluminium finishing gives them a premium look and subtle design, despite 'High Definition Audio Philips NC1' being written on both sides.

The headphones offer quality audio to the users with a promising 30 hours of battery life. Even if you choose not to use the noise cancelling function, the audio quality is amazing providing a balanced sound without forcibly favoring the bass.

If you're on-the-go and don't want want to lug around massive headphones, this is the choice for you.

Read the full review: Philips Fidelio NC1

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

Optoma NuForce BE6i are an updated version of the original NuForce BE6. However, the changes are minimal in the new pair of headphones.

They come with 10mm dynamic drivers and an eight hours of battery life, which is bump up from the 6 hours that their predecessor offered. They have an aluminium enclosure for the drivers but it's paired a sub-par plastic remote on their tangle resistant flat wire.

They deliver good quality sound with controlled bass and decent clarity up top.

The Optoma NuForce NE6i are a pair of no-huss, no-fuss headphones that can survive heavy use.

Read the full review: Optoma NuForce BE6i

Following the footsteps of Apple, Jabra launched a pair of ‘true wireless’ earbuds in India recently. Apart from offering great sound quality, the earphones come with advance fitness analysis technology. Through this, the earbuds can track your heart rate during workouts.

The initial setup of may make you feel a little silly because you have to stand in one place at first and then jump around for a few seconds.

The carry case doubles as a charger giving you 4.5 hours of battery life in one charge, followed by two more charges before you need to plug them back in.

They also support all the major operating systems including Android and iOS and can be easily paired with any smartphone – but you definitely need a phone for these to work.

Read the full review: Jabra Elite Sport

Want more options? Check out our guide to the best wireless headphones.

Press on to page two to see how to pick out a good pair of headphones along more of our recommendations.

There's usually more to a set of headphones than meets the eye. As such, we've provided a breakdown of what you can expect to find in each kind of category.

Not only will learning more about headphones help you make a more informed purchasing decision, but you'll also be able to ascertain when you're really getting your money's worth.

In-ear headphones

These type of headphones are usually the cheapest and easiest way to pump audio into your ears. If you've purchased an MP3 player, or more recently, a smartphone, it's likely that a set was included with the purchase.

Earphones rest in or just outside the ear canal, creating a tight seal to keep air out and sound in. Compared to other types of headphones, these are the most discreet ones you'll find. Their small form-factor also makes them the king/queen of portability and the prime choice for athletes.

You're not likely to find strong performers at the low-end of the price spectrum. Their sound delivery is generally muddled, lacking bass and overcompensating for that with harsh mids and highs. That said, it won't cost you much money at all to find a value-packed option complete with inline controls and a microphone.

Check out some of our other favorite models out here
On-ear headphones

While similar to over-ear headphones in appearance, they fit to your head a little differently. Instead of enveloping your ears with a soft cushion, on-ear headphones create a light, breathable around the edges of your ears. Thus, the noise isolation is much less effective than in-ear or over-ear options. This might be a deal breaker for some, but there are some benefits to keep in mind.

On-ear headphones are usually more portable than their over-ear brethren, and as such they appeal to travelers and the fitness geeks. Taking a walk or a jog around town is also safer, as you can hear traffic go by and be aware of potential hazards.

Over-ear headphones

This ear-muff style of these headphones generally provide greater richness and depth of sound, which allows listeners to pick apart the instruments and decibels easily. Additionally, over-ear, or circum-aural headphones, go around the ear and offer a generous amount of padding.

The price range for a set of on-ear headphones begins around Rs. 5k and from there, the sky's the limit. For example, the Oppo PM-1, while excellent, are priced exorbitantly at Rs. 56k. It's definitely not necessary to spend that much. That said, you tend to get what you pay for.

If your headphone budget is in the Rs. 500-15,000, you'll start getting into options that have excellent build quality, premium materials and amazing sound and features like ANC (active noise cancellation.)

Here are a few more of our top picks
Wireless headphones

This category of headphones doesn't limit you to a specific form factor like the others. In fact, you can find in-ear, on-ear and over-ear headphone styles sans wire.

Opting to go wireless will cost over and above the price traditional of wired cans. So, keep in mind that bustling to go futuristic isn't going to be cheap. One important thing to keep in mind is that your music player must support the Bluetooth wireless protocol because that's a prerequisite use these type of headphones.

Bluetooth technology has become exponentially more reliable over time, but it's always susceptible to disturbances in the force. In short, any little thing, from the understandable (conflicting Wi-Fi signals, microwaves, cordless telephones), to the absurd (sticking a hand in the space between the device and the headphones) can sometimes interrupt the wireless listening experience.

Looking for more wireless options?
Noise-cancelling headphones

This category, like wireless headphones, isn't limited to a form factor. You can find this clever mix of technologies integrated into the ear pieces of in-ear and over-ear headphones alike.

Many companies falsely claim to offer true noise cancellation with just the padding included around the ear cups. Don't believe it. This is PNC (passive noise cancellation), and it doesn't amount to much. You can even replicate this effect by cupping your hands around your ears, so why shell out the big bucks for it?

On the other hand, ANC (active noise cancellation) is the real deal. This technique employs a set of external microphones, which detect the decibel level outside. Once it has an idea of the incoming noise level, the headphone speakers inside transmit a noise generated to dampen the racket. The end result is an effect that hushes the outside noise, allowing you to focus.

Shove out the unnecessarily interruptions to your listening experience and know what your options are in this category.