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The best headphones of 2020

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Sony's new WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones need to be heard to be believed. Sony's WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling over-ear headphones don't reinvent the wheel compared to our previous top pick, the WH-1000XM3, but they do make a suite of welcome improvements within an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach. The XM4 check off all the right boxes where essentials are concerned: they're exceedingly comfortable, incredibly lightweight, they offer amazing sound, and absolutely destroy ambient noise. They provide a wide array of useful features and functions, including a new "Speak-to-Chat" feature that automatically pauses the headphones when you begin speaking, as well as the ability to connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time, perfect for flipping between devices for all those Zoom calls whether you're working from home or the office. Using Sony's highly tooled Headphones Connect app, you can adjust their EQ on the fly and customize what various capacitive touch buttons on the ear cups do. But even if you don't take a deep dive into the massive array of customization features at your disposal, you'll have no complaints about how brilliantly these comfy headphones operate in all areas. They even include noise-canceling optimization for everything from your glasses to your current barometric pressure.


The best noise canceling headphones

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Sony's new WH-1000XM4 offer some of the best noise canceling we've heard. You might not even realize that Sony's WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones are great noise cancelers--what with everyone gabbing about how comfortable they are, how great they sound, and how many impressive features they offer. But despite the XM4 seeming to excel at everything, the noise-canceling shouldn't be overshadowed or overstated: it's among the best we've ever tested. Like our previous top noise-canceler, the Sony WH-1000XM3, the XM4 don't just cancel noise: they adapt to both your environment (read: changes in barometric pressure) and your movement/activity (sitting, walking, running, etc.) to intelligently and effectively block noise. Sony is so confident in the XM4's noise-canceling abilities, the company sent a huge, noise-making box alongside our review sample as a kind of "stress test" for them. And that confidence is well-placed: the XM4 eliminates a ton of ambient noise, alongside being luxuriously comfortable and marvelously lightweight.


Apple AirPod alternatives: These are the best true wireless earbuds around

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True Wireless headphones – those that you see in this guide – have no cord whatsoever. While wireless allows us to wear headphones a few feet away from your music player or phone, True Wireless cuts the cord between the earbuds, giving us complete freedom. Wireless headphones on the other hand have existed for some time, basically since Bluetooth as a standard was invented. Though battery-powered and not physically connected to your phone, they have a cord connecting both buds – and sometimes a band around the neck too. If you don't want to ditch the cable completely, check our best wireless earbuds guide here.


The best headphones and wireless earbuds on sale for Prime Day 2020

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Apple AirPods for $114.99 (Save $44.01): Apple's standard AirPods are still among the most popular wireless earbuds because they're extremely easy to use, they're stylish and unlike a lot of competitors, they just work. This model does not have the wireless charging case, but at this price these are a great deal. Bose QuietComfort 35 II wireless for $199 (Save $150): Bose's shockingly good noise-cancellers are still among the best you can buy. While it's true that these killer travel cans are often on sale, this price is nuts. Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones for $298 (Save $51.99):


Best wireless earbuds: the best Bluetooth earbuds and earphones in 2019

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Wireless earbuds are one of the best ways to listen to your music on the go, whether your commuting, heading to the gym, or relaxing poolside on a sunny day the right pair of earphones will stay put and bring you quality sound. We're fast approaching the best time to buy wireless earbuds: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The massive sales event kicks off on November 29, but we're expecting the deals to start rolling in from the beginning of November – make sure you bookmark our Black Friday deals hub for the best headphones deals we can find. You'd be forgiven for thinking wireless earbuds aren't as good as wired models – that's because a few short years ago, Bluetooth wasn't the best way listen to your favorite music. Back in the day, Bluetooth earphones didn't sound as good as their wired counterparts, suffered connectivity issues and became known for having short battery lives.