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What features make the best headphones for iPhone users? While the requirements differ based on your tastes and whether you’re looking for wireless earbuds, in-ear headphones, or over-the-ear wired headphones, the best models for iPhone all feature excellent sound quality. The best headphones also offer a convenient, durable design that remains comfortable for extended periods of music playback.
If you’re leaning toward wireless headphones, you might also want to look at hours of battery life and wireless performance. Finally, if you’re looking for a pair of earbuds or headphones for noisy environments, select a model that includes active noise cancellation will do the trick.
All these features add convenience and an improved audio experience on phone calls and when listening to music. If you’ve recently upgraded to a newer iPhone from an older iPhone 8 or earlier, you might also find that your phone now lacks a headphone jack. While you can use a dongle for studio headphones, many find a newer set of wireless earbuds like the AirPods Pro more convenient for an active lifestyle.
Keep reading to learn more about the top-ranked headphones for iPhone and how to pick the best headphones for your audio needs.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a specialty Apple connector, this headset provides compatibility with a variety of modern iOS devices. It has an all-in-one control for playing music, answering calls, and ending calls.
The Palovue Lightning headphones are MFi-certified, providing compatibility with iPhones and various devices equipped with a Lightning connector. With controls for increasing and reducing the volume, this device is easy to operate. It also has an all-in-one control that allows users to answer calls, end calls, play music, and do other tasks. The headset boasts a built-in MEMS microphone for calls and gaming. Built-in Siri for hassle-free voice control. However, this device doesn’t have a muting button.
An in-ear design suits people who seek to fully engage with the music, movie, or game at hand. This gaming headset works with a wide variety of modern devices, including iPhone 13 Pro Max, and iPhone 13 Mini. It has a SweetFlow black color scheme with a sleek finish that will complement any iPhone. This device features premium materials with a reinforced TPE-coated cord and oxygen-free copper wires, which hold up well in the face of daily use
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Connecting wirelessly and via a 3.5mm plug, this headset offers compatibility with a variety of devices. It can pair with two different devices simultaneously and it has a folding headband for hassle-free transportation.
Featuring an over-ear design, these PowerLocus headphones provide an immersive experience. This device has a folding design, offering space-saving storage and hassle-free transportation. Foam ear cushions with protein earmuffs offer a soft point of contact with the ears. The headset boasts a lightweight headband, which is adjustable to provide an ergonomic fit. This particular model features an attractive Rose Gold color scheme, and the headset is available in a dozen different colors. However, this headset is too small for some people.
An included carrying case lets users transport this headset safely and conveniently. The headset features 40mm speakers that automatically adapt the settings based on the music genre. It can be customized with PowerLocus’ proprietary software, and it has a 3.5mm plug that connects to iPhones either directly or through a Lightning adapter (not included). Alternatively, users can connect wirelessly to this device via Bluetooth, and these headphones support pairing two different devices simultaneously. It also has a built-in microphone for calls.
Award: BEST DISCREET HEADPHONES
WHY WE LIKE IT: Shipped with three sets of ear tips that fit snugly in the ears, this headset is discreet and portable. This unit is suitable for use on the go and during exercise.
With a discrete in-ear design, the Panasonic ErgoFit headphones will suit people who want to stream music or podcasts while jogging or traveling. These earbuds come with three sets of earpads, catering to the needs of people with smaller or larger ears. The headset has a built-in mic to facilitate calls. This unit works with iOS and Android devices, offering wide-ranging use. However, it needs a Lightning adapter to work with some newer iPhone models.
Powerful 9mm neodymium audio drivers deliver tonally balanced audio with sharp highs and deep bass. With a 3.6-foot cord, this device can be used comfortably on a computer desk and it is available in more than a dozen different colors. This headset has comfortable earplugs that were optimized to fit snugly into the human ear without the need for ear hooks. An all-in-one controller enables answering calls, ending calls, and navigating through music seamlessly.
Award: BEST DUAL-MODE HEADPHONES
WHY WE LIKE IT: With the ability to connect wirelessly, this unit offers compatibility with virtually every device. It also has a 3.5mm input for wired connectivity and boasts an attractive color scheme.
Featuring an alluring design with an epic red+black color scheme, the Prtukyt 6S headset is pleasing to the eye. It’s also available in blue, gold, rose gold, and white colors. This model uses Bluetooth 5.0 tech to connect seamlessly to everything from computers to iPhones. It offers reliable connections, minimizing signal loss and delays in signal transfer. This unit boasts heavily-padded protein earmuffs that provide a cozy fit. However, it doesn’t have a Lightning connector.
An adjustable headband fits a variety of heads, while the folding design saves space in the backpack or purse. The headset has a built-in rechargeable 500mAh lithium-ion battery that provides up to 20 hours of music playback time, and it charges fully in about 2.5 hours. This headset also boasts a 3.5mm connector that plugs into various devices without the need for battery power. A built-in FM radio keeps users engaged, and a TF card slot provides storage.
Award: BEST FOLDING HEADPHONES
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a folding design, this unit saves space during storage. It connects wirelessly and boasts an excellent battery life of about 30 hours. This headset also has a 3.5mm port to facilitate wired connections.
The Pollini TP 19 excels in both form and function. It has large ear cups with large cushions and a soft liner to provide a pleasant experience. It is fitted with 40mm neodymium drivers that deliver crisp sounds with a wide frequency response range. This headset is equipped with Bluetooth tech, connecting to computers, iOS devices, and other gadgets seamlessly. These headphones also have a 3.5mm port, although the user has to acquire the cable separately.
This headset has a heavily cushioned headband that won’t irritate the skin The headband is adjustable to provide an ergonomic fit. A built-in 800mAh rechargeable battery streams music for up to 30 hours before requiring recharging, and it charges in about 2.5 hours. This headset has ear-cup controls that enable adjusting the volume and other parameters. A built-in equalizer enables fine-tuning settings to enhance music playback and gaming. The headset folds seamlessly, saving space during storage or transportation.
Award: BEST WITH AN APPLE CONNECTOR
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a specialty Apple connector, this headset connects seamlessly to modern iOS devices without the need for an adapter. This unit comes with three sets of ear tips, offering a snug fit.
The Silbyloyoe me-360 headphones have an exquisite design within a silver, red, and white color scheme that provides a flair of sophistication. These earbuds have a Lightning connector that ensures compatibility with the latest iPhones and iPads. A built-in controller enables adjusting volume easily. This headset also has controls for receiving or rejecting calls and navigating through the tracks. Shipped with three sets of ear tips, this headset provides a snug fit. However, it doesn’t have a 3.5mm wired interface.
Powerful audio drivers and a premium chip deliver high-definition audio that will please music enthusiasts. A tightly sealed acoustic design provides excellent sound isolation for auditory immersion. These earphones have a sound-isolating design that keeps users engaged. The headset is remarkably lightweight and has a discreet design that offers visual appeal. This model is suitable for riding, jogging, and traveling through the metro, and it’s made of premium materials that offer dependable performance.
Headphones for iPhone users can be any headphones or earbuds with a mic (or without one) that work well with new iPhones. Current-generation iPhones don’t have a headphone jack, so most earbuds for iPhones connect wirelessly or via an Apple lightning connector. Of course, you can still use traditional 3.5mm wired headphones with an iPhone if you have an adapter.
Many of the highest-rated earbuds, top earphones, headphones, and headsets for iPhone are compatible with Apple Spatial Audio and the H1 headphone chip. Spatial Audio provides virtual surround sound capability.
Most of the top-rated headphones for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 Pro have some extra features that take advantage of Apple’s convenience and digital sound processing ability. Compared to standard headphones and studio or guitar amp headphones, iPhone headphones are usually more compact and are more likely to have a wireless design. Fully wireless headphones, such as the Apple AirPods Pro models, dispense with a wire and connect via Bluetooth to each other and your device. This can make them more convenient and less cumbersome for travel and activities, such as bike rides.
Unlike the leading headphones for music, iPhone headphones also tend to feature multiple audio modes with different levels of ambient noise cancellation. Users may be able to switch modes to optimize dynamic sound for music or video or to boost clarity for phone conversations. Some newer great headphones for TV also include a transparency mode for when you need to hear what’s going on around you and an ambient mode when you want to block out external sounds, such as when you want to put on your headphones for mowing or leaf-blowing.
The enhanced features of the highest-performing iPhone headphones with a mic may not come cheap, so iPhone-optimized earbuds and headsets, such as the Apple AirPods Max and AirPods Pro, can come at a higher price range than typical earbuds for voice calls.
Like other foremost Beats headphones, the most comfortable headphones for iPhones employ ergonomic design principles and can provide hours of music playback or voice calls without undue ear fatigue.
Like Beats studio wireless over-ear headphones, other headphones and earbuds for iPhones connect via a wireless signal or lightning connector and employ digital signal processing to turn the iPhone’s audio output into electrical signals for headphones. Headphone speakers contain miniaturized versions of typical speaker components. These include drivers and resonance ports. Most models use small, dynamic drivers that enable directional sound. The newest iPhones support improved hi-res audio performance with features such as active noise cancellation and distinct listening modes.
Apple AirPods Max and AirPods Pro models add additional features and extra processing ability thanks to the H1 chip. This headphone chip enables spatial audio with head tracking and contributes to clear, balanced sound in various environmental noise conditions.
If you’ve recently switched to an iPhone or upgraded to the newest model, you may want to upgrade your headphones. Newer headphones for iPhones can add convenience and improve your mobile phone’s audio experience for voice calls and listening to music.
Even if your studio or mixing headphones provide excellent audio quality, you may want a more portable set of over-the-ear wireless headphones or wire-free earbuds for your iPhone. You might also consider a new set of iPhone earbuds or headphones if you’re traveling and normally use a wired headphone set. In that case, you’ll want to check out our Logitech UG 900 noise isolating earphones review before you settle for iPhone-based models.
The latest and best-performing headphones for iPhone are also worth a look if you’re spending more time outdoors, on bike rides, or at the gym. There’s no wire to get tangled and interfere with your movements. Newer iPhone headphones can also offer adaptive noise cancellation and more detailed sound for voice calls.
Newer models can offer improved noise-canceling performance and better sound quality compared to older headphones. Some models even provide a simulated surround sound feature with head-tracking.
The longevity of headphones for the iPhone varies widely depending on the type of headphones and how they’re used. Wired over-the-ear pairs of headphones tend to last longer, and studio-quality headphones typically have a projected lifespan of five years or more. A wireless model will be limited by the maximum theoretical lifespan of its built-in battery. These small lithium-ion batteries typically provide 500-1500 charge cycles. Most earbuds used for workouts, bike rides, and travel tend to wear out sooner.
Experts recommend keeping your AirPods in their case when not in use, to help protect them from the elements and boost their longevity. Keep headphones away from excessive heat, dust, and humidity, and avoid charging wireless headphones in hot environments such as a parked car in the sun.
Various factors can help you choose the right headphones or earbuds for your iPhone. You’ll likely wish to decide on whether you want wired headphones or a wireless set, and you’ll want to decide what audio performance and comfort features are most important to you. For example, the right pair of headphones for the gym or taking phone calls outdoors may not be the best for gaming.
Different ambient sound conditions may call for different headphones. Some models excel with active noise cancellation performance and ambient mode options that enhance comfort for noise isolation. Among over-the-ear headphones, closed-back models generally have an advantage in noise isolation.
Your personal tastes and comfort preferences can also shape the headphone choice. Some users prefer earbuds with a flexible wingtip design or comfortable open-ring design, while some prefer headphones with ample padding and classic designs.
Most wireless iPhone headphones can also connect to other devices such as iPads, Android devices, tablets, and PCs, but some models are more specific. Some headphones offer head tracking and Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound, but only when paired with a compatible device.
Whether you prefer a wired or wireless set of headphones is another important consideration. Wired headphones have long been the purists’ choice for audio quality, but modern wireless models have strong wireless connections to provide hi-res audio. The best Bluetooth headphones for iPhones are easy to set up and provide excellent sound quality. Wireless models may also be more convenient for travel, and most exercise-focused headphones are wireless. If you choose wireless, check out our page on how to lock a Bluetooth speaker so no one else can control it when you are in a busy area. On the other hand, wired models may not be limited by battery life.