Best phone headphones: 25 pairs tested

Top earbuds and over-ear headphones for your mobile

Ferrari by Logic3 P200

P200

Price: £199

The term 'luxury' is bandied about far too often with headphones, but the P200's, bearing the Ferrari name, at least live up the standard.

Featuring floating earpieces, which pack a 50mm speaker driver, the overall fit is one of comfort, albeit feeling quite heavy on the head. There are carbon fibre elements to the design, and the whole aesthetic resembles F1 headsets quite closely.

Sonically, the P200's are excellent. Not too bass-heavy and offering very clear vocal tones, we really enjoyed using these - in the comfort of our own home.

The ostentatious design will put some of, as will the very tight fit on the head... you really get a sense of solid construction, but that can be quite restrictive with longer sessions.

Verdict

Sure, you pay extra for the Ferrari brand, but you get a very good set of cans for your money. They're slightly bulky and are leaky enough to annoy fellow commuters - but the design will probably put you off wearing them on the tube anyway.

Philips O'Neill The Stretch

Price: £99.99

The stretch

Recently rebooted to incorporate an inline remote, the Philips O'Neill The Stretch headphones offer a new black and gold design along with a durable yet flexible frame.

While at the pricier end of the scale, the collaboration with O'Neill means tweaks to make the headphones helpful for all things gnarly - with the detachable tangle-free cord making it easy to plug the headphones in with a phone secreted inside a large snowboard jacket.

The plush pads offer a really snug fit, and while the sound output is pretty bass-heavy, it's a dominant audio experience that directs all the music into your ears.

The inline remote is the only downside in our eyes - people found it a little hard to hear us even when lifting it close to our mouth, and the sliding volume control can sometimes lose connection.

Verdict

A fair whack to shell out, but for sound quality and a comfortable fit, these cans get a big tick from us.

PSB M4U2

Price: £269

PSB M4U2

Noise cancelling is big business these days, and a pair of headphones that can properly cut through the frustrating sound of the hissing tube or the roaring aircraft engines really are worth their weight in gold to the regular traveller.

The sound quality is, in a word, superb. Even at overly-loud volumes the balance is still more than acceptable, and even compared to the other headphones on offer here, their noise cancelling abilities are beyond impressive.

But we'll go back to it again: the sound quality is so immense that we want them in this category rather than pointing to their ability to remove annoying noises.

We've been on four long-haul trips recently and it's testament to the M4U2's ability to render both subtle melody and vocal tones means they're excellent for all manner of tasks.

The inline remote was one of the best we tested too - the solid click of the microphone makes it easy to skip through tracks, although it was a little low down to allow us to be heard in every environment, meaning on occasion we had to disconnect to speak to our loved ones.

Verdict

Obviously the expense will put a lot of people off, and there is a weight issue: the audio quality is offset by a slight pain in the neck through extended use.

For value, functionality and comfort travelling, we recommend the Sennheiser MM 550-X range, but as a general set of cans for all manner of tasks, we're in love with the PSB offering.

Sony MDR-1R

Price: £180

Sony MDR 1R

These headphone from Sony are pricey, but well worth it. While they don't offer much in the way of fancy features, they do one thing very well: sound great.

You might be expecting a little more for your money in the shape of noise cancelling capabilities, or some wireless connectivity (although the latter is available as the MDR-1BT) but they do just offer up decent quality audio and fit really well to boot.

You get two cables with these headphone included in the box, allowing for both smartphone and bog-standard connection, but the former will only fully work with iPhone and iPad devices. This is all the more confusing given Sony was giving away these headphones with its latest Android smartphone, the Xperia Z, and the volume button doesn't do anything.

Verdict

A great set of cans for the fact they reproduce sound so faithfully - and the inbuilt mic makes it easy to take and make calls too. Just don't expect full functionality if you've got an Android phone. Even a Sony one...