Best back-to-school headphones

CNET | 7/26/2019 | David Carnoy
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With a multitude of models to choose from, it's not easy to figure out which headphones to buy. With that in mind, we're highlighting several of our highest rated wireless headphones -- not all of them are pricey -- to help narrow down your gift choice this back-to-school season.

Note that these products are independently chosen by our editors. All products have been used hands-on, and all but the AfterShokz have been fully reviewed. Note also that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

Bose - Noise - Cancelling - Headphones - Successor

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, the long-awaited successor to its QuietComfort 35 II models, may not be a quantum leap forward but they offer slightly better noise canceling, sound and call quality. Alas, they cost $400, but they're great for blocking out the world while studying.

Sony's WH-1000XM3, the third generation of Sony's excellent wireless noise-canceling headphones, is more comfortable and features even better performance. It's currently our top-rated noise-canceling headphone, edging out the Bose models on some key points.

Feature - Comfort - Levels - Par - Models

While its noise-canceling feature and comfort levels aren't quite on par with competing models from Bose and Sony, JBL's Live 650BTNC ($160) measures up well in terms of sound. It's worth considering if you don't want to spend $300 or more on a noise-canceling headphone.

While they aren't water-resistant, Sony's new WF-1000XM3 true wireless earphones feature excellent sound and something you won't find in Apple's AirPods: active noise-cancelling. At $230, they're not cheap, but they are among the best new true wireless earphones of 2019.

Powerbeats - Pro - Beats - Wireless - Earphones

The Powerbeats Pro, Beats' first true wireless earphones, are larger, sportier versions of the 2019 AirPods. They offer all the same basic conveniences of the AirPods, including fast pairing, rock-solid wireless connectivity and always-on Siri voice recognition for iOS users, but they deliver bigger sound and have better...
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