The Best Budget Headphones

By Adrian Covert on at

Just because you don't want to spend thousands of pounds on audio equipment (and as many hours configuring it) doesn't mean you can't enjoy quality audio. In the case of headphones, a single c-note can reap rewards.

For our budget headphone Battlemodo, we tested five pairs of headphones with a street price of between £40 and £95. Sound quality was obviously the number one priority here, but it wasn't about hooking these up to elaborate rigs to see which headphones could most accurately reproduce wind instruments from an uncompressed FLAC file.

Remember, we're talking about good sound on the cheap here. In pursuit of that goal, we used these cans like regular people: With our computers, smartphones and stereo systems. We used MP3s (albeit ones ripped at 320 kbps), and we tested from a variety of genres ranging from classical to jazz to classic rock to modern pop and hip-hop and electronic. Different genres require different attributes from a headphone and we wanted to find the one which could best accomodate as many as possible. And then we looked at comfort, portability, durability and aesthetics.

But enough of that, let's talk results. To the gallery above, we gooooo!