Stiftung Warentest selects 4 winners in big headphone comparison

As constant companions, headphones have to be tough and still deliver convincing sound. A test shows how the current devices fare in this respect.

Stiftung Warentest (issue 11/2021) examined 19 current in-ear and 13 boom headphones in a large comparison of headphones. 21 of the wireless Bluetooth devices performed well in the test. There are also real front-runners.

Stiftung Warentest pays attention to the sound of headphones

The test clearly focused on the main function of the headphones: sound. But wearing comfort and handling, battery performance, active noise reduction and durability also played a role in the rating.

Among the in-ear headphones, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro for 172 euros and the more expensive Sony WF-1000XM4 for 279 euros performed best in the Stiftung Warentest. Both received the test mark “good” (1.9). The Samsung headphones scored particularly well with their wearing comfort during sports. Sony’s headphones, on the other hand, manage to block out noise a bit more effectively than the competition.

Which variant is more suitable depends on the use

Apple’s AirPods Max for 500 Euros and the much cheaper JBL Live 660NV for 163 Euros are the best headphones – both also scored “good” (1.9) here. The JBL model is particularly convincing with almost twice the battery life (42 hours) of the Apple headphones and its low price. However, the Apple product delivers an even better sound, the testers say. Both headphones also advertise themselves as headsets for the home office.

Be sure to read atechbook’s review as well:

The 7 best alternatives to AirPods and AirPods Pro.

For whom which headphone variant is better suited depends on use. In the private four walls, the larger and heavier headphones are more suitable. For travel and sports, the more compact and lighter in-ears are much better suited.