Searching for a last-minute gift? These 9 headphones are some of our top rated

Headphones from JBL, Sony and Bose
(Image credit: JBL, Sony and Bose)

The best headphones make excellent Christmas gifts. These days, the top headphones you can buy are beautifully-designed, packed with features and make your favorite tunes sound outstanding. For all of these reasons, a good pair of headphones make a special present to open on the big day. 

There are several headphone and earbud designs to choose from these days, like the best wireless earbuds or the best bone conduction headphones. But many people – audiophiles often included – still prefer a pair of the best over-ear headphones, which have a headband and two cups. 

Of course, everyone is different. But we'd also bet that if you're buying a gift for a loved one these holidays, a pair of over-ear headphones is a safer bet than any other style. The problem is, with so much choice these days, it can be hard to know which pair you should buy. 

In this gift guide we've selected the best of the best headphones, the best noise-cancelling headphones and then our top budget picks. We've focused on who each pair would be best for, and even offered alternative suggestions under each. Whoever you're buying a headphones gift for this Christmas, there should be a solid recommendation here that'll suit them. 

If you're considering buying a pair of headphones for a loved one but don't necessarily need an over-ear design, check out our best wireless earbuds gift guide instead. We also highly recommend you take a look at our other guides to the best Christmas sales in the US and Boxing Day sales in the UK. They're packed with even more great holiday and Christmas gift ideas.

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Becca Caddy

Becca is a contributor to TechRadar, a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than ten years, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality.