8 of the best headphones for iPhone users in the UK

8 of the best headphones for iPhone users in the UK thumbnail

As an iPhone owner, you may think that AirPods are the only headphones available to you, but you would be wrong.

By Team Commerce

Listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks on your iPhone makes perfect sense given its origins are steeped in the old days of the iPod. To get the most out of your audio experience however, you really need a good set of headphones or earphones. The ones that come bundled with your iPhone just don’t sound as good as a dedicated set.

It’s important to know what you’re looking for when seeking out the best headphones for your iPhone, so we’ve gone ahead and done a lot of the research for you.

Know your iPhone’s capabilities 

It’s probably time to go wireless.

Best headphone deals this week

If you’ve got an older iPhone, you’ll still have a headphone jack which means you can use older types of headphones or connect to them via Bluetooth. Anything newer will have a Lightning port for charging plus headphones with the right cable. 

You can buy a dongle adaptor that means you can plug a regular headphone jack into the Lightning port but it’s not that convenient. It’s not cheap and it makes your iPhone pretty clunky to use. The best option is to connect your iPhone to the headphones or earphones wirelessly. It’s much easier and means you don’t have to deal with too many cables.

Are AirPods the best option?

Yes and no. AirPods are great, especially AirPods Pro, but they’re expensive compared to competitors. They’re definitely a good one stop solution as they’re so convenient to set up with your iPhone and they fit the Apple aesthetic perfectly. However, if you’re keen to search around and spend a little longer setting things up, there are better options out there.

Can’t I just buy the cheapest pair?

You can just spend a few pounds on the cheapest pair of headphones out there but it’s no better than using the pair you’ve already got with your iPhone. If you regularly listen to music, it’s worth investing a little more in a pair as you’ll be surprised how much better the sound quality is. You can also benefit from extra features like active noise cancellation which blocks out surrounding sounds while you’re listening to something.

What pair should I buy?

Have a think about the main reason why you want new headphones. Are you going to be using them while you travel a lot? At home listening to music? While exercising? We’ve looked at a number of different scenarios and figured out the best headphones or earphones for you and your needs.  

These are the best headphones for your iPhone.

Near unbeatable noise cancellation • 16-hour rechargeable battery • Comfortable to wear

Wires can be a little flimsy

If you don’t mind putting up with the wires (and keeping track of a dongle) then the Bose QuietComfort 20 are some of the best low-profile noise-cancelling headphones that money can buy.

Bose QuietComfort 20

Block out the outside world with these Bose SoundSport 20 headphones, but be warned: You will need a dongle.

  • Colours:
    Black and White
  • Battery life:
    16 hours
  • Wired:
    Active Noise Cancellation

On your commute, the last thing you want to hear is the distracting sounds of others or the noise of underground trains. 

The Bose QuietComfort 20 headphones are the best active noise cancelling headphones out there for blocking out those unwanted sounds. 

iPhone owners need to make sure they buy the dedicated iOS variety, and newer iPhone owners will require a dongle as these aren’t wireless, but they’re near unbeatable when it comes to noise cancellation while remaining comfortable and providing great sound quality. 

They’re small enough to toss into your bag or jacket once you make it to work, too.

Easy toggle between active noise cancellation and ambient sounds • 22-hour battery life • Stylish looks

A tight fit for some • No audio cable

Get great performance and audio whether you’re using active noise cancellation or not, and easily toggle between the two.

Beats Solo Pro

The active noise cancellation makes these a great pair of headphones for tuning out colleagues.

  • Colours:
    Black, Grey, Red, Dark Blue, Ivory, Light Blue
  • Battery life:
    22 hours
  • Wireless:
    Active Noise Cancellation

At work, you want to be able to effortlessly switch on active noise cancellation when you’re in the zone and need to block out your co-workers, and then easily switch it off when you need to tune in. 

The Beats Solo Pro headphones do a great job with both modes, and the sound quality is just as high too. We’ve found them to be a bit of a snug fit and there’s no cable bundled in so they’re best for wireless users, but for when you need to be able to switch back and forth between your music and your co-workers, there’s little better out there.  

One tap setup • Easy to use Siri support • Sounds good

Have to pay extra for wireless charging case • Battery life could be better

With an easy-to-use, one-tap setup process, the original Apple AirPods are a great starting place if you want wireless earbuds that just work.

Apple AirPods

Need a pair of solid, dependable wireless earbuds? The original AirPods won’t let you down.

  • Colours:
  • Battery life:
    5 hours
  • Truly wireless:
    No noise cancellation

Designed with iOS products in mind, the original Apple AirPods hold their own against other mid-range priced earbuds. 

Comfortable and easy to slip into your ears, the AirPods take literal seconds to set up thanks to their one-tap setup mode. That makes them ideal for less technically minded users who just want to look good and enjoy decent audio quality. 

Its easy to use hands-free Siri based voice controls are equally great if you just want to get on with using them. The downside? If you want to use a wireless charging case alongside them (which is ideal), you’ll need to pay extra for the pleasure.  

Built-in accelerometer • Comfortable and secure fit • Great sound quality

Battery life isn’t great • Older technology

With the ideal fit for those moving fast, the Jabra Elite Active 65t are a great pair of truly wireless earbuds.

Jabra Elite Active 65t

The built-in accelerometer makes these a top option for runners.

  • Colours:
    Copper Black, Copper Blue, Copper Red, Titanium Black
  • Battery life:
    5 hours
  • Truly wireless:
    No noise cancellation

Regularly run and want a device that lets you listen to music while also tracking your route at the same time? The Jabra Elite Active 65t headphones are made for you. 

With a built-in accelerometer, you can use these to track your run via the supporting app. More importantly though, these truly wireless earbuds are a perfectly snug fit. There’s no risk of them falling out of your ears as you run and they’re pretty durable too. 

Sound quality is great no matter what you’re listening to, with a form of noise cancelling available that makes crossing roads safer and simpler.  

Comfy fit when working out • Fantastic sound quality • Built-in mic

Not truly wireless • Expensive

The Bose SoundSport Wireless headphones are great if you want the security of cables but not the awkwardness that comes with them.

Bose SoundSport Wireless

Untethered from your iPhone so you can run, jump, and climb with ease.

  • Colours:
    Aqua, Aqua Blue, Black, Citron Yellow
  • Battery life:
    6 hours
  • Wireless:
    No noise cancellation

When working out, truly wireless earbuds can feel a little too easy to knock out. 

The Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds offer the best of both worlds. They have a wire between the two earbuds but are wireless otherwise — no need to be tethered to your iPhone. 

The earbuds sound great too, thanks to Bose offering consistently great audio with all its products. These earbuds are particularly great for helping you focus on your routine while tuning out surrounding sounds. You can also sync them up with workout apps to further track your exercise, and there’s a built-in mic for taking calls mid rep. 

Excellent noise cancellation • Super long battery life • Great sound • Upscales compressed audio

For those times when you want to kick back and relax, the Sony WH-H900N wireless headphones some great music playback.

Sony WH-H900N

Stellar for your daily commute and can even be personalised to fit your audio preferences.

  • Colours:
    Black and Blue
  • Battery life:
    28 hours
  • Wireless:
    Active noise cancellation

Whether you’re listening to music in a room full of people or you’re at home and want some privacy, the Sony WH-H900N are the best headphones for absorbing the music and relaxing. 

For pure sound quality, they offer a great benefit in the form of being able to upscale compressed audio files on the fly, as well as cancelling out surrounding sound when you want them to. The accompanying app is also great for tweaking the sounds and creating a totally personalised experience. 

They’re a little bulky for activities like working out, so we wouldn’t recommend them for that, but if you’re commuting or simply chilling out, they can’t be beat. 

Very comfortable • Noise cancellation • Swivelling ear cups make them easy to store

Not the latest technology • A bit bulky

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 headphones are great for when you have sensitive ears and want a comfier fit without forgoing sound quality.

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

This pair from Plantronics will stay comfortable on your ears for hours.

  • Colours:
    Black, Tan, Graphite Grey
  • Battery life:
    24 hours
  • Wireless:
    Active noise cancellation

Many headphones and earphones can become uncomfortable after extended periods of time using them. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 buck that trend by being immensely comfortable to wear, no matter how long you’re listening. 

While they’re not the newest of headphones out there, their sound quality is still great for the price and they offer active noise cancellation to further improve what you’re listening to. There’s an option for listening to them via wires but you’re best off using the wireless mode here when connecting it to an iPhone, given many iPhones now lack standard headphone jacks. 

Whatever the method, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 sound great while cushioning your ears.  

Fantastic noise cancellation for their type • Water resistant • Very comfortable thanks to ear tip test

Silicone tips feel lower quality than the rest • Battery life isn’t the greatest • Expensive

If you’re looking for an immensely easy set of earbuds that are perfect for taking on regular travels, these are it.

Apple AirPods Pro

Impressive noise cancellation capabilities and a comfortable fit.

  • Colours:
  • Battery life:
    5 hours
  • Truly wireless:
    Active Noise Cancellation

Apple’s AirPods were good the first time around but their updated guise — the AirPods Pro — are even better. Much of that is thanks to their impressive noise cancellation.

They’re far from the cheapest set of truly wireless earbuds, but if you travel often, you want to enjoy comfort and great levels of noise cancellation at the same time. 

The Apple AirPods Pro provides both of these important factors while looking pretty stylish. They also include useful gestures and take seconds to set up on your iPhone. Apple creating an ear tip test exclusively for these is an inspired choice in the path to comfy earbuds. 

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