When buying a pair of headphones, you want something that's functional, efficient and also looks the part.
Whether you're working, watching TV or playing games, you'll want your laptop headphones to be super smooth and high quality. Nobody wants a bad connection when they're watching Selling Sunsets, sheesh.
At the end of the day, we all love to look stylish but that doesn't mean it has to cut back on quality. From wireless options to even solar-powered headphones - yep you heard it right, solar-powered - we've found the best headphones to suit your laptop and you.
What headphones work best for laptops?
Now, let's get down to the techy stuff. When it comes to laptops, the cable and plug-in power actually affects the quality of any music or movies you might be listening to.
USB or aux cable for laptops tend to be best when it comes to audio quality. It depends on what kind of laptop you're using but you can always get adaptor cables for laptops like Apple Macs or smaller laptops. Using wired headphones just makes the audio slightly better.
Wireless and Bluetooth headphones are of course also an option but they may compromise on sound quality. Wireless headphones, however, are super-efficient for different kinds of activities like exercise or moving around the house.
So, it really depends on what you're looking for. Wired headphones make up the quality of sound, but wireless headphones may be better for someone who needs more flexibility.
SHOP: The best headphones for laptops UK 2O21
Just so you know, whilst we may receive commission for purchases made through our links, we never allow this to influence product selections.
Sony WH-CH510 Bluetooth Wireless On-Ear Headphones with Mic/Remote, Blue
Best on-ear Bluetooth headphones for laptops
These Sony headphones are sleek and simple, doing the job through wireless Bluetooth. A fab value option if you're looking for an on-ear option.
Why we love it: Simple, does the job and gives you both wired and wireless options
Connection: Wireless/Bluetooth but comes with USB C cable
• Comes with a microphone remote for calls and accessibility
• Gives you the option of wired or wireless
• Lasts up to 35 hours
• Not noise cancelling
• Less features than other options
Review: "I was positively surprised by the good functionality of these headphones. When switched on a clear voice announces: "Power on", "battery fully charged", "Bluetooth connected". The labelling of the buttons could be a bit better visible (colour). Overall it's good value for the price and ideal for Zoom meetings. I'm very pleased I was recommended these headphones."
Philips Fidelio X-3 Wired Over-Ear Open-Back Headphones
Best wired headphones for laptop
Double layered headphones mean ultimate comfort in these Philips Fidelio X-3. It has an aux cable that will suit most laptops and makes up for audio quality with its wire.
Why we love it: A fantastic wired choice fit for every laptop
Connection: 6.3-3.5mm Jack adapter cable
• 50mm drivers, flexible listening and open-back design make for an exceptional listening
• Soft inner headband and double-layered ear shells for ultimate comfort
• You never have to charge it
• Non-wireless means you’re attached to your laptop
• Maybe a more expensive investment for wired headphones
Review: "Outstanding headphones, unbelievable sound. They look the part - very high-quality materials - but best of all is the sound quality... used in conjunction with my 1988 800 series equipment it’s hard to imagine anything better."
Bose QuietComfortu00ae 45 Bluetooth - Triple Black
Best high-end wireless headphones for laptops
These Bose headphones are made with phone calls in mind, being noise-cancelling and with a high-quality microphone. Connect to your devices via Bluetooth and grab these in either black or white.
Why we love it: Ultimate sound quality in over-ear headphones
Connection: Wireless/Bluetooth + USB C cable included
• High-quality noise cancellation and volume-optimised EQ
• Includes a microphone making it perfect for calls
• Quick charging – 15 minutes gives 3 hours listening time
• Expensive for high quality
• Over ear can be large and bulky for long usage
Review: "Being Bose, I knew these were going to be good but they have blown me away. They are extremely comfortable with the sound that is crystal clear in every range. Whatever is thrown at them they handle well with no degradation of sound quality. Base sounds good with no heavy thumping or dullness. Even when used for long periods they remain comfortable. These headphones are extremely high quality and tick the boxes in every aspect. I can highly recommend."
JBL TUNE 500BT – Over Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
Best budget headphones for laptops
You've probably heard of JBL thanks to its impressive speaker game. Expect a similar quality in these super value headphones, perfect for laptop usage. They have an easy hands-free connection and multi-point connections to make it easy to switch between devices.
Why we love it: Amazing value for a super cute pair of headphones
Connection: Wireless/Bluetooth + cable included
• One-button volume control and built-in microphone
• Pure Bass JBL collection focuses on high-quality audio through a 32mm driver
• Comes in other colours like blue, white and black
• 16 hours listening time is lower than our other options
• No noise cancellation included
Review: "Amazing! Had them a week now, using them for a couple of hours a day, still have half a battery left. Perfect pink colour and great comfort. Remembers your device so after the first use once turned back on connects automatically to it."
Sony MDR-ZX110 Overhead Headphones - Black
Best budget headphones for laptops
If you're not looking for anything too excessive and just want headphones that do the job, Sony MDR-ZX110 is a perfect beginner option. Wired, they have the full audio capability for less than £20.
Why we love it: Our favourite top-rated budget choice
Connection: Wired 3.5mm jack
• Super cheap making it a perfect value option
• Padded ear cups and a choice of colours for every day listening
• High energy neodymium magnets for sound quality
• Fewer features and not as impressive as other options
• Less dynamic sound and no noise cancellation
Review: "I have purchased several brands and styles of headphones for my son to use with his kindle. These have far outlasted any other type we have used. Quality, noise reduction and comfort are all more than adequate! This is the second or third pair we have bought and they've survived around a year of regular use and abuse! For quality, value and reliability I would recommend these!"
Apple AirPods Max, Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones, Silver
Best Apple headphones for laptops
If you haven't already heard of these Apple AirPods Max, these could be a perfect option for you to splash out on. In various colours, you get the highest quality Bluetooth headphones to add to your Apple collection. They'll even pause your audio when you take them off - smooth.
Why we love it: You can’t beat an Apple product, and these AirPod Max will suit any stylish tech fan
• Noise cancellation, H1 chip and 20 hours of listening make the audio listening experience exceptional
• Will connect immediately to your iPhone or iPad
• Efficient functions like pausing audio and low-power mode in the Smart Case
• An expensive option to invest in
• May not be as efficient if you’re not already an Apple lover
Review: "Exceptional build quality and sound. The best pair of headphones I have ever bought. Expensive but more than worth the premium I paid."
Adidas Rpt-01 Sport On-Ear
Best sports headphones for laptops
Sports brand Adidas are making its way into the tech market with these sports headphones. Made with exercise in mind, this is a great choice for home workouts on your laptop.
Why we love it: Exercise fans, these are for you
• More than 40 hours of play time
• Microphone and remote included
• Sweat-proof, water resistance and washable parts
• Perfect for exercise, but may not be a good option if you want more everyday headphones
• Some wish the action buttons were more efficient
Tried & Tested by Deputy Commercial Content Editor, Natalie Corner: "I never really considered on-ear headphones before, but given the opportunity to try out these Adidas headphones it's completely converted me. One charge and plenty of hours of listening to podcasts, audiobooks, my Spotify playlists and it's still at 78% battery. I really love the style of the knitted material and they're comfy to wear, perhaps after a couple of hours and my ears need a break. The sound is just so clear and the fact you can choose between rock, pop, vocal boost and hip hop is a really good perk."
Beats by Dre Solo Pro On-Ear Headphones - Grey
Best popular headphones for laptops
Beats have been around for years and still stand as some of the best headphones you can get your hands on. These Solo Pro headphones work well with detachable cables, microphone and track controls as well as 22 hours of listening time.
Why we love it: You can trust Beats by Dre and these are a perfect mid-range option
Connection: Wireless/Bluetooth with removable USB cable
• Popular and trusted so you know what you’re getting
• Microphone and track controls perfect for everyday listening and calls
• Foldable for easy storage
• Beats are known for being fairly expensive
Review: "I bought it a couple weeks ago, and I am so happy with my purchase. The sound is incredible, it is noise cancelling, it charges quickly and has long battery life. As a Bluetooth device, it can reach quite a considerable distance. Comes with a great pouch, which I am really grateful for."
Skullcandy Crusher ANCu2122 Personalized, Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones
Best headphones for laptops you can personalise
Not only are these Skullcandy headphones sleek, stylish and almost £100 off, you can also personalise your sound. With noise cancellation and 24 hours of battery, you can adjust bass and sounds to create the perfect headphone for you.
Why we love it: Personalise the sound, noise cancellation and bass for a full listening experience
Connection: Wireless/Bluetooth with USB C charging cable and backup AUX cable
• Personalised sound for a great listening experience
• 24 hours battery life and speed charge
• Active noise cancellation
• They’re quite bulky and chunky for everyday use
Review: "Best headphones I’ve ever owned. Price is quite high, but with reason! I’ve never seen a pair of headphones that have a bass control just like volume the same as cars wow! It goes high enough to vibrate your ears and head if that’s what you’re into - my husband totally is! Bought them as a gift for him and they exceeded expectations."
Urbanista LOS ANGELES Headphones
Best solar-powered headphones for laptops
If you get sick of having to charge up your headphones all the time, these Urbanista Los Angeles headphones are solar-powered. Converting all light - indoor and outdoor - into energy, these are super smart.
Why we love it: You’ll never have to charge your headphones again with this solar-powered option
Connection: Wireless/Bluetooth with USB C charging cable and backup AUX cable
• Active Noise Cancellation and Ambient Sound Mode for a full listening experience
• Always charging through solar-power
• Voice control and on-ear detection
• Not the lightest headphone due to its tech
• You’ll have to make sure it’s always charging in the light
Review: "So far I have not charged mine and I bought them few months ago. Pending battery between 50-80% over time. When sun is up and I don't use them, I put them in the window since the UV-panel is exposed even when put inside the casing. Bass is great and sound quality in general, very clear. On my old over-ear products I always had to bother about charging but now I never care, just use & enjoy. I also brag about them for my sustainability- and fossil-free colleagues who drive electric cars, have solar panels at home. Of course they will now buy Los Angeles."
What to read next
Which headphones are best?
There are so many options of headphones out there so it's really what suits your ear type and what you're looking for.
Generally, there are three main types of headphones you can get: on-ear, in-ear and over-ear. You can also get open-ear and closed-ear headphones. That's a lot of ears.
In-ear work mainly as smaller earphones so aren't that important if you're looking for more bulky headphones that play the music loud.
Over-ear and on-ear are typically the most common headphones you'll see or search for. Over-ear headphones work well if you want to absorb yourself in the noise, whereas on-ear may be more comfy everyday headphones.