Best-Rated Headphones

Best headphone brands

Most Satisfied Customers | Sony

Sony has taken out the top spot as Australia’s headphone brand of choice in Canstar Blue’s latest ratings for headphones. It took out five stars for most categories, including overall satisfaction, user friendliness, value for money and design, while it scored four stars for durability along with battery and charging performance.

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How we rate headphones

Our ratings compare a range of headphones on customer satisfaction as rated by Australians, so you can find out what other Aussies think of their headphones before you buy. Rather than wading through website after website to find out which brands are worth your while, it’s like finding out what hundreds of people think are the best headphones but in one place!

Canstar Blue surveyed 470 Australians for their feedback on headphones which were purchased in the last two years. This includes both over-ear headphones and on-ear headphones. It does NOT include earphones/earbuds.

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Survey respondents rate their satisfaction with their headphone brand from zero to 10, with zero meaning extremely dissatisfied and 10 is extremely satisfied. Headphone brand satisfaction is rated by respondents on the following criteria:

  • Overall satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with a headphone brand as an individual score, NOT the combined total of all criteria.
  • User friendliness: the headphones are easy to set up and operate.
  • Value for money: the quality of the headphones are good enough or exceed expectations for the price paid.
  • Design: the headphones and material used feels and looks good and functions as it should.
  • Durability: the headphones feel sturdy and are able to handle usage and portability with minimal damage.
  • Battery & charging performance: the headphones have a good battery life and are easy and efficient to charge.

The winning brand is the brand that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating. All the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are then combined and averaged to determine the overall winner.

  • Overall satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The brand with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and therefore win the award. If a clear leading brand still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

In order to qualify in the results, brands must have received a minimum of 30 responses to be included. Therefore, not all headphone brands in the market will be compared in this survey. Brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

  • Sony
  • Bose
  • Beats by Dre
  • JBL
  • Kmart

Find more information on our Most Satisfied Customers ratings.

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Top Headphone Brand — Sony

Sony has won our 2023 rating for best headphone brands as chosen by Aussies. It scored five stars in most categories including overall satisfaction and it was the only brand to score five stars for value for money. This is the first time Sony has taken top spot in this category.

Bose, the back-to-back winner in 2021 and 2022, came in second with four stars for overall satisfaction, along with user friendliness. It was also the only brand to score five stars for battery and charging performance and durability, however it scored three stars for value for money. Third and fourth place were taken by Beats by Dre and JBL respectively, both with four stars for overall satisfaction, while Kmart rounded out our ratings with three stars for overall satisfaction — but it did score four stars for value for money.

What do Aussies think of their headphones?

Whether you’re listening to music, podcasts or streaming videos on your device, headphones are an essential piece of tech to many of us. More than a third (35%) of those surveyed stated they used their headphones every day, while 25% used their headphones multiple times a day, with another 25% using them a few times a week.

When it comes to what is most important for Aussies when looking for a good pair of headphones, price was the main factor in purchasing a pair of headphones — with $172 the average price paid for headphones — followed by brand. Close to half (43%) of survey respondents had specifically purchased headphones with wireless/Bluetooth capabilities, with 8% regretting that they hadn’t purchased wireless headphones. Some were also swayed to buy their headphones for use during specific activities with 15% purchasing their headphones specifically for gaming, while 29% had chosen to buy wireless headphones specifically because they are better for using while active.

As for when Aussies mostly use their headphones, 36% use their headphones during workouts/at the gym, followed by 35% using them on public transport or while commuting and 34% use their headphones while doing housework. Headphones also come in handy to shut out background noises and to keep focused as 27% of respondents use them while working and 22% while studying.

Other headphone brands

While not all brands in the market have qualified for our ratings (based on the minimal survey sample size), that doesn’t mean it’s not worth considering a wider range of brands when you’re looking for a new set of headphones. Here are some more brands worth checking out before you make your decision.

  • Apple
  • Audio Technica

  • Logitech
  • Sennheiser

Compare more products featured in our Most Satisfied Customers Awards

About our technology experts

Emma Bradstock: Senior Telco Specialist


Emma Bradstock has been an authority on consumer phone, internet, technology and streaming markets in Australia for the last 4 years, with a dedication to providing Aussies with all the information they need to make better purchasing decisions. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Media from Macquarie University and has a decade of professional writing experience in print and digital media.

Meet the Editorial Team


Samantha Howse: Consumer Research Specialist

Sam Howse Research Specialist

Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.

Meet the Research Team

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased new headphones in the last two years – in this case, 470 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

Check out the past winners of Canstar Blue’s headphone review:

  • 2022: Bose
  • 2021: Bose
  • 2020: Sennheiser
  • 2019: Bose
  • 2015: Bose

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