G935

If you're looking for "sound" advice on sound, you've come to the right place! This guide features a dozen of our favorite models at every price point, divided into four categories: home office, on-the-go, gaming, and home theater. For anyone who wants the best overall listening experience and has sufficient space, we'd suggest a nice set of speakers. For those who want to work and play without disturbing or being disturbed by others, headphones make the most sense. And of course, with music available from so many devices today, a set of wireless speakers or headphones is a necessity!

For Spring 2019, our Speaker and Headset Buyer's Guide has a number of new additions, including the awesome Logitech G935 wireless gaming headset shown here, which we recently reviewed, as well as the latest AV soundbar release from Samsung, a product category that is growing exponentially at this point. That's thanks in part to its Bluetooth functionality, which allows you to use it not just with TVs, but with everything from smartphones to the Amazon Echo Dot.

By the way, we need to make something clear: in general, while a wired audio device will be superior to a wireless one at the same price, the comfort and convenience of wireless tech makes it a feature worth paying good money for, and with the massive improvements in wireless audio fidelity we've witnessed over the past few years, we have no hesitation recommending wireless gear to everyone!

In the end, no matter how you want to listen to your music, games, and videos, we're going to help you find the right setup for your needs!

Speakers/Headsets - Spring 2019

Home/Small Office

    Mid-Range PC Speakers:

    Creative Inspire T10

    Just about everyone listens to something on their PCs, whether it's music, You Tube videos, TV, or movies. Because desktop PCs, unlike laptops, rarely have internal speakers, your best bet is to buy a great set of speakers that will sound and look great without taking up much space. The goal is to keep it basic and inexpensive here, and that's what Creative does with its venerable T10 speaker set. 

    The Guru's Tip:

    We strongly discourage you from buying speakers with subwoofers in this price range, as they'll simply be thumpy boxes with no musicality.

On-the-Go

    The Best Budget Headphones:

    Symphonized NRG Wood Headphones

    Featuring bass levels we didn't think possible from an earbud headphone, these real wood models are an absolute bargain at their asking price. A few years ago, "premium" earbud headphones would often go for $80 and up. Luckily, competition and reality has caught up the market, and you can get a truly premium earbud headphone kit for next to nothing! These headphones double as a phone headset, allowing you to answer calls while on the go without pulling out your phone.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Want a set of Bluetooth headphones for use in the gym? Check out the TriBit Xsport Fly!

    The Battery-Powered Bluetooth Speaker:

    Tribit XSound Go Portable Bluetooth Speaker

    If you'd like to take a dance party everywhere you go, a battery-powered Bluetooth speaker is the answer! Yes, there are a lot of overpriced big-name speakers out there, but in our experience, they just aren't worth the price. This bargain-priced model from Tribit is an excellent choice!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Learn more about this awesome speaker in our full hands-on review!

    Bargain Bluetooth Headset:

    Tribit XFree Tune

    We've had a lot of requests to recommend a low-cost Bluetooth wireless headset, and honestly, it took us a while to find one we really liked. Sure, there are plenty of expensive Bluetooth headsets out there, but most of them are sold at huge margins and really don't have the sound quality to back up their high prices. That's what makes Tribit's XFree Tune headset so disruptive to the market: Tribit is selling it at a great price! The Xfree Tune offers good audio quality, a built-in microphone, a solid Bluetooth connection, and excellent battery life (around 18 hours on a charge). Plus it's comfortable and folds up for portability. Simply put, you won't find a better headset anywhere near this price!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Get all the details on this great headset in our hands-on review!

    The Audiophile's Headphones:

    Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

    Want only the very best fidelity for your high-quality audio tracks? Then look no further than the M50x from Audio-Technica. It's an absolute bargain in its price range, because Audio-Technica throws all its engineering weight into the sound. No noise cancelling technology, fancy colors, or high-gloss marketing to drive up the price. Just smart, elegant design, and awesome sound. And a new low price - these started at $170!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The M50x comes with three detachable cables for use with all your devices! Just note these are headphones, not a headset, so the M50x has no microphone.

    Noise-Canceling Headphones:

    Cleer FLOW Bluetooth

    For the longest time, to get a true pair of noise-cancelling headphones, you had to go with a wired model. Now you have several options and the very best comes from a name you migth not have heard of, but you ought to get to know: Cleer. Founded in 2012, Cleer has been taking on and beating the big names for a while, and its first Bluetooth noise-canceling set is an easy win in a category filled with bland, yestertech products that somehow left audio fidelity on the cutting room floor. The FLOW is top-notch all around.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Read our full review and see our video demo here!

Gaming

    The Bargain Gaming Headset:

    HyperX Cloud Stinger

    Looking for a moderately-priced headset to use for gaming, your smartphone, or chat? Then check out the Cloud Stinger from HyperX. Simply put, you cannot get a better headset at this price, period! No, it doesn't have flashing lights, and no, it doesn't come with a fancy USB converter or control box, but with its simple analog headphone and mic jacks, along with high-end sound that comes courtesy of big 50mm drivers, the Stinger gets the job done in spectacular fashion without making things complicated!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Read our full review right here!

    The Premium Gaming Headset:

    HyperX Cloud Alpha

    Want the best wired gaming headset on the market? Then go for the new Cloud Alpha from HyperX. Building on the tremendous success of its predecessors the Cloud and Cloud II, the Cloud Alpha raises the bar without raising the price. Sticking to the aesthetic design that's become a staple of eSports events worldwide, the latest Cloud changes just about everything else. On the audio end, it features dual-chamber drivers to separate bass from the mid-range and highs, producing clearer, more accurate sound, along with a new in-line remote. On the comfort end, it boasts a slick new expanding headband that can fit just about anyone, with far greater range than the previous Cloud models, along with softer, more comfortable earcups. And thanks to its standard 3.5mm connector, it will work with just about any device, be it PC, console, or phone.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You can learn more about the cutting-edge Cloud Alpha in our YouTube interview with HyperX's senior technology manager!

    The Mainstream Wireless PC Headset:

    HyperX Cloud Flight

    HyperX is no stranger to the gaming audio market, but it wasn't going to take any chances when it came time to add a wireless headset to its vaunted Cloud lineup. The Cloud Flight beats out all of its competitors with full-on 50mm drivers, just like the wired kits, that classic HyperX fit, and mind-blowing battery life of 30 hours with the red LEDs off (or ~15 hours with them on). And after a major price cut, these now pick up our "mainstream" wireless headset recommendation, despite performing at a high-end level!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Want to learn more? See our full review!

    The Premium Wireless PC Headset:

    Logitech G935 Wireless 7.1 Headset

    If you demand nothing but the very best from your gaming headset, then you owe it to yourself to try the G935 from Logitech. Stepping up in a big way versus its predecessor the G933, the G935 features massive 50mm drivers, specially tuned to ensure that the abundant bass doesn't get in the way of a crisp overall presentation. And with the latest DTS surround technologies baked into the drivers, you can get unbelieveable 7.1 virtual surround simply by toggling a switch in the Logitech G Hub software, which also provides extensive audio tuning options. Other awesome features: a slick flip-to-mute microphone that also provides great voice fidelity, plus the best looking RGB effects on any headset today.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The G935 truly offers the total package - great sound, great comfort, great features, and great looks. There's simply no other wireless headset to consider anywhere near this pricepoint. Find out why in our full review!

    The High-End 2.1 Speaker Set:

    Logitech Z623

    If you're interested in unadulterated stereo sound with a huge helping of bass, then you want a high-quality 2.1 speaker set. There used to be a whole array of models to choose from, and one of the last holdouts happens to be one of the very best, from the PC enthusiasts at Logitech. This awesome 200-watt THX-certified set will really pump out some great audio. It even features a mini-plug jack to connect mobile devices! If you have the space for the big subwoofer, we'd highly recommend this over a standard stereo speaker set, especially for gaming and movies.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The newer Z625 model builds upon the success of the Logitech Z623 kit by adding an optical audio port for higher-quality sound than standard 3.5mm analog cables can provide. If your motherboard has optical digital out, this is a great feature to have. Not only will it sound a bit better, but it's also much easier to connect as it requires just one cable instead of three. If you plan on using analog cables, however, the Z623 is a better value.

Home Theater

    AV Soundbar:

    Samsung HW-R550 Sound Bar

    If you'd like to set up an all-purpose AV sound system, look no further than the new HW-R550 from Samsung. This stylish, mid-priced speaker set from will enhance any movie or TV show, as well as video games, and can be set up with just one cable, thanks to its HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) input. You'll even be able to control volume and turn it on and off with newer 4K TVs. And given its built-in Bluetooth functionality, this soundbar is also perfect for listening to music via your laptop, phone, tablet, or an Amazon Echo Dot!

    The Guru's Tip:

    You can even add full surround sound effects to your system by adding the optional Samsung 8500S wireless rear surround speakers, which connect using their own base station unit (meaning you only need one power connection).

  1. Mid-Range PC Speakers Creative Inspire T10 ($36.00)
  2. The Best Budget Headphones Symphonized NRG Wood Headphones ($20.00)
  3. The Battery-Powered Bluetooth Speaker Tribit XSound Go Portable Bluetooth Speaker ($33.00)
  4. Bargain Bluetooth Headset Tribit XFree Tune ($50.00)
  5. The Audiophile's Headphones Audio-Technica ATH-M50x ($129.00)
  6. Noise-Canceling Headphones Cleer FLOW Bluetooth ($280.00)
  7. The Bargain Gaming Headset HyperX Cloud Stinger ($50.00)
  8. The Premium Gaming Headset HyperX Cloud Alpha ($100.00)
  9. The Mainstream Wireless PC Headset HyperX Cloud Flight ($120.00)
  10. The Premium Wireless PC Headset Logitech G935 Wireless 7.1 Headset ($169.00)
  11. The High-End 2.1 Speaker Set Logitech Z623 ($100.00)
  12. AV Soundbar Samsung HW-R550 Sound Bar ($248.00)