The EE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards are nearly upon us for the 14th year and as usual, we have been delivering a series of features, highlighting the nominees within each of the 18 categories.
Each feature offers a little bit about why we love each of the shortlisted products and why they have been chosen as finalists in their category. So far, we've looked at the nominees for best game, best interchangeable lens camera, best compact camera, best smartphone, best mid-range smartphone, best tablet and 2-in-1 and best laptop.
This is now the eighth of those features and it is all about the nominations for the best over-ear headphones 2017. As with all the categories, the competition is tough for best headphones with some excellent numbers having appeared over the last 12 months. Here are the eight nominees for the over-ear category, with the in-ears following tomorrow.
AKG N60 Wireless
The long-lasting battery, well judged active noise-cancellation, wire-free use, included carry case and lightweight design make the AKG N60NC Wireless a solid headphone choice for many travellers.
In the noise-cancelling market the N60NC Wireless' main competitor is the Bose QuietComfort 35. Both are quality products in their own regard, with the AKG being the better looking of the two in our view. Overall the AKG N60NC Wireless offer aplenty, but the fit doesn't deliver as enthralling a sound profile as the spec sheet might suggest, holding them back from greatness.
If comfort, top audio quality with well considered balance and wireless listening are your priorities then the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT are future standard-setting audiophile headphones.
B&O BeoPlay H9
The B&O BeoPlay H9 is a killer over-ear headphone. These over-ear cans are better than almost anything we've listened to in 2017. Audio quality is immense, bass levels are punchy and pretty much perfect, while the wide soundstage pull on B&O's renowned character and class.
If you're feeling particularly loaded and are looking for long-lasting, comfortable-to-wear and good-looking over-ear headphones then few can reach the same level of mastery as the BeoPlay H9. These will be our go-to cans for a long time coming.
Beats Studio 3 Wireless
The Beats Studio 3 Wireless might not suit the audiophile, but for everyone else these over-ear cans are very easy to recommend. Especially for iPhone users, thanks to the W1 chip's easy pairing and cross-device ease of use.
Even if you're not an iPhone user, the ultra-long battery life, attractive and comfortable design, and serious sound quality makes these Beats stand out beyond their over-ear competition.
Bowers and Wilkins PX
Bowers & Wilkins comes from a true audiophile perspective and, in the PX, offers an excellent alternative to its brilliant rivals. There is no doubting its audio performance prowess, with ANC both on and off, and in the new design flourishes it has a device to perhaps tempt those otherwise drawn by the Apple-owned Beats.
We certainly welcome the company finally embracing ANC because patience has been rewarded. The B&W PX is a shining example of just how good noise-cancelling cans can be.
Marshall Mid Bluetooth
The Marshall Mid Bluetooth on-ear headphones are a mirror of the company's amps: classic, no-nonsense and great sounding. They're also rugged as heck, will last you for donkey's years, while making a design statement in their own right.
Other similar-priced headphones might offer a more exciting listen overall, long periods of wear aren't the most comfortable, and there's no added thrills from noise-cancellation or improved isolation but the Marshall Mid Bluetooth are great on-ear cans that crank it up to 11.
Urbanista Seattle Wireless
What the Urbanista Seattle Wireless can't quite deliver in audio perfection it more than makes up for in affordability and design. There's ample bass, which is more than can be said of some other budget on-ear cans, while the subtle design and savvy material choices make for a comfortable long-term listen - whether wired or wireless.
If you want a cleaner, more enthusiastic sound profile then be prepared to pay a chunk of extra cash. As it stands, however, there's little else out there that will deliver such a generally well-rounded listening experience for this price point.
V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless
For round two V-Moda has knocked it out of the park with the Crossfade II Wireless. They're infinitely more comfortable than the originals, and while they still deliver strong bass the sound profile is better balanced, more accessible and even Hi-Res Audio certified.
The industrial design may still be divisive, especially in certain colour finishes or metals, but we find the Crossfade II Wireless to be mighty impressive top-of-the-line over-ear cans. If bass and top quality are on your hitlist then V-Moda is right on the money with the second-gen Crossfade.
Voting in the 14th annual EE Pocket-lint Awards is now open so you can let us know which one of these great on-ear cans you think should win the Best Headphones award for this year and give us your verdict on all, or some, of the other tech across the 17 categories.
Winners will be announced at the exclusive event in London on 14 November in association with EE. Voting closes on 3 November.