The EE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards are nearly upon us for the 15th 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 soundbar, best 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.
B&O Beoplay H9i
It's all too easy to criticise the B&O Beoplay H9i for the high price tag. But that would be to ignore the epic sound quality, supreme comfort, lovely build quality, and the sound/ANC/battery improvements compared to the older model.
The H9 became our go-to over-ear cans for a reason and now the H9i comes and blows us away once again. Whether listening at home, on the go, when travelling, or wherever you happen to be, the B&O Play H9i represents the best in Bluetooth over-ear headphones. If you can accept paying so much for that pleasure.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II
The first-generation QC35 was among the most lauded noise-cancelling headphones. The second-generation continue that trend of excellence, but with the addition of Google Assistant - which is surprisingly useful for managing notifications. While some might want a bit more punch from the sound - particularly the lower-end - the overall quality is superb and the three levels of noise-cancelling is a great feature to have for a variety of scenarios.
Like its predecessor, the new QC35 design is well considered, durable and practical enough to be worn all day long - even if you wear glasses. And with noise-cancelling technology that's up there with the best, the Bose QC35 II easily earns its place as the long-haul flyers' noise-cancelling cans to choose.
Marshall Mid ANC
Marshall's Mid ANC takes what made the 2017 model instantly recommendable, but adds active noise-cancelling to create a surprisingly capable pair of on-ear headphones. What's more, they'll cost you so much less than competing on/over-ears from other more well-known brands.
If you've long wanted a pair of noise-cancelling cans, but don't want to pay close to £300 to get them, the Mid ANC could be the answer to your prayers. Especially if you're into that classic 70s rock vibe.
Nuraphone's sound profile matching technology is impressive, and yields results that really do seem to suit the individual, combining punchy high and mids from the in-ear tips and fulfilling bass from the over-ear component.
Nura should be praised for its sound personalisation. With that, the addition of aptX HD and a long-lasting battery, the Nuraphone is a pair of headphones like no other. If you can cope with the quirks, you might just love these to death. Or you might just find them never-endingly weird.
Each iteration of the Sony 1000X headphones tweaks and changes the experience to deliver some of the most aggressive noise-cancellation that you'll find on a set of headphones. There's no avoiding that the Sony WH-1000XM3 is expensive, but you're paying for a premium set of headphones that will cut extraneous noise out of your life.
Even without the noise-cancellation, these are great sounding cans. If you spend a lot of your time sitting on noisy trains or plane, or find yourself always turning up the volume to counteract background noise, then the latest version of the 1000X come highly recommended. These over-ears are among the very best noise-cancelling headphones money can buy and worth every penny for that peace.
V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition
As we said of the original model: V-Moda has knocked it out of the park. The Codex Edition makes little difference compared to the Crossfade Wireless 2 cans, bar the addition of aptX Bluetooth.
That's the thing with the Codex Edition: it's like a 'Mark 2.1' version, missing the opportunity to add better still aptX HD or active noise-cancellation tech, swerving the use of USB-C with faster recharging, and not taking the time out to tweak the design for greater comfort when resting around the neck. Still, if you like big bass, are on board with the industrial design (customised or not), then these V-Moda over-ears are formidable indeed.
Voting in the 15th 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 On-Ear 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 13 November in association with EE. Voting closes on 2 November.