T3 Awards 2024: all the Headphones and Audio winners

From the best headphones to the best speakers, the T3 Awards 2024 reveals our best audio product picks

BW headphones
(Image credit: Future)

Audio is all around us all of the time. Whether that's when listening to your favourite tunes while working out, chilling at home with a classic vinyl on the turntable, or streaming some classics when out in the garden using a Bluetooth speaker. We all want the best quality products – and there are many stunning options on sale. 

That's why the T3 Awards 2024 in association Norton – which covers dozens of categories across the site's core pillars of Tech, Active, and Home – has hand-picked the best audio products of the year. From the best headphones to the best speakers and beyond, there's a lot of great-looking and great-sounding kit to wrap your eyes and ears around.

So, drum roll please, here are the best headphones and audio products of 2024, as selected by the T3 Awards 2024 judging panel. Congratulations not only to our winners, but to all contenders in the shortlists below – there are some truly champion products and well-worthy winners this year. 

Best Travel Headphones

Bose QuietComfort Ultra HeadphonesT3 Awards 2024 Winner logos

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones

While the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones could be considered the best headphones in almost any situation – especially given the prowess of quality and spatial audio tricks – it's specifically for travel that these over-ear cans are hands-down winners. 

That's thanks to active noise-cancelling (ANC) that's super powerful at blocking out external sounds. They come with an included hardshell carry case, which is great to chuck into a bag. The folding design means they're easy to transport – and really comfortable around the neck too. T3's Tech Editor uses them daily and for long flights goes to sleep in them – yes, these cans are that comfortable and that good. 

Highly Commended: Sony WH-1000XM5

Best Travel Headphones shortlist: 

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones, Sony WH-1000XM5, Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, Sony WF-1000XM5, Apple AirPods Pro 2, Bose QuietComfort 45

Best Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds reviewT3 Awards 2024 Winner logos

(Image credit: Future)

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds

It's a Bose double win, with the company's in-ear equivalents of its QuietComfort Ultra over-ears taking the crown this year. The obvious winner in among a very competitive category – just look at the extensive shortlist below – the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are simply exceptional.

As noted in our review: "ANC in-ears don't get better than this." It's the truth, too, with great wear factor and comfort, sound quality that's sensational, and active noise-cancelling that's out-of-this-world impressive for blocking out external sound. If in-ears are your preference then this is the Bose Ultra product to pick.

Highly Commended: Denon PerL Pro

Best Earbuds shortlist: 

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4, Denon PerL Pro, Cambridge Audio M100, JLab Epic Lab Edition, Audio-Technica ATH-TWX7, Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, Technics EAH-AZ80, Apple AirPods Pro 2, Sony WF-1000XM5, Marshall Motif II A.N.C, Nothing Ear (2), Bowers & Wilkins PI7 S2, Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX

Best Wired Headphones

FiiO FT5 reviewT3 Awards 2024 Winner logos

(Image credit: FiiO)

FiiO FT5

For that ultimate audiophile experience many listeners opt for hard-wired headphones to extract the utmost from their music. The best wired headphones are quite often eye-wateringly expensive, crafted from luxurious materials, and feature drivers of a build and size that you won't find in other more transportable headphones. 

This year's winner, the FiiO FT5, is the company's "first-ever planar magnetic headphones that combine pride of ownership with enjoyably direct, open sound." Our review also noted how the "FT5 are specified and built beyond their asking price," with sound that'll keep any listener "thoroughly entertained." 

Highly Commended: Austrian Audio The Composer

Best Wired Headphones shortlist: 

FiiO FT5, Campfire Audio Andromeda Emerald Sea, Austrian Audio The Composer, Grado SR325x, Sennheiser HD660 S2, FiiO FT3

Best Headphones

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e reviewT3 Awards 2024 Winner logos

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2e

Despite Bose's obvious dominance with new headphones launches this year, when it came to the best headphones award the American brand was pipped to the post by a British favourite: Bowers & Wilkins. The updated PX7 S2e bring that extra layer of build quality and elegance that makes them a true champion.

As noted in our Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2e review: "the best-sounding headphones just got even better-sounding, if you can believe it!" Representing "a marvellous ensemble of sound quality, luxurious build and sublime comfort," these over-ears just tick all the right boxes when it comes to quality – doing more than enough to keep its Bose, Sony, Apple and other competition at bay. 

Highly Commended: Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones

Best Headphones shortlist: 

Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2e, Sennheiser Accentum Plus, Philips Fidelio L4, Shure Aonic 50 Gen 2, Master & Dynamic MH40, Sony WH-1000XM5, Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones, Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless, Bang & Olufsen Beoplay HX

Best Gaming Headset

Razer BlackShark V2 ProT3 Awards 2024 Winner logos

(Image credit: Future)

Razer Blackshark V2 Pro

Headphones extend beyond classic audio listening, too, with best gaming headset an even more hotly contested category than ever before. For 2024 it's a well-respected gaming brand that's risen to the top spot: Razer's excellent all-rounder, the BlackShark V2 Pro, combines audio and mic quality excellence into a winning package. 

As said in our review: "Provided you don't mind going wireless only, the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro is everything you need in a gaming headset. With the preset sound profiles and comfortable fit, it makes for an excellent set of cans – and not only for gaming, but for movies and music too."

Highly Commended: Logitech Astro A50 X

Best Gaming Headset shortlist: 

Audeze Maxwell Wireless, SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless, Logitech Astro A50 X, Razer Blackshark V2 Pro, Turtle Beach Stealth Pro, Asus ROG Delta S Wireless, Corsair HS80 Max Wireless

Best Wireless Speaker

Sonos Era 300T3 Awards 2024 Winner logos

(Image credit: Sonos)

Sonos Era 300

Case of déjà vu? That's because best wireless speaker of 2024 is the very same as 2023's winner. Sonos is just on fire at the moment and its recent launches have presented some truly exceptional smart speakers. And it's the Sonos Era 300 that continues to stand out in a bustling market. Which is no small feat. 

The Sonos Era 300 isn't a direct replacement for the company's earlier Five product, but it doesn't half sound even better. It's a serious sonic triumph that offers "seriously impressive immersive sound" and that makes it the "best speaker for the money right now". There's plenty of great competition, but when the T3 team is asked to recommend a speaker it's this Sonos that comes up as the top pick time and again. 

Highly Commended: Ruark R410

Best Wireless Speaker shortlist: 

Ruark R410, Audio Pro C20, KEF LSX II LT, JBL Authentics 500, Sonos Era 300, Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin, Apple HomePod (2nd Gen), JBL L42ms

Best Portable Speaker

Sonos Move 2

Sonos Move 2T3 Awards 2024 Winner logos

(Image credit: Future)

With one T3 Awards 2024 win already under its belt, Sonos also hits the double whammy this year by bagging the best Bluetooth speaker win too. The Sonos Move 2 brings "the ultimate portable Bluetooth speaker" experience.

As said in our review: "If you want a speaker that delivers great sound both indoors and outdoors, this is the one to choose. It's exceptionally well-built to stand up to weather and movement, it’s really easy to set up, and it sounds incredible." Winning words for a winning product. 

Highly Commended: Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen)

Best Portable Speaker shortlist: 

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A5, Ultimate Ears Epicboom, Sonos Move 2, Apple HomePod Mini, Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen)

Best Music Streamer

Cambridge Audio CXN100 reviewT3 Awards 2024 Winner logos

(Image credit: Future)

Cambridge Audio CXN100

When it comes to the best music streamers – hardware used to stream your audio files and streaming services wirelessly in the utmost quality – there's a new Cambridge Audio box that's a visual delight and (obviously) an audio ace too. 

The Cambridge Audio CXN100 "improves on the company's already sky-high standards and delivers a device that demands your attention", we noted in our review, saying that "it’s a fine-sounding and confident device that makes an enormous amount of sense for the money."

Highly Commended: Technics SL-G700M2

Best Music Streamer shortlist: 

Technics SL-G700M2, Bluesound Node, WiiM Pro Plus, Cambridge Audio CXN100, Cambridge Audio MXN10, Sonos Port

Best DAC

iFi xDSD Gryphon DAC reviewT3 Awards 2024 Winner logos

(Image credit: Future)

iFi xDSD Gryphon

Lightning strikes twice, as the best headphone DAC for 2024 is a repeat of 2023's winner. A top digital-to-analogue converter, the iFi xDSD Gryphon remains the stand-out product. 

"As a combination of functionality and performance, it’s hard to lay a glove on the iFi xDSD Gryphon," reads our review. "When the biggest gripe about a product concerns the nature of the little tell-tale LEDs that indicate what’s going on inside, you know you’re on to a winner." 

Highly Commended: Chord Mojo 2

Best DAC shortlist: 

Astell & Kern AK HC3, iFi xDSD Gryphon, Helm Audio Bolt, iFi Go Bar, Chord Mojo 2

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor at T3.com. He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone too (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech and audio aficionado his beat at T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a tech stone unturned he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.