Whether it is a laptop, a smartphone, or even an old Ipod, practically everyone has something which makes use of headphones. Yet, many people opt to just use the headphones which are included with their device, and choose the cheapest most convenient headphones when it comes time to replace them. If you think you might be one of these people, and you spend more than 15 minutes a day using your headphones, you may owe it to yourself to put a little more thought (and money) into what you use to deliver sound to your ears.
We understand that researching a new pair of headphones can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of models, and many different kinds, with different features and pricing ranging anywhere from $10 to over $500. So where do you begin? This guide will get you started the right way, and give you a few suggestions based on your preferences.
The first step is to consider what you will use the headphones for, and what you want out of them. Do you want them to be a fashion accessory? Will you be rough with them? Will you use them during your commute or just at home? Your choice of headphone may even come down to what kind of music you like to listen to most. Some headphones are best for classical music while others represent electronic or deep bass music much more proficiently.
Once you have worked out what your specifications are, now comes the fun part, the shopping. The following is a list of carefully selected headphone recommendations, each for a different type of user.
The Sharp Dresser
If you consider your headphones to be an extension of your personal style, you probably don’t want any old black ear cups. You may have considered a pair of Beats by Dre. They are stylish, and the color options are great. But they are also ubiquitous, and rather expensive for what you get. Instead, we recommend something a little less expensive and more original. Try looking into a pair of V-Moda Crossfade LPs. The customization options on these are outstanding. You get to choose from four base colours, and 19 faceplate colours, some of which include textures like crocodile skin and brush metal. If that wasn’t enough, you can also provide your own design to be used on the faceplates, or personalized text.
These headphones also boast a very comfortable fit, and a durable feel. Furthermore, they come with an impressive amount of extra features, including cloth covered detachable cables, Iphone inline mic/remote, and a hard case for protection on the go.
For some of us, the only time we use headphones is when we are getting our exercise on, and for good reason. The right tunes can be a great motivator, and great music can alleviate much of the boredom that comes with hours spent exercising.
Bose realized that practically everyone likes to have some sort of auditory stimulation while they work out, so they created a pair of headphones just for that purpose: The SIE2i Sport Headphones.
These headphones are just about perfect for a workout scenario. They have specially designed buds which stay snug in the ear during even the most vigorous of jogging sessions. They are weather resistant, so you can get sweat and rain all over them and they’ll still be tip top. You will also have no need to slow down your workout when a bad song comes on, since you can quickly switch with the Inline remote/mic. Finally, it comes with a Reebok fitness arm band to hold your music playing device while you are getting fit.
Seasoned sound junkies may not need a guide like this to tell them what to look out for, but if you are just getting into appreciating sound quality like fine wine, we have some advice. The audiophile we are imagining, sits down and lets the music have his/her undivided attention.
With that in mind, we recommend the Grado Prestige Series SR80E. This pair of headphones fits comfortably on the ear and yields sound with a much higher quality than one would expect from its $100 price point. The only major drawback is its open back design, which can let music out, and let noise in. However, if you are just using these to appreciate music in your house, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The gamer demands very specific features from a pair of headphones. Gamers need to be able to talk to their friends online while playing, and also hear anything that might be sneaking up behind them. If you are looking to take your gaming audio to the next level, a proper gaming headset will definitely get you there.
We recommend the TRITTON 720+ 7.1 Surround Headset. What really makes this headset, is its surround sound capabilities. Now that game visuals have reached such a level that games almost feel real, it is only logical for game audio to follow suit, by providing an immersive 3d sound experience. Provided that a game supports surround sound, this headset will enable you to hear footsteps coming up behind you, rustling in the bushes in the distance, or an impending aerial attack from above. It also features separate volume controls for voice chat and game audio, and very comfortable over-ear cups. It is compatible with XBOX 360, PS4 and PS3.
Yes, we are talking about actual children, children who will view the headphones as toys, and can be quite rough with them, but will need them in order to spare you from having to listen to whatever ridiculous noise might come out of their devices.
For their needs (and yours), we recommend Kidz Gear Wired Headphones For Kids. These headphones come in a variety of fun colours, offer high quality sound, and have a well-built, lightweight design. The best part about these is the volume limiter, which limits the decibel output to keep your child from cranking up the volume and destroying their hearing.