While it’s great to blast your music out when you’re at home, it’s not always possible to listen to it out loud. If you’re on a bus or plane, you can’t annoy fellow passengers by forcing them to listen to your tunes. Or, if you’re exercising outside or in the gym, you’ll need a way of listening to your music without broadcasting it to everyone else. So, here’s our pick of some of the best headphones on the market.
VIBE BlackDeath headphones £99.99
As you’d expect from a set of headphones called BlackDeath, there’s nothing subtle about these. With distinctive black-and-red styling, they offer an impressive audio output through two 50mm drivers. Noise-isolation technology also means you get great bass levels.
RHA SA950i headphones £49.99
This set also packs a punch when it comes to bass and offers a quality of sound usually only found in a higher price bracket. There is practically no distortion in the bass, even when you turn up the volume well above levels you would listen to. Aesthetically though, you can see where RHA have managed to keep their costs down. They’re very light, making them a good choice for running or the gym and the ear cups are well-padded, but it’s clear the focus is on function over form.
RHA MA450i earphones £39.99
Another value pair from RHA for those who prefer earphones rather than headphones. They also offer more than you would usually expect for a gizmo in this price range – made with scratch-resistant aircraft-grade aluminium, they have a cable that is made from woven fabric to reduce tangling. They’re very comfy too, coming in various sizes to make sure that they fit correctly, so no annoying problems with your earphones falling out as you exercise.
Philips Fidelio M1 £160
Simple, understated and effective, Philips’ headphones have a clean and subtle frame. But, underneath all that quiet elegance comes a sound that is definitely not shy. If you close your eyes, you can almost imagine you’re at a live gig. So clear is the sound, you can hear every individual instrument but nothing drowns out vocals, which are knife-sharp. At first, the tiny holes in the cups may look like a design statement but, actually, they are the reason for the growling bass as they allow air to be pumped out when the speakers are moving quickly, acting as a kind of exhaust to the bass.
Klipsch Image S3 £40
These are a great option if you want to upgrade the, usually poor quality, earphones you’ll find come as part of most MP3 players’ bundles. They’re pocket friendly and offer good sound quality packaged in a lightweight and comfortable design. Klipsch’s gadgets make great stocking fillers from tweens and teens, coming in a choice of red, green, pink or grey.
Sennheiser Momentum £260
At the upper end of the price bracket, but also, at the upper end of the sound quality bracket. Previously, Sennheiser designed its headphones very much with wearing them in the home studio in mind and, while they always sounded great, they looked pretty functional. The Momentums come with dark brown leather pads and brushed stainless steel, making sure they look as good as they sound.