LIFESTYLE – New Year, New Headphones
There are countless headphones on the market today, this we all know. However, I’m sure I’m not the only person who has stood in a shop staring at the overwhelming amount of options, completely clueless as to what to buy.
For people who take their music seriously, a quality pair of headphones is an important investment. Some might have a particular brand they prefer to stick to, but others, like me, may still be searching for the perfect pair.
So, at Heart London Magazine, we were lucky enough to try some of the best options on the market today, and hopefully, we can help guide you towards a pair of headphones that might just be your ideal match.
Urbanista Seattle Corded headphones
The first thing that needs to be mentioned about these over ear headphones is how incredibly comfortable they are. The spongy, smooth leather earpieces can be worn for a significant amount of time without any aching or discomfort. They fold in to a small, compact size making them easy to pop in a bag when you’re on the move.
Another fantastic feature is the strong cable included. Long and flexible, it feels durable and is easy to detach and wind up after using.
For those who like to share music, there is a handy ‘share plug’ so anyone else can hook their own headphones into yours. Additionally, there is a built in microphone and one button remote, meaning that you can take calls hands free.
Upon testing, the Seattle Corded Headphones provided very clear, crisp sound with no crackle or hiss when music was listened to on a higher volume. I found that there was little to no leakage of sound and they also managed to cancel out a lot of general surrounding noise.
For what these offer – namely high quality sound and top marks for comfort – the Seattle Corded headphones are pleasingly affordable and come in a range of great colours.
Available at Urbanista for £49.99.
JBL E45BT wireless on-ear headphones
JBL are known for some great headphones, and the E45BT wireless range is no exception.
Although they come with a cord should you prefer to plug in, these headphones are wireless and have an impressive battery life – up to 16 hours. They also only need two hours of recharging before you’re good to go. They fold up well for carrying, too – essential if you’re travelling in and back from work every day.
The headband and ear cushions are comfortable and a huge plus point is that they stayed in place when travelling without being too tight. And anyone who is keen on the more stylish aspects of headphones, these can be purchased in white, black, red or blue.
On the technical side, when using the cord, you have access to a one-button universal remote through which you can control your music and take calls. When using them wireless, the controls are located on the ear cups, so there’s no need to have your phone or device on display.
Again, if you’ve ever tried JBL headphones before then you’ll know what your in for. The sound is fantastically clear and honestly can’t be faulted. They also deal well when listening on higher volumes and provide good bass. Something you’ll notice upon purchasing is that they feel very much like they’ll last.
Available for £79.99 from JBL.
Lindy BNX-60 Headphones
Although pricier than some of the other headphones on our list, the Lindy BNX-60 headphones definitely have a number of features to justify any extra money spent.
Firstly, the fact that these are noise cancelling immediately sets them apart, and when you take into consideration what you might be paying for noise cancelling headphones with another brand, Lindy is great value for money.
The noise cancellation (which can be activated by the very simple flick of a switch) easily made a difference, with voices and music being brought up. When tested, it cut out almost all surrounding background sound.
Something else handy is that these come with a durable travel case in which you can slot your headphones, their cable and their charger. The case also feels particularly protective, so you needn’t worry about your nice new headphones getting tossed around in your bag!
The Bluetooth capability means that your device can remain out of sight, and your music or calls can be controlled with buttons located on the headphones. You also have an integrated microphone for hands free calls.
The sound on the Lindy BNX-60 Headphones is most definitely impressive. On certain songs, we found ourselves hearing instrumental and vocal sounds we’d never even noticed before! The clarity is noticeable and both the bass and treble perfectly balanced.
The headband was comfortable, as were the earpieces, which sat nicely over our ears – meaning you could keep these on for extend periods of time.
So if you have a slightly bigger budget, we can’t recommend these enough.
Available at Lindy for £89.99.
Groov-e Fusion – Bluetooth Overhead Headphones
On a market where large percentage of headphones are pretty expensive, the Groov-e Fusion Bluetooth headphones are a fantastic affordable option.
The great sound quality and the powerful bass immediately struck us. If you’re a fan of deep, rich bass then these could be headphones for you. Music seems to be given a new dimension with these, and when hooked up to your device with Bluetooth, you can enjoy up to 10 hours of wireless sound. However, if you prefer to stay linked up, a flat cord is included, with minimum tangling.
Visually, these look great. Our review copy was gold, and both the headband and ear cups were very comfortable to wear. When packing away, the cups swivel and fold upward, leaving a them compact enough to slot into your bag. You can use the controls on the ear cups to control music and take calls.
Available at Tesco for £30.
Philips SHB9850NC Headphones
These sleek black over-ear headphones are the most expensive on our list, but have a long list of features to justify splashing out a little more money.
First of all, these are not just Bluetooth headphones, but also noise cancelling – meaning that they are ideal for travelling when you want to avoid being wired up to your phone, and are also in desperate need of a way to block out the surrounding noise! And if for any reason you run out of battery, they come with a detachable cable.
Something particularly interesting about these headphones is their NFC pairing, which allows you to connect to a Bluetooth device with a simple touch, and the controls, which are located on the ear caps. All you need to do to alter the volume, skip songs or take calls is tap the smart touch controls.
They also allow you to connect to 2 Bluetooth devices at the same time, meaning that you can be watching your favourite show on Netflix while taking a call.
The audio is outstanding and detailed, as expected when it comes to Philips, and definitely succeeded in cutting out all background noise. The ear cups are well cushioned for long-time wear and easily folded up when you want to pack away.
Available from Currys for £109.99.
Moving on to in-ear headphones, we started off by trying the VerveRider+ Headphones. These Bluetooth headphones are ideal for those of you in search of a good option during workouts with sweat and waterproof ear buds.
We tested these out while running in the rain and found that true to their word, even when wet, the Bluetooth connection remained strong and our sound wasn’t any the worse for it.
The fact that these are worn as a collar was actually very useful – they are light and almost unnoticeable, and allows you to remain on the go without getting tangled up with wires. The integrated microphone means you’re able to take calls, and the two magnetic plates on the collar lets you connect your ear buds so they’re not dangling when you want to take a break.
Another useful feature is the ability to link up with Hubble Connect, which lets you locate where your device was last synced if you ever lose your headphones.
With up to 12 hours play time, secure-fit ear buds and multiple sizes of removable ear gels, these are perfect for the person who likes to keep active.
Available for £79.99 from Verve.
Jabra Sport Coach Special Edition
Another in-ear pair for those who are looking for headphones able to keep up with an active lifestyle, the Jabra Sport Coach Special Edition offers a wireless connection and also tracking.
These are perfect gym headphones, mainly because they’ll enhance your workouts with automatic rep counting. This somewhat rare feature goes towards making the price worthwhile. However, it’s not the only upside to these headphones.
The sweat-proof ear buds come with a number of different foam sizes you can swap in depending on your ears, and it’s easy to pair up with a smartphone. You can start up the tracking feature with a ‘sport’ button on the left earphone.
The ear buds stay in place well, even when working out. The rep counting (which works through a motion sensor) can be used by downloading the Jabra Sport Life app onto your phone and navigating the app is pleasingly simple.
Audio quality is clear with impressive bass and also effective noise cancellation, and you are, of course, able to switch over to taking a call easily.
Available from Jabra for £99.99.
Sennheiser Momentum In-Ears
In red or black, and with different versions for different devices (including Sony, Apple, Samsung and LG), you’ll find a pair of Momentum In-Ears to suit you.
Apart from delivering crystal clear sound, which seems to be channelled directly into your ear with little leakage, these headphones also look fantastic. They come with a protective case and multiple ear bud sizes. And once you’ve chosen your buds, they go on to fit well in your ear and are particularly comfortable to wear.
There is a three-button multifunctional remote with an integrated microphone so you can take calls and control your music without having your device out.
Get the fabulous Sennheiser Momentum In-Ears for £89.99 from Sennheiser.