Headphone technology pretty much rocks across the board these days. Look beyond the basic buds and you move into a realm of enhanced dual drivers, individual tweeters, noise-cancellation, indestructible cables and custom molded fitting systems. It all comes at a price. A decent pair of “fashion headsets” these days can easily go for more than $200. And first you need to decide between in-ear, on-ear, over-the-ear or some variation of all three.
Overwhelmed yet? Read on and view my picks for the best headphones of 2014 in various categories.
LSTN Troubadour‘s are Over-Ear headphones handcrafted from reclaimed wood. Best yet, for every pair of headphones you purchase, LSTN helps restore hearing to a child in need. The phones feature an in-line microphone, durable, nylon wrapped cables and an adjustable metal band. $150
Designed in collaboration with Lou Reed who reportedly fine-tuned the headphones himself, Parrot Zik are stylish wireless headphones touted as capable of recreating the acoustics of a concert hall, which is dubbed the “Parrot Concert Hall” effect. Parrot Zik headphones are equipped with an active noise cancellation system which is said to cut off up to 98% of ambient noise, leaving you alone with an amazing audio experience. The noise cancellation system is based on four microphones located inside and outside each earpiece that capture the surrounding noise, so it can be cancelled out. Equipped with an adjustable headband made of metal and soft leather-like material, Parrot Zik are operated via a touch control panel located on the right headphone. $399
Franklin Gaw has come up with a bit of a new concept for these Fusefones Headphones. Each comes with built in memory within the headphones, save songs from your friend’s library’s to share them with others and also track your music tastes and preferences. Think of it as having a ‘like’ button on your headphones. A nifty feature is linking the headphones together in a chain so you can listen to the same thing as them.
Light, fresh, solid-in-design, and immensely portable, the P3s deliver an exceptional sound experience. Stylish yet understated and now in a dynamic range of colours, they guarantee the wearer will stand out from the crowd.
The Classics headphones range from Meze Headphones sounds as good as they look. They integrate high sound quality with stylish design, providing listeners with a great audio experience. The Meze 88′s shown above are their top of the range offering a warm natural sound and headband suspension for the prefect fit.
If you insist on listening to music after (or during) a gnarly day on the slopes, then the Aviator musical earmuffs might appeal to you. With a high maximum volume and decent tracking, these over-ear headphones can provide a bumpin’ soundtrack while you think about how extreme you were out on the hill. Clearly these headphones aren’t for everyone, but for someone willing to shell out extra dough for non-vanilla studio headphones, these beasts beat the Monster Beats in construction and sound.
Like all of Monster’s critically acclaimed Diamond Tears headphones, the Sally Sohn Edition Headphone was designed to deliver music with clarity. Diamond Tears is fashion to be both seen and heard. Like all Monster audio products, they provide next-generation Pure Monster Sound™. Specially tuned by Head Monster Noel Lee, the audio engineer behind the sound of Beats by Dr. Dre® headphones, Pure Monster Sound uses Monster’s latest proprietary technologies and sonic innovations to bring the full experience of live music-to-music lovers and concertgoers everywhere. Articulate, tight, and ultimately revealing, it is as close to live music as being on stage with the musicians.
Monster Headphones, unveiled the “crown jewel” of all headphones at Harrods of London – the one-of-a-kind Diamond Tears Sally Sohn Edition Headphone, priced at £20,000 ($30,000 U.S.) To create this exquisite work of headphone art, Monster collaborated with world-renowned Korean artist and jewellery designer Sally Sohn. More than 100 Hours of master hand-craftsmanship went into the creation of the headphone, which is made from 18k gold and encrusted with black diamonds totalling 5.56 carats. The creation of the Diamond Tears Sally Sohn Edition Headphone is a clear reflection of Monster’s leadership in today’s fusion of fashion, entertainment/sports and technology.
V-MODA is the authentic music brand that fuses fashion and function. Headphones are essential tools for mobile producers and musicians who require unparalleled performance delivered reliably, night in and night out. The founder of V-MODA, also a producer and DJ, designed the LP2 to deliver professional sound yet withstand even the rigorous needs of globetrotting travelers. V-MODA’s professional pedigree is shown through a clear history of innovation: the Hex design, product, drivers, CliqFold, SharePlay, V-CORK, packaging and accessories are all patented or patent pending. The Crossfade series was master crafted by the people – over 200 audiophiles, editors, artists, DJs and Grammy-winning musicians collaborated for years on the tuning and features of the line. V-MODA utilized hundreds of prototypes to gain feedback from the collective masterminds of the best in the business to create the ultimate versatile and customizable headphone. – See more at: http://v-moda.com