It used to be cool to plug in tiny headphones during the urban rush hour. No longer. Big cans with on or round-the-ear fit deliver studio-quality sound without the leak and hiss of the cheap and cheerless plug-ins. Yes, they are expensive, but if you are serious about the music, why compromise on the performance. Ear’s where to start.
Bose claims significant noise reduction in its soft cushioned headphones and offers a range of prices: up to £279 for the most advanced, but an affordable £149 for the new AE2 model. Buy online from Bose or from other retailers including Comet and John Lewis.
Beats By Dre has made a strong bid for the top end of the headphones market, with over-ear models favoured by professional DJs. Studio-quality, high definition sound is promised, with the Detox model costing £449.99. The Beats Pro is a light aluminium headphone with flip-up ear cups and a cable port for daisy chaining. Price £349.99. Go to Beats By Dre. Other stockists include HMV.
Denon Here you’ll find the AH-7000, daddy of all the closed, over-the-ear headphones, which cost up to £900 depending on where you buy them. The model has a piano finished real mahogany housing – the same type used to make guitars because of its superior acoustics – plus gold plated connectors and leather ear pads. The website lists dealers including Musical Image, which prices the set at £659. That’s considerably cheaper than some other stores, though you may have to collect from one of their branches. Visit Denon.
Apple Apple doesn’t only stock Apple products, it also sells Dr Dre, Bose and Sennheiser headphones. Check out the Nixon RPM cans at £169.95 including free delivery. Visit Apple Store UK.
Sennheiser Sennheiser has a wide range of quality headphones, including behind-the-neck models to prevent bad hair days. The flagship headset is the HD650 titanium/silver finish over the ears ’phone, with precision reproduction sound, price £399.99. It’s also worth checking out the lightweight wireless and cable sets for TV listening if you don’t want to disturb anyone else in the room. Visit Sennheiser.
Bargain of the week
Brora, the upmarket clothing company for women, men and children, is offering ten per cent off plus free p&p and returns if you buy from the new autumn range. Use the code autumn11 at the checkout in any of the 14 stores or visit Brora’s website.