Listening to music is good. Sharing music with friends is even better. However, subjecting an entire bus, plane, or train to your choice in music is uncool. A private listening experience is ideal when you’re in the wild, and a good set of headphones can seriously enhance your enjoyment of your personal concert. But which headphones and earbuds are the best?
There are a ton of different makes and models to choose from, to say nothing of quality and price range. Some folks prefer to go cheap because they reason headphones never seem to last. Others want to pay for the richest experience possible.
You need to find what’s right for you, but let’s face it, going for a ten dollar pair of cheapies never works out well. Here’s a selection of the best headphones, earphones and earbuds available (taking price and quality into account):
Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones – This handsome set of headphones typically retails for $200 USD, though you can certainly find a cheaper price if you’re willing to shop around. Its sound quality is ideal for monitoring and mixing, though (of course) it works perfectly as a headset for music and/or gaming. The padded ear cups make the headset a comfortable wear for hours at a time.
Bose QuietComfort 3 Noise Cancelling Headphones – When you’re listening to music on a bus, you can count on three major enemies: Loud talkers, loud cellphone users, and a loud engine. Noise-cancelling headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 3 aren’t cheap (this particular model costs around $350 USD), but they’re absolutely worth it for the frequent commuter.
Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones – If you’re into plugging your music directly into your ear, consider a pair of C5 In-Ear Headphones. A pair is capable of dulling most background noise, though the C5 is not officially noise-cancelling headphones. It is, however, a very easy and comfortable in-ear fit. If you enjoy the portability of bud headphones but aren’t crazy about their tendency to slip or pop out, here’s a secure option.
Shure SE215-K Live Sound Monitor – Another pair of in-ear headphones, though with a more traditional “bud” design than the Bowers & Wilkins C5. The Live Sound Monitor includes differently-sized “sleeves” that mold into your ear, sealing off outside noise and keeping the good stuff (your music) inside your canal, where it belongs.
MEElectronics HT-21 Travel Lightweight Headphones – Being on a budget shouldn’t mean sacrificing good music quality during your commute to work. The HT-21 set can be found for under $40.00 USD. It offers enhanced bass, and its closed, padded ear pieces seal off outside noise and keep you from distracting your fellow bus-riders.
For more awesome headphone picks, visit:
Best Budget Headphones at CNET
Best Headphones at DigitalTrends
Best Headphones at PCMag