Which pair of headphones should you get? We pick brands from Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Skull Candy, and more to help you make that decision
For lumbering through the daily commute, slipping into do-not-disturb mode on your work desk, or when we’re simply yearning to hear that latest Lana Del Rey single everyone’s talking about – what would we do without our trusty pair of headphones? Nothing gets us more miffed than hearing a shoddy version of our favourite song ’cos our equipment is mucking up, which is why we always go for the best headphones we can find. For all your functional, financial, and comfort needs, here are five headphone picks that’ll make your daily listening experience a whole lot richer.
For the stylish business travller: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9
Key Feature: Touch control and active noise cancellation
With its luxurious aluminium and leather construction and incredible sound quality, the Beoplay H9 is a gift that’s sure to thrill any audiophile. More than just a pretty piece of kit, the Beoplay H9 comes packed with features like touch control, active noise cancellation and up to 14 hours of battery life – more than enough to keep your head bobbing through long haul trips.
For the audiophile: Sennheiser HD 800 S
Key feature: Revamped sound driver with accurate, detailed sound reproduction
Ask any online audiophile community for headphone recommendations, and you won’t have to scroll very far before someone mentions the HD 800s. This new reiteration of the classic, features a revamped sound driver that takes the edge of the overly aggressive treble of its predecessor. But, like the original, the HD 800 S (pictured above) shows its pedigree with top-notch build quality, comfy ear cups and accurate, detailed sound reproduction. Being a pair of studio reference headphones, however, these are rather bulky and aren’t an ideal choice for listeners on the go, so you’d best leave these plugged in at home.
Sennheiser HD 800 S, $2,280.
For the future iPhone 7 user: Audeze Sine
Key feature: Cipher lightning cable add-on
There are lots of us who lament the impending omission of the ubiquitous 3.5mm headphone jack in the upcoming iPhone 7, but the silver lining is that high-end audio companies like Audeze are ready for this revolution. The Audeze Sine, with the Cipher lightning cable add-on is iPhone 7-ready and features a luxurious, spacious sound profile and sleek, stylish looks to boot.
Audeze Sine, $670.
For the ‘oomph’-loving bass-heads: Skullcandy Crusher VRA
Key feature: Inbuilt bass adjustment slider
Okay, bear with me. Skull Candy might have a deservedly bad rep for their initial offerings that offered more style than substance, but the audio company has taken steps to address these issues with new releases like the second iteration of the Crusher. This new pair of headphones features a bass-forward sound signature as well as a nifty slider that lets you control your bass directly from the headphones. Although wireless, the headphones boast a handy 10-hour battery life so you won’t be left in silence on those long commutes.
Skullcandy Crusher VRA, release date and pricing TBA.
For the commuters: Audio-Technica SonicPro ATH-MSR7NC
Key feature: Hi-resolution active and passive noise cancellation
If you have a co-worker who chews way too loudly, or a job that sees you travelling regularly, a pair of high-quality noise-cancelling headphones is a great investment. Audio-Technica’s latest release, the SonicPro ATH-MSR7NC, offers both passive and active noise cancellation, allowing for a richer sound unsullied by overly aggressive noise cancellation systems.
For the budget-conscious listener: Creative Sound Blaster JAM Bluetooth Headphones
Key feature: High-quality audio at a budget price
Though released late last year, Singapore’s homegrown audio lab’s latest budget release offers an incredible feature set that still remains relevant in 2016. Despite its budget positioning, these headphones offer NFC connectivity, 12 hours of battery life, bass enhancement and a microphone for voice calls. Now isn’t that a steal for just $95?