If you’re like us, music is an utterly essential part of daily life. Your headphones help create a cocoon of sound to make you as productive as possible. Sometimes you listen to classical tunes, sometimes a pop song is just what you need to beat the afternoon lull, and sometimes you leave them on without any music to drown out those bits and pieces of white noise.
1. Beats by Dr. Dre Studio ($280): You’ve likely seen these and maybe even tried them, and here they are again. Folks who love deep, heavy bass swear by these cans. The studio version includes advanced driver design for precise audio clarity, includes a high powered digital amp for playing all kinds of music without any distortion, and this set includes an iSonitalk cable for chatting on the phone.
2. California Headphones ($65 and up): If the Avett Brothers and Garth Brooks are more your speed than Dr. Dre, you might want to give the California Headphones a try. Marketed as ideal for rock, country and alternative, these are made with metal and leather to create unique acoustic experience. Each set of headphones is constructed with die-cast metal and leather, and includes duo-jack technology so you can share your music with friends. Head over to Kickstarter to help fund this aviator-esque set of phones.
3. Urban Ears Plattan Headphones ($40-$60): We’ve featured these a couple times before, mostly because they’re so colorful! These headphones include a microphone and smartphone-friendly remote, a fabric cord (no tangles!), and they fold down to fit in any purse or backpack.
4. Sleep Phones ($30): Love falling asleep to the sounds of Beach House, Bon Iver, or Justin Bieber? Cozy up with a pair of Sleep Phones! They’re much comfier than a big set of headphones or earbuds, and are way better than the soundtrack of your significant other snoring. ;) Also great for air travel.
5. Zik Parrot (TBD): Designed by Philippe Starck, these headphones go above and beyond the call of duty. They’re more like a totally tricked out audio gadget for your head. The earpads are made with memory foam, so they fit you like a glove. On the left cup, you’ll find a presence sensor which automatically pauses and starts when you take your headphones off and put them back on. It’s got a jawbone sensor in order to optimize sound quality when you’re using them for a phone call. And all volume and track controls are done by simply swiping on either cup. Incredible. No official word on the price yet but we’re hearing something in the area of 500 bucks.
6. Zipbuds Tangle-Free ($20): A zipper on a pair of headphones? These neon green darlings zip up to ensure for a tangle-free headphones experience. Reviews tell us that the zipper can be noisy if you’re wearing them on a run, but they’re great for more static use.
7. Waterproof Headphones ($31): Featured in our roundup of hot summer gadgets, these headphones are totally waterproof and may even help prevent swimmer’s ear! Of course, what good are waterproof headphones without a waterproof iPhone case? The Eco Pod and Aquapac are great options for bringing your prized electronics underwater.
8. Yurbuds Sport Earphones ($43): Made with high performance athletes in mind, Yurbuds are made with a patented lock that promises they won’t fall out or hurt even when you’re sweating profusely and running your little heart out. They come with a clip for clipping on, the ear bud covers come in two sizes and are washable, and there’s a remote with mic and volume control on the cord. Reviews are mixed, but we definitely want to give these a try.
9. Bose MIE2i Mobile Headset ($130): About a dozen of our Twitter friends agree, the Bose MIE2i headphones are pretty tough to beat. The StayHear tips provide stability during exercise or other activities, and make it super easy to take calls and get directions while on the go. These have been designed with Apple products in mind, allowing you to take calls with one-touch ease. And, since these are by Bose, you can bet the sound is of the highest quality.
10. Shure SE215-K Earphones ($135): A bundle of 2 items, the Shure earphone set includes sound isolating earphones as well as an adapter cable with remote plus mic. Designed specifically for isolating sound, these earbuds are perfect for noisy offices or city streets.
11. Comply Foam Tips ($15 for 3 pairs): Already have earbuds with awesome sound quality but not a lot of comfort? Try slapping on a pair of Comply foam tips! They’re designed ergonomically with super soft memory foam to fit any pair of ears, large or small.
12. FiiO E6 Headphone Amplifier ($24): Another way to improve headphones you’ve already got is to add some oomph with an amp. The E6 is designed to improve the sound quality and volume of any portable audio source, from iPhones to laptops and everything in between. It increases battery life, is charged via USB, and lets two sets of headphones or speakers plug in at once. Definitely a gadget for audiophiles.
13. OrigAudio Custom Headphones ($70): Perhaps you want to design your own headphones? OrigAudio lets you do just that, with original photos, drawings, images, or choose from their awesome gallery of headphone designs.
14. Crocheted Headphones ($28): Want a little more style and comfort with your headphones? Check out these gorgeous crocheted headphones on Uncommon Goods. They’re definitely inspiring for a DIY project.
15. DIY Audio Ear Muffs: Speaking of DIY projects, if you happen to be somewhere cold this summer, you should definitely be rocking a pair of our DIY Audio Ear Muffs. Simply grab a pair of earbuds, ear muffs, needle and thread, and you’re good to go.
Do you have a pair of headphones or earbuds you love? If so, which ones? Have you tried any of the options above? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or shout our way on Twitter. And keep rockin’! :)