From the category archives:


What is the best kind of headphone?

by Jeremiah on August 14, 2013

Walking in to an audio store and buying your first pair of headphones is a daunting experience. I mean, there are just so many different kinds of headphones!

There are in-ear headphones, on-ear headphones, over-ear headphones, noise-cancelling headphones, cordless headphones available from Superfi; with so many different types of headphone, it can be easy to get confused and buy a pair which do not suit your needs.

If you’ve felt this way, or indeed bought a pair of headphones which have underwhelmed, here’s a handy guide for you to work against on your next shop.

In-ear headphones
Also simply called ‘earphones’, these are the type of headphone you’ll likely be most familiar with as media player manufacturers often include them with a new purchase. This has slightly tarred the reputation of in-ear headphones, with Apple a key culprit, by shipping those terrible white in-ears with every iPod. You have to remember, though, that not all in-ears are created equal.

The best kind of in-ear headphones will offer good isolation, fine detail, impressive clarity, good styling and build quality, and perhaps most important of all be comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time. The SoundMagic E10’s are a fine budget earphone retailing at around £35, with impressive build quality and sound. At around £95, the Beyerdynamic MMX 101iE offer greater clarity, noise isolation and comfort than many earphones.

On-ear headphones
If you commute to work or regularly catch the bus or train, you’ll have noticed a rise in the number of people rocking a pair of on-ear headphones. These headphones sit on top of the ear secured by a headband, and most commonly, are bought for fashion rather than sound quality. Beats by Dre and House of Marley headphones available at Superfi are an example of headphones made for the fashion conscious.

On-ears usually provide a high level of base and detailed treble, but for those who like their music neutral, you’d be better with over-ear headphones.

Over-ear headphones
It is easy to confuse over-ear headphones with on-ear headphones. The former completely cover the entire ear area, thus offering the highest level of noise cancellation of any type of headphone. Worn by not only the public but also by professional musicians and DJ’s, over-ear headphones feature larger components than in-ear or on-ear headphones and thus can produce a higher level of detail and clarity.

These headphones are the best type to buy, so long as portability and style isn’t an issue for you, as they tend to be quite large and in cases bulky. Good over-ear headphones will offer a lightweight design, sealed ear cups for isolation, and extra features such as a foldable design. For the ultimate music experience, check out the £999.99 Denon AH-D7100’s.

Sennheiser MM70I In-Ear Headphones Now Available In Canada

The Sennheiser MM70I in-ear headphones are currently available in Canada via Future Shop. These earphones come equipped with six ear adapters made of silicone that block unwanted noise. There is also a new smart in-line remote with built-in microphone that works seamlessly with latest generations of iPod, iPhone and the iPad. This remote allows you to end or reject a phone call, and activate Voice Control without reaching for the source device. You have instant control of the volume, and you can play or pause, and skip to the next or previous track. The Sennheiser MM70I in-ear headphones retail for $129.99. [Future Shop]

Urbanears Plattan Tweed Edition Headphones

by Johan on October 28, 2012

Plattan Tweed Edition Headphones

Urbanears has unveiled the new Tweed Edition headphones. These headphones feature brown ear-caps, a brown textile cord with Kevlar core and a hand sewn Harris Tweed label to ensure its authenticity. The Plattan Tweed Edition headphones are covered in hand-woven Harris Tweed, which is made from 100 percent virgin wool. These headphones also come with a ZoundPlug on the ear cap, allowing a friend to plug in and enjoy your music. The Plattan Tweed Edition headphones are priced at $110. [Urbanears]

MIO Active Connect Fitness Weigh Loss Watch

by Johan on October 26, 2012

MIO Active Connect Fitness Weigh Loss Watch

The new MIO Active Connect Fitness Weigh Loss Watch is designed to accurately measure and records heart rate and motion (steps, speed,distance). This wearable gadget provides a complete record of the calories you burn all day, not just during exercise. You can also plug it into your PC to upload your personal stats or sync with Facebook, Twitter or MyFitnessPal. The MIO Active Connect Fitness Weigh Loss Watch retails for $129.99 each. [Product Page]

Yamaha HPH-PRO Series High-Performance Headphones

Yamaha has recently introduced two new high-performance headphones models in the HPH-PRO series. Known as the PRO500 and PRO300, both headphones feature a dedicated iPhone/iPod remote and a microphone. The Yamaha PRO500 headphones come equipped with a pair of 50mm drivers, offering a 22-22,000 Hz frequency response with a 22-Ohm impedance and a 105 dB sensitivity. The Yamaha PRO300 headphones feature a pair of 40mm drivers that produce a 20-20,000 Hz frequency response with a 53-Ohm impedance and a 107 dB sensitivity. The Yamaha PRO500 and PRO300 will be released in December 2012 for 50,000 Yen ($620) and 30,000 Yen ($375), respectively. [Akihabara]