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Top 5 In-Ear Headphones

Earbuds are great for just about any application; from going to the gym, on the plane or at the office, there’s a pair of earbuds that will match your needs. The biggest appeal of in-ear headphones is their size. While on-ear and over-ear headphones can be bulky and heavy, a pair of earbuds takes up next to no space and weighs even less. This makes them great travel companions. Despite their size, earbuds rarely sacrifice sound quality in comparison to their on-ear and over-ear counterparts and can even outperform them. Finding the right pair for you can be a tricky proposition, so we’ve created this list of our 5 favorite in-ear headphones.

1Westone W40

Westone W40

  • 4-way quad balanced armature driver in-ear monitors
  • Unique detachable cable design
  • Outstanding sound quality
  • Lightweight earpiece design for maximum comfort
  • Comes with secondary cable with in-line controls for iOS devices
  • Current Price: $499.99

 

Expert Review
“Westone’s W40 offer supreme clarity, ravishing detail, and astonishing dynamic expression, placing them in meager company within the hi-fi landscape. – Ryan Waniata, Digital Trends
Westone W40

Shop Now for the Westone W40 In-Ear Monitors

$499.99

 


 

2Phiaton BT 220 NC

Phiaton BT 220 NC

  • Bluetooth 4.0 in-ear headphones with aptX and NFC
  • Built-in active noise cancelling
  • Full in-line controls with microphone
  • Clear Voice Capture for crystal clear hands-free phone calls
  • Everplay-X technology allows for listening to music after the battery dies
  • Current Price: $159.00

 

Expert Review
“For the price, the BT 220 NC delivers a quality level of noise cancellation that is better than expected.” – Tim Gideon, PC Mag
Phiaton BT 220 NC

Shop Now for the Phiaton BT 220 NC In-Ear Headphones

$159.00


 

3SMS Audio BioSport

SMS Audio BioSport

  • In-ear athletic headphones
  • Biometric heart rate monitor tracks your workout
  • Compatible with most leading fitness apps through your smartphone
  • IPX sweat and water resistance rating perfect for gym use
  • Powered by your phone; no batteries required
  • Current Price: $149.95

 

Expert Review
“If heart-rate monitoring is important to you, SMS Audio’s BioSport earbuds are more convenient than you might think. Not only do you not have to wear something on your wrist or around your chest, but you also don’t have to worry about running out of batteries.” – Sarah Purewal, Techhive.com
SMS Audio BioSport

Shop Now for the SMS Audio BioSport Headphones

$149.95

 


 

4NVX EX10S

NVX EX10S

  • Premium in-ear monitors
  • Large 11mm high fidelity drivers produce outstanding sound quality
  • Unique pivoting eartips for comfortable fit for any ear type
  • Three dimensional audio reproduction for the ultimate listening experience
  • Coated cable for convenient tangle-free operation
  • Current Price: $39.99

 

Expert Review
“Vocals have a great sound to them having a clean sound that’s placed well in the soundstage being center but not too forward. Guitars sound clean as well with every string able to be heard separately.” – Keanex, User Review – Head-Fi.org
NVX EX10S

Shop Now for the NVX EX10S In-Ear Monitors

$39.99

 


 

5Sennheiser IE 80

Sennheiser IE 80

  • Luxurious wired in-ear headphone monitors
  • Special neodymium magnets ensure outstanding sound quality
  • Unique bass tuning screws allow you to precisely adjust the bass in each earpiece
  • Sleek design for both comfort and durability
  • Excellent sound isolation
  • Current Price: $329.99

 

Expert Reviews
“The iE80s have excellent separation and clarity. They dig out a serious amount of detail, which you’d arguably be expecting at this kind of money; Arcade Fire’s Ready To Start ticks along nicely with rhythmic, punchy drum kicks and zingy guitar, while the very natural-sounding vocals shine through.What Hi-Fi?
Sennheiser IE 80

Shop Now for the Sennheiser IE 80 In-Ear Headphones

$329.99

 


 
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Top 5 On-Ear Headphones

If you’re looking for a pair of great sounding headphones that don’t take up the amount of space of a pair of over-ears do but don’t want a pair of earbuds, an on-ear headphone can be a happy medium. On-ear headphones take the same basic design and performance characteristics from their over-ear counterparts and put them in smaller, more compact designs. Digging through our selection of on-ear headphones to find the perfect pair for you can be a tall task. To hopefully help you save some time, or at least get you pointed in the right direction, we’ve created this list of our 5 favorite on-ear headphones.

1Phiaton Chord MS 530

Phiaton Chord MS 530

  • High quality active noise cancelling on-ear headphones
  • Premium Bluetooth 4.0 streaming with aptX codec
  • Unique design rests comfortably on your ears
  • Battery life up to 30 hours
  • Everplay-X technology allows you to continue your phone call/music after the battery dies
  • Current Price: $249.50

 

Expert Review
“It’s a rare thing that we fall head over heels for a headphone, but the MS 530 have totally seduced us. Give them a shot, and you’ll see what we mean.” – Caleb Denison, Digital Trends
Phiaton Chord MS 530

Shop Now for the Phiaton Chord MS 530 On-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones

$249.50

 


 

2Sennheiser Urbanite

Sennheiser Urbanite

  • Classic Sennheiser design and performance
  • Optimized for use with iPhone devices (Android version also available)
  • Engineered for outstanding bass output and crystal clear sound
  • Premium construction from the finest materials available
  • Designed and built at Sennheiser’s headquarters in Germany
  • Current Price: $199.95

 

Expert Review
“For the price, it’s one of the best-sounding on-ear pairs we’ve heard, earning it our Editors’ Choice award.” – Tim Gideon, PC Mag
Sennheiser Urbanite

Shop Now for the Sennheiser Urbanite On-Ear Headphones

$199.95


 

3JBL Synchros E Series E40BT

JBL Synchros E Series E40BT

  • Bluetooth wireless stereo headphones
  • PureBass sound performance envelops your ears in outstanding sound
  • JBL ShareMe technology allows you to stream music wirelessly to another ShareMe headphone
  • Sleek, modern design provides a comfortable fit
  • Battery life up to 16 hours
  • Current Price: $99.95

 

Expert Review
“There’s an incredible array of expensive Bluetooth headphones to choose from, but if you’re seeking something affordable that doesn’t sacrifice too much quality in the process, the JBL E40BT should do the trick.” – Andrew Hayward, Techradar.com
JBL Synchros E Series E40BT

Shop Now for the JBL Synchros E Series E40BT Bluetooth Headphones

$99.95

 


 

4Grado SR80e

Grado SR80e

  • New driver design for premium sound performance
  • Specially vented diaphragms produce natural sound and extended bass response
  • Engineered and built at Grado’s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York
  • Open-back design produces a perfectly balanced soundstage
  • Perfectly matched dynamic driver transducers
  • Current Price: $99.00

 

Expert Review
“I am going to issue a blanket audition recommendation. You owe it to yourself to listen to a pair of Grados and hear this sound for yourself.” – Dave, Headfonia
Grado SR80e

Shop Now for the Grado SR80e Prestige Series Wired On-Ear Headphones

$99.00

 


 

5Beyerdynamic T51i

Beyerdynamic T51i

  • New and improved headphone drivers offer brilliant treble and deep bass reproduction
  • Premium lightweight audiophile headphones
  • Extremely efficient Tesla technology
  • In-line remote and mic optimized for use with iOS devices
  • Handcrafted in Germany from the finest components available
  • Current Price: $299.00

 

Expert Reviews
“Like the the T51p, it’s one of the best on-ear headphones we’ve tested, and has the added benefit of having a inline remote/microphone for mobile use.” – David Carnoy & Steve Guttenberg, CNET
Beyerdynamic T51i

Shop Now for the Beyerdynamic T51i On-Ear Headphones

$299.00

 


 
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Top 5 Over-Ear Headphones

In the market for a nice new pair of over-ear headphones but not quite sure what to get? You’re in luck! Sifting through all of the brands and individual headphones can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what you want. To help save you some time finding the right pair of over-ears, we’ve created a list of our 5 favorite over-ear headphones.

1Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus

Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus

  • Premium Beyerdynamic over-ear interactive headphones
  • Custom sound slider lets you alter the audio profile of the headphones
  • Adjustable sound pattern and bass level to your personal taste
  • Handcrafted in Germany from the finest components available
  • Outstanding bass performance
  • Current Price: $229.00

 

Expert Review
“It’s hard to say anything bad about the Custom One Pro—for the price, it truly delivers solid, clean performance, and it delivers an adjustable sound signature in an easy-to-control manner.” – Tim Gideon, PCMag.com
Custom One Pro Plus

Shop Now for the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus Over-Ear Headphones

$229.00

 


 

2Blue Mo-Fi

Blue Mo-Fi

  • High fidelity over-ear headphones from Blue Microphones
  • Custom high-powered amplifier built-in to headband
  • Delivers true audiophile performance from any device
  • Multi-jointed design inspired by Formula 1 racecar suspensions
  • 50mm fiber reinforced dynamic drivers
  • Current Price: $349.99

 

Expert Review
“We don’t trot out the “rediscovering your music collection” line very often (or lightly), but that notion certainly applies here – especially since the Mo-Fi allow music lovers to do it without changing the way they listen.” – Caleb Denison, Digital Trends
Blue Mo-Fi

Shop Now for the Powered Blue Mo-Fi Over-Ear Headphones

$349.99


 

3Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

Momentum Wireless

  • Classic Sennheiser design and performance
  • Optimized for use with iPhone devices (Android version also available)
  • Clear, richly detailed sound quality with deep, powerful bass performance
  • Plush, genuine leather ear cushions for an outstanding, comfortable fit
  • Designed and built at Sennheiser’s headquarters in Germany
  • Current Price: $349.95

 

Expert Review
“The Momentum 2 is a strong contender in its price class and well worth considering if you’re looking for a premium over-ear headphone that’s designed for both home and mobile use.” – David Carnoy & Steve Guttenberg, CNET
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

Shop Now for the New Generation Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wired Headphones

$349.95

 


 

4HiFiMAN HE-400i

HiFiMAN HE-400i

  • Premium full size planar magnetic drivers
  • Brilliant, warm and perfectly balanced audiophile sound quality
  • Open back design provides spacious soundstage
  • 30% lighter than comparable headphones for a more comfortable fit
  • Newly designed headband and FocusPad pleather and velour ear cushions
  • Current Price: $499.00

 

Expert Review
“It’s a superb-sounding headphone full-size headphone that features excellent build quality and an improved design that makes it more comfortable to wear than its predecessor.” – David Carnoy & Steve Guttenberg, CNET
HiFiMAN HE-400i

Shop Now for the HiFiMAN HE-400i Planar Magnetic Over-Ear Headphones

$499.00

 


 

5Kicker HP541-TJ Lavin Special Edition

Kicker HP541TJ Headphones

  • DJ style headphones designed by BMX legend TJ Lavin
  • Outstanding sound for an incredibly affordable price
  • Dynamic, full range audio production
  • Brings legendary Kicker bass performance directly to your ears
  • Premium padded headband and ear cushions for improved comfort
  • Current Price: $29.99

 

Expert Reviews
“The one thing that stands out about the HP541 TJ Lavin signature DJ headphone is its bumpin’ bass response. ” – Freeskier.com
Kicker HP541-TJ Lavin Special Edition

Shop Now for the Kicker HP541-TJ Lavin Special Edition Over-Ear Headphones

$29.99

 


 
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What are the Best Headphone Amplifiers with Bass Boost?

FiiO E11K Kilimanjaro

If you’re looking for better performance from your headphones, your first thought may be to pick up a new pair. However, there is another option, adding a headphone amplifier should take your current headphones sound production to the next level. Depending on what type of music you listen to, you may even want to look for an amplifier that has a bass boost function. Now, if you listen mostly to music that doesn’t focus on bass (classical, vocals, etc.), an amp with bass boost isn’t necessarily the way to go; if bass heavy music (hip-hop, EDM, dubstep, etc.) is your thing however, having a bass boost feature can really bring your music to life. Many headphone amps offer some type of bass boost, be it selectable levels or a simple on/off.

1FiiO E18 Kunlun

FiiO E18 Kunlun
The E18 Kunlun from Fiio is one of the best portable headphone amps available. The E18, designed specifically for compatibility with Android smartphones, functions as a headphone amp/DAC to give you some of the best on-the-go sound quality around. Featuring an intuitive 2 level bass boost, the E18 Kunlun can bring your favorite rumbling beats to life.

2FiiO Alpen 2-E17K

Fiio Alpen E17K Amplifier
The Fiio Alpen 2-E17K is a great headphone amplifier/DAC. The portable E17K amp features easily adjustable treble, bass, gain and channel balance through the simple scroll wheel rather than having unique buttons on the amp. It has an easy to read OLED display for access to these adjustable features. This amp also has a headphone output, a dual function line-in/out port and a coaxial digital input port.

3FiiO E07K Andes

FIIO E07K ANDES
The ultra portable Fiio E07K headphone amplifier/DAC offers tremendous value. The E07K Andes features a Wolfson WM8740 DAV and Texas Instruments PCM2706 USB receiver to inject new life to your music. This amp has an adjustable bass boost and treble (adjustable between -10 and +10dB) as well as a selectable gain (0, 6 or 12dB) through the easy to navigate menu.

4FiiO E10K

FiiO E10K Headphone Amplifier
If you’re looking for better audio from your laptop, the Fiio E10K is designed for just that. This USB DAC headphone amplifier has an internal PCM5102 DAV chip to improve the audio quality from your laptop and is capable of handling PCM files in up to 24-bit, 96 kHz resolution. It has an easy to use selectable bass boost function as well as a built-in low-pass filter.

5FiiO E6

FiiO E6 Amplifier
A cheap headphone amp that doesn’t sacrifice quality isn’t an easy thing to find. The Fiio E6 is an affordable headphone amplifier with Fiio’s well known quality and performance. While this portable headphone amplifier doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of pricier models, it is more than serviceable for the average listener. It features selectable bass boost modes, easy volume control and a 3.5mm output and input interface.
 

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What are the Best Bluetooth Wireless Headphones for Running?

Running Headphones

What’s the worst thing about going for a run? Running you say? Well, that’s true, but the ignoring all the physical problems that come with running, the worst thing about going for a run has to be the cable on your headphones. It swings back and forth as you move, it gets tangled up in everything, it catches on anything you run by, it’s just an annoyance. Fortunately, we live in a world where technology rules all and you can get a pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones perfect for your running. You can find wireless Bluetooth headphones in both in-ear and on-ear configurations depending on what your preference is. Running headphones are designed for active use. They are, at the very least, sweat resistant if-not fully water proof so that you don’t damage them when you’re sweating during your run. Another perk of running headphones is that they stay in and on your ears better than the average pair of headphones. They often have specially designed eartips to stick in your ear canals better or ear hooks that wrap around your actual ear to keep them secure while you run. You have a lot of options to choose from for a pair of Bluetooth running headphones, here are our 3 favorites.

1JayBird BlueBuds X

JayBird Bluebuds X
The JayBird BlueBuds X earbuds are a perfect solution to your running headphone problem. The wireless BlueBuds X are the smallest Bluetooth headphones available and offer you up to 8 hours of playback so you’ll have more than enough battery life for your runs. The patented Secure-Fit design gives you a comfortable hold on every part of the surface of your ear so that they don’t get jolted out of your ears. The in-line mic with JENNA voice prompts makes these earbuds truly hands-free for both iPhone and Android devices.

2JBL Synchros SPORT Series Reflect

JBL Synchros Eatbuds
The JBL Synchros earbuds are an outstanding option for your music while running. If you’re looking for some wireless Bluetooth headphones with a mic the Synchros have you covered. These earbuds feature Bluetooth 4.0 streaming and a 3 button remote control compatible with iPhone devices. To give you the best fit possible, these earbuds have a retractable teather that lets you customize the length to best fit your style.

3Sennheiser MM 100

senn_mm100
What would a list of favorite headphones be without a choice from Sennheiser? The Sennheiser MM 100 on-ear neck-band Bluetooth headphones are a great option if earbuds just aren’t your thing. These on-ear headphones feature a band that wraps around your neck and ear clips that secure the headphones to your ears. The 9 hour battery life combined with the MM 100 headphones compatibility with most portable audio devices make the MM 100 headphones a perfect pair of running headphones.

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