Tag: Small Headphones

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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Sony’s Comeback: XBA In-Ear Headphone Series

Once the unanimous titan of general consumer electronics, and a pioneer in personal music players with the introduction of the Walkman, Sony is a company that grew accustomed to being at the top. Since its glory days, Sony has endured great hardship in virtually every sector of the consumer electronic market including headphones.  Completely flanked by competition from marketing giants like Beats Audio, Monster, and a slew of other game-changers, Sony has all but been forgotten. Yet, for a company that has not turned a profit since 2008, Sony is still kicking and unleashing what is of late their most impressive effort to recapture the ears of audiophiles.

With the release of the XBA series in-ear headphones, Sony reminds consumers of the innovation and quality that defined the brand not long ago.

XBA Micro Balanced Armature Technology:

Of course, Sony did not invent the balanced armature driver. In fact, it has been around for many years now and has been deployed by various reputable companies such as Westone. But what sets the XBA series apart from the rest of the balanced armature in-ear headphones is that Sony has developed its very own collection of drivers specifically tuned for music reproduction. Unlike others who get their drivers from nondescript balanced armature suppliers, Sony has employed the expertise of their own technology development core to create the XBA 1, XBA 2, XBA 3, and XBA 4.

The number attached to each of the XBA suffix signifies the number of specially crafted micro-balanced armatures built into the respective in-ear headphone, with the XBA featuring one balanced armature driver and the XBA 4 equipped with four. Now, if the XBA series were just packed with a bunch of drivers, this development would be quite unimpressive. But as mentioned earlier, these balanced armature drive units have been tuned to specific frequencies and, wherever there is more than one driver, a passive crossover system ensures that each driver reproduces the sounds it is best tuned to handle.

Borrowing the most detailed of the collection as an example, the XBA 4 features four balanced armature drive units: one full range driver,  one tweeter, one woofer, and one super woofer. With virtually every audible frequency range separated and individually performed by a specialized unit, each frequency range sound separate and clear. Do not expect to find
any muddling of bass and mid frequencies with the XBA series. Moreover, because of the passive crossover, the XBA infuse true and perceptible depth to the soundstage for a reproduction that is simply astoundingly convincing.

XBA Noise Cancelling:

Smallest Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphone in the World

Yet another impressive technological design innovation in the Sony XBA series is the excellent integration of noise cancellation. As of September 15th, 2011 the XBA-NC85D became the smallest and lightest noise cancelling in-ear headphones in the world. Because of the incredibly small size of the micro-balanced armature design, Sony has been able to integrate the DNC noise cancelling components and rechargeable battery directly into the sound chamber. Unlike every other noise-cancelling in ear headphone on the market that generally have the DNC noise cancelling processors encased in a “wand” that is connected to the wires leading to the chambers, the XBA-NC85D are just as compact as any other in-ear headphone on the market.

Endowed with a single Sony micro-balanced armature, the XBA-NC85D performs with excellent clarity and fidelity. Offering similar sound characteristics to the standard XBA series, these do not skimp on sound quality in any way.

Will the Phoenix Rise?

Certainly, Sony’s woes as a once-mighty technology giant will not be solved by these remarkably well crafted in-ear monitors. Nonetheless, while they are still around, Sony has definitely flexed their muscle and challenged skeptical audiophiles to reexamine the viability of Sony products. For one, I am completely impressed by the quality of these in-ear monitors and are, beyond a doubt, on my list of most important headphone releases of 2012.

Whatever Sony’s Future, PLEASE Bring Back the Walkman Alien!

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