MP3 players may be losing market share to music phones, but one thing is certain: portable audio isn't going anywhere. And to enjoy it to the fullest, you need some decent headphones. Of course, not everyone likes pushing earbuds into their ears, which is where the still-compact on-ear headphone comes in. One such set is the AKG K 518 LE headphones, which retail for $139 and offer a sleek design and balanced audio quality.
Skullcandy has made quite a name for itself in the headphone world, thanks largely to its focus on funky fashion and durable designs aimed at extreme-sports enthusiasts. Indeed, the company is known for a variety of things, and we seriously doubt you'll find subtlety among them.
If ever a product could illustrate this point, it's the Skullcandy Smokin' Buds earphones ($30), with an in-your-face name worthy of their loud design. As we've come to expect from the company's earbuds, these 'phones aren't terribly impressive in terms of sound quality, but they do offer a solid … Read more
The Klipsch Image S4i earphones are nearly identical to their sibling, the Image S4. They not only provide the same comfortable fit and stellar sound quality, but also offer the added bonus of an integrated mic and call answer button, as well as volume controls and remote playback for the iPod. Call quality through the inline mic is solid, though not overly spectacular for a wired headset. At $99, the Image S4i costs $20 more, which is probably worth it for those with an iPhone. For more information, read our full review of the Klipsch Image S4 headphones.
Some people prefer earphones that blend in so much no one can tell they're even being used, while others like their ear cans to stand out from the crowd. If you fall into the latter crowd, the Skullcandy Icon 2 headphones will probably be right up your alley. This on-ear model lists for $29.95 and features Skullcandy's typical eye-catching design. The earphones offer a couple of fun and useful extras, but the sound quality won't impress many users, and the fit may prove to be an issue for active pursuits.
In recent years, Monster Cables started to expand its business to include a handful of headphones, the first models coming from a collaboration with hip-hop producer Dr. Dre. The company's offerings now comprise a couple of in-ear sets, including the top-of-the-line Turbine Pro In-Ear Speakers, a $299 number that features the same heavy, metal earpieces as found on the first Turbine earphones. While we wish Monster had incorporated an integrated mic and iPod controls at this price point, it's hard to overlook the Turbine Pro's high-end look and feel and top-notch sound.
JayBird first made a name for itself as a Bluetooth company, pushing out a line of stereo headphones with discreet-yet-secure designs that were made with the iPod in mind. So it was both surprising and not when the company elected to move into the wired market with two in-ear models aimed at the fitness-minded. What was surprising was the seemingly backward step in technology, but the move is actually in line with JayBird's focus on active users. Of the two new sets, the Tiger Eyes Earbuds ($89) are the slightly less expensive and more stylish model.
Not to sound like a broken record, but the stock plastic earbuds that came packaged with your shiny new MP3 player aren't doing you any favors. After loading up your device with music, the next thing to do is replace the headphones. Of course, if you're not absurdly picky about audio quality, we can understand not wanting to spend $100 or more on a new pair. That's where options such as the Creative EP-630 come in. These sound-isolating earphones offer a comfortable fit and improved audio for just $39.99.
There's a reason the fitness industry is booming: there are always plenty of people eager to slim their waistlines or achieve perfectly toned arms. But being active and getting in shape isn't just about looking good--it's also about being healthy. So even if you're not trying to squeeze back into your skinny jeans, that's no excuse to shun your sweatsuit and sneakers.
Luckily, you needn't suffer through workouts in silent boredom; some upbeat music can provide the perfect motivation to get moving. First step: find a gym-worthy MP3 player. That done, it's time … Read more
The first thing you're likely to do upon obtaining a new MP3 player is load it up with all your favorite music. Once that's done, the next best step is to replace the shoddy earbuds that came packaged with it. Of course, not everyone wants to drop a wad of cash on a new pair of headphones, which is where sets like the JVC Marshmallow come in.
These comfy and colorful earphones have a suggested retail price of just $20 and often list for much less than that, and in addition to providing a more secure fit than … Read more
Cheap earbuds are not hard to come by; there are hundreds of sets on the market that won't cost you a penny more than $30. And all of them are, by and large, indistinguishable from one another. Of course, there are the rare exceptions, such as the iBlink Earbuds.
This $25 set features integrated LEDs that blink to the "beat" of the music, and while the construction is cheap and the sound quality won't be passable for discerning listeners, the flashing light gimmick is sure to appeal to more than a few tweens and teens.