With Christmas coming, we thought it would be a good idea to suggest what we think are the best headphone gift ideas our site has to offer. Here is a rundown of our favourite headphones, earphones, portable players (DAP), amps and DAC’s that 2014 has to offer.
Coming in under £30, the ES20 punches well above its weight. The build quality is superb with braided cables and tough speaker housing. The sound quality will blow you away – fun and punchy with great detail!
Shure are famous for their high end IEMs, but their lower priced earphones follow Shure’s high standards. The SE112’s build quality is very solid and comfortable. The sound is rich with plenty of power and smooth detail – these earphones will sound great with whatever you throw at them. There is also the Shure SE112M+ for those who will use them with a smartphone.
Similar Item – SoundMAGIC E10S £39.99
SoundMAGIC’s new portable on ear, the P30S, not only sounds great but it can work with any smartphone out there – thanks to their compatibility switch you can manually set the headphones to work with your phone. The P30S is extremely comfortable and folds up nicely for easy storage. The sound is fun and punchy with plenty of detail and great bass!
For the asking price, the Momentum In-Ear is incredible value; giving great sound as well as swish styling and all in a very rugged and classy looking case. They are available in versions compatible with Apple devices as well as Android, so you needn’t be cutting down your choice of handsets with the Momentum In-Ear.
Now that high quality audio is becoming more commonly available, it is time to upgrade your music player. The FiiO X1 supports very high audio (up to 192kHz/24bit) and will play most formats (APE/AAC/FLAC/ALAC/WMA/WAV/MP3) – most devices like mobile phones and more basic players can’t handle the higher quality and different audio formats. There is enough power to drive some of the more demanding headphones and the sound is crystal clear and very well balanced. The X1 will hold one micro SD card – with this you can have up to 128GB of storage.
Similar Item – FiiO X3 £159.99
For anyone who listens to their music or watches films from their android phone, laptop or desktop computer – the FiiO E18 is a must have. Not only is it a powerful headphone amplifer, able to be used with most devices, it is also a DAC. This means that you can connect it to your computer or phone and the E18 will take over all of the audio processing and amplification – giving you extremely high quality sound on the go.
Similar Item – FiiO E07K £79.95
New on the scene, the ATH-OX5 by Audio Technica is possibley the best sounding on-ear portable headphone in it’s price range. For less than £130 you get amazing sound – tight bass, clear detail and lots of energy. The OX5 also has replaceable cables with an option for an in-line mic and controls for smartphones. These are perfect for anyone looking for an affordable on-ear headphone to use with their phone, music player or other portable device.
In-ear headphones are becoming more and more popular, so it makes sense to have an in-ear Bluetooth headphone. Jaybird have done this very well with a great sounding earphone that has a fairly balanced yet warm sound. They are also very comfortable and come with a number of different ear tips. Another great feature is that they are very secure in the ear, so they are popular amongst the more active user too.
Similar Item – Jaybird Freedom £94.95
Another popular idea is the wireless Sennheiser RS170 full-size headphone. The RS170 can be used all around the home, so that unmissable TV moment might never elude you again! Also the RS170 is excellent for music, and features an enhancing ‘bass boost’ feature for a little extra kick. Being a closed-back design, they afford good privacy and so you need not disturb others while rocking out.
For those that like their bass – look no further! We feel that the Pioneer SE-MX9 truely are Beats beaters. They have the big bass but they also have great detail and an open sound. The quality of the bass is extremely good with no bloatedness or muddyness – you hear every detail in the music. Not only do they sound better, but they are cheaper than Dr Dre’s Beats too!