Headphones not only make a great stocking filler, they’re also a fantastic way to boost your portable listening, giving a big jump in sound quality over the cheap bundled-in sets that come with smartphones and tablets. Here are our picks for great ‘cans’ under £100!
One of the oldest brands around, Audio Technica began life producing cartridges for turntables back in the 1960’s. These headphones show what the company is all about: great sound and unbelievable value. Packing in 40mm drive units and with a neat foldable design, these are a great first headphone for any budding audiophile.
After dominating the industry as one half of the ‘Beats by Dre’ phenomenon a few years ago, Monster are going it alone these days. These ‘N-Tune’ headphones offer the same stylish looks that Monster are known for, and the substantial bass punch from the old ‘Dre’ days is still there, too. There’s also an inline microphone suitable for both Apple and Android devices. Bargain!
If wires are really not your thing, then a set of Bluetooth headphones are going to be right up your street. And with a set made by Austrian headphone royalty, AKG, you know you’ll be buying quality. Compact, closed-back and ready to wirelessly hook-up to any portable or device and most PCs and laptops. With a built in battery life of up to 8 hours and a mini-USB connection for charging, these are great for on-the-go or for chilling on the couch with. And if the batteries do happen to run out, you can still carry on listening through the supplied cable. Genius!
Globetrotter? Daily commuter? Either way, a set of ‘noise cancelling’ headphones can be a great way to bring you closer to your music if you’re in particularly noisy areas (like cramped tube-trains at 5pm on a Friday night). Powered by a single AAA battery, these over-ear design Goldring’s ‘actively’ cancel out background sounds at the flick of a switch, getting rid of the daily hustle and bustle and letting you hear more of your music on that cold trudge to the office. Or a flight somewhere nice and warm, whichever. I’d certainly take up the second option any day!
Another hugely respected name amongst the headphone fraternity, Grado are THE American headphone brand. The SR80e are their sharpest price pair, but in sound quality terms they offer extraordinary bang for your buck. Their retro stylings are known the world over, and the sound quality is respected by all. As an open back design you’ll be leaking a fair bit of sound, so these will be best for those looking to do their listening indoors, but the soundstaging, clarity and instrument separation mark them out as a real winner on nearly every level.
To browse our full range of headphones, click here.
Author – Chris, Liverpool store