Some people claim that it’s better to give than receive, but when the holidays come around, all bets are off. This is the time of year to aim high on the gift list, because you deserve better than the cheap-ass earbuds that came with your phone. Go ahead and ask for the latest and greatest out there, even if you’ll need to make some extra calls home to win points or remind your rich uncle of that one night in Vegas that he’d prefer to remain your little secret. Here are six pairs of headphones that won’t disappoint.
1. JBL Synchros S700 ($350)
We all love bass, the heavier the better. JBL’s Synchros S700s sound like you’re living inside Method Man‘s trunk. We liked the solid feel and classic design. With the large 50mm drivers (compared to 40mm in most pairs), we were able to hear thunderous sound. The headphones also feature LiveStage signal processing and a rechargeable battery that keeps going for 20+ hours.
2. Monster DNA On-Ear Headphones ($200)
Credit: Monster Products
Monster sent us over the Black and Rose Gold model to test out. They have a solid, lightweight feel, and also feature noise isolation, dual-port inputs to share your music and a ControlTalk cable that stays tangle-free during the most heated of conversations.
3. Torque t103z Earphones ($180)
Credit: Torque Headphones
It’s rare that we refer to earphones as “fancy,” but that’s exactly what the Torque t103zs are. Each pair comes with three exchangeable “TorqueValves” for high-octane and full-throttle bass, as well as a “Clear Valve” for crystal clear and sparkling highs. Seems like a lot of work to listen to music, but sometimes in life you get out what you put in.
4. Beats Studio Wireless Headphones ($380)
Credit: Beats Audio
You can’t walk 10 feet without seeing someone sporting the headphones that Dr. Dre helped deliver to the masses. The latest version of Beats Studio wireless are re-engineered for a more grown-up look, better noise-cancelling technology, longer battery life and wireless connectivity with 30 feet of coverage. The good doctor deserves a followup visit.
5. Bowers And Wilkins P7 ($399)
Credit: Bowers & Wilkins
With the comfort of a worn-in leather couch, the P7s are at the higher end of our price scale, and for good reason. From the manly leather smell to the speaker-inspired drivers inside, the headphones put you in another class. Notable features include solid design, stellar sound quality and, of course, compatibility with your iOS device. Make sure you ask someone with deep pockets and long arms for this pair.
6. Phiaton Bridge MS 500 Headphones With Mic ($300)
We always look for headphones that not only sound great, but make you stand out in a crowd when you’re wearing them. The MS 500s come complete with exciting sound quality, noticeable design, cord jacks on both ears to share your new Lorde track, and a built-in mic to allow you to multitask. Oh yeah, and they look cool, too.