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When we’re testing headphones, of course we’ll look for superior audio quality and performance above all else, but if you’re going to use them, why wouldn’t you want them to look as good as they sound? if you’re trying to distract yourself on the plane, of course you’ll want noise-canceling that blocks out baby’s whimpers, and for long runs, you’ll want earmuffs that stay under sweat. But in the quest for epic sound, headphones can sometimes get bogged down with clunky controls and awkward designs.
Reading: Best looking headphone
The best-looking headphones don’t just make you look more stylish, they pack all the crystal-clear sound and extra features you want from something traditionally labeled audiophile. there may have been a time when all you saw was a sea of airpods on public transportation, but these days audio companies make their headphones like works of art, like using premium leather materials on the earmuffs or create headbands with unique shapes.
Not only are you seeing more streamlined and modernized designs, headphones have practically become must-have accessories. wired headphones became a “new” phenomenon again in 2020 as a status symbol for urban trendsetters. Asos has even started selling fake headphones that don’t actually work as pieces of jewelry.
So whether you’re looking for a cheap pair of headphones that don’t look like they’re going to break in a week, or a pair that looks like the audio equivalent of a sports car, we’ve picked out some of the most stylish. headphones we’ve seen, which also sound great. while these headphones may look a little different, they all have a few key criteria in common: top-notch sound performance, a variety of features, and comfort.
1. urban planner los angeles
When we talk about design, we also mean what’s under the hood, and the City Planner’s Angels headphones are impeccably designed, inside and out. This sleek, minimalist pair is the world’s first self-charging wireless earbuds, so you can say goodbye to your earbuds running out of battery.
Inspired by music’s love of music, parties and, of course, sunlight, these solar-powered headphones convert light (both indoors and outdoors) into energy, keeping your music fresh. the night. you can’t turn them off like traditional earphones, as the technology means these earphones are always charging (however, a usb-c cable is included if you want to turn them on the old-fashioned way).
Not only does the headband look sleek and sophisticated, it houses the solar cells that keep this pair powered up, while also maintaining an attractive “Midnight Black” or “Sand Gold” finish. But there’s more to these earphones than their self-charging technology: Hybrid active noise cancellation and 40mm dynamic drivers create a deep soundstage that feels super immersive, thanks to a comfortable pair of earphones.
urban lost angels don’t just sound good, they look as good as the city they’re inspired by.
buy urbanista los angeles wireless… $199
2. grade sr 325x
The grade sr 325xs aren’t just a great pair of wired headphones, their entire prestige series is as elegant as it is classic. With a level of commitment and care not typically found in most of the audio industry, these headphones are handcrafted in Brooklyn by the family-owned company that has been in business since 1953.
This isn’t just a flimsy pair that will break just by shoving it in your bag – the SR 325XS are made from premium materials like aluminum, leather, and copper that are built to last a lifetime. The perfectly circular ear cups have a striking speaker-like mesh center piece that immediately stands out. Inside, you’ll find upgraded 44mm x-series drivers that deliver even better harmonic performance and resolution, so you hear every note with the utmost clarity.
Instead of creating a bulky, overly-plush headband, Grade Headphones have just enough padding to keep you comfortable all day, and nothing more. that has the added bonus of making these headphones super lightweight. While we’re not big fans of bold logos or text on audio gear, we are fans of thick, solid cable that uses grade so it doesn’t fray. Grado’s SR 325xs are a standout piece and a statement to Grado’s longstanding craftsmanship.
buy grade sr 325x $295
3. apple airpods max
It’s no surprise that apple headphones look as premium as they feel. These are one of the most comfortable over-ear headphones we’ve ever tested, and that’s incredibly important to getting the most out of Apple’s surprisingly good noise cancellation.
The flexible headband relieves all the normal pressure you’d feel when wearing headphones with regular ear cushions. That’s thanks to a woven mesh headband that molds to the shape of your head and an easily adjustable stainless steel frame. they’re also impressively light, considering their weight at 13.6 ounces.
airpods max carry its elegant and minimalist design to its controls. one button controls playback and volume, while the only other button turns active noise cancellation on or off or activates transparency mode. Apple has included six outward-facing microphones in each earbud, and the result is stellar noise cancellation. these headphones block out a lot of noise across a wide range of frequencies, from heat pipes and a microwave at home, to the muffled roar of an airplane and the chatter on public transportation.
Apple doesn’t skimp on sound quality either, putting “computational audio” into these headphones that use two inward-facing microphones to automatically adjust their equalization several times a second. If you want a pair of headphones that block out all the noise you don’t want, while providing a cocoon of mind-blowing sound, the AirPods Max are your best bet.
buy airpods for max $479.00
4. crossfade v-fashion 2
v-moda, long a dj’s favorite audio brand, sounds like the definition of cool. They’ve released a special edition of Jimi Hendrix and Rolling Stones headphones, but they’ll blow your mind with even their most basic pair.
Your bluetooth headphones feature v-moda’s signature hexagonal ear pads, along with a sturdy metal headband. they’re designed for both wired and wireless pure analog listening, so it’s no wonder why professional musicians all over the world love their music. with pairing on multiple devices at once (for example, on your phone and your laptop), they’re also great for casual listening.
v-moda crossfade 2 comes up when it comes to tech features: the headphones boast up to 14 hours of wireless playback on a single charge and unlimited listening in wired mode. Audiophiles will also appreciate the 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers for deep, clear bass and an immersive 3D soundstage. the large memory foam ear pads and flexible steel headband provide plenty of comfort for those longer listening sessions.
Whether you’re sitting down to your next jam session or just rocking out in your room, v-moda’s crossfade 2 delivers pure, unrivaled sound.
buy v-moda crossfade 2 $349.99
5. levinson brand no. 5909
the levinson brand no. the 5909 on-ear headphones feel like you’re indulging yourself, both in terms of audio quality and sheer aesthetics.
the no. 5909 follows Mark Levinson’s philosophy of manufacturing industrial audio equipment with carefully designed touches. Thanks to its connection to the automotive industry, the exterior of the headset is made from a fairly solid aluminum frame, with an attractive shiny metallic finish.
The frame of the headband is premium textured leather and glides on smoothly if you need to adjust the fit to sit comfortably on your head. the headphones’ active noise cancellation is immersive and highly effective, even without a very tight fit. they get up to 34 hours of music playback per charge and have an ambient mode that filters out important sounds (ie sounds of traffic or a passing train) while still feeling the music playing.
but what’s really impressive is how not. 5909 pairs with Hi-Res Audio, thanks to Sony’s LDAC and Qualcomm’s AptX adaptive codecs for near-lossless Bluetooth streaming. you can adjust the equalizer in the app, but the depth and purity of the sound is almost unbeatable as is.
While the price may turn some off, we can’t deny that Mark Levinson isn’t. 5909 is the lamborghini of the personal audio world.
buy levinson brand no. 5909 wireless… $999