The beauty of clear sound is something no man can deny. Crisp treble, deep bass and angelic tones are a wonder to behold – these are specifically the reasons why the discerning gent needs to think carefully about the choice of his headphones if he is going to take pleasure in the sound they generate. Elysium Magazine has taken its pick of the best over-ear headphones available right now to give you our choice contenders to treat your ears.
Firstly let’s get you up to speed with the over-ear headphone category. These are the type of cans that do well for use at home or when travelling. In any circumstance they produce brilliant sound – deeper, richer and more atmospheric. Noise cancellation is a major feature of this category too – both to block out noise from your surroundings and to keep your music private to only you. Finally, this type of headphone is the more conspicuous type so style and colour are important considerations. Let’s take a look at the line-up vying to rest upon your crown.
Fanny Wang 2000 Series
Firstly let’s get the name out of the way. A cheeky word play on male & female private parts, the name just demands attention. Once you get over this, the 2000 series cans are actually a very good pair that marries the fashion and tech for the premium audio connoisseur.
With a 5 Watt solid-state headphone app and 50mm dual plated drivers, these headphones boast a very high level of audio quality. Similar in appearance to the Beats by Dre range, they are comfortable to wear and not too heavy on the head. The duo-jack is a nice touch for anyone who frequently finds they are sharing their iPod music with a partner or friends, whilst the toggle on/off 6dB bass boost really gives depth to lovers of big beat house or hip-hop music. They are available in red or tuxedo black. With a name like this, you’ll want eargasms!
Price: RRP £199.95
Further details: www.fannywang.com
House of Marley Destiny TTR
The Destiny TTR sits at the top of the House of Marley headphone range and it’s clear to see why. With a focus on more natural materials rather than plastics these cans have a very high build quality – featuring a headband and earpieces made from aluminium and steel. Luxurious leather is used on the support headband and ear pads making these feel very comfortable on the head. Perhaps the only downside with all the natural materials is the added weight. They are a lot heavier than other headphones but gym-going discerning gents need not worry too much, unless you plan on using these when flying long haul.
Sound quality is great, especially for fans of detailed acoustic tracks. These noise-cancelling cans offer a nice wide sound with a detailed and well-resolved treble that’s a little more insightful and better defined than some comparable models. The excellent carry case is a very nice touch and ideal for those constantly on the move and in need of a sturdy compartment to keep these cans secure.
Price: RRP £250
Further details: www.thehouseofmarley.co.uk
Philips Fedelio X1
The Philip’s range has received some high praise indeed and top-of-the-range Fedelio X1 is no exception. They are created to look and sound good. Build quality is impressive and in the hands they feel like a premium product. The thick aluminium trim of each earcup gives the cool-edged touch only metal can provide while the headband is wrapped in real leather which helps to avoid the scratch-prone chrome metal frustration and will wear a lot better with age. The ear pads feel great too – thick, large and covered in black velour giving them caressing feeling over the ears.
Sound quality is aided with the 50mm neodymium drivers, which are considerably bigger than the ‘standard size’ 40mm drivers other brands go for. This gives these cans excellent sound quality – from a wide soundstage through to clear and fluent top-end notes.
Price: RRP £269.95
Further details: www.philips.co.uk
Beats by Dre Studio
These are perhaps the cans that started the original trend for high-end headphones with a strong sense of fashion. The man whose famous rap lyric is paraphrased in the title to this article has brought together the style-conscious and music aficionado in a holy union like no other tech brand. These Studio cans delivery on looks with a slick glossy finish now available in a myriad of colours, whilst the ergonomic fit makes these lightweight cans feel easy on the head.
These headphones wouldn’t be great if it wasn’t for the sound quality and these deliver with exceptionally crisp and balanced audio response with a tight low-end and warm mids. The downside with the Studio cans is that they cannot be used without batteries and the glossy finish is smudge-prone – so stock up on batteries and operate a fingers-off rule respectively.
Price: RRP £269.95
Further details: uk.beatsbydre.com
Bang & Olufsen H6
The new H6 line of over-ear headphones deliver the expectations you’d expect of B&O – stunning looks and exquisite quality. These are a pair of cans that you will feel good about having on your head. Fairly compact in size they go big on style with plenty of leather work on the headband and ear pads – available in either champagne or black colour options.
Sound is balanced with a bass system that’s not overly punchy. These cans are powered by the ‘standard sized’ 40mm drivers that keep things clean and simple. If classical music is your favoured genre, rather than house or rock, these are the cans that will benefit you the most.
Price: RRP £329
Further details: www.bang-olufsen.co.uk