2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Headphones and Earbuds (list)
Who doesn’t love music? It’s universal. Each of us may have different tastes and preferences, but music as a means of entertainment is a shared source of both enjoyment and therapy. That makes a good pair of headphones an absolute perfect gift. Here is a list of sheer audible sweetness. Whether you’re looking for on-ear, over-ear or Earbuds, we have options for each. Take a peek and shop smart!
California Headphones Loredo On-Ear Headphones
Are you ready for something completely different? I wasn’t. California Headphones new line of headphones is aimed solely at accurate reproduction of live music and/or acoustic instruments. Lovers of Rock, Country and Indie music now have an entire company devoted to optimizing personal audio products with such music in mind. Their first offerings, fresh out of a successful Kickstarter oven, are the over-ear Laredo and Silverado headphone sets.
A few jam sessions with the Loredo on-ears and we were convinced. The audio is nothing short of immaculate. The clarity is crystal and the attention given to the highs and lows is massively appreciated. The result is a set of cans that focuses on live music and acoustic sound without short-changing your other favorite music tastes.
Rest assured your loved one is receiving a high quality gift. Care is also taken in the choice of the materials used, both inside and out. The metal and leather construction used for these new cans, offers a more retro styling. They’re sturdy and comfortable with true leather ear cushions. On the inside, we have 40mm titanium driver, laudable frequency and super low harmonic distortion. Oh it’ll be a very Happy Holidays for some lucky loved one.
Beats by Dre Mixr On-Ear DJ Headphones
Every now and then we’re granted the chance to play with a toy, where the performance or the impression it instills go far beyond what our words can convey. That phenomenon lives in the David Guetta inspired Mixr On-ear Headphones from Beats By Dre. If unrivaled audio bliss is your aim, while shopping this holiday season, then look no further.
The Mixr by Beats are handsome show stoppers made from solid but flexible materials. They come with multiple 3.5mm jacks for sharing daisy chained connections. One of those cables carries an in-line mic and remote controls for phone calls and media playbackl. They feature rotating earcups for a DJ to stay in the zone while remaining connected to the crowd. High, lows and mid-range sounds are pitch perfect. I have literally never experienced such aural ambrosia.
The unit doesn’t come cheap. But honestly comparable priced competitors don’t come within earshot of the Mixr’s performance caliber.
Logitech UE 9000 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
In realm of wireless audio headphones, this year Logitech’s UE 9000 Bluetooth headphones easily dominate. Audio playback is fantastic. It gets even better when the unit is tethered to your favorite audio device using the included 3.5mm cable.
All your necessary controls are right on the headphones. You can answer, hang up and mute calls. You can also pause media tracks, skip them or play a previous track. The UE 9000 Bluetooth headphones also look and feel great. We were able to enjoy 4-hours of uninterrupted music and phone calls. Not bad! The Logitech UE 9000 Wireless Bluetooth headphones are a pricey but luxurious gift, that is well crafted and comfortable
V-Moda Crossfade LP2 Limited Edition
V-Moda is a company we’re very familiar with, here at GR. They make great headphones, with ample style and polish. We took the Crossfade Lp2 Limited Edition over-ear headphones out for a spin early this year. While we were more than pleased with the audio performance, it was the stellar and near-indestructible construction that won us over so completely. Two detachable kevlar-reinforced cables, SpeakEasy microphone and new SharePlay cable for sharing your sounds are among the high end aspects of this one.
The V-Moda Crossfade LP2 LE headphones are comfortable and surprisingly flexible. They also come with an in-line remote, on one of the cables, for phone calls and media management. The noise is also adequately isolated even when riding through busy city streets. Finally they offer a bit of personal flair with the removable/swappable “Speaker Shields”. Overall, they sound better than they look and they look real tough! Pack it all up in that handy carrying case and you are good to go.
JAYS A-Jays Four Earbuds
We’ve run through many earbud offerings this year. Several were laudable but only one carried the triple-threat of performance, comfort and affordability to new highs. The JAYs a-Jays earbud headphones for mobile devices, will make a marvelous holiday gift.
We received the snow white version. But they also come in a distinguished onyx. Each is boxed with a handsome carrying case and a generous 5-set cache of earbud tips made to fit an assortment of ear sizes. Of course you get a handy in-line remote that functions as it should with easy to reach buttons, which are sufficiently responsive. But the endgame audio quality, even puts some larger on- and over-ear headphones to shame. This is a sub-$100 gift great for workouts, bike rides, walks or just sitting and enjoy your music library in canorous enjoyment.
Phiaton Moderna MS 200 Earbuds
Giving the a-Jays a grueling run for their money are the crimson-colored Moderna MS 200 Earbuds from Phiaton. The company is no slouch when it comes to audio and the MS 200 Earbuds prove this. These are another mobile solution with an in-line mic to control your media and phone calls. They feature a “sippy cup” style ear tips. These are Phiaton’s patented RightFit ear tips and they are gift form the comfort gods. This and the materials used, produce outstanding audio and make an even better holiday surprise.
The MS 200 are packed with 4-sets of ear tip sizes. Plus you get a set of Comply Foam tips that mold to your unique ear fit. Part of the styling is the result of the MS 200′s dual chamber construction. As if by magic, the acoustic genies at Phiaton have managed to harness the deep bass found in many higher-priced on-ear headphones with the clarity of low-to-mid ranges sounds more often heard in more open-ear audio products.
They’re really a cut above the competition. The audio reproduction out-performs the a-Jays above, but the higher cost of of the MS 200 may push holiday shoppers on to other options. If coins are of no concern, then please give the gift of unparalleled sound with the Phiaton Moderna MS 200 earbuds.