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#5 UrbanEars Humlan headphone

About  $30.00

The UrbanEars Humlan portable headphones have a closed on-ear design. These iPod/cellphone-centric headphones have a 46-inch audio cord with a modified stereo 4-contact mini-plug that works with iPods, iPads, iPhones, and some cellphones, but it may not be compatible with other audio devices. The headphones have an inline microphone and inline remote with music player function, and call connect/disconnect controls. Additional features include machine-washable earcup pads and headband, and an output on the earcup that can be used to connect a second set of headphones. The Humlan comes with carrying bag that doubles as a washing machine bag for the earcup pads and headband. This model is covered by a 12-month warranty.

Detailed Test Results

Design and features:Although this portable on-ear model has a closed design, it doesn't form a tight seal with the ears so you'll be able to hear external sounds, such as a doorbell or car horn while wearing the headphones. The headphones have medium-high sensitivity so they can provide satisfying volume levels even when used with lower-powered portable audio devices. The Humlan has an integrated microphone and player function controls that are compatible with iPads, some iPods, and some iPhones and some other cellphones. The call connect/disconnect button can be used with some iPhones and some other cellphones. These headphones may not operate properly with some non-iPod players or other audio equipment. Features include machine-washable earcup pads and headband, an earcup mini-jack for connecting a second set of headphones, and a carrying bag that doubles as a washing machine bag for earcup pads and headband.

Sound quality: UrbanEars' Humlan delivers fair overall sound, with a warm character. Bass has so-so impact, sounds blunted, and doesn't go deep, and midrange is muffled. Treble is also muffled, and upper treble is very rolled off. Overall sound is closed in, with so-so dynamics.

Comfort: We found that these headphones produce a sense of moderate pressure on the ears, and the earpads might feel hot after prolonged use.

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#6 Grado Prestige SR325e headphone

About  $295.00

The Grado Prestige SR325e home/studio-style headphones have a open-air over-ear design. These headphones have a 66-inch audio cord with a stereo mini-plug. The Prestige SR325e has earcups that swivel, comes with a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter, and is covered by a 12-month warranty.

Detailed Test Results

Design and features:This home/studio-style over-ear model has an open-air design that doesn't muffle outside sounds, so you'll be able to hear external sounds, such as a doorbell or car horn, when you are wearing the headphones. The headphones have medium-high sensitivity so they can provide satisfying volume levels when used with even lower-powered portable audio devices. This model has earcups that swivel for storage or single ear monitoring, and it comes with a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter.

Sound quality: The Prestige SR325e delivers excellent overall sound, with a neutral to cool character. Bass has good impact, is well defined and goes fairly deep, but is a bit prominent and upper bass resonance is lacking. Midrange is very clean and has exceptional detail but lacks body, and treble is detailed and extended. The overall sound is somewhat open, with good dynamics. Compared to the Prestige SR325i that it replaces, the sound was similar but is subtly cleaner, a bit more relaxed, and the bass, midrange, and treble tonal regions are now better integrated into a sonic whole.

Comfort: We found that these headphones produce a sense of moderate pressure around the ears. Some users might find that the earpad foam feels a bit rough on their ears, and the earpads might feel hot after prolonged use.

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#7 Grado Prestige SR225e headphone

About  $200.00

The Grado Prestige SR225e home/studio-style headphones have an open-air over-ear design. These headphones have a 66-inch audio cord with a stereo mini-plug. The Prestige SR225e has earcups that swivel, comes with a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter, and is covered by a 12-month warranty.

Detailed Test Results

Design and features:This home/studio-style over-ear model has an open-air design that doesn't muffle outside sounds, so you'll be able to hear external sounds, such as a doorbell or car horn, when you are wearing the headphones. The headphones have medium-high sensitivity so they can provide satisfying volume levels even when used with lower-powered portable audio devices. This model has earcups that swivel for storage or single ear monitoring, and it comes with a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter.

Sound quality: The Prestige SR225e delivers excellent overall sound, with a neutral to cool character. Bass has good impact, is well defined, and goes fairly deep but is a bit prominent, and upper bass resonance is lacking. Midrange is clean and very detailed but lacks body, and treble is detailed and extended. The overall sound is somewhat open, with good dynamics.

Comfort: We found that these headphones produce a sense of moderate pressure around the ears. Some users might find that the earpad foam feels a bit rough on their ears, and the earpads might feel hot after prolonged use.

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#8 HiFiMan HE-400i headphone

About  $220.00

The HiFiMan HE-400i home/studio-style headphones have a open-air over-ear design. These headphones have a detachable 58-inch audio cord with a stereo mini-plug, and come with a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter. It's covered by a 12-month warranty.

Detailed Test Results

Design and features:This home/studio-style over-ear model has an open-air design that doesn't muffle outside sounds, so you'll be able to hear external sounds, such as a doorbell or car horn, when you are wearing the headphones. The headphones have low sensitivity, so while they can provide satisfying volume levels with home audio equipment and higher-powered portable audio devices, they may not be a good match for lower-powered portables. This model comes with detachable 58-inch audio cable and a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter.

Sound quality: The HE-400i delivers excellent overall sound, with a warm character. Bass has good impact and definition, and goes deep. Midrange is generally nicely balanced, full-bodied, and highly detailed, but the upper midrange is a bit dark. Treble is extended but very slightly recessed. The overall sound has good dynamics, and is open throughout the upper-bass and most of the midrange, but somewhat closed-in sounding in the upper midrange, and lacks treble air. The HE-400i has a sound that is similar to the HE-400s that is also covered in the Ratings, but HE-400i is a bit smoother throughout the midrange and the tonal balance is a little warmer (fuller) overall than the HE-400s.

Comfort: We found that these headphones produce a sense of moderate pressure around the ears, and the earpads may feel hot after prolonged use.

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