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#29 Sennheiser HD 2.30i headphone

About  $64.00

The Sennheiser HD 2.30i home/studio-style headphones have a closed on-ear design. These iPod/cellphone-centric headphones have a detachable 55-inch audio cord with a modified stereo 4 contact mini-plug that works with iPods, iPads, iPhones, and some cellphones, but may not be compatible with other audio devices. The headphones have an inline remote with a built-in microphone and integrated volume, music player function, and call connect/disconnect controls. The HD 2.30i has earcups that fold for ease of storage and transport, comes with a carrying bag, and is covered by a 24-month warranty.

Detailed Test Results

Design and features:These headphones have medium sensitivity so they can provide satisfying volume levels when used with home audio equipment and all but the lowest-powered portable audio devices. The HD 2.30i has detachable 55-inch long audio cable with an inline volume control that works with iPads and some iPod and iPhone models, plus 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-Apple/non-Android mobile devices or other audio equipment. This model has earcups fold for ease of storage/transport and comes with a carrying bag.

Sound quality: We found the HD 2.30i delivers sound quality that falls in the good range - it reproduces music and voice reasonably well despite the obvious shortcomings in its sound. The overall sound can best be summarized as somewhat hazy, constricted, and congested. Bass (as in bass drums, bass guitars, stand-up bass, etc.) has good impact, but is slightly soft and boomy and the deepest bass is lacking. The midrange (voices, guitars, horns, etc.) is somewhat nasal, hazy, constricted (as in straightjacketed) and congested (think sonic traffic jam), and slightly soft. The treble (cymbals, the upper range of violins, etc.) is fairly extended slightly smeared (sounds that should have a delicate shimmer sound blurred ). While the sound has a good sense of liveliness it is somewhat closed-in -- sound-wise it is somewhat obvious that you have something covering your ears.

Comfort: We found that these headphones produce a sense of moderate pressure on the ears. As typical of on-ear models the ear pads might feel hot and/or sticky after prolonged use. If this model is not carefully placed on the ears, which will be more forward than you expect, the sound quality suffers - the bass becomes subdued and the sound becomes thin and nasal.

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#30 Marshall Major II headphone

About  $55.00

The Marshall Major II home/studio-style headphones have a closed on-ear design. These iPod/cellphone-centric headphones have a coiled detachable 47-inch audio cord with a modified stereo 4 contact mini-plug /that works with iPods, iPads, iPhones, and some cellphones, but may not be compatible with other audio devices. The headphones have an inline microphone and inline remote with a music player function/call connect/disconnect control. Additional features include audio cable jacks on both earcups which allows the audio cord to be connected to either side (the unused mini-jack can also be used as an aux output jack for a second set of headphones); the earcups also fold for ease of storage/transport. The Major II is covered by a 12-month warranty.

Detailed Test Results

Design and features:Although this home/studio-style on-ear model lacks active noise reduction, the closed design helps to reduce both outside noise and sound leaking out into your environment. The headphones have medium-high sensitivity so they can provide satisfying volume levels when used with home audio equipment and even lower-powered portable audio devices. The Major II 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-Apple/non-Android mobile devices or other audio equipment. Additional features include audio jacks on left and right earcups that allow the audio cable to be attached on either side (the unused mini-jack can be used as an aux output jack for a second set of headphones) a detachable coiled audio cable with a fully stretched length of more then 60 inches, and earcups that fold for ease of storage/transport.

Sound quality: The Major II delivers sound quality that falls into the good range, with sound that can best be described as full but muffled. Non-critical listeners may find it satisfactory for music and movie soundtrack playback despite a few shortcomings. Bass (the tonal region that more or less covers bass drums, bass guitars, stand-up bass, etc.) has good impact and goes deep, but is thumpy and a bit prominent compared to the midrange. Midrange (the tonal range that more or less covers voices, guitars, horns, etc.) is muffled. Treble (the tonal range that covers cymbals, the upper range of violins, etc.) is subdued compared to the midrange, and the upper treble sounds are cut off. The sound is closed in (lacks a sense of openness, making you well aware sound-wise that headphones are covering your ears), congested (think sonic traffic jam), and lacks a bit of liveliness.

Comfort: We found that these headphones produce a moderate sense of pressure on the ears. The ear pads might feel hot and/or sticky after prolonged use.

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#31 Panasonic RP-HD10C headphone

About  $194.00

The Panasonic RP-HD10C home/studio-style headphones have a closed over-ear design. These headphones are intended for use with iPods, iPads, some other cell phones, as well as standard audio devices. The RP-HD10C has earcups can be shifted horizontally for fit and swiveled to flat for ease of carrying and storage. It comes with a detachable 119-inch long standard audio cable, a detachable 50-inch long audio cable with a built-in mic and call answer/music player control button for iPhone/iPod/iPad and smartphone use, a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter, and a storage bag. It is covered by a 3-month warranty.

Detailed Test Results

Design and features:These headphones have high sensitivity so they can provide satisfying volume levels when used with lower-powered portable audio devices. The RP-HD10C has earcups that can be shifted horizontally for fit and swiveled to flat for ease of carrying and storage. It comes with a detachable 119-inch long standard audio cable, a detachable 50-inch long audio cable with a built-in mic and call answer/music player control button for iPhone/iPod/iPad and smartphone use, a mini-plug-to-1/4-inch-plug adapter, and a storage bag.

Sound quality: We found the RP-HD10C delivers sound quality that falls in the good range - it reproduces music and voice reasonably well despite the obvious shortcomings in its sound. The overall sound can best be summarized as boomy bass coupled with a somewhat thin and occasionally piercing midrange. Bass (as in bass drums, bass guitars, stand-up bass, etc.) has decent impact, but is somewhat prominent and boomy, and the deepest bass is lacking. The midrange (voices, guitars, horns, etc.) is somewhat thin, gritty, hazy, congested (think sonic traffic jam), slightly nasal, and the upper midrange has a peakyness that can sometimes sound piercing. The treble (cymbals, the upper range of violins, etc.) is extended, but prominent, sizzly (sounds that should have a delicate shimmer have a sound reminiscent of bacon frying), and dry sounding. While the sound has a decent sense of liveliness it is somewhat closed-in -- sound-wise it is somewhat obvious that you have something covering your ears.

Comfort: We found that these headphones produce a sense of moderate pressure around the ears. As typical of over-ear models the pads might feel hot and/or sticky after prolonged use. When wearing this model while walking the vibrations from each foot step can be heard through the headphones.

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#32 beats by dre Beats EP headphone

About  $96.00

The beats by dre Beats EP home/studio-style headphones have a closed on-ear design. These iPod/cellphone-centric headphones have a 51-inch audio cord with a modified stereo 4 contact mini-plug that works with iPods, iPads, iPhones, and some cellphones, but may not be compatible with other audio devices. The headphones have inline remote with a built-in microphone and integrated volume, music player function, and call connect/disconnect controls. The Beats EP comes with a carrying bag and is covered by a 12-month warranty.

Detailed Test Results

Design and features:These headphones have high sensitivity so they can provide satisfying volume levels when used with lower-powered portable audio devices. The Beats EP has an inline volume control that works with iPads and some iPod and iPhone models, plus 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-Apple/non-Android mobile devices or other audio equipment. This model comes with a carrying bag.

Sound quality: We found the Beats EP delivers sound quality that falls in the good range - it reproduces music and voice reasonably well despite the obvious shortcomings in its sound. The overall sound can best be summarized as bassy and somewhat muffled. Bass (as in bass drums, bass guitars, stand-up bass, etc.) has good impact and goes fairly deep, but is somewhat boomy and prominent. The midrange (voices, guitars, horns, etc.) is fairly even but somewhat muffled. The treble (cymbals, the upper range of violins, etc.) is fairly extended, but subdued and soft. The sound is somewhat closed-in (sound-wise it is somewhat obvious that you have something covering your ears) and lacks a bit of liveliness.

Comfort: We found that these headphones produce a sense of moderate pressure on the ears. As typical of on-ear models the ear pads might feel hot and/or sticky after prolonged use. When wearing this model while walking the vibrations from each foot step can be heard through the headphones.

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