Which headphones are best? My 2015 Round Up

Audio is a huge part of my life – whether I’m listening to Andy Weir’s “The Martian” audiobook while cleaning the house, getting turn-by-turn directions using Co-rider while cycling around rural Australia, joining in on a Sendle team Hangout in the office, blocking out ambient noise so I can concentrate, or falling asleep to Dan Carlin’s Horrible History – it’s everywhere!

Getting the right pair of headphones for the job is essential. Here’s what’s currently in my rotation.

Jabra SPORT Wireless+

This bluetooth headset is my current favourite headphone and the iPhone accessory I carry (I don’t even carry a wallet). It’s elegant design and durability are fantastic.

Jabra SPORT Wireless+
Jabra SPORT Wireless+

Pros

  • Great for running/cycling because you can hear what’s going on around you
  • Includes an FM radio for when you run out of audio content
  • Stays comfortably in the ears – doesn’t fall out easily at all
  • Packs away nice and small
  • Micro-usb charging
  • Easy to use controls
  • Best quality microphone of the bunch
  • Very durable so far – it even survived going through the wash!

Cons

  • On the expensive side (A$150)
  • Range: if it’s in my left pocket it struggles – but that’s the case with all my bluetooth headsets so far.

Plantronics Backbeat Go 2

These headphones are the slimmest of the bunch but I struggled to get a good fit.

ProsScreen Shot 2016-01-25 at 7.05.11 PM

  • Almost half the price of the Jabra (A$85)
  • Fits so snug that it blocks out noise
  • Packs away incredibly small
  • Micro-usb charging

Cons

  • Blocks out too much noise for cycling/running to be safe
  • Falls out far too easily, I tried many of the different sizes with no luck
  • Range: if it’s in my left pocket it struggles – but that’s the case with all my bluetooth headsets so far.

Avantree Jogger

These headphones are the slimmest of the bunch but I struggled to get a good fit.

ProsScreen Shot 2016-01-25 at 7.05.01 PM

  • Cheapest set (A$52)
  • Fits very comfortably and doesn’t get tangled!
  • Great for running/cycling because you can hear what’s going on around you
  • Great customer support

Cons

  • Not as durable (had to get it replaced a couple of times but the customer support were great). That was the old discontinued model so 4.0 may be better.
  • Range: if it’s in my left pocket it struggles – but that’s the case with all my bluetooth headsets so far.

Apple EarPods with Remote and Mic

This standard set is fantastic to get free from Apple but I can never bring myself to shell out the $45 once they invariable get broken or lost. The lack of bluetooth seems to make it hard to justify the expense but having a wired pair of headphones always helps.

Pross-l1000

  • Never need to charge it as it plugs right in!
  • Great quality for phone calls
  • Comes free with your (albeit almost thousand dollar) iPhone

Cons

  • Pricey (but I find all decent wired headphones to be pricey considering the little technology inside)
  • The cable seems bound to get caught with me!

Sony MDR-NC31EM Digital Noise Cancelling Headset

This is the newest addition to my collection and so far they’re going great.

Pros$_35

  • These were great for my flight back from Canada as they blocked out the loud engine and air conditioning sounds of the plane
  • Fits in so snug that it blocks out lots of other noise
  • Comfortable enough to wear all day in the office so I can concentrate (listening to Lovers in Japan on repeat, yes, yes I do)

Cons

  • The noise cancelling controls are half way down the cable which makes it a bit awkward
  • Another wired set and less portable than the iPhone ones so they stay at my desk
  • They’re only mildly noise cancelling (doesn’t block out voices etc) but that’s to be expected with earbuds at this price range.

2 Replies to “Which headphones are best? My 2015 Round Up”

  1. I have the “Sony” headphones, as made by Audio-technica. They are pretty decent but mine have a right angle jack and the clip on the battery brick broke, so they hang heavy. Sound wise they are okay, especially good for audiobooks, but you really need the noise cancelling on for decent music (adds to the clarity and low end). I do like that you can still run them if the battery dies, some don’t have that option.

    Personally, I find it hard to go past my Audio-technica ATH50s. Definitely only for home or desk use, but everything sounds wrong after listening through these babies.

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