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Approved: Headphones

Approved: Headphones

It took us two months to decide on the headphones we’re currently using. It’s not that we spent that time screwing around on the interwebs (partial lie), it’s just that there’s a lot to decide on when picking up a new pair of cans. If you’re in the market, here are the ones we’d put a stamp of approval on.

Optimal listening experiences meet personal style. The new Acura ILX, powered by a 10-speaker ELS Sound System, brings you music the way it is heard in the recording studio, on the road. These sleek headphones will also enhance your listening experience, on the go.

1. AKG K550 Headphones – $390
They don’t come cheap, but the K550’s from AKG offer the sound of great open-back headphones with the intimate experience of a pair of closed-backs. They sport 50mm drivers, a surprising amount of comfort and a whole lot of swagger.

2. Urbanears Plattan – $60
If you’re as interested in style as you are performance, these hipster staples are an affordable way to get a bit of both. Available in a plethora of statement-making colors, these minimally designed headphones offer sound quality that isn’t half bad considering their sub-hundo price tag.

3. Panasonic RP-HTX7 Monitor Headphones – $30
If you’re looking for a pair of headphones you can buy with just the change in your sofa cushions, check out this pair from Panasonic. Yes, we are assuming you have really, really loose pockets and a penchant for carrying quarters, but still, for under fifty bucks, you can do no better than the RP-HTX7’s. We like the fact that we feel like we’re deejaying the morning drive on a radio station in the 70’s when we pop ‘em on, and that the sound quality is better than the price tag suggests.

4. Bowers & Wilkins P3 Headphones – $200
The first thing you’ll notice about these headphones from Bowers & Wilkins is how comfortable they are. They’re like wearing little pillows on your ears. Not only are they small, lightweight and foldable, but they deliver the kind of audio you’d expect from a bigger set of cans that swallow your ears.

5. Audio Technica ATH-A900 – $190
For under $200 these are a steal. Since Audio Technica rolled out the ATH-A9000x’s, the ATH-A900 headphones hit the discount bin. (The still-way-more-than-a-copy-of-Air-Bud-3 discount bin.) They produce rich bass, crystal clear vocals and come with a sharp blue coating.

6. Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones – $250
If you’re ready to venture out of the standard black look of a pair of Sony’s or the crisp white of a pair of Beats by Dre, check out these headphones from Sennheiser. Besides being a name associated with high-quality audio, Sennheiser looks like they hired a dude from some Italian fashion house to design these. Of course, all that wouldn’t matter if they sounded like crap, but obviously that’s not the case. The design of the diaphragm cuts down on distortion and Sennheiser’s E.A.R. technology sends the audio signal right into your ear.

7. Harman AKG K840L Wireless Headphones – $190
If you’re looking to cut the cord on your headphones, Harman offers up this tempting option in the sub-$200 range. The AKG K840L’s use Kleer wireless technology to deliver CD quality sound from your mp3 player. With a range of 65 feet, you could wear them around the house or office without disturbing people who might find your taste in music a tad peculiar.

8. Denon AH-D5000 Reference Headphones – $550
The most striking thing about these pricey music blasters is obviously the real mahogany used in the housing. Besides the design that looks fitted for listening while in a fine robe with some Highland Park, the audio performance offered is unparalleled. You’ll feel like you’re at a concert whenever you don them (sweaty crowd not included).

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