Form & Function
More than just pieces of audio equipment, headphones have developed into a bona fide fashion accessory. Once only widely available in standard issue black, audio brands and designers are now keeping a watchful eye on trends and listening to customer demand for personality – producing new colours, shapes and features for the modern market.
From bold statement options to pared-back minimalist designs, there is something for every taste and personality these days. That’s why we’re helping you navigate through the world of fashion-forward headphones, to find a pair that delivers in terms of both style and functionality.
Check out our ten recommendations below.
1. Bose Soundlink On Ear Bluetooth Headphones
Boasting over 15 hours of playback time and an extremely lightweight form, these wireless Bluetooth headphones from esteemed American audio brand Bose receive top marks all round.
We especially love the touch of tan leather on the inside for a luxurious finish, as well as the coordinating carry case.
2. Master & Dynamic MH40 Leather Over-Ear Headphones
If you favour a more retro appearance, indulge yourself with these old-school-feel headphones by high-end New York-based label Master & Dynamic.
Crafted from rich brown leather and steel, they not only look the part, but deliver on the audio front too – expect crisp, warm sound courtesy of the 45mm neodymium high-performance drivers.
Available at Mr Porter, priced £320.
3. Urbanears Humlan Headphones
New to the Urbanears family is the Humlan model, offering a clean-cut, minimalist design in a range of vibrant shades. Our favourite is the rich indigo colourway, which offers just the right amount of statement without coming across try-hard.
Key features include the ‘Zound Plug’, which lets a friend plug their headphones into yours for instant music sharing, as well as a microphone and remote for picking up calls and hands-free talking.
The removable sponge ear pads are another great practical feature, allowing them to be thrown in the wash with your clothes.
4. Sennheiser Momentum M2 In Brown
The next instalment in Sennheiser’s Momentum line, these newly-launched headphones offer style and function in one neat and tidy package.
With padded ears for comfort and noise isolation, the high-end mix of brushed steel and leather gives this pair a masculine and premium feel.
The innovative side sliders also allow the headphones to collapse and fold away for easy transportation.
Available at sennheiser.com, priced £269.99.
5. B&O Play Form 2i Headphones In Red
Slim, sleek and sophisticated, these headphones are a pure delight for all the senses. First designed over 30 years ago and now permanently displayed in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Bang and Olufsen’s Form 2 model is more than just a vessel for listening to music.
We love the intuitive extendable arms and tilting ear pads on this updated pair, bringing maximum comfort and functionality.
Available at beoplay.com, priced £109.
6. Beats Solo2 In Stone Gray
Going a day without seeing a pair of Beats headphones can be hard, being one of the most commercially popular audio brands of recent years.
However, the Dr. Dre-founded company does offer some more subtle options, such as this wireless Beats Solo2 model in a sophisticated grey shade; perfect if you want to avoid looking too much like a teenager.
Available at beatsbydre.com, priced £169.95.
7. Bowers & Wilkins P3 Foldable Headphones
These simple headphones are thoroughly thought-out: memory foam pads that shape to your ears, swappable cables depending on your device and a clamshell case all come as standard.
With a selection of smart colours to choose from, we’re drawn to the white and grey pair for a sophisticated yet noticeable finish.
Available at Mr Porter, priced £170.
8. Grado RS2e On Ear Headphones
Brooklyn-based brand Grado has been producing high quality audio accessories since the fifties, remaining a family-run company to this day.
Merging premium materials – check out the rich mahogany detailing on this pair – with patented sound technology, the label continues to appeal to music heads and style mavens alike.
We’ve added the critically acclaimed RS2e model to our list for a true investment pair that will stand the test of time.
Available at gradolabs.com, priced £499.95.
9. Marshall Major II Black Headphones
Just like its world renowned amps, these classic headphones from Marshall come complete with rock ‘n’ roll styling and exquisite sound performance to boot.
With a few tweaks on the original Major model, the Major II brings updated sound quality, ergonomics and durability – creating a pair of headphones that function as brilliantly as they look.
Available at marshallheadphones.com, priced £99.
10. Bloc & Roc S2 Gold 24k Deluxe Headphones
In retaliation to mass-produced headphones from further afield, British brand Bloc & Roc brings us this premium pair completely crafted on UK soil.
Made by hand on the outskirts of London, each pair of its S2 Deluxe headphones are plated with 24-carat solid gold and finished with lambskin leather headbands.
Luxury audio equipment at its finest.