Your Commute: Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless
Wireless headphones seem like a needless luxury, until the cable wraps round someone’s bag and you’re almost decapitated as you step off the train.
Time was bluetooth cans offered low-quality sound for a premium price tag, but the latest iterations are indiscernible from their wired cousins. B&W’s new P7s are the best of the lot, with hifi-quality drivers encased in memory foam earpads, to keep you comfortable when there’s a leaves-on-the-line delay.
Available at Bowers & Wilkins, priced £319.
The Gym: Samsung Gear IconX
You’re expected to cart a lot of kit to the gym these days. Joining your towel and water bottle you now need your phone, to track your steps; a heart rate monitor, to make sure you’re working hard enough; and earphones to make the whole experience more bearable.
So kudos to Samsung, which has stuffed the latter trio into one tiny package. The IconX is a completely wireless earphone that plays music, tracks your performance and gives audio updates on how far you’ve gone and how hard you’ve worked. You’ve still got to bring a towel, though.
Available at Samsung, priced £169.99.
Travelling: BOSE QuietComfot 20
It takes the 10-hour drone of a jet engine to make you realise the value of noise-cancelling headphones. But most are too bulky for the man on the move.
BOSE compresses all that tech into a pocketable earphone, somehow ditching bulk without sacrificing sound quality. A switch on the cable lets you toggle between blocked-out-world and ‘Aware’ mode – so you don’t end up with the chicken, when you wanted the fish.
Available at BOSE, priced £199.95.
Running: Monster Adidas Response Sport
There are few things worse for your PB than having to stop every 200 metres to put your earbuds back in. No risk of that with Monster’s hook-up with Adidas. They feature a clever in-ear hook that means they don’t shift, no matter how intense your sprint session.
They’re also sweatproof and, while not exactly audiophile-grade, are loud and bassy enough to keep your legs pumping.
Available at Amazon, priced £29.95.
Swimming: Sony Waterproof Walkman
Music makes you train harder, says science, a benefit that swimmers have long missed out on. Sony’s underwater earbuds mean you can now distract yourself from the pain of those extra lengths.
They come with an inbuilt MP3 player, so no need to wrap your iPod in a sandwich bag, and enough playtime to power you through the most arduous triathlon. Plus, you won’t spend the rest of the day banging water out of your ears.
Available at Currys, priced £79.99.
Work: Master & Dynamic ME05
Over-ear cans seem like the best way to drown out your colleagues’ interminable chatter. But they’re also tempting for your colleagues when they “just have to see this YouTube video”.
Master & Dynamics’ in-ears are crafted from solid brass to reduce resonance, with neodymium drivers that give the performance of big headphones in a package you can slip in your pocket. Which means no one can ‘borrow’ them when you head into a meeting.
Available at Master & Dynamic, priced £159.