These days, wearing the right headphones is just as important as wearing the right shoes (well, almost). But with the audio market growing each year, there’s more choice than ever – and more room to get it wrong.
To save you getting lumped with crappy cans, we’ve sifted through the best of the buds to pick five key styles for all budgets this summer.
Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear Wireless
Best For: Commuting
Sometimes you just need to cut the cord. However, scrimp and you’ll spend every journey to work dealing with bad sound and dodgy battery life. This is where Sennheiser’s latest Momentum release comes in, which combines a black and red Matrix-style body with seriously high-quality audio, as well as 10 hours of juice and both NFC and Bluetooth connectivity.
Available at John Lewis, priced £169.95.
Best For: Travelling
Light on your head and your wallet, Philips’ latest high-powered headphones offer crisp sound and deep, rich bass all within an ultra-light, ultra-slim case that folds flat. They’re the perfect cans to take on holiday thanks to a tangle-free cable and soft ear cushions for complete comfort, while the around-ear design reduces noise from the snorer sat next to you on the flight.
Available at Philips, priced £34.99.
Best For: The Gym
Training requires headphones that can hold their nerve for as long as you can. These lightweight buds from Urbanista’s city range will still be blasting motivational tunes long after the 26 miles are over. With a standby time of 600 hours, 16 hours of music playback, plus a sweat-resistant finish and hands-free control, you can keep the focus on beating your BP.
Available later this month at Urbanista, priced TBC.
Bang + Olufsen Beoplay H4
Best For: Style
Bang + Olufsen is well known for making some of the most desirable audio kit around, and its new H4 model is no exception. Encased in a sleek, sturdy design with metal and leather plush finish, these wireless headphones might be at the upper end of the market, but they’re an investment worth making on account of their handsome looks and excellent sound quality.
Available at Amazon, priced £249.
Best For: Portability
While Apple has been holed up in Cupertino making the smallest (and easier to lose) headphones it can, Will.I.Am has been working on a more practical solution. With all the lightweight, portable benefits of single in-ear buds, but connected by a simple wire, his in-ear ‘Buttons’ look futuristic and come with a variety different sized buds to help you find the perfect fit.
Available at Apple, priced £169.95.