When the weather is glorious and you have a decent tune playing in your ears you can feel on top of the world, even when you are walking to somewhere hideous like the DVLA, the Viper sunglasses from Zungle cut out the cumbersome combination of headphones and sunglasses or earphones with their dangling wires by turning the sunglasses themselves in headphones. The Viper uses bone conduction and Bluetooth to allow you to listen to your music wirelessly but at the same time keeps you connected to the world around you.
The Backbeat GO 810 from Plantronics are over-ear headphones featuring Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) with dual mode and up to 22 hours of battery life per charge, available in Graphite Black, Bone White and an attractive Navy Blue. Self-titled as “escapeware” the dual mode ANC lets you choose how much background noise you allow to penetrate the headset depending on how noisy the environment is, whether you are on the daily commute or simply trying to drown out the family around you.
We were lucky enough to be sent three out of the four headphones Periodic Audio has to offer: the Magnesium, Titanium, Beryllium as well as the Nickel. This young company wants to create the best audio experience by stripping away all the bulk and unnecessary frills and focusing on a high quality sound in a super portable way. Periodic Audio is a company formed to act as the self-funded, small team of audio product specialists, who want to produce “performance heavy, and buzzword-y feature impaired”, devices.
Beauty doesn’t always come at a cost, but in this case it certainly does - you will definitely have to scrape together all the pennies from down the back of the sofa for these headphones - but if you love your music and style we think you won’t regret it. The MW65 is available in either the Gunmetal/Black Leather design or the Silver Metal/Brown Leather model (we received this version), they are constructed from premium materials including lightweight anodized aluminium and soft leathers for a comfortable fit.
The Q Adapt On-Ear headphones from Libratone are first and foremost a gorgeous pair of on-ear headphones, they come in Stormy Black, Elegant Nude and Cloudy White (we received the latter), they have been designed with clean lines, a minimalist finish and high-quality fabric-coated headband. They come in an attractive round box with a durable carry case that can be flattened down for compact storage when empty, they are lightweight at just 200g and when combined with the super soft ear cups you can comfortably wear them for hours at a time.
The Stockholm earphones from Urbanista are, as is so often the case with Urbanista products, rather beautiful.They come in four different colours: Black, White, Rose Gold and our favourite, Olive Green, with a charging case in the same colour as well as a micro-USB charging cable and instructions manual, all packed into an attractive box that would make a great gift.
There is nothing quite like music to motivate you on your workouts, people who manage to push themselves during a session with nothing but the sound of their own wheezing breath and pounding heartbeat in the ears are some sort of weirdos. The issue is that you may have some really good over-ear headphones already, but wires and bulky headgear are just not your friend in the gym, seriously try doing 10 burpees without them doing your head in.
For me, one of the least motivating things in the gym is the sound of some attention-seeking meathead grunting through every rep like they are trying to give Nadal a run for his money; the best antidote to this annoyance is to plug into your favourite tunes and drown out the world around you. The Optoma NU Force BE Sport 4 have been specifically designed for use within the gym, the Bluetooth headphones remove any annoying dangling wires shackling you to your phone and come with a sweat- and water-resistant IPX5 rating.
I had a nightmare scenario last week: I got one mile into my eight-mile run, only to have the batteries of my wireless headphones die. I then had to suffer an hour (who am I kidding? It was more like 80mins) of nothing but my heavy breathing, traffic, rowdy college students and squeaky right trainer to listen to. You see, I have always found that music increases my performance, blocks out any annoying brain chatter and generally just makes my runs more enjoyable.