SINCE THE ARRIVAL of a certain rapper-sponsored brand of headphones over five years ago, on-ear and over-ear headphones have exploded in popularity.
Long gone are the days when people felt too embarrassed to wear a hefty pair of cans on their heads in the fear that they'd be accused to trying to look like an Ibiza DJ wannabe. The hype about on-ear headphones has helped convince the masses that, "Actually, these clumsy looking music accessories are pretty cool," or, "Why shouldn't I wear them with pride on the Tube after forking out hundreds for them?"
With that, we've taken a look at a number of on-ear and over-ear headphones designed for all different walks of life, from the gym goer to the bass lover, to find out which are best for the job and which are worth you investing your hard-earned cash.
For the adventurer: Monster iSport Freedom
Anyone interested in combining music with the great outdoors should look no further than the Monster iSport Freedom headphones, which mean even the most adventurous music fans can do whatever they want, wherever they want, while listening to their favourite beats, whether that's cycling in a downpour or running in a tornado. Well, perhaps not that extreme, but they are very durable and during our testing they withstood everything that we could throw at them.
The iSport Freedom headphones deliver powerful audio performance with no distortion on deep bassy tracks, and their waterproof design means you can carry on wearing them long after your workout, even taking them in the post-workout shower if you can't accept putting a stop to your favourite beats.
Their lime green colour might seem a little sickly for some, and they are quite pricey, costing £230. But anyone serious about good sound reproduction and wild outdoors adventures will find them a tough option to beat.
For the traveller: Bose AE2w
Super lightweight and comfy, the Bose AE2w is the perfect travelling companion. Not only do these cans offer a snug fit for ears of any size, but they also offer full, natural sound with a good bassy tone, regardless of the type of music you throw at them.
Their best feature, however is that they work wirelessly if you want, offering the option of a rechargeable Bluetooth battery pack that fits in the headphone jack. When attached, the battery pack might look a little out of place, but once you've got over this you'll never want them to leave your side.
Great for the plane, the train or just the street, their inconspicuous design made these one of our favourite pair of headphones to use during testing. They are a good all-rounder with great build quality and sound for £199.
For the cheapskate: Panasonic HXD5
If forking out hundreds of pounds of your hard-earned cash on some ear-mounted music muffs isn't your bag, then you can always do it on the cheap, and yes, without sacrificing style or quality.
The Panasonic HXD5 headphones are the ideal alternative for those looking for some budget headphones that look the part, and sound pretty good too, without breaking the bank.
For just £25, the HXD5 headphones have a simplistic design with great bass reproduction for a small price. They aren't the loudest in town, and will distort a little on very high volumes while also leaking sound - meaning that everyone on public transport will hear your guilty pleasures - but if you want a decent, all-round sound for good price, the HDX5 headphones will be a great companion.