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Best in-ear headphones of 2014

Mon Aug 18 2014, 15:28

For the greedy on a budget: Jabra Vox
The great thing about the Jabra Vox earphones is that they offer an all-round good quality sound for a very decent price, which is probably thanks to the built-in Dolby audio to provide more rich sounding playback than your average under-£100 earphones.

Jabra Vox in ear headphones

Another nice little feature is the addition of two small magnets on each side of the cable to keep the headphones from tangling and allows them to wrap up neatly when not in use.

Bursting with features, such as an anti-tangle cable and in-line microphone, the Jabra Vox cost only £80 - they are less than half price on Amazon right now, making them even more of a bargain - so they are perfect for those that want a jack of all trades pair of earbuds without having to break the bank.

For the alternatives: Skull Candy Fix
Emblazoned with a silver skull, the Skull Candy Fix in-ear headphones will complement any rock fan's accessory collection.

Apart from being a goth's dream, the Skull Candy Fix units deliver reasonable sound for such a relatively small price. Bass reproduction is at a good and solid level, vocals sound natural and the "Mic3" built-in inline microphone and remote control deliver complete control of any IOS device. Just don't expect it to work fully with Androids.

Skull Candy Fix earphones

The main feature here however is the Skull Candy Fix technology, meaning that the earbuds won't fall out. And they don't... we've tried them. The Skull Candy Fix build quality might not be good enough to compete with the big boys here, but for £40 they are well worth the dosh to make the biggest of geeks look cool.

For the recluse on a budget: Pioneer SE-NC31C-K
Blocking out the sounds of everyone and everything around you while listening to your much-loved audio playlists should not require you to re-mortgage your house, and this is where the rather awkwardly named Pioneer SE-NC31C-K fully enclosed noise-cancelling earphones come in.

Pioneer noise cancelling earphones

They might not be the freshest cans on the market, but equipped with a microphone that picks up ambient noise and promises to shut out 90 percent of it, they let you focus on the sounds that really matter to you, and at a cost of around just £90, depending on where you buy them. What's more, a handy "monitor" button temporarily turns off the noise-cancelling effect to enable you to hear your surroundings when needed, such as crossing the road so you don't get run over, and a bullet type earchip further reduces external noise.

The Pioneer SE-NC31C-K aren't the most slimline in-ear headphones, but they offer a good alternative to other manufacturers offering a similar experience for an extortionate price, and gave us around five days of continuous noise-cancelling playback on one AAA battery.

For those who like comfort: the Sennheiser IE60 Ear Canal Phones
The Sennheiser IE60's are a great example of good quality in-ear headphones that are so good they just never get old. Like a fine whiskey, it's almost like they get better with age.

Sennheiser IE60 Ear Canal Phones

Priced at £110, they've been on the market for over two years now yet they are still going strong and are one of our favourite pairs of in-ear headphones, mainly because they fit so comfortably you almost forget you have them in.

Fitting snugly into your ear-canal, Sennheiser's IE60 earphones have an over the ear wire set-up, but this actually helps them stay in place and adds to the comfort level. Better still, not only are they super comfortable, but they have a brilliant all-round sound too thanks to their neodymium magnets, which are more powerful than your bog standard earphone magnets and thus ensure crisp clear highs mixed perfectly with good heavy bass elements.

They also have durable housing and a rugged cable for a longer lifespan, so you'll be able to hang on to these comfy 'phones without worrying about them falling apart.


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