The Hunt for Headphones

Sam Canizales, Writer

This spring I have been on the hunt for a new pair of headphones. I am a lover of music and a solid pair of headphones is a must. I wear a pair of headphones for an average of 9 hours a day, between school and work. My primary criteria are that the headphones are Bluetooth, durable, aesthetically pleasing, and preferably noise canceling. 

I currently sport a pair of Apple EarPods, this is not due to any outstanding quality, other than the fact that they are durable and I have no fear of them being damaged as they aren’t very expensive either. I had been using a pair of the first generation standard airpods. The sound quality in either of these headphones is average, no major complaints with this nothing particularly special about them. Tragedy struck and my dog ate one of the Airpods, leaving me in need of something new preferably wireless.

I am also in ownership of a set of Koss Porta Pros. The Porta Pros Give the user a playful vintage look while providing a sound quality that surpasses, slightly, that of the previously mentioned Apple products. Their fatal flaw is the leaking of sound. The headphones are clear and crisp, but the Pads on the ears do not insulate the sound. This results in people around the user being able to hear what is being played, even when the volume of the music or media is relatively low. It also means that outside disturbances are easily heard by the user. Lesser flaws include that they are noticeable and draw a lot of attention to the user. The headband of the headphones is a thin strip of metal, ultimately they have proved to be sturdy, but the headband gives the appearance of fragility. The last flaw is that they are not Bluetooth. This is not a problem all the time but can be a nuisance when wearing them while moving about. 

The last set of headphones in my possession are the Status BT One’s. These headphones have better sound quality than that of all of those previously mentioned, and are Bluetooth compatible. They are compact for a pair of Bluetooth headphones with that level of sound quality. They collapse into a foam case, this case is somewhat bulky and the hinges have become notably weaker following the occasions in which I did not use the case. 

The first of the candidates for my new pair of headphones. Are the Green Apple AirPods Max. These are over the ear noise canceling Bluetooth Headphones. These headphones are beautiful, I cannot think of a prettier pair of headphones, they fall short on the measure of compactness as they do not collapse, rather they are accompanied by a case that secures the pads of the headphones. This being said, I believe I could look past that if the headphones are durable enough to just be thrown in my bag as is and be prone to breaking. With that the user of the AirPods Max has the option of purchasing sleeves for each component of the headphones in order to protect them from scratching. The headphones are noise canceling, but it is not the highest quality noise canceling headphone I have ever tested, but they get the job done and the sound quality is good enough to make it less of a priority. The sound quality overall of these headphones is beautiful. They provide the user with a surround sound experience that is clear and crisp. 

The next option is the Apple AirPods Pro. These are wireless earbuds that are both compact and noise canceling. The noise canceling On these earbuds surpasses that of the airpods Max they are also significantly more portable and though they are not particularly aesthetically pleasing they are not visibly a majority of the time as my hair covers my ears.

 The last option are the Sony WH- CH710N Noise canceling headphones. These headphones are plain and would not draw a significant amount of attention. They are Less expensive than the other two pairs, and are advertised as having smart noise canceling capabilities that adapt to the environment of the user. Because these headphones are less expensive and are well insulated, they would function very well as commuter headphones. 

As I make my decision I will prioritize the general sound quality and aesthetic over all else. This is leading me to choose the Apple AirPod Max’s, they will not only provide the best sound quality, but also will look appropriate with any outfit I wear.