Christmas Gift Guide 2014: 11 headphones for music lovers

From bass-thumping in-ears to noise-cancelling cans for killing off commuters (well, just their voices), there are headphones here for all music lovers

Ah, music. Combined with a pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea, it makes our bodies do silly, regrettable things on a night out.

It also makes our horrible commutes bearable (the music, that is), and it makes us happy or sad, depending on the mood we're in.

And what better way to listen to our excellent track collection than by pumping tunes directly into our ear holes?

Here's our selection of some of the best headphones to pick up this Christmas.

SoundMagic E10S (£40)

The SoundMagic E10 in-ears are perennial favourites around these parts, and they’ve now had an update that’s warranted a whole extra letter on the name. The ‘S’ stands for ‘Smart’, because there are two cables in the box - one’s a standard cable, the other has a mic and remote. The latter even has a switch for maximum smartphone compatibility.

Did we mention they sound ace? Well they do. And you get all that for £40 so you can put even more of the Christmas budget towards pigs in blankets instead.

Buy the SoundMagic E10S

AKG Y50 (£80)

AKG’s gone all trendy! Assuming bright colours and trendiness are the same thing, that is. If you’re not into brightly coloured cans you can always opt for a black pair and you’ll still be treated to a fabulously punchy and exciting listen. But you know the red ones will go great with your Santa suit.

Buy the AKG Y50

More after the break...

Philips Fidelio M1 MKII (£150)

We’re sure this doesn’t need spelling out, but these are the second-generation of Philips’ Fidelio M1 on-ears - and they sound even better than they did before, which is impressive given that the originals were already seriously superb.

The design is also pretty serious - if you see headphones as a fashion statement you might want to look elsewhere - but they do fold flat for portability’s sake. Forget Beats: these Philips’ phones are the real deal.

Buy the Philips Fidelio M1 MK II

Bose QuietComfort 25 (£270)

Silence is golden. But creating silence and then filling it with lovely music is even better. Let’s call it platinum. And that’s what you get from these Bose noise-cancelling cans.

They do a really effective job of blocking out air conditioning, train rumbles, plane engines and the snoring of significant others, and replace it with really clear, detailed and nicely balanced music or movie audio.

Buy the Bose QuietComfort 25

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If you want a really really good headphone setup, LHLabs has a really good deal for headphones right now.  $ 999 gets you the Audeze LCD-2s AND their Pulse DAC/Headphone amp. This will be a pretty killer combination.

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