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5 of the best headphone upgrades

Why spend hundreds of pounds on a great smartphone or music player only to listen to your favourite choons through some grotty old cans?

House of Marley Midnight Ravers

£30, Thehouseofmarley.co.uk

Bob’s conspicuously stylish rasta-themed buds offer brilliant environmentally-aware audio at a pocket-friendly price. Hard bass lines coupled with noise-isolating in-ear buds make these headphones ideal for all kinds of music, while the flexible braided cord means no tangle-related tantrums. The in-line mic and controls are the cherries on top of this multicoloured cake.

SoundMagic E10

£35, Amazon.co.uk

Chinese brand SoundMagic has pushed the boundaries of what can be expected from affordable, entry-level earphones many times over. And these brilliant in-ear buds punch well above their weight in terms of sound quality, with excellent balance from treble to bass and bags of detail.

Coupled with the stylish and durable metal casing, the E10s look and sound much more expensive than they really are, giving you the premium audio experience without the premium price tag. Exceptional for the money, you’ll wonder why you didn’t bin your bundled headphones sooner.

Sennheiser IE 80

£270, Sennheiser.co.uk

For those looking to really splash out on premium audio, Sennhesier’s IE 80s are definitely worth a listen. Building on the quality of their predecessors, the IE 8s – which we were very fond of – Sennhesier has made some much-welcomes tweaks to guarantee brilliant audio.

So they’re just as comfy, premium, and bassy, but they’re punchier, clearer and better balanced. The Klipsch X10i buds have finer detail and precision. And if you like things particularly bassy, the IE 80s are well worth a listen.


Beats by Dr Dre Tour

£100,  monster.com

Beats headphones are becoming as ubiquitous as those awful white Apple buds and we’re not surprised. Dr Dre and his chums have been churning out covetable bass-heavy headphones over the last few years and the Tours are one of the latest.

Recognisably of the Beats stable, that distinctive red ribbon cable puts an end to tangle-related tantrums, the ControlTalk remote lets you pause your music and take calls using the built-in mic – and best of all they’re great-sounding earphones, with powerful bass. They’re an excellent step up from the default iPod or iPhone set.

Audio Technica ATH-WS55i

£90, Audiotechnica.com

An excellent pair of on-ears for the bass loving iPhone owner, Audio Technica’s 55is pump out the kind of bass that’s weighty, chunky and deep, but not as overbearing as some on-ears.

The result? A pair of ‘phones that bring full bodied delivery to the table that’s rich, punchy and exciting. An undeniably satisfying listen, the noise-isolating 55is also also pack the very handy three-button, Apple-compatible remote.

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