“Music is the heartbeat of life.” How true that is, given the role music plays in our daily lives. The booming music-related app industry also testifies to this. From the big players like Spotify and SoundCloud to the smaller utility apps like Noizio. It’s no secret that the music scene is big, constantly evolving, and increasingly shaped by the cool kids of Silicon Valley.
When Apple made its flashy presentation of Apple Music as the finale of its 2015 WWDC, we know then for sure that nowadays, music isn’t so much about the specs that audiophiles used to obsess about. It’s becoming more about how you look and what it adds to your personal image. It’s about customization and design.
So if you’re still using the standard earbuds that came with your iPhone or Android device, it’s a good season to spruce up your look a little with some fancy audio listening equipment. We pick out the 10 most stylish headphones to add some aesthetic groove to your daily ride to work or that much-needed after-office unwinding.
1. Molami Plica
Ladies, let’s face it. Many headphones just weren’t made for us. They either don’t look good enough to match our unique style or they give us that weird Princess Leia hairdo but only with rubber and metal. Molami intends to change that, by being the first headphone brand designed by and for women. Their stylish headphones, Plica, are wrapped in soft, delicately folded Napa leather and is designed to sit easily on your ears without over-exerting its statement of class. The Plica has received great reviews for its audio quality and is now currently at the top of my wish list for X’mas ‘15.
2. Sol Republic Shadow
Besides being a great combination of style, audio quality, and value, the Shadow wireless earbuds by Sol Republic should also earn an award for the best product name. The Shadow is so subtle, so lightweight, and practically invisible that it could form part of your shadow, with the great sounds that it pumps out being the greatest reminder that it’s a physical product sitting across your neck. The Shadow is designed to fit comfortably for everyday use and sports a hip, urban look.
The idea behind this list of stylish headphones was to showcase gorgeous headphone designs that also champion functionality and that are within a reasonable price range so that you can pick a pair up after work if you desire. But when I came across the Hemphones concept on Beatrice Novi’s Behance, I couldn’t resist including it. This stylish headphones take a spin on new technology by using natural hemp fibre as its main material. This pair of stylish headphones fits right in the eco-chic alley. Or perhaps simply on the streets of hipster land. I imagine how soft the Hemphones would feel on one’s ears and hope that someone decides to realize its production sometime in the near future.
4. Jabra Move
Although known more for their quality professional products, especially their headsets for call centers, Jabra has recently ventured into the consumer market. They tend to place greater emphasis on the technical superiority and durability of their products and less so on the product design per se. But that’s not to say that we should overlook the fine simplicity of Scandinavian design well embedded in their stylish headphones. The Jabra Move is a choice pick for me due to its sleek form, great sound, and fun colors.
When it comes to fancy Hi-Fi sets costing up to 10 grand a piece, I’m sure most people would have heard of the company Bang & Olufson. Their range of stylish headphones is exquisite and well-designed, offering high-fidelity audio reproduction with fashionable and elegant form. The H6 is a beauty made of aluminum and leather selected for achieving the feel of ‘everyday luxury’ – in essence, comfort and style. Given B&O’s many years of leadership in the industry, it’s no surprise that the audio quality is top-notch.
The award-winning Tracks Headphones by the Danish audio design company is a masterpiece crafted with classic Scandinavian design styles using simple lines and an iconic shape. Without a doubt, Tracks is simplicity at its best. The subtle design can be deceiving as this pair of stylish headphones packs in some powerful specs and has been reviewed by audiophiles as a great-sounding, high-quality equipment.
What I love about the Plattan ADV Wireless is the range of fun, intense colors that they come in, which is something Urbanears also seem to love. The Plattan ADV Wireless is the first Bluetooth headphones from the, yet again, Scandinavian brand. Another great feature of the Plattan ADV Wireless that brings it to the next level of user-centered product design is the removable and washable headband and ear cushions. After all, no matter how fine-sounding a pair of stylish headphones might be, no one would want to keep using it once it’s been collecting sweat and grime for too long.
8. House of Marley Chant
Earth-friendly and great quality, those are the purported traits of the stylish headphones produced by House of Marley, founded by the son of Bob Marley. It’s no surprise that they’d also sport a Reggae-inspired design. The Chant earbuds seem like a lot of fun with its ethnic-influenced color and line patterns and wood housing. They’re definitely targeted towards the hippie kids and the chilled out Reggae-loving lot.
Another one for the ladies, the Linea N°1 is a headphone that will not cramp your fashion style. The company behind this pair of stylish headphones is Caeden, a NYC-based design driven company ‘dedicated to creating sophisticated technology that is truly wearable’. The inspiration behind Linea N°1 can be found in linear geometry, architecture, and cityscapes with its clean lines, smooth shapes, and neutral tones. This is indeed a classy piece for the ladies and a touch of luxury in your everyday life.
10. Grain Audio OEHP .01
Unlike the previous stylish headphones, the OEHP .01 by Grain Audio seems to have been designed for the male user. I have no beef with that, since the OEHP is as stylish as ‘macho’ headphones could get. From the extremely technical-sounding name (which, by the way, simply means ‘over ear headphone’) to the polished, futuristic, rounded look of the earcups made of solid wood, this set of beautifully-crafted stylish headphones has no need for fancy embellishment.
Do you have a favorite pair of most stylish headphones that you’d love to recommend to our readers? Tweet us @protoio!