When it comes to music, what you listen to is your own business—when you’re listening on headphones, at least.
But what you might not realize is that whatever you’ve got jammed into your ears or slung across your cranium is projecting something to the world. In other words, the most important choice you make when listening to tunes on the go isn’t about the music, it’s the headphones.
Right about now is the perfect time to escape the stagnant heat of summer in favor of a cool sea breeze and cabana service. Most likely you’ve upgraded most of your travel gear (handsome luggage, lightweight travel blazer, pocket square that can be used as flotation device), but there’s probably one oversight you’ve made: the headphones.
They might be the single most important thing in your carry-on. A pair of sleek, noise-canceling headphones like the Monster Inspiration fit the bill—especially if any airplane chatter dares to interfere with your regularly scheduled Black Keys Appreciation Hour.
They’ve got all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from the high-tech headphone game—inline quick-control remote, microphone—and the kind of powerful, crisp, high-def audio that you’ve got to hear to believe (or you can just trust us, they sound amazing). Plus, the interchangeable headband comes in a number of colors that you can swap in whenever you feel the need to match your headphones to your socks.
These EarPollution Timbres have been out for a few months, but they’re just now rising to the top of our audiophile pile, for a couple of reasons. For one, those wooden nubs aren’t just for show: They act as anchors for the mini-speakers, providing acoustic backing that allows for a thicker mid-range, bass that’s present without being overpowering and…well, better sound.
But more importantly, they’re equipped for the new generation of player/phones. If you’ve got the Timbres plugged into your iPhone and your boss happens to call in the middle of a drum solo, you can carry on talking thanks to a microphone planted on the cord at chin level.
Which leads us to the most recent addition to the gentlemanly code: As with all Bluetooth headsets, if you aren’t using it right this minute, you should probably take it out of your ears. Consider yourself warned.
When it comes to headphones, we’ve always preferred keeping things simple, black, and as hi-fi as possible.
All of which makes us very partial to AiAiAi’s new pair of DJ headphones. They’re professional-grade, which means they’re designed to overpower noisy club speakers…so the gabber next to you in line at the coffee shop won’t stand a chance.
Speaking of headphones, they’re rapidly becoming the accessory du jour. (Better luck next year, ties.) And we wouldn’t feel right leaving you without an option or two. These Nixon models come via acquire, color-coded to match your hair.