Over-the-Ear Headphone Shootout – A GearFest Video

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Last week Judie and I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with a few pair of the over-the-ear headphones I have reviewed over the past year. With prices ranging from just $149.99 all the way up to $379.95, these headphones cover a good deal of ground. Moreover, one pair offer active noise cancellation while another can be used in either wired or wireless modes. In other words, these headphones don’t all sit nicely in a single product category. At the same time, if you are in the market for new headphones then you are likely going to purchase just one pair, and — here’s the good news — there wasn’t a dog among the options we blind-tested.

So what did we look at? We checked out the

In the first round, I tried my hand at identifying the various models based on comfort and sound. I did a pretty good job, but I mistook the Harman Kardon NC headphones for the AKG k551 headphones. Not a bad mistake to make considering the fact that both pair of headphones are all kinds of awesomeness in both the sound and comfort department.

As expected my top choice for sound and comfort were the Harman Kardon NC headphones. I liked them when I did the review and my appreciation for them has continued to grow in the months since.

Then it was Judie’s turn to check out the various headphones based on comfort and sound only. I was struck by the fact that she used pretty much the same adjectives to describe both pair of Scosche headphones. Her top choices came down to the runner-up Harman Kardon NC headphones and her top choice, the Phiaton Bridge MS 500. I wasn’t surprised since when I was initially reviewing the Phiatons I knew that — without a doubt — Judie would be claiming these for herself. She did.

What most stands out as I look at both of these videos is the fact that there is a wide range of prices and features represented among these five different headphones, and yet all of them a somewhere on the continuum of good to great. Any one of them would serve most anyone quite well.


About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.