Does your loved one like a little private listening? Are they a committed sportsperson who needs some personal audio to help pass the hours on the track? Might they be an enthusiastic audiophile who would appreciate the kind of accurate sound available only from high-end headphones? Are they often stuck on an airplane, ears pummelled by its noise?
If your answer to any of those questions is “yes”, then do we have a gift idea for you! Or maybe ten of them.
Here are some headphones and earphones that have caught our eye – or ears – over recent months. Some are very much for exercise, others for travel, and we’d recommend them all.
BeatsX wireless earphones – $199.95
Since Apple took over the Beats headphone brand, they’ve started sounding good. And started merging in Apple technology. So the BeatsX Bluetooth earphones incorporate Apple’s W1 chip for improved battery life and automated pairing with iPhones and the like.
What most impressed us was the rock solid nature of the Bluetooth pairing. Rather than a begrudging ten metres, these earphones allowed us forty or more metres, and worked without interruption regardless of which pocket our player was in.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II noise cancelling headphones – $499.95
Bose cut its noise cancelling chops with headsets for US fighter pilots, so it knows what it’s doing with this technology. Its revised version of the QuietComfort 35 headphones offer two levels of noise reduction, with the higher level being the most impressive we’ve ever experienced.
Of course, they can work (without noise reduction) when the battery is flat, fed by means of the supplied cable. And as with other Bose headphones, they deliver impressively high quality sound.
BioConnected HR+ Biosensing Sports Earphones – $299
Earphones are for listening to music. Or are they? The BioConnected HR+ Biosensing earphones are, of course, Bluetooth earphones. But they are also heart rate monitors, measuring each beat of your heart and communicating it back to your smart phone.
The Bioconnected app – for iOS only at this point – also gathers the full range of data about your movement, including your route, using your phone’s sensors, and builds a full profile of your exercise. Your loved one doesn’t have an iPhone? The heart rate monitor can be paired with third party apps on Android phones.