The Gloss Report: Stylish Headphones
1 / 9
The Gloss Report - Stylish Headphones
Spotted on street styles stars and off duty models, headphones are no longer just about the music but a style statement themselves. From bright overhead designs to sleek in-ear options, listen up as we put the most stylish headphones on the market to the test.
2 / 9
B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones, £249
The promise: "With pristine, minimal design, the B&O Play H4 headphones are superb-sounding, take-anywhere Bluetooth headphones."
We give them: 8/10
Review: "These are the Rolls Royce of headphones made with luxuriously soft leather in tonal shades – a bit like stepping into a chauffeur-driven limousine and getting that much-prized door click engineered to sound reassuringly expensive. They cover the ear so background noise is well and truly dampened – I even used them as ear defenders to block out the TV while I was working. The soft cushioning means you can wear them for hours without pressure on your ears. My ex-sound engineer husband gave them almost full marks for sound quality – he would have preferred a bit more depth in the bass but I think he was just being picky. They work on Bluetooth and cable, have the usual volume, skip and hang up controls on the ear cup, which are easy to use. The only reason it’s an 8.5 is the price and also the lack of protective pouch. When you spend as much on a pair of headphones as on a handbag, a dust bag would be nice as well as a place to keep all the cables."
3 / 9
urBeats3 Lightning, £89.95
The promise: "Designed for your life, urBeats3 Lightning wired earphones feature fine-tuned acoustic design to deliver an exceptional listening experience.”
We give them: 8/10
Review: "Really enjoying the commute with these babies. Particularly the anti-tangle cable, which saves me from the tedious task of unravelling a ball of wire at either end of the day! (It’s the simple things that count). Sound-wise they did take some getting used to as it’s a very different experience to that of my standard issue Apple EarPods. The best fit ear tips (it comes with a choice of sizes) mean the buds sit snuggly in the ear, blocking a considerable portion of outside noise, which takes some acclimatising to. Am loving it now though as the sound feels much more personal and the quality is really clear, with only the muted tones of the London transport network in the background. Really light and comfortable to wear. They’re also great at staying put in the gym with the bolt on secure-fit wing tips in place. Finally, the magnetic ear buds click together when not in use, making for tidy handbag stowage until next time. Highly recommend."
4 / 9
Frends Layla Rosegold Headphones, £129.95
The promise: “The Layla is the perfect new obsession for the quietly confident girl who’s looking for understated flair. Premium sound in a compact size.”
We give them: 9/10
Review: "Before this review, I actually hated the thought of overear headphones - mainly because I am definitely not cool enough to pull them off on the tube! However for a first foray into headphones as a statement piece, these are a pretty good bet from Frends. Understated yet stylish and fun, they are one of the most beautiful set of headphones I've ever tried, with their delicate combination of white and rose gold colouring - Insta worthy that's for sure. They are also incredibly comfortable to wear; the on-ear speaker are softly padded for extra comfort, and also extend to your preferred height - they were great for me but there isn't too much room for adjustability so this may not suit every head shape! Once on, I can’t hear any noise outside of my headphones, which is a definite plus - fully emmerced into whatever I’m listening too. With volume adjustment on the cord just like my trusty iPhone headphones, I'm most-definitely a convert to the Frends way of life!"
5 / 9
KREAFUNK aHead Wireless Headset-Headphones, £79
The promise: "aHead are wireless headphones for the person that wants to listen to music in style."
We give them: 6/10
Review: "These were possibly the most frustrating pair of Bluetooth headphones to set up – the instruction manual tells you to press the ‘MFB’ button to access all sorts of functions without the diagram actually showing you where the button is and then to press an equally mysterious and unidentified ‘MDB button’. A trip over to YouTube for tutorials drew a blank and after a lot of random button pressing which produced ear-splitting feedback screeches we were motoring. With their Farrow and Ball-style colourways and slim squared-off ear cups, they look good and sound good. They have noise reduction but don’t cover the ear so you will get background noise – helpful when you are crossing the road - and have 14 hours playback time. These are for people who wear their headphones around their neck all day and need them to make a style statement, which is what you are paying for. I liked the PU leather pouch and the wooden box and the iPod-style control wheel. High design from beginning to end."
6 / 9
Samsung Gear Icon X, £199
The promise: “These cord-free earbuds let you effortlessly listen to your favourite music – making your daily commute more enjoyable or helping you get more from your workout.”
We give them: 7/10
Review: “Cord-free earphones seem to be everywhere at the moment, which is quite a revelation for me as I’ve been loyal to my trusty iPhone ones for many years now. This latest design from Samsung, the Gear Icon X, are designed with ease in mind, to deliver an effortless music experience. My initial thoughts were that they were the best for noise cancelling that I have ever tried. Once these are in your ears you can fully immerse yourself in whatever you’re listening to which is really great feature. The pod that comes with them for storage/charging purposes is super sleek and efficient and the charge lasts a really good length of time. They’re really easy to connect to your device, even if you don’t have a Samsung phone, and integrated running coach is a real stand out feature too and is what sets these apart form your standard cordless earphones. My only gripe with these is that they’re not the most comfortable design I’ve tried, however this could just be down to personal preference.”
7 / 9
Skinny Dip Crash Headphones, £30
The promise: "Chic headphones with extra padded comfort and sound quality."
We give them: 6/10
Review: “I think the last time I wore headphones with a band, rather than earphones, was when I was about 12 and still using a Walkman (ah, those were the days) - so it took a bit of adjusting to get used to the old style. There’s no doubt these are stylish, and very Instagrammable - who doesn’t have something marble related on their feed? - but I wasn’t so sure about the quality. The band is very thin, which feels quite flimsy, and so it doesn’t grip very well; however what I did enjoy was the very cushioned ear pads (it feels like fake leather) which made them extra comfortable and far better than my old foam-covered plastic ones from my childhood. Sound-wise, I’d say these are average, as you’d expect - if you’re a serious music lover looking for the best way to hear every note, these aren’t for you, though the padding certainly helps keep the music in and external noise out, more so than inner earphones do. More style than substance but if they’re just for occasional use and you want to look good, they tick the box.”
8 / 9
Sony h.ear on 2 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, £199.99
The promise: “Lightweight and ergonomic, the headphones fold up when they’re not in use. And when you’ve got them on, the soft ear pads stay comfortable all day – a perfect fit for your life.”
We give them: 9/10
Review: “These headphones have been designed with the fashion-concious in mind. Coming in a range of muted colours the idea is that there is an option to suit everyone’s lifestyle. What I was impressed with the most however is the comfort of these headphones. They make it really easy to lose yourself in a Netflix documentary during the commute home as you almost forget you’re wearing headphones at all. In fact, I almost missed my train stop quite a few times whilst testing these. They are slightly heavier than what I’m used to, however the soft ear pads make up for this. The touch technology is super cool, meaning you can change the song you’re listening to without even making contact with your smartphone. The fact that they fold up make them easily portable too and great for travelling and the cordless design is an added bonus.”
9 / 9
Snugs Wired Earphones, £199.95
The promise: "Using state-of-the-art technology Snug earphones are custom fit so will never fall out no matter what you do and sound incredible."
We give them: 9/10
Review: "You know these earphones are that little bit special from the off, just from the experience of having them fitted. I had mine done at Selfridge's in London and although initially it did seem like a pain to trudge over to Bond Street, the whole process is actually quite mind blowing. Each ear is scanned individually using a 3D scanning process, so make sure you have clean ears as they go right in! It was quick and painless and only took a couple of minutes per ear. The scans are then sent off so that your bespoke moulds can be made. Although the earpieces come handily labelled left and right (as like mine, your ears won't be identical) I did struggle to get them in and had to resort to watching a 'How to Video' on YouTube. Once in, they felt quite weird initially as well as a little snug (use the tiny bottle of lube provided which really helps). However after a couple of hours you soon get used to them. I've tried running in them and jumping up and down and they've stayed firmly lodged and not fallen out. The sound quality is amazing and the noise isolation superb. My only regret is that I should have ordered wireless just for ease of use (you'll need to get an adaptor in order to connect an iPhone). At nearly £200 they are expensive but they're worth it - the experience and service is exceptional."