You don’t need to be an audiophile to appreciate some good headphones. A quality pair can change the way you listen to music, play games, work, and communicate with others, but the choice can be quite overwhelming. So, we picked some of our favourites that will deliver a superior audio experience – whether it be during gaming or just listening to the latest hits – without breaking the bank.
Philips’ lightweight, compact, and affordable headphones are a great option for those looking for something to deliver a bit of punch without hurting your wallet. The SHL 3060 feature an excellent sound quality (with great highs and lows) for their price-range and the headphones do a great job of blocking external noise, making them ideal for a plane trip, at the office, or just when you want to block out the world for a while.
One thing Philips is also renowned for is developing comfortable headphones, and these are no different, with soft cups and a lightweight design to offer a cosy listening experience.
Skullcandy Hesh 2.0
Skullcandy headphones have improved dramatically over the years. The lineup has definitely kept its sporty, skater-esque stylings, but the internals are upping the ante with each iteration. The Hesh 2 offers a refined sound signature that is crisp and relatively balanced. Plus, the audio is delivered distortion-free, with an emphasis on mid-range and high frequency clarity.
Of course, no Skullcandy product would be complete without multiple style options, paint jobs, and designs, and the Hesh 2.0 comes in a stunning grey and cyan colourway.
Sennheiser HD 202 II
The Sennheiser HD 202 II headset may not look as flashy or bright as other headphones on this list, but let’s don’t let that fool you – these are some of (if not the) best in their league. The HD 202 IIs have a closed-back design, meaning the earcups grip around your ears and filter out a decent amount of ambient sounds and keep your music private from the world around you. The sound quality is incredibly impressive, and the fact the headset features replaceable earcups and an extremely comfortable fit, it’s hard not to recommend the HD 202 IIs to anyone who loves music and watching movies at home.
Plantronics Gamecom 788
Plantronics has created a great name for itself in recent years with some quality products, and the Gamecom 788 headphones are an extension of that. The 788s are easy to use and wear with plug and play features and a very comfortable fit. On ear volume and dolby sound controls and a very solid mic that give you great audio recording, which is perfect for gaming online, podcasting or just chatting with friends. The sound quality is truly outstanding, with clear crisp and clear audio output that allows players to make clear distinction between in-game sounds and team chatter.
As for the build, the 788 has a snug fit with a firm grip around the ears. The square-shaped cups fut well on the ears and the headband is comfortable and remains relatively unnoticed during use.
So, if you’re looking for something that has reasonable versatility, but retains a focus on competitive gaming and positional audio – and you want it to be under R2,000 – the GameCom 788 is a great choice.
Turtle Beach Stealth 500p
The wireless 500P headphones are of the larger circumaural style, with earcups large enough to fit around your ears. However, for such a headset it’s actually quite compact.
The straight sided earcups are more space efficient than fully circular ones, measuring just 75mm across, and they fold flat too. We’re not talking fit-in-your-pocket portability but the 500P are definitely more manageable than many headsets of this style.
Starting off in standard stereo mode, the 500P delivers clear, enjoyable audio that works up to a reasonable range of around 5 metres, with strong bass and boosted treble to suit audio needs during gaming sessions. There is also a detachable microphone included.
The Turtle Beach 500P is a decent option for those that only have a PS3 or PS4 and want both stereo and virtual surround sound, and the fact that they’re wireless is a great bonus too.
Besides the stunning pure black and signature lumo green logo, the Razer Kraken’s most notable feature is that the cups are huge, which is a good thing. The headphones themselves are massive and completely accommodate one’s ears, providing a comfortable fit and noise cancellation capabilities.
The set does feature a built-in microphone, but that said, the Kraken headphones won’t deliver every bell and whistle you’d expect in the price range (such as in-line controls or a wireless option), but the sound quality you do receive is fantastic, which delivers clear treble and bass, without it becoming one convoluted sonic mess – and that’s what you really need from a good headphone set.
What do you think of the above headphones? Let us know in the comments section below and tweet us @MenStuffZA!
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