To the chagrin of some purists, headphones have become the newest of fashion accessories, and we've noted the top 10 best performing headphones. But to the fortune of audiophile and everyday music listeners alike, there is now a wide range of headphones that provide quality sound with designs worth showing off. After the jump is our beauty contest winners for most fashionable headphones...
Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9 Sovereign Wood Headphones: $310 of Japanese engineering and craftsmanship, finished in sumptuous African Paduak wood. Stay classy, Audio-Technica.
Zumreed Border Portable Headphones: these colourful ear accessories were fashioned after a prior model headphone sold only in Japan's Muji's department stores. They been updated with some eye-catching striped designs. $40.
Panasonic RPHTX7: they call these retro, but we think them more as "classic". Available in light blue, light brown, green, black and white; like the Zumreed models above, these $40 headphones are just as much about the design as the sound.
KOSS PRO4AA: A friend said these look like something you'd be wearing while piloting a plane. We can see that. But we can also see these are some mighty good looking cans. Bring your aviator sunglasses and enjoy a design originally from 1970. $99.
WeAretheSuperlativeConspiracy Headphones: Seems like every style and urban fashion site has covered these, and understandably so. If these headphones were a person, they'd be Kanye, complete with the self promotion. $100
Grado GS 1000: our own editor Peter swears by his Grados, and these flagship GS 1000 models confidently state their serious performance factor with a wood housing that was engineered "to move air and react to sound vibrations are less affected by transient distortions". $995
Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO: Nothing fancy here...just handsome and solid German engineering with a Bauhaus pragmatism. $299
AKG K27i: This iPod complimenting closed-back headphone comes from Austria, with a plush pleather ear padding that brings up memories of Ricardo Montalban and promises of "Corinthian leather". $55
Alessandro Music Series 2: If these sort of remind you of a Grado Labs design, that's because these were a joint effort between Alessandro High-End Products and Grado Labs. The results are sophisticated and free from any busy extraneous decoration. These look like something you'd pass on down to your kid. $299
Ultrasone Edition 7: One out of 999...limited edition defined (and they're already all gone). Get past all the exclusivity and what you've still got is some extremely stylish cans, with their shiny rich blue finish that had us do a double take after looking at all the plain black and chrome swathed models out there.