Are they retro, or just plain ugly? We'll leave that for you to decide, but one thing the Koss Porta Pro KTC Headphones ($TBA) aren't is antiquated. Sporting an in-line three-button remote and mic, they're ready for use with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, and also offer Comfort Zone temporal pads to reduce the pressure on your ears, a collapsible design and carrying case for portability, and Mylar elements for accurate sound. Matching, Walkman-like gadget cases not included.
Think wireless headphones can't deliver the same sound as your beloved studio cans? Think again. Based on the company's revered HD 600 series, these Sennheiser RS 220 Wireless Headphones ($600) use an uncompressed digital signal sent over a 2.4 GHz connection to maintain fidelity up to 300 feet away, while analog, coaxial digital, and optical digital inputs in the included transmitter and recharging dock ensure that no matter the source, the RS 220s will play nice.
Looking for some good-sounding yet stylish headphones to replace your device's pitiful pack-ins? These Audio-Technica EarSuit Headphones ($250) should do the trick. Available exclusively in Japan, they feature 40mm CCAW drivers, high-grade aluminum housing for solid acoustics, a unique swing mechanism on either end of the headband that lets you place the earpieces right where you want them, and a flat black cord.
Want to bask in the lush bass of Beats, but find the bright, highly-visible plastic bodies a little too flashy? Say hello to Beats Executive Headphones ($TBA). As the name might suggest, the Executive skips the plastic for a decidedly more high-end look, with brushed metal finishes on the lower stems and earcups and fine leather on the band — black and silver are the only colors you'll find — while still offering the active noise cancellation and crisp, full audio that you'd expect. Coming soon, or just as soon as Dr. Dre gives the "hell yeah" thumbs-up.
Looking for a new set of reference-quality cans? These Audio-Technica 50th Anniversary Headphones ($1,400) should suffice. Created to celebrate the company's golden anniversary, they feature Asada Hokkaido cherry wood housing with an Echizen traditional Japanese lacquer finish, 53mm drivers built with stronger magnetics than previous models, special lambskin earpads for exceptional comfort during long listening sessions, and a gold 1/4" plug that'll look great plugged into the matching Headphone Amplifier ($2,900).
One of the worst things about headphones and earphones — whether they're top of the line multi-drivers or the ubiquitous white pack-ins that come with iPods — is trying to untangle the cord when it's time to put them on. Moshi Moonrock Earphones ($40) take care of this by arriving in a smooth, stone-shaped package that acts as a cord organizer and also protects the stems. Of course, they sound good too, thanks to high-efficiency Neodymium drivers, and thanks to the in-line mic and remote, you won't need to pull them out of your ears just to take a call.
You'd expect high-end headphones to be a little expensive - and you wouldn't be wrong. Sporting proprietary drivers, these Audeze LCD-2 Headphones ($1,000) are designed with pure audio reproduction in mind, and with their thin film diaphragms, push-pull neodymium magnetic structure, Carribean Rosewood oldies, and lambskin leather sloped earpads, they don't disappoint. [Scouted by Mike]
Whether you're performing a live set or simply listening to one on your phone, V-Moda M-80 Headphones ($230) will have you covered. Powered by finely-tuned 40mm dual-diaphragm drivers, the M-80s use the V-Port V3 system to provide plenty of passive noise isolation, and also offer up a high-end metal, memory foam, and microfiber suede build, two Kevlar-reinforced cables — one with a three-button remote and mic — and a hard included carrying case.
Beat the constant buzz of public transport with Klipsch Mode Headphones ($350). These new noise-cancelling cans offer up to 45 hours of active cancelling on just one battery, and feature 40mm woofers, 15mm tweeters, two included cloth cables, leather ear cups, a foldable design, and high-end styling that won't leave you looking overly dorky on your next transatlantic flight.
Not content making airship-inspired speaker systems, B&W is setting its sights on a new frontier — your ear canals. These new Bowers & Wilkins C5 Headphones ($180) feature a Secure Loop cabling feature that helps keep things in place, a Micro Porous Filter for a more rich, expansive sound, tungsten weighting on the inner casing that helps the buds to stay securely in your ears, and an in-line remote and mic to let you take calls and change tracks without pulling your device out of your pocket.
Incase is well known for its minimalist design tendencies, so it's no surprise that the company's new Incase Headphones ($TBA) are so subdued. Sporting monochrome black bodies with lime green accents, the new collection includes Sonic Over Ear, Reflex On Ear, Pivot On Ear and Capsule In Ear models, and feature shapes designed to fit your head as well as speakers designed to sound as balanced and natural as possible — sorry, bassheads.
Listening to music while running, training, or doing a host of other sporting activities is a given — and so is the disgusting crud that can build up on your earphones thanks to sweat and grime. Pioneer Washable Earphones ($60) help you easily take care of this problem, thanks to their IPX7 International Protection Rating that makes them waterproof to one meter, and therefore completely washable. Other features include an in-ear design, four included pairs of tips, 9mm drivers, and a gold-plated 3.5mm plug.