If you're heading to college for the first time, finishing up High School or just getting ready for another year, you'll need some headphones. Music is the great savior during school, it can get us through the toughest crunch time when in "the zone", it makes working out more enjoyable and let's be honest, you have to have a decent pair of headphones these days. That doesn't mean you need a pair of Beats or a pair of Sennheisers though, there's more than that out there, and our selection should cover all budgets, and hopefully all types of headphones to last you through school for another year or more.
Let's be honest, what we really want in a pair of earbuds less than $80 or so is something hard-wearing yet capable enough for anything we throw at them. Sony's MDR-EX650 have become something of a cult classic, and while they're not the most comfortable out there, they won't break the bank at around $70. If that sounds pricey for a pair of earphones, know that they're metal construction should deliver some lasting results and Sony is a reputable brand. Plenty of good reviews make these a decent pair that will make Spotify, those ripped MP3s from your brother and even Pandora sound pretty good.
AKG is a name that many of you might be familiar with, or at least you should be. Known for producing some of the best headphones the world over, AKG go all affordable on us with the Y50. Available in a range of colors, in a lightweight and simple design, the Y50 are an excellent pair to head back to school with. They have it where it counts as well; they sound great. They're fairly cheap as well, and you'll stand out for having enough of a brain not to choose Beats or white ear pods. Quality through and through, this simple and trendy set of cans are portable and great for any kind of listening.
Right off the bat, the RHA T10 are not cheap, but they are cheaper than the T20 and still extremely capable. Featuring a thick, tangle-free cable and metal ear buds, these will last you a long, long time. This is one of the main reasons they're in this list, is that they won't fall apart on you, they'll built to last. They also sound fantastic as well. With some of the deepest bass and clearest signals you'll find at this sort of price range, the RHA T10 are an unsung hero. With different filters to tame their sound signature to your liking, the T10 have a lot on offer, including an ear tip to suit every sort of picky listener. They're not cheap, but if you want a pair with deep, quality bass that will stand the test of time; then these are the ones to go for.
Grain Audio OEHP 01
The Grain Audio OEHP 01 are a set of cans that might not be to everyone's taste when it comes to looks, but with a subtle design that accentuates real wooden ear cups, it's hard not to be taken in by these. In our recent review, we found these to deliver a balanced, yet lively sound. If you want a pair that will represent everything in the track without fake bass, or artificial highs, then these are that pair. As a bonus, they don't look half bad and they do come with a decent carrying case as well. With good bass, an almost reference sound signature, the Grain Audio OEHP 01 are a great set everyone can enjoy.
LG Tone Infinim
If you're considering a wireless pair of earphones or headphones, then your primary concern is probably not sound quality, but more convenience. That's where the LG Tone Infinim come in; they sit neatly around your neck, with buds that are retractable to place in your ear for music. They're not the best sounding out there, but they're convenient and really quite lightweight as well. With easy controls and the convenience of having a pair with you no matter where you are, these are well worth it if you've looking for ease of use above anything else.
Master & Dynamic MH40
These are our showstopper pair, a pair of headphones for those with a lot of money to spend on a pair that they want to last for years, and years. In fact, Master & Dynamic market these as a pair to last for "decades of use". With a metal and genuine leather construction, these exude quality and the parts are designed to be easily replaced to keep your favorite set of headphones going for a long time. Thankfully, they also sound fantastic as well, as we found out in our review. Of course, these aren't for everyone's budget, there's no denying that, but if you have the money to spend, don't waste it on a plasticky pair of Beats.