A pair of in-ear headphones not everyone will have heard, the XBA-H3 from Sony have been around awhile, but have also become a cult favorite. With two balanced armature drivers a well as 16mm dynamic driver, the XBA-H3 is packed full of detail, texture and a good helping of tight bass to match. Despite their size, these are comfortable earphones, and they have bags of detail to help you discover all manner of details in tracks you didn't think were there before.
The ATH-M50X are another prime example of a quality pair of headphones that have a cult following. At little over a hundred bucks, these are still a great gift for the modern listener, and they have all the right bass and high-end that the majority of listeners are looking for these days. Ultimately though, what the ATH-M50X are is a pair of headphones that are closed-back, suitable for home as well as the commute ad in the library, and they're just a great pair of all-round headphones that don't break the bank. They're also available in a number of different colors, including a pretty nice shade of white, too.
MEE Audio Pinnacle P1
When we reviewed the Pinnacle P1, we were impressed with the amount of detail as well as the overall tone that the Pinnacle P1 has to offer. With a warm, yet very neutral sound signature that will appeal to modern listeners and critical ones alike, the P1 is a real treat. They might appear expensive, but with a unique look and feel, two detachable cables, a nice carrying case and a raft of different ear tips, there's a lot of value on offer here. The single dynamic driver might not sound all that appealing at this price point, but there's a lot of detail as well as laid back, yet engaging tone to whatever you listen to with these.
Master & Dynamic MH40
The Master & Dynamic MH40 are a pair of headphones that offer some seriously good sound, with a great build quality to match. With interchangeable ear cups, as well as build that's milled out of aluminum and clad in real lambskin leather, the MH40 are a heavy pair of cans that are guaranteed to last 10 years or more. They're an excellent gift and they're certainly going to stand out from the crowd, as well as deliver a detailed, warm sound signature that a lot of headphones struggle to get right. Detachable cables, a nice carrying case for the cables as well as a design put together in New York, New York, these are certainly pricey, but they're also one of the most luxurious pairs out there.
The IE80 are a pair of audiophile-grade in-ear headphones from one of the most notable brands in the industry. Not only are they well made, with a replaceable cable to make sure they last longer than the majority of other earphones, but they also have tunable bass, too. If you want more or less bass when listening with the IE80, then Sennheiser has you covered. There's a simple way to make sure these match your own preferences, and they will look good in your ear as well. They don't stick out like other earphones, and they can even be worn in bed. For oodles of detail and a textured sound that only Sennheiser can provide, the IE80 are well worth giving a go, and they will make for an excellent gift.
If you've dabbled in the realm of audiophile headphones before, you might have come across something like this before. THe AKG K712 are an evolution of the cult K700 series of headphones, and while it's pretty obvious that these are designed for home or studio use - as they are open back, allowing sound to freely leak out and reflect back in - these are an excellent pair to critically listen to whatever you're in to. Made in Austria by one of the world's best known audio brands, the K712 have bags of detail and they have a sound signature that's spacious and airy, giving you the feeling of really being there with as your favorite artists put together your most beloved tracks in the studio. A little on the pricey side, these are an excellent gift, as well as an addition to a monitoring setup or even a gaming setup, too.
V-MODA's Zn are a pair of casual earbuds that have an excellent sound signature. They might look like a generic pair you can find on the shelves in your local Wal-Mart, but with tight bass that's punchy without ruining the rest of a track, the Zn have lots of detail and provide listeners with accurate and pin-sharp highs without being piercing. They could certainly have more detail compared to others in this price range, but when we consider the balance between good looks, price as ell as convenience that V-MODA have put together here, these are a great pair to consider. Our review is available to read here, and there's a lot that the V-MODA Zn can provide people with.
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0
The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 are a good-looking pair of headphones that will look good on the daily commute or around campus, and they have a decent sound to match those good looks. The headband design looks and feels solid, and the leather ear cups are comfortable for longer listening sessions. With everything you'd come to expect from Sennheiser, these are a great pair of headphones for a gift, as well as something to treat yourself with, too. A great pair for a younger generation with a sound signature to match, these are well worth looking into.
Shure have become a name in the in-ear monitoring and audiophile world for some time now, and it's easy to see why. With subtle, negative profile designs that are comfortable and good-looking, as well as detachable cables as standard, the firm has created a brand that people respect and know well at this point. The SE425 is a pair that has two microdrivers, and a whole lot of detail to go with them. A neutral sounding pair that aren't boring in any way, thy're malleable enough to sound however you want them to sound, and they'll do your favorite tracks justice no matter what.
Bose QuietComfort 25
Bose have become known for their excellent comfort and noise cancelling technology, and they are the perfect brand to turn to in order to get the best pair for traveling. The QuietComfort 25 are foldable, come with their own carrying case and an airplane adapter. The noise cancelling tech here is as close to perfect as someone could make it, and if you're more concerned with comfort as well as being able to cut through the din of the outside - or known someone that is - then the QuietComfort 25 is the pair you're looking for. They might not be cheap, but they're good-looking, comfortable and good value.