Gadgets: Several decisions to be made before selecting new headphones

With the summer just about upon us, headphone season is in full force. If you're about to make a new purchase, don't get fooled with fancy marketing, colorful boxes or hype. Instead, consider these features when shopping around (the order of importance depends on you): wireless vs wired, earbuds vs over the ear, cost and sound quality (which would be No. 1 for me).

User reviews are also critical, but don't get too caught up in them unless they lean totally toward one direction.


I always liked over-the-ear Marshall for many reasons. At the same time, they look modern and retro, have great sound and are affordable.

Their most recent offering is the Monitor Bluetooth headphones, with padded cushioned speakers sitting comfortably on your ears. The sound is more hi-fi, neutral and with a wider frequency, which adds up to smooth, crisp sound with the right amount of bass for any type of music at any level.

The embossed Marshall logo is designed into the black vinyl exterior along with attractive brass accents to give the sound system an attractive look.

The headphones are loaded with many more features including a collapsible construction for easy storage in the included carrying pouch. You also get a detachable coil-cord for a wired connection if you don't want to go wireless. The headphones have an extra 3.5 mm port, which can be used to daisy chained to share your music with similar headphones.

A cable with in-line controls and a microphone for hands-free calls is included. The built-in battery is good for about 30 hours of use before a charge is needed. $249


Sennheiser's HD 569 is a high-end performing headphone, referred by Sennheiser as "The best in class. Remastered." And after listening to them for a few hours, I wonder how a headphone can sound any better.

Senheiser products sound great, no matter what product you use from the company. I tried the new HD 569 noise-isolating over-ear headset, which lets you manage hands-free calls with an in-line remote, and listen to your tunes in dynamic sound.

Large ear cups are included with soft replaceable ear pods.

My advice for anyone when trying Sennheiser products: just listen to them for a few minutes right out of the box without changing a thing. The odds are, you'll never change anything.

While sound can be adjusted by the type of music you listen to or with apps, I found no reason to change. This is something I've come to understand about the consistency of Sennheiser sound.

A few different plugs are included for connecting the headphone to your music source and using a plug to answer calls or control music. $179.95


Creative Technology's newly announced Creative Outlier Sports Sweat-proof Wireless In-Ear Headphones should be a big hit during the hot seasons.

The IPX4-rating and sweat-proof designed ear-tips are made of soft, flexible silicone to ensure the earbuds perform at all times during your workout, with or without sweat.

To ensure the right fit, there's a bunch of accessories to help you before you start. So take some time to try the different ear hooks and tips for your ear sized to make sure it fits tight and secure before your workout.

While the earbuds are packed with features, they are still mainly a source of sound, and they do a great job. Powerful bass and clear audio perfect for the active enthusiasts.

A built-in and invisible microphone is there for hands-free calls.

Creative Technology has built the earbuds to support high-definition aptX Bluetooth codec, ensuring the highest quality wireless playback when Creative Outlier Sports is used with your Bluetooth media source.

You'll get about 11 hours of use before a USB charge is needed. $69.99 with choices of midnight blue, neon green and fiery orange

©2017 Gregg Ellman
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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