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Renovation & Design

The best in sound

After a tough semester, gift will be music to their ears

CNET

The Bose QuietComfort 35 is best-in-class when it comes to noise cancellation.

What freshly minted grad wouldn’t appreciate a good headphone as a graduation gift? Here’s a selection of the top headphones to choose from, both wireless and wired.

Bose QuietComfort 35

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The Bose QuietComfort 35 combines top-of-the-line active-noise cancelling with wireless Bluetooth operation in an extra-comfortable, fold-up design. The sound is excellent for Bluetooth and it doubles as a great headset for phone calls. Works in wired mode with included cord if battery dies.

The bad: Battery isn’t user-replaceable and the headphone is heavier than the QuietComfort 25.

The cost: US$349.00 to US$379.99

The bottom line: Bluetooth meets best-in-class noise-cancelling: the Bose QuietComfort 35 is the ultimate noise-cancelling wireless headphone you can buy right now.

Bose SoundSport Wireless

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The SoundSport Wireless is a very comfortable in-ear wireless Bluetooth sports headphone that’s sweat-resistant and sounds great. The earphones fit securely in your ears thanks to winged tips. The headphone works decently as a headset for making cellphone calls and has an auto-off feature to preserve battery life.

The bad: The ear pieces protrude noticeably from your ears (they’re a little bulky but don’t feel heavy); battery life tops out at six hours.

The cost: US$149.00

The bottom line: The Bose SoundSport Wireless is the most comfortable, best overall in-ear Bluetooth sports headphone you can buy right now.

 

V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The sturdily built, well-designed V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless delivers better battery life and improved sound over its predecessor, with more sculpted bass and better detail. The new larger earpads provide a more comfortable fit. And the headphone folds up to fit a well-designed protective case that now includes air vents.

The bad: It’s a tad heavy in weight — and price.

The cost: US$329.00

The bottom line: New drivers, new cushions, more frequency response in wired mode and better battery life make V-Moda’s next-gen Bluetooth headphone a winner.

Audeze Sine

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The swanky, sturdily built Audeze Sine is among the smallest and most affordable headphones to use planar magnetic drivers. It offers very revealing, spacious sound in a closed-back design. For an extra US$50, you can get the company’s Cipher Lightning headphone cable, which plugs directly into your iOS device’s Lightning port — making it iPhone 7-ready.

The bad: The headphone’s a little heavy — comfortable, but not extraordinarily so. Included 3.5mm headphone cord doesn’t have an integrated remote and microphone.

The cost: US$449.00

The bottom line: The Audeze Sine is a fantastic headphone that will appeal to anyone looking for truly high-end sound that isn’t incredibly expensive.

— CNET.com

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