Headphone bargains are ear to stay, in large part because the market for portable music continues to expand. And as music players (and smartphones with the same capabilities) grow in popularity, portability, and hard drive size, you can bet that more people will want a pair of sharp headphones to get the most out of their music on the go. We've followed the cords and found some the best bargains on headphones and headsets.
- Audio-Technica QuietPoint In-Ear Headphones
Price: $37.95 via coupon code "SOUNDON5" with free shipping
Lowest By: $6
Is It Worth It?: AudioTechnica knows its high-end audio, and these in-ear headphones come with noise-canceling technology that lowers background noise by up to 90%. Features include 12.5mm drivers, frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, gold-plated 3.5mm plug, and cable clip attachment.
- Skullcandy 2XL Ratio Earphones
Price: $5 with free shipping
Lowest By: $10
Is It Worth It?: Offered by Skullcandy via eBay, these earbuds are of the no-frills variety and come from a company that's always been more about the fashion and bling than serious audio quality. That said, these buds, available in three colors (Nuevo Sonido pictured) do deliver solid frequency response across the audio spectrum, from 20Hz to 20kHz, and the price could hardly be lower. Therefore, they're a great spare pair of earbuds for the office, traveling, etc.
- MAXIMO iP-595 iMetal Enhanced Definition Headset
Price: $45 with free shipping
Lowest by: $21
Expires: November 11
Is It Worth It?: The answer is yes, especially if you're using an iPhone. These earbuds come with a built-in microphone and a 3-button in-line remote, making it a snap to field calls in places with loud ambient noise, such as coffee shops or urban environments. Offered by OrderBorder, this headset features 9mm neodymium drivers, 12Hz to 22kHz frequency response, four sizes of eartips, and more. But hurry, this deal ends November 11.
- AKG Closed Back On-Ear Headphones
Price: $39.95 with free shipping
Lowest By: $19
Is It Worth It?: These headphones, which normally sell for $140, may not be familiar to casual listeners. But in the world of recording studios, AKG headphones rule — and the company has a solid, well-deserved reputation for making top-level audio gear. The K 430s include a 6.3mm gold-plated jack adapter, astounding frequency response of 12Hz to 28kHz, folding headband, and a carry case.
- Able Planet Foldable Noise-Canceling Headphones
Price: $39.99 with free shipping
Lowest by: $23
Is It Worth It?: These headphones tout their noise-canceling technology, but they also look plenty comfy, too, with ample padding around the ears and head strap. Add to that a frequency response at 20Hz to 20kHz and adjustable volume control, and these headphones are a smart buy. One caveat: they require a AAA battery, which makes for one more device that uses a power source that costs additional money and will contribute to our growing landfills.
Front page photo credit: Gnetik Productions