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2014's Best Back to School Headphones

Yup, it's that time of year again, and this year brings more great headphones than ever to choose from for your student on the go.  Whether it's over-ear models for serious study sessions, in-ear headphones for serious isolation, or bluetooth wireless for serious mobility, we have picked out some of our favorite back to school headphonesthat will add a little magic to any student's academic life.

Best Over-Ear Headphones for Back to School

Over-ear headphones are great way to get in the zone for studying and relaxation, and offer great sound quality at reasonable prices.  We recommend closed headphones that will block moderate noise and prevent others from hearing your music.  These picks will sound great right out of a smartphone, tablet, or computer, and will sound even better out of a dedicated headphone amp.  

Beats Studio & Beats Solo 2The Beats Studio and Beats Solo 2 are two obvious choices as a great student headphone.  We've recently picked up the Beats line, and after some auditions we must say-- Beats has really stepped up their game in terms of sound quality and build.  Most students are going to love their rich, full sound and sophisticated looks with slick features like in-line mics, long battery life and bullet-proof carrying case.  The Skullcandy Aviators are another obvious choice for the student, and the best sounding Skullcandy in the line-up in our opinion.  With an extremely elegant retro styling and surprisingly refined sound, the Aviators are also mic'd for smartphones and ready to jam your favorite playlist.   Skullcandy Aviators & Shure SRH440Sennheiser's Momentum and Momentum on-ear headphones are perhaps the superlative of portable headphones, offering truly stellar sound, gorgeous styling and color options, all backed by Sennheiser's industry-leading reputation and German engineering prowess.  Finally, Shure's excellent SRH440 headphones, at under $100, are an affordable option for those still wanting a refined sound with craftsmanship ready to take a beating on the road or in a backpack. (Or, for the budding audiophile, check the killer package special, Shure SRH 440 headphones and Fiio E11 headphone amp package combo.) 

Best In-Ear Headphones for Back to School

Shure SE215, Etymotic M3, Skullcandy Smokin' Buds 2In-ear headphones are perfect for the student who needs lots of isolation so they can focus on the task at hand.  They are also great for traveling and indoor exercise, and many models are headsets for easy smartphone compatibility.The Shure SE215 is our top recommended earphone under $100, thanks to it's accurate and refined sound, detachable cables, and Shure ergonomics known for being some of the most comfortable and highest isolating in the industry. The Etymotic MC3 also offers excellent isolation, rock solid durability, iPhone-ready mic, and Etymotic's renowned crisp detail in a very affordable ($69) package.  Finally, the Skullcandy Smokin' Buds 2 perform with surprisingly solid sound for under $30, redesigned ergonomics that provide a great fit, and microphone for smartphones.  All this for under 30?!, these are pretty much a no-brainer for anyone!

Best Wireless Headphones for Back to School

Outdoor Tech Privates, Jaybird Bluebuds X, Beats Studio WirelessGood news if you're interested in the convenience of wireless listening:  options keep getting better and better sounding at reasonable pricing.  Here we have several bluetooth options, ready for instant and easy connection to your smartphone, tablet or computer.  Recently added to our line up is Outdoor Technology, a fun and innovative brand out of Colorado with a nice array of wireless products.  We like the Privates; cool looking with durable construction, these wireless headphones are only $99 and sound great right out of the box.  The Jaybird Bluebuds X are the option of choice for those looking at wireless workouts; these wireless in-ear style phones are made for blood sweat and tears during the rigours of your exercise routine... the question is, are you?  Finally, for the cats meeeooow of wireless, the Beats Studio Wireless really are a treat.  Most folks won't be able to tell any difference in sound quality between these and their wireless counterparts, and they earned high marks here in the office for fit and overall operation.  

School's Back In... Are You Ready to Focus?

Make your favorite music part of the equation with some new headphones.  Besides, you're doing your ears a favor by throwing away the $5 cheapies and making (even a small) investment in quality, clarity, and comfort.  Just like everything else, your ears won't last forever, so take care of them for the long haul, long after the days of Greek parties, all nighters (studying of course), and collegiate adventures has ended.  Have fun everyone, and study hard!

 


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