Head’s Up

Headphones make waves as sound style statements

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Buy them for their looks, love them for their comfort — the current wave of headphones offer far more than just superior sound quality. The latest models wrap around the back of the neck, making them a little more discreet than traditional, over-the-top headphones — plus, they also don’t mess with your hair, and work with hats. Sony’s newest (on the Canadian market) MDR-G73LP (1), from its savvy Street Style line, comes in brilliant colours and has a fully flexible wire back that tucks behind the neck and can barely be felt ($59.95, Bay Bloor Radio, Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor West, 416-967-1122). It also boasts excellent sound. DJs and hardcore sound freaks want full-ear coverage on their ‘phones, to block outside sound. Audiophile systems maker Grado Labs’ Prestige Series SR325 (2) is their mid-range headphone and still sounds better than most companies’ high-end sets ($429, Bay Bloor Radio). Sennheiser is one maker that’s known worldwide for classy headphones. The Symphony HD570 (3) sounds very sweet at $199 (Kromer Radio, 420 Bathurst, 416-920-6700). Optimus’s Neck-band Style 33-8052 (4) gets a behind-the-neck look for $29.99 — with these babies you get what you pay for audio-wise (Radio Shack, Eaton Centre, 220 Yonge, 416-979-3180). The must-have novelty feature in these times is Panasonic’s vibrating Shockwave technology, which works with proprietary CD players to deliver vibrations along with the bass line. The $99 Brain Shaker Xtreme (5) is doing well at Kromer Radio. Sony’s popular Street Style Twin Turbo MDR-G72 (6) folds up for storage ($49.95, Bay Bloor Radio).

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