Give the Gift of Peace & Quiet
by Mark Abell
High resolution music was developed by David Chesky seven years ago and delivers sound quality to listeners that is approximately four to eight times the fidelity of a CD. HDTracks.com provided me with John Coltrane’s Blue Train, The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s Time Out, Nirvana’s In Utero, and Nevermind, Stan Getz/Gilberto: Expanded Edition, Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, which I piped through the JRiver Media Player v.19 and the Dragonfly USB DAC v.1.2.
Ultimate Ears UE900 in-ear-monitor
The UE900 is a supremely comfortable in-ear-monitor because it gives listeners tips in various sizes which will fit the majority of users. These fit like ear-plugs and block out the majority of outside noise and allow a listener to focus exclusively on the music. Hence, they are suitable primarily for stationary listening in a studio or home yet should not be used during active pursuits as they block outside noise too well! With the UE900, listeners can hear every instrument in “Something In The Way” by Nirvana vividly including violin, drums-including tapping on the head, guitars as well as vocals.
Monster Inspiration Noise Cancelling Over-Ear
Winner of Plus X’s design award, Monster’s Inspiration headphone sports a metal headband and side ear-pieces. It collapses into three-pieces to stow in a padded travel case with an attached carabiner clip—which reduces the risk of losing the ‘phones while traveling. In addition, the top headband can be swapped out for different patterns, allowing the user to turn their headphones into a fashion accessory. Use the Noise Cancelling feature immediately as AA batteries are included to preserve your peace of mind and drown out external sounds. These over-the-ear ‘phones fit spaciously, deliver solid bass and are comfortable to wear for hours.
Bowers & Wilkins P3 on-ear headphone
Although the colorways of the P3 are influenced by the bold splashes of color ushered in by the Beats By Dr Dre headphones line, the former possesses a solidity of construction that dramatically overshadows their brightly hued rivals. Clad with brushed aluminum panels on the sides of the ear-pieces and arrive with a color-coordinated hardshell case, these are designed to provide many years of listening pleasure, not mere months. Thankfully, the age-old problem of “ear-clamp,” that-is the uncomfortable sensation induced by wearing headphones for hours is eliminated because Bowers & Wilkins’ designers wedded durability to comfort via memory-foam earpieces which envelope the ear like a space age foam mattress envelopes the body by nature of conforming to the size and shape of an individual’s ear. Translation: They conform to your unique ear which means you have a reason not to share ‘em! Most importantly, their sound is among the most refined I’ve ever experienced. Classical, jazz, and acoustic records are reproduced with a timbre that is convincing and hits a sweet spot that is neither overly bright nor anemically dim.
Firstly, the Momentum on-ear boasts of good sound packed into a compact chassis. They are fittingly travel-sized without enduring a significant sonic compromise. Secondly, the Momentums are aesthetically appealing with their use of the space-age material Alcantara trim which is also found in the interior of the Maserati GranTurismo. Their aluminum sliders for adjusting the ‘phones to your head are also attractive. Thankfully, their handsome charm is coupled with a solidity of build quality. Unlike the fashionable Beats by Dre line which offers a one-year warranty, the Sennheiser’s compete effectively with a two-year warranty which reveals that they are built for the long haul. I believe the Momentums will be operable for five to ten years, assuming they are not taken outside and exposed to rain and other environmental conditions.
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Issue Navigation> Issue Index > v13n48 (Gift Guide, Week of Thursday, November 27) > Holiday Gift Guide > Give the Gift of Peace & Quiet
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