Headphone Review — In-Ear, On-Ear, and Over-Ear

There are too many options to choose from when buying a new set of headphones.  We wanted to share with you a few of our favorite products to potentially help narrow down your search, cause we care.  We care about your ears.  You’re welcome.

In-Ear Headphones

We’ve seen the life and death of several in-ear headphone models.  A durable headphone is vital when you’re always on the run.  But of course, we’re always looking out for the best audio quality available.  We recommend the Klipsch S series in-ears.  You can buy a pair of S4i’s for $99 on Amazon here.  The highs are crisp, the mids cut through, and there’s just enough bass to fill the low end.  

Klipsch Image S4i Rugged - Red All Weather In-Ear Headphones

Klipsch Image S4i Rugged – Red All Weather In-Ear Headphones

We opted for the Rugged model, which boasts the following features for awesome outdoor abuse:

  • All weather design resists moisture and functions thru extreme elements
  • Ruggedized with tough rubber moldings
  • X-large 3-button remote for easy control during outdoor activity

The only con we can think of is they are not quite as loud as some of the Sennheiser, the Sony, and the Bose In-Ears of the past, but they make up in functionality, durability, and style!  Gotta look good…

On-Ear Headphones

This is an easy one.  Gotta go with our friends at LSTN Headphones.  We received a pair of Cherry Wood Fillmores earlier this year, and fell in love at first listen.  The cherry wood casing adds a unique acoustic quality to the sound, warming up the mids and adding clarity at the same time!  Plus, you get a great bass tone without the “blowing out your eardrums” effect you get with some powered headphones.  “WHAT?!?  Sorry, I can’t hear you because I’ve been blowing my ears out.”

Cherry Wood Fillmores

Cherry Wood Fillmores

Also, the compactable (word?) design makes them great for on-the-go listening.  Just fold them up, throw them in the included travel bag, and head out to catch your flight, road trip, library, whatever you crazy kids do.  Whippersnappers.

Did we mention it’s all for a GREAT cause?  Proceeds from your purchase go to LSTN charity partners for the deaf, helping to restore hearing for children in need.  Pretty awesome, right?  Pick up a pair for just $100, a great buy at this price point.

Over-Ear Headphones

Being pro audio folks, we get serious when it comes to over-ear headphones.  We spend a lot of hours with over-ears, so they have to be good.  Comfort is important, clarity of sound, and a flat, frequency response.  We’ve tried most of the major brands, the Audio Technicas, the Shures, the Sennheisers, Sonys, AKG.  You can spend upwards of $600 or more on studio headphones.  We don’t do that.  $100 will buy you a nice pair of pro audio phones.  The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a solid choice for pro audio, with great noise cancellation and a good bit of low end response.  We tend to throw a pair of HD 280’s in the vocal booth to ensure no audio, other than the vocal itself, leaks into the microphone.  But as much as we like the Sennheisers for tracking, we tend to reach for the Shure SRH440 to mix our sessions.

Shure SRH440 Professional Studio Headphones

Shure SRH440
Professional Studio Headphones

The SRH440 model brings a flat frequency response with strong mids and a crystal clear high end to tame the unpleasant nuances.  Comfortable and lightweight, the Shure SRH440’s are great for hours spent mixing in the studio, or maybe to block out Dad’s singing on that long roadtrip to Wally World.  The Shure does lack a bit of low end bass response, but that’s what monitors and a subwoofer are for!  We typically use the SRH440 to reference guitars, vocals, overheads and other instruments that exceed the 150Hz range before switching to our studio monitors to zero in on the bass instruments.  Many of our engineer confidants ask to use our Shure phones when we visit their studios.  We be like “stop stealing our headphones” and they be like “no”.

Thanks and please let us know if you have any questions at all.  Sign up for our email newsletter here and never miss another blog post from Blue House Records.

Keep it funky,

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