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How to Choose A Pair of Headphones

Sari Krieger

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NEW YORK (MainStreet)—There are so many brands of headphones on the market today that choosing a pair can be a daunting undertaking--especially for audiophiles. To ease the process, we had some experts weigh in on what you may want to use to drown out your desk neighbor's phone conversation at the office or to add a soundtrack to your commute:

Scott Reyns is a professional voice actor and a musician based in San Francisco, so he knows when he's getting good quality sound. In addition to his professional use of headphones, Reyns, like many people, uses headphones while he exercises, works at his office computer or rides on public transportation.

"I've actually never been a big fan of Apple's headphones, though I will say the new ones they put out with the iPhone 5 seem like a vast improvement," Reyns said.

For everyday uses he prefers Plantronic's bluetooth headphones known as Backbeat Go. For more volume he prefers Skullcandy headphones. Professionally, in the studio, he uses Sony MDR-7506.

Wendy Kirwan works for the non-profit organization Kars4Kids in New Jersey.

"My job entails a lot of writing, which requires concentration, but I work in a busy call center, which makes it hard to concentrate," Kirwan said.

Her manager bought her Bose noise-canceling headphones to help fix her problem, but she was disappointed to realize they only canceled out white noise and not the sound of voices, unless she plugs them into music.

Employees at Geek Powered Studios in San Antonio, Tex. use a video game competition as a team-building exercise. John Leo Weber, a search engine optimization specialist at the company, said everyone there has an opinion on the best headphones since they use them so often for gaming.

"I personally use Koss headphones, because I've used them my whole life," he said. "Koss was founded in Milwaukee where I grew up, so I've always viewed their products as 'family owned' and 'local.' "

Petrina Hamm, a certified personal trainer in Apex, North Carolina, said she prefers Yurbuds Sport Earphones in a small size for women. Hamm said she found these headphones to be pricer than many others, but said the sound quality and comfort make them worth the cost.

"I've always had a hard time with headphones that move around or dislodge from my ears," Hamm said. "These stay in place during all my runs."

--Written by Sari Krieger