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in this issue ASA BUTTERFIELD BY MITCHELL NGUYEN MCCORMACK

Gadget: Best Headphone Roundup

A SPECIAL ROUNDUP. MUSIC TO MY EARS. No matter if you’re plugging it into a tiny MP3 player or a high-end stereo, the right pair of headphones can really make or break a moment with your favorite tunes

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1. THE QUIET ONE

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It’s hard going back to normal headphones if you’ve ever had a good noise-canceling model—which makes commuting, or any other time you have to settle for something a bit more suitable for travel, a bit aggravating. This is where the Bose QuietComfort 25, the latest entrant in the brand’s famed noise-canceling headphones lineup, comes in. With a lightweight folding design that’s easy to carry and improved noise-canceling circuitry, the QuietComfort 25 will bring your musical journeys to a whole new level.

2. THE SLEEKEST OF THEM ALL

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Headphones tend to be rather bulky, which is why plenty of people still prefer in-ear models. The B&O Play Form 2i offers a compromise in size without sacrificing quality. The sleek profile and ultra-light feel of this pair might leave you doubting its performance, but the Form 2i provides an excellent soundstage with good bass, focused middle tones and precise highs. And it sits incredibly comfortable, making it the perfect choice for urban dwellers who can’t live without a soundtrack to their daily commutes.

3. THE THINKING CAP

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Elegant and sturdy, posh and durable, the Master & Dynamic MH40 over-ear headphones are both a fashion statement and a superb piece of audio hardware. Perhaps the most impressive part is the absence of plastic: The body is forged aluminum; any part that will see high strain is made with stainless steel; the cables are made of oxygen-free copper for superb audio signal transmission; and the memory foam ear pads covered in lambskin ensures maximum comfort. So, when you need absolute aural bliss, the MH40 would be an absolute contender.

4. THE TV’S BFF

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Why would you want to watch TV with headphones? There are many reasons, although the most common one is so you don’t have to worry about the volume bothering other people. While this might sound like a stopgap measure, there’s no reason to skimp on quality and comfort. And for the best headphone system to accompany your time in front of the TV (or computer or just about any audio device, actually) nothing really comes close to the Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless Headphone System. It is quite pricey, but it’s easy to set up, impressive (and rock-steady) wireless range along with incredible audio performance.

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