The 10 Best headphones

If you’re looking for cool, Seventies retro, earpads as comfy as old cushions or cans that keep your music private, this selection has it all...

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The Independent Tech

1. Denon AH-D400


A cool pair of cans – they deliver an earthy bass from the battery-run amp and a tight treble. An integrated volume control in the headphone is handy, too.

2. Atari Gear4


As well as the Atari computer styling, this pair are fold-away and stand up relatively well to school-bag bashing. Not bad for under £20.

3. Aiaiai Capital Midnight Black


This pair compresses down to fit in your handbag. They may be light as a J cloth, but they also pack some pretty punchy audio.

4. Fanny Wang 2000


Fanny Wang obviously set out to make a pair of headphones as accessories, but it has managed to do it while giving cracking sound quality.

5. Motörhead Bomber


It's easy to dismiss these phones as a bit of deft marketing by the band but they are surprisingly good. Features clear highs and a bass that could raise the dead.

6. Focal White Spirit One


Focal have created these as an antidote to celeb-endorsed cans which, it says, give too much emphasis to bass and treble – the sound here is crystalline.

7.  RHA SA950i


This sleek black and leather pair from Scottish firm RHA look good and offer a very decent sound for their price. An iPod-friendly volume control is cool, too.

8. Bowers and Wilkins P3


The Sussex-based firm is known for two things: audio detail and chic design. The P3s excel at both. They're foldaway, small and in a silky black fabric.

9. House of Marley Exodus Harvest


The Marley family's cans are made from a very cool (and comfy) leather and birchwood, giving things a pleasing 1970s vibe.

10. Sennheiser HD219


A dinky pair of "closed back" cans with a nice minimalistic design and sound quality no worse than you'd find in any of the under-£50 range of headphones.