I’ll freely confess to being an awful headphone snob. If I see anyone sporting those white ones that come with iPhones, I’m always tempted to go over and say: ‘Look, I can help you.’
Even spending £20 on headphones (ie a fraction of the amount you’ve blown on your phone), delivers such a vast improvement it’s an essential.
It also stops headphone snobs like me from staring at your ears while shaking our heads sadly.
The AKG N5005. There’s no electronics to muddy the sound: they’ve crammed five separate speaker drivers into each earphone
But can you justify spending more than the price of your phone? AKG hopes so, having just unveiled a pair of in-ears that somehow cost £800. Harrods, naturally, sold out immediately.
They’re impressively bonkers: they arrive in a case full of bits you clip together, like an assassin assembling a tiny sniper rifle. Select a wire or a Bluetooth attachment, and a physical ‘filter’ that sits over the speaker to tune the sound (ie by boosting bass), then it clicks together like Lego.
These are not for everyone: they’re great with high-end digital players (ie not your phone), and best with very high-quality recordings
There’s no electronics to muddy the sound: they’ve crammed five separate speaker drivers into each earphone, despite the fact you could comfortably swallow them with a glass of water.
The sound is (as you’d expect) almost maddeningly precise. These are not for everyone: they’re great with high-end digital players (ie not your phone), and best with very high-quality recordings. For my usual listening on Spotify, they just highlight how muddy the sound is.
These are an awe-inspiring feat of miniaturisation – but you really need to ensure your music player matches up.