In the Ideal Gifts series, The Next Web team shares personal recommendations for gifts to give this holiday season.
Headphone upgrades are some of the most reliably appreciated gifts, but picking the right ones can be difficult, particularly if looking for something portable. After all people don’t often think of earphones – also known as in-ear-monitors or IEMs if you’re feeling fancy – when it come to premium audio gear.
The $129 RHA MA750i, however, are deserving of the title, while being just as fit for workouts or long subway commutes.
First off – they sound great. Portable headphones typically compromise detailed presentation for powerful bass or vice versa, but the MA750i manage to get away with both. Bass hits fast and hard (perhaps still too much so for pickier audiophiles), but it almost never introduces murkiness into the midrange or treble.
They also have a surprisingly large soundstage for IEMs, doing a splendid job of making sounds seem like they’re not stuck inside your head. Couple this with strong passive noise cancelling and you’ve got a sound picture that’s not only detailed, but engaging.
Sound quality isn’t the only thing they have going for them though – they’re built like mini stainless steel tanks for your ear canals. The cables are meant to be worn over your ears, which stopped them from falling out my ears during my workouts, while also reducing noise transmission when moving.
They come with a large selection of replacement silicon and foam tips to help you find the best fit, a convenient leather carrying case, and a three-button microphone to make calls and control your music(although only the mic and play/pause button will work on non-iOS devices).
Are they the best sounding headphones in their price range? Debatable. But you’d be hard pressed to gift someone headphones that manage to sound so good, be built so sturdily and come so well packaged. The best part though? You get a three-year warranty with them, helping ensure your gift will last.
Published November 26, 2014 — 00:53 UTC