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best new headphones

Shut up, world

The insider’s guide to indie headphones

Technology

Forget watches and shoes – headphones are swiftly becoming the most important men's fashion accessory. Here's five pairs of well-crafted indie headphones that are guaranteed to give you an impenetrable force field of coolness...

01
best new headphones

Master & Dynamic MW50+

New York-based indie audio brand Master & Dynamic makes finely-tooled headphones for creatives and (well-heeled) gents. They’re known for their meticulous craftsmanship and lambskin ear pads, which feel softer than a vintage Bentley's armrest. Their latest design, the MW50+, converts from on-ear to over-ear courtesy of magnetically-attached cups. Choose the compact on-ear cups for commuting. Then switch to the larger, over-ear cups for rich, expansive soundscapes on your stylish turntable. £369  masterdynamic.com

02
best new headphones - Aiaiai

AIAIAI x Deviation TMA-2 Modular Headphone System

In the lexicon of the bizarre brand names, ‘AIAIAI’ is up there with ‘Huh.’ (a cool clothing brand based in Dalston). But if you're looking for ingenious indie headphones with a sustainable twist, this Danish firm kills it.  The brilliant modular design allows anyone to repair, upgrade or tinker with each individual component (headband, speaker units, ear pads, etc). This particular pair has been tuned by Radio 1’s DJ Benji B, so expect a 'sweeter' mid-range. £220  aiaiai.dk

03
best new headphones - Krea Funk

Kreafunk aHead Wireless

You’ve probably never heard of Kreafunk. Nobody has. But this Danish lifestyle brand is small, brave and known for its original designs. These wireless aHead cans are an instant classic, with a utilitarian vibe that harks back to Bang & Olufsen's 1970s aesthetic. They last about 14 hours per charge and feature basic noise reduction, a control panel on the ear cup and high-quality 40mm drivers. Fun fact: they come packaged in a really cool wooden storage box. £89  kreafunk.com

04

i.am+ BUTTONS

Noted tech-fiend and entrepreneur Will.i.am wants to get inside your head – but only as far as your cochlea. His i.am+ BUTTONS are wireless, last up to six hours per charge and come correct with ‘High Definition Bass’. To save you from losing them,  the BUTTONS are fitted with disc-shaped magnets. When you’re not listening to music, they clasp together to form a gender-neutral necklace. Pretty smart. Even people who utterly despise Will.i.am should grudgingly admit that he's played a blinder. £179 amazon.co.uk

05

KEF x Porsche Design Space One Wireless Black

KEF is one of those high-end British audio companies that produces mind-blowing products – from an industrial estate in Maidstone. If you're obsessed with high resolution audio and world class engineering, you'll love the Space One's, which are part of KEF’s award-winning collaboration with Porsche. State-of-the-art features include Bluetooth aptX wireless tech and an (exceptionally good) 30 hour battery life. The killer Active Noise Cancelling suppresses ambient noise with dictatorial efficiency. £350  porsche-design.com

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