Beyerdynamic Tesla T 70Price: $595

Website: www.beyerdynamic.de

S. Andrea said: Their greatest strengths are levels of focus, clarity, and detail that are rare among dynamic headphones. Their closed-back design only augments that sense of detail, and seems to have no adverse consequences. If you strive to hear everything that's on your recordings, the Beyerdynamic T 70s should definitely be on your audition list.

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The gist: For the discriminating classical listener.

B&W P3Price: $199

Website: www.bowers-wilkins.com

S. Andrea said: If you come to the P3s from a pair of earbuds or the average small headphones, you’ll likely be amazed at how much bigger and more open they sound. And when you turn up the volume, they won’t complain -- they’ll just get more enveloping. Bowers & Wilkins’ P3 headphones offer a very satisfying sound wrapped up in a stylish, go-anywhere package.

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The gist: 801s wrapped around your ears?

HiFiMAN Express HM-601Price: $249

Website: www.head-direct.com

Vade said: Overall, the HiFiMAN HM-601 has definite pluses that will need to be weighed carefully to determine whether it’s the right audiophile-quality portable player for you.

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The gist: Pretty good portable player but then there's the iPod to consider.

HiFiMAN HE-400Price: $399

Website: www.head-direct.com

Vade said: With the lowest price of any current planar-magnetic headphone, and with sound rivaling or surpassing that of many other headphones in its price range, the HiFiMAN HE-400s are flaming bargains. I have no trouble giving them a Reviewers’ Choice award. 

Reviewers' Choice

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The gist: Electrostatic headphones at an ambitious price point.

Kinivo BTH220Price: $44.99

Website: www.kinivo.com

Rad said: The Kinivo BTH220s offered very exciting, very good sound, as well as the freedom of wireless Bluetooth. (Warning: Once you’ve experienced this freedom, you maybe never want to be wired again!) And they cost amazingly little. Amazon sells them for $29.95, but you can probably find them for less. At that price they’re a true bargain, and high on my value-for-dollar list. I’m happy to have rediscovered them.

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The gist: Good sounding wireless ‘phones for a pittance.

Logitech UE 9000Price: $399

Website: www.logitech.com

Rad said: Logitech’s UE 9000s have a lot going for them. They’re solidly built, have a shiny, gleaming appearance, provide excellent sound whether used wired or wireless, and come with a practical carrying case and a better-than-usual warranty. What’s not to like?

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The gist: Wireless and neutral 'phones.

MartinLogan Mikros 70Price: $149 per pair

Website: www.martinlogan.com

S. Andrea said: The Mikros 70s’ detail and clarity are excellent with small- to medium-scale music. Though they won’t substitute for studio headphones for more complex fare, they won’t discourage you from listening to such recordings. The Mikros 70 delivers a sonic balance that strives to please, regardless of musical selection or driving equipment. Tastes varying as they do, there’s no guarantee that you’ll like the flavor of sound offered by the Mikros 70s -- but I sure did.

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The gist: The vaunted speaker company makes a pretty good earphone.

Polk Audio UltraFit 2000Price: $69.95

Website: www.polkaudio.com

Rad said: They’re comfortable, durable, and intuitive to use. Polk provides different earpads to fit different folks and situations, and the ’phones provide solid, evenly balanced sound with great overall clarity.

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The gist: Designed to enhance your workout experience.

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