The Headphones That Combine Sound, Style, and Value

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 Courtesy Marshall Headphones

What It Is: A pair of stylish and comfortable on-ear headphones that deliver high-quality sound.

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Why We Like It: The right headphones don’t just fall onto your ears. It takes some serious searching, and then some. And that’s especially true when it comes to investing in on- or over-ear headphones, where prices — and quality — have a wide range, and aren’t always consistent. Plus, we’re picky — about the sound, about the look, about it all. So when we tried out a pair of Marshall’s Major IIs, we knew we’d found the ones.

After almost seven months of heavy use, that sentiment holds strong, and so does the gear. (Our hearing, on the other hand, might have suffered.) Marshall kept efficiency in mind when designing the cups to fold into the headband, which makes packing them in your carry-on or pack much easier. The cable connects to either ear. And as far as sound quality goes, Marshall takes its other products just as seriously as it does with its excellent speakers. We haven’t heard many units better at this price point. And even shelling out another hundred on a pair of over-ears can get you some serious volume, sure, but that’s about it. From Kendrick Lamar to Taylor Swift to Tame Impala or a YouTube video, everything sounds impressive and balanced on the Major IIs. Want to get loud? Go ahead. And although they’re bigger than a pair of inner-ears, the classic-looking design and color don’t scream at you, and let the tech do the work. To sum it up: We’ll wear them for as long as they’ll have us.

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Nitpick: Ear discomfort does occur — but only after wearing them for an entire work day. Likewise, if you wear glasses, your ears might get slightly pinched. But when the time comes to switch to buds, whether it’s for a run or your ears need a breather, it won’t be long before you throw on the Major IIs again.

[$119; marshallheadphones.com]