Best affordable headphones for your Android smartphone

January 22, 2013
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Best-Music-Apps-Android

There’s no need for an MP3 player anymore if you’ve got an Android smartphone. Grab the Play Music app and upload up to 20,000 songs to Google Music for free and you never need to be without the tunes that get you smiling ever again.

Everyone likes to listen to music, but not all of us like earphones. The ear bud style that tends to ship with most Android smartphones can be uncomfortable and the sound quality is rarely very good out of the box. We decided to check out some affordable headphones to find a good mix of over the ear comfort, portability, and sound quality. True audiophiles might be happy to drop hundreds of dollars, but most of us aren’t, so we set an RRP limit of $100 for this roundup. If you’re in the market for a new set of cans then take a look.

Wicked Audio Evac HeadphonesEvac-Green-Perspective

You don’t have to pay a fortune for decent sound quality and the Wicked Audio Evac headphones deliver a surprisingly decent depth of sound for the money. They’re a good fit for your Android because they are really portable. The cable is four feet and it’s a really thin cloth cord. You can fold the cushioned on-ear cans up to stick them in your pocket and they’re easily adjustable for comfort with a set of metal sliders that plug into the canvas strap. There’s a standard gold-plated jack as well.

They come in military green, black or white and the minimalist design is subtle and understated. The Wicked logo adorns each can, but other than that there’s no branding. The RRP on these is $60, but you’ll see them going for around $20 and at that price you can’t really go wrong. Keep your proof of purchase and you can take advantage of a free lifetime warranty.

Creative Labs WP-350 Wireless Bluetooth HeadphonesCreative_Labs_WP-350

If we push our budget up the max we can snag a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones with a built-in hidden microphone for taking calls. Once you’ve paired them via the Bluetooth menu on your Android you can enjoy music without wires, you’ll even find a set of controls on the right can for taking calls, skipping tracks forward or back, volume up and down, and play or pause.

The leatherette ear cushions are pretty comfortable, but they can make your ears seriously hot, especially if the weather is warm. The cans fold flat and there’s no cord so they score well for portability. The sound quality for streaming music is pretty good, but they aren’t so great for calls. The price of a wireless life is having to recharge them after eight hours of use. The RRP on these is $100, but you can snag them for under $60 and they offer a decent set of features at that price.

Koss Porta Pro HeadphonesKoss_Porta_Pro

Coming at you through the passage of time all the way from 1984 the retro Porta Pro headphones from Koss combine good quality sound with lightweight portability. They offer impressive deep bass and a good range. There’s a unique “Comfort Zone” setting for the ear plates and a standard adjustable headband. They also totally fold up for easy storage in the little pouch that comes with them.

Over a long period these aren’t really comfy, in my opinion, and the metal headband is great at catching hairs. In terms of design you’ll either love or hate the eighties look. What is good is the sound quality and the price tag. The RRP is $50, but you’ll get them for closer to $30 if you shop around.

Sennheiser PX 100-II HeadphonesPX100-II

The original PX 100s were a super popular release from Sennheiser offering great sound quality and real portability. The sequel, PX 100-II, is a pretty decent set of headphones as well. These are solid over-the-ear cans with strong bass and good range. The killer feature is really the portability because they fold up to the size of a pair of sunglasses, which makes them perfect for taking out and about. The single sided cord is also handy if you have them plugged into your Android in your pocket.

They have a pretty nice understated look and they are comfortable for long periods. The two leather cushions on the headband make a big difference in that department. Considering the sound quality on offer here and the great portability these are worth a look. The RRP is $70, but search online and you’ll find them for under $50.

Sony MDR-ZX100 ZX Series Headphones

Sony_MDR-ZX100

For anyone on a really tight budget Sony has you covered with these headphones. The sound is solid when you consider the RRP of $20. You’ll also like the cushioned cans and they’re collapsible for easy storage. These are actually pretty good for noise reduction as well. The design is very light, maybe a little flimsy, but the plain black or white is stylish in a minimalist way.

They aren’t comfortable if you wear them for a long time. The headband isn’t padded and some people complain that they’re a bit tight, although they are adjustable. If you’re really into sound quality then you won’t appreciate the muddy mid-range and limited bass, but what do you expect at this price? Shop around and you’ll get them for closer to $15. You won’t find many options to compete at that price.

Best headphones for your Android smartphone?

You can easily drop a few hundred for a pair of Bose headphones or go for a Beats Solo set at nearer $200 and there’s no argument that the sound quality will be better. These five options may not be the best headphones you can get, but they are affordable, and for listening to tracks on your Android smartphone when you’re out and about they’ll do very nicely.

For really tight budgets we’d opt for the Wicked Audio Evac headphones. Audiophiles without money to spend should stretch to the Sennheiser PX 100-II headphones. Considering the wireless Bluetooth functionality the Creative Labs WP-350 headphones are great value too. What do you think? Tell us what headphones you’re rocking with your Android and why.

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