What are the best headsets? We examine a few

We look into the world of headphones, earphones and earbuds

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Sennheiser PXC 450 

Sound One of the more expensive choices on the market, this high-end headset allows an unprecedented sound experience with patented NoiseGard technology - developed by Sennheiser for pilots who need good sound quality and efficient protection against ambient noise in a high-noise environment - which prevents unwanted partial oscillation and delivers natural, life-like sound quality. It also uses quality microphones, which enable more sophisticated pick-up of unwanted noise. Specially developed filter algorithms enable improved active noise compensation of up to 90 per cent (23 dB). It is, of course, also possible to use these headphones without NoiseGard and without batteries.

Quality The headset is also equipped with a patented TalkThrough function, which allows you to carry on a conversation without taking them off. When the TalkThrough is activated, microphones on the outside of the headphones pick up all acoustic signals in the immediate area, while unwanted background noise is filtered out electronically.

Listener Ideal for people on the move, the headset is perfect for inflight entertainment systems and MP3 players with replaceable circumaural ear pads and a padded headband. Weighing in at 240 grams , the foldable PXC 450 has volume control integrated in the headphones.


Harman/Kardon AKG 480 

Sound These mini headphones have active noise reduction, which allows you to hear every detail of your choice of music with virtually no interference. With an optional communication kit, they will also allow you to make and receive hands-free calls from your mobile phone.

Quality Made by AKG, one of the most respected names in professional audio for 60 years, this set can withstand the rugged life of a traveller. Part of Harman International, AKG products can be found in recording studios, radio and TV stations, opera houses and stages across the world.

Listener Best suited for MP3 and laptop listening, users have praised the folding mechanism and 125-gram weight for easy transport, the padded ear pads and headband for comfort, as well as its iPhone compatibility.


Panasonic RP-DJ600 

Sound With few frills, this low-priced set exceeds the quality of most earbuds, which are commonly issued as freebie headphones with most portable players, although some higher-performance earbuds can offer sonics that rival full-size headphones.

Quality Earbuds rest on the outer ear or are inserted into the ear canal. Ultracompact and lightweight, they are the most portable of all headphones and can provide moderate to excellent isolation from external noise, although few boast the sound-cancelling qualities of larger headsets. The RP-DJ600 has a swivel mechanism and gold-plated plugs that ensure freedom from rust and minimal loss of contact.

Listener These 205-gram DJ-style monitor headphones deliver a clear and powerful sound that will more than satisfy the regular listener.