I have weird ears.
Not only did the right one launch a vengeful attack against me by getting an infection just before I was set to fly, essentially deafening me for my entire vacation and MFA graduation, but the insides are too small for most earbud headphones. Those iPhone ones? Torture. I had an emergency headphone situation at Christmas where I was flying cross-country to see my parents, and forgot my headphones at home. I had to buy some Skullcandy Chops In-Ear headphones from the airport shop. Frankly, they annoy the heck out of me every time I have to wear them. Unfortunately, certain situations (like working out at the gym, etc.) require these low-profile headphones, so I wear them with the mantra that “it could be worse.”
However, for at-home use, I had a massive craving for some old-school can headphones (aka full-size headphones or “circumaural” headphones). However, my budget isn’t up for my dream Sennheisers. I’m enough of a music nerd to really care about sound quality. My father raised me to care about such things–how else would I know about Sennheiser and Harmon/Kardon? Research was required to find a decent pair of cans.
I went to my favorite nerdy techy review site–CNET. I read a bunch of articles on headphones, but the one that helped me make my decision was part of their “best of 2014” series talking about the best over-the-ear headphones. The article pointed me toward the Panasonic RP-HTX-K1 Monitor Stereo Headphones. The price is affordable at just under $60 (and if you do a little searching on the internet, even lower–just sayin’), and offer comfort, sound quality, and “retro styling”.
I must admit, the “retro styling” really sold it for me. I have a weakness for such things, and I didn’t want just a plain black pair, which is generally the color choice for the less expensive headphones. I liked that the Panasonics came in a variety of colors. I chose the green pair.