First, the headphones are very comfortable. The headpiece adjusts to the perfect length and the ear piece is nicely cushioned and a generous size so it does not squish or pinch the ears, even if your ears are more substantial like mine (kids called me Dumbo in grade school, so you get the picture). This is important to me because uncomfortable headphones ruin the whole auditory experience as far as I’m concerned—I just can’t concentrate on what I’m listening to, whether it’s music, an audio book, a recording I need to write about, or something else, and am instead focused on how I can adjust the headphones to make them tolerable for the duration I need them. That’s not a problem with these headphones because I forget they are on my head. Even when my three girls are being loud or rambunctious, I can remain immersed in what I’m listening to because the noise cancellation is excellent and very little ambient noise reaches my ears. I will, however, preface this by saying that when I’m able to get into the zone with things, I naturally have very good ability to tune the world out (as my husband will happily attest to), so any undesirable noise that might reach my ears is unlikely to phase me. If you are very sensitive to noise and distractions, the noise cancellation might not be sufficient for you, but I’d say you’d probably have to be hypersensitive for this to be a potential problem.
Second, and equally importantly to me, the overall sound quality is excellent. Granted, I’m not a music aficionado who can pick up on the most miniscule subtleties, but I’ve had headphones where the bass was too overpowering or the overall sound was too hollow. The sound with these is very clear and nicely balanced.
Third, I love that these babies fold, making them much easier to carry in my small laptop bag, where space is at a premium, and I appreciate the durable braided cord. I’ve had quite a few headphone cords fray or get worn away in certain spots, making them unusable (granted many were very cheap earbud types), but I don’t see that being an issue with these. There would really have to be a whole lot of force or abuse for the cord to get messed up, so now I don’t have to worry about my little one potentially tugging at it, even if she seems like the Incredible Hulk at times.
Finally, I appreciate that the headphones have a microphone so it can be used for phone calls. I have used these on my iPhone for phone calls and while I can hear the person crystal clear, he or she don’t always hear me very well, even though I tend to speak much louder because I can’t really hear myself speaking. So I don’t use them for calls and, if I did, I certainly wouldn’t use them to speak with anyone while out in public, such as a coffee shop with Wi-fi, because I’d likely be too disruptive. But that’s not something I really have to worry about because even alone time in the bathroom is hard to come by these days. However, by the microphone are also volume controls, and that’s something I really like because it makes it so much easier to adjust the sound than having to do that on the device the headphone is plugged into.
I would definitely recommend these headphones. They may not be Dr. Dre or whatever newfangled expensive headphones are trendy these days, but they look good, fit comfortably, have great sound, and you don’t have to shell out a lot of greenbacks to get your hands on them, so if they break, it’s not a major hardship.