Headphones -- you need them to drown out the incessant droning racket of the world around you, but many are expensive, and lots of them are rubbish and fall off your head for no reason.
But have no fear, for over on the right we've detailed our favourite in-ear and on-ear headphones, making it easy for you to choose a set that won't drive you up the wall. For more headphone reviews, be sure to check out our exhaustive reviews section.
While our reviews are a great way of assessing headphones' worth, my advice to anyone shopping for a new set is to try before you buy. Which 'phones will fit your particular tastes is tricky to gauge before you actually hear music through them, so if at all possible, head down to a shopping centre or borrow a set off a friend to see how the sound suits.
I'd strongly recommend listening to any headphones you're eyeing up with a few songs you already know and love. This way you'll identify sonic differences to what you're used to -- if you find the bass sounds too overpowering, listen around until you find something more balanced. If you're picking up details in the song that you've never noticed before, you could be onto a winner.
Audio quality is only half the battle. Headphones are notoriously breakable bits of tech, but there are a few things to look out for that indicate a set of cans could be more durable. Thick cabling is a definite plus, and means your headphones are likely likely to meet their untimely end in closing car doors.
Some in and on-ear headphones come with detachable cables. This is a big plus as it means worn-out cables can be replaced, rather than you being forced to send the headphones away for repair or buy a new set entirely.
Look at build quality -- do the headphones feel plasticky and cheap? If you give them a squeeze can you hear them creaking? These can be signs of dodgy build quality.
If you're looking at in-ear headphones, think about how they attach to your noggin. Headphones with looped cables can be tricky to put on, but feel more secure once attached. If you're buying on-ear headphones, think about whether you want to risk irritating colleagues with leaky open-backed cans, or whether on-ear options will provide the sound isolation you need to make it through a noisy train ride.
In any case, the selection of headphones offered here are all excellent efforts at a variety of prices, so pick a style that suits you and find a place to try them on your own ears.