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Review: Stylish, Quality Headphones Get Popular

By RON HARRIS

ATLANTA (AP) â¿¿ Most people consume their music while on the go these days â¿¿ in cars, while jogging, in between smartphone calls or while working at a desk. Thousands of our favorite songs are just a playlist away.

But pumping your favorite tunes through common earbuds may not deliver quite the high fidelity you deserve. I took a look at a fleet of modern headphones, both on-ear and over-ear models. I found a handful that could greatly improve your listening experience, with style.

You'd pay much more than the typical pair of earbuds â¿¿ Apple sells it for $29 â¿¿ but the investment is worth it considering how much better music sounds. The popular Beats by Dr. Dre aren't the only stylish headphones on the streets. Here's a look at a few others, branded by popular musicians, athletes and even a TV series.

â¿¿ V-Moda True Blood V-80 ($230)

Supremely stylish, with a touch of the macabre, these brushed-metal, on-ear headphones boast branding from the HBO vampire series "True Blood." Once you get past the blood-red color accents on the headband padding and on the finely braided cable, you're still left with an excellent pair of headphones that perform as well as they look.

Allow me a moment to explain a bit of headphone technology. Drivers are the combination of a magnetic element and a moving diaphragm that creates the sound that your ears hear while wearing the headphones. A low-impedance rating indicates that the headphones are primarily suited for low-voltage amplifiers found in small, portable music players.

The V-80s have low impedance and 40-millimeter drivers. They offer a frequency range of 5 hertz to 30 kilohertz, which is a wide spectrum of frequency response. Jonas Starker's cello solos, for instance, felt crisp and alive.

Purists will differ on how much the human ear can hear beyond 20 kilohertz. More important, I've often felt, is the quality of the recording you're attempting to hear.

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