This article appeared in Complex's 2011 August/September Style & Design issue.
We're not sure when it happened, but sometime between the introduction of the iPod and now, headphones have elevated from functional equipment to fashion accessory. There was a time when you could get a pair of headphones in any color you wanted as long as it was black or silver. Now, there are brands that offer a rainbow of colors to suit any outfit, mood, or taste. It's gotten to the point where some brands are known for their aesthetic, rather than the quality of sound. That's all to the good. Not everyone needs studio quality sound; some just want to look cool while they commute to work in the morning.
For our 2011 Style & Design issue, we decided to sit down with three of our favorite companies that make headphones and talk to them about what goes into designing a headphone, how is the look balanced with the function, and what they think makes their headphones stand out from all the others in Best Buy.
Related: The 10 Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $200