Headphones on Top

When fully ripe as it is now, this holiday spending season can inhibit the practice of proper judgment in gift selection. A white elephant purchase is most frequently made in the haze of checkout lines and bad traffic, especially in the case of women shopping for their men. This is because guys may seem easy to shop for, but we are surprisingly particular. A cordless drill, snow blower, or any task-oriented gift is always appreciated, though a better gift may be found through carefully looking into a recent resurgence in certain entertainment devices.

Dr. John A. Kosinski, an adjunct in the department of chemistry, medical technology and physcics, is so intellectual that his possible holiday wishes saturated my mind with visions of some enigmatic resonating circuit machine. Kosinski surprised me with his simple request.

Kosinski wants to be able to enjoy music through top-of-theline media devices. “I want a top quality set of speakers for my home office,” he said. Kosinski’s ideal gift is not unusual, considering in the market demand over the past few years.

The demand amongst the public for a better sound experience is great in many ways, but in some cases, quality has been impaired by the stupidity of the average consumer.

For example, the appearance of BigR Audio Bruce Lee signature headphones on the Men’s Health 2012 Holiday Gift Guide is comedic in its ridiculousness. Maybe these can have great sound, but their popularity, when there is little chance of high-fidelity audio being so much as slightly related to a long deceased Kung-Fu actor isn’t flattering to consumer intelligence.

Their current popularity makes some of them questionable, but great headphones or speakers can be found in many price ranges and tonality preferences.

One of the obvious front-run-ners in the headphone market, Beats by Dr. Dre, has decent sound, big low end, and trendiness in younger demographics, but people more concerned with sonic quality than the current big names have more options to explore.

If you are amongst the hordes of headphone buyers this year, consider that headphone makers with models in the same price range as Beats often exceed their audio quality. These include Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, and Grado Labs, who typically have many models in the chic, overthe- ear style, or in the convenient in-ear design.

Before choosing a pair, be sure to know whether your man does his listening at home or on the move, and know his tonal preference. Figure out if he likes a lot of bass, more treble, heavy midrange, or a more neutral mix, because quality headphones will list these specifications, and they do make all the difference in the listening experience. Headphones are the big-ticket item this year among many men, and choosing the pair that a man really wants is possible if you know what to look for in the deceptive multitude.

When asked what gift he really wants this holiday season, Senior Dave Brook replied, “Personally, I believe the best brand is Bose easily. They have the best sound quality and everything. The only problem is they are more expensive than other leading brands.” Many men like Kosinski and Brook are looking forward to opening a box of high quality headphones and stereo systems this holiday season, but this is not so much the case with older men, such as parents or grandparents.

Much like purchasing headphones, other gifts require an extensive resourcefulness in attentiveness to a guy’s personal taste.

When buying a boyfriend or husband presents for the holidays, a common mistake is to blur his preferences with your own, so apply wisdom you have gained from your relationship to appeal to his taste instead of your own.