If you're like us, you've got your investment headphones and at least one knock-around pair: the set you bring camping (ok, some people do), the extras that sit by the dog's leash, the ones you keep in your gym locker, and so on. You don't want to spend a ton on these, because you may need to replace them at any time.
In the course of our research (some of it conducted over years at drugstores and airports), we came across a truly remarkable buy: the $15 Leme EB20 headphones, which are everything you want in over-ears for an incomprehensibly low price. They're delightful enough to be your only pair, but you won't berate yourself for leaving them behind.
BUY: Leme EB20A Wireless Ergonomic Bluetooth 4.0 Over Ear Headphone, $15; amazon.com
What drew us in initially was the look of the Lemes: the slender, rectangular ear pieces are modern and not overwhelming, and there's no visible wiring. They not only fulfill the criterion of looking more expensive, they blow away competitors that actually are expensive. What kept us hooked was their comfort (no stiffness), great sound, simple controls, clear microphone. The only drawback is that the promised noise-cancelling is negligible, but that was never a strong draw for us. If that's your thing, get the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 ($349) which enshroud you in coffin-like silence.
But really, it seems silly to quibble that a $15 headphone doesn't match the big boys. At this price, we are buying spares.
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Wins for: Appearance, Value, and Sound
• Battery supports 12 hours continuous play and 26 hours standby
• On-ear controls for simple, easy adjustments
• Clear microphone
*NOTE: At the time of this posting, the Leme EB20A Wireless Ergonomic Bluetooth 4.0 Over Ear Headphones were available via the Amazon link above for $15. They have since sold out at that price and are now available for $40 here.
See the rest of InStyle's 2017 Best of Tech picks here.