Brand name isn’t pledge of quality, nor is cost within brand name.
The Dr. Dre-certified ‘Beats’ headphones series are a great case of branding without substance. They charge the earth and even as the sound is generally high quality, the equipment used are economical and the devices are normally very poorly built/assembled. In case you doubt this, go and look up the Amazon reviews, or simply type in ‘Dr. Dre Beats Headsets are Rubbish’ into Google. You will be surprised (or not) at what shows up.
Industry leaders do not always offer the very best products, so it is with a heavy heart that I have to admit that any list of principal brands I could give you would be inherently misleading.
In fact, you will be far more contented if you produce a list of the individual requirements, highlight the most important one and search from there. For instance, if you’d like a earpiece that you can use within the gym or whilst jogging, I would have to recommend a totally diverse pair than I might if you merely desired to look cool.
Personally, I find that the Apple headphones that came with my iPod are more than good enough for my fundamental needs, but the best earphones I have ever had were a pair of Urbanista Copenhagen headphones that I reviewed for a site sometime last year. Though, those headphones would be totally inappropriate for some uses like jogging or running to catch a train.
For some advice about selecting the best pair, I went to Jamie Lendino’s PC Mag critique, which was posted on the web earlier this year, the article is astute and provides a complete run-down of what different types of headset can do for you. Lendino states,
“Some people happily spend more than half a grand on a new tablet or portable media device with an estimated lifespan of around three years, yet the question we’re asked often is still, “What’s the cheapest pair of headphones I can buy that don’t completely suck?” Headphones, earbuds, and earphones (we’ll describe the difference between them in a bit) are generally viewed as the least essential link in the musical chain—the part you can easily skimp on. In reality, your headphones are the most important link in that chain: A quality pair has a larger impact than the player itself on how your tunes will sound. Also, if well cared for, they will long outlive your planned-to-be-obsolete tablet, phone, or MP3 player. And you don’t have to break the bank, either”.
Whitson Gordon, at ‘Life Hacker.com’, even offers an incredibly useful article along the identical lines, which you’ll be able to read HERE.
So, to reiterate, brands like Sennheiser or Shure might have sterling reputations (and those reputations are positively deserved for some of their products), but I tenaciously recommend being concerned more about the functioning, function and value of the headphones, than with what the logo looks like.