Too many headphone makers these days think they have to tattoo a rapper's name onto the plastic, otherwise they won't sell.
Thankfully, the Sony MDR-ZX600 headphones dispense with such nonsense, instead offering the delightful combination of good looks, great sound and an affordable price tag.
They can be yours in a choice of colours for £60 from the Sony store.
Design and build
The ZX600s offer an over-head, on-ear design that's definitely aimed at the style conscious. My review model came in a crisp white colour that would appeal more to the minimalists among you than those looking for the brashness of 'phones like Skullcandy. The back of the ear cups have a brushed metal panel, on which you'll find an etched Sony logo. It adds a pleasing premium touch and saves the headphones from looking cheap.
If clean white doesn't appeal, then the ZX600s also come in black, with either blue, red or grey accenting. All of these look smart and will certainly fit in among all those devilishly cool people walking the streets to their own soundtrack these days.
The styling is more subtle than models in the inexplicably popular Monster Beats range, but they're arguably rather smart. And you won't be charged a whopping premium for their looks.
The headband can be adjusted to fit even the most gargantuan of noggins. It manages to be just tight enough to keep the 'phones in place, without squeezing your cranium like a polar bear's jaws. It's surrounded in a soft padded material that adds nicely to the comfort, although it does feel a little thin. It put up well with my testing, but I fear that it would quickly wear through after extended use and that's sure to spoil the stylish appeal.
The ear cups are a fair chunk bigger than some on-ear headphones. They're able to fit around the ear, but they're not as bulky as closed-back cans like the. That means a more comfortable and secure fit, giving better passive sound isolation than ear cups that simply sit on your ear. They also help to reduce noise leaking out and annoying everyone on the bus.
The cups fold flat, which makes them slightly easier to store in a bag, and more comfortable when they're hanging around your neck.