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Christmas Gift Guide
MP3 Players

Sennheiser HD 435: Well plastic

The latest open-back headphones from Sennheiser are the HD 435's, and when you're fighting it out for iPod peripheral supremacy they're the ultimate street power statement

Wearing the HD 435s out in Shoreditch last night, I could have been an extra from the TV series Nathan Barley. But ironic fashion faux-pas are acceptable when you're getting thumping bass and detailed treble pumped right down your brain-hole. They're also practical in the biting winter climate -- little did the Hoxton set know but the cushioned pads were just as good as ear muffs at keeping me warm. Sennheiser for the win!

Enough gonzo: let's keep it factual, people. These new Sennheisers blow the normal iPod 'phones out the water with their 110dB sound pressure level and 18-19,500 Hz range. They also have on-cord volume control and a 1/4-inch screw-on jack for when you want to go all audiophile and plug into an old-school hi-fi system.

They're not as portable as a pair of in-ear headphones, but these £40 Sennheisers make a serious statement to the iPod-carrying masses. They say, quite simply: 'I'm better than you'. -GC