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JVC Flats

MEElectronics A151

Audio-Technica ATH-M50


Grado Labs Prestige SR80i

Monoprice Noise Canceling Headphones

Jawbone Jambox

JBL Charge

Let's start with something cheap. The JVC Flats are lightweight, offer a comfortable fit for most people, and best of all: they retail for $11.99.
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Another winner in CNET's "budget headphones" category, the MEElectronics A151 earbuds might not be a a recognizable brand name just yet, but the 47-inch long braided cable and custom balanced-armature drivers inside are more an suitable for any music lover.
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Their large over-ear design and coiled cable make the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 a good buy for homebodies (or dormbodies), but their natural frequency response and closed-back fit are perfect for aspiring audio engineers and musicians.
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Contrary to the garishness of some celebrity-endorsed headphones, the AIAIAI Tracks offer a muted aesthetic appeal and a universal fit thanks to its rail-based ear pad fitting.
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Because of their open-back, "radio operator" earcups, the Grado Labs Prestige SR80i headphonse have all the vintage design flares of the original model but with an enhanced bass profile and a warm sound that compliments any musical genre.
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We've gingerly dubbed these the "poor man's Bose QC15 noise canceling headphone," but there's no reason why the grad in your life should be walking around with $300 cans. Instead, the Monoprice version offers fairly good sound with an in-line remote for track navigation and making phone calls. It even includes a carrying case for longer trips back home.
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The Jawbone Jambox remains one of CNET's favorite portable Bluetooth speakers for grads and anyone else looking for high quality wireless sound in a tight package.
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I know it's a stereotype to assume that young people are clumsy and careless with their electronics, but why not play it on the safe side with the Philips Shoqbox SB7200, a super tough Bluetooth speaker that pumps out powerful sound in a package that any soldier or civilian would enjoy.
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Compared to other Bluetooth speakers in its price range, the JBL Charge is a step up in sound quality and battery life.
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