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JVC Flats

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.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

MEElectronics A151

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.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Audio-Technica ATH-M50

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.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET


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.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Grado Labs Prestige SR80i

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.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Monoprice Noise Canceling Headphones

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.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Jawbone Jambox

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.

Updated:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET

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.


JBL Charge

Compared to other Bluetooth speakers in its price range, the JBL Charge is a step up in sound quality and battery life.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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