Headphones Heads-Up: Battle of the Bass

Image: Alice Truong for Discovery Channel

To help wade through the seemingly countless options on the market, two Discovery colleagues share their insights on 20 new and relevant headphones. Taking on a pair at a time, Scott Tharler and Alice Truong will each evaluate how these contemporary cans match up in a dueling series called Headphones Heads-Up.

It seems listeners are quite enamored with bass these days (is that your doing, Dre?). If you’re not an audio purist but prefer listening to music on the thumpy side, we’ve got a pair of good contenders known for punchy lows: Denon Urban Raver ($399.99) and Fanny Wang 3000 Series ($299.95).

Image: Alice Truong for Discovery Channel
Image: Alice Truong for Discovery Channel

I hate to admit it because I look stupid ridiculous — air traffic controller, anybody? — in these Denon Urban Raver headphones, but they blow the Fanny Wang 3000 Series out of the water. It doesn’t just do bass better than Fanny Wang, but treble, warmth and crispness. In comparison, Fanny’s sound is a bit duller, even with bass boost turned on. While both pairs are bulky, I like the shape of Fanny Wang’s better with its clean lines and foldability. Taking an opposite approach to Denon, which placed the controls on board its outsized ear cups (something that seems more gimmicky than anything), Fanny emphasizes the wire, even including a sharing port into the cord so friends can listen along with you — a very nice touch. Since I can’t have Denon’s sound in Fanny’s package (yes, I realize what a strange sentence that is to type), Denon wins me over in this round.

Alice Truong writes about tech and gadgets for Discovery Channel. Follow her on Twitter and Google Plus. Scott Tharler writes about gadgets for Discovery News and covers travel tech for Fodor’s. Follow him on Twitter, gdgt and Google Plus.

Head over to Discovery News for Scott Tharler’s review of these cans.


Tune in to hear how the rest of Discovery’s Headphones Heads-Up series plays out

Rasta vs. Blackbelt: House of Marley Exodus vs. Bigr Audio Bruce Lee

Monster vs. Son: Monster Inspiration vs. Sol Republic Tracks HD

Quiet Cups: Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 vs. Bose QuietComfort 15

Power Cuplets: V-Moda Crossfade M80 vs. Scosche RH656-m

Urban Thrifty: Wicked Audio Evac vs. Skullcandy Hesh 2

Urban Deluxe: Urbanears Zinken vs. Aiaiai Capital

Battle of the Bass: Fanny Wang 3000 Series vs. Denon Urban Raver

Battle of the Bands: Jaybird Sportsband vs. Outdoor Tech DJ Slims

Wireless Travelers: Sennheiser MM 450-X vs. SuperTooth Melody

Petite Luxury: Beyerdynamic T 50 p vs. B&W P3

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