They're getting bigger, brighter, not to mention a hell of a lot more expensive. But what does a pair of over-ear cans say about you?

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 14 april 2011

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This article titled “Alexis Petridis: What is it with the huge headphones, guys?” was written by Alexis Petridis, for The Guardian on Friday 8th April 2011 23.02 UTC

The aesthetic point of headphones you’d wear in the street used to be discretion. The idea was that other people didn’t really notice them, the wisdom of which idea was underlined when the iPod arrived with its attention-grabbing white earbuds, which muggers took as visual shorthand for, “I have about my person an expensive piece of new technology. Please relieve me of it at knife-point.” And yet, recently, the aesthetic point of headphones you’d wear in the street seems to have changed: people (men, mostly) are wearing increasingly immense, colourful over-ear cans in public.

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