Six of the best gadgets and gizmos on a theme. This week: Six of the best earbuds.
By Peter Jenkinson
While oversized "cans" have been gaining popularity, the slightly more subdued in-ear headphones have had to up their game to stay in with a shout.
This genre of headphone may not keep your ears as warm as the over-ear types, but there's still a plethora of first-class buds available which offer a quality sound.
Here are our top picks for plugging into your mobile device.
Material fix - Fischer Audio Ceramique Headphones - £79.95 from www.fischeraudio.eu Made from ceramic, these fine-looking earphones pack a most welcome punch in the audio department. Don't be fooled by the sleek exterior, each earbud contains a powerful 6mm driver that delivers a high-quality, distortion-free sound. And with a built-in microphone, you can switch between your tunes and calls with ease.
Running buddy - Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Duro - £50 from www.sweatshop.co.uk Athletes and occasional runners will be aware of the perils of keeping your earbuds in place while pounding the pavement. These headphones feature Twistlock Technology, which ensures a secure fit, so the sweat- and water-resistant buds will stay put, even while you gain speed on the most intense of workouts.
Bargain buds - Sennheiser CX 400 II In-Ear Headphones (black) - £39.90 from www.pixmania.co.uk From the famed maker of audio equipment, these reasonably priced earphones come with several interchangeable earbuds to get the most comfortable fit. Complete with a carry case so they'll not get in a tangle, these are well worth consideration as a spare travel set.
Statement set - thinksound ts02+mic - £99.99 from www.amazon.co.uk Fresh in from the US, these splendid-looking earbuds claim to have the "smallest eco-footprint" on the planet. This relates to the amount of recycled material that is used during manufacturing, so they feature PVC-free cables and all-wood earpieces, which delivery a really rich sound. Lightweight and comfortable, you can answer your calls via a one-button control, and even the packaging and cotton carry case are environmentally friendly.
Top notch - Bose MIE2i - £119 from www.currys.co.uk Supplied with three sizes of eartips, these quality buds will not disappoint. Ease of access to the in-line remote and microphone allows you to control your music and take calls in an instant. A great all-rounder, this high-quality brand also guarantees crystal-clear stereo sound.
Truly incredible - Logitech UE900 - £329 from www.amazon.co.uk With killer looks, the UE900 headphones are unique and certain to attract all the right attention. You get eight of the finest earbud tips to find the absolute best fit for your earholes. Packed full with technology, they're designed with noise-isolating ear cushions and deliver a perfectly tuned, undiluted sound - time for a treat?
App of the week: Jam for iPhone - free from iTunes Crooners delight. You don't need to have the voice of an angel to create a musical masterpiece. With this app, sing anything you like into your iPhone, select a style and tempo, and marvel as it turns your vocals into an original song, complete with backing music. Then show off your musical ability to your social-networking friends. You could even have a number one on the Jam Charts - get voting now.