By Adrian Justins
We have never spent more time at home — working, exercising, learning and relaxing — than during the pandemic. With the help of the right headphones you can enjoy such activities without disturbing the rest of the family. Here, we pair five of the best with properties on the market suited to different pursuits.
For working from home
With soft, leatherette over-ear cups and a padded headband the Jabra Evolve2 85 headset, priced £458.40, remains as comfortable as an old pair of slippers when worn for hours on end. Active noise-cancellation keeps sounds coming from the rest of the household at bay while dual-device Bluetooth connectivity lets you automatically switch from a computer to a phone and remain connected to colleagues as you move about the house.
Optimised by the use of 10 microphones and a call centre-style boom arm that can be retracted, voice quality on a Zoom call is excellent. Battery life is an impressive 37 hours and the wireless range is 30m.
The Evolve2 85 would be a perfect fit for the person working in and around the spacious study area off the main living room of this condo in Austin, Texas. The three-bedroom property is on sale for $3.8m.
For listening to music
A traditional home invites a traditional way to enjoy music — sitting comfortably in a favourite armchair using a high-quality hi-fi. The Klipsch Heritage HP-3 headphones, available for £1,295 from Premium Sound, have an open-back design with acoustic vents that allow their miniature speakers to breathe. The result is a more natural soundstage and there is no build up of air pressure, which can occur with closed-back headphones.
The hand-built headset is made from die-cast steel, milled wood (oak, ebony or walnut), premium leather and machined aluminium. Two cables (1.37m and 2.5m) are provided and the headphones are compatible with smartphones.
With seven reception rooms including a study, snug and games room, this manor house-style property in Rutland, UK, offers plenty of locations for relaxing to music. The eight-bedroom house is priced £3.85m.
For city life
The clean, contemporary look of foldable, over-ear headphones in a single colour and the convenience of wireless connectivity appeal to busy urban professionals. The JBL Tune 750BTNC headphones, priced from £49.99, offer noise cancelling for shutting out the sounds of the city. They have a battery life of 15 hours, which can be extended by disabling the noise cancelling function or using a corded connection rather than Bluetooth.
Playback of music can be controlled by tapping buttons on the side of the left can or using Google voice assistant or Amazon Alexa. Multipoint connection allows you to answer a phone call via a smartphone while watching a streamed video on a tablet or computer.
This two-bedroom warehouse conversion in Sydney’s trendy Rosebery neighbourhood has cutting-edge features such as biometric fingerprint access and vehicle-charging bays. Communal amenities include gardens, a rooftop cinema and barbecue areas. The property is priced A$1.29m ($1m).
For sweating it out
Advances in Bluetooth headphone technology have proved a real boon for fitness enthusiasts. For those who like to work out at home — in the gym, outside or even racking up laps in the pool — the cordless, in-ear Bang and Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport headphones offer top-notch sound with conveniences such as a seven-hour battery life. The £300 set is sweat proof and waterproof to a depth of one metre for 30 minutes.
Music playback and calls — there are four built-in microphones — are controlled by touching the buds, while a Transparency mode mutes the music to allow ambient sounds through.
This eight-bedroom house in the Cape Town suburb of Bishopscourt offers excellent fitness facilities. The R85m ($5.05m) property has a gym, tennis court and 26m outdoor pool for laps, plus a Jacuzzi for winding down.
For sustainable living
Doing your bit for the planet can apply to the type of home you live in and to your choice of tech. The $179.99 Troubadour headphones from the US brand LSTN are handmade from either recycled zebrawood or walnut and have vegan leather ear pads. They have Bluetooth wireless connectivity with a range of 30 feet and a built-in microphone for making phone calls.
An undisclosed percentage of the proceeds from every LSTN purchase goes towards providing hearing aids to deprived people across the globe through a collaboration with Starkey Hearing Foundation. To date, more than 30,000 people have received help through the programme.
Sustainability was a primary concern during the building of this six-bedroom house in the Unesco Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve in Bahia, Brazil. No native trees were removed during the villa’s construction. The roof was made using wooden shingles and piassava (palm tree fibres), while the upper floor was built using wood from demolition. The lower floor is of burnt cement. The price is R$9m ($1.65m).
Photographs: Dreamstime.com; Christie’s International Real Estate; Savills; Sydney Sotheby's International Realty