The Sound Board

Pitchfork loves LSTN! features LSTN Headphones in their holiday gift guide! Check out their kind words...

Considering the relatively low sound quality of many MP3s and music streaming services, owning a solid pair of headphones is probably more important now than ever. There are the super-stylish brand-name cans vying for your attention—led by Dr. Dre's ubiquitous, bass-heavy Beats—but oftentimes what you pay for in appearance costs you in other areas, like dynamics, isolation, and comfort. Enter West Hollywood-based company LSTN, which nails the sweet spot between aesthetic panache and nuts-and-bolts sonic acuity. Instead of using shiny plastic, the company takes discarded pieces of wood from furniture and flooring companies, smooths them out, shines them up, and repurposes them into their headphones, resulting in a distinct look (as well as acoustic benefits). There are three models—earbudBowerys for $50, collapsable Fillmores for $100, and the gorgeous metal-and-woodTroubadours (above) for $150—and all of them come through with a sound that's both loud and precise. Plus: The company gives a portion of the profits from every pair of headphones sold to the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which travels around the world to help people with hearing loss. So just as you slowly lose your hearing listening to Deafheaven scream their lungs out on these headphones, someone else on earth will benefit from your purchase. The circle of sound continues. —Ryan Dombal

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