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Shinola Canfield On-Ear Headphones Are Worth The Splurge, So Start Saving Up If You Have To!

Worth every penny!

I’m sure you have heard of Shinola headphones, and at $350 that is probably more than most women are willing to spend. I had a chance to review their new Canfield On-Ear Headphones, and let me tell you, they are absolutely worth the splurge. So, start saving up if you have to, and read on to find out just why they are so worth it.

My first impression is that the packaging is beautiful, and definitely speaks to a luxury product. It also is a nice safe place to store your headphones in between use, which matters a lot to me. When I’m not using any nice pice of technology that I own, I like to keep them tucked away to protect them and help them last longer. Speaking of long lasting, as I took the Canfield On-Ear Headphones out of the box, you can see they are a product here for the long haul. A lot of care and attention to detail went into them, and they look like a product you could use for your lifetime they are that well made.

Another thing to take note of is that Shinola ensures their entire product line is hand made by artisans in Detroit (you can learn more about the amazing people behind this here). I haven’t been to Detroit in years, but the last time I went I was heartbroken at how sad and run down the city was. I love that Shinola is picking a city like Detroit to do what they do in. I also love that the Canfield On-Ear Headphones (and all their products) are handmade by Americans. Shinola has already created over 500 jobs here in America since 2012, and that is admirable. I think that is so very important, and as consumers it is worth it to support your fellow Americans, and companies that go out of their way to build something that is going to be more expensive to their bottom line in exchange for that job creation and attention to quality. Even if that means paying a little more as a consumer, but I’ll get to why these headphones are worth it from top to bottom.

After working in fashion for my entire life before switching careers in the past year, I know a thing or two about true top grain leather. I’ve found a lot of tech products will claim that’s what they use, but it’s cheap and anything but. The leather quality on the Canfield On-Ear Headphones is that of the thousand dollar and upwards handbags I used to design with top grain leather flown in straight from Italy. Yes, ladies, take note. This is the real deal! The headband is top grain leather, and the ear pads are lambskin (with memory foam interior) similar to that of what you would get with a Balenciaga jacket.

It’s refreshing to find a tech product that actually is what they claim to be. Aside from the leather, which is to die for and would make any top designer proud to include in a collection, Shinola uses stainless steel for the rest of the design. There’s no doubt in my mind the Canfield On-Ear Headphones can stand up to every day use for years to come, while keeping you comfortable and fashionable as well. You simply can’t beat that. And while $350 to some might seem like a lot to lay out at once, think of dividing that over a year and it’s like you’re paying $0.95 cents a day for this product. Well worth it right there. Considering you’re going to be able to enjoy your headphones for years to come though, this is one worthwhile investment.

Let’s get to how they actually sound though, as that’s quite an important part of any set of headphones, no matter how chic they are! If they’re not functional they just won’t fly, am I right? Well, you have nothing to worry about here. The Canfield On-Ear Headphones are the best pair I have ever put on in regards to audio quality. Shinola says they tune and test every single pair of headphones from their Detroit factory, and I believe that. It definitely shows.

It sounds like you’re at a private live concert (ok, albeit Auto-Tuned because who can sound this good live in concert?), or right in an audio booth with your favorite singer. That’s all ladies. Find me another pair of headphones remotely in this price range that can do that. I haven’t met one! I really have nothing else to say about the sound, because I’m blown away with the quality. It’s absolutely amazing, and you won’t be disappointed.

So let’s dissect the specs here. They boast a 40MM Shinola Dynamic Transducer. What the heck does that mean? A dynamic transducer is the most common type of driver found in headphones, and it uses the physics of electromagnetism and magnetism to create movement, which in turn leads to sound. The major benefit to a dynamic transducer is that it creates a great amount of bass for your listening experience. The Driver size (40mm in this case) is arguably not terribly important when it comes right down to sound, that’s all in how a set of headphones are tuned, while also taking into account ear padding and how they are designed. Rest assured though, you can tell Shinola tuned these babies perfectly, and we already know the ear padding is amazing, as well as the design.

They also have 2% THD @ 1KHZ harmonic distortion. THD is very important in anything audio related. A lower THD means everything to you will sound much more like the original audio recording. It won’t sound distorted. Low THD also translates to decreased interference with other devices around you and increased power transmission. So the stats Shinola provide here are actually great for your listening experience!

The sound efficiency is 120 DB SPL/V @1KHZ. Ok, let’s talk about this one in a way you can easily understand. Sound efficiency basically boils down to how efficient they are at creating sound. 120 DB (DB = decibels) is pretty rare in terms of headphones, and pretty great! To give you an idea of everything, a whisper is 15-25 DB, speaking in a normal voice is 65-70 DB, and a rock concert is 120 DB and upwards.

I also took these on a plane with me recently so I could test out just how comfortable they would be, since one problem I have and I’m sure you do too is that headphones can hurt after some time wearing them. They are supremely comfortable, and I think we can attribute that to the memory foam inside the ear pads, or the amazingly luxurious lambskin and leather. Either way, you’re in for comfort!

Chip Chick was provided with this product for free, in exchange for our honest feedback. All thoughts and opinions expressed are our own and not influenced by the company and/or its affiliates in any way.

 

Ok, so what’s the verdict?

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  1. I would not have expected the Canfield On-Ear to compete with the established giants of the headphone industry – AKG, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, Sony, Bose, and others, but it does get a win over the others on build quality and aesthetics, which leaves sound quality as the final arbiter of value for this little gem. In hi-fi circles we refer to the Canfield On-Ear’s sound as “mid-centric”, meaning it does not have quite the strong deep bass or the utmost upper harmonic sheen of the best headphones from those other famous brands. But is that a negative thing? Not at all – this headphone actually sounds at least as good as the other companies’ on-ear models, it looks fantastic, and everyone I know will be jealous of it when they see it. Plus it sounds really good, but I already said that.

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