Stereo headphones serve the purpose of providing listeners a more private and precise listening experience by bringing the sound source in immediate proximity to the ear. There are a variety of different types of headphones differing in quality, function and design and it is important to choose the style that best serves your purposes.
The smallest, most discreet option on the market are earbud headphones. Earbud headphones are very small and nest in the outer part of the inside of your ear. An excellent choice for people on the move who need compact ear pieces is the Philips SHE-9850. They have detailed audio response and a stylish design but also pass the comfort test, which is rare for earbud headphones.
The standard ear pad headphones that rest gently on your earlobes are comfortable and convenient for everyday use. These tend to be fairly small and lightweight but often do not fully shut out external noise, as the open design does not completely enclose the ear canal. The Sennheiser PX100 has a surprisingly high sound quality level and is lightweight and easy to fold and pack. This is an excellent choice for students and people on the go who are not willing to sacrifice quality for convenience.
Slightly larger than ear pad headphones are the full-sized headphones whose ear cups fit completely around the ear, blocking a significant amount of outside noise and preventing sound leakage. These are useful when there are people around or when you are in a space where you need to be quiet but they are also a life-saver when you are in a noisy environment that you want to block out. The Audio Technica ATH-M50 has high precision sound quality and is not only comfortable but foldable as well, making it an excellent all-around set of stereo headphones.
For serious audiophiles or those who need professional headphones for work in the audio field, noise canceling headphones are ideal as they utilize electronics to eliminate low frequency outside noise. Bose's QuietComfort 3s noise canceling headphones have not only excellent sound quality and extreme comfort, but also offer a sleek and slim design that is rare in the world of normally bulky noise canceling headphones.
For those of you who need a set of stereo headphones that won't keep you tethered to your audio device, you'll need wireless headphones that allow for free-range listening. While most models have received criticism for having poor sound quality and background static, the Sennheiser RS140 wireless headphones not only provides excellent audio precision, but also high isolation, blocking out external noise and allowing you to listen at any range without having to hear the sounds around you.
Another wireless option that allows you to connect to your Bluetooth devices is a set of Bluetooth headphones. Bluetooth headphones can be used to wirelessly connect you to your mp3 player, home stereo or cell phone. Sony's DR-BT10CX Bluetooth headphones give you complete hands-free music listening and communication and extreme levels of comfort and quality.