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I have a confession to make: I’ve never really been an over-the-ear headphones kinda guy. At least, not until I slipped a pair of LSTN Troubadours ($150) over my meticulously coiffed dome. That pretty much changed everything.

I’m not what you’d call an audiophile. I don’t know too much about sound quality. I can only really tell if it sucks or if it’s pretty damn good. And the Troubadours most definitely fall into that second category. But that’s not what recruited me into the over-the-ear camp. What it came down to were two things of high importance to a jaded New Yorker with a 20-minute walking/subway commute: style and comfort.

And these babies lead the way in those departments. The wood finish is sharp, a classic look that goes with pretty much anything. And the cups are easy to adjust and perfectly sized to fit over the ears. They smoothly shut out the sounds of the city when I need a moment to escape into Paul Scheer’s hilarious How Did This Get Made? podcast or Arctic Monkeys’ rumbling, plaintive “Do I Wanna Know?” jam.

It’s been a cold winter here, so for me the cushy pads have pretty much been doubling as earmuffs. They’ve also enabled me to pick up on the hidden advantage of over-the-ears vs. ear buds: the ease with which you can slip them off and hang them around your neck when you’re entering the coffee shop, or when the random woman in your building stops you to compliment your beard, or when you have an inexplicable burning desire to discern the ramblings of the lunatic on 14th Street.

Anyway, suffice it to say, these headphones rock. And the fact that every pair sold helps restore hearing to a person in need through Starkey Hearing Foundation rocks even more. Check out the full line of LSTN offerings—including, yes, some ear bud options—at lstnheadphones.com. Then get yourself some Troubadours.

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