How will they change my life? My mother's weekly shopping trips during my childhood years tended to be a bit of a lottery. It generally went something like this: I'd request the brand essentials that would enhance my ability to successfully navigate the perilous social minefield of high school unscathed; she would return home with bizarrely named alternatives guaranteed to prompt the disdain of my classmates. My sisters and I would often joke that mum's retail abilities tended to resemble a contestant on Supermarket Sweep, grabbing blindly before hastening to the tills.
Fast forward to the present day and I'm less inclined to gravitate toward the instantly recognisable big name brands of crisps and cornflakes. That said, it was still a scary epiphany as I stood in a supermarket queue recently to realise I'm no different to the price savvy mother who I was convinced was on a one-woman mission to ruin my teenage street-cred.
I'm a sucker for the aisles in shops like Lidl where a mish-mash of products jostle for position: kayaks next to bamboo chopping boards and clothes airers beside grills, power drills, running tops and glittery fishing bait.
The other weekend when, nestled between steel-toe capped work boots and a king-sized duvet cover, I spotted a pair of full-sized, closed-back headphones from Silvercrest my curiosity was piqued. There was a wide range of colours to choose from but the low price was the clincher. These, I reckoned, needed to be tested as surely there was a whopping catch to compensate for the bargain basement tag.
Good points? Opening the box I was expecting a flimsy set of covers connected by cheap rigid wires but instead was greeted by a well constructed set of soft membrane ear cushions. The wires are housed in a flexible textile casing which prevents the wires splitting and protects from interference. The headphones are adjustable and will fit most head shapes without any discomfort even after prolonged usage. A built-in connector port for a second set of headphones is a brilliant addition for sharing music.
Bad points? As cans go these are good but those with a professional ear will be able to distinguish them from top-end gear.
Best for … Travelling, as they fold away for easy storage and facilitate a second pair of headphones to be connected: perfect for sharing while watching the in-flight movie.
Avoid if … You have the finely tuned noise sensor flaps of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Score 7/10. If there was a value for money event in the Commonwealth Games these would win, though they would be banned from entering as they are German.
SilverCrest headphones £9.99 (lidl.co.uk)