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Hands on ... SilverCrest headphones

What are they?

Budget cans.

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.

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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)

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