a headphones recommendation thread

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i'm in the market for new headphones, preferably ones that are:

- between $50-$80
- over the ear
- in a store like best buy or something (not a true necessity i guess but i dont love buying things online)

i've bought like 5 pairs of headphones in the past 3 years so i want a pair that are durable. also i don't have an ipod so i don't care if they make me look like a bug since they're just for in-home use.


triple-hater protection (J0rdan S.), Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

post in here

triple-hater protection (J0rdan S.), Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

koss portapro

elan, Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

oh shit, those aren't expensive enough for you.

elan, Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

well if they're good but less than $50 i dont really care

triple-hater protection (J0rdan S.), Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

i just figured good headphones were around that price range - i've always bought shitty in ear ones

triple-hater protection (J0rdan S.), Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

best resource for these decisions:


matinee, Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

JVC HANC80 Folding Noise Cancelling Headphones

^^on my second pair of these. pretty cheap, too.

Mr. Que, Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

Grado SR-60 are pretty nice for the money.

svend, Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

Everything I've read and heard about the Grado SR-60's has been A+ super positive. They'd be the ones I'd buy in that price range.

Love is a Battletoad (circa1916), Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

(probably won't be able to find them easily in stores though)

Love is a Battletoad (circa1916), Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

The Grado's are nice sounding, but the fit is notoriously uncomfortable and they make your ears sore very quickly. Perhaps they've fixed them in recent years, though? The pics on the HeadRoom site look a little different (more padding).

matinee, Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have a pair of the Beyerdynamic DT 235s. If you're just looking for home-use, I'd recommend them highly because they're super comfortable and sound great. They'd look a little funny for walking down the street though.

matinee, Sunday, 10 May 2009 23:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

I like Sony MDR-EX81 earbuds. They used to go for $70 years ago but I'm on my second pair from Amazon for about $35. Good sound, definitely heavier on bass though so it depends on your tastes. 2/3s of what I listen to now is rap or techno, so I love these, but if you're going for jazz, classical, misc, or everything you might not like these if you're ok with giving up bass for other traits.

The EX-71s are a step below. I haven't heard them but they also supposedly emphasize bass a bit. They're traditionally-designed earbuds of the over-the-ear aspect of the 81s doesn't interest you.

throwbookatface (skygreenleopard), Monday, 11 May 2009 00:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

Confirmed the EX-71s are the same thing, only without ear hooks. But Sony's made some newer models since these came out (EX75, EX85, and EX90 are comparable)

throwbookatface (skygreenleopard), Monday, 11 May 2009 00:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

Sarge I have a pair of Grado SR-60s to hook up to my stereo for *serious listening time* when I wanna hear all the details on some vinyl-ass record. They're amazing but as is suggested upthread they make the ears kinda sore after like 20 minutes. I'm not sure if it's a fitting issue or if its the frequencies you're hearing or what, but it's definitely a factor.

For most other headphone listening I have a pair of these lil shits I got at Radio Shack for like http://www.amazon.com/Koss-KSC75-Portable-Stereophone-Headphones/dp/B0006B486K/ref=pd_cp_e_2?pf_rd_p=413863501&pf_rd_s=center-41&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00001P505&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1V06P2C5BC80SASAWF2X5 based on a recommendation at Head-Fi. By several orders of magnitude they're the best portable headphones I've ever used.

I'm not some HOOS for someone's lust to snack on! (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Monday, 11 May 2009 00:11 (eight years ago) Permalink


Bose on-ear. Paid like $189--link is cheaper--at Best Buy 2 1/2 years ago. Best I've ever had.

Matos W.K., Monday, 11 May 2009 00:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

lower-end sennheisers (280, 555) are decent and worlds more comfortable than grados

booth, Monday, 11 May 2009 00:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

thanks guys

comfort is a high priority here

triple-hater protection (J0rdan S.), Monday, 11 May 2009 00:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

Reccommend a pair of headphones for me

Moka, Monday, 11 May 2009 00:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

i want my own thread

triple-hater protection (J0rdan S.), Monday, 11 May 2009 00:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

don't take any flack jordan

Surmounter, Monday, 11 May 2009 00:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

I've had Grado SR-80s for several years and think they're plenty comfortable. The Sennheisers were less comfy by far; I think it depends a lot on head & ear shape.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 11 May 2009 00:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

im leaning towards the sr60s right now i think

triple-hater protection (J0rdan S.), Monday, 11 May 2009 00:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

altho i am tempted to buy the sr80s and then make the "s" a "g"

triple-hater protection (J0rdan S.), Monday, 11 May 2009 00:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

thanks guys

comfort is a high priority here

― triple-hater protection (J0rdan S.), Monday, May 11, 2009 1:34 AM (23 minutes ago) Bookmark

im leaning towards the sr60s right now i think

― triple-hater protection (J0rdan S.), Monday, May 11, 2009 1:50 AM (7 minutes ago) Bookmark

Thinking your setting yourself up for some hurt here. The main reason the Grados are uncomfortable is that the pads rest flush against the ears, pressing down the whole time, not over the ears like some of the larger Senn's or Denon or Beyerdynamics.

matinee, Monday, 11 May 2009 01:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

makes sense

update: no longer leaning towards sr60s right now

triple-hater protection (J0rdan S.), Monday, 11 May 2009 01:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

My Grado SR-80s have been wonderful for years now. They can be a little uncomfortable but usually only when I'm listening to really compressed music too loud.

dulce est desipere in loco (Euler), Monday, 11 May 2009 01:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

SR60s give a bright, in your face presentation which is good for rock. I've never found them uncomfortable physically, but the presentation can be a little tiring. Take a look at the Sennheiser PX100, which is more of an all-rounder. Also I've heard good things about the iGrado, but then you'd be wearing something on your head called an iGrado.

Can't stop the dancing chickens (dyao), Monday, 11 May 2009 02:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

I wear SR60s pretty much all day, every day at work and haven't found them to be uncomfortable at all. They're flimsy as hell though, at least mine are - the pads seem to be deteriorating and wearing through, and the bit of plastic that anchors the metal strap into each headphone broke so I have to carefully assemble them to put them on.

joygoat, Monday, 11 May 2009 03:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

They will mail you plastic caps for free, they did for my sr80's last week. Just mail the support email on their webpage. I have had mine for over 5 years, wear them all the time, and the pads are still pretty great.

svend, Monday, 11 May 2009 03:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

even tho they're pads they block noise pretty well?

cumlords 2pac big please talk to this sucker (J0rdan S.), Monday, 11 May 2009 03:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

keep us updated good luck jordan s

some dude, don't make it dad (k3vin k.), Monday, 11 May 2009 03:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

well they bleed sound like crazy but i don't hear much over them

I'm not some HOOS for someone's lust to snack on! (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Monday, 11 May 2009 03:34 (eight years ago) Permalink


cumlords 2pac big please talk to this sucker (J0rdan S.), Monday, 11 May 2009 03:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

The pads don't block noise at all - they're not subway headphones. Also keep in mind the SR-60 cord is long and thick and not too bendable.

Can't stop the dancing chickens (dyao), Monday, 11 May 2009 03:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

"cumlord, i'm discouraged" xp

I'm not some HOOS for someone's lust to snack on! (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Monday, 11 May 2009 03:39 (eight years ago) Permalink


some dude, don't make it dad (k3vin k.), Monday, 11 May 2009 03:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

i sent my portapros back to koss to be mended in february and never received anything back (shoulda sent recorded), so am thinking of upgrading to something kinda bulkier. this all makes me think sr60s are a good idea; portapros are like a training course in accepting headphone discomfort in the name of higher fidelity.

corps of discovery (schlump), Monday, 11 May 2009 03:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have ear cartilage that points out some in the middle, The SR60s were very comfortable for my ears because I could angle them against the ear. My newer SR125s are less comfortable because the ear part sticking out goes right into the hard center of the speakers.

james k polk, Monday, 11 May 2009 03:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

try monster beats, if
- your head isnt too big
- you dont mind paying the extra marketing toll for dr.dre

has useful features, like active ambient noise killer, single fold-away earpads
sound is 'ok' too.

meisenfek, Monday, 11 May 2009 09:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

lower-end sennheisers (280, 555) are decent and worlds more comfortable than grados

― booth, Monday, 11 May 2009 01:29 (9 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

I've had a pair of Sennheiser HD570's for nearly ten years. They're really comfortable as long as the weather isn't hot, although that's true of all headphones. They've been discontinued. but whatever the currect equivelent is should be around $50-$80.

snoball, Monday, 11 May 2009 09:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

check out the Audio Technica range

baaderonixx, Monday, 11 May 2009 09:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have panasonic rp-htx7s, which are big old-fashioned over the ear phones (not pads that sit on the ear). They are closed-back, which was essential for me, as I do most of my listening either on public transport or at home with someone else in the room, so I didn't want sound leaking in or out.

However, closed back phones are usually much poorer sound quality at the same price as open ones. I'm not too sure of the overall quality, but because the speaker is actually away from your ear, you don't get the claustrophobic quality that you get with, say PX200s. I like the way they sound anyway - lively.

Plus they look really cool.


Jamie T Smith, Monday, 11 May 2009 10:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

If you're seriously tempted by the Grado SR60s, I'd strongly recommend considering getting Alessandro MS1s for $20 more - you have to buy them online, sadly, and they're $100 (including P&P to anywhere in the world), but they're made by Grado, are roughly equivalent to the SR125, and tuned with less brightness than any Grado. I find them much more agreeable than the SR60s, which I found quite fatiguing.

Failing that, get a dedicated headphone amp and a pair of AKG K601s; I ADORE these (big buggers top-right).


Sickamous Mouthall (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 11 May 2009 13:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

Top-LEFT, duh me.

Sickamous Mouthall (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 11 May 2009 13:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

can anyone briefly explain the difference between the Grado SR60s and SR80s to me?

baaderonixx, Monday, 11 May 2009 13:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

About $25.

Sickamous Mouthall (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 11 May 2009 13:44 (eight years ago) Permalink


Um, apparently slightly more bass extension, you get different earpads (the donuts rather than the sponges), a little more detail and soundstage, and allegedly a little brighter-sounding, even. If you get chance, listen to both and see which you prefer, I'd suggest.

Sickamous Mouthall (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 11 May 2009 13:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

Thanks. I'm going to the US next week and I was thinking I'd buy some Grados over there. I'm a bit worried by frequent mentions of lack of bass on the Grados and constant reference to them being 'rock' HPs.

baaderonixx, Monday, 11 May 2009 14:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

Thanks guys

brimstead, Thursday, 6 November 2014 21:13 (two years ago) Permalink

these threads need some guy re-summarizing the takeaway points every 200 posts

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 6 November 2014 22:00 (two years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

ok, I need a rec here, just accidentally snapped my (kinda crappy) pair of Sony MDR-NC7s

I have a pair of Grado SR80s and they sound awesome but I can't really wear them all day. After 30 minutes my ears start to hurt, they're just too heavy for me. Furthermore the sound kinda leaks out of them which isn't ideal for work. Willing to spend, I dunno, like $80 or so?

Abstinence Hawk (frogbs), Tuesday, 7 April 2015 14:30 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Grados leak like crazy. You want closed headphones for work. If that's a strict budget check out Beyerdynamic DTX 350p. They fit on the ear like your Grados but have a closed design. At little over your budget but with a bit more robust build quality and over-ear (rather than on-ear) fit check out Audio-Technica ATH-M40x.

early rejecter, Tuesday, 7 April 2015 15:59 (two years ago) Permalink

yeah those look good but honestly I'm more concerned with the headphone weight. it doesn't say how heavy they are, but the shipping weight of 2.2 lbs is concerning. like I said those Grados just crush my ears, I can't even listen to a full album without feeling uncomfortable. I was thinking something like this but I'm worried the sound isn't as good:


Abstinence Hawk (frogbs), Tuesday, 7 April 2015 16:05 (two years ago) Permalink

audio-technicas look heavy but sit pretty lightly on my head

mh, Tuesday, 7 April 2015 16:16 (two years ago) Permalink

is it actually the weight or the clamping action that is getting to you?

mh, Tuesday, 7 April 2015 16:16 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I don't think the weight is necessarily the problem. I used to have Sennheiser HD25s, and I had similar issues as you, after using them for a couple of hours they started hurting my ears, they were pressing them so hard. (I have a fairly large head, which made the clasp even tighter.) Then I bought a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 770s, which are pretty heavy headphones, about twice as heavy as my Sennheisers, but because their frame is so sturdy and well designed, and because the cushions are so big and comfy, the clasp is actually much lighter, so I can use them for hours without my ears getting sore.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 7 April 2015 17:04 (two years ago) Permalink

Sony's made the MDR-V6 for 30 years for a reason. Comfortable, closed, fold into a desk drawer, very accurate (the lack of coloration is often considered a flaw by some listeners).

Sanpaku, Tuesday, 7 April 2015 17:38 (two years ago) Permalink

is it actually the weight or the clamping action that is getting to you?

um. I guess I don't really know. I do have a big head. I can't even wear a hat, for instance

frogbs, Tuesday, 7 April 2015 17:49 (two years ago) Permalink

Grados are pretty light, so yeah, it's probably the clamping, not the weight, that's causing discomfort. Those Sennheisers you linked are open-style headphones, so they'll leak sound like the Grados. You might be more comfortable with over-ears anyway rather than on-ears; that way the pressure is more spread out rather than concentrated on your ear. Anywhere near you where you can try headphones on? Guitar Center usually has Audio-Technica and I'd think they'd have the Sonys mentioned above too (or probably the very-similar 7506). The V6/7506 can usually be had for around $85 but there seems to be a bit of a supply shortage at the moment and they're going for over $100. Will probably come back down when Sony re-supplies.

If you get a set with a metal headband (I think the A-T and Sony are both metal) you can usually stretch them a bit for more comfort on larger heads. Some people like to replace the stock ear pads which are pleather on most over-ear headphones with velour pads which you can find on Amazon or eBay.

Have you considered in-ears? That'd eliminate clamping, but some people don't find them comfortable for other reasons.

early rejecter, Tuesday, 7 April 2015 18:07 (two years ago) Permalink

I have some cheap in-ears, they're fine for working out but otherwise I don't really like them, like I tend to find the good ones really amplify all the noise going on within you. I had a decent pair and every time I moved I heard a loud rustling, really annoying and I dunno how to fix it.

frogbs, Tuesday, 7 April 2015 18:12 (two years ago) Permalink

a lot of the really big over-ear ones just kind of sit on the top of your head instead of clamping your ears

mh, Tuesday, 7 April 2015 19:10 (two years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Does anyone have a decent workout earbud recommendation for under $50? I tried some skullcandy something-or-others and they sounded like absolute garbage, plus they didn't really stay all the way in my ears, in spite of having the over-ear clip.

I actually think the apple iphone earbuds sound fairly good, but they slip out -- is there an option of some kind of cover/adapter thingy that will hold them in without losing sound quality, or is there something else worth getting?

five six and (man alive), Tuesday, 28 July 2015 21:30 (one year ago) Permalink

For keeping them in my ear, I've had the best luck with putting shure triple flange tips on my (decidedly non-shure) earbuds. I've managed to stretch them onto both Philips and Monoprice earbuds successfully. Comply foam earbud tips work pretty well too but they go 'stale' after a month or so.

I don't think either of those tip types would fit on the iphone earbud though. Apple makes a tip especially for that shape iirc.

Jon not Jon, Tuesday, 28 July 2015 21:43 (one year ago) Permalink

four months pass...

I brought up headphones in the metal poll and figured I'd expand here. I know a lot of people who want to graduate from stock iPhone buds to full size headphones but don't want to spend much money. My recommendation in the past few years has been the Creative Aurvana Live!, available for $57. A half dozen friends and colleagues have gotten them and have been very happy.

They were designed by Foster, the Japanese company that owns Fostex, and were initially used for the Denon AH-D1001 headphones that originally sold for $150. I own those and use them in the bedroom, and are now discontinued. They are closed headphones, and some say the seal isn't perfect (blocking out outside noise, keeping headphones from leaking). They must play them at ear-damaging volume, because I use mine regularly and my partner can be sleeping (or awake) right next to me in bed and not hear anything. The most comfortable headphones I've ever worn. They are smaller than average full-size (more in line with other portables like NAD Viso HP50, Sennheiser Momentum, etc).

I should be getting my new Fostex TH-X00 via Massdrop later today. Their release last week inspired me to write about what I'd been using the past couple years:


Fastnbulbous, Tuesday, 8 December 2015 21:55 (one year ago) Permalink

I've been using these for several years and have been pretty satisfied: http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/headphones/7041339ec2fdcc12/

EveningStar (Sund4r), Tuesday, 8 December 2015 22:11 (one year ago) Permalink

finally got a pair of Sennheiser HD598SEs for $95 on cyber monday, and they are pretty great

scrimmy bingus and kristaps porzingis (Sufjan Grafton), Tuesday, 8 December 2015 22:19 (one year ago) Permalink

AKG 240s have been on sale for $70, I just got some and like them quite a bit

a silly gif of awkward larping (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 9 December 2015 06:08 (one year ago) Permalink

I recall that 240s are very comfy

Sufjan Grafton, Wednesday, 9 December 2015 06:19 (one year ago) Permalink

I had the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 for a few years. They sounded good, and are extremely well built, but their vice-like grip was too uncomfortable for me, and I ended up selling them. Sennheiser and AKG all make great stuff, it's all a matter of what king of tuning you prefer. So far the Fostex designed D1001/Aurvana Live beat out any other headphone I've heard for under $200.

Fastnbulbous, Wednesday, 9 December 2015 16:15 (one year ago) Permalink

I got a pair of Sennheiser HD-598s recently too (mine were about $150, I must have missed the sale) and they're awesome. A little more bass than my Sennheiser HD-439s, and surprisingly not as hot on the ears after extended use-- surprising because the ear cups are friggin' velour.

I also have some Polk Ultrafit 1000s for running, which sound good enough that I switch to them if I'm listening on my phone and my ears get too hot from the 439s. I had Polk Ultrafit 500s before that, but I had trouble with one channel cutting out on them. I had the first (defective) pair replaced for free, no questions asked, so +1 for their customer service. I lost the replacement pair, and for the price difference the 1000s seemed like the better deal, they were only $10 more than the 500s and they're on-ear-- I've never been a huge fan of earbuds.

Tom Violence, Wednesday, 9 December 2015 20:45 (one year ago) Permalink

In the US, amazon seems to mark them down by ~$50 for one day of the Thanksgiving weekend every year (I say 'seems to' because I only have 2 data points). I think it was the Friday after Thanksgiving this year. I've had the HD-280 Pros for around 10 years, so I hope these are as sturdy. The detachable cable is nice, but then again the HD-280s have the only headphone cable I own that didn't fail after ~2 years.

Sufjan Grafton, Thursday, 10 December 2015 17:10 (one year ago) Permalink

I recall that 240s are very comfy
They are indeed, and self-adjusting to boot.

Jazzbo, Thursday, 10 December 2015 17:24 (one year ago) Permalink

Wow, and the 240s are currently selling for $56 on Amazon.

Jazzbo, Thursday, 10 December 2015 17:25 (one year ago) Permalink

I never tried Porta Pro until the middle of this year and I'm totally stuck on them, just fantastic for everything and not painful to wear several hours in a row (Grado is my favorite sound signature but yeah they hurt)

banned on ixlor (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 10 December 2015 17:45 (one year ago) Permalink

I had porta pros for all of undergrad and my only complaint is the band pulls your hair out

Sufjan Grafton, Thursday, 10 December 2015 17:47 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

fyi for anyone who wants some cheap earphones https://www.wired.com/2017/01/review-kz-ate-hi-fi-earphones/?mbid=synd_digg

just sayin, Saturday, 28 January 2017 09:36 (four months ago) Permalink

^ sounds impressive.

I've been using Soundmagic ES18s as low cost semi-decent in ear phones. Not amazing but better than anything else I'd come across for around £10. When I'm walking around I'm usually not that focussed on sound quality as long as it's not totally awful.

Superlux HD668Bs still sound great for the price (£24 from Thomann.de). Up there with ~£100 models like DT770s IMO. They just look very daft.

Noel Emits, Saturday, 28 January 2017 12:58 (four months ago) Permalink

four months pass...

got the Kz ATE headphones and can confirm they are a steal, great great value

niels, Thursday, 1 June 2017 19:27 (three weeks ago) Permalink

there's like 20 versions on amazon, which ones did you get?

Spottie, Thursday, 1 June 2017 19:47 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I actually got them 2nd hand but this model https://www.amazon.com/Earphone-Headphones-Running-Eartips-Microphone/dp/B00Y0F6IBG

niels, Friday, 2 June 2017 06:08 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Grados are the best by far but you kind of look like a dork using them.

Beyerdynamic and AudioTechnica are the best I've used the range of $100/$200.

I'm too cheap to buy headphones over $200.

dance cum rituals (Moka), Friday, 2 June 2017 06:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

PS: unless you have superhuman ear or are extremely picky about certain qualities and specification in sound, mostly every headphones in the range of $150 are awesome and more than what you need.

It's the emperor's new clothes. Think of them as bottles of whiskey. Any blend or single malt of 12 years will be good, almost noone tells the difference after that. I've fooled snobbish friends into drinking Chivas 12 and even red label and told them it's Chivas 18 or 21 by flling old bottles of 18/21 (I don't usually do this, it was a social experiment) They start saying "now this is a fine whiskey" and I'm silently laughing about it.

dance cum rituals (Moka), Friday, 2 June 2017 07:08 (three weeks ago) Permalink

well I don't think many ilxors need convincing of that

this is however the first time I've come across a pair of in-ear headphones of such a quality for less than 100$

niels, Friday, 2 June 2017 08:36 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I love my Beyerdyamic DT 770s...however, I just had to send them back because the left driver went out....previously I'd sent a pair back to Amazon (in the first month) because the headband became detatched from an ear cup (this was in the Amazon return window)

to their credit they are repairing it for free (though I had to drop $20 on shipping)...but a little concerned their QC is slipping

that said, for office use, they are tremendous at blocking out noise (frankly work as good as any noise canceling ones i've heard), sound great and are extremely comfortable

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 2 June 2017 16:32 (three weeks ago) Permalink

That's really strange, DT 770 Pro? Those are built like a tank, I felt like I could run mine over with the car and they'd be fine. Now that there are many newer models out, like the DT 1770 Pro and 1990 Pro (open, which is what I have now), you can get such great deals on those, around $115 to 135. Definitely a great deal, and all parts are replaceable in the pro versions. The 250 ohm version is ideal with an amp, but can be used without one.

You definitely can get better headphones than ever for right at $200, especially when Massdrop offered the Sennheiser HD 6XX at that price. And currently Massdrop has the AKG K7XX also for $200. Both of those open headphones were flagships that sold for much more about a decade ago. I still use my K701 for movies in the living room when my S.O. goes to bed early. People are really into the Meze 99 Classic, and the 99 Neo, basically same headphone without the wood cups for $60 cheaper at $249 is shipping soon. I heard it at Axpona and it does compare really well against headphones twice it's price. It's closed and has iPhone controls/mic on cord like many portable-friendly headphones do.

So one can argue $200 as the diminishing returns drop-off. There's varying opinions in the hobby, but I would move that point to more like $700. Which is exactly what the MrSpeakers Aeon cost. I heard it at Axpona too, and was very impressed. It outperforms anything I'd heard in that range. My pre-order arrives soon.

Fastnbulbous, Saturday, 3 June 2017 12:54 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I'm on board the KZ hype train. ATE, ATR and ZS3 are all really good. ATR is more mid focused and has a spherical soundstage, ZS3 has clean and massive bass along with crisp mids and highs. I use those the most. Detachable cable is also nice.

octobeard, Sunday, 4 June 2017 09:10 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I've really loved my Sennheiser Momentum 2.0s (now called "HD1" apparently) for the last year. Closed, over-ear, really great balanced sound when wired and frankly about indistinguishable over a solid Bluetooth 4.0 AptX (non-iPhone) connection, very durable, light but solid, and to my taste a very attractive refinement of classic 60s aesthetics while being all-day comfortable.



I paid more like $350 than the $500 list, but given they'l last me at least a decade (based on previous Sennheisers I've had), that seems reasonable. I used Etymotic ER4P in-ears for years, but started having issues with ear infections and have switched back to over-ears.

Soundslike, Sunday, 4 June 2017 19:50 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I've got a pair of on-ear wireless Senn's (450-x) and love them. Looking forward to their next gen BT5 models.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 4 June 2017 20:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

for on-ear I've got the Bose QuietComfort and while the sound is not remarkable (it's just fine) the noise cancelling is fantastic, esp since I mostly use them on the road

niels, Monday, 5 June 2017 14:01 (two weeks ago) Permalink

thx for the kz recommendation, niels - got a pair over the weekend to replace a pair of rha's which fell apart, and the kz's are fantastic value for money

the memory foam tips ended up nearly lodging in my ear canal when i first put them in, though, which was a bit alarming - replaced them with the rubber ones from my old rha's though and they work great

he's also fouled up with NON-FAT (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 5 June 2017 14:28 (two weeks ago) Permalink

GRADOs >>>>>>>>> everything. Also, per the dork comment back there, if you get the RS1s or any of them that incorporate wood into the mix, your dorkiness becomes very artisanal with a side of avocado toast.

yesca, Monday, 5 June 2017 15:08 (two weeks ago) Permalink

GRADOs >>>>>>>>> everything

otm i just wish there was one that I could wear for more than a couple hours comfortably

or at night (Jon not Jon), Monday, 5 June 2017 16:52 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah, it's weird after all these years Grado's still look and feel like they were made in a garage, with the possible exception of their $2,695 PS2000e.

There's 5 days left on the AKG K553 Pro drop, for $110. A great deal for those wanting a closed headphone. 11 days left on the Massdrop x Fostex T-X0 Planar for $150.

Fastnbulbous, Sunday, 18 June 2017 15:27 (six days ago) Permalink

KZ ZS3 are so uncomfortable : /

||||||||, Sunday, 18 June 2017 17:39 (six days ago) Permalink

i'm looking for a good pair of over-ear phones. i've been using the same pair of sennheiser hd280s for years but i'm not that crazy about em. they're sturdy as hell but not super comfortable, kind of heavy. i'm not nuts about how they sound, the mids and highs seem harsh to me.

brimstead, Sunday, 18 June 2017 18:55 (six days ago) Permalink

I bought my Grado SR60 headphones back in 2007 and they're still going strong. They're dorky as hell but the sound is awesome. And "only" $79.00.

Rod Steel (musicfanatic), Sunday, 18 June 2017 20:44 (six days ago) Permalink

HiFiMAN marked down their HE400i Planar from $449 to $249. I'm guessing they're clearing stock to get ready for a new model.

Fastnbulbous, Wednesday, 21 June 2017 20:33 (three days ago) Permalink

Also the Sennheiser HD 6XX drop starts Monday. Last time it sold out in a few minutes, so they figured they might as well up the price to $249 (it's around $315 in general market).

Fastnbulbous, Wednesday, 21 June 2017 21:57 (three days ago) Permalink

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