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  1. #1

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    Default Headphones in the $150 price range

    My mom is in the market for some nice over-ear headphones. She heard some Harman Kardon's at BB that she really liked, commenting on the "stereo" sound and overall clarity they provided. I'm quite ignorant on headphones but was wondering what else was out there that might suit her needs? She's wanting to use these with her iPad/laptop and would prefer them be noise cancelling.
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  2. #2

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    I would look at Denon. For what you are looking for these might be a good fit:
    http://www.accessories4less.com/make...dphones/1.html

  3. #3

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    I really like my Audio Technica ATH-M50s. They are not active noise cancelling, but do block out quick a bit of noise because they form a pretty good seal. They are REALLY easy to drive, so they sound pretty darn good with just my phone. Only thing is they get hot after a while, but I imagine that's true with most cans.

    http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica.../dp/B000ULAP4U

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    I second that. I bought a pair of the M50s recently at a great price. These are considered among the best under not 150 but under $200!

    Currently a bargain at 121.98 see link below (an authorized dealer--beware of fakes).

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ck_Studio.html

    cnh
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  5. #5

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    Someone on here had some beyerdynamic dt-770s for decent price...
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    Someone on here had some beyerdynamic dt-770s for decent price...
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...98#post1865698

    That is an excellent deal for the DT-770s. I bought the DT-880s from that sale, and they are like new. The 32 ohm versions would be easy to drive.
    Last edited by Tbone289; 01-25-2013 at 04:15 PM.
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  7. #7

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    I also picked up some Beyers from him in that same sale. I'm extremely pleased with the 990's for the price.
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    Is the $150 limit your suggested limit, or hers? What will her source be? And are you factoring in any budget for a headphone amp?

    I think for overall sound quality, $150 may get a lot more quality if split between a headphone and an amp -- $150 is enough to get a very decent headphone and a decent amp...

    My wife wanted some headphones for Christmas, and I was on a similar budget, so I split it between the cans and a Fiio dac/amp and my wife couldn't be happier. They sound far better than anything she's ever had/heard, and they are comfy for long stretches of use. And with her primary source being the computer at her office, the dac/amp does far more to improve sound quality than a better set of cans would.
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  9. #9
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    I just picked up a pair of Monoprice premium over the ear headphones, and they sound WAY better than the $23 price tag would suggest. Decent build quality, good sound, two detachable cables included; I highly suggest them.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

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    AT ATH-M50 if you want more bass, ATH-AD700 if you want more "airy" sound and less isolation (open-back over-ear haedphones). Both were $99 on Amazon during Christmas.

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    Per one of Danny Tse's posts, I picked up a pair of these for Janey for Christmas. Cannot beat them for price/performance. Dunno if you could do much better spending another 120.00 bucks. Awesome bang for the buck, IMO.

    http://www.amazon.com/JVC-HARX700-Pr...ds=jvc+harx700

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    no one mentioned Polk Headphones

  13. #13

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    yea I got two pair at Christmas, really a good deal like most of their stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    I just picked up a pair of Monoprice premium over the ear headphones, and they sound WAY better than the $23 price tag would suggest. Decent build quality, good sound, two detachable cables included; I highly suggest them.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

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    i got a pair of these from Newegg quite a while back for $60, which was a pretty good deal. if your budget ends up being cut lower, these are, to my ears, surprisingly well balanced. they are comfortable, image well, the bass digs down without being muddy or overpowering, and i have had no issues with any brightness or fatigue. of course i want to upgrade, but these are perfectly decent headphones at a more budget price point.


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    MDR-V6 are fairly famous Sonys. Pretty much the clone of the MDR-7506 studio monitors. Not the best phones by any means but very "revealing" for studio mixes. They can be grainy but you will CERTAINLY be able to make out the VOCALS and mids--they are very prominent! And 60 is a bargain price for those! I have a pair of the 7506s, I got for mixing purposes since it seems like my daughter may be moving toward a "vocal" career?

    Mike's mention of the JVCs, haven't heard those. But supposedly unrivaled in the less than 60 dollar category. If you want a good set of phones on the CHEAP. These are, supposedly, hard to beat. I'd like to A/B them to the overly hyped Panasonic RP-HTF 600 (30.00) which are OK but have a few shortcomings! The JVCs have been compared to the Panasonics and some have preferred the JVCs. But now we're hitting the bottom end of good. Like the Monoprice phones for 20+ mentioned above--also given good reviews for cheapies?

    Heck if we're going CHEAP. My favorites for less than 20 are the KOSS KTX Pro1s. Volume control, titanium coated diaphragms, 15-25Khz, 60 ohms,103 db. Decent bass and detail for 15 dollars!

    But other than portability, I'd stay in the 100+ dollar range! (although that would be MSRP)! The headphone market is FULL of discounts these days!

    I'm also more than curious about Pioneer's new STEEZ 808s (MSRP 129 but available for 69) dual driver HP. 40 mm for bass behind a 30 mm for mid/highs, with dial for "bass" adjustment.

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 02-20-2013 at 01:08 PM.
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    As someone who lives in an upstairs apartment and cannot often crank my music, I recently decided a headphone rig was a good idea for me. I was looking for something under $200, and after a ton of research I narrowed my choices down to the AKG K240 MKII, Audio Technica ATH-M50, Sennheiser HD598 (slightly over my budget), and the Shure SRH840. For me, comfort is as important as sound quality with headphones, as I listen for hours at a time.

    Since there is not any place to actually audition any of those models near me, I relied on online reviews, and I figured I'd order from someplace where I could return them if I did not like them. Given the fact that the AT and Shure models didn't get many positive reviews in the comfort department, I then narrowed my choices down to the HD598 and K240 MKII.

    With the great price on Amazon (just over $100), I decided to give the venerable AKG's a shot, and I love them! They sound great to the 'ol ears, and are VERY comfortable. And I think they are an excellent value, especially since they come with 2 cords (1 straight, 1 coiled) and 2 sets of earpads (1 velour, 1 pleather). I put the velour pads on mine, and they are very comfy, and I have listened to them for 4-6 hours at a time with absolutely no fatigue (comfort or sound wise).

    I then purchased a FiiO E17 Alpen headphone amp/DAC, and I am extremely impressed with it as well!! I can now listen as loud as I want, at any time I want. I should have done this a long time ago!!
    Last edited by Rick88; 02-21-2013 at 08:53 AM.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    I just picked up a pair of Monoprice premium over the ear headphones, and they sound WAY better than the $23 price tag would suggest. Decent build quality, good sound, two detachable cables included; I highly suggest them.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
    I picked up a pair of these a week ago for knocking around purposes, plus I was curious if "indeed" a 20+ dollar headphone could possibly sound any good? Well, I have to agree with Tyll (Innerfidelity), in saying I don't understand how they can possibly manufacture this and sell it at THAT PRICE. It certainly can compete with most phones up to around $60-$80.
    Which is ridiculous. Of course it's not quite at the level of my M50s, but those are not $23?

    If you need a cheap, and I mean ultra cheap set of cans that you can knock around you can't do much better at this "ridiculous" price point!

    They also seem fairly FLAT to my ear and benefit from various EQs on things like itunes etc. For example, you can actually get some real bass out of these with a little tweaking and the mids are generally more forward than the average phone, which should be good for mixing? The highs, more detailed and prominent than they should be for 20+ bucks--conceivably a bit fatiguing over long listening periods, and maybe not? Sound stage? Not much and certainly much less than the Technica M50s which are OK there but nothing to write home about--problem with most closed back designs! Who would have thought! But like all decent phones they have a BREAK-IN period. Don't sound like much right out of the box but improve with TIME!

    Of course, now that I'm into this scene, I have my eye on some Beyerdynamic (DT990s)! Have to check out the "open back" scene! I like the fact that the Beyers have "more" bass than the equivalent Sennheisers, Grados, AKG, etc.

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 03-29-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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  18. #18

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    On a digressive note. I'm using the Monoprice 8323 at the moment. I have NOT gotten around to using the short cord that comes with them till now. Sheeesh, I stuck that into my computer and the lost some bass and the high end became "unbearable". Anyone else have that experience with these?

    I knew the short cord was a ****ty cable but it's "really" bad. For those who do not know. This unit comes with two detachable cables and a 1/4" adapter. The thick cable is over 10' long and about 3/16"+ (diameter) and the shorter 4' cable is only 1/16" or less--every flimsy. The DIFFERENCE was so noticeable I had to tear the phones from my head INSTANTLY. It wasn't even "did I hear that" or is this some "placebo" effect. It was Painful!

    I knew high end H-phone guys often "recabled" their babies, but this pretty much cinches it for me!

    Of course I can excuse MP because these phones cost next to "nothing" so skimping on the itune device cable. No real deal breaker there!

    For the price, get them and test this out for "yourself". Go ahead and to it "double blind" if you wish. I guaranty you, you will experience the same thing!

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 03-31-2013 at 04:41 PM.
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  19. #19

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    how about the Polk Audio UltraFit ?
    http://styleheadphones.blogspot.com/...-overview.html

  20. #20

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    Being an apartment dweller myself, my hi-fi journey has turned to the head-fi arena.

    I like to see how far I can stretch a dollar, so I stick with the budget stuff. I also like to try different gear, and see what appeals to me.

    Thus far, I have the Audio-Techinica ATH-M50's, the Monoprice 8323's, the Panasonic RP-HTF600's, the Superlux HD 681's, and the Superlux HD-681 EVO's.

    The only 3 pairs I'd wear out in public are the ATH-M50's, HTF600's, & the 8323's. The 8323's are LEAST comfortable of the bunch, due to the headbands minimal padding. The HTF600's are the least efficient, requiring higher volume levels to produce the same amount of sound as the others. Initially, I liked the Panny's but I switched the stock pads for the Beyerdynamic EDT 250 Velour's and they haven't been the same since. These are the nicest looking set, IMO. The ATH-M50's sound very nice, top to bottom, and they look decent. Get the straight cable version, not the coiled cable version. The coiled cable is heavy and pulls the left side down, noticeably enough that it bothers me.

    The Superlux HD 681's, and HD-681 EVO's are not that attractive, but the sound amazing. I prefer the sound of the original 681's. The EVO's look a little nicer, but I feel they have lost some detail compared to the original. Both of these are very hot to wear after 30-45 minutes. They are the lightest feeling, physically.

    The cords are detachable on the 8323's, and the Superlux's.

    According to the folks over at head-fi, it's a good idea to take a break from listening every 30 mins or so.

    I use a Fiio E11 with either my Sandisk Sansa Clip+ or my iPod when I'm out and about. I like the E11 but I'd like it better if it had a battery indicator level. I prefer the SQ of the Sansa Clip+ over either of my iPods. Way more storage capacity for a lot less money. I didn't buy either iPod, as they were both gifts. Comparing the retail price of a Sansa Clip+ with a high capacity micro SD card is far less than an iPod and you can carry FLAC files on the Clip+.

    At home, I've got a Schiit Magni and a Schiit Modi that can plug into my desktop or laptop. I'm still playing with the software at this point. I'm currently using Foobar but if anybody has any suggestions, I'm all ears...lol.

    Just my $0.02 on the subject of budget headphones, players, amps, etc.

    Oh, I'd definitely go for a JDS Labs cMoy v2.03 Headphone Amplifier over the E11 if I had it to do again.
    Better to have and not need than to need and not have!

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    My mom is in the market for some nice over-ear headphones. She heard some Harman Kardon's at BB that she really liked, commenting on the "stereo" sound and overall clarity they provided. I'm quite ignorant on headphones but was wondering what else was out there that might suit her needs? She's wanting to use these with her iPad/laptop and would prefer them be noise cancelling.
    So what did you get?

    It's been a several months now. And I must say that I've learned a thing or two from cubdog about the value of cheaper, Chinese made cans (Takstar Hi2050--aka Technical Pro HPT 990--, and Takstar Pro80s, Jaycar Digitech Pro Monitors--which are also the Brainwavz HM5, Fischer 003, and Yoga CD-880).

    Most of which can be had for well under 100. And, all of which sound better than most cans at the 150-200+ price point!

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 06-04-2013 at 10:09 PM.
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  22. #22

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    Headz-up! Some of the BB stores in Balto / DC area, perhaps others, have the Harman Kardon headphones on clearance. I picked up the HARKAR-BT (over the ear with Bluetooth apt-X or wired) for $150. They had the on-ear HARKAR-CL for $99 and the in-ear AE for $49. I had to pick up a pair of AE too.

    Click the "In-Store Clearance and Open Box" link and check individual stores.

    I haven't listened to the BL or AE yet as I haven't decided if I'll keep or flip. I was impressed with the CL that was on display.
    Last edited by skrol; 06-05-2013 at 12:30 AM.
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  23. #23

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    Actually, I think it was the HARKAR-NI vs the AE for $49.
    Stan

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    I've a KRK KNS 8400. It's great even without an amp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rooftop59 View Post
    I really like my Audio Technica ATH-M50s. They are not active noise cancelling, but do block out quick a bit of noise because they form a pretty good seal. They are REALLY easy to drive, so they sound pretty darn good with just my phone. Only thing is they get hot after a while, but I imagine that's true with most cans.

    http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica.../dp/B000ULAP4U
    +1,000,000. Perhaps the most popular headphone at the price range and for good reason.
    Do you hear that buzzing noise?

  26. #26

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    The M50's are the defining standard for good headphones. The HK's at Best Buy right now are on clearance for $99 (HARKAR-CL) on ears, and $125 for HARKAR-BT. You'll be hard pressed to beat them - they were very well reviewed and for clearance pricing they're awesome. I picked up a pair and they're amazing if you're just using them on normal sources like an iPhone.

    I have AKG 271MKII's and I believe they were $129 on Amazon at the time. Awesome cans. I also have DT770 PRO's - those are super comfy and the sound is very natural with a good bass kick. All within your range.
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    I will throw out another vote for the headphones on my head right now. Monoprice 8323 which are rebranded Kicker headphones. For $30 shipped you cannot go wrong.
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  28. #28

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    The ATH M50's are a really good performer for the money. While My AKG 701's do better (and they should considering the price) the 50's are no slouch.

    The Beats Pro that I listened too? Well I thought they were horrible.

    I may have to get the Monoprice for backup and walking around.
    Last edited by Habanero Monk; 08-20-2013 at 03:33 PM.
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    Beyerdyanmic DT770's. Can wear them for 10+ hours without listening fatigue. Amped or unamped they dont fatigue, dont grip overly hard, isolate pretty decent, dont slip too much and feel like they are not even there.

    Mine are the 32 ohm version.
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

    Main HT: APC H15 | Pio 51FD | Uverse DVR | Xbox 360 | Squeezebox Classic | Integra DTR 5.9 | Carver AV-705x & M1.0t MKII Opt002 | LSi 15 | LSiC | LSi F/x | Kimber Hero IC & 8VS SC

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  30. #30

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    I can definitely recommend the V-Moda M-80 and V-80 (True Blood version). Really, these are the best sounding on ear HP's I have, they even best some over ear models, IMO. CAL! (Creative Aurvana Live!) are very good headphones as well (re-branded Denon's). Both are really excellent. The CAL!'s are less expensive but the V-Modas can be had used for just a bit more and, they are totally worth it.
    Better to have and not need than to need and not have!

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