Pros: Very easy to drive with a fun EQ
Cons: Headband hurts and they look like a Beats rip off
I was looking for a cheap and cheerful, fun sounding closed can for listening at my computer at work and some limited portable use. I typically listen to EDM in this setting and had been using the Shure 840s. Although a great headphone the 840’s did not have the low end horse power or staging to show EDM at its best and they are not at all portable. I auditioned several lower price closed cans and it came down to the V Moda M-100, the Yamaha Pro 500 and the NAD Viso HP50. To my ears the three contenders were similar in EQ for EDM with good bass, clear highs and respectable sound stage for closed cans. However, when I switched genres the mids in the HP50 showed their weakness sounding quite recessed to my ears. This can also be an issue with vocal trance. Although none of these cans can compete with the Shure 840s in the midrange, the M-100 was the best of the three and probably the winner in overall SQ with the Pro 500 a close second. For this particular application the HP50’s couldn’t compete. However, when price was factored in the Pro 500 seemed to take the value lead. The Pro 500s are so easy to drive that just about any source will work with them. Depending on the genre, the Pro 500s are a fun sounding headphone and a solid value at around $200 (street price).