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Headphone Buyer's Guide

post #1 of 356
Thread Starter 
There have been a lot of threads asking for help finding headphones in a certain price range. I am going to use this guide to help those people make good choices. Feel free to suggest others that fit into the categories.

A note on Price: I tried to post a price that takes into account the used prices, as well as the new ones. Let me know if you think i need to change one.

Suggestion for amping:
"0" denotes amp usually included/bundled
"1" denotes amp not needed.
"2" denotes amp recommended.
"3" denotes amp required.


Under $70

IEM/Earbud
1-JVC Marshmallow (FX33, 34) ($15) Bassy, recessed mids and highs. I love them with rock. Great value. Kramer mod helps these a lot.
1-Creative ep630 ($23)
1-JVC Air Cushion ($30) These sound similar to the marshmallows, but with better detail and no recessed mids/highs.
1-Sennheiser cx300 ($30) Lovely midrange, and very strong bass (although uncontrolled) Highs are the weakness of this phone.
1-Yuin pk3 ($39)
1-Jays j-jays ($50)
1-Shure e2c ($60)
1-Crossroads Mylarone x3i/xbi ($57 and $65)
1-Yuin pk2 ($69)
1-Etymotic er6 ($70) Very detailed. Good mids/highs. Slightly lacking the bass department
1-Ultimate Ears Super.Fi.3 ($70)
1-V-moda Vibe($70) Very muddy, not a lot of detail. no highs to speak off.
2-Altec Lansing im716 ($100) Currently on sale @buy.com for $49

Open Headphone

1-Koss KSC75/35 (Clip-on) ($13) Very good value. Some bass bloat, good mids and sparkly highs.
1-Sennheiser px100 ($33)
1-Koss Portapro ($35)
1-Sennheiser HD515 ($60)
1-Grado sr-60 ($69) Wonderful liquid mids! Amazing with guitars. Not harsh to me, but to some. Lacking in bass.

Closed Headphone

1-Sennheiser HD201 ($22)
1-AKG k81dj ($54) Bassy dj headphone. Better with some damping. Good for rap and Hip-Hop

$70 to $150


IEM/Earbud
1-Sony ex90 ($95)
1-Jays D-jays ($99)
1-Westone UM1 ($109)
1-Shure e3c ($119)
1-Super.Fi.5 Pro/EB ($130-$150)
2-Yuin pk1 ($139)
1-Sennheiser CX95 ($140)

Open Headphone
1-Audio Technica ad500/700 ($100 and $130)
1-AKG 240S ($85)
1.5-Sennheiser hd555 ($95) Availalbe in 50 and 120 ohm versions.
1-Grado Sr80/sr125 ($95 and $149)
1-Alessandro MS-1
2-Goldring DR150 ($135)
2-Sennheiser hd580 ($160)

Closed Headphone

1-Sony Mdr-v6 ($71) A very neutral headphone. Good mids, highs. No bass bloat IMO.
1-Sennheiser HD280 ($80) Extreme isolation in a closed Headphone. Slightly anemic bass.
1-Audio Technica a500/700 ($98 and $140) Very balanced overall sound. Good for rock and metal. Speedy, controlled bass. Cheap pleather pads.
1-Equation rp21/rp22x ($85-$90) Plenty of awesome bass. Slightly recessed mids, good highs
1-Audio Technica ES7 ($110)
2-Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO ($150) Bass monsters! Also a good gaming/movie watching 'phone.
1-Denon d1000 ($130)

$150 to ~$200

IEM/Earbud
1-Shure e4c (~160)
1-Jays q-jays ($170)
1-Atrio M5/M8 ($180)
2-Etymotic ER4p ($180) Very detailed, awesome highs and Mids. Bass is lacking to some. Sound is wonderful with a Mini-box E amp (Bass boost)

Open Headphone

2-Sennheiser hd595 ($180) Available in 50 and 120 ohm versions
1-Grado Sr225 ($180)
2-AKG k501 ($190)
3-Beyerdynamic DT880 PRO/2005 (~$200)

Closed Headphone
2-Sennheiser HD25-II ($175)
1-Audio Technica a900 ($200) Massive soundstage, strong bass, and comfort are its strong points. Great for movies and jazz. Slight weakness in the low-midrange. Crappy pleather Pads.
2-Beyerdynamic Dt250 ($200)
2-AKG 271s ($185)

$200 to $300

IEM/Earbud

0-Stax SR001/003 ($230)
1-Shure SE530PTH ($280)
1-Earpiece Livewires ($250 plus impressions)
1-Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi.10 ($299)
1-Westone UM2 ($299)

Open Headphone
2-Sony Mdr-F1 ($240)
3-Sennheiser HD600 ($240)
2-Grado SR-325i ($249) Most aggressive Grado. Sharp metallic sound with fast attack + decay. Great pair for electric guitars.
3-Beyerdynamic dt990-2005 ($250)
3-AKG k701 ($250) Detailed phones with wide sound stage. Amp dependent for good bass. Often compared against HD650.
1-Ultrasone PROLine 2500 ($263)
2-Audio Technica ad1000 ($330)
2-Alessandro MS-2i ($299)

Closed Headphone

2-Denon D2000 ($260)
2-Ultrasone PROLine 750 ($263)
?-Audio Technica ESW9 ($280)

$300 to $500

2-Headphile Darth Beyer ($370 to Whatever you can imagine!)

IEM/Earbud

2-APureSound Etymotic Er4p
?-Klipsch Image ($350)

Open Headphone

3-Sennhesier HD650 ($325) Dark headphone with ample bass. Very amp/source dependent. A whole new level of awesome when balanced.
0-Stax SR303 ($350)
2-Sony SA5000 ($350)
2-Grado Hf-1 ($350 to $400)
0-Stax SR404 ($450)
2-Grado Rs2 ($495) Liquid mid-range and if used with flat pads, slammy bass. If 325i is too sharp, this is the 'phone to go for.
2-Audio Technica AD2000 ($499)
0-Sony Pfr-V1 ($499)

Closed Headphone
3-Audio Technica w1000 ($399)
3-Denon D5000 ($559)

More Than $500

IEM/Earbud

Westone ES-2
Ultimate Ears UE-10 pro ($900 + Impressions)
Ultimate Ears UE-11 Pro ($1,150 +Impressions)
Sensaphonics 2X-S


Open Headphone

2-Grado Rs1 ($695)
2-Alessandro MS-Pro ($699)
2-Grado GS1000 ($995)
2-Grado Hp-2 (~$1400)
3-Grado Ps-1 (~$1400)
0-Stax Omega 2 ($1850)
Closed Headphone
3-Audio Technica w5000 ($699) Woody headphone which is known for troublesome fit and being picky about amplification. If used successfully - very worth the trouble.
3-JVC/Victor DX1000 ($889)
2-Ultrasone Edition 9 ($1,499)


I've started to add a brief description next to each HP, let me know what you think.

Feel free to write a short sentence, and I will add it to the list.

Thanks to: Progenitor, GlorytheWiz825, phantomz, Assorted, Kamal007, MaloS
post #2 of 356
I think this will be a very helpful guide.
post #3 of 356
looks good so far. i think you should add the hd515 for the under $70 open cans.

they are about $70 on amazon and around $40 on ebay
post #4 of 356
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevg73 View Post
looks good so far. i think you should add the hd515 for the under $70 open cans.

they are about $70 on amazon and around $40 on ebay
Added! I just picked a price in the middle some where.
post #5 of 356
Thread Starter 
Added through $300. I know i am missing some, so just post here and i'll add them.
post #6 of 356
what about the Sennheiser CX95? they are in 139$ in amazon

also what about the klipsch image in 350$?
post #7 of 356
dt990 is open by the way, not closed

and the dt880 are closed, not open.

otherwise great stuff.
post #8 of 356
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by truejoker View Post
what about the Sennheiser CX95? they are in 139$ in amazon

also what about the klipsch image in 350$?
Added!
post #9 of 356
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
dt990 is open by the way, not closed

and the dt880 are closed, not open.

otherwise great stuff.
Oops, i messed up the dt990. But the dt880 are "semi-open" which according to most, does not block any outside noise.
post #10 of 356
Very nice! This is a really nice guide. If it shall be maintained, I think it deserves a sticky.

But that's just me.
post #11 of 356
In the 200 to 300 category you are missing Grado SR325i.
post #12 of 356
Where the hell can u find the Shure SE530PTH for 280$?
post #13 of 356
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RugerRell View Post
Where the hell can u find the Shure SE530PTH for 280$?
Thats an average going price for ones on ebay. That is not including the shipping cost.
post #14 of 356
Oh. In your guide u also forgot the Westone UM2's for the 300$ price range.
post #15 of 356
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RugerRell View Post
Oh. In your guide u also forgot the Westone UM2's for the 300$ price range.
Thanks! I added the um2 and um1
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