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Headphones recommmendations $50 and under

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have recently joined the Head-Fi community, and have already benefited from the knowledgeable members here, by obtaining a Sansa Fuze with 8G at a good price.

So now, I will ask for help with my phones. I was planning on spending about $50. On Black Friday, I found a pair of Sennheiser PMX 70 headphones for about $25 at Circuit City. I was also considering the Jbuds 2, after reading the review here on Head-Fi.

I will be wearing these while on the bus, so leaking is an issue, also I plan to wear them around the house, while gardening, and while walking for fitness. I prefer to hear some ambient sound, for safety. Unless, that is leaking both in and out amount to the same thing. Also, I think that I have a rather small ear size, since I wore the smallest tips of the earphones that came with one of the RCA player that I tried out (returned for not supporting Vorbis format.) My source will be a Sansa Fuze.

I am 49 years old and female (not sure how this affects hearing, but it might), and I expect that I have a bit of hearing loss. However, I also think that my listening has suffered more from inattentiveness than any other cause. But paying attention to the SQ of my listening will go a long way here!

I do not know if listening preferences enter in at this price range, but I listen a wide variety of music. I would like to listen to more classical music than I currently do. Most of my listening would be in the folk and classical genres. I tend to pay most attention to the clarity of vocals in vocal music. In classical music, I would want to be able to separate the instruments from one another. Also, I would like to hear the nuances of classical and acoustic guitar solo music.

So far, the Sennheiser are working well for me, except that I am concerned about how I will carry these headphones while I am out and about, and not wearing them, because of the headband. I do like the way that the headband holds the earbuds at an angle. I can hear ambient sound so well that I am considering that I might wear these while bicycling, which is something that I haven't really considered at all, for safety reasons. I don't particularly care for the green color, but color is a very minor consideration to me. One other thing that I don't like is that the wire is located on the left side, while my PC earphone jack is located on the right side of my laptop. However, for a right-handed person, the left side placement will be better, and is not an issue while using my Fuze. The vocal sounded a bit weirs yesterday, but that has cleared up. I didn't think burning in the phones would apply to my tin ears, but I guess that isn't entirely true.
post #2 of 6
The SoundMagic PL30 are great earphones for about $25 and come with loads of tips
post #3 of 6
I agree, the SoundMagic PL30 is a great sounding IEM.
If you want budget ($39) ear bud type phones, check out the Yuin PK3. (Head-Direct.com sells both).

I have both of these as well as a variety of higher-end earphones for different uses and these low cost phones are a great value.
post #4 of 6
My musical tastes are somewhat like yours. Generally acoustic music, folk, vocal and classical, especially chamber music. (and I'm over 50)

My first choice would be the clip-on Koss KSC-75. There's a million posts about them already.

Also deserving a mention is the $11 Philips earbud she2650. I just started a thread for them since aparently no one on head-fi but me uses them.

The KSC win over the Phillips in sound quality but Philips win in fit, comfort and discreet appearance. You could get both and still be within your stated budget.

Both will allow some retaining some contact with your environment without leaking an obnoxious amount of noise. Maybe not suitable for a quiet office or library, but on the bus I think they'd be fine. I'd be leary of any IEM for walking around in public, I don't feel safe at all missing auditory cues from traffic.
post #5 of 6
Denon C551
You can get them for around 50$US
check eBay if you can't
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your recommendations.

Today, I picked up three pair of the Koss KSC75's. from another thread on this forum, I found that they were available inexpensively at Radio Shack. I called my local store, and was told that they were almost $30. But I decided to go into the store and see what they actually rang up as. They were $5.77, so I bought three pair. (I generously left a few pair on the rack for someone else.)

I think that I like the sound of these better than the Sennheiser PMX70 phones I have been using, but I don't know how to compare them. It seems that by the time I get switch headphones, I am not sure about how the first pair sounded. I find the Sennheiser phones very comfortable and secure. I haven't worn these enough to decide how I like the fit compared to the Sennheiser.
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