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I am sooo lost! Anyone mind helping me pick out headphones for my husband?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've tried to search the forums, learn the ins and outs and all the headphone lingo but really... I have no idea what I'm doing. I need help :)

 

Basically all we've ever had are cheap headphones or earbuds that have come with various electronics. My husband had a pair of the ear-cup sort but they were a cheap no-name and broke so quickly... He was bummed because he liked how they helped block out some of the sound of our crazy house (kids, dog, that sort of noise!)

 

Sound quality is important for sure, but we're not aficionados so I don't know that he (or I) woud be able to tell the difference between a lot of the different things that you all do... Mostly I just want to get him a good, comfortable, durable set that is going to sound good for what he normally does (some gaming, music and movies on the computer, occasional ipod use but not a lot..)

 

 

I was originally planning on spending around $50 but after reading here for awhile I'm wondering if it's even realistic to find anything decent for that price? I know the ATH M50s have been recommended a lot and you can get them on Ebay for $110ish, but I have a hard time trying to understand what makes them twice as good as the other Audio-Technica ones you can get on Amazon for half the price.
 
I would love to be enlightened on the subject! ;) Or you can just tell me if any of these are any good… 

 

Audio Technica ATHM40FS Precision Studio Headphones - $55 (Amazon says normally $150?) but the jack needs an adapter to use with regular electronics

 

 

Audio Technica ATH-PRO5VA - $53.95

 

 

Audio-Technica ATH-M30 - $48

 

Then I saw this brand recommended as well, but I worried that it might not be as durable? The headbands look like they're made of cheapy plastic.

 

 

Sennheiser HD428 - $55

 

So... What is recommended for a couple of noobs who like music but don't know where to start? I know they need to be closed back(right?) and around the ear, but that's about all I've got.

 

If you took the time to read this, thank you! I was reading a forum elsewhere on the web and when this topic came up they said to come ask you all ;)

post #2 of 13

The first thing you should realize about headphones and pricing is that the two are not directly proportional and the relationship is greatly affected by steep diminishing returns. Going up the price tiers, the you will not generally be buying headphones that are twice as good for twice the price. You probably pay like 300% more for, say, a 50% increase in performance. Of course, this is just a loosely based example as there's really no real world way to quantify such a relationship.

 

The question about whether it's worth paying x times more for a better pair of headphones thus becomes highly subjective and dependent on the listener. For some, they'll pay any price for even the smallest of improvements. Others, not so much. You'll just have to either listen for yourself to judge if something is really worth $50 more than what you've previously owned or heard, or just bite the bullet and hope for the best. This is a decision only you can make.

 

What we can help you with, however, is coming up with different suggestions for your musical tastes. State your absolute maximum budget and the stuff you enjoy listening to and we can try and come up with the best choices for you.

 

If you were looking at the Audio Technica M50s, were you thinking about expanding your budget to that price point, or are you still absolutely set on spending around $50?


Edited by kingtz - 12/4/10 at 10:21pm
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Oh very true. I didn't mean to imply that they weren't worth the increase in price (sorry if it came off that way!), I'm just wondering if they would be for a couple of people like us, who couldn't tell you the first thing about highs and low and mids and all that.... or if we would be better off with a more entry level model?

 

Absolutely maximum budget would probably be $115. I guess what I was trying to say is that I'm not opposed to paying more because quality IS very important to me (hence why I'm here and not out at at store grabbing the first thing I see).. but if there is something in a lower price bracket that is recommended that would be good to know too :)

post #4 of 13

I'm glad to know that head-fi has such notoriety :)

 

In addition to what Kingtz said, how important is isolation from outside noise to your husband? I have 3 siblings, and I know that when I lived with them that it was necessary to be isolated when listening to music. Also, would your husband prefer in-ear headphones (IEMs) or on-ear or around-ear headphones (supra- and circumaural, respectively)

post #5 of 13

Joker's comparison is a great place to start.  There is a lot of indepth reviews of 59 (at the moment) portable headphones and If you scroll down a bit you'll see a comparison chart comparing his ratings of different factors (build, sound, value, etc.) as well as price and ranked accordingly.  This helpful guide should give you a good idea of what you might want and prices in the range you want to spend.

 

On the list you'll notice the JVC HA-M750 and, if you stretch a little more, the Creative Aurvana Live! are a great bang for your buck and get recommendations here as well.

 

Also, there are quite some deals on the For Sale section here.

 

The JVC HA-M750 is going for $32 if you don't mind that they're used: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/526418/jvc-ham750-and-optimus-pro-135-koss-r-80

 

It's a little overwhelming at first but it makes sense as you connect the dots here and there.  Good luck!

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by logwed View Post

I'm glad to know that head-fi has such notoriety :)

 

In addition to what Kingtz said, how important is isolation from outside noise to your husband? I have 3 siblings, and I know that when I lived with them that it was necessary to be isolated when listening to music. Also, would your husband prefer in-ear headphones (IEMs) or on-ear or around-ear headphones (supra- and circumaural, respectively)



Pretty important, I'd say. We have a lot of wood floors, big rooms, and not much in the way of furniture (yet) and so it is VERY noisy with everything being amplified by that... We need to get some rugs, ha! Anyway, from what I've read I think the around-ear would be best for blocking noise so that's what I've been looking at. He doesn't like the IEMs.

 

Thanks :)

post #7 of 13

As a noob to headphones myself, I bought the ATH-M50's over the summer due to the overwhelming positive reviews it got here on the forums. It has decent isolation and when playing music I pretty much can't hear anything. It's great for music, movies, and gaming as I do all three. And it works well with most genres of music. It is definitely a very good entry level headphones.  

post #8 of 13

Well normally, like a knee-jerk reaction I too would recommend the M50, but since you want to limit your budget...

 

I've seen a lot written about the Fostex RP T40RP. I have never heard them, so I can't speak from first-hand experience, or compare them to the M50 (which are a remarkable value). Maybe others here can. They can be had at Amazon for $70, or so.

 

Best of luck.

 

shane

post #9 of 13

I wouldn't recommend any of the fostex sets for absolute beginners because they all have 1/4" jacks which most people have no use for.  I know you can buy adapters, but that is just an added complication for someone who is already having trouble grasping the immense amount of information that can be had on these forums.  The m50 is a durable pair of headphones that also isolates very well.  They also sound pretty darn good on top of that.  They get my vote in this situation. 

post #10 of 13

^^ Good point about the 1/4" plug. Thanks.

 

Also a bump to see if anyone else has a suggestion.

post #11 of 13

The HD 428 is a good choice, in my experience. The sound signature is quite neutral, with punchy but non-emphasized bass. Very good sound stage for a closed can, which is good for gamin. Instrument separation is also quite good.

post #12 of 13

You can do worse than the 428, but they didn't really stand out for mine. So much of it comes down to whether one is a basshead or not, and the music you listen to - IEMs are probably the most-detail-for-your-dollar but I find it hard to go past the perennial favorites in fullsize cans : AD700/ES7/MS1/SR60.  Cans which are have upfront bass response are great initially but quickly become fatiguing - the DT440 are one example of such cans.

 

Good luck.

post #13 of 13

How about the JVC HAS700? Cheap as chips and a few here seem to rave about them?

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/478533/holy-crap-what-the-hell-jvc-has700-is-incredible

 

You could take a little bit of the left over $ and get a simple amp like a Fiio E5.

 

Just a thought

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