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under $40

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So I'm buying a couple of xmas presents... and I've been looking at some inexpensive headphones.

 

I know this has been done to death, but what do you guys think are the best overall (comfort, sound quality, durability, design) headphones for under $40?

 

I have no preference as to design style, as long as they are well made and effective at what they do. Portability is an advantage, but not a necessity. Would prefer bass heavy to bass light, but ideally neutral and smooth.

 

I had the following in mind:

KOSS portapro

KOSS KSC75

soundmagic PL30

Yuin PK3

 

I'm a little out of the headphone loop lately, are there any awesome cheap phones that I'm totally overlooking? Thanks!

post #2 of 9

If you don't mind IEMs (albeit comfortable ones), check out the Klipsch S2. You can find them for about $25 on Amazon. Super comfortable (on par, in my opinion, with Shures and Westones), pretty balanced sound with a moderate emphasis on bass.

post #3 of 9

I've had great experiences with all of meelec's line, and they're having some pretty good promotions right now.  Their phones that are usually 40-60 are marked down to 20 and under with one deal a day.  Their headphones are all pretty bass heavy but in a good and fun way, in my opinion.

post #4 of 9

The Koss PortaPro is easily the best sound+soundstage at this price range of those you mention. The KSC75 should sound similar, but the headband on the Porta should prove to be more durable than the clips on the KSC. Lifetime warranty too (though mine have never broken, not even the cable) One of the most noticeable differences is with the soundstage. Most earphones sound like the music is in your head, but with the PortaPro it seems more 3D and encompassing. Essentially it makes other full size closed cans sound like playing music in an echoey cave.


Edited by stevenswall - 12/7/10 at 10:35am
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
would you recommend the portapros over the pk3's? also, they are open yeah?... do they leak much? how about isolation?
post #6 of 9

Both leak sound.  Isolation and portability, get the PK3 as its bass is cleaner and less muddy.  The Portapro held it's own when it debuted some 25 years ago, and is ok for the price, but nowadays, for the same price $30-50, you get so much more in all regards.  Out of the OP list, the Soundmagic is the only one with real isolation by design.


Edited by alphaphoenix - 12/6/10 at 12:07am
post #7 of 9

Yuin earphones consistently have less bass than the Koss PortaPro... See below. Tight bass is easier if there is little of it to begin with. If the PK3 continues the trend below, it will have -25db of bass at 20hz compared to the PortaPro. Pretty much impossible to EQ up a headphone that much without clipping or distortion. If you want bass, get the PortaPro, if you want a similar amount of bass as is typically found in an earbud (very little), get the PK3.

 

Yes, the Pk3 is more portable, but just because it doesn't leak, doesn't mean it has better isolation. A third consideration would be soundstage, and earbuds are notorious for terrible soundstage.

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post #8 of 9


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenswall View Post

The Koss PortaPro is easily the best at this price range. Lifetime warranty too (though mine have never broken, not even the cable) One of the most noticeable differences is with the soundstage. Most earphones sound like the music is in your head, but with the PortaPro it seems more 3D and encompassing. Essentially it makes other full size closed cans sound like playing music in an echoey cave.


I think that's way too definitive of a statement unless of course you've heard every sub-$40 set out there. I admire the PortaPros as much as the next guy but they're too flabby and muddy to be called 'easily the best'. They might have a shot at the title for those who really really value warmth and mid-bass emphasis but personally I can't imagine picking up the PortaPros over the Maxell DHP-II or Brainwavz M1. I've owned the PortaPros three times now, each time reading some great outburst of praise and deciding to give them another shot, and each time I've walked away disappointed.

post #9 of 9

^Post edited for clarification, that was a hasty and general statement, I stand corrected.

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