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So what are the best <$100 headphones for female vocals these days?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Heya, I've been out of the loop for a while.  What are the best relatively efficient, under $100 headphones for really enjoying female vocalists, these days? And is there something REALLY incredibly awesome in the ~$150 range, to be an excuse to trade from the 'normal budget limit' to the 'stretched budget limit'?

 

If the genre matters, and I don't think it should, opera, singer-songwriter, some jazz inspired, folk, etc, but with a big focus on, of course, female vocalists.  I'm thinking of some big old open thing.  Buying online is okay, and budget is for 'after shipping', and within the lower 48.

post #2 of 12


I'm always trying to find the best possible headphone for this. I've found the best for female vocals without a double under $100 (that i've tried) is the Koss Pro DJ 100. This is mainly due to it's very slightly forward upper mids. Next best is the AKG K240 Studio. Maxell DHP-II is also not bad.

 

For $100-$150 I like the Shure SRH-840, but it's vocals to me aren't any better than the DJ100.

 

For anyone curious as to what the best past that is, my favorite is the ATH-AD2000 for female vocals. The K702 also isn't too bad, same with the HD-600. K601 is also nice because it's mids are more forward sounding than the K702, but has less detail, a smaller soundstage, but better imaging. W1000 is also supposed to be good, but I haven't heard it yet.

 

EDIT: I guess I can't read and missed the "open" part. I still think it's worth considering a closed headphone for female vocals. Open headphones for this are rarely as good, with a few exceptions like the K601 and ATH-AD2000.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gluegun View Post

Heya, I've been out of the loop for a while.  What are the best relatively efficient, under $100 headphones for really enjoying female vocalists, these days? And is there something REALLY incredibly awesome in the ~$150 range, to be an excuse to trade from the 'normal budget limit' to the 'stretched budget limit'?

 

If the genre matters, and I don't think it should, opera, singer-songwriter, some jazz inspired, folk, etc, but with a big focus on, of course, female vocalists.  I'm thinking of some big old open thing.  Buying online is okay, and budget is for 'after shipping', and within the lower 48.

post #3 of 12

for female vocals i love my akg 240 studio if you plan on only home listening. they work well out of a mp3 player but i wouldn't suggest outside use with them cause there semi-open and on an mp3 player they won't get very loud, loud but at nice comfortable sound level. out of computer soundcard they work little better with volume.

i love listening to Enya,Bjork, sarah brightman, Portishead, and lots of trace with female vocals like ocean lab or dash berlin featuring emma hewitt. Jazz they work very well with bass guitar and sound very natural to me. i like some opera like Andrea Bocelli  and from albums from like anime and some games(not sure on exact artists). Does Phantom Of the Opera(very good soundtrack) count?


ther very good with string and wind instruments also that is natural and airy. if not the akg's then the sennheisers hd555 will do very good as well. i would wait for more opinions respectfully cause i'm like a hardcore akg 240 lover here and seem to be the only one mentioning them when it comes to headphones in the 100 dollar price range tongue.gif

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Looking at older threads on this topic, and my own research, these seem to be potentially appropriate cans.

 

Alessandro MS-1

Audio Technica ATH-AD500

Sennheiser HD-555

AKG 240 Studio

 

Any thoughts?

post #5 of 12

It is said that Mr. Grado loves female vocals and had that in mind when designing his headphones and phono cartridges. You can pickup some SR60's or SR80's shipped with in the $100-150 range. I really enjoy female vocals through my Grados.

post #6 of 12

I didn't really like the vocals on the MS1i. They sounded a little thin and distant. I absolutely LOVE my RS1i for vocals though. Can't imagine anything better.

I would suggest the SR60, as they have about the same sound signature as the RS1.

Or maybe some used SR225?

post #7 of 12

I second the k240S recommendation, but the Fostex T50RP may be even better if my old T20 v2 which I modded is any indication. I like the Fostex a bit more than the akg, but the 240 and the fostex are pretty close....in the end it comes down to subjective preference. If you're open to doing a bit of modding I would go with the Fostex because T20 that I recently purchased used is VERY nice with female vocals.

 

edit: forgot to mention....the Fostex are well within your budget

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lejaz View Post

I second the k240S recommendation,

 

X3

Under your budget range, the 240's are great vocals performers. 

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizura View Post

I didn't really like the vocals on the MS1i. They sounded a little thin and distant. I absolutely LOVE my RS1i for vocals though. Can't imagine anything better.

I would suggest the SR60, as they have about the same sound signature as the RS1.

Or maybe some used SR225?


I second (or third) the SR60. Female vocals are what sold me on it. I was fairly impressed listening to Seether when I first got it, and then I switched on "Tourniquet" by Evanesence (Vocals: Amy Lee) and my jaw dropped. Obscenities may have slipped through. Some find it silibant though, so take this with a grain of salt.
 

post #10 of 12

Accurate vocal reproduction is a great litmus test for headphones.  I've owned Audio-Technica and Grado 'phones in the past, but my current fave is the AKG K240S.  It really nails vocals in a way my other headphones did not.  Give them a listen!

post #11 of 12

Audio Technica ES7 or their woodies, but their woodies are out of your budget.

post #12 of 12
Has anyone ever tried any sets with anything Floor Jansen?
After Forever, Revamp, or Nightwish?
There always seems to be any or all of a loss of total sound...resonance, power, emphasis, there is fading and the works

It's incredibly hard trying to find headphones to reproduce such a voice. And speakers....I have not come across a pair yet and am afraid of the price the day I do.

She is a classically trained Dramatic Soprano...which is probably the main problem...too much power/high vocal decibels/frequencies....not even counting the metal.
She sings Opera, Power Metal, and growls to heavy metal.

My Miles Davis Trumpets did good on detail, but the left driver is slightly shot after too much frown.gif.
I do prefer ear buds too, but the right set might change this.
Edited by jackskellington - 7/25/14 at 12:27pm
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