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Best headphones ~$100-125

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

My apologies if this gets asked incessantly, but I don't know what keywords to search for

 

I am looking for some headphones to replace the POS earbuds that came with my sansa MP3 player and also to use on my computer for music/gaming.

 

Recently I learned that the type of music is a relevant factor (very new to this audiophile business). I listen to Dream Theater, Ayreon, and other progressive rock/metal, sourced from my computer (FLAC). 

 

I like the look of Grados but am concerned about leakage when in public. I borrowed some ATH A700 from my brother, obviously they sound fantastic compared to garbage earbuds, but I am trying to stay impartial when judging brands. Are these still a good choice or are there better/newer options?

 

I don't intend to get an amp at this point. 

 

Thanks

post #2 of 16

Did you notice how much the Ad700 leaked? It's a LOT worse then Grado

 

my Ad500 vs. Sr80i:

 

Sound: Sr80i

Comfort: Ad500, but can get annoying. Grado can be worn for a LOOONG time

Build: SR80i

 

Go for some SR60i because they have more bass and then get a pair of L-cush pads to set on them. they don't need a amp and don't be afraid when people say they lack bass, they have enough bass to go for a long time. 

 

On leakage, I can barely hear them when I put them down and people around me can't hear them at all.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

I tried the AD700s again and you are right, the leakage is very noticeable at higher volumes. 

 

Are the SR125i's worth the extra money, even without an amp? Or should I stay at the SR80 level?

post #4 of 16

shure srh440 perhaps.

post #5 of 16


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcasey25raptor View Post

shure srh440 perhaps.



With 840 pads? wink.gif

post #6 of 16

I got my Crossfade LPs (V Moda) for $120 on Amazon

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Potamotrygon View Post

I tried the AD700s again and you are right, the leakage is very noticeable at higher volumes. 

 

Are the SR125i's worth the extra money, even without an amp? Or should I stay at the SR80 level?


Buy the most Grado you can, but also think about future modding.

 

And a word from the wise, the right pads on a Grado do make the cans. My unmodded Grado sounded great, then I added custom earpads and the bass came out as did the clarity and separation even more.

 

Custom earpad instructions here:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/562891/request-custom-earpad-tutorial-for-fullsized-cans

 

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChronic View Post

I got my Crossfade LPs (V Moda) for $120 on Amazon



They can't touch gloves with Grado's sound quality. 

 

but if you do care about looks, if you like the looks of Crossfade, you can't do better. But a lot of headfi'ers agree that Grado are nice looking headphones.

post #9 of 16

Why not get an A700? You already know that you like that sound.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

I have been reading great reviews of the Ultrasone HFI-580, in particular that they are better than the AT M50s at a cheaper price. Thoughts? Strong bass doesn't bother me.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcasey25raptor View Post

shure srh440 perhaps.



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by fabio-fi View Post


 



With 840 pads? wink.gif


 

I might as well just buy the 840, it's in my price range.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by macrocheesium View Post

Why not get an A700? You already know that you like that sound.


If i'd borrowed a pair of beats, I'm sure they would sound great too compared to cheap earbuds. I am also not fond of the very large circular earpiece things  (cups?)
 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BotByte View Post

Did you notice how much the Ad700 leaked? It's a LOT worse then Grado

 

my Ad500 vs. Sr80i:

 

Sound: Sr80i

Comfort: Ad500, but can get annoying. Grado can be worn for a LOOONG time

Build: SR80i

 

Go for some SR60i because they have more bass and then get a pair of L-cush pads to set on them. they don't need a amp and don't be afraid when people say they lack bass, they have enough bass to go for a long time. 

 

On leakage, I can barely hear them when I put them down and people around me can't hear them at all.


The reviews I see indicate that leakage is significant compared to other headphones. Do modified/replaced pads reduce this?

 

 

thanks for all the assistance 


Edited by Potamotrygon - 7/22/11 at 7:06pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Potamotrygon View Post

I have been reading great reviews of the Ultrasone HFI-580, in particular that they are better than the AT M50s at a cheaper price. Thoughts? Strong bass doesn't bother me.

 



 




 

I might as well just buy the 840, it's in my price range.

 

 

 

Beats play rock about as well as a toaster can swim
 

 

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shredicus View Post



 

Beats play rock about as well as a toaster can swim
 

 

 

I laughed.

 

 

To Op, stop worrying about Leakage. The AD700 leak like a boat and buckshot.

 

If you have Grado at a good volume, enough to hear everything, you can't hear them no more then 3 feet away.

 

Custom pads do diminish the leakage because the seal that the driver is pointing out of is better. Pleather pads are best for this. But seriously, Leakage is the LEAST of your worries. Custom pads just increase sound quality, I'm guessing on Grado about 1.5 times more. Other cans like the T50RP I used as an example gave out 2 times more.
 

 

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BotByte View Post



 

I laughed.

 

 

To Op, stop worrying about Leakage. The AD700 leak like a boat and buckshot.

 

If you have Grado at a good volume, enough to hear everything, you can't hear them no more then 3 feet away.

 

Custom pads do diminish the leakage because the seal that the driver is pointing out of is better. Pleather pads are best for this. But seriously, Leakage is the LEAST of your worries. Custom pads just increase sound quality, I'm guessing on Grado about 1.5 times more. Other cans like the T50RP I used as an example gave out 2 times more.
 

 


A700, not AD700.

 

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Potamotrygon View Post

I have been reading great reviews of the Ultrasone HFI-580, in particular that they are better than the AT M50s at a cheaper price. Thoughts? Strong bass doesn't bother me.

 



 




 

I might as well just buy the 840, it's in my price range.

 

 


i would definitely go with those if you find them for $125. mine cost $130 and they are amazing. some say rock sounds slow but i think otherwise.

post #15 of 16


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Potamotrygon View Post

I have been reading great reviews of the Ultrasone HFI-580, in particular that they are better than the AT M50s at a cheaper price. Thoughts? Strong bass doesn't bother me.

 


 


I love them. One good thing about the exciting sound signature is you can listen to them at lower volumes, and normal volumes they're one of the most funs cans at their price. Isolation is good, and they are super portable. But if you prefer highs to lows, you'd like the HFI-780 better. It's basically the same except for that difference and they have more detail.

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