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Best headphones for a beginner on a budget

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hey, i'm really new here, but I was wondering what headphones I should purchase next. I currently use a pair of Sennheiser HD 201's, but I want to make a step up. I am on a budget of about $80, but anything less than that would be great. Right now i'm looking at the Monoprice 8323's, and they seem like a great value. I listen to a very wide range of music, but mainly electronic, smooth jazz, cool jazz, a small amount of alternative rock, and some classical. 

I would appreciate it greatly if you guys could help me out on this, 

Thanks!

post #2 of 29

Welcome!

--Is open back or closed back a preference for your listening conditions? This will also affect the soundstage to an extent so that's something to consider as well.

--What will you be running them off a portable player, home setup, both?

 

 

 You could look into the various Superlux models, 662, 681, 668. Lots of impressions in other threads for specific models too.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/546556/superlux-express-train

This Samson model is made by Superlux too http://www.head-fi.org/t/546544/samson-sr850-superlux-oem-review-a-50-budget-champion

 

There's also the Panasonic  htf600

http://www.head-fi.org/t/571005/the-panasonic-rp-htf600-s-headphones-more-fun-than-the-hd650

 

both very good bang-for-buck and seem to have great followings with a bunch of different modifications you can do afterwards if you're so inclined.

 

There's a ton more I'm sure folks will add their 2 cents but saving money is also important. I keep trying to tell myself that.

Which reminds me of the standard greeting here:

 

" Welcome to head-fi and sorry about your wallet."

 


Edited by nick n - 1/19/12 at 9:29pm
post #3 of 29

good job there nick.

throw in the srh440s too.


Edited by atomikn00b - 1/20/12 at 10:10am
post #4 of 29

HArx900's. Nice soundstage, good bass response. With alt rock they sound ok. 

post #5 of 29

I've been through a few budget headphones. I'm really enjoying my latest buy, the Audio-Technica ATH-T400. They are a closed phone and provide really good isolation and are pretty comfortable. Other budget phones I have are the HA-RX700 (slightly less expensive sister of HA-RX900), HD205, and the JVC HA-S160 and a hodgepodge of various cheapies. I prefer the ATH-T400 to all of them. HD205 has good extension and good detail, but highs are harsh and the overall sound is slighlty tinny. The RX700 have a bit too much mid-bass bloat and vocals are not the best, taking on a slight nasal quality. (Even after modding) Once they are burned in, the ATH-T400 has more detail than the RX700 and provide a fuller sound than the HD205. Mids are a lot better than on either the RX700 or HD205. Treble is a little weak, but they respond really well to EQ so its easily compensated for. They are a good introduction to the A-T house sound, but with that said, the A-T sound is not for everyone.

 

They provide good sounstage for a closed headphone, but they are nowhere near that of most open phones. If one of your goals is a to have a lot more space and sounstage, you may want to look at the open and semi-open phones. The aforementioned superlux are often recommended but I have not heard them myself. Grado sr60 are also in your range. They are very open, leak a whole bunch of sound, have an awesome soundstage, and are quite bright. Again, the Grado sound is not for everyone, but they are worth taking a look at and you may discover that that is the sound you are looking for.


Edited by Ubersanger - 1/20/12 at 2:40pm
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

In response to nick n:

Closed back is my preference for my listening conditions. I would be running them mostly off of my home setup, which is a Pioneer VSX-41 that I currently use for my home theater setup, and my laptop. I might use them rarely with my portable player.

 

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply, and I really appreciate all your help. You have given me a lot of options, and now I just have to choose which ones to get! 

I'm in between the ATH-T400, the Samson SR850, and the Superlux HD-681. I chose these mainly because of their value, and they all seem like fairly good headphones for what i'm looking for. 

 

post #7 of 29

Slightly out of your price range, but I've been pretty happy with my KRK KNS6400s. They're 100 bucks, but you might be able to find them cheaper if you search hard enough.

post #8 of 29
post #9 of 29

Creative Aurvana Live, without a doubt unless you need isolation.

post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by celliott96 View Post

In response to nick n:

Closed back is my preference for my listening conditions. I would be running them mostly off of my home setup, which is a Pioneer VSX-41 that I currently use for my home theater setup, and my laptop. I might use them rarely with my portable player.

 

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply, and I really appreciate all your help. You have given me a lot of options, and now I just have to choose which ones to get! 

I'm in between the ATH-T400, the Samson SR850, and the Superlux HD-681. I chose these mainly because of their value, and they all seem like fairly good headphones for what i'm looking for. 

 

I've heard some good things about the Samson SR 850 but unfortunately haven't had the chance to try it.
 

 

post #11 of 29

Creative Aurvana Live isn't currently available for under $80, but give it time and it goes down to $55 on amazon once in a while.  It may be worth the wait.

post #12 of 29

Whoa I can't believe the price went that much higher ($99 on amazon). I also recommend waiting to get them. They're worth it IMHO.  biggrin.gif

post #13 of 29

JVC is my top recommendation when it comes to low prices.

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Ok, well would you guys think that I would be better off getting a headphone amplifier and a pair of $30-40 headphones, or just getting a pair of $80 headphones. 

 

So basically, would it be better to get a FiiO E6 amp and say, the Superlux HD-681, or just getting the Creative Aurvana Live's (or any other headphones that you guys would recommend for $80).

 


Edited by celliott96 - 1/20/12 at 9:39pm
post #15 of 29

Brainwavz HM3 are on sale at Amazon right now for $40 for a limited time.

 

Supposedly the same as Fischer Audio FA-004 (another Yoga headphone rebrand).

 

or you could get the Fostex T50RP at Amazon for around $80.... start reading this thread and start modding away!


Edited by soze - 1/20/12 at 9:59pm
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