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Oh No - Beats Pro'sand Bose QC15's - Please Suggest Something Better

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Within the past few weeks I came to the conclusion that I'd like to start listening to audio at a higher level than I have in the past... so I bought into the marketing hype and went to Best Buy :-/ I bought the Beats Pro's and the Bose QC15's to try them out (even worse both at retail price :-( ). I now know that going to Best Buy certainly isn't the best way to find high quality cans, and luckily, having only bought them a day ago, I shouldn't have any problem returning them for a full refund if I need to, so no loss there.


After I listened to them and noticed the overpowering base, lack of mids and falloff of the highs from both sets, I realized I had fallen victim to the hype and know there must be better out there.  The Bose are comfortable and the noise cancellation certainly works well, however, the sound is nothing too amazing.  The Beats Pro look great, however, I think they sound worse than the Bose and they also squeeze your head.  At this point I actually don't mind the Bose, however, the build quality feels rather weak, and I haven't heard anything better, thus I don't know what good cans should sound like.  Should I keep them or return them too?


The problem is I'm looking for a pair that is not only comfortable but also rather durable as I intend to use them while walking around campus as well as at home.  They don't have to be solid aluminum like the Beats, however, I'd be afraid if they were too exposed too.  They also need to look reasonably cool though SQ is more important in the long run :-)  I heard decent things about the Beyer DT 880s though they certainly aren't a fashion statement.  I also know Sennheiser has a good reputation though I don't really know where to start with them.  Budget isn't a huge issue though certainly no electrostatic sets :-P let's say $500 and under.


Thanks in advance :-)

post #2 of 16

I highly recommend the Audio Technica ATH-M50.  They sound awesome for the price ( $150 and under ).  They are very durably and quite portable as they fold up nicely.  I have had my pair for years and every time I listen to them I think "wow these sound great".


Another headphones that may be an upgrade from the M50 is the Sennheiser HD25-1-ii ( Adidas Originals ).  They have some cool colors and are built really well.  Most importantly they sound awesome and for the price you are going to enjoy them.  They average $240 and are well worth it.


In between these two is the V-Moda M80.  They are a little more hip yet and sound even better than the HD25-1-ii, but a tad too bass heavy for my taste.  The are built just as well as the aforementioned headphones.  The cool thing about the V-Moda M80 is that for $50 more you can customize the earcup covers with a logo or statement of your choice.  They start at $200 or less if you get the TrueBlood V80 which is the same headphone just with some out of date TrueBlood marketing attached.  These are on-ear headphones and need to be bent slightly to achieve the best fit, but they are metal and this is done without worry.


If it were me I would probably go with the Sennheiser HD25-1-ii.  They are going to have a bit of flare which is nice for you and sound awesome.

post #3 of 16

What kind of music do you listen to?


Return both of those and you will find that there are many other better sounding and often cheaper options out there. The open cans such as the DT880's are out (and most Senns) because you will hear a lot of ambient noise while walking around campus. Not to mention others will also hear what you are listening to. Most headphones out there are under $500 and you probably can get by spending much less.


That said, take a look at the ATH-ESW9s, portable, easily driven, excellent SQ (although colored) and look beautiful, IMO. I think you can get a pair for just a touch over $200. There are many options for you though, take a look around here a bit.

post #4 of 16

I was in the same boat as you (well maybe in the same body of water...I read lots here before buying wink.gif). Now, here I sit in my ATH-M50s connected to a Fiio E10 running into my MacBook Pro. I definitely recommend these. They are a great headset. I listen to a range of stuff from rap/hip-hop to Alison Krauss and Adele with plenty of other stuff in between. These are said to have pretty good bass for a basic set of phones, but without being too overpowering. I would say that for my taste--which obviously can't be easily quantified in a tangible way--they sometimes have too little bass. I could definitely take more at times and be very happy. I just started a thread on the Rocketfish Atmos they also carry at BB. I listened to them tonight and was surprisingly pleased to say the least. They are $120 in store. I just bought a pair on Amazon for $25 shipped. Reviews on the interwebs are somewhat crappy but even after a few months with my M50s, I really seriously enjoyed those phones tonight so for that price it was a pretty quick decision to give them a longer try.


Anyways, all that to say I second the M50 suggestion, and point out that you never know what cheap pair out there may really surprise your ears.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone, thanks for the replies so far, they are certainly appreciated.  Here are some answers to the questions you asked/my thoughts on the two headphones I currently have been playing with the past few days.


*I listen to a wide variety of genres though country, pop, and euro-trance are my favorite


*The Beats Pro's have opened up a little since I got them, however, they are still not comfortable to wear.  The soundstage is way too small, the mids and highs are still hiding behind the bass, and after 30 minutes I have to reposition them because my ears are killing me.  Putting headphones on to listen to music should be something I enjoy doing... not something where all I worry about is how much my ears are going to hurt taking them off.  For $400 I honestly don't understand what the fuss is about... They do look "hip", and the build quality / cable feel great, however, I didn't buy them to be ear muffs and I'll definitely be bring them back tomorrow.


*The Bose actually sound quite a bit more open than the Beats Pro's, and they are also a lot more comfortable.  I can wear them for an hour or two and though I still know I have them on, there is no overbearing pressure or pain.  With that being said, I'm still afraid I'm going to break them every time I put them on, perhaps their biggest weakness.  People complain about there not being enough resolution in the trebles and even mids, however, compared to the Beats Pro's they are certainly better.  The headphones produce artificially bright tones near the upper end of the mids, at least to me ears, however, overall, they don't sound too bad to me.  The sound stage is certainly more defined, unlike the Beats Pro's that resolve sounds inches from your head. The noise cancellation, both active and passive works well in eliminating constant sounds rather low in frequency, such as my refrigerator compressor and my humidifier, however, the system obviously doesn't work as well with voices or other non-constant sources, not that I expected it to.  I have not developed any pressure or pain due to the noise-canceling tones, and overall, if I didn't know any better, I'd keep the QC-15's and call it a day.  Instead I think I'm going to keep them until I order another set so I can directly compare them. 


Perhaps my largest question is are the Beat's Pro's really worse than the QC-15's as far as sound quality because, at least to me they sound that way.  I'm looking at the Sennheiser HD25-1-ii, the M80's, and the DT1350's right now...any advice between them?



post #6 of 16

OP, you seem to really know your sound! Yeah, the Beats Pro do have a muddy, obscured sound to them.

HD 25-1 vs DT 1350--I think the HD 25-1 sounds more "raw" but also more energetic. Its build quality is pretty darned good, and it clamps tighter straight out of the box. The DT 1350 has a "cleaner" sound, is more comfortable, but I didn't think the build quality (especially strain reliefs) was particularly inspiring.


For your purposes, you'll want to steer clear of the DT 880. They're great, but they are also open (thus leaking in and out plenty of noise) and have a very long cable.

post #7 of 16
+1 for the HD-25-1-ii and M80. Two very competitive portable headphones, both excellent. I personally picked the HD-25 over the M80s because I just couldn't get over the sound. I adore these headphones and I know these are keepers. Sound ridiculously good on the go with my iPhone4-> L9 LOD-> fiio e7-> 150ohm adapter-> HD-25. Don't get me wrong, the M80s are awesome as well. I just prefer the split headband, bright treble and indestructability of the HD-25. People say the M80s are pretty sturdy as well, but the HD-25 is just so easy to repair.
post #8 of 16

yes they are far worst


well if u bought both those headphones, budget wouldnt be a problem to you :D those few u have chosen are on year and are pretty uncomfortable as well in the long run.. have you tried the t70p?




they are alot more comfortable and have a larger soundstage from what i remember...

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks Eric_C, I was blessed (cursed) with very good relative/ almost perfect pitch.  It helps when I listen to people sing /  play an instrument, however, I hate it when listening to music because those small nuances that others may overlook drive me insane.  I just wanted to make sure I wasn't way off base in stating that the Bose sound better than the Beat's Pro in terms of openness, even if they (the Bose) sound more artificial at times.  The best headphones I had before now were the CX-55 which, though not terrible, are very bass heavy/muddy and aren't exactly hi-fi :-P  Hence, I know next to nothing in terms of decent headphones, however, if I can listen to them, I can usually draw some conclusions rather quickly.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by fir3dp View Post

yes they are far worst


well if u bought both those headphones, budget wouldnt be a problem to you :D those few u have chosen are on year and are pretty uncomfortable as well in the long run.. have you tried the t70p?

Hi fir3dp,


I have not heard about the t70p's before, however comfort and durability are certainly important to me.  I'm looking into others' opinions on them right now.  I'm blessed in that though I'm rather young (still in college), I can do what I love, and it allows me to purchase the things I love.  If the t70p's are quite a bit better than the other offerings on here I will certainly consider them because, as you implied correctly, I have spent over $750 on the two sets of junk (Beats) and not as bad junk (Bose) I already have (and will be returning).  Please keep the ideas flowing everyone, I really appreciate the input by many who are much more experienced in this than I.


I did think of one application of the Beats Pros...they actually might not be bad for DJing assuming you leave them on your neck most of the time.  I'd assume the brand recognition would help you retain an audience / raise their opinion of you, even if you weren't using them :-P

post #11 of 16

Considered IEMs?

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by planx View Post

Considered IEMs?

I probably wouldn't, only because I'm rather good at losing small things plus if anything goes wrong on them it's a lot harder than just opening the cans up and doing some soldering. 


I actually purchased a set of RP-21's today from a local music store to try and they are certainly clearer and flatter than both the QC-15 and way cleaner than the Beats Pros.  I'm still in the market potentially for a very nice set ($250-$500 or so), however, the RP-21's blow the others away at 1/3 and 1/4 of the price...absolutely embarrassing for Bose and Monster.  At least the noise isolation on the Bose is great, however, I'm especially disappointed in Monster.  I knew the Beats were hyped, however, after all the "dope" reviews on mainstream sites I actually believed it and bought them.  I'm just glad I found this site before I started wearing my Pro's around my neck blasting music at full volume :-P

post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by dgross0818 View Post

I'm just glad I found this site before I started wearing my Pro's around my neck blasting music at full volume :-P

Actually saw a guy doing just that this past weekend.


Glad you like the RP-21s! Can't say I've heard much about them, so you might be one of the first on the forums to give impressions of them.

post #14 of 16

I think you might consider keeping the Bose set for the noise cancellation. 


If you have the money to drop on both the Beats Pro, and the QC15s, you'd best look above the ATH-M50. I like them, but they're easily outdone for the amount of money you have disposable. 

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by phamkl View Post

I think you might consider keeping the Bose set for the noise cancellation. 


If you have the money to drop on both the Beats Pro, and the QC15s, you'd best look above the ATH-M50. I like them, but they're easily outdone for the amount of money you have disposable. 

Thanks for the advice.  With the RP-21's sounding just as good if not better than the QC-15's for a third of the price, I'm not sure if I can justify keeping the QC-15's though I do compliment Bose's ability to develop a decent noise cancellation algorithm.  The QC-15's would, like the Beat's, not be bad at $100 off their current price, however, that's $300 I could put towards something else :-)  For another set of cans, I'd probably be looking for open or semi-open ones - ones I can use in my room /  never bring outside.  I've heard great things about the 880's, I'm honestly not sure yet though (just glad to get rid of the Beats haha)


One thing I will add in the QC-15 vs RP-21 thoughts so far... I have a cold right now so nothing is as defined as it normally is for me though I do believe the RP-21's have a smaller soundstage than the QC-15's.  Treble sounds better on the RP-21's, and the bass, though less powerful, resolves better than on the QC-15's.  The Bose ones are more comfortable on my head and don't leak as much sound as the RP-21s.  After I break them in and I get well I'll do so more indepth testing, as right now any judgements I make could be totally incorrect (hate being congested :-( )

Edited by dgross0818 - 2/21/12 at 7:01pm
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