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Head Count For Those Who Rabidly Collect Sub-Par Headphones: List Your Crappy Cans!

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

For some time now, when going through bouts in which I have less than enough money for the headphones I want, I have tended to acquire free or near-free headphones of dubious quality and immense quantity, seeing if I can find any gems. So far I've only found one headphone this way that I truly liked, but yet I keep going. How many other Head-Fi'ers do this, regardless of monetary condition? I bet many of us do. List your crappy cans, y'all.


Here's my current stash of the below-average and a short description of each:


My DealExtreme Designer's Folding Headset (Fake Beats Solo) is quite horrid to listen to. They cost me ten dollars and I used them as a joke one day to confuse people who know I despise Beats. Surprisingly, I found their sound above their price range when listening to soft jazz, but it still wasn't at all good.


My Yamaha Generic Keyboard Headphone are the only ones out of my cheapies that I actually listen to and love often, simply because they present things better than I could ever expect from a free headphone. A friend of mine gave them after buying an ATH-M50, having disregarded them and never used them before then. After only a few minutes of listening, I decided they'd been my best free item ever. They're just black plastic with silver circles over the cups on both sides. Dual flimsy cable. Plasticky On-Ear.


My Koss Base-Level On-Ears aren't even listed on Koss's website, as they're the absolutely generic shame of the brand. They lack the flash of the KTX8 or the good sound of the PortaPro, and sound very quiet and distant no matter what you do to them.


The crown jewel of my current array needlessly bad headphones are the Hamilton Electronics HA-6 (600 Ohm), a Chinese-made educational headphone from the mid-Eighties. I cannot stand to listen to them, as they make absolutely everything sound extremely harsh. Every single tone, from piano notes to bass drums, distort on this absolute piece of junk. They're also uncomfortable and useless without a dedicated system, to boot.



So, Head-Fi, show us your junk!

post #2 of 32



I do it all the time. I buy all the $30 and under headphones off Amazon on the regular. Me and a few friends do it like a contest to see who can find gems that are not bad sounding for their price tag.


My latest purchase was the Pioneer SE-M290. Looks nice, is comfortable, but it's a total let down so far... supposed to be really bassy, but actually has really poor sub-bass response, is all mid-bass, and the treble and mids are drowned out.


Very best,

post #3 of 32

I was desperate for some headphones to use at my sister's house on her computer.  I ran to Walmart and got some Koss KSC14 headphones for ~$8.  They worked ok, and may even be better than my old set of Sony MDR V150's.  I left them with her, and felt bad about that, so I've recently given her my Sony PQ2 set, which is big step up, no matter that they look silly.

post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 

I had some utterly generic IEM before discovering Head-Fi or becoming an Audiophile, with no labeling or anything on it. I completely forgot about them, but when I recently got my new S4i I decided to break them out and see just how bad they sounded.


To my immense surprise, the cheapie (they must've been $5 or so) IEM was a lot better than your average bud, with about 50% of the detail of the S4i. No sub-bass, though.

post #5 of 32

JVC ha-rx300 - purchase price $14 -  Modded like crazy to make them sound like 20 dollar headphones instead of 14. Yuk


Panasonic htf600 - Purchase price $29 -  Modded and tweaked until they broke after 3 weeks. Didn't sound too bad though.


CAD MH310 - purchase price $39 - These sound really good.

post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by drtturnip View Post

JVC ha-rx300 - purchase price $14 -  Modded like crazy to make them sound like 20 dollar headphones instead of 14. Yuk

I had the HA-RX500 at one point and absolutely hated it.


Oh, here's another one of mine: The WeSC Maraca. I foolishly paid $40 dollars for them. They currently have HD201 drivers in them, which has made them sound $25 good instead of -$40 bad.

post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 

Another notable one is Sony's cheapest noise-cancellation earphone, which I bought for way too much in Europe just to survive the plane ride home. It was completely filled with static, and the noise cancellation was sub-par anyways.

post #8 of 32

YES!!! My kinda thread! I thought i was alone in this stuff smily_headphones1.gif Made even funnier because i'm about to checkout of monoprice with the $20 cans MalVeaux was recommending. I see the cheap $20 Sony's everywhere! And my school bookstore sells them! I have to resist when i'm there, also just noticed they have these two Koss earbuds.....i was going to look them up first before buying. My brother picked up a pair of skullcandy Inkd for $5, he's careless and always loses earphones (sometimes i end up using them to play with the cats after they're broken) so it's fine that i didn't recommend him anything. On one hand you say "ohh nooo" on the other he won't take care of anything good if i tell him what to buy.


My dad too, i told him to get some MEE M6, KSC75 and he doesn't even bloody use them! He uses these old Teac headphones that are like as old as i am...his Skullcandy he gets for free because he makes things for that brand, his "Noise Pollution" or AKA "iFrogs" beyersmile.png lol, he at least picked up a pair of "sporty" Sennheiser buds that are neon yellow.......the sound was still pretty lacking TBH, maybe because they weren't IEMs? They just can't isolate as well so it degrades the sound?


Then there's my cousin who i gave the Brainwavz M1 for the Holidays, i busted her using her ibudz with the brand new touch her dad bought her ARGHHHHH


My other cousin at least appreciates it, i gave him a pair of ksc75 and MEE M9s, he actually gave me feedback on how good they are and how he wears them at work and gets in trouble for not hearing his boss.


I see the HD201 in stores as well, but generally it's a mixed reaction online if they're worth the $20, plus it's to the point where the family says "ANOTHER pair of headphones!?!?"


These buds that came with my Clip Zip, only a small portion of them actually have a speaker, it's weird....and one of them broke its back off on the 2nd day......yeeesh, well i can use them with the cats..

I tried the $10 Coby, $10 JVC Flats, $30 Harx700 (semi-open unfortunately), all ended up in the donation bin, HTF-600 have been gone for about 6 months to get fixed by Pansonic in TExas, don't think i'm ever seeing those again basshead.gif I think i should have filed some kind of support ticket online before just sending them in with a note.....


DT235 $50, very nice but lacking isolation! Sold.


Soundmagic PL11 on the way, but shipping from China takes forever! (Hopefully i'm not one of those who never sees their product arrive) Ordered before i found out they aren't great for Rock type of music, oh well!


Kept an eye out for the Koss Ford headphones that they used to bundle with cars but couldn't find them cheap enough, same with the "Mac 5", they were on sale for $7 once but i didn't pounce.


Dude everyone says stay away from cheap keyboards! But i can't afford any of that fancy stuff, much less a piano, so i just might be getting those Yamaha headphones some day, i want to learn how to play the keys at least.

Edited by Astrozombie - 3/15/12 at 9:31pm
post #9 of 32

I got gazillioin pair of apple stock headphones. They sound not bad at all- after so many years of listening experince.....I often use them before bed since I don't care if I accidentally snap the cable..!!

post #10 of 32

I have a backup IEM, Philips 3860 .It's rather flat for a $20 IEM. Bass extension is disappointing though.

post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 

Referring to the Koss buds mentioned earlier, I had some awhile back and didn't find them pleasureable at all. Koss's low-end stuff is really hit-and-miss. I also owned the MEElectronics M9 for a bit, but I didn't list them because they were already and established budget contender by then. I also had the Sony ZX100, which was absolute crap. I had a $20 Target gift card, and that's what I got with it.

post #12 of 32
After researching around online for the best price (which kinda led me to this forum) and eventually buying a pair of Beats Solo HD for my brother for Christmas (yeah I know, but it's what he wanted) I caught the headphone bug big time. After buying the Audio Technica M50 due to the positive recommendations hereI have been on a "cheap" headphone buying spree.

Panasonic RP-HTF600-S for $29: I was choosing between this and a Superlux (both were recommended here) actually for a co-worker looking for a decent pair of cheap over ear headphones. After studying both I ended up buying him the Superlux and myself these. We both got a really good headphone for the price.

MEElectronics HT-21 for $18 (free): I got these from another co-worker who had ordered them from Amazon when he lost an ear tip to his Klipsch S4i. I had an old Klipsch S2m in a drawer with the size tips he needed never even opened and untouched. He gave me the Amazon box unopened containing the HT21 in exchange for the ear tips. I love them.

Monoprice 8323 for $28 (shipping included): I bought these after wanting a cheaper pair of headphones for people to use so they wouldn't touch my AT-M50. I totally get why the 8323s are so well-liked online. They sound great for the price, plus the detachable cables and they fold up.
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 

Something else that just occurred to me are my Sennheiser CX150, which I bought in Europe with the knowledge that Sennheiser was a good brand. They're complete disappointing crap in terms of sound, but the product design is very good and I may use them for a DIY driver replacement later on.

post #14 of 32

I have a pair of Skullcandy Ink'd, and for $9 they actually aren't that bad. I could probably find myself some better deals, but seriously, they're not that bad. Plus they look good, and they're pink.

post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 

In terms of budget in-ears (here I am derailing my own thread), I really like the MEE M9. It's got the best cable I've seen under $100, relatively good build, and it sounds much more than $20.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Head Count For Those Who Rabidly Collect Sub-Par Headphones: List Your Crappy Cans!