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Best headphone under 150

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hey guys! I just joined head-fi after many hours of debating, but that doesn't matter. Ok, I am in need of some new headphones as I am getting more into audiophilia.
Music: I listen to mostly rock and electronic, but I occasionally listen to other genres.
Price: under 150, would prefer not to go over.
Wants: detachable cord, very durable, very comfortable ( I listen for a couple hours a day)
Ampage: my source at this point is just my iPhone, but I am going to get an amp soon.

Thanks for your input!
post #2 of 24

Heya,

 

Brainwavz HM5 is on sale, and is excellent, so this cost actually does not reflect it's abilities as a headphone. I would compare it to things costing twice as much in the mid-fi realm of closed headphones (which are fewer than open air). Very comfortable, detachable cables, will work from any source, but I do recommend adding a small amplifier later down the road (like a Fiio E11 in your case, since you use your iphone). This headphone is more neutral, but has excellent abilities in bass, and reaches deep into sub-bass without being overly boomy, great mids and great treble without being shrill or too bright. This particular deal comes with a headphone stand and ships free too. It's simply one of the best ways to get into headfi on a dime and get a complete headphone. Simply add source.

 

Other options, look into Ultrasone HFI 580 if you want more bass response than neutral. Look into Beyer DT770 PRO 80hm (best with an amplifier) if you want something bigger and more comfortable. Shure SRH840 if you want something more neutral and lower profile/style. M-Audio Q40 if you want to maximum bass while keeping mids but taming down some treble for a smooth bassy listen.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the many options. I will certainly look into those headphones. If, lets say, I got enough money for a cheaper amplifier, which would you suggest?

I have already looked into the 580 and am pretty sure that isn't what I am looking for. How would you compare the other headphones?

Thanks for the input!

post #4 of 24

In addition to the HM5, I'd also recommend you check out the KRK KNS-8400. They are less talked about, but I'd say they're just as good. I've only had them for about 10-ish hours now, but they seem to be champs for the price. The bass may seem a little lackadaisical initially, but after 5-6 hours of burn-in you'll notice a change for the better in that area. I'm told after 40-ish hours of burn in the sound signature gets even better, with the texture and detail of the bass further increased-- though that seems uncanny for headphones at this pricepoint. They're detailed, balanced and very well textured at both extremes of the frequency spectrum. They also have a surprisingly good soundstage for closed headphones.  

 

P.S. I'm using them with a FiiO E10. They do benefit from good amping, but don't sound bad straight from my iPod/iPad either. 


Edited by thecomprachico - 9/22/12 at 10:41am
post #5 of 24

AT M50's. Enough said :)
 

post #6 of 24

Reading the prior post, the KRK 8400 is an EXCELLENT headphone. Had a chance to demo from a friend a while back. The clarity is better than the HD650s its so surprising...

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by davisxu View Post

AT M50's. Enough said :)
 

I think the HM5s and the KNS-8400 both beat the M50s, if only marginally. All comes down to what sound signature you prefer. The KNS-8400 have a more laid-back mid-bass but more forward highs and better bass extension (more sub-bass) than the M50s. The M50s are warmer, with better mid-bass and a more 'closed' sound. The HM5  are neutral champs, with great response overall. I've only owned the KRKs (though auditioned all three), so I may be a bit biased. 

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by davisxu View Post

Reading the prior post, the KRK 8400 is an EXCELLENT headphone. Had a chance to demo from a friend a while back. The clarity is better than the HD650s its so surprising...

Ah, just read this. Totally agreed! These things are surprisingly good. And you won't believe what I got them for! :D

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

What did you get them for?

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin1026 View Post

What did you get them for?

I was just lucky. Got a gift card on Amazon and hence the deal just cost me $43, including international shipping + 26%-ish customs (import taxes). I believe they were going for 113$ on Amazon a week ago (including shipping within the US). I'd say that's a killer deal.  

post #11 of 24

I'm considering getting a pair.. they're only 109 off amazon right now (similar to the M50's). Honestly, I'd pick up both if I weren't such a broke college student. The burn-in time is riducs long for the 8400's, just FYI. A friend who let me try his said in the range of 200hrs.
 

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin1026 View Post

Music: I listen to mostly rock and electronic, but I occasionally listen to other genres.

Check out the Sony MDR XB700

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR-XB700-Extra-Bass-Headphones/dp/B001RB24SW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348420923&sr=8-1&keywords=sony+mdr+xb700+headphones


Edited by Croozer - 9/23/12 at 10:23am
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by davisxu View Post

I'm considering getting a pair.. they're only 109 off amazon right now (similar to the M50's). Honestly, I'd pick up both if I weren't such a broke college student. The burn-in time is riducs long for the 8400's, just FYI. A friend who let me try his said in the range of 200hrs.
 

Yeah, it seems like it. I've had roughly 20 hours of burn in and the sound has changed noticeably about 2 times already. The 5-6 hour mark was the most dramatic, with the bass coming out of no where. Definitely not bass-light to me, like some other reviews suggest.

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin1026 View Post

Music: I listen to mostly rock and electronic, but I occasionally listen to other genres.
 

I've been listening to a lot of stuff by 'The Crystal Method' and Trent Reznor (mainly 'Ghosts' and his OSTs for 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' and 'The Social Network'), some dubstep, a lot of progressive/jazz metal/rock (read Aghora, Gordian Knot, Cynic, Tool, et cetera), and a good amount of Jazz/Fusion (i.e. Mahavishnu Orchestra, Shakti, L. Shankar, Paco de Lucia, Al di Meola, Coltrane, Davis, Chet Baker, Paul Desmond, Joe Pass etc.). They all sound great so far, as long as a good recording is available. I'm especially smitten by 'The Crystal Method' and ordinarily I never listen to Electronic music.  The closed yet capable (i.e. good depth and width) soundstage really adds to their good recordings and well-distributed instrument/source placement. You should really give the KRKs a shot if you have the chance to audition a burnt-in pair (out of the box they're way too harsh and bright for you to fully enjoy any bass-oriented genre). 

 

I must warn you however, bad recordings are absolutely intolerable. So if you aren't careful about the quality of your music files and/or the album has been mixed/mastered poorly, you just won't feel like listening to it. This has happened with me and Hendrix. And I absolutely friggin' love Hendrix. I would listen to him all day on my MX5021/HD202/Brainwavz M1 (yes, broke high school student here), but now it just doesn't feel right. 


Edited by thecomprachico - 9/23/12 at 11:07am
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 

Well now i'm intrigued. These 8400 headphones seem very nice to me. The problem is, i'm also looking at a pair of in-ears called the cosmic ears flex with twin balanced armature drivers. Now I don't know what I want!

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