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Have I found the best Monitor headphones for $100 or less?!

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I've been searching many hours for top notch Monitor headphones for around $100. I've narrowed it down to 3 models:
 
Audio Technica ATH-M50 ~$100
Sony MDR-7506 ~ $90
Sennheiser HD 280 ~$70
 
I've heard really good things about all of them, and am very torn on which ones should come home with me. 
What do you think of the quality and value of these headphones? Any suggestions?
post #2 of 29

You might also look into the KRK KNS-8400s, which can be found for a little more than $100.  Good isolation and a good accurate sound.  And more comfortable than your other suggestions, IMO.

post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marximus View Post

You might also look into the KRK KNS-8400s, which can be found for a little more than $100.  Good isolation and a good accurate sound.  And more comfortable than your other suggestions, IMO.


I second this.

 

That headphone is great

 

Personal impressions posted below

post #4 of 29

Check out the Takstar Pro 80 (Gemini DJ HSR-1000), sells for around $88.

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

The KRK 8400s look pretty nice. Good review, it was very informative. 

 

As for the Takstar Pro, wouldn't the high ohms make the volume fairly quiet?

 

How would you compair the bass quality of the headphones? I'm a bassist, so it's important that the low ends are very sold. (Not overpowering)

 

My friend just suggested the Fostex Audio T50RPs, but they look a little gimmiky to me. 


Edited by zantaff - 11/28/12 at 6:14pm
post #6 of 29

Since they're currently occupying my noggin and I'm enjoying them quite a bit, I'll also throw out some love for the KNS 8400.  Its presentation is very flat -- certainly more so than the M50 and HD280.  It has, however, been a long time since I've heard an MDR-7506, but I vaguely recall excess grain and overtly sharp treble being part of the package...

 

At any rate, I can recommend the KRK for monitoring purposes based on its clarity and overall honesty.

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by zantaff View Post

I've been searching many hours for top notch Monitor headphones for around $100. I've narrowed it down to 3 models:
 
Audio Technica ATH-M50 ~$100
Sony MDR-7506 ~ $90
Sennheiser HD 280 ~$70
 
I've heard really good things about all of them, and am very torn on which ones should come home with me. 
What do you think of the quality and value of these headphones? Any suggestions?

 

I own both the HD280s and the ATH-M50s so I just wanted to say that the Audio-Technica is way better than the Sennheiser in this case. I love Sennheisers, my main headphone is the HD650, but the ATH-M50 is an absolute bargain at $100, I paid nearly twice that much for mine a few years ago and still think they were worth every penny.

 

From the mids up, the HD280 is a fine headphone but its bass is completely lacking compared to the ATH-M50.

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by zantaff View Post

The KRK 8400s look pretty nice. Good review, it was very informative. 

 

As for the Takstar Pro, wouldn't the high ohms make the volume fairly quiet?

 

How would you compair the bass quality of the headphones? I'm a bassist, so it's important that the low ends are very sold. (Not overpowering)

 

My friend just suggested the Fostex Audio T50RPs, but they look a little gimmiky to me. 


For the record I've never enjoyed playing bass through ANY headphones. I much prefer playing without any amplification even if it is quiet. None really compare to an actual amp or even a relatively cheap set of speakers.

 

Edit: I may have misread your post. I'm also going to put in a vote for the 8400. If you can find any Jaycar Pro Monitors, those are great too.


Edited by macrocheesium - 11/28/12 at 9:00pm
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly21029 View Post

Since they're currently occupying my noggin and I'm enjoying them quite a bit, I'll also throw out some love for the KNS 8400.  Its presentation is very flat -- certainly more so than the M50 and HD280.  It has, however, been a long time since I've heard an MDR-7506, but I vaguely recall excess grain and overtly sharp treble being part of the package...

 

At any rate, I can recommend the KRK for monitoring purposes based on its clarity and overall honesty.

+1

 

 

Also, having owned the M50's (twice), 7506's, HD280's (a long time ago), and still with a set of 8400's,

I'd recommend the 8400's.  They may seem somewhat bass-light to start with, but it blooms over time

and is articulate and present enough out of the box. 

 

 

BTW, if for some reason you're leaning towards the 7506's, do yourself a favor and try the MDR V6's

which are essentially the same headphones (a long running debate going back to the early 90's IIRC)

at a lower cost.

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

+1

 

 

Also, having owned the M50's (twice), 7506's, HD280's (a long time ago), and still with a set of 8400's,

I'd recommend the 8400's.  They may seem somewhat bass-light to start with, but it blooms over time

and is articulate and present enough out of the box. 

 

 

BTW, if for some reason you're leaning towards the 7506's, do yourself a favor and try the MDR V6's

which are essentially the same headphones (a long running debate going back to the early 90's IIRC)

at a lower cost.

Funny,

 

My next recommendation was going to be the V6.  Haven't owned it... only demoed a few times...

The consensus is pretty clear on that phone though throughout the community.

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by R-Audiohead View Post

Funny,

 

My next recommendation was going to be the V6.  Haven't owned it... only demoed a few times...

The consensus is pretty clear on that phone though throughout the community.

On eBay the MDR-7506 and he MDR V6 are pretty close in value. Is the $20 difference worth/not worth going for the 7506's?

 

(I also think I read somewhere that the V6's wore out over time?)

post #12 of 29

Basically, I joined head-fi to finally get some good closed monitoring headphones. The models mentioned thus far in the thread  are obvious choices, I am still eyeing Fostex  T50RP ( with some mods ) . 

 

I would like to add JVC HA-S 770 to the mix - just released and just ordered, waiting for delivery.. I have its predecessor, supraural HA-S500 that introduced world's first carbon nanotubes diaphragm in a non IEM phones, available from Japan only since July. Check the massive thread for HA-S500 on head-fi, general consensus is that they leave AT ? 50 in the dust. HA-S500 is too fun signature with too cramped soundstage to be useable as such as monitor phone, but from the experience with HA-M750, which is a circumaural as opossed to HA-S500 supraural/on ear, I believe JVC may well have nailed it with HA-S770 as monitoring headphone - it is the superb driver from HA-S500 ( or very similar ) mounted in "everything else" from HA-M750. 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/621063/the-new-jvc-ha-s500-40mm-carbon-nanotubes

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/637477/jvc-ha-s770-first-over-ear-carbon-nanotubes-headphone

 

Carbon nanotube diaphragm are FAR superiour to anything used in dynamic phones previously. They can meet , or under certain circumstances, even exceed performance of electrostatics ( Stax is the first brand that springs to mind ) in the treble - so great for analog or hi rez digital recording. One caveat - if you do not believe in burn-in, carbon nanotubes will change that - they really require couple hundred hours of high volume music playing in order to settle down to their final signature.

 

The dynamic range of carbon nanotubes is second to none - HA-S500 can reproduce the tiniest sound from say a cello while the rest of the orchestra is thundering away - they enabled me to find extremely low level defects in some ultra acclaimed audiophille recordings that went unnoticed before on both Stax Lambda Pro/SRM1MK2 and AKG K 1000.

 

Will post impressions in the 770 thread once they arrive.

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

Basically, I joined head-fi to finally get some good closed monitoring headphones. The models mentioned thus far in the thread  are obvious choices, I am still eyeing Fostex  T50RP ( with some mods ) . 

 

I would like to add JVC HA-S 770 to the mix - just released and just ordered, waiting for delivery.. I have its predecessor, supraural HA-S500 that introduced world's first carbon nanotubes diaphragm in a non IEM phones, available from Japan only since July. Check the massive thread for HA-S500 on head-fi, general consensus is that they leave AT ? 50 in the dust. HA-S500 is too fun signature with too cramped soundstage to be useable as such as monitor phone, but from the experience with HA-M750, which is a circumaural as opossed to HA-S500 supraural/on ear, I believe JVC may well have nailed it with HA-S770 as monitoring headphone - it is the superb driver from HA-S500 ( or very similar ) mounted in "everything else" from HA-M750. 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/621063/the-new-jvc-ha-s500-40mm-carbon-nanotubes

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/637477/jvc-ha-s770-first-over-ear-carbon-nanotubes-headphone

 

Carbon nanotube diaphragm are FAR superiour to anything used in dynamic phones previously. They can meet , or under certain circumstances, even exceed performance of electrostatics ( Stax is the first brand that springs to mind ) in the treble - so great for analog or hi rez digital recording. One caveat - if you do not believe in burn-in, carbon nanotubes will change that - they really require couple hundred hours of high volume music playing in order to settle down to their final signature.

 

The dynamic range of carbon nanotubes is second to none - HA-S500 can reproduce the tiniest sound from say a cello while the rest of the orchestra is thundering away - they enabled me to find extremely low level defects in some ultra acclaimed audiophille recordings that went unnoticed before on both Stax Lambda Pro/SRM1MK2 and AKG K 1000.

 

Will post impressions in the 770 thread once they arrive.


With all the good reviews accorded to the S500's, the fact is that we haven't any real idea how the new S770's sound.

Moreover, the S500's are available only from retailers in Japan at this point - and evidently the S770's are even harder to track down.

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazex View Post


With all the good reviews accorded to the S500's, the fact is that we haven't any real idea how the new S770's sound.

Moreover, the S500's are available only from retailers in Japan at this point - and evidently the S770's are even harder to track down.

True. 770s are available in Europe - at the moment, alphabetically France, Italy, Spain - there are links posted in 770 thread. I planned to transplant HA-S500 drivers into HA-M750 "everything else" , postponing it like forever due to HA-S500 never ending earpad change blues, and was unpleasently surprised JVC beat me to it. Since I really like the comfort of velour pads on HA-S500s ( requiring some EQ to gain back bass lost ), I decided to leave all I have alone and get 770s and start from there. If you look at the pics of the first pair actually owned by one of the head-fiers, it says Monitoring Headphones on the box. Given the sound of HA-S500 and HA-M750 I own and know, a crossover might/may be something special indeed. Keep in mind the first owner has them for about couple of days and carbon nanotube diaphragms need the longest burn-in of anything yet known. They can not possibly be "up" in so short period of time, certainly the cause of rather lukewarm first impressions.

 

Keep fingers crossed  !


Edited by analogsurviver - 11/29/12 at 5:47am
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 

  So far my 4 finalists are:

 

 

Audio Technica ATH-M50 ~ $110

KRK KNS-8400 ~ $100

Sennheiser HD 280 ~ $70

Sony MDR-V6 ~ $60

 

Pros cons of each?

Aso, any help in translating these graphs would be nice too...I think I understand them, but may be mistaken. 

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