I'm currently in the market for headphones $200 or under (on-ear or over-ear). To give you an idea where I'm coming from, I've been using Monster Turbine Pro Gold in-ears for over a year now and love their sound signature; I don't care about sound being neutral, but rather something with some low-end kick that's enjoyable for pop, dance, electronica, hip-hop, rnb and, to throw a spanner in the works, film and game soundtracks (eg: Halo 4, Assassin's Creed 3, Dark Knight Rises, etc). They will also sometimes be plugged into a PC / TV for gaming, so if they didn't have a long enough cord I'd just use a 3.5mm extension cable.
Some priorities, but I understand it's difficult to hit all of them:
- Need to be able to be entirely powered by a phone (Galaxy Note II) with no external amp.
- Ideally small enough to fit in a messenger / laptop bag.
- Comfortable to wear for a few hours (I don't wear glasses), including not being particularly hot / sweaty. I'm not sure which (on-ear or over-ear) are generally better for this?
- Minimal sound leakage, so they could be worn in an office or on the bus without sharing my music with everyone around me.
- Look reasonably stylish (so it wouldn't look ridiculous walking around with these on. Yes, appearance does weigh in somewhat)
The ones I've got on the list so far after a bit of research (Australian prices shown):
V-MODA CROSSFADE LP2 ($200 + $25 shipping from V-Moda)
+ Excellent package with case, etc
+ Lifetime 50% off replacement warranty.
- Some complaints of clamping too tight?
- Limit of price range
- Not available in Australia, so I'd have to get them shipped from V-Moda directly.
SOL REPUBLIC TRACKS HD ($179 retail, with some places offering $20 iTunes cards with them)
+ Really appeal to me aesthetically.
+ Relatively unobtrusive for wearing in public.
+ Seem small enough to fit in laptop bag?
+ Available at retail here
+ Durable, with all parts replaceable
- Some reviews indicate the bass can squash the mid-range too much?
- Some complaints of discomfort when wearing for a while
PHILIPS UPTOWN ($179 retail)
+ Also look great
+ All reviews indicate comfort is exceptional
+ Sound to price ratio seems to be good from reviews?
- Very large, and don't fold or flatten so they don't seem portable at all.
- Numerous cord and in-line remote complaints.
- Nothing, including cord, is replaceable.
Are there any more that should be considered? Remember, I don't care about 'neutral' or 'flat' sound, and would rather something fun to listen to with some higher bass. I also use custom equalisers on my phone.
So far I'm sort of leaning towards the SOL Republic Tracks HD since they're now available in stores here (trying them out later today) and being heavily promoted so warranty, replacements and the like would be easy. I'd previously been set on the V-Moda LP2, but as they're not in stores in Australia and only available to import directly from V-Moda (up to 4 weeks shipping) I wouldn't be able to try them out at all before purchasing.
Thanks for your help guys