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'Fun' headphones <$200? - considering V-Moda LP2, Sol Tracks HD, Philips Uptown...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


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.

- Durable

- 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)
+ Durability

+ 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

post #2 of 11

I wouldn't recommend Sol Republic. The stuff that's popular Beats, Bose, Skullcandy, Sol Republic etc. are really just fashion accessories

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Any reason why?

post #4 of 11

I would try the Crossfade M80, over the LP2. And maybe consider taking a look at the Sennheiser HD25-1 II (though some things you mention are debateable - e.g. comfort) for better sound overall than either the Phillips or SOL.  


Otherwise, since stylish isn't a factor for me as much - nor is bass heavy, I cannot really give meaningful suggestions 

Edited by liamstrain - 12/16/12 at 5:48pm
post #5 of 11

To be honest the sound quality isn't really what you call good. They can be matched by almost any $30 headphone from reputable brands, V-Moda is good though I recommend you take a look at the V-Moda M-80's.

post #6 of 11

SOL Republic is actually decent for a mainstream headphone.

I would also recommend either the M80 or HD25. The S500 is supposed to be an amazing budget headphone, but I don't have any experience with it.

post #7 of 11

I'd recommend either the M-80s (Not extremely fun, but they do the job) or the Skullcandy Aviators. The Aviators are still a bit overpriced for how they sound, as with most of those brands, but they have a nice fun bassy sound, and are surprisingly good considering they're made by SC. They also fold, and fit in a small carrying case, much like the new V-moda M-100s.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've read a lot about the M-80s, but unfortunately they're stepping further outside my price range ($230 from V-Moda + $25 shipping = $255). Same with the Skullcandy Aviators; in Australia they're $250 and as superficial as it seems I actually really hate the appearance of the Aviators. :/

That being said, I will seriously consider the M-80s if everyone is in agreement that they're worth the 50% price hike over the SOLs, plus the issue with needing to ship everything back overseas for warranty issues.

For any M-80 owners, do they have much sound leakage and are they comfortable without being sweaty or tight for wearing for several hours at a time? Also, even if they have flatter sound out of the box would they handle having a bit more of a u-shaped equaliser used without distortion? Had a few earphones over the years, and some that sounded a bit flatter (Sennheiser CX-880) were happy for me to push the bass up without issue while others would distort.


Edited by AXiDER - 12/16/12 at 6:28pm
post #9 of 11
SOL Republic Tracks HD is actually not bad sounding. To me there are however two major issues which make it a dealbreaker. This may or may not be relevant to you, but you can take it into consideration.

1) Right in the middle of the midrange there is a somewhat noticeable dip. This makes vocals, especially female vocals, sound a little off/weird. Nothing you can't get used to, but midrange is my main concern in sound.

2) The headband wear design has a major flaw which is not shared with all other headphone shapes. Basically, the lower you need the cups adjusted to on the headband, the more clamping force you get stuck with. Likewise, due to this same design, you can end up having seal problems on the top or the bottom side of your ears.

So since these are locally available, see if you can try them on first even if just for the fit. Needless they don't fit at all on my head.

I've not had the chance to try any of the two other but the LP2 should be a pretty bass heavy headphone, which I shy away from anyway despite the seemingly great build quality.
post #10 of 11

I guess the LP2's could fit with what you listen to.

post #11 of 11

If you don't mind used, the M80's regularly go for around $140 in the classified section.

Keep in mind SOL Republic has three distinct classes (regular, HD, Ultra). I've only heard the regular version, and it isn't too bad. I hear the higher-tier models have a more balanced sound with greater detail, so they might be worth it for you.

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