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One $400 or Two $200 headphones?

Poll Results: Would you rather have two $200 headphones or one $400 headphone?

 
  • 26% (19)
    Two $200 headphones
  • 73% (54)
    One $400 headphone
73 Total Votes  
post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 

I've seen contradictory advice on this subject all over the place, so I'm starting a poll. If your budget was say $400, would you rather have one headphone or two?

 

I care more about whether a couple "cheaper" headphones is better than one "good" one, regardless of budget. Any opinions would be appreciated.

post #2 of 88
Thread Starter 

Personally, I'm on the fence between just getting an HE-400 as an all-around headphone, or getting two headphones that can cover more genres. A Grado and a DT770 pro seem like a good example. Or maybe an HD 598 and an M50. Doesn't really matter which headphones though, I just want to hear what you guys think.  

post #3 of 88

Short answer: at some point you will run into diminishing returns with how much $$ you spend on a pair of headphones and the performance the headphones. With this in mind, I think having 2 $200 headphones is better because then you can get 2 headphones that do different things, such as have one that is open backed and one that is closed backed, or one with leather and one with velour, and you can switch them out when you feel like it. 


Edited by Ikelmonster - 12/17/12 at 10:09pm
post #4 of 88
Thread Starter 

Probably the most reliable opinion I've found so far is at Headfonia. They seem to think that more "cheaper" headphones is better than one "good" one:

 

 

"Rule #3: More Headphones Is Better Than One Headphone

What I’m saying here is that it’s better to own three $100 headphones than one $300 headphone. Or three $300 headphones than one $900 headphone. Why? Because most people don’t limit their playlist to strictly one genre. And following the logic from Rule #2, the right headphone-music pairing is going to be better than one expensive headphone paired to the wrong music.

This is why headphones are so fun. It’s easy to switch from one pair to the next. Imagine if you were listening to speakers, you would need three different rooms to set up your three different speaker sets."

 

http://www.headfonia.com/a-guide-to-headphones/

post #5 of 88

HE400 is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to diminishing returns IMO. For $400 it has the technical finesse that in some aspects is comparable to some flagship headphones.

post #6 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikelmonster View Post

Short answer: at some point you will run into diminishing returns with how much $$ you spend on a pair of headphones and the performance the headphones. With this in mind, I think having 2 $200 headphones is better because then you can get 2 headphones that do different things, such as have one that is open backed and one that is closed backed, or one with leather and one with velour, and you can switch them out when you feel like it. 

Thanks for the response.  I think I'm leaning that direction. From the few headphones I've had the pleasure to try, I've found the more expensive ones were always noticeably better, just not universally across the board. Things like comfort and isolation, and for specific genres of music were always hugely different between headphones.  It never seemed like the $500 headphones were twice as good as the $250 (diminishing returns).  I just wish I could find some closure for spending my whole $400 budget on a seemingly great headphone, when I could purchase two for the same price that could provide more versatility at the expense of possibly not sounding quite as good.  Where should the emphasis be placed?  Short-term versatility with two really good headphones, or a long-term great headphone?

post #7 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

HE400 is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to diminishing returns IMO. For $400 it has the technical finesse that in some aspects is comparable to some flagship headphones.

Thanks for the response Jerg - just throwing this out there, your reviews have been awesome reads.  Anyways, so what you're saying is that you'd prefer the HE 400 to every set of headphones you've ever tried that total $400?  I guess that's what I'm asking in this thread anyways.  

post #8 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild View Post

Thanks for the response Jerg - just throwing this out there, your reviews have been awesome reads.  Anyways, so what you're saying is that you'd prefer the HE 400 to every set of headphones you've ever tried that total $400?  I guess that's what I'm asking in this thread anyways.  

To my preference? Yes.

 

Though I don't know what preferences you have, so I wouldn't be brash enough to claim that HE400s will be unequivocally the best fit for what sound you seek at $400.


Edited by jerg - 12/17/12 at 10:33pm
post #9 of 88

buy the two 200bucks cans on the buysell forum....

sell one of them 6 months down the line...

buy the 400bucks can....

compare....

either sell the 400bucks can/or return it if u dun like it...

if u like it, sell the remaining 200can.

otherwise buy another 200can.

popcorn.gif

post #10 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post

buy the two 200bucks cans on the buysell forum....

sell one of them 6 months down the line...

buy the 400bucks can....

compare....

either sell the 400bucks can/or return it if u dun like it...

if u like it, sell the remaining 200can.

otherwise buy another 200can.

popcorn.gif

 

Or read up, ask away, and inform oneself, and just get the perfect-fitting $400 can and save a ton of money, time and effort beerchug.gif

post #11 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

To my preference? Yes.

 

Though I don't know what preferences you have, so I wouldn't be brash enough to claim that HE400s will be unequivocally the best fit for what sound you seek at $400.

 

Cool.  That's what I'm looking for: everybody else's opinion.  I'm not going to start another thread asking what headphone everybody else thinks I should get based on where I am and what I listen to. There's a million of those. Plenty of people have very similar tastes to me, so finding a suitable headphone in whatever price range wouldn't be too difficult.

 

What's difficult for me is justifying spending another $400 on a headphone that's a bit more well-rounded than my current gear, or just buying another headphone in the same price range to fill in for what I'm currently lacking (and saving myself some $$$)


Edited by Wild - 12/17/12 at 10:39pm
post #12 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post

buy the two 200bucks cans on the buysell forum....

sell one of them 6 months down the line...

buy the 400bucks can....

compare....

either sell the 400bucks can/or return it if u dun like it...

if u like it, sell the remaining 200can.

otherwise buy another 200can.

popcorn.gif

And just as I start leaning down the one headphone path haha...  Thanks for the response and advice!  

post #13 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild View Post

 

Cool.  That's what I'm looking for: everybody else's opinion.  I'm not going to start another thread asking what headphone everybody else thinks I should get based on where I am and what I listen to. There's a million of those. Plenty of people have very similar tastes to me, so finding a suitable headphone in whatever price range wouldn't be too difficult.

 

What's difficult for me is justifying spending another $400 on a headphone that's a bit more well-rounded than my current gear, or just buying another headphone in the same price range to fill in for what I'm currently lacking (and saving myself some $$$)

It's all about what a specific sonic improvement is worth to you. Typically if you can even just get a chance to audition the target headphone for 5 minutes, it should be enough information to judge whether it is worth the cost or not. Relying on hearsay is a bit trickier.

 

The good thing about buying a nice all-rounder is, you have the chance to just sell all your other cans if it is well-rounded enough. That tends to squeeze up some extra dosh.

post #14 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

Or read up, ask away, and inform oneself, and just get the perfect-fitting $400 can and save a ton of money, time and effort beerchug.gif

I'm trying hard haha. I feel like I've spent more time on Head-Fi than at work over the last few months.  Which isn't a bad thing I guess biggrin.gif   

post #15 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild View Post

I'm trying hard haha. I feel like I've spent more time on Head-Fi than at work over the last few months.  Which isn't a bad thing I guess biggrin.gif   

What are your current headphones anyway? Just curious.

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