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Auditioned BestBuy Headphones $60-$300.........wow, is it me?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

I was bored at lunch today, so I went over to Best Buy and auditioned most of their headphones priced from $60-$300 side by side....with the same song for about 45 min.  This is what I came up with and I will explain why.....please tell me if I'm coo-coo or what?  I dont have each individual model number, but you can see what they carry in store online.



Rated in order of what my SQ preference is:


1. Logitech

2. Sol Republic

3. Sony

4. Pioneer

5. Harmon Kardon

6. AKG

7. Ludacris

8. Beats

9. Monster

10. Sennheiser



Ok, let me preface this by saying Im inbetween an audiophile and casual listener/consumer.  Ive listened to music all my life, my dad was a musician and played the electric guitar in a band.  I also have had decent home systems and car systems in the past........Marantz, Scott, Sony, JL Audio, Alpine....bla, bla, bla.  Just so everyone knows that Im not a complete novice.  Now onto the headphones.  Wow......I was shocked how tin cannish the Sennheisers sounded compared to the other cans in this price range.  I thought I would get blown away by them in the $150 price range, but I was so disappointed.  The had great clarity, but NO depth whatsoever.  They sounded really blah compared to ALL of the other headphones.  Maybe once you hit $500 and up these headphones take off.  They also felt super cheap build wise compared to everything else.  The monsters sounded decent, but you can tell they are frantically trying to duplicate the Beat sound.  The Beats actually sounded pretty good to me. The had great depth, and those who prefer Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop will be in heaven.  As far as classical and Jazz goes, you will probably want a less forward and exaggerated sound signature.  They did sound pretty good to me though.  The AKGs and Harmon Kardons were more neutral sounding.....they were OK, but I didnt hear a full sound.  I heard way more midrange and treble.  The bass was totally secondary, which is OK to some.  Not to me though.  The Pioneers, Sonys and Sol Republic were all very close in sound signature.....great mids, highs, great bass that wasnt bloated or pushed forward.  Just a great all around balance.  Especially for the price.  These cans cost about 1/2-3/4 of what the ones mentioned above did.  Now to the champs........damn the Logitech can sounded amazing!!!  Great mids/highs and bass.  Perfect balance as far as Im concerned.  If I had an extra $200 to blow, I would buy these right now.  Anyhow to sum everything up.....Sennheiser lower models are average at best.  The marketing headphones arent as bad sounding as everyone makes them out to be, even if they ARE overpriced.  The old school standards Sony and Pioneer are still amazing especially when considering price.  Sol Republic sounds fantastic and the Logitechs own anything near its price. 


PS.  My Sony MDR-V55s held their own.  I would place them in the top 25% of the headphones I auditioned. 


Comments appreciated.....have a great weekend all.

Edited by lebomb - 2/15/13 at 11:05am
post #2 of 46

That would really depend on what models you tested; some brands are only good at certain price points. In general, though, Best Buy is not a good place to test headphones, and I've never seen anything there that interested me.

post #3 of 46

Well that means you have rapper ears. very_evil_smiley.gif

post #4 of 46

wow monster and beats above senn? thats odd, what models of the senns did you test lol (was it the HD4-- series? those are pretty meh to me imo, very unlike the HD5-- series and up)
also what logitech did you test? was it the UE6000 or UE9000? they are actually made by Ultimate ears just to note there (hence the 'UE')


post #5 of 46

Ah, the problem is actually best buy. Some of those headphones need amps to drive them. Plus, the sound systems at best buy are geared to get you to buy certain headphones over others. For instance, the beats are on special sound systems that make them sound better than most headphones there. But that is because there is a pretty high profit margin on them. 


AKG NEEDS an amp. Period. Best buy don't test them with amps therefore they suck when you listen to them. 


Logitech can be power by static electricity it seems, so they will sound bad in the real world, but good in comparison to everything else that is not set up right at best buy. 


Hopefully this makes sense. 


If not, let me put it this way. Best buy sucks. If best buy were good, we would not have this website. wink.gif

post #6 of 46

OP, was the source yours (your mp3 player/phone) or was the source set up by best buy? (no best buys here in my country, i wouldn't know)

post #7 of 46

At all the Best Buys I've seen they don't let you plug in your  own source.

post #8 of 46
No wonder, The mystery is solved.
post #9 of 46

When I tried the B&O cans at Future Shop I thought they were nice.

post #10 of 46

IMO the problem with Monster and Beats is price, not quality. They're fine 'phones, it's just that they charge a premium.


Example: Staples was having crazy sales on the Ludacris Soul line. I picked up the SL150s (MSRP $199, Amazon price $139) for $69. To be honest, I like these better than my old SRH-840s. They're not as neutral (duh) but the lows are there, the highs are crisp, the soundstage is good. For $70 they were a steal. I'd NEEEEEVER pay $200 though.

post #11 of 46

It is a problem with quality. All their audio quality deficiencies aside, any headphone that breaks as easily as Beats isn't worth the trouble for me. I'd much rather pay the extra amount for something that lasts, or in the case of Beats, pay less for something that lasts.

post #12 of 46
Originally Posted by Tsujigiri View Post

At all the Best Buys I've seen they don't let you plug in your  own source.

All the ones near me do, thankfully.  But yeah the model listing is important here, cause I know at least for my nearest best buy, the only Sennheiser phones I've noticed there are the HD 598 and HD 700, which I would be surprised if anybody found them lacking compared to beats... Also, OP are you referring to the K550 for the AKG? cause that's the only one I remember seeing at all of the BB's around here.

post #13 of 46

OP was missing a lot of brands there, i'm sure if we compare Denon/Ultrasone headphones vs Beats. Another story. 


Besides the source thing. 

post #14 of 46

the headphones on best buys own sound system are extremely underpowered, so cans that run well on little power shine. the exception is beats by dre which has their own setup so the headphones sound great (the solos still sound horrible tho).

What confuses me is that Sony has their own setup but its underpowered making all their headphones sound terrible


anf the Op is talking about whats available at best buy to listen to, not all brands in existence

post #15 of 46

might of been the sennheiser hd 449 or 429, i've heard those as best buy and owned the 448 in the past, absolutely terrible, the bass distorts really easily, regardless of amp.


the hd 558 (also available at my best buy) are REALLY good though. and their hd 201s aren't bad considering the price

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