Originally Posted by arconreef
Hi, I've been looking around for a pair of budget headphones with a max price of about ~$150. I will be using them in noisy places, so they must have a closed/sealed design and have passive sound isolation. They need to be reasonably sturdy, and not prone to breaking under moderate stress, since i take my headphones with me practically everywhere I go. I listen to a lot of power/progressive metal, as well as some rock and classical/orchestral music. As I am on a budget, I cannot afford a portable amp. I need something with relatively low impedance (used daily with ipad/ipod and PC).
What do you think? My first choice would have been the Grado SR-80i or SR-125i, if not for the complete lack of sound isolation, and extreme sound leakage. I found quite a few good reviews about the Audio Technica ATH-M50. However after doing some research on the forums, there seems to be a general consensus that they are overrated and easily outperformed by the competition. Is that correct? What headphones do you think are best suited to my specific needs?
I would still stick with the ATH-M50.
There are better closed options for $150, definitely. Some would argue far cheaper models, like the CAL! or Citiscape Uptowns are superior. The UE6000, HD25-1 ii, K167, A900X, SRH840, SRH750DJ are all headphones that IMO sound better that can also be found in that price range.
However, most of the above headphones (I've heard everything except the SRH840) also fail in some areas other than sound in comparison to the M50s. The CAL/UE6000/K167 aren't as durable. The A900X are bulky. The HD25-1 ii has comfort issues, and are a bit pricy ($200). Uptowns depend too much on a seal and don't isolate noise very well. The Shures make you look like teletubbies.
The M50s, especially if you can find them for ~$120 are still very good. Go for the coiled cable version if you're planning to take them around.