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Best price/performance range? - Page 2

post #16 of 35
The only caveat you may hear is that people may say it has great sound stage "for a closed pair of headphones".

Isolation is also a big advantage of closed headphones. While open headphones may sound better at the end of the day, it may not be as versatile. I honestly think that everyone should own one pair of open, one pair of closed, and one iem. If forced to only have one though, I would recommend closed just purely due to versatility as I mentioned.
post #17 of 35

To me I think there are 3 "tiers" of good price performance ratio, low, mid and high.

 

Low would be from 40-90, there are some seriously good can like grados, koss portapros and the CAL that punch close to the $140++ mark, so if that's your budget this would be the ideal range.

 

Next would be the $300-400 range, "mid-fi" as some would call it, though most stop here lol, a huge number of amazing well scaling cans live here like the HD5XX and 6XX range, the DT7-8-9XX range, the open audio technicas, grado SR225- RS2, just a huge number of amazing cans that are worth their money in sound. plus this is where sound sig varies greatly so there's a can for every taste.

 

The last tier is high end $1000+ cans that almost all sound absolutely wonderful, but keep in mind that the people who spend their money in this range have a different idea of price/performance, and diminishing returns is unavoidable. Cans like the LCD-2, Beyer Teslas, HD800 and the ATH W3000ANV all perform amazingly well, but of course your definition of price/performance is probably a bit different if you're justifying the purchase of these cans :) Also for these cans you MUST amp them, so the cost of the amp, the DAC and cables should be taken into account too.... 

 

Overall, most people stick with the 300-400 range here on head-fi, and (though I am quite far past that stage myself :P) I would recommend you to stay at this tier, cause the sound is pretty much as good as you'll ever need them to be(granted you have $300+).

post #18 of 35

You're missing an entire tier below $40 which includes some exceptional headphones. I've already listed them. 

 

The sportapro, portapro and ksc75's all garner outstanding reviews for sound quality. The sportapros and 75's at $20 and $15 in particular, are ridiculous values. 

 

Throw in a $30 Fiio E6 and an itunes equalizer, and/or a sansa clip+, and you're probably at least 85% of the way to $300 headphones. 

 

The point of sharply diminishing returns then, is probably around $50 (igrado's), rather than $300. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noobmachine View Post

To me I think there are 3 "tiers" of good price performance ratio, low, mid and high.

 

Low would be from 40-90, there are some seriously good can like grados, koss portapros and the CAL that punch close to the $140++ mark, so if that's your budget this would be the ideal range.

 

Next would be the $300-400 range, "mid-fi" as some would call it, though most stop here lol, a huge number of amazing well scaling cans live here like the HD5XX and 6XX range, the DT7-8-9XX range, the open audio technicas, grado SR225- RS2, just a huge number of amazing cans that are worth their money in sound. plus this is where sound sig varies greatly so there's a can for every taste.

 

The last tier is high end $1000+ cans that almost all sound absolutely wonderful, but keep in mind that the people who spend their money in this range have a different idea of price/performance, and diminishing returns is unavoidable. Cans like the LCD-2, Beyer Teslas, HD800 and the ATH W3000ANV all perform amazingly well, but of course your definition of price/performance is probably a bit different if you're justifying the purchase of these cans :) Also for these cans you MUST amp them, so the cost of the amp, the DAC and cables should be taken into account too.... 

 

Overall, most people stick with the 300-400 range here on head-fi, and (though I am quite far past that stage myself :P) I would recommend you to stay at this tier, cause the sound is pretty much as good as you'll ever need them to be(granted you have $300+).

post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycee1 View Post

You're missing an entire tier below $40 which includes some exceptional headphones. I've already listed them. 

 

The sportapro, portapro and ksc75's all garner outstanding reviews for sound quality. The sportapros and 75's at $20 and $15 in particular, are ridiculous values. 

 

Throw in a $30 Fiio E6 and an itunes equalizer, and/or a sansa clip+, and you're probably at least 85% of the way to $300 headphones. 

 

The point of sharply diminishing returns then, is probably around $50 (igrado's), rather than $300. 

I'm not too sure of those headphones, I've never really tried a lot of them so I'm not really at liberty to say... but I think that SHARP diminishing returns only occur at $400+, I've never heard a sub $300 match %70 of my W1000x or old HD650, so I HIGHLY doubt the claim that it's 80% of the way there at $40.... But as I said, I've never heard the Koss sportapro or KSC75, but from listening of my friends portapro with my music and set up they definitely didn't sound like 80% of my HD650s at the time, nor did they sound close to my SE535s either.

 

However I'm entirely sure of the sharp diminishing returns from $800+ cans, my W1000x's sound maybe %85 of my LCD2s, and my older HD650s from recollection were about 80% there. 

 

It all comes down to preference in the end though, if $10 or $1000 headphones make you happy it's all about your satisfaction and performance you are getting from the cans :)

post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noobmachine View Post

I'm not too sure of those headphones, I've never really tried a lot of them so I'm not really at liberty to say... but I think that SHARP diminishing returns only occur at $400+, I've never heard a sub $300 match %70 of my W1000x or old HD650, so I HIGHLY doubt the claim that it's 80% of the way there at $40.... But as I said, I've never heard the Koss sportapro or KSC75, but from listening of my friends portapro with my music and set up they definitely didn't sound like 80% of my HD650s at the time, nor did they sound close to my SE535s either.

 

However I'm entirely sure of the sharp diminishing returns from $800+ cans, my W1000x's sound maybe %85 of my LCD2s, and my older HD650s from recollection were about 80% there. 

 

It all comes down to preference in the end though, if $10 or $1000 headphones make you happy it's all about your satisfaction and performance you are getting from the cans :)

 

If you're willing to spend four figures on a pair of headphones, you certainly owe it to yourself to spend a total of just $35 on the 75's and sportapro's. I'll bet you or anyone else would be extremely pleased with their sound quality. 

 

Then again, some of you might be rather upset at how much money you've spent cough wasted cough when you could've gotten comparable sound quality for a tiny fraction of what you've spent on supposedly "better" headphones. :)

post #21 of 35

My KSC75s have the best bang-for-the-buck (they were $10)... and they're broken.

post #22 of 35

I think that the best price/performance range is about 100-200$. Over it i don't think that you will get headphones with which you will see that big of an improement, especially if you choose headphones with the same sound signature.

I had Beyer DT880 and Sennheiser Amperior and while they did sound good, the price compared to the Senn HD 380 and Grado sr80i really wasn't worth it.

Grado was the best bang for buck, sounded about 90% of the SQ of both Amperior or DT 880, HD 380 around 80%.

The only thing that was much better was soundstage for DT880 and build quality(leather/metal) for Amperior, but the SQ difference wasn't THAT big and deffinetly not worth it since they cost triple the price.

This is just my own opinion having tested these headphones.

post #23 of 35

As I mentioned earlier, you also need to keep in mind of any amping requirements when considering the price to performance ratio of a pair of headphones.  I know many people on here would consider the HD650s as one of the best bang for your buck headphones, but is it worth 10X the price of a PX100? (maybe 20X after factoring in the amping required for the HD650s). 

 

I would be willing to bet that the PX100 would outperform an HD650 when driven directly out of an iphone or mp3 player.  In this scenario, the PX100, at 1/10th the price, would actually be the superior sounding headphone.  I would also be willing to bet that even after amping the HD650's properly, no one can claim that it performs 10X better than the PX100s. 

post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph69 View Post

Hi, I wasn't saying that I was comparing the two Grado's that I mentioned, they are IMO two totally different headphone. The OP does mention price/performance, and for that matter I mentioned the 80's. Also why would it surprise you from 100-500, but not 500-1000, I think what you are saying can be applied to either price ranges depending on the prefference of the individuals sound likings. Your one of the few Head-fiers who's posts are very interesting to me (in a very good way) , so I'm surprised you would say this. I not sure, but don't you own the 80's also?

 

Thanks for the kind words Joseph, the reason why i state that i'd be surprised if someones preferred a $100 to a $500 pair, is because in order to meet a $100 price point, manufacturers obviously have to make some compromises, take Grado for example, the entry model's earcups are made of plastic, they also use less sofisticated, and less closely matched drivers, and thinner cables made from again, less sofisticated materials, and although it doesn't affect sound quality, the headband is covered in vinyl.

 

If you look at the $495 RS2i, they're earcups are made of wood, the drivers are of better quality and more closely matched, and unless i'm mistaking they also have a better cable, and finally, they have a leather covered headband, now take a look at the $995 GS1000, and you'll find that they pretty use the same materials as the RS2i, that's why i believe $500 to $600 to be the sweet spot where you get a lot for your money.

 

Now, although it is possible that someone would prefer the sound of the SR80i to that of the RS2i, i think it would probably be a very small percentage of people.

post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph69 View Post

Hi, I wasn't saying that I was comparing the two Grado's that I mentioned, they are IMO two totally different headphone. The OP does mention price/performance, and for that matter I mentioned the 80's. Also why would it surprise you from 100-500, but not 500-1000, I think what you are saying can be applied to either price ranges depending on the prefference of the individuals sound likings. Your one of the few Head-fiers who's posts are very interesting to me (in a very good way) , so I'm surprised you would say this. I not sure, but don't you own the 80's also?

 

Thanks for the kind words Joseph, the reason why i state that i'd be surprised if someones preferred a $100 to a $500 pair, is because in order to meet a $100 price point, manufacturers obviously have to make some compromises, take Grado for example, the entry model's earcups are made of plastic, they also use less sofisticated, and less closely matched drivers, and thinner cables made from again, less sofisticated materials, and although it doesn't affect sound quality, the headband is covered in vinyl.

 

If you look at the $495 RS2i, they're earcups are made of wood, the drivers are of better quality and more closely matched, and unless i'm mistaking they also have a better cable, and finally, they have a leather covered headband, now take a look at the $995 GS1000, and you'll find that they pretty use the same materials as the RS2i, that's why i believe $500 to $600 to be the sweet spot where you get a lot for your money.

 

Now, although it is possible that someone would prefer the sound of the SR80i to that of the RS2i, i think it would probably be a very small percentage of people.

post #26 of 35

Totally understand your point, now that you also mentioned the materials and the more closely matched drivers and cables plus leather, I wasn't thinking of it in that respect, but your absolutely right as far 100$ build compared to a 500$ build. 

By the way the kind words are much deserved, you always have something to say that catches my attention, your welcome for them.

post #27 of 35
I'm curious how many shooting down higher priced gear have experience with it? The biggest thing I see here is convincing yourself that cheap is best. Whatever floats your boat but don't expect a wide range of experience to chime in on higher priced gear when they will be told how foolish they are for spending their money the way they see fit. Not all of us are starving students. This is a hobby for the masses and that includes those with the cash to experience high end gear. They don't buy it for status so there must be a reason for it.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

I'm curious how many shooting down higher priced gear have experience with it? The biggest thing I see here is convincing yourself that cheap is best. Whatever floats your boat but don't expect a wide range of experience to chime in on higher priced gear when they will be told how foolish they are for spending their money the way they see fit. Not all of us are starving students. This is a hobby for the masses and that includes those with the cash to experience high end gear. They don't buy it for status so there must be a reason for it.

I'm not "shooting down higher priced gear"; it is simply reasonable to ask what, if any differences, exist in SOUND QUALITY between the least expensive equipment (below $50 or $100) and the more expensive (several hundreds of dollars or even over a thousand). That's the point of the thread.


I can easily tell the difference between my sansa clip+ and a macbook. The macbook wins easily. More air, more warmth, simply a far more enjoyable listening experience. The sansa clip+ is certainly acceptable but sounds far more two dimensional rather than 3 dimensional. Then again, the price difference is nearly $2K and over 5 lbs. in weight. Therefore, I could very easily recommend a sansa cip+ given the price and portability difference. 

 

I wouldn't get defensive if someone told me that the clip+ was a superior value and far more portable. Those are facts which are indisputable. I wouldn't take the positive appraisal of a $30 player as a personal affront. 

post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph69 View Post

Totally understand your point, now that you also mentioned the materials and the more closely matched drivers and cables plus leather, I wasn't thinking of it in that respect, but your absolutely right as far 100$ build compared to a 500$ build. 

By the way the kind words are much deserved, you always have something to say that catches my attention, your welcome for them.

 

Sorry for the double post.

 

if you have been reading my posts, you must know how much i like my SR80i, but i do prefer the sound of my PS1000, now, when you think about it, you can buy 17 pairs of SR80i, for the price of one pair of PS1000, talk about diminishing returns, especially when you consider the fact that the SR80i will give you a good chunk of what the PS1000 gives you, that, to me, is very impressive.

post #30 of 35

200-300 imo.

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