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Help with choosing headphones in $100-$150 range?

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 

Hi, I've never had a decent pair of headphones and I've been researching and trying to narrow down which pair to get. I don't want to spend any more than $150.

 

I want these for use around the house, so portability or noise cancellation isn't a big deal. My main concern is sound quality and detail, everything else is less important. They should also be reasonably comfortable for a few hours of use at a time.

 

I want them primarily for music, I listen mostly to metal with the occasional pop, punk rock, or classical album. Basically a pair that can handle many genres.

 

The popular choice seems to be the ATH M-50. I also have interest in the "Harmon Kardon Harkar Cl", "V-Moda M-80's", "Sennheiser HD558", and "Shure SRH440".

 

Going under $100 I'm looking at the Noontec Zoro and Sennheiser HD280. Do these two stack up well with the rest and is there a glaring winner in any of the ones I listed? Other recommendations are definitely welcome.

 

Also, I have a $50 best buy gift card and would like to find a pair that they sell there, even though their selection is very limited. This isn't necessary though.

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 76

Could save some cash and get the Gemini HSR-1000 (Takstar Pro 80) headphones, $50 on eBay.

About as good sounding as any headphone under $100.

post #3 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Could save some cash and get the Gemini HSR-1000 (Takstar Pro 80) headphones, $50 on eBay.

About as good sounding as any headphone under $100.

Interesting. How much of a step up would it be to get something like the HD558 if I was willing to spend a little more than $100?

post #4 of 76

For what it's worth, I got a set of the ATH-M50 Audio Technicas back in December, and have yet to regret purchasing them.  You'll find a lot of people find them to be bass heavy but I would probably refer to the sound as being full sounding.  I listen to everything from Hip Hop, all areas of Metal, Alternative, Blues, and Classical.  And really the only genre I'm not ecstatic about is classical.  I've had the chance to listen to the V-Moda M-80s (one of my co workers was interested in selling them to me).  While I really did enjoy listening to them, I just didn't feel there was enough of a difference between the two sets to warrant purchasing the V-Moda's from him.  Other's might feel different, but that's just my experience.  If you keep a look out (sweet water, amazon, etc) sometimes you'll find deals, I got my M50's back in December for $100 on Amazon :)  Hope this was some help

 

Sorry, forgot to mention that the amp I was using to drive the M50's was a FiiO E11, connected to my iPod via a L9 cable.


Edited by DaisXiled - 8/16/13 at 6:06pm
post #5 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisXiled View Post

For what it's worth, I got a set of the ATH-M50 Audio Technicas back in December, and have yet to regret purchasing them.  You'll find a lot of people find them to be bass heavy but I would probably refer to the sound as being full sounding.  I listen to everything from Hip Hop, all areas of Metal, Alternative, Blues, and Classical.  And really the only genre I'm not ecstatic about is classical.  I've had the chance to listen to the V-Moda M-80s (one of my co workers was interested in selling them to me).  While I really did enjoy listening to them, I just didn't feel there was enough of a difference between the two sets to warrant purchasing the V-Moda's from him.  Other's might feel different, but that's just my experience.  If you keep a look out (sweet water, amazon, etc) sometimes you'll find deals, I got my M50's back in December for $100 on Amazon :)  Hope this was some help

 

Sorry, forgot to mention that the amp I was using to drive the M50's was a FiiO E11, connected to my iPod via a L9 cable.

 

Thanks for the feedback. I feel like the m50's are the safest bet for me and I'll definitely be looking out for a sale. Just from an aethetic standpoint, the V-Moda's are tempting, but I would probably have to listen to them after I get my hands on the M-50's.

post #6 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianerhard13 View Post

Interesting. How much of a step up would it be to get something like the HD558 if I was willing to spend a little more than $100?

What audio source(s) will you be plugging the headphones into?

 

The HD558 sometimes sells used for just over $100, on Amazon or eBay.

The HD558 are not the warmest sounding headphone, some describe the sound as veiled.

I like do think of the HD558s as good all around headphones for music, movies and gaming.

I do find them comfortable to wear.

 

The HD558s come standard with a 1/4" (6.35mm) headphone jack

and have a 1/4" female to 1/8" male adapter, which is not the greatest for use with portables.

On eBay you can get a third party replacement cable with the 1/8" jack for around $16-$19.

post #7 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

What audio source(s) will you be plugging the headphones into?

 

The HD558 sometimes sells used for just over $100, on Amazon or eBay.

The HD558 are not the warmest sounding headphone, some describe the sound as veiled.

I like do think of the HD558s as good all around headphones for music, movies and gaming.

I do find them comfortable to wear.

 

The HD558s come standard with a 1/4" (6.35mm) headphone jack

and have a 1/4" female to 1/8" male adapter, which is not the greatest for use with portables.

On eBay you can get a third party replacement cable with the 1/8" jack for around $16-$19.


I'll only be using it with my laptop, phone, and ipod for now, no amp for now. So maybe this one isn't the best option.

 

Thanks for the feedback.

post #8 of 76
Thread Starter 

So I just purchased the ATH-A900x on amazon refurbished for $110.00. I thought that was a good price since I see it being compared to headphones that cost $200-300. Now is this headphone ok to use without any amp and can I do better for the price? I don't see many reviews for it, which seems like a red flag.

post #9 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianerhard13 View Post

So I just purchased the ATH-A900x on amazon refurbished for $110.00. I thought that was a good price since I see it being compared to headphones that cost $200-300. Now is this headphone ok to use without any amp and can I do better for the price? I don't see many reviews for it, which seems like a red flag.

The ATH-A900X is only 40-Ohms and easy to drive (I think they are great sounding music headphones).

So should be no problem with using them without a headphone amplifier.

But using a low impedance (5-Ohm or less) headphone amplifier might be something to look at getting in the future.

Portable audio devices usually have a headphone output with low impedance.

post #10 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The ATH-A900X is only 40-Ohms and easy to drive (I think they are great sounding music headphones).

So should be no problem with using them without a headphone amplifier.

But using a low impedance (5-Ohm or less) headphone amplifier might be something to look at getting in the future.

Portable audio devices usually have a headphone output with low impedance.

I definitely plan on getting an amp in the future. For now I can't wait to receive these, looking to be blown away having only owned headphones that cost less than $20.

 

Thanks for the help.

post #11 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianerhard13 View Post

So I just purchased the ATH-A900x on amazon refurbished for $110.00. I thought that was a good price since I see it being compared to headphones that cost $200-300. Now is this headphone ok to use without any amp and can I do better for the price? I don't see many reviews for it, which seems like a red flag.

Good job, I was also going to buy one on Amazon and I noticed some one elese had one in thier cart :D must have been you

 

in all honestly, I own the w1000x and it LOVES my Solid State Matrix M Stage. I have yet to listen to my Ath a900x [as it won't be here till maybe Tuesday or tommorow] but based on reviews and my experince with the my modded w1000x, it should pair well with the Matrix as well, seeing as the two cans are simmilary voiced, but the w1000x being more refined. In addition the w1000x are bassier than the a900x? Which was something I DID NOT LIKE about the w1000x [so I modded some of that bass away and tightend it up]

 

I'd say ultimately, it the a900x should have nice bass, less than the almost too much w1000x, in addition it's plastic housing should prevent the excessive decay of the w1000x wood, so it should be enjoyable with a solid state for that added punch to those mids, and teh extra details. Non the less in a few days I will know how the ath a900x sounds on my Matrix and my Jds C5 [also in transit] 

post #12 of 76
Thread Starter 

That's good to hear. I'm not a bass head by any means, but I also don't enjoy the music when it's lacking either. I look forward to hearing your impressions as you'll likely receive them before me.

post #13 of 76

Indeed the Ath a900x was everything I though it would be

 

A fun and slighty intimate sound stage. Bass is not over whelming but it's a tad bassy than the Akg K550. Sound stage is a little smaller as well. The treble is a touch brighter than the Akg K550 and the mids have more attack but not as much body as the K550. Bass is ofc just as deep as the K550 and there's a little more meat to it! 

post #14 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

Indeed the Ath a900x was everything I though it would be

 

A fun and slighty intimate sound stage. Bass is not over whelming but it's a tad bassy than the Akg K550. Sound stage is a little smaller as well. The treble is a touch brighter than the Akg K550 and the mids have more attack but not as much body as the K550. Bass is ofc just as deep as the K550 and there's a little more meat to it! 

Good to hear. definitely excited now.

post #15 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianerhard13 View Post

Good to hear. definitely excited now.

I'm selling mine super cheap xD Spread the word! 

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