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What is a Rational, Sensible, Reference Phone for the $30 - $120 Range?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Some detailed explanation.

I am buying headphones working up the price and performance chain, beginning with the very cheapest Chi-fi at $8 - $30.

I have 8 Chinese cans that I purchased last month.

I use the CAL! ($60), 668b ($27) and UE 500 buds ($50) as my current 'reference' to compare these very low price, often mid-fi cans, to. That segment is now done and I am moving on. I am working up to the next higher level of perhaps as much as $120 USD.

I am seeking a recommendation to compare headphones priced from $40 to $120 with a reference at the top of that price/performance segment.

I have many good ideas, but I want to see what you all think.

I do not want to compare those $100 headphones to the HD800 or HE-6, just because such a comparison makes no sense. I also wish to have a better headphone to compare the $50 ones to. I have the CAL!, but if I compare it to one of the new purchases, I will not know how the new one compares when it betters the CAL!. It's better, but how much and how does it compare to ABC?

I suppose I am looking for a suggestion that someone who could only afford up to $100 would have as their ideal and thus what they would compare their purchase to on a relative basis.

TIA!
Edited by marone - 9/9/13 at 10:23pm
post #2 of 12

It would help if you told us what the headphone is for, what genre of music, and if you prefer a fun sound or as the title suggests a 'reference' headphone which to me suggests a critical listening headphone like a studio headphone. 

If you're looking for a fun sound there's quite a few options, if you're looking for a critical listening experience, there are fewer options.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I will use them to compare other headphones in the $40-$120 range to, using the set list of music that I use to analyse, review and compare them with. The headphones are used for me to listen to music on my PC and head-fi rig, details in my signature and profile.

A reference headphone, using rock, jazz, classical and female vocal.
post #4 of 12

I suggest the AKG K240. 

If you've got even a half decent amplifier you could even get a 'vintage' one - specifically the K240 DF (diffused field) as that's still a ridiculously neutral headphone even by today's standards and perfectly capable of studio use.

Most people who have them say they're technically the best out of the whole bunch. I've only heard 3 (other) variants, and they were all very good. 

 

It has good synergy with those genres too. If you listen to a lot of bass heavy electronic music, I would suggest something else.

post #5 of 12

Heya,

 

Look into:

 

AKG K240 & K240 MKII (both revisions)

Shure SRH440

Sony MDR7506

Sony MDR V6

Sennheiser HD280 PRO

Sennheiser HD439

Sennheiser HD449

Sennheiser HD518

Grado SR60i

Grado SR80i

KRK KNS 6400

 

.... Just to get started, there's a plethora of headphones in this price range that are decent.

 

Very best,

post #6 of 12

Look into SRH440. I haven't heard it yet, but reviews say fairly neutral (with possible bass roll off causing at least slightly bright effect).

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

Look into SRH440. I haven't heard it yet, but reviews say fairly neutral (with possible bass roll off causing at least slightly bright effect).

indeed, you can also find the Audio TEchnica A900x for around $100 aggressivly check eBay

 

for $100 I really enjoyed the A900x

 

the Shure would be my second pick how ever, 

 

there is also the UE 6000, which goes for around $115 on eBay [and head fi some times] as well, with it's ACN off I found it to be very neutral as well. 

 

None of these need an amp either 

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

Look into SRH440. I haven't heard it yet, but reviews say fairly neutral (with possible bass roll off causing at least slightly bright effect).

There are two thing VERY wrong with this post:

First - "Holy necro-threading!" - you dug up a 3 month old thread. If he hasn't bought the headphone by now, he probably doesn't care about this thread any more.

Second - Never suggest a headphone you have not heard yourself. Would you suggest that I look into getting a car you havn't driven, a meal you havn't eaten or a bed you've never slept in? 

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post
 

There are two thing VERY wrong with this post:

First - "Holy necro-threading!" - you dug up a 3 month old thread. If he hasn't bought the headphone by now, he probably doesn't care about this thread any more.

Second - Never suggest a headphone you have not heard yourself. Would you suggest that I look into getting a car you havn't driven, a meal you havn't eaten or a bed you've never slept in? 

 

First, I posted without taking much notice of the date because three months isn't especially old.

 

Second, I certainly would tell someone to "look into" a car, restaurant, or hotel that I have not tried myself if I have reason to believe he might have reason to want to try it, so long as I am also absolutely clear that I haven't tried it--which I was

 

Besides that, you might wish to consider adopting a less hectoring tone in the future in order to ensure a polite and considered response.

post #10 of 12
I hear Ferraris are pretty fast. But don't even think about them; I've never owned one.

I also wouldn't know if Michelin starred restaurants are even worth trying. The Burger King where I live, though, (not the one where you live -- I've never been there)...

 
post #11 of 12

Someone with over 600 posts on an internet forum should know better than that.

 

This ladies and gentlemen is exactly what's wrong with the internet - an endless cycle of regurgitated mis-information. 

Anyone with a PC, keyboard and 2 cents can get access to information on anything they can think of on in the known universe - but REAL EXPERIENCES are hard to come by and infinitely more valuable. Then REAL EXPERIENCES from experienced professionals or enthusiasts are even harder to come by and is so close to 'truth' or 'fact' that it is invaluable to online communities like headfi. 

 

*shakes head, grabs hat and coat and leaves, disappointed in humanity once again*

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

 

*shakes head, grabs hat and coat and leaves, disappointed in humanity once again*

 

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